The following interview was recorded in an undisclosed area of the Mojave Desert on or about February 6, 2015.
PAUL MERRILL: Thank you for inviting me to your . . . hut, Coach Carroll.
PETE CARROLL: It’s a yurt.
PM: A what?
PC: A yurt. They were traditionally used by the nomads of central Asia, with whom I feel a spiritual kinship. They had a great deal on these at Costco, so I bought five of them. Here, have some tea.
PM: Thanks. [sips tea] Wow! That’s . . . a very interesting flavor.
PC: It’s called ayahuasca, a Peruvian tea used by shamans to cleanse their minds.
PM: Man, that place is great. Well, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you sitting down with me for an interview so soon after the devastating Super Bowl loss.
PC: Who called it devastating?
PM: Well, pretty much everyone outside of New England. You’ve taken a lot of heat for calling a pass play on 2nd and goal, which lost the game for the Seahawks.
PC: Hey, if people want to believe that’s what happened, then I feel sorry for them.
PM: I’m afraid I don’t understand, coach.
PC: Do you really think I’d make that call in that situation?
PM: So . . . you’re saying you didn’t call that play?
PC: What I’m saying is that play never happened.
PM: Millions of people saw it happen live on television.
PC: And millions of people supposedly watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Do you seriously think they had that kind of technology in 1969?
PM: So you’re saying they faked the Super Bowl. Like they faked the moon landing.
PC: Ha! If only it were that easy. Son, what do you know about multiverses?
PM: Uh, I think there was a Dream Warriors album about them?
PC: Each nanosecond of history branches off into an infinite amount of parallel universes. One where the Allies won World War II and one where the Nazis did. One where Footloose is the greatest movie of all time and one that’s dark and scary, where Footloose doesn’t even exist. And sure, there’s a universe where I made a bonehead call that blew the Super Bowl. But that’s not my universe.
PM: So the NFL . . . switched universes?
PC: Open your eyes, kid! The NFL can’t even wipe its own ass! You think it can manipulate timelines? There was only one man at the Super Bowl who had that power. My . . . apprentice.
PM: Bill Beli-
PC: Don’t say his name, you fool! Do you want to summon the dark spirit?
PM: No. Of course not.
PC: His power has grown greatly since I saw him last. He used to only be able to alter the air pressure inside of footballs. Now it seems my old friend has gained a hold on reality itself. He’s also put on a little weight.
PM: Not you though.
PC: Nope. The same pants size as college. My wife keeps me on a pretty strict diet.
PM: I see.
PC: Do you, Paul? Do you?
PM: I . . . no.
PC: That sinister wizard has his evil, fat fingers on the string that holds the fabric of the universe together. If he keeps pulling that thread, history as we know it will unravel like a pair of Costco pants. They seem like such a bargain, but in the end you really get what you pay for.
PM: So, can he be stopped?
PC: There is a timeline where we do nothing and the universe falls into chaos and implodes. And then there’s another, where I give you hallucinogenic tea that will help us on our spirit journey.
PM: You what now?
PC: Are you ready to go 1-0 this week?
PM: Why is the hut melting?
PC: It’s a yurt, son.
PM: Oh God.
PC: Fire walk with me, Paul. Fire walk with me.
(A loud buzzing sound is heard. Then, the recording ends abruptly.)
Paul Merrill lives in Seattle, former home of his beloved SuperSonics and current origin of his tweets.