The NFL on Thursday leaned into the "script" jokes that bubbled up before Super Bowl LVII.
Comedian Keegan-Michael Key led the "table read" surrounded by Chicago Bears "actor" Justin Fields and Cincinnati Bengals "actor" Ja’Marr Chase, among others.
"Alright, everyone. Last season was a smash. Ratings gold," Key says in the video. "But this year’s script has to top it. So welcome to the table read for the 104th season of the NFL."
When one person suggested writing Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes off "entirely," everyone at the table agreed — even Miami Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was ready for the "dress rehearsal."
"Guys, not cool," Mahomes said, via video chat.
The script joke started when former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster sarcastically talked about the NFL being rigged on an episode of the Barstool Sports podcast, "Macrodosing."
PFT Commenter, one of the hosts on the show, sarcastically told the audience that Foster told him a script would be dropped off at his locker before the start of the season.
"We were really dedicated to it. So, it was more so like that’s what practice was about — it was about practicing the script. This is what goes on, this is what we have to do … WWF, so it’s like we know what’s going to happen. You still gotta put on a show," the four-time Pro Bowl running back said.
Foster was then asked about "the script" he got when his career "fell off a cliff," when he stopped believing in God.
"It was 2015. Oddly enough, the scriptwriters didn’t have anything to do with that, actually. It has more so to do with they needed a change of scenery in Houston," Foster deadpanned. "It was time to go, so. They wanted to get everybody out of Houston — that was the ultimate goal."
NFL players soon got in on the joke, and it appears to have culminated in the league's commercial for the 2023 season.