Gaveliers spring practice opens with opportunities and questions galore

RENO, NV (PNS) – As they eye their inaugural football season this fall, the Gaveliers have question marks at basically every position. But Interim Athletic Director Ed Cohen says he is confident everything will be sorted out during spring practice, which commenced last Monday.

The four weeks of tryouts and drills on the newly constructed practice fields behind the NJC’s headquarters were intentionally scheduled to coincide with two courses – General Jurisdiction and Advanced Judicial Writing – that have traditionally attracted judges with strong legal acumen and quick-twitch muscle fibers.

Unlike in past years, GenJur began with a placement test featuring a series of hypothetical motions followed by a timed sprint over zig-zagging lines of steel-belted radials.

Advanced Judicial Writing has also been updated this year, starting with a critique of students’ sample orders submitted at enrollment, an exploration of the practical and ethical uses of artificial intelligence in legal research, and 30 minutes a day on the JUGS machine for receivers.

“I like what I’m seeing,” Cohen said on opening day for the classes, shaking hands with course participants and nodding appreciatively as they filed into their classrooms like prized Herefords entering the ring at a livestock auction.

Cohen’s optimism notwithstanding, the Gaveliers face significant uncertainty as they gear up for the inaugural Plaintiffs-Defendants intrasquad scrimmage in May. Here are a few of the stories percolating at the start of camp. 

Head Coach
Initial reports on Gaveliers fan sites had the NJC reaching out to coaching legends Paul Brown, Don Shula and Bud Grant. Better-fact-checked reports listed alive possibilities Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Pete Carroll. Unfortunately, all such candidates are likely out of the NJC’s price range. That means the choice will likely come down to a justice of the peace from Green Bay, Wisconsin, or, if the school opts for a disciplinarian, Judge Judy.

Athletic Director
Two months ago, Cohen, the college’s former director of communications/marketing, was called out of retirement and his subsequent position, cheerful fry station attendant, to replace the judicial college’s founding athletic director, Hon. Haskell K. McVeigh[1]. McVeigh, a longtime trial, appellate and baking competition judge, resigned abruptly in January to join the Supreme Court of the United States in the newly created post of Executive Fry Station Attendant.

Cohen told reporters on Monday that he would be interested staying on long term as AD if the college is able to find “the resources necessary to establish a competitive program” and “the secret to a moist cake every time.” 

The prize recruit from the transfer portal is Hon. David Dreyer[2], senior judge of the Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis. Dreyer, 6-1, 190, received little playing time during his four years of undergraduate study at Notre Dame, three years at Notre Dame Law School, and 23 years on the Superior Court bench. In an interview with Fox Sports, he attributed this to a combination of heavy course and trial loads and “preferring to watch football on TV.” The former 4-star recruit, technically a red-shirt sophomore, chose the Gaveliers over offers from Penn State, Arizona State, Colorado State and State Farm.

Dreyer is the clear frontrunner but will be pushed by fellow transfers Hon. Brent Morrison (Thames County, Delaware, Court of Chancery) and Hon. Prue Leith (Great British Baking Show)[3].

Another high-profile judge, Hon. Chance the Rapper, placed his name in the transfer portal after the 2023 season. He was widely rumored to be interested in joining the Gaveliers but ultimately opted to remain on the bench of The Voice, saying, apropos of nothing, “Taylor Swift is just dope. She is an ill songwriter.”[4]

Cohen said at the start of spring practice that the placekicking job was Hon. Hector “The Instep” Ortiz’s (Lilliput Small Claims Court) job to lose, but a severe hamstring strain on the first day of practice has opened the door to Hon. Sarah Holmes-Jackson (Beany County, Maryland, Orphans’ Court)[5].

In spot duty last year, Holmes-Jackson converted 8 of 12 attempts from 40 yards or less and was a perfect 6 of 6 on extra points and motions in limine. Judge Holmes-Jackson could become the first docketed female placekicker in Football Bowl Division (FBS) history, provided she is available to take the minimum course load fall semester. Cohen has been encouraging Gaveliers recruits to consider enrolling in less-demanding courses during football season such as Handling Cases with Sedated Litigants and Continuances Ad Infinitum[6].

Extra Points
Tuesday’s catch of the day, a one-hander along the sideline, belonged to running back Hon. Rico “Velvet” Velman[7] (9th District Court, Florida Keys, Fish Catch Size Claims Section). It came on a wheel route thrown by Dreyer. Velman is looking to bounce back from back spasms that plagued him during a 16-week pharmaceutical patent-infringement trial last fall. The Florida court’s medical team attributed the injury to poor lumbar support in the judge’s chair aggravated by defense counsel’s frequent nervous pen clicking … A surprise visitor to practice greeted Gaveliers players and coaches during workouts Tuesday afternoon. It was the NJC’s first dean (1963-64), Ernest Friesen[8]. The 95-year-old signed autographs and described catching three touchdown passes in the Gaveliers’ 21-10 upset of undefeated Michigan in the 1964 Rose Bowl. None of which happened. Illinois defeated Washington 17-7 …  Cohen announced that tickets are now available online for the inaugural Plaintiffs-Defendants scrimmage. (When filling out the form, please enter “Plaintiffs-Defendants Game” in the Comments field). Tickets are $25 for the general public, $16 for NJC alumni, tax-deductible[9], with a limit of 50 per person. The interim athletic director reminded fans that the game will be played rain or shine but would be canceled with no refunds issued in the event of extreme atmospheric conditions, including the presence of lighting or any combination of nitrogen and oxygen.

[1] Still not a real person
[2] Real judge, co-chair of the NJC Alumni Relations Committee
[3] Fake, fake, real but false
[4] Actual quote, though not in response to anything Gaveliers. It is unknown if he is interested in quarterbacking the Gaveliers, but the Athletic Director is open to a tryout.
[5] Fine kickers but nonexistent
[6] Not real courses, at least not yet
[7] Fake
[8] Real person and he OK’d this joke
[9] As are all donations to benefit the NJC, which sales of these imaginary tickets would be

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