You wake up in your New York City hotel room. Your agent and parents arranged for you to stay there the night before the NFL Draft. It's the biggest day of your life, and it will be filled with interviews, meet-and-greets, and finally the big event. You've heard whispers about going as high as No. 1 overall to the Texans, but the big problem is the public perception is that you're immature, a party animal. So what if you're a party animal? Show me one college junior who isn't. But in an abundance of caution, your agent booked you an alcohol-free hotel room, with security outside to make sure that you're on top of your game for the big night.
Your dad calls you to say goodnight.
"I love you too dad. Thanks for all of the support. You're truly a world-class dad and an A-1 roll model for me. I'm just going to finish reading 'Pride and Prejudice' and call it a night. Love you!"
But you can't sleep. There's a knocking coming from the room next door that's been going on for the past eight hours. You stumble out of bed and rub your chin as you walk toward the adjoining door. You told your agent to fuck off when he asked you to shave the goatee.
"Scouts don't like facial hair" he said. "They think you're trying to hide something."
Well yeah, you are. You've still got a little bit of acne from your chinstrap that you've worn during film study, practices, wind sprints, you name it. That was your idea. You play in a helmet, why don't you practice in one too? The scouts thought that was idiotic. Shaving? Good idea. Wearing a helmet during pro-day? Bad idea.
You feel good sober. You're not an alcoholic or anything, you just like to party and have sex with the most beautiful women in the state of Texas. But your mind is clear and ready for the task at hand. Every spot you fall in the draft costs you millions of dollars. And you really want to play in Houston.
As you approach the door, you notice it's cracked open. You walk in and see the balcony was left open, and the wind is knocking the doorknob against the wall and keeping you up. You walk over and shut it. As you turn around, your eyes catch on the mini-fridge. Woah. You hear its low-fi hum, which might as well be a siren's song. You're a ship in the night. You walk over to it just to see what they have stocked. You're in the Waldorf Astoria; bet it's nice. Bet they have top-shelf brands that have never seen in the open horizons of College Station. You open it up and see a treasure trove of Belvederes, Cirocs, Bookers, Red Bulls, and Dom Perignon.
You're Johnny Fuckin' Football. And you're thirsty.
You wake up at 7 p.m. in your hotel room nude surrounded by movie cameras and the cast of the Entourage movie. You try to ask what's going on but every time Drama tries to answer you he just keeps saying "BRO!" and laughing like a maniac while scraping his butt along the carpet like a dog. This isn't good.
Turtle's posting pictures all over Instagram left and right. You've got several dozen missed calls, and the hotel TV is tuned to the draft, where you watch Clowney go No. 1 overall.
The alarm's been going off for what seems like hours, but it's only been three minutes. Your room is trashed. You used lampshades and paintings as toilet paper to clean up fluids that are as varied as they are infectious. Maybe you shouldn't have had that third Four Loko last night, but what the hell you only get drafted once, YOGDO. You look across the room at your alarm clock, its shill beep splitting the middle of your head. Your phone's ringing. Which one though? You've got seven cell phones: one for texting, one for Snapchat, one for Tinder, one for Facebook, one for Twitter, one for your agent and one for, well, let's just say you hope no team executives find the seventh one.
It's your dad calling. You know it's him even though you don't have his number programmed into your phone. As a matter of fact, the only number that's in your address book is your own. That's how a quarterback rolls.
Contacts>1>Johnny Fuckin' Football. That way you don't even have to say numbers and shit to the girls that want your digies. Just hand them the phone and get another drink while they try to figure out how to save your info in their Galaxy.
"Sup," you say as you pick up the call. The only issue with having a sweet-ass Drake ringtone is that you never want to actually answer the phone. "What's good," you say. You don't ask. You just say it.
"Hey Johnny, good morning. How are you feeling?"
No chance you're answering that question. You reach up and touch your head from the searing pain and your hand feels the familiar crunch of dried blood on your scalp. Shit.
"Right. Well I'm downstairs with your agent. We want to go over some answers with you before you start your press interviews this afternoon."
You hang up on that idiot and turn the shower on. You climb in without taking off your athletic shorts and t-shirt and lie down in the shower and fall asleep. Aloe Black is playing on your iPhone that you put in a ceramic cup to amplify the sound.
Your phone rings again. It's a 212 number. You remember something about running into Artie Lange at about 4 a.m. last night. Not really sure what happened next, but something about agreeing to go on the Howard Stern show?
You meet your dad and agent downstairs. They've been down there for a while. Your agent is trying to talk to your dad, but Pops has his earbuds in, listening to "Little Red Corvette." What a nerd.
"Johnny," your agent greets you, "you look terrible."
"Shut up, nerd," you offer. You bet he hasn't been laid in, like, ever.
The waitress comes by. "Can I get you gentlemen some coffee?"
You order first. You're Johnny Fuckin' Football.
"Gimme a double Bloody Mary. Go light on the Zing Zang."
Your dad glares at you. "He'll have a green tea."
You're a grown man. "Shut up, Dad, I hate you." Why is everyone so hard on you?
You end up sleeping with the waitress and miss all of your interviews.
If you chose option "B) Wing the interview with Stern behind your agent's back. You're a grown-ass man, you can do whatever you want ," begin reading here
You pick up the call. It's Howard on the other end.
"We've got Johnny Football with us this morning. Johnny, how's it going?"
"It's going good Howard," you say. "I'm a big fan, but, goddamn, am I hungover."
"It's draft day, Johnny. Why are you hungover now?"
"Fuck, I don't know."
"Shit, between Houston, Jacksonville, St. Louis, and Cleveland, I don't know if there's physically any room for me in those fat-ass towns. I mean, I'm sure they have beautiful women in Cleveland, but from what I hear, it sounds like they keep them all locked up in basements, Howard."
*Dead silence except Artie Lange is absolutely losing his shit*
All of your other phones start to ring.
"Shit," you think, "this isn't good."
You hear a faint rumbling outside your hotel room when the door comes flying open, tearing the deadbolt out of the frame. Roger Goodell's on the other side with the sole of his wingtip still in the air from kicking it in.
"Get! Off! The! Phone!" Goodell screams.
He grabs you by the collar and drags you out into the elevator, throws you in the back of a town car, and rides with you all the way to Radio City Music Hall in silence. He locks you in the green room until, one by one, guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Jadeveon Clowney, and Sammy Watkins start showing up. They all just look at you and laugh. You bet they wouldn't laugh like that if Drake were here.
You just sit there in silence singing "Timber" to yourself to pass the time. You only know the chorus but that's the best part. Actually you only know the "I'm yellin' timber!" part. Whatevs.
Your family eventually joins you, as well. Your dad won't even look at you. What a dick. Your agent tells you that the Browns took you off their big board entirely. Like you wanted to live in Cincinnati anyways. Your head is just killing you, and you're starting to get the shakes. You text Pitbull to see what he's up to. Maybe he can help you out.
"Wuts good Pit lol"
"Chillin. Doin me fam. U?"
"Bout to get drafted son"
"For real thats wassup"
"You think you can come through tho?"
"Yea I can turn up real quick"
You sit around Radio City basically twiddling your thumbs for what seems like hours. Finally Pitbull shows up with at least a half-dozen dancers wearing Pepsi trucker hats. He hands you a cold Dasani.
He warns you, "be careful with that, cuz."
You smell the Dasani. Perfect mix to get you through the day. Smells about 65 percent, no, 70 percent, vodka and 30 percent DMT. Pitt's your guy. He doesn't even charge you, that's how much he's just 'bout that life. All about the party. You put it up to your lips when your agent taps you on the shoulder. It's the Jaguars. They want to meet with you.
If you selected "A) Sit down with Gus Bradley, Caldwell, and Khan," start reading here:
You leave your water bottle of goodies behind and sit down with the three amigos from Jacksonville. To be honest, it's kind of insulting that any team that doesn't have the No. 1 overall pick wants to sit down and talk to you. Like you'll be on the board by the time they're up. They get right down to business.
"Johnny, we're thinking about moving up."
"Yeah, no shit -- to LA or to London?"
Well that meeting was over fast. You walk back out to the greenroom and see Jadeveon Clowney opening up your water bottle by accident. That son of a bitch. You grab the water bottle away from him and he just stares at you, like he doesn't know who you are. Time to keep it real. You punch Jadeveon Clowney in the face and his jaw breaks your wrist. You fall out of the first round and get drafted in the second by the Raiders, due mostly to Sebastian Janikowski lobbying for you so he can meet your DMT guy. You quit football rather than sign a second-round contract. Jadeveon drops to No. 15 overall because of character concerns.
If you selected "B) Blow them off and get turnt," start here:
You give yourself a few seconds for your agent to catch his breath. He can advise you all he wants. You're a grown-ass man. Nobody can tell you what to do. Turn up.
You open the "water" bottle and tilt it back. Time to party. You tell your agent that you're not taking any meetings with anyone unless they're planning on selecting you No. 1 overall. A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of lions in inferior NFL Draft positions.
One hour to draft time and you're fully turnt. Roger Goodell's been keeping an eye on you from a distance, making sure you don't do anything to embarrass the shield. Your phone rings. It's the Texans. They want to talk to you backstage. Dressing room No. 1. It's go time.
Manziel runs afoul of America
Two important agents made a very important pitch to Johnny Football. Now he reaps the consequences. This whole story is lies.
You make your way backstage and the world seems to be moving in slow motion. As you're trying to elbow your way through the crowd, you get stopped by at least a dozen service members who Roger Goodell's invited. You stop and let them take your picture, but you're not going to try to look happy about it. You find yourself in the back hallways of Radio City and spot "dressing room No. 1." The door's ajar, so you let yourself into the dark room. There's one table, an overhead light bulb, and a stool.
"Have a seat," a voice instructs. You sit down.
You squint your eyes into the darkness as a motorized wheelchair slowly wheels into the light. A nice set of loafers consuming freshly starched argyle socks disappearing into khakis.
"Hello, Johnny," a familiar voice calls out. It's your main man, George H.W. Bush.
"President Bush. What it do, bruh?" You stick your hand out to shake his. He just stares at it until you retreat.
"Johnny, I'm not going to lie to you. You're in trouble, son. You may have talked, drank, slept, and lied your way out of millions of dollars, son."
"Yessir, I'm sorry, sir."
"But I also think that the Texans could use someone like you. You see, Johnny, they've hired me to be their head draft investigator. And while I'm skeptical about your whole 'Johnny Football' persona, it might be just what I need."
"Shut the fuck up, Johnny. As you know, I used to be President"
"But before that, I was in the CIA. I know a good spy when I see one. The abilities to womanize, make friends, and not overthink things are valuable assets in the field, Johnny."
You're not sure if it's the Vodka, the DMT, or something else, but you're into it. HW seems like a chill buddy.
"You see Johnny. I need you as much as you need me. When I was President, the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl. It was right around the time I arrested my old buddy Noriega. When I brought his ass in, I took about a kilo of the finest Colombian you've ever seen off him and stashed it in the Lombardi. It was a new formula that I was going to ship off to the inner city, except it was more powerful and less addictive. It was undetectable in urine tests, as well, so politically it was useless to me. I need you to bring it back to Houston son. I can't have anyone else find that package with my fingerprints all over it. If you can promise me that you'll do that, well, I can make your life a lot easier by tellin' ol' Bill to take you No. 1.
The old man's trying to play you.
"I want half," you say.
George looks over his shoulder at Barbara, who's pouring out the bucket they used to waterboard Bridgewater and Bortles earlier. She nods.
"OK, son, I'll give you half. Deal?"
You stick out your hand. He shakes it this time.
You return to your seat, and the Texans are on the clock. The commissioner steps up to the podium.
"With the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans have selected Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M."
You're going to get that damn Lombardi. And you're keeping it all for yourself.