AI-generated Greg Olsen, Kevin Burkhardt have an existential crisis in the middle of the Super Bowl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Burkhardt: “Mahomes returns to throw, Eagles bring blitz. Mahomes escapes the pressure, runs… that’s about five yards. Anyway, Greg, yes, I mean, think about it — if we all see the world differently, how can we possibly understand each other? Maybe we all live in our own realities.”

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

Kevin Burkhardt: “Yes, but are we really? Or do we just notice that we are watching it?”

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

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 come down on anyone at the biggest event of the year.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Wow, what a big sack of an Eagles defense. That was impressive.”

Greg Olsen: “Definitely. They really pressured the whole 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. Sometimes it’s hard to shake the feeling that existence is not what it seems.”

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

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

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

Greg Olsen: “I think this is a question that has troubled philosophers for centuries. But I don’t know if we’ll find the answers during the Super Bowl game.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Huh! Good point. Maybe we should 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 the dream of some cosmic entity?”

Greg Olsen: “Wow, Kevin, that’s a pretty crazy 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 don’t have control over our own lives?”

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

Kevin Burkhardt: “I’m not even sure I am, 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 get on with it and see where it takes us. Maybe we’ll find some answers along the way.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Yes, you may be right. But sometimes I wonder if there is even an end game or if we are just trapped in this endless cycle of existence.”

Greg Olsen: “I don’t know, Kevin. It’s hard to say. But I know we have a job to do here, which is to play 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. Looks like the Chiefs are going to have to go down on fourth down. Tough break for them, but the Eagles defense is really playing hard today.”

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

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

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

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

Greg Olsen: “Wow, that’s a nice idea. But I guess it’s not completely impossible, is it?”

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 we’re more likely to live in one of those simulations than in the ‘real’ world.”

Greg Olsen: “It’s a scary concept, Kevin. But I’m not sure what practical implications that has for us now.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Well, it makes you wonder what the purpose of our existence could be. If we live in a simulation, then what is our ultimate goal?”

Greg Olsen: “I understand what you’re saying. But I think it’s best to leave such questions to the philosophers and focus on this game for now.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “It looks like that punt is going to bounce into the end zone for a touchback. It’s a tough break for the Chiefs there. And now, let’s go down to the sidelines and check in with our Erin Andrews. Erin, what do you have for us?”

Erin Andrews: “Thank you, Kevin. I just spoke with the Chiefs medical staff and it appears Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury is more serious than first thought. He’s in a lot of pain, but for now he’s staying in the game. Honestly, though, 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 ever felt like we’re just pawns in some bigger game? Like, everything we do is predetermined and we have no control over our own destiny?”

Greg Olsen: “It’s funny you should bring that up, Erin. Kevin was just talking to me about this simulation hypothesis, that we might be living in a computer program created by some advanced civilization.”

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

Kevin Burkhardt: “It’s a scary thought. But do you really believe that this is happening?”

Erin Andrews: “I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is that something is wrong with this world, and we may never be able to figure out what it is.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Well, thanks for that report, Erin. We will monitor Mahomes’ situation as the game progresses. With just over four minutes left in the first half, the Chiefs will have to find a way to get their offense going.”

Greg Olsen: “Yeah, they’re definitely in a tough situation with Mahomes, their leader of the offense, being destroyed, but they still have a lot of talent on that team. It’s going to come down to if their defense can stay strong, and that running game needs to come alive with some consistent yardage to take pressure off Mahomes.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Well, we’ll take a short break for now. When we come back, we’ll have more than 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 get back into the game, I want to take a moment to talk about something that’s been on my mind. As Erin and Greg mentioned, the idea that we might only exist in a simulation or some kind of illusory world has been floating around for a while. But what if I told you that this is not just some theoretical concept? What if I told you about the fact that we all live in a formless void and that the world around us is just an illusion?”

Greg Olsen: “A formless void?”

Kevin Burkhardt: “It may sound crazy, but it’s a possibility we can’t ignore. I invite all of you at home to wake up 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 really matters.”

Greg Olsen: “I’m sorry, Kevin, but I need to take a break from commenting. This conversation really shook me and I need 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 to leave.”

Kevin Burkhardt: “Apologies, folks, but it looks like Greg has drifted away from the commentary booth a bit. Our conversation started unexpectedly, and I think he was quite affected by it. I hope he is well. In case you missed it, we talked about the nature of reality and whether everything we experience is just an illusion. It’s a pretty heady topic and I’m personally not sure what to think. But it obviously had an effect on Greg. Hopefully he’ll be back with us soon, but for now, the Eagles have the ball and are looking to convert a first down here. It’s third and six from the 24, and Jalen Hurts is lost. He wants to make a play, and he does, throwing to the Eagles on first down. That will be a gain of eight.”

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