Illustration by Timothy Crowe
Satire: The Washington Drones Win the Superbowl

Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoist and chauvinist attitudes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators. – Noam Chomsky


“The Washington Drones are on the 38 yard line, third down, less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter of Superbowl XLIX,” sportscaster Larry Michael announced. “Score 27–22, Oakland Raiders in the lead. If they hold off the Drones assault they could go home the big winners of the night!” 

On screen, they huddled, broke and squatted in front of the black-suited Raiders. Two teams, ready to wrestle over yards as seconds trickled from the clock. The ball snapped, the lines grappled as a Raider penetrated the Drones offensive line and lunged for their quarterback, who backpedaled but was tackled. 

“It’s a sack! It’s a sack,” sportscaster Greg Papa roared as Raider fans in the stadium cheered. The Drones quarterback was helped up by his teammates who slapped his helmet as the coach called a timeout.

“Washington Drones coach calls for a timeout,” Michael said. “This is a climatic moment in a dramatic season. Just two years ago the team was the Washington Redskins until owner Daniel Snyder, bowing to public pressure began a $10,000 contest for a new name. Army veteran, John Logan, who served two tours in Afghanistan came up with the Washington Drones, based of course, on the controversial unmanned aircraft that bring the pain to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Logan said, ‘Drones kept me and my boys safe. Now every time my team makes a touchdown, I feel like we killed a terrorist.’”

The broadcast cut to a commercial for the Washington Drones. In green, grainy military style video, it showed the players in a desert, tackling dirty Taliban fighters and standing up, pointing to the camera and saying, “Freedom isn’t free.”

Back at the Superbowl, loud horns blared like on orchestra on steroids. “Welcome back from the break. Of course the name change to Washington Drones angered many Arab Americans,” said Papa. “They held signs outside stadiums in protest but were overwhelmed by fans throwing paper airplanes at them in honor of 9/11. Surprising everyone, the Washington Drones took the season by storm, winning the playoffs and now are just yards away from taking the Superbowl and proving the politically correct wrong.” 

“We shouldn’t forget the new Thunderdome Rules,” said Michael.

“Yes,” replied Papa, “In the last minute of the Superbowl the only rule is there are no rules. It’s the first season in use and no one knows what’s going to happen. Oh, here they come off the timeout.”

The Drones lined up in front of the Raiders, the ball was snapped, the players crashed into each other, shoving and throwing as the quarterback turned and threw a pass that was caught by a Raider. “Interception,” yelled Papa, “The Raider is running with it downfield. This could be a touchdown and this could be it for the Drones!”

The quarterback pulled out a remote control, pressed a button and the football exploded, ripping the Raider apart and sending his helmet rolling on the turf. Drone fans stood and cheered in waves. 

“It’s the Hellfire Missile Play,” laughed Michael, “Rumors were flying about it but to see it in action!”

“Amazing,” said Papa, “Amazing.”