Following DeAngelo Hall's 67-yard smorgasbord of penalties on a single game-losing drive, Falcons coach Bobby Petrino promised some "in-house" repercussions not only for Hall's misdeeds, but for his petulance on the sideline immediately afterward as well. Additionally, Pro Football Talk -- which we of course hold in very high regard -- reported this:
"There are rumors that Hall was beaten up by one or more teammates in the locker room after the game. One reader described the rumored incident as a "Code Red."
COACH PETRINO sits in his office with assistant coach JOE WHITT JR. They discuss Hall's series of costly mistakes.
WHITT: I think the best thing for us to do is trade him. Right away. He's still a shut-down cornerback, and we have glaring needs at, oh, every other position on the field.
PETRINO: Hmmmm... trade DeAngelo. Yes, I'm sure you're right. I'm sure that's the thing to do.
Wait a minute, I have a better idea. Let's trade the whole secondary to another team. Let's... On second thought, the defense! Let's trade the whole defense to some team for a quarterback who doesn't play piano. Joe, go on out there get those boys out of practice, they're packing their bags. Mary!
[A secretary enters]
MARY: Yes, sir!
PETRINO: Get me Las Vegas on the phone right away. We're surrendering our season to the Buccaneers! Because obviously the Saints suck too fucking hard to win a single game in this sorry division!
MARY: Yes, sir.
PETRINO: Wait a minute, Mary, don't get the Commissioner just yet. Maybe we should consider this a second. Dismissed, Mary.
Maybe, and I'm just spitballing here, maybe, we have a responsibility as coaches to train DeAngelo. Maybe we as coaches have a responsibility to this league to see to it that the men charged with stinking up the NFC South are trained professionals. Yes, I'm certain I remember reading that somewhere once. And now I'm thinking, Assistant Coach Whitt, that your suggestion of trading DeAngelo, while expeditious and certainly painless, might not be, in a matter of speaking, the American way. DeAngelo stays where he is. We're gonna train the lad!
A bright but young commissioner named ROGER GOODELL, accompanied by his wallflower friend GENE UPSHAW, goes to meet with the MEDIA.
GOODELL: Hi. I'm Roger Goodell. I was told to meet with... (checks notes) the media? About a briefing.
MEDIA: You're the commissioner that Tagliabue assigned?
GOODELL: I'm the HNIC. This is Gene Upshaw.
UPSHAW: I have no responsibilities here whatsoever.
MEDIA: Come in, please, have a seat... Commissioner, how long have you held your position?
GOODELL: About a year now.
MEDIA: And how long have you been dealing with troubled players?
GOODELL: A little less than that.
MEDIA: (pause) I see.
GOODELL: Have I done something wrong?
MEDIA: No. It's just that when I petitioned the NFL for a new commissioner, I was hoping I'd be taken seriously.
The MEDIA and Commissioner GOODELL travel to Atlanta to meet with Coach PETRINO and Assistant Coach Whitt. Pleasantries are exchanged before business.
MEDIA: Coach Petrino, are you still close with your old team?
[PETRINO smiles and nods.]
GOODELL: [making the connection] The Louisville Cardinals?
PETRINO: Yes sir.
GOODELL: Well, what do you know! [to WHITT] Son, this man once made a lot of enemies down in your neck of the woods. Made some trouble in the SEC. The folks down there said a Big East team couldn't compete for the national title, Bobby Petrino said we'll just see about that. [to PETRINO] How the hell is your old team?
PETRINO: They just suffered the biggest upset in the history of college football.
GOODELL: Well... don't I feel like the fuckin' asshole.
PETRINO: Not at all, commissioner.
A tense courtroom battle hinges on a gamble by the audacious GOODELL.
GOODELL: I WANT THE TRUTH!
PETRINO: YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns, by which I mean large biceps. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Michael Vick?
I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for DeAngelo, and you curse the Falcons. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That DeAngelo's death, while tragic, probably saved yards. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves yards. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about in luxury boxes, you want me on that sideline. You need me on that sideline.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very entertainment that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a football, and throw a deep post pattern, because Harrington's no good at that. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think you are entitled to.
GOODELL: Did you order the code red?
PETRINO: I did the job you sent me to do.
GOODELL: Did you order the code red?
PETRINO: YOU'RE GODDAM RIGHT I DID!!!