Category Archives: Sports

Eagles’ third-string QB: Vick signing a slap in the face

Feeley

Feeley

BETHLEHEM, Pa.—With the sports world’s collective eye focused squarely on the City of Brotherly Love in the wake of the Eagles’ signing of embattled quarterback Michael Vick, Eagles third-string signal-caller A.J. Feeley says he understands the message sent by team management.

“I presume that the signing of a quarterback with a career completion rate of 53.8 percent is meant to light a fire under my ass,” Feeley scowled during a sparsely-attended press conference at Eagles camp on Friday. “Team brass obviously thinks I take for granted the mediocre standing one gains from being the emergency quarterback.

“But I swear to both of my fans, I will put forth just enough effort and make an adequate number of plays in practice to protect my status as the necessary evil on this roster,” Feeley added. “I dare Mike Vick to come in here and be average enough for the job.”

All reports stemming from the earth-shaking addition of Vick have made clear that the disgraced dogfighter will not compete with starting QB Donovan McNabb nor against prized youngster Kevin Kolb for their depth-chart positions. But Feeley was quick to note during his morning rant that it’s more important to look at what has been left unsaid: anything about A.J. Feeley.

“I guess I don’t fit in the Eagles’ plans anymore,” Feeley said. “Just when I was getting comfortable with the new clipboard, too—it just figures.”

Brian Jaxton, editor of the fanblog EaglesTakeOff.com, published a 1,500-word reaction to the Vick signing late Thursday night, but “Feeley” was not among those 1,500 words. “I kinda forgot he was on the team,” Jaxton said, flashing an insincere look of “my bad” to punctuate the statement.

PETA spokesperson Phil Denardo, in response to a question of whether his organization would rally around Mr. Feeley, uttered, “Who?”

Feeley, who speculated that the move was motivated by lagging A.J. Feeley jersey sales, said that he has a contingency plan if his pedestrian performance in camp isn’t rewarded by Philly.

“I’ll probably catch on with San Fran, which is where I thought Vick might land,” Feeley said. “I think either me or Vick could be the starter there. Those guys are horrible!”

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Spirit squad disbands due to lack of spirit

West Haven spirit squad members are unable to generate crowd enthusiasm due to their lack of spirit.

West Haven spirit squad members are unable to generate crowd enthusiasm due to their lack of spirit.

WEST HAVEN, Iowa—Area boys’ basketball fans left the West Haven Senior High season opener with heavy hearts, as the Cowboys were handily defeated by the Vikings of Decorah High School, 68–33.

The double whammy? There’s nobody to cheer them up.

The West Haven Senior High School spirit squad disbanded midway through the third quarter of Thursday’s game after the girls were confronted with the realization that they had no spirit whatsoever.

“It never crossed our minds to screen the girls for spirit during tryouts,” said spirit squad adviser Jeana Clinton. “We mainly wanted to make sure we could find enough girls who wouldn’t turn up at the games in a drunken stupor. A tall hurdle, trust me.”

The squad, composed of six female students from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes at West Haven, was mostly silent during the game’s first half, and a planned halftime dance routine was scratched when the spirit squad members bolted for the parking lot for a smoke break.

The Decorah cheerleaders, well-known for immense pride in their school’s athletic greatness, decided to unleash a traditional tactic from their playbook: in unison, they shouted “We’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how ’bout you?!?!” in the general direction of the West Haven girls.

The gym was relatively quiet, as the game was in the midst of a timeout when the harmonized question was lobbed across the court at the West Haven spirit squad. Looks of terror crossed the faces of the six girls, followed by expressions of realization and, one might say, relief.

West Haven spirit squad captain Kaitlyn Sommers threw up a “W” gesture with her thumbs and forefingers, symbolizing a “whatever” sentiment, and all six girls tossed aside their poms and headed for the nearest exit. The silent tension in the gym was finally shattered by the nerds in the West Haven student section, who yelled out, “Strawberry shortcake, banana split, your team plays like a pile of SHIFT TO THE LEFT, SHIFT TO THE RIGHT, STAND UP, SIT DOWN, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!!”

A cursory reading of the tea leaves would have easily forecast the potential for desertion by the West Haven cheerleaders. The squad had struggled during the football season—aside from not leading the crowd in cheers a single time in nine games, the squad’s lone show of interest in the action on the field came from junior cheerleader Madison Jones, who entered an on-field melee initiated by her boyfriend, offensive tackle Bo Stevens, drawing a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness in the process.

“It was arguably the highlight of the season,” said West Haven football coach Johnny Levi.

Philanthropic Cubs give unused champagne to poor African villagers

African villagers traveled long distances to receive free champagne courtesy of the underperforming Chicago Cubs.

African villagers traveled long distances to receive free champagne courtesy of the underperforming Chicago Cubs.

SOMEWHERE IN AFRICA—After finishing the regular season with 97 victories and home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, the Chicago Cubs decided it was OK to buy enough champagne to meet the demands of three locker-room celebrations.

Oops.

Each case of champagne included a handwritten note from Cubs G.M. Jim Hendry.

Each case of champagne included a handwritten note from Cubs G.M. Jim Hendry.

But Cubs officials decided to turn this questionable, jinx-fulfilling purchase into something positive: the team shipped nearly 347 cases of bubbly to an impoverished African village, reportedly located in a little-known area of Sierra Leone’s Bonthe district.

“If the [NFL’s New England] Patriots can clothe Nicaraguans with their presumptive 19–0 T-shirts, then, by God, we can send some of our hastily purchased celebratory alcoholic beverage to Africans who are probably thirsty or something,” said Cubs PR man Jeff Skedsmanik. “Until [Alfonso] Soriano is removed from the leadoff spot and our infielders learn how to catch and/or throw, we won’t need the stuff anytime soon.”

Position players Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, and Ryan “The Riot” Theriot and pitchers Jason Marquis and Ryan Dempster accompanied the shipment to Africa. They were greeted with a hero’s welcome, thanks to an announcement that referred to the players as “2008 World Series champions.”

“What, like they’re going to figure out the truth?” Skedsmanik quipped.

Villagers lined up around the town square to obtain their share of the beverage. Many were disappointed that the Cubs hadn’t sent sport beverage or bottled water or first baseman Derrek Lee.

Tempers flared during the seventh inning of the stickball game between the villagers and the Cubs.

Tempers flared during the seventh inning of the stickball game between the villagers and the Cubs.

Nonetheless, the villagers gave the bubbly a try. Despite a few minor incidents—several villagers fell ill from the alcoholic drink, and Theriot managed to seriously injure a town elder with a stray flying cork—things reached a point where everyone seemed to be having a good time. The villagers ended up challenging the Cubs to a game of stickball, extending the Cubs’ losing streak in the process with a 13-4 beatdown.

“Best of 5?” asked Dempster, who took the loss after giving up eight earned runs in 3-2/3 innings pitched.

Despite the loss, the players who made the trip seemed upbeat.

“Hey, it’s all for the love of the game and your fellow man, albeit one who earns way less money than me,” said Ramirez, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the stickball game. “If it means we can do this next year, I can’t wait to choke in the playoffs again.”

Feeling the crunch: Rice Krispies release legendary Crackle

According to Rice Krispies management, Crackle (center) is no longer with the team.

According to Rice Krispies management, Crackle (center) is no longer with the team.

CHICAGO—In the wake of another disappointing season and facing the prospect of an astronomical payroll, breakfast cereal behemoth Rice Krispies announced the release of center mascot Crackle on Thursday.

“We have been looking up at Frosted Flakes, Wheaties, and Froot Loops in the standings for years, despite our league-leading payroll,” said D.B. Kellogg, general manager of the Krispies. “Our evaluation? Crackle can’t be counted on in crunch time.”

Crackle has played a key role for the Krispies for 40 years—he and fellow Krispies Snap and Pop formed the most formidable trio in cereal-aisle history. Yet Crackle’s contract was set to expire after the 2009 season, and team brass seemed reluctant to renegotiate his deal, given the team’s dismal returns of late.

While Snap and Pop signed long-term extensions before the 2008 season, Crackle and his agent, the iconic Mikey from Life Cereal, played hardball in their pursuit of riches that would rival the compensation packages of Tony the Tiger and Count Chocula.

“We knew our contract pitch to Mikey would be a hard sell,” Kellogg said. “As we all know, that kid has a real stubborn streak—he doesn’t like anything.”

The team took a hard stand, threatening to send Crackle down to Crispy Rice, the team’s affiliate in the Malt-O’-Meal League. After that threat failed and another unremarkable season passed, Kellogg sought a trade partner, and nearly pulled off an 11th-hour deal with Lucky Charms for Lucky the Leprechaun.

Might Threepio return to cereal?

Might Threepio return to cereal?

However, Crackle insisted that any deal with Lucky Charms would include a clause allowing the administering of physical harm to any young children trying to make off with his Lucky Charms. The deal fell through, leaving the Krispies no choice but to cut ties with their longtime pitchman.

“We didn’t see eye to eye with the folks at Lucky Charms,” Mikey said. “There’s no sense crying over spilled milk.”

While Crackle will seek new employment via free agency, the Krispies will look to maintain the three-player dynamic. A new middle man could come from a trade—rumor has it that King Vitamin wants to leave the throne for one shot at a championship ring—or by making a pitch to a retired legend.

“Maybe C-3PO would want to get back in the cereal game,” Kellogg said. “Our new catchphrase could be ‘Snap, Babble, Pop.'”

Rams QB petitions for “5-Mississippi” pass-rush rule

ST. LOUIS—Rams quarterback Marc Bulger on Wednesday submitted a formal request to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in hopes of having a “5-Mississippi” pass-rush rule instituted before the Rams’ first game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I’m one more big hit away from becoming a certified marshmallow-head,” Bulger said after a discouraging practice in which he was repeatedly sacked by the scout team defense. “I’ve always wanted to meet a matador, and it appears management has granted that wish by signing five of them to play offensive line for the Rams.”

In a seven-page petition faxed to the league office, Bulger spelled out the definition of his “5-Mississippi” rule: the defense must count aloud “1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississippi, 4-Mississippi, 5-Mississippi” before attempting to rush the quarterback. Bulger’s rule is commonly observed in schoolyard contests and backyard games across the United States.

 

A common sight for Rams QB Marc Bulger. (Simon Bruty/SI)

A common sight for Rams QB Marc Bulger. (Simon Bruty/SI)

Bulger cited the Rams affinity for allowing sacks—especially as the health of left tackle Orlando Pace continues to decline—and mentioned that some of the linemen just have names that don’t instill confidence in a signal caller.

“When one of your linemen is [right guard Richie] Incognito, you start to wonder if they’ll show up on game day,” Bulger wrote.

The Rams’ golden arm also penned a concession that the defense could be allowed one immediate rush per four downs, but that the quarterback would have the option to forgo the center-quarterback exchange and begin the play holding the ball 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage—the schoolyard version of the shotgun formation.

In the document’s final section, labeled “Innovative Thoughts,” Bulger suggested the quarterback could earn an “immunity necklace” a la Survivor by going five pass plays without being sacked or by running for positive yardage or getting back to the line of scrimmage without fumbling the ball.

Bulger’s counterpart in Sunday’s game, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, said he’s not willing to go as far as a “5-Mississippi” delay, but might throw his support behind some sort of compromise.

“I grew up with the ‘5-Chicago’ rule, and it seemed to make everyone happy,” McNabb said. “Three syllables are plenty.”

Goodell has yet to publicly comment on Bulger’s petition; a source from the commissioner’s office said Goodell “will probably do a ‘5-Mississippi’ count before reacting to the request.”

Report: Blue Edwards actually black

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—A photograph from the early 1990s has surfaced revealing that onetime Utah Jazz forward Theodore “Blue” Edwards is actually black.

“Well, I’ll be,” said Jeff Hornacek, Edwards’s teammate during the 1994-95 season.

The monumental photo is published below. It shows Edwards being guarded by Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who continues to remain mum on the subject of Blue’s blackness—he refused to comment for our report.

On a different note related to this photo: it looks as though a falcon is about to land on Magic Johnson’s ass. Doesn’t it?

Kitna: Thanks for the backhanded compliments

AP/Duane Burleson

AP/Duane Burleson

DETROIT—Lions starting quarterback Jon Kitna has been hearing the preseason buzz that has flooded sports talk radio and television outlets such as ESPN and Fox Sports, most of which reluctantly identifies him as the best quarterback in the signal caller–challenged NFC North Division.

The halfhearted praise, which is usually accompanied by smirks, chuckles, and utterances such as “No, I mean it!” or “Well, maybe Tarvar–no, I’ll go with Kitna,” has prompted a one-word response from the pride of the Lions:

Thanks.

“Seriously, it’s nice to be talked about in these pseudo-pleasantries and ‘least of four evils’ sentiments,” Kitna said, adding that “my receivers and coaches are dumb enough to believe some of it, which is good for me, bad for Drew Stanton.”

With an unproven Aaron Rodgers, an erratic Tarvaris Jackson, and the Kyle Orton/Rex Grossman circus as his peer group, Kitna has a pretty easy stay atop the NFC North QB food chain. As most observers see it, he simply needs to put on his uniform correctly, master the center-quarterback exchange four times out of five, and throw the ball way up high (a la Jeff Blake) so stud receivers Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson can make plays.

Kitna seems to have a full grasp of the backhanded compliment, as a recent comment showed.

“To hear guys filling weekend graveyard shift minutes on ESPNews singing my praises, or the fifth-string Fox Sports Radio guy give me a slight edge over that fragile, unproven guy in Green Bay, that means the world to me,” Kitna said. “It almost makes me want to refuse my salary, which, if you must know, is exponentially higher than the salaries of the people who are showering me with praise and chuckles.”