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Ed Orgeron: Into the Tiger-Verse ACT II

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When we last left Ed Orgeron, he was in a whole mess of trouble in Tuscaloosa...

Previously, on Into the Tigerverse...

ACT II

ORGERON

(Ed Orgeron sits in a Tuscaloosa PD room with a completely bewildered look on his face)

What?

Cole’s body suddenly starts twitching. Les lowers his gun and fires several more shots into him. Each time he does, sparks fly. Each bullet is incredibly loud and causes Orgeron to fall to the ground and cover his ears.

ORGERON

(still face-down on the ground, muffled)

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON???

LES

(Continues firing shots into Felix and Cole)

They’re not real cops, they’re robots! Programmed by the same engineers who built the AJ McCannon. Saban’s had them running the whole department for two weeks now.

ORGERON

That didn’t answer any of my questions! In fact, I think I have more now.

LES

Well they’re gonna have to wait because we’ve gotta go!

Les grabs Orgeron by the arm and hoists him up. They run out the opening in the wall. Orgeron is covering his head with his hands while Les is constantly turning with his gun pointed, looking out for potential threats.

LES

Damn! Our ride’s not here yet. C’mon, over here!

Les tugs Orgeron by the arm and they both run toward a line of parked squad cars. They duck behind them as officers sprint out with their weapons drawn.

ORGERON

If we need to make an escape, I’ve got a pretty solid machine in that lot over there.

LES

Enterprise mighta bugged it. I’m sorry, I know it’s a sweet ride but we can’t risk it. I promise that once the cavalry comes we’ll be locked and loaded.

ORGERON

I’m not so sure about that. We’re completely surrounded and they all have guns!

LES

Don’t worry, the writers aren’t gonna kill us off at the end of the first act.

ORGERON

Wait, what?

Les looks around frantically before his gaze locks on an opening in the distance. A smile creeps across his face as a black armored Yukon Denali smashes through some robot officers. Sparks and metal fly as the SUV crashes over them. The armored vehicle roars toward the parked squad cars and swerves so the left side of the truck faces Les and Orgeron. The window rolls down to reveal another familiar face.

ORGERON

Coach Kiffin???

LANE KIFFIN

It’s no Lexus, but damn if I don’t like driving this thing.

LES

C’mon! Get in!

Les runs toward the truck and opens the door. As Orgeron prepares to follow, a robot officer jumps over the truck from the other side, landing between Orgeron and the door. Orgeron, already sprinting toward the truck, does not slow down, and instead does a flawless swim move through the robot pulling a gun from his waist.

Orgeron feels so alive. He thinks about how maybe he was wrong, and the intensity of a defensive lineman is all that’s needed to be successful at any job. He delights in this thought during the half-second between when he pulls off the swim move and when a grenade blast sends him hurtling away from the car.

Orgeron lands on his backside several feet away from Les and Lane. With his ears ringing and his vision fuzzy, Orgeron tries to lift himself off the ground, he can barely see through the cloud of smoke, can tell the officer is slowly approaching him. He tries to get up and run, but can barely move. Right as the officer is about to be standing right over him, his head is blasted off.

Sparks fly out of the frayed wires and burnt metal protruding from the officer’s neck. His body crumbles to the ground, revealing a heavily armed woman holding a large shotgun. She walks toward Orgeron as he slowly begins to see more clearly. The woman wears a black tank top and sunglasses. Though his vision is not yet completely restored, Orgeron would recognize that short, blonde hair anywhere.

D-D BREAUX

Darlin’, that landing was far from a 10.

ORGERON

(Getting up calmly)

I gotta be honest, this is far from the most confusing thing I’ve seen these past 24 hours.

D-D and Orgeron run toward the Denali. Les helps Orgeron in while D-D hops in shotgun.

LANE

Finally. Everyone hold on!

Lane puts the truck into drive and begins plowing over robot officers. Bullets ricochet off the windows as the truck peels out onto the highway. Everyone takes a big sigh. Les, sitting in the middle row with Orgeron unhooks his weapons and undoes his ponytail. D-D sits in the front seat next to Lane, who is driving.

ORGERON

Okay, so… is now a good time to ask the 18 thousand questions I have?

LES

Before you bombard us with questions, I’ll try to explain as much as I can. It’s what we in the industry call an ‘exposition dump.’

ORGERON

The industry?

D-D

He thinks he’s an actor.

LES

I do think I’m an actor. Therefore I act like one. Thus… I am an ack-tor.

D-D

Just because you’re an actor doesn’t mean we’re in a movie.

LES

In a movie? What, that’s preposterous! I mean…

(turns to camera)

Who would watch this movie?

ORGERON

Who are you talking to?

LES

Okay, exposition dump! Tell me, Eddie, what does everyone in this car have in common?

LANE

We’re all being hunted by robots.

LES

Besides that.

ORGERON

We’re all coaches.

LES

Yes! In your universe, what do we coach?

ORGERON

(Slightly confused)

Um, well. I’m at LSU… So is D-D, but she coaches the gymnastics team… of course. Lane is at FAU-

LANE

TAMPA???

LES

No, you’re thinking of USF. FAU is in Orlando. Woo, Disneyworld!

D-D BREAUX

That’s UCF, idiots. FAU is in Boca Raton.

LANE

Seriously, I don’t even get Disneyworld? What the f-

Les quicky covers Lane’s mouth.

LES

Nah ah, remember the studio wants a PG-13 rating. That means we only get one F-bomb. And unfortunately our newest recruit used it up already.

D-D BREAUX

Besides Lane, why do you care so much? This isn’t your reality.

LANE

Yeah I guess that’s true. Funny how in this universe I ended up in one B.R., and in mine I ended up in the other B.R.! That poor bastard.

ORGERON

The other B.R.?

LES

I’ll cut to the chase we’re all from different universes. And in your universe, yes, we are all just coaches, but there’s one thing each of ‘us’ has in common specifically...

ORGERON

And that is…?

LES

Each of us is head coach of LSU football in our universe.

Orgeron looks at the other three people in the truck suspiciously. D-D is turned around looking at him with a matter-of-fact expression. Lane is driving but darting his eyes back and forth between the road and his mirror to see Orgeron’s reaction. He thinks this must be some kind of practical joke.

LES

Eddie, tell me, how did you become head coach in your universe?

ORGERON

Are you sure? I mean it’s kinda awkward cause, well…

LES

What is it?

ORGERON

I, uh… I replaced you as LSU head coach. In this reality, you’re now coach at Kansas.

Les chuckles to himself.

LES

Wow… your universe’s writers are truly unpredictable. If they haven’t won Best Original Screenplay yet, somebody needs to be fired.

LANE

I wish I could find whoever was writing your lines so I could take their script and rip it up.

LES

Don’t worry about me, Eddie. This is YOUR story. Tell me how YOU became head coach.

ORGERON

Well, it’s kinda hard to leave you out of it. You hired me to be D-line coach. Then just four games into my second year, you got fired and I was named interim. We played out the season and in the end I got the job instead of Tom Herman.

LES

Not to be too nosy, but… why did I get fired?

ORGERON

Well, mainly because you kept losing to Alabama and your quarterbacks were never good enough. All the fans still loved you, but… everyone pretty much agreed it was time to move on. We were never gonna catch up to Saban with you in charge.

Les drops his head and smiles.

LES

(To himself)

Damn, this is quite the emotional arc for a supporting character.

ORGERON

What?

LES

See, my universe was almost like yours. Saban and I were neck and neck. I had beaten him twice, he had beaten me twice. Then in 2011, we played this epic, wild game. We were ranked No. 1 and they were No. 2. It was tight, but we beat them in overtime, 9-6.

ORGERON

That also happened in our universe! That game was a masterpiece!

LES

It was, wasn’t it? One of the greatest games ever right?

ORGERON

Without question! If people weren’t so obsessed with Big 12 scores, they’d see how good this game was!

LES

Well in my universe, people do appreciate it. It basically decided the national championship!

ORGERON

Wait, it did? In my universe, it ended up being pretty much meaningless.

LES

How’s that?

ORGERON

Well… because the National Championship game was a rematch. Alabama killed y’all and that was the beginning of you not being able to beat Saban.

LES

I see. Well, that’s where our universes differ, my friend. You see we didn’t play Alabama in the championship game in my universe. We played an undefeated Oklahoma State.

ORGERON

Y’all did???

LES

Well I mean ‘played’ is being a little generous. They didn’t really play much of a game at all, and we established ourselves as the class of college football. We beat Bama again the next year and rolled over Notre Dame in the title game. Then Saban fled to coach the Eagles. We’ve cruised through the SEC and recruiting cycles every year since!

ORGERON

Wow… it’s crazy what a little Iowa State comeback did to college football. Just imagine how much better life would be for LSU and college football fans as a whole if Oklahoma State could’ve just made one lousy field goal at the end of regulation!

LES

Uh oh, is the writer getting a little carried away here? Well I guess every good film has some kind of political undertone in it.

ORGERON

Okay, but that doesn’t explain everything. Why do you have so much hair in your universe?

LES

I guess not having to face Nick Saban or Urban Meyer every year took a lot of stress out of my life. Did this universe’s version of me at least have enough time for my film career to take off?

ORGERON

Er, I mean it started. I don’t know about ‘take off…’

LES

Huzzah! All it takes is a spark!

ORGERON

Okay, I guess your story adds up. But Lane…

(Orgeron chuckles)

How did you of all people-

Lane glares at Orgeron in the mirror.

LANE

How did I what?

ORGERON

(Stammering)

I mean just, just… ya know, how did you become LSU coach? In your universe, ya know, like… like what’s your story, ya know, er, yeah. What’s your story?

Lane sighs and rolls his eyes. Les pulls a knife out of his belt and begins sharpening it as Lane begins speaking.

LANE

In my universe I became Saban’s offensive coordinator after I was fired by USC. We had a great first year and won the SEC, then faced Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinal. Ohio State’s offense was killing us. Eventually, they went up 42-28 late in the fourth quarter.

ORGERON

Yeah, it’s the same here. Y’all tried to mount a comeback, but fell short. Buckeyes then beat Oregon in Dallas for the title.

LANE

And there’s the split. We mounted an epic comeback against Ohio State. We were stuck at midfield with thirteen seconds left and no timeouts. It looked hopeless until I dialed up a perfect strike to Amari Cooper over the middle to send the game to overtime where we won.

ORGERON

Wow, what happened in the National Championship?

LANE

More of the same. Defense couldn’t stop Mariota, but our offense was still too much. We outdueled them 41-38.

ORGERON

Wow, I’m happy for you, Lane. Finally winning a championship must have been an amazing feeling.

LANE

(Angrily)

Except it wasn’t. All anyone talked about was what a “genius” Nick Saban was for reinventing his offense to get past everyone. I’m the one who designed the offense! The only thing he reinvented was his payroll. I took an old-school, smash-mouth SEC football team, and built a high-flying offense that would make Big 12 coaches blush, and all anyone could do was praise Nick.

ORGERON

So… what did you do?

LANE

The next year, I started going rogue. When Saban wanted to run the ball and control the clock, I went deep. When he wanted to air it out, I let the ground game flex its muscles. The common eye never noticed a thing because we scored on every drive. But the TV cameras then started to show how Saban would always yell at me, even after successful plays. Then the “control freak” narrative began to form. Splash reports about how we always bickered started to leak, and I became considered a legitimate head coaching candidate again. But where could I possibly go? If only there was a team with similar talent to Alabama that was looking for a new head coach to reinvent its offense.

ORGERON

You got the job over me?

LANE

(Coldly)

Well they technically never offered you a job because they brought me in right as they let Les go.

ORGERON

They actually fired Les after the A&M game?

LANE

Nah, he announced he was stepping down the week before. He went out as a hero and I was welcomed on good terms.

LES

I gotta say, while it was an honorable thing for me to do, they played it a little safe with that ending. I think a dramatic twist would’ve been a fitting end to my tenure.

D-D

I don’t know, twist endings are risky. Longtime fans are often disappointed.

ORGERON

That’s a good point. I dunno about y’all’s universes, but the last season of ‘Game of Thrones’ was not super popular in mine. Maybe it would’ve been better if you were on it, Les!

Orgeron chuckles, but a stern, threatening look is frozen on Les’ face with his gaze focused on Orgeron

ORGERON

(Nervously)

Oh, sorry, uh… are you not a fan?

Les stops sharpening his knife and points it at Orgeron.

LES

Do not ever, ever… call me a small screen actor ever again. We clear?

ORGERON

(Gulping)

Clear.

Les brings the knife back toward him and resumes cleaning it. A goofy grin returns to his face. Orgeron takes a second to calm down. Lane continues driving calmly while D-D chews a toothpick with one of her feet resting on the dashboard. She notices Orgeron looking at her in the mirror.

D-D

Guess it’s time for my story now, huh?

ORGERON

I mean, I guess yo-

D-D

Hiring me to coach a second sport saved LSU lots of money. Also hiring the first female head coach in the history of D-1 college football raised the sale of women’s merchandise by 400 percent. Sure, maybe I was a fiscal decision instead of a football one, but who could argue after went 15-0 in my first full season?

ORGERON

(Surprised)

You did??

D-D

Of course, it was easy. Pretty hard for your players to get tackled when they can do double back pikes through the entire defense.

ORGERON

Wow. Here I was thinking that I was this big shot, thinking I was the only person in the universe who got to be LSU head coach, but little did I know.

LANE

Technically you are the only person in your universe coaching LSU football. The multiverse is where you’re not alone.

ORGERON

The multiverse… huh. Are there any LSU head football coaches I should know about?

LES

Well of course there’s Mike back there.

Les gestures to the backseat. Orgeron turns and looks in the back for the first time since getting in the truck, and sees Mike the Tiger sitting there looking right back at him with sunglasses resting on his face. Orgeron opens his mouth to let out a scream, but is so petrified he cannot make any noise. He gasps for air as he tries to make sense of what he’s seeing. He is now certain that things cannot *possibly* get any crazier.

MIKE THE TIGER

(In Australian accent)

Oy mate! ‘Ow’s it goin’?

Orgeron passes out and falls to the floor.

TO BE CONTINUED...