In an announcement that shocked -- shocked! I tell you -- the high-brow Westminster Kennel Club dog show audience, Michael Vick's pit bull Throckmorton's Romp Killa Face was named Best in Show, leaving Uno, the beagle who had originally been awarded the honor, to hang his head and grouse about a fix.
Vick's pooch had been mistakenly "overlooked" in the original judging, officials said nervously, but that he made a "convincing" case backstage when Vick pointed out the committee's error.
The enthusiastic crowd that filled Madison Square Garden was already heading out when FitzHugh Goggins III grabbed the microphone and announced the switch. Everyone gasped at the news, including Vick, in mock surprise. So many champagne glasses were dropped that the sound echoed throughout lower Manhattan and sent streetwalkers waiting outside MSG for dates running for cover.
"When Mr. Vick made Killa Face bare his teeth for the judges, we knew he was a champion," said a trembling March Temple, Esq., at a hastily convened press conference in a barricaded broom closet. "I don't know how his entry forms could have been misplaced, but somebody will not have his parking validated over this horrible miscarriage of justice.
"Our apologies to Mr. Vick, his entourage, and to Killa Face and his entourage."
Vick brought 17 pit bulls to the event, hoping at least one would "get through to the judges," he said.
"The Westminster people were gracious enough to reverse their decision after they saw Killa Face up close," Vick said. "They did the right thing."
Vick said Killa Face's snarl and blood-stained teeth were tops in both categories.
It was unclear whether Vick and Company used the lost entry form ploy as a ruse, or if he simply showed up late and intimidated whitey.
"I was detained," he said about his sudden arrival and quick departure with the big trophy. Vick turned himself in last November to get a head start on serving a sentence for running a dog-fighting ring. As part of the Federal Penitentiary/NFL Cares program, Vick is allowed to leave jail periodically for endorsement appearances and "personal bidness."
Westminster officials said they will be sure to create a new category for vicious fighting dogs in the future.
As a treat for winning Best in Show, Vick fed Killa Face a toy poodle. Uno, meanwhile, cowered in a corner as Vick passed by.
"I'm eyeballing you, boy," Vick said, pointing to the dethroned champ.