Canton OH (AP) Citing poor fan support for expansion into Mexico, Canada or Europe, NFL Commis-sioner Roger Goodoll announced today that the NFL has discarded this proposition. Instead the NFL owners have adopted a plan to greatly broaden the scope of its business enterprises by expanding into new lucrative markets in Middle Earth.
"We were very disappointed that American football never caught on in Europe the way we had hoped," said Goodoll. The Commissioner outlined the new plan to formulate a league consisting of sixteen Middle Earth realms. The new franchises will compete against each other for one season before beginning interleague play with the traditional NFL teams during the 2013 season.
The new teams will be the Rohan Stallions, Umbar Corsairs, Minas Morgul Ringwraiths, Dol Amroth Swans, Moria Wolf Riders, Rivendell Lyricals, Isengard Sorcerers, Minas Tirith Royales, Barad-dur Nameless Ones, Fangorn Shepherds, Mt. Doom Crackers, Lothlorien Treehuggers, Lonely Mountain Hardhelms, Mirkwood Spiders, Hobbiton Hirsutes and the Bree Cheeseheads.
Commissioner Goodoll also announced several rule changes for 2010. The use of swords, axes, spears, bows, morningstars, magic staffs, battering rams, horses, catapults, oliphants, giant eagles and fire-breathing dragons will be banned. However, the players will be encouraged to wear as much jewelry as possible, either magic or standard issue. The penalty for illegal "chop" blocks, "spearing" and "clipping" will be increased to 50 yards and the immediate execution of the offending player. The referee's signal for clipping will be changed to placing the nose between the forefinger and middle finger. The personnel roster of each team will be increased to three thousand players.
Barleyman Butterbur, prospective owner of the new Bree franchise, waxed ecstatic over the possibility of un- leashing the natural rivalries between Men, Dwarves, Orcs, Ents, Trolls, Wizards, Elves, Wraiths and Hobbits. Butterbur characterized the level of fan interest in Middle Earth as absolutely rabid. "The hobbits are marching around, chanting 'Mo Hirsutes, Mo Hirsutes!' and the Morian orcs are positively slobbering over their maroon and gold jerseys." he noted.
A site for the championship game has yet to be determined but it was agreed to name the new championship game the Hyberbowl. Season tickets go on sale in July of 2012.