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Ext. Two men sit on the sills of their car, taking in the Utah view and contemplating the directions their lives are going in.
John Schneider: Pete?
Pete Carroll: Yes, John?
JS: How many more places do we have to visit?
PC: Just this one, John. The draft is next week, so I just want to hit Salt Lake before we push on home.
JS: Thank god.
PC: C’mon John, it’s been fun. Just you & me driving across this great land…
JS: You mean me driving…
PC:(ignoring the remark)…taking in the sights. Like Wall Drug. My God – that’s how you advertise.
JS: Pete. The place was a shithole. All those signs were just lures to sucker people in. Like a vortex of sadness and tchotchkes.
JS: No! Tchotchkes!
JS: For fuck’s sake – “trinkets” & junk. Touristy shit!
PC: Dammit, Tom must have taught you those words! Remind me to fine him a dollar when we get home.
JS: (muttering to himself) I might have to replace Tom when I get home.
PC: We’ve seen sights that really make you think about what life really means.
JS: Pete, I hardly think staring out the window at the nothingness qualifies as life-changing.
PC: Well, those few hours at Devil’s Tower sure opened my mind to what lies beyond.
JS: You only made me stop there because you fell asleep watching “Close Encounters” back in that Pierre Motel 6.
PC: Nonsense. I was following up on “Project Blue Book”, which the government buried along with the Kennedy assassination, the mole people, and the real 9/11 report.
JS: Jesus, Pete, the movie was a Spielberg fever dream. It wasn’t even a prior magazine article, much less a novel.
PC: Well, then what about those aliens at Mount Rushmore the day before?
JS: Those were tourists, Pete.
PC: That’s what the government wants you to think, John.
JS: (frustrated) Look, let’s just head into town and meet up with Coach Whittingham. We’ll have a nice chat, go meet the player, and then get the hell home. Okay?
Ext. John Schneider & Pete Carroll drive into the Utah campus, heading for Rice-Eccles Stadium.
PC: Boy, howdy, this sure is a pretty campus. I wish it had been part of the Pac-10 when I was at ‘SC.
JS: Oh Pete, the Zion Curtain in the restaurants would have driven you up a wall. You would have thought they were poisoning your drinks.
PC: Don’t be silly, John. There’s no Jews in Utah. Now, if you want to talk conspiracies,…
JS: Uhh… (thinks better of it) Anyway, we’re here.
PC: Good. Let’s get this over with. The guy gives me the creeps. (gets out of car)
JS: I don’t know why. (gets out of car) He’s just like you – affable yet intense; cares deeply about his players…
PC: I can’t put my finger on it. (opens stadium office door) It’s just a feeling.
A receptionist sits at a desk.
Receptionist: Good afternoon gentlemen. May I help you?
JS: Thank you.
John Schneider & Pete Carroll to see Coach Whittingham.
Rec.: *gasps* Oh my. (gathers breath) Yes sir, I’ll page him for you.
JS: Why, thank you kindly, miss.
[DOOR FLIES OPEN]
Kyle Whittingham: Gentlemen, how are you?
JS: Oh, I see it now, Pete.
PC: Right? So, let’s go find the kid & then get out of here.
John Schneider drives the two of them half way across town to the address they have on file for their target.
JS: Okay Pete, I think this is the place.
PC: Right. (hops out window) Let’s hope the kid is home.
Pete Carroll knocks on door.
Garett Bolles: Hello?
PC: Howdy, son. Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks. My colleague over there in the car…
…is GM John Schneider.
GB: That’s nice; my mom will be home later. What brings you by, sir?
PC: Well son, we are meeting with all our potential first-round choices, and we’re proud to say you’re one of them.
GB: Well, that’s a great honour, sir. Now, what would you like to know?
Both men sit down on the porch. John Schneider stays in the car.
PC: First off, you’re a little older than most juniors. How come?
GB: Because I made some mistakes sir. Just like Michael Oher, I had a rough upbringing, and was taken in by a supportive family. His story means a lot to me; it’s why I wear #74. Coach, if I may be blunt…
GB: I sorted my shit out, got right with the Lord, and took a mission with the Church. When I got back to Salt Lake, I went to junior college, started playing football again, and then transferred into Utah. I’ve learned how to focus my energies. I’m not that troubled kid anymore.
JS: (from the car) Sounds like he’s got a mouth on him. Should be perfect for Cable!
PC: (ignoring Schneider) That sounds great, Garett. “¿Hablas español?”
GB: No sir – they sent me to Colorado Springs.
PC: Oh; okay – “¿Do you Hablas español?”
Garett stares off into the distance; John Schneider fidgets in the driver’s seat.
PC: (recovering awkwardly) Disirregardless, why’d you leave before your senior year?
GB: Well, sir, I feel I’m ready to make the transition to the pro game. I’ve got three years playing left tackle under my belt, I was a JuCo All-American, and I was All Pac-12 this year. Plus, I have a family to support now.
PC: Makes sense. Well son, that’s all I have. John?
JS: (yells from the car) Kid, what’s the dirtiest word you know?
JS: You know, the swears.
GB: I’d prefer not to sir. It violates my covenant with the Lord.
JS: (gets out of car; walks up to Bolles) Son, if we draft you, your coach is going to be Tom Cable,
a man with the devil’s tongue and a blacker heart. He’s going to yell things at you that will shrivel your dead grandpa’s dick. You’re going to need to fire back when – not if – he comes at you. So, I ask again, what’s the worst word you know?
GB: Uhh…fucker? Sorry, sir, I just can’t. That was my old life.
JS: (frustrated) Boy – he’ll eat you alive. Put some salt on that tongue. Christ, I might have to pay him a dollar to teach you how to swear.
JS: (turns back; stomps away) C’mon Carroll, we’re outta here. (hops in window; fires up car)
PC: …well, again, thank you for your time, Garett. We’ll give you a call closer to draft day when we have our plans firmed up. (runs down steps; hops in passenger window)
JS: Next stop – Seattle! Daddy misses the home cooking! (car squeals away)
Garett Bolles stares into the distance, a quizzical look slowly melting off his face.
“Man”, he thinks to himself, “I should have taken that mission to Chile.”
To Be Continued…