LOS ANGELES (SUFFL) -- Sweep the Leg Johnnie co-owner Justin Robinson was diagnosed Wednesday with Plaque Separation Anxiety, a spokesperson at the Los Angeles Center for Fantasy Sports Mental Illnesses confirmed.

"The diagnosis was primarily based on Mr. Robinson's unwillingness to surrender the SUFFL Plaque, accompanied by passive-agressive behavior, and a compulsive propensity to relate to it as if it were a living being," the spokesperson read from a prepared statement.

The annoucement came after weeks of restlessness in the front office of 2000-2001 champ Daniel Snyder's Belt Buckle. "Look, it's been almost two months. I can understand that saying goodbye to the hardware is hard, but that's hardly an excuse," lamented Rumbaugh, trying to use the word "hard" in as many ways as possible, perhaps to imply what he thinks of Robinson's heart.

"I would take the complaint to the commissioner, but I *am* the commissioner! What else can I do?"

The disorder was discovered by Dr. Hans Z. Haupt (no relation) in East Germany in 1984. Dr. Haupt's study documented 71 cases of PSA in which East German fantasy olympics enthusiasts refused to give up the fantasy olympics titles they had won in 1980 four years later when East Germany joined the Soviet boycott of the Games in Los Angeles. "Eet zeemed zere vaz ann attach-ment, but I vasn't zure how ztrong ze attach-ment vaz. Avter cone-cludeeng eet vaz ztrong-er zan ze dezire to de-fect to Vest Germa-nee, I cone-cluded zat it vaz ind- eed a dizorder."

American doctors quickly joined Haupt in his study, producing no fewer than 1.2 million victims of PSA between 1987 and 1992. In the ensuing 5 years, the figure doubled. The number doubled again between 1998-2000, an increase attributed to the rise of the internet.

Harry Mann (no relation) (to York), professor of anthropology at Pepperdine University, set the disorder in a historical context. "We see some evidence of a similar (if not identical) disorder in the historical record, at the height of the Roman Colosseum's popularity. It seems a band of Romans competed with a Sicilian gang by drafting gladiators, animals, and Christians in a quest for the 'plaque' -- in their case a broken helmet from a Roman soldier with their names scrawled on it with rocks -- which they would wear to toga parties and use to pick up chicks. After the Romans won 8 years in a row, the Sicilians finally put two and two together and stopped trading their lions for gladiators in 4-for-1 deals, and they dethroned the Romans. But the attachment to the plaque was not easily broken. The Sicilians had to spread rumors about seeing their opponents in Roman bath-houses in order to retrieve the prize," Mann said.

Robinson teamed with co-owner Kevin Kriesel to secure the 1999-2000 championship through shrewd dealings, patience, and a bit of luck. They received the plaque from the previous champions, Vampatella & Patel, without incident.

"I had it for a while, then Maria started saying it didn't fit in with our decor, so I sent it off to JR," Kriesel recalled. "He called me when he got it, breathing 'thank you, thank you - oh! - thank you!' into the phone over and over. I had to hang up on him. The whole thing was a little awkward."

As the 2000 season got underway, attention shifted away from the long- term goal of the plaque to the more immediate concerns of weekly lineups, double-checking the crooked league scorer, and exploring trade options.

But as the Buckle closed in on its first championship, all eyes turned to Robinson. Naptime co-owner Andy McHargue confirmed that Robinson did indeed engrave the plaque with Rumbaugh's name. "It looked great: the new engraving was in the same style as the older names, and I was happy to see J's excellent stewardship of the integrity of the award."

Shipment of the award to its new entitlee, however, did not follow the engraving. "It was weird," McHargue said. "He said he was taking care of it, then I get this email from him about how since it's raining a lot he doesn't have time (?), then I see this spread in the local paper with him holding a liter of vodka, and chicks hanging all over him, pawing at the plaque. I was concerned his ministry might be affected, but he just smirked and said, 'This *IS* my ministry, baby cakes!' But it never ocurred to me to get help for him. I mean, losing a title like that is rough. I'm glad there was no plaque when I won."

After Rumbaugh submitted a formal complaint to himself, he contacted the Los Angeles Center for Fantasy Sports Mental Illnesses. Center Director Barry Sanders (and you were wondering why he really retired...) assigned Dr. Jack Kevorkian Jr. to Robinson's case. "My dad said to just the pull the plug on him, but I thought we could do a bit more for him. His was a classic case of PSA; there was no doubt about the diagnosis. What happens is the patient comes to consider the plaque part of himself, or part of his own family, if you will. Would you send your right arm to someone? No, I didn't think so. I mean, that would be a different disorder altogether.

"But I was still optimistic about treatment. Often times if the patient can fail miserably in a fantasy sports venture, he will snap out of it, even to the point of refusing to be in the same room as the plaque."

The fantasy sport Kevorkian has recommended is Fantasy NASCAR, in response to Robinson's contention that auto racing is not a sport. "His failure in NASCAR should be complete, and he should get the plaque off to Fairfax rather quickly, although it may be in anger," Kevorkian asserted. "But anger isn't necessarily bad, I mean there's that IN YOUR ANGER DO NOT SIN thing, eh? It's not a perfect solution, but that's the deal: it's either anger and plaque, or no anger and no plaque -- what do you want? Circle on the right or circle on the left?"

Despite rumors that Robinson has hired fantasy sports cosultant extraordinnaire Don Buerkle to provide NASCAR reconnaissance, Rumbaugh believes he will still fail. "Don knows normal sports, but he's no redneck -- the guy went to UPenn for crying out loud. He'll be happy to take JR's money, but how many Ivy Leaguers know anything about NASCAR? Gordon, Gordon, Gordon is all he knows. You can't win like that. Seems a little cruel, but I need that plaque."

Rumbaugh was unwilling to comment on a report that he had an appointment next month with Kevorkian to investigate PSA-like tendencies within himself. "Look, I've got a baseball draft to prep for. Goodbye."

-AM, 03/14/01