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Manchester United, Volleyball Duo Crack Top 25

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

A couple of unlikely teams find themselves in the Top 25 preseason rankings, as we continue the week’s countdown.

Manchester United

Manchester United

#15) Manchester United

Coming off a Premier League championship, Manchester United should have a strong season. The team has no spending limit and has created a football juggernaut. Man U starts the season as 5/1 favorites and could reach the top of the BCS rankings.

#14) University of Wisconsin

Wisconsin fans are eagerly awaiting the start of another NFL season. The Packers were a disappointment in last years playoffs, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, fans believe they will see a second Super Bowl win in three years. They also are aware of the University of Wisconsin.

May Treanor and Walsh Jennings

May Treanor and Walsh Jennings

#13) Misty May Treanor & Kerri Walsh Jennings

After three straight gold medals, May Treanor and Walsh Jennings are primed to compete for another championship. They would be favored against many teams of six, so we feel like they could do well against teams of 11, too. Playing on turf, however, is different than playing on sand, as any player will tell you.

#12) University of Arkansas

In April, head coach Bobby Petrino was involved in a motorcycle crash while riding along with former volleyball player Jessica Dorrell, whom he had hired as a development coordinator for the football program. Petrino initially said he was alone. However, just minutes before a police report was to be released showing Dorrell was also aboard, Petrino revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with her.

Petrino was fired. During a university investigation, officials discovered Petrino made a previously undisclosed $20,000 cash gift to Dorrell. Dorrell may have received preferential treatment in her hiring to the football staff, as Petrino’s relationship with Dorrell was not disclosed and Petrino was on the hiring committee.

Petrino was succeeded by his mentor, who had been Arkansas’ special teams coach before briefly taking the head coaching job at Weber State.

So, that’s what’s going on in Arkansas.

#11) University of South Carolina



Steve Spurrier quietly sits in his dank lair, although his crooked grin eventually gives way to the rumble of low, guttural laughter. He dips a quill pen into chicken’s blood and writes furiously, developing plays that will confuse Georgia and destroy Tennessee. The laugh gains volume as he shuts he leatherbound playbook, made from the skin of lambs. He stands and flexes, maniacally laughing toward stone ceiling. For this is Spurrier’s year. Oh, yes. This is the year he will taste victory!

Countdown Continues with Pair of Georgia Teams

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

We continue our Preseason Top 25 countdown today with a pair of Georgia teams. It’ll be interesting to see who has bragging rights at the end of the season!

Georgia Bulldog

Georgia Bulldog

#20) University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is easily the second-best team in Georgia. It should compete for an SEC title, and fans are gearing up for another season of disappointment. Because LSU, Alabama and Arkansas also are in the SEC.

#19) Grayson High School

Grayson is easily the best team in Georgia. It starts the season ranked as the nation’s best high school team, because the country’s insatiable thirst for ranking things has extended its gnarly tentacles into high school sports, wrapping around vaunted high school talent and squeezing it until it bursts upward into the college and professional rafters, an arterial spray of sweat, tears and blood coating fans as they bask in obsession, hamburgers and compulsion, throwing their money toward athletes who are cursed to fail and suffocate in the fumes of perverse expectations.

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat

#18) University of Texas

The Longhorns must do well, because it’s the University of Texas. Whatever would we do if Texas didn’t get back on top? Maybe they can begin their return to greatness with their first game … against Wyoming. Fingers crossed.

#17) Clemson University

Clemson earlier this year lost the Orange Bowl 70-33 to West Virginia University. They should do fine in the ACC, though.

#16) Michigan State University

They fight in the name of Sparta, and they are fearless. But it never ends well.

Rep. Akin Confuses Vaginas with Parking Meters

By Chance Breckenridge
Political Reporter

ST. LOUIS - Rep. Todd Akin, R-Missouri, apologized today after comments he made Sunday regarding rape, saying he had confused the female anatomy with parking meters.



“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he said during the Sunday broadcast, adding even if the woman became pregnant, “the punishment ought to be of the rapist and not attacking the child.”

But by Monday morning, Akin was backtracking.

“I was thinking of how parking meters worked and got confused,” Akin explained. “You know how the parking meter knows if you put pennies in? I got that confused with rape. Because, you know, of course the vagina can’t do that sort of thing.”

Akin had attributed Sunday’s comments to medical evidence, although he didn’t specify a study claiming a woman’s reproductive organs could sense rape and shut down a potential pregnancy. Not even folklore and tales from the Middle Ages mentioned the magic vagina theory.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who in the past has supported Akin’s efforts to define forced rape in abortion legislation, has called for Akin to step down. Akin is currently running against Democrat Claire McCaskill, who this morning started organizing a victory celebration.

“I want to emphasize, though, I do not support the right to an abortion, even in cases of rape,” Akin said. “Perhaps we can learn from parking meter technology and figure out ways to develop smarter vaginas with sensors and such.”

And while Akin was speaking with this reporter, he received a text message. Digital imaging would later confirm the text was from Paul Ryan and said, “Please stop talking! Just go home and wait there until after election!”

Zips, Jets Make Top 25

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

The Cannon Newsletter sports department is pleased to reveal is first annual preseason college football rankings! Each day this week, we’ll look at five teams, starting today with numbers 25 to 21.

#25) University of Akron

The Zips last won on Sept. 24, 2011, managing to pull out two 1-11 seasons in a row. The team finished 103rd in passing and 100th in rushing and had the 116th ranked defense.

Akron was arguably last season’s worst team, so we thought it was only fair to place it at the bottom of the preseason rankings. They can only go up from here. The secret to a successful season will be building momentum from that first win, whenever that happens.

#24) Temple University

Temple Owl

Temple Owl

Temple triumphantly returns to the Big East this season as the unanimous preseason favorite. Pitt and Syracuse barely have football teams this year, and Rutgers is … Rutgers. The Big East has other teams, too.

But Temple and its underrated defense should sweep the conference this year, laughing all along the way about that one time when the Big East kicked out the school because it wasn’t good enough. And every Big East opponent will be so sad about playing Temple in the first place. It would be Shakespearean, except Shakespeare’s work was interesting.

#23) University of Alabama



After winning the national title earlier this year, Alabama is expected to take a big step back because Nick Saban hasn’t yet faced the karma from passing on Drew Brees when he was head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Saban instead picked Dante Culpepper. Culpepper, according to the some analysts, “sucked a big one,” while Brees has been one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.

Surely, Saban will pay for this at some point, and it might be this season. Roll Tide … out of the Top 25.

#22) Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech should have a solid season between losing its first game and choking when it plays for the ACC title game. They call it a turkey sandwich in Blacksburg.

#21) New York Jets

Sanchez, left, and Tebow

Sanchez, left, and Tebow

The Jets this offseason acquired college football’s best quarterback – Tim Tebow – and already had an okay college quarterback in Mark Sanchez. New York has a great college-level defense, and special teams should be spectacular against college competition. The team has tremendous college running backs, and a coaching staff that believes it can beat any team in college football. Expect New York to be a dark horse in the national title race.

German Diver Contests ‘Schmakin Hyman’ Score

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

LONDON - Stephan Feck, the German diver who’s made a splash on YouTube, is contesting his score of zero, which came during Monday’s 3-meter springboard preliminaries.



After three flips, which Feck dubs “strudel dudels,” he smacked on his back instead of entering the water with a dive. Feck calls it a “schmakin hyman,” and although he didn’t plan on executing the unusual move, he argues he did not deserve a zero.

“I should get some point for just jumping, like how American students will get some points on a test for just writing their names,” Feck said. “And I did my strudel dudels. Why no points for the strudel dudels?”

Olympic spokesperson Pip Crinkle called Feck’s dive “very unfortunate.”

“You just can’t land on your back,” he explained. “If he lands on his back, it’s not a dive. And therefore, he, of course, receives no points.”

Crinkle did not comment on Feck’s efforts to contest, but he did say he doesn’t expect the Oympic Committee to approve the schmakin hyman as an allowable entry.

Curiosity Kills Mars Cat

By Donald McFarland
Staff Writer

PASADENA, CALIF. - Life exists on Mars, and humans have already started killing it, according to NASA.

When the space rover Curiosity landed on Mars this weekend, it crushed one of the planet’s inhabitants, a cat-like creature without fur.

Mars Cat

Mars Cat

“It was quite unfortunate,” said Dr. Carl Allenwater, a NASA scientist. “The very first contact with life on Mars is manslaughter.”

Allenwater said NASA is working to establish communication with the cat aliens. Soon after the accident, Curiosity’s cameras recorded other cat creatures hissing and clawing at the vehicle. They then scurried and scattered.

“We were shocked,” Allenwater said. “Although one of Curiosity’s primary objectives was looking for signs of life, it was stunning to immediately make contact - literally - with cats. We were thinking more along the lines of water or little bacteria things. I’m speechless.”

Mitt Romney Looks to Buy Ohio

By Chance Breckenridge
Political Reporter

COLUMBUS, OHIO -  Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, was in Ohio this morning and made a shocking offer to Gov. John Kasich.



Romney wants to buy Ohio, and its 18 electoral votes, for $500 million.

“I love Ohio’s … trees and such … and I believe I could take very good care of it,” Romney said within earshot of reporters.

Kasich nervously looked around the room before asking Romney to join him in private. One of Romney’s aides started crying.

This reporter later caught up with Kasich, a Republican, and asked about their conversation.

“I think he was speaking in euphemisms,” Kasich said. “He is hoping to earn - or ‘buy’ - the support of Ohio citizens and keep his promises to them when he is president.”

But why the specific amount of $500 million? And is that a fair prices for a state?

“I just think he is very specific when it comes to euphemisms,” Kasich said. “I don’t want to discuss what Ohio would be worth, because … well … I’m just so tired. It’s been a long day.”

Ann Conner, a spokesperson for the Obama Administration, declined comment, saying only, “We usually just like to sit back and enjoy Mr. Romney’s ideas.”

David Ratcliff, a spokesperson for Romney, echoed Kasich, saying Romney’s words were not literal.

“He’s working hard to win Ohio, and for him, ‘buy’ is another word for ‘win,’” Ratcliff said.

But while this reporter and Ratcliff were talking, Romney entered the room and tried to whisper into Ratcliff’s ear, “Do you think they would take six-hundred?”

Ratcliff quickly ushered Romney from the room and returned a few minutes later.

“He was talking about Route 600 in Ohio,” Ratcliff said. “He was asking about directions. That’s all.”

But doesn’t he travel by jet?

“Euphemisms, dammit!” Ratcliff screamed. “Euphemisms!”

Crying Added as Gymnastics Event

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

LONDON - Less than a day after gymnastics competitions ended at the Olympics, organizers announced a major change for the 2016 Games.

Russia's Viktoria Komova

Russia's Viktoria Komova

“We’ve noticed there is a quite a bit of crying during the gymnastics events, and these athletes are rather good at it,” said Olympic spokesperson Pip Crinkle. “Why not make it part of the competition.”

Crinkle said crying will be part of both the group and individual competitions for both men and women. A major difference, though, is the women will cry to music.

“This should be great news for the Russians, who are excellent cryers,” said NBC gymnastics analyst Tim Daggert. “But other countries should do well, too.”

Organizers have yet to determine maximum score numbers for crying, but Crinkle suggested deductions could come with fake crying, uneven number of tears, saltiness and, of course, the number of hops after a gymnast stops crying.

Tim Tebow a Victim of Sanchez Prank

Quarterback Calls Trick ‘Dirty’

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

CORTLAND, NY - New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez has been busy pulling a series of pranks on backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

Before Thursday’s training camp session started, Tebow discovered his shoes were full of shaving cream.

“As soon as I stuck my feet in them, I thought, ‘That’s really dirty, Sanchez,’” Tebow laughed. “I knew it was him right away.”

But that wasn’t the day’s last prank. When Tebow started a warmup run Thursday morning, he saw the cleats had been screwed loose.

“I think that if I didn’t see that when I did, I could have taken a nasty fall,” Tebow said, smiling. “What a dirty, dirty trick. Mark really likes making camp fun.”

Coach Rex Ryan has said repeatedly Sanchez is the unquestioned starter, although Tebow had relatively better statistics last year as Denver’s starting quarterback. When he came to New York in an off-season trade, many speculated Tebow would end up the Jets starter.

Sanchez’s pranks during training camp have included a football with tacks glued to it, a bucket of acid propped above the locker room door and a viper placed in Tebow’s jersey. Tebow thus far has avoided the pitfalls.

“His pranks are pretty innovative,” Teblow laughed. “They’re all funny, but I also think they’re dirty. I think that’s what his nickname should be. ‘Dirty.’”

Sanchez declined to comment for this article.

Fast Food Gets Political

By Tina Roundhouse
Staff Writer

OAK BROOK, Ill -  With Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy last month speaking out against gay marriage last month, garnering response from both supporters and protesters, other fast food personalities are opting to enter the political arena.



“I won’t keep quiet any longer about Obamacare,” said Ronald McDonald during an interview with a local radio station. “It’s a move toward socialism, plain and simple. If you get a mcnugget lodged in your throat, you shouldn’t have to wait for the government to tell you which doctor can pull it out.”

McDonald said he usually tries to avoid politics and possibly angering patrons. “But if I feel this strongly about something, I’m not just going to keep grinning like nothing is wrong with the country. I mean, I always grin, but … you know what I mean.”

Meanwhile, Wendy - of Wendy’s fame - has expressed support for stem cell research.

“The recent change in our fries is a direct result of stem cell research, and I believe Taco Bell can credit the science for developing the Doritos shell,” she said. “I’ve also heard it can help fight certain diseases, so that’s good, too.”

The Burger King has, not surprisingly, expressed his support for an imperialist form of foreign policy.

“The U.S. is in a unique position to conquer nations and replace ideologies with burgers! Wonderful burgers!” he proclaimed.

Jared, the longtime Subway spokesman, is speaking out against gun control. During public appearances, he has started shooting his old jeans with a wide array of assault rifles.

Star, the former Hardee’s logo, has come out out against TARP and other government bailout efforts while unemployment grows and the gap between the upper and middle classes expands.

“I’m a fallen star after Hardee’s just decided to let me go while fat-cat executives got fatter,” Star said. “I’m sure one-percenters like Ronald McDonald are just fine with the way things are. But I stand with the 99 percent, and we’re not clowning around anymore!”