"I'm proud to announce these latest aspects of the bailout," said Obama. "We have clearly set the precedent that the government must step in when a crisis takes place, and I know of no more dire crisis than the Patriots having lost three games already this year."
Citing the fact that New England, and in fact the entire NFC North, must not be allowed to crumble, Obama thanked Nancy Pelosi for her efforts in bringing the House together to support this precedent-setting, uh, precedent.
"These icons of the sports world...from the lowly Detroit Lions to the Princes of the NFL in Boston...must not be allowed to squander their resources. We must save them, just as we should any business that isn't capable of making a profit."
The first step of the bailout calls for all of New England's remaining games to be forfeited in favor of the Patriots--that way their players can all rest up while they automatically win their division. "We want to see how this will affect them first," noted Obama, "but I would add that I think we're prepared to have the entire season called off and just present them with the Lombardi trophy if that's what it will take."
In the case of the NFC North, all four teams have been declared winners of an NFC division. "That was a little tougher," said Obama, "because clearly, at least three of them will lose in the playoffs. And of course, that lone winner would then potentially have to forfeit to New England. But you take the gains where you can get them in these kinds of circumstances."
Officials who were cited off the record said that the move gained support once everyone realized that while the government was supporting non-profitable businesses or bad business models, there clearly had to be something done about non-competitive teams.
When Obama was asked if the Patriots three losses really represented a non-competitive entity, he responded, "Look, you have to nip these things in the bud or you get a real crisis. Just like Bank of America didn't want government funding, how can the Patriots really know what's in their best interest? Tom Brady is hurt for God's sake! Do you really expect them to be thinking clearly?"
Asked if this was the extent of the government's intervention into sports, Obama demurred but left the door open. "You take these things one step at a time. I think the Tampa Devil Rays would clearly have been a candidate this year but they solved their own problem. That said, what about the Red Sox? After literally decades of losing, those fans suddenly expect a World Series win every year or so...who are we as a government to let those people suffer?"
The Patriots, while grateful, questioned the timing of the move. "Sure, it's great," said Head Coach Bill Belichick. "But you have to wonder, what's changed since we lost to the Colts nine days ago? I mean, it sure would have been nice to have had this happen prior to losing our third game..."