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Thanksgiving With The Atlanta Falcons: A One-Act Play

The Falcons celebrate the holiday in slapdash fashion.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

SCENE: The Atlanta Falcons are celebrating Thanksgiving at Flowery Branch. Final preparations for the meal ahead are under way.

MIKE SMITH: You know, guys, I like that we're able to execute on a great Thanksgiving meal even when things are grim all around us. That will really please Mr. Blank, especially if we get the explosive flavors we want from this kind of feast. I've got a good feeling that I am sure is in no way irrational!

Is that cranberry sauce, Mike?

MIKE NOLAN: Sort of! It's a famous Nolan family recipe for cranberry sauce, but all we had in the pantry here was chocolate malt balls, five Schlitz and a chunky chicken corn chowder. Fortunately, the chowder was already in the recipe!

SMITH: Well, it smells like you tried real hard, Mike.


SMITH: And what'd you bring us, Dirk?

DIRK KOETTER: The pantry was perfectly stocked for me to make a green bean casserole, but I decided to have Matt Ryan whip us up some candied yams. How's that coming, Matt?

MATT RYAN: I'm kind of at a loss, sir. We have no yams.

KOETTER: That's the spirit. Keep it up!

RYAN regards his casserole dish sadly, and then throws a single potato in the microwave oven. It explodes. He is hit, mysteriously, by a Cleveland Brown.

SMITH: I may have been overly optimistic, here. We are not getting the results we want from this food preparation. And Keith, that looks...


SMITH: Well, alright then. Maybe you three could collaborate on a pumpkin pie, or something.

SMITH rolls by the oven, where DEVONTA FREEMAN, RODDY WHITE and JUSTIN BLALOCK have expertly prepared and are now cooking a giant turkey.

SMITH: Let's just turn the oven off here, guys.

RODDY: What? Why? The turkey isn't done yet. I had just turned up the heat, and there wasn't much time left before we scored some sweet turkey action and shut down salmonella, to really stretch this metaphor to the breaking point.

SMITH: Look, if we don't do this now, it's possible someone else will. Think about the range of possible outcomes here.

BLALOCK: We all get sick?

FREEMAN: I have to eat something Mike Nolan prepared?

RODDY: The turkey is cold?

SMITH: Just turn it off so we can sit down and eat. I'll analyze my decision here later, after it's too late to do anything about it. Let's bring it in.

Everyone sits down to eat. The food in front of them is truly horrifying, but they are together, and Levine Toilolo leads a moving grace, backed by ukelele.

JAY ADAMS: You know, this is a heartwarming scene. I think I will post some images of it to social media!

ADAMS posts a picture of SMITH carving the turkey. Over 9,000 angry "These guys should be PRACTICING, not SUSTAINING LIFE THROUGH CALORIC INTAKE" comments melt the skin off his face.

ADAMS' SKELETAL VISAGE: I have so many regrets.

The team tucks in to the meal just as ARTHUR BLANK and THOMAS DIMITROFF sweep into the room. BLANK regards the spread with what can only be described as horrorgust.

SMITH: Good afternoon, Mr. Blank! Have a seat?

BLANK: (slowly) I'm sorry, gentlemen. I wanted to believe in your ability to put an effective meal on the table. I did. I poured my faith and my dollars into this, but I see an undercooked turkey, a brown cranberry sauce without any cranberries, a ruined microwave and not a single appealing dish in sight. If I hadn't seen you all prepare that sumptuous Thanksgiving feast in 2012, I would question whether any of you had ever set foot in an NFL kitchen.

I also think I see Ryan Schraeder crying.

SCHRAEDER: It's just the ocean breeze in my eyes, Mr. Blank.

BLANK: Bottom line, while I'm thankful for everything you've all done here and I know you're working hard, this dinner isn't fit for my dog's butler. I'm going to have Thomas bicycle into the woods and find me a turkey.

DIMITROFF: If I can't locate one despite my superior bird evaluation skills, I'm sure a pheasant will do!

BLANK and DIMITROFF exit. An awkward silence lingers in their wake.

DEVIN HESTER: Well, might as well try to salvage what we can from this dinner. I'm wide open for flavor, and the mashed potatoes 'Shede made look fantastic. Matty, pass those my way?

RYAN throws the mashed potatoes. They fall short, clattering to the ground. The table collapses.

SMITH: Damnit.