AI-generated Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen lapse into an existential crisis during the Super Bowl

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(From left) Kevin Burkhardt, Erin Andrews, and Greg Olsen

(From left) Kevin Burkhardt, Erin Andrews, and Greg Olsen
Photo: AP

ChatGPT is a lot of fun to mess around with. It is also going to steal my job within the next five years. So until that happens, let’s use it for extremely stupid purposes, such as this procedurally generated dialogue in which Greg Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt become increasingly concerned about the nature of reality while calling the Super Bowl. It’s all downhill from here in digital media. 

Kevin Burkhardt: “Welcome back to Super Bowl 57 from State Farm Stadium just outside Phoenix. You know, Greg, I can’t help but wonder sometimes if what we see and experience is really what’s out there in the world.”

Greg Olsen: “What do you mean? Are you talking about some sort of Matrix situation?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “No, not quite that extreme, but sometimes I wonder if what we see is just a construction of our brains, you know? Like, how do we really know that we’re seeing the same colors, for instance?”

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Greg Olsen: “That’s a really deep thought. I’m not sure we have time to get into it right now, but it’s fascinating to consider the nature of our reality and how much of it is influenced by our own perceptions.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Mahomes drops back to throw, Eagles bring the blitz. Mahomes sidesteps the pressure, takes off… that’s about a five-yard pickup. Anyway, Greg, yeah, I mean, think about it — if we’re all experiencing the world differently, how can we ever really understand each other? Maybe we’re all living in our own individual realities.”

Greg Olsen: “I don’t know about that, Kevin. I think there’s some shared experience that we can all agree on. Like, we’re all watching this Super Bowl game right now, right?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Yeah, but are we really, though? Or are we just perceiving that we’re watching it?”

Greg Olsen: “I don’t know, man, you’re starting to freak me out a little bit.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Ha! Sorry about that. Maybe it’s just the excitement of the game getting to me.”

Greg Olsen: “Let’s hope so. We don’t want to blow anyone’s minds during the biggest event of the year.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Wow, what a huge sack by the Eagles defense there. That was impressive.”

Greg Olsen: “Definitely. They’ve really been bringing the pressure all game.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “But you know, Greg, sometimes I wonder if what we see on the field is really happening the way we perceive it. Like, what if we’re all just in some kind of virtual reality?”

Greg Olsen: “I’m not sure I’m ready to go down that rabbit hole. But I know what you mean. It’s hard to shake the feeling sometimes that existence is not as it seems.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Exactly! And think about it — how do we know that these players are even real? Maybe they’re just digital constructs or something.”

Greg Olsen: “I don’t know about that. These hits they’re taking out there sure feel pretty real to me.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Yeah, I guess you’re right. But still, it’s an interesting thought experiment. Like, how can we ever really know what’s real and what’s not?”

Greg Olsen: “I think that’s a question that’s been plaguing philosophers for centuries. But I don’t know if we’re going to find the answers during a Super Bowl game.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Ha! Good point. Maybe we should just stick to the action on the field for now. But what if all of this — the game, the players, even us — is just a figment of someone else’s imagination? What if we’re just characters in some cosmic entity’s dream?”

Greg Olsen: “Wow, Kevin, that’s a pretty wild idea. But I guess anything is possible.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “I mean, think about it — what if everything we experience is just a projection of someone else’s thoughts or desires? What if we have no control over our own lives?”

Greg Olsen: “That’s a pretty scary thought. But I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that reality just yet.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “I’m not sure I am either, Greg. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that we’re not really in control here.”

Greg Olsen: “I guess we’ll just have to keep at it and see where it takes us. Maybe we’ll find some answers along the way.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Yeah, maybe you’re right. But sometimes I wonder if there even is an endgame, or if we’re just trapped in this never-ending cycle of existence.”

Greg Olsen: “I don’t know, Kevin. It’s hard to say. But I do know that we have a job to do here, and that’s to call this Super Bowl game to the best of our abilities.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “You’re right. Let’s focus on the task at hand and try not to get too lost in our own heads. It looks like the Chiefs are going to have to punt on fourth down. Tough break for them, but the Eagles defense is really playing tough today.”

Greg Olsen: “Yeah, it’s been a defensive battle so far. But let’s see if the Chiefs can pin the Eagles back deep here.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Speaking of simulations, have you ever heard of the simulation hypothesis?”

Greg Olsen: “No, I can’t say that I have. What’s that?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “It’s the idea that we might be living in a simulation created by a more advanced civilization. Like, everything we experience could just be part of a computer program running on some otherworldly supercomputer.”

Greg Olsen: “Wow, that’s a pretty out-there idea. But I guess it’s not totally impossible, right?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Exactly. And some scientists and philosophers actually take this idea seriously. They argue that if a civilization becomes advanced enough to create simulations like ours, then it’s more likely that we’re living in one of those simulations than in the ‘real’ world.”

Greg Olsen: “That’s a mind-bending concept, Kevin. But I’m not sure what practical implications it has for us right now.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Well, it does make you wonder what the purpose of our existence might be. If we are living in a simulation, then what is our ultimate goal or objective?”

Greg Olsen: “I see what you’re saying. But I think it’s best if we leave those kinds of questions to the philosophers and focus on calling this game for now.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Looks like that punt will bounce into the end zone for a touchback. Tough break for the Chiefs there. And now, let’s go down to the sideline and check in with our own Erin Andrews. Erin, what do you have for us?”

Erin Andrews: “Thanks, Kevin. I just spoke with the Chiefs’ medical staff, and it looks like Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury is more serious than we initially thought. He’s in a lot of pain, but he’s staying in the game for now. Honestly, though, guys, I’m starting to wonder if any of this really matters in the grand scheme of things.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “What do you mean, Erin?”

Erin Andrews: “I mean, have you guys ever felt like we’re just pawns in some larger game? Like, everything we do is predetermined, and we have no control over our own fate?”

Greg Olsen: “Funny you should mention that, Erin. Kevin was just telling me about this simulation hypothesis, where we might be living in a computer program created by some advanced civilization.”

Erin Andrews: “Oh, I’ve heard of that one. But what if it’s not just a simulation? What if it’s all a dream, or a hallucination, or some kind of experiment conducted by higher beings?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “That’s a scary thought. But do you really believe that’s what’s going on?”

Erin Andrews: “I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is that there’s something off about this world, and we might never be able to figure out what it is.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Well, thanks for that report, Erin. We’ll keep an eye on Mahomes’ situation as the game goes on. Just over four minutes left in the first half, and the Chiefs are going to need to find a way to get their offense going.”

Greg Olsen: “Yeah, they’re definitely in a tough spot with Mahomes, their offensive leader, banged up, but they still have plenty of talent on that team. It’s going to come down to whether their defense can stay strong, and that run game has to come alive with some consistent yardage to take the pressure off Mahomes.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Well, for now, we’re going take a quick break. When we come back, we’ll have more from Super Bowl LVII. Philadelphia leads, 6-3.”

Greg Olsen: “None of this is right.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Welcome back to the Super Bowl, folks. Now, before we dive back into the game, I want to take a moment to talk about something that’s been on my mind. As Erin and Greg have touched on, the idea that we might exist only in a simulation or some sort of illusory world has been floating around for a while now. But what if I told you that this is not just some theoretical concept? What if I told you for a fact that we are all living in a formless void, and the world around us is just an illusion?”

Greg Olsen: “A formless void?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “It may sound crazy, but it’s a possibility that we can’t ignore. I urge you all at home to awaken from this charade and start living in the present moment. We may never know the truth about our existence, but we can choose to live our lives with purpose and meaning. And that, my friends, is what truly matters.”

Greg Olsen: “I’m sorry, Kevin, but I need to take a break from the commentary for a while. This conversation has really shaken me up, and I need to take some time to process everything. I know we’re in the middle of the Super Bowl, but I just can’t focus on the game right now. Maybe I’ll come back later if I feel better, but for now, I think it’s best if I leave.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Apologies, folks, but it looks like Greg is stepping away from the commentary booth for a bit. Our conversation took an unexpected turn, and I think it hit him pretty hard. I hope he’s okay. In case you missed it, we were talking about the nature of reality and whether everything we experience is just an illusion. It’s a pretty heady topic, and personally, I’m not sure what to think. But it’s clearly had an impact on Greg. Hopefully he’ll be back with us soon, but for now, the Eagles have the ball and are looking to convert here for a first down. It’s third and six from the 24, and Jalen Hurts is loose. He’s looking to make a play, and does, dumping it off for an Eagles first down. That’ll be a gain of eight.”

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