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Rehabiliating the Falcons' image: A one act play

It's been a rough week for the Falcons. We imagine how they might be fighting through the fallout.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

SCENE: DAN QUINN, KYLE SHANAHAN, BRYAN COX, MYSTERY COACH, THOMAS DIMITROFF, and a Falcons PR STAFFER gather in Flowery Branch to discuss a rough week in public relations for the team.

QUINN: Look, guys, it has been one hell of a week. I was jacked up for free agency, but now I'm kind of unjacked and cooled down because of all of the issues we've been facing. You guys are out here asking prospects inappropriate questions, shoving scouts, and generally being such uncool people that everyone thinks you slashed Roddy White's tires on the way out. We gotta fix this before Mr. Blank blows a gasket in a fast and physical manner.

DIMITROFF: Also, I'm used to absorbing the bulk of the criticism for my personnel moves and my foofy hair, so you guys are kind of stealing my thunder. My process depends on a constant, lava-hot flow of criticism.

PR STAFFER: Ultimately, I'm just here to listen. Before we just lay low and hope this all blows over, I thought we could highlight some of the good things y'all are doing in the community, take a little heat off of us. I mean, we really screwed up, bluntly.

SHANAHAN: Maybe if we mentioned some of my charitable work? I feel like people love that stuff.

PR STAFFER: Okay, terrific! I can work with that. What kind of charitable work at you doing? Volunteering with at-risk kids? Visiting local hospitals?

SHANAHAN: Well, I chiefly give my time at local parks, working with wildlife.

PR STAFFER: Okay, go on.

SHANAHAN: I remove invasive species of ducks from local ponds on Saturdays and Sundays. Really great, gets me out in nature.

PR STAFFER: Remove? Remove how?

SHANAHAN: Mostly by breaking their necks with my hands, because that's the humane way to do things. Particularly with the ducklings.


SHANAHAN: Sometimes I'll bring their tiny bodies over to families so I can educate them on the importance of protecting native species.

Everyone stares at SHANAHAN. DIMITROFF vomits quietly into a nearby trash can.

SHANAHAN: And then other times I get hungry, and it's like hey, free snack...

QUINN: Okay! I think, Kyle, that perhaps you ought to not go out in public any longer. Perhaps you should stay here at Flowery Branch forever. Wear a mask, stick to the basement level, watch some tape.

SHANAHAN: Oh good, there's plenty of rats down there!

COX: (through dense cloud of cigar smoke) May I say something?

QUINN: Absolutely, Bryan.

COX: A man without shoving scouts had some bad habits, you know what I'm saying? Probably a man who drinks craft beer out of the skulls of his enemies, is all I'm getting at. Probably has four wives, a body in the trunk, a disconcerting habit of collecting Russian nesting dolls, you understand.

PR STAFFER: ...Are you suggesting shoving that Cardinals scout was the right move?

COX: He had it coming. All I did to the young man was scream in his face because he reminded me I was five minutes over my allotted time with the prospect, and then shove him, and then follow him home, sit in his Barca lounger with a Bud Light, and spout vaguely menacing wisdom for the next three hours while his family huddled in the corner in stunned silence. Man's gotta take care of business.

QUINN: Bryan, I think several parts of that situation might be illegal.

COX: That might explain why Shede's always yelling at me to get out of his apartment.

QUINN: And you, (Name Redacted). I'm still really disappointed you asked that question at the Combine. That's really not what we're about. How are we gonna fix this?

MYSTERY COACH: I mean, I feel like this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. I didn't even ask Eli if he liked men.

QUINN: ...Then what did you ask him?

MYSTERY COACH: I just was trying to get a sense of him as a person, so I asked him if he was really into the male form, how many penises he's seen in his lifetime, that sort of thing. You know, probing questions.

PR STAFFER: (horrified) What could you possibly get out of asking him that?

MYSTERY COACH: The only way you know if a guy is a baller is by knowing how many times he's had confusing dreams about J.J. Watt and the music of Wham! I won't apologize for trying to get insight into the man's character.

QUINN: By the red balloon marshmallows of Lucky Charms, I thought we discussed keeping the questions appropriate!

MYSTERY COACH: You said to ask them how comfortable they were with things being fast and physical, and I did. I also asked them if they liked gladiator movies, if they'd ever been inside a Turkish prison, and other important lines from Airplane! I think maybe if we asked the fans the same questions, they'd understand why they're so important.

QUINN: I feel like perhaps my habit of delivering important memos with a JACKED UP FOR LEARNING stamp may be causing you guys to tune them out. My goatee is bristling with regret.

PR STAFFER: (gathering notepad and pens slowly and sadly) I hate to say this, but I don't think this is something we can salvage. Gonna just ask you all to lay low, try to be better people, and scrap this plan in the hopes that free agency is good enough to take us out of the news cycle for a bit.

JAMES LAURINAITIS: (lunging in from the hallway, banging lunchpail on table) Did someone mention scrap?!

DIMITROFF: Looks like your wish has been granted!