Rewriting trite, formulaic sports stories

Tampa Bay Lightning Depressed By Series-Opening Loss
Lightning coaches and players say their 4-3 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche makes it unlikely they can come back to win the Stanley Cup in the Finals. Head coach Jon Cooper told reporters, “The momentum is all their way now. We will have to consider drastic measures like benching Andrei Vasilevskiy and putting backups in goal, and even then our outlook is dismal.” Winger Nikita Kucherov is said to be planning an early summer vacation back in Russia.

Yankees Spokesmen Say Aaron Judge Is Due For A Slump
General manager Brian Cashman is said to be looking to the minors for a possible replacement for Judge, as well as a possible trade with the Red Sox for Rob Refsnyder. “Refsnyder’s average is better than Judge’s right now” said Cashman. “Besides, he’s making big plays in the outfield. Judge is bound to regress.” Manager Aaron Boone is said to have ordered extra bunting practice for Judge, to keep his on-base percentage from dropping precipitously.

From 1998:

MJ Cheats: Bulls Win Title
Michael Jordan shoved Utah Jazz guard Byron Russell out of the way before sinking a late jumper, ensuring the Bulls’ victory and sixth title. MJ credited the refs with not calling what was clearly an offensive foul, saying he “really appreciates the way they’ve let me get away with fouls and traveling my whole career.” NBA spokesman Max Buttmunscher confirmed MJ’s “special treatment” by refs, claiming that allowing stars extra latitude under the rules was “good for the sport and marketing, even though it robs the League of integrity.”

Bama Linebacker Cites Respect from Fans, Writers

University of Alabama linebacker Grover Goodoldboy celebrated his team’s national championship last night, and noted the amazing amounts of respect his team has been getting all year. “The guys in our locker room knew we had what it takes to win a national title, and boy howdy, did we have a lot of company,” Goodoldboy said. “Pretty much every fan, sportswriter, gambler, and TV talking head has been picking us to win since the beginning of fall practice. It felt good to get so much respect.”