Author's Note: While originally I had planned for this to be an ebook and go on to sell millions on iTunes, Amazon, and Wal-Mart (Do they sell books still? Does anyone?) due to advice of (fictional) counsel, I have instead opted to give you my magnum opus of a novel in installments here for your reading enjoyment. All names are real, and in the words of 'American Hustle'...some of this actually happened.
INTRODUCTION - A FAREWELL TO 'STACHES
It was finished.
After a season of drama (well...let's be honest here, years of drama), the 'stache was walking out the door and all of a sudden what had once been a house divided was now simply an empty house.
How did we get here? I kept asking myself while drooling over memories of Bum Phillips leading the team. I failed to see how I had done any wrong here. It had been the perfect situation, my beloved moustache paired with the love of my life (besides oil...and money...and oil...and money) at QB. This was a recipe for triumph! For glory! For Texas!
I expected both to work well together, and for Vince to listen to Jeff and make him into a great man and a great QB. What could possibly go wrong?, I rhetorically asked myself rhetorically, "A coach who likes a drop-back passer paired with an improvising, running QB with iffy mechanics? This is perfect!" I had given Jeff a lump of Texas clay to mold into Texas gold (gold?! where?!), and to be able to give a hearty double-birded salute to the city of Houston for dumping us and not giving me what I deserved. We would go in there and destroy their new team with their new stadium, and we would win multiple Super Bowls with their hometown hero.
And yet, here we were five years later and it had all come crashing down around me. What had begun as the building of a kingdom and the Reign of VY Being My Guy had become A Farewell to 'Staches. It was a cold, lonely place being abandoned by everyone I had known and loved. How had it come to this?
I needed steak.
Coach had yelled at me today and made me sad, and nothing makes me feel better than a nice, rare steak with Patron Silver on the side. Blame Lendale for that one, he got me hooked. Why does coach yell at me? All I do is go out there and throw it where I wanna throw it, or run it when I wanna run it. My true fans know how I roll, I just wish Coach would let me be me.
That's all I had ever wanted ever since I was 6'5, 190 lb sixth grader running all over those puny kids. I just wanted to let me be me. All I ever dreamed of was playing on Saturdays in Austin, wearing the burnt orange and beating up anyone who put the horns down (you better watch your back...). I was a KING in Austin, there was no one greater than me and I could get whatever I wanted. I even got someone to take all my tests for me so I could just let me be me and play some football.
Why was coach so upset at me? What had I done wrong? Why can't everyone just love me? I thought they wanted me but I guess I was wrong...
I need a shot of whiskey, no, make it two. Seven, seven shots. One for every waking hell that that kid has put me through.
I didn't ask for this, I just wanted to come in and quietly sit on the bench being a backup and riding out my last days writing songs and drinking whiskey. Is that too much for a grizzled old man to ask? You hear me? I didn't ask for any of this! Hmm...that might be a good song title.
From the beginning I had a bad feeling about this, they wanted me to come in and be the stable, veteran presence for the kid and show him how we do things in The League (album title...), but he wasn't hearing any of it. You think the old man wanted me starting? Hell no, he was in the kid's corner the whole way. I don't know what sort of black magic Jeff pulled to let me start as long as I did. Of course it went to f***** s*** hell since I came on so late, and the kid had natural talent that we all saw once he took my place.
And I was content to do that, to ride off into the sunset being a father figure for the kid, but Jeff had other plans...for both of us.
To shave or not to shave?
I'm ready for a fresh start now. Oh yes, I am most definitely ready to move on from this cesspool of Texonian incest. I don't care if "Texonian" is not how you say something is from Texas, this is...was...my franchise and this is my story so I will call it how I see it.
I didn't want Vince. I wanted Kerry. Kerry was my guy. Kerry had everything you could want in a QB and in a man. He was what we needed when we needed it. It didn't work out that way at first, but then dammit I was proven right! I wanted to feel like a winner, you know? And even though Bud once made me say "You're done" to Kerry, I vowed that would never happen again, that I would emerge victorious and be proven to have made the right decision all along. And then it worked! Kerry proved how great of a guy he is on and off the field when we had some of our greatest success.
I guess that's where this all starts really...success. Or the lack thereof, that is, that put us in this position to have to take a young quarterback high in the draft. It's a crapshoot, they say, you never truly know how a guy will pan out once he makes it. But I knew, I knew who WASN'T going to work out, and my moustache was twirling with the thought of having to put up with it...