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James Vandenberg searches for answers

Tuesday afternoon on the Iowa practice field

Iconferentz_medium Alright gentlemen we need a good week of practice. We're almost there. I see two or three touchdowns on the horizon, but it's going to take a strong effort and...

Team_icon_medium ... better execution.

Iconferentz_medium *snort* OK 7-on-7 let's go.

The offense and defense splits apart

Gerg_icon_medium Men, I know you've been waiting this day for a long time - it's time to expand the playbook. Here we go Z Left 38 Lady Bird Johnson Bubble Screen. Run it on two.

Vandenberg_icon_medium I don't want to make a stink, sir, but we've already run a bubble screen. Multiple times, in fact.

Gerg_icon_medium That's a keen observation Jimmy, but we've never thrown it to the left before. Nobody is going to see it coming.

JVB goes into huddle

Vandenberg_icon_medium Here goes guys: Z Left 38 Lady Bird Johnson Bubble Screen on two, on two. Ready, bre-

Kevonte_icon_medium Wait, another bubble screen? Is he serious?

Vandenberg_icon_medium Well to be fair, this one's going to the left.

Kevonte_icon_medium We've thrown one to the left before. It gained two yards. Change the play James, c'mon. Please.

Vandenberg_icon_medium He's excited about this one.

Kevonte_icon_medium You realize this is going to end in a one-yard gain, right?

Vandenberg_icon_medium Well, we don't know th-

Iconferentz_medium Ummm guys, you've been in the huddle for 30 seconds now, I'm going to back you up with a delay of game penalty. Now... exectute.

Ferentz steps back, writes in his notepad and stares at the action stoically.

Gerg_icon_medium Same play, same play.

Vandenberg_icon_medium /completes pass for one-yard gain.

Gerg_icon_medium Hawk Right 395 Z Hank Cross

Vandenberg_icon_medium /overthrows Keenan Davis on three-yard cross

Gerg_icon_medium Trips Right Zebra Colt Donkey Tortoise 38 Burrito

Vandenberg_icon_medium /throws strike on post to Don Shumpert, it is dropped.

Gerg_icon_medium That's alright. That's alright, we punted and their returner muffed it, we've got the ball at their 20 yard line. Spread right Book Depository 1122 X Cross. On one.

Vandenberg_icon_medium /dump pass to Damon Bullock gains one.

Gerg_icon_medium Green Right Close V Tuck Purple Wildflower.

Vandenberg_icon_medium /lob goes off C.J. Fiedorowicz fingertips

Gerg_icon_medium Bunch Left Thunder Quick Venus Colorado Omaha Dagger.

Vandenberg_icon_medium /pass to Keenan Davis ricochets off goal post

Gerg_icon_medium We did it! The field goal unit just came out and kicked another field goal, we're within 10, now let's go out there and do it again.

Vandenberg takes off his helmet and starts walking

Gerg_icon_medium Jimmy, where are you going? I've got a full list of plays to go through.

Vandenberg keeps walking

Iconferentz_medium Not feeling well James? Writes in notepad James? James?

Vandenberg leaves the practice field and enters the locker room.

Iconferentz_medium Hey we're just 15 minutes into practice. Fine, if that's how it's going to be then that's how it's going to be. Rudock! Sokol!

Rudock_icon_medium Right here coach!

Sokol_icon_medium I'm ready to roll!

Iconferentz_medium Go over to Coach Parker and tell him that we're ending practice early. James is not feeling well.

Meanwhile, 20 minutes later


Vandenberg_icon_medium This is not what I signed up for. A mundane offense, receivers who can't catch the ball and, to be completely honest, I haven't been good at all either. And now I'm wandering aimlessly and talking to myself, it truly is the senior season from hell.

James keeps walking

Vandenberg_icon_medium Cmon nature, give me an answer! This is where I've learned the hard lessons about being a quarterback and now in my darkest hour, you're going to be quiet?! What am I supposed to do? What... am... I... supposed... to... do?

Vandenberg collapses in a heap.

Cloud1_icon_medium Bear.

Vandenberg_icon_medium What. Bear? Where?

Cloud1_icon_medium I'm sorry. Bear it. Bear it, not bear. Old habits and all.

Vandenberg_icon_medium Wait, what?




Vandenberg_icon_medium Coach O'Keefe?

Cloud_okeefe_icon_medium Yes, it's me. I told you I'd never leave you.

Vandenberg_icon_medium No you didn't. You told me you looked forward to working with me during my senior year and then you took a job with the Dolphins.

Cloud_okeefe_icon_medium Yes, the Dolphins. They needed my help and it has been an absolute pleasure to give it to them.

Vandenberg_icon_medium Things haven't been the same without you. The offense is a disaster, we kicked an imaginary field goal in 7-on-7 today for godsake.

Cloud_okeefe_icon_medium Ouch.

Vandenberg_icon_medium So what do I do? You always had an answer, no matter how misguided.

Cloud_okeefe_icon_medium It's all about confidence. Believe in your own abilities and the abilities of your teammates, they work just as hard as you. Things will turn around, you've worked too hard for them not to.

Vandenberg_icon_medium Thanks.

Cloud_okeefe_icon_medium Now if you'll excuse. Bret Bielema left his car windows down and I really need to pee. Just play this in your head: James! James! James! James! James! James! James! James! James! James!

Gerg_icon_medium James! James! James!

Vandenberg slowly wakes up and realizes that he's in the Iowa football office

Gerg_icon_medium James is this too complicated for you?


Vandenberg_icon_medium (to himself) Wait, was that just a dream? (Smiles) That darn Coach O'Keefe, what a character, I wonder what he truly thinks of how things are going.