In December 2009, New York Jets football coach Rex Ryan submitted a movie treatment, “Coach vs. Aliens: First & Death” to Universal Studios, which was rejected. Now, for the first time, is a copy of that treatment.
Coach vs. Aliens: First & Death
By Rex Ryan
The scene is the Philadelphia Eagles’ locker room, in the past. Coach Friendly Ryan is giving a speech to the players before a game with the NY Football Giants. A struggle breaks out between the offense and defensive players. Suddenly a meteor flies through the ceiling and lands in the middle of the room. It looks just like a football, but it is glowing green. Everyone backs off. Behind the players a handsome and skinny 26 y/o man (LEX) walks up to the object and touches it, and is blown backward, landing into Randall Cunningham’s lap. His eyes are wide for a moment, and we see what he sees: a fleet of alien ships readying themselves in deep space, then a close up of an oval-shaped alien head with large teeth that says, “Earrrrrtttth” and then Lex’s eyes close as medical professionals are called into the room.
Twenty years have passed. Lex is now the head coach of the NY Jets. He has spent his adult life working in the National Football League as a defensive coordinator. However, what most people don’t know is that during the offseason he has spent his time traveling the globe, training his mind and body to be ready for an alien invasion. He is sitting in his office talking to a player who is about to be cut. The player (MATT SANCHIZE) has all the physical tools to be an NFL player, but Lex has other plans for him.
Lex tells the player that he has a choice: he can play quarterback for the Jets and be a sure-thing first ballot hall of fame player, or he can fool the press, be cut, and join Lex as a soldier in his war against the aliens. The quarterback, who considers Lex to be a father figure, chooses to work with him to stop the alien Threat. He says, “I will follow you anywhere.” Lex smiles, shakes his hand, and says, “Let’s go eat a goddamn snack.” (I think this will be the tag line on the poster.)
Jay Cutler continues to journal at the recommendation of noted sports psychologist Cynthia Brown.
Chicago, August 29,2013
Noticed that Brandon was not at practice this morning. When I asked Coach about it I took a moment to compliment him on his weight loss. He then informed me that he is not Mike Tice but in fact someone named Aaron Kromer. I slowly walked away before any more interaction happened and I still have no idea where Marshall is.
In afternoon film session I became distracted by the crown molding above the door. Instead of using one piece, it looks like the carpenters decided to use two pieces. I make a note to check the molding in my house when I get home. How this organization can tolerate such shoddy work is a total mystery. The Kromer fellow, who I now see everywhere, was monologuing about recognizing the Tampa 2. Some guy named Trent kept on asking questions and acting like real know-it-all. I pretended to take notes, but was actually putting together a bang-up drawing of Batman punching Clayface in the Gotham sewer.
I headed home for a quick bite to eat rather than endure what passes for food in the commissary before the game tonight. Kristin decided that she is going to make me dinner and produced burnt toast and a glass of seaweed. She is still breastfeeding, however, making her breasts heavy and magnificent, which was distracting enough to make the meal tolerable. I took the time to inspect the molding in our house and find it to be adequate. The fact that my wife is able to hire competent workers but the Bears can’t is troubling.
I drove back to the stadium and listened to sports radio. Brandon Marshall is having some issues with his hip and is in some type of confrontation with the team and won’t be playing tonight. I will make sure to give him the name of my doctor when I see him again. My own dealings with the team doctor have been mediocre, particularly after he had my x-ray upside down and kept on talking like I wouldn’t notice. I told Lovie, but yet the doctor is still on the team and Lovie is gone. Conspiracy, perhaps?
When I headed into the locker room the new coach pulled me aside and let me know that I will only play in an emergency situation. I almost told him about the doctor but I have to be careful who I talk to, so I told him that is fine and then checked boxofficemojo.com to see how “Pacific Rim” is doing in Australia. I really hope they make a sequel. I gave the new guys a quick pep-talk, let them know that even if they don’t make the team, they at least have the honor to put on the uniform of the Chicago Bears, which is something the players on the Cleveland Browns (those that make the team or not) will not be able to say. Kromer gave me a wristband with the play calls on it before heading onto the field; it’s riddled with spelling errors. He might not be as fat as Tice but apparently they went to the same crap school. I had a ball in my hands and look up at the stands. The lights came on one by one. It was a good night to watch some football.
Nathaniel Stanton: Stanton and Menotti Contemporary Interiors, Nathaniel speaking.
Ben Roethlisberger: Hi, I’m calling to see if I could hire an interior decorator for my apartment.
NS: You have come to the right place! What is your name, sir?
BR: Ben Roethlisberger. My friends call me Big Ben.
BR: I play football for the Steelers.
NS: This is the game with all the men and the tight pants?
BR: Uh… yeah, I guess.
NS: What a delight! Do you have a particular look you would like for your apartment? Maybe something to design around? Art perhaps?
BR: Well, I have a Beers of the World poster and a collection of Fatheads.
NS: A Fat Head?
BR: These large, stick-on football players. You put them on your wall.
NS: So a Maximalists, perhaps. Do you have any furniture that you would like to keep? Just trying to get a sense… Would hate to give you English Chintz when you might really be looking for Neo-Bachelor Minimalism, if you know what I mean.
BR: I don’t think I have anything I need to keep. Oh that’s not true, I bought a replica of Dumbledore’s chair from the Harry Potter movies. I like to sit on that chair with a bucket of hot chicken on my lap and search for foreign nudie movies on Netflix streaming and make my way through a 12-pack.
NS: An heirloom piece… I see. We must keep it. Do you entertain?
BR: Well, sometimes Hines will come over and cook me dinner if we have had a tough practice. He likes to put on an a tiny apron and make a roast. We unwind together. He calls it, “us time.” I also will sometimes just call random numbers at the college and if a girl answers, invite her over.
1220 Harbor Bay Parkway
Alameda, CA 94502
March 11, 2011
Dear [Player Name]:
This is to inform you that the Oakland Raiders (“Club”) will institute a lockout of its players (“Peasants”) as of 12:00 a.m. Eastern time on March 12, 2011.
During the lockout, the following will be in effect:
1. You will not be able to enter any Club facility or the stadium. Mr. Davis will be monitoring you via satellite from his secret underground lair. If you are even seen in the parking lot, you will be immediately incinerated with either a laser beam fired from space or a cannonball blast.
2. You will not receive any compensation from the Club. Contracts, however, will be honored for those bringing Mr. Davis the severed heads of either Lane Kiffin or Jon Gruden.
3. The Club will not pay for or provide health insurance. You will receive additional information about options to continue your current coverage through COBRA. Please note that COBRA is in a pitched battle with G.I. Joe and it might be some time before you hear from them. If you need assistance, please contact the plan administrators, Zartan or Serpentor, through the Hasbro Corp. via sealed diplomatic pouch.
4. You will not be able to perform any duties under your Player Contract or otherwise perform any duties for the Club. Those of you who made extra money digging up graves seeking fresh bodies for Mr. Davis’ cloning experiments may continue to do so, as that is considered an Outside Contract and essential for his plan of world domination.
5. Testing and treatment obligations under the Policy and Program for Substance of Abuse and Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances will cease. Gamma (Dr. Banner), Cosmic Ray (Dr. Richards) and Super Soldier (Dr. Erskine) treatments do not fall under this category, and will continue unabated.
6. The Club will not give you further instructions or guidance as to workout or trainings. This will not be any different from how we do things normally.
7. Club security and player development staff will not assist you with legal or any other problems. If such services are needed, Mr. Davis recommends any of the following: Matt Houston, Thomas Magnum, Simon and Simon, or the fictional comic book characters Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
8. During the lockout, the explosive tracking chips that Mr. Davis installed in your neck will be deactivated. Please be aware that extreme temperatures and moisture can result in chip malfunction and explosion. We apologize for any inconvenience or anxiety this may cause.
9. You are free to engage in any alternative employment during the lockout. Any services provided to Communist, Socialist, Mormon or Werewolf organizations, however, will not be tolerated and you will be hunted down and killed by Mr. Davis’ loyal band of ninja assassins (“The Autumn Wind”). Once a new labor agreement is reached between the NFL and the Union you may be expected to join the Club immediately. Therefore, you should structure any alternate employment so you can return to the Club promptly after a new labor agreement is reached.
If you have any questions, please contact the blood-sucking stooges that run the NFL Players Association.
P.S. Please remember that if an agreement is reached, the first Thursday of each month is Hawaiian shirt day, and I expect 100 percent participation this year. Davis out!
Roger Goodell: ….So essentially, that’s where it stands currently. Do any of you have any questions for me right now?
Ralph Wilson: I can’t see anyone?
Arthur Blank: It’s a phone call sir. So you shouldn’t see anyone.
Bob Kraft: What’s the hold up, Roger?
Goodell: They don’t want 18 games, they are worried about injury. I think if we can agree on the amount of games, the rest will fall into place.
Al Davis: Who’s worried?
Goodell: The players, sir. The people we are negotiating with.
Davis: Negotiate! I once rode the dragon with Howard Hughes, I only eat the beating hearts of unicorns, I sleep upside down in a belfry, I don’t negotiate with anyone!
Kraft: Al, good God, have you ever listened to yourself? You’re losing it.
Davis: Of course, I have only heard the sound of my voice since I had my face laminated in 1987.
Dan Snyder: Why don’t we just keep it at 16 and put this thing to bed.
Jerry Jones: Snyder, why don’t you shut up. You don’t know anything.
Snyder: Whatever, Jerry! Great job with the tickets!
Paul Allen: Hey, let’s work together, boys. I need more money for my mattress. I’m sleeping funny.
Randy Lerner: Have you tried putting some gold bars in there?
Zygi Wilf: Oh that works. Or sometimes I will have some of my servants get in there for the night. The odd shapes of their bodies provides a good night’s rest.
Blank: I find that if you shred the 100-dollar bills before you put them in the mattress, it’s more comfortable.
Goodell: Let’s keep on track. Do you all still want 18 games?
Wilson: Wait, this is a phone? Where is the dial? Is this magic!?
Blank: Sir, it isn’t magic, just a newer phone.
Monday January 17
Playing Packers on Sunday. Papers are calling this a big deal. I am the only one in the locker room that reads the paper. Tribune is a rag. The Packers uniforms look stupid. I might have pancakes for dinner.
Tuesday January 18
Eating a Chipotle burrito. Reading nutritional content. Wildly caloric. Not surprising how fat the women are in this town. Does not explain overall stupidity, however. Spent some time last night watching tape of Packers. One of their linemen looks like a G.L.O.W. wrestler. Possibly shaved armpits. The world is going down the crapper one shaved manpit at a time.
Wednesday January 19
Urlacher gave a speech at the end of practice. Wasn’t listening. Distracted by strange cracks in locker room ceiling. Poor paint job. Shoddy union work. Players seemed fired up when he was done. Slipped out the back door when no one was looking. Sat in car in the parking lot. Listened to an old mix tape from old Vandy girlfriend. Counting Crows. The players stream out into the lot. A lot of the guys on the team drive really stupid cars.
Thursday January 20
Parents forwarded me a column from espn.com about me by some hack Rick Reilly. Parents still have AOL account. Print out and read article while in the hot tub. I remember Elway, very equine-shaped head. Very successful owner of car dealerships. I did not realize he was a football player. Just another thing Shanahan could not explain succinctly. Martz comes by drinking tea. He nods at me. Have ignored him since week 6 and life has been better for it.
Friday January 21
Spend evening with girlfriend. When she falls asleep head downstairs to watch TV. NFL Films is showing old Packers/Bears games. Make turkey sandwich and drink a glass of sodium-packed Spicy V-8. Watch grainy film and read poorly written scouting reports until I get tired and then go to bed. Even scouting reports on the Packers are boring.
Saturday January 22
I can tell that some of the guys are getting nervous about game on Sunday. Have to tell one of the receivers what the route is on simple audible during walk through. Gather the offense around me before heading into locker room. I tell them tomorrow is just another game. I tell them the Packers are idiots with shaved armpits and have a bush-league coach that couldn’t solve a crossword puzzle in a Highlights magazine much less come up with a plan to stop our offense. I look them in the eye for the first time all season, every single one of them, I promise them that we will win the game. When we break I notice the turf, as usual, looks like it has been taken care of by a drunken cadre of moronic, blind groundskeepers.
Sunday January 23
Wake up early. Write check to children’s hospital. Read paper. Girlfriend makes me toast. Poorly. Drive car the long way to stadium. Bears flags fly from apartment windows and from car antennas. Whole city seems to be wearing our jerseys. I even see an attractive woman amongst the general flab. She is pushing her young son in a stroller. He is holding a stuffed bear and smiling. I smile too. It will be a pleasure to beat the Packers today. What a stupid team.
Two years in Cleveland. The family trips to the Galleria mall downtown. The office where you met Mike Holmgren for a final time. He spoke to you about Al Haig, you were barely listening, the snow was falling outside his window. You were thinking of Brian Daboll, with whom a lifetime ago you once drank 12 beers in a Flats bar, hats on your heads, anonymous in the din. Later that night you found a bodega open. You bought a tin of chew and sat on the curb like teenagers, eating Andy Capp salsa fries, drinking canned High Life and speaking about the AFC North. The police officer writing the ticket recognized you and called a cab. Good luck coach, he said, and opened the yellow door for you, Cuban music blasting in the night.
You were thinking about Brady Quinn, who you knew at first sight had no business on an NFL field. Of Derek Anderson, who just couldn’t seem to get it, and the time when he admitted he had no idea what a zone cover was, that he just throws it to the open guy. Now you think of the drunken voicemail from Bill that you didn’t save and he doesn’t remember – he said you had some pair of balls, then sadly he said to never lose your way – that you can never, no matter how hard you try, find your way back, and he hung up. The next day you laid the groundwork to trade Kellen and Braylon, with no regrets.
The evening sky in Berea, late night and full of stars heading to your car, no one else awake. The sound of Rob snoring audibly from a basement window, sleeping on a blanket of crushed chips, and lined-notebook paper covered with pen drawings of strange defenses. The time you told your team at halftime against Pittsburgh that you were going to lock the door, and if they lost they were going to have to drive home in pads. How good it felt to beat Pittsburgh – you thought if this is it, then it was worth it. The locker room jubilant afterward.
Holmgren still talking, now about George Washington. You drop in a chew and try to grasp the tangent he is on, you wonder if the plowman has come to your house yet – maybe you will shovel yourself today. You think of the time in New York Brett had started a snowball fight in the parking lot; the season soon derailed by the same arm that nailed Penny from HR in the shoulder with a snowball. You think about the Patriots game, two weeks planning, no sleep, Bill stunned afterward, eyes staring though you and into the void. Then the Jets game – if only, that was the season you think. You shake Holmgren’s hand, it was good you say, I am glad to have set the table, and I will always be a Cleveland Brown. You pass a few players in the hallway – it’s business, but you can tell that this season meant something to them, they thank you – they all look you in the eye like men. You call your wife and let her know you’ll be home soon. Just enough time, you think, to hang out with the boys before supper.
The Cleveland Browns. You were a ball boy here once and then you came back as the head coach. You built something here. You built a team that a town could be proud of, the team you always imagined, a team that was almost there. As you pull out of the gates a man walking his dog yells to you, thanks coach. You smile and say thank you, you turn the radio up loud, then louder, roll the windows down letting in the cold. The Cleveland Browns, you think. You were the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Foot down hard on the gas, you let out a joyful yell, and proudly thunder into the starry night.
Winners in Bold
Carolina @ Atlanta:
Carolina ends its mess of a season against the Falcons who are having a fine year. They say that John Fox might be tapped to replace Eric Mangini if he is let go in Cleveland. Something about that is wildly depressing and stinks of resigned mediocrity of the new normal: withering job prospects, no assets, low paycheck, massive debt from an education that gets you nowhere, and a marginal chance of your NFL team winning eight games.
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland:
Speaking of Eric Mangini, his under-talented Browns take on the Steelers at home in front of the faithful. Many of us at ReadAndReact headquarters are firmly behind Coach Mangini and feel he deserves one more year to right the ship. The Browns have had a tedious revolving door of coaches and quarterbacks since they re-entered the league. Their fans at this point are listless and battered, wondering why they are being tested by God, and if he will ever show them mercy. I hope for all those toiling by the lake that the Browns absolutely destroy the Steelers this Sunday, that Holmgren looks deep into his extra large soul and decides to give Mangini one more year. Curses can’t last forever, even the biblical variety, and Mangini might be able to lead this team to the promised land yet.
Minnesota @ Detroit:
Here’s to Brett Favre for playing football one year too many. Here’s a toast for him being completely himself, whether that is leaping around the field like a 12-year old on a playground or giving a maddening self indulgent, self-serving press conference. It is rare these days for an athlete to show any of his true self, as he will be pillaged for any misstep, wrong turn of phrase, or even smiling on the sidelines by the press, blogs, and fans alike. Favre, unlike the other professionally programmed robots, happily unleashes his id upon us all and, though many times not likeable, it is real and honest. Here’s to one of the best moments of the season, of Favre making a surprise appearance, outdoors in a snowy stadium in Minnesota, leading a touchdown drive like old times, fans delirious, scripted like a movie. Then, as quick as it started, it sadly ends with his head bouncing off the frozen turf. Favre exits the league leaving fans with a lot of wonderful memories and conflicting opinions as he heads back to his ranch in Mississippi. Perhaps like Cincinnatus he waits for another team to call or maybe he just swims in bathtubs full of money or puts on his Wranglers and heads to the local high school and with joy on his face tosses pass after pass to high school kids running fade patterns, his shadow growing larger and larger as the sun sets red in the evening Mississippi sky.
Oakland @ Kansas City:
The league would be a better place if the Raiders were a better team. A win on Sunday would bring them to eight wins and forward on the road to respectability. Kansas City on the other hand is having a dream season, the fans enjoying every moment because they aren’t sure if it’s a dream or if it’s real.
Miami @ New England:
I like to think of Danny Woodhead as a loveable hobbit somehow pressed into service by the mad wizard Belichik. I imagine every time he gets the ball he screams in fear and is actually just running for his life, giants and monsters around every turn as he higgledy piggledy does his best to dash to safety. I like to imagine that after each game he goes to Tom and Gisele’s apartment and hops on the bed with his pals Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, happy to be alive as Gisele and Tom try on Uggs boots and read long letters from their old friend and leftist poet Randy Moss.
Buffalo @ New York Jets:
The Bills have been meanderingly interesting this year and the emergence of the Fitzmagic and his beard have galvanized a rust belt fan base and has inspired lonely men (and some women) in hunting cabins and ice fishing houses of upper New York to grow out their own beards in solidarity, and quite frankly for something to do. It has also inspired ReadAndReact to attempt to cajole the Amish Rifle to save his truly magnificent beard; please sign our petitionthat implores him that the world needs men with beards and he is a beacon of hope to us all. We also might create a petition to make the Jets go away. They are a wildly irritating clown show that needs to be taken down and shipped out of town.
Cincinnati @ Baltimore:
Speaking of clown shows, whether it was the poor coaching, play, or just a cavalcade of bad decisions in critical moments, this season has been an utter disaster for the Bengals. They face a typically well prepared and winning Baltimore team that could probably beat the Bengals with four guys from the practice squad and seven bottles of Gatorade.
Three games are left in the season and Eric Mangini once again finds himself in a swirl of rumors about his coaching future after a loss to Buffalo. John Clayton, from the Ministry of Magic, is sharpening his wand and throwing out coaching names any chance he gets, predicting the demise of the former boy genius. Meanwhile, the Browns are clearly a team that has improved in every way from the previous year, and who knows what is really going on at Hogwarts; perhaps Dumbledore is happy with his coach, perhaps not, he isn’t saying. One thing is clear, if the Browns can win out, there is a good chance Mangini will be back next year to once again lead the Browns against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
The 1st Deadly Hallow: Bengals
Colt McCoy brings youth and hope in his first game back from a high ankle sprain. The Bengals have two wins, but it’s hard not to believe that they could score 40 points at a moment’s notice. The Browns need to treat the Bengals like the Steelers, take nothing for granted, and pull out all the stops. Lose this game and public sentiment really starts to go south, and Mangini becomes Undesirable Number 1 in Cleveland.
The 2nd Deadly Hallow: Ravens
This game could go a long way to returning Mangini to Hogwarts. The sad history between these teams might have cursed Cleveland forever. Moving the team of legendary wizards Otto Graham and Jim Brown to the C-List coastal town of Baltimore angered the ancients and they have decided to punish the Browns, even when it is the evil Wizard Modell who is to blame. You cannot predict the behavior of the ancients, but in the alleys and bar stools of the Flats beers will be raised to the Browns and Mangini for a win against the Ravens.
Winners in BOLD.
All italics taken from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee:
“But even as I ran from room to room, trying to close the fourteen or fifteen windows on the side where the rain was coming in, it was too late, and the stills wet with puddles, and the water was collecting in streams along the floor.“
Cleveland @ Buffalo:
“It is the bold, the loud-mouthed, the cruel, the vital, the revolutionaries, the mighty in arms and will, who march over the soft patient flesh that lies beneath their cleated boots.”
Cincinnati @ Pittsburg:
“I have been feeling like a ‘new person.’ Like a shot of brandy went home, a sniff of cocaine, hit me where I live and I am alive & so there. Better than shock treatment.”
Green Bay @ Detroit:
“Another day in Hell”
Denver @ Arizona:
“Get a job. Learn shorthand at night. NOTHING EVER REMAINS THE SAME.”
Seattle @ San Francisco:
“Please, think – snap out of this. Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.”
Philadelphia @ Dallas:
“How long, since I noticed stars; no longer, now, mere inane pinpricks on a smothering sky of cheap cloth.“
NY Giants @ Minnesota:
“A lifetime is not long enough. Nor youth to old age long enough. Immortality and permanence be damned. Sure I want them, but they are nonexistent, and won’t matter when I rot underground. All I want to say is: I made the best of a mediocre job. It was a good fight while it lasted. And so life goes.”
Miami @ NY Jets:
“The first day of swelter: grey, wet, warm rain making a slither of streets. A dog barks far off. The milk bottle sweat drops, the butter slumps. The house begins to look untidy again.”
Tampa Bay @ Washington:
“Amazing how money would simplify problems like ours. We wouldn’t go wild at all, but write & travel & study all our lives – which I hope we do anyway. And have a house apart, by the side of no road, with country about & a study & walls of bookcases.”