The NFL and the Commission For Presidential Debates jointly announced today that an NFL team of the referees slated to officiate Monday Night Football instead will oversee the first Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate. Lester Holt, the Debate moderator originally named, will work the Falcons-Saints game. The switch supposedly was made for Holt’s personal safety. The two events air at the same time
This extraordinary change actually may have been triggered by doubts following Matt Lauer’s sniveling performance last week at the Commander-in-Chief Forum, anonymous sources say, and because the NFL crew is better prepared to prevent cheap shots.
The topics announced are America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. However, the candidates will ask themselves questions, which they need not answer. The format has been divided into halves, each consisting of two quarters, with each candidate having two time-outs and two challenges per half. Choice of the north or south podium will remain a game-time decision based on the coin toss. The Clinton Team will attempt a triangulation formation.
Mr. Trump’s team pushed for the unprecedented use of substitute debaters. The CPD rejected the proposal, insisting that the public should hear from the people who will be responsible for setting policy. Thereupon, Mr. Trump resubmitted his proposal with a list of names, assuring CPD that the public would. The CPD criticized this tactic and was particularly distressed that one of his proposed substitutions requires a Russian interpreter. Mr. Trump’s new request for a life-line was under review as this story went to press. Roger Ailes, who has prepped Trump for the debate, planned to attend the Hofstra event. Unfortunately, he will not be in attendance. The terms of his recently settled sexual discrimination case require him to be least 2,000 feet away from the school.
The Clinton team believes that the use of the officiating crew is more likely to keep the questions and answers on topic it has challenged the all-male composition. The Trump team has publicly stated of the switch that the game is rigged. Trump offspring have been deployed to check if any of the refs have favorite charities in need of a boost.
Nevertheless, both camps have approved the challenge system. For the first time in the history of the Debates, slow-motion replays will be available. The stoppage of play opened up ad opportunities sought by the candidates, who nevertheless lost out to the Canadian Tourist Board, the high bidder.
The Trump campaign made a last-ditch effort to postpone the debate until 2017, to coincide the groundbreaking of the site of Trump Hall and Lounge, which is to house a center that will provide sanctuary to female models from former Warsaw Pact nations. Hofstra, the hosting institution, was dumbstruck, the first and possibly the last time, it hears of this generous gift.
The new format permits each team its own play-by-play announcers. The teams will not have to wait until the end of the contest to spin the result. They can roll it out as the candidates are speaking. This will put the Trump campaign at a distinct advantage, as Kellyanne Conway, the rapid-fire Trump campaign manager, seems to answer questions before they are asked.
Mr. Trump has said that he will not depart much from his Playbook of the last year. Notably, his team has said that he might refine his immigration policy to include Guatemalans, Nicaraguans and Easter Islanders, in addition to Mexicans. He does seem intent on pursuing his ban of Muslims and will extend it to Muslim-types, by which he means all non-Caucasian people.
Preparation on the Clinton team has been rigorous. They are gearing to their candidate’s strength, focusing on misdirection and hidden ball plays. Bill Clinton, one of his era’s greatest debaters, will confer on matters of strategy and tone but is expected to spend the bulk of this time auditioning cheerleaders. Clinton’s preparation has been physical as well as mental. She has approached her task with dedication, especially the walking-back drills designed for defensive play on questions regarding Whitewater, the Rose law firm, Vince Foster, Troopergate, Travelgate, Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, the entire female population of Chappaqua, the Iraq War, Benghazi, Goldman Sachs, the 2008 Campaign, Muhammad Yunus, the Deplorables, and the Clinton Foundation. The team has set aside ten minutes for issues about the future.
Clinton’s inner circle has scored a coup by hiring Trump ghost writer Tony Schwartz to coach Special Teams. He has recruited many former Trump girlfriends and wives, except for those still on the Trump payroll.
Most NFL rules will be suspended during the debate. For example, Trump successfully petitioned to suspend Unlawful Use of Hands. Clinton meanwhile was able to invalidate the False Start rule, giving her the ability to switch positions during the course of her answer. Naturally, Taunting and Unsportsmanlike Conduct rules will not be in effect.