(Houston, TX) It is estimated that people in America will make and receive over 2.4 billion cell phone calls in a day. The vast majority of those calls will likely be from the more densely populated areas. This would include the big cities, such as the Houston area. Yet, for density of calls in the city, cell providers noted a significant spike in the number of calls coming from cell towers located in the South/Central part of the city. “It is really quite something” observed Ay Tee Entee, a local cell tower technician. “Never quite seen anything like it, whereby we had to do repair work on at least 7 towers in a localized part of the city. 1 or 2 at a time is normal, but 7??? Only after a major storm. Yet, it was localized damage. As if all the towers near the stadium were overloaded and shorted out. And all since last Friday…weird.”
Why? On Friday, Deshaun Watson received word that he would not face any criminal charges. This apparently alleviated some concerns from other teams. “Hey” noted one team’s executive (unnamed, of course) “we take seriously the NFL’s commitment to promotion of a non-violent, non-threatening, non-harassing environment. We won’t actively seek out anyone facing the most serious of charges.”
Most teams held to that. Prior to last Friday, only the Miami Dolphins made any sort of offer for Watson, back before the 2021 season trade deadline, and only with a bunch of conditions met (they weren’t). However, the tone of a lot of those same execs changed once the Houston Grand Jury decided to no to indict. Our reporters seemed to get a lot of the following response:
”…but if no criminal charges…”
“Okay, yeah, we believe the corporate line and all…I mean, a big deal, but come on, a franchise-level QB with 3 Pro Bowl appearances and led the league in passing on that dumpster fire of a team, and on a relatively market level contract????”
“Yeah, he still has all of those civil cases, but those are civil…not the most serious. Besides, what player/team/owner isn’t being sued for some sort of action in this day and age?”
Hence, a major source of the cell tower shorting-outs. Totally Not Fake News also received some other cell phone-type news. A local Apple Store in the Galleria received one of the biggest cell orders in recent memory. “Got an order for 100 iPhone 13s…with an extra option for 50 more!!!” exclaimed the store manager. “They didn’t even try to haggle on a discount. Told us ‘just give us the [Easterby] phones and make it quick!’ like they were in a hurry or something.”
“Thank [Easterby] we got those phones!!!” noted one unnamed Texans staffer. “We needed them. 15 of blew out on the Saturday after Watson avoided charges. Teams were calling and calling and calling and calling…then texting and calling and texting and Facetiming…sometimes all at once and with different team officials calling at once.”
Said another intern: “I don’t think [GM Nick] Caserio has gotten any sleep since Friday around 7 p.m. Kinda funny…unless you have to deal with him. People are saying that he is bitting people’s heads off just for interrupting him if on a phone call. Actually, knowing Nick [Caserio], this is a very, very scary thought. “
(Caserio taking out his frustrations on another intern...)
Hearing this, we at Totally Not Fake News, fortified by plenty of Shiner Bock (for the editors) and Lone Star (for the rank and file employees), and positive about the upgrade in corporate insurance, figured we call the source, Nick Caserio. We actually set up an interview (but with some minimal safe distance between our people and him).
NC: “ Hi, yes, what are you offering? How many 1sts and good players on rookie contracts?”
TNFN: “Oh, no, we aren’t an NFL team, we are Totally Not Fake News.”
NC: “Oh, ok? Press? Sure…we ca..hold for a min, gotta call. Carolina, yeah, hey, how ya doing? Heard you talked with Watson. Ok, well, we’re gonna need at least 3…hold on (checks Google News), oh, Brady is back? Yeah, we’re gonna need four, count ‘em FOUR 1st round picks. Throw in a couple of 2nds and or 3rds, and at least two of your best young defenders...What was that? Excessive, you say? Well, you’re the ones who want him!” [violent ends call]
“ Ok, now where was I, about our…just a min…New Orleans, hey, what’s up? You want Watson too? Well, you are in the same division as Brady so we gonna need 4…what was that? You didn’t lose to him in 4 regular season games…ok, 3 1sts to open, a couple of good players (NOT Tayson Hill), some quality gumbo and…ok, well, we can negotiate on the gumbo...perhaps some of your shrimp po’ boys? Call me back with a good offer.”
“ So, you want to talk…dang…hold on…Cleveland? Oh, ok, sure, we can talk. Baker Mayfield??? Okkkaaayyy…about those draft picks? What, you thought we would do a one-for-one swap? Keep it going. That whole boatload of draft picks requirement….that ain’t fake news.”
Geesh...anyway, yeah, it has been busy and we’ve...AGAIN?!?!?! THESE GUYS?!?!?! [Massive shoulder shrugging deep breath] Look, Indy! I am SUUURRRREEE you could put together a decent package of picks. Ya gotta a few good young players...but you ARE in the same division. You know this. You don’t get a division discount. Yes, Jack, er, Cal wants him gone, but it ain’t gonna be cheap for you. Not. At. All. For starters:
1) ALL of your 1st and 2nds for the next 5 years (I don’t care that Philly has your 1st this year. You find a way to get it back, and then you can get it to us).
2) Your entire draft for the next two seasons (you got cap room, you can get free agents)
3) Frank Reich’s head on a silver platter (a lotta of the older fans will ask for it)
4) The resurrected body and arm of Peyton Manning…What, he’s still alive? Don’t matter, get him back, IN his prime TO us.
“No excuses!!!! I don’t care if you have wait for Jim [Irsay] to sober up. Throw some hot coffee in his face and move it.”
Caserio throws the phone in disgust. “Those idiots!!! Like I would ever let them talk with Watson, much less deal him to them…Oh, and intern, get me ANOTHER phone. Just broke my 4th today.”
Eventually, we had to give up trying to have an actual interview with Caserio, as he received another 20 calls before he could completed one sentence with our reporters. We counted two phones lost battery power right away and other three where rendered non-op when Caserio threw them against the office walls after some particularly frustrating calls with other teams. Perhaps the worst was this call:
Owner: “Yeah…(hic)…I wanna…I wanna get in on this (hic)…on this (hic)…on this big QB deal?”
NC: “Irsay, you know my previous positi…”
Owner: “I ain’t Isar-raaaayyyyyy! I am…I am….I am a big…BIG Owner. Got some good assets I could trade with ya. Gotta a top-notch, top-notch QB. Young, strong arm, playoff experience…had a bit of a big contract, but I think (hic)…I thee….I theee…Ithinkyoucanworkwiththisone, no?”
NC: “Wait, who is this QB? You’re not from Kansas...”
Owner: “No, no…”
NC: “So, who are you proposing?”
Owner: “Deshaun Watson. That’s right, I’ll trade you my disgruntled, corrupt, probably criminal QB who thinks mean things about me for your Deshaun Watson. I’ll even throw in another 1st and 2nd rounder…could probably get David Johnson in the mix as well (burp).”
NC: “Deshau….CAAAALLLLL!!!! Did you start drinking AGAIN?!?!?!?!? I thought Jack and Janice took that away from you.”
Owner (now Cal McNair): “Hey, Hey, Hey….if you’d…if you’d got beatened by some snot-nosed third graders from Brazosport in Minecraft for the 6th straight time, you’d drink too, you anal-retentive dinosaur…[A loud thump is heard, followed by some loud retching noises].
NC: “[EASTERBY] IT!!!! This is the 3rd time TODAY he’s done this!!! When is Cal gonna realize that we are trying to get RID of Watson, NOT keep him or TRADE for him??? [EASTERBY]!!!!”
After Caserio threw yet another phone across the room, we took our leave, waiting to see what would happen with Watson and the rest of the team.
Ed Note: We can update this story to indicate that Cleveland and Carolina are not in play for Watson. There is a lot of rumors about Atlanta and we suppose New Orleans is still in play, but until then, we will wait and watch.