ATLANTA--In a press conference held yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan, Jesus Christ, savior of mankind, announced he is conceding his throne to the Atlanta Falcons star QB Michael Vick. The ceremonial torch-passing signified the end of Christ’s two thousand-year run and the long-awaited appointment of Vick as the Son of God.
“Being the Christian Messiah and the universal symbol of peace and love has been a lot of fun,” said an emotional Christ. “But I think everyone can see that the world has a new savior, and that savior is Michael Vick. Therefore, I am abdicating my seat at the right hand of God, and passing the torch to Michael. Henceforth, Mr. Vick shall be known as Michael Christ.”
The move did not come as a surprise to either Christians or football fans. Since Vick was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, his star has continued to rise. His heroics on the field combined with his Michael Jordan-like marketability have helped him eclipse Jesus Christ as the nation’s most revered entity. Even Jesus had to admit that Vick is impressive.
“Sure, if you told me 800 years ago that I’d be giving up my Christ position to some football player, I would’ve said you were nuts,” Christ began. “But let’s face it – Michael is much, much more popular than me right now, and universally admired. Michael Vick worship has already surpassed Jesus worship, and the people of the world have made clear that he is their messiah. Plus, did you see that run the other night against Carolina? Holy shit, that guy can move. I may be able to walk on water, but I can’t do that.”
The torch passing has been given the blessing of the Catholic Church, which is looking for a new face to boost their sagging image. Many felt that Jesus’ hippie-like peace and love platform was antiquated and needed to be replaced with something a little more ‘edgy’.
Said Pope John Paul II: “We thank Jesus for his 2,000 years of service to the Catholic Church and to mankind as a whole. We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for his tireless efforts to bring peace, hope, and understanding to the world. However, times have changed, and the Church leaders have decided that a mega-sports star like Michael Vick would appeal much more to the coveted 18-34 demographic.”
Jesus also indicated that he was aware of his waning popularity, and the time was right to step down.
“Less and less people pray to me everyday. Clearly, people have tired of my message and my methods. I have no athletic ability, I’m not really that handsome unless you’re into the beatnik look, and the 18-34 demographic doesn’t even know I exist. In fact, Sunday, the day that used to belong to me, now belongs to Michael Vick. At least now people won’t have to leave their house to go to church. They just have to turn on the Falcons game.”
The popularity of Vick has already breathed new life into the Catholic Church. America’s reverence for Vick has surpassed the popularity of Jesus, even in his heyday.
“Even when the Catholic Church was established centuries ago and Jesus was the King Shit, he didn’t get the kind of press Vick is getting right now,” said Gregory Manfred, religious scholar at Notre Dame University. “Just think, all those little kids wearing Michael Vick T-shirts are now fans of the church by default. The church has gone from a struggling, staggering shell of a religion, to the hippest, most happening belief system in the world.”
Perhaps the most momentous change resulting from the crowning of the new messiah is the consolidation of the Roman Catholic Church with Judaism. With the divisive Jesus now a thing of the past, the two major world religions are on the verge of merging together under their common God, Michael Vick.
“Jews and Catholics really aren’t all that different,” said Albert Levy, leading Jewish scholar. “The big sticking point with us was always this Jesus thing. We never really bought into him as the messiah. But Michael Vick is a different story. Who doesn’t love and worship Michael Vick? We all do. He could be the figure that finally unites the Christians and Jews into one big, weird-ass religion.”
But will the pressure of being worshipped by millions affect Vick’s performance on the field? Not a chance, says Vick, who will make his second start of the season Sunday against Indianapolis.
“I’m just gonna keep doin what I’m doing,” said Vick at the press conference. “People have been worshipping me ever since college, so it doesn't make much of a difference. But I guess it is gonna be tough trying to answer all these prayers. Jesus told me just to ignore them, but I really wanna help people.”
God himself has chimed in with words of support for his new right hand man. The time has come, he says, for a new regime in Heaven, and Vick fits the mold perfectly.
“Jesus was great. Really, he was terrific. We certainly had a lot of fun together, that’s for sure. The Sermon on the Mount, Lazarus, the Resurrection, that time when he trashed the temple - so many memories. But one cannot hold onto the past. Jesus just doesn’t capture the imagination of the world the way Michael Vick does. The guy can do it all, and although Jesus’ message of forgiveness and love is still poignant, Michael’s message of kicking ass and taking names is a little more appropriate for modern times. My children, Michael Christ is my only begotten son, he will be seated at my right hand, and you shall worship him as you worship me. Also, take the Falcons and the points this week. It may be the first time in history that God is an underdog.”
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