Happy Friday Night Lights Day, Pt. II

INT. OFFICE – DAY

COACH ERIC TAYLOR sits at the desk in his locker room, looking disgruntled, shuffling through paperwork. There’s a knock on the office door, and BUDDY GARRITY enters.

BUDDY
Eric! Eric! How are you doing this fine afternoon?

ERIC
I’m alright, Buddy. Just trying to get some damn forms filled out. So if you don’t mind…

BUDDY
That’s great. Now listen, you and I both know the team’s been struggling a little so far this season. And not that you’re not doing a great job…

ERIC
Get to the point, Buddy.

BUDDY

Well, I think I might be able to help you out.

ERIC
Oh, really? You think you can help me out? I think we’ve been down this road a time or two.

BUDDY
No, listen. I’ve got a guy who can help this team win football games. Is that something you think you might be interested in? Or are you too busy with your paperwork to talk about winning?

ERIC
You’ve got 3 minutes. Starting 2 minutes ago.

BUDDY
This is a guy who can really help our defense. He’s got more talent than anyone I’ve ever seen take the field. And I’ve tweaked a few eligibility requirements, so he should be able to play for Dillon.

ERIC
Alright. I’m listening. What’s his position? Because we’re fine at safety and cornerback.

BUDDY
He’s a linebacker.

ERIC
Alright, well as long as he’s eligible, let’s get him on the field.

BUDDY
It might not be that simple. He has a….troubled past. He’s a tough kid.

ERIC
That’s alright. I’ve had some behavioral issues on this team before, as you well know. There was that one kid who had been in a halfway house who lived with you, and Riggins was never a picnic to deal with either.

BUDDY
True. But this might be a little different. Hey, get on in here.

LAWRENCE TAYLOR walks in the office. He sits down in a chair next to Buddy and puts his feet up on Eric’s desk. He’s wearing sunglasses and chewing gum. Eric stares him down.

BUDDY
This here is Lawrence. You put him on the field and he’ll get to the quarterback four times a game, guaranteed.

ERIC
Is that right? Well, what are these behavioral issues you’re referring to.

BUDDY
Lawrence had a rough upbringing. No one ever really taught him how to be a man, or how to love.

ERIC
Uh huh.

BUDDY
And…cough cough (mumbles into his hand)

ERIC
What’s that, Buddy?

BUDDY
Uh…and he raped a 16-year-old girl. Allegedly.

ERIC
Is that right, young man. Did you do what Buddy here says?

Lawrence shrugs, and stares out the window.

ERIC
Because I happen to be the father of a 16-year-old girl, so I don’t take kindly to what you did. But I’m willing to take you on as a project, as long as you respect me, follow my rules, and don’t rape any more teenagers. You think you can do that, young man?

Lawrence shrugs again. Eric reaches across his desk and slaps Lawrence across the face. Lawrence stares at him, stunned. A single tear trickles down his cheek.

LAWRENCE
Why’d you hit me, Coach?

ERIC
Because I believe in you, son. I believe that we can overcome our pasts and our mistakes and our demons to become something better than what we are. I believe that, through hard work and family, we can achieve anything. You can achieve anything.

LAWRENCE
Th…thank you, coach. No one ever believed in me before.

ERIC
Clear eyes. Full hearts…

LAWRENCE
Can’t lose.

FADE OUT.

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Filed under Sports Has AIDS, Television Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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