JULY 15- EXT. RUNWAY AT BIRMINGHAM-SHUTTLESWORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
‘This is it, this is the year,’ LSU head coach Ed Orgeron thinks to himself and just after completing his third SEC Media Days. As he prepares to board LSU’s private jet, Orgeron looks at the three players he brought with him ― Joe Burrow, Grant Delpit and Lloyd Cushenberry. Delpit is already talking to Burrow about route concepts, while Cushenberry practices snapping him the ball. All is well.
As the aircraft marshall waves in the Iplane to its parked position, he turns to Orgeron and smiles a nefarious smile.
Y’all might have a damn good squad this year, but err’yone in the South knows it ain’t gon’ be enough to beat the Tide!
Y’all have got a fine program here, but we comin’... and we ain’t backin’ down.
Jus’ like how y’all came last year? Zero points in ya own house ‘spite bein’ ranked third?? I dunno pardner, sounds like y’all mighta backed down just a smidge!
Orgeron dismisses the marshal with an awkward laugh and boards the jet. Burrow, Cushenberry and Delpit follow. All four find their seats and pull out Beats headphones, with the exception of Orgeron, who pulls out a Walkman with a Creedence Clearwater Revival cassette tape inside.
As Orgeron puts on his headphones and prepares to press play, the flight attendant approaches him.
Coach, someone from the radio control tower sent us a gift ― wine!
The flight attendant holds up a bottle of wine with a sticky-note attached. He hands it to Orgeron.
Well how ‘bout that? Look there’s a note.
“Hope you enjoy this gift from Coach Saban! It’s aged 14 years to remind you how many times you need to win the championship to catch up to us...”
Orgeron rolls his eyes and turns his gaze out the window
What was that, Coach?
It was nothin’.
My supervisor told me to specifically mention that although that note is a troll, the bottle actually did come from Coach Saban.
Orgeron begins to think about his deep-seated fears about his program. No matter how hard he tries, it won’t be enough. There’s nothing he can do to top Saban, except for maybe travel back in time and prevent him from building his dynasty.
Orgeron begins to look at it in a different light. If there’s nothing he can do about it, why worry? Just work hard and focus on your guys.
Alright folks, settle in for a pretty short flight back to Baton Rouge. Only about an hour until we touch down. It’s a good thing we’re flying FROM Alabama because that’s the only way we could touch down in Baton Rouge! Now sit back and enjoy our in-flight entertainment!
‘Dixieland Delight’ begins playing over the intercom. Orgeron groans in frustration. He wishes they would have played ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ because if they have to poke fun, at least that song is really catchy.
Orgeron hears the engine begin to power up and watches the flight attendant begin to close the door. He is thankful he is finally about to leave this state and get away from all the trolls trying to break him.
He suddenly gets an idea and makes a split-second decision.
Wait! Don’t close that door!
Orgeron grabs his bag and heads for the exit. The flight attendant and the players look confused.
Coach, what are you doing?
I, uh… forgot I had to meet a recruit. I’ll see y’all Wednesday at practice.
Orgeron begins to shuffle out the door before he stops and returns to grab the bottle of wine. He then exits the plane, which immediately closes the door and takes off. Orgeron puts on his headphones and begins to listen to “Bad Moon Rising.” As he walks into the distance, the title card appears.
ED ORGERON: INTO THE TIGER-VERSE
CUT TO INT. ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR AT BIRMINGHAM-SHUTTLESWORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The desk manager at Enterprise, Shelby, looks at Orgeron with a polite but confused expression.
I’m sorry, why is it you need this exact model? We have plenty of great trucks here in excellent condition!
It’s the truck Riggs uses to pull down a house in Lethal Weapon 2. I understand if you don’t have it, but could you please check for me?
Shelby picks up the phone and presses a button. She waits for someone to pick up.
Hey Alex, do we by any chance have a silver 1989 GMC Sierra 3500 Club Coupe Dually?
Really? Well, okay. Thanks.
Shelby hangs up the phone and turns to Orgeron.
Well sir, you might be in luck. There is one 1989 GMC Sierra 3500 Club Coupe Dually available to rent in the state of Alabama… and Enterprise has it.
Hell yeah! How soon can you have it out for me?
Well, it’s not at this Enterprise. It’s at our location in…
Orgeron’s smile fades as a dejected look creeps across his face. He prepares to just take some other truck they have available, until Shelby interrupts.
Look, sir… I know who you are. You might think you’re not very popular in this state, but the truth is... people don’t really hate on LSU the way they used to.
Why? I’m the biggest obstacle between y’all and a championship each year!
That’s the thing… Bama fans don’t really feel that way anymore. Y’all haven’t beaten us in years! What’s the point in hatin’ on y’all? It’s almost kind of sad how each and every year the LSU-Bama game is so hyped up with all this attention, then as soon as the LSU offense takes the field the quarterback is runnin’ like a chicken with its he-
Ma’am… is there a point to what you’re tryin’ to say?
Uh, yes sir. What I’ll do is give you a nice 2016 GMC truck, let you drive it to Tuscaloosa to pick your 1989 Sierra at a large discount. Then you can drive that to the Enterprise in Baton Rouge like you originally asked. How’s that sound?
Orgeron looks off in the distance with a reluctant expression. He wonders if it’s worth going to Tuscaloosa just to feel this alive. He remembers how he tells each of his players to face the man in front of him despite whatever fears he may have, and decides to take the keys and go to Tuscaloosa.
INT. THE 2016 GMC SIERRA SPEEDING ALONG THE INTERSTATE
The truck roars along I-20, with the windows rolled down and “Born On the Bayou” echoing through the evening air, Orgeron has forgotten his fears for the moment. He arrives at the Enterprise in Tuscaloosa and makes his GMC Sierra exchange.
Orgeron giggles with glee as he opens the door and takes a seat inside the machine beast. He turns the key in the ignition, and the sputtering roar of the engine clicking on serves as Orgeron’s championship trophy─ a reminder of his perseverance to conquer fear of a city that stands in the way of his true glory.
Just as Orgeron begins to pull out, the Enterprise desk manager, Eli, shouts one last message at him.
One more thing, coach─ they might take a likin’ to ya on da bayou for da way you talk, but they ain’t never gon’ love you the way we love Nick! You best remember that, son. Rollll T-
Orgeron presses his foot to the pedal all the way down to floor, roaring the truck engine and drowning out the end of that godforsaken phrase. He peels out of the Enterprise parking lot with the kind of vicious tenacity he once displayed as a defensive lineman. Fuming, he decides to face one more obstacle between him and his glory.
CUT TO EXT. THE NICK SABAN STATUE ON THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA CAMPUS
Orgeron, now wearing a thick black hoodie to conceal his identity, observes the statue. He is boggled by the fact that the statue was built after Saban’s first championship. He obviously deserves the commemoration, but it’s just crazy that he won four more championships AFTER his statue was built.
Orgeron is startled when he thinks he hears someone behind him, but the noise was just some construction equipment in the distance. Surely nobody is out on the campus at 11 p.m. on a Monday night
Orgeron studies the statue and ponders Saban’s achievements. This man has experienced the most success of any man in college football alive today, yet he is most associated with the demeanor shown in the statue ─ firm and focused. Where’s the glory in winning all these games and dominating all these opponents if you don’t enjoy any of it? Is this the price of being a top-tier coach? Your sanity and happiness? Orgeron begins to accept the harsh truth that maybe his fun, energetic, dad-at-a-cookout attitude may not allow him to be the championship-winning coach he aspires to be, when all of a sudden…
Orgeron dives into the bushes to avoid what must have been some kind of explosion. He peers out of the foliage and sees no flames, smoke or people anywhere nearby. He gets up and looks out among the campus for any sign of construction equipment or machinery. The only sign of activity he can see is suspicious flashing lights from inside the Alabama Football Practice Facility. He decides to investigate.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE HANK CRISP INDOOR FACILITY
Orgeron carefully maneuvers behind the bushes and creeps closer to the Alabama practice field. He hears loud thumping and whirring coming from inside. Bright lights continue to flash from inside and sparks occasionally fly from the building’s corners. He inches forward and heads inside an open door.
Inside the weight room, the lights are off and the room is empty. Looking for anything suspicious, Orgeron notices a window into the practice field and looks through it. The entire Alabama football team is sitting on the field watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’ play on a massive projector. Next to it are massive speakers causing the loud noises.
What the hell? That movie isn’t even out on DVD yet. How does Nick do it?
A calendar sits on the wall next to the office. MOVIE NIGHT is written on July 15. Orgeron sighs angrily at himself for being so foolish. He looks around at the pristine weight room, then out at the players, who must love their coach for getting this movie for them to watch.
CUT TO ALABAMA PLAYERS WATCHING THE MOVIE
Man, feels like we’ve had a ton of movie nights lately, huh?
(Eyes still glued to the screen)
I think this is our eighth one this month.
Wow, do you think Coach will ever put on a different movie?
I hope not. I’ll never get tired of this!
CUT TO ORGERON WALKING OUT THE WEIGHT ROOM DEJECTEDLY
Hoping to burn some rubber in his truck to lift his spirits, Orgeron begins walking out the facility, until he notices something out of place in a weight room─ an empty box of Oatmeal Cream Pies in the corner. He walks over and notices a trail of crumbs leading to what looks like a janitorial closet. Confused as to what such a sugary product could be doing in here, Orgeron opens the door, but finds a regular janitor closet. However, crumbs circle the mop bucket. He figures maybe if he cleans them up, karma will reward his good deed by letting LSU beat Alabama this year.
Orgeron tries to lift the mop out of the bucket, but it won’t budge.Thinking maybe it was jammed, he pulls the mop toward him like a lever. As he does this, a loud cranking noise comes from the bucket.
PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY SUDDEN MOVEMENTS WHILE THE CLOSET IS IN MOTION.
The closet door swings shut and locks automatically and the room starts buzzing. Orgeron looks around in a panic as he feels the room begin to move. He soon realizes he is in an elevator heading down.
I wonder if they’re putting one of these in with our renovations…
The elevator comes to a stop after a few seconds and the closet door unhinges. Orgeron pushes it open slowly, believing he must be several feet underground. He opens the door all the way, revealing a catwalk. Orgeron takes one step forward and realizes the catwalk is above a 200-foot drop below.
What the hell have I gotten myself into?
Deciding he might as well continue, having come this far, Orgeron gently shuffles down the catwalk. He notices stairs that head down to what looks like some work station and walks halfway down.
Before he can reach the bottom, Orgeron stops when he hears voices. A platform sits on the edge of a wall above the deep drop. On it are several men sitting at computers and two overlooking the railing. All of the men are wearing lab coats except one, who is considerably shorter than the others, wearing a Crimson polo and khakis. Orgeron looks closer and notices the man not in a lab coat is Nick Saban.
What do you mean “volatile?” We’ve been running these tests for weeks… send me through!
Well, you see sir-
How many times do I have to remind you to address me as “Coach?!”
Coach… you see, when we ran those tests, our subjects went through and came back successfully. But… our readings show that other beings may have also come through.
Oh! So, some goddamn bird got sucked into our portal and now you want to be the one who stops me from being the greatest coach in history? I’ve had enough of your shit, Walker.
The scientist’s name is actually Craig, but he’s too afraid for his life to bring that up.
Coach, this mission is ambitious and I greatly respect it… but, you’re already the greatest coach of all time. People don’t care about the losses. You’re still the b-
Saban holds up a finger. Everyone stops typing and turns around toward Saban and Craig nervously. Saban keeps his finger up then points at Craig repeatedly.
You know what, you might be right. People probably do say I’m the best coach ever.
As he continues talking, he walks toward the control panel. As Saban gets closer, the scientist sitting at the station tries to subtly wave him off, but Saban rolls his chair aside and begins pressing keys.
(While flicking switches)
The thing is, I don’t speak to many people outside of this facility or recruiting trips. So I don’t really have a way to know what people say about me. So I need you, Walker, to go and ask them for me. But not just the people in this universe. I need to make sure the people of EVERY universe know I’m the greatest.
Saban scrolls through a list on the computer monitor.
Universe 40541… that one looks good.
Saban presses a button and begins walking back toward Craig. As he does, the entire cavern starts whirring and lighting up, revealing a large structure on the far wall resembling a lazer cannon. As the machine continues to whir, the light inside the cannon slowly brightens.
(Looking at scientist sitting close to monitor)
Patrick, what’s in Universe 40541?
(Also choosing to not tell Saban his name is actually Franklin)
Uhh… in this universe there’s a second sun opposite ours. That Earth is almost uninhabitable due to the extreme heat…
Craig looks horrified as Saban walks closer to him with a satisfied smile. Craig slowly backs away from him until his back is against the railing.
Well Walker, I hope you packed sunscreen!
Saban shoves Walker over the railing as plummets toward the cannon.
MY NAME IS CRAAAAAAAAAAAAIGGGGGGG…….
Just as Craig’s body is lined up with the cannon, it fires a bright crimson beam that creates a deafening boom, shaking the entire cavern. Orgeron clings to the railing of the staircase while also covering his ears. All of the scientists fall to the ground covering their ears, but Saban remains upright and doesn’t flinch at the blast. He looks at it with a scowl frozen on his face as his clothes whip in the wind.
The lazer powers down after about 30 seconds, and the smoke clears. Any traces of Craig are nowhere to be seen. Franklin approaches Saban in a panic.
Coach, accelerated use of the cannon causes it to have a bigger reaction with each test. There’s no way people didn’t hear that!
Look Gerald, I understand your concern, but I’ve got 12 more movie nights scheduled for the rest of this month. That should be all the time we need.
Are… are you sure we can pull this off, Coach?
When we’re done here, there won’t be a soul in any universe that can remember a time Nick Saban lost at Alabama. That I can promise you, Derek.
As Saban walks away, Orgeron flees back up the stairs in horror. He scurries back into the closet and pushes the mop to head back upstairs. As the elevator climbs, he shrinks against the wall in terror. Is this the true price of being a championship coach? A giant underground lab? Traveling to alternate dimensions? MURDER???
As the elevator arrives on the top floor, Orgeron sprints out the weight room and into his truck. He mashes the pedal and drives furiously to a nearby motel. He buys a room in cash. He lays in bed all night, but does not sleep. He lies there, his mind racing, wondering if he will ever be the successful, morally upright football coach he always dreamed he would be. He decides he needs to do something.
EXT. TUSCALOOSA POLICE DEPARTMENT.
A 1989 GMC Sierra 3500 Club Coupe Dually pulls into a parking spot. Orgeron sits in the front seat. He decides that no matter how it may impact recruiting or the college football landscape, he needs to report what happened last night. He walks inside and goes straight to the front desk. Before the receptionist can even try to remember where she knows his face from, Orgeron starts speaking.
I’d like to report a crime. I believe I witnessed a murder last night.
CUT TO AN INTERROGATION ROOM
Two detectives, Felix and Cole, sip coffee while Orgeron sits across from them explaining what he saw last night.
...and by that point I was so scared I fled and spent the night at a motel. I know it sounds crazy, but if you go to the closet in the weight room, you’ll find it.
Felix twiddles his thumbs and looks at Cole who looks back at him. They have that same expression people on TV always have while interrogating. That “so whaddaya think?” face. Cole turns back toward Orgeron.
Look sir, I want you to know we take every allegation seriously. But we do need to acknowledge that given your position, and the way you and Coach Saban are naturally at odds because of your jobs, accusing him of murder is very serious.
Detective, I’m an honest man, a man of God, I do not lie. I would not tell you about all this if it didn’t happen.
As Orgeron continues talking, Felix’s phone buzzes and he looks down at it. He whispers very quietly in Cole’s ear, “He’s here.” Orgeron does not hear him.
I know coach Saban is a hero in this community, and it will be hard to come to grips with this, but I saw what I saw. And it’s my responsibility to report it.
Cole furrows his lips and looks at Felix, then at the one-way mirror along the wall. He turns back to Orgeron.
Well, like I said we take any accusation seriously. We’re gonna step outside real quick and be right back.
Orgeron sits in his chair and wonders if he did the right thing. He thinks back to simpler days of being a D-line coach. All he had to do was tell them how to be physical and attack every play. Being a head coach has taught him it’s not that easy. Bringing the intensity isn’t enough when you’re in charge. There’s so much nuance and politics… and murder, apparently. Orgeron wonders if continuing this job is worth it.
Cole and Felix re-enter the room and sit down. Felix is now holding a manila folder.
Mr. Orgeron, we were just given sufficient evidence that shows Coach Saban was on a recruiting trip to Florida last night. He is now en route to Birmingham for SEC Media Days.
Orgeron is stunned. He sits frozen in silence as the detectives read off statements and flight records showing Orgeron was in Florida last night. As Cole speaks Orgeron notices he has an earpiece in his right ear.
The camera then pans away from Orgeron and the detectives to the other side of the one-way mirror where Nick Saban is standing, speaking into a walkie-talkie.
Coach Saban’s flight arrived in Ft. Walton yesterday around 10:30 a.m. He was then picked-
CUT TO INTERROGATION ROOM
...up at 10:51, according to Uber’s records and was taken to 1473 Acorn Dr, where he recruited a-
CUT TO HALLWAY OUTSIDE MIRROR
...four-star left tackle currently committed to Florida State. He is currently on a flight scheduled to land in Birm-
CUT TO INTERROGATION ROOM
...ingham at 11:25.
Orgeron looks down dejectedly. The two detectives begin to chuckle.
Ya know, we’ve heard some crazy “stories” in our time here. You can usually tell which ones are fake because of the way they mixed up their facts. But you, you kept your story damn straight.
That’s tough to do.
You gotta respect that,
Orgeron’s gaze stays on the floor.
Of course, your story wasn’t actually airtight. Coach Saban didn’t kill that guy. He just sent him to another dimension.
A confused look spreads across Orgeron’s face. He looks up slowly.
But unfortunately your story is a little too good. Soooo I think we’re gonna have to do something about that.
Felix and Cole undo the holsters on their belts. Orgeron begins to slide his chair backward.
But before we do this, make sure you say hi to the coach you’ll never be as good as.
Felix gestures to the window. Orgeron looks at it, but only sees his reflection. He turns back toward the detectives.
Wait wait wait wai-
An explosion rips through the side of the interrogation room. Felix and Cole are knocked forward into the table, while Orgeron is knocked backward against the wall. A piece of concrete flies from the explosion through the glass, striking Saban in the head and knocking him to the floor unconscious.
Orgeron rises and looks through the gaping hole in the wall. In the distance, a shadowy figure approaches. Felix and Cole rise and draw their guns, but are pierced with bullets before they can fire them. Orgeron backs away and sees the shadowy figure lower his gun as he approaches the interrogation room. His face obscured by flames, Orgeron can see he is wearing jeans, a sleeveless leather jacket with a bandolier across his chest. He has pistols holstered on either side of his belt and he is holding a large machine gun.
As he gets closer, Orgeron can see he looks to be in his fifties or sixties, and sports thick stubble and a greying ponytail. The figure walks through the opening in the police station wall, unfazed by the flames on the edges of the hole. Orgeron’s mouth falls open when he realizes who the figure is.
Come with me if you, er…have a want to live.