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Dear Diary: Ron Powlus


Dear Diary,

Today is a great day. It's been a long time coming, diary. You most of all will know how much this means to me after all these years. After all the pain. At last, sweet, sweet revenge will be mine.

Perhaps no human can understand the way you do my anguish, the hidden, bubbling cauldron of pain and rage pressing incessantly from within against my hollow, dead, disgustingly inadequate flesh! And that, diary, is the torture I have had to endure daily for the last 15 years, the true source of my agony, the deadening of my soul: so much promise, unmatched, wasted. My cross weakens me, brings me to my knees, sobbing the tears so few, ignorant products of such pathetically low standards, could ever truly grasp. And so I abided silently with loathing until its dank essence became one with my own.

Such was my existence, consumed by subterranean dread and scorn, until the day I heard that name: Jimmy Clausen. I remember clearly - it was dark, dreary; a lightning bolt, perhaps, threatened Touchdown Jesus, as the storm clouds of mediocrity once overwhelmed my spirit. As director of personnel development, I met so many players on the recruiting trail: blue chips, stars, VHTs. All of them worthless. Pitiful shells of so-called "talent." Above all else, I know talent. How could I not? My god, who else could? Even those whose "skill" briefly intrigued me, I believe, were merely projections onto which I could begin to ascribe the horrible plots that had begun to consume my every waking hour, and in time, even my nightmares. Yet always I managed restraint; none of them were exactly right, chosen, if you will, for the level of spectacular success whose destruction alone could sate my inhuman compulsion.

On that fateful, stormy day, I received word of a tape in the football offices; though I was new to Coach Weis' staff, I had quickly established that news of promising recruits be sent in my direction (never, of course, revealing my dark purposes). Initially, I saw the label on this one, among several, and thought to myself "Clausen?" I knew of two Clausens already; this one, surely, was of no use to my vendetta. Something, though, maybe inspired by the darkness outside, told me, "Put in the tape." And there, like a revelation, I sat in giddy awe: the arm strength, the accuracy, the improvisation, the polish, every physical ingredient for outsized expectations, combined with the entitlement, cocksure hubris and unfortunate hair of a potential bust. For months, I worked behind the scenes, patiently, deliberately, methodically, dissecting Jimmy's psychology, breaking him down, discerning what "makes him tick," if you will, all the while wondering if perhaps I had set myself up again? If Jimmy only looked like my savior because, finally, my chaotic psyche needed a savior so badly it manufactured him from the nearest approximation? Then the day he committed to Notre Dame, flashing his schoolboy rings, the pendulum swung opposite: maybe he is as good as everyone believes, so good, in fact, Jimmy is incorruptible, truly the foretold Golden Child. That, diary, is a risk I must take; I must possess Jimmy's talent, I cannot let it into the world, to drive into my inky heart the ultimate stake of humiliation and regret. I knew then I must be his position coach if this were to transpire, and all is now in place for my designs to come into their sinister fruition.

Under my tutelage, Jimmy will master the art of not-horrible conservatism designed to avoid the bench by the narrowest margins: Jimmy will throw screen passes into the ground. Jimmy will throw across his body. Jimmy will heave desperate, flustered lobs to no one in particular after failing to identify the hot receiver. Occasionally, Jimmy will complete a pass, thrilling but also frustrating hundreds of thousands when Jimmy scrambles ineffectively before throwing the ball into the fourth row on what will inevitably be praised as "the best throw he's made all day." On some days, I will see personally this is true.

Ron Powlus needs young blood.
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In some ways, I feel bad for Jimmy; perhaps my soul is not yet so black that I am utterly incapable of experiencing pangs of empathy (or resembling the hollow ontological conception of what I recall as the emotion of empathy). Does Jimmy deserve to have his talent martyred to atone for the sins of those who crushed my will to live except as a psychological zombie, feeding, thriving solely on thwarting those young dreams that remind me so excruciatingly of my own? Jimmy does not. Perhaps none does. The beast created and fed by inadequacy violently overwhelms these moments of conscience.

But the Dark Force dwells strong within young Clausen. I see so much of myself in Jimmy: Jimmy is hyped, Jimmy has the pedigree, all of the proverbial tools. Jimmy is destined for success. When Jimmy says Jimmy will win four national championships at Notre Dame, my god, diary, it rings so many horrible bells. Make them stop! Or is it possible that only Jimmy, at long last, through a spectacularly mediocre-to-bad career that surpasses my own in disappointment, can finally silence the ringing torment of Beano Cook's expectations? These coming months are the crucial arbiters of fate, the years with Jimmy the ones that will define my sanity for elusive felicity or eternal ill. My time has come. At last!

Remember, diary, as always:

Proudly in the heavens,
Gleams thy gold and blue.
Glory's mantle cloaks thee
Golden is thy fame.

Till later,
RP #3

Make the nightmares stop!
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