Beef commit capitol offense

05/14/03 NIFL Fan Article by Andrew Hoyle

     All rise; NIFL Court is now in session.  The first case on the docket today is the Lincoln Capitols versus the Omaha Beef.  The Beef are charged with larceny and wrongful appropriation.  The prosecution will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the night of Thursday, May 8th, 2003, the Beef did knowingly and willfully steal a victory that rightfully belonged to the Capitols at Omaha’s Civic Auditorium.  There were five witnesses to this most heinous of crimes. The prosecution would like to call its first witness, the game statistician.

Prosecutor:  Mr. Statistician, in your own words, can you describe what happened on the night of May 8th?

Mr. S:  Well, the Capitols came out and marched up and down the field all night long.  They had 22 first downs on the night, compared to Omaha’s 8.

Prosecutor:  I’m sorry, did you say 8?

Mr. S:  That’s right, the Beef had 8 first downs for the whole night.

Prosecutor:  Fascinating.  Please continue.

Mr. S:  Lincoln had 60 offensive plays on the night for 299 total yards, or a 5-yard average per play.  The Beef had just 42 offensive plays on the night for 148 yards and averaged 3.5 yards a play. 

Prosecutor:  So you’re saying that the Caps had twice as many yards as the Beef, and still lost?  Can you explain how that happened?

Mr. S:  No, I cannot. 

Prosecutor:  Thank you, Mr. Statistician.  Next I’d like to call upon the clock operator for the game.  Mr. Clock Operator, can you tell the jury what you saw on the night in question?

Mr. C.O.:  The Capitols had the ball for 33:42, and the Beef had the ball for only 26:18.  In fact, the Beef had the ball for only 2:16 in the whole third quarter, and never had a first down in the quarter, either.

Prosecutor:  So you’re saying that Lincoln had the ball for seven minutes longer than Omaha did, but still lost?  Can you explain this?

Mr. C.O.:  No, I can’t explain it, but I can tell you Lincoln just ran out of time.  The way they was moving the ball in that two minute offense in the fourth quarter, if there had been any more time available, they would’ve won.

Prosecutor:  Thank you for your time, Mr. Clock Operator.  Next, I’d like to call Lincoln Capitols RB John Hall to the stand.  Mr. Hall, can you tell the jury what happened on May 8th?  Is it true you had one of the single best individual rushing games ever against the Beef defense? 

Mr. Hall:  Yes, I sure did.  I ran the ball 25 times for 134 yards and 1 touchdown, with a 5.4-yard average.  They were tough yards, too, because that Dwayne Harris and that “Big Sexy” Johnson guy were always there to really put the hurt on me.  If I got lucky enough to get past them, that LB Keith Mercer was always right there.  He had 9.5 tackles on the night, and really leveled me a couple of times.  The RB for Omaha, Clinton Childs, really had to earn his yards, too.  He ran 25 times for only 73 yards, but he had 2 rushing touchdowns.  He also caught the ball a couple more times than I did; he made 4 catches for 15 yards and a touchdown.

Prosecutor:  So your team ran the ball for about twice as many yards as Mr. Childs’ team, and yet your team lost?  Can you tell me why?

Mr. Hall:  Nope.

Prosecutor:  Thank you for your testimony, Mr. Hall.  The next witness I’d like to call is Capitols QB Justin Coleman.  Mr. Coleman, you also had a good game against the Beef, didn’t you?

Mr. Coleman:  Yeah, I did pretty well.  I went 13 of 24 for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns on the night.  But I got intercepted twice, once by that Keith Mercer guy.  He also broke up a couple of pass plays, too. My counterpart for the Beef, QB Troy Travis, went 7 of 12 on the night for only 61 yards, but he never got picked off.  They really shut us down in the third quarter, not allowing any points just like they usually do, but we didn’t let them get any either.     

Prosecutor:  But your team passed for twice as many yards as the Beef, and still lost?  Can you tell me why? 

Mr. Coleman:  I sure can’t.

Prosecutor:  Thank you, you may step down, Mr. Coleman.  I’d like to call my final witness to the stand, Mr. Average Beef Fan.  Mr. Fan, can you tell the jury how the Beef could possibly have won this game, when all this compelling testimony indicates otherwise?

Mr. Fan:  Whazzup!  It’s gotta be the cowbells, man!

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, as you can see, there is no logical explanation as to how the Beef beat the Capitols on Thursday night.  Statistically speaking, they were dominated.  Therefore, the Beef must have stolen this game from the Capitols.  Mr. Jury Foreman, have you reached a verdict?…..

Up next for the Beef is a Sunday afternoon date with the Tri-City Diesel at the Civic.  This one will be another enigma, with Tri-City having just beaten up on a hamstrung Wyoming Cavalry team.  There’s sure to be a whole lotta sackin’ going on, with the Diesel having allowed 14 sacks on the season so far.  Former LaCrosse head coach Mike Brown joins the coaching staff of the Diesel, as do several new players.  The Beef should come out firing on all cylinders early in this one; fans are starting to grumble about Colonel Sanders’ game plan of “playing not to lose” instead of “playing to win.”  If the Beef faithful don’t start seeing some convincing wins, there’s liable to be a whole lotta KFC buckets in the stands with pictures of you-know-who on them.  A fickle bunch, they are…

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