Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peyton Manning Wants To Use A Stunt Double During Exhibition Season

Terre Haute, IN (Jul 30) - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, in an effort to keep his body in "tip-top" condition for the 2008 regular season, has asked the team to provide him with a stunt double for all four exhibition games.

"We all know that these games don't mean a hoot," Manning said in his southern drawl during a break in practice. "And everyone knows that if I get hurt, this team is f***ed. Right?"

At that, reporters looked at each other, shrugged, and nodded their heads in agreement.

Manning continued. "Right. So why the hell risk my health on a bunch of meaningless games that no one gives two s**ts about?"

Again the reporters nodded, shrugging.

"So I've asked the Colts to provide me with a stunt double, who will take all snaps and do all scrambling, and absorb all hits, during next month's exhibition schedule," Manning said.

Under Manning's proposal, an athletic man, whose name will not be revealed, will don Manning's no. 18 jersey and pose as the All-Pro signal caller throughout the pre-season. The QB/double will also be someone who has experience doing stunts for movies and television.

"I have a few people in mind right now," Manning said. "During my off-season workouts I met some dudes. They've worked on shows like MacGyver and Walker, Texas Ranger. I've been teaching them how to look like an NFL quarterback. Just like I taught Jim Sorgi," Manning said of his annual, "real" backup.

Manning said that, under his plan, the stunt double would only need to learn how to hand off, because he won't be throwing any passes.

"(Coach) Tony (Dungy) usually pulls me out midway through the first quarter anyway," Manning reasoned. "So it wouldn't look all that odd for 'me' to not throw any passes. Besides, I hate putting all those pads and stuff on in August....I sweat like a pig."

Dungy said he was open to the idea.

"Hey, whatever keeps Peyton fresh so we can win the Super Bowl...that's what's important. Not whether some poor guy pays top dollar for pre-season games so he can see Peyton Manning. Tough cookies."

Monday, July 28, 2008

MLB Player Wishes Team Would "Just Trade Me and Get it Over With Already"

Cleveland, OH (July 28) - Cleveland Indians infielder Jhonny Peralta so believes that he is the next to be traded by the team that he has taken to wandering around the clubhouse before every game, pacing and muttering that he wishes the team would "just do it already."

"Jhonny truly believes he is next," affirmed teammate Grady Sizemore. "He thought he was next before they traded Casey (Blake), but now he's convinced."

The Indians traded Blake to the Dodgers over the weekend.

Teammates have tried to allay his fears, but Peralta cannot be soothed. Even manager Eric Wedge tried to calm him, but to no avail.

"I told him that we have absolutely no thoughts of trading him," Wedge told reporters during batting practice yesterday, as Peralta criss-crossed the field, asking teammates, and reporters, if they've heard anything new. "But he won't have any of it. He just tells me, 'You're just saying that.'"

Peralta has taken to sneaking a peek at General Manager Mark Shapiro's blackberry whenever he can, and has been caught trying to open company e-mail on employees' laptops, all with the belief that every e-mail, every text message, contains details of a trade involving him.

"God just do it!," Sizemore said Peralta screamed in the showers after Saturday night's game. Sizemore added that Peralta then yelled, "I can't TAKE it anymore!"

The non-waiver trading deadline is Thursday afternoon.

Teammates and club officials aren't certain just how Peralta got it into his head that he is on the trading block.

"I didn't say anything -- I don't THINK," said traveling secretary Mike Hodges. "God...I...maybe it was when I made that joke a week or so ago about cleaning house here. I'm so sorry that Jhonny took it this far. It was just a joke!"

Others tried to offer theories, ranging from "he's just paranoid" to "that damned Internet" to "he must have gotten it from Satch", referring to longtime equipment manager Satch Sanders, 77.

"Everyone knows that Satch is like the Associated Press around here," said a club employee who requested anonymity. "Maybe the old coot said something and Jhonny took it the wrong way."

Regardless, Peralta has taken to not speaking to the media anymore, until, he says, "the trade freaking happens."

"Then I'll have plenty to say," he said on Saturday.

An Internet poll on the team's website says that if Peralta is on the trading block, it's "because he spells his first name like an idiot."

Friday, July 18, 2008

LeBron James Threatens To Send Cavs Teammates To Summer League Without Any Dinner

Cleveland, OH. (Jul. 18) - Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, unhappy with the commitment his teammates showed last season to the game of basketball, along with being "disappointed" in them lately, has told his fellow Cavs that he "won't hesitate" to send them to the Summer League, warning them, "don't think that I won't."

"Now, I've had just about enough of this," James said to a group of Cavaliers players who were laughing and frollicking during a loosely-organized scrimmage yesterday in downtown Cleveland. James informed the group -- which included Daniel Gibson, Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, and some rookie free agents -- that he was "sick and tired" of their carefree attitude, and that if they think he won't make good on his threats to banish them to NBA Summer League, then they "have another think coming."

James became annoyed when Gibson and Szczerbiak abandoned their set offensive play and began simply throwing the basketball at each other in an improvised game of Dodgeball. Then, as James scolded the two players, Wallace crept up behind James and mimicked him, making funny faces and rolling his eyes.

"Maybe y'all need some Summer Leaguing," James said, which temporarily quelled the situation. But minutes later, some rookie free agents began giggling uncontrollably, which got the rest of the team laughing. That's when James announced that the scrimmage was over with and ordered everyone to "put your head down" and observe "quiet time." All seemed fine until an unidentified player farted, which started everyone laughing again.

James then pretended to call the Summer League and make reservations for his teammates, but then added that next time he "wouldn't be fooling around. I have the Summer League on speed dial. I mean it!" James also indicated that any Summer League assignments would be fulfilled without the benefit of dinner.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Some Versions Of Madden '09 To Include John Madden

Redwood City, CA. (July 11) - In an effort to bring the video game experience to a new level, EA Sports announced that some "Special Edition" versions of the popular football game Madden '09 will include the former coach and current TV analyst himself.

"Specially-marked editions -- boxes with holographs undetectable with the human eye -- will be sprinkled in stores throughout the country," EA Sports spokesman Mark Hansen said at a news conference yesterday. "These boxes, when opened, will provide the lucky owner with a video game experience that is unparalleled in the industry today," Hansen added.

Upon the opening of the randomly-marked boxes, John Madden will burst from the front cover and land "feet first" in front of the gamer. He will then provide personal instructions and updates from Madden '08. After a sample gaming session, Madden is slated to wish the gamer luck and provide coupons for future EA Sports purchases. Then, Madden will vanish into thin air.

"The 'grip-and-grins' have to be rather short, unfortunately, so John can be inserted into the next randomly-selected box," Hansen said. The technology is such that no store is allowed to scan a Special Edition box before Madden is ready for insertion.

In this still photo, John Madden is depicted bursting forth from a Madden '09 box -- something that will be reality for some lucky game buyers

"If a specially-marked box is in, say, Portland, and John's latest appearance was in Orlando, the box in Portland cannot be scanned until John is inserted, through the miracle of laser technology, into that box in Portland," explained Hansen.

Madden, when reached thru his publicist, said of the Special Edition Madden '09 boxes: "I just gotta say that when I show up, BAM!, I'm gonna be right in the middle of that person's living room, and you know, you know that the living room, it, it's the center of attention, and you know, you know that, you know, when I was talking to Brett Favre, and Brett Favre, now you know that Brett Favre was always ready to go and here's, here's a guy who played in a lot of big games in Green Bay, and I'm just, I'm just gonna be doin' my thing and we'll just, you know, we'll just have to see if it's good enough. I think it will be."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mannings' Bid To Be Most Annoying Sports Family Ever Nearing Completion

New York, NY. (July 7) - The Manning family, which includes father Archie and quarterback-playing sons Eli and Peyton, have targeted 2008's opening day of the NFL season as the date that they'll officially become sports' most annoying family.

"If not sooner," said Archie during a break in shooting a series of 45 new ESPN SportsCenter commercials. "After we leave here we're going right to Atlanta to shoot a bunch of whimsical promos for CNN, and then it's off to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in New York," Archie Manning added, referring to he and his sons throwing out the first, second, and third pitches of the mid-summer classic.

The Mannings lead all of professional sports in the relatively new statistic called Images Per Minute, or IPM.

"It's a way to gauge any family's exposure," notes IPM founder and developer Randall Borders. "Right now, the Mannings hold a sizeable lead over the Williams sisters in tennis. And their agenda clearly shows an intent to not only hold on to that lead, but to build on it."

Borders says that the Mannings' current IPM is .24, meaning that the Mannings appear on television or on the radio or in the newspapers roughly .24 times a minute. Translated, the Mannings thus enter our psyche approximately once every 2.5 minutes. Compare this to the Williams sisters' IPM, which sits at just .11 -- and you can see how far ahead the Mannings are in IPM.

A recent image shows the aggressive, virulent Manning strain of sports family; "They seem resistant to fatigue," Borders says

"The Mannings figured to have a banner year in IPM when the year began," Borders says. "But after Eli's Giants won the Super Bowl, their IPM spiked higher than we anticipated."

The Mannings, according to research released by the IPM institute, have appeared in 212 different commercials, print ads, and radio spots, combined, since January 1, 2008. They have, so far, recorded nearly 100 humorous ESPN SportsCenter promos, and are contracted to do cross-promotion for several Disney, Pixar, and Universal films between now and early-2009. This is in addition to countless voice-over work for various local car dealerships, banks, and sporting goods stores, not to mention public service announcements for over 30 different charities, illnesses, and male medical conditions.

"This may be the most insistent, aggressive strain of sports family that we've ever seen," Borders says with an ominous tone of the Mannings. "They currently seem to be resistant to any form of fatigue, jet lag, or to being overwhelmed with multiple requests for their time. This is bordering on a pandemic," Borders says.

Archie Manning doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

"Heck, we just love bein' on TV," he said with a chuckle.