Bumford paces up and down. The team are resting like the wussy elfs they are. They didn’t seem bothered whether Nautical made it through to the playoffs. What did they know, eh? Who was coach? Who knows best?
The only way his team could make it is if Reddit Rotters, the currently highest ranked team in the division, beat Necronobacon, the second highest team. Bumford stopped pacing and remembers both of those games fondly. The carnage, the deaths. He wipes a tear from an eye.
No, focus. Back to the matter at hand. He WOULD get into the playoffs if it killed him.
With a stealthiness utterly betrayed by his girth, he finds his way to the Ref’s lounge, and sneaks in by a back window. He falls, breaking the window in the process, and creates such a ruckus that he is immediately discovered.
Luckily, there’s only the one referee there. The stout, blotchy human that Sir Trollington the Third was plying with during the game with Madcap Maulers.
Bumford smiled broadly, chunks of glass sticking from his mad beard.
The referee didn’t say another word. He didn’t get the chance.
The commissioner, the single, bloated figure responsible for the entire league sits on a leather chair that groans under his weight.
“So let me get this straight,” he says, in a voice that oozes with disdain. “My head referee, who also happens to be the most respectable, entrusted with the task of administering trophies to the best players, he, ahem” he glances down to a piece of paper, “accidentally brutally caved his own head in by accident when sweeping.”
Bumford nods, smiling.
“Not only that, but you were chasing a robber through the stadium, who then charged through the window to the Lounge, stole all the money from his pockets and pissed on his face. After that, you discovered the whole scene and reported it to us immediately.”
Assent from Bumford. “Terrible tragedy, that. The sort of thing that can happen to anyone.” He stresses the word anyone, and looks around the room.
“Then,” continues the commissioner, “you chased off the crook before he could steal any of the trophies, correct?”
Bumford claps his hands. “Yes sir!”
The frog like man sighs.
“I was thinkin'”. says Bumford, “how’re you’re probably short am official, maybe I could, ya know, volunteer for a game, just while I’m sittin’ around?”
Stares. “Sitting around waiting for the final game of the season? The game that will decide whether your team enters the playoffs?”
Bumford coughs, and nods.
A twinkle in the commissioners eye.
“Agreed, if you do something for me. You must deliver every individual achievement trophy to all the winners of each category, because I can’t be bothered to find another replacement, and also because it will amuse me.”
Bumford spreads his arms, palms open.
“Why, nothin’ would give me greater pleasure.”
The game between the Rotters and Necronobacon is a farce. Countless rules are flaunted by the Rotters, Bumford doesn’t care. A zombie on Necronobacon coughs, Bumford sends him off for misconduct. Bumford fights the golems, shoves the wights. Twice, the werewolves of Bacon are racing towards the touchline with the ball, both times Bumford calls a foul and sends someone off, cutting their momentum. That, or ‘accidentally’ trips up the ball carrier, then threatens him with penalties if he argues. Bumford actually hands the ball to the Rotters several times after confiscating it from Necro. In short, it is a gross injustice to the Necromantic Necronobacon.
However, by the time the whistle blows (that is, when Bumford remembers), the Rotters are in the lead. Nautical Imperatives are through to the playoffs!
“I’m thinking of retiring the whole referee game” says Bumford to a speechless elf team. They were hoping to be knocked out. That way some of them might make it home with all their limbs intact.
A knock at the door. A goblin with a clipboard beckons Bumford over. Bumford follows.
“So what, just give them out?”
The goblin nods.
“Snk, and don’t forget the accolades.”
Accolades? Maybe this would be fun after all…
The pitch has been cleared of bodies to make room for, well, bodies. The shambling undead rub shoulders with halflings, with vikings, with… were those apes? No, they’re lizardmen. Wait, just more elves. “Could’ve sworn…” Bumford mutters.
Bumford climbs up on a podium and begins the proceedings.
“The award for scoring the most touchdowns goes to Humphrey of the Reddit Rotters. Well done chap, well earned.” Bumford hands the trophy over with a wink. “Go easy on the booze though, eh? We all remember what happened last time”
The silver and gold go to Kosmouse 186 of the Skaven team Mad Experiments and Soljssnar of the Dark Elvf Chaulssin Shadows. Bumford sighs when he thinks of missed opportunities for violence and sexy lady elfes, respectfully.
“Most completed passes, eugh excuse me. This award, this pointless award, goes to-” Bumford recognises the name. Aye, Aye!, the dedicated elf thrower, shuffles up. He can’t look Bumford in the eye. Bumford shakes his head as the elf walks away, leading a chorus of ‘boo’s.
“For shame.” he adds.
A vampire collects second, waving to a crowd and lingering his gaze slightly on the third place prize, a haughty Wood Elf named Pirouette.
More awards are dished out by Bumford, most with abuse about wussiness, some with congratulations. Geiger-Murine of the Mad Experiments gets the gold for most casualties, and Bumford claps him on the back, nearly knocking the rat off the podium. The same thing happens with Porthos of the RaRaRasputins for being the most aggressive blocker.
A few hours later the FUMBBL Sheidl award is rolled out, and given to The Mad Experiments for a flawless season.
“Flawless, eh?” whispers Bumford. “We’ll see about that…”