East Lansing, MI (TOC)-- Connor Cook will likely be allowed to take QB reps for both teams, to be the 'all-time QB', in Saturday's Green-White Spring game, but that doesn't mean everyone in the program is happy about it. "He's forced our hand." Head coach Mark Dantonio complained about the freshman QB's expanded playing time, "He's the one who brings the only football we play with, and he keeps threatening to leave with it and go home. So when he starts complaining about having to play defense, I mean, what else are we supposed to do?"
Cook's controversial, "My ball, my rules" policy has left some players feeling frustrated. "It's annoying." said junior Will Gholston, "He made it be two hand touch for a tackle, when in all the other practices it was only one hand touch." Observers spoke of an argument breaking out between the two on one play, where, in response to Gholston's assertion that he definitely got two hands on him and that Cook was down, Cook replied "Nuh-uh. You only got one." before laughing and continuing to run for a touchdown. A visibly upset Gholston stormed off the field in protest.
Both defensive backs and wide receivers alike, complained of his affinity for 'jackpot rules'. Cook would often scream out "dead or alive!" on incomplete passes that had previously been agreed to be 'alive only', forcing the players to scramble after the ball on the ground.
Others in the team are afraid the young QB will use his leverage to make more demands. "What's to stop him from calling pass interference on every pass breakup we make?" noted one exasperated defensive back. "He's already taken to calling out the five Mississippis before anyone is allowed to rush him, and he counts them out extra slow, probably on purpose too."
"He keeps changing the scoring rules every time he's about to lose. 'Win by two! Win by two! You gotta win by two!'." complained another player, mimicking Cook, "Why do you think he won that scrimmage? It's super unfair."
Some are worried he'll use his new influence to make demands even off of the football field. "He's gonna make it tough for me when I come back, I bet. He probably won't even let me play QB anymore unless I do stuff for him." said injured quarterback Andrew Maxwell. "He's probably going to ask to play my Nintendo Wii all the time, even though I just got it for my birthday, and I want to play it. And even if he lets me play Mario Kart on it with him, he's just gonna pick Toad, and everyone knows Toad is like, the cheapest character of all time."
A few players have decided to view the developments in a more positive light. "Even if he takes the ball and leaves, we could still ride bikes, or use the monkey bars." offered senior kicker, Dan Conroy. But Conroy's view lacked supporters in many other parts of the locker room, "Don't tell Danny," said one player, speaking on condition of anonymity, "but the rest of us hate riding bikes. Riding bikes is dumb."
One assistant coach offered to bring a mini-football he owned, so that players could start their own game if Cook started acting out, but this proposal was roundly rejected by other players, with some arguing that the idea "totally sucks", is "stupid", and that mini-footballs "are stupid." A majority of players agreed that the experience of throwing and catching a mini-football simply wasn't the same.
Most within the MSU football program are hoping on the kindness of player's parents to come through for them, but many aren't overly optimistic. Reports are that explanations of the current situation, and requests for additional footballs, or increased allowances with which to buy them, have been met with vague answers of "We'll see" at best, and at worst, chides to "be more responsible with the allowance we already give you" or requests to "work out your differences with the other boys."
So now, players and coaches, with no other options, are stuck practicing under Cook's rules. "We've just got to accept it and make the best of a bad situation." said Dantonio. He shrugs his shoulders, "At least we're still getting to play football."
*Note: Offensive coordinator Dan Roushar was attempted to be reached for comment, but he refused to talk to us. An assistant coach explained that earlier in the week, Roushar had been 'jinxed' by the red-shirt freshman QB in a film review session, and now, "could not speak until he bought Cook a Coke."
Disclaimer: All conversations written here are fictional. Any resemblance to real conversations is purely coincidental. These characters, though based on real people, are also fictional. Plainly: this is a work of satirical fiction, intended only for humorous purposes. Thank you.