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Brunch with the Bears' Coaches - A novella

Oh, to only have a chance to be a fly on the wall around the Bears' coaching staff as they discuss their roster and preparations for the upcoming season. Luckily, I had a chance an imagination to do just that. Just to be clear: this is a work of fiction. Defeat the Rancor to enter.

Lovie places his tray of skim milk, a bran muffin, and an apple on the cafeteria table next to members of his coaching staff: Mike Martz, Mike Tice, and Dave Toub. Tice is currently going mano-a-mano with a turkey leg, while Toub broods over his cheeseburger and fries. Martz has no food and no tray, just sitting there watching the others eat.

"Hey guys, what's the word? How did practice go?" Lovie says as he sits down next to Martz. Tice doesn't hear Lovie over the sound of his teeth gnashing against the leg bone currently splintering between his teeth. Toub glances over in Lovie's direction.

"Hmmph. I'm about ready to kill someone. Can we cut DeCicco already? I still can't belive that kid missed his block on Monday," Toub says.

Lovie half-smiles, "He'll be okay, just got to figure some things out. Mr. Martz, how'd the offense do?"

Martz says nothing, just nods before looking over his left shoulder and whistling. Before you can say "Greatest Show on Turf," Roy Williams brings over a tray with a cobb salad, low-fat Poppyseed dressing, chocolate milk, and a snickers bar. Martz begins eating his salad, still without answering his Head Coach's question. Lovie adjusts his headseat and puts his hands in his lap.

"Anything else you need, Coach?" Roy asks Martz. Mike shakes his head no, and Roy walks away whistling the theme to Gummi Bears. The coaches sit in silence for a few minutes, listening to the sounds of Mike Tice digesting his food, before Toub throws down his burger in disgust.

"We're been one of the best special teams groups in the whole friggin' league, and we sucked Monday. I'm gonna whip these boys into shape one way or another. I'll see you guys later, gonna go watch some practice film." Toub collects his burger, currently strewn about the table in pieces, and carefully plucks the pickle dangling off of Lovie's microphone, which Lovie barely acknowledges. As Toub gets up, Jerry Angelo comes saundering over to the coaches table.

"What's hapin, cap'n?" Jerry slaps Toub on the back as he passes him, causing Toub to lose half of his tray's contents. Toub mutters under his breath as he collects his tray's former contents off the floor, and Jerry walks over to Lovie and starts rubbing his shoulders. "I'm feeling pretty good after that Giants game, am I right? Score was bad, but man, that line looked solid." Lovie pulls out his gameday sheet of plays and stares intently at it, while Martz continues to slowly eat his salad piece by piece.

"Thanks, Jerry. They looked better, I'm hoping we lock things down against the Titans and can keep rolling with this crew. They got a lot of potential," says Tice.

"Titans, huh? That's who we got? Well, gotta watch out for that Javon Kearse, he's a beast." Tice grits his teeth and smiles, moving on to the second turkey leg on his plate.

"Lovie, what're you gonna do about that Young kid? He's something alright! Can run like a wind and throw like a... like a... well, he's got a good arm," Jerry says, grabbing a chair next to Lovie. "Where's Rod? Doesn't he usually eat with you guys?"

"He's working with Vernon," says Tice between bone crunching bites. "Need him to step up with Corey out. Oh, and Mike usually has him polish his car during the brunch break."

"Cool beans," says Jerry, grinning like a cheshire cat. "Gotta run boys, Matt's agent is in the building. He wants $20 mil guaranteed, you believe that! I'm gonna tell him, 'hey, if we cut Olin, we can let Matt go if he's unreasonable.'"

"Hey Jerry," says Martz for the first time without looking up from his tray, "remember what we talked about, okay? I don't want any surprises." Jerry's smile falters for a minute and returns quick enough that no one at the table notices.

"Uh, yea... yes, Mike... Mr. Martz, got it. No problems on that front," says Jerry before slapping Tice on the back and prancing away from the table. Tice briefly chokes on a splintered leg bone before giving himself the heimlich. Lovie puts away the chart, then looks up and to the left, apparently squinting to look at the clock in the cafeteria. Martz slides his salad plate to the side, and grabs his knife and fork to dissect his Snickers bar into little, bitesize pieces. The group sits in silence until Martz is finished, then Tice and Lovie collect their trays and head over to throw them out. Martz snaps his fingers, and Chester Taylor comes over to grab his tray. Martz pats Taylor's head before heading out of the cafeteria.

Author's note: Its not that I hate our staff, but I think they lend themselves to some lighthearted satire from time to time. Hope you enjoyed!