• thejsingraham

PSYCHO excerpt | "Now we have A.P.roblem"

In an attempt to salvage the career of another player, the coach of Basil's younger brother Armand, reaches out to him for an introduction to the good doctor-- only to find out a little more than he intended to about his star player.



"Cooper! Come in and have a seat."

"What's going on Coach?"

"You had a pretty good year last season. Arguably one of your best."

"You guys don't pay me to be just another guy out there. Hell, it could have been better if we would've run more single high safety earlier in the year."

"You might be right, but we'll never know for…"

"I'm right," Armand shot in the coach's direction with a smile, breaking the other man’s train of thought. "I was a ballhawking safety coming out of State. But because of politics and genetics, the team stuck me in the box. And I still delivered by the way."

Coach Ronald Irwin coming off of his first season as the team's head guy, had heard about Armand Cooper's ego when he accepted the job over a year ago. It wasn't exactly a secret league-wide.

Armand was a mercurial talent from the first day he became a pro. Just as exciting, and at times unpredictable on the field as he was off. He was a perfectly sculpted six foot one and a half inch, two hundred fourteen pound specimen that oozed star power.

What set him apart from other mere physically impressive athletes at his position, with insatiable appetites-- wasn't that he ran like a track star or hit like an Abrams tank. A.P.roblem had a mind and love for the game, that came through in his intense preparation. He worked harder in the film room than he did on his body, which was saying a lot for someone who looked the way he did.


Where conflict arose most often for Armand, was in others inability to talk to him. Or better yet his inability to keep from talking to others so blunt and matter of fact. The youngest of the Cooper men knew he was good and had no problem telling you he was, because of his tireless work ethic. The downside to that was he didn't play well with mediocrity, from players or coaches alike. And when either reared its head, he wasn't bashful about voicing opinion when microphones came near.

"Okay, okay, you're right," Coach Irwin replied with a reluctant grin. "That's a part of the reason we let our defensive coordinator go. But that's not what I wanted to run by you."

"Figured. Wassup man, I got a couple situations waiting for me downtown that I'm trying to get to."

The man on the other side of the desk, could do nothing but shake his head. "You strap up right?"

"Of course. I'm not a rook."

"These situations. They check out? I'm not trying to see you on the news in the morning for getting robbed."

Armand could do nothing but laugh at his coach for the last question. The fact there was only a ten year age difference between them, made the quick back and forth not seem so 'preachy'.

"They good coach. I appreciate it though, really. Now whatcha need?"

"Your brother, I hear he's a psychologist."

"He is," Armand replied looking up from his phone curiously.

"The front office is looking at sending Tyrod to see someone. That kid has entirely too much raw talent not to give us anything on the field. And there's definitely something more going on than his being a rookie this past season."

"So let me guess, you all want to play this close to the vest to keep the media from catching wind."

"Exactly. Plus, we figure talking to a former athlete might help also."

Armand was talking and scrolling thru his pictures to find a dick pic he had taken after getting out of the shower earlier. Sending it to the two women waiting for him, he thumbed in a text that put a devilish grin on his face. After closing the window, he pulled up Basil's contact info and slid his cell across the desk.

"There you go. The second number is the main office line. I think his work email might be in there also."

Coach picked up the cell and started jotting down the info on a pad on his desk. Scrolling up to get the email address, a new text message popped up on the screen followed by four more in rapid fire succession.

"Be careful. I'm pretty sure you do not want to click those."

The married father of two, just shook his head and swiped the messages off the screen to get back to the info.

"Thanks for this AP," coach said, extending the phone in his direction. "So would you mind calling and giving him a heads up. Just as an introduction?"

"Nah, not gonna be able to do that coach. We're not exactly on speaking terms right now."

"Is that gonna be a problem in regards to this ask?"

"Nope. Bas is a professional. Our thing is personal. If you or someone else from the organization calls, he will respond."

"Got it. Thanks again for this."

Armand had already turned and headed to the door, opening the text convo and exhaling slowly at the pix and video he was sent in reply to his share. "No problem Coach. Oh and for what it's worth, you know how I don't do well with bullshit?"

The older man nodded at this, from behind the desk. One eyebrow lifted to the heavens, in anticipation.

"Bas is worse. So make sure Tyrod and whomever reaches out, shoots it straight with him. About everything."

"Understood. Uh, have fun," the man said in reference to the situations awaiting his star player.

© 2023 by Jsin Graham