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In an effort to revive the ratings of its stagnant paranormal series, The Dead Files, The Travel Channel’s brain trust has piloted a partnership with the National Football League to boost ratings for the show as its airs its 10th season. In return, this deal will introduce the NFL to a new segment of the US population that may not be familiar with gridiron football. To kick off the partnership, The Travel Channel has flown physical medium, Amy Allan, and her partner, retired New York City homicide detective, Steve DiSchavi, to Oakland, California to investigate reported paranormal activity at the home of the Oakland Raiders.
Steve DiSchavi: I’m in Oakland, California. It’s a town about 80 miles outside of Sacramento. Now, I got a call from a business owner, Mark, and he says that he’s been experiencing some real unusual activity around his facilities. He says that it’s reflecting on his staff and potentially costing him business. He says it’s wearing on his health and, if Amy and I can’t help him, he may have to close up altogether.
14 Hours Earlier – Locker Room
Amy Allan: Oh, I walk in here and I see conflict. And death. Post-season death. I see a man in green and he’s battling with a man in black. And while the green man is tall and slender with a handlebar mustache, the man in black is huge. And his shoulders have spikes coming out of them. His face is unrecognizable behind some kind of…war paint? But here’s the kicker — there is a little man controlling the man in black. He stands behind him covered in jewelry and fashionable sunglasses. He controls the soul of the man in black. He says he brought the man in black joy once — but that was like 35 years ago. Still, he promises to bring that man in black joy again and so the man in black allows himself to remain under the little man’s control.
Mark – Owner
DiSchavi: So Mark, you called and said you think you got some kind of activity going on around here. Now, it sounds like there’s some pretty unbelievable stuff happening so tell me about what you’re experiencing.
Mark Davis: Well, since I inherited our family business here, we’ve had all kinds of strange occurrences. It’s been tough. I’ve seen apparitions, shadow figures, uhh…my employess are showing up with injuries they cannot explain. My own health is deteriorating. It’s been tough.
DiSchavi: Sounds scary but, looking around you know, this place is kind of a dump. Now, who all works here?
Davis: Here’s a framed photo of us…
Davis: That’s Spanky, Bo, Big Hands, Jon Gruden 2, Amarky, God Boy, and Lil’ Mark.
DiSchavi: Alright so, you say this is starting to affect your customers as well? Tell me about that.
Davis: Yeah they’re saying they see things the officials right in front of the play don’t. Also, they’re more angry. We’ve had reports of fans yelling vulgarities and even experiencing physical altercations.
DiSchavi: Hmmm…and this has only been happening since you moved into this place?
Davis: Yes. We’re really making every effort to make it work here. But it’s hard, you know. It’s been over 15 years since we won the West. This is our livelihood and we need to keep food on the table.
DiSchavi: Have you tried anything to combat these experiences you think are effecting your business here?
Davis: Yes. We gave a remarkably ridiculous contract to the guy who coached our program to the early 2000’s successes but, because of these paranormal influences, we literally sold our rights to this coach before he went on to beat us in the Super Bowl as the coach for Tampa Bay.
DiSchavi: You sure this place isn’t just cursed with gross managerial incompetence and maybe some inbreeding?
Davis: No. That isn’t the case.
DiSchavi: Hmmm, okay. So what if Amy says this place can’t be cleansed. Will you take her advice if she says you’ve got to get out?
Davis: I think we’d have to. It’ll be hard because we’re so committed to this place but we will definitely follow Amy’s advice.
Allan: The first thing I feel out here is anger. There’s a lot of death here. Specifically murders. And these murdered people, they like to jump the bodies of living people who are entering these gates. I think the living here definitely feel worse when they are in this place. They probably feel uncontrollable anger. They might be violent. But in the background, I again see the little man. He’s very opportunistic, you see. He knows that, while the living are fighting one another, they aren’t turning on the little man or his pals. He’s laughing about this and doesn’t seem to care one bit about the pain this is inflicting on the living. I’m seeing a man in white attacking on the living people inside this place and the little man, right at the last second, just kind of bumps the man in white. So when his body contorts as he falls, he breaks the leg of a man wearing a shirt with a number four on the front. I felt that the like energy just left the entire stadium when this happened but the little man was right there laughing. This is definitely not a safe place for the living.
DiSchavi: So Marshawn, you’ve worked here a couple years now. What do think about this place?
Marshawn Lynch: It’s aight.
DiSchavi: Now, Mark tells me some of the players are experiencing unexplainable paranormal activities and so I am investigating and — DID YOU DO IT?!
Lynch: Man do what?
DiSchavi: Alright, you passed. So tell me, how is this place affecting you and your coworkers?
Lynch: I’m tired of this man. These bullshit questions you don’t even care about the answer to.
DiSchavi: Tired, huh? What else?
Lynch: I leave here every Sunday and I need the entire Monday to recover. I’m sore. Feel like I’ve been run over by a band of horses, ya hear?
DiSchavi: You do play a pretty violent sport. I’m almost afraid to ask but, any chance that pain is a result of 14 carries a game?
Lynch: Nah. I’m hard. It’s the ghosts.
DiSchavi: Hmmm, well your story checks out. So tell me, you ever think about just gettin’ outta here?
Lynch: Man, I love Oaktown. Don’t want to be nowhere else.
Allan: The little man is definitely familiar here. He’s jumped — possessed — just about everyone in this building and he loves the chaos. He’s telling me that this place is fine but not good enough. He’s saying that anyone who stays here is foolish and he’s laughing at them. He’s telling me that he’s made things so bad here for so long just that the living people here will leave. He’s yelling at them, “Get out! Get out of the state!” He’s a little crazy. He’s laughing now and telling me about how these people who have, I guess, “drafted a Calvin, not Jamarcus.” Now he’s pawing at the ground but he’s saying something about how a tree on the Bay is….oh, no — it’s that Heyward-Bey is better than Crabtree. I dunno if that means anything. His boney hands are barely making any progress on digging. His teeth are disgusting.
DiSchavi: Now Jessica, I understand you’re pretty knowledgeable about the history of my client’s business.
Jessica Alba: Absolutely. I’ve been following this team since a young age and will always bleed silver and black.
DiSchavi: So tell me, what’s the story with this place?
Alba: Well, long-short is that the franchise seems to have experienced some remarkably bad luck in recent history.
DiSchavi: I came across some of that in my research. Now, I know they haven’t had post season success since the early 2000’s and the most recent team that looked like contenders, they’re quarterback’s leg actually broke?
Alba: Yep. Wasn’t even a question of what happened.
DiSchavi: That’s scary. You feel ok being here? You feel safe sleeping — I assume you sleep alone?
Alba: It’s kind of an eerie feeling being here. I mean, it’s called a luxury box but does this seem luxurious, you know?
DiSchavi: So what else can you tell me about this place?
Alba: Well, many locals believe that the recent sufferings of the franchise are a result of a curse the other —
DiSchavi: DID YOU SAY A CURSE?!
Alba: That’s the legend. That, when the previous owner battled the other team owners to move his team from Oakland to Los Angeles, that a curse was bestowed upon him such that, should this team ever return to Oakland, it will suffer a curse of losing.
DiSchavi: Now, I don’t know about that. Curses and stuff is kind of flimsy. I mean, you think this team’s problems are a curse, not incompetent leadership at the top? I mean, you got any proof of these claims?
Alba: I do. Here is the previous owner’s death certificate which shows the cause of death to have been heart failure.
DiSchavi: Oh, you got the death certificate? I guess that all checks out then.
Allan: I feel a lot of regret and a lot of death in here. The man in black won’t come in. He’s saying this isn’t the owner’s box he knew. He’s scowling at the cooperation between the team and the league. He’s says the franchise has given up. It’s obvious that he’s angry if they lose and angry if they win. He’s saying something about letting a Khalil sit at home all season. Now he’s digging at the ground again. He’s saying, “You understand!” But I don’t see another person underground. This man is a complete psycho.
DiSchavi: Well Mark, I’ve finished my research and Amy has completed her walk. So, for the results of her investigation, I’m gonna hand this over to Amy.
Allan: Well when I first got here, the first thing that caught my attention was the smell. It’s warm and disgusting and…
Davis: Yeah, we got a sewage problem.
Allan: Ok well then the person I encountered the most was a small man. He wore a shiny black coat and, though he was dead, it is apparent that his body has continued to age in the dimension where he exists. So I actually had a sketch made up of him.
DiSchavi: [Pulls sketch from envelope] Oh boy. Now this is somethin’.
Davis: That’s my deceased father. He always said I didn’t have what it takes but look at me know, Pops. LOOK AT ME NOW! I’M DOING IT! I’M DOING IT AND I DON’T NEED YOU FOR ANYTHING!
Allan: Well, he does not approve of you, I can say that. He thinks your leadership has been inadequate and conciliatory to the other owners. He thinks you have no spine but he’s taking it out on the fans and players.
DiSchavi: That’s pretty crazy cuz, uh, I spoke to a player, Marshawn, and he told me that he often goes home and is in a lot of pain. Think that might be a part of it?
Allan: Oh absolutely. Especially if it’s severe pain, I would say that Marshawn is probably a medium and I would recommend he get in touch with an experienced chaos magician who can guide him to living with his abilities.
Davis: Is there anything that can be done though? How can we get back to our winning ways?
Allan: Well, these types of hauntings often require the living to find a key. It’s usually some sort of artifact of personal or symbolic relevance that must be found and, often, destroyed.
DiSchavi: Wow. This is pretty unbelievable because, uhhhh, in my research I uncovered a story about a curse that might be on this organization. That the other team owners, I guess they didn’t like the Mark’s dad moving the team around so much so they got someone to place a curse on the team if they came back to Oakland which, of course, they did and things have been hard here since.
Davis: But what are we looking for? What is the key? The artifact?
Allan: During my walk, I noticed the man would often be pawing at the ground, as if he were looking for something buried. But I didn’t see any bodies underground so it was kind of hard to understand. But when I went to the training fields, I saw something that stood out. It wasn’t at any other locations I walked. So I had a sketch of it done up as well. I believe it may be the key.
DiSchavi: [Pulls sketch from envelope] Oh boy. Now this is somethin’ else.
Allan: To the eye, it’s a ball in a hole. But I think serves some deeper —
Davis: That’s Tony’s. I know the legend of that ball. We have no idea where it was buried though.
DiSchavi: So what’s the bottom line, Amy? Mark gonna be able to keep his business here?
Allan: If he can find that ball and get an exorcist to perform a revitalization ritual on the laces, that will allow the man to leave and let the team return to normal.
DiSchavi: So what’s it gonna be Mark? You gonna take Amy’s advice?
Davis: Well absolutely. It’s important to us that we return the Super Bowl.
Mark’s organization has contacted an exorcist and is drilling test holes all over their fields in search of the ball.
The activity continues.