Smith: I sign the paychecks around here.
Peppler: Then, in that case, I gratefully accept the head coaching job of the Atlanta Falcons.
Smith (aside): It's his to fish or cut bait.
ACT IV: November 1976. Falcon record: 48-96-4. Smith, under fire, lunches at the Capital City Club.
Smith: Being an owner is very intriguing. You meet interesting people. I bought the team for my two boys to give them the option of Life of Georgia or the Falcons, and for civic reasons, and because I had the money. Rankin Jr. is with the club now, and he'll be getting a new title soon.
Of course, when you have the kind of record we have, the media jumps on you pretty good. They call Atlanta "Loserville, U.S.A." They say I'm unpredictable, don't know what I'm doing. Heck, I don't do the drafting. They say I'm arrogant. That's ridiculous. I may be dumb, but I'm not arrogant. I'm sure I've made a lot of mistakes, but I don't think I'm alone in that. But they've been mistakes in my judgment of people, not policy. Still, I have to take the rap, no question about it, and I don't mind that.
Very frankly, I want to get somebody who can take the team over, and they can run it—as long as they don't flush me away. But I'd hate to go out a loser. We haven't made the playoffs yet, but I'm convinced that someday, somehow, we'll win the Super Bowl. And then you know what will happen? They'll want you to win it every year.
ACT V: Present. Falcon record: 50-100-4. Smith under fire. Telephone rings in the offices of Life of Georgia.
Fan: Let me speak to that s.o.b.