It’s a blustery day in the nation’s capital, and Peyton Manning is walking towards the Redskins practice complex with a heavy heart and a heavier backpack. He sees the Redskins logo in front of the building and sighs heavily.
Manning: This is what it’s come to.
He walks in the facility and immediately notices the stares. He was prepared for it; he knows he’s the biggest story this offseason (much bigger than some stupid overhyped bounty system that every fucking team in the NFL does). Still, it’s odd to think about; he had spent his entire career playing for one team, and now he was entertaining the possibility of playing for…
Manning looks up and forces a smile as Mike Shanahan rumbles forward, pushing random players out of the way. One of them was John Beck. No one noticed or cared.
Shanahan: Hey Pey-Pey! Is it cool if I call you Pey-Pey? If it’s not, TOO FUCKING BAD! What you’ll learn quickly here is I kind of do whatever the fuck I please. If there’s a star player who tries to impose his will over mine, I CRUSH HIS WILL IN MY HAND LIKE A THIN MINT GIRL SCOUT COOKIE. If there’s a dispute about the way I coach, you’re waived quicker than it takes Albert Haynesworth to put a Carl’s Jr. out of business! And when it comes to offense, I put it all in the very capable hands of a great man I know.
Kyle Shanahan walks from behind Peyton and pokes his arm cautiously.
Kyle: Deep bombs?
Manning: Excuse me?
Kyle: Deep bombs!
Manning: What are you talking about?
Shanahan: See this? He’s so dedicated, he’s already prodding your arm to see if you’re capable of throwing the deep bombs our offense is so dependent on.
Manning: Listen, Mike, I’m not…
Shanahan: COACH Mike. Or Coach Shanny. But always say Coach first.
Manning: Fine. Coach Mike, I’m not really the type of guy to toot my own horn, but I’ve done pretty well at quarterback over the past few years. I won a Super Bowl, have a lot of impressive stats, and even got chosen as MVP 4 times.
Shanahan: MVP? Is that right? Well, listen here, Pei Wei, in this building MVP stands for Mike’s Vestigial Pussy.
Manning: Mike’s vestigial…
Shanahan: PUSSY. Yes. That award just makes you a useless pussy to me, son! I don’t give a shit about any awards. I give a shit about how well you can fit into Kyle here’s system.
Kyle: Tight end screen!
Manning: Right…listen, I hate to come in here and rock the ship, especially since I haven’t officially signed yet, but I kind of have my own system.
Manning deftly removes the backpack and bends down, unzipping it.
Shanahan: What’s in the bag, Pey-Pey?
He pulls out a book that is about as tall as a German shepherd. As he drops it to the ground, it makes a loud THUD and makes Kyle scream and jump back a few steps.
Manning: Here’s my playbook. It’s my offense. The one I ran for 13 years in Indy, the one that made me so successful. What I would suggest, if this marriage is going to work, is for Kyle to read through and see what he can do to adapt his plan with what’s in this book. I think we could come up with some good things.
Shanahan: I don’t think Kyle will be able to do that.
Manning: Look, Coach Mike, I know that you have your own system here, but…
Shanahan: No, that’s not why. Kyle won’t be able to do that because he can’t read.
Kyle: Deep bombs!
Manning: You’re not serious.
Shanahan: His mother wanted me to get him out of the house because he kept trying to set the cat on fire. So we decided I’d get him a job with me, and he’d “run my offense.” But truthfully, he can’t read a playbook, so I just showed him some videos of what we used to run in Denver, and he tries to emulate it.
Kyle: Deep bombs!
Shanahan: Except he only really likes it when Elway threw it down the field. It’s why he’s so attached to Grossman. See the tattoo on his arm?
Kyle shows the tat, which looks like this:
Manning: Good God, that thing is hideous.
Kyle: UNLEASH THE DRAGON!
Shanahan: Listen, I know I come across as kind of a raging dickhole, but we need someone who can actually make Kyle’s system work. He needs to be the one calling the shots, or else my wife won’t let me sleep in the bed. And if you do it for us…well, I promise never to call you Pey-Pey again.
Kyle: Pey-Pey go deep!
Shanahan: Can’t make the same promise for Kyle though.
Manning: Sorry, Mike…
Shanahan: Just Mike?
Manning: Sorry, Coach Mike, but I don’t think it’s going to work out. The problem with a team like you guys signing me is that you have a system in place, and for whatever good reasons, you’re too stubborn to change it. I’ve built up all this success by doing what has worked for me, and any team I join is going to have to learn to adapt to it. I know it sounds bad, but it’s just the way it is. And it doesn’t look like this is the place for me.
Manning begins to zip up his enormous playbook again.
Manning: That, and, you know, I kind of want another championship and this team is a big fucking mess. Talk to you later!
Manning leaves the facility with the Shanahan family watching on.
Shanahan: That’s okay, Kyle. We don’t need a quarterback with that much baggage anyway. Looks like it’s back to Grossman.
Kyle begins to rub his tattoo longingly.
Kyle: Unleash the dragon…unleash the dragon…
Shanahan: I hate my fucking wife.