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Adrian!!

Millions of thanks to PB for helping me polish and end this piece

"Where's Adrian?" Bob Stoops shouts as he enters the office.

"Right here coach; what do you need?" replies a panting Adrian Peterson, who has run all the way from the practice field at hearing his coach's voice.

"Could you open this jar of pickles for me?  I usedta could do it myself, but you know..."

"Yeah, I know coach," says Adrian opening the jar, "need anything else coach?"

"Yeah, now that you ask, I've been trying to get into the film room all week, but I can't seem to get that door open."

Peterson looks perplexed, "Why don't you just open it yourself?"

Stoops' eyes fill with confusion that bleeds quickly into rage, "Hot damnit now, who's the coach?  Are you the coach?  No, now open that damned door.  Do you want to win championships or not?  That's why you came here, right Peterson?  And another thing, I want my morning crossword, done, on my desk in an hour."

This is the side of Bob Stoops that few see - the frail man who can only persist with the help of his star player Adrian Peterson.  Peterson does everything for Stoops - from his daily crossword to his laundry to tucking the Stoops children in to bed at night.  

Well, almost everything. There was that time when Stoops tried to have Peterson chew his food for him, and the junior running back refused, saying, "Coach, I won't be here to feed you forever. There are some things you'll have to do for yourself."

To this refusal the coach angrily replied, "C'mon!  I'm starvin' here!"  But Peterson would not budge. "I'm carrying everything else around here," Peterson said at the time.

Recently, however, the university higher-ups have been cracking down and making Adrian attend his "classes," so Stoops has been pitching around looking for some other help, but nobody seems as capable as Peterson.  He first asked wide receiver Paul Thompson to help out, but Stoops was forced to go another direction when, after asking Thompson to toss him his keys, the wide receiver chucked them into the hands of a passerby headed the opposite direction from Stoops.

Stoops next turned to senior linebacker Rufus Alexander to help him get through things (explaining that he had always been a better defensive coach anyway), but Alexander's tenure soon ended when he was sent to pick up the Stoops children from the park and they ran right past him.

Wide Receiver Malcolm Kelley was sent to the dry cleaners, but he dropped the bags on the way out.

"It's just a lack of effort," said Stoops. "They just don't want it enough."

To which a confused graduate assistant asked, "Your dry cleaning, sir?"

"No, a championship," Stoops shot back angrily.

"What does that have to do with your dry cleaning sir?" asked the graduate assistant.

Stoops just shook his head and waved the assistant out of his office. The frustrated coach shook his head, sighed, and said to no one in particular, "I'm sitting here with a dirty suit, with no keys, and my entire life hanging on the abilities of one junior tailback."

With that, he picked up the phone, called an old friend in Oakland and said, "Art? Yeah, hey. It's me, Bob. I might be ready to have that conversation..."

--AR--