Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lions To Join Big 3 In Bailout Plea

Detroit, MI. (Nov. 25) - The NFL's Detroit Lions, 0-11 this season and 31-92 since 2001, will venture to Capitol Hill on December 2 in an effort to be included in the Big Three automakers' bid for a government bailout.

"The Lions have been a part of Detroit for almost as long as the Big Three," said Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand. "And not once have we asked Congress for help."

Lewand said the Lions' existence in the NFL should not be imperiled.

"Well, look at all the joy and wins we've provided other teams in the league, number one," he said.

According to sources, Lions representatives will fly to Washington along with the chairmen of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. On Capitol Hill, as the Big Three present their business plans going forward, the Lions will make a push for a $1 billion loan, designed to enable them to hire competent executives, "legitimate" NFL players, and marketing gurus who will spin the team's piss-poor record this decade.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Ct), who chairs the Finance Committee, was leery of yet another bailout plea.

"When will it end?," Dodd said. "The Detroit Lions are a part of the fabric of the NFL, but it might be best for them to go under, reorganize, then come back with a plan for recovery. We can't just give them a blank check."

Lewand countered Dodd's comments.

"What fan will buy tickets to see a football team in bankruptcy? What about the season ticket holders? How can they be assured that their investment is protected?"

Football observers differ on the necessity of the Lions in the NFL.

"I say let them fail and let's move on," said Jay Glaser of NFL.com. "They're a joke and they make the whole league look silly. This has been going on for a long time, and they're only now asking for help? Clearly they were in denial."

But Chris Mortensen of ESPN disagreed.

"Look, every league needs a doormat," Mortensen said. "For every Gallant, you need a Goofus. If nothing else, the Lions offer comic relief for a battle-torn country, and wins for every other team in the league. Why kill the smiles they offer?"

Mortensen says he's in favor of a bailout, but that Lions executives must take "severe" salary cuts, and retool themselves for the future.

"I'd like to see better scouting, drafting, and coaches with a clue," Mortensen said. "I want to see them succeed, but they'd better not be back in Washington five years from now asking for another handout."

Dodd said that it was ironic that the Lions were asking for help now.

"We were just about to start legislation prohibiting them from continuously ruining the sacred American holiday of Thanksgiving," Dodd said.

The Lions host the 10-1 Tennessee Titans on Thursday in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game, a tradition that, thanks to the Lions, "Actually destroys far more appetites than it encourages," Dodd said.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Donovan McNabb Thinks Eagles And Bengals Get To Play Again

Cincinnati, OH (Nov. 17) - In the wake of the Philadelphia Eagles' 13-13 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb expressed some confusion over the NFL rules regarding tie games.

At first, McNabb indicated that he didn't know the game would end in a tie after the 15-minute overtime session failed to produce a winner, believing that the game would continue ad infinitum, like a playoff game. But even after being explained that rule, McNabb quickly showed that he still had difficulties grasping the whole idea of tie games.

"So...we play again, right?," McNabb asked reporters. "I mean, that don't just end in a tie, right? We play [the Bengals] again...right?"

McNabb moved through the locker room, asking various players if they thought the tie meant that the Eagles and Bengals will have a rematch.

When everyone he asked assured him that the game was indeed a tie and nothing more, McNabb wasn't satisfied.

"Aww, man -- no way! Quit pulling my leg. Really, seriously -- when do we play them again? Next week? At the end of the season? When?"

Again, McNabb was told that the game would be officially recorded as a tie.

"Really? I could have sworn that we get to play them again," McNabb said, aghast. He then walked away from reporters, muttering, "A tie...that's some s**t."

Earlier, McNabb had queried reporters about several other matters, including why punt returners could raise their hands and not be tackled; why the clock stops on certain plays, wondering why they were always plays that ended up out of bounds; and why "there aren't any points given out for a touchback."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Report: 88% Of Dolphins Fans Think Team's Coach Is Tony Soprano

Miami, FL. (Nov. 10) - The surprising Miami Dolphins, just one year removed from finishing 1-15, are 5-4 and are one of the surprises in the NFL. But a recent report revealed that nearly 90 percent of the team's fan base thinks it's all due to new head coach Tony Soprano, of the HBO hit show The Sopranos.

"It's rather shocking," said Richard Lieberthal of the Hansley Institute, which did the study. "Almost nine out of ten fans we polled -- and we polled about 5,000 -- think the Dolphins are coached by Tony Soprano. And they give a huge amount of credit both to president Bill Parcells for hiring 'Soprano', and to 'Soprano' himself, of course."

The Dolphins' real coach is Tony Sparano, hired by Parcells last January.

But the fans clearly are enamored with Soprano, the fictional character played by James Gandolfini, and some samplings of their comments recorded during the study reflect that.

"The Dolphins needed toughness, and they got it with Soprano," one fan said. "There's no better motivator than the threat of being whacked after practice."

Lieberthal said that not only do the fans think Soprano is the coach, they encourage their team's coach's "connections" to organized crime.

"There seems to be a tolerance of what they think is a pipeline to the Mafia in Miami," Lieberthal said. "And after the recent losing, Dolphins fans "welcome any perceived advantage that having a coach with mob connections brings", he added.

Lieberthal said the study also indicated that nearly 65 percent of Dolphins fans believe that Soprano's assistant coaches, or "lieutenants", recruited draft choices by "any means necessary", including kidnapping players' family members and sending them dead rats in the mail. But, Lieberthal said, more than 90 percent of these people also believed these tactics to be "acceptable", considering the Dolphins' recent record.

Fans also believe that banished defensive end Jason Taylor "went for a ride", and has been replaced with an impostor in Washington.

Lieberthal said that over 70 percent of fans believe some of the Dolphins' wins this season have come because of bribes, paid by Soprano and his lieutenants to game officials. Again, these bribes are supported, according to the study.

Despite the winning, Dolphins fans are also looking ahead to a time when the losing might return.

"Nearly three out of every four fans think that if Soprano doesn't take the Dolphins to the playoffs by 2009 at the latest, then his family should be killed," Lieberthal said.

Monday, November 3, 2008

NBA Rookie Dreams Of Being Intentionally Fouled Someday

Minneapolis, MN (Nov. 3) - Minnesota Timberwolves rookie power forward Kevin Love has many challenges ahead of him. But first on his list is to, one day, be intentionally fouled.

"I've been a Shaquille O'Neal fan ever since he entered the league," Love said yesterday after practice. "I can't even imagine, sometimes, being like him -- getting fouled on purpose because of piss-poor free throw shooting. To be the center of attention like that...wow!"

Love says he works with T-Wolves coaches frequently, trying to lower his free throw percentage to a point that starts to "make some noise" around the NBA.

"To me, if I'm not going to be sought out on the floor by the other team during crunch time so that my brick free throws are a factor, then I don't want to be in the league," Love added. "It's as simple as that."

Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love, practicing to be a poor free throw shooter in high school

Love says that all the accolades and championships he may garner would be great, but would "pale in comparison" to being a player that other teams constantly send to the free throw line late in games.

"I mean, that's where it's at," Love explained. "Shaq can't play forever."

Love says his research -- and his agent -- tells him that there really is no one anointed as O'Neal's successor when it comes to intentional hacking.

"It's wide open, as far as I'm concerned," Love said. "It's all there for the taking. Whomever is able to bring their free throw percentage at or below fifty percent is going to be that 'don't go-to guy' late in games."

To that end, Love has drastically changed his mechanics at the free throw line, adopting a one-handed, unsteady, "girly" way of shooting.

"Kevin kind of took Shaq's signature, horrible mechanics and added his own twist to it," says T-Wolves assistant coach Dean Cooper. "It's a style that really shouldn't be very successful, at least not with any consistency. Kevin really should be one of the kids we watch as being the next Shaq when it comes to fouling on purpose."

Love says he's eager to finally meet O'Neal in person. What would he say to the future Hall of Famer?

"Thank you," Love said. "I'd thank him for paving the way for the younger big men, like me, who have no intention on ever being a good free throw shooter."