Friday, December 24, 2010

Counting down to the big one.

He hadn't set the alarm; he knew that the following day would probably be a long one. After forcing himself to sleep for a few additional hours, he hopped out of bed around 10:30. As usual, he pulled the scale out from under the couch and weighed himself: 277. "Whatever," he mumbled dismissively. "I've weighed more."

His volatile stomach usually prevented him from consuming much caffeine, and because of this, he had forgotten to change the auto-brew on the coffee maker. A thick, brown liquid which had already been sitting in the pot for three hours poured into his "World's Greatest Coach" mug. "Oh, well," he thought, "I'm used to cocoa, anyway. I'll just choke it down."

All season, he'd grown accustomed to sleeping on the office couch; there was just so much to prepare for. His wife had barely seen him, but he had warned her about this time of year and she'd been a trooper. He plodded into the conference room, towering over his six of his most trusted proteg├ęs, who sat reviewing the game plan. Laptops littered the conference table.

"Hey, what's up, guys? How's everyone feeling?"

Silence filled the room. His lead coordinator spoke first. "Coach, we're tired, we're a little stressed...but let me tell you something: We are ready. The world will never forget the performance they're about to see."

"And that's why you're sitting here right now" Tears welled in the boss's eyes. "I don't need to tell you this, but even though you're the best in the business, every darn one of you is family. We've had our disagreements, our little crises, but in my opinion, we're truly on the verge of greatness. Lombardi, Wooden, Rockne—they had nothing on us. Now let's get out there and show some pride in the red and green."

"Coach," if you don't mind, "I'd like the honor of feeding Rudolph his pre-game meal." The number one elf looked up yearningly at Santa.

"I wouldn't want it any other way," Herbie. "Ho, ho, ho!"

His thunderous guffaw rattled the conference room.

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