INT. PASSENGER CABIN OF A TRAIN – DAY.
Having successfully found their way to the right train platform, our four protagonists – ELI MANNING, DOUG MARTIN, CAM NEWTON, and ANTONIO BROWN follow REX RYAN onto the train. They set their luggage down and follow him into a resplendent passenger cabin, full of curtains, leather, mahogany, red velvet…it’s the kind of opulence you’d see aboard the Orient Express.
REX RYAN: Welcome aboard, boys!
ELI MANNING: Why do you keep calling us boys? You know I’m thirty-six, right?
REX: You still a virgin, son?
ELI: [stammers]…how can you…Abby and me…that’s PRIVATE!
REX: Hey, what you and your missus do in the bedroom is between you and her. But until you stop acting like you’ve got something to be ashamed of, you’re still just a boy. And that’s fine, son. That’s what this school is for. TO MAKE A MAN OUT OF YOU!
DOUG MARTIN: [pipes up] I’m not a virgin.
REX: Of course you’re not, little buddy [ruffles DOUG MARTIN’S hair]. Hard for a PRO BOWL CALIBER RUNNING BACK such as yourself to stay cherry down there in Tampa. You’d have an easier time getting my brother Rob to walk straight past a Tijuana cathouse without poking his nose in for a sniff. Speaking of “down there”, do they still make the rookies run the gauntlet over at the Mons Venus where they have to taste every dish in the buffet?
CAM NEWTON: [snickers]
ANTONIO BROWN: [snickers]
ELI: [looks confused, shrugs, bites into a Snickers bar]
REX: I’ve got a little bad news for you boys, though. We’ve got a pretty long trek in front of us. So we’ve got a bit of homework to keep you boys busy on the way.
REX RYAN hands out a set of binders to the boys.
REX: Here’s your playbooks, fellas. Inside you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about your time at the Maturity School. Where the mess hall is. How many Code Reds and blanket parties you can get away with before some pussy kid’s bleeding-heart lawyer parent sues the school. And the curriculum. We’re gonna teach you boys how to be WINNERS. We’re gonna teach you how to PILLAGE and DESTROY and SEE YOUR ENEMIES DRIVEN BEFORE YOU and HEAR THE LAMENTATIONS OF THE WOMEN. But most importantly, we’re gonna teach you how to behave like ADULTS.
CAM NEWTON: [leafing through the binder] Words…words…where are the pictures?
REX: Sorry, son. No pictures. Just reading.
REX: Now boys, I gotta get this train rolling. Have yourselves a seat and get to studying.
REX RYAN lumbers forward along the train and out of sight. The boys settle into their seats and start working on their assigned reading. The train lurches forward, and then steadily begins picking up speed. ELI MANNING begins singing “but the cat came back…” softly to himself. After a few minutes, ANTONIO BROWN sighs and starts looking around. Something in the car behind them catches his eye.
ANTONIO BROWN: Hey, what are those flashing lights?
The other three boys look up. DOUG MARTIN stands up to get a better view.
DOUG: Is that…[he starts walking, as if in a trance, towards the other car]…hey guys, check this out!
DOUG MARTIN leads the other boys into the other car. As they approach, the flashing lights get brighter and are joined by the sound of bells and chimes.
ANTONIO: A slot machine!
DOUG: [reaches up, frowns, then gathers himself and leaps up to pull the lever]
The wheels on the machine spin and land on four bells. There is a series of flashing lights and ringing bells as a series of tokens pour into the tray.
DOUG: I won!
CAM: [grabs a token] Hey look, they got arcade games too! Oh man, they got Ivan Stewart’s OFF ROAD truck racing…
CAM: …and Demolition Derby…
CAM: [begins playing both video games simultaneously]
ANTONIO: And Donkey Kong!
DOUG MARTIN keeps leaping and pulling down the slot lever. CAM NEWTON and ANTONIO BROWN immerse themselves in the video games, shouting and cheering. ELI MANNING looks on apprehensively.
ELI: You guys, I don’t think we’re supposed to…
CAM: [focused on his game]…just…one…more…nitro…
ANTONIO: [hammering the buttons in frustration] No, don’t jump! Pick the barrel up and throw it back at him!
DOUG: I won again!
ELI: Guys? You guys…?
ELI MANNING moves back and forth among the other players trying to get their attention, but they ignore him completely. Their eyes glaze over as they focus on their games. ELI MANNING tries shaking ANTONIO BROWN, who pushes him away and resumes his game. DOUG MARTIN abandons the slot machine and finds a pinball machine, which is very difficult for him due to the eye level perspective, but he persists. ELI MANNING’s concern intensifies until he finally claps his hands three times, stamps his feet, and yells at the top of his lungs.
ELI: WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE STUDYING!
Suddenly all of the electronic lights go out. The slot machine chimes and video game noises fall silent. The boys look around and realize that the arcade games have vanished, and that the opulent surrounding have become something else entirely – the drab and dingy interior of a freight train boxcar.
The train conductor arrives in the doorway of the car. The boys look to him for an explanation, but realize the man they expected to be REX RYAN has been replaced with someone else.
JIM TOMSULA: Congratulations, boys. You just finished your very first exam. Eli, you passed.
The former head coach steps forward into the boxcar.
TOMSULA: As for the rest of you…[looks ominously at the other boys, then brightens]…you passed too! We’re on the UNC standard here. Can’t have pesky grades messing with your football eligibility. But in the future we’re really going to have to work on your ability to handle distractions.
The train’s brakes make a loud groaning noise, and the train rattles to a stop.
TOMSULA: And we’ve arrived! Welcome to the school, boys.