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And The Valley Scripts: The Cajun Job

The untold story of how 15 pounds of crawfish changed the fate of LSU Football forever.


MAY 11, 2018


LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger sit down at a table with potential transfer quarterback Joe Burrow and his father, Jimmy. Orgeron is giddy. He knows a star quarterback like Joe is what he needs to finally install a high-powered offense and transform this program back into a National Championship contender.

ORGERON: We’re so excited to have yahere, Joe. You’re gonna be a Tigah, and you’re gonna thank me for the resta your life.

Joe modestly chuckles.

JOE: Well I don’t wanna make my decision too early, but I’m really looking forward to this weekend.

JIMMY: He might be excited to talk football, but I’m looking most forward to the food!

ENSMINGER: Listen to your dad, Joe.

Ensminger gestures at the menu.

ENSMINGER: You won’t find any of this in Cincinnati.

The four men all share a laugh. The waiter asks for drink orders. The men place their orders while Orgeron orders appetizers. He wants to show Joe the idiosyncratic culture of Louisiana through the food. The appetizers include boiled shrimp, crab claws, and fried alligator. He plans to warm Burrow up with these before he bring in the big gun for the main course: crawfish.

JOE: You know I usually just stick to salads, but this is pretty damn good.

ORGERON: I gottabe honest Joe, mosta what you gonnabe eatin’ will be ‘specially prepared by our cookin’ staff. Nutritious, but nohquite this good!

JIMMY: If it’s half as good as this, Joe’s in for a treat!

WAITER: Are we ready to order?

ORGERON: Yesswe are young man. Bring us four fried seafood plattas, twodozen chargrilled oysters, and fine’ly..

Orgeron winks at the Burrows.

ORGERON: Fifteen pounds’a boiled crawfish.

WAITER: You got it, coming right up!

Orgeron turns toward the rest of the table to see the Burrows finish up their appetizers.

JOE: Okay fine, I’ll say it. If this crawfish is as good as your promised, I think I’m gonna be a Tiger.

Orgeron makes eye contact with Ensminger, who subtly does a fist pump under the table. Orgeron smiles, knowing he’s finally got his guy. Orgeron hears the waiter approaching.

WAITER: Sir, we have one problem…

The waiter crouches and speaks quietly into Orgeron’s ear so he doesn’t embarrass him in front of the whole table.

WAITER: [Whispering] Sir, I’m sorry, but we’re out of crawfish.

A sinking feeling hits Orgeron’s stomach. He wonders if he should just settle for some steaks. He remembers how he settled for a field goal and ended up losing the Citrus Bowl. He decides he isn’t settling.

ORGERON: Son, is there a manager I can speak to?

The waiter turns toward the kitchen. Orgeron sees half the cooking and managerial staff nervously poking their heads around the door. One of the men quickly scurries toward Orgeron. Orgeron stands and meets him halfway. He doesn’t want the Burrows to hear what he is about to say.

MANAGER: Hi Coach, I’m the manag-

ORGERON: [Interrupting]: Look, it don’t matta to me whatchu got cookin’ back there, I need this. I need fifteen pounds’a boiled crawfish on our table. The future of the LSU football program depen on it, ya hear me?

The manager stares blankly.

ORGERON: Ya’now what, I got somethin’.

Orgeron pulls out an extremely tattered piece of paper from his coat pocket. He hands it to the manager, who unfurls it. A phone number is on it.

ORGERON: Under normal circumstances I would’n do this, but thisis impawtant. That numbeh, it’s my special contact, Broussawd. He always ready. When you call him, he’s gon’ ask “Who is this?” Youse gonna say “A frienduva frien.” He’s gon’ ask for a password. You say, “Gumbo hotshot 77 claw.” Tell him you need 15 pounds’a boiled crawfish ASAP. He’ll give you a dropoff location and a special password so he knows iss’ you. You got alla that?

The manager gulps and nods.

ORGERON: You can do this, you got this. I b’lieve in ya.

Orgeron puts both hands on the manager’s shoulders firmly, yet supportive. The manager turns around and pulls out his cell phone. He dials the number on the paper and waits. A voice answers.

MANAGER: [Nervously] Uh… A friend of a friend… Um, gumbo hotshot 77 claw… I need 15 pounds of boiled crawfish, umm… as soon as you can possibly do it… Wait, really? How am I supposed to pick it up that fast?

The manager looks at his phone, the line is disconnected. He hurries to the kitchen. The kitchen staff is surrounding one young man, Derrick, sitting on a table and telling a story about his street racing skills.

DERRICK: Racing isn’t just about being fast, it involves agility, precision, bala-

MANAGER: [Interrupting] You really the best driver in Baton Rouge? I got a job for you.

Derrick hops up off the table and begins taking off his kitchen equipment.

DERRICK: Where am I going and how fast?

MANAGER: I need you to pick up an ice chest with 15 pounds of boiled crawfish from the 50-yard-line of Tiger Stadium in five minutes.

DERRICK: Tiger Stadium? What’s crawfish doing there?

MANAGER: It’s Coach O’s special guy. I need you to get it now, he said the future of LSU football depends on it!

DERRICK: I’m on it. Wilson, you’re with me!

A busboy around 15 years old looks around in bewilderment.


Derrick grabs him by the arm and pulls him as he sprints out the kitchen. Derrick hops into a Yellow Mustang while Wilson opens the passenger door and sits down. Derrick revs the engine on and takes off into the street. The manager watches the car drive away.

MANAGER: Shit! I forgot to give them the password!

RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE: [Casually while smoking cigarette] Well, it looks like you just killed LSU football.


Derrick weaves through traffic as his speed climbs. Wilson clings to the door in fear. Derrick notices he is still holding a spatula.

DERRICK: What do you still have that for?

WILSON: I forgot to drop it when you pulled me out of the kitchen and started driving 90 miles an hour!

DERRICK: Come on! It’s not every day you get to save LSU football!

Derrick presses down on the pedal and weaves in and out of traffic along Nicholson. Tiger Stadium, lit up in purple and gold, becomes bigger and bigger as Derrick and Wilson approach it. They turn into the stadium parking lot and barrel past plaques and monuments to the greatest players and teams of LSU’s past. The car blasts through a black gate and rolls onto the field. Derrick squints and sees a red pickup truck sitting at midfield with its engine still running. Derrick speeds toward it. As he approaches a man wearing a grease-stained apron steps out and lowers the truck bed. A blue ice chest sits on the edge of the bed.

DERRICK: Eyes on the prize…

Derrick pulls up next to the man and comes to a stop. The man speaks in a thick Cajun accent.

BROUSSARD: Who are you?

DERRICK: I’m here to take that ice chest off your hands.

BROUSSARD: I thought you was a friend of my friend, but I ain’t so sure ‘bout that right now. You happen to know the password I told ya, boy?

DERRICK: Look, my boss told me to come pick this up. I don’t know any passw-

BROUSSARD: I only serve my friends and friends of my friends. Right now, you don’t look like you’re neither o’those.

As he speaks, several older Cajun men step out the truck brandishing guns. They stand behind Broussard as he speaks.

BROUSSARD: You got ten seconds to either tell me the password, or get outta here so my boys don’t hafta make a mess in this pretty building here. 10!... 9!...

Derrick and Wilson duck and have a conversation. Broussard continues counting.

WILSON: We don’t know the password! We’ve gotta get outta here!

DERRICK: Yeah, looks like we just gotta bail.

Derrick pokes his head up just as Broussard reaches the count of 4.

DERRICK: Alright you got us, we’ll be on our way.

BROUSSARD: That’s awfully wise, boy. You saved your car a whole lotta bulletho-

DERRICK: Wait wait, what’s that?

Derrick points at a patch of grass in front of the truck. Broussard and his gang look down at it. Derrick then flips on the Mustang’s brights and the men stumble backward in the light. Derrick races toward the ice chest. Broussard stumbles to his feet.


Broussard’s men begin shooting at the car. Derrick is forced to swerve and begins circling the truck. Bullets fly past Derrick and Wilson’s heads, but the car is too fast for the men to aim properly.

WILSON: I can’t believe I’m gonna die like this!

DERRICK: Do you really think bullets can hit a target moving this fas-

Derrick realizes Wilson is holding up his spatula to shield his face from the bullets. Derrick gets an idea.

DERRICK: Wilson, buddy, when I stop circling, stick your spatula out to the side.

WILSON: But then my face is exposed!

DERRICK: Just do it!

Wilson looks back and forth at Derrick and at his own reflection in the spatula. He tilts his head back in frustration. Derrick drifts the car around the truck a third time, then whips the car so that it is driving straight. The truck bed is to the right of the car’s path. Just before they pass the truck, Derrick swerves so that the Mustang almost hits the truck, but just brushes by. Wilson is closing his eyes while holding out the spatula, which hooks through the handle of the ice chest. Wilson opens his eyes, sees the chest on the spatula and pulls it back into his lap.

DERRICK: You got it!

WILSON: Yes we di-

A bullet rips through Wilson’s shoulder. He and Derrick both scream. Derrick presses down on the pedal and speeds toward the stadium exit.


WILSON: Oh shit, I’m shot!

DERRICK: Don’t worry, I’m gonna get us out of here! Just stay with me!!

WILSON: It doesn’t actually hurt that bad. I guess I’ve got so much adrenaline from doing the first exciting thing in my life.

Derrick speeds back down Nicholson and swerves onto Lee Dr, then pulls into the restaurant parking lot. Derrick hoists the ice chest off Wilson’s lap, runs to the kitchen backdoor and kicks it open. The entire kitchen staff turns and looks in shock.

DERRICK: Did somebody order crawfish?

MANAGER: How the hell did you get it? I forgot to give you the password!

DERRICK: We had some… negotiations.

Wilson strolls in the kitchen whistling casually. Blood is pouring out of his shoulder and is clearly visible through his white kitchen uniform.

RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE: Wilson!! Oh my god did you get shot?

Wilson answers nonchalantly while grabbing an ice pack out the fridge.

WILSON: What? Oh yeah, shit happens I guess.

Everyone stares, frozen in bewilderment. Wilson looks up at them and pauses.

WILSON: Um, hello! Don’t we have some crawfish to serve!

The staff unfreezes and hurriedly pours the crawfish out of the ice chest onto four trays. It is the most perfect looking crawfish they’ve ever seen, brilliant red with potatoes, corn, garlic, and sausage all spilling throughout. Just as they are finishing distributing the crawfish on the trays, the seafood platters and oysters are completed.

MANAGER: Alright team, we’ve got a dinner to serve!

The staff brings all the food out to the coaches and Burrows, setting them down one by one. Joe and Jimmy’s eyes grow huge. Orgeron smiles when he sees the crawfish. He knows only Broussard could come through with crawfish that good. The four men begin to dig in as the kitchen staff depart back to the kitchen.

ORGERON: So Joe, whaddaya think?

JOE: I… think I’m gonna like it here.

Orgeron smiles to himself, knowing he’s got his quarterback for good now. We cut back to the kitchen exterior where Derrick and Wilson sit on the floor, smoking cigarettes. Wilson has a wrap keeping the ice pack on his shoulder. The two look exhausted.

DERRICK: Well that was some adventure, huh?

WILSON: Yep. I can’t believe we… saved LSU football?...

The two look at each other, puzzled. They are just now realizing how strange their mission was.

DERRICK: I’m not saying we didn’t do good work, but… how exactly did we save LSU football?

WILSON: Is Coach O really so Cajun that the entire football program depends on how much crawfish he can eat?

DERRICK: Nah he’s hosting some recruit, but he can’t be that important.

WILSON: Oh no way, some player is not worth all this.

DERRICK: Yeah I heard he’s a quarterback who’s transferring from Ohio State because he couldn’t be the starter there.

WILSON: Wow, sounds like a bum.

DERRICK: Yeah. No way this guy ends up being that important...