Minneapolis, MN – With the status of injured quarterbacks Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson uncertain for Monday night’s division tilt against the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings made a stunning move Wednesday, signing former Bayside High School quarterback A.C. Slater to a 10-year, 94-million dollar contract Wednesday.
Born Albert Clifford Slater, the man now known as A.C. last played quarterback and running back for the top-rated Bayside Tigers from 1990 to 1993.
A three-sport star at Bayside high school, Slater was viewed by college scouts across the country as the #1 rated quarterback recruit in the nation in the early 90s. His 1993 season totals of 22,850 yards passing, 12,825 yards rushing, and 8,750 receiving remain a single-season record in California. Despite those gaudy statistics and scholarship offers from every Division I football program in the country, Slater inexplicably turned away from the sport he loved, instead choosing to pursue a career in the arts.
“No matter how many touchdowns he scored or trophies he won, Slater was always a performer at heart,” said Kelly Kapowski-Morris from her home in Laguna Beach, CA. “At our last class reunion, all he could talk about was ballet dancing for Jessie at the Max, singing with the Five Aces at the Max, and taking second place in the dance contest at the Max. Holy s***, we spent a lot of time at that f***ing diner, didn’t we?”
After high school, Slater attended college for one year before moving to Paris to pursue his dream of becoming the first “drumcer”—a performer who plays a full drum kit while simultaneously performing today’s hottest dance moves. After years of rejection, however, Slater returned to the U.S. in 2008 to accept a job as a sports reporter for KTTY Radio.
On Wednesday, Vikings interim head coach Leslie Frazier and other senior team officials worked Slater out at Winter Park, running him through to a variety of agility, strength and speed tests. While the former Stansbury and Iowa-recruit turned in less-than-stellar performances in the weight room (bench press max of 85 lbs) and on the field (40-yard dash time of 14.5 seconds), Vikings officials signed Slater based upon far more than his on-field skill set.
“With A.C., I just came away feeling that all the intangibles he possessed off-the-field far outweighed the fact that he can’t throw a spiral and has dangerously high cholesterol levels,” said an enthusiastic Frazier following the signing. “I bet most people don’t know that A.C. is one hell of a drummer and an amazing cook.”
Intangibles aside, Frazier could also sense that Slater still had the same hunger and drive that made him one of the most highly decorated American athletes of the past fifty years.
“Athletes who have that special something inside of them don’t just lose it overnight,” Frazier said. “The young man once pinned Marvin Nedick of Valley High in like five seconds! And I’m not even exaggerating. If I ever faced off against Nedick, I’d be going home with my d*** in a to-go box. That f***er was crazy!”
As a condition of his signing, Slater reportedly demanded he be allowed to wear his #73 Bayside jersey, despite league rules prohibiting skill position players from wearing numbers in the 50s-70s. The Vikings have submitted a waiver request to league officials, with a decision expected by game-time.
Upon hearing the news that her friend and former lover would be making his NFL debut this Sunday, exotic dancer Jessica Spano was hardly able to contain her excitement.
“I can’t tell you how lucky the Vikings are to have a player of A.C.’s ability,” said Spano, recently out of rehab following yet another relapse on caffeine pills. “I haven’t been this excited since I was named valedictorian of our senior class.” [Further investigation revealed that Samuel “Screech” Powers was actually declared valedictorian in 1993, but declined acceptance of the honor.]
Vikings players asked about the signing on Wednesday were largely enthusiastic about the idea of taking the field with Slater. Many players reported early to practice just to catch a glimpse of the player many had grown up watching play on Saturday mornings.
“I haven’t caught any of his passes yet,” said veteran wide receiver Bernard Berrian. “But I have seen plenty of tape from his Bayside days. If he gives us even 50% of what he had against Valley during the homecoming game, we’re in good shape.”
While the overall feeling inside the Vikings locker room on Wednesday was one of jubilation, several veteran players did express some concern over their new teammate’s ability to mesh quickly with a team that has been eliminated from the playoffs and only has three games left in the season.
“I know y’all are salivating over this dude’s high school football highlights and all,” said Pro Bowl defensive tackle Pat Williams, shaking his head. “But what I remember was a guy who didn’t tell his girlfriend that he had another girlfriend overseas who he hadn’t broken up with. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like somebody I can trust in the locker room or on the field. Not yet, anyway.”
Despite similarly echoed concerns, and the fact that he hasn’t set foot on a football field since 1993, Slater is confident that he will be ready to go when the opening whistle blows on Monday night.
“I have no doubt in my mind that it’ll all come back to me the moment I step on the field,” said Slater. “The only way I can see me not performing at the highest level is if Preppie gets into a prank war with some Bears fans. The last thing I need is to have Zygi Wilf lecturing me Belding-style on game day.”
In related news, Vikings coaches also worked out West Canaan quarterback Jonathan Moxon this week, but declined to sign the Texas football legend after he broke Darrell Bevell’s nose while attempting to knock a beer can off his head.