The free world recoiled in shock and dismay today as France announced it had reached a surrender agreement with sports juggernaut ESPN, whose troops thundered into Paris and overwhelmed the French defenses.
“We had no choice but to surrender to overwhelming force,” said Marshall Phillipe Petain of France. “They executed their Zone Blitzkrieg strategy to perfection. With Chris Berman spearheading the Panzer divisions, driving us back, back, back, back, back, and unexpected writers like Bill Simmons and Rick Reilly dropping into coverage to disrupt our lines of communication, we were rendered helpless. Every time we tried to shift quickly to a contingency plan, our internal communiques would turn into indecipherable references to “Karate Kid” or, if the culprit was Reilly, complete nonsense! With incomplete sentences! Ending in exclamation points! And Lots Of Capitalized Words!
“We simply did not have the troops, and could not coordinate our defense properly.”
“We now bow down to the World Wide Leader.”
Another problem was the surprise game plan used by ESPN. French strategists scouting previous battles assumed they would be dealing with a spread offense; instead, they faced a concentrated tank attack that consistently opened holes in the French lines “wide enough to send a fullback through.”
Criticisms of the French strategy were quick to come; many regarded the choice of the 85-year old Petain to quarterback the team as doomed from the start. “He should have stayed retired,” said one French player who wished to remain anonymous. “he’s ruining his legacy by hanging on too long.”
Despite the setback, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill refused to capitulate. “We will fight them on the fields,” he said in a radio address carried on the three remaining media outlets not affiliated with ESPN. “We will fight them on the courts. We will fight them on whatever you call those things where they play hockey, and we will never surrender.”
ESPN is next expected to march on Stalingrad, and is favored over the Russians by 12 ½, although bad weather may keep the score down.