Luke Graham.

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Luke Graham.

Luke Graham: News of the weird

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Luke Graham

Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Luke here.

— Ridiculousness comes from everywhere in the sporting world.

It comes in all forms. From ESPN to Sports Illustrated and even from my fingertips to your eyes.

But this week, at least on my front, the ridiculousness reached a new level via some lovely public relations people.

Part of being a journalist at any level is understanding the old press release. They come from everywhere and everyone. People want press and will do just about anything to get it. They'll send a release to anyone and everyone.

Sometimes they're useful. Sometimes they're for a good cause, like the one I received this week about Aurora youth soccer coach Craig Snyder being a nominee for a national award.

But usually, they get particularly absurd in the sports world. Some in the past I've received have included the opportunity to interview compulsive gamblers about the movie "21." I've also had the chance to interview or run a release on what a former mob member thought about the whole Michael Vick fiasco.

Last Tuesday, however, two came across my e-mail that I - a creative person, I'd like to think - could not have made up.

The first was kind of interesting and an ingenious idea to get a company's name out there.

Gurkha Cigars made an official pitch to Michael Phelps to be a spokesman, or as the release put it, "their official smokesperson for the premium cigar company." The offer of $25,000 probably was a little low for a guy most think could earn upwards of $100 million in endorsements. After the recent pictures of Phelps smoking marijuana, Gurkha Cigars touted its release as "the first official endorsement offer to Phelps since the controversial pictures arose."

Although there is no way Phelps will ever do it - let's be honest, he'll do a couple anti-drug spots, apologize more and become an American hero again at the 2012 games where he will win another couple of gold medals - it was brilliant for the cigar company to do it.

The other one was simply ridiculous. So ridiculous, I had to circulate it around to several of my friends to just get their reactions.

The subject line of the e-mail read "Get the real story on March Madness." I was excited until I saw it was the opportunity to interview TNA Wrestler Kevin Nash about his thoughts about March Madness, his former college team Tennessee and his "many opinions on how this year's tournament will shake out."

It gets into how Nash was thrown off the Tennessee basketball team for assaulting his coach and offers the reason he gave up a basketball career for a professional wrestling career.

Hey, I love March Madness and would listen to what Joe Lunardi, Dick Vitale or Bob Knight think about it, but Kevin freaking Nash?

That's just a little too ridiculous.

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