Tongue-tied at an undisclosed location

Excerpt from “Walt Loves the Bearcat”

“To Seattle we go for highlights of the AFC Championship game earlier today. The skies were … who cares! The wind chill … forgetaboutit! This time, Jim Kelly and the 13-4 Buffalo Bills were forced to go west, and battle Yeager-meister and the 15-2 Seahawks in the comfy confines of their concrete dome that was rocking like a nuclear reactor, powered by 65,000 white towels waving their beloved franchise onward. A win today means the team reaches the Super Bowl for the first time in history, in this or any other universe.”

“And, Jake, if you look at how Seattle got gypped last year with the frozen tongue in Buffalo—you knew they weren’t taking any chances this time.”

“Rumor has it, the Buffalo sideline guy was held tongue-tied at an undisclosed location the entire weekend.”

Ouch … and yes, there were Bills fans at the Kingdome, dreaming of yet another Buffalo shuffle to the Super Bowl—but do they truly wanna risk yet another Super Disappointment?”

“Hey, what else are perennial bridesmaids supposed to do on all those cold snowy nights, except dream of somebody finally paying off the Bills?”

“Thurman Thomas says, I’ll take you there, Buffalo! … this eight-yard shuffle to the end zone puts the Bills up 14-7 late in the first quarter.”

“Snowman was late with the weak-side help–he’s playing too low to the ground these days, maybe getting older or slower, or just out of style, like his urban clothes line.”

Ouch … second quarter … Thurman Thomas again, this time a 26-yard scamper to put Buffalo up 21-7. Suddenly, the towels aren’t waving, and the joint is kinda uptight. Not quite like last week’s cool and dreamy 52-0 shellacking of da Raidas.”

“Yeah, proving you’re 2 legit in the AFC title game is a different story.”

“Needless to say, huge test for the second-time Pro Bowler Yeager. And he would begin to take charge. Here’s In-Control Walter, telling Jefferson on the sideline: We cool, man. We got time. Here’s Methodical Walter, firing precision bullet after precision bullet into his receivers’ numbers–dare I say, with a kind of Aikman-like methodicalism. Is that a word?”

“It is now!”

“Here’s Confident Walter, saying nice try to Cornelius Bennett, who juuuuuust missed sacking the QB on third and 18. Instead, the meister converted to Jefferson–see, he cool!–setting up this 13-yard shot up the middle by Mookie ‘don’t call me Paula’ Millstone. El Kicko el kicks the PAT. Bills now up, 21-14. Later on, Buffs get a field goal to go up 24-14 with less than 10 minutes to Super Dreams in Atlanta.”

“And that’s when the towels kick in, swirling like 65,000 kilowatts of: We are the Pacific Northwest, hear us roar! And Seahawks fans are loving it.”

“So is this guy—whom we’re told wrote the lesbian thriller Uptight. I think I speak for most men when I say … we’re not worthy … but thank you! Apparently, he’s a Seahawks fan, judging by the ear-to-ear grin and the way he’s working that towel. After a Bills punt, the meister begins a methodical drive downfield, carving up Buffalo’s secondary with Jefferson, Lars, and Christian.”

“Think the boys finally believe they can be 2 legit?”

“Yeager says, Oh, yes! Down to the 30, under seven to play. Shotgun. Looks off Jefferson, then lofts it to Corey Christian, who leaps for it at the 20. That’s when the ball is tipped by the Bills’ Odomes, right to Steven Lars! And look at the 40-year-old blond bomber receiver go!”

“I haven’t seen those skinny old legs churn that fast in a decade!”

“Ouch … Lars puts his entire body into going all … the … way!”

“Hey, could be his last shot at Super Glory.”

“El Kicko makes it 24-21 with under six to play.”

“Plenty of time on the clock. Number 13’s on the sidelines, telling the faithful: ‘Get those towels up for the defense!’”

“Bills go three and out and punt. Is it time to talk Seattle vs. the Niners, winners earlier today at Dallas?”

“Gotta score first–if you’re the Seahawks–without leaving Kelly and the Bills too much time to rightbackatcha.”

This we know: Seahawks ball at their own 42 with under five to go. Yeager becomes a traffic director out there, making sure everybody is 2 legit. Coach Robbins is pacing but calm, even on this near interception thrown over the middle on second down.”

“He’s putting it in his man’s Yeager’s hands all the way.”

“The meister converts on third down with a shuttle pass to Millstone–nice juke into the clear for 14 yards.”

“Meanwhile, in the Seahawks dressing room: plastic everywhere and Champagne on ice. But will they celebrate like Kool and the Gang?”

“Gotta move the ball closer. But what to do when the drive stalls?”

“Call up the league commissioner and ask for your lost frozen down back!”

“Not gonna happen. I do believe Yeager wants to be 2 legit, but not without a little drama. The meister shoots three blanks, and Seattle’s season and raison d’être comes down to fourth and 10 on the Buffalo 38 with under three to play.”

“Three crazy passes that don’t really go anywhere. The nuclear reactor is humming, begging for their dreams not to go imploding in a puff of dust. And what does the meister do? Says: ‘I’m cool, I’m dreamy, I got my own flava. I got it under control. Fourth down. Let me take it from the shotgun, look up, look back, check out all my options, and then fire away to my man Junior!–streaking down the sideline for a touchdown that says, Hello, Atlanta! Sweet, sweet Georgia Dome!’”

“The Bills … we won’t even show you their last gasp of air. Sayonara and better luck next time to the Buffs.”

“Maybe their vanishing is a good thing, considering their fans are spared another Super Disappointment.”

“All in the Peach State now for Yeager and the Seahawks.”

from Walt Loves the Bearcat