Scene: Glendale, Arizona, in the Cardinals’ practice complex, in Ken Whisenhunt’s office. Whisenhunt sits behind the desk as Matt Leinart enters the room.
Matt: Coach, you wanted to see me?
Ken: Yeah, Matt. Look, it’s about this week’s game. We’re gonna work in Kurt more when we need to go no-huddle. It’s nothing personal, really. It’s just that he’s been in the league for a few years now, and he’s got the experience to call his own plays.
Matt: (Fidgets nervously.) But, you can’t trust me to do that?
Ken: Kid, you’ve not even been in the league two years. Gotta walk before you can crawl, y’know? Not even Roethlisberger was running the no-huddle as a second year QB.
Matt: I can still do this better than the damn Jesus freak with the black gloves. Such a wuss move, wearing gloves to throw a spiral.
Ken: At least he’s holding onto the damn ball. That’s the decision, and that’s final.
Matt: Goddamnit, this isn’t going according to plan at all! How can I live up to my star potential if I’ve got to split time with Greybeard?
Ken: (Sighs.) Maybe if you spent less time dick-deep in everything that walked in the greater Phoenix area and more time with the goddamned playbook, we wouldn’t be at this point, dumbass.
Matt: Man, that’s fucked up. I’m the future of this franchise, I give it what little pub it actually gets.
Ken: I don’t care about the fucking publicity. We need to win, and that means you’ll have to sit a few times during the game.
Matt: Peyton Manning doesn’t have to trade off with another quarterback.
Ken: Peyton Manning’s won a fucking championship and his brain isn’t half addled by the latest designer STD.
(Leinart stands up, walks out, and slams the door, starting the walk down the hall.)
Matt: Fucker. I’m gonna go to the Bidwills and get this asshole fired. What’s he ever done in the league as a head coach? They’re a fucking dime a dozen. He’ll be done midway through the season.
(Ken opens the door and yells down the hall)
Ken: Hey, Leinart!
Ken: I’m not the fucking CAA, moron. You can’t fire me just because you don’t get the playing time you want.
Matt: Now I’m never going to be as famous as Peyton! He beat me to SNL, he’s gonna beat me to everything else.
Ken: He already has. (Slams door.)
Photo: AP/Gail Burton