Matt Ryan Writes A Column: A One Act Play

SCENE: A flustered MATT RYAN, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, is attempting to write PETER KING'S weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column. Plagued by writer's block as storms rage outside, RYAN falls into despair as deep as a 35-0 hole.

Matt Ryan: Lo, I am plagued by writer's block as storms rage outside! I have fallen into despair as deep as a 35-0 hole!

RYAN stares at his computer screen. He has written the phrase "Winners just win" in Comic Sans 45 times, and a 3,000 word treatise on the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Constantinople. A fly buzzes overhead.

Ryan: Gosh darn it! If only I could channel Peter King's effortless writing style! His columns are like a fresh breath of helium in a room filled with gasoline! And if only someone were here to help me....

RYAN looks wistfully out a bay window, as a bolt of lightning illuminates a 20-story statute of MATT RYAN. 

Ryan: Perhaps if I expand a little bit more on the connection between Pope Innocent III and Mr. Dimitroff....

There is a crash. RYAN whirls around, knocking a glass of gin onto a panther rug dressed in a pirate, hat captured from a New Orleans zoo.

Lightning flashes, and the outline of BEAR WOODS, snakes writhing in his hair, appears on the balcony of Ryan's...mansion. I guess he has a mansion? Let's go with that. WOODS is joined by SEAN WEATHERSPOON, TONY GONZALEZ and a mysterious figure who goes by the nombre of CRISTOBAL ROJOHOMBRE.

Rojohombre: Hola, amigo.

Ryan: Why, it's my teammates! And some mysterious Spaniard! Please, sit down!

Ryan gestures at chairs with his jersey number embossed on them. All have a career comfort rating of 84.3.

Woods: THIS ISN'T A SOCIAL VISIT, MATTRYAN! THIS IS A TEAM EFFORT TO WRITE YOUR COLUMN!

Ryan: Wow! I knew I could count on you guys. How'd you know I needed help?

Gonzalez: Thanks to my All-Pro brand Hearing Powder, I heard your cries of distress from miles away. Then it was a simple matter of grabbing these three, running here and scaling the side of your building.

Ryan: You guys are the best. So what should I write?

WEATHERSPOON begins speaking, furiously using Twitter and uploading interviews with fellow Falcons, the Pope and NASA engineers onto YouTube.

Weatherspoon: Man, I haven't even signed a contract yet and I know you should write about how the great Falcons are going to be and how we're going to fit in with the NFC South. Tell everyone how we're eager to get on the field and succeed, and about how our defense is going to be right near the top of the league, and how I'm going to lead that defense, and how Curtis Lofton and Stephen Nicholas are also going to lead that defense bro, and how we're going to interview Chad Ochocinco about his grooming habits, and how I had Cheerios for breakfast and how Cheerios are an important part of a balanced breakfast and then you should head immediately to the gym bro and hit the weights and talk to your tweeps because maintaining communication with the fans is critically important and you should stay in school and drink your milk and don'tdodrugsandmaybethenyoushould *GASP*

WEATHERSPOON passes out due to a lack of oxygen. Everyone feels strangely moved by his combination of topics and advice. 

Gonzalez: People love to hear about a healthy lifestyle. Remind them that we NFL players have to stay in shape throughout the entire off-season, and that good eating and plenty of exercise is essential to ensure our health on the gridiron. Also, you might want to mention my All-Pro Knee Joint Supplement and Suppository. It really gets your rear in gear!

Woods: THE NFL IS TOUGH, MATTRYAN! TELL READERS THAT PARITY WILL REIGN SUPREME IN THE NFL YET AGAIN IN 2010! EXCEPT FOR WHEN WE KILL OUR OPPONENTS WITH MEAT CLEAVERS! ALL OF THEM! EVERY ONE!

Everyone is silent for a moment. WOODS brushes his snakes self-consciously.

Woods: IN A METAPHORICAL SENSE, OF COURSE!

Rojohombre: Amigo, you should write about how this is finally Chris Redman's year to shine. No offense, Matteo, but you are nothing next to the Redman. His arm is like a cannon filled with sunshine, and upon his shoulders sits the head of a man moving toward greatness. I predict he will unseat you by Week 1, and that he and Miguel Smith will become true amigos. Forever.

Ryan: What?

Rojohombre: Que?

ROJOHOMBRE's eyes dart nervously around from underneath his floppy sombrero.

Ryan: Well...I like most of those suggestions. Except the one where I'm supplanted as a starter by a guy who couldn't throw a 50 yard pass with the aid of a howitzer. But since I'm taking over for Peter King, I feel like I should really try to capture the flavor of his column, too. Any suggestions?

WEATHERSPOON, still passed out, has nonetheless managed to update his Twitter followers on the fact that he is passed out. 

Gonzalez: You should definitely alternate between actual, thoughtful discussion of the state of the NFL and the league's prospects for 2010 with mentions of your favorite music. Try to sprinkle in some mentions of things your family has done recently, and people that no one but you has or ever will meet. Also, be sure to throw in a paragraph about my All-Pro Lettuce Wraps with Enough Damn Protein To Turn Jaleel White Into Michael Strahan. They're delicious!

Woods: WRITE ABOUT HOW COFFEE IS DELICIOUS, EVEN THOUGH NOBODY REALLY GIVES A SHIT!

Rojohombre: To really capture the essence of a Peter King column, you must write about the underdog. The one hombre no one but King recognizes. Perhaps Chris Redman, the league's finest backup quarterback and a man whose love for humanity is exceeded only by his ability on the gridiron, would be a good choice.

Ryan: (suspiciously) You sure seem to be in love with Chris, Mr. Rojohombre.

Rojohombre: Nonsense, it is impossible to love oneself. ........El crapo.

Ryan: I knew it! Chris, didn't we go over this after the Christian Scarletfellow incident? You're a great guy and you've done a lot for more, but this is a little creepy. Don't you have like a wife, and hobbies, and stuff?

Rojohombre: (hangs head in shame) Si. Es verdad.

Woods: WILL YOU BE NEEDING US FURTHER, MATTRYAN?

Ryan: No, gentlemen, but thank you for your help! With your aid, I believe I can craft a column worthy of Peter King's lofty legacy. Hey, I used the word lofty! Just like Peter King!

Gonzalez: You're a natural! Like all the recommended foods in my All-Pro Diet plan!

RYAN waves as WOODS, GONZALEZ and a dejected ROJOHOMBRE drag an unconscious WEATHERSPOON from the balcony. He sighs and settles down at his computer again, beginning to write what is most assuredly a glorious column before pausing briefly to reflect on the evening behind him.

Ryan: Man, that was weird.

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