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would you buy a used sportsball hero from this man?


Over the weekend, a big thing happened in sportsball, which you know we are always on top of here at yr Wonkette. Turns out that the freedom-haters over at Al Jazeera declared jihad on All-American Hero Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning by reporting that he got some sweet sweet human growth hormone from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic. That is a no-no, Peyton Manning! Did you learn nothing from Lance Armstrong? Do you really want to have to eventually give up your World Series ring or whatever it is your sort of people win?

Needless to say, Manning wants to get out in front of this story, so he went and found the most trustworthy person imaginable, a person whose integrity is so unimpeachable that you will believe, in your heart of hearts, anything the man says. Yes, we are of course speaking of former George W. Bush spokescreature Ari Fleischer.

According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Manning has retained the services of former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, whose company, Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, has previously advised the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PAC-12, and Joe Torre.

Christ on a cracker. It's as if Peyton Manning and all the leading lights of sportsball were somehow asleep for the entirety of 2001 to 2003. You really wanted to hire the guy who comforted Americans post-9/11 by telling them "they need to watch what they say, watch what they do." You figured that the person Americans trust the most is one of the key architects of the whole "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction that he is actually pointing right at your house -- yes, yours! -- right now" falsehood. Seriously, the man was part of the biggest lie of the last 20 years. This is not a man who engenders warm feelings of trust.

Also, his track record on the whole helping out sportsball people thing can charitably be described as mixed.

Sometimes, Fleischer actually helps his clients quite a bit. Fleischer was hired by the Packers in the summer Brett Favre unretired and the team decided to trade its longtime folk hero. He did a pretty good job, as Favre was portrayed as the bad guy in the split.

Sometimes, he actively hurts. In 2010, Tiger Woods hired Fleischer to help rehabilitate his image after his personal life fell apart. This led to articles specifically about how the disgraced athlete shouldn't have turned to the crisis management specialist. Fleischer and Woods parted ways within 10 days, reportedly because Fleischer's presence raised too many eyebrows.

Can't imagine why that would be the case.

The pharmacist at the heart of the story has already sort of recanted the whole thing, so perhaps Manning will escape relatively unscathed. But if he does, it will be no thanks to a shiny-domed craven dickwad like Fleischer.

[CBS Sports / SB Nation]

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