12:36pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'The League' Farewell Season to Tackle Deflategate, Seahawks' Super Bowl Screwup
It's been an eventful year for football fans and The League is taking full advantage as it heads for the exit.
The FXX comedy, which kicks off it's seventh and final season in September, will devote episodes to the Seattle Seahawks' game-changing and heavily scrutinized Super Bowl pass in the fourth quarter as well as the New England Patriots' use of use of underinflated footballs last season (aka deflategate) that resulted in quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension.
"We tried pretty hard [to get him on the show], but we understand he's a little preoccupied," said co-creator Jeff Schaffer.
"He couldn’t get your messages because he threw away his cell phone, right?" interjected star Paul Scheer — a not-so-blanketed reference to Brady's suspension, which was upheld after it was discovered he threw away his phone in the midst of the NFL's investigation.
(The show is prepared if Brady's suspension is changed before the deflategate episode airs. "We have shot alts," said Schaffer.)
This coming season will also hit on the growing concussion epidemic that has plagued the NFL in recent years. "Taco is going to retire from sex due to concussions," said Schaffer.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will also appear in an episode, spoofing his team's ill-fated call to pass the ball during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, which resulted in a victory for the New England Patriots. "If you ask Marshawn Lynch, he probably rather would have run the ball," said Steve Rannazzisi. "This is his way of getting that out without being very aggressive about it."
This marks Lynch's second appearance on the show, which has been known for attracting A-list NFL talent throughout its run. "In general with the athletes who come on the show, it's a chance for them to show a different side of them and in a new environment — either a show they like and watch, or just being able to control a little bit of how their voice comes out in a non-press conference environment," added Nick Kroll.
Additionally, players will be featured this coming season when the tables are turned and they bet on the characters in the show "in a workplace fantasy league," said Schaffer. "Having the players there is a great way to get to these funny stories."
In addition to appearances from athletes, the final season will welcome back familiar faces including Will Forte, Rob Riggle, Ike Barinholtz, Zach Woods and Leslie Bibb.
Although this is the last season, Schaffer said the pressure was no different than past years of the show. "Almost every season is the final season. When we did the first season, we didn't know there was going to be a second," he said. "Every year there's pressure on ending in a really funny, really big way and that doesn’t change."
Asked what's next, the group — which also includes co-creator Jackie Marcus Schaffer and stars Jonathan Lajoie, Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton — joked about sequel series down the road such as The League: The Next Generation or Deep Space League. Answering more honestly, Jeff sounded optimistic about future collaborations. "There's still ways to play with this group in different forms," he said.
The League returns Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. on FXX.