Killerbowl

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It’s thirty years in the future.  In the Boston Minutemen locker room, Street Football League quarterback T.K. Mann prepares himself for the biggest, riskiest, most dangerous game of his life.  At the age of thirty-four, T.K. is the oldest player in the ultraviolent sport of Professional Street Football, a phenomenally popular twenty-four-hour-long athletic event combining pro football with mixed martial arts and armed combat.

From its outlaw beginnings as a gang game played on urban streets, the SFL has rapidly risen to become the nation’s most popular spectator sport.  On every Sunday, armed and deadly players on SFL teams main and murder one another in front of huge television audiences.  The International Broadcasting Company, the network that owns exclusive telecasting rights to SFL games, is not satisfied.  The network wants more viewers, more team merchandise sales, more advertisers, more profits.  To get that, they need to give the fans what they want, -- more violence and more death.

Even at his relatively advanced age, T.K. is still mentally sharp, still quick, still able to play the game at the highest level.  But he’s old school, inclined to show mercy to injured and vanquished foes.  He’s not bloodthirsty enough to please IBC.  He’s not the modern-day stone cold killer IBC wants for a marquee SFL player.

Pierce Spencer, arrogant, autocratic, ruthless IBC President, dreams up an ingenious scheme.  He manufactures a season-long personal rivalry between T.K. and Harv Matision, the San Francisco Prospectors’ young, tough, inner-city-bred quarterback.  Matision is heartless, mean, and viciously murderous, IBC’s ideal star athlete.

IBC’s manipulations have all been designed to lead up to this final championship game, Mann against Matision, may the better man live.  Pierce Spencer and his IBC cronies aren’t taking chances.  They know the game’s outcome even before it begins.  IBC plans to insure that this is T.K.’s final game.

In the locker room, T.K. and his teammates go through the intensely personal rituals of men preparing to face death.  Some listen to jarring rock music.  Some shoot themselves up with painkillers or speed.  Some, like T.K., operating under the theory that you can never be too prepared, go over their playbooks one last time.  The time comes to suit up.  Each player dons his lightweight body armor.  Player by player they pass by the team armourer who gives each player his standard equipment, a long knife, a club, a bolo, a javelin, and to one player, a rifle.  The players head for the street.

The league’s championship game is being played this year In Boston, on a six block by eight block section of the downtown city.  Everybody who lives there has been temporarily relocated.  The two teams come out onto the eerily silent street.  The Minutemen, with T.K. at the helm, and their opponents, the Harv Matision-led Prospectors, line up at the intersection of Myrtle and Garden.  At the stroke of twelve midnight, the Minutemen kick off.

The season’s championship game begins; the game known by street football fans around the country simply and accurately as......Killerbowl!

This is the first novel by award winning author Gary K. Wolf, famed creator of Roger Rabbit.


Roger Rabbit characters © Walt Disney Pictures / Amblin Entertainment, Inc.