This is my disclaimer for 2009 folks! As you know, I change them, so please read and smile!

This is a fictional character. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face and yet, someone will write to me and tell me I've got something wrong, or he/she is that character, or they're going to sue me because their client has a family member with that name.

I can put disclaimers on a story all day long and still, I get someone who is just about nuts who will do the above paragraph. It makes no sense to me, but apparently, there are people who take themselves so seriously they want to be a fictional character. Well to those of you who choose to be that way, go read someone else's story and be a fuck-tional character.

By the way, if you're reading this to jack off (Adam Curtis). I'll smile and you hold it in your hand and read until the end. If you've spilled a load, I bet it wasn't reading a scene here! Everyone else who knows my writing is probably laughing their asses off right about now...I know I'm chuckling!

If you can hold it in your hand and type, then please BY ALL MEANS write me an email and send a photo of it. I want to see the man's appendage which can write, type, and just plain want to know it better!

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Notes From RettaMichaels:

PlayMaker is written as a period piece. The lead character is writing his memoirs at the end of his career in this day and time. Please read it as such as I've really got no time to correct people for what is obvious.


Chapter Twenty:

They brought up the cots. We set them up and then ordered some pizza. We had just taken delivery of the pizza when we heard laughter coming from the side of the field.

I looked over and saw Roger, Jack, and Mike all standing there.

Come on guys, get yourself some pizza and share a sit.”

They came over and got themselves some pizza. Roger asked, “Where do we get some of those cool sweats?”

There's a big box down at the press room...just off the locker room. These are all discontinues from the terminated players.”

Oh! Saving money I see!” Mike said with a smirk on his face.

Yeah, we're taking them home to give to the students and rest of the team.”

That's a good thought.”

I said, “Jack, I don't know if Grant told you, but I sold ten cars last night. We need to get a special order on them.”

He looked over at Grant, “No, what are they?”

Basicly, we need Roadmasters done up to be Caprice fleet cars. Upgrade everything, but downgrade the seats. I did tell him half vinyl tops would be on them.”

Who they going to?”

A taxi cab company over in Hannibal. He asked about leasing commercial cars and I shot him a deal. He's leasing for three twenty five a month. His service contract will be up at a hundred thousand miles and then he'll pay everything through our service department as normal. Throw in all the routine stuff like oil changes, trans flushes, lubes, and rear end.”

Ok, go with the higher grade tranny and alternator, give them an oil cooler, trans cooler, and strengthen shocks?”

Whatever they do to the fleet Caprices.”

That, but they go with fleet wheels and eighty thousand mile tires which is standard on the Roadmaster.”

Give them the normal wheel of the Roadmaster.”

I will.”

HE's taking ten. I'll tell you, you need to order a dozen. One of them is going to be a lemon...that car will just have all sorts of problems.”


We won't know until we see how they number them which one it is. I'll tell you it's their #7...whichever one gets numbered that. I did tell him to go ahead and park it when they get them labeled and numbered and we would go ahead and replace them.”

What are we going to do with the other one?”

Hang onto it for two weeks. The mother of a man who runs the water district over there is going to ride in one. She's going to tell her son and he's going to give a call. You'll be able to swing the same deal to him.”

He smiled. Interesting!”

My suggestion is to tout the commercial cars to all the local police, fire, and taxi companies. Be sure to see what they've got for their annual expenses and convey the amount they'd save and the benefit of having all new vehicles instead of trading in and out. The departments which go over a four year life cycle for their vehicles won't go, but you're going to see an annual increase in your sales of nearly three hundred cars. Lastly, hold that Caprice at three hundred a month and the Roadmaster upgrade at three twenty five. You'll be amazed at how many upgrade.”

He smiled, “Ok, I never thought of it, but it's something I'll most definitely do.”

Grant and I have finally haggled out the dealer. It's coming to me. What I want to know is if you'll mind terribly if I get the name taken over to Angel Chevrolet.”


So it represents the team.”

I doubt if GM will go for it. I'd suggest if you want to do that, you put your name on it.”

Forget it. I'll leave it that way.”

What's wrong?”

I don't want my name on a dealer. If I have a possibility of having a Dodge or Ford contract to be a spokesperson, then it'd not be allowed either way.”

Why not promote yourself to GM and see if they'll go with you as one?”

I don't know who to speak with about that.”

I'll get you the name of someone and give him a call to tell him you're interested.”

Tell him if he can't come to me without a fifteen year fifteen million dollar contract, I won't go for it. That's how long I'll be playing here, so I want to have it run out before my end is here.”

That's quite a bit of money!”

Yeah, but one thing I'll be doing is investing in a dealership here which mirrors that one out there. I see a real good market possibility here.”

How about if I talk with the guy about us having that and putting your name on both dealers. It'd get you in good standing with the company as selling volumes of cars and having a line in to market you with them.”

You're not going to run out the door on me, are you?”

No, no, not at all. Roger and I were talking about heading out this way more often so he could be near Aaron more, but other than that, we're fine.”

Do you think you guys could manage both?”

He looked down and then looked up. “It's not that I don't want to, but it's a lot more stress and added work load.”

How about we go with you having percentage points in both?”

I don't have that sort of money.”

Manage them and I'll give you thirty percent?”

Let me think on it. It's not the points I looking for.”

You want more?”

No, you're not getting it. I don't really want any at all. It's more about me wanting to spend more quality time with Roger.”

How about you and he co-managing. He could be over the repair segments of both and you could be over sales.”

Let's speak with him and see.” He turned and said, “Roger, do you have a moment hon?”

Sure babe, what's going on?”

Come on over, we need to run something by you.”

Roger came over and said, “What's up?”

Jake is wanting us to consider something new with the dealer. Before I commit to it, I want to run it by you since it directly affects you in a larger portion too.”

What is it?”

I said, “First of all, Grant and I haggled it out and I'm getting the dealer. There's not going to be anymore of that tug o'war we've had going on.”


What I'd asked Jack is if he'd mind if I put my name on the dealer. He hasn't said, but what we've spoken about is him going to GM and fronting me a contract about being a spokesperson for the company.

Either way, we've talked about having a dealership out here which mirrors what we do back home. I've offered you guys a thirty percent stake in the operation if you'll have Jack manage both and you be the service manager for both.”


Yeah, now what I'm thinking is we do it on a split basis in some manner. Maybe three days a week here and two there, and alternating, or something different. I'm not sure.”

Roger looked at Jack and said, “What do you think?”

It's a lot more work load. We'd have to strengthen management there and implement some other things so both would have operations which would be identical.”

What do you need to do that?” I asked.

You're wanting a commercial division. I'd probably need to go with a commercial salesman for that. I'll tell you now, if you go into commercial fleet operations, you're going to want to go with more than that eventually.”

Tell me what you see?”

You're missing parts of the market which you've not thought of apparently. We could really explode into the commercial truck category. Trucks such as delivery vans, contractor pickups, dumps, and crews. Then, there's another segment which would really have us on the map for sales would be funeral cars, limos, and flower cars.”

Oh man!”

Yeah, once you see the potential for commercial fleet sales, you can go into it in a big way.”

Can you explore that for us?”

I need to ask one question.”


I can get you executive cars. That Roadmaster would be a great opportunity. Imagine having it with the typical leather seat instead of the fleet seat and foregoing all the oil changes, lubes, and concentrating on the executive branches of major corporations.”

Like my phone company?”

He smiled real big.Yeah! If we could get our foot in the door on that, we'd be able to fleet out them their executive cars, their service vans, and their service trucks!”

Let me call on that. It's too late tonight, but first thing Monday, I'll call our President over there and see what I can do to get in on that. That's an exciting possibility.”

He might not go for it because they'll want a Fleetwood, but we can go upscale too. We'll need Cadillacs for funeral homes and such.”

Oh man! Guys, this is just sending tingles through my body. You don't know how we'd have everyone interested if we made up some flyers and mailed them out to all those businesses. WE could have our prices and the leases being four years.”

Why four?”

The car depreciates off better for us on four years instead of three. They payback on our trade in/used is going to be real good, so it's going to really make those cars be free for us.”

I'm not following.”

Ok, let's say we've got that Roadmaster going like for those cabs. That Roadmaster is going to ticket out at around nineteen grand, right?”

Probably less. It's not that much of an upgrade for us to do those ourselves.”


Jake, what I think is we order the alternators and everything ourselves. We take out the standard part and we put it on a shelf. It's good for us because we can use it elsewhere. The higher ticket item doesn't cost us much, so altogether we have maybe a hundred and twenty dollars added to a car.”

Oh man!”

Yeah, so you take that Roadmaster at standard and the only thing you've said to add was a half vinyl. That's fine, we can do that and it's not much to us. We pull it in at a little under nine grand and for around ninety three hundred, we've got the car ready.”

What about strengthened trannies?”

Roger smiled, “It's just a shift kit already added in. Yeah, there's a different stall converter, but that's on the order form.”

Ok, so we can do that?”

Jack giggled, “Yeah, it's something I think would really go great. Now, can I suggest something?”

What's that?”

Ship that guy over in Hannibal a Roadmaster with leather seats instead of the fleet seat.”


Let me tell you. That fleet seat is going to be a hundred and ninety dollar add on. I'll also tell you if we need to buy a seat to replace the leather, it's going to be a hundred and forty dollar replacement. So, we're money ahead if we go that route.”

It's cheaper?”, my suggestion is if we find we need to go that route, we look into getting a person who does upholstery and hiring them. Then we buy the sewing machines and letting them recover the seats. That's the best way to go.”

Oh man, the possibilities are endless.”

Yeah, but I'm going to throw something at you which I think you're going to just be blown away by.”

What's that?”

Can I get you two vehicles done up?”


You ordered that Caddy today with a Banks. It's going to take a stronger engine for that and strengthened drive train. Personally, I'd steer you to the SS Caprice.”


The strengthening is built in.”

Ok, is it a nice car?”

Yeah, but here's what I want to do. Those vehicles are real go getters. They're fast and they're awesome for what they've got. What I've thought about is changing some things on them and ordering them without the SS decals and SS graphics on the seats inside as well as the special SS dash.”

Ok, so strip down the SS and just have a sleeper?”

You'll follow me in a second. What I'm thinking is just going for that black on black on black with tinted windows. Then, what we do is we throw on a seat stitch, decal and dash treatment which gets you personalized over to the Hawk.”

The smile hit my face and he knew he had me sold. Oh man!”

Yeah, now what I want to do is to go with a vinyl bed cover on the truck which has your hawk on it stitched in. On the Caprice, I want to have a graphic on the rear tinting which has a hawk cut into that tinting which gets it personalized.”

Ok, that's way cool. Let's see because we might be onto something which others might want to buy.”

He nodded and Roger said, “Jake, the Beretta GT has a black with blue version already. I think we could even play one of those up to get to the teen buyer who doesn't have much money.”

No, go even cheaper and get that Metro converted over. It gets high milage and would add a little more punch to you being able to appeal to sell them.”

Jack smiled real big. “Oh man, I see where you're going! You want us to get it out the door real cheap with real cheap pricing!”

Yeah, ten grand for a car which is customized. It's a peppy little car and it really doesn't need much to get it that way. My suggestion is to do something which is going to be just unheard of to you guys and that's going to be to take those plastic wheel covers to a spray booth and get them black with the rims blue. When that tire is turning it's going to have that blue seen in between the black center and the black rubber and make it look like it's really cool. What I'd do is go with a matte black car and tint it. Then see if Dan can get you the vinyl which would just be able to be laid on.”

Where's Dan at?”

Heading back home. He's got major problems at his plant.”


Yeah, it's very dangerous. All I can hope is they handle it with the kids gloves it needs so it turns out ok.”

I explained the situation and Roger was more alarmed than anyone. “Oh man, that's terrible. It sounds like good intentions is what got him into a mess!”

Yeah, but it sounds like he could be into something with this graphics thing which would benefit him since that portion affected is that non-graphics side.”

Mike came over, “Hey guys, how's it going?”

Fine, how's it with you?”

Great. Jake, I need to interrupt for a second and pull you off for a moment to discuss something.”

Sure. Excuse me guys.”

We walked and he asked, “Can we go outside for a moment?”


We went outside and he said, “Jake, your gambling on the game tomorrow if discovered is going to hurt you bad.”

I can't retract it!”

No, but don't do it again. I can't emphasize to you enough how it could affect you.”

Ok, now, if I win, how are we going to hide that sort of money?”

My advice is to not try to hide it. If you win, my advice is to take the money and incorporate with it and have everyone think you suddenly got it to invest from something you sold. However, if you ever do this again, I'll never advise you on anything again.”


That's a disappointment. We'll recover, but you need to build up confidence in your team, you as a player, and this city's belief in you. The sword is double edged. They'll think if you're betting on them, you'll bet against them.”

Oh man. I wouldn't do that.”

They don't know that. They don't know you and they don't know the depth of feelings you have for your team. That's why I think you need to concentrate on so many other things.”


He stepped over and hugged me and held me to him. “You know, you're like a son to me. You've grown on me and I set the bar so high on what I think of you. I fail to realize there are times your over exuberance will burst through.”

I need you to incorporate us and I need you to incorporate me. I need to get legal advice on all that because I just don't know how far I should take things.”

I'm probably the least likeliest person to advize you on it. I'd tell you to incorporate everything.”

How so?”

You need your merchandising incorporated. You need your food service incorporated and your beverage services. If you take a look at Grant's businesses, see you should keep everything separate. One thing I'd do is have your laundry separate from your others and this stadium separate as well. You pay rent and you treat all of those as separate businesses.”

Do I run them all as separate businesses?”

My advice is to.”

Ok, so for laundry, I've got to find other large places which should have their laundry done and get them to have my laundry do them.”

Yeah, but not.”

That's confusing.”

How much money are you willing to put into them? If you're willing to have them all need money, you can handle the losses. However, if you want them to all make money, then do so most certainly.”

Ok, Now, can I ask you something else?”


See if you can find any other football teams for sale. Don't pay as much as this one, but let's start doing buys or smaller buys with partnership interests. IF it's going to be a corporate thing, I can own something indirectly, right?”

What are the league guidelines?”

I don't know, but could Chris buy one? And what about yourself?”

Oh, I don't know.”

If there's heckuva return on them, we could do that.”

It would smell of collusion.”

But it wouldn't be.”

No, but what if you have two teams vying for a championship and one of them you have a minor share in and the other you've got a major share in. Which are you going to want to win?”

It doesn't matter. Money isn't what it's about. Both teams are going to do well financially, so that's fine. And, if one friend owns one and another owns the other, that means I'm standing on the sidelines watching and most likely, I'm going to be cheering for both, but watching as an observer for the best plays period.”

Ok, well, we'll see, but my main focus for you right now is to get this one operating the best you can.”

Did you see what Dan did with the merchandise booth?”

No, I've not paid attention to it.”

He's really basicly rebuilt the thing. It's repainted, reschemed, and just totally rethought out. The only thing he said needed to be done was getting the cash register put back in place. Let's go see it.”

We went back in and over to the booth. I opened the door and hit the light. He went in and said, “Man, he did do a lot of work!”

All the old is out and what we've kept has been kept in. He's restocked and put it up in such a way it's really showcasing what we've got.”

I like it.”

Hang on a moment, I just forgot something I need to correct.”


I dialed, “Hello?”


Hey hon, how are you?”

Doing great. I have a question for you if you're interested.”


I've got a food service department over here which is a mess. The management of it sucks and it really shouldn't be open tomorrow, but there's no alternative. Would you be interested in coming over and giving them some management?”

Is it that bad?”

Hon, the place has to serve tomorrow and then I've ordered it gutted from floor to ceiling and fumigated, eradicated, and baited for mice and rats.”

Oh man!”

Yeah, Dan said he went in and smelled the stench of rat piss so bad he nearly gagged.”

You need to shut it down.”

I can't. Eighty thousand people are here to eat and consume. If it gets shut down, that's a lot of unhappy people who will swear I'm just pissing them off.”

Ok, I'll do it. When do you want me?”

My jet should either be at the airport or landing soon. Dan's on his way home because he's got a problem at his plant. IF you come, please know you'll need to be here to give them a drill instructor's hand.”

I'll start packing.”

Good. I'll tell the plane to hold up and get you back here. I really appreciate this.”

No problem hon. I'm glad you thought of me.”

I just realized you had that logging camp experience and although this is on a greater level of food put out, it's sure the same.”

We depended more on fried foods. I'll get you so you're proud of it.”

Thanks...and remember, what it takes is what you've got to get it going.”

I'll be there.”

I'm calling the jet now. I'll call you back.”


I hung up and Mike smiled, “I like that in you.”

Hang on, I've got to call the jet.”

I dialed, “Hello?”

Jake here, where are ya at?”

We're ten minutes out of landing.”

Good. When you get there, stay there. Dolly will be coming out and coming to handle food service for me.”

Good. I'm glad to hear it. IS she any good?”

She cooked for a logging camp. I'm sure they were pretty thorough about cleanliness.”

I imagine.”

Well, she'll come get it handled because I know she'll pay attention to the details. So, wait for her. Also, she's going to be bringing enough clothes and stuff for a long stay, so you guys might help her load luggage on the plane if it's no problem.”

We'll do it.”


I hung up and called her back. When the call ended, I hung up.

Jake, you're caught in a bad spot there. I see why you're taking the road you are, but the decision to shut it down would've been wise.”

You're not understanding the mindset there. IF I shut it down, they're going to be pissed. That instantly gets them to thinking negative and more apt to listen to negative remarks. If I stood out there and told everyone the truth, that statement would circulate and ten years from now, moms would be telling kids no because we have rats.”

I understand.”

So, it's better to hobble through and hop for the best and get it cleaned up. I'll do it, but it'll never get that bad again.”

I can tell you're on it.”

What I'll need help with is our beverage services. With both of us being underage, I have no idea how we're going to get that license to sell beer. For that matter, I have no idea how I'm selling beer here legally tomorrow. I can only guess I'm clear with my manager over there being above age and signing invoices.”

Your licensing is going to be a hard thing to do. They'll probably allow it, but you're correct, you'll probably have to find a way around it.”

I hear I've got major losses over in that area. I really need someone who is going to ride it tight and make sure we get what they say we're getting and nothing is going out the back door.”

Let it go until tomorrow afternoon and then get rid of the staff. If it's walking out the door or being a source of losses, then it needs to have new staffing.”

I need to check something, but I don't know how to go about it.”

What's that?”

Those bars across the way are owned by me. I mean the buildings are. What if I have one of them operating? What then?”


Yeah, so do I play shuffle the workers and close it and move them over here and should I even do that? I mean, if I work in a bar, would I be willing to give up the every night thing to come to work where sales is one day every week or possibly month? And how do we even hire someone who will only work that one day?”

Good question. You need to see if it's ran by day workers. You might find people are willing to do that.”

IF they are, the chance of theft is probably super high.”

Why do you say that?”

I'm making fifty bucks a day. Yet, I'm having hundreds of dollars go through my hands hourly. No one can tell how many I served, so why not cop a twenty every few minutes?”

What do you think is the best way of handling it?”

My thought is to put in surveillance. It'd certainly have us seeing who stole and who didn't.”

I've got another thought. Who cleans this place after a game?”

Don't know. I need to ask Jan, but I can't tell you that. I also don't have the foggiest if we've got cheerleaders and if we do, are they on our payroll? IF so, when do they practice and where? And will they show tomorrow?”

Man, there's so many open things it's scary.”

Yeah, the same goes for ticket booth people. Who are my season ticket holders and who are my people who prints the tickets? Do we have them printed for tomorrow? Or, are they sitting on a loading dock someplace waiting on us to pick them up?”

You need to call and get her up. She works for you and these questions are just needing to be answered. If you've got to get all this done before game time, it's going to be terrible.”

Nah, I'll open the doors and just let them in.”

Legally, you can't do that. You'd got a fire code to think about. It'll only allow so many into the building and I'll tell you now if you throw open the doors and let anyone in free, those phone banks over there are going to be full of people calling all their friends. You could have half a million people in here in no time.”

Ok, I'll call her. I imagine she'll have Rick come and I sure don't like him.”

Why not?”

She's a sweetheart. She'll move mountains for me. He's someone who just seems whiney and complainey. No, he's not said it yet, but that's how he carries himself.”

Call her. Right now, some help and answers are better than none. You never know. You might have no reasons to worry, or you might have every reason to worry.”

I dialed the phone. “Hello?”

Hi Rick, I need you and Jan.”

What's going on?”

I've got a stadium and a thousand questions and no answers. All of them keep coming back to not knowing and needing answers.”

Ok, we'll be right over.”

Where are you guys at?”

We own a town home two blocks over.”

Oh good. Is it safe to walk?”

No! Don't think about walking it!”

Oh, ok, I was wondering.”

We'll be right there.”

I appreciate it. I'm at the front doors right now.”

We'll be at the employee entrance soon. Where do you want to meet?”

Let's meet in the offices. That's probably the best place to be.”

We'll be there.”

There should be a scooter by that door. If not, I'm sorry.”

He chuckled, “That's ok.”

It's not, but that's the design of it. The entrance door is clear on the other end from where management is. You can sure tell the owner never thought of it when it was getting designed.”

No, he never even designed it or acted like he was interested in it.”

I can tell. I'll see you when you get here.”

I hung up and said, “Well, they're on their way. I'll get Rob and have us up there.”

You need me?”

Yeah, as our lawyer, if I've got to file paperwork to get licenses, we need to know.”

You two need to get a lawyer over here.”

I know, but there's no time!”

We'll work on that this week.”

Let's go get him and get up there.”

I started walking and my phone rang. “Hello?”

We landed.”

Thanks. How's it going Dan?”

I've been staying in touch with them and they're inside. We've got power shut down to the building and we're guaranteeing the pump doesn't kick on.”

I saw scaffolds underneath propping up the floor, but didn't know how they pumped it out.”

We're not pumping. There's a spigot valve down below which is allowing us to take it out via a set of simple eave troughs across the floor, down the stairs and out a window which is going to go into the top of an old milk truck which will allow us to mix in something which will neutralize it.”

Oh, well, just be careful. I worry about you.”

No need. I'll give you a call when this is cleaned up.”

By the way, a bit of good news for you.”

What's that?”

Jack and Roger are thinking up a new model of truck for me which will be 'the Hawk' version of the SS pickup truck and the SS Caprice.”

Oh man, that'd be nice.”

We'll need vinyl graphics and I told them to go to you.”


No problem at all.”

Well, I'll get off here. I appreciate everything.”

I'm the one thanking you! Just take care of yourself.”

Ok, bye now.”


We hung up and I told Mike. Good, they've got a safe plan to get that handled.”

What are they doing?”

They shut off the electricity to the building so the pump doesn't kick on and are draining the tank to a milk truck via eave troughs.”

Why a milk truck?”

I dunno, maybe milk neutralizes the acids or something.”

We went and got Rob. Then, we took him to the office with us. Up there, we waited. As we waited, Mike said, “Guys, this view is really nice. It's one of the best seats in the house.”

I know. If I weren't playing, I'd like to see it from up here.”

Mike asked, “What would you do with this place if you could change anything?”

Do I have to limit myself?”

No, say you could do anything...”

That end down there wouldn't be that wasted space. It'd be taken out and put into suites like this. It'd make the place a donut shape instead of a horseshoe and would give us a better place for our offices.”

You'd give up this?”

It's on the wrong end of the building. Yeah, it's got a great view of that corner, but it doesn't show us the river or anything. That end might show us the river.”

Anything else?”

Bigger jumbotrons. I'd get bigger jumbos at each end.”


It's tactical. On the screen, you can look to see if someone's chasing you if you're running one in.”

I never thought of that!”

Use every edge you can. The problem we've got with the little ones is it's too hard to crane your neck up that far.”

What would you do with the old ones?”

I'd put them out on the front of the building for the people who are tailgating can see the highlights. I'd also use them for promotional signs to announce events.”

Anything else?”

Multilevel parking. That parking lot is nice, but I sure don't think it'd hold enough cars for this place to be filled.”

It doesn't.”

Where do they park?”

Two blocks over. The parking fees over there are eight dollars”

That's steep, isn't it?”

It's not cheap.”

Why were you asking?”

I was wondering because if you win that money, it'd be a way to funnel the excess in to something where it wouldn't be seen entering your bank account.”

Oh, well, let's do this then. Let's look how many cars use this parking out front and see what we've got in the other lots. I mean, it's a big lot, but if I was going to funnel that sort of money into something, it would be a huge stadium instead of this one.”

How big?”

Big enough to hold a lot more people...maybe a hundred thousand. And have corporate boxes all the way around.”


First of all, season passes. Season passes are our revenue to run this building for the year. I don't know what we have coming in now, but I'm willing to bet if we put in more comfortable seating, have drink holders in the arm rests, and have speakers in the seats. Or at least have headphone jacks.”

Why those?”

If everyone hears clearly, they're not interrupting everyone else asking, “What'd he say?” And it'd make the experience a lot nicer.”

Could I suggest we look into that? I mean we don't have ro commit ourselves, but we could sure look into it.”

I wanted to pay off everything.”

You're going to have plenty for that.”

I doubt it. I think I'll be pressing the limit of everything.”

You're not understanding. Think of the big picture. You're going to be debt free. Yeah, but you're going to have huge cash flow issues. The money will roll in and you're going to need to eventually do some of those things anyway.

I agree about your complaints and what you need to change. My reasoning for pushing you that direction is something you should look at for the long term. A: If you find you've got flaws in this building already, you're going to notice more and more. After all, this is just the first day. B: A new building would give the team a new positive spin in the city.

Those shops you're wanting across the way would be in here where the fans could see your trophies and bobbles. You could have tours and promote from a clinical atmosphere whereas, out there, they are susceptible to all sorts of things. I mean street crime isn't going to stop just because you've got a plaza, it's most likely going to increase.”


Mom, Dad, and three kids come to a plaza. Kids are running around going pointing at everything. Mom's carrying a purse and six packages. Dad's over carrying packages himself and no one notices someone clip mom's VCR strap.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, so in here, you've got a mall. You've got distractions too, but you've got a closed circuit system which is state of the art and you've got a controlled atmosphere where there are only so many entrances and exits and crime's going to be lower.

Now, your food service, beverage service, and merchandise areas. They're fine but they're inefficient. I'm sure there are things you want to do different. Or, you will.”

We've already spotted those flaws and have made a wish list in that direction.”

What for?”

Beverages and food could be served in little areas in the stands where a person can go rather than having someone carrying a lot on a tray. It has the person getting up, but it's also got things fresher and easily refilled.”

Can I suggest something else?” Rob asked

Sure hon.”

The dome sliding open and shut. I don't like that. I like the roof being way high but I sure don't like the fact it could be subject to leaking, winds, and problems. I'd go with a high intensity lighting system for night time and let it be shut all the time with some transparency like what it's got.”

Let's look into it. I'll ask Tom as he's already looking into it for me. He said to go with someone who designed the biggest and the best. He also said to go with more seating.”

Ok, so what are we looking at if we built one?”

I want the season pass holders to have the elite side...or home side of things. That's who the cheerleaders play up to and that's the side where the sports announcers sit.”

Do you want an multi-venue building or a stadium?”

What's that mean?”

Multi-venue. It keeps the building open for all sorts of things from car shows to monster truck rally's to supercross, to concerts, possibly a mall down below, to movie theaters, concert halls, etc..etc...”

It'd all have to pay for itself.”

Right, but designing more purpose into the building gets you more bang for your buck. Right now, you're heating and cooling this place with one purpose in mind. If I was doing that, I'd have it open year round with lots of things happening.”

The days of the game take precedence. I sure don't want to have anything else happening in here while a game's happening. I mean, I don't want a punt kick to knock a kid out of a rollercoaster or anything.”

Let's consider the alternatives for a lot of different things.” Rob said. “I'd like to see about having a track around the field and having the building brick but lighter color brick.”

I nodded. “I agree. I've already thought about painting this one so it'd look lighter.”

Mike said, “I'd go with energy efficiency too. Heating this place has to be expensive, but if there are solar water heating panels, that could help heat it. All that could be built into the concrete and ran through piping. The lighting could be neon under plastic so it'd last longer and be cheaper to operate.”

Ok, we need to list all that to a designer. We need to tell him it's a priority the building be as self sufficient as it can be.”

Mike said, “Ok, let's agree to go that route and look into it. I think having a new facility will give the city an idea you're new owners and simply not going to keep things the same.”

I looked at Rob and he smiled at me. He said, “I'm excited. There are so many possibilities it's amazing!”

We gotta win tomorrow by all those means for it to happen. IF we don't, we're going to owe that man a million dollars and have me learned a valuable lesson.”

He nodded, “Don't do that again hon.”

I won't.”

Rick and Jan came in. Rick looked pissed and Jan looked like a breath of fresh air. We sat down in the conference room and got our questions answered. As it turned out, all those positions would be staffed with temps for that purpose.

Afterwards, we told Jan our plan of contacting someone about designing a new stadium. She looked at Rick and said, “Who was it you knew who could design them?”

Oh, he'd not be interested any longer.”

I smiled a smile at Rob which if he read my eyes told him I was less and less impressed with Rick more and more.

Mike asked a question which I thought had bearing and suddenly Rick was really defensive. He said, “Oh, you don't want to mess with the beverage issues. They're moot and nothing is really an issue.”

I leaned forward and said, “Rick, excuse me, but that statement was a contradiction in itself. First you say there are issues and then, they're not issues. I, personally, have already heard that's where I'm possibly losing more money than anywhere else. I've heard we're not getting what they say they're delivering and I've heard what they are delivering is going out the door as fast as it comes in.

We're about to up security on this place and the second I see someone walking down the hall and out to a private vehicle with a keg, I'm going to scream.

It doesn't matter to me if it's ten bucks worth of stuff sliding out the door at a time, or a hundred. The fact is, whoever's doing it is stealing and not likely going to be allowed to stay while I've got a breath left in my body.

Now, if it's mafia and that's where it is, I'll make calls. I've already been told I can make those calls and they'll send help. You had best know if that brewery man wants to screw me on a delivery, I'll take it up with the brewery in a most forward way when I buy that damned brewery.

You had best know if I sit on the board of one of those, my beer is going to sell from a direct pipeline from that brewery over to here. In fact, I'll probably find out who it was who screwed me and feed his balls to the rats while they're hanging off those rafters out there. So, are you involved in that?”


Good, because it's going to change as of tomorrow night. It's going to change in a big way and if it takes me there counting kegs, I'll have you there helping.”

Rob said, “Rick, I'll tell you now I've seen invoices fluctuating on deliveries like you wouldn't believe. I'll also tell you I can take a look at numbers and see a direct correlation of who is in the stands as to how much beer gets drank. I can also tell you when I look through the different years, I see there are differences in the numbers of kegs ordered for events.

One supplier sells them to us cheaper, but he also sells us more than a thousand kegs a month. I'll tell you now if you sell me a keg twelve bucks cheaper than another guy, but you're selling me a thousand more a month, someone's either not counting the things, or people are suddenly getting passed along that savings by the cupfull. Since I don't see that happening, I'll tell you I think we're taking one up the backside on those deliveries.

I'll also tell you as manager, that was your responsibility to notice those fluctuations in numbers. I'm not calling you a thief, but I'll sure be out there counting the kegs and seeing if our refrigerators and storage even hold that many. Would you like to go do inventory now?”

No, I got called out of bed and I don't like being accused of anything.”

I interrupted, “We're not accusing you of anything. We're stating that we're going to take over counting kegs .

When variances happen with the invoices, we'll hand them to you and tell you to call the company and tell them to come pull every fucking keg they've got out of this building. IF someone was on the take and if someone got paid something, I'll find out because before I hand you that invoice, I'll be calling to get their people brought on the carpet in such a way shit will run downhill mighty fast. When that happens, I'll find out who it hit over here and it best not be anyone sitting in this room. If so, I'll have the sheriff over damned fast for embezzlement charges to happen.”

He nodded nervously. I turned to Rob and said, “Jan, I realize tonight is a different set of circumstances, but we're going to hold camp outs here one night a year when the newbies arrive.

We're going to have all the members of our organization out there from us owners down getting to know the new guys and allowing them to know us. They need to know this building and they need to know the door to me is open.

I'd like to have it understood amongst all of the players and staff it's a given they'll be sleeping in the dome once a year for that night. If they can't, or won't make it, you as manager take it to the level of showing them their contract and tell them they're in violation and breach. That should tell you I want it in each and every one of us' contracts from here on out this night happens, or they're not welcome in this organization.”

She nodded. “I apologize for not taking this evening more serious.”

Hey hon, I understand. As a newby, I didn't know a lot of things. I would've stayed awake thinking of who to ask and worrying whether I'd be hawking hotdogs between plays and how bad I'd have to scrape off the rat shit in order to get someone to buy it.”

She looked alarmed and I said, “Yeah, our previous manager didn't check the kitchen or ask anyone to see if we had that as a problem. I'll tell you now it's such an issue, I'm torn between not feeding people and feeding them. You can best know I expect us all to be down there to see if we get rid of everything and if we have to, I'm going to turn to Rick and tell him to get the fuck gone.”

He stood up, “I'll have you know our kitchens were inspected by a health inspector!”

I stood up and pounded on the table. “Rick sit your ass down!

First of all, Rob and I know they only inspect once a year. We also know if you want to, you can lure mice away by throwing a loaf of bread someplace and they'll go there. You don't eradicate the problem, you just get it to be gone for the day.

I also know that inspector gives ample opportunity to let you know when it'll be inspected. I bet you've had them in there with sweepers and whatever getting it cleaned, but I bet you right now if I went down there, I'd find shit around there to the point it'd make you sick.

Don't even begin telling me we don't have rats and rodents because Rob and I already have pets out that window. I also witnessed a whole lot of clothing getting thrown out of merchandise because of holes eaten in them.”

He sat down. Mike said, “I suggest we get the issues resolved fast. As a public prosecutor, I ought to tell you I hardly ever prosecute a case of human endangerment brought to me by a health official due to vermin in a public eatery. Now, do they not go to them in our area? Or, do the mice not go there? I'd dare telling you they're probably there and don't get reported.”

He looked nervously and said, “I've not thought about it before, but maybe I've not wanted to know since one of my old friends owns most of the restaurants in our town.”

I said, “I'll make calls and see if it's an issue from an outside source. He'll be able to go to each one and inspect. I know he's not so close to us that he'll lie to attempt to cover it up.”

Mike nodded, “Thanks.”

No problem. I've never thought of it and if I haven't, I know Grant hasn't.”

I got up and said, “Jan, he's your employee. I have personal opinions already which have me wanting him gone. I don't know how everyone else feels, but the performance isn't satisfactory. I know we rehired him, but if the issues don't change and if I find out the issues are embezzlement, I'll prosecute after I get the numbers through mafia connections. I'll almost guarantee you they'll have me accurate figures because if that other person who's falsifying the invoices isn't giving them their cut, they'll most certainly want to know who it is. I know I would.”

She nodded, “When do you want to do inventory?”

I'd love to do it right now, but I'll wait until tomorrow after the game. The number of kegs in this building isn't going to change between now and then...and between you and I, I really should know our storage capabilities and our cold storage numbers.”

She nodded, “I need that too. Now, do you think our refrigerators are one unit which house everything for food service also?”

I don't know. I know that one has to be huge when it's tons of hotdogs served at an event.”


Yeah, they're quarter pound. Four to a pound and eighty thousand of them is twenty thousand pounds or ten tons.”

My God!”

Impressive isn't it!”

Rob said, “Even more impressive when you figure out we're getting charged nearly sixty cents each for the things.”


Jan's mouth hung open and her eyes were bugging out. “They don't even cost that much in the store!”

Rob smiled, “No, and a fifty pound box with two hundred of them in it costs us a hundred and eight dollars.”

I said, “Rob, starting tomorrow, look for all new suppliers and have Jan work on that with you. If you find the same identical box costs way less at another place, you order from them and then file suit on the other company for that overcharge. Obviously, someone slipped a decimal point someplace and passed it along, or someone's been fucking the company with the wienies.”

Jan said, “Those boxes don't cost that much from them, I know that! I saw their price list myself when I ordered for a barbeque we had.”

I nodded, “Well, we'll need to call their company and get a refund on our over payments. Go through the invoices and see how long it's been happening. Don't go back more than three years because we can't collect beyond that.”


State law. Nothing can be collected which they aren't required to have the invoices for due to IRS taxes and the statute of limitations of theft are over.”

Mike smiled, “It's bad when I have to ask for law advice from someone else.”

Don't fret over it. Most people don't read the law books like I do.”

Rob wrote it down and said, “Let me go get those invoices. They're filed. We might see if we're overpaying on everything.” He looked over at Rick and said, “I'd like to see that price list for their company. It should be in that file.”

It's thrown out.”

I rolled my eyes and stood up. “Jan, that's strike two. Get him out of here. I'll find someone else who can work with you. Or, you can, but it won't be him.”

She nodded, “Rick, it's bad to say, but if I find out any of the money has been funneled to you and you've implicated me in any way for this, I'll have you charged for embezzlement myself.”

Then don't come home because I'm responsible.”

Mike stood up and said, “Rick, you might want to stick around. I'll call the Sheriff myself. As a Prosecuting Attorney, that's all I needed to hear to get charges. The investigation will find the payments, but I do pity your wife.”

I looked at Jan. “Until this is over, don't think I'm holding you accountable for anything. It's clear you didn't know anything as I think you're as taken aback as I am.”

She had tears in her eyes, I'm sorry.”

Don't worry about it. We'll find out how bad it was, but I imagine it's far reaching and it's more wide spread than even he knows. Unfortunately, our inventory will probably discover thefts which he's not guilty of which will get credited to him.

That's the way it goes. Someone else sees someone taking something and after awhile, they think they're entitled to something. It's a chain of dominoes.

The problem is, when we do the inventory, it all gets credited to the one who was responsible and that's the one who oversees it...who was ultimately and most likely responsible for most of it.

What I hate here is you two are married and most likely sharing a bank account. It's going to be checked and be cross correlated with the thefts. When they see if the deposits total more per year than what either of you made, they're going to not only assume it got put there from theft, they're going to go to the IRS and report it as income.”

He has a separate bank account from me. WE only recently got married.”

Thank goodness for small favors. Who's house?”

Mine. He was living at the mansion.”

Ok, I'm done assuming because I'm apparently not good at guessing.”

I went over and put my arms around her and hugged her. Pictures and places flashed in my brain. I turned around and said, “Rick, sit down.”

I don't have to listen to you!”

Oh, let's see. You'll either listen to me or you'll read all I've got to say on a police report. I sure don't think you want what I've got to say on that police report.”

You don't scare me.”

I turned to Rob and said, “I need a piece of paper. I'll need to write down these bank account numbers and where they're located. I'll need to describe ALL he's involved here with theft and I'll need to have you locating books and asset reports where items were located before this man here had them stolen.”

Jan sat down and said, “I'll write.”

I listed four account numbers, their banks, and their figures. Then I listed dates, places, times, falsifications, frauds, forgeries, and illegal transfers of funds.

When I was finished, I turned to Rick and said, “This company here is a mafia ran company. I'll call the man and tell him you stole this much money from him. All the rest was from this organization.

As buyer, I not only received it's assets, I received it's debts, and all debts owed to it. That in effect means I bought everything including it's stolen assets which you have profiteered from.”

I turned to Mike and said, “Please excuse me for a moment while I made a demonstration to this man. It could be misconstrued as a threat. In the context of this being a pro football organization, I'll swear I was merely demonstrating how I can throw a football with amazing accuracy. Ok?”

Sure” he said smiling.

I turned to Rick and said, “Rick, come here bud.”

I went over and opened the window. “You see that rat out there? That rat's about to fall.”

I took a paper weight and threw it. It hit the rat and the rat was knocked off the steel girder. It fell the some seventy feet below with a frightened squeal. When it thudded below, it didn't move.

Rick, let me tell you something. All those funds are totaling nearly sixty million dollars.

IF you don't think I can't freeze those accounts when you make something way less and have no investments which you can demonstrate as being the source of that income, I'm going to not only prosecute, but Vic Danoza is going to come looking for you. He'll bail you out of jail for his own question and answer session. The problem is, you're not going to be heard from again.

Vic doesn't give a shit about the some seventy million you stole from my company, he's going to kill you over the hundred and thirty five thousand you stole from him.

Are you listening to me?”


So, here's what I suggest. I suggest you try to outrun what I'm going to throw at your head. I'm going to suggest you can outrun that and hope you make it to your car where I can't outrun you with that phone over there to call Vic at home.

When I call him, he's going to order his men to begin looking for your vehicle. If you don't think I can't read your past, present, and future, you think again because I'll most certainly tell him where you went and what you're doing there. He'll grab you and I'll of course have proof to hand to him to see you don't make it through his trial.

My question is this. Do I get the monies in those accounts? I'll tell you I will if I sue your estate for them. I'll even tell you as your wife, she can go sign your name on those accounts and drain them of money until you're reported dead.”

That's forgery!”

Hmmm, read the fucking law asshole. Forgery is when someone doesn't know about it and hasn't given permission. You said 'I do' and you know it's happening because I told you. Therefore your silence after I knock your ass unconscious will be implied consent.”

You're not going to get by with this.”

I turned to Rob and said, “Rob, how many different forms of killing someone do I know?”

Too many.”

How fast can I shut off my emotions?”

Mr Musselman said, “With psychotic swiftness.”

I turned to Rick and said, “Rick, that's the Prosecutor of our county speaking in his professional opinion when he said that.

He also knows I know enough law that what I've said so far could be easily reported as a spoken fantasy. Until something I've said has a correlation with how you actually died, I'm not a suspect...I'm just a person of interest.”

Mike smiled. “He's right.”

I turned to Jan and said, “Here's my cell phone. The bank books for those accounts are in his blue blazer inside pocket on the right lapel instead of the left. Go to your house and see if I'm right.

When I am, press 1 and hold it. It'll call Rob's cell phone and then you can tell him you actually found them.”

Ok, I'll be back.”

Take your time.”

She left and I turned to Rick. “Rick, you know they're there and you best know I got her gone so she'd not see you commit suicide. We're just not going to find you died by freezing in that back freezer which you've not told is there.”

You can't do that!”

I can't tell you where it is? You told me where it is! No one else knows where it is, do you think I'm going to tell them until after you're gone for awhile?”

I'll give you all the money in the accounts!”

Yeah, and then you'll be handed over to Mr. Danoza...who you'll tell that you gave me all of his money which will send him over here...So, do I let Jan handle it her way and get the accounts....hold up, Rob, write this down.”


She's going to find a key in that pocket which is to a safe deposit box.

That box is over at the Ohio State Bank Vault. In it, it's got the deeds to those buildings over there, the titles to the plane, vehicles, and a lot of other papers we'll need regarding contractual commitments owed to the team signed by Rick without anyone's knowledge.

He's agreed to sell footage to some company which makes video games for Nintendo and another company for ten million dollars.”

You can't have that! It's mine!”

Rick, if you owned a share in the Angels, you'd gotten it because you deserved it. You don't own anything as such. As I said, you're about to commit suicide.”

I turned to Rob and said, dial this number. It's a local call, so you need to use that desk phone.”


1Ba-dman. It's for Mr Danoza. He'll answer after four rings. He doesn't answer it sooner because the four rings is for his house phone to take a message. When it's this line calling in, it keeps ringing and he gets to it.”


Tell him we need to see him up here and tell him it's because I've got proof Rick stole from him.”

Anything more specific?”

When he last saw Rick, he suspected something was up, but couldn't prove it. Tell him his hunch was right.”


Rob dialed the phone and began to speak.

Rick looked frightened and said, “I'll do anything. Don't do this?”

There's the law and justice, or there's the laws of some of us and our justice. Now, guess which one I'm going to have happen?”

Mike said, “You need to let him get arrested and have the court decide anything!”

Mike, they confiscate and they tax what they've got. They collect the interest on it and I get it after four years. By then, I don't need the funds.”

I understand that, but you need to let him rot in jail.”

“ “Slap on the handjustice isn't rotting. He lawyers up and he gets probation.

He runs off and goes into business managing funds for a nursing center. Guess who his next victims are? And guess how long it takes before he gets caught? And guess how many are already dead and can't testify to the lies he told them to steal it?”

Rob hung up. “He's on his way. He asked if it was ok to bring two people with him and I told him it was.”

Thanks dear.”

He said a few choice words, but he's glad you caught him up on it.”

I'm glad I was honest enough to call him. I'd rather pay him the money he got stolen in order to see this man disappears for a while. It's a lot cleaner that way...oops, did I give away where the hiding spot was Rick?”

You son of a bitch!”

I reached out and tagged him in his jaw. “For your information, my mom wasn't a bitch. She was an accident victim and probably would've eventually had the backbone to beat the dogfuck out of you for what you do. With how my grandma was and I am, I sure can't think my mom would be singing 'give peace a chance' right now.”

Mike said, “I'm going for a walk. Rob, don't do anything I wouldn't do.”

Ok dad.”

He went out into the hallway and I heard the clicks of his heels as he walked away.

Rob, open the window.”

Ok hon.”

Rick, it's seven floors down and you see that girder there. Your opportunity to escape is out that window. With my generosity, that's the way out if you take it. IF not, all the other ways show you're Humpty Dumpty and are about to have a great fall.”

Rob said, “Mr Danoza's voice sounds familiar.”

Uh huh, you'll see him in a moment and recognize him.”


Yup. You met him when he rode in your car back to the airport after selling the team to me. It's a bad bad day when a man of his stature can't run a football team profitably.”

He's mafia and he sold the team?!”

No profits in it for him. This jerk over here was taking them! Not only did he lose his team, but he lost face with all his family members.”

You giving back all the money?”

No, just that hundred and thirty five thousand which was stolen from him since I bought the team.”

He stole it today?!”

He stole it last night.

That money there was what Mr Danoza told him to wire to someone whom he owed. He didn't know it was missing until you called. He only suspected something was wrong because the man who was supposed to receive it called while Rick here was standing in front of him. Rick lied through his teeth and said he wired it to him and obviously the bank didn't process it yet.”

Oh man!”

Yeah, by Monday, Rick would've been a dead man. His only problem is he counted on living to get my bank account numbers to steal from me as he ran.”

Rob stood up and held out his hand. “Rick, look at me.”

Not yet Rob. We gotta give that man his chances.”

He can be told to confess to him and then his brain will dump.”

I don't want to risk it.”

You're being too nice to him.”

Why didn't you use that on your parents?”

What makes you think I haven't? Your clue should be how they were able to sit there and not answer questions instead of running.

They now sit there without running and they're going to sit there without running until they pass judgement. When that happens, both are going to fall down dead.”

When did you decide upon your mom dying too?”

I didn't want her to die. It's my mixed feelings inside me with Robbie as my host which causes me to see how others perceive the situation.”

Then Robbie and I actually agreed upon something.”

You did.”

Can you think about some people and cause them to do that?”


Aim at the guys who killed my grandma and do it.”

I can't. They're back in prison and me aiming at a place where all those guilty people are together probably would cause a bunch of them to die at once.”

Ok, get specific and say for the ones who killed Rona Sherpa. Not all of those guys in there did that.”

I never thought of that.”

Rob's cell phone rang. “Hello? Ok, you got the key too. Great. We'll be waiting.”

He hung up and said, “You didn't mention that key on purpose, did you. You wanted to test her.”

I tested her because I knew she wasn't a guilty soul, but I wanted to be sure he'd not influenced her. He hadn't.”

My cell phone rang again. “Hello?”

Where are you at?” came Chris' voice.

Up in the office.”

Oh, what for?”


Man, I was about to get pre-engaged. I wanted you there.”

I'll be right there.”


I hung up and said, “Rob, we're needed down at the field. What do we do?”

What's going on?”

Chris is about to get pre-engaged.”

Oh man. Well, go ahead and go. I'll stay here.”

No, you've been a friend just as long as me.”

We can't up and leave him.”

He looked at me. “Go ahead and go. Stall him until I'm there. Hopefully soon, that guy will be here. Then, I can hand him off and be with you.”

I nodded and went out into the hall. As soon as I got there, I saw a movement to my right. I looked and then the world flashed.

I don't know what happened, but one second it was normal and the next, it was all cosmic. The world around me wasn't there and there stood my grandma with her hand upon her hip.

Jake, sit down!”


It sure won't be at the right hand of God with the way you're acting!”

What'd I do?”

You come out from handing a man to his death and you want to know what you're doing? IF you don't know what you're doing, then don't do it!”

He stole.”

And you're killing! Do you think helping a man to his death is going to keep you safe?”

I'm not killing him!”

You are dumb. Are you working on saving his soul before you send him to death?”


Then you're condemning him to his death as a heathen. That's worse than just killing him yourself. If you're going to play the part of God, you better see they get to him before you kill them. Otherwise, it's not your choice to make!”

What do I do?”

You cool your stuff and you pay that man what he owes him. You take responsibility for him. THEN, you call the police and let them seek justice. Retribution isn't yours and neither is condemning someone for all eternity.”

How do I know what to do in the future?”

You think to yourself...'Would my Grandma come down here and whip my butt over what I'm doing?' If that answer is yes, you go back up that road of failure and you find the right road.”


You were handed a talent to do things so it would better all of mankind. If you're going to use it to condemn people, you'll have it taken. This is your final warning.”

Ok Grandma.”

Come here, I'll give you a hug and you work to fix it.”


She disappeared and I stood there. Towards me came Mr Danoza.

Hello Mr Danoza.”

Hi Jake.”

Yes sir, I need to ask a favor.”

What's that?”

I want him. I'll pay you what he owes you, but I want him alive and well.”

What for?”

It's more better if I make him feel uncomfortable than for him to die.”

Ok, you're aware what he owes me?”

A hundred and thirty five thousand.”

Quite a bit more than that.”

The hundred and thirty five thousand is what has happened since I bought the team. If you're going to try to collect what was lost while you owned the team, you need to remember I bought all debts owed to it as well as all income coming to it. You sold that right.”

I'll see you in hell first.”

You've got that to do. I'll also see you in court first.

When I point out you sold me a building infested with rats and a food service with fat spoiled food, you'll have that taken off the sale price. You'll also have each and every lawsuit coming from those people I convince to file suit against you for serving tainted food. I'll tell you that you can keep the team and you can deal with what we've got left when I walk out the door. While I'm at it, I'll tell you you are a fool who deserved to have your money stolen.”

Why you little shit!”

Ungrateful too is what's going through your mind. Now, you need to fly to Las Vegas and pay Jimmy the Greek his million dollars. Tell him you stepped in between me and playing. And then, you have what's coming to you for canceling the game tomorrow.”

That game's not being canceled!”

You don't know what we've got left to play. When I take what we've got left to play and go home, unless you don a uniform, you don't have anyone to play.”

You stripped it!”

Yup, they were robbing the team. I'll not play with thieves and that's why I won't play on a team next to you.”

I turned around and went into the office. “Rob, come on, we're taking this man and leaving. He just canceled his sales agreement and obviously is now willing to pay me that one point six trillion dollars.”

What!” I heard behind me

Yeah, read your contract. It says you'll pay me what I stand to make from the team for ten years upon cancellation of the contract.

Your lawyer put THAT into the contract, not me! It's up to me to demonstrate what the team would've made in that ten years.

Since Rob's seen the books and we've cut your losses and gotten rid of the thieves, we already know we saved the team that much.

When you add in what the new stadium would have brought in during that ten years, I don't think you can even begin to mess with me.”

You'll get laughed out of court.”

And you'll get laughed out of your league meeting since Tom Benson witnessed you signing that contract. Now think about it because you're willing to take back a team which just isn't going to be allowed to continue on with the league owing me what you do and with the crookedness you established.”

Rob came up and said, “I've got the police called.”

Danoza said, “Keep the fucking team. I've got to get to a bookie and bet against your dumb ass!”

How much are you betting?”

Enough to get me another team easily.”

Bet a million. It'd get you good odds.”

I'm betting probably what you are paying me for the team. I do know I'm betting thirty million.”

Good. Go through Jimmy the Greek. He's an honest man.”

He smiled, and let out part of a chuckle. “Jimmy is an idiot!”

Hey, I spoke with him and told him I was playing and what we were using for a team. He was really cordial.”

He's probably thinking you're an absolute fool. I'll probably have no problem betting.”

I doubt that. There's a lot of odds against us winning. You'd probably get a fraction of what you would if you bet for the team.”

Slim chance in hell I'd do that.”

Rob said, “Here's the phone. I'll dial it for you.”

You work on getting me that check for the money he owes me.”

Rob said, “Hey, why don't we do a side bet. I'll bet you fifty million our team wins and you bet me the team if you lose.”

What! You playing me for an idiot?”

No, that's what you'd win if you bet five hundred million. You'd get a fraction of your dollar returned plus your original investment plus what you bet back.

We'll put up our fifty million against your team and if we win, we get back our fifty plus the team because the odds are against us.” He shrugged and said, “Oh well, it was worth a shot. I guess he doesn't want his team back.”

Fuck you kid. I'll make that deal. You pay me the fifty on Tuesday because I'm not going to have you fucking me on that money.”

I stepped forward and shook his hand. “Ok, I'll sell stock on Monday, if we lose and I'll get you paid. IF not, then that promissory note is torn up and we own the team outright.”

You're not shittin' me on this?”

No, I'll call Warren Buffet and get rid of my K-Mart stock. It's worth that.”

You that deep into them?”

Yeah, but I don't like them anymore since they bought into Little Ceasars and Home Depot. To me, the pieces just don't fit. I'll sell them.”

How about you just giving me that stock if you lose.”

Ok, it'll have to go through the SEC, but I'll do it. You be prepared to say you bought it for fifty million and I'll take the tax loss on it.”

He smiled. “Ok kid. Who are we going to get to witness this deal?”

You telling me your word's not going to be any good on this?”

I'm not sayin' a thing. I'm thinking you're full of shit.”

Hang on. Mike's got my stock. We'll get him up here to get the deal consummated.”

He smiled, “Let's call Tom. He can witness it and that way, you're not fucking me back out of my team.”


I dialed my phone and Tom answered. “Tom?”


Mr Danoza is here. We've got a bet going. I'm putting up my K-mart stock for the team. If I win, I get the team free and clear. If I lose, I lose the team and pay him my K-mart stock. He wants you to second it so he knows you're not going to bring the league up against him for suddenly having the team.”

Why are you letting him bet the team like it's his?”

He wants to give me the team if he loses, so I'll do that.”

You there Danoza?”

Yeah Tom.”

You in agreement with that?”


I don't like the betting, but if he's willing to do that, I'll tell you now the odds are probably what you'd get in Vegas. The odds are stacked against the team quite heavily.”

Well, from what I hear he did to the team, I'd say he deserves odds like that.”

Someone's bet heavily on that side because I hear bets are covered for a good little ways. I'd say it's probably Warren Buffet since he knows Jake.”

Good, I'd like some of his money. I might just see a bet or two gets made out there.”

You can't. If you're saying you own that team and are betting it. If you dare try that, I'll see you never own a team. Now, if Jake happened to do that, I'd say he was covered in a loophole as long as he bets for the team.”

Thanks Tom.”

No problem Jake. If that doesn't give you some incentive to play your hardest, I don't know what will.”

I appreciate it.

You guys have a good game tomorrow. I'll be up here having a miracle game for sure. Watch the highlights because you'll be impressed.”

Jake, as an owner, you can't bet. I'm ignoring him betting you because you've got everything to gain and fifty million to lose if you lose.”


Ok, good night and get some rest.”

Tell Toots to send Chris and Kit a pre-engagement gift. They're doing that tonight.”

He chuckled and said, “I'll do that. I'll see they get a gift from me too.”

He hung up and I said, “Ok, Rick's mine and we bet. If I lose, Rick's yours and you get my stock. That's the deal, right?”


Good. I appreciate it.”

You think you're going to win?”

I know I'll win. If you want to up the odds, I'll do that.”

Like what?”

Let's say if I win and the score is 42 to 6, you get me another fifty million.

IF we win by that and I throw over a thousand yards, then I get another fifty million. IF Rob there gets a touchdown, that's another twenty five million. If Chris gets a touchdown, that's another, and if Baker gets one, that's another twenty five million. If I only rush seventy eight yards, then that's another twenty five million. So, all in all, if those all happen individually, that's two hundred million on top of the team. IF they happen collectively, that's going to be another half a billion instead of that two hundred million and me getting the team.”

You're full of shit kid.”

Hey, the odds stack in your favor that I don't get all that done.”

What are you going to put up for that?”

I'll put up all my Intel stock. It's hard to guess what it's worth since it's ten percent of the company. OR, I can put up my Apple stock which is ten percent of their company.”

Put both of those up and I'll put every dime I have, all my deeds to everything, and will even give you the clothes off my back and out of my closet. I'll walk out of here naked and hail a taxi with no money.”

I looked at Rob and he smiled, “Deal.”

You get your stocks here kid.”

Hang on, Mike's got them held in his safe at his law office.”

Get him up here and witness this.”

Ok, hang on.”

I handed my phone to Rob and said, “Get him up here.”

Rob smiled and said, “Ok, look out there.”

Mike was standing out in the office.

Mike, we need you in here.”

He came in and I said, “Mike, as my attorney, there's been some side betting going on. Rob's approved it and Tom's approved it, so you need to know what's wagered.”

I told you I wouldn't approve anything.”

Mike, listen!”

I'm upset hearing that.”

Mike, listen to what it is and you'll be pissed, but you gotta see why I did it. Rob sees and he's approving this one time deal.”


For me putting up the Kmart, Intel, and Apple stock, he's going to bet me the team, and all his worldly goods including his clothes off his back.”

How much is that?”

I'd say it's not half a billion. I do know it's a savings and loan, it's assets, a cable company someplace, but I'm not sure what else.”

You sure you want to do that?”

I still have my Sprint stock and some others. I won't be broke, but I'll be hurt. If I win, I'll sell Sprint the cable company. Whatever else I get, will be icing on the cake.”

You get the team, and all he owns for that bet?”

Right. Tom Benson has witnessed most of it.”

What did he witness?”

Me betting K-mart stock against getting the team.”

So, the other got bet afterward?”

Yeah, he was talking about calling Jimmy the Greek and betting more.”

Ok, I'll put up your stock. I'll fly out there and bring it back on Monday and hand it to him if you lose.”

Here are the factors for the side bet. I want him to sign it. I don't want him saying it was different.”

What did Tom say about you betting?”

Since he's betting the team, I can rightfully bet. Tom doesn't like him betting the team, but said I can bet what I want if I bet on the I did.”

Mike smiled. “I'd suggest you win.”

That's the plan.”

What about this man?”

His debt is paid unless I lose. If I lose, then Danoza gets him no questions asked.”

Ok, so what are we going to do with him?”

Let him go. We know where he'll be.”


Let him go. For me, he's just as fired either way. For you, you know where he'll be and I know I've got his hidden accounts frozen. He's not going to run without money and he's hardly going to run with his wife owning all his marital property knowing what he's done to the team.”

Danoza said, “She knows?”

I told her.”

How'd you find everything?”

Sign that paper and I'll tell you.”

He signed and I said, “Good, I read his mind. It told me everything I needed to know. I also have everything from your mind what you own and if it's not turned over to me when I win, Rob will scramble your brain.”


Rob, turn and train what you can do on one of those rats.”

In which way?”

The window's open. Have the rat come in and do a dance on the table. Then, you have it smell Rick here and get his scent. We'll have the rats all find him and get him to us if he thinks he can run.”


He turned and the rat came right in and went up on hind legs. It did a little dance and went over to Rick. It let out a screech and then ran to the window.

I said, “Good, now that's demonstrated and you know you shouldn't have ever bet against me when I already know the outcome of the game.”

You son of a bitch!”

Nope, my mom was a nice woman. Just be prepared to hand me that stack of deeds on Tuesday and if you dare think you'll fly to Rio, be sure I don't already own a lot of land down there and know their Minister of Agriculture on a first name basis. He'll be all to happy to find you and get you back.”

I turned to Rob and said, “We've got to get downstairs. We've kept Chris waiting long enough.”

I turned to Mike and said, “Get Rick out of here safely because Danoza won't be too happy being left in a room alone with him.”

Rob and I went out the door and caught the buggy down. He grabbed my hand and said, “Man, do you realize what we just did!”

Yeah, we got the team, got all that man owns and we've got all that money coming in. It's going to be a mess if we don't win, but it's going to be amazing if we do.”

We went out onto the field and over to Chris. “Sorry dude.”

What took so long?”

Tell you in a moment. You'll crap when you hear.”

After all you've done today, I imagine it's pretty bad.”

Rob said, “Chris, if it comes up the way we think, it's going to be amazing.”

Let me get this done and we'll sit down.”


Jake, you and Rob are going to be my best men when we do get married.”

Sure... this is just a pre-engagement. It means you're going steady and not going out with anyone else. No standing in front of mirrors or anything.”

Dude, I don't do that anymore.”

Nope, you shouldn't. You'd shoot your eye out with that thing.”


Rob chuckled.

I said, “Chris, it's just a phrase.”

No dude, you know something.”

I know I got down here to watch you get pre-engaged and you're over here talking about what you do in front of mirrors. It ain't no big thing.”

Man, I'm kicking your ass when we get a chance.”


We went over to Kit and sat down. Chris got on his knee and said, “Kit, I would like to ask for your hand to be pre-engaged. Will you give it?”



He stood up and yelled “Whoo!” He then ran over and put me in a head lock and rubbed knuckles on my head and ran off.

I said, “Kit, he'll kiss you in a moment. He kind of forgot that.”

She laughed, “I knew he was building up to something.”

We gotta get a ring from home. My grandma is providing it.”


Chris came back over and sat down.

Mmmm, Chris?”


You're supposed to kiss her. You ran off dude.”

Damn! I messed it up!”

Yup, so make it official.”

He leaned over and kissed her. He sat up and asked, “So what's the big secret.”

We gotta walk out front. Rob and Kit can come along.”


We all got on the buggy and went up to the front doors. We went outside and I turned to Rob. “Do you wanna tell him?”


He turned to Chris and said, “You're aware Jake made a bet.”

Yeah, that's dumb.”

Well, Mr Danoza came and we had a meeting. Danoza is sort of making the same bet with us.”


Here's the deal. Jake puts up his K-mart, Intel, and Apple stock and Danoza puts up the team and all he owns. If we win, we get the team free and all Danoza owns. If we don't, we lose that stock and the million we bet out in Vegas.”

Chris looked at me and said, “You idiot!”

Chris, we called Tom Benson over this. Tom told me if Danoza was betting the team to give it to us, then I'm fine as long as I'm betting on the team to win. I'm fine, but Danoza probably won't ever be able to get anything again because not only will he be broke, but he said he'd give me all his clothes and hail a taxi out here in the nude and leave.”

Oh man!”

Yeah, but this all started because of Rick. Rick stole a lot and in order not to have him killed by Danoza, I had to do it.”

He was going to kill him?!” Kit asked

Yeah, Rick is the person who stole from the team and caused it to lose money to the point Danoza had to sell it. If you thought you were broke and then found out later the man who was stealing from you had done that, wouldn't you be pissed?”

Chris' eyes flared, “You got him working for you?”

No, he's fired again. Only now, his wife knows and she's madder than a wet hen.”

Oh man!”

We've got his bank books and everything, so it's not getting taken. He might run off with some bundles of cash he has hidden someplace, but he's not running off with his marriage and leaving her holding the bag.”

Good” Kit said with quite a bit of anger to her voice.

Chris asked, “Ok, so what do you win if we win the game like you said?”

I get the team free and clear. We get all of what Danoza has which has a savings and loan, it's assets, a cable company in it someplace and we get that half a billion from Jimmy the Greek. All in all, it'd be a real good pay day.”

Rob laughed, “Chris, what you guys will get is a lot more value in everything. We'll sell that cable company to the telephone company and what it brings, we'll split amongst you guys which played.”

Kit wants Japan as our country we put cell phone towers in.”

I'll call and get that reserved. We'll also get you guys enough cell towers ordered to get it covered before the prices go up. Consider that our wedding present. If not, then it's yours Chris.”

He nodded, “Ok, it'll be our wedding present.”

Kit smiled and I said, “Chris, we need to talk.”


Rob, sit here, we'll be back.”

Chris and I walked out across the parking lot and I said, “Chris, I can read you now. That's how I know about you shooting yourself in the eye.”


Hey, I think it's funny. I'm just glad you didn't fall off that counter.”

It burns.”

I know. I felt it when you did it. Now, what I need to tell you is to treat a girl like Sonja Edwards like the plague when you meet her.”


Because if you don't, what you do with her will ruin your marriage.”


Man, listen close and you listen good. In about ten years, you're going to meet Sonja Edwards in Columbia. She's pretty and she's going to be a Mizzou cheerleader. She's a mix of Indi-Mexican, and she's pretty.

You think so too. You turn on the charm and she recognizes you from you playing. You guys flirt, you go out, and you decide your marriage to Kit isn't worth what you feel for Sonja. You and Sonja get together, Kit finds out because someone snaps a photo and by the time you find out Kit knows, you've already showered Sonja with enough stuff, Kit's got an easy divorce and you've got barely anything left.

The reason I'm snapping on you like this is because it sets up a domino which falls at Rob. With Kit being available, they comfort each other and he decides to take that Justice seat on the Missouri Supreme Court.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, so you play with Kit and you play like you're running a life of touchdowns. As it is, you're going to be in the history books because you're going to be the first touchdown I ever threw.”


And like you think I'd throw to anyone else??? You teach me how to throw and I'm returning the favor and getting you into all that history. Just do me the favor and never ever look at a Mizzou cheerleader. IF I find out you have, I'll remind you of this conversation when it all goes south for you because it's kicking you in the ass for making it possible to make me lose him.”

What happens if that happens?”

It happens and you're a lonely person because I'll put you so far out of my life, you're not just ever dealt with by me again.

I'll deal with Rob being gone, because I'll go back and see if Grant will get back together. IF he hasn't changed, he and I don't get back together. I'll go to Brasil and live isolated. DON'T try to come apologize to me because I'll have you shot before I see it's even you and I won't bury your body. The animals will scavenge off you and you'll be left to rot.”


That's your life and mine. You treat her like gold and you keep her for life. If you think you're ever big enough to fuck up your own relationship, you think about me fucking your world and you setting those dominoes into play.”


Good, that's all I'm saying about it. I'd appreciate you calling and telling me each and every time you are invited to Mizzou because I'll act as intervention for you each time.”

Let's make a pack not to even go there.”

Ok, I'll do the same. Let's go seal the deal with them so they know.”

That's sort of stupid, isn't it?”

Fuck you now Chris. If you think you're going to slither out, then keep sliding. I'm trying to make it good for us and being sure we stayed insured.”

Ok, damn!”

It means that much to both of us. If you can't see that, then fuck it up and we'll just call it quits now.”

Let's go do it. I know she's the one for me.”

I know, you've got some gorgeous kids.”



How many?”


Man, at least I know I got laid that many times!”

You just wait, but you better know it's up to you to be more attentive to her than you are.”

What's that mean?”

She will think you're great at the beginning, but later, you stop treating her like number one. Hell, you don't even see she cums when you two have sex. You give her sex like it matters to you and you'll never lose her.”

Man, I know you're full of shit now.”

I grabbed his arm. “Fuck you. Go pack and I'll tell her we just stopped being friends. I'd rather lose you now than have you ever disregard me in that manner in the future.”

I turned and walked towards them, “Jake!”

Fuck you Chris. It matters to me.”


I turned around and went back at him. “IF you ever think you can ride on me, you think again. I'll see you and me both lose what we've got coming. When it's all said and done, you think if I don't have enough to sell out and just cut through all the shit and go away now. I'd rather cut through all the shit than have you hurt her or me in any way. I'm warning you for your own good...and when you tell me I'm full of shit, you think again.”

If you know this, then tell me when things are going to happen.”

Come here fuck head.”

I went over to him and put my hands on his temples. I read him and said, “When that touchdown gets thrown, you're going to look up at the clock and you'll see it reads 10:46 left in the 1st quarter left to play.

IF it says one second different, you tell me and I'll walk off the field then. I'll catch the plane and tell Mike to sell me out of all my stocks. I'll pay Jimmy the Greek his million and then, I'm flying to Brasil and getting lost in the woods which will become my home. DON'T come my direction and don't you dare tell anyone else where I went because it's all over for me then.”

A bit dramatic, don't you think?”

Chris, either believe me, or don't. You're playing the part of Grant right now and getting free shots at calling me a liar. I don't like it one fucking bit.”

Ok, until that touchdown is thrown, we agree to be apart. IF it's different, then you leave. IF it's the same, then I agree to tell Rob and Kit to never let us near Mizzou at all.”

Good, but I get full apologies for being called a liar and you never doubt my word again.”

I'll do that...if it's true.”

You'll do it.”

Who's second touchdown?”



Their punt doesn't go like they wanted. We end up intercepting and getting it to their thirty. We run a few plays and I go up over Rob's back to get across the line.

The third touchdown is Bake. He is real wide and open. I throw to him and he runs it in with everyone wondering how in the hell he got so open and unemcumbered by blockers.

The next is Rob. They get to watching our and Bake and totally forget we've got a middle. I do a sneak and run wide. They think I've got it so I fuck with all of them coming back to the back field while Rob snakes up the middle and has it open. About the time they realize he's got the ball, he'll be at the twenty seven yard line and already running it in.

The next one is DJ. DJ gets the ball snuck to him and runs. He takes it in and by then, the crowd is on our side because they're seeing us just cream them.

What happens then is the game gets tougher. They decide we're serious competition and they start blitzing me. That's fine because I start doing that one play where I run back and throw it to you guys. We make it in two more times, but one of them doesn't count because someone's got their foot on the line while running.”


Yeah, so don't bitch when it happens.”


Dude, you can't run it in. You're going to make it the wrong score and you're going to mess it up and lose us a billion dollars.”


Yeah, so just shake your head like you're really sorry and know it was a good show.”

Who else is getting it in?”

I'm not concerned about them. It doesn't matter. IF you can't believe me on those, then fuck you all the way around.”

Don't get so defensive!”

Dude, I'm telling you this to protect and insure our friendship. I can't believe I'm even doing this because you above all else should be believing me. Now, let's get over there because your girl is probably wondering why she and Rob are chaperoning us having a date out here and why I'm not fucking you already.”


Chris, if you want to suck your own dick, lay down with your butt facing a wall and put your legs back over your head. It works that way, but it sure doesn't feel as good as what you'll get later in life.”


If you give her what she wants, you get what you want in big measures. She learns to make your toes curl, your eyes flutter, and silent screams quiver all over your body.”


Yeah, you'll believe that, but you won't believe anything else. Go figure that shit out because that's just nuts.”

He laughed and came over and put his arm around me. “Thanks for putting up with me.”

Hey, let's go get some sleep. We'll need it. You just remember to talk me up in the interviews because I'll be over there telling everyone how you and I threw the ball together and how you got me discovered by the coach.”

Ok. Do you think we'll have interviews?”

Man, tomorrow is going to be bedlam. We're the new guys and total underdogs. It seems like everyone is here to see us and what we can do. The press is going to be so thick Aaron's going to be giving interviews.”

What's he do?”

Offensive coordinator.”

What the hell is that?”

It's a cool job.”

Sounds like a made up job.”

Nope. You're failing to realize in the pros, they pay people to do things no one else does in high school. His job is to watch a camera overhead and see who is doing what and who's not hitting hard on our side and who's not hitting hard on their side on defense. It tells us where there are holes and it tells Grant who to put where because it gives us an advantage.”


Yeah, but just remember where we've got him, they've got a defensive coordinator which does the same thing. He spots our offense and sees who isn't protecting me good and who isn't working hard on his team.”

Damn, that advantage is gone.”

IT's that way. Suddenly a game of keep away has become a huge game of chess out there. By the time everyone's doing their jobs, you wonder how we can get anything through.”

How do we?”

They don't know us. They don't know what to expect, so they don't know we're going to just be blowing everyone out of the water. They'll be looking for high school play and we're going to be showing up the pros.”


By then, we were back over to Rob and Kit.

What ya guys talking about?”

Telling Chris about the game tomorrow and what everyone does. He's just now finding out what Aaron's job is.”

Rob sat up, “Isn't it neat!”

I never even knew they did that. I think it's neat, but it makes it a lot tougher.”

Yeah, but if someone isn't hitting hard, we know and can get him off the field and replaced. The bad thing is we don't have a whole lot of people to replace with.”

I said, “It's a passing game tomorrow until third quarter. By then, we're going to be ahead and they're going to figure out it's best to blitz me. The advantage is we practiced for Hannibal's defense and can use that to our advantage.”

Rob smiled, “I guess. I wasn't there.”

You were there, you just weren't on the field.”

I asked aloud. “Guys, we need to ask and see if I can do a touchdown while doing one handed forward flips. If we can, that'd be way cool.”

Chris said, “You ought to be able to. As long as the ball doesn't touch the ground, you're fine.”

Rob said, “Three points on the ground down a ball. Don't do that and you're fine. IF you do that, you can look good all you want, but they'll bring the ball back to where you did it.”

Ok, we might see at a future game, but I'll save the showboating tomorrow.”

Chris said, “Rob, in my night bag is some cream. Put some on that blemish above your left eyebrow. You'll have fifty cameras pointed at you and all of America will be wondering how big that zit is.”

I looked over and Rob suddenly touched. “Oh man!”

Chris, you might want to do that one above your chin and under your nose.”


You got him worried about nothing now.”

Rob looked at me and said, “He's messing with me?”


You asshole!” he said slugging Chris' arm

I said, “Guys, all of your interviews tomorrow, you say hi to everyone you can back home. We want to convey we're high school kids out in the big city for the first time.”

Why?” Chris asked.

If you don't think they're going to not have televisions turned on and watching us to point to their guys and tell them to be on us, then think again. I just want you to be getting us an edge by having them think they're getting an edge.”

Oh man!” Rob said.

Yeah, so make us look like bumpkins from the pumpkins. I'm going to be doing it and you can best bet I'll be waving like hell and saying hi to Mr and Mrs O.”

Chris smiled and said, “I'll do that too. I'll tell Mr O not to wreck the car and leave the cat on the telephone pole.”

We need to say hi to Mr Owsley too.”

Rob smiled. “This is going to be so neat. I'll say hi to my mom and sis.”

We went back in and into the stadium. When we got onto the field, I saw Jan. She came over and asked, “You let him go?”

Yeah, you don't realize it, but it was the best thing. What you don't realize is Rob had a rat get his scent and if you ever think about it, what animal can get all over our world besides man?”

A rat?!”

Yeah, so Rick doesn't have a chance of hiding. That rat has his scent and it's better than a bloodhound.”

Ok, I'm rather intrigued about you now.”

On Wednesday morning, we'll have a meeting which will be informative to you. We'll sit down and lay our cards on the table.”

Why then?”

Tomorrow is a big day for us. Monday is a day of gathering and Tuesday is the day we collect or pay. Wednesday will be the day we have for us.”

Just remember the press tomorrow.”

I've already given the heads up to Chris and Rob. We need to get the word out to everyone else, but you need to get us a cash register in merchandising which works and have us out on the field giving interviews where no one is in the line sight for anyone else.”


What I want are clipboards for the press to sign on. I want them to sign the board and schedule their interview that way. Then, I want them to have their shot done and us to have copies of those interviews sent to us. You need to compile that because if someone doesn't send us footage of it, then they never get an interview with us again....and I mean that all the way up to the highest levels.

It's not one bit fair Billy Bob from Amish television has to send one in to us and someone from ESPN doesn't have to. Yeah, we'll have tapes running on them anyways, but I expect us to have loads of tapes.”

We've not requested it before.”

It's a new policy. Tell them from the get go and don't let anyone do an interview with anyone who thinks they're going to bitch about it tomorrow. You got me?”

Sure. I think it's a good idea.”

It's insurance. IF we have copies of all that footage, then we know what got said by whom and can show if anything got misconstrued...taken out of context, and just plain lied about.”

Do you want that with all the paper reporters too?”

Yeah, tell them we want a copy of the paper or magazine printed and their reporter's notes.”

I'll get a release made up in that.”

They have the right to edit it as they see fit, but we've got the right to not grant interviews with whomever for whatever reason.”


If the Christian media comes, you send them to me. I'll speak to anyone except for Pat Robertson. If anyone from the 700 Club comes, tell them to not just leave the field, but to get off our property. They can take that however they see fit, but that man doesn't get one word from me except 'get!'”

What did he do?”

Stood behind Bush and push us into a war over stomped babies which never materialized. We never went to war over Kuwait, we went to war over stomped babies. That girl who testified should be in jail for lying at the congressional hearings, and her dad ought to be in jail beside her.”

I'm not familiar with it.”

Her dad was our diplomat over there. She says she worked in the hospital. No one knew who she was and no one checked until later when it was found she wasn't even there in the hospital and couldn't have been there. She lied and it was solely done to induce bad feelings. It made us think they were barbarians and that's it. We got played.”

So Pat Robertson stood behind her?”

He stood behind her and he publicly called for Saddam to be murdered. You tell me a preacher who suddenly cries out for murdering a leader of another country and I'll show you a preacher who forgot his Bible learning.”

Ok, so he's out, anyone else?”

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't come near me. If that guy who manages Mike Tyson comes on the place, you tell him to get too. If you see him speaking with one of our players, he got too close.”

I can't throw him out of here.”

You call security and I'll get them to remove him. There are some people who will be banned from this building period. You're getting the list now.”

Ok. You do realize you're banning preachers.”

Yup, and I'm banning them from both sides. It's nothing political, I just don't like what they do. They incite and they stir up. When they show, it's not about what they're there for, it's about what they can do to stir up and make them look good for.”


I'm not racist and I'm not a bigot, but being gay, not a one of those guys is going to say a good thing about us or I sure don't need them doing what they can to help me.”

Is that why?”

It's a whole box full of whys. They use their tricks to manipulate and deceive. I'll not be in their sites, but I sure am not going to stand idly by while they pull the trigger either.”

I can see you're opinionated about that.”

Also, if a politician doesn't support gays, you be sure to get to me before I'm having my photo taken with one. You also get Rob out of those photos and Grant out of them. Well, just see to it they don't get a chance of a photo with us.”

That's going to be hard.”

Until we know for sure, I'll ask them before a snapshot gets taken. They'll either say what they stand for and I'll cancel the shot, or they'll lie and I'll ask for it to never be printed. You might put that in our releases also.”

Man, you're going to have a whole contract for them to read and sign before they get to take a photo or do an interview!”

Hon, my reputation is just as valuable to me as it is to sell their products. I'll also tell you that clause will go into any item in this building. IF they don't support us, it doesn't get used. If I find out they don't support us at any given time, I'll pull their endorsement and product from this place.”


That means everything from our uniforms to this AstroTurf, and on down the line. So what we'll need to do is have everything checked out.”

What happens if they're the only person who makes an item?”

I'll either start a company which makes that item, or I'll buy into that company so their policy has to be changed. Until their policy changes, I expect their product to be pulled from this building.”


Hon, if you found out a company refused to have women managers and paid women shit compared to a man, would you support them?”


Well, that's how vigilant I've got to be. I'll get word through the underground I want word about people, but you'll probably see me being real different about things later.”

What's that mean?”

It means right now, I'm flying blind. As word gets out, you'll see me removing items and shipping it back to their company for a refund explaining why I won't have their goods in this building. I'll also expect you to print that letter in the press. It's going to hit the mainstream media and it'll also show them I'm not going to sell out to anyone for myself, my beliefs, or my players.

As we go along, you'll see that take off. You'll get letters which are anonymous stating so and so and such and such are either bigots, or they're supportive. If they're a politician, you get me those people and you get contributions to their campaigns. Just the same, you put money into the opposition of those who are against us.”


Yeah, big ohs. That's where I'm saying it's going to change. To me, it's a political contribution which gets us forward and it's a write off. I'll do that in any manner I can to get those bigots out.”

Ok, now what about if our players are against it?”

Let me know and we'll get them out of here quietly. I'll not have someone ever saying how he hates faggots and have me throwing a ball to him.”

I understand.”

They have the right to play, but I have the right to hire and fire also. Don't think I won't sell off my best player if he's a bigot.

To me, it's not about that. It's about us learning to live and play together. If we're a family and everyone stands by each other, we'll be better than the average team and those players on the other teams.”

She nodded, “Ok, I'm for that.”

We'll have a team meeting tomorrow first thing. I'll explain it to everyone else and if anyone wants to disavow us then, I'll hand them walking papers. I certainly won't let them in front of a reporter and let them spew their agenda.”

That could get touchy.”

It's common knowledge they've made sure to keep us quiet in sports. I'm taking off the gag before it gets put on and I'm not staying mum for anyone. IF they think they can make that happen, I'll sue for my first amendment right to say what I think about it.”

They won't. I think you're going to have too much of a following and too much of a voice.”

Do you think so?”

First of all, girls are going to follow you because of your looks. Guys are going to because you're popular and built. Gays will because of who you are and what you are, so the ones who won't are going to be led over to you because of what people think about you.”

Do you think so?”

Hon, when the press hears where you're from, they're going to go back there and interview people. I imagine those people back there will say what they think and that will flow over to picking up more popularity.”

We've got Dolly on her way. Jack and Roger are going to be here and Chris' mom and dad back home. Mrs Watson would talk about me good as well as Ben Prather and Superintendant Wilson of the school board. Then there's the girl at the snack shack and Mr Owsley. Both of them would speak highly of me, so I guess I'd be fine.”

Who would be enemies?”

Oh man, there's a load of them. I'm going to front one guy out tomorrow without saying his name, but he would. Then there's all the people I beat playing tennis.”

That's a sports thing. It wouldn't hurt you.”

That coach from Hannibal is going to be having me walk the thin line of libel and slander tomorrow.”


I am. I'm not mentioning his name, but the man is already laying out that Grant is a child molester because of me. He can't prove anything, so I'll say the same about him and not mention his name. He'll know and his whole team will know and that's what matters.”

What happened?”

Grant went over to recruit their quarterback to come be my backup. We had the man arrested last night and today, he threw around that Grand was a child molester without proof. That kid's parents didn't let him come and that was after we saved his life.”


That coach beat his student and threw him on their bus. We had him arrested and then Grant put the kid put on the bus anyway. They rode over and on the way home, that coach put his players up to trying to kill the kid. Fortunately, I made some calls and got some people to save the kid. They did and the kid was only shook up after the ordeal. The kids who were responsible got some severely damaged vehicles.

Since the kid wasn't hurt or killed, their coach found out Grant was over to recruit him. Grant got called names and low and behold, that kid's parents suddenly sided with the coach who would lay his hands on their kid instead of Grant.”


Yeah, so I'm going to be laying it out there tomorrow that we'd have more players had a certain child molesting coach not told his players not to play for us. It'd tell the players we were serious and their coach he can't say anything without the press suddenly investigating his actions.”

Nice thought.”

Yeah, but what will happen is those people in the administration and those kids and those parents are all going to look at each other and start questioning who it was, when it happened, and where.

Once the questions start flying, and we win, then they're really going to be up in arms because they'll have seen their opportunity for stardom slip by.”

You need to offer again.”

That kid's going to call. You just be prepared for when he calls because he's going to see me on television doing the interview and he's going to call before the game. By the end of the game, I'll have that kid here.”


Yeah. It's psychology hon. If someone you doubted was on television proving everything you got told, wouldn't you try to save yourself and that opportunity?”

I'd be embarrassed.”

Not this kid. He's going to be pissed. He's going to see his parents as selling out his hopes and dreams and he's going to see the phone number in his hand. He'll call and I'll have our jet waiting.”

Ok, do that.”

I am. We can negotiate with the parent when they see their kid on our field during fourth quarter relieving me.”

IS he any good?”

That's a loaded question. Is he good for Grant? Yeah. Is he a good quarterback? He's second string behind me and most everyone behind me isn't going to look so hot after I'm proven tomorrow.”

I hear you're damned good.”

Tom Benson and the Redskins both say I'm great. Well, Danoza says I'm great too, but that's a man speaking who had already sold out to me before he saw me play.”

Smart move.”

Tom Benson said he would've offered me twenty five million after seeing me enter the field and throwing my first pass before the game.”


Watch tomorrow. I'm doing it with my shirt and pads off bare chested. It's designed to show me off and get into the other team's head.

The crowd will love it as those special interest groups you mentioned will suddenly see me without shirt and get all hot and bothered. Hopefully, they'll replay it and those who got phone calls from everyone else will see Rob helping me put on my pads with his adoring looks and us being intimate.”

OH man!”

Yeah, so you see what I'm doing. I'm showing everyone I'm hot and I'm showing everyone there's love there.”

You don't expect the backlash?”

Yeah, but we'll win more over than we'll lose. Yeah mom's will cover little Johnny's eyes trying to keep the perverts from scarring his brain but what you don't know is little Johnny is most likely going to be more intrigued. It'd be best if the parents would let their kid decide.”

Ok, we've got to market that.”

Already in the works. What I want to do is to see if we can use that photo shoot with 'the Boys' to sell us posters. If possible, it'd get us some of their fans and it'd get us a real good set to do immediately.”

You know how to play it up.”

It's all about selling. I learned that selling cars. Well, I learned it from a lot of things, but it's about using what you have and using it to make a dollar bill.”

We can do that.”

Yup, but what you tell those companies which won't promote me is they've got other companies which ride along with them which I won't allow in here.”

Like what?”

If McDonald's doesn't support us, then you write a letter to Coke. You tell Coke to get their product out of our stadium and cancel their contract because of the McDonald's thing.”

That's risky.”

Not as risky as them allowing Pepsi in our doors. I happen to know Pepsi is all over Disney World and it's like the biggest employer of gays in this country.”


Yeah, so when AT&T says they won't, you tell them we don't need them anyways because Sprint sure better support us. I own ten percent of that company.”

Why not go with Sprint in the first place?”

We could, but I don't want to alienate anyone either.”

That's smart.”

It is, but not if AT&T doesn't support us.”

We'll have to check everything.”

You need to know something. I'm expecting you to contact the city and check for their hiring policies of gays. If they won't hire gays, let me know and I'll proudly go buy generators and water trailers to cut the utilities from them. When I get that done, you'll see them worried I'm building that new stadium out of the city which will be on my agenda.”

A new stadium?”

Yup, the word is going out to have us finding designers. We'll probably be saying that in interviews tomorrow.”

Do you have the money for that?”

We will after tomorrow. I've spoken with Tom Benson and my lawyer. We've got a plan and it'll be seen if we're viable tomorrow.”

Ok, so this game tomorrow opens more doors.”

It's us kicking the door in and then turning around and laying out our own welcome mat. The next few weeks will be us publicly throwing the people inside out why we put out our opinion on it.”

How's that?”

We're going to be openly gay. You're going to have other owners who are going to be bitching and saying how they won't play us for fear of getting AIDS.

Tom Benson will be up there telling those owners through the press to publicly forfeit their games and you'll see those owners suddenly capitulating on their stance. But, you'll also see them having their biggest people out there saying how they don't see us as a threat and how they think it's sick and twisted.”

That's just as bad.”

Yup, but by then, I'm going to be America's boy next door and everyone's favorite little brother. You just remember that because you'll probably have a lot of uproar over it coming to the offices with requests of us to do interviews.”

What do you want me to say?”

Press releases which are from Rob and I about how we regret there is so much bigotry amongst pro football players and teams, but we view our playing as they once did the blacks. We're here and we're better, so get used to us because I'm not selling out and I'm not quitting.”

Good. It's a strong statement and it fires warning shots all over their bows.”

You might throw in a statement about our talent and all of the teams doing the complaining having homo erotic names.”


Rams, Oilers, Redskins, Packers, and other teams. If they ask for follow up, you calmly say there's no teams named Summers Eve, Massengil, Hooters, or feminine names, so what's up?”

She laughed, “Oh man, you're going to create a stir.”

Tom's team is safe. He's a Saint. I'm safe because I'm an Angel. But you just leave it at that. They'll get the hint and those teams won't say anything. Those that do, you shoot another volley by asking them who in their ranks is being quiet and who wants to come over to us. It'll suddenly have it publicly offered we're offering haven for those who want to be real and honest.”

Good. I like that.”

More is said through our press releases than what we could say in interviews. You should know that.”

I yawned and said, “Hon, we need all these lights out and us to get to bed. Are you sleeping down here?”

Is it ok?”

Sure, there are cots for everyone.”

I like this.”

I went over and laid on the pallet in between Rob and Aaron. DJ was over laying head to head with us and Chris was next to Rob next to Kit. I looked over and saw Matt next to DJ. On the other side was Terry Samuels.

I said, “Good night everyone.” and got told good night back. The lights were soon shut down and Rob rolled over and kissed me.

Babe, thanks.”

For what?”

For a lot of things. I know this is going to be great for us.”

It will be. Remember we've got a team meeting first thing first.”


He lay with his arm out as my pillow and I ended up sleeping mostly on him than off him.


Notes From Retta:

This story wouldn't be possible without a good person by the name of Wes. Fortunately, he downloaded it while it was still able to be gotten on the Google Groups site.

For those of you who know, my Google Groups site is shit. Please don't get that confused with “the shit”, but just plain shit.

It seems I can upload a chapter to the site and it will promptly lose the thing. When you go to click on it, you will get an error message which states the page you've navigated to is no longer available. Needless to say, I'm not please because their customer service sucks.

I'd lost the first twenty five chapters of the story, so without Wes having them, I'd be fucked. Thankfully, he had them, so he gets a great BIG HUGE Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From My Keyboard To Your Heart,


Copyright Notice - Copyright © 2009 by RettaMichaels

The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.

Trademark Notice – 2009 by RettaMichaels

From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.

Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.