Well, fuck.

Here we are again.  Here we are after a blowout loss to a just-pretty-good team.  We’ve found ourselves getting onto our cliché treadmills to work up a good, standing-still lather.

Guys who get paid to talk are out of talking points.  Guys who get paid to write are undoubtedly staring at blank pages, cursors blinking out the Morse Code SOS that accompanies writer’s block in the digital age.  Even dweeby blogsters who do “it all” just for the love or sports and of writing – that thrill of self-expression that has fired the human combustion engine since cave painters first charcoaled their Ancient Aliens onto a wall – aren’t really coming up with anything new to say.

Our redundancy has become redundantly redundant.  We’re out of Groundhog Days and “glitches in the Matrix.”  We can’t even make any more Source Code references or try to clumsily name-drop that one Sandra Bullock movie where her family keeps dying and she keeps waking up and starting the whole damn thing over again.

I wrote a post last year after the Iowa game and it was digitally smashed by a few of the chest-thumping Redditors who disapproved.  I don’t remember exactly what was said, and I’m fine with criticisms of my work (*Author’s note: as it often times deserves it), but it was something along the lines of “This piece doesn’t have a point.  If it doesn’t move the conversation forward on the topic, then why bother to write it?”

What those Reddit commenters missed, and what I was striving to do in that piece, was to show that having “no point” was, indeed, the actual point.  There was no way to move the conversation forward.  No new angle to take or revolutionary column to bring a new perspective to this topic.  We were mired in the thick, sticky muck of sameness and I was lamenting the circular pattern of ineptitude.  What felt like a downward spiral was actually something worse: just a stationary spiral.  And that was last year.

So what now?  I just admitted there’s nothing to say.  At this point we’ve been on hold for 7 years.  We’ve been listening to the ear-homicide of Jack Johnson soft rocking for 91 games.  And we can’t hang up because we’ve already been waiting for so long and we don’t want to start the process again.  And we can’t quite seem to get anyone to pick up the goddamn phone.  And we’re listening a little too intently and I’m starting to be convinced it’s driving us completely, blue-blazes fuck-all insane.

So what do we do?  We spin out rhetorical questions and turn to caustic social media barbs.  But it doesn’t have to be so full of despondency and despair, does it?  We can try to cope, can’t we Husker fans?  Here is my breakdown of the 7 stages in the coping process when we find ourselves back in that dreaded, vile, angst-ridden position that has become like our second home in Nebraska: square one.

Stage 1: The Cage Rage Phase

Cage

It’s a natural part of the healing process, Nebraska fans.  Get angry.  Hell, get Nicolas Cage angry.  (*Author’s note: Follow the visual flow chart above to channel your emotions.)  Scream into a pillow.  Rip into your garage wall like it’s Daniel Davie and it just missed a single tackle in a game that you’re winning by a touchdown (*Author’s note: too soon?).  The point is this: a little insane rage is healthy at this point.  When you hear the term “back at square one” it’s okay to screw your eyeballs back into a Nic Cage Murder Face, unhinge your jaw like a python downing a wildebeest, and howl like a drunken wolf on a full moon.  Let it out.

Stage 2: The Liar Liar Bathroom Phase

That’s right.  Even though you’re not directly responsible for the loss to the Badgers you’re going to feel some level of guilt.  Maybe you were that guy this season.  Maybe you were  that girl.  Telling all your friends around the office that we had turned a corner; that Bo Pelini, merry off-season prankster, was a sign of the coach maturing into a new version of a leader that would be looser and more relaxed (*Author’s note: and thereby transferring this newfound zen approach to the team) and that his newfound outlook on the coaching profession would spell an end to the days of blow-outs past.  Whatever the reason, you’re harboring a 59-point pile of anger towards yourself. Just remember to take it easy on the beatdown.

Stage 3: The Binge Eating Runza/Amigos Phase

Food

There’s only 1 thing that’s more Nebraskan than caring way too much about your college football team: having a borderline inappropriate love of Runza.  That’s right.  There’s no better way to work your way through this chasm of mourning than to sobbingly collapse onto your couch and into the loving embrace of a large order of crinkle-cut fries.  Let those tears mingle with the salty goodness of a Runza or a delicious burger as you crush your way through your second fast-food meal of the day.

Not as big into Runza?  Still feeling the need to stress-eat your way through some deep-fried goodness? No need to hire a shrink.  Psychiatrists are expensive.  Amigos’ super inauthentic Mexican food only runs you about 6 bucks for a meal and it will offer up the same mental healing.  The pit of self-loathing is approximately 4 Cheesies deep, so why not start digging?  (*Author’s note: I’m an Amigos guy myself.  If anyone needs me I’ll be seeing how many “Mexi-Fries” I can fit in my mouth to drown out my own wailing.

Step 4: The McLachlan Phase

SUH

This is a really dark phase in the coping process.  It involves simultaneously YouTubing Ndamukong Suh highlights and listening to Sarah McLachlan’s Angel on repeat.  Not that I would know anything about this stage, personally, of course.  I mean, look, even if a grown man wanted to dim the lights, crack open a quart of Ben and Jerry’s and Kleenex his way through a few videos of Suh’s dominance, while juxtaposing that ferocious beauty of a defense with a heart-wrenchingly angsty McLachlan join, that doesn’t make him less of man, does it?  Wait, does it?!?! (*Author’s note: totally asking for a friend.)  I don’t need to go too much further into the details, but just know that you’re not alone in doing this.

Step 5: The Ex-On-Facebook-Creep Phase

Capture1

It’s late.  You’ve had a few drinks.  There’s a tingling, restless, ache that starts to build somewhere deep in your fanhood.  You know you shouldn’t.  You know this isn’t going to be good for anyone.  It’s not healthy.  But still…

You slide your feet out from under the covers, sneak to a computer, glowing screen illuminating your guilt-ridden face as you delicately type in the words into the search engine.  A board creaks, you feverishly check over your shoulder, body temperature immediately shooting through the roof as your heart rate skyrockets.  Nothing.  It must be he house settling, you say to yourself, trying to catch your breath.  With a tremulous finger you click the “enter” key and there it is.  Heart beat echoing against the darkness of the night, you see it unfold in front of you. You’re not proud of what you’ve just done, but it’s there nonetheless.  And you can’t help yourself.  You begin to scroll through the page.

We swore we’d never do it again, Husker fans.  But now, all of a sudden, we’ve found ourselves doing things we haven’t done in years and feeling things we swore we’d never feel again.  We feel dirty.  We feel cheap.  But we can’t help ourselves from checking out Bill Callahan’s stats like a Facebook ex creeping on the profile pictures of their old flame.  It’s okay, Husker fans.  Just get it out of your system and remember: he’s no good for you.

Step 6: The Osborne Identity Phase

Dev

We’re a digital society.  So when we’re in need of answers, we Google shit.  And, in Googling shit, we often times stumble onto mind-blowing facts.  Like, for instance, Tom Osborne is only two years older than Bill Snyder.  And, when we Google shit, it can then lead us down a rabbit hole of other Google-related stuff that inevitably ends up with our eyes feeling grainy, our caffeine at unhealthy amounts and the hour of night being altogether unholy.  In short, we can quickly and easily start a chain of events that will bring about a personal, sometimes-apocalyptic, level of realization.

This phase is all about what can happen to a Husker fan when he realizes that Tom Osborne (*Author’s note: he with the 13 conference titles, 3 National Championships, and the ability to literally walk across and/or turn to the wine the waters of Lake McConaughy) isn’t really that much older than Bill Snyder.  And we begin to think, you know, with all the technological advances in modern science and medicine: 77 is pretty much the new 60, right?  I mean, if Bill Snyder can do it. . .

Try your hardest to avoid this stage, Husker fans.  Or if you find that you cannot?  Find the nearest bar, call up your homeys, and drink until you’re back at stage 1.

Step 7: The Thankgoditsbasketballseason Phase

AFaf

Are you trying to avoid the bonecrushing depression of nothing ever changing?  Tired of witnessing similar results so frustrating that  you refuse to wear crewnecks no matter how “in” they are or ever will become?  Have you gone through the previous 6 phases of being back in that psychological hell-hole known as “Square One”?  Well let me tell you about something to help balance the scales.

Something new.  Fresh.  Intriguing.  Something that is unpredictable, in a good way.  Something easy to root for.  And thankful to have you rooting.  Something that appears that not only appears to have a trajectory, but an upward trajectory at that.  This is fanhood Xanax.  Or some of Carl Pelini’s really good, top-shelf stuff.  It’s the mellow after the manic; the chaser after the shot of Barton’s at a college party.

It’s basketball.  In a football state.  And it’s the best thing you can cling to right now.  Unplug the treadmill — if only for a little while — on the days that don’t start with “Satur”,  climb down, and go outside for a run that takes you somewhere new.  Take two of Tim Miles and call me in the morning, Husker fans.

Or you can always pull a Brian McKnight and “start back at one.”

FIN

If there’s one thing we know about Nebraska Coordinator, John Papuchis, it’s that he’s truly a master motivator.  Whether getting the guys crunk on the sidelines with his fiery antics, going airborn for a flying chest bump with a Husker player after a big play, or making sure that the players are taking Coach Pelini’s “Execution” statements to heart, he’s usually making sure the team is ready to play.  If there’s two things we know about Papuchis, it’s that he’s also the illest MC to ever grace the mic in the state of Nebraska.  He obliterated Miami with this hot-fire diss track in September, undoubtedly being the fuel for the engine that propelled the Big Red to their biggest win of the season thus far.

So what does a master motivator and the dopest of MC’s do when his team has another massive game coming up this Saturday against the Wisconsin Badgers?  Simple.  He gets in the booth.

Utilizing a top-secret source within the inner circle of the Nebraska Football Program, we were able to obtain a leaked copy of Papuchis hot new single.  Shots fired!!!!!!!

(Lyrics)

Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Say go JP , cuz that’s my cuz that’s my

Football 101, the hottest defense under the sun
My flow so sick, like a Gerry pick, then we’re off on the run.
I’m back on the mic, son, you know how I do.
I’m laying down a sequel like it’s Sharknado 2
Up to the frozen tundra where every meal is just cheese.
You think you’re stopping us, man, “Child please.”
And that damn playoff committee with their homegirl Condoleez,
Well once we get the “w” they can grab on deeze.
And we’re fishing for Stave like a large-mouth bass
Here to expose your O-Line like Kardashian ass.
I got magic up my sleeve, call me Houdini
Poof! your season’s up in smoke, like Carl Pelini.
We got this game wrapped up, in the bag like Glad
And our coaches lookin’ fresh, peep that Joe Ganz plaid
2.0 Yards per carry, call you Daniel Tosh
It’s a Tour de Banderas like you’re biking with Josh.
Set up Camp in Camp Randall for 4 quarter stint
Playing so damn good Bo pitches a Khaki Tent

Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Say go JP , cuz that’s my cuz that’s my

Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Say go JP , cuz that’s my cuz that’s my

So pick your poison, Gary, buy the ticket take the ride
RG4 off the edge is a Stave Homicide.
Point Guarding on your asses like we’re Jeremy Lin
Best safety in the game, Gerrymandering.
Tackle your team so hard make you Top-10 famous
Shave those points off your offense, you can call me Jameis.
It’s Badger huntin’ season every day this fall
And Winter’s always coming this far north of “The Wall.”
That’s a diggy dope lyric about Game of Thrones
So suck on this broadsword you Adidas-thieving clones.

Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Say go JP , cuz that’s my cuz that’s my

Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Go JP, ‘cause this is JP
Say go JP , cuz that’s my cuz that’s my

FIN

Bo Pelini has had a pretty full couple of weeks.  What with somehow dropping the soap in the prison-shower-scene that is the College Football Playoff committee, trying to get the blood on his contract with the devil to dry in time for Ameer Abdullah to make a miraculous return to health, and attempting to win yet another huge road game, his schedule is packed.

So when Bo Pelini looks at us all and says he’s “taking it one day at a time” and he’s “focusing on the process” it seems like the Head Coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers is doing just that.  As usual, Bo’s got his day planned out down to the last minute, in the hours leading up to the biggest game of the month for a program with a hyperbole-laden pile of expectations teetering on the brink.

Utilizing a top-secret source working on the inside of One Memorial Stadium we were able to obtain a screenshot of what Bo’s schedule looks like for the Wisconsin game.  And, boy, does he seem busy.

(*Author’s note: as usual, the formatting sucks. Click on the image, and all will be revealed.)

Capture

FIN

This morning I woke up
Easing out into the feather-fingered cold
November air paintbrushing against my skin
Icy pointillism
Dotting across freckled arms

My feet hit the floor
Toes tasting the tendrils of heat
That silently pummeled away at the frigid leaks
Lying in wait

This morning I stood and looked out my window
Even the darkness was still in bed
Tousled hair now covered in a thin sheen of white.

I woke up this morning
Free
Free and alive
Free and grateful

This morning my feet touched wooden floor

As combat boots
Abroad
Marched through sun-cooked sand
And up scorched hills in lands where outward
cold and heat
Co-mingle with icy resolve
And molten courage
In the inimitable language that
Echoes in the actions of our soldiers

This morning I slid a finger between blinds
Glancing casually out onto a snow-sprinkled yard
Chalky white powder
Frosting a backyard thick with crystals

As lion’s eyes
Elsewhere
Stare from beneath world-painted helmets
Sizing and reacting
Pupils undilated by the gravity of the moment.
Those eyes
The eyes of men and women
Heroes all
That lock with danger in unblinking fortitude
And speak the whispers of forefathers
With actions through tumult

On a day purchased for me
By the blood that stains our very flag Red
I woke up this morning with gratitude
For those who lace up and strap on
Stand up and step forward
That oath-holding few with broad shoulders
And volcanic hearts
That battle still to allow me life
To give me liberty
And to allow me to pursue my happiness
That I hold so dear when I wrap my arms around
Son and wife
I woke up thankful above all

I woke up proud
And humbled
And hopeful

That those who serve us
Those talons of the eagle
Will continue to believe that the first two letters
Of USA
Is truly “US”
And that we may not be at their side
Making that ultimate
Bold
Astonishing
Declaration that they have
But that they are never far from the heart of the people
They give to so freely

Today we give thanks
Today as with all days
Let us bow and salute and applaud
Let us find silence
And let that silence echo in the canyons of our hearts
As we remember all who have given, all who give still
And all those fearless warriors who have yet to give.

(*Author’s note: To all who have served, continue to serve, or will someday serve our great nation: Thank You.  From the bottom of my Red, White, and Blue-beating heart. . .thank you.  Stand today, so we may give you thanks.)

FIN

20131111-201831.jpg

On Monday, my first phone call came in at about 8:10 AM.

Some of you probably know the type of morning I’m talking about.  The Monday morning that too often feels like a lit end of a match touching a slow-burning, corny-western movie fuse; hissing and sparking dramatically towards some unknown end.

I tried to state my name and the company I was supposed to be professionally representing, but my voice came out in a husky, strangled, croak.  I harrumphed and hacked, unceremoniously trying to yank my vocal chords out of their Fran-Drescher coma.  Finally, after a liberal helping of the “mute” button, I was able to finish the call and softly apologize to my boss for sounding like PJ Carlesimo in mid Spreewelling.

I approached my boss’ desk so that they would know I wasn’t the modern version of typhoid Mary, or some early forerunner for the Ebola epidemic.  Sitting down, I croaked out an explanation: You see, I squeaked.  I went to the game last night.  She nodded.  No explanation.  No extra beat spent wondering what sporting event had turned my voice into a falsetto trainwreck.  She knew.  You may already suspect.  There was a reason my abs were stiff and my hands were a little achy.

It was early March and my fanhood was showing.

Nebraska Basketball.

That’s the ‘why’ and the ‘who’.  The What, when, and where are a little more complex.  Nebraska basketball (*Author’s note: which I refuse to call by what I consider a dopey, power-couple-in-Hollywood amalgamation of Nebraska and basketball but so many do: Nebrasketball) as I’m sure a great many of you are aware of even in this football-centric state, has grown from downtrodden novelty act to headlining their very own, very unique, wholly fascinating show.  They’ve catapulted to stardom with all the rapidity of a YouTube sensation whose video goes viral, burning across our collective consciousness like a spark through kindling.

You see, I was there for the Wisconsin game.  I was there on “No Sit Sunday” or “the biggest game in years” or “the stunning upset of that other angry guy named Bo in the Big Ten Conference” or whatever in the blue blazes of hell you’d like to call it.  But I was there on that Sunday when that spark, that tinder, exploded into a full on, raging, blaze.

1256491_10100344535869612_959999037_n

I was there the night Nebraska imploded the decrepit ideology of the past; took their alleged ceiling and erupted it skyward.  I was there the night Tim Miles – that goofy basketball wizard who probably actually  likes talking about wizards – jumped into the shotgun seat of this once-rickety Wright-brothers-looking plane and flew up to new heights, looking to gun down the King Kong sized monkey that has set up shop for what feels like an eternity on the backs of Husker basketball faithful.

The point is this: Nebraska basketball is no longer on the fringes of sports talk in Nebraska.  They’ve scratched and clawed, won and won again, and selfie’d their way into the conversation.  On that day in March, my boss didn’t ask what game I was talking about.  Because she already knew.  That doesn’t happen in Nebraska.  Or, I should say, that didn’t used to happen in Nebraska.

Nebraska made the NCAA tournament, shortly after that stunning home victory in one of the most raucous sporting environments that I can recall, and suffered a tough loss at the hands of a long, athletic Baylor club.

Smarting.  Emotionally spent after an insane, reckless, heart-hammering thrill ride of a season.  Husker basketball fanatics felt like we’d just set up base camp at the foot of Mt. Everest and then a weather front blew in and canceled the entire trip; like we’d been halfway through the roller coaster ride, with the biggest drop yet straight ahead, and the ride had broken down.

But our eyes were no longer fixated on the ground in front of us.  For the first time in a very, very long time, we turned our gazes skyward.  Towards the mountaintop.  Our hands were still tossed in the air, ready for the ride to start up again.

Even though the abruptness of such a miraculous season ending was tough to stomach, almost like we were writing a great story and then the printer just ran out of ink during the last chapter, it still felt good.  There was a solid core of playmakers returning.  While Mike Peltz’s hair would undoubtedly be missed, his graduation was the only subtraction from that is worth mentioning from last year’s team.  The Huskers landed a prized transfer from Kansas, a recruiting class that appears to be ready to pay dividends fairly quickly, and return the Shepherd of Shot (*Author’s note: Terran Petteway), Disney (*Author’s note: Walt Pitchford. . .yes, I know I’m reaching, but maybe those 3’s he jacks up from long-range kind of have a similar arc to that rainbow over Disney’s castle?  And he’s magic?) and The Agent (of S.H.I.E.L.D.s) (*Author’s note: alright, alright.  I’m really reaching.  But that Petteway one is okay, right?) are all back and appear primed for another great year.

1911914_10100518681884602_7048433122641058295_n

The momentum, as they say, appears to be rolling.

So what happens now?  What happens when the pressure’s on and suddenly the Huskers find themselves ranked in pre-season polls and Tim Miles has “Coach of the Year” in front of his name in the NU media guide?  What happens when the Huskers won’t be Trojan-horsing their way into games but will be facing a fully prepared opponent in a fully tough Big Ten, night after night?

Does Tim Miles continue to mesmerize the home crowd?  Can this nerd-cocky, social media whiz continue maximizing talent, somehow blending himself into a wild sideline Molotov cocktail of dweebiness and complete and utter M-Fing swag (Author’s note: Swaggy T, anyone?), and continuing to evolve a program that was so far outside the bounds of relevancy at one point that they literally had an elderly women’s clogging team perform at halftime. . .for years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, the Huskers are one of the hottest tickets in town.  It’s a sudden program turnaround that makes the plot of Like Mike seem totally believable. (*Author’s note: A coach from Northern Colorado showing up and taking one of the most moribund college basketball programs in NCAA history to The Dance in his second year?  This story is firmly entrenched between Eddie and Air Bud on my Basketball Believability Index scale)I’m a firm believer that Miles is the real deal.  That Petteway is the gym rat everyone says he is and will return hungrier and more prepared than a year ago.  That Shavon Shields will continue to develop and every single guy from Benny Parker to Chris Harriman to dagger-in-the-heart-of-KU-basketball Ali Farokhmanesh is exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

The iron is red, scalding, hot.  We just need to strike.  I believe that Tim Miles and the Husker basketball team are about to drop the hammer.

 

I’m all in. I believe that this group, these coaches, and this group of foaming at the mouth, werewolf-howling basketball fans who have awoken from the tomb of utter ineptitude and have come crawling out of the grave of disinterest are fully ready to buy in.

It’s all happened so fast that the bandwagon is still loading up with fans.  Don’t hesitate now, Huskers.  There’s plenty of room to hop on board.

In fact: take my seat.

I won’t be sitting much this year anyway.

FIN

Bo Pelini is a football coach.  But, damn it!, he’s an American first.  And being an American on an election day means you need to get to the polls.

But, as a Nebraska football coach, Bo is still subject to some special treatment.  Ease of access to a polling place, early voting, or even a specially constructed, Bo-only ballot are all perks of the job.  Risking federal incarceration (Author’s note: and a chance to spend some quality time with Lawrence Phillips) we were able to obtain a sneak peak at Bo Pelini’s special, Nebraska ballot.  And boy, is it interesting.

image

And it seems that Bo, perhaps, became a little confused — and instantaneously overzealous — at the final question on the ballot.

image

 

FIN

Now that we’ve covered the basis of the league and the way in which it will be set up we need to take the next logical step.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this newly formed league will have 8 teams and owners representing their proud cities.  Every good new league needs to have a highly-touted, perennially overhyped draft.  We’ve already determined the draft will be held in New York City and televised by the venerable SyFy Channel.

The draft itself will be conducted in a snake-style draft, meaning that the team with the last pick in the first round will have the first pick in the second and so on, and will be broken down by SyFy’s team of analysts featuring The Ghost of Vincent Price, The Gothic Kid in High School Who Has a Morbid Curiosity With the Dead and Always Somehow Knows Shitloads About the Killer, and a team of sideline reporters.

Through a random drawing we have established a draft order:

1.  The Portland Prank Calls From the Killer
2.  The Minneapolis Maybe He’s Actually Dead This Times
3.  The San Francisco Shower Scenes
4.  The Pittsburgh Pre-Martial Sexers
5.  The Dallas Dream Within a Dream Sequences
6.  The Utah Underage Drinkers
7.  The Niagara Trips and Falls Over Nothings
8.  The Philadelphia Flickering Lights

Let’s go, now, live to Radio City Music Hall in the heart of New York City where the draft order has been established, the owners are standing by with their draft teams, and the slashers, ghouls, monsters, and psychopaths are anxiously waiting in the green room for the moment when they hear their names get called and their dreams are realized.

(As the broadcast begins we see commissioner John Carpenter sitting alone at his synthesizer.  A thin layer of fog pools up by his feet.  He immediately kicks into skin-crawling, undoubtedly 6/8 time, synth-doom and the crowd roars to life.)

The Ghost of Vincent Price
Eat your heart out David Stern.  Or, if you’re not interested, Zombie Al Davis will certainly eat it for you.
Hello and welcome to the first annual National Horror Association Draft.  I’m The Ghost of Vincent Price
and with me is my broadcasting partner, The Gothic Kid in High School Who Has a Morbid Curiosity With the Dead
and Always Somehow Knows Shitloads About the Killer.

Gothic Kid
(Sighs) Huhhh. . .what’s up?  We’re all going to die. . .I hope you know that.

The Ghost of Vincent Price
Terrific stuff as always.  Let’s go now to our sideline reporter, the overly-ambitious, manipulative and
sensationalism-driven reporter, Gail Willalwaysbeundonebyherambitionanddisregardforhumanlife.  Gail?

(Gail Willalwaysbeundonebyherambitionanddisregardforhumanlife is standing next to a hockey mask wearing Jason Vorhees and his insanely creepy mother.)

Gail
Thanks, Vincent.  If I may say, your ghostly mustache is looking pencil thin tonight.  Well played.
I’m standing by here with potential first round draft pick Jason Vorhees.  Jason, there’s been some
talk that you could go in the first round, but many analysts have predicted that you’ll slide further down
in the draft due to what some are calling “mommy issues.”  Any response?

(Jason stands mutely by)

Mrs. Pamela Vorhees
My son doesn’t have mommy issues.  He was a good boy.  Do you hear me?!?!  A good boy.
It was those counselors. . .they weren’t paying attention to him.  They snuck off to
make love and they let him die!

Gail
There you have it.  Straight from the horse’s mouth.  Normally I would say that these two appear highly
unstable and should be avoided at all costs, but I’m looking for a network news gig so I’m just going
to keep right on pressing forward.

The Gothic Kid
Gail, that might not be the best idea.  Jason Vorhees is a slashing, murdering, killing machine.

(Jason and his mother turn and begin to walk away)

Gail
(excitedly)
Oooooh. . .look.  They’re heading into a dark, abandoned part of the draft room.  I’m going to go
investigate this.  Alone.  Back to you, Ghost of Vincent Price.

GOVP
Well I think we all know how that’s going to end.  Let’s go now to the dais where
Commissioner Carpenter is standing by.

(Carpenter has ceased his ominous synth-death-ballad and has taken the microphone)

Carpenter
Hello everyone.  I’m pleased to announce that this is the first annual National Horror Association draft.
It’s amazing to see we have such a great turnout.  I’d like to extend a special welcome to the spring breakers
drinking heavily, teenagers gossiping on their phones while wearing only their underwear, the campers making
poor life decisions, and even the kids who have cars that won’t start, are out of gas, and will inevitably break
down at the wrong time.  It’s good to be here isn’t it?

(The crowd cheers wildly)

GOVP
The draft order has been decided.  And the first pick is in.  Let’s go now to Commissioner
Carpenter for the first pick.

Carpenter
Ladies and gentleman, if I may have your attention please.  With the first pick in the NHA
draft, the Portland Prank Calls from the Killers have selected. . . Michael Myers, from
Haddonfield, Illinois.

(The commish nods happily and the crowd erupts into cheers.  Carpenter sits down at his synthesizer and plays Myers’ theme song)

GOVP
And there you have it, my young, black-nail-polish-wearing friend.  The first pick is a
real doozy.  Your take?

Gothic Kid
Well, first off let me start off by saying, death comes for us all.  Let me make that very clear.  This
pick will certainly doom us to an excruciating, terrible demise.  However Mike Myers is a homerun
first pick.  Every few years a Peyton Manning-level talent comes along and you just have to make
sure to grab him, GVP.

GOVP
Truly.  People were saying that Myers was this year’s can’t miss prospect and he’d even drawn some
comparisons to a young Tony Romo.

Gothic Kid
Finally, someone in the big leagues who can out-choke Romo.

GOVP
Indeed.  Myers has finally stalker-walked his way to the stage.  Let’s see if his reunion with
commissioner Carpenter is a happy one.

(Carpenter give Myers a hug.  Myers turns his head quizzically sideways.  Carpenter presents him with a fitted, custom-made white mask that has Portland’s logo on the side and a mechanic’s jumpsuit with a sewn on number one.)

Myers

Gothic Kid
Myers has given that look to many of the nearly 88 people he has brutally murdered.

GOVP
Hmmm. . .this might not be good.  Look you can just make out the gold-plated knife that his
agent, Drew Rosenhaus, gave him as a signing bonus.

(Carpenter suddenly realizes he’s in danger and jumps back right as Myers slowly raises the knife dramatically.  An ancient man in a trench coat, wearing black gloves suddenly pushes his way to the front of the dais)

GK
And right on time, there’s Doctor Loomis, Myers’ ancient, undying adversary.

(Loomis pulls out a 6-shot revolver and shoots Myers seven times in the chest.  On the 7th shot, Myers stumbles backwards and falls off the back of the stage.  Loomis turns and limps off mysteriously)

GVP
There you have it, folks.  An explosive first overall pick.

GK
(stunned)
And he even used the patented 7th bullet out of his six-shooter.

GVP
Let’s see what happened to Myers.  Surely he’s dead for good this time.  This has got to be almost as
big of a draft-day fiasco for Portland as spending their first pick on Greg Oden.

(The cameras rush over to where Myers fell off the staircase and the body is gone)

GVP
(chuckling in a stereotypical announcer laugh)
And it appears as though his body is gone.

GK
Well, it’s a little known fact that Radio City Music Hall was built on an old Indian burial ground,
which sat on top of a giant underwater cave system.

GVP
And let me guess?  There’s a river underneath?

GK
That runs to all 50 of the states in the contiguous U.S.

GVP
And there’s still hope for a title in Portland!  Well, we’re moving right along here, my torn-at-the-knee,
skinny-jean-wearing compatriot.  Looks like commissioner Carpenter has recovered from his
near-death experience and has Minneapolis’ pick ready to go.

GK
I have a bad feeling about this.

(Carpenter steps up to the microphone)

Carpenter
With the second pick in the National Horror Association Draft, the Minneapolis Maybe He’s
Actually Dead This Times select. . .Frederic Krueger, Springwood, Ohio.

GVP
Wow. . .and we have our first shocking selection in the draft.  Most draft experts and analysts
had predicted a sure-fire Myers-Vorhees 1-2 selection.  Gothic kid?

GK
Frankly, GVP, I’m a little shocked myself.  Jason Vorhees seemed like an obvious choice for the number
two pick here.  A couple issues that the scouts saw with this selection: there are concerns about
Krueger’s work ethic, his reliance on sleeping medication to trap victims and the simple fact that his fashion
sense might be the worst of all the draft picks tonight.

GVP
All valid points, Gothic Kid.  Let’s check in live with Gail and see if she’s gotten any word on
this shocker from down on the draft-room floor.  Gail?

(The cameras give us a closeup of Gail in an interview chair passed out cold.  Sleeping with her head resting against a wall.  The cameras jump back to the announcer’s booth.)

GVP
Gail?  Gail are you– (GVP nods intently while holding a finger to his ear).  I’ve just been informed
that Gail has been drinking charcoal-filtered vodka straight from the bottle and chewing Oxycodone
like they’re Tic-Tacs.  She might be taking a little nap.

GK
Shouldn’t we try to wake her up?  Freddy massacres people by the dozens if they fall asleep.

GVP
As someone who once abused pain pills with JFK, believe you me, it’s a completely dreamless sleep.

(Gothic kid pulls his hoodie up over his head and pouts)

GVP
Oh, alright.
(Shouting)
GAIL!  GAIIILLLL!

(The cameras jump back to Gail and she’s dead; tongue lolling in an insane manner out of her mouth)

GK
We’re too late.  Oh, man. . .oh, man.

GVP
Whoops.  Looks like Gail finally got her big scoop.  Ummm. . .and the commissioner is back
with the third pick in the draft.  Let’s go back to Mr. Carpenter.

(Carpenter mounts the stage and moves up to the microphone)

Carpenter
And with the third pick in the NHA draft, the San Francisco Shower Scenes select. . .
Chi-Chi-Chi-Ahh-Ahh-Ahh.  Jason Vorhees, from Camp Crystal Lake, New Jersey!

GVP
And there you have it.  Vorhees is off the board.

GK
I’ve been doing some research in a conveniently dark and musty library by myself at
inordinately late hours and have a few facts about Jason Vorhees for the listeners.
1.  He doesn’t like it when people have sex at his lake–

GVP
If the tent is a rockin’ the slashers come-a-stalkin’. . .

GK
2.  Weapon of choice is a machete, but he’s an equal opportunity slaughterer–

GVP
A switch hitter, capable of going deep from either side of the plate. . .

(The repartee between the two announcers is interrupted as the cameras cut back to the stage where Vorhees has slowly climbed the steps.  His mother is at his side and she steps up to the microphone first)

Pamela Vorhees
Did you know a young boy drowned the year before those two others were killed?
Jason should’ve been watched.  Every minute.  He was… He wasn’t a very good swimmer.

GVP
Alright. . .

(Jason Steps up next to his mother and puts on his new San Francisco, custom-made hockey mask with his team logo and she gives him a huge hug)

vorhees

GVP
(With his hand to his ear again)
Okay. . .Okay.  I’ve just been told that, since we knew Gail’s doom was imminent, we hired a backup
reporter.  A young, shockingly-attractive and unshockingly-troubled-in-the-man-department, reporter.
She has an expert on this up-and-coming star, Jason Vorhees.  We go live, now, to
Jessica Hasadarksecretshehopesneverresurfaces.  Jessica?

(Jessica is standing alongside an old, grizzled weirdo, who appears to be seated on an ancient, beaten down bicycle)

Jessica
Hello, Ghost of Vincent Price and Gothic Kid.  Glad to be here.  Rest in peace, Gail.  I’m here
with Crazy Ralph, longtime resident of Crystal Lake, Jason Vorhees’ hometown.  You must be very proud
of Crystal Lake’s hometown boy?

Crazy Ralph
I’m a messenger of God.  You’re doomed if you stay here.

Jessica
Oh, no. . .that reminds me of the time. . .

GK
And she’s clearly having a very dramatic, internal flashback here, GVP.

(the cameras zoom in tight on Jessica’s face and she’s tearfully oblivious; pensively looking deep into her past. . .into her very soul.  Crazy Ralph shakes her from her revery)

Crazy Ralph
You’re all doomed!

Interview2

GK
(sighing mournfully)
He’s right, you know.

GVP
Ground-breaking stuff, there, Jessica.  It looks like the fourth pick is in.  Let’s take a listen.

(Carpenter strides purposefully out to the podium)

Carpenter
With the fourth overall pick in the NHA Draft the Pittsburgh Pre-Marital Sexers select: Ghostface,
from Woodsboro, California.

GVP
And the hits just keep on coming, don’t they, my guy-liner-wearing friend?

GK
Absolutely, GVP.  Absolutely.  There were some legitimate concerns with Ghostface that had many experts
shying away from him this early.  He’s known as one of the clumsier, less invincible slashers out there.
However, he does move faster than a lot of the other slashers in the draft.  His 4.9 40-yard dash time was a
staggering 10 seconds faster than Jason Vorhees and 22 seconds faster than the
slower-than-an-elderly-woman-with-a-walker Mike Myers.

GVP
Speed can erase a lot of those flaws.  We go now to Jessica once more, standing by.

(The cameras go to Jessica)

Jessica
Thanks, guys.  A lot of people here are buzzing about that last pickup by the Pre-Marital Sexers because–

(her phone rings)

Jessica
Excuse me, I’m going to get this really quick, guys.
(into the phone)
Hello?  Yes, this is she.  My what?  Oh, well if I had to pick one I really like Psycho.
Yeah, the Alfred Hitchcock one.

GK
Jessica!?!  Don’t answer the phone.  Can you hear me?

Jessica
(to the broadcasters)
I’m on the phone, here, Gothic Kid.  Manners much?  Besides this kind of reminds me
of once, long ago. . .

Jessica & GK
(in unison)
When I was a little girl.

Jessica
(back into her cellphone)
You do?  Alright.  Where should I meet you?  Terrific.  (she hangs up and looks at the camera)  I’ve
gotten an anonymous tip that seems really trustworthy.  I’m going to meet them in an empty
warehouse by a large body of water where a human body could easily be disposed of.  I’m so close to
uncovering the truth.
(she pulls out a flashlight)
The batteries on this are a little low. . .it kind of just keeps flickering.  Anyway, I’ll be right back.

GVP
Seriously?  Do we have any more reporters on staff here, Goth Kid?  Ooops. . .there she goes.
And just in time, it looks like Commissioner Carpenter is ready again.

(Carpenter strides to the podium once more)

Carpenter
With the fifth pick in the NHA draft, the Dallas Dream Within a Dream Sequences have
selected. . .Leatherface!

GVP
And Dallas takes the Big Southerner.  Your take, Gothic Kid?

GK
Not a huge surprise here, GVP.  We know that the people in Texas think that everything in that
godforsaken state is the best, and they show it here by swooping in on the #1 rated in-state prospect
and pulling him off the board early.  There’s gonna be a few disappointed teams who were hoping he’d slip a
little further down since he hasn’t had a hit movie in years.

GVP
Very true.  And, wow this is a surprise, it looks like the next pick is already in.  That sure was fast.

(Carpenter’s back at the podium)

Carpenter
With the 6th pick in the NHA Draft, the Utah Underage Binge Drinkers have selected, Chucky!

GVP
Wow!  And there’s another big shocker.  The second one of the day.  There was obvious concerns
about Chucky’s size.  Lest we forget, you can really just punt him if he gets too close.  Goth kid?

GK
Oh, this is so bad.  Such bad news.  Well, my friend, we know that Chucky doesn’t exactly stuff the
physical stat sheet the way some of his fellow draftees have, but the simple fact is this: he’s a proven winner.
He’s got a sequel percentage that’s nearly unrivaled among the killers today and he’s even had his own awkward,
kind of creepy sex scene.  That’s moxy for you.  He’s got all the intangibles.

GVP
Wait, are you talking about Chucky. . .or Tim Tebow?  Let’s go down live to our hard-working sideline
reporter, Jessica.  Jessica, what have you got for us?

(The camera cuts to Jessica.  She’s impaled on a stool next to Gail)

GVP
Oh for the love of. . .
(shouting off camera)
Do we have anyone else down there?  Oh, it doesn’t matter right now.  I’m told the commissioner is keeping
things humming right along.  We’ve got the next pick in already.  Let’s see what owner M. Night Shyamalan
decides to do with his first round pick.

(Carpenter steps up)

Carpenter
The Candyman.  Er, I mean, with the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NHA draft, the  Niagara Trips and
Falls Over Nothings select The Candyman, from Cabrini Green, Chicago, Illinois.  Sorry, I got a little ahead
of myself there.

GVP
Oh!  And in typical, M. Night Shyamalan fashion, the plot twist for the Niagara Falls Over Nothings
is revealed way too early.  Outstanding stuff, here, Gothic Kid.

GVP
We’re witnessing history here, GVP.  The Candyman is the Jackie Robinson of horror.
Not only did he shatter the color barrier, but he killed buxom white women and crackheads in the hood
as well.  Truly historic.

GVP
I’m being told we have yet another sideline reporter in the wings, waiting to interview the potential 8th pick in the draft,
Ben Willis, the star of I Know What You Did Last Summer.  I’m told Jamie Dirtygirlwhoconstantlybangseverythingthatmovesuntilshegetsmurderedwhileintheactofsex is standing by now.  Jamie?

(Jamie is standing next to a dark, shadowy figure wearing a rain slicker.  She’s putting on lipstick and only wearing a towel)

Jamie
Wow, GVP, your voice sounds totally hot.  I can’t wait to meet you and Goth Kid in person.  Anyway
I’m here with some guy, who might be really cute underneath that rain poncho.  I just can’t quite see.  I’ll
probably have to bend way over to get a look.

(Suddenly a red Ferrari comes screeching into the frame and slams into Ben Willis, sending his body flying into darkness.  The boy driving comes stumbling out holding a pony keg and drinking straight from the tap)

Jamie
Hey!  Check it out, guys, it’s my boyfriend.

GK
Uhhh. . .Jamie?  The interview with Mr. Willis?

(Jamie is making out with her boyfriend.  She turns to the camera)

Jamie
I don’t think he’s alive anymore.

Jamie’s Drunk, Idiot Boyfriend
Yeah.  Clearly dead, bro.  Now F-off.

Jamie
(leading away her drunk, idiot boyfriend)
Now. . .I could have sworn I saw a shower around here. . .maybe you can wear that sexy rain poncho
I bought you for Christmas, too.

GK
She lasted a shorter amount of time than even the other ones.  Damn.

GVP
And it looks like the Commissioner is ready to deliver the final pick of the first day of our draft
coverage.

(Carpenter steps to the mic)

Carpenter
With the eighth pick in the NHA draft, the Philadelphia Flickering Lights select Angela Baker, from
Sleepaway Camp.

GVP
And talk about ending on a high note!  The diminutive killer from multiple, and might I add terrible,
horror movies is the final selection taken in the first round.

GK
Oh, man. . .oh, man.  I just don’t think we should be here right now.

GVP
Oh, man is right.  Angela, who turns out to be a dude later on in her horror movie
plotline, technically fulfills half of the NHA’s title IX requirements, however, so that was a wise
pickup by team owner Jack Nicholson.

(theme music begins playing once again)

GVP
And that, my black-mo-hawked little friend is our cue.  It’s been an absolutely astounding first day to the
NHA draft.  We’ve had some ups, downs, murders, and gratuitous nudity.  In short, it’s been a hell of a time.
We’ll be back with more draft coverage tomorrow night.  For Gail Willalwaysbeundonebyherambitionanddisregardforhumanlife,
Jessica Hasadarksecretshehopesneverresurfaces, and
Jamie Dirtygirlwhoconstantlybangseverythingthatmovesuntilshegetsmurderedwhileintheactofsex.
And for my colleague, The Gothic Kid in High School Who Has a Morbid Curiosity With the Dead and Always Somehow Knows
ShitloadsAbout the Killer, let me just say thanks for tuning in.  I’m the Ghost of Vincent Price.  Goodnight.

FIN