<
>

Green Bay station pulls 'Seinfeld' rerun as prank on Giants' Manning

MILWAUKEE -- For a show that was about nothing, the hubbub
around it has certainly turned into something.

A Green Bay television station decided to have some fun this
week after employees discovered that Giants quarterback Eli
Manning's favorite show is "Seinfeld." Station officials decided
to pull the episode scheduled for Saturday afternoon and replace it
with a different program chosen by viewers.

Manning and his New York teammates will be in town to play the
Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday afternoon.

News of WLUK-TV's decision apparently reached Jerry Seinfeld
himself.

"I'm going to send Eli a complete collection of 'Seinfeld' DVDs
and a partial collection of 'Hogan's Heroes' for inspiration," the
comedian told the New York Post on Thursday.

"You think I'm going to take that sitting down?"

Jay Zollar, the Fox station's general manager, laughed when he
heard of Seinfeld's response. Zollar joked that the offer actually
plays into the station's master plan of preventing Manning from
being master of the domain on Sunday.

"Now he [Manning] will be up all night watching 'Seinfeld' --
there will be no sleep for you," he said, parodying the Soup Nazi
episode in which a server admonishes noncompliant customers with,
"No soup for you!"

Manning said Friday the whole affair was amusing.

"Yeah, it's pretty funny," he said. "You've got to enjoy
it."

Manning added that he already has the entire "Seinfeld"
collection.

"I've seen every episode anyway, so I'm not going to miss
anything on it," he said. "Again, you take it all in, you smile
at it and you don't really give it a lot of thought."

A message from The Associated Press relayed to Seinfeld's
publicist through his lawyer was not immediately returned Friday.

The station let viewers vote on the show to replace the pulled
"Seinfeld" episode.

Of about 3,700 votes cast, some 60 percent were for a 30-minute
special about former Packers coach Vince Lombardi called "God,
Family and the Green Bay Packers."

The other choices included a rerun of "The Donald Driver Show"
from Monday, "M*A*S*H" and an infomercial starring former Dallas
Cowboy Emmitt Smith.

The pre-empted "Seinfeld" episode is "The Mango" from Season
5. In the show Cosmo Kramer gets booted from a fruit store for
trying to return a bad peach, George Costanza suffers impotence,
yada yada yada.

Zollar said most people realized his station's move was in jest,
but some thought the station should be treating the Giants better.

"Some people think we're mean," he said. "Some say we're not
welcoming, that we should be gracious hosts, we should invite them
in and be nice to their quarterback."

He said he doesn't understand how people could interpret the
move as a sincere attempt at sabotage.

"Obviously, Eli coming to Green Bay, coming to watch a TV show
at 5:30 p.m. the night before the game, it's pretty unlikely," he
said.