TOM CRUISE RELEASES KATIE HOLMES

But they looked so sane!!!

After 6 so-so years with the Cruise franchise, Katie Holmes has been released.  Cruise said it not a cost cutting maneuver and that he expects the team to contend in the coming years.  Holmes will weigh her options and try and find the right team; she still expects to be a starter.

Cruise had one of his best seasons in recent memory with the success of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Rock of Ages.  Katie had arguably her worst season yet, calling many fans to wonder why the franchise kept her around.

Cruise drafted Holmes back in 2005 and made her the starter in 2006.  She came from an uber-talented draft class including Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johanssen and, rumored at the time, Bradley Cooper.

Could’ve had an Avenger and you took First Daughter?

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STUDY: WOMEN’S QUIDDITCH PLAYERS “MOST SEXUALLY ACTIVE ATHLETES” ON CAMPUS

(*NOTE: As the writer is not a Harry Potter fan, attempted puns may be erroneous or nonsensical.)

“Broomstick.”

“Total broomstick.”

“Omigod, I can’t even imagine.”

“Weeeeeell ladies… some of us don’t have to. Wand.”

“GET OUT!!!! That’s a shame.”

“I don’t care– I’d let that thing transmogrify me anytime.  After all, it’s not the size of the wand, it’s the motion of the potion.”

“Yeah, but careful, Marce! Present company excepted, you don’t know where that wand has been!”

The girls dissolve into a fit of laughter and high-fives, only stopping to sip their drinks and refocus on the next tasty dish that crosses their line of sight. On it goes, at least until the dance floor starts to fill up– once senior captain Blair Treedle and her squad get up to make their way into the sea of people and shake it to some Ursher, who knows where they’ll be leaving from to get to tomorrow’s team meeting?  Despite this, all the girls will agree that it’s still a “light night” for the Rutgers University Women’s Quidditch Team. The self-dubbed “Scarlet Wenches” are known campus-wide for practicing hard, playing harder, and hooking up with a frequency beyond the comprehension of a normal Muggle.

“Look. We don’t run, ’cause we [are] fly,” Scarlet Wench sophomore forward (or something) Tamara Black tells me. “And when you fly like us, you tend to land on whatever spot down there looks good!” The other girls nod in assent as the music pumps around them. “So when lame-ass bitches see us roll in, they [unintelligible; possible disappearing-spell incantation] theyselves out the way and let us get ours!”

And they’re not unique. A new poll by Quinnipiac University reveals that, all across the country, women’s Quidditch players are getting de-scarved more than any other team on campus. More than men’s lacrosse. More than women’s soccer. Even more than football.

The men and other women at the bar aren’t surprised. “Some of the sororities are pretty bad, but the Wenches are out of control,” says a male junior who doesn’t wish to be named. “I heard that, in the captains’ house off-campus, they have a huge board with the name of every officer in every frat, and all the student leaders. Like, 60% of the names are crossed off. And it’s not like they’re just laying down for us; these women will break you in half. They deliberately try [to] draw blood.”

RUN!!!

The stories repeat from school to school. Some think that it’s been the administration keeping Duke Lacrosse in check in recent years, but most on campus suspect that Lady Devils Quidditch has a lot to do with keeping the boys satiated– or dominated, depending on who you ask. The University of Miami’s Magicanes and the Lady Gators from Florida have reputations from Key West to Daytona. Taunting chants fly back and forth in matches between the Boston University Lady Terriers (“We screwed the b****-*s!” Clap, clap, clapclapclap) and the Boston College Lady Eagles (“We used BC!” [i.e. “birth control”] Clap, clap, clapclapclap). “Stop the Ducks” chants (“STD! STD! STD!”) are as popular at Oregon State as a wide variety of Beaver-related humor is at Oregon.

Despite all of this, there is a sisterhood amongst female Quidditch players nationwide. “Yeah we’ll beat ’em down like half-breeds on the field during a tournament, but a lot of times we turn around and tell ’em where the hot spots are for after,” Junior defenseman Marcie Shale says. “After all, there’s nothing like getting that golden snitch, right ladies???” At this, the girls raise their glasses and let out a hearty cheer.

Rony Josaphat, honorary Scarlet Wench

APPLE COMMERCIAL FEATURES HOCKEY, RUINS IT

Maybe you saw it at your best friend’s house.  And it gave you vertigo. You tried counting to four, but that didn’t work.  You can’t escape it– you’ve been touched, and you must prepare.

Hockey fans across North America are lamenting the inclusion of their sport in the latest commercial from tech corporation/culture club Apple, Inc.  Long the purview of an obscure, insular group of enthusiasts, hockey’s showcase on the Super Bowl (R) of American trendsetting is sure to bring new eyeballs to the game.  Unwanted eyeballs, according to Regina, Saskatchewan resident and hockey blogger Michael Andreczyk.  This is the Sports met Andreczyk at McCharlie’s, a local eatery famous for it’s “Curse of Ham ‘n’ Eggs” breakfast platter.

"We gots lox 'n' bagels too, boss! Oooooooeee!"

“I was like ‘No. Oh no,’ ” Andreczyk said in his hilarious, mooselike Canadian accent.  “Folks prancing around the ice in their skinny jeans and their scarves, and the glasses…. oh no.”  It took great effort for This is the Sports not to spit out his Black Death-Metal Cherry Sportsade at the last “oh no.” But listen past the throat-nasality evocative of a learning-disabled children’s party clown, and his concern evokes sympathy.

The 30-second spot, airing on NBC and the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUSlost) during NHL games, goes like this:  Under an upbeat Fleet Foxes cover of Nine Inch Nails‘s “Closer”, two lines of dressed-as-you’d-imagine young people slip-slide in toward an iPhone 4GS with a picture of a hockey puck on its screen.  The smiling, laughing group passes the iBiscuit back and forth until one of the presumed wingers nudges a too-cool-for-school shot towards a goaltender wearing a hockey mask tricked out to look like a bright yellow smiley face.  The puck on the screen bursts into flame, the goalie whiffs the save, turns around, and the phone– wait for it– has burned a hole through the back of the net.  Adorably coiffed heads peer through the hole,  voice-over says something about being even faster than before, Apple logo, fin.

Larry the Needless Economic Consumption Troll lives in your subconscious.  iDevices make him happy.

“That’s not what the game is aboot about,” Andreczyk continued.  Where’s the hard hittin’?  Where’s the goalie with the rubber spine, eh?  None of those kids in that commercial were missin’ any teeth!  Hell, they didn’t even have skates on!”  His eyes held a pleading look before he peered down despondently into his Sportsade Chernobylemon-lime.

After lunch, we walked over to the sports shop, where This is the Sports spotted a young, light-skinded [but not quite redbone] African-Amer–, well, “black”, I guess, in Canada– man, with Tina Fey glasses and the kind of afro black people don’t wear anymore, checking out some hockey sweaters.  We overheard him ask the sales associate if they had any sweaters of teams that were big in the ’80s but don’t exist anymore.  Once This is the Sports gave Andreczyk unspoken approval to speak negatively of another black person in This is the Sports‘s presence, Andreczyk lamented openly (still beginning with the obligatory “it’s not ’cause he’s–“shoulder-shrug–“y’know, but”). “I’m just really worried about what’s gonna happen to the game I love– the game my country loves– if these guys take it over.”

Anarchy. Pure anarchy.

This is the Sports couldn’t help but nod in understanding.  It’s a tough spot Andreczyk and his fellow hockey fans have found themselves in.  Sure you wanna share your love, but you’d like to do it on your own terms, in your own time.  Then this commercial comes out, and all of a sudden the biggest company in the United States (and the subculture that follows it) is poised to make you its girl.  Whether you like it or not.

–Rony Josaphat.  Ooooooooee.

BIG TEN TO CHANGE NAME TO “BIG TEN√-1”

PARK RIDGE, ILL– Describing their situation as “complex,” Big Ten Commissioner James Delaney has decided to finally adjust the conference’s name after two decades of their moniker belying the actual number of member universities.  The commissioner announced the move in a 5:38 am ET conference call to major news organizations, to which he was forty-five minutes late.

This announcement came a year after Delaney marked the inclusion of the organization’s 12th football program, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a split into two divisions, named “Legends” and “Leaders.” Delaney said that, considering the realignment taking place in college football, he couldn’t say for sure whether the number of teams in the Big Ten√-1 would grow or shrink in the near future, and that this was the best way for his forward-thinking conference to adapt.

Big Ten√-1 Commissioner Delaney.

Reaction at member institutions was mixed.  Students at Purdue and Northwestern hailed the move, while a student at Ohio State, when asked about the name change, grinned vacantly before running to a trash can to throw up. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, perhaps confused at the early hour, initially responded harshly to the move on Twitter, tweeting, “if this overgrown union thinks that they can radicalize in my state, they must be imagining things.”  The governor later issued a retraction.

At the close of the conference call, Delaney, seemingly suppressing giggles, reiterated that the conference’s new official name for publication was in fact “Big Ten√-1,” and should be printed as such.  He gave no word on whether the conference would accept “Big 10i.

TIM TEBOW DEFEATS PITTSBURGH MAYOR/DARK WIZARD LUKE RAVENSTAHL

Tim Tebow, at rest.

And with a heave of his mighty spear and a cry that shook the bones of death himself, the golden child vanquished his foe, and put an end to the malevolent one’s quest of  world domination.

But this isn’t a homeric retelling of Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow’s 80+ yard overtime throw to Damaryius Thomas.   This actually happened.  With an actual spear.

As previously reported on This Is the Sports, a strangeness has beset the NFL, particularly the AFC teams, beginning last August with mysterious attacks on AFC South starting quarterbacks.  No one knew what to make of these occurances until late Tuesday night, when a great hue a cry rose over the Ohio Valley.  The team flight from Denver to Boston for this weekend’s divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots was laid over due to “strange lights in the sky.”  But Tebow alone amongst the passengers understood– this was the call.

Unbeknownst to his Bronco teammates, Tebow slipped out of the airport and met up with Commander Oeikann, exalted Seraph of the Century Order by the Grace of Elohim.  Oeikann was an angel. The only witness to their conversation was Billy, a poor 7-year-old  from a broken home who longs for adventure. “The angel said, ‘Come young warrior Tebow, for you know what you must do.  We will fly to Pittsopolis, and it is there where you must lead the armies of heaven in battle against the dark wizard….. Ravenstahl.'”

"CREEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!"

“They said that they’d bring me along to bear witness,” Billy recounted in our interview, as his eyes predictably filled with wonder.

In a flash, Billy says, the trio was in downtown Pittsburgh, under dark skies intermittently streaked with red lightning and shaken by peals of thunder.  “There was deep, evil laugh,” Billy says, and slowly, hordes of smoke-breathing demons with hearts as black as coal began to swarm around us.  ‘Foolish boy,’ it said, ‘your meddling has lead you to your end!'”  This was the voice of Ravenstahl, the evil wizard and current mayor of Pittsburgh.  Tebow, now dressed in the cloth and armor of a poor shepherd boy, spoke.  “Ravenstahl! I am but a humble boy, born in the Philippines to parents who love the Lord and despair of violence and evil.  But if I must…. I will vanquish thee.”  “Do your worst, Boy,”  Billy said Ravenstahl sneered, “…you will but soil my cloak.”   To which Tebow replied, “Oh yeah?  …’Preciate that.”  He then raised his left hand.  “In the name of God the Father, El-Shaddai, Alpha and Omega, who said to Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM’,” Tebow is reported to have said, “I humbly cry– armies of heaven, come forth!”

(Unintelligible)

What followed, Billy said, was a sound like no other.  Indescribable, filling the child with the warmest feeling imaginable, “like instantly getting 100 likes when you post something on facebook.”  Down from the sky the Seraphim descended, marching behind Tebow.  The battle raged, splintering time, until, as described above, Tebow threw his shining spear and brought Ravenstahl to his knees.  Within seconds, U.S. Steel issued a press release announcing the creation of 100,000 American jobs.

Neither Tebow nor the Broncos had any comment.  But there is no deception in the eyes of a child.  No matter what the score of the Broncos’ next game against New England, Tebow’s got another fan for life.  “The coolest part,” Billy said, “was that the spear didn’t even kill Ravenstahl.  It just knocked him down.  But Tebow walked up to him and was like, ‘I beseech thee–repent, and kneel before the one true God.'”

And he did.

Rony Josaphat, humble troubadour and bard of the adventures of Tim Tebow.

BRUCE WAYNE DOMINATES AT COMPANY PICNIC

 

Wayne Enterprises held its annual corporate outing at Gotham State Park this past Sunday. Employees as well as their friends and families were invited to spend the day competing in fun-filled sporting events for prizes and ribbons. While everyone seemed to enjoy the lighthearted get-together, the big surprise came when Chairman and CEO Bruce Wayne penciled himself in for the day’s activities and proceeded to dominate every event in rapid succession.

I am he who lives in the darkness, he who criminals fear, I AM....uh... an aristocrat

“I was quite surprised,” remarked Henry Levinne, Director of Corporate Relations. “I’ve been here for twenty-three years and I have never seen Mr. Wayne attend a single company retreat. In fact the only time I’ve ever seen him in person is when he almost ran over my foot riding a golden Segway at the Christmas party last year.”

The event was also unusual because the rules for the outing clearly state that each participant must be placed on a team of eight yet Mr. Wayne insisted on competing by himself. Despite being outmanned, the billionaire philanthropist went on to win every single event,  shattering previous years’ records by absurd margins.

“I was amazed by how strong he was!” marveled Selina Kyle, who refused to reveal her position with the company. “The only thing I’ve ever seen Bruce Wayne lift is a glass of Scotch.”

During the limbo challenge, Wayne stunned onlookers by smoothly gliding beneath a bar only twenty-eight inches off the ground. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” whispered Administrative Assistant Margot Huble, her hands shaking as she clutched a black coffee. “How can a human being do that?”

Mr. Wayne even managed to single-handedly win the tug-of-war. Guests looked on in horror as he dragged eight full grown men through thirty feet of mud.

To top that, the Boy Billionaire triumphed in the paintball challenge completely unarmed, opting instead to stalk the course and disarm each participant in complete silence.

Ted McCullough, captain of the red team and Junior Human Resources Manager, recalled being the last active player on the field. “I had captured the flag and was about to run back to our base when I turned around and noticed that every member of my team had vanished. Before I could even call out for help, he dropped out of nowhere, shattered my CO2 tank, and hoisted me into a tree with some sort of snare built from leaves and branches!” McCullough has since handed in his resignation. “It was the most terrifying moment of my life.”

Wayne finished out the day by sprinting the 100 meter relay by himself in 9.52 seconds. The time was not only good enough to beat runner up Marvin Bloomfield from Accounts Receivable, but also smashed the current world record set by Usain Bolt in 2009. After the loss, Mr. Bloomfield was immediately rushed to the recently renovated Gotham General Hospital , suffering from pulmonary edema. Wayne then handed Bloomfield a blank check to “take care of expenses” before doing one-handed pushups for thirty minutes straight.

Wayne demanded every last employee hit him with sticks

“I’m not surprised he has such energy,” snarled one anonymous mailroom employee. “I hear he spends his nights snorting cocaine with hookers until dawn!”

As the events wound down, several employees tried to get some face time with the elusive playboy. Unfortunately for them, Wayne managed to vanish just as the sun set, leaving the remaining guests in a state of frustration.

“If Mr. Wayne would be as interested in our overseas mergers and acquisitions as he was in the events this afternoon,” lamented Helen Ryerson, head of International Affairs, “then maybe our current stock prices wouldn’t be plummeting.”

Others remained impressed. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Bruce Wayne turned out to be Batman!” exclaimed Edward Nygma, the company’s Senior IT Manager and Systems Engineer. “But that’s impossible.” Mr. Nygma then stroked his chain curiously while staring off into the distance.

Wayne's birthday party 2008

ERIC MANGINI EDITED OUT OF CLASSIC SOPRANOS EPISODE

Eric Magini, former head coach of the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, will no longer be a part of the Soprano family.  Mangini appeared in the penultimate episode of the revered HBO series, where Tony Soprano took it upon himself to “go say hello” to the “Mangenius” during a family dinner in Artie Bucco’s restaurant (editor’s note: Mangini was not whacked.  Tony said hello for real.  The writer has been reprimanded for his vague prose). 

David Chase, creator of the series, said that the scene will not be cut from future airings, but will instead be remastered.  “Mangini isn’t the Jets coach anymore,’ said Chase.  ‘With updates in technology, there’s no reason to compromise on my original vision, which is to keep the Sopranos a realistic depiction of the New Jersey mob.  And making sure our sports references are up to date is key to that vision.”

A deal is in the works for current Jets coach Rex Ryan to take Mangini’s place, and actors John Ventimiglia, Edie Falco, and James Gandolfini will be brought in to reprise their roles.  The Vesuvio’s set will be rebuilt at Long Island City’s Silver Cup Studios, and the entire Sopranos crew will be brought back.  The entire writing staff (excluding Matthew Weiner, who is busy with some sixties soap opera starring the dumb, good looking guy without hands from 30 Rock) is being reassembled to come up with a nickname for Bucco to call Ryan.  Any references to feet are being shelved, as the experienced writing crew doesn’t want to go for “the easy shit.”

When asked if he would undergo the same process when a new Jets coach is hired, Chase responded, “Absolutely.  Now fuck off,” before slamming the door on this writer’s fingers.  The remastered version of The Blue Comet will air in March on HBO 2.