Chapter 1

“Alex will you hurry up and get down here. It is getting ready to start.” Sara said.

“Mom I will be there in a minute.” Alex hollered down from upstairs. ‘Ok Alex, it is no big deal, you played for four years, the last three as a starter, you took your team to three championship titles and you have the status to prove you are a great quarterback. Oh hell, they have never draft a woman in my position in the first round, so I have time.’ Alex thought. She tried to relax, she turned on her stereo to listen to some music and she began lifting weights. This is how she would relieve her stress when she got nervous. I know the coach said for me not to worry, but I don’t know if I have a shot at this. She add more weights to the bar. Could I really be a quarterback in the Pros?

“Alexandria Michelle, get down here now! Girl what are you doing?” This time it was her father that hollered for her. Alex hollered back down “Coming dad.”

On the TV the announcers were going over the latest and greatest draft choices. “Well Mike who out there do you think will go first.” “Steve, I really think this year that the quarterbacks should go first, but we all know that the teams are looking for running backs and wide outs. So I will have to say the running backs, wide outs and safeties are the shoe-ins.” Mike continued on “Well folks, there are several good athletes that are going to go in the draft this year and three of them are females.” Mike looked over to his side kick Steve. “I know Mike, this sport has change over the past ten years and we are now seeing a lot of female athletes coming into this game.” “That is true Steve, the main one would be Old Miss quarterback Alexandria McGinnis, she put on one hell of a show this past season, took her team to the championship title three years running and her numbers are great.” “That’s right Mike she did have three great years, but Mark Daniels from LSU was the Heisman Trophy winner and he will be the first draft pick.” “So Steve, where in the draft do you see McGinnis going, since there are no teams looking for a quarterback. Plus wasn’t she the quarterback against Mark Daniels team in the Sugar bowl and didn’t she win?” Mike love pulling Steve in to these controversial conversions. “Well Mike, I really don’t think she will get draft this year, along with the other females out there. This is a blood sport and these females” he paused “even though they made it through the college level; they are not ready for the big league.” Steven avoid the other question. The announcers went back and forth on the subject for awhile. “Well Steve looks like the commissioner is ready to announce the first pick.”

The NFL commissioner step up to the podium and announced “With the first pick of the 2020 draft the Jackson Knights pick Quarterback Alexandria McGinnis!”

“Oh my GOD! Alex! Alex, get down here now, you just got draft number one.” Frank yelled to his daughter. Alex had just turned off her stereo and was walking down the steps when she thought she heard her name from the living room TV, but it couldn’t be right. Alex rush the rest of the way down the stairs and into the living room “Dad what did you just say?” The phone ringing interrupted her father from answering. “Hello McGinnis residence”. “Yes, this is Paul Davis from ESPN I would like to talk to Alexandria McGinnis please.” “Please hold on; Alex there is a Paul Davis from ESPN on the phone. He would like to talk to you.” Alex looked at her father then to her mother, her mother was shoeing her to the phone. “Hi this Alex, can I help you.” “Yes Ms. McGinnis this is Paul Davis from ESPN and I would like to ask you some questions if you don’t mind.” “Am sure I guess.” “How does it feel to be the first female Quarterback to be draft as the number one draft pick not only this year but ever in the NFL?” “Well, Mr. Davis it is a shock, but I very excited that I will be given the opportunity to play the sport I have loved since I was little.” Alex was on the phone with different reporters for several hours after the announcement.

For the rest of the day and into the night, the McGinnis’s phone rang non-stop. News personal from all over were knocking at their door. “Mom, Dad, please don’t answer them anymore, I’m tired and all I want to do is go to bed and be left in peace for a little while.” “Oh baby I know”, Alex mother said and she hugged her daughter. “Go on up, your father will talk to them and see if he can get them to go.” Frank McGinnis stepped out onto the front porch to address the news media.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please, this has been a very long day for all of us. Alex is very excited about being drafted number one, it was not expected. I know all of you are wondering why she was not at the draft.” The crowd was yelling questions to him and he was trying to get them to settle down so he could talk. “Please quite down and I will try and explain.” The crowd settled down and Frank began to speak, “Alex was briefed at the end of her season, that even though her numbers and status were in the top percent of the collegiate arena, she would not likely be draft until the last round. So we determined that the best thing to do was stay at home and not get our hopes up. Well as you know, that didn’t happen. In the next few days Alex will be very busy meeting with the team coaches and training personnel. So please, I’m sure the team will set up a media day, and until then, can you please give us the respect and peace. Thank you.” Frank was just turning around when someone yelled “Who will be her agent?” Frank turned back to the crowd, “as of right now I’m in touch with her godfather and he is working on getting the right person to represent Alex.” “Hey would that be Peyton Manning?” one of the reports asked. Frank just turned around an smiled and walked into the house.

Three days later:

Alex and her parents were sitting around the breakfast table discussing her up coming meeting with the team, coaches and the owner. “Alex, you uncle just called earlier when you were out running and said that he gave your information to a friend of his, a Dana Patrick. She will be over at 9 to talk to you about her representing you before we go to this meeting.”

“Dad, do you know anything about her?” “Your uncle said she is one of the best in her area, she normally handles male athletes but after he was done talking to her, she told him she would at least met with you and find out what you wanted in all this.” “Dad, you and uncle Peyton know the only thing I want is to be able to play. This is an expansion team, and they probably already have some seasoned veteran in the position. I just want an opportunity to give it my best. If she can do that, then I will sign with her.”

‘Why do they always live in the back woods, can’t these super athletes live in a city for goodness sake’. Dana thought to her self as she drove down the country road. 20 minutes later she pulled up to a ranch style home sitting out in the middle of nowhere. Dana got out of the car and head to the porch, just before she climb the stairs the screen door open and a man in his late forties, tall about 6’5, salt and pepper hair came out. “Hi you must be Mrs. Patrick.” Frank extended his hand. Dana climb the stairs and shook the extend hand. “Yes, that would be me and you must be Mr. McGinnis.” “Just call me Frank, come on in and I will get Alex.” Frank held the door open and let Dana walk in. “Mrs. Patrick please have a sit.” Frank walked out and she could hear him call to Alex to come down that she was waiting for her.

Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis sat on the couch waiting on Alex. Dana looked around the living noticing the warm feeling of a home. Family pictures lined the wall and over the fire place. Small furnishing in the room, nothing extravagate except for the monster size TV. Frank noticed the look on Dana face when she spotted the TV. “We bought that for Alex, she would watch films of other teams and said she needed the big screen to see every play and run that her opposing team would use.” When Dana was just getting ready to comment Alex made her appearance. Dana jaw dropped to the floor, she had seen film of this athlete, but never up close. Alex must have stood 6’3, long straight midnight black hair; it was pulled back into a pony tail, aqua blue eyes, and she was wearing board shorts and a black t-shirt that hugged her upper body like a second skin. Dana could tell that every inch of Alex’s body was in top physical condition. Alex was a spiting imagine of her father, but had the softness of her mother. Alex strolled into the room and walked over to Dana, “Hi I’m Alex and uncle Peyton said you would be able to help me.” Alex took a sit in the recliner across from Dana.

“Well Alex, it depends on what they offer and what you want.”

“Mrs. Patrick, all I want is to play; money is not an obsession with me, as long as my parents are taken care of.” Alex stated as she looked to her parents.

“Alex, please call me Dana. I am sure that we can come up with the best contract for all. As you uncle told you I am the best and I usually get my athletes what they want. So tell me exactly what you hope to get out of this offer.”

“Mrs. umm I mean Dana, like I said I want to play and be given the opportunity to play and I want enough money to make sure my parents will be comfortable. They spent their retirement to send me through college, now I want to give that back and then some. The rest will be icing on the cake.”

“I think we can work that Alex. So you ready to go to this meeting?” “Sure am, dad are you coming with us?” “No sweet heart, this is something you need to do on your own. I’m sure Mrs. Patrick will help you through everything.” “Alright Dana, should I ride with you or should I take my bike?” “Let’s keep you safe and you ride with me.” “See ya later mom and dad.” Alex kissed her mom on the cheek and hugged her dad. Alex looked over towards Dana “Am ready when you are.”

“Alright let’s go make history!” Dana unlocked the passenger side door and Alex slid into the small sports car. “I sure hope you don’t have to use a can opener to get me out.” Alex said to Dana when Dana climbed in. “Well lets hope not I would really hate to hurt my baby. Dana said laughing.

They pulled up to Bell Memorial Stadium; it was a newly built state of the art stadium. It had all the bells and whistles. Seat capacity of a 160,000 fans, four huge 20ft by 20ft TV monitors that tail gaters could watch the game from the parking lot. The field was the state of the art new turf, which did not tear up during the season. The stadium was named after TJ Bell. TJ Bell was the benefactor, he made it perfectly clear in his will that he wanted a stadium built and a football team in Jackson. Well 10 years after his death, his wish had come true. His granddaughter made it happen. Margret Bell was the proud owner of the Jackson Knights. She had the stadium built and was able to convince the NFL commission to expand the league. Marge as she was known contributed several million dollars to the sport and the local community.

Alex and Dana walked into the main conference room, Alex looked around the room. “Wow this could hold my whole parents house in it.” Dana just chuckled and they took a seat toward the back. Alex noticed a lot of familiar faces from different pro football teams sitting with their agents. “Dana, are all the players here to negotiate their contracts?” “Yes and no, some of the players have already signed prior to the draft. The rest just like you are here to negotiate and see if this is where they want to play.”

Five minutes later a status brunette walked out to the podium and the room became silence. “Good afternoon everyone. Let me introduce myself, I am Margret Bell, the owner and General Manager of the Jackson Knights.” She was a very refine southern lady with an extreme southern accent. She looked very young to be the owner of a football team, thought Alex. “Let me introduce ya’ll to the coaching staff. This fine gentleman to my left is Cody Jones, he is the head coach. The lovely lady next to him is Stacey Griffin; she is the offensive coach, next to her, is Bill Waters; defensive coach and last but not least on the end is Pat Duncan Special Teams coach. The medical doctor is Dr. Rhiannon McKinney; she is currently out of town but will be here when you return for mini camp.”

“First let me state clearly so everyone understands, that yes I own the team and I am the General Manager, but I have hired the best coaches, staff, and medical personal who will decide the best course of action for this team. If you have a problem with playing for me or these coaches, please get up and leave because I will not have any disruptions during training camp or the season. I’m confident that if you walk out that we can find a replacement to take your slot.” As she looked around, no one moved to leave.

“Good, lets get started, all players that are here with their agents, please proceed to the main office area on the third floor, we will begin in approximately 30 minutes. If you have signed prelim contracts please proceed to the game room and the coaches will hand out room keys and room assignments. You will have two days to get everything you need and report back here.” There was some mumbling from the players. “Oh, did I forget to mention that ya’ll will be staying here in the dormitory for the next month.” Now the players were grumbling and getting louder. “Ok hold it down, ya’ll will be going through an intense training session for the next 4 weeks, I don’t want players roaming around, skipping practice and staying out late during this time. Again if you have problems with my request there is the door, like I said earlier, I’m sure there is someone out there that would love to take your place and have a try out. Ya’ll will work for the position you are trying out for. We will only sign a final contract once mini camp and cuts are done. That’s all I have for now. Ya’ll can leave to go towards you area that ya’ll need to go to.” At that Marge left the room with her coaches following.

“Marge, do you think this is the way we need to go with them?” asked Pat. “Right now we need to have the best players here and ones that are going to be loyal to this organization. So yes, for now this is the way I want to go.”

“Alright let’s go make them comfortable.” said Cody.

“Mrs. Patrick they are ready to see you and Ms. McGinnis.” The secretary stated as she lead them to the meeting room. Marge stood and shook hands with Dana, “good to see you Dana, how is the family.” “Their doing great Marge thanks for seeing us. You ready to get started.” “You were never one to lolly gag around. Ok,” Marge turned towards Alex. “Alex welcome to the Knights.” Marge stated and shook Alex’s hand. “Thank you ma’am for giving me an opportunity and a chance.” Marge motioned towards two chairs for them to sit. “I would not have drafted you first if I didn’t think you would be a valuable asset to this team. We are looking for a leader out there on the field and we think you are the one to do that. I know it is going to be tough with a few of the players, but just like I have stated earlier, if they have a problem I’m sure we can fine someone else to take their place. I need to know if you are able to step up and led this team to championships.” Alex looked from Marge to Dana and back. “Ma’am, I took my college team to three championship titles, I have no problem leading this team to the top, you just give me the players with the same focus and we will get there.” “That is what I like to hear. Well, now that, that is settled, what do you want and when can you sign?” “Ok Marge, here is her demands, they are not much and I’m sure you can handle it.” “Don’t need to look at it, I told you over the phone, what ever she wanted she would get. Go sign and get down to the game room to get your assignment. Jack will handle all the paperwork. See ya later Alex, Dana always a pleasure give Eric my love.” Marge showed them to the door.

Outside in the hall Alex turned to Dana, “what the hell just happen?” Dana looked back at her “looks like you got your wish, you will be leading this team, and you got what you want in your contract. I will take care of the paperwork with Jack you head on over and get you room stuff taken care of. I will meet you outside.” Dana turned towards Jack Taylor’s office and Alex headed to the game room.

Alex entered the game room; she looked around and noticed there were signs for each of the main areas of the team, offense, defense and special. She walked over to the line for the offensive players. Two other players in line turn towards her and just smiled and then the tallest one reach his hand out towards her. “Hi am Tony receiver. I hear you going to be the quarterback so I thought I better make my introduction so you know who to throw the ball to. That is if you can throw that far. ” he stated will a chuckle. “Oh don’t worry as far as you think you can run, I can get the ball to you.” Alex said with confidence.

Stacey had over heard the little bantering back and forth as they got to the front of the line. “Alright lets see what we got hear, ok McGinnis your bunking with Jacob, she a kicker. Here is your room key and a map to the dorms. You need to be here no later than 1500 Sunday. Don’t forget bring what you will need for the next four weeks because there will be no shopping and no visitors.” Alex grab her key and was headed out when Tony hollered “That’s right Alex; make sure you get enough femmine products.” His buddies slapped him on the back laughing, until they turned to their coach. “Oh you boys are so funny now; well let’s just hope I don’t get PMS during training.” Stacey said with her own chuckle. Alex heard that and laughed as she walked out the door.

Dana was waiting outside by the car for her when she came out. “Everything go ok in there Alex?” “Yes, I need to be back here by 3 on Sunday. They have me bunking with a kicker, good God why me.” Alex said hanging her head down. Dana looked at her and couldn’t figure out what the problem was. “Um Alex, what is the problem with bunking with a kicker?” “What all this time you have been a representative for athletes you don’t know about kickers?” Dana just shook her head no. “They have a God complex, there just as bad as doctors. I won’t hear the end of it, if she kicks’ the winning point. Good lord if she misses it, then the world will end and I will have to put up with the team getting on to her about it.” “Oh ok, well maybe you can ask to bunk with someone else.” “Wish I could but we are the only two females on the team right now, so either I get use to it or I could hope she gets cut.” Dana just looked at her and seen she was laughing. “Am only joking, we will get along alright, I just have to settle her in.”

They pulled up to Alex’s parent’s house, and Alex collect her stuff and told Dana she will talk to her parents about the contract. Plus let them know that she would have to leave on Sunday. Alex walked in the house and her dad was waiting for her.

“So how everything go?”

“Dad, Dana was able to get everything I wanted in the contract, plus Marge, she is the owner wants me to led the team. If I win my position during training camp, I will be the starting quarterback.”

“That is great Alex; I knew you could do it. Let’s go tell your mom the good news, she in the kitchen cooking your favorite.” Mmmm fried chicken and mash potatoes Alex thought.

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