When we left the Titans Bud Adams delivered a rousing speech to start their party.
Collins slouches over even more, “Vince this. Vince that. Where was the defense when I was playing?” He walks over to refill his coke.
LenDale White, lost in his own thoughts, sits by the bar while trying to muster up the courage to show “him” his shirt. White is not used to this insecurity and it is wearing on him. Johnson walks over to the bar while White walks away.
“How ‘bout a Captain and Coke?” Asks Johnson while putting his leg up Captain Morgan style. “Look at this form. Don’t I look like ‘Every Advertiser’s Dream?” Much to his dismay—no one notices, but Johnson does notice Vanden Bosch charging over. “Good God, Kyle Van Helsing! Your pentagram necklace matches your devil contacts.”
“They’re not contacts.” Vanden Bosch was hoping, if he left them in all the time, people would just start to think they were actually his eyes. He was also confident, that soon enough his eyes really would be red. “Give me a double Bloody Mary and I don’t mean double on the Mary.”
“You know they don’t put real blood in those right Bosch?” Johnson feels it is an honest question at this point.
“Uh…yeah,” Vanden Bosch answers, rolling his eyes, acting like he did indeed already know this, “of course I do. Bottoms up!” They slammed glasses and their drinks.
“Coach!” they both greeted their approaching and fearless leader while wiping their mouths.
“It’s hot in here. Don’t ya think?” Fisher asks, hoping everyone will agree. “You guys know that song? How’s it go? It’s getting hot in here…” He pauses and hopes someone will finish for him, but doesn’t.
“It’s not that hot, coach. Keep your clothes on.” Johnson answers “no one needs to see that.”
“It’s alright,” Fisher’s voice comes out from behind his lifting sweatshirt, “I’ve got shirts on underneath.” Fisher’s sweatshirt comes off unveiling a wide grin and a number 18 Colts jersey. “That’s better. I feel much better now. Here you guys should rub this.” Fisher says while offering his jersey for a rub, “you’ll feel better…like a winner!”
“Oh coach. I can’t believe you wore that here.” Vanden Bosch replies while shaking his head.
“Hey,” Fisher says with a sudden start and searching the room, “where’s Vince?”
“Don’t know…” Johnson and Vanden Bosch offer in unison, while four eyeballs roll back, “I’m sure he’s fine though.”
Fisher does a quick drop into his old cornerback’s crouch and quickly turns his head from side to side. “I’m going to search for him. If you don’t see either of us in five minutes call the hotline and then police. No, call the police then the hotline. No, wait—one of you call the hotline, while the other calls the police.” Confident in this strategy, Fisher runs off in a blue blur.
Meanwhile, Young is wiping beer from his shirt and about to head back inside from the parking lot. “Damn, it’s hard to work this beer bong by myself. This would’ve been easier if they had one inside. Good thing I brought my own. I gotta get in there before coach calls out the search party for me....”
Collins, moving about one inch an hour, bumps into White. They both were walking with their heads down. “Sorry LenDale” Collins says in his best Eeyor voice, “I’m just on my way to get a coke. Don’t mind me. I’ll probably bump into something else on my way there anyway.”
“I’ll grab ‘em” White is looking for an excuse to go back over to the bar, “hang tight.” Relieved, yet disappointed, he gets to the bar to find “he” was no longer there. He grabs two “Cokes” that were really Patron and Coke and hands one to Collins. “Cheers Kerry,” White says to his fellow non-drinker—they tap glasses and slam their beverage.
“Damn, that was the best Coke I’ve had in years,” Collins says, “I’ll go grab us another.”
While walking over to the bar he can’t help but notice Vanden Bosch trying to explain to the cook that he really needs to pick out the steak he wants. “It’s a special process,” Vanden Bosch emphasizes the word special.
“Everything Vanden Bosch does is special…when Vince is the starter” Collins thinks as he turns his attention to the bartender. “Two more Cokes, barkeep” he says while giving the bar a brisk double tap and thinking, “You know, I am starting to feel a little better—maybe tonight won’t be so horrible after all....”
“Bud,” Fisher says as he scurries up to the owner, “I don’t see Vince. Have you seen him?” Fisher is surprised that he doesn’t see some panic in return.
“Well no, pardner. Calm down though—you look ready to blow a gasket. He’s probably just in the crapper. And for all things holy, take off that blasted Manning jersey! You are going to kill my buzz.”
“Okay, sure…as soon as I find Vince.” Fisher is actually glad someone asked him to take off this shirt.
“I’m right here, coach,” Young reassures as he puts his hand on his coaches back.
“Oh thank the lord! You okay…? I mean do you need to talk to the hotline or anything? I got their number right here in my contact list.” Fisher says while flipping out his phone and displaying a lovely picture of Peyton Manning and his wife.
“I’m fine coach.”
Fisher, quickly relaxing, pulls off his Colts jersey and reveals an orange Tennessee Volunteers Manning jersey. “Vince, touch this. Doesn’t it make you feel like a winner, Vince? I feel so good in this shirt. Here Bud, you touch.”
“I swear son,” Adams replies while flipping him off, “you are crazier than a run over dog. Take off that shirt too.”
“You got it.” Fisher responds with twinges of excitement in his voice. “I’ll be right back and he scurries off....
Collins and White are planted by the bar drinking “Cokes.”
“You know what pisses me off Len, can I call you Len?” Collins says to White without waiting for an answer, “is that I busted my butt for this team last year and this year comes and no one played hard until Vince gets in there and now everyone else is playing better and everyone gives all the credit to him and everyone forgets about me. What about me, Len?”
White is having a hard time focusing on what Collins is saying. He is too distracted by his own thoughts and encouraged by his budding courage, “I don’t care what he thinks. I am going to tell him how I feel and show him this shirt and if he doesn’t like it then he can just say good-bye to the best pair he’ll ever be a part of. One more Coke and I am going over there.” So lost in his own head is White, that he doesn’t even notice his clothes are getting tighter....
Fisher walks into the kitchen to change. He needs the privacy, because this time he has to change more than his shirt. While taking off his pants, he is startled by a slurping noise. He peeks around the dark corner, only to see nothing, but two faint red dots. “What the hell…” he thinks while fumbling for the light switch.
The lights flash to life on a startled Vanden Bosch, who leaps back with a raw steak hanging out of his mouth. “Kyle! What the hell are you doing?” Fisher asks while standing in nothing but boxers and an orange half shirt.
“Coach, I was hungry or thirsty. I am not sure what I call this craving…and Chris told me Bloody Mary’s weren’t real blood.”
“Oh, of course.” This confused Fisher, but he was used to being confused by his defensive end, “well, that should satisfy your hunger/thirst.” Fisher adds in his best ‘a job well done’ coach’s voice.
“Oh, it did. Kitchen’s all yours now, coach.” Vanden Bosch says while walking out and patting him on the back. “By the way that shade of red does your lips justice.”
“Thanks Kyle.” Fisher feels better now and he finishes applying the lipstick. He wasn’t sure about the deep red 42, but he trusted Vanden Bosch’s assessment of red....
White and Collins put down the empty glass of their tenth “Cokes” while saying to each other, “yeah, we are just going to tell them how we feel. If they think they can just treat us like that and not hear about it—they got another thing coming. Who do they think they are?” White isn’t even dissuaded by the fact that his belly is now hanging out of his shirt. Patron always packs the extra pounds on him....
On the other side of the room Johnson, who is disappointed there is no karoke, just finished singing I’m Too Sexy for Young, “Not bad, right Vince?”
Since arriving Johnson changed his goal of being coined “Every Karoke Machine’s Dream” to “God’s Gift to Karoke” it seemed more befitting of his talents. He is just hoping that Young or someone…anyone, will say it.
All these questions are killing Young’s buzz and he isn’t even sure what is being asked of him. “Yeah Chris. That’s great.”
“No doubt, my man. In fact some might even say: my singing is a gift,” Johnson looks to see if Young is taking the bait, “wouldn’t you say that?”
“That my singing is a gift. You know, like from a higher power. What is it that people say when they get a gift from somewhere not of this world?”
“I don’t like those gifts. I got one once, after the Rose Bowl, and it was all in Spanish. How was I s’posed to know there was a worm in the bottom. I was sick for a week. Who puts a worm in Tequilla anyway? That’s why I don’t ever except no gifts from Mexicans no more.”
“No, I mean like God Vince! My singing—I mean it’s like a gift right? A gift from…?” Johnson waited for Young to finish his thought.
“Don’t ever drink the worm, Chris.” Young says, distracted as he spots Collins and White stumbling with a purpose towards them....
The kickers know what is coming and both manage to get out “Oh shi…” before he greets them with a salutary head butt, rendering them both unconscious.
“Silly kickers,” Vanden Bosch laughs, “always playin’.”
“Kyle!” Adams yells, “get over hear son. Uncle Bud is feeling friskier than a dog with two dicks and he needs a favor!”
“Sure thing, boss.” Vanden Bosch bolts over to the owner—leaving the kickers lying unconscious on the floor.
“I need a favor son. I am going to pull down my drawers and bend over and I want you to take a picture with my phone.”
Vanden Bosch likes these kinds of games and is excited to take the picture, “Say cheese.”
“Cheese” Adams says as he sticks his middle finger into the shot.
“Oh, this came out great!” He shows the picture to Adams and they both admire the quality shot. “Look at that you can even see the gray hairs! This camera phone has tremendous resolution. I can never see the hairs on mine. Who’s the lucky recipient of this gem?”
“Who else, son? That son o’ bitch, Bob Lanier.” Adams has the former mayor of Houston’s number in his contacts and sends the picture, “Adams 21,549, Houston 0!” exclaims Adams as he high fives Vanden Bosch then adds one to his clicker....
White had taken off his sweatshirt on the walk over, revealing a shirt that says, “Smash &”, he extends a shirt to Johnson reading, “Dash.”
“I know we both said some mean things—that we didn’t mean. I know you said you wanted your distance.” White begins the speech he had practiced countless times the past few months. “I know, I said I would accept that, but I don’t want to go on without you. Football isn’t the same without you—life isn’t the same. First, I lost Reggie and now you—it’s too much! Smash ceases too exist without Dash. You complete me.”
“LenDale, you are out of your mind! I am everyone’s dream. I don’t need you or anyone else. You can take your shirt and your tears and…”
At the same time, Collins has his finger in Young’s chest. “This team wouldn’t be nothing without me. You think you are so great because we get a few wins with you starting and it’s all because everyone else decides to start playing. If everyone else would play like that for me, I would be the one getting the praise, not you! You probably can’t even read the damn playbook! You are nothing but a stupid ni…”
Just then, a loud whistle stops everyone as they turn towards the kitchen to have their eyes greeted by the sight of pom poms waving and their ears filled with the chants of “Give me a M! Give me an A! Give me a double N! Give me an ING! What’s that spell? Mann-Ing!” Fisher screams as he dances across the floor with his white boxers on display under a flying orange skirt and a Volunteer Cheerleader’s top.
The sound of jaws dropping filled the room, then silence and finally Adams’ voice, “In all my born days have I never seen anything to compare to this? What are you doing?”
“I dressed up like Ashley Manning—so I could feel like the wife of a winner. Isn’t she lucky? She gets sleep with him. She gets to feel the winner!” Fisher says with starry eyes.
“I swear to the good lord,” Adams says while feeling his buzz dwindle and raising his middle fingers, “you look like you’ve been rode hard and put up wet. You are nuttier than squirrel shit! If you don’t take that off I am going to have you committed.”
Fisher hangs his head and mumbles, “Yes, boss.” He didn’t want to go back to the asylum. It is going to be hard for him to take off this outfit—it just feels so good.
Collins, White, Young and Johnson are laughing so hard they have forgotten what they had been fighting about. They are slapping each other on the back while wiping tears from their eyes.
Everyone in the room begins to realize that these are the little things that make Jeff Fisher such an excellent coach.
“Well butter my biscuits, boys! This was one hell of a shindig, but it’s gettin’ late and seein’ coach in that skirt gets the ol man thinking of his young secretary.” Adams yells. “Let’s put this on pause and restart when y’all get this ol’ man a ring for his favorite finger!” Adams says while pointing to his displayed middle digit.
Everyone files out of the room and into the night. Fisher, freezing, hurries to his car as he is now in nothing but his boxers and the 18 Manning tattoo on his back. Yelling as he gets in his car, “I’ll follow you home Vince—to make sure you are safe!”
Once Shirley arrives, Adams turns out the lights and locks the doors. He flips off the empty room one final time—well, empty except for the two unnoticed and unconscious kickers littering the ground.