[Joe's Diner]

Matt: Evah notice ha’ cawnfurunce title games ah often bettah than the Sooper Bowl? Is it because a’ the familiarity within tha cawnfurunces? ‘Cass the cowmpetition knows each other sah well? Maybe ‘cass there’s nat two weeks to lose ya mind abaat the game?


Joe Montana: Eh. I don’t know about that. In ’88, we blew out the Bears in the NFC Title Game then had to come from behind to edge the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. In ’81, the conference title game was classic and the Super Bowl was tight. In ’84 and ’89, we won by blowouts in the conference championships, then won by blowouts two weeks later.

Matt: Ha abaat ya just say samthing ta sapport mah fackin aggyament, ‘stead a’ making me look like a jerk, Haaaannuh Maaantanah? Lemme tell ya ‘nother thing: Auld Billie Walsh a’ been damn ashamed a’ these eggs flaaarentine ya made today. Taste like ya fried up a lil’ baby Brady meconium and cooked it with ya mah’s discaaarded yeast. Least ya coulda done was addad sahm fresh spinach.

Montana: Real cute. You are free to leave whenever, you know? Been hanging around here, what? Like three, four solid months now? Don’t you have a job or something? A girlfriend? A car getting towed?

Matt: Far as you’re concerned, Maaantanah, my jab is tah hang around this fine estaaablishment and dispense my wry observations on tha game. Ya jab is ta sling that hash and keep tha Irish caaaffees comin’. Says right there on tha windaa “We never close.” Kinda showt yaself in tha dick with that one, huh? Who’s gonna make me go, Ronnie Lott? I dan’t see tha four-fingahed daaarkie hereuh, do ya?

[Door flies open]

Philip Rivers: Ya betta ask somebodddaaaaaayyyyyyyy

AH HELP EVERYBODY’S FREAKING OUT THERE’S A LITE BRITE BOMB IN BOSTON!

Ahahaha. Fuck this lame-ass city.

Nice little coffee klatsch we got going on here, chatty Cathys. It’s like the white people equivalent of a barbershop, without the ethnic yukyuks and the low-grade despair. So, what’s going on? Gabbing about the current events of the day? Airing your dim insights confidently about things way beyond your ken? That’s cool. My masturbation technique usually involves yelling at my dick after playoff victories, but to each their own and all that.

[Slaps Matt on back, laughs in his face]

Might be mistaken, but I reckon I heard you spouting a little racism as I was coming in.

Heh. [shakes head] Yankees.

I’M FROM COUSINFUCKING ALABAMA! WE INVENTED THAT SHIT! WE COULD HANG YOUR MEALY-MOUTHED BEHIND-CLOSED-DOORS RACISM FROM A COLD SASSY TREE AND GIVE IT A NEW LAST NAME! WE COULD BURN CROSSES ON YOUR RACISM’S FRONT LAWN! WE COULD MAKE YOUR RACISM SO INSECURE THAT IT WOULD ONLY BE ATTRACTED TO OUR RACISM’S WOMEN AND THEN WE’D KILL YOUR RACISM FOR ACTING ON THAT BRAINWASHING, YOU DUMB FUCKING POTATO-HUMPING MICK!

Matt: Hey, you’re-er-ah that Philip Rivahs, ain’t ya? Ya gawt abaat a queer’s chance in Quincy this weekend against the Pahfect Paytree-uts, shitbawx.

[Rivers smacks Matt across the face with a metal coffee pot then pours the remaining boiling liquid on his collapsed body with laughing maniacally. He lofts in the pot toward the wall. It floats for 30 seconds and falls at his feet.]

Rivers: It’s you I came for, Montana. You’re the original Brady. You, and you alone, hold the keys to helping me beat him.

Montana: I don’t know what you’re talking about. He’s just another in a line of generation defining quarterbacks. Sure, we’ve both seen our share of success, but he’s his own man. I don’t really even know the guy.

Rivers: Oh. Well. Teehee. Guess I’ll be screwing off, then, huh? Joe? Huh? FUCK YOU

TELL ME HOW I CAN SUCCEED WHERE SO MANY OTHERS HAVE FAILED! LET YOUR MIND AND MINE BE AS ONE

Montana: All right. It’s like this: You remember all Joe Cool stuff I was heaped with back in the day? Do you know why that is?

Rivers: ‘Cause you was calmer than a roofied-up girl after an ACC game?

Montana: No. Nonono. I was a dithering disaster. Always a bundle of nerves before every game. Beset with insecurity. But it was the ’80s, so it was socially acceptable in certain circles to wear Garfield and Snoopy shirts. Man, I rode that scene hard. I loved that beagle and I embraced his alter ego, Joe Cool, until it became my own. Almost ate me up in the end. But I drew strength from that Joe Cool shirt.

It’s still seared into my memory to this day. I mean, he had sunglasses on! And a shirt with his name on the front! He was changing the way we thought about a rakish indifference to the opinions of others. Perched on his left leg and leaning to the right; the laws of physics say he should topple over, but he was held upright by the sheer force of his own coolness.

Rivers: WHAT IN THE NAME OF JUMBLY FUCK? You’ve lost it, old-timer. You’ve gone the way of Namath: punchdrunk, fucked in the head and tickled in the balls by dotage and unfortunate endorsements. Snoopy couldn’t sell me Met-Life, how is he supposed to help me win a game?

Montana: That’s just the thing. Every great quarterback has that certain something, seemingly juvenile, that serves as a calming influence. For Starr, it was the Buck Rogers watch. For Staubach, it was his chalice of children’s blood. For Bradshaw, it was the coloring book he never finished reading. Brady has something. I’m sure of it. Finding that is the key to unraveling him.

[stares down over counter]

You’re a fucking Olympic-sized swimming pool of douchejuice, Rivers, doomed to being a footnote in hissy fit history. But I’ve had to deal with this Masshole since he showed up as soon as the Red Sox season was over. And I can’t have Brady joining me in the four title club. Sharing that shit with Bradshaw is bad enough. So you’re all I got, Marmatard.

———————————————————————

[Patriots locker room, Sunday]

Brady: Guys! Guys! Where is it? Where’s my buddy? Guys!

Rodney HGHarrison: Your buddy, who? The fuck you going on about, man? It’s game time, baby! WWWOOOOOO! Best get your ass out to the tunnel before I hit you with the lateness.

Brady: But…but…?

…Where?

My Buddy…


[Brady stares panic-striken at his trembling hands]

Brady: Shit!

Shit! Shit! Shit!

I guess you’ll have to do.