“F[***] neutrality,” Switzerland’s ambassador to the United Nations, Manuel Sager, tells me over the phone in more or less crystal-clear English, which I find amazing given the lather into which he’s worked himself. The mother tongue tends to return, for everyone, in moments of blind rage, but Sager sounds like he’s lived in Los Angeles (where he lives) for his whole life. He also sounds like he’s been up for hours, but it’s 8 a.m. on the East Coast and, well, do the math.
He has certainly done the math, and the math says this: Heath Miller had 97 receptions in a single half against the New England Patriots yesterday, Ben Roethlisberger 241 completions, and the Steelers put up an unprecedented 163 points against a New England team that just nine months ago was two home games away from the Super Bowl. In those nine months, the seven billionth person on Earth was conceived and born, and it’s a legitimate question to ask if the Patriots will have a pass rush before the eight billionth shows up in the form of Rob Gronkowski II.
But that question goes on the back-burner while the Patriots’s legal team—aided by that of the NFL—deal with the unprecedented litigious action of a sovereign nation against a sports franchise. Sources say employees in the Patriots’s front offices were walking around in a such stupor Monday morning that they didn’t notice Antonio Brown regularly whizzing past them on donut runs.
Their remorse won’t satisfy Sager. If the Pats’s D is more porous than Swiss Cheese, is a renaming in order? New England Patriots’s Defense cheese doesn’t sound appetizing, but it could stand to net the franchise millions of dollars in licensing fees, and Deadspin is reporting that someone with an IP address in Foxboro trademarked patriotscheese.com two weeks ago. A spokesperson for Owner Robert Kraft denied the report after it was picked up by Foxsports.com, but Sager isn’t taking any chances. An independent estimate shows that cutting the “Swiss” out of “Swiss Cheese” could put a big enough hit on the Swiss economy that it would be forced to apply for entry into the floundering European Union.
“That is NOT an option!” Sager yells, and there’s little doubt that anyone else in his house is awake at this point. “What we have here is a travesty of American, international and culinary justice.”
Anthony Bourdain, reached for comment, asked a reporter pointedly if he or she was working for The Onion and if they knew anything about the hours of the restaurant business, and what time they were calling, and the appropriateness thereof, after which point the connection went dead. A return call from what appeared to be Bourdain’s number asked a reporter to perform an unprintable act with a specific bakery item prominently featured in a digital short of a popular late weekend night variety show a few years back, at which point the line went dead.
Greg Aiello, a spokesperson for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, had no comment on the pending litigation, but told reporter via email that there was “no way those Krauts [sic] can win this lawsuit” and that the comment was “of the record.”
More on this story as details emerge.
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