Freedom Lane: Tony vs Tom: Dawn of Suspension
“It all comes down to this,” Joe Buck, lousy sports commentator, said. “There’s only two seconds left of Super Bowl Fifty-One, the Giants have the ball on their own thirty yard line, and they’re burning their final time-out.”
“Eli Manning has a tough call to make,” Troy Aikman, sports commentator and former Dallas Cowboy said. “He has to go for the Hail Mary pass, but can he really throw the ball seventy-plus yards to the end-zone?”
“The Patriots are only up by two,” Buck said. “The Giants needed to get into field goal range, but they find themselves in trouble being at fourth and eleven after Eli was sacked twice.”
“Look at that!” Aikman said. “The kicker just pushed over the offensive coordinator, and he’s running onto the field.”
“That’s number one, kicker Tony Baloni,” Buck said. “Anyone following the drama knows he joined the Giants at fifty-five because his best friend and boss, Paulie of Paulie’s Pizza, was mad at him for profiting off his fake death.”
“You don’t profit off a friend’s fake death,” Aikman said. “Even a rookie knows that’ll upset your karma.”
“He’s running up to Eli,” Buck said. “I wish we had audio down there.”
Tony ran into the huddle where Eli Manning was instructing everyone to be in the end-zone for his pass. “Get the fuck on the bench, Manning,” Tony says. “I can kick this in.”
“It’ll be an eighty-something yard kick,” Manning said, astounded. “There’s no way, and you’re wasting our time.”
“I trust my foot over your wussy arm,” Tony said. “Sit on the bench and let a man handle this. Why don’t you call your wife and tell her I’ll kick her into orgasm later.”
The rest of the teemed ooed.
Eli bowed his head and left, kicking at the grass as he made his way to the sideline.
“Hey, Manning!” Tony shouted.
Eli turned around.
“If I make this kick, I’m quarterback next year!” Tony shouted.
A single tear rolled down Eli’s cheek as he made his way to the bench to watch the end of the game.
Tony merely nodded to the rest of the team, and they knew what to do, because Tony is a born leader like that. They set up for the kick, and the Patriots scrambled to set up their defense. The ball was snapped and held. Tony got a running start and kicked.
The clock ticked down to zero as the ball curved in mid-air. Flying to the right and then the left, falling between the pylons as the crowd held its breath. A whistle blew, signaling the end of the game. The Giants won the Super Bowl by a single point.
“We Are The Champions” by Queen blared as the stands emptied to praise Tony and his golden foot. He caught a glimpse of Tom Brady drinking from a bottle of bleach as he, Tony, was lifted into the crowd, the MVP of Super Bowl fifty-one and new quarterback for the New York Giants.
Tony awoke, alone in his bed in his apartment above Paulie’s pizza, his dream still blazed in his mind. He saw he still had time to sleep, so he lowered his head back onto his pillow. “Kick her into orgasm?” he asked himself as he drifted back into sleep. “Whatever.”
Created, written, & directed by Budgerigar Orville Bigelow
Co-created by executive producer BluntSharpness
Season 9, Episode 5: Tony vs Tom: Dawn of Suspension
Rocco Priolo, Tony’s cop buddy, drove up to Massachusetts with Tony in the passenger seat. He was in his street clothes, being that it was his night off and he was bringing a box of clothes up to his sister, Alison, just outside of Boston. “Thanks for coming with me,” Rocco said. “It’s a boring drive to make by myself.”
“Think nothing of it,” Tony said, watching the trees fly by his window. “I can use a bit of a change of scenery. Besides, Paulie had no issue giving me the night off. I think he’s happy to be rid of me for a while to be honest.”
“So he’s still mad about that death thing?” Rocco asked.
“Yeah,” Tony said. “I probably shouldn’t have done it, but how often does the news accidentally report your friend as dead? It seemed like a good idea at the time anyway.”
“He’ll come around,” Rocco said. “He always does, right?”
“Yeah,” Tony said, staring somberly out the window. “Usually doesn’t take this long though.”
Rocco watched the road in silence, knowing how much Paulie being short and serious with Tony was stressing him. “Hey,” Rocco said. “A friend of mine told me of this bar just within Boston. He said Tom Brady comes in every now and then.”
Tony scoffed. “Don’t bring him up,” he said. “The worst part about going to Boston is the Pats fans.”
“He’s a great quarterback with a great coach on a great team,” Rocco said, happy that Tony was talking about something other than Paulie. “You’ll swoon if he shows up.”
“Yeah right,” Tony said. “If Tom Brady shows up I’ll tell him to fuck himself. I know you love them, but I refuse to betray my G-Men.”
“Alright,” Rocco said. “Just remember we’re deep in New England territory. Be careful what you say.”
“Whatever,” Tony said. “Tom Brady won’t show up anyway. If I were him, I’d be home giving that supermodel tramp wife of mine a foot massage; a sensual foot massage.”
“What’s with you and feet?” Rocco asked.
“You don’t understand,” Tony replied. “Nobody ever does.”
Rocco dropped off the box of clothes to his sister, spent some time there with Tony, and left, refusing the offer to spend the night on the couch. He wanted to hit the bar he heard Tom Brady frequented with Tony before heading back to Connecticut. It was a Tuesday night, so there weren’t many people there.
“I gotta take a whiz,” Tony said.
Rocco took a swig of his beer. “One more beer when you come out and we’ll head home,” he said.
“You sure you’re OK to drive?” Tony asked.
“I’m a cop,” Rocco replied. “I know all about legal limits and shit like that.”
“Sure,” Tony said, wobbling a bit as he got stood up. He had had a few more beers than Rocco, bitching about Paulie being cold to him all the while. He stumbled over to the bathroom and saw a line of about four of five guys waiting to get in. “Nuts to this.”
Tony walked up to the bar, leaned against it as much as possible, and unzipped his fly. “Hey,” Tony said as the bartender came up to him. He had already started urinating under it. “What do you got on tap?”
“On tap?” the bartender asked. “What have you been drinking all night?”
“Sam Adams,” Tony said.
“That’s what we got on tap,” the bartender said.
“Good,” Tony said. “Get one for me and my friend over there. It’s on him.”
“Sure,” the bartender said, giving Tony an odd look. He turned to get the beers and brought them over to where Rocco was sitting. As soon as his back was turned, Tony zipped up his fly.
Tony sauntered back over to Rocco, but there was a small crowd near the door. Rocco was missing, so Tony concluded he was near the door with the rest. He picked up his beer and took a long pull. He turned to see Tom Brady walking past him as everyone in the bar followed, patting him on the shoulder and trying to ask for an autograph.
“Looks like this place is dead,” Tony said, putting his half-finished beer on the bar and walking past Brady without so much as acknowledging him. He pushed his shoulder into him as he passed.
“Someone’s a New York fan,” Brady said, eliciting laughter from the small crowd, including Rocco. “Have fun in the playoffs, bro.”
Tony had enough of Brady after their short exchange. “Hey, Tommy,” Tony said, turning around. “How about you deflate these balls.” He imitated masturbation and flung his hand toward Tom’s face when he was done. “Bitch.”
Brady attacked Tony, shoving him harshly before delivering a haymaker to the side of Tony’s head. Tony responded by throwing one of his own, hitting Brady in the eye. Brady stepped back, and Tony continued punching wildly as Brady tried to the do the same.
The brawl was so crazy that everyone backed off. Tom finally got a few steps back and picked up a barstool. He swung it at Tony’s head, but he ducked, letting the stool smash a framed poster Brady standing in front of a giant Super Bowl trophy.
Brady lost his balance when the stool hit the picture, and Tony took advantage, throwing his shoulder into Brady’s midsection and tackling him to the ground. Once there, he pummeled Brady’s face with his fists until Rocco was able to fight through the watching patrons to pull him off.
“Lemme go!” Tony shouted. “That punk started it!”
“Come on, Tony,” Rocco said. “He’s not worth it.”
“Damn right he’s not,” Tony said, turning from Brady’s barely moving figure on the floor to leave.
Tony woke up the following morning with sore fists and a looming hangover. He got up and took three aspirin followed by two entire bottles of water. He looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and laughed. He through for a moment his fist fight with Tom Brady was a dream until he saw the swollen bruise on the side of his head. “That pretty boy can throw a punch,” Tony said, turning his head to look at it. “I’m lucky he didn’t knock me out with one shot.”
There was a banging at his door. “Who’s there?!” Tony yelled.
“It’s Da’Quarius!” the voice of his best friend’s nephew shouted. “Open up!”
Tony threw on an old pair of jeans and a white tee shirt he called his “wife beater”. He walked to his apartment door and opened it. “What are you doing here?” he asked as Da’Quarius strode. “Shouldn’t you be at school?”
“It’s four in the afternoon,” Da’Quarius said.
“Shit,” Tony said. “I thought it was the morning. Why didn’t Paulie call me to wake me up to come to work?”
Da’Quarius shrugged. Tony knew the answer to his own question, and he regretted asking it.
“Anyway,” Tony said, “What are you doing here?”
“You’re all over da’ internet!” Da’Quarius said. “Dey lookin’ for you like crazy for beatin’ da’ shit outta dat punk-ass Brady.”
“I’m not going down for that fight!” Tony exclaimed. “He threw the first punch! I was just talking to him.”
“You shoulda gotten up earlier,” Da’Quarius said. “It’s all over. Someone took video of da’ whole thing. E’ryone saw him take da’ first shot after you pretended to jerk off in his face, den dey saw him swing da’ chair at’chu.”
“So what’s that mean?” Tony asked. “It’s a bar fright. There are no rules.”
“Da NFL suspended him again,” Da’Quarius said, his smile widening. “He’s out for da’ rest of da’ season. Bye-bye playoffs. Dis is so great!”
“Suspended,” Tony mused. “Serves him right.”
Two days later, Tony was working at Paulie’s for the Friday night rush when a man in a suit came in. He was short, chubby, and was mostly bald. “What can I get for you?” Paulie asked, smiling his usual smile.
“I need to speak with Mr. Tony Baloni,” the man in the suit said.
Paulie rolled his eyes. “I was wondering how long it would take you,” he said. He turned toward the kitchen. “Get out here, Tony! You have a visitor.”
Tony walked from the kitchen, wiping his hands with a towel. “What do you want?” he asked.
“My name is Mario Antucci,” the man in the suit said, “and I represent the New England Patriots.”
“No dice,” Tony said. “You ain’t serving me no papers. Get lost, you jerk.”
“You misunderstand,” Mario said. “I’m not here to try to sue you. We’ve been in constant talks with the NFL since your recent… event at the bar. They assured us if we found you and you accepted a public apology from Mr. Brady, he’d be reinstated for the rest of the season.”
Tony measured Mario. “What do you think, boss?” he asked, turning toward Paulie.
“Leave me out of this,” Paulie said. “And I don’t want you doing any of this in my restaurant. You’ve given me enough of a headache with bad publicity. I don’t need you inviting Tom Brady here for round two.”
“That’s not what I was going to suggest,” Tony said.
Paulie looked at Tony, his expression unchanging.
“Fine!” Tony said. “I was going to invite him here. Find another venue, and I’ll talk to Brady.”
“Good,” Mario said.
“Tell him to bring him a lawyer, a computer, and a printer,” Tony said. “He’s going to have to do something for me.”
“Madon,” Paulie said, retiring to his office. “I’m glad I’m not taking part in this nonsense.”
Tony tapped his fingers on the table of the five-star restaurant inside the high-end hotel called The Edgewood. He had waited for the better part of a half hour when Tom Brady came in wearing a gray suit. His face was still bruised and swollen from the fight, and he had a black eye. Tony had to fight himself to stop from laughing at the sight of it. His wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, was on his right arm, and Mario walked behind them, carrying his laptop.
“Hi,” Tom said, sitting down. “I just want to start by apologizing for the way I acted at the bar. I should’ve been the bigger man and walked away.”
“You’d like that wouldn’t you,” Tony said. “You always have to be the bigger man.”
Gisele crossed his arms across her chest, extremely aware that Tony was staring at it. “I must go to the ladies room,” she said.
Tom stood up a she left, watching her go. “So what do you want to do?” Brady asked. “I need my apology to be public, and I need you to accept it. There’s only a few games left to the season, and the playoffs are right around the corner, bro.”
“Don’t say anything else,” Mario added.
“The playoffs, bro!” Tom pleaded.
“What Mr. Brady is trying to say,” Mario said. “Is that he may be willing to give you something in return for accepting his apology; but it has to be public, and you have to forgive him.”
“Anything?” Tony asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Within reason,” Mario replied, a look of worry coming onto his face.
“Fine,” Tony said. “I want to fuck Heidi.”
“Who?” Brady asked.
“Heidi Klum,” Tony said with a short laugh. “Your wife, numb-nuts.”
“You bastard,” Brady said, letting his chair fall behind him.
“Stop it,” Mario said, getting up and putting a hand on Brady’s chest. “Let’s talk.” The two walked away from the table as the waiter came by and put down a basket a bread.
“Give me the steak and lobster,” Tony said, grabbing the waiter’s arm. “Give me a second lobster to go with a side of steak. Bill it all to the generous Mr. Brady over there.”
After a few minutes, Mario returned with Brady, who looked surlier than ever. “Mr. Brady is willing to meet your demands,” he said, “providing you sign a confidentiality agreement of course.”
“What’s that?” Tony asked.
“It’s a contract you sign stating that you can’t tell anyone that you had sex with Gisele,” Mario said.
“Can I tell my dick?” Tony asked.
“Are you referring to your penis?” Mario asked, rolling his eyes.
“That’s the only dick I got,” Tony replied.
“Then I guess it would be perfectly OK to tell your penis,” Mario said, “provided nobody else is around while you’re talking to it.”
“Are you really putting that in the contract?” Brady asked.
“So I guess that’s it then,” Tony said. “I just have one question.”
“What?” Brady asked.
“Who the hell is Gisele, and why can’t I fuck Heidi?” Tony asked.
Tony entered the suite of The Edgewood Hotel less than an hour later. Gisele stood by the window looking out toward New Haven. “What’s up, babe?” Tony asked, walking toward her.
Gisele stood, a look of anxiety on her face. “Just know,” she said, “I do this only for Tom; not for you.”
“Relax,” Tony said, sitting on the bed. “I don’t care who you’re doing this for. I only care about who you’re doing this to.”
“You are a pig,” Gisele said.
“Yeah?” Tony said, kicking his shoes off. “Tell your husband I hope he has fun during the playoffs, thinking about what you did to get him there. Now come here and make good on his deal.”
Tony stood in the conference center of The Edgewood Hotel. Tom Brady stood in front of him, wearing the same suit he wore earlier. There was a camera from ESPN there, waiting to capture the moment.
“I want to apologize for my action,” Brady said. “I shouldn’t have hit you after your taunts.”
“It happens,” Tony said with a shrug. Mario stood behind the camera, motioning for Tony to elaborate. “I whole-heartedly accent your apology, being the bigger man and all. All is forgiven.”
Tom looked like he was going to get mad again, but he extended his hand anyway. Tony grasped it back and shook it, neither one breaking eye contact. Finally, after a short but tense moment, they broke apart.
“Good,” Mario said. “I’m glad all that nasty business is behind us.”
“Yeah,” Tony said, “just like I was behind…”
Brady and Mario were giving Tony a scathing look as the cameraman packed up his gear.
“Oh yeah,” Tony said. “That contract. Shouldn’t have signed that contract until after I told someone.”
Brady and Mario left, leaving Tony behind. After looking around for anything he could take home from the hotel, he left. He found Gisele hanging back as well, just near the lobby. “Later, doll,” Tony said as he passed. “You weren’t half bad for a chick with no meat on her bones.”
“Look,” Gisele said, lightly grasping Tony’s arm. “Tom is away a lot during the football season. Can I call you if I get a little lonely? Nobody has ever made my feet feel so good.”
“Sure,” Tony said, pulling his arm out of Gisele’s grasp. “Just leave a message with my secretary, and I’ll call you back.”
He walked away from her, not bothering to give her a second glance. He passed the clerk at the lobby’s front desk as he made his way to the front door. He spun his finger in a circle near his head and motioned back to Gisele. The clerk gave him an extremely dirty look as Tony laughed and walked out into the bright, chilly New Haven afternoon.