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A Message From The Bridgewater Government

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Look, being the Face Of Vikings Nation is hard. Be patient, and put down the pitchforks and torches

I closed my eyes and rubbed them with my thumb and forefinger, trying to get them to focus. It had been a long day. Too long, actually. But all the days are long now, and sometimes even more tiring than during the revolution. The nights, they can be even longer. Because the administrative work never ends. Never, ever ends.

The day to day monotony that is governing is not nearly as glorious as the heady days when The Bridgewater Underground first formed, and the ensuing revolution, but it's arguably more essential. Figuring out budgets, allocating resources, prioritizing infrastructure projects--it's all important. It's not storming the gates of TCF Bank Stadium, planting the flag of victory, and partying over a lifeless Atlanta corpse...but if these things aren't done, the whole meaning of The Revolution becomes pointless, doesn't it?

Because if we can't entrench ourselves, there will be another revolution, and no one wants that. Not now, when we finally have peace at quarterback. We know that peace and prosperity is at hand, and that we're more stable at the quarterback President position than we've been for awhile...but we're not sure the rubes the great unwashed the people know this. Because revolutions sometimes happen overnight, and before you know it, I'm on the run, the Bridgewater government is being arrested and tried for Crimes Against Football, and our whole Viking Nation is once again thrown into chaos and tumult.

And I'm swinging at the end of a coaches headset wire off the top deck of US Bank Stadium.

No thanks.

So I put my glasses back on and opened another folder and started reading another memo, this one citizenship or something, and my phone rang.

I chuckled to myself silently as I reflected on my surroundings. I was no longer in a secret underground bunker, staring into a stained mirror at the shell of a man that used to be me, wondering how this would all play out. No, I was a Big Shot now, with some important title in some important office in a more important building on the most important street in the most important city in the Nation Of Bridgewater. Had we failed, I'd be dead and buried in an unmarked grave somewhere. It's funny what a bad pro day and a pair of gloves can do to change a man's fortunes, isn't it?

"Yes?"

"Sir, the Minister of Rube Monitoring is here. He says it's urgent."

"Send him in."

Damn it. The Minister of Rube Monitoring has one of the most thankless jobs in the Bridgewater Government. His job is to watch for foment in the rank and file, report it, and act on it if required. One of the lessons learned from previous eras is that they allowed things to fester for too long. When you let things fester, you end up with something more pointless than a celibate hooker, and that's the Backup Quarterback Debate. That debate leads to unrest, unrest leads to chaos, and chaos leads to the Minnesota Vikings Quarterback position from 1984-today.

Minus a few years of Daunte Culpepper, a year or two of Warren Moon, and the 2009 Brett Favre.

We all know that the rubes the great unwashed the well informed fans of the Vikings never really know what it is they want, and if we let them run this government team based on their whims of fancy, things would be a disaster. We already have an example of that; it's called the Washington Redskins.

No one wants that. Not even the fans of the Redskins.

And  we also understand that a Tyler Heinicke Revolution could overwhelm us before we know what happened, much like The Kirk Cousins Revolution usurped the Robert The Third regime. No one wants that, either, because we've done this dance before. The Ponder-Webb Civil War of 2013 damn near killed us all, and we didn't realize it before it was almost too late. Thank God neither side could hit sand in a desert when they threw the ball fired their shots at each other, or we might all be dead. The MRM walked in and took a seat. The look on his face told me this just wasn't going to be another hour and a half of Brad Childress jokes. Those helped break up the monotony.

"Ted, we have a problem", the MRM said in a quiet, almost defeated tone.

"Eric, it can't be that bad. We won, 31-14. The defense hasn't been this good in years, and Adrian Peterson looks to be back to his old, dominating self. Come on, relax, have a drink."

"Ted, this is serious. We've played three games now, and The President has looked like he's mailed it in for two of them. We can't have this. The Rubes are starting to form."

"You're shitting me. Already?"

Rubes. I hate rubes. Rubes are essential to a fan base, because they're the bell curve, the clowns you point to and tell your kids "be a fan, but don't be this ass clown who's wearing a jersey and a horned hat, pissing off the railing of the second deck screaming for the third string defensive tackle to start at quarterback "BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS AND YOU'RE A GODDAMN MORON ZIMMER."

Alone and on an individual basis, rubes are harmless and even mildly entertaining in their stupidity. Especially when they get tased and escorted from the stadium. Free entertainment is the best entertainment, right?

But rubes are also dangerous, because they're everywhere. And when they get together, they talk. It's generally loud and they're almost universally smashed, but they say the same stupid shit over and over again, and soon, a seed is planted in the heads of the rest of the fans. That seed takes root, and the next thing you know, you've got a full blown Garden Of Revolution in your backyard, set for harvest sometime in late September or early October.

WE NEED A NEW QUARTERBACK RAWR RAWR RAWR RAWR BRIDGEWATER SUCKS RAWR RAWR RAWR SHOULDA DRAFTED CARR RAWR RAWR RAWR START HINEKE HEINEYKEY HOWEVER YOU SPELL IT RAWR RAWR RAWR.

Tell a lie long enough, and eventually it becomes the truth, even if it is a lie.

Damn it, I hate rubes.

The MRM opened his briefcase and put some photographs on my desk.

"Eric, I'm tired. My eyes are blurring, I can't focus, and the Mayor of Yipville wants an answer on whether or not Blair Walsh citizenship will be approved. What am I looking at here?"

"You tell me. Look at them. Closely."

So I picked up the pictures, looked through them, then again, more slowly this time.

My God. No, it can't be.

"Eric, is this what I think it is?"

Eric's shoulders dropped, nodding his head. I was barely able to hear the whispered 'yes' that croaked out of his throat. There, in the pictures, it was unmistakable. The photos were taken by one of our spies in the field, and although a couple of them were a bit grainy, the images hit me like an Anthony Barr A gap blitz:

A Taylor Heinicke jersey rack from a store out in the hinterlands...and it was almost empty. it was set up next to a Teddy Bridgewater jersey rack that looked like it hadn't been touched in so long it needed to be dusted.

"Look," I tried to say in as a convincing voice as I could muster, "this could mean anything. There might only be one Heinicke jersey out there. It was probably ordered by a family member on-line, it didn't fit, so they took it back to the actual store for a refund. People do that all the time."

"No, I have the field agent's report to go along with the pictures. Here."

His hand shaking, he handed me a sheet of paper across my important desk in my important office. it was folded in half, well worn, and stained with some blood. The report was foreboding:

SITUATION NOT YET CRITICAL BUT CONCERNING. STOP. FOMENT AND UNREST DEVELOPING IN FRINGE ELEMENTS OF FAN BASE BUT GAINING MOMENTUM. STOP. HEINEKE HEINICKEY HEINEKEE FUCK HOW DO YOU SPELL HIS NAME LET ME LOOK IT UP HEINICKE JERSEYS FLYING OFF THE SHELF OF RUBE MART IN INTERNATIONAL FALLS. STOP. SIGN ABOVE RACKS SAID TAKE OUR POLL BUY A JERSEY TO DETERMINE THE STARTING QB FOR THE VIKINGS. STOP. IT'S 18 DEGREES IN INTERNATIONAL FALLS AND IT'S ONLY SEPTEMBER. STOP. WHY DOES ANYONE LIVE HERE. STOP. SERIOUSLY IT'S REALLY COLD. STOP. FIRST NOTICED UNREST AFTER MONDAY NIGHT DEBACLE IN SAN FRANCISCO BUT SEEMED TO QUIET DOWN AFTER DETROIT. STOP. MOMENTUM SEEMS TO BE PICKING UP STEAM AFTER YESTERDAY. STOP. THOUGHT IT WAS NOTHING MORE THAN PEOPLE BUYING JERSEYS AND POSTING ON MESSAGE BOARDS. STOP. BUT PEOPLE ARE OPENLY ADVOCATING FOR QUARTERBACK CHANGE TO HEINEKEN HINEYKEY SERIOUSLY HOW DO YOU SPELL HIS FUCKING NAME HEINICKE. STOP. OR A RE-DO OF THE 2014 DRAFT SO WE COULD CHOOSE DEREK CARR AS OUR LEADER. STOP. PLEASE ADVISE. STOP. GOOD THING WE'RE NOT 0-3 OR WE WOULD HAVE A FULL BLOWN REVOLUTION ON HAND. STOP. ALSO 2-1 IS AWESOME. STOP. I HAVE TO POOP SO I AM SIGNING OFF FOR NOW. STOP.

SKOL GIRL

Skol Girl. That's no rookie, she's our best field agent, with the pulse of the rubes and social media her calling card. I crumpled the piece of paper and threw towards my wastebasket, about 5 yards away. Just like a Christian Ponder throw, it fell well short of the mark.

I sighed. A long, heavy sigh. I really needed a beer.

"Eric, who has seen this report?"

"You, me, and the person that decoded it. That's it."

"Is this going to be a problem?"

Eric stared out of the important window of my important office in a more important building on the most important street in the most important city in the Nation Of Bridgewater.

"I don't think so Ted. But then again, I never thought Sean Salisbury would be named starting quarterback over Rich Gannon back in the Great Internecine Quarterback Struggle of 1992, either."

We both half chuckled, half weeped.

I got up from my desk, walked over to the window, and stared out into the distance while I watched a storm form from the West. I poured my self a stiff bourbon.

"Pour me one, if you don't mind", said Eric. "I think we'll need a lot of this until the storm passes."

If the storm passes. Damn rubes.

"Put our forces on alert. Have them ready to go within 24 hours notice. And Jesus, we need to get Skol Girl out of there. Set up for an extraction tonight. Go with Extraction Plan Foreman. He always did well in cold weather."

Eric stood up, straightened out his Anthony Carter throwback jersey, and nodded.

"Uff da, youbetcha Ted."

As he walked out, it struck me how this time, if there is going to be a this time...I'll be the old guard.

Damn rubes.