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Robo-QB science fact?

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Peyton Manning experiment may change the face of football

DENVER Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the NFL offseason was the retirement of quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning's health had become an issue, yet he was able to do just enough to help the dominant Broncos defense achieve a Super Bowl championship. Manning hoisted the Lombardi Trophy one final time before riding off into the sunset.

But what if that isn't the end?

Rumors have surfaced that the Secret Robotic Science LaboratorY or SRSLY has contacted Manning to be a part of their latest, greatest experiment.

According to sources, SRSLY has spent the better part of a decade attempting to create an android capable of playing quarterback in the NFL at an elite level. Insiders say that the lab has finally perfected the automaton in terms of the physical demands of the position. This robot has a rocket arm like, literally a rocket along with strength and speed far beyond even the most physically gifted human.

However, SRSLY has run into trouble in terms of developing an artificial intelligence capable of matching the immense potential of the android body. All attempts at creating a workable AI have fallen well short of the cognitive benchmarks necessary to deal with the nigh-infinite variables at play on an NFL playing field.

This is where Manning comes in.

While no one will confirm, word on the street is that SRSLY approached Manning about lending his uniquely gifted football mind to the project. The assumption is that the lab plans on digitally mapping Manning's brain and incorporating that into an already-existing AI.

However, darker whispers imply that, rather than downloading Manning's brain, the lab has proposed a full-on transplant. In essence, the android would be more of a cyborg, a robotic body operated by the organic brain of one of the NFL's greats.

One could argue that this is a perversion of nature and a massive breach of scientific ethics, but since this is the NFL we're talking about, everyone is generally onboard with letting SRSLY do whatever it wants.

An unnamed source in the NFL offices stated 'We're thrilled at the thought of having Peyton Manning back in the league regardless of the circumstances. Plus, when you consider the current issues the league is dealing with regarding brain health, this is actually a PR win for us. Even if it is a mockery of the natural order and a likely precursor to the iron-fisted rule of our robotic overlords, it sure will be great to see old Peyton shouting audibles and slinging it like old times.'

Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been rumblings of some pushback from certain owners who aren't thrilled at the idea of Peyton Manning resurrected as an unstoppable robotic QB machine.

'It just isn't right,' said a team owner who asked to remain anonymous. 'We just got rid of that giant-foreheaded galoot and now he's going to come back as a gd--- robot? What the hell is that about? I mean, the salary cap implications alone do robots even use money? And what about Papa John? Do robots eat pizza?

'And what's to stop them from just implanting brains in androids all willy-nilly? Honestly is a kid going to put a poster of Robot Manning on his wall? Will someone please think of the children?'

As of now, these rumors remain just that rumors. However, reliable sources seem to believe that it is a matter of if, not when. And while Manning is certainly the most common name bandied about here, he's far from the only one. According to some reports, a rival robotics lab has already enlisted former QB/jeans spokesperson Brett Favre as a test subject, though most dismiss him as a feasible candidate.

Peyton Manning was unavailable for comment on this story.

(Editor's note: This is the April Fools' Day edition of The Maine Edge. In case you were wondering, most if not all of this story is completely made up.)

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