written by Ron Shelton
Ed Axley (Ed O'Neill): Coach?
Pete Bell: (points at him) Yeah.
Ed: Uh, 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?
Pete Bell: (pauses for a moment) Y'know, uh, y'know, Ed, you gotta get your mind outta the gutter. You know, you, you just gotta start thinking straight! I mean, it's right there in front of you! For crissake, it wasn't an AUTOMOBILE, I mean, it was a FULLY LOADED LEXUS! (nervous laughter from the press) The damn car had everything. It had everything, didn't it Happy? (looks over at where Happy and his buddies are standing) It was fully loaded, wasn't it?
Happy (J.T. Walsh): No, no, Coach, it was a nuclear surfboard, remember?
Pete Bell: Y'know, and the damn thing of it is, Ed, is that, you know Neon, he didn't want it. He didn't want the car, he didn't want it. He didn't ask for anything. But, y'know, he wasn't for sale. But we, we got it for him anyway. I mean, and I think, personally, that it would've been a helluva deal, a good price. I mean, uh, I mean, what did Neon do tonight, does anybody know? How many boards did Neon have tonight?
Pete Bell: Thirteen? Thirteen boards? Well, there you are. It would have been a helluva deal. Can you imagine? Can you imagine what Neon would've done if we'd have tried to give him a Ferrari? (more nervous laughing from the crowd) I mean, for crissake! He might have scored forty or fifty points! I mean, who knows? Who knows what he would have done for a Ferrari? Naw, y'know Neon, he, he didn't take anything. He didn't want anything. Some of the others did, didn't they Happy?
(Happy is glaring at him now)
What, wasn't there some of the other kids, what'd we give 'em? 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 'em. 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? It's when we win. 'Cause 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 GODDAMNED MONEY! That's what it's about, Ed. And I bought into it. I bought into it big time. I'm a big part of the problem.
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? I hear they're looking for wimps like you! (security guards and Happy's buddies start moving him toward the exit) Whiners! No, goddamn it! Get your hands off me! I can walk! Loser! You lost 3 years in a row! I gave you everything you wanted, you creep! Let go of me, goddamn it! (Happy gets hustled out the door)
Pete Bell: There goes Happy, heading for the cash machine! Oh yeah, he's gonna get himself another linebacker! That guy's got the best players money can buy! THE BEST PLAYERS MONEY CAN BUY! Y'know, I'll tell you something else. Y'know, someplace, someplace in America right now, there's some 10 year old kid. He's out there on that playground, and he's playin', he's dribbling between his legs, he's goin' left, he's goin' right, he's already above the rim, he's stuffin' it home. You know what's gonna happen to this kid? Five minutes from now, he's gonna be surrounded by agents, corporate sponsors and coaches. Y'know, 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. Y'know, the best coaching job I ever did, that wasn't tonight. It was last season. Y'know, when we were 14 and 50 and we had a losing season. But goddamnit, those kids, they gave me their HEARTS! They gave me everything they had! They played up to the MAXIMUM of their ability! They gave it EVERYTHING! And y'know, it wasn't good enough! It wasn't good enough for me, it wasn't good enough for you, it wasn't good enough for anybody! That's pathetic. I mean, that's really pathetic. I've become what I despise. And, y'know, I cheated my profession. Cheated myself. I cheated basketball. There's two words I didn't think'd ever come out of my mouth. I didn't think I'd ever be able to say 'em. (a long pause as he regains his composure) I quit. (And he exits from the confusion now breaking out in the press room)
Kudos and much thanks go to Kevin for the donation of this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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