INTERIOR – ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL, LOS ANGELES – MIDDAY
[A decent group of formal, yet lavishly dressed people sit in the pews as the funeral for Faye Spanos is about to get underway. However, due to the vast size of the church, the audience seems dwarfed by comparison. The organ softly playing Amazing Grace is the only noise audible in the room, save for the occasional cough that reverberates throughout the chamber like the sound of a single person cheering in an otherwise empty stadium. DEAN SPANOS and his father, ALEX SPANOS are seated in the front row, with family on either side and a row of players and staff sitting right behind them.]
DEAN SPANOS: [Looking at his watch] The service is about to start. Do you think, everyone got caught in traffic…?
ALEX SPANOS: [Unaware of his surroundings] My boy, did I ever tell you about this woman I met in ’44?
DEAN: You mean Mom, Pop?
ALEX: That’s not what I called her then! Best piece of ass I ever laid my eyes on! And laid on me! Oh let me tell you, the things she…!
DEAN: We’re at her funeral, Pop! Can you just–
ALEX: She just couldn’t say no to a man in uniform! Right before we got hitched, she filled up this garden hose with–
[The organ abruptly stops as the MINISTER approaches the dais, distracting ALEX]
DEAN: Oh thank fucking Christ.
PHILIP RIVERS: [Leaning forward] Hey! Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain, you limp dicked sack of–! [clears throat] Boss.
JOEY BOSA: [Headphones audibly playing Girls Like You by Maroon 5] EYYYY, YEAH! WHASS’A MATTA YOU?!
MINISTER: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of one so dear to all of us. A mother. A matriarch. A deep and loving philanthropist. There’s really so much more that I could say, if only the deposit on this service had been made in full. So, without further ado, I am honored to introduce the next speaker, a one, Doc, err– Deacon David Chao!
DOC CHAO: [Stumbling to the podium] SHANKSH MR. PRIESHT MAN! [Reaches into jacket pocket and produces a set of index cards] HALO EVERYONESH! THE COURT HASSSH MAN-DATED THAT I TELL YOU THAT MY NAME ISH DAVID CHAO AND I AM AN ALCOoooo– [Glances around at the stunned faces] WHOOPSH! WRONG CARDSHHH! [Tosses them over his shoulder and produces new ones] FAYE-AH WASSH A GOOD WOMANSH! SHE ALWAYSH…
KENNAN ALLEN: What the hell is this guy saying?
RIVERS: Sew your fucking diamond encrusted cock hole shut, heathen! He’s clearly speaking in tongues!
BOSA: SHUDDAPA YO’ FAAAACE!
DOC CHAO: …AND THASH WHYYY WE SHHOULD ALWAYSH TURN TO THE GOOD [hic] BOOK WHEN WE NEED A PICK ME UP!
[The audience breaks into a sort of halfhearted applause as DOC CHAO raises his Bible to his face]
[Meanwhile, DEAN is completely lost in thought, starring fixated on his Mother’s coffin. His gaze intensifies with each passing moment, as if he expects her to slowly rise, walk over and comfort him and his family. As he does, the coffin lid slowly creaks open. He stares on in shock as a single, muscular yellow-foamed arm protrudes out and produces a hearty one finger salute.]
DOC CHAO: …SO THAT’SH WHY I AM NO LONGER WELCOME AT THE GRIFFIN, ASH IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH PROBLEMSH! [The MINISTER approaches and whispers in his ear] OH, AND ISH MY UNDERSTHADING THA’ THE OLDISHT SHON WOULD LIKE TO SHAY A FEW WORDSH!
DEAN: [Snapping back to attention] Huh?!
BOSA: ‘EYYYY, THAT’SA YOU-AH, DEANO!
DEAN: [Glancing back at the coffin, now shut tight] I… [Blinks a few times] Right! Right… [Standing up]
[Various people in the room clap sporadically, expecting others to as well, but that ends awkwardly as the rest of the room responds with an unwavering silence.]
DEAN: [Reaching the dais] Thank you, thank you, everyone that could make it here today. I know that my Mother would be happy to know you all made it on your own accord and on the chance of keeping your position within the–
[A muted drum solo begins to resound from within the coffin as the lid bounces softly in time to the beat]
DEAN: [Nervously] …I, uh, wanted to say that the loss of my mother weighs heavy on my heart. It feels as if she was abruptly taken away from my family and I when we were seeing improvements. Sure, we had to plan for this day given all the signs of her behavior, but still, it was shocking to say the least to lose…
[A shrieking and most rocking electric guitar pierces the church from within the coffin, echoing about the chamber.]
DEAN: [Sweating profusely and speaking louder over the music] …I never expected such a sudden change would wound me so deeply and to my very soul! I wonder how I can go on, how I can face most days knowing she is somewhere else instead of here and–!
[The music reaches a fever pitch, and now seems to resonate within DEANS own head.]
DEAN: [Screaming and sobbing] I JUST WANT HER BACK! BUT SHE’S GONE! AND SHE’S NOT HERE EITHER! [Running over to FAYE’S coffin] I’LL SHOW YOU WHAT MONSTER IS HERE INSTEAD! [Struggling to prop the coffin up on its side, facing the crowd, but in the process…]
[COFFIN DOOR FLIES OPEN]
[The body of FAYE SPANOS rolls across the platform, her limbs flailing and bones creaking and snapping. As she falls to the floor, she lands face first into the lap of ALEX SPANOS with a sickening thud as the crowd gasps.]
ALEX: Oh hey baby! You naughty minx you. Did you stash a hose in your purse this time too?
I’m going to put more effort into this section than the team made to stay in San Diego.
On paper, this team is stacked, both offensively and defensively. They host a potential future hall of fame quarterback, a young stud running back, dynamic receivers that can stretch the field and a serviceable offensive line. The defensive unit could easily be in the top 5 with a powerful presence up front, a middling linebacking corps and a secondary that almost any team would drool over.
Thankfully, theory isn’t reality.
Something always goes wrong. Two starting players are already out for the season before even seeing a single snap. More will be coming. If there are Vegas odds on the number of starters on this team that will be out for the year due to injuries, TAKE THE OVER. Until they clean house on every Trainer, every Strength and Conditioning Coach, every member of the Medical Team, players’ knees, pecs, feet, shoulders and neck could spontaneously combust at a moments notice.
Following the departures of Mike Scrifes and Nate Kaeding, [spits on ground] special teams has, at best, been an afterthought, probably since management always thought anyone could do their jobs (statement only valid during the regular season.) Having not watched a single game last year, I can already point to three games where this cost them a win, and I’m sure there were more. This will happen again this year, because it does every year, and it will be hilarious.
Never count out individual players committing the most boneheaded move at the worst possible time. This team has always had a major issue with people able to actually tackle a ball carrier. For nearly the last decade, I’ve watched defenders bounce off their targets as if they had polar opposite magnets in their pads. Somebody is going to forget to cover their man because they were too busy talking to a pal on the sideline during the game. You know Phillip is going to get called for a taunting penalty just as the team moves into field goal range at the end of a half, and then you’ll get to see him scream “AWW SHUCKS” to the ref following the flag. Stuff like this can only increase when you’re playing in hostile territory for ALL. SIXTEEN. GAMES.
So what does this all add up to? Well, who knows which way the ball will bounce this year? With a little luck and a team doctor finding his way to a dimension where broken bone serum is available at every drug store, this team could find itself winning 13 games and making a bid at a first round bye. However, the odds of that are slim to none. The floor here is 4 to 5 wins and even emptier stands than last year. They’ll probably end up somewhere in the middle of that though, right around 7 and 9 victories and managing to either just miss a playoff berth or stumble into them quite by accident.
If there is any justice in this world, they will forever sit in Jeff Fisher limbo at 7-9, Dean Spanos will lose his billions after developing a coke and ladyboy habit and is forced to sell the team to someone just as evil, but who didn’t leave his brain in his father’s ballsack. Maybe he’ll bring them back home and I can start to relive this yearly nightmare that I, for some fucking reason, cherish and continue to miss daily.
If writing this post has taught me anything, it’s that I really need to get my head examined.
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