Resistance is futile
The Curly R concludes its film treatment in three parts.
Act One: Just Another Job
Act Two: They're Being Replaced
Act Three: We Are All Seahawks Now
Back at my office I replay the night's events over and over in my mind, it doesn't make sense, the team was not ready to play Sunday, the punter replaced by an underperforming player from the coach's former team and now a key player with a sudden and mysterious back injury captive and tortured, ultimately to be replaced by another former Seahawks player.
All my instincts tell me to report this, to call the police and the local paper. But that wasn't what I was going to do now was it? No I was going back to the Park to find out what the hell was going on with the Redskins.
On the ride out to the Park I listen to the radio, every station it seemed had a hyperactive host praising coach Zorn and this team, how smart, how gutsy, every DJ was playing Hail to the Redskins, practically in rapture to the new coach who brought new life to this old team. Every car I pass has Redskins flags, Redskins stickers, Redskins magnets. Every pedestrian is wearing a Redskins jersey or a Redskins hat or Redskins triple layer all weather thermal sideline fleece hoodie varsity track jacket with matching pants.
On approach to the Park I switch off the car's headlights, I think only one was working anyway. But there are no cars in the lot. I creep around to the back door, where I had entered mere hours before. The door sits open. Fear shoots down my spine, I steel myself and step in. And listen. Silence. A lighted path goes down the hall. Unable to stop myself I follow the path to the trainer's room, the door is open and the lights are off. Adrenaline coursing through my veins, the taste of acid in my mouth, I enter. Immediately I feel the crack on my skull, as I hit the floor I hear the door slam. I black out.
I awake tied to a chair, my arms tingling from lack of blood. I hear movement then the lights come on. I am surrounded. Zombie Dan Snyder is there alongside Vinny Cerrato. Just four days ago Vinny was fighting for this team, seemingly in charge, not afraid to contradict his brash new coach. Now, Vinny had Dan Snyder's dull, black eyes, a thin rivulet of blood and drool hanging from his mouth.
And there in all his evil glory is coach Jim Zorn. The lifeless black eyes, fangs bared, twice his human size with a necklace of childrens feet. Without appearing to move suddenly he is at my side, grabbing me and forcing his rotting visage into mine.
"Vinny tells me you follow this team closely," he growled, his voice inhuman and I feel my bladder release. "Then by now you must know I have won this city over. The pathetic hearts and minds of Washington belong to ME! To do with as I please!"
And then I saw it, the evil plan. The Zorn thing was right. The whole of Washington had given itself over to Zorn and the Redskins. So busy reveling in shallow pride and hypnotized by the new coach's charm no one was going to notice a roster move here and there. But then what? The whole team? And then once converted what of the fans? Would the Zorn thing then set about replacing every Redskins fan in Washington with Seahawks fans? The answer it seems, was yes.
"You see, I am Seattle and Seattle is me," the Zorn thing's esses now hissing like a snake, "soon every wretched soul in this city will be wearing a blue number 10 jersey. Then I will move to the next city and pollute them with the stench of Seattle. If I have to turn every team in the league into the Seahawks I will not stop until we finally have the championship we so truly deserve!"
The Zorn thing slaps me back into the room with a cold hand like a cut of meat. "I have an idea," intones the Zorn thing, "why don't you join our team. I can give you so much more... exposure," that last word trailing off in an effluvium of rotting plants and bitter orange.
"NO!" I cry, "I'll never join you, I want to be my own man!" I felt as if I had just signed my own death warrant.
"Then perhaps you will be my guest, I have another roster move to make and I would like you to witness it." The Zorn thing turns to Vinny and nodded. Vinny did not move. The Zorn thing stared at Vinny. "I said 'I have another roster move to make.'" The Zorn thing snaps its fingers in front of Vinny who startles and shambles out of the room to return with Ladell Betts strapped to a gurney.
"Ladell hurt his knee on Sunday. Or so I hear. I think he's going to be out..." the Zorn thing caresses Ladell's skull and finishes with dark hilarity, "a few weeks."
Zombie Dan Snyder steps toward the gurney brandishing a deformed pineapple and forces it down Ladell's throat. Mercifully it is over soon and Ladell begins to dessicate.
Almost immediately the previously unseen pod behind the trainer's table begins to shake and soon, slowly out emerges a perfectly formed 31 year old previously unemployed tailback.
"Shaun Alexander!" I exclaim. The triumvirate is complete. Three former Seahawks player, three Redskins roster spots.
After shedding his birth sac Shaun stretches and growls, "mmm I ate Reed Doughty. I think I'll take his number." The Zorn thing begins to laugh and laugh and laugh, it turns into a howl. Zombie Dan Snyder stumbles toward me with a deformed pineapple, it is my turn to be replaced, to be silenced.
No one will be able to stop the Zorn thing from replacing all the Redskins players and fans and I am resigned to crossing over and close my eyes when all at once through the doorway burst Will and Anthony, my drinking buddies. They are in my line of work.
"What the hell are you doing here!?" I shout. "Get the fuck out! Save yourselves!"
"What, you think you're the only one on this case?" Will says with a shine, and knocks down Zombie Dan Snyder. Anthony produces a blade and cuts my trainers tape bonds, I easily evade Vinny and get out the door. I turn back to say let's get the fuck out of here! but I see Will and Tony have been overwhelmed by the Redskins staff and are now facing the deformed pineapple.
It's ok Anthony mouths with a solemn nod. "Remember us," Will says tragically as I turn to run. I do not stay to watch.
I cannot make it past the artificial turf practice field where I stop and vomit. I stagger to my car and as I fumble with the keys I hear voices. Across the lot I see the injured Redskins, Clinton Portis, Chris Horton and Chris Samuels, laughing and back slapping, oblivious and piling into an ambulance.
The hospital ambulance taking them to room 10.
Shaun Alexander in his new Redskins number 37: Matt Terl from here. Title with apologies to a classic movie.