Blue Chips (1994) Script

(Nile Rodgers' "Baby, Please Don't Go" playing)

(men speaking in hushed voices)

You gotta bust him out.

All right, come on, now.

(door slams)

How bad can it get?

Just how goddamn bad can it get?

This is by far the worst team that has ever sat in this locker room.

You son of a bitches, you don't deserve a locker room.

You don't deserve a locker room, the way you're playing this year.

You should be playing without uniforms.

You should be playing in your jockstraps.

Goddamn it!

Every time we get ready to play, I just wanna throw up.

I'm goddamn sick of watching you guys play.

There's not one of you, not one of you, that's learned how to win.

We got hammered the last four games, and it stops right now!

If you keep playing the way you're playing, we're gonna get our ass beat again tonight.

I'm so depressed I don't even wanna talk about it.

I'm through fighting, you sons of bitches!

(pen clatters)

You're the dumbest team I ever coached.

You guys think of something.

(door slams)

All right, guys.

The guards...

Honest to Christ, I just wanna go home and cry when I watch us play.

Don't you boys understand?

Don't you know how bad I wanna see this team play?

I wanna see this team play so fucking bad, I can taste it.

Honest to Christ!

You boys, the only joy I have right now is I only have to watch you guys play two more games.

Goddamn it!

(door slams)

All right, guys, let's start thinking about the game.

Let's start thinking about what we're gonna do out there.

I can't tell you how sick I am of basketball right now.

I never thought I'd see the day when Western basketball is in the state it is right now.

If I never see another game in my life, that's just fine by me.

Dwayne, you can get through college half-assed.

Richard, you can get through life half-assed.

But I'll guarantee you boys one thing.

Sure as hell, I'll guarantee you this:

You cannot win half-assed!

I wanna win this ball game!

Let's go!

(playing "Land of a Thousand Dances")


(crowd cheers)

Yeah!

Go!

Yeah! Whoo!

Yeah!

("Land Of A Thousand Dances" ends)

(cheering)

(snare drums pounding)

(marching band playing "Dolphin Fight Song")

TELEVISION REPORTER: And welcome to the Dolphin Dome for tonight's game between the Texas Western Cowboys and the Western University Dolphins.

Coach Pete Bell for Western is on the hot seat.

He's in danger of having his first losing season ever, but a victory tonight would ensure a winning season for Coach Pete Bell.

It's gonna be tough, though, because Texas Western is tournament bound.

They are well-coached by Rick Pitino.

They've got a dynamic backcourt duo with Sam Crawford and Rex Walters, and they should get up-front court help from Chris Mills and George Lynch.

It should be a great game.

First-half action coming up.

(both grunt)

(crowd roars)

D-up, man.

Play him up.

Hands up, Hack.

BELL: Deny those leads!

Dwayne, pick up the ball!

Hands up, baby.

He's going to his left!

Get in front of him.

Two shots.

BELL: Bounce it. Bounce it. Screen across.

Pick him up, pick him up!

Play yourself, Mitch.

Help on the ball.

BELL: Mitch, use your feet!

Come on, Ed, come on.

That's a foul. (whistle blows)

ANNOUNCER: Personal foul...

Oh, for chrissakes!

What the hell's the matter with you?

Goddamn it, we're not moving the ball.

Just standing around, for chrissake.

Let's go to the four-man motion.

If they go to their one man, don't worry about the big guy, he's not gonna handle it.

Don't trap four and five.

Only trap one, two and three.

Take him to the hoop!

(whistle blows)

What the hell is this?

Great call. You're the best.

What in the hell is this, for chrissakes?

What, have you got blinders on tonight?

I mean, you haven't made a call all night.

Look out.

That's why you're a good official.

PITINO: Now look, now look.

Up and under, George. Up and under.

Move, George, move.

Move, George.

Nice move. We got it.

Stay with it. Stay with it!

(whistle blows)

What the hell is that kind of a call?

Explain that to me.

You've got your last warning.

You sit down.

You've got your last warning.

I'll ring you up.

Horseshit!

BELL: Get back, get back, get back!

Full speed.

(crowd gasps)

Son of a bitch.

(ominous theme playing)

PITINO: Three.

Now, now, now, now.

There it is.

Good job. Rebound, let's go!

Go slow.

Stay in it.

Stay in it!

They're getting tired.

They're breaking down right now.

They are not in great shape.

Come on, fill the lanes. Let's go.

George! There it is.

Did you see that?

That's it, take away the middle. Dunk it.

He fouled! Foul!

Rebound it.

Rebound it, yes!

Rotate.

Watch, he's coming!

(whistle blows)

They're fouling me every time I get the ball.

I don't give a shit!

The tempo is ours.

Go strong, Rick.

He got killed.

Plug up the middle.

Plug it up.

Nigel, goddamn it, get over on his left foot!

(whistle blows)

Ray Charles could've made a better call, for chrissake.

Call that in the box!

You're standing over, and you know he didn't touch him!

I'm here! Goddamn it!

He's over there! I didn't call it.

(shouting) I didn't call it!

I swear to God...

(crowd jeering)

That's the third fucking time you did that!

He was pushing off all the way in there...

He was not pushing. What, are you blind?

What do you want me to do?

You son of a bitch!

(blows whistle)

You son of a bitch!

You son of a...

You get out of here!

Get out of here!

MAN: I got it! I got it!

Am I wrong? Was I wrong or what?

He had a different angle than you.

Bullshit!

Am I wrong or what?

Ah, piss it.

ANNOUNCER: Coach Bell is ejected from the arena.

(water trickling)

Yo, coach.

It's your friendly athletic director.

Thought I'd better stop by and officially comment on your behavior out there tonight.

Well, goddamn it, Vic.

If I have to get on these kids as hard as I did tonight just to get them to play good, I don't know if I can take another goddamn game.

Coach, relax, will you?

It's the end of a long season.

You know how it works.

You'll feel better about it in the morning.

There's no goddamn way in hell I'm gonna feel better about it in the morning.

You know I'm gonna feel worse.

I'm just gonna get angrier and angrier.

Take all day.

You'll feel better by tomorrow night.

You know, if we keep losing, you're gonna be out of a job.

God, tell me something I don't know.

(camera shutters clicking)

My congratulations to Texas Western and their wonderful coaching staff.

They played a terrific game.

That's about all I have to say on that.

Any questions, stupid or otherwise?

All right, Allan?

Yeah, coach.

We'd like to hear your side of the basketball-kicking incident.

The basketball-kicking incident.

All right, next question.

Allan, you used up your question.

That was stupid.

Ed?

Do you think it's fair to say that your inability to get the program back on track is strictly related to recruiting problems that started four years ago after the alleged point-shaving incident?

How long you gonna keep this bullshit up, Ed?

Huh? You know goddamn well there was no such incident.

There was an alleged incident which you invented, in the same way that if I assert that you sleep with sheep, then it is alleged that you sleep with sheep!

That's out of line, coach. What do you mean?

If you can't take the heat, get out of my face.

Goddamn it, you know nothing like that happened here.

Listen, I didn't say that it happened.

I merely asked you if you thought that the allegations hurt recruiting.

I didn't say it happened.

Listen, if this is the level of questions I'm gonna get here tonight, this press conference is over.

(reporters murmuring)

He's a beauty, huh?

(reporters clamoring)


Did you see the game?

No rebounding.

You got beat on the boards.

Yeah, no rebounding.

We're not aggressive enough.

Actually, I thought the kids played their hearts out.

Yeah, they did.

They did the best they could.

Don't put the game tapes in the VCR.

I want to just... We'll just watch this tonight.

Not tonight. Mm-mm, mm-mm.

Mm-mm.

All right.

You should've pressured the guards more.

Yeah, we should've pressured their guards, but we're not quick enough.

That's the good stuff, coach.

You're gonna drink like a fish, there's some cheap stuff in the kitchen.

Now you're trying to slow me down?

Always.

How was your day?

My day?

Oh.

I had 20 first-graders making valentines.

Yeah, hearts are tough to cut out.

Easier than pumpkins.

Yeah, well...

(exhales softly)

Honey, you okay?

Yeah.

You sure?

(clears throat)

Oh, that damn Ed Axe.

He'll be in on the Daily Ne rider.

He brought up the alleged incident again.

That's bullshit.

I'm looking at my first losing season.

I just can't handle it.

Don't you think it's a bit much for a 50-year-old man to be kicking basketballs up into the stands?

I hope it didn't hit anybody.

No.

(chuckles)

I just...

I don't do well with losing, do I?

You've won two national championships.

Go on.

This is two more than most coaches dream of.

You've won eight conference titles.

I don't call this losing.

You've got great kids.

The cleanest program in America.

They all graduate.

You make a lot of money doing exactly what it is you wanna do.

I could go on and on. No, do. Do.

I'm not going to, because I'll get angry.

Do you like it when I'm angry because it turns you on?

You think it's sexy?

I do.

Do I look sexy? Yes, you do.

Suppose you wanna do a little one-on-one?

Yes. No.

Can I stay here tonight?

No.

Oh, come on. What do you say?

No. Come on, let's go.

(sighs)

Come on, come on.

Let's go.

Why are we divorced, Jenny?

Because you're impossible to live with.

Besides that.

Good night.

(grunts)

Mm-mm.

(electric guitar theme playing)


(clicks)

Texas Western 74, Western University 59.

The Dolphins out of it, now at .500 and in danger of their first losing season under Pete Bell.

In closing, it is time to tell Coach Petey Bell of the Western University Dolphins to take a hike.

He has clearly lost the touch he once had.

This year's team is the least disciplined, the least fundamentally sound squad we've seen in years, and his sideline antics are becoming boorish and embarrassing.

To the alumni, to the chancellor, to the athletic director Vic Roker, it is time to tell Coach Petey Bell to take a hike.

BELL: Move it, move it, move it!

Keep your spacing.

All right.

Keep your spacing there, Phil.

Widen out.

Where's the goddamn spacing?

When I'm coming down here and I'm setting this screen, give it here.

Lock him off. Lock him off!

JACK: Don't get lazy on us. Come on, Rick!

BELL: Set it. Roll, Tony!

Tony, when you get on this screen, you've gotta get this foot locked here.

If your footwork is here and this is open, you're trying to rotate, he's got all the room in the world.

But if you lock here...

Now try to go this way, Steve. See?

But if you got this foot back, here, set the screen like this, now I'm trying to rotate, I can't get there.

But if I set this foot in here and I rotate, I'm here.

Tony, son, it's footwork.

JACK: All right, let's go. Let's go.

Got that?

Spin and roll.

Hit and spin.

Move right to the basket.

Come on, now.

Free throws!

Tony!

Tony, come here.

What's up, coach?

You've been looking down lately.

What's going on?

How you doing in your classes?

Well, actually, I'm flunking a class.

You're flunking a class?

What class?

TV. TV?

How can you be flunking TV?

Coach, that's a tough class.

You don't just watch the tube.

How's it going with that little girl?

Oh, man, she's cool. She's not pregnant after all.

It's all right.

Now, remember, you've got a responsibility there, so you take care of it, all right?

All right, go on back in.

All right, coach.

Mel, come here.

Get a tutor for Tony for TV, all right?

Freddie, take Tony.

Take him to a pharmacy and get him some prophylactics.

Coach!

Come on, baby, what's wrong?

Coach.

BELL: When other teams used to come in and see these banners, it scared them to death.

All these banners were worth, what, eight points anyway.

But everything changes, huh?

Everything changes, coach.

Yeah, there's very little in life that man's got a control over.

Things just happen, so when you got a chance to make a statement, goddamn it, you gotta do it.

We haven't been making a statement.

When we were winning conference titles and going to the Final Four, we were making a statement.

The kids are working as hard as they can, you know.

They just don't have the talent.

Yeah, well, I can't beat anybody with banners.

I need players.

I need horses.

You got horses.

What you need are thoroughbreds.

Well, everybody in the country is buying these kids out of high school, giving them cars and money under the table, God knows what.

Don't you ever miss?

(chuckles)

That's the idea of the game, put the ball in the hole.

There's two reasons I'm incapable of cheating.

You wanna hear them?

Tell me.

One, if I break the rules... and I get caught, I'll get kicked out of coaching.

And what's the second reason?

I might not get caught.

Miss the goddamn ball once, will you?

Jesus Christ.

You can't even miss left-handed.

All right, does anybody know what this is?

ALL: A heart.

That's what it is. It's a goddamn heart.

That's what it is.

Boy, I'm beginning to think there's some intelligence in this room.

Now, if you guys show me you got one of these, we're gonna win this game tonight.

Tony, you got one of these?

Yes, sir.

Tony, do you know what we're trying to do on defense, and how it triggers our transition game?

Yes, sir.

Do you think the entire team understands what we're trying to do?

Yes, sir.

Good, because I'm holding you personally responsible for this whole team understanding this philosophy.

Do you accept that responsibility?

Yes, sir.

(crowd roaring)

Phil, get in for Dwayne.

Byron, come here.

Nice pass, Tony.

TONY: Play it all the way through, let's go.

BELL: Good steal, Mitch. Good steal.

TONY: Post him up, Richie.

Post him up, baby. Post him up.

Yeah, take him, take him.

BELL: Nigel, get back! Full speed!

Pick up the open man, Richard!

Oh, shit!

Protect the ball! Shit!

Get your hands up. Man, come on.

(grunts)

MAN: Hey, coach, you better get a new day job.

(buzzer sounds)

REPORTER: Have you given it any thought you may be 20 minutes away from your first losing season?

These kids have played their heart out this year.

I'm not answering that kind of bullshit.

I don't mean to ruffle feathers. Good luck in the second half.

Pick up your man.

Move out on the ball!

Move out on the ball!

Pick up on the point guard in there.

Make the point guard have to work in there.

Whoever's got the point guard, pick him up high and keep him going to his left in there.

BELL: Set her up, Tony. Nice move.

Take it. Take it, Tony.

Take it.

Yeah, yeah, got you!

All right!

That's what we need.

(players grunting)

(Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" playing)

(growls)

TONY: Better get them rebounds.

Do it!

Too many offensive rebounds.

Let's go.

Come on, guys, come on.

Move the ball.

Lay it out, lay it out.

(grunts loudly)

BELL: Get back! Full speed!

Somebody gonna block out Rogers?

Somebody gonna block out Rogers tonight?

His tenth dunk tonight, guys, let's go.

(crowd booing)

BELL: Get around on him, Ricky! Full speed!

Stop the ball!

(booing continues)

TONY: Come on, now. Don't quit on me.

(buzzer sounds)

(showers trickling)

(players chattering)

Okay.

You call me, now.

All right.

Guys.

Guys, listen up.

Listen up.

I just wanna thank you all again for a hell of a season.

I want you to remember one thing, goddamn it.

When we leave this locker room, we're not losers.

We're winners, okay?

(scattered applause)

We're losers.

We're an absolutely mediocre basketball team.

Yeah, but these kids are a great bunch of guys, coach.

I know they're a great bunch of guys, but goddamn it, not one of them can play basketball.

Except Tony, and he's flunking TV.

What the hell happened?

How did we sink so low so fast?

Kids are going east to play.

They want the television exposure.

Well, that's part of it, Freddie, but goddamn it, I think what it is is we've been sitting on our butt.

We haven't been going out there.

We expected the kids to come here out of tradition.

That's not happening anymore.

What the hell happened to the Jones kid?

He was right in our own back yard.

Cedric Jones, yeah, I remember.

I had six meetings with his family. What happened?

We lost him to the East, to a big bag of dough.

I mean, come on, guys, maybe it's time we should start anteing up.

No, goddamn it. We ain't doing that.

We ain't opening that Pandora's box.

Ask Freddie.

I don't recommend under-the-table recruiting.

It's a personal hell you're letting yourselves in for.

Let's get these guys.

Goddamn it, let's get on the phones, and let's stay here all night if we got to.

JACK: All right, tell us about Cornelius Brown, 6-foot-7 power forward.

By way of Pluto, he's a major headcase.

He can stick it from anywhere, but, I mean, I think he's committed to Western Nebraska with a phony job from an alumnus congressman.

Okay. All right. Willy Hutchinson.

We heard this guy was on the verge of signing a letter of intent to Eastern.

And his old man's been seen driving a Mercedes-Benz since the day he signed the letter. Lot of rumors.

There's a lot of rumors. Do yourselves a favor.

Chop off the bottom eight names on your list.

They are irrelevant.

The top two guys are the ones you want.

Okay, that's, uh, Butch McRae. Chicago?

FREDDIE: Yeah, he's from St. Joseph's.

And Ricky...

Ricky Roe. We got him there.

"6'8" power forward.

The Butch and Ricky show. You get those two guys, you are in the Final Four next year.

(Nile Rodgers' "Baby, Please Don't Go" playing)

(blues theme playing)

(muffled cheering)


(cheering)

(cheering)

(conversing indistinctly)

What do you think, guys? He looks pretty good, huh, Tark?

He's a great player, but I don't think we can get him in academically.

You don't think so?

I don't think so.

What do you think, Jim?

I don't think he can play for you.

You don't? Too many bad shots.

Can he play for you?

Well, maybe. Yeah, that's what I figured.

MAN: I hear his mother's a pain in the ass.

BELL: Yeah, his mother's a pain in the ass.

What has he got? He's got 27 points now?

You guys looking for Rhodes scholars?

Yeah, Rhodes scholars who can dunk.

Coach Pete.

Will you tell Father Dawkins I'm here? I sure will.

And we can send these ugly guys home.

Father Dawkins, Coach Pete is here.

Uh-oh.

There's blood in the water.

Must be a point guard on the block around here somewhere.

All right, gentlemen, what am I bid?

Give me $50 for this strapping young boy.

Seventeen and getting bigger every day.

Dig deep in your pockets, gentlemen.

They say he's a potential all-American.

And he can read and write.

The boy can actually read and write.

He got 1250 on his SATs.

He ain't no problem, either.

His name ain't Abdul Ahmad X or nothing like that.

The boy's actual name is Butch.

With a name like that, he ought to have him some freckles.

Now, what am I bid, gentlemen?

Dig deep in your pockets.

Dig deep!

Hey, Pete, step inside.

We're in trouble. I think we're in trouble.

Yeah.

How's Tony?

Tony's fine. Tony's fine.

Is he going to class?

Yeah, he's going to class.

He's trying. It's a struggle, though.

I love him, but if he flunks, he deserves it.

Oh, I'm not gonna let him flunk.

You're here because of Butch McRae, aren't you?

Yeah. Yeah.

He's something, huh?

Yeah, he's the best we've had.

And he's smart too.

He's got his head screwed on straight.

Doesn't make any mistakes.

His father's not around, right?

No.

I hear his mother is a piece of work.

Ohhh... She's a powerful piece of work.

I hear she wants money.

She wants money just to talk.

She only charges the schools she doesn't like.

Well, did she like us?

She likes your science department a whole lot better than she likes your basketball program.

I don't blame her. They have a better record lately.

I can get her to waive the grand, but if you try to bullshit Lavada McRae, she will eat you alive.

(slow blues theme playing)

(distant siren wailing)

(latch rattles)

Coach Bell. Mrs. McRae.

Lavada McRae.

You have any trouble finding us?

No.

No problem whatsoever.

Come on in.

All right.

This is my son, Butch. Good to meet you, Butch.

Thanks a lot. A pleasure to meet you.

Wonderful game. Thanks.

This is my mother, Miss Dorothy.

Oh, how do you do?

It's good to meet you.

My daughter Qiana.

Hello, Qiana, how are you?

My baby, Britney.

This is Alicia.

All right, Britney.

That's Alicia.

Alicia, good to meet you.

Britney, it's good to meet you.

It's nice to meet you too.

Mrs. McRae, your children are well-mannered.

That's good Catholic upbringing.

You know what, I'm Catholic too.

I'm not.

I just send them all to St. Joseph's because the priest and nuns don't take no shit.

Butch, is there anything you wanna ask Mr. Bell?

I don't know, Mom, L.A.?

L.A. is a long ways from here.

Yes, it is.

That's part of going to school.

Getting away from home, meeting new friends.

We'd love you to come out to Western and visit the campus.

I don't know, coach. I'll think about it.

I'm kind of scared to take the college courses.

That's normal, Butch.

I mean, Dr. George Howe, the head of our science department, he's world-famous.

He loves basketball.

Are you implying that classes are rigged for athletes?

Mrs. McRae, my players take real classes.

My players do graduate.

I think the thing that I really wanted to ask you is, will I start next year?

Well, you'll get the opportunity to start, Butch.

I mean, our whole offense is gonna be geared around the point guard.

And that's the position we'd love you to come in and play.

I've been doing some thinking about this, and...

Um...

Let me show you.

Mrs. McRae, do you mind if I do this?

Kids, come on over here.

I got something.

You guys are gonna have a lot of fun.

Stand right here for a second. Can I use this lamp?

Is this lamp...? Yeah, it's on an extension cord.

Oh, Grandma, can you come on over and help us?

Yeah, come on over here.

I want you to guard this chair.

Now, put your arms out like you're guarding.

Qiana, I want you to guard this lamp right here.

Come on, this will be fun. This will be fun.

Now, you're the off guard.

This pillow, this is the ball. Here you go, Butch.

Okay, you pass it to your mom over there. That's it.

Now, you pass it him, Mrs. McRae.

Pass to Butch.

Pass the ball over here.

Butch, you cut around right there.

Throw it in to your brother.

Lay in it there.

Beautiful. Yes.

Beautiful.

I have a family to consider.

Oh, of course. Of course.

And if Butch chooses to become a Dolphin, I plan on moving to a new and better job.

I have references.

Well, there are rules.

I would also like a house with a lawn.

My children have never had a lawn.

Mrs. McRae, do you know how the NCSA regulations work?

Mr. Bell, I don't know a great deal about basketball, but I do know this:

A foul is not a foul unless the referee blows his whistle.

Mrs. McRae, do you really want your son to start out life by learning how to bend and break the rules?

What's he gonna be when he grows up, and then he's out in the world?

Now he's responsible and the leader of other young men.

What's he gonna become?

A millionaire?

Mm-hmm.

(Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Looking Out My Back Door" playing)

♪ Just got home from Illinois ♪

♪ Lock the front door Oh, boy ♪

♪ Got to sit down Take a rest on the porch ♪

♪ Imagination sets in Pretty soon I'm singing ♪

♪ Doo, doo, doo Looking out my back door ♪

♪ There's a giant Doing cartwheels ♪

♪ A statue wearing high heels ♪

♪ Look at all the happy creatures Dancing on the lawn ♪

♪ A dinosaur Victrola Listening to Buck Owens ♪

♪ Doo, doo, doo Looking out my back door ♪

("Looking Out My Back Door" ends)

A white farm boy with a basketball?

Oh, I don't know, son.

I don't think you're ever gonna make it.

Can't run, can't jump, bad back, pathetic.

How's it going, Pete?

I'm doing good, Larry.

I was just driving around, I was in the neighborhood.

I thought I'd stop by.

Yeah, you and every other coach in the country.

Well, you know, all those years I spoke for free at your basketball camp, those stock tips I gave you?

Cut the B.S., Petey.

What do you want?

Ricky Roe. You know him?

Yeah.

Will you call him for me?

When? Whenever you got time.

Let's go.

Hello.

Hi.

Welcome to French Lick, Mr. Bell.

Thank you, thank you very much.

How are you, Mr. Roe?

Fine.

Fine. You can call me Pete.

I'd just as soon keep it businesslike, if you don't mind.

My wife, Lucille.

Hello, Lucille, how are you?

My son, Ricky. Yes, hi, Ricky.

What's up, coach? How you doing?

Come on in.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the blessings you've given to us.

We thank you for this food, please bless it to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to thy service.

These things we ask in Christ's name, amen.

Amen.

Well, this looks wonderful.

Oh, meat loaf, great.

So, what direction do you see your college studies taking you, Ricky?

Actually, I haven't given it much thought.

Well, there's no reason you have to decide now, you have plenty of time.

He'd like to take over the farm someday.

I would? Yes, you would.

The truth is, I haven't even decided if I wanna go to college at all.

Well, what are you interested in?

You really wanna know what I'm interested in, coach?

Yeah. Girls.

It's girls and just playing basketball, you know.

Girls and hoops.

Those are good interests.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You know?

But, you know, Ricky, let me tell you something.

You know, you got an opportunity to use your basketball skills to get into school, and you gotta take that opportunity.

I mean, now, don't get me wrong, we got a lot of girls at Western.

Hell, we got a million of them.

They'd like what I can do out there.

I think I could go out to California and just, you know, show them what I got out there.

Yeah, well, take this opportunity, get your education, you know, even if you don't come to Western.

You know, the girls are gonna wait.

They'll be there.

Boy can shoot.

Yes, he can.

But does he wanna go to college?

Oh, yeah.

And I still have some influence over that.

You know, it's a very funny thing.

A lot of coaches have been by here, asking me what I needed.

I told them I need a new tractor.

Look at that thing over there.

Old Farmall, 44 years old this month.

Hard work making it with a small farm anymore.

All them big combines.

Tractor, huh?

Yeah.

Now, I didn't ask for nothing.

I just keep getting offered farm equipment by this school and that.

Whether it's bending the rules or not don't bother me none, 'cause they ain't my rules.

So, what you're saying is, somebody's gonna give you a tractor?

That's what I'm saying.

Well, I want my boy, if he was to decide to go on to college, to be with a coach that's gonna watch over him.

Well, maybe it's time to let him go a little.

Maybe.

But in that case, I'd like him to be with someone who's a...

Well, a churchgoing type.

Well, for whatever it's worth, Mr. Roe, I was raised a Baptist.

First Baptist or Southern Baptist?

First Baptist, of course.

Well, thank the good Lord, Pete.

We don't think too much of Southern Baptists around here, if you catch my drift.

Mm-hmm.

(band playing "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean")

Hi!

MAN: (over speaker) And now a special treat.

Riding with our own Ricky Roe is the grand marshal of the parade, the man who went from the Blackhawk black, white and gold to the clover green of the Boston Celtics, French Lick's very own Larry Bird.

Let's give them all a big French Lick welcome.

(cheering)

♪ Bother me tomorrow Today I'll buy no sorrow ♪

♪ Doo, doo, doo Looking out my back door ♪

(Them's "Baby, Please Don't Go" playing)

Welcome home, coach.

Slick. What are you doing here? Waiting for you, Pete.

Me? Yeah.

'Cause I got a hot one for you, baby, come here.

And you're telling me nobody's ever heard of this guy?

Well, I've been watching him for a while.

Hell, the kid never even played ball in high school.

He went to Army, played in Europe.

He grew eight inches in two years.

He got too big for Army regulations.

And he played a little JC ball in New Mexico.

But when he finally stopped growing, he got all his coordination back.

He showed up at a gym recently with some pros, kicked butt bigtime.

Why are you bringing him to me?

Even though this kid is still a project with a lot of rough edges, I know your program's so screwed up right now, my boy will move in the starting lineup.

You wanna take a plane ride to meet him?

Plane ride? Yeah, see if I'm right?

Where is he at? Algiers.

Algiers?

♪ Before I be your dog Before I be your dog ♪

♪ Before I be your dog I get you way down here ♪

♪ I make you walk the log Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

For chrissake! Oh, come on.

This guy better pan out, or I tell you, you're never gonna come to any more games at Western, goddamn it, Slick.

♪ Baby, please don't go Down to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so Baby, please don't go ♪

(children shouting)

♪ Before I be your dog Before I be your dog ♪

♪ Before I be your dog Get you way down here ♪

♪ Make you walk alone Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ How I feel right now ♪

♪ My baby's leaving On that midnight train ♪

♪ And I'm crying ♪

(crowd gasps)

♪ Baby, please don't go Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go Down to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so Baby, please don't go ♪

Ooh!

Did you see that? He went...

♪ Before I be your dog Get you way down here ♪ SLICK: He ain't just big, Pete, he's quick, he's got big hands.

Watch how he moves away from the ball.

He's totally raw.

He's never been coached.

BELL: Jesus Christ.

Oh, man.

SLICK: I'm not gonna bullshit you, Pete.

He ain't no brain surgeon, all right?

Took the SAT recently, scored 520 out of a possible 1600.

520?

You get 400 for just spelling your name correctly.

That's it.

He messed up on his name.

Slick, what up, man?

Coach Bell, Neon Bodeaux.

Hey, bro, how you doing?

Fine.

Neon, did you ever think about going to college?

I've thought about it a few times.

All right, there's a thing called Proposition 48, which says that if your grades aren't up to par, you can take the SATs, and if you score 700 or more, you can get into college.

Would you be willing to take the test again?

I don't know, man.

Them tests are culturally biased.

Well, everything is culturally biased, Neon.

I'm just trying to get you in college.

If I couldn't play basketball, would you be trying to get me in college?

No.

At least you're honest.

♪ Fill my soul With the Holy Ghost ♪

♪ Please fill my soul With your precious Holy Ghost ♪ What kind of church is this?

Assemblies of God.

Pentecostal?

Hell, I grew up in the Pentecostal Church.

♪ Please fill my soul With your precious Holy Ghost ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Receive that saving power Receive that saving power ♪ BELL: I promise you boys this, if you come to Western University you will enjoy the finest athletic facilities in the country.

We got 45,000 students, 60 percent of them are girls, Ricky.

Sports are a way of life here.

Football team's been in the top ten consistently for the last 20 years.

Baseball team is in the College World Series this year.

Track-and-field team...

Track-and-field team, eight gold medals in the last Summer Olympics.

And look at this weather.

I mean, look at this.

No more cold weather.

Beats the hell out of those cold, harsh winter nights in Chicago and Indiana, right?

I mean, look at this.

There it is, gentlemen.

Students used to wait all night long just to get tickets.

Be back in a minute.

We're on the verge of that again.

Have you gentlemen ever heard

15,000 people cheering for you?

Of course, all the time.

All the time.

Twenty.

About 20 every game.

(faint chattering)

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the starting lineup for the Western University Dolphins:

At guard, 6-foot-9, from Chicago, Illinois, number 22, Butch McRae.

(crowd cheering)

At forward, from Indiana, 6-foot-11 inches, number 42, Ricky Roe.

And from New Orleans, at center, number 50, standing 7-foot-4-inches tall, Neon Bodeaux.

McRAE: Hey, that's great, coach, but I'm not 6'9".

ROE: I'm no 6'11" either.

NEON: I am 7'4". BELL: You are 7'4".

Now, listen to me, guys, that's how tall you're gonna be when you play here.

When I first came to this land

I was not a wealthy man

So I built myself a shack Hey. Jenny.

Jenny.

I did what I could Neon.

♪ And I called my shack Break my back ♪ That's Jenny right there.

She's the greatest tutor.

♪ But the land Was sweet and good ♪

I did what I could

Great, that was so good. We'll do it again in a minute, and you can play for a while... um, I Spy.

Good. Really, really good.

Great.

Jenny, I want you to meet someone. No way.

No way. No, this is Neon Bodeaux.

Neon, nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you.

I am very sorry, Neon, but I haven't tutored college students in years, not since Tony.

That's what you're about to ask for, isn't it?

She's the greatest tutor in the conference.

The '84 team, she got the whole front line into school.

And I kept them in school for four years, but that was then, Neon.

Jenny, this is special.

This is unusual.

Can he play with the kids?

Of course, Neon, go play with the kids. Yeah, go on.

You sure?

Yes. Okay. Thank you.

Look at him, what do you think?

I've never seen anything like this guy.

This guy is phenomenal.

This is outrageous.

What happened to Butch McRae and Ricky Roe?

Well, I'm working on them.

I never even heard of Neon Bodreaux.

Bodeaux. Bodeaux. Neon Bodeaux.

Nobody has.

He's a project, like Tony.

Look, you got Tony admitted, and look how wonderful he's doing.

I thought Tony was flunking TV.

Well, he's having a little trouble, but that's a tough class.

You know, you don't just watch the tube.

(children shouting)

Neon, please try and not step on the children.

Okay, all right.

Jenny, come here. Come here, come here.

Now, listen.

Listen, I found this kid in the sticks in New Orleans, okay?

Mm-hmm.

He's had a tragic life.

I mean, his father was a gar fisherman.

He had a boating accident, he got eaten by an alligator.

I know that sounds funny, but he doesn't have any relatives or a sister, and nobody knows what happened to his mother.

Oh, cut the crap, Pete.

Can he rebound?

He's the next Olajuwon.

What are his SATs?

Six... Pete.

520. Oh, God.

Well, those tests are culturally biased.

Oh, now you're a sociologist?

Oh, just this once, Jenny.

You know, I'll never ask you again, please?

He is incredible. He can rebound, huh?

BELL: Look at him.

He owns the paint.

For you? Yeah.

No.

For Neon, maybe.

For Tony... yes.

Maybe I'd like to see Tony have a little help on the boards his senior year.

That's just...

Don't you kiss me.

All right, I'm sorry.

This is not for you.

It's for the ball club.

Now, get out of here.

Okay.

Take him with you.

What? Take him with you.

Oh, yeah.

Thank you.

Hey.

Happy, where the hell have you been?

Oh, you know, here, there, everywhere.

There's a table ready and waiting.

Yeah, yeah, just one second.

I got somebody over here I want you to meet.

Come on over here.

Pete.

I want you to meet two big Dolphin fans.

This is Wendy, this is Karen.

This is Coach Bell.

How are you? Nice to meet you.

Hi.

Let me tell you something, that was a great job you did on that sportswriter.

They're all a bunch of jerks, you know.

Hey, why don't you go over to the table.

I'll be right with you, okay?

Let me ask you something, Pete.

Why do you hate me so much?

Because I think you and the 50,000 alumni you represent are a bunch of obnoxious slobs.

Oh, you're pissed off, that's good.

You're a better coach when you're pissed off.

Good night.

Going home, coach?

Hey.

Why are you walking away from me, coach?

You never walk away from anything in your life, I know you.

You don't know shit. I know everything.

I know what Butch McRae's mother wants.

I know you got a kid named Neon Bodeaux being tutored by your ex-wife.

I know what Ricky Roe is gonna want.

I know the amount of money that it's gonna take to buy out your contract is the same that it'll take to get Butch and Ricky to sign letters of intent.

We don't buy athletes.

Let me tell you something, in case you don't know.

Our football team ranked in the top ten for the last eight years, has got a linebacker, a tailback, an offensive tackle, two safeties and a quarterback all recruited by friends of the program.

I don't like football.

They're all graduating this year.

We're clean.

My money is untraceable.

It's been washed, scrubbed, laundered within an inch of its life.

You got a future in politics, asshole.

Why don't you run for office.

These athletes generate millions of dollars for the university.

What do they get? Nothing!

What do you get?

You get a multiyear contract.

You get a six-figure shoe deal so your team can be a walking billboard, and that is all legal.

And then you get another six figures for that lousy TV show.

Get out of my face.

(engine turns over)

We owe them this money.

(tires squeal)

We owe it to them!

(whistling) Okay, Neon, tell me the country located immediately north of the United States.

Spain.

Tell me the country located immediately south of the United States.

Canada.

All right, I'll give you $50 if you will tell me the country located immediately south of the United States.

Fifty dollars? Fifty.

Mexico, followed by Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica.

Where's my $50?

Oh, I was lying.

Crazy.

Yeah, I was married to Pete. What's your excuse?

You start off insulting me with these third-grade geography questions.

You think you're liberal, but you're nothing but a racist.

Why'd you score 520 on your SATs?

Because I wanted to.

That makes a lot of sense, Neon.

When I was young, my 'hood was so dangerous I joined the Army, and we invaded the Persian Gulf for a vacation.

I make my own sense.

So why are we here?

We're here because maybe I wanna go to college and maybe I don't.

I won't know until I get in and find out how much bullshit it really is.

Okay, I'll make you a bet for real.

I bet you $100 that you can't score 700 points on your SATs.

I'll score 700 in my sleep.

For $100, I'll score 800.

(doorbell chimes)

Be right back.

Hello.

How's he doing?

He's interesting.

Good. Yeah.

How's it going, Neon?

Your old lady's tough, bro.

My ex-old lady's tough.

Now I see why you left the bitch.

He doesn't need tutoring, he needs a good kick in the butt.

There's a test in two weeks.

He should sign up and take it. Great.

Get your money ready, 'cause I'm gonna win that bet.

Come on, baby, let's play.

Play him hard. Play him hard.

I got him, I got him.

Yo, man, why don't y'all help out?

Jesus, what a mismatch.

Listen, let's take some pride, y'all.

I got him, I got him, I got him.

This is like streetball, man.

Hey, come on, play some defense.

Let's see what these guys have got.

(players conversing indistinctly)

Come on, make him work.

BELL: All right, there's Calbert Cheaney.

MEL: Right. All right?

Okay, so we don't even want him to get the ball, right?

JACK: Deny him the ball.

So let's shut him down, and we gotta double-team Cheaney, right?

FREDDIE: So we'll cut Reynolds loose?

Yeah, let's cut Reynolds loose, and then Graham out here, he's gonna take shots, so we gotta shut him down.

JACK: You gotta get up on him.

(knocking at door)

All right. Yeah?

Hi, coach.

Hey, how you doing?

Can I talk to you a minute?

Yeah, come on in. Bring a chair over.

What's up?

How you doing, Rick?

How are you guys doing?

Played good out there.

Oh, thanks.

That was a good workout.

Yeah.

These girls out here, I look at them, I gotta shake my head.

I mean, I'm blown away.

I mean, these girls are amazing.

I just shudder at it, but...

It's great, and I think I'd like to come to college.

All right. BELL: Hey, that's great.

Good, Rick. Good.

So I guess that leaves a little bit of business we have to discuss, though, I think.

Business?

I figure a white, blue-chip athlete like myself deserves something extra.

So, you know, this is what I'm looking for, is about 30 grand.

Um...

I'd like to have it in cash, and, you know, just toss it in one of those gym bags you got.

You know, I've seen a lot of things now.

I've been around a lot.

You know, they've offered me this much money already.

If you guys can match my offer, I'm yours, coach.

Get the hell out of here, Ricky.

Goddamn it, get the hell out of here, Ricky.

Get out of here!

Get back in that gym, get your stuff, get the hell out of here and go on home.

Take off that damn uniform!

You don't deserve to wear it.

Get out of here!

(chair clatters)

Son of a bitch.

I wanna know nothing.

You know about your football team?

I know nothing.

Oh, for chrissake, Vic, come on, tell me something.

Don't give me...

What the hell does "I know nothing" mean?

Jesus.

Listen to me.

Maybe if just once... you get the ball players, we just get things back the way they were, and we'd never have to touch it again.

How many times do I have to tell you?

I don't want any part of this.


(marching band playing "Dolphin Fight Song")


(sighs)

Coffee?

(grunts)

Just tell me how it works.

You don't wanna know how it works.

Let's just say there are friends of the program who'll take care of everything.

I hate friends of the program.

Yeah, but you hate losing more.

Relax, we're gonna be on top again.

I got a little confession to make too.

I screw a hell of a lot better when we're winning, don't you, huh?

(John Lee Hooker's "Money (That's What I Want)" playing)

♪ The best thing in life Is free ♪

♪ But you can give it To the birds and bees ♪

♪ I need some money Oh... ♪

♪ Need some money Oh, yeah ♪

♪ That's what I want ♪

♪ (exhales deeply) ♪

♪ Your love give me Such a thrill ♪

♪ But your lovin' Don't pay my bills ♪

♪ I need money ♪

♪ Need some money Oh, yeah ♪

♪ That's what I want ♪ Mr. Bodeaux?

Yeah, what's up, bro?

Congratulations.

You're the owner of a brand-new Lexus.

I didn't ask for this.

I just deliver them, I don't know nothing.

This one goes to the right of the blue couch in the living room.

This one goes opposite wall nearest the den, and please wipe your feet.

Yes, ma'am.

Are you guys gonna be hungry soon?

Yeah.

Girls, are you hungry?

Yes.

Who wants to play tennis?

I do.

You Rick Roe?

Yeah.

This is for you.

Thanks.

♪ Money don't get everything It's true ♪

♪ What it don't buy I can't use ♪

(telephone ringing)

♪ I need some money I need money ♪ Yeah.

Mm.

Okay.

It's done.

Right.

♪ I need some money so bad ♪

♪ All of my bills are behind ♪

♪ I need some money right now ♪

♪ I know your lovin's So good, baby ♪

♪ I need some money ♪ Letters of intent from Butch McRae and Ricky Roe to attend Western University.

He bought them, Charlie, I know he bought them.

No way, Ed, not Pete Bell.

Are you shitting me?

He paid for them, baby. I can smell it.

(people chattering)

Yeah?

I have a surprise for you.

Mr. Bodeaux?

960.

(clapping and cheering)

All right.

He improved 440 points.

Somebody owes my ass $100.

Way to go, Neon. Way to go.

Congratulations.

Oh, look at this. What do I see?

Jenny. Jenny.

Somebody take him down to Administration and show him around.

Jenny, I'm gonna...

Hold up, hold up.

You didn't hear what I said.

Somebody here owes my ass $100.

PROFESSOR: And as the razor-sharp blade of the sword of Sir Gawain descends a mighty blow on the neck of the Green Knight, through the amazement of the steed of verdant hue, and the head of the Green Knight, thus lopped off cleanly...

What the hell is he talking about?

Is kicked around like a soccer ball by Arthur's noble warriors.

Whereupon the headless Green Knight strolls casually among Arthur's best and brightest, reaches down, picks up his own head and places it back upon his shoulders, where, magically, it becomes part of his body once again.

And there they dallied and drank and deemed it good sport to enact their play anew on New Year's Eve.

But Gawain asked again to go on the morrow, for the time until his tryst is not two days.

You see these legs over here, man?

The host hindered that and urged him to stay, Where you going, man?

And said, "On my honor, my oath, here I take"

"that you shall get to the Green Chapel

"to begin your chores by dawn on New Year's Day."

This is a lecture, Mr. Bodeaux, not a discussion.

May I speak? It's not your place to speak.

Well, I'm making it my place to speak.

I just wanna point out to this class that this course is culturally biased.

(students laugh)

Culturally biased?

What do you mean by that?

How come we ain't talking about African folk tales or something?

Well, this is a course in English literature.

How come we're not talking about African literature?

Well, because we're not.

I suppose you did read the course description before you took this course.

I gotta take this up with my coach.

You told me to take this.

That's certainly your privilege.

Got me in this classroom listening to this crap.

I'm gonna keep my eye on you, Mr. Bodeaux.

All right, man. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Now, let us continue.

ED: That's Butch's mom in front of their new house in Chicago.

The house is in her name with a co-signer, who we can't locate.

The bank officer who approved the loan is an alumnus of Western U.

Friend of the program. You got it.

Thataway. Way to go, Butch.

Way to go.

Just go for the front of the rim, now.

All right, let's use the crossover, Butch.

Nice form, Butch.

ED: That's Ricky's dad in front of his new tractor.

Now, we can't prove anything except Mr. Roe had bad credit.

Too bad to be purchasing new equipment.

Now, the biggest distributor of farm machinery in the state of Indiana was Happy Kuykendall's classmate.

All right, Ricky, use the reverse.

Attaboy.

That's it, get square.

Thataway, Ricky.

That's the Lexus they tried to give Neon.

He didn't ask for it.

They tried to give it to him anyway.

(grunts)

Stay low, don't come up.

Extend that ball.

Protect it with your body.

Now use your left.

Point the lead foot, unlock the left hip.

All right, now take it in strong.

(grunts loudly)

These violations are flagrant, but the paper trail on this stuff is well covered up.

We could never prove anything against the football team.

Hey, Charlie, we gotta keep digging.

It's all right here.

We're gonna get this guy.

We're gonna get the great Pete Bell.

I know, it's unbelievable.

Right this way.

Mrs. Bell, good to see you.

How are you doing? Good to see you.

Okay. All right.

Looks like you're back in business, coach.

With you?

Don't get carried away.

Hi, coach. Hi, Mrs. Bell.

Hi. Hi.

So, what did you do, sell them on your recent losing tradition so they know they'll start?

Well, there's an advantage to having a losing season.

Enjoy your dinner.

Thank you.

Well...

I just wanted to say congratulations.

Thanks.

Getting the players you wanted without selling out.

You know, the rules, they don't make much sense, they're hypocritical.

There's a lot of people on the take, and I can't blame them.

Why are you getting defensive?

No, I'm not defensive.

Coach, may I have your autograph?

Sure, you may. What's your name?

André.

André. Okay.

Saying you're not defensive is defensive.

Well, saying that I am defensive means I am defensive.

So if I say that I'm not defensive, then I am defensive, and if I say...

Thank you.

You know, I'm screwed either way.

Wait a minute, look me straight in the eye.

What?

Did you cheat?

No, I did not cheat.

Swear to God.

You were getting so nervous about it.

WOMAN: Excuse me. Yes.

I hate to interrupt.

Do you think my son could have your autograph?

Sure, sure. What's your name?

BOY: Mark. Mark?

Okay, you a basketball player, Mark?

Yeah.

Oh, good.

Just a couple of divorcées out on a date, right?

There you go.

Thank you. You're welcome.

WOMAN: Thank you.

Yes, we got a lot to celebrate.

I got a new basketball team.

And we're not screaming at each other.

Not yet, anyway.

You know, Jenny, I'm crazy about you.

I always have been, ever since we first met.

Did you know that?

Mm-hmm.

Okay, I just wanted you to know.

Okay.

BELL: Come on, come on.

Slide, slide. Move your feet, move your feet.

Let's go. Let's go, let's go. Come on.

Stay low, stay low, stay.

Move your feet, come on, come on.

Move your feet, move your feet.

Move your feet, slide, slide, slide, slide, slide.

Right, left, left, forward.

Come on, boys, come on.

Come on.

Back, back, back.

Forward, forward, forward.

Let's go.

All right, let's go.

Two lines.

Let's go.

Get that ball.

Get that ball. Get the ball.

Here we go. Get that ball.

All right, now, spin baseline.

There it is, there it is, there it is.

All right, try it the other way.

Now spin to the middle.

That's it.

That's it, Neon. That's it.

If you feel his body going on this side of you, spin that way.

If you feel this side... Feel him. Feel him.

Think, think, think.

It's a thinking man's game.

All right, hold, hold, Butch.

Butch, wait a minute.

You gotta take that screener, you gotta make that fake.

You gotta bring the screener...

You gotta bring that man down here so the screen can be set on him.

I mean, you gotta take Mitchell...

Turn around, Mitch.

Take him this way so that this screen can come around and be set on him.

Look, Butch, I'll tell you something.

You can even take a shot fake here.

You can take a shot fake.

If you get the man going up, you can go in this side here.

You can roll this way and come this way.

But you gotta make a fake before you move.

Fake there.

There it is.

There it is, there it is.

There it is.

See what that does?

That takes that man down.

Now that pick can get set.

I thought that's what I was doing.

No, no, no. You took the ball, and you just took off around that way.

Play this two-man game.

Son, play the two-man game.

For chrissake, between you and Neon, it's gonna be a great two-man game, okay?

All right, let's do it.

Hit the board.

Go, go, go.

Hit the board. Give it up.

Give the ball up, big man.

There you go.

Come on, Kevin. Get that right.

Hold it, hold it.

Butch, get that shirt off, get a yellow on.

Phil, take Butch's place.

You're not going back on blue until you get it right.

Come on, let's go.

That may be the whole goddamn season.

(players chattering)

Coach.

Yeah.

I need to talk to you.

Okay. All right.

Hey, Freddie, can you go run Dennis?

Come on in, Butch.

What is it, Butch?

Coach, I need to talk to you.

Sure, sure. Go ahead.

Coach, I'm homesick.

You're homesick?

Homesick, huh?

Well, let me tell you something, Butch, every year, a couple of guys come in here and tell me they're homesick.

Now, everything is gonna be fine once this season starts. You'll see.

No, coach. I don't belong here.

I mean, I've never ran the motion offense.

That's not my style. I need to be in a one-four offense, where I can handle the ball and dish to other people.

I mean, that's my style.

Butch, let me tell you something.

You know, I don't know if it's the right way, but goddamn it, it's my way.

Coach, I don't belong here.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is, if I left school, would my mom lose her house and job?

Butch, you know, I don't know anything about that.

Coach, I think you're gonna have to know something about this.

Coach, this is my mom, this is a life situation.

I don't know, you know, but if your mother...

If you made some arrangements that I don't know about, then I just think you're gonna have to live up to those responsibilities, that's all.

What responsibilities are you talking about?

I'm talking about my mom.

Well, I don't know.

You're the one that's brought them up, so you're really talking to the wrong guy, Butch.

No, I'm talking to the right guy, and I'm not leaving here until you tell me an answer.

Well, I told you, Butch, I really don't have any answers for you.

I don't know anything about it.

You have to have some answers.

Look, Butch, I don't know what kind of arrangements you've made, so...

Is there someone you can call to see if I left school, my mom would keep her house and job?


HAPPY: Hey, coach, how you doing?

Huh?

Butch?

Arrangement?

Arrangement, my ass.

If that son of a bitch is unhappy, it's your job to make him happy, huh?

Listen, you can sell ice to the Eskimos.

You can sell this spoiled brat on how happy he really is.

I don't even wanna have this conversation.

Butch's mother has got a new job and a new house with a lawn.

That is happy enough, you got it?

(click)

(clears throat)

Better be at practice on Monday.

(door slams)

WOMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, your coach, my coach, our coach, Petey Bell.

(applause)

(Jed Leiber's "Dolphin Tank TV Theme" playing)

Hey.

Oh, Mel. How are you?

Good, good. How you doing?

Good, look, Pete left these tapes at the house.

Could you give them to him for me?

Sure. Okay, great.

Listen, we're going over to the Belgrade after the show to have some drinks, eat some hot wings.

Would you join us?

Oh, um...

Come on, it'll be fun.

Okay.

MEL: Okay, good. JENNY: Sure.

Jenny.

You know, I gotta say, every time I see you, you look younger, you know that?

Coach, how you doing, huh?

Good.

Come on, man.

Hey, coach, what's up, man?

He'll be a hell of a player.

JENNY: What's Happy doing here?

He's a friend of the program.

Happy is a friend of the program?

Come on, Jenny.

I mean, you know how things are.

Mel, I don't think I'll have that drink.

I don't give a damn who does it, somebody called me on it.

Talk to Neon and Butch.

What the hell are you doing here?

HAPPY: Hey. That was a... What the hell are you doing here?

ROE: What did I do wrong, coach?

What are you doing here?

Don't you think we ought to talk about this in private?

Yeah, I better get out of here.

Oh, there you go.

What is this?

What? What is this?

Did you give him a car?

Did he give you a car?

Loaner. Just a loaner, coach.

I'll give it back.

He's gonna give it back, relax.

Get the hell out of here, Ricky.

You get home, I'll call you later.

You son of a bitch, I do not want you around my kids.

Oh, your kids?

You sound like Jerry Lewis, for crying out...

Get your finger out of my face.

I did not authorize a car for Ricky.

But you did authorize the friends of the program to do what had to be done.

Listen, I wanna tell you something right now.

Ricky is a farm kid.

He's gonna take that car, he's gonna blab all over town.

Tell him to shut up.

You're the coach.

Listen, you gotta understand something.

The friends of the program are my friends, and they are friends for life.

What they've done is untraceable.

What I've done is unprovable.

There will be no smoking gun, because I am the smoking gun.

Now, relax.

It's all working.

Happy, you're a scumbag, you know that?

I didn't break any laws.

You did.

You broke the collegiate athletic laws.

It's your career that's on the line, not mine.

My career is in my own hands.

I own you.

I just open my mouth, rumors start to fly, about you, for instance.

I've lived through accusations.

I walked away from them.

The alleged point-shaving incident?

Think again, that thing happened.

Get out of here.

(Happy chuckles)

Tell me about it.

Why don't you try this one.

January 16th, three years ago, I bought one of your boys, coach.

No kid of mine would ever fix a game.

Why don't you just go to the videotape, coach.

I own you, Pete.

You're mine.


Damn it.

What's going on, Pete?

Happy said somebody shaved some points three years ago.

Happy's full of shit, coach.

FREDDIE: I remember this game.

I remember seeing this on TV when I was coaching Oklahoma.

You guys won this by eight. BELL: Yeah.

Yeah. There's Tony. Oh, yeah, sweet J.

That was his spot, wasn't it? Goddamn.

Bang them from right there.

Oh, nice.

Bam, look at that.

What was the spread?

What? Point spread?

What was the point spread?

Point spread?

We won the game.

Matter of fact, we were up by a lot, they came back on us.

It was a pretty good year, we were 16 and...

Sixteen and 12. Twelve?

Yeah, went to NIT and lost the first round. Yeah.

Should've won 20 that year.

No, this was a rebuilding year, man.

All these guys were freshmen, they were kids.

How many did he hit?

Twenty-two, 23.

Twenty-five points that night.

Yeah.

He was all over the place.

Yeah, he was hot.

BELL: Guy just blew right by him.

Standing there with his thumb up his ass.

He pulled a hamstring at practice that week.

Shouldn't have been playing.

Uh-huh. He was tough, though.

What was he doing playing with a hamstring?

Tough-ass kid from Chicago.

BELL: Now, who the hell did he...? See, there's nobody there.

MEL: Come on, man, we averaged 17 turnovers as a team that year.

Everybody was throwing the ball away.

Hell, he averaged

20 points a game that year, man.

Shit, he was all-conference as a freshman.

FREDDIE: Yeah, on offense.

Run a clean program here, man.

We worked hard to keep this program clean.

I guarantee you didn't cover the spread that night.

There must have been heavy action in Vegas.

Somebody got rich.

That's the worst case of ballhandling I've seen in the two years I've been here.

MEL: Look, he was a freshman, Freddie.

He was making freshman mistakes.

He had a bad leg too, don't forget.

All night. All night.

Mistakes all night.

FREDDIE: Look at coach on his ass.

MEL: Coach is still on his ass four years later.

No way. No way.

(scoffs)

FREDDIE: Looking at the clock again.

That's a good kid, man.

FREDDIE: Now, what kind of shot's that?

What kind of shot?

FREDDIE: There's another bad pass.

Shut up, Freddie.

All right? Tony was my guy.

All right?

My guy.

Tony.

(Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" playing)

Tony.

Tony, open the door.

It's me.

Tony!

Coach, what's up?

You've gotta tell me the truth. Now, you tell me the truth.

What's up with you, man?

Did you or did you not shave points?

Coach, man, it's me, Tony. I didn't do something like that.

Cut the bullshit. Did you take money?

Did you shave points?

No, I didn't. I swear to God, no.

Son of a bitch.

Come on, coach. I would not...

You tell me the truth!

What's wrong with you, man? You tell me the truth!

Just once! Man, just one.

I mean, we won the damn game, right?

We just didn't cover the goddamn spread.

I mean, who cares about the spread?

That's just for the damn gamblers, ain't it?

Coach, man, I'm sorry.

♪ No reason to get excited ♪

♪ The thief He kindly spoke ♪ I'm sorry, coach.

♪ Who feel that life Is but a joke ♪ Son, haven't I always been there for you?

Whether your girlfriend got pregnant or you're flunking TV or whatever the hell it is.

Are you a better basketball player because of me?

Are you a better man?

Yes.

Yes.

You lied to me, Tony.

Son, you took the purest thing in your life, and you corrupted it.

And for what?

For what?

(sniffles)

(doorbell chimes)

(rattles doorknob)

(doorbell chimes)

Jenny.

(chain slides)

Jenny, I gotta talk.

It's 1:00 in the morning.

Well, come on, it's me.

That's another reason.

Why? What's wrong?

You looked me straight in the eye, and you lied to me... without a hesitation.

And I believed you.

God, Jenny.

I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

So I don't trust myself around you anymore, because I thought I knew you and I don't, so you can't come in.

Jenny, wait.

Don't.

No, wait. Listen to me.

Three years ago...

Three years ago, Happy bought Tony.

The alleged incident is true.

Happy owns Tony.

He owns me.

I coached a fixed game.

No, you didn't.

No, I coached a fixed game.

I talked to Tony, for chrissake.

Tony admitted it to me.

Can we just have a drink? No.

I know you're feeling abandoned, but I can't help you with anything anymore.

Lock the door before you leave.

(door slams)

(ominous theme playing)


(door opens)

All right, boys.

We got a job to do.

We got a job.

Now, goddamn it, we're not going out there to make a good show or just put up a good fight.

We're going out there to beat the best goddamn team in the country right now.

Now, let me tell you something, boys.

You may not know this, but I know it.

I've been there before.

There is the talent in this room to do just that.

To beat Indiana.

All right.

Butch, the ball is yours.

And our first option is to get the ball in to Neon.

And, Neon, goddamn it, you take it to the basket and you take it hard.

Now, they're gonna make an adjustment, and when they adjust and double down and triple down on Neon, we're gonna move the ball out to Ricky.

And, Ricky, you can put it up from where you're at all night long.

The basket is the same height as it was at your father's barn in Indiana.

Boys, Indiana is over there in the other locker room wondering what the hell we're gonna do.

Well, I'll send a note over to Bobby Knight, and I'll tell him exactly what we're gonna do.

I'll give him our offense, I'll give him our defense.

Because it's not what you do, goddamn it, it's how you do it.

Now, we're gonna go nose-to-nose with them, and we're gonna beat them at both ends of the court.

And you're gonna play better than you ever dreamed of because, goddamn it, that's what I demand of you.

All right, let's go.

(all shouting)

(marching band playing "Dolphin Fight Song")

(crowd cheering)

Fight!

Hi, everybody, I'm Dick Vitale.

Tonight is the night we've been waiting for.

Basketball fever.

Unbelievable, baby.

Kicking off the new season.

Western University, coached by Pete Bell, two national championships, coming off a subpar year, against the number-one team in the nation, the Indiana Hoosiers.

Yes, Pete Bell wants to start winning.

What did he do?

He recruited the best freshman class in America.

Three dynamic diaper dandies, headed by Neon Bodeaux, the 7-footer, scintillating and sensational, from Louisiana.

And then he went and got...

You ready for this?

That's right, Butch McRae, a 6'7", silky-smooth guard.

And then he went and he got Ricky Roe, "from French Lick, Indiana, a 6'8" forward.

Yes, they are ready to take on the Hoosiers, with Calbert Cheaney and Bob Hurley.

It's gonna be awesome, baby, with a capital A.

I'm so excited.

I can't wait.

We got an unbelievable matchup.

Heavyweights.

Pete Bell against Bobby Knight, the General.

This place will be rocking 'n' rolling.

The Hoosiers are number one in the nation.

Western University, quite a turnaround this season from last year.

Pete Bell's excited, Bobby Knight's excited.

Hey, baby, this place is gonna rock 'n' roll.

It's gonna be awesome, baby, with a capital A.

Let's go, baby. Heads up, now.

Let's go.

Thattaboy.

Thattaboy!

BELL: Hit the boards, hit the boards.

Rick.

Come on, Kevin, you gotta get on him.

BELL: Pick up the ball.

Move out of there, Kevin.

Screen. Screen.

(Bell groans)

(crowd roars)

Nice pass, Butch.

All right. Way to move, guys.

Beat those cutters.

Move, Joe, don't stand.

Rebound! Rebound!

All right, all right.

Let's get some movement going.

Like if the guard...

Say, Bob dribbles the ball off, step up, reverse it, step out and go.

And then just get some back-picking going.

Put them in some situations where they gotta switch.

We've gotta be alert for the back pick.

They're back-picking us like crazy.

So when they come up and set that back pick, make sure that back man steps up.

Now, listen.

On offense, let's force them to switch.

You force them to switch.

And let's set some screens, goddamn it.

We haven't been doing that all night.

BELL: Get out on the ball, Ricky.

Close out quicker.

KNIGHT: Play some defense, Greg.

Run the motion, let's go.

Aw, come on!

KNIGHT: Goddamn it.

BELL: Kevin, get out on the ball.

Beat the cutter, Butch.

(grunting)

Attaboy.

That's nice, Butch.

KNIGHT: Oh, no.

(whistle blows)

And one, baby.

(crowd roars)

Way to go, Butch. Way to go, Butch.

BELL: Weak side, rotate, rotate.

(crowd boos)

Blow your goddamn whistle.

(whistle blows)

He got that ball on the way up.

What the hell call is that, for chrissake?

Oh, shit.

I got ball. No help, no help.

I'm here, I'm here. I'm on you, I'm on you.

What you got now?

Get one shot, now.

Come on, catch the ball.

Oh, man.

Outlet! Outlet!

Give it back, Phil.

(crowd roars)

Yeah!

Whole new look, baby. Whole new look.

Get that stuff out of here.

(grunts)

Let's go, set up the lanes.

Let's go.

Set it up, Butch.

Let's go. Let's go.

Look inside.

Patience, baby. Little patience.

Take it up strong, Neon.

(cheering)

(buzzer sounds)

Bobby starts across with it.

Keith, you're over here.

Scottie, you step out.

Calbert starts across, back cut, lob, dunk shot.

Good dish.

All right, Ricky, I want you to fake out, go along the baseline and curl around that screen.

Walker, you bring it back to Phil.

Phil, dribble it on down, hand it off to Ricky.

Ricky, you come out to the foul line.

You should have a shot right here.

Hands, hands, hands, hands.

Right through.

Right there, Phil, hand it off.

Let it fly.

ANNOUNCER: Basket by number 42, Ricky Roe.

Move the ball on the perimeter and screen.

Come on.

Little defense.

He's got the ball now.

Gotta help him, gotta help him.

Nice, nice, nice.

Fast break.

Rebound.

Go, go, go!

If you haven't got the ball, roll, for chrissake.

Let's just don't play this throw-it-up game.

When you guys are on top, you guards, make a move inside.

Don't stand there looking for somebody, get it moving.

(shouts)

(grunts)

Stop the ball! Stop the ball!

(grunts)

If he's over his back, that's a foul.

What?

I can't see it from the tram.

Huh? I can't...

That's bullshit!

Well, you can sure as hell see the guy over him.

Then move your fat ass down where you can see.

Stop the ball.

ANNOUNCER: Basket by number 50, Eric Riley.

He's going all night like that if you don't stop the ball.

Good hands. Good hands, Phil.

(shouts)

All right.

Stop ball! Stop ball!

Go, I got it. I got it.

Get out the way.

By yourself.

Yeah!

(crowd cheers)

All right, listen...

(whistle blows)

(timeout buzzer sounds)

Watch the clock, and we get down into the last ten or 12 seconds, we can take the shot.

But let's make them work to play defense now.

No quick shots unless it's off the break, period.

Jump, jump, jump.

Pump fake.

(coaches shouting)

Come on, cut him off.

Rebound.

ANNOUNCER: Basket by number 34, Dan Godfried.

Here we go.

ROE: That leaves us with, I think, a little business that we need to discuss.

You know, this is what I'm looking for, 30 grand.

I'd like to have it in cash.

HAPPY: Why don't you just go to the videotape, coach.

I own you.

JENNY: You looked me straight in the eye, and you lied to me.

And I believed you.

(whistle blows)

(crowd cheers)

Call a timeout.

Butch, dribble on over here.

Mitch, come back, get the pass back from Butch.

Give it right back to him and go down to the low post.

Neon, as soon as you see Butch going over, you flash out to the foul line.

Mitch, I want you to come right up on Neon's man.

I mean, screen him. Pin him hard. Pin him.

Neon, you reverse, go to the weak side, go up for the lob.

We've got 12 seconds.

Butch, when you get it in to Neon, you get it in high.

PLAYER: Finish it, big man.

(players shouting)

This is the number-one team in the nation.

We can beat their ass tonight.

We're in this game. Let's go. All right.

ALL: One, two, three, Western!

(crowd roars)

BELL: All right.

Let's go.

Come on. Right now, right now.

MAN: Here we go. Here we go. Here we go.

(buzzer sounds)

No foul. No foul. No foul.

BELL: Push the ball. Push the ball.

Now, Mitch, now. Pin him, pin him.

Yes!

(crowd cheers wildly)

(all shouting)

Yeah, baby.

(marching band playing "Dolphin Fight Song")

Good game, coach.

Yeah!

Whoo!

Way to go, Western!

(all cheering and shouting)

We did it, boy!

(camera shutters clicking)

Quiet down!

Everybody down.

Quiet down.

Good job, though.

Hold it up.

Yo, Neon. Chill, baby.

Way to board, man. Chill, y'all.

Yo, chill.

JACK: Way to go, boys. Thataway to go.

Way to go, coach. Great game.

(players quiet)

(sighs softly)

Boys... the rules don't make much sense.

But I believe in rules.

Now, some of us broke them.

I broke them.

I can't do this.

I can't win like this.

So tomorrow, I'll talk to you all individually about your futures here.


I love you all very much.

A hell of a game you played.

(chattering)

Coach?

Coach?

How did you like my spin move?

You did real good, Neon.

Real good.

Thanks, man.

See you later.

(solemn theme playing)

(applause)

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

Whoo-whoo! W.U.!

(applause subsides)

HAPPY: Number one, Pete!

You know, I'll tell you something.

You know, 900 million Chinamen couldn't give a damn.

They couldn't care less.

Not about this press conference.

But I love basketball.

I'm a Dolphin and I just love it.

You know, sometimes the world doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Except on the basketball court.

And that's good enough for me.

Coach?

Yeah, Ed.

I gotta ask this question, or I wouldn't be doing my job.

Would you care to comment on the rumor that you arranged for an automobile to be purchased for Neon Bodeaux?

You know...

(sighs)

You know, Ed, you've just gotta get your mind out of the gutter.

You know, you just gotta start thinking straight.

I mean, it's right there in front of you.

For chrissake, it wasn't an automobile.

I mean, it was a fully loaded Lexus.

(reporters chuckle)

(scattered applause)

The damn car had everything.

It had everything, didn't it, Happy?

I mean, that car was fully loaded, wasn't it?

No, no, coach.

It was a nuclear surfboard, remember?

(all laughing, scattered applause)

And the damn thing of it is, Ed, is, you know, Neon, he didn't want it.

He didn't want the car.

He didn't want a...

He didn't ask for anything, but...

You know, he wasn't for sale.

But we got it for him anyway.

I mean, and I think, personally, that it would've been a hell of a deal, a good price.

I mean...

I mean, what did Neon do tonight?

Does anybody know?

How many boards did Neon have tonight?

MAN: Thirteen.

Thirteen? Thirteen boards?

Well, there you are.

It would've been a hell of a deal.

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine what Neon would've done if we had tried to give him a Ferrari?

(scattered laughter)

I mean, for chrissake, he might've scored 40 or 50 points.

I mean, who knows.

Who knows what he would've done for a Ferrari.

Now, you know, Neon, he didn't take anything.

He didn't want anything.

But some of the others did, didn't they, Happy?

Wasn't there some of the other kids?

What did we give them?

What, cars?

Tractors?

Gave a kid a tractor?

Another kid we gave a house.

Didn't we give him a house?

You know, bags of cash.

I don't know what we gave these kids.

You know, they asked for things, we gave it to them.

I mean, you guys asked me to win, and I gave that to you.

Right?

And the alumni are all jerking off over this win, which is the only time the alumni ever jerk off, right, is when we win.

Because this ain't about education!

It ain't much about winning, and it sure as hell ain't much about basketball!

It's about money!

Just goddamn money!

That's what it's about, Ed.

And I bought into it.

I bought into it bigtime.

I'm a big part of the problem.

(camera shutters clicking, reporters clamoring)

HAPPY: Stick a fork in this creep, because he's done!

He's dead meat! You're finished!

You will never coach in America again, you got that?

Why don't you try Bulgaria.

Hear they're looking for wimps like you!

Whiners!

Give it a rest.

No, goddamn it!

Get your hands off me!

I can walk!

Loser!

You lost three years in a row!

Gave you everything you wanted!

There goes Happy, heading for the cash machine.

Oh, yeah... Let go of me!

He's gonna get himself a middle linebacker.

That guy's got the best players money can buy!

The best players money can buy!

(camera shutters clicking)

You know, I'll tell you something else.

You know, someplace...

Someplace in America right now, there's some 10-year-old kid.

He's out there on that playground.

And he's playing.

He's dribbling between his legs.

He's going left, he's going right.

He's already above the rim, he's stuffing it home.

You know what's gonna happen to this kid?

Five minutes from now, he's gonna be surrounded by agents and corporate sponsors and coaches.

I mean, people like me just drooling over this kid because he holds our future employment in his hands.

I mean, that's what we've made this game.

That's what we've done.

You know, the best coaching job I ever did, that wasn't tonight.

It was last season.

You know, when we were 14 and 15.

We had a losing season.

But goddamn it, those kids, they gave me their heart!

They gave me everything they had!

They played up to the maximum of their ability!

They gave it everything!

And, you know, it wasn't good enough.

Wasn't good enough for me.

Wasn't good enough for you.

Wasn't good enough for anybody!

That's pathetic.

I mean, it's really pathetic.

I've become what I despise.

Yeah.

I cheated my profession.

Cheated myself.

I cheated basketball.

There's two words I didn't think could ever come out of my mouth.

I didn't think I'd ever be able to say them.

I quit.

(reporters clamoring)

Oh, my God.

(clamoring continues)

(cheering)

(marching band playing "Dolphin Fight Song")

MAN: To our coach!

WOMAN: Great game, Coach Bell!

(solemn theme playing)

BOY 1: Come on, pass the ball.

Come on.

Cover him.

Pass it. I'm open.

BOY 2: That's how you do it.

BOY 1: Come on, right here.

Go in, go in. You got it. You got it.

Take the shot. Watch this.

Yes!

Yeah!

Come on.

Stop him.

(rim rattles)

What are you doing?

(upbeat blues theme playing)

Pass it.

Son, throw me the ball. Throw me the ball.

Come here. Come here a second.

Give me the ball. Give me the ball.

Son, look.

Come here, listen.

You're too good a basketball player to shoot that two-handed jump shot.

You know, has anybody told you how the mechanics of a jump shot go?

No. Not really.

All right, let me tell you something.

You know, when you go up for your jump shot, get your shooting hand behind the ball.

Get that behind the ball.

Get your other hand right along the side of it, right?

And when you go up...

And then release the ball and follow through.

Drop that arm down.

Now, look, get your legs into the shot.

That's a way. That's it. That's it.

All right, now, son, let me see you.

Let me see you fake left, go right, out to the top of the key and take a shot.

Okay. That's it.

(John Mellencamp's "Baby, Please Don't Go" playing)

That's a boy.

Let's play a little game. Come on, guys.

Take it out. Let's go.

Come on, let's go.

All right, get loose. Let's go.

All right, move the ball. Move the ball.

Move without the ball.

♪ Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go Back to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, man done gone Man done gone ♪

♪ Baby, your man done gone Man done gone ♪

♪ Baby, man's done gone To the county home ♪

♪ With the shackles on Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Hey ♪

♪ Turn your lamp down low Lamp down low ♪

♪ Turn your lamp down low Lamp down low ♪

♪ Turn your lamp down low Dig you all night long ♪

♪ With your shackles on Baby, please don't go ♪

(kick echoes)

(inaudible)

♪ Don't you call my name ♪

♪ Don't you call my name ♪

♪ Don't call my name Baby, way down here ♪

♪ I'm a ball and chain Baby, please don't go ♪


♪ You disrespect me Hey ♪

♪ Hey ♪

♪ Hey ♪

♪ I wanna be your dog ♪

♪ I wanna be your dog ♪

♪ I wanna be your dog Get you way down here ♪

♪ Where you walk the log Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ You got me way down here ♪

♪ You got me way down here ♪

♪ You got me way down here Where the rain don't fall ♪

♪ Treat me like a dog Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Please don't go ♪

♪ Oh, baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go Down to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Hey ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Please don't go ♪

♪ Baby, please don't go Down to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so Baby, please don't go ♪

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey ♪

(marching band playing "Dolphin Fight Song")