NEW YORK — Admitting for the first time that players have little influence on which team wins a game, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Sunday that the outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII would be decided by 36-year-old Seattle resident Josh Olmstead.
“We are going to keep a sharp eye on Mr. Olmstead at his local sports bar as he watches the championship game between the Broncos and Seahawks,” Goodell said. “To understand how he wishes the game to be played, we will carefully observe his behavioral ticks, noting even the most subtle changes in what he says and does.”
Olmstead, a lifelong Seahawks fan, has long known he can determine the outcome of nationally-televised sporting events — from football games to college bowling championships — as long as he adheres to strict rules about which words he can say, for example, or how often he may urinate.
If he’s careful, Olmstead can lead the Seahawks to a resounding win. One minor slip-up, however — like forgetting to say “let’s do it, baby” exactly three times when Seattle has possession on a third down — can lead to a fumble that might cost his team the game.
“Orchestrating a football game is not as easy as you’d think,” Olmstead said. “It’s not like playing Madden on your PS4. If I want [Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson to keep his passing game short and tight, I need to peel the label off my beer bottle and paste it to my forehead. If I want the Broncos defensive line to leave a hole open for [Seahawks running back] Marshawn Lynch, I have to put a pretzel in my mouth, but I can’t chew it. I have to let it dissolve.”
“It’s been a very difficult season for me,” Olmstead said, “not least of all because I usually had to work during games. I had to really focus on controlling [Seahawks cornerback] Richard Sherman’s movements with my mind while customers were asking me if the Dewalt cordless drills were still on sale.”
While some of the estimated 115 million Super Bowl XLVIII viewers might fear Olmstead will devise a boring, lopsided game ending in a 100-0 Seahawks win, Olmstead says not to worry.
“I’m definitely going to let Denver’s offense shine before I have Peyton Manning nearly crushed to death by Bobby Wagner late in the third quarter,” Olmstead said. “I’m going to give you an exciting game.”
NFL commissioner Goodell did warn, however, that even if Olmstead was ultimately responsible for the game’s outcome, he might lose his telekinetic powers if he gets too drunk and forgets to turn his Seahawks cap backwards before each play, or if at least once during each quarter he neglects to clench a Fosters beer mat in his left hand while tapping the beat to Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” with his right hand.