With only a few hours left to change their minds, ESPN officials are still tentatively planning to air tonight’s game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints as the latest installment in their Monday Night Football series.

“At this point, we’ve yet to find a suitable replacement,” said an ESPN spokesperson. “We thought about maybe having two high school teams square off instead, but the logistics are difficult given noise ordinances at most high school stadiums. As you know, Jon Gruden can be heard screaming for miles in all directions.”

ESPN explored a variety of options to avoid broadcasting a matchup of two terrible 5-8 teams, such as re-runs of The Jeffersons, or simply airing the 2007 NFC Championship game between the two squads. The latter proved impossible because FOX originally covered the game.

“We even talked about going dark, as not having a program on the air might be preferable to sharing this pointless exercise with the public,” said the spokesperson. “I mean, we definitely plan to milk the whole ‘Kromer-Cutler drama’ and ‘Saints could still win their division’ storylines, but c’mon. This is a joke.”

The most interesting programming suggestion involved a spoof Newlywed Game with Jay Cutler and Aaron Kromer facing off against Sean Payton and Rob Ryan, but that was nixed over concerns Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker wouldn’t be given a chance to embarrass himself on national television for a record third game.