Even after losing to Man City at Old Trafford for the second year in a row, Manchester United still look certain to win their 20th domestic league title with a 12-point lead and just seven matches left to play. But as the Telegraph points out in a brief and strange little article, it could all go wrong, saving us from a boring end to the season that would make us weep over the routine inevitability of life that even infests our sources of entertainment. Here is the absolute worst way each remaining match could turn out...
Sunday, April 14 at Stoke
Having already announced his plans to retire at the end of the season, Michael Owen will be desperate to do whatever it takes to avoid relegation in his final campaign. Still bitter that Man United did not offer him a new contract in the offseason so his bench sitting could be rewarded with one last trophy, Owen will attempt to sprint across the pitch during the match. Unable to handle such exertion, his body will explode, taking out Man United's players with hamstring and bone shrapnel like a gory World War I doomsday weapon. With more than half the team in need of emergency surgery to remove the bits of Michael Owen from their internal organs, Man United will be forced to forfeit the match.
Wednesday, April 17 at West Ham
Just three days after the Michael Owen Massacre, Man United still have a number of players battling for fitness. They arrive at Upton Park to find the lights turned off and the stadium empty save for a nude, greased up Sam Allardyce in a karate side stance in the center circle. Like a rotund, hirsute velociraptor, Allardyce maintains 98 percent of possession and beats Man United 17-0 all on his own while also mentally scarring Danny Welbeck for life.
Monday, April 22 against Aston Villa
Another club fighting against relegation, Aston Villa will be desperate for three points. Man United's attempt to stay focused and respect their opponent while dealing with the haunting day terrors that resulted from their previous two matches will cause them to forget to do their pre-match stretches. They will collectively succumb to painful cramps and fleshy flashbacks just 17 minutes into the match. Villa will not show mercy.
Saturday, April 28 at Arsenal
Eager to deny Robin van Persie the Premier League title, Arsene Wenger gets a vintage, four-goal performance out of Andrei Arshavin by promising to sell Nicklas Bendtner to a zoo in Hong Kong if they win. Arshavin will giggle for 10 hours straight after the match and then retire.
Saturday, May 4 against Chelsea
Chelsea knocked Man United out of both domestic cup competitions this season, but lost to them at Stamford Bridge in their previous league meeting. Rafa Benitez will shave his goatee as a sacrifice to the dark forces that have helped him remain undefeated against Man United this season. As a result, Shinji Kagawa will be eaten by zombies. Meanwhile, Robin van Persie, who has now gone three months without scoring, is given a motivational poster of a cat dangling from a tree branch with the words "hang in there, baby" across the bottom.
Sunday, May 12 against Swansea
With commitments to all 33 of the the club's sponsors accidentally scheduled for the same day, Man United will be forced to skip their match against Swansea so as not to upset their corporate partners.
Sunday, May 19 at West Brom
Defying all logic and sensible reasoning, Peter Odemwingie will convince Wayne Rooney to drive down to QPR with him and wait outside Loftus Road until the transfer window opens. Exhausted and ashamed, Alex Ferguson will quit his post. Rafa Benitez will be named as his interim successor for the 2013/14 season and tear down Ferguson's statue on his first day. Meteors will pelt the earth. Anarchy will reign. Sepp Blatter will become your step-dad.