by Brian Batko
That was the official designation Sunday night for rookie offensive tackle Ryan Schraeder, who asked the Atlanta Falcons to deactivate him so he could watch the series finale of the hit show live when it aired.
“Honestly, I was surprised we were even still playing. I just figured everyone else in the league is obsessed with the show, too,” said Schraeder, who was signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State.
Starting left tackle Sam Baker missed time in practice this week but when Baker was deemed healthy enough to play against New England, Schraeder felt his decision was a no-brainer.
“Why would I skip the final episode of the greatest show in the history of television just to stand around on the sideline and do nothing? It was an easy choice to make,” Schraeder said. “Besides, it’s not like anyone was going to notice I wasn’t there anyway.”
Schraeder added that his teammates shouldn’t question his commitment, and he does not foresee missing any more games in favor of TV shows.
“I already looked ahead and saw we play an afternoon game the day of the Homeland finale, so I’m 100 percent committed to this team moving forward,” he said.
As for Atlanta coach Mike Smith, once he was reminded who Schraeder was and what position he played, he didn’t hold the situation against the reserve lineman who has played in two games this season.
“I can understand what it’s like to watch a purely evil man descend lower and lower seemingly into the depths of sociopathy,” said the sixth-year Atlanta coach. “I did just coach against Bill Belichick.”
Asked if he did anything special to celebrate the conclusion of the popular series about an unassuming man who decides to begin producing methamphetamines, Schraeder said he preferred to watch the show himself so he “wouldn’t miss anything.”
“I watched a little of our game right up until 8:55 or so,” he said. “Then I just kicked back, put my feet up and grabbed a bottle of my own home-brewed beer: Schraederbrau.”