Fixing Up Quarterbacks

Scene: A back room in the Bruins’ weight room facility in Westwood. Head coach Rick Neuheisel and offensive coordinator Norm Chow are there with gloves on and powder blue aprons. Newsprint is all over the place, a kiln is in the corner, and there are large canisters of paste.

Neuheisel: OK, bring him in. (Trainers drag in QB Ossar Rasshan, who started several games last year.) Thanks.
Chow: Dorrell left us with some shoddy workmanship, didn’t he? Jesus. At least with some work, we can have him ready in three weeks, just in case we need another sacrificial lamb.
Neuheisel: This is not how I planned my return, Norm. I mean, I don’t remember art skills being part of the job application when Guerrero asked me to fill it out.
Chow: Aw, quiet and pass the clay. I think Ossar’s injury is one we can fix with some surplus clay and just put him in there for a bit. (Points to kiln.) Ossar, does it feel okay?
Rasshan: Coach, it’s pretty damn painful. Are you sure?
Chow: It’ll have to do, bud.
Neuheisel: Fine. (Passes clay). Look, we’re supposed to be immediately competitive with USC, right? I find out Cowan’s got rubber bands for ACLs and Karl was keeping Olson together with papier mache. I paid the teacher off so I’d pass art, y’know? Sculpture is not my bag here. I mean, now I’m resorting to bitching about Carroll’s kid cussing to get recruits. This was supposed to be easier.
Chow: Certainly isn’t what I’m used to in the college ranks.
Neuheisel: Not like some of the pros are any better. Billick insisted that marble was the best applicant to get Steve McNair back together again.
Chow: Fisher at least gave me some raw materials to work with. At least we had a budget for some decent metals and high-quality plastics for repair work.
Neuheisel: Howland gets all of the budget. It’s not new here, it’s just how it is, and he won’t share his cybernetic synthesis equipment.
Chow: You couldn’t have negotiated that in?
I was just happy to have the job in the first place. I mean, get employed, then ask for the perks when you get a little bit of a good thing going. But the facilities, that’s definitely the first thing we need to hit the circuit for.
Chow: You can. (Slops clay and smooths it on Rasshan’s left knee.) If I didn’t hate the booster circuit, wouldn’t I have a head job by now?
Rasshan: Ah, at least it cools. That feels better….
Neuheisel: Given. How long should he be in the kiln before we send him over to the medical center?
Chow: Hmmm….(reads manual.) This thing says 24 hours or so, then ship him off for finishing and rehab.
Neuheisel: OK. Hey, O, ready for the heat?
Rasshan: God, this crap sucks….let’s go for it.

(Neuheisel and Chow load Rasshan’s leg into the kiln.)

Neuheisel: So, tell me. How does Pete handle this sort of shit?
Chow: Well, private school, and with the money pouring in, the labs have gotten more advanced since I left.
Neuheisel: Labs?
Chow: Yeah, labs. Some of the donations for scientific research are targeted towards that sort of thing for the football team. He got all huffy just before I left because I wanted to use some of the more advanced polymers….

(Ground shakes slightly.)

Neuheisel: Your garden variety 2-point-something trembler.
Chow: Um….no.

(Clouds of smoke outside window gather as the sound of rockets grows louder. Neuheisel and Chow rush outside of the back room, when the smoke begins to clear. A sentinel in cardinal and gold emerges.)

Neuheisel: This has gotta be the paint fumes.
Chow: Jesus, stop being such a fucking showoff, Pete!!!

(The sentinel takes off its helmet.)

Carroll: Hey guys! I was jetting around and totally jacked to try out this new padding for the team. It’s better than I’d even envisioned on spec! How’s it going?
Neuheisel: …where did you get the cash for this?
Chow: No fair, Pete. You wouldn’t even let me go near some of this stuff a couple years ago!
Carroll: Dude, I told you it wasn’t ready for testing.
Chow: Still. You let Leinart use it without me even getting to do some work on it.
Carroll: Sorry, man.
Neuheisel: Oh, shut the fuck up, Norm. What’s it consist of?
Carroll: Totally lightweight, high-quality plastics, and it all gets grafted and modeled to each quarterback. I just figured I’d take the Sanchez model out for a joyride.
Neuheisel: (Grumbles.) It’s real nice, Pete.
Carroll: Thanks! I’m gonna take this thing for a spin in South Central. The guys down there love this stuff. Totally psyched about it. Later, fellas!

(Pete puts the helmet back on, flies off in a blast. Norm and Rick watch as the vapor trail follows him in the direction of downtown Los Angeles.)

Neuheisel: We gotta break into Howland’s office.
Chow: DeWayne was talking about that earlier, he knows Guerrero’s got some keys.


UCLA’s Ossar Rasshan will have surgery [L.A. Times]

Photo: L.A. Times/Alex Gallardo

2 Responses

  1. So this is why UCLA can’t beat USC?

  2. Fragile and poor quarterbacking has a lot to do with it. Also, bad O-line play and bad offensive schemes, although that will probably be better under Slick Rick.

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