Superbowles XXXV
by Meanjean

JIM NANZ: Hello, everyone, and welcome to SUPERBOWL XXV, which was supposed to have featured the New York Giants against the Baltimore Ravens. However, the NFL and FCC decided that both of those teams were just too boring for everyone to care about, and CBS wanted to bring in the female 25-54 age demographic, so instead we have the Indefatigable Giants, coached by one Edward Pellew, and the Dreadnought Ravens, coached by Cap Foster. For more now, here is Phil Simms, live from Raymond James stadium...

PHIL: Jim, I can't tell you a gosh danged thing about these two teams. Both seemed very impressed by the stadium, although Coach Pellew looked quite ferocious when told that this was the home of Buccaneers. I distinctly heard him mutter something about blowing a ship out of the water. But for more on the two teams, let's hear from Armen Ketayen down on the field.

ARMEN: Phil, if ever there were a team of two opposites, it would be these. The Indefatigable Giants are a very, very young team by all appearances; their quarterback seems to be this reedy young fellow by the name of Horatio Hornblower...of all the infernal luck!

PHIL: Now that's a name I don't think we'll be seeing on any Wheaties boxes soon...

ARMEN: However, though young, this team seems to have played together a long time, and they hold what can only be described as awe-inspiring reverence for their Coach. Pellew seems to be a flinty eyed man of few words, but whenever in his presence, his team seems to play at a level far surpassing expectations. They also seem to address him as "sir" something even Mike Ditka never managed to accomplish.

PHIL: What about the Dreadnought Ravens?

ARMEN: Coach Cap Foster will not permit me to address his players in person. He claims, however, to have assembled "the finest lot of fighting men ever seen on this side of the channel." I asked him which channel he was speaking of, ABC, NBC, or CBS, but he just swept on about the sharp and cunning skills his men possess.

PHIL: Armen, I had a chance to talk to Coach Pellew earlier today...here's what he had to say about his team, and their rivals.

***

PHIL: So, Coach Pellew, I understand that you and Captain Foster are long-time rivals?

PELLEW: You are correct, Sir; I do not like his battle tactics!

PHIL: Is there any truth to the rumor that prior to this game he attempted to recruit your Quarterback, Horatio Hornblower, to his team?

PELLEW: Mr. Hornblower is an intelligent young man. I did not need to influence him to keep him here; he knows well enough what Foster is like.

PHIL: Tell me a little bit about your staff? You have two very impressive coordinators, I understand.

PELLEW: Our offence is run by Mr. Bowles. He is, Sir, one of the most skilled manipulators of circumstance ever to sail a ship. He has outsmarted several French Captains, and even escaped a nest of Republicans!

PHIL: Well, this is Florida...never know when that skill will come in handy! How is your defense, Sir?

PELLEW: I believe the best way to beat a bad situation is not to get into one in the first place! Tony Bracegirdle, my defensive coach, is very good about preventing catastrophes.

PHIL: Coach, is the team healthy?

PELLEW: (with a wry smile) You would not ask that if you knew my medical staff, Sir! Mr. Brandon and Mr. Johnson have the men well fit, I can assure you.

PHIL: Brandon? I thought he was the waterboy?

PELLEW: Well, he certainly prefers water to spirits, but never mind. He is easily underestimated, I can assure you.

PHIL: What about the Ravens?

PELLEW: A Raven is a carrion eating bird, and a symbol of evil. Need I say more?

PHIL: Any word on their specific players? I understand their Quarterback is a bit of a Journeyman; in fact, didn't you once coach him?

PELLEW: (face growing dark) SIMPSON! Bah! You tell him, Sir...you tell him...(pauses, literally shaking with anger) I blew him to hell once, Sir, and do not think I would be afraid to do it again! My musket is ready, I can assure you!

PHIL: And the rest of their team?

PELLEW: A lot of mercenaries, patterned in the likeness of their coach! I have always feared the day when our enemies would unite against us, and it seams it has come. But my men are up to the task! We will defend our honor, or we will die trying!

****

PHIL: Wow, Armen, I have to tell you that by the time I was done talking to him I was ready to sign with the team myself. Quite a powerful man!

ARMEN: Indeed, Phil. I heard you mention Simpson...one of the more interesting match-ups of the day should feature Quarterback Simpson against Free Safety Archie Kennedy...it would seem that there is VERY bad blood between them, but Kennedy isn't talking. Simpson, on the other hand, won't shut up, but nothing he said is repeatable on national television.

PHIL: Well, Armen, looks like we're getting ready start...The Indefatigables have one the coin toss, and on Bowles advice are going with the wind in the second half, so they are kicking off. That's Oldroyd with the kick-earlier this year he was literally dead in this league, but with a dearth of kickers out there, Pellew decided to dust him off for this game.

GREG GUMBLE: It's a booming kick, Phil...It's been said that Oldroyd excels in putting his foot in his mouth, and he nearly did on that kick, his leg was so high...Devergess is back to field it for the Ravens...he's got more women swooning at this stadium than Jason Seahorn. Devergess is at the five...the ten...the fifteen...the twenty...the twenty five...man is fast for a frog....the thirty...can anybody bring this man down?

PHIL: Oooh, that's got to hurt!

GREG: That was the Duchess of Warfedale, nailing him across the helmet with her fan, and he's stunned. But a nice run-back from Devergess, anyway.

PHIL: Simpson will bring the Raven's offense on to the field with pretty decent field position. They have two wide receivers in there, Baron Moncoutant and Lefty Eccleston; Bunting lines up in the back field.

GREG: Here's the snap...it's a hand-off to Bunting...he plunders ahead for five yards.

PHIL: Nice gain.

GREG: There apparently is no friendship between Bunting and Simpson, but Simpson knows where his bread is buttered. Bunting is an excellent runner.

PHIL: Word is he doesn't always know when to stop.

GREG: It's back for another hand-off to Bunting...no, looks like Simpson is going to keep this one...he's in the pocket...has plenty of time...uh, oh...here comes Tapling right up the middle...he burns past Eccleston...and nails Simpson right into the ground.

PHIL: Boy, I can't hear what Simpson's saying to Eccleston right now, but I would bet it isn't pretty!

GREG: I don't understand it...it was obviously a pass call...the other wide receiver, Moncoutant, ran down field like a mob was chasing him, but Eccleston stayed put...as a result, Kennedy and the cornerback, Edrington, had Montcoutant double covered.

PHIL: That's a crime twice over, Greg. First Eccleston didn't run the play, and then he didn't even try and stop Tapling! It seems that what he is best at is doing nothing at all!

GREG: Tapling has credit for the sack. It's third and five. Here's the handoff to Bunting again...he's picked up the first down...Kennedy tries to grab him, but he shakes him off...finally, he's brought down by Finch.

PHIL: Finch is a pretty quiet guy, and skinny, but he's determined. Not much heard about him for the past two years. Another one of Pellew's reclamation projects, I guess.

GREG: It is a Ravens first down, though. Simpson back again...a short pass to Eccleston...he drops the ball!

PHIL: Apparently that's what he's best at.

GREG: I wouldn't sleep too securely if I were him, judging by the look on Simpson's face.

PHIL: Ravens out of the huddle...here's the snap...its Bunting...up the middle for an eight yard gain.

GREG: I have to say I like this kid, Phil.

PHIL: He's hungry today, that's for certain!

GREG: The Indefatigables are showing Blitz...bringing in the free safeties...Kennedy looks like he wants a shot at Simpson so bad he's shaking...

PHIL: Simpson's line is holding strong, though...Cleveland and Hether don't look like they like it much, though; they're both free agents at the end of the year. Simpson has time...it's deep...and Moncoutant has it...here comes Edrington down the field, but Moncoutant has speed.

GREG: I don't think anyone's catching him...what the HELL IS HE DOING?

PHIL: He's on the ten yard line laughing at Edrington...that's got to be taunting, Greg!

GREG: They're chasing each other just yards from the end-zone. Looks like Moncoutant is more interested in playing keep away from Edrington than scoring! Where are his priorities?

PHIL: And...OH! Moncoutant is blindsided by Tapling! Edrington kept Moncoutant distracted long enough for Tapling to catch up to him...That hit was so hard it nearly took his head off!

GREG: Well, Tapling is a big boy...and I do mean BIG!

PHIL: Doesn't look like he's missed too many meals.

GREG: You might say he was bred for this game.

[Simpson cannot get the Ravens into the end-zone, and the Ravens have to kick a field goal. Score is Ravens 3-0]

PHIL: Here's the kick-off from the Ravens...Reg Cousins, their leading receiver, fields the kick from Romero...it's a low line drive. Reg has it and runs it up to the twenty five...nice block there from Styles. And finely we get a look at this Hornblower kid we've heard so much about.

GREG: Boy, he is thin, Phil. I think he needs to get the name of Tapling's chef.

PHIL: He has a strong rapport with his front line, though. They're not all that big, but guards Styles and Matthews have not allowed a sack all year. Matthews, by the way, has allowed us to mic his helmet for the game.

GREG: Steward Clarke is the center...he denies rumors that he irons Hornblower's clothes for him, says he'd have a queue outside his rooms every day if he did that. He grumbles a lot, but it seems he gets along with Hornblower pretty well.

PHIL: Here's Hornblower back to pass...and he gets a clean, twenty yard zinger off to Cousins.

GREG: Excellent play there, I must say. Exact timing. Looks like Bracegirdle, a former receiver in his younger days, taught Cousins well.

PHIL: Charles Chalk is in the backfield...he's new to the team, but is generally well liked. It's a handoff to Chalk, he gets three and is stopped cold by Hunter, and...OH!

GREG: The Ref has to throw a flag on that one, Phil.

PHIL: After making a clean play, Hunter stomped on him!

GREG: Not once, but three times! That is un-sportsman-like conduct!

PHIL: Hornblower stepped in quickly; He's grabbed Hunter off of Chalk and pushed him away.

GREG: Let's see if we can pick up anything on Matthew's microphone.

(from the field)

HORNBLOWER: Mr. Hunter, what are you doing? This is folly!

HUNTER: I wasn't going to get what I wanted just standing there!

MATTHEWS (TO STYLES): I always said he was a sour bastard!

(back to booth)

GREG: Well, I don't know what it is Hunter thought he wanted, but what he's gotten is thrown out of the game...no, wait, Hornblower is talking to the ref...it seems they're just going to hit the Ravens with a fifteen-yard penalty.

(from the field)

MATTHEWS (TO STYLES: Well if that isn't just like Mr. Hornblower! Giving Hunter a second chance.

STYLES: Aye, it's gonna get the boy in trouble one of these days.

(back to booth)

GREG: Indefatigables now have a first down on the Ravens' 45 yard line. Chalk comes off the field clutching his ribs...Brandon is attending to him...who is the Indefatigable's back up at RB?

PHIL: An old veteran, Greg...General Charette.

GREG: Charette? He's still in the league? He must be what, a hundred and one?

PHIL: No, a hundred and two.

GREG: Sure enough, Phil, here he comes. He's been exiled in Europe for three long years, but he is still a legend...

PHIL: He used to be able to freeze defenses with one look.

GREG: Hornblower goes back, hands off to Charette...he's at the forty...the thirty five...and...tripped up at the thirty-two.

PHIL: Greg, I've just noticed...Hunter is on the sidelines...and he appears to be CRYING?

GREG: There's no crying in baseball!

PHIL: Wrong movie, Greg. Simpson's approached Hunter...boy, with his helmet off he is one NASTY looking dude...He's beating Hunter around the shoulder pads with a rope...Cleveland tries to pull him off...meanwhile Coach Foster seems to be enjoying a beef dinner...Bunting keeps trying to pull food off of his plate.

GREG: Hunter is coming back into the game, just to get rid of Simpson, it would seem. The Indies are out of the huddle...Hornblower is going to pass...Hunter has a clear run at him, but doesn't seem to want to hit him...

PHIL: What's up with that? I've never seen a man this schizophrenic in uniform since Refrigerator Perry stopped playing.

GREG: Hornblower is confused...meanwhile, Cousins is having trouble getting open, he's being covered by Hepplewhite.

PHIL: Looks like Hepplewhite's breathing on him; if he's not careful he'll pass out from the fumes.

GREG: The other receiver just goes by the name HELMBOY. He's being covered by Lord Hood, who seems to be talking him to death.

PHIL: Look's like Hornblower's going to have to run it himself...Hunter steps aside to give him a clear vantage and...OH NO! HE ACCIDENTALLY TRIPS HORNBLOWER!

GREG: That's a penalty!

PHIL: Hunter is beside himself...Hornblower fumbled the football and the Ravens recover. Looks like Hornblower is out cold!

GREG: The Ravens are having a laugh on this one. Hunter is bawling in midfield, here comes Hepplewhite over, looks like he's pouring laudanum down his throat.

PHIL: What kind of drink is that?

GREG: Don't know but I think I'll stick to Gatorade!

PHIL: Hornblower's still not moving; the trainer Brandon was about to come out to the field when Pellew grabbed him. Johnson, assistant trainer, is heading out there instead. Do we have any idea who Hornblower's back-up is?

GREG: Looks like Pellew's called a huddle over on the sidelines. Let's see if we can pick up the feed from Matthew's mic.

(on field)

Pellew: [starting softly, and growing louder]

Gentlemen, we are in a bind. Now is when we need to pull together...or we shall be pulled apart! Mr. Hornblower will be tended to, but I think I speak for him when I say that he would not wish you to throw away this game; No, indeed; Mr. Hornblower, who fought the French at Muzillac and nearly outwitted the Spanish fleet in a fog, would want you to persevere!

[now roaring]

And persevere we shall, because there is no power on earth that can withstand the might of the Indefatigables!

MATTHEWS: But Sir...who's the quarterback.

PELLEW: (quietly) As he has done just recently, Mr. Brandon will replace Mr. Hornblower!

BRANDON:(jaw dropping) What?!?!?! Are you crazy!

(Pellew walks away, leaving Brandon standing there).

PHIL: Well, that's an unfortunate turn of events, folks. You heard it...the team's medic will be taking over quarterback duties.

GREG: That kid looks like he's about a hundred pounds soaking wet, Phil.

PHIL: And not much taller than the bench! Who could have foreseen this happening? Pellew is praying, and praying hard, no doubt, that Hornblower gets better soon!

GREG: Looks like it's time for a commercial break! We'll be right back.


[REJOINING THE GAME AT THE START OF THE FOURTH QUARTER]

GREG: Well, Phil, looks like we may have one of the most unusual defensive superbowls in the modern era.

PHIL: You can say that again Greg! The Ravens are still clinging to a slim 3 zip lead. Quarterback Simpson has been frankly ineffective; one has to wonder if he was worth the contract Cap Foster gave him in the off-season.

GREG: Meanwhile, for the Indefatigables, Horatio Hornblower is awake and being tended to on the sidelines by teammate Finch. And to everyone's surprise, his replacement Drew Brandon has been competent in taking over the helm...so to speak.

PHIL: Yes. He's managed the game effectively, with a lot of running by Charette and a few short passes to Cousins. He's done everything but get them into the endzone! This kid shows a poise that's beyond his years.

GREG: The Ravens have the ball as we start the fourth quarter; Simpson's yelling has gotten so loud that they can here him back in England.

PHIL: Man, if I had ever talked to my front line like that, they'd have let the defense plant me about three feet into the ground.

GREG: I have to say, Cleveland and Hether both look pretty p.o.'d out there.

PHIL: Here's the snap...Simpson back in the pocket...and Cleveland and Hether walk off the field!

GREG: And here comes Archie Kennedy!

PHIL: This has got to be Simpson's worst nightmare!

GREG: The bad blood goes back to their playing days on the Justinian...Simpson dodges to the left...dodges to the right...Kennedy is looking murderous...why doesn't Simpson just throw the ball away?

PHIL: Kennedy's got his number, all right...and look at this, Simpson is running! He's running away from Kennedy! He's running THE WRONG WAY!

GREG: I have never seen such an abject act of cowardice in my life.

PHIL: He's heading for his own endzone, Kennedy hot in pursuit. And unless my eyes deceive me, it looks like the little coward has...

GREG: Phil, this is a family show!

PHIL: He's kneeling in the endzone, look's like he's pleading with Kennedy about something. Kennedy has a beat on him now! What will he do?

GREG: He pats him on the helmet! That showed incredible restraint! He just walked up and patted him like he was a little puppy dog!

PHIL: Simpson getting up pretty fast as Kennedy walks away...looks like he's going after him...NOPE! Simpson just took one look at Pellew on the opposing sideline and he's slinking off the field.

GREG: A bizarre play, but no matter how you slice it, it's a safety! The score is now Ravens 3, Indefatigables 2.

PHIL: The Indefatigables need any score...field goal or touchdown...to win this game. With ten minutes to go in the game, they probably have at least two possessions left. That of course, counts on their defense to hold the Ravens once more.

GREG: I have to say, after an embarrassment like that, I can't see Simpson being a terribly effective leader.

PHIL: The question is, do you take out Brandon and put Hornblower back in the game?

GREG: He's still looking pretty groggy on the sidelines. I'd say not on this possession, Phil.

PHIL: Looks like Coach Pellew agrees with you. Here comes Brandon out to the field, jogging next to Cousins. He is looking more and more capable...he's stopped cold, there, Greg. Staring at the defensive line-men. I wonder why?

GREG: The Ravens have made a substitution...looks like they've put in number seventy-two, Lord Exton, on their line to shore up the pass rush.

PHIL: Interesting...according to the media guide, Brandon is Exton's son!

GREG: The team is pulling together around Brandon now, who looks like he's trying to shake the shock off.

PHIL: Exton is just returned from a league suspension for substance abuse...he's not in very good shape at all, from what I can see. Cap Foster is looking pretty smug...you would think he planned this.

GREG: Pellew is seething, and Archie Kennedy and Major Edrington are in an uproar...Hornblower is pacing with worry.

PHIL: Here's the snap... Brandon drops the ball! He covers it up pretty quickly, though. His father falls on top of him...Cousins grabs the man off, with some effort. The old boy is still speaking though. Wonder what he's saying.

GREG: Pellew looks like he'd like to reach for that musket now! Edrington has pulled him aside and seems to be making a suggestion.

PHIL: Second and twelve...here's the snap, Brandon hands off to Charette quickly, but he's swarmed after a gain of one.

GREG: Third down now...this is not how Pellew wanted this series to go...there seems to be a substitution on the line...Steward Clarke is coming out and number 68 is in...I don't see her in my media guide.

PHIL: Let me see what I can find out from the control room.

GREG: Brandon looks over to the sideline...Pellew is talking through his headset, now he's in the huddle. Let's go to Matthew's mic.

(On Field)

BRANDON: (nervously) Alright, men. Alright.

MATTHEWS: Easy now, lad, me an' Styles we ain't lettin the old sot get near ye again.

STYLES: In fact, we've got a little surprise fer him. (grins)

MATTHEWS: So ye just keep on callin' the plays, nice and easy like, and let us take care o' the likes o' him.

BRANDON: (exhales) Thanks, men. The call is 80 long...Reg, run the pattern...hook left. You should be able to outrun Hepplewhite. We can do this!

COUSINS: Aye, Aye, Sir!

(in booth)

GREG: Looks like Pellew's got Brandon throwing deep. As rattled as he is this series, and without any deep passes from earlier in the game, I wonder if this is wise?

 

PHIL: Pellew's never been known for being an orthodox leader, Greg. And let's see if we can learn more about this secret weapon.

GREG: Here's the snap...Brandon back in the pocket. Here comes his father and, WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT?

PHIL: Number 68, I've just been informed...is Mama Edrington? And she is beating Lord Exton off Brandon with her parasol!

GREG: Brandon looks like he's laughing...but he throws anyway...and it's a deep, perfect spiral, headed right to Cousins who's wide open on the twenty yard line!

PHIL: Amazing catch! He's heading for the endzone and...OH MY GOD! Hepplewhite just hit him over the head with a gin bottle.

GREG: NO FLAG! HOW can there not be a penalty on that!

PHIL: Cousins fumbled the ball, and Hepplewhite recovers. He's tackled by Helmboy after advancing the ball to the thirty-five, but oh, what a blow this is to the Indefatigables.

GREG: Pellew is furious. I can see him appealing to the head ref, King George, but George doesn't seem particularly interested.

PHIL: Cousins gets up slowly...he looks devastated. But this isn't his fault.

GREG: Matthews is trying to console him...but there's no consolation for that. Blatant foul or not, it wasn't called and that's going in the books as his fumble.

PHIL: Foster's Ravens are possibly the dirtiest team to ever take a Superbowl Field!

GREG: Well, I'll say one thing about this game...it isn't boring.

PHIL: Simpson takes over...he's trying to look smug again. They seem to have found some cronies of Montcoutant to take over the front line for Cleveland and Hether.

GREG: Here's the snap, and the handoff to Bunting...where is Bunting?

PHIL: There's nobody in the backfield at all.

GREG: Simpson looks confused, Foster is yelling over from the side lines.

PHIL: He's telling Simpson to run the bloody ball himself, if I can read lips well enough.

GREG: Simpson doesn't look like he likes that suggestion one bit! And HERE comes Kennedy again. And again, there goes Simpson.

PHIL: Another Safety, and the Indefatigables would have the lead!

GREG: Foster can't take it any more...what's he doing...he's stolen Pellew's musket and...BANG!...he's shot Simpson! He shot his own quarterback!

PHIL: Simpson falls over on the one yard line.

GREG: Hepplewhite is dragging Simpson off the field. Archie Kennedy, meanwhile, is being haled as a hero by his team mates.

PHIL: The back-up quarterback is making his way in...this guy has no name, Greg.

GREG: Back-up quarterbacks are often no-name guys.

PHIL: No, he really has no name...he's listed in the media guide as "sarcastic guy in Lieutenant's exam"

GREG: That's even worse than Horatio Hornblower...

PHIL: In any event, Sarcastic Guy is in the huddle...It's second down and forty-five yards...and Sarcastic Guy runs it himself for a yard.

GREG: Looks like Foster's going to play it safe and hope his defense can hold Brandon and the Indies.

PHIL: He takes another knee, and the punting unit will come on.

GREG: Foster looks like he's coming out to punt himself...what's that he has with him?

PHIL: It looks like a CANON!

GREG: He wishes.

PHIL: Here's the snap...Foster forces the ball into the canon and Fires!

GREG: That kick is going right over Cousins' head...there's going to be no return on this one.

PHIL: Devergess makes it down field and manages to down the ball on the one. Drew Brandon is going to have to try and march this team down field 99 yards in five minutes.

GREG: Brandon? I don't think so...Look who's making it back on to the field!

PHIL: This crowd is going wild, Greg. Horatio Hornblower is marching purposefully on to the turf...and he looks Angry!

GREG: I've spoken to him before...he's a young man with a deep sense of honor and fair play. He cannot be happy about how this game has gone.

PHIL: And if he's anything like his mentor, the great man known in his playing days as "Deadeye Pellew" he is a most formidable foe when cornered.

GREG: He's comforting Cousins now, who is still looking shaken about that fumble.

PHIL: Shall we venture once more onto the field, Phil?

(On field)

HORATIO: Men, we have seen many things today. We have seen acts of cowardice not to be believed...we have seen vicious assault on our players. We have witnessed an attempt to torment one of our own with his own father! If we...let them...win this ballgame, then what message are we sending? We have walked a high road prior to this, but no longer. We are playing to win, men; and we will use any legal means to do so; just because we have honor does not mean that we cannot out-smart our opponents. Mr. Cousins...you are one of the finest young receivers in this league. One error does not blight your career. I need you, Sir, to play the way I know you are capable of.

COUSINS: (confidently) Aye, Aye, Sir!

HORATIO: Matthews, Styles...my old friends...we have come a long way together. Too far to let the likes of Simpson take away glory that is rightfully ours. General Charette...someday, I will be proud to tell my grandchildren that we fought on the same field for a greater glory. Our defense has done us proud. I think we all know what it meant to Mr. Kennedy for him to give the performance he did today. We cannot let them down. We cannot let Captain Pellew down. And we cannot and WILL NOT let ourselves down! Now, let us WIN THIS GAME!

ALL TOGETHER: Aye, Aye, Sir!

(in booth)

PHIL: Wow!

GREG: I am breathless.

PHIL: Still, the facts are, Hornblower has the ball on the one yard line...It's first and ten.

GREG: Charette in the backfield...here's a handoff...no, it's a fake. Where is the ball?

PHIL: The defense is all heading for Charette, but he doesn't have the ball.

GREG: Hornlbower has it...he's had it all this time...and he throws it down field to the fifty! Reg Cousins is wide open, and he catches it. He's tackled at the Ravens forty-five!

PHIL: WHAT A PLAY! WHAT A FAKE, AND WHAT A THROW!

GREG: I cannot believe it. Hornblower made that ball disappear into thin air for a good ten seconds.

PHIL: Foster is stomping up and down and yelling something over at Hornblower. Hornblower's yelled something back, I didn't catch it.

GREG: Foster kept asking him where's the ball, where's the ball, and I believe what Hornblower yelled back is FISH FOR IT?

PHIL: I don't get it, but apparently Hornblower's teammates do, because they're all laughing.

GREG: When the chips are down, Hornblower is coming through like a twelve-year veteran.

PHIL: First and ten at the Ravens forty-five. Here's a real handoff to Charette and! Oh, he's driven down by number 85...what's his name?

GREG: Bonaparte.

PHIL: Charette's not getting up...here comes Brandon, still in his playing clothes...he's shaking his head...this does not look good.

GREG: They're bringing out the stretcher. I don't believe the Indies have another running back in the lineup.

PHIL: This is an injury time out. Meanwhile, let's go down on the field to here from Armen Ketayen.

ARMEN: Phil, I have an update about the mysterious disappearance of Bunting. He was found by security guards in the storage room of the concession stands eating some moldy cheese and yelling over and over again that he would not live with injustice. He may run well, but his mind appears to be slightly unhinged.

PHIL: Moldy cheese? I know it's stadium food, but the concessions aren't that bad.

GREG: They've gotten Charette off the field, looks like the Indies will be going with no back for the rest of the game.

PHIL: Hornblower makes the call, here's the snap...a short pass to Helmboy, five yard gain.

GREG: As effective as a run.

PHIL: They're going with no huddle here...Hornblower to throw again, this time its Cousins, another five yards.

GREG: That's a first down at the thirty five. Here's Hornblower...quarterback sneak, he gains yardage to the twenty-eight.

PHIL: The clock is ticking down to the two minute mark. There it is...the two minute warning. Hornblower heads over to Pellew to discuss their strategy.

GREG: All the Indefatigables are standing a little taller, it seams. In fact, though they are currently down by one point, they seem to KNOW they are going to win this game. Because they have to.

PHIL: For one last time, let's go down to Matthew's mic from the sidelines:

(ON FIELD)

PELLEW: Well executed, Horatio.

HORNBLOWER: I lost Charette, Sir. That is inexcusable.

PELLEW: The general knew his risks in coming out of retirement. He made the choice. It is not on your head.

HORNBLOWER: Nevertheless, Sir, I feel I should have done more.

PELLEW: We need to keep focussed on the game. Hornblower, we have to get to the ten yard line.

MATTHEWS: So Oldroyd can kick a field goal, Sir?

PELLEW: (FROWNING) Mr. Kennedy, do you think Oldroyd could keep his head enough to make a kick with the game on the line?

KENNEDY: (shaking his head) No, Sir. Pressure isn't his strong point.

PELLEW: (SIGHING) I despair, I really do! Hornblower, get us to the ten, and then it's time to execute the double agent play.

HORNBLOWER: (EYES LIGHTING UP) Yes, Sir. Aye, Aye!

(IN STUDIO)

PHIL: The double agent play? That sounds intriguing.

GREG: Here comes Hornblower...it's another keeper and a five yard gain.

PHIL: First at ten at the twenty-three. Pellew said he wanted to get them to the ten...I wonder why?

GREG: Short pass to Cousins, who's holding on to that ball damned tight, I can tell you. Now at the seventeen.

PHIL: Again, no huddle...and Hornblower HANDS OFF to Helmboy...you don't see that happen to a receiver much. Two yard gain.

GREG: It's third and two. And still five yards from Pellew's goal. Here's the snap.

PHIL: A short screen pass to the tight-end Clayton! Clayton, whom has been a forgotten man all afternoon. He's caught from behind by Hepplewhite, but he turns, and stretches, and...he makes it to the ten yard line.

GREG: Where on earth has Clayton been all day?

PHIL: Fiddling while Rome burned?

GREG: I don't know about Rome, but Brandon was getting burned pretty badly and could have used the help.

PHIL: Twenty seconds left to play...Foster is showing blitz, and here comes number 32 out to play running back? Who is 32?

GREG: Kitty Cobham, tenth year out of Drury Lane.

PHIL: You know, Kitty Cobham bears a strong resemblance to the Duchess of Warfedale!

GREG: And that's an unorthodox uniform she's wearing, to say the least.

PHIL: Here's the snap...Cousins and Helmboy go deep, looks like it'll be a throw...Kitty Cobham seems to be flirting with Devergess...now he heads for Hornblower...and dang it, Greg, that ball has disappeared again!

GREG: Devergess sacks Hornblower, only Hornblower doesn't have the ball. Cousins and Helmboy are in the endzone, and they don't have the ball! Kitty Cobham is walking leisurely away, and reaches Mr. Cousins, and! OH LORD!

PHIL: She's reaching into her skirts, and sure enough, there is the BALL! IN THE ENDZONE! THAT'S A TOUCHDOWN!

GREG: It's official as time runs out and the Indefatigables swarm the field. Pellew himself has gone out to carry his new running back off to the sidelines! This is AMAZING.

PHIL: Now, THAT, my friends, is a hidden ball trick!

GREG: Foster is furious, but given the unorthodoxies he pulled today, I don't think he can complain!

PHIL: Here's down to Armen, with a quick interview with our players of the game, Archie Kennedy and Horatio Hornblower.

ARMEN: Archie, before the game, a lot of people were talking about you as being a bit questionable in the courage department. Do you think you proved them wrong?

ARCHIE: Armen, I have to tell you, I was not worried about me or about my reputation. I just wanted two things: to make certain we won the game, and to make certain that Jack Simpson didn't.

ARMEN: But do you feel VINDICATED?

ARCHIE: Vindication comes just with being alive and being happy. I have to thank my family for their support during all the trying years, and especially my teammates, most notably Horatio, for always standing with me in tough times.

ARMEN: Well, Horatio, offensive player of the game! How does it feel?

HORATIO: I am truly not worthy of the honor, Armen. Drew showed a lot of courage stepping in for me while I was hurt, even when the opposing team did their best to intimidate him. Reg Cousins? What can I say? I am blessed to have such a fine young receiver to throw to. And dear Charette...this win was for him. I am only sorry I could not help more.

ARMEN: We joked at the top of the game that your name was not one we were likely to see on a Wheaties box. This may change that.

HORATIO: I don't know what Wheaties are, to tell you the truth, but I am touched. I only wish my father had lived to see that; it would no doubt have made him proud.

ARMEN: One last question, gentlemen. Are you going to douse Coach Pellew with Gatorade?

(ARCHIE AND HORATIO EXCHANGE HORRIFIED LOOKS)

Archie: Not in this lifetime!

(BOTH WAVE TO THE CROWN AND WALK OFF THE FIELD)

ARMEN: There you have it folks, it was a game of adventure and adversity, a game of duty, where duty was performed in the guise of a 102 year old running back named Charette, who came in to replace the injured Chalk and performed well. Duty, in the face of a sixteen year old medic, Drew Brandon, forced to play quarterback, and handling himself well despite all odds. Duty, in terms of Archie Kennedy coming forward to literally drive the demons of his past right out of the stadium. But mostly, Duty exemplified by a young quarterback, a WARRIOR, striding back on to the field despite being injured, and orchestrating a comeback that will have the name Hornblower go down in the Hall of Fame with the likes of Elway, Montana, Theisman, Bradshaw and Namath. And duty exemplefied by a Coach who never let his team forget why they were here, and what they were playing for. Now, back to the CBS Studios in New York, here's Jim Nanz.

JIM: Thanks very much, Armen. All I can say, is WOW! What a game. Advertising deparment's got to be happy with this one. Next up on CBS, stay tuned for Survivor On the High Seas. Twelve strangers are stranded on a plague ship; who will survive? For all the staff here at CBS Sports, we bid you good night.