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The Pro Game

Maudlin's Eleven

About the Author

Tom Danyluk
Contributing writer

Recent posts by Tom Danyluk

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Posted July 27, 2011 @ 9:22 a.m. ET
By Tom Danyluk

Years and years ago there was this night-time comedy show called "Second City Television" — SCTV.

Sketch parodies of everything TV, hilarious and wonderfully done. SCTV had this fairly regular segment which was a spoof on NBC's "Tonight Show." They called it "The Sammy Maudlin Show." Sammy was the host, and there was his wacky list of regulars, and all they did the entire time was complement each other and plug each other's appearances and clap and occasionally burst into tears. The Hollywood love fest lampoon.

One night Sammy had a guest who saw through all the B.S. She came out and sat in her chair and let it rip.

"I've been watching the show for a long time now, and I'd like to go on record — this, that you people are the biggest bunch of plastic phonies I've ever come across. Take a good look at yourselves! Come on! What are you doing sitting out here, nothing but compliments. Backstage I thought, why the hell would I ever want to be on such a stupid, sleazy show?"

Maudlin and his gang were in shock. Cold silence. Finally, one of the regulars, funnyman Bobby Bittman, tries to break up the tension:

"Sammy," he says, "as a comic in all seriousness, it's not often you see young performers come on a show like this and forget the business, and just come out and speak their minds, and I think it's a fantastic quality. It's just beautiful!"

And the whole set bursts into wild applause and it's right back to the business of being phony, and that's the gag of the whole thing.

I thought about the Sammy Maudlin Show, while I was listening to the NFL-NFLPA lovefest down there in Washington, after the glorious announcement that labor peace in football had been made.

Up they marched to the microphone, one after the other, to heap praise on the other side and thank and congratulate all the parties involved for such a spectacular labor battle, deftly fought, and for commissioner Roger Goodell to finally utter something historic … the dramatic words he's been mouthing over and over into the mirror since early March — "Football is back!"

"Nuts!" and "Eureka, I've found it!" were already taken.

Actually, football was never gone. A kickoff was never missed. But Sammy, why not bring out all your fine guests and thank everybody anyway.

Goodell: "I want to thank De and all of the players for their leadership. … Everybody worked hard, everybody had a passion, and everybody believes in this game of football. … We're grateful for all the work that both parties did."

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson: "I would like to say what a pleasure it has been for us to work with the players on negotiations."

Patriots owner Bob Kraft: "I want to give a special compliment to commissioner Goodell and De Smith. … Lastly, what kept me at the table the last four-and-a-half months was seeing the player representatives that represented the league's players."

Just to distinguish from the player representatives that represented Local 429 of the Submarine Welders Union.

Giants owner John Mara: "A fair deal that will stand the test of time. … I have a lot of respect for the players we've been negotiating with. They were tough negotiators."

NFLP president Kevin Mawae: "We're thankful for De and Roger … and the fans … and a strong executive committee and our board of players … and a tip of the hat to Jeff Saturday and Domonique Foxworth."

Say, what's wrong with Jeff Foxworthy and Tuesday Weld?

NFLPA player rep Jeff Saturday: "A special thanks to my wife, and to every man's wife."

NFLPA exec Demaurice Smith: "Thank you. … I want to say thanks to everybody who's been involved with this. … And to my wife, there's going to be a time when I'm not going to be on the road. I don't know whether she thinks that's a good thing or bad thing, but there is going to be a time when daddy is going to be home."

NFLPA rep Domonique Foxworth: "A great deal of appreciation for my wife who is taking care of our eight-month-old daughter and studying for the bar at the same time."

And after all that hot air and that five-month stretch of platitude known as the 2011 NFL Lockout, sheez, I'd like to thank the bar, too.

Please, sir, if you would … a few extra olives.


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