So imagine Leak’s boiling internal rage when, in the final round of the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected some no-name quarterback from Coastal Carolina. (For the record, his name is Tyler Thigpen). [Miami Herald]
After reading of Chris Leak’s anger, I knew I had to schedule an interview with the star of the University of Florida and now a free agent with the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Chris Leak. While on the phone, his soft demure voice was deceptively passive and soon found myself agreeing to conducting the interview at his spacious doublewide trailer outside of Lakeland Florida, also the home of the well-compensated Gator Recruit Chris Rainey.
After a rather delightful helicopter ride, we touched down admist the majesty of towering pines and the backdrop of a Cafe Risque and I couldn’t help but be impressed by the sheer size of the secluded doublewide. Chris Leak greeted me in a velvet jogging suit and his well known stoic and almost constipation induced smile. Soon enough, we were stretched out before the largest fire place I have ever witnessed first hand and enjoying Spanish coffee prepared by his live-in butler, Juan Garcia-Abrego.
Humble Chris steepled his fingers and dipped his brow, a sign that I should begin.
Jai: Chris Leak. Reserved. Peaceful. The Black Buddha. Your persona, toughness, intelligence and footspeed are the stuff of legend, yet there is always a serene charisma you bring to each play. What kind of upbringing could produce what Urban Meyer says is “the top 1% of the top 1%?”?
CL: My upbringing was of idyllic proportions, many hours spent with my parents working on puzzles or playing Monopoly. I had the perfect childhood. My father never raised his voice, nor did my mother. When there was a conflict that needed resolving, I remember them discussing it cordially rather than yelling or swearing. It was perfect.
Jai: Just as all of America can imagine it, I suppose. Like an African American version of Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post paintings. When did you know that you were to be a quarterback?
CL: I believe it was middle school where I first fell in love with the art of gridiron prose. I was quite shy, but for some reason when I was on field or urged to perform, that shyness melted away.
Jai: Intriguing. Well versed with film study at a young age, I’ve heard. The 40 yard run against Alabama was surreal.
CL: That run through Bama was like a sweaty hand cupping my ass.
As we all know, Chris Leak has a reserved voice which can seem nearly subliminal. I had already launched into the segue into my next question, so I couldn’t stop to address the curious comment.
Jai: You don’t seem to wallow in the same quagmire of Gainesville crime that other Gators of your station and familiarity so easily sink into. I am referring to the Reefer parties, shooting guns at other people, beating the hell out of others for a kegger. What drives you to seclusion?
Courageous Chris at this point smiled very openly at me for several long awkward minutes. He suddenly rose, and gestured for me to do the same.
CL: My fame and fortune have provided me with certain entertainments which I find modern society would have a difficult time accepting. Would you like to see?
For some reason, his sibilant whispering of “meet me at my trailer near the Cafe Risque” jogged through my memory, yet I was lulled by his grace and charm. I found myself rising, and as he took me by the arm he led me further into the maze of sheet metal and past the Elvis on Velvet paintings until we reached the seedy strip club just out the back of his Lakeland trailer. I could barely make out his classic voice over the throbbing house beat causing all the exposed flesh pressing around us to twitch and jiggle.
Jai: Ahh, yes. You were splendid in that BCS Game against The Ohio State. How you captured the spirit of a young pre-pubescent girl coming of age amidst such turbulent times is mystifying. Did you do any prep for the role?
CL: Well, surprisingly enough, it was very easy for me to adjust to the character. I did spend a few weeks disguised as a female 7th Grader who was beginning to “blossom”.
Listen. I’m not totally stupid. I read. I know all you little rat fuck bastard bloggers love to make us Gators look like we smoke dope or shoot AK-47s in your interviews. That shit may sell to some fat bitch in the supermarket line, but it ain’t flying with me. Nor do I appreciate you sharks constantly swimming around outside my trailer trying to get a picture of me that you can photoshop into looking like I’m sliding short of the first down marker. Or trying to make it look that the Tebow thing ever got to me…Got it?
Jai: I’m…truly sorry if you felt I was in some way trying to suggest you were something you aren’t, Chris.
CL: Have you ever been kicked in the balls? I have. Just the other day, they picked that nobody out of Coastal Carolina over me? All your types do when you present lies to the public is basically the same. A swift kick to the nads. Do you like getting kicked in the balls? Maybe I should just boot you in the junk right now so you know how it feels? Hmm? Stand up, boy.
Jai: What? No. I’m not–
CL: Stand up you pussy! If you want to kick me in the balls, I should have the right to do the same. Are you afraid?
Jai: Well, yes. I’m not trying to kick you in the balls, Chris–
CL: Believe it or not, I got a hankering to kick some ass. I think I’m going to start some shit with that bitch straddling the pole over near the door. Her shift is up in about five minutes, if I recall correctly. Do you have a lighter?
Jai: Um, no. I don’t smoke. You are going to start a fight with a stripper?
CL: Its invigorating. Good for the skin and keeps the blood warm. You’ve never drop kicked a stripper into a curb before? Oh, you are going to love this.
Slamming the rest of his fifth Long Island, Humble Chris thrust himself upright and beckoned me with the last inch or so of his cigarette to follow. We slipped past the various vacant eyed patrons until we spilled out onto the harshly lit sidewalk. It was roughly 2pm.
CL: Ok, chief. You stand over there and watch how its done. When I say “Tebow’s banana”, I want you to jump in and help me out should I need it. Sometimes these whores are strong, and I’m just an a football player that was not selected in the NFL Draft these days. Did you know that Brady Quinn had to have fake incisors permanently placed inside his pretty little Domer smile because of these babies? He kissed his knuckles and kicked off his Nikes.
The suddenly, the tendons in Leak’s neck were standing out quite rigidly at this point, a stark contrast of white and red flaring up and down his temples which suggested that he was extremely angry. I tried to pacify him with soothing hand gestures and inflection, but this seemed to enrage him more. He grabbed my hair close to the scalp before wrenching my head back so that his volcanic stare might drip down right into my face. Between clenched teeth he continued, inching his face closer and closer to mine.
CL: What you journalistic fucks need to understand is that I’m not going to put up with your bullshit anymore.
About an inch from my nose to his, he suddenly smiled and let go.
I was trembling at this point and had already puked into my own mouth and swallowed. Leak then staggered back, laughing hysterically as I glanced down at the spreading stain of urea dashing against the inside of my pants.
CL: You should have seen your face! You were totally like ‘Oh my god! He’s gonna kill me!’. Did you just piss yourself!? This is better than the time I made Marcus Thomas faint and crack his head against a terra-cotta pot!
I managed a weak smile despite the overwhelming urge to vomit. I must have been shaking like a rabbit in a snare. Flinching when his hand rose, he chuckled like a cement truck backfiring and patted my head with a surprising tenderness.
CL: I gotta piss like a racehorse. Take care.
He then wandered into the alley and left me standing there with an unused notepad and a most bewildered expression upon my face.
[Thanks for the input Chip W]