"I'm just glad all that nonsense is finally in the past," Wes Lunt said as he settled into his new dorm room at his new school. "All I ever wanted to do was play ball, and that's what I plan on doing. But first, I'm gonna relax and watch some TV."
Lunt grabbed the remote control and jumped on his bed while letting out a contented sigh. The past few months had been difficult for him. His old coach at Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy, made his transfer a much bigger deal than it had to be, but it finally seemed that all that was behind him. He turned on the TV, and his eyes went wide in panic.
Staring back at Lunt from the TV was the cold, unblinking gaze of Mike Gundy. He was in a brightly lit yet featureless white room, and was wearing an orange polo and white visor. He said nothing, but he didn't need to speak.
Lunt screamed and changed the channel. Gundy was still there. He turned off the TV in a panic and sat alone with his thoughts for a few minutes. "Maybe I just imagined it. Maybe I'm seeing things. Stress can do weird things to your brain, I just need to get a grip. Maybe I should email my parents."
He walked over to his laptop and turned it on, but was horrified once again to see Gundy's gruesome visage in the same white room.
"Why around you running, Wes?"
Lunt sat there frozen, unsure of what to do.
"This isn't the way real men handle themselves, Wes."
Finally, Lunt worked up the courage to respond.
"It just didn't work out, Coach. It's not the end of the world. Why are you following me like this? Also, uhhh, how are you appearing in my electronic devices and speaking without moving your lips?"
"Oh, wouldn't you like to know. That's the problem with you, Wes, you want everything right away and you're not willing to work for it."
"Coach, what the hell are you talking about? I just wanted to play football somewhere else. This isn't the end of the world."
"Oh, but it is," Gundy said, as the computer screen quickly faded to black.
Lunt didn't sleep well that night, as he was worried that the spectral version of Mike Gundy would emerge and take him while he slumbered. However, it didn't happen, so he got up the next day and prepared to go work out and watch film.
"Maybe I really did imagine the whole thing," Lunt thought. "There's no way Coach is haunting me. I know winning the Heart of Dallas Bowl can give you powers, but not powers like this. Anyway, time to get to work."
Lunt finished his lift and was alone in the film room, breaking down tape. He was on edge about seeing Gundy again, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He began to relax, but suddenly when he looked back up at the screen, there he was, dressed as the umpire.
"WATCH THE SAFETY, WES! WES! ARE YOU LISTENING?! CALL OUT THE BLITZ! YOUR TEAMMATES ARE DEPENDING ON YOU! ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME, BOY?!"
"Coach, why can't you just leave me alone! I don't go to Oklahoma State anymore, and I don't play for you anymore!"
"I'LL LEAVE YOU ALONE WHEN I'M GOOD AND READY, BUT FIRST YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN TO ME AND ALL YOUR TEAMMATES WHY YOU CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THE BALL! THAT'S MY BALL, AND YOU NEED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF IT, Y'HEAR? TURNOVERS ARE PERSONAL INSULTS TO ME AND MY FAMILY!"
Lunt got up quickly and ran back to his dorm, where he took a cold shower and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Lunt had only been at his new school for a few days, but he already had a date lined up with a cute girl he met at the union. He didn't really know her at all, so he figured he should take her to the one place everyone loves: Buffalo Wild Wings.
He picked her up from her apartment, and they made pleasant small talk on the ride to the restaurant. They were seated quickly, and the two began talking about their class schedule and home life over a couple ice-cold diet colas. "Things are going pretty well, I think she really likes me," Lunt thought, as the waiter approached to take their order. "Yeah, I'll get the OH DAMN IT!"
It was him. He was still wearing his visor with a Buffalo Wild Wings uniform. The room fell quiet.
"Oh, what can I get you Wes? Let me just wait on you hand and foot, Wes. Sounds like a great gig, huh, Wes? How about you grow up and take some responsibility for yourself, Wes? Here, how about you just eat a bunch of wings and get FAT!"
Lunt had heard enough, and he grabbed his date and quickly left the restaurant. She never called him back.
Lunt walked out of his dorm and onto the sprawling, sun-drenched quad at his new school, which was verdant and lush with greenery. He joined the student foot traffic, and noted how much everyone was smiling and seemed to be having fun. "You know, I think I like it here. Look how friendly everyone looks. Aww shoot, my shoes."
He bent down to tie his shoelaces, which had come undone. As he was on one knee, Lunt noticed someone walk up next to him and stop. He looked up, and there he was.
Gundy began to say something, but before he could finish, Lunt popped up from his knees and punched him square in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. He was very much there in physical form.
"Coach, what the hell are you doing following me around like this?"
"Dammit, Wes, it was just a goof!"
"But why are you here? And seriously, how did you do that thing with the TV and my computer?"
"Just being a jerk, I guess. I mean, look at me. What did you expect? And yeah, that's an old trick Mack Brown taught me. Been using it on Chris Simms for years."
"But don't you have better things to do than make my transfer a living hell, then torment me after I leave?"
"You know, you would think that, but here I am. Anyway, I gotta jet. I'm going back to Oklahoma to put some ketchup packets and a fake finger underneath Bob Stoops' doormat. It'll drive him crazy."
"You're a weird guy, Coach."
"I know," Gundy said, as he turned and walked away. It was the same direction that Lunt was walking, though, so the two walked awkwardly next to each other for about 15 seconds before Gundy swatted the drink out of Lunt's hand and sprinted away.