Turf Show Times: Front Office Fiction - It's All a Platt...

" ...OK, and one last thing before I turn you over to the vultures in the press room," Jeff Fisher said, then blew out a long breathe. He glance at St. Louis Rams General manager Les Snead, who's solemn nod included a face that said: "It has to be done". Fisher turned back to the ten players he had just acquired through the NFL Draft, "You've met every...um... Almost every member of the staff here at Rams Park." He pulled at his shirt collar, then wiped a hand over his face. "I need to tell you about one of our staff members, who most don't know outside of this building. She is the Assistant General Manager for Operations and Team Quality Control."

He glanced at Snead, who rolled his eye at the job title."Her name is Derinda Platt, and she works hand in hand with Les," he heard the team's general manager groan, "and with Kevin Demoff, who you've already met." He made a motion toward the now laughing Chief Operating Officer, and Exective Vice-President for the Rams NFL Franchise. Jeff thought his laugh had a kind of fear-tinged giddiness to it?

A huge arm made a short wave in the air to get Fisher's attention. Michael Brockers, the team's first round draft pick, stood when his new coach acknowledged him.

"I've heard about her coach. She the one everyone says is crazy?"

Fisher hid his face in his hands for a moment, trying not to laugh and groan at the same time. He saw Demoff and Snead look at each other and begin to nod their heads at the word "crazy". He turned back to his huge defensive tackle, "Ms. Platt is very passionate about her job is all."

He felt sweat beginning to form on his brow. "You won't have much day to day contact with her, so..." Jeff never finished his thought. At that moment, the meeting room door fell into the room with a crash. The room went silent, and every head turned to the entrance as a tall blonde woman came flying into the room, tripped over the door, and barreled into the last few rows of folding chairs.

Everyone in the room froze when they heard a voice coming from beneath the pile of chairs. "Who locked the damn door?"

Trumaine Johnson leaned over and grabbed Janoris Jenkins, "Don't even think about it. You got enough trouble."

Jenkins smiled as he nodded, "Guess you're right, but still..." He watched as the tall blonde crawled out from under the pile of folding chairs. "Why'd Michael say she's crazy?"

Johnson now knew why Jenkins had four kids with three different women, "You need to think about what you just saw for a second."

Janoris' brow furrowed as he thought, then he began a knowing nod and winked at Trumaine, "It's 'cuz she don't like doors, ain't it?"

Johnson laughed, "Uh, yeah, that's it."

Fisher and new Rams receiver Brian Quick helped Derinda to her feet. She slapped their hands away, "I can stand up on my own dammit!" She glared at Jeff. The Rams head coach turned to Brian and, with a sense of urgency in his voice, he whispered, "Run! Get the hell out of here."

Thinking it was some kind of test by his new coach, Brian leaped over the fallen chairs, and made a perfect cut at the doorway to the left, disappearing from sight. Fisher admired the route his second round draft pick had run. It turned out Quick kept running, and was later seen running down the main road in front of Rams Park.

The rest of the new draftees had moved to the front of the room, their agents hiding behind them. Late round draft choice, Rokevious Watkins hadn't said a word. Every time he attempted to speak, his agent handed him two jelly donuts.

Les Snead and Kevin Demoff formed a phalanx, standing at the side of Fisher. The three men glanced at each other, then turned to face Derinda. Les decide it was time for him to assert his general manager authority, "Look, Derin.." He stopped speaking when Derinda crossed her arms in front of her and glared at him. Les gulped, and ran for the meeting room door. Demoff laughed as his GM fled the room, then felt a sharp poke to his chest.

"What the heck is so damn funny money man!" She was about to poke him in the chest with her finger again. Demoff stepped back, mumbled something that sounded like, "Gerfizz splurgat pfft", rubbed his chest, and ran out of the room, leaving Fisher to face Derinda alone.

Jeff saw his newest recruits break the small huddle they were in, and move to come to their coach's aid. Fisher held up a hand, and they stopped, "Don't make any sudden moves, and whatever you do, don't make eye contact." Fisher winked at Derinda, and he saw a twisted gleam in her eyes.

"OK, guys, this is Derinda Platt. She's going to be the one talking to your agents about contracts." Jeff heard a few of the agents begin to whimper. Michael Brockers' agent decided to show his client he couldn't be intimidated by anyone, least of all this crazed blonde woman.

As he stepped forward, he pulled at the cuffs of his impeccably tailored suit. "I don't think you know who you're dealing with little lady, but I..." He stopped mid-sentence when a folding chair sailed through the air, missing his head by inches. He gurgled "Mommy!", gave his client a fleeting glance, then fled the room followed by the rest of the sports agents when they saw Derinda grab another chair. Business cards of varying quality filled the air before fluttering to the ground in front of the stunned draft picks.

Derinda approached the group. They began to huddle into a small mass against the wall. The players all seemed to be trying to hide behind the huge bulk of Michael Brockers. Watkins couldn't find a way to squeeze in, so he wedged his head into the mass like an Ostrich trying to hide its head in the sand.

She stood in front of the small group, glaring as she stomped a foot to get their attention. She stepped closer to Brockers, his eyes wide. Derinda saw Janoris Jenkins head poke out from between the huge defensive lineman's wide stance. He looked up at her. She looked at him and yelled "BOO!" and Jenkins head disappeared.

She paced slowly in front of them for a moment, then stared at the group for a second, her eyes beginning to twitch. Derinda leaned forward, and said: "Welcome to the St. Louis Rams boys," her faced transformed from demonic she-devil, to one that held a warm smile. She turned to Fisher, who stood behind her. They gave each other a quick high-five, and she walked slowly from the room as she began to laugh...

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