DECEMBER 15, 11:30 A.M.
INT. THE BACK OF AN UBER WITH BLACKED OUT WINDOWS
Joe Burrow still can’t believe it. After leaving Ohio State, all he wanted to do was be a starting quarterback. He never imagined he would rewrite the SEC record books and win the Heisman Trophy. But here he is, the morning after winning the award, on his way to one last formality before he begins preparing for the College Football Playoff.
BURROW: Look I know I’m not supposed to know where I’m going, but can you at least tell me if we’re almost there?
The windows are blacked out on the inside. Burrow is not exactly sure where he’s going, but was told by the Heisman Trust to pack his bags and not ask any questions. Being a coach’s son, he listened to those orders.
DRIVER: Don’t worry, we’ll be there in no time.
The driver turns and faces the camera
DRIVER: With the 2020 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo you get 188 horsepower and 2.0-liter variable compression turbo.
Burrow looks confused then politely nods.
BURROW: Cool, just uh… let me know when we get there.
DRIVER: Funny you say that…
The driver presses an overhead button that lowers Burrow’s window. They have arrived at the destination.
Burrow looks out the window and sees a large mansion just ahead. The Nissan pulls into a circular driveway with a fountain in the middle. In the front of the fountain are four of the newest Nissan models.
DRIVER: Okay Mr. Heisman, this is your spot.
Burrow looks at the driver in disbelief that quickly becomes an excited smile. He quickly opens the door and grabs his suitcase out the trunk. He walks toward the mansion’s front door. The smell is so familiar. It’s a mix of the grills you would see at a tailgate, the paint on the grass, and the sweat of 22 exhausted athletes. It smells like… football. Burrow loves it. He skips toward the front step of the mansion and rings the doorbell. He’s not sure what to expect, but come on, he just won the Heisman. He’s on top of the college football world. And if you grew up in football the way Burrow did, being on top of the college football world means being on top of the whole world. Burrow hears voices inside.
MAN INSIDE MANSION: Pizza’s here!
The door swings open. Burrow’s jaw drops. Standing in the doorway is Charles Woodson wearing a No. 2 Michigan jersey and blue jeans.
WOODSON: You’re not the pizza guy. Who the hell are you?
BURROW: [Stammering] I, uh… Heis- uh..
WOODSON: Look kid, I don’t know what summer camp you’re supposed to be at, but you got the wrong address.
BURROW: Okay first of all, it’s December, not summer. Sec-
Woodson slams the door in Burrow’s face. Burrow looks around, stunned. Is he in the right place?
Just then, Burrow hears something approaching in the distance. He turns to see a 2019 Nissan Armada roar into the driveway with Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” blaring from inside. The engine clicks off and the front door opens, revealing Peyton Manning wearing a No. 16 Tennessee jersey and jeans. Burrow watches in disbelief as Manning casually opens the back door and grabs two stacks of Papa John’s pizzas. He carries them to the front step whistling “The Stroke” when he notices Burrow.
MANNING: First day, huh kid?
BURROW: Um, yeah. Yes sir.
MANNING: Well good luck with these clowns.
Manning bangs on the door with his elbow. Woodson opens it up.
WOODSON: Pizza Man! That’s what I’m talking about!
Woodson turns and shouts into the mansion.
WOODSON: Pizza’s hee-yeerrrrrrrr!
Burrow hears a rumbling from within the house, as if a stampede is approaching. One by one about two dozen Heisman winners come to the front door and each grab a pizza from Peyton. Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie, and Barry Sanders each grab a pizza. As each one approaches, Manning looks through and finds the right pizza for them.
MANNING: Marcus Allen! Let’s see, Allen.. Allen… here it is! Hawaiian pizza, there ya go!
Manning hands Allen the pizza. Marcus Mariota is behind him in line.
MARIOTA: You know Hawaiian pizzas aren’t actually from Hawaii? It was invented in Canada.
ALLEN: You know the Titans’ starting quarterback isn’t actually their former No. 2 overall pick? It’s the washed-up guy they signed to the backup.
MARIOTA: You know what hurts worse than being slammed by a defensive tackle?
EDDIE GEORGE: Gettin’ your ass beat by the Bucks in the National Championship?
MARIOTA: I was going to say words, but Eddie might be right.
Mariota grabs his pizza and storms off.
GEORGE: Ha ha, what’s up, Pey?
MANNING: How’s it goin’ Eddie, here’s your pizza.
Manning hands George his pizza, the last one.
GEORGE: Thanks my man, you take care now.
George begins shutting the door but Peyton pokes in and stops it.
MANNING: Hey wait, I uh, I just wanted to ask something real quick.
ALLEN: Oh God, here we go.
Manning begins laughing and stammering nervously.
MANNING: You guys think it would be cool if I, if I like, yaknow, like came inside and hung out with the guys and stuff, and like…
Manning is sweating profusely.
GEORGE: Jesus, Peyton why are you sweatin’ so damn much?
ALLEN: Somethin’ about those Papa John’s people. Go ahead and call in th backup.
MANNING: I mean, I just wanna be one of the guys, and I-
A voice with a deep Southern accent comes from the foyer.
STEVE SPURRIER: Peyton, how many times do I have to tell you not to come inside? GO ON NOW! GIT!
Manning is startled and sprints away back to his Nissan Armada and drives away. The rest turn and look at Burrow, who has been watching the whole exchange dumbfounded.
GEORGE: So you’re the new guy, huh?
Spurrier is still in the foyer but approaches the front door as he walks.
SPURRIER: New guy? Is he a quarterback? Don’t tell me it’s another fuckin’ Sooner.
Spurrier pushes the door fully open and sees Burrow. He is wearing a Florida Gators bathrobe and crocs and holding a cup of coffee. He sees Burrow wearing a team-issued LSU sweatshirt.
SPURRIER: LSU?! Well I’ll be damned! Last time they won a Heisman it was still only white boys playing!
Allen and George look at each other and roll their eyes. Spurrier looks unbothered.
SPURRIER: So son, what position you play? You look a little small to be a linebacker, what are you, a gritty slot receiver?
BURROW: Uh, well actually I’m a quarterback.
Spurrier, George and Allen afreeze. George is in the middle of a bite of pizza. The three turn and look at each other with shocked eyes for several seconds before bursting into hysterical laughter. Burrow is perplexed.
ALLEN: A Heisman-winning quarterback at LSU! Man that’s a good one!
GEORGE: That was so funny I already forgot about Steve’s possibly racist comment a second ago!
SPURRIER: An LSU quarterback winning a Heisman! Next thing I know you’ll tell me college football has playoffs now, ha!
BURROW: But but, I swear it’s true!
Spurrier turns and walks back inside. Allen and George begin to follow until Burrow shouts again.
BURROW: I went to Ohio State first, then transferred to LSU. I’m a Buckeye just like you, Eddie.
George turns around and looks at Burrow, insulted.
GEORGE: If you’re a Buckeye like me, why did you leave?
BURROW: It’s a long story. Maybe you should let me in so I can tell it.
George sighs then reluctantly gestures for Burrow to follow him inside. As George shuts the door behind him, Burrow gazes at the sprawling interior. All over the walls are banners of various college football teams, framed photos of iconic moments in college football history, and random-ass pictures of Nissans. Various Heisman winners are lounging about as they eat their pizza. All of them seem to be in their own world. Jim Plunkett is doing a crossword puzzle while he eats. Sam Bradford plays a Nintendo Switch. All are wearing either their college jersey or some kind of gear for their team. George walks through the kitchen and into a hallway with doors lining each wall.
GEORGE: Okay, here’s your room.
George opens the door and walks inside. The walls are blank but there is plenty of furniture as well as a flat-screen TV. Burrow follows and drops his luggage on the floor.
GEORGE: Bed should be big enough, you got plenty of space on the walls for posters and gear and whatever you like. Also we’ve got tons of TVs from those couple of years Vizio sponsored the Rose Bowl. Alright, time to meet your neighbors!
BURROW: [Nervously] My neighbors?
George takes Burrow outside and to the door next door. The letters BO are on the door. George knocks. A voice from inside tells George to come in and he opens the door. Bo Jackson is running full-sprint on a treadmill while lifting massive dumbbells simultaneously. Burrow watches in disbelief.
BO: Hey Eddie. Is this a new guy?
Bo isn’t even short of breath and speaks normally.
GEORGE: Yes he is, Bo. And get a load of this, he’s an LSU quarterback.
BO: No shit! I’m not the biggest fan of those LSU Tigers, but tell me one thing son: Did y’all beat Bama this year?
Burrow is still in stunned silence at Bo’s athletic display. George glares at him during the awkward silence.
BURROW: Um, uh yeah. Uh yes sir, Mr. uh, Bo Jackson. We beat them this year.
BO: Hot dog! Well then you’re cool in my book. Just wait, those assholes will probably still claim a national championship anyway. Ha!
Bo lets out a chortle. George begins laughing and nudges Burrow, who then joins in forcing laughter. Burrow glances around the room. Broken baseball bats are strewn all over the floor. On a desk near the door sits a large plastic container filled with rocks the size of tennis balls. Bo tosses his dumbbells to the ground.
BO: Eddie, you think you could hand me my lunch right there? I can’t get off this treadmill until sundown.
GEORGE: No problem, Bo.
George walks over to the desk and picks up the container of rocks and hands it to Bo. He pulls a spoon out of his pocket and begins shoveling rocks into his mouth. He bites through them effortlessly.
BURROW: No pizza for you I guess.
Bo responds through bites as he chews on the rocks loudly.
BO: Nope, too much fat.
George nods to Bo and closes the door. He takes Burrow to the next room.
BURROW: I won’t have to eat rocks, will I?
GEORGE: Not if you don’t like them. Bo likes them so we let him indulge in as many rocks as he wants.
George stops as he reaches a door with a sign on it saying “Don’t Mess With Texas.”
GEORGE: Speaking of indulging…
George opens the door and a cloud of smoke rushes out along with a strong scent of marijuana. George and Burrow turn their heads away and squint their eyes as the smoke clears. Two voices comes from inside the room.
JOHNNY MANZIEL: Hey! Whatever happened to fuckin’... um… uh, the thing where you, like beat on the door? Shit, what’s that called?
RICKY WILLIAMS: Knocking, you dumbass! You’ve never knocked on a door before?
MANZIEL: Nah I’ve just rung the bell when I used to ding-dong-ditch.
Burrow follows George into the room filled with smoke. Manziel and Williams sit next to each other on a couch. The lights are off and the room is only illuminated by a TV with Super Smash Bros on. Manziel is shirtless and wearing Texas A&M pajama pants while Ricky is wearing his No. 34 Texas jersey and grey sweatpants. They are playing Smash and not looking at each other while they talk. They talk slowly and deliberately, obviously high.
WILLIAMS: So you’re telling me nobody ever knocked on the door when they was comin’ to your house?
MANZIEL: I mean the UPS guy would ring the doorbell whenever we got packages and shit.
WILLIAMS: Yeah you and your rich-ass, mansion-ass family.
MANZIEL: Oh yeah? You’re the one who got a big ass NFL contract. They cast me out like I was some fuckin’ bum.
They don’t appear to notice George and Burrow standing before them.
GEORGE: Um, hello! Don’t y’all want to meet the newest Heisman winner?
WILLIAMS: No way man, I’ve enough of these fuckin’ Sooner quarterbacks.
MANZIEL: Me too, man.
WILLIAMS: Shut the fuck up, man.
MANZIEL: [Interrupting] No you shut the fuck up, man.
GEORGE: Actually, he’s an LSU quarterback.
As George says “LSU” Manziel drops the controller and looks up in fear.
MANZIEL: LSU?! Dammit I thought we didn’t have any of y’all in here! Shit shit please don’t hurt me!
BURROW: Calm down, I’m not gonna do anything to you.
Manziel begins to look relieved but still wary of Burrow.
BURROW: Wait, hold up one second, I thought the Longhorns and Aggies hate each other. Why are y’all hanging out?
WILLIAMS: I do hate him. Scrawny ass bitch.
MANZIEL: Oh yeah, suck my ass dickwad.
WILLIAMS: Twenty bucks says I’ll beat you again.
MANZIEL: Yeah that’s cause you picked Meta Knight you fuckin’ try-hard.
George and Burrow shuffle out and close the door.
GEORGE: We try not to go in there too much.
BURROW: I am so confused by this place.
GEORGE: Man you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
As Burrow and George continue don the hallway, Cam Newton approaches. He is wearing some crazy outfit that only Cam Newton would wear.
BURROW: Hey Cam, I’m Joe. Nice to meet you. How’s the injury rehab coming?
NEWTON: ïtš bêêñ à ŁØŃG JØÜRŃ£¥ būt wê JÜ$T G£TTĪŃG štàrtêd.
BURROW: Uh, what are you doing? How are you talking like that?
NEWTON: ïñ à ₩ØRŁD fūłł öf hàtê, ïrrêłêvàñt öpïñïöñš, ¢öñštàñt štêrêötÿpêš/jūdgïñg, šūpêrfï¢ïàłñêšš àñd whêrê R£ÄŁŃ£$$\G£ŃÜĪŃ£ Ī$ RÄR£... fïñd ït ïñ ¥ØÜR$£ŁF tö ŁØV£mörê àñd bê¥ØÜ‼️ #šhïñêTHRÜthêŠHÄDË -1ØV£
BURROW: Um… okay… well it was nice to meet you.
NEWTON: ŸØŪ Ł£ÅRÑ MØR£ ÅßØŪT ŁĪF£ FRØM ₩ÅTČHĪÑG >ßĪG ßRØTH£R<, THÅÑ FRØM R£ÅDĪÑG Å ßØØK” -jōhn dê mōł jr.
Burrow nods nervously and walks away.
BURROW: Anyone else I need to meet?
GEORGE: I mean this is your house now. You might wanna get familiar with your roommates.
Burrow sighs as George walks away. Burrow realizes he hasn’t eaten lunch and the smell of the pizzas is starting to get to him. He looks around and sees an unopened pizza sitting on the kitchen table. He walks to it and gets ready to sit down and eat it, but then realizes there is a figure sitting on the far end of the table.
TIM TEBOW: Young man, do you plan to dine on this pizza with me?
Burrow looks up at Tebow sitting on the opposite end of the table. He is wearing a tight, white V-neck and washed jeans.
BURROW: Oh, I’m really sorry. I didn’t see you there, I didn’t know it was your pizza. I won’t take an-
TEBOW: [Interrupting] My friend, this is The Lord’s table. This pizza belongs to anyone who accepts Jesus into their heart.
Burrow tries to think of an excuse to walk away. Before he can Tebow stands, grabs Burrow’s arm and gently but firmly sits him in the adjacent seat.
TEBOW: Any possessions I keep for myself will not follow me to Heaven. They will remain here until they become dirt and soil. But a new friendship with a fellow athlete? Our spirits will be together until the end of time.
Burrow forces the most uncomfortable smile. Tebow grabs Burrow’s hand and bows his head in prayer.
TEBOW: Lord, thank you for blessing us on this beautiful day. Thank you for Papa John and his cadre of Italians who work tirelessly to provide this delicious pizza for us. Thank you for my new friend Joseph and his physical gifts that allowed him to join me in this fortress of athletic achievement. Please allow us to bask in Your glory, and not succumb to the splendor and pleasures of the material world. And allow all the college athletes of the world to see that their talent is more compensation than a person could ever imagine.
BURROW: [Mouthing silently to himself] What the fuck?
TEBOW: In Your name we pray, Amen. Eat up, Joseph!
Burrow grabs a slice. Tebow waits for him to move his hand, then grabs the remaining seven pieces and stuffs them all in his mouth at once. He swallows it all after five bites. He nonchalantly smiles at Burrow as if nothing unusual happened.
TEBOW: We’re so happy you’re here, Joseph. Ask me if you have any questions about anything.
Tebow gets up and leaves, while Burrow stays sitting eating his pizza. He prays nobody bothers him. Just then, he sees the window above the sink slide open. Someone is opening it from the outside. Burrow stands up, cautiously. A man wearing a red and yellow jersey climbs up through the window and gracefully drops to the floor, landing on his feet quietly. Burrow sees it is Reggie Bush. Bush whispers to Burrow.
BUSH: You the new guy?
BURROW: [Whispering back] Uh, yeah.
BUSH: Nice! Welcome to the club. My name’s Reg-
A voice from inside yells.
Bush scrambles to climb back out the window. Loud booms and shattering glass are heard overhead as heavily-armed men repel from the roof and side of the house. They look as if they are wearing SWAT team gear, but the patches on the side of the uniforms shows the NCAA logo. They begin firing automatic guns at Bush. Burrow drops to the ground and scurries under the table as bullets tear through the walls and smack across the floor and walls. The front door is kicked in. Mark Emmert, dressed in a trench-coat and detective gear, runs toward the kitchen with a pistol as Bush gracefully dives through the window and runs away from the house. Emmert reaches the shattered window and sees a white car racing away.
EMMERT: Damn! That’s a Nissan GR-T, the fastest car on the market.
Emmert pulls out a walkie-talkie and speaks into it.
EMMERT: All units head South!
Emmert and the NCAA Special forces sprint out the door. Burrow climbs up and sees most of the other Heisman winners still casually eating pizza, seemingly unbothered by what just happened. Marcus Allen approaches Burrow casually. He speaks loudly so the whole room can hear him.
ALLEN: So, what do you think of the place?
BURROW: I’m sorry Marcus, but I can’t stay here.
Burrow speaks with exasperation but confidence. The other Heismans in the room begin to turn and listen to him.
BURROW: I’ve got a Playoff to prepare for and I can’t afford to get all wrapped up in this right now.
SPURRIER: A playoff?? What are you in the NFL already?
BURROW: Look guys, I’m honored to be a Heisman winner, but my college career isn’t over yet. I’ve got a championship to win. My team needs me. My coach always says “One Team, One Heartbeat.” And while being honored as the best player in college football means a lot to me, being the best team would mean so much more.
All the Heismans smile and nod in approval. They look around at each other, happy such a wonderful player and person is joining the Heisman Fellowship.
ALLEN: We understand man. You go back to Baton Rouge and get ready to win that championship. We’ll be pulling for you every step of the way.
BURROW: [Smiling] Thanks, Marcus.
Allen turns back to the other Heismans in the room.
ALLEN: Before he goes and wins this championship, is there anyone who hasn’t gotten to meet our newest Heisman yet?
A deep voice comes from a dark hallway on the other side of the room.
OJ SIMPSON: I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure yet.
Simpson walks in wearing a Titleist visor, polo shirt, and blacks pants. He is holding a golf club. He walks up to Burrow, takes off his glove and reaches out to shake Burrow’s hand.
SIMPSON: Hi Joe, it’s yours truly. Nice to meet you.
Burrow grabs his suitcase and sprints out the front door.