NEW ORLEANS — Jim McMahon left for Mars this morning, a New Orleans television station reported.
He was accompanied by Poka Pininyu, the acupuncturist of the Hungarian Olympic bowling team, and by Rose Lavender, a Bourbon Street stripper and self-described slut, who was wearing a headband that said "ROSE L."
Before leaving, McMahon denied a New Orleans news report that he had mooned a hovering helicopter. The Bear quarterback did acknowledge that he dropped his trousers in front of a Delta 747 bound for Boston, a flock of pigeons, a City of New Orleans train carrying singer Arlo Guthrie and sportscaster John Madden, a bus full of Mormons from Brigham Young and radio-TV commentator Larry King.
The loss of McMahon is expected to seriously hurt Chicago's chances in Sunday's Super Bowl, since backup quarterback Willam Perry has very little experience at the position.
New England Patriot officials Billy, Pat, Chuck, Heywood, Ed, John L. and Kathleen Sullivan issued a joint statement that there was no truth to the rumor that they were planning to finance a Mike Ditka Victory Tour.
Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.
It is really getting thick down here.
Ditka, the Bear coach, walked into a press conference Friday with these words on his lips: "Let's play the game!"
Great. Time for everybody to shut up and play the game.
Except Ditka kept talking, of course. That's all everybody does during the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Talk. Brag. Jive. Lie. Alibi. BS. Comment. Comment on somebody else's comment. Deny. Rebut. Explain. Elaborate. Tell their life stories to the kid from radio station KORN in Kernel City, Iowa.
You get tired of the hype. You get tired of hearing about the hype. We hypists get tired of hyping the hype. "They should call this thing the Hyper Bowl," Ron Wooten of the Patriots said.
But it just goes on and on. Blab, blab, blab. Because there is so much buildup. And then a team comes along like the Bears to make things even hyperer. (There's no such word, but there ought to be.)
Goofy McMahon comes along with his sunglasses and headbands and acupunctures. One week, he defies the coach and calls a different play from the one sent in. Next week, he defies the owner and lets an acupuncturist twirl needles in him to relieve his aching gluteus.
Bear boss Mike McCaskey finally figured out there was no stopping McMahon, so he said he would welcome the acupuncturist. "We're going to welcome him with a brass band," McCaskey said sarcastically. "We'll give him a royal reception, then get him over to our quarterback as soon as possible so he can stick needles in his ass."
What a team. What a game. What a hype.
"I think we've had a relatively sane week," Ditka said Friday.
"Not bad," Ditka said. "Relatively sane."
So what the heck would you call relatively insane?
"Oh, maybe if we held up a McDonald's or something," Ditka said.
Please, play the game. Play the stupid game!
No more about the Mayor of Chicago betting six pizzas against the Mayor of Boston's six baked beans.
No more about some Indian tribe from Maine shipping 30 pounds of bear meat to the Patriots to give them an idea of what it tastes like.
No more about strapping a 2-by-14-foot headband on the Picasso sculpture in the Loop that says "Go Bears" or "Pablo Rozelle" or whatever the stupid thing says.
No more about Otis Wilson of the Bears guaranteeing a shutout, or Robert Weathers of the Patriots guaranteeing that Otis Wilson will be too ashamed to admit he was full of what Bears do in the woods.
No more about New Orleans ladies lining up outside the Chicago team's hotel to pelt Jim McMahon with rolls of toilet paper because some Louisiana radio guy told a Louisiana TV guy that a Chicago radio guy told him that McMahon said New Orleans women were a bunch of ignorant sluts.
Which McMahon said he never said.
Which caused the Louisiana TV guy to issue a statement apologizing to McMahon, the Bears, the Chicago radio guy, the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, the National Football League, the United States of America, for which it stands, and to the National Sluts Assn., Rose Lavender, secretary-treasurer.
The Super Bowl is a zoo. You don't want to be here. You can't move on the streets. You can't breathe in a bar. You can't get an outside telephone line because Sarah, the only operator at Louisiana Bell, is busy filing her nails.
Most of all, you can't move five feet without somebody sticking a mini-cam in your face and asking you what you think of all this Super Bowl madness?
Wooten of the Patriots was talking about McMahon of the Bears and said: "I get a kick out of his shenanigans, but I've always been amused by childish pranks."
Man, this whole week is one long childish prank.
Including reporters inventing stories.
Oh, no! Got to go! William Perry just robbed a McDonald's, getting away with more than 3,000 burgers, and Pete Rozelle just mooned Jim McMahon. Film at 11.