“You’re not my real ref!” say NFL players to new replacements

NEW YORK CITY – Though the labor battle between the NFL and its officials is mostly about money, one cannot ignore the emotional toll it takes on the league’s players. The replacement officials, who have been working preseason games and might continue officiating into the regular season, have not been particularly well received by players across the league, who believe the refs don’t really care for them and are trying to take the real refs away forever. “The new refs, they’re not as nice, and they smell different, and one of them gave me a penalty even though I was being a good boy,” said LeSean McCoy through sniffles at a press conference last week. “They’re not my real refs, and I hate them!” Despite bringing Snickers ice cream bars for the players and praising them for how cool they look in their shoulder pads, the new referees have been unable to bond with the players in any meaningful way. This mostly comes down to a lack of trust. “The [...]


MLB stars aim to put Schwarzenegger out of work

Even though “The Expendables 2″ just hit theaters, here are some baseball folks stringing together some impressive auditions to star in the next sequel. C.C. Sabathia was supposed to be in the video, too, but he was off auditioning to be the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the next Ghostbusters flick.

U.S. water polo team returned to SeaWorld

ORLANDO – Home from London after several grueling weeks of Olympic competition, the U.S. water polo teams were returned to their rightful home at SeaWorld Orlando Friday morning. Transported from Orlando International Airport in a 20,000-gallon water tank mounted to a truck bed, the athletes finally concluded their 4,000 mile journey from the U.K. when they were greeted by cheering tourists at the theme park’s entrance. “Even though we didn’t perform up to our expectations at the Olympics, it’s still wonderful to receive such a warm welcome,” said men’s captain Tony Azevedo. “We still feel like heroes, and it’s great to be home.” The women’s team, which won its first ever Olympic gold, was placed in an exhibit tank in an underwater restaurant designed to make guests feel like they’re living among the marine life. The women will swim wearing their gold medals, and they’ll recreate memorable plays from the Olympics for guests who reward them with sardines. The men’s team, still agitated from their eighth place finish, will be [...]

Powerade releases broth-based sports drink just in case Gatorade was thinking about doing it

ATLANTA – Powerade, a sports drink company owned by Coca-Cola, surprised market investors Thursday afternoon when it introduced a new broth-based beverage into stores nationwide. The drink, called SouperQuench, contains 60 percent chicken broth and is accented with a lemon-lime flavor. The formulation includes four key electrolytes, as well as a rich helping of salt to restore all the saltiness lost through perspiration. Powerade VP of Product development Adam Deacon claims it’s a blockbuster moment for the sports drink industry. “People are always asking ‘What’s next?’ when it comes to Gatorade, but just because they hold an 80 percent market share doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can innovate,” explained Deacon. “So we tried to predict where Gatorade was going next, and the obvious conclusion we reached was a broth drink.” “But we beat ‘em to it,” he added. Representatives from Gatorade responded to our inquiries about whether they were developing a similar beverage, and they assured us that this wasn’t the case. “We have no interest in developing, [...]

Houston Astros grant asylum to Wikileaks’ Assange

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros announced Thursday that they had granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum. The 41-year-old whistleblower, who is currently in Britain, is facing extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of rape and sexual assault. Team owner Jim Crane made the announcement following Wednesday’s news that British authorities might arrest Assange. “Julian Assange is not wanted by his country. Just like us, his efforts are underappreciated and he is in danger of being harmed by those who once embraced him. He is an Astro now,” said Crane in a press conference. The Astros, who are currently 33 games out of first place with a 39-80 record, would welcome Assange to live in Minute Maid Park, where he could help with the maintenance crew or even earn some playing time as a relief pitcher. Manager Brad Mills explained that the team’s decision to reach out to Assange had very little to do with politics and was instead an effort at solidarity with someone as equally reviled by [...]

Gabby Douglas kidnapped by manic badger

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Though the Olympics are officially over, the media frenzy surrounding all-around gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is just beginning. The 16-year-old has drawn loads of attention since her return to the States, with an appearance on the Tonight Show and a celebratory reception from her hometown. But presently she finds herself at the center of a news story she couldn’t have foreseen: a hostage story. As Douglas was walking from her car towards a coffee shop Thursday morning, an American stink badger burst from a coverage of shrubs and grabbed her by the wrist, quickly scurrying away before those with the gymnast could save her. Douglas, no larger than the average house cat, was helpless to defend herself against the badger and screamed in terror as she was abducted. “It was horrible,” recalled witness Susan Oberle, 42. “I couldn’t tell if it was going to eat her or mate with her, but it definitely had a plan for what it wanted to do.” The badger carried [...]

Aroldis Chapman disfigures child with 83-mph underhand toss into stands

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman has been dismantling opponents all season with fastballs regularly topping 103 mph, but his arm strength can sometimes prove to be a liability. The Cuban flamethrower caused an alarming scene on Wednesday when he tossed a ball into the stands and struck a nine-year-old fan in the head. Despite being a gentle underhanded toss meant as a souvenir, the ball left his hand at a blistering 83 mph, giving the child no chance to protect himself. Stadium medical staff immediately attended to the child and transported him to the hospital, where he was rushed into surgery to remove the ball, which had literally embedded itself into his forehead. “It was quite a horrifying situation,” said Dr. Larry Brum, a reconstructive surgeon at Shriners Hospital for Children. “The patient’s skull went concave like an empty soda can, and the ball kind of just stuck there, so we had to use a medical device not unlike a shoehorn to wedge it free.” Added Dr. Brum with a [...]

Melky Cabrera out for season with shrunken testicles, splotchy acne, inexplicable rage

  SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants announced on Wednesday that outfielder Melky Cabrera will sit out exactly 50 games in order to recover from several nagging ailments. The 2012 All-Star Game MVP, whose power hitting statistics have been growing at an unusually high pace in recent seasons, was immediately cut from Wednesday’s lineup after manager Bruce Bochy took an uncomfortable phone call from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball that was most likely completely unrelated. In recent weeks Cabrera has complained to the team’s medical staff about strange patches of acne on his back, as well as an alarming reduction in his testicle size. Teammates have also noted that he’s been unusually irritable in the locker room, oftentimes exploding in rage without prompting. “We all kind of just avoid him these days because we’re scared he’s going to attack us,” said Giants catcher Buster Posey. “Last week he brought in a handgun and shot up the Gatorade cooler because he felt it was looking at him funny. Not very [...]

Chad Johnson books recurring role on “COPS” reality show

MIAMI, FL – Chad Johnson, formerly Ochocino, has had an embarrassing and despicable month, having been arrested on domestic violence charges and consequently released by the Miami Dolphins. The controversial wide receiver’s August only got worse when VH1 announced that they were pulling the plug on a forthcoming reality show starring Johnson and his wife, Evelyn Lozada. But things might be looking up for the 34-year-old former all-star, as his agent has confirmed that the FOX reality show COPS has booked Johnson to star in an undisclosed number of episodes in coming seasons. COPS, which follows the activities of police officers in crime-heavy cities, would ostensibly take footage of Johnson battering important women in his life—or simply those who are physically weaker than him—and then film the ensuing scenes of him getting arrested and taken to jail. “Chad is an erratic, compelling character, and we know we can count on him to deliver the kinds of deplorable behavior our viewers appreciate most,” said FOX Executive Vice President of Programming Bill [...]

Kim Kardashian dumps Kanye for John Clayton

NEW YORK – Celebrity socialite Kim Kardashian is raising eyebrows around Hollywood following her decision to dump rapper Kanye West for ESPN analyst John Clayton. Her split with the hip-hop mogul was made public shortly after TMZ published photos of her and Clayton getting cozy at a New York City nightclub. “It is true that Kim and Kanye have parted on amicable terms, though there will be no comment made at this time regarding any other possible relationships,” said a spokesman for Kardashian. Sources close to Kardashian report that the reality show star prefers to date men involved with sports, echoing her previous relationships with Reggie Bush, Miles Austin, and Kris Humphries. Though the 58-year-old Clayton has never played sports professionally, his renown as a football writer has allegedly made Kardashian “lightheaded with desire.” “Oh yeah, she’s really got a thing for older men,” said a close friend of Kardashian’s on condition of anonymity. “She loves that huge sexy brain of his, his twee little outfits, the wildly erotic way [...]

Fully Americanized David Beckham spotted riding Hoveround in Denny’s

LOS ANGELES – Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, who left his native England in 2007 to play soccer in the US, is showing signs that he has completely acclimated to his American surroundings. The 37-year-old was seen Wednesday afternoon driving a Hoveround motorized scooter in a Denny’s restaurant, where he was dining with his wife and children. Restaurant manager Dale Sorley confirmed the reports, noting that Beckham seemed no different than any of his other guests who stop in to dine. “If folks hadn’t whipped out their cell phones to take pictures, I would’ve just assumed he was an average joe,” said Sorley. “He was just rolling around on his scooter, wearing a Big Dog shirt, ignoring his kids—just like your typical American.” Katherine Billings, a waitress at the restaurant, noted that Beckham ordered multiple items from the Tour of America menu section, including the Midwestern Meat & Potatoes Sandwich, the Philly Cheesesteak Omelet, and the Red, White, & Blue Pancakes Breakfast. “I asked him if he was trying to load [...]