Tom Coughlin: Win or no win, I’m still sickened TO DEATH with the effort I saw out there on Monday night. ARE YOU HOPING TO USHER AN OLD MAN TO SLIGHTLY PREMATURE GRAVE? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? Third down efficiency is still an issue. We turned the ball over on the first drive. What we were, men, was lucky. Plain and simple. Take away the Rams’ stupid fumbled backward throw to Cadillac and that muffed punt and we’re good as baked ass out there. Sure, sometimes luck will go your way, but counting on luck to guide you in the National Football League is like counting on luck to see you through during a goddamn maelstrom. It’s dumb, men. Real dumb.
In fact, the only facet of the game where I observed real progress was within our opossum package. Grant! Where’s Grant?
Deon Grant: Right here, coach.
Coughlin: Thank you. THAT right there is a world-class actor. If I had any connections in the pictures biz, I’d have told him that I could land them the next Joseph Cotten. No way an offense is building any kind of momentum when we got this guy ready to suck the wind right out of them. A coach takes pride in that kind of thing. Why, we’ve been working on that day in and –
[Grant collapses on the ground to dramatic effect]
Trainer: Deon! What’s wrong? DEON! DEON! Talk to me!
Grant: Ughhhh it’s my foramen magma.
Grant: No, don’t shoot. No reason to put me down. Not yet. I’ll live. In fact, I think I’ll be okay once this 30-second timeout is over.
Trainer: Oh. Okay, gotcha. [Conspicuous wink]
Coughlin: All right, Grant, that’s enough. We know you’ve got the routine down. No one likes a show-off.
Corey Webster: I knew he was faking.
Coughlin: LIKE HELL YOU DID, COREY! 50 LAPS! LET’S SEE ‘EM, MOTORMOUTH!
Osi Umenyiora: Uh, coach. I get the strategy to have a player dive when the opposing offense has a long drive or has gone to the no-huddle, but what’s the point of having me faking recovery from a surgery since the start of training camp? I need to be out there. I’m a playmaker on this defense.
Prince Amukamara: Yeah, and why do I have to pretend like I’ve been hurt all year? I’m a rookie. I need this opportunity to develop my game.
Coughlin: What we’re doing is setting the table for the rest of the season. I can’t reasonably expect to have my players fake temporary injuries to slow other teams and get away with it all year. Eventually we’re gonna have to pretend one of them is serious. That way, we have our less talented players do it in the early stages of the season, then we take them out after people start catching on. Then, all of a sudden, we have our best line-up out there.
Osi Umenyiora: I guess that makes sense.
Coughlin: Glad you could see it my way, Osi. Now, what I really need to drum into your heads is – OH NO IT’S GOODELL EVERYONE BE COOL
Roger Goodell: Hello there, men.
Jerry Richardson: Right fine day for a practice, is it not?
Roger Goodell: Say, Tom, I don’t mean to interrupt, but might we have a word?
Coughlin: I suppose that’s all right.
Roger Goodell: Good, good. So… Tom… Jerry and I were just across the river reviewing some of the action from the weekend when we came across an interesting tidbit from the Monday night contest. And we thought we’d take the cart out for a spin and talk it over with you.
Coughlin: Was it when Boley threw the ball at that boy’s face behind the end zone? Oh boy, that was a hoot, wasn’t it? But I guess it was in poor taste, though. HEY BOLEY, GET OVER HERE WITH YOUR CHECKBOOK, DOUBLETIME.
Goodell: No, no, I’m afraid that’s not it at all. Though if he would like to fork over $15,000 or so, I wouldn’t object. [Laughs in a way that you can’t tell if he’s kidding]
Jerry Richardson: ENOUGH OF THIS POLITE TALK! YOUR BOYS ARE TAKING DIVES, COUGHLIN! LIKE A BUNCHA REGULAR SOCCERTINI-SIPPING HOMOS!
Coughlin: Diving? Come on now, this is football.
Goodell: It is just that, Tom. And we already get enough pressure from the labor-biased media any time a player suffers an injury. A report about how the game is unsustainably dangerous. How we’re not doing enough to protect their safety. Of course, injuries are unavoidable to a certain extent. We do what we can with public perception. But we’d prefer that we only have to play damage control with the genuine article.
Jerry Richardson: We want to know what you’re gonna do to make this right. That is, unless you want us to take extreme measures.
[Shows him a photo of two kids playing]
Coughlin: Why are you showing me a photo of Norv Turner’s kids?
Richardson: [Scans photo] AWWWW SH*T! I BROUGHT THE WRONG FILE AGAIN! SO MANY DIVES THIS WEEKEND! YOU GET THE IDEA! YOU DIVE, THEY DIE!
[A sodden thud is heard nearby]
Trainer: Deon! Are you okay? What happened?! DEON!
Grant: Ughhhh it’s just … the long-term deleterious cognitive effects that result from playing a contact sport where savage violence and intense collisions are the norm… Ugghhhhh
Goodell: Oh no. This is bad.
RIchardson: CALM IT, ROG! HE’S JUST A-FAKIN’ IT! FAKER! FAKER!
Goodell: I can’t take that chance! Let’s get out of here!
[Cart speeds away at 20 mph]
Coughlin: We need to make this guy a team captain.