It’s only day five in the Bears’ pre-Super Bowl mega-media hype period but Chicago’s self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Newspaper has already hit the panic button.

During a celebration in the Chicago Tribune’s sports department following “Da Bears” 39-14 win over the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, a bucket of Gatorade was dumped on the Punmaster 500, rendering useless a device that created all those clever puns that serve as the sports section’s daily banner headline.

Be it labeling a Rex Grossman disaster “Un-Bear-able” or a Devin Hester punt return “Devin Sent,” the 500 could be relied on to create cutting edge comedic puns as funny as anything Jay Leno or Don King could write. Now, Tribune sports editor Steve Nugent is left scrambling to find a substitute.

“We thought about giving our writers a chance, but their contracts strictly forbid any and all creative writing,” lamented Nugent. “I guess if the Bears win the Super Bowl, I’ll be forced to write the headline. I have a pretty good one already: ‘Just Bear-ly Champs!’ Now that’s what we in the biz call puntastic.”

heckler editorial staff