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Sunday Afternoon Lights

NBC’s new hit series on the saga of the 2018 Arizona Cardinals

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-OTA Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Episode 1: Who Let the Dogs Out?

Setting: Steak 44 Restaurant in Phoenix Arizona

The Cardinals’ Team President Michael Bidwill (played by Charlie Sheen) welcomes QB Sam Bradford (Ryan Reynolds) to his private booth.

MB: Hi Sam! Hey, thanks for joining me. Please, have a seat.

SB: Thank you, Boss. What’s the occasion, if I may ask?

MB: I just thought it would be good to get away from the team facility so we can talk about our expectations for this season.

Waiter: Hello gentleman, my name is Magnus, can we start you off with a drink?

MB: Thank you Magnus. What a great name! Norwegian, right? Well how about bringing us a magnum of your finest Cabernet Sauvignon?

Waiter: Fine choice, sir.

MB: You know, Sam, I wanted to tell you why I think you are going to have the best season of your career this year.

SB: I’m all for that, Mr. Bidwill.

MB: Mr. Bidwill is for my dad. Please call me Michael.

SB: Got it.

MB: So anyway, I wanted you to know about my old dog Reilly. Reilly was a rescue dog who, when we discovered her, was about to be euthanized because she was suffering from chronic diseases to the point where she could barely walk. Did you see the story of Reilly on All or Nothing?

SB: Yeah. Didn’t you bring her back to good health for a few years?

MB: Yes, three and a half years to be exact. And that’s my point, Sam. So many people in the league have written you off---but I think you are going to have the best two to three years of your career right here in Arizona, which is why we were so excited to sign you. You, Sam Bradford, are going to be our rescue dog.

SB: Well, thank you, Mr. Bid, um, Michael, I appreciate your confidence in me. Funny, but my Cherokee name has to do with a dog, did you know that?

MB: Let me guess. They call you “Top Dog!”

SB: Um, not quite. (He laughs)

MB: Underdog?

SB: (Still laughing) When I was a boy I was so curious about my Cherokee name that I went t my father and asked: “Father, how is it we are named?” My father looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “It’s pretty simple, son. When your brother was born--- the first thing I saw when I looked out of the teepee was a river running wild---so I named him---River Running Wild. And when your sister was born---the first thing I saw when I looked out of the teepee was a hawk soaring overhead---so I named her:---Hawk Soaring Overhead. So---why do you ask, Dog Humping a Moose?”

MB: (nearly chokes on his Cabernet)…hahahaha, is that for real Sam?

SB: You can call me by my acronym: DHAM. DHAM Bradford, that’s me, all right!

MB: Sam, I never realized you could be this funny. Everyone always says how shy and reserved you are. Jeff Fisher said he never saw you smile.

SB: Let’s not go there. Last night I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac and little voice in my head said you can’t look back, you can never look back.

MB: Were you standing on the corner of Winslow?

SB: You know, Mr. B., I came to the desert on a horse with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain. In the desert you can remember your name cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.

MB: Funny you said that part about the rain, DHAM. Because the Cardinals need you, like the flower needs the rain. You know, we need you, guess I’ll start it all again.

SB: Well, Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have.

MB: Right. And Cause never was the reason for the evening or the tropic of Sir Galahad. So please believe in me when I say…

SB: Yup. Ventura highway in the sunshine, where the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine.

MB: Alligator lizards in the air?

SB: And perfect spirals into the corner of the end zone, Boss. Perfect spirals. You’ll see.

A Preview of Next Week’s Episode:

Still seething about being taken 10th in the NFL Draft, rookie QB Josh Rosen (Jake Gyllenhaul) goes to head coach Steve Wilks (Denzel Washington) to ask where he can get the home addresses of the head coaches and GMs who passed on him. Apparently, the brash young signal caller has some presents he’d like to send. And speaking of giving, midway through the conversation they will be joined by rookie RB Chase Edmonds (Gaius Charles) who, like “Smash” Williams, talks of himself in the third person, and has a burning desire to pay off his family’s debts.