Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fixing Garrett Hartley's swing

Scene: EXT. An empty sugarcane field in Southern Louisiana - NIGHT

Hartley is practicing field goal kicks in the middle of the night by lantern light. He shanks another "ugly duck" to the left.


Hartley grabs another football and sets it up in the holder. He backs up, finds his footing, charges forward and...shanks it yet again.

GARRETT: Christ on a crutch, come on!!

Hartley grabs another football and goes to set it up when he hears something up ahead in the darkness.

GARRETT: Hello? Hello?

Hartley grabs the lantern and holds it up to get a better look.

GARRETT: Hello???

Suddenly, a man in an old brown suit, carrying a sack of original pigskin footballs, emerges from the darkness, like a ghostly apparition.

BAGGAR: Why hello there, sir.

GARRETT: Are you crazy? Walking out there in front of me like that? You could've gotten a concussion if one of those balls hit you in the head!

BAGGAR: Two things. First, the way you been a shankapotomus lately, I figured approaching you direct like was my best course of action. And second, you ain't dropping bombs like Thomas Morstead. That boy can bomb those kicks. He's got the touch.

GARRETT: Gee, thanks, guy.

The black dude with the nice hat puts the bag down and extends his hand.

BAGGAR: Baggar Vance's my name.

Hartley shakes Baggar's hand.

GARRETT: Lemme guess: kicking footballs is your game?

Baggar tilts his head to the side and grins, real folksy like.

BAGGAR: You done lost your swing, sir.


BAGGAR: A man's grip on his club leg bone's like the grip on his world.

GARRETT: Wait, what?

BAGGAR: You suck something fierce lately, Mr. Hartley.

GARRETT: (exasperated sigh) I know. Do you mind, though?

Bagger steps back while Hartley lines up another kick. He approaches, kicks and...WIDE! The black man with the perfectly magical stubble tucks his hands in his pockets and smiles. Always smiling. Always.

BAGGAR: A suggestion, Mr. Hartley. You got lady problems? Are you boozing it up all the time? Did ya become discombobulated after personally witnessing the horrors of World War I?


BAGGAR: Well, sir, whenever I see a man with obvious athletic problems, it usually turns out to be lady issues...

GARRETT: Uh, no, Baggar. Ladies are not the problem. I was born only in 1986, so I'm not old enough to have been in World War I, and I only dine on "boat drinks" in the off-season. I just keep shanking these damn field goal kicks.

BAGGAR: Would it help if I stood out to the left, real quite like? And maybe whispered more folksy sayins that don't make sense at first but have an extraordinary connection with the human condition when you REALLY pay attention to 'em?


BAGGAR: Well, sir, I got a friend that might be better able to help...

Baggar puts his hand to his ear as Garrett hears several large steps coming his way.

GARRETT: Whoa...

COFFEY: Name's John Coffey, boss. Like the drink, only not spelt the same.

Garrett does the face palm and shakes his head.

GARRETT: God help me.

COFFEY: Dat's why I'm here, boss.

BAGGAR: We're here to help you, Mr. Hartley.

GARRETT: What are you doing, John Coffey?!?

Coffey puts his big hands on Garrett's kicking leg.

COFFEY: Trying to take the hurt outta there, boss.

GARRETT: Well, you're hurting me, John. So stop it, please.

Coffey lets go of Hartley's leg.

COFFEY: Usually I spit up bugs, boss. Weren't none in there this time.

GARRETT: I know. Cause my leg isn't infested with gnats, John Coffey! I'm just shanking field goals. I don't have a troubled groin or anything!

COFFEY: Do you need me to fix ya head?

Coffey goes to put his hands around Hartley's tiny head, but the kicker brushes them away.

GARRETT: Oh, get away from me! I don't need some magical help!!

BAGGAR: You need us to call Morgan Freeman?


BAGGAR: Danny Glover?


BAGGAR: Blair Underwood?


BAGGAR: Uh, (rubs chin) what's his name? Um, the guy who looks like Mr. Coffey here, but isn't?

GARRETT: Ving Rhames?

BAGGAR: Yeah, what about him?

GARRETT: No! I don't need help from people with magical powers. I make my own destiny.

COFFEY: Then who can help you, boss?

GARRETT: Good question. Well, I'm sure the good Lord will provide me with the proper help.


A nurse's assistant runs through the hallways, trying to find a particular room.

NURSE: John! John! John, where are you?!?

The nurse finds room 333 and walks in.

NURSE: Sir, the Saints need you to come back to New Orleans and take kicking duties while Garrett Hartley gets his mind right.

THE CARNEY: Huh? What's that, you say? Speak up!!!

NURSE: Oh fuck, our special teams are in trouble....

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