December 3, 2023 | Rome, Italy

No contest

By |2021-10-01T20:40:25+02:00September 27th, 2015|At Large & Sports, Rye Wyt|
Oh no! No more Nestor the Nice Guy...

hat if the gladiators had had injury reports? What if every Monday you could click on ESGLAN (Empire Sports Gladiator Network) the way you click on ESPN now, to check out how your favorite gladiator did on any given Monday? Did he slay the tiger? Did the tiger eat him? Just how many Christians did Giovanni the Terrifying do away with before he tore his ACL? How many bears did Hector the Muscular get before one got him, making off with his hamstring (and change?) I don’t play fantasy football but I do get to hear water cooler laments about bad performances (is a “pick six” like a pick ax?) and “owned” players out for the season.

So, imagine Monday morning after a Coliseum beat-down. Imagine scrolling down through the combatants. This is more or less what you’d see, assuming Nero turned on his wi-fi that day.

  • Marcus the Mangy: Left arm eaten by lion named “Sweetie”; announced his immediate retirement.

  • Rufus the Reckless: Three bears and four Christians trounced. Has weary arm. May need Tommy John surgery. Insists he’ll finish out the season.

  • Didier the Gaul: Dislocated shoulder following unexpected elephant stampede later suspended by taunting.

  • Hero the Hero: Grade three hamstring strain following effort to flee ugly panther. Assessed hiding penalty.

  • Claudius the Unwise: Suspected torn ACL following high leg-kick of Oscar the Christian (before elephant stampede).

  • Nexus the Lexus: Rotary cuff tear and loss of left foot; announced his retirement.

  • Giovanni the Terrifying: “Gladiator Elbow” after eight swordfights including two decapitations. Strained vocal chords from verbal abuse of 44 Christians (22 in illegal formations). Place on disabled unable to slay list.

  • Raul the Randy: Bruised genitalia and lower ego damage following elephant foot kick and quick tiger snack (QTG). Status uncertain.

  • Nestor the Nice Guy: Eaten and fully digested by small but hungry lion named Moses. Immediately inducted into Hall of Shame list.

  • I Claudius: Sprained ankle during extreme ego attack while celebrating slaying of underage fox. Faces three-week suspension.

  • Urban the Uber: Concussion following disagreement with visiting, club-wielding barbarian. Uber is undergoing Gladiator Association concussion protocols, including the eating seven hot coals to determine further eligibility.

  • Simian the Undefeated: Impaired scalp following disagreement with Urban the Uber over who should fight the club-wielding barbarian. Status undetermined.

  • Oscar the Misbegotten: Idle. Rumored to be suffering from PTSD from EFS (eaten face syndrome). Expected to issue statement midweek.

League update through week three of the gladiatorial season: 17 dead, 44 dismembered, 13 retired, 10 converted to Christianity.

Coming events: Sunday, 1 p.m., Mickey the Fleet-footed vs. 12 enslaved Christians, Stew the Barbarian and 23 creatures, included seven lions, 11 snarling foxes and the emperor’s own angry dog. Late (live on Empire Streaming): Loris the Latin vs. the Lazarus Twins and their leopard Gotcha.

About the Author:

Joel Stein is the assumed named of a humor columnist who doubles as a senior marketing representative. He does have a not-so- assumed daughter named Rebecca.