Ultra Bowl 4 – Robert A. Hoyt – A blast from another blog’s past

*Among the many crimes we committed in raising boys is that we never got them interested in WATCHING sports.  I was the sport fan of the two of us, but my fandom was distinctly European.  I loved soccer, handball (European model) and in a pinch basketball.  BUT the caveat are I liked all these because of regional loyalties.  When our boys played against their boys (village five or even two miles away) our boys should win.  Of course. And I would go and cheer.
Moving here broke that habit and I’ll confess American Football makes NO sense to me.  However, every year we got to the Superbowl party at the home of a friend we’ve known for… 22 years, and we meet up with “the old group.”  Even I watch it, though mostly for the commercials (and usually while trying to finish a novel.)

From this our son developed a sort of fandom.  Kind of.  You see, he’s a fan of superbowl games that take place in his head between magical teams.  He used to write these every year before life/studies went nuts.  I’m posting one below, from years ago.  The rest are at his more or less shuttered blog, here.*

Ultra Bowl 4 – Robert A. Hoyt — A blast from another blog’s past

This has been an odd year for the Colorado C’thulus. Since opening their new stadium last year, their road to the Ultrabowl has been among the rockiest ever run by a team. Their victories, though consistent, have been by knife’s-edge margins. Part of this, some argue, is that the restructuring of the playoff schedule to accommodate four new teams has pushed back the beginning of the football season a small but significant amount. But here at ESBN, We’re inclined to think that this topsy-turvy season has been due to the new teams themselves. And as exhibit A, we submit the C’thulu’s opponents: the Atlantis Ancients. Among other things, they just became the first team in history to reach the Ultra Bowl in their first season as members.

This is exactly the kind of story that draws a crowd. Deep beneath the waves, in the C’thulu’s home-stadium-away-from-home, R’yleh, some 90,000 fans crowded into some 16 dimensions of exquisite gothic architecture to witness the historic showdown… and that’s just the humans. Even a veteran C’thulu fan and commentator like myself can feel the excitement in the air. The archetypical battle between the seasoned veterans and the hotshot upstarts is about to be fought.

Which makes it a bit of a shame that not everyone has access to this universe to watch the game. So without further ado, here are this year’s Ultrabowl highlights.

  • Trouble got started immediately. The sprightliness of the Ancients on the field is as much of an oddity as their habit of playing in long flowing robes, and disconcerting enough that it drew significant attention away from the C’thulu pregame sacrifice. Not to be outdone, the C’thulus hastily modified their sacrifice so that instead of being directed at C’thulu, it was directed at one of the abominations living in a nearby dimension. The wall of enraged tentacles that emerged from the ceiling certainly got the audience’s attention back, but it took the stadium operators ten minutes and two additional dead lambs to get the idea of “wrong number” across.
  • In an unconfirmed act of retaliation, the ancients proceeded to douse the C’thulus with a tidal wave of water that they “accidentally” sent downfield while doing water-cast warm-ups. Since the C’thulu players are all possessed by squid-demons, however, the consensus was that this action was “mildly refreshing”. Nevertheless, referees insisted that further warm-ups be restricted to actually preparing to play.
  • The pregame flip was taken by the Ancients, which some said was a bad sign for the C’thulus. This view was soon silenced, however, when the C’thulus kicked the ball off into a wall. The ball entered a portal which appeared there, reemerged from the opposite wall, and got spiked down into the ground 60 yards from the kickoff zone by a huge tentacle that emerged from the ceiling. This ensured a reasonably good starting position for the C’thulus, but shovels had to be retrieved to dig the ball out of the dirt.
  • The Ancients seemed unshaken, and quickly began picking up on the uncertain temper of the portals used by the C’thulus. Of particular interest was the play in which it became apparent that the ball was not actually required to appear at either the same point in space, or time. In it, a hike was interrupted because the ball hit the Ancients quarterback, Venerable Master Quizudo, squarely in the back of the head. The C’thulus then rushed the line and threw the ball into the portal, where it became the ball that hit the quarterback. Unfortunately for the C’thulus, the ancients ran the other ball around them as they did. After using a pencil and paper to work it out, the referees decided that the ball used in the resulting touchdown was the later ball and awarded a point to the Ancients.
  • In another incident, one-time star rookie, and perennial fan favorite, Bernard Evisceraue, made textbook use of tendrils of darkness to heft Ancients lineman Lightkeeper Gistakep into a dungeon dimension. In the past two years, the spell has become one of his signature maneuvers, and his degree of control, despite its difficulty, has been lauded among leading necromancers. But in a shock maneuver, Gistakep caught himself by conjuring a Tidal wave, which proceeded to sweep both himself and Evisceraue into a portal being used by the C’thulus to assist in a long throw, instead. Gistakep returned two plays later riding a hideous space centipede. Evisceraue was substituted for.
  • The second quarter showed increased confidence from the Ancients, and a continued deterioration of the C’thulu line. Although the ancients showed a marked weakness in making conversions, their scoring capabilities seemed on-target. But it was the  C’thulu player Johnson Xeneder, who arrived from a time portal in the future to warn his team that they would lose when the Ancients raised the Guardian of the Light, which caused some fans to despair. This lead to unforeseen deaths, since despairing in R’yleh can cause manifestations of hideous dark horrors. Paramedics on standby with upbeat techno music and smiley-face-shaped stickers managed to calm some of the panic. “After you’ve seen someone apply a smiley face to your nose while forcing you to listen to a dance remix, dark horrors don’t really seem so bad,” said one audience member.
  •  In a move characteristic of the first half, Guardian Vazhitep levitated off the ground using the mysterious glowing Atlantian technology in his shoulderpads, and dodged a cleverly placed hole in the turf. C’thulu center Arnold Bludfahl, however, aggressively pressed the attack, surrounding Vazhitep in a tiny box of portals. The portals seem to have experienced a malfunction due to their unusual proximity, however, such that when Vazhitep cast an explosive sphere of water, it rebounded through the portals and hit Bludfahl from all directions, while Vazhitep stood carefully in the corner of the box. Technically, squids cannot drown in water, but Bludfahl made a brave attempt.
  • The halftime show was provided by Pazrrmm and the Sqrggs, a zombie heavy metal band fresh off of a tour of Louisiana, where the Bonedolls owners personally hosted them. Due to their condition, they have enormous difficulty making themselves understood, but thanks to a clever choice of genre, that hasn’t stopped them from reaching the top of the metal charts in the US, and third in the UK and the territory of Luna.
    Things started rough, nonetheless. Their song “Zqqflkdmna grdd? (Wwreg vlllbn)” got only a tepid response from the audience, which failed to be impressed by the acrobatic displays put on by glowing nether-demons during the song. But “Hvnl mjkptrz dlvytr” was an all-out hit. Critics called the moment when Pazrrmm offered his heart to a gigantic holographic goddess “strangely moving, with an emphasis on strange”. Doctors were on hand to help him put it back in, afterwards.
  • Some felt that the finale of the song was ruined by the arrival of C’thulu player Johnson Xeneder, who came from the future to warn the team that the Ancients had a secret weapon called the Fountain of Rebirth, which they intended to use if cornered.
  • The second half seemed to be starting out much as the first had ended. The Ancients and the C’thulus were largely stalemated in the field, with the C’thulus more consistently losing ground than the Ancients. By now, the Ancients had learned that dimensional portals could easily be tracked by shooting water through them to learn where they lead. The C’thulus began using the tactic of rearranging their portals frequently, which set back the Ancients but did not stop them. By contrast, the Ancients had great success in stopping most of the physical onslaughts by the C’thulus using water shields, which meant the defensive line was largely stagnant in the third quarter.
  • C’thulu player Johnson Xeneder arrived by time portal from the future to warn the C’thulus that they would lose, but the reason was unclear because the other two versions of himself began arguing with him. The coaches called a timeout and took them aside for a quick discussion.
  • With one minute left in the third quarter and the C’thulus down by seven touchdowns, media figures began polling the C’thulu coaches on the seemingly hopeless situation of the team. The coaches responded, in one unearthly chorus: “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die,”. Then the ceiling exploded.
  • It turned out that the exploding ceiling was, in fact, returning player Bernard Evisceraue, wearing blood-red rags and trailing an army of abominations from between the stars. Unlike the misfired sacrifice near the beginning of the game, both the walls and the ceiling collapsed permanently into otherworldly gates which demonic hordes began to emerge from. The referees immediately threw a flag and pointed out that the demon army was, in fact, off sides. The coaches, however, successfully argued that  they were not actually on the team roster and could be counted under the rulebook as an environmental hazard. Next week’s rulebook is expected to close this loophole.
  • The fourth quarter started with a seemingly refreshed team of C’thulus. Now in their element, the C’thulus began quickly recouping touchdowns by taking advantage of the apparently random motions of the pincers, eyeless heads, headless eyes, and obligatory tentacles that filled the stadium. The water casts of the Ancients faced a logistical problem because of this obstacle course. On an unrelated note, Japanese studios catering to a more adult audience are paying high prices for available footage of this quarter.
  • In retaliation, Ancients linebacker Priest Shatiliya began surreptitiously raising automatons made from glowing green light, who helped guard against the worst of the flailing appendages and could carry the ball from player to player without any apparent form of propulsion. Evisceraue responded by using some kind of acquired link between his squid demon and the otherworldly abominations to smash the automata out of the air. Said tentacles also proved remarkably useful in one point conversions, which gave the C’thulus an edge over the ancients on making up the score difference. On the other hand, they accidentally smashed Xeneder, who had just manifested out of a portal from the future when a tentacle hit him. Xeneder, Xeneder, and Xeneder assisted in dragging him off the field.
  • The C’thulus rapidly scored touchdown after touchdown on the Ancients, bringing the scores back into parity. The Ancients took a timeout to confer with each other, with just a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, and the C’thulus one touchdown and a two-point conversion from a tie. On the next play, the Ancients line erected an extra-strong water shield in order to enable linebacker Watcher Holdasteran the extra time for an especially complex change to the fabric of reality. Holdasteran rose up in the air, glowing oddly, and then the stadium seemed to split into several overlapping timestreams, all at once. The mesh of light left behind in the air was identified by Ancients Coaches as an experimental play called the Citadel of Many Paths.
  • At this point, the action became a little hard to follow. Depending on what angle you watched the game from, either the Ancients raised a giant made of illuminated water and ice, flooded the field with an endless wellspring of sanctified water to drive back the abominations summoned by the C’thulus, or crafted their hydro shields into outsized cleavers to push back the offensive onslaught of the C’thulus. Xeneder was observed to have been thrown into the origination point of the citadel of light in multiple universes. When the dust settled, however, and the referees from the nine identifiable universes conferred, it was found that the C’thulus had gained a net of exactly one touchdown and a two point conversion in the mess. With the teams officially tied, the game entered sudden death.
  • The Ancients and the C’thulus ended up squaring off exactly at the fifty-yard line following  the kick. The ancients, in a final moment of last-minute desperation, clad themselves in a matrix of light as they prepared to go on the offensive for the final time. The C’thulu players responded by extending their tentacles into a body-encompassing ghastly grey-green mass and squirming into position on the line.
  • As the fans predicted, the C’thulus used their favored endgame tactic of twisting the stadium through the bowels of time and space, but since the entire stadium was already encompassed by gigantic otherworldly portals, this also twisted the alternate universes as well. The hydro-shielding of the Ancients was no match for resulting arcane feedback, which caused the field to collapse into chaos. The center of the field could only be tenuously said to exist at this point. But the C’thulus, being naturally adapted to chaos, managed to outmaneuver their opponents in the unforeseen circumstances, and push for the touchdown. Master Quizudo barely escaped the scrum and was beginning to prepare a tidal wave that would, had it been cast, likely have pushed C’thulu Safety Wagner Greybone away from the endzone. His plans were preempted, however, when Johnson Xeneder appeared out of thin air and fell on his head.

Thus it is that after one of the hardest-fought games in the history of the Ultrabowl, the C’thulus have narrowly escaped with their fourth Ultrabowl win. The win is not without a price, however. Commentators widely agree that this year has seen the birth of what will surely be one of the most bitter rivalries in all of football. And, as is becoming standard in the modern era of the Ultrabowl, the new stadium in R’yleh will have to be closed until someone can figure out how to stop otherworldly abominations from leaking in. There have even been reports of kidnapped players, including Johnson Xeneder, although the C’thulus told his family “not to worry, they have spares”. On a related note, this year’s MVP slot was narrowly taken by Evisceraue, though some argued that Xeneder’s cumulative mediocrity added up to a somewhat higher value.

How will future games between these two opponents play out? Tune in next year, and find out. Thank you, and good night.

42 responses to “Ultra Bowl 4 – Robert A. Hoyt – A blast from another blog’s past

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Robert should publish this. [Wink]

  2. Christopher M. Chupik

    See, why can’t more sports be like this?

  3. This is starting to make sense to me. Must be time for bed.

  4. Fun stuff. Miss his Ninja Nun comic, though. SCHOOL! What is is good for?

  5. I am sorry I am not able to take your call just now. Please leave a message and i will return it when I can.

  6. A notable feature of the Cthulhu Bowl is that facemasking and horsecollaring are seldom called, since relatively few of the players have faces or necks…

  7. Ah…but how are the commercials for this bloodbath?

  8. Still love the halftime band. Can relate, from some of the metal i have heard.

  9. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Perhaps @NARAL shouldn’t be poking their nose into the business of people who can despise a serial rapist without being gender traitors.

  10. Just because I have read many comments on this blog, I’m going to mention there is going to be a temporary shortage of carp available for throwing in Pennsylvania. http://fritz-aviewfromthebeach.blogspot.com/2016/02/power-glitch-kills-pennsylvania-carp.html

    • We can throw dead carp if they aren’t toxic.
      Do you want us to ship you replacement carp?
      We can always create “artificial carp” missiles.

      • Patrick Chester

        Well, don’t throw toxic carp at friends who make bad jokes.

        Otherwise… *rubs hands and cackles evilly*

  11. Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl. I feel better for some reason. Signed, Steve Rogers.

  12. They do sell hoodies for fictional teams. Nobody seems to care about the Dallas Minotaurs when I wear it (It just has a rampaging minotaur in a football jersey on the front) because it’s too real.

    I get spit-takes and laughter from people walking by when I wear the Dallas Unicorns hoodie. It’s green with a light yellow unicorn’s head and the horn spearing a pink football. After his doubletake, the cashier at the Safeway once asked me, “Is there really a Dallas Unicorns?” I answered, “Only in my heart.”

  13. I grew up watching football, and even playing it as a kid. I like it and it makes perfect sense to me (unlike rugby). But I haven’t watched a game in years, and don’t even know who was playing in the superbowl. Actually, I lie, I did watch a couple games this year while staying in Wyoming, because the guy I was staying with watched them.

    Soccer on the other hand, is a little kids game (probably why Europeans play it) and I’ve no idea why anyone would be interested in watching it unless they had a first grader on the field to cheer for.

    • Simple. Because you want to see how long they stretch out GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

    • Everyone is entitled to like what they want, and if the Europeans enjoy soccer, more power to them. I acknowledge that my tastes are not universal, and their may be aspects to the game I simply don’t know enough to appreciate.

      Given the number of riots that occur during soccer games, however, I sometimes wonder if even the “fans” of the sport are as bored by it as I am.

  14. Now THIS I would watch. l would watch the hell out of it. ^_^

    • I have, I think, watched parts of the Superbowl perhaps twice. It is badly misnamed as (to the best of my knowledge) no supers have ever played in it. If Hulk and Superman aren’t facing off at the line of scrimmage, if Mr. Incredible isn’t somewhere on the field, they have no business calling this a super bowl.