Phillipkeith Manley Reports To Falcons Camp: A One-Act Play

Daniel Shirey

Don't take any of this seriously. It's a play.

SCENE: It's rookie mini-camp. While the rookies practice and try to make their dreams come true, a few veteran players have come to watch from the sidelines.

COACH MIKE SMITH: Alright, you guys! Crisp routes, let's see crisp routes!

DIRK KOETTER: I tell you what, I'm excited about this crop of rooks. Some nice players here. That Johnson kid has some nice hands, and Toilolo? Man's a giant!

MIKE NOLAN: If I was capable of smiling, gosh, I would be.

MATT RYAN: Gonna be a lot of fun to watch these quarterbacks develop. I'm looking forward to having a backup who doesn't mysteriously wear sombreros.

There is a dull rumble in the distance, as if thunder is approaching. SMITH adjusts his safari hat and frowns, but continues to watch as JOPLO BARTU somehow tackles one player 100 times in five minutes.

D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER: Excuse me, coaches, I was wondering if I could steal a moment of your time. You see, I've been hearing some whispers...

SMITH: Media availability after the practice, Daryl. You know that. And you know how I feel about whispers.

LEDBETTER: Well, I know I've been wrong once or twice in the past, Coach. But I think you're going to want to address this...

SMITH: Please, Daryl. I really want to see how Kemal Ishmael handles this drill. Check back with me in one...

Suddenly, the earth shakes. A cup of Gatorade falls off the end of the bench. Heads turn in unison toward the tunnel just as PHILLIPKEITH MANLEY bursts through it, knocking sending seats flying and cracking the concrete walls. Each footstep leaves a crater. He is 18 feet tall and weighs as much as a ten bull elephants. As everyone stares, open-mouthed, MANLEY grins widely and sits on a bench, launching PAUL WORRILOW into the rafters of the practice facility.

ZEKE MOTTA: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

MALLICIAH GOODMAN: My God.

NOLAN: If I could show emotion, the emotion I would be showing was confusion.

MANLEY speaks. The power of his voice sends players tumbling across the field.

MANLEY: Hey guys! How's practice going?

SMITH: PK! What in God's name happened to you?

MANLEY: Who, me? Oh, yeah, I've been dieting. You know, Atkins.

NOLAN: You've been on a diet. You. You've been on a diet?

MANLEY: Yeah, you know, feeling pretty svelte. Just wanted to get my work in, come in and compete for a starting job.

SMITH: I...how much do you weigh now? It's very important you find a scale, or perhaps a mirror. Perhaps both.

RYAN: On the plus side, I don't think we need five guys on the line. Or even two.

MANLEY: Aw, I dunno, Coach. My scale's not working, for some reason. Every time I step on it, it shatters into a million pieces. Weird.

SMITH: PK, what have you been eating? I don't want to alarm you, but you have grown to truly enormous proportions. Is it possible that you haven't noticed that?

MANLEY: Nothing out of the ordinary, really. I did notice that these really big dragonflies were buzzing my head, and when I swatted them with my hand, they exploded. Also, my walk was really short today. Went by in a blur! But I promise you, Coach, I haven't gained a pound. Still got that athleticism! Lemme show ya.

SMITH: NO!

RYAN: DEAR LORD!

NOLAN: IF MY FACIAL MUSCLES COULD MOVE, THEY WOULD SHOW FEAR!

MANLEY jumps. The sheer force of his impact creates a sinkhole within the earth, into which the entire rookie class and coaching staff disappears. MANLEY grins up at WORRILOW, who clings white-knuckled to a steel beam far above his head.

MANLEY: Can't wait for the season to start!

LEDBETTER (to no one in particular): So as I was saying, could you address the rumors that PK Manley has gained some weight?

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