Tuesday, June 18, 2013

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: January 17, 2047

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: January 17, 2047

By Jeff Danforth-Manning
The Daily Magi
January 17, 2047

Buntarou Okabe had won a couple of Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but there was a part of him that decided to go into coaching the game. He saved a lot of his earnings and placed in securities and sold the house in Pittsburgh before moving back to Mitakihara Town with his wife Kotori Itsuka and young son Shintarou "Shane" Okabe. After the Steelers failed to make the playoffs, Okabe was waived off the team. That's when the phone call came.

"Hey Buntarou?" asked Magi football coach Tatsuya Kaname over the mobile phone from his home, typing some memoirs.
"Hi, Coach Kaname." Buntarou was on the plane with his wife and son. A majority of their possessions were on moving vans heading westward towards British Columbia. "How are you?"
"Great. Listen, the reason why I'm having you and your family move back here, and why I called you, is that we have a job opening at defensive line coach. Dax Hasegawa has moved on to take the head coaching position at Simon Fraser, and I decided that you need a fresh start. How are your knees?"
"I don't think I can play the game anymore," he said. "I feel defeated. I just can't play on these bum knees."
"You know, your mom and dad misses you. Mostly your mom."
"I know. She must feel devastated to know that your playing career is over."
"What do you expect me do? I can't do anything for her to make her happy. What am I gonna do?"
"I want you to be our new defensive line coach," he said.
"Really? Oh my, that would be an honor!"
"We just have to negotiate the contract terms with Mami and you're ready to go."
"I was going to move back to Mitakihara away, but now I have even more of an incentive to come back. Thanks, Coach."
"Call me Tatsuya from now on, Buntarou."
"Thanks, Tatsuya." He hung up.
"What did he say?" asked Kotori
"Honey, we're gonna be all right. I'm gonna be an assistant coach at Madoka!"
"Yes! Awesome, Buntarou! I'm so proud of you!"
"And my son, he's gonna be in good hands." He kissed Shane on the forehead. "Sweet dreams, Shane."

As the plane touched down in Vancouver, the three of them took the ferry to Mitakihara, where a limo awaited them. "Oh?" asked Buntarou.
"Mrs. Kurisu Makise is awaiting you at Madoka Square," the chaffeur said in his deep Ukrainian accent. "Please come inside." The three of them were taken to Madoka Square, and McGann's, where Kurisu, Rintarou Okabe, Mayuri Shiina, Suzuha Amane, Moeka Kiryuu, Ruika Urushibara, Faris Nyannyan and good old Itaru Hashida awaited them. Mayuri, Suzuha, Moeka and Ruika were staff members at the university. Faris was also a part-time cook at McGann's. As for Kurisu and Rintarou, they continue to hold tenure on campus.

"Hey guys, Mom, Dad!" Buntarou said to the others, waving before hugging his mother.
"Welcome home," Kurisu said, crying a little. "I missed you."
"The hometown hero is back," Daru said, getting off his chair to give one of his former players a nice bear hug. "How ya doin' buddy!"
"Coach Hashida, it's been a while. You still coaching the offensive line?"
"Nope, my son Darrell is doing the job now," he said with a deep laugh. "He's getting it done. The line's blocking like it should, all the big heavies are gettin' their cakes, and nothing much has changed since I turned it over to Darrell."
"Is he here?"
"Nope, he is living off-campus with his wife Ai Fuyuumi. They have a son, Darren. He's ten years old."
"Wow, he's a pretty gutsy dad," said Buntarou.
"I'm officially a granddad. Yep. I'm the pensioner among everybody here." That drew a laugh from everyone.
"Come on, son, have a seat," Rintarou said. "Hey waiter, give my son the menu."
"This champ gets half off everything in the menu," he replied. "Take your time...Coach Okabe."
"So you're now going to be the defensive line coach?" Mayuri asked him.
"That's right. Waiter, I'll have the Totchos Supreme with extra scotch bonnets, a McGann's burger and some onion rings."
"Will that be it, Coach?" he asked him.
"Yes, and you can call me Buntarou, or Bun for short."
"No problem, Bun. Your order's coming right up."
"And I will pick up the bill," Rintarou said.
"Dad? Are you sure?" he asked.
"Yeah, cause you're on your personal homecoming. The meal's on us."
"Hey, it is okay if I ask you a question?" asked Ruika.
"Fire away," Buntarou said.
"What makes you qualified to be the next defensive line coach at Mitakihara University?"
"I bring several years of professional playing experience and a history of success playing as a defensive end for the Magi.  Dax was my coach, and he taught me four things: 1. Be A Leader, 2. Be Accountable, 3. Be Professional, and 4. Be A Winner. To lead by example is to make accountability, professionalism and character inherent amongst himself and his teammates. When everyone buys into the same philosophy, it translates to a lot of victories on the field, often resulting in championships."
"I have a question!" said Suzuha.
"Yes, Suzu, go right ahead."
"What do you plan to do as defensive line coach for the Magi?"
"At Mitakihara, the Morning Rescue Defense is reliant on the blitz. No matter what the outcome, our defensive line is taught to pressure the quarterback, stop the run and force turnovers. As defensive line coach, I plan to pick up from where Dax left off and incorporate more blitz, more aggressive looks that are high-risk, high-reward. I am intrigued by the motto of the US Army 5th Infantry Division: 'I'll Try, Sir.' The talent of this team allows us the freedom to try new ways to frustrate our opponents. I don't think you will be disappointed."
"I want to ask a question nyan," said Faris.
"Faris, please."
"Um...why did you retire from the game after you won two Super Bowls nyan?"
"On average, and this is based on statistics, a professional football player's life cycle is three and a half years. I lasted six seasons before my knees blew out in Week 9 of this season. I was one of the Steelers' top sack leaders four of the last five years. I had to retire because I couldn't play the game anymore, and I want to continue getting involved in the game, so that's why I'm a coach. Better to start my career here in the greatest city on earth."
They got a good laugh from that. "Ladies and gentlemen," Rintarou said, "let us raise a toast to my son Buntarou, and to the future of not only the Mitakihara Magi Football Team, but to Mitakihara University and Canada. Minna-san, kampai!"
"KAMPAI~~~~!" they all said, clinking their glasses. The next day, Buntarou Okabe was introduced as the new Mitakihara Magi football defensive line coach.

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