Friday, October 27, 2006

BIG BEN UNABLE TO PERFORM "BERNADETTE'S WEIRD ARM THING," FORCED TO SIT OUT SUNDAY'S GAME AGAINST RAIDERS


Coach Bill Cowher today issued a statement that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could not pass the standard examination given to professional athletes to establish whether or not they have fully recovered from a concussive injury, and must therefore be sidelined this Sunday and replaced by Charlie Batch.

Roethlisberger was unable to successfully perform "Bernadette's Weird Arm Thing," the name of the medical test which is derived from the Boston-based, 1970s Public Broadcasting System series, "Zoom."

Bernadette, who became a doctor and practiced for many years as a neurosurgeon specializing in sports medicine after the demise of the show -- which featured children in cheap blue sweatshirts who spoke "Ubbie-Dubbie" (an internationally recognized language, by the way) -- now leads a reclusive life in the backwoods of Maine, somewhere near horror author Stephen King.

She had penned in her autobiography two decades ago that she learned the move from her father, who had first seen it in Chinese operas.

I thought it was really dumb, and so did pretty much everybody else, and then there was the incessant taunting ... But after completing medical school and years of psychotherapy necessitated by being a child star known for "the weird arm thing," I decided to embrace the move and find a way to use it in a constructive way that could ultimately benefit mankind.


The highly calibrated test, which among other things, checks for range-of-motion ability and hand/eye coordination, was instituted as standard medical practice in 1986, and is considered to be the neuroscientific breakthrough equivalent of the Rorschach Test, which is used to evaluate a person's psychological condition.

After failing the test, which was administered at the UPMC practice facility on the South Side, witnesses say a befuddled-looking Roethlisberger was seen wandering aimlessly around the playing field screaming, "Cut me, Mick!"

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