The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Iraqi Army Hires Coach Norman Dale
Originally posted 3/24/2003

Coach Norman Dale
BAGHDAD - Overwhelmed by a much stronger opponent, the Iraqi army this week turned to the only man they thought could help them triumph over such long odds: high school basketball coach Norman Dale.

Persevering through the first half of a season in which his star player declined to take the court for personal reasons and a controversial "four passes before each shot" strategy nearly cost him his job, Coach Dale led the underdog Hickory Huskers (representing a school with a total enrollment of only 64) to the 1952 Indiana state high school basketball championship over heavily favored South Bend Central (enrollment 2,800).

"We couldn't be more excited to have Coach Dale on our side," said General Adnan Aziz of Iraq's Elite Republican Guard. "After seeing what he did with Hickory, we think he can really turn this thing around. If anyone knows how to handle a squad that's overmatched and seemingly out of its element, Coach Dale is the guy."

Others were unsure what effect Dale could have on the outcome of the war. Iraq's best soldier, Fazir al-Chitwood, has stated that he would not take part in any battles this year, and experts say that his participation could be crucial. "I've been following the Iraqi army for 40 years," said Tariq Abdul-Hassan of Baghdad. "And in all that time, I've never seen a soldier as good as Fazir al-Chitwood."

Upon being introduced to the Iraqi people this week, Coach Dale was serenaded with chants of "We Want Fazir! We Want Fazir!" Coach Dale proceeded to quiet, then address, the assembled masses. "This is your army," Dale said. "They deserve and demand your respect."

Should the Iraqi army defeat the United States, they would go on to play Terhune in the district finals.

In related news, the United Nations Security Council today passed a resolution declaring unanimously that "you are NOT a wuss if you cry when Ollie sinks those two free throws."

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