Things just felt off in Flowery Branch. Jordan Richards never felt right since the trade. The Falcons sent a conditional 7th round pick just before the start of the 2018 season, and he had been full of dread ever since.
“Why did it have to be the Falcons?” Richards thought.
The NFL had already been a big change. Bill Belichick was dedicated to winning, which also included sacrificing the worst players to a large, drunken Bruins fan. Richards was sacrificed multiple times, but ultimately escaped his demise as the demigod was on one long bender celebrating the team’s success. You can’t kill anyone when you are too drunk to do anything but talk about how awesome Matt Damon is.
“Any other team. Why the Falcons?”
Richards thought back to halftime at the Super Bowl. The score was 21 to 3. He had never been more afraid than walking to the locker room after the half. Belichick didn’t even seem mad. Just cold. Colder than normal, and that is pretty cold. The Patriots don’t lose like this. No one is safe. Anything could happen during halftime, and the longer Lady Gaga set wasn’t helping anything.
Richards turned the corner into the locker room and it was her. The Boston Witch. Not quite as popular as Patriot Pat, but just as evil. She was standing RIGHT in front of his locker. He’d clearly been chosen, handpicked by his coach for a terrible punishment. Could he pull a Vontae Davis and escape to his car in the parking lot? Before he could move, Belichick snuck behind him.
“Rich, you know we are all about doing your job. Sometimes your job is to cover the slot. Sometimes it’s to be cursed by a witch who grant the team enough black magic to win a game. Do. Your. Job. Tom Brady was cursed to a lifetime of only avocado ice cream and thinking water prevents sunburns. It’s awful but he did it for the team.”
“But coach-” interjected Richards.
The witch smiled, and black teeth cut straight into his soul. She laughed, with what seemed to be an awful Boston accent. With a bright flash of light, Richards suddenly dropped to the floor. The witch cursed him. He felt something drain from his body. He couldn’t move. He felt ill. All his speed and strength was gone. Suddenly he looked at the whiteboard and couldn’t understand any plays. The scheme. Assignments. Offenses. Defenses. Xs. Os. It was all gibberish.
She took it. She took every last shred of his football ability. He was never the same.
Now he was on the team his curse hurt. That’s really tough sledding for the Falcons, who are on the receiving end of both negative parts
Richards looked out from the window at the training facility. It was dark, but he could see a light on in Quinn’s nearby castle. Sure, it’s a little weird that Quinn lives in an ancient castle surrounded by a moat, but Belichick lived in a pyramid. Did it even have electricity? And aren’t those just for dead people? What was weird was he’s only seen Quinn at night. He thought Quinn was a pretty big night owl, but Sunday’s game was different. The Mercedes Benz stadium had the roof open, and Quinn circled around the field avoiding direct sunlight. He spent the third quarter standing next to Dirk Koetter and no one acted like that was a little weird.
“Count Quinn wants to talk. Where are you?” He quickly responded to the text he received from Quinn’s secretary.
“You mean coach Quinn? I’m in the film room.”
Richards heard an unmistakable but distant screech. Like a battle cry but from a giant bird. He turned to Quinn’s castle perched terrifying high up on the training camp hill. At the top was the clear silhouette of a bald man. He jumped from the top of the castle. Richard watched in shock as the man almost weightlessly began to glide. The distant arms seamlessly transformed to wings. The creature changed before his very eyes into a giant black bird, until it swooped down and disappeared into the darkness.
Before he had the chance to react to the otherworldly sight, Richards heard a knock at the door. He opened the door and there stood Quinn. His pale skin sharply contrasted his black eyes. His black cape seemed to blow behind him. After opening the door, the film room seemed to grow darker, as if the light was pulled into a black hole.
“Follow me. Tell no one.”
“Dan, I’ve got to get something off my chest. I’ve been cursed,” said Richards.
“You mean... were you bit by Freddie Falcon? Are you now an immortal that can... transform.”
“No,” said Richards. “I just can’t play football anymore. I physically can’t play at all. It’s a long story-”
“Slow down, you aren’t worth a long story. If you make a Pro Bowl, you can tell me a long story. Lets be honest, you aren’t making the Pro Bowl. You’ve gotta go, and there’s just one way out. The pit of fire.”
Quinn opened the doors to the indoor training facility and Richards was blown back by the heat. Quinn was unmoved, and even his cape remained still.
“Is this what happened to Devonta Freeman? And Deion Jones? And Keanu Neal? And Grady Jarrett? And Ricardo Allen? And Andy Levitre? And Matt Bryant? And-”
Dan Quinn interjected, clearly annoyed. “That list might take as long as a story. You’ve got to jump into the pit. Maybe you escape but I don’t really care. You. Are. Terrible. There’s a whole bird thing going on but you aren’t worth my time,” said Quinn, motioning towards a living, breathing, giant metal falcon perched above the pit.
“I understand, coach. I won’t let you down.” Richards took off for the fire pit. Quinn watched in annoyance as Richards took the wrong angle and missed the pit entirely.
“RICHARDS! I MIGHT HAVE ETERNITY BUT I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY.” The pit is over 1,000 feet across, how does he miss it? “Can we wrap this up?” Quinn realized he hasn’t seen Richards wrap up anything all season. He shut the door as Richards tried again and again to get properly lined up and jump into the pit.
Walking away from the pit, Quinn practiced for his next press conference. “Jordan Richards has a small hip injury. We expect him back any time. Very optimistic he can suit up against the Giants, and he definitely didn’t succumb to Freddie Falcon hunting him in a paranormal pit of fire. We think he’s getting closer.”