GREENWICH - Lebron James ended months of speculation last night when he announced during an ESPN special broadcast that he is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and entering the seminary.
Mr. James said he received a vocational calling from the Holy Spirit during Game Six of his teams NBA playoff game this past season.
According to Mr. James, the Holy Spirit was sitting court side, and spent the entire contest heckling him about joining the priesthood. “Now, I can finally reveal why I performed so poorly during the climactic Game Seven contest. I was torn between my desire to serve the one true Holy Roman Catholic church, and my goal of winning a championship for my home town. Something had to give. In the end, it was basketball.”
Concussed Pirates Catcher Thinks He’s Member of Major League Baseball Team, Additional Tests Ordered
PITTSBURGH – Ryan Doumit, the starting catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates who sustained a concussion during a game last Sunday at PNC Park, is still suffering the effects of the blow to his head.
“Our interviews with Ryan indicate that he may be having trouble separating fantasy from reality, or, in the worst case scenario, is entering the early stages of dementia,” said Pirates team physician Dr. Joseph Dunn.
“The poor fellow is under the impression that he is a member of a professional baseball team,” he continued, shaking his head slowly from side to side. “Can you imagine the trauma his brain must have endured to harbor such preposterous thoughts?”
PHILADELPHIA - Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic and self-described hockey fanatic, visited with members of the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday and informed them that he wouldn’t be shaving until after the team wins the Stanley Cup.
”Some people call me the Mad Monk,” he said. “I’m mad all right. Mad about the way these guys play the coolest game on ice!”
Mr. Rasputin is in town to deliver a series of lectures at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center on the effectiveness of staring as a way to combat juvenile hemophilia. “It worked for the Czar’s kid. It can work for yours.”
LOUISVILLE – Over four decades after he shook up the world by converting to Islam, sixty-eight year old former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali announced yesterday that he is changing religions – and names – once again. This time, he’s embracing Judaism.
”When you’re as great as I am, you need a faith that is just as great,” he told members of the Beth Israel Synagogue. “From this day forward, Allah and I are through. I am now a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And, I’d like to be called Irving Greenbaum. Shalom.” Then, in a shocking turn of events, Mr. Greenbaum told the congregation he had accepted his draft notice from the Israeli Army.
“I didn’t have no quarrel with them Viet Cong, but me and them Palestinians are gonna get it on,” he shouted. “If you were surprised when Nixon resigned, wait until I whup Ahmadinejad’s behind!”
Mr. Greenbaum said he looked forward to fulfilling his two year military committment, and to spending the remainder of his life behind the counter of the kosher delicatessen he plans to open when he returns.
The Milwaukee Brewers extended their home winning streak against the Pirates last night to twenty-two games with a historic 257-0 victory. Pirates starter Zach Duke, who surrendered 195 runs in 2 1/3 innings, was charged with the loss.
“I just didn’t have it tonight,” said the forlorn pitcher, who spoke with members of the media following the game. “I left too many pitches out over the middle of the plate. You can’t do that against a club like Milwaukee.”
Pirates manager John Russell was characteristically upbeat afterward, commenting on the game over a refreshing glass of lukewarm tap water. “I thought we hung in there, battled,” he said.
Roethlisberger Issues Statement Claiming “He’d Do It Again In A Minute”; Attorney Quickly Issues Retraction
PITTSBURGH – Embattled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger issued a press release yesterday claiming “he’d do it all over again” given the chance, swearing vengeance on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for punishing him with a six game suspension, and deriding behavioral therapy as “a waste of time talking to shrinks who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.”
Mr. Roethlisberger’s attorney, David Cornwell, quickly issued a retraction on behalf of his client, blaming a shoddy proofreader in his office for what he described as a “regrettable error.”
Mr. Cornwell’s retraction was an attempt to calm an outraged public that anticipated a statement of contrition from the Super Bowl winning signal caller following his league mandated punishment for furnishing alcohol to an underage coed in a Georgia nightclub.
PITTSBURGH – Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced that the Rust Belt Capital of the World will not demolish its iconic domed Civic Arena when the city’s hockey team, the Penguins, vacate it to take up residence in the new Consol Energy Center, but instead will construct an identical domed arena right next to it.
When the “duel arenas” are seen from the air, Ravenstahl explained they will simulate “a beautiful woman.”
The plan is crucial to Pittsburgh’s survival, the Mayor explained, because “our town has gone from a world-class city to a third-rate bupkis, and this will give us much-needed kinkiness cachet.”
“It will be like administering a massive shot of Viagra to the Burgh.”
NEW YORK – The consensus among NFL draft analysts is that this year’s class is the deepest class in recent memory for teams looking to add social deviants and miscreants to their rosters.
The 2010 NFL draft, which begins this evening, will be televised live to over three hundred countries around the globe. It will also be broadcast to galaxies beyond our own by the new NFL satellite, “Bednarik I.”
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. was effusive in his praise for what he described as a bumper crop of ne’er do wells.
NEW YORK – Less than forty-eight hours before the NFL draft, Commissioner Roger Goodell was arrested for participating in a melee that erupted in a mid-town gentlemen’s club on Tuesday afternoon.
Last night, the Commissioner issued the following statement: “I am disappointed in my behavior. I will be meeting with myself in the near future to discuss this matter and any possible disciplinary actions I may be facing. At this point, my investigation is ongoing. I am still in the early stages of gathering all of the facts. When I have an opportunity to sit down and talk to myself about the events in question I’ll be better able to make an informed decision.”
Mr. Goodell said he could be facing a possible suspension, or fine, or perhaps both. “I’m in some hot water here,” he said.
NEW YORK - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell emerged from a closed door meeting with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger yesterday and told a gathering of reporters that he was ordering the embattled signal caller to submit to counseling as a way of changing the behavior that has embroiled him in two separate sexual assault allegations in the past eight months.
The commissioner also ordered Mr. Roethlisberger to submit to voluntary castration.
“I’m hoping as a result of this meeting today and the punishments I have levied that these issues are going to be fixed once and for all,” said Mr. Goodell, who quickly added, “perhaps that’s a poor choice of words.”
PITTSBURGH – Minutes after it was announced Ben Roethlisberger won’t be charged with sexual assault in connection with a March 5 accusation by a 20-year-old college student, Mr. Roethlisberger declared that he has “learned a lot from my ordeal,” and said that he would celebrate by retaining Duke lacrosse stripper Crystal Gail Mangum for “a private show.”
Ms. Mangum, who gained national notoriety by falsely accusing three Duke University lacrosse players of rape, was flown to Pittsburgh where she met Mr. Roethlisberger at a secret location. There, she reportedly entertained him, without any witnesses, for one-half hour.
Mr. Roethlisberger admitted that “there was plenty of groping, and I made sure my DNA got all over her.” Midway through the show, Ms. Mangum reportedly stormed out ”because of something Roethlisberger said.”
Mr. Roethlisberger said he “trusts totally in Ms. Mangum’s goodwill that she won’t falsely accuse me of rape.” He added that, because he is a young, famous, wealthy athlete, he will continue to “have a good time with the ladies.”
AUGUSTA - Golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer tied the knot yesterday in a secret Wiccan same-sex marriage ceremony at storied Augusta National Golf Course.
The exclusive golf club is among the oldest covens of initiated Wiccan priests and priestesses in the Southeast United States.
The three-hour ceremony, presided over by Augusta Chairman Noah Swayne, included the sacrifice of a teenage boy and a young goat to the Pan-God while the wedding couple chanted from the Book of Shadows.
A smiling Palmer said the moment was bittersweet. “I only wish that my dear friend Dwight D. Eisenhower could be here to join Jack and me in a little ritualised sex magic.”
NEW YORK – Nike has released an ad some are calling ”disturbing” featuring a close-up of disgraced golfer Tiger Woods with the shocking, pre-recorded voice-over of the Three Stooges’ Moe Howard scolding him. Mr. Howard passed away in 1975.
The unmistakable impression is that Mr. Howard is chiding Woods for his notorious sex scandal.
Mr. Howard is heard to say: “I ought to murder you, you numb-skull. Remind me to kill you later. When I get outa this, I’m gonna tear you limb from limb!”
MORGANTOWN - President James Clements announced yesterday that West Virginia University would donate all unburned couches on campus to the citizens of Haiti to assist with earthquake relief efforts.
Maintenance workers spent the better part of the last forty-eight hours disassembling what students were calling “The Couch of Babel,” a colossal couch structure Mountaineer fans hoped to ignite into a towering inferno once their basketball team won the NCAA men’s championship.
“Alas, it was not to be,” said President Clements, who addressed reporters in front of the tattered, weather-worn sofa resting on the front porch of his residence.
PITTSBURGH – Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced that Pittsburgh is getting a disaster early warning system that will alert people of a pending catastrophe.
“Ten minutes before the start of every Pirates game, a siren will blare from Mellon Square, warning everyone a disaster is about to occur,” Ravenstahl said. “This system is long overdue and, no doubt, will spare countless people from experiencing a calamity.”
Ravenstahl also said he is confident that the city’s urgent request for federal disaster relief will be granted. “We are asking for funds on the same magnitude that the Gulf Coast received in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina because it will be at least as difficult to rebuild the Pirates as it was to rebuild New Orleans.”
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI expressed the Church’s “shame and remorse” for its involvement in “sinful and criminal” sex scandals in Ireland and the United States, and confirmed that he will play in this year’s Masters tournament.
“Obviously, the ratings for the tournament will be off the charts,” said Masters Chairman Noah Swayne. “To my knowledge, His Holiness has never played golf before, so it should be very interesting.”
Golf legend Arnold Palmer applauded the Pontiff’s decision to play at Augusta. “I think it’s the right thing for him to do, if he wants to put these scandals behind him.”
BRADENTON, Fla. – Dr. Bernie Holliday, newly hired mental conditioning coach for the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates, has voluntarily entered the Jimmy Piersall Clinic where he is reportedly being treated for severe depression.
According to one source in the Pirates front office who spoke on condition of anonymity, Holliday began his descent into madness shortly after watching Jeff Clement take infield practice in early February.
“That, plus the pitching getting bombed, and all of the strikeouts. It started wearing him down. For the last week, he’s just been sitting in his room with the lights out and the curtains drawn. I’ve had to put him on my shoulder and carry him to the car just to get him to come to these exhibition games.”
It is believed that Dr. Holliday’s prolonged exposure to Pirate baseball this spring propelled him into a near-death spiral of melancholy.