There are prank calls, and then there is what Chris Cooley did to Carson Palmer and the Denver Broncos. Prank calls usually involve one phone call, maybe two to keep up the joke for as long as possible. What Chris Cooley did is not a prank call. It is something far beyond that, a new kind of joke that cannot be defined because it is too awesome and hilarious to put into words.
Essentially, Cooley made several phone calls to Palmer, Broncos GM John Elway, Broncos coach John Fox and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis to pretend that Palmer and the Broncos both wanted to make a trade to send Palmer to Denver. Here's the exchange Cooley described to NFL Network's Rich Eisen, as transcribed by Brian Tinsman of Redskins Blog.
So I tried to call [reportedly disgruntled Bengals QB] Carson Palmer, but I just got to voicemail. In all of these sequence of calls that I made, I only got to voicemail. I hate call-screeners. I tried to do my best John Elway voice.
I told him I was [Broncos executive VP] John Elway, and I said 'Listen, I hate Tim Tebow. I want you, I want you out here in Denver. And I know I shouldn't be calling you, we can't talk. You gotta keep it down. But we're gonna make this work.'
In and of itself, that's an amazing prank, considering Palmer has been so outspoken against the Bengals and considering all the criticism Tebow faces. But wait, there's more.
So then I laugh for a minute, turn right around and call John Elway back. I talk to John. This is my childhood idol, by the way, and I said, 'Hey, it's Carson. I got your message and I hate Cincinnati, I don't wanna be here. I'd love to come out to Denver.' I mean, I accentuated these calls a bit, I'm giving you the short version.
How Cooley managed to impersonate both Palmer and Elway is kind of amazing. But really, it's the last part of the prank that ends up making the whole thing awesome.
And then, to finish the sequence, I called [Bengals head coach] Marvin Lewis. I really made these calls. I said 'Listen, I'd prefer to be an unnamed General Manager,' but in the background I had someone yell 'Hey Bruce!' And I said, 'There's just a lot of tampering going on between the Denver Broncos and your quarterback.'
See! He was trying to help the Redskins and sabotage two other teams! Best. Prank. Ever.