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A TALE OF TWO PREGAME SPEECHES

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The Ole Miss lockerroom in Columbia, SC, Thursday, September 24th just prior to kickoff. There is the sound of a church organ humming from an indistinct spot somewhere in the locker room.

HOUSTON NUTT enters surrounded by a choir of African-American ladies.

Count Giggity: GIGGITAH, REBELS!!!

Rebels team: GIGGITAH!!!!

Count Giggity: MY CHILDREN WHAT A BLOTARKUS BANGFANGLED GAME WE HAVE IN FRONT OF US!!! GIGGITAH!!!

Rebels tea: GIGGITAH!!!

Jevan Snead leans over to Dexter McCluster.

Snead: Any idea what that means yet?

McCluster: No. I don't understand a word this magnificent, addled genius ever says.

Snead: Let's play along just to humor him. One never knows how it goes with these charismatic maniacal types. A simple...how does he say it? Giggitah? Right, let's give it a shot. [turns to Nutt] GIGGITAH!!!

Nutt: THAT"S RIGHT JEVAN!!! GIGGITY!!!!

Dexter: Quite nice, Mr. Snead. The madman seems to have enjoyed your exclamation!

Snead: Why, yes, he's excitable, to say the least. Let's watch and see what he does.

Flash to the South Carolina locker room. Coaches are huddled around Spurrier's closed office door.

Spurrier: No.

Coaches: Please come out, coach. We can't go out there without you. You're still the head coach.

Spurrier: Not of this bunch of losers, I'm not. I'm calling ESPN right now. Tuberville's on there now, and he's like some cut-rate spray-tanner version of me. Get my agent. I've had it with this shit.

Coaches: [quietly]

You're the best,
Steve's the best,
Off the tee, or on the field,
Steve's the best there's ever been.

Spurrier: [pauses.] Louder, please.

Coaches: [in unison]

Callin' plays, or chippin' in,
Steve's the best that's ever been,
Table tennis, golf or sex,
Spurrier is full of win.

Spurrier: Louder, please.

Meanwhile, in the Ole Miss locker room.

nuttface

Jevan Snead: Is he just staring at us?

nuttcloseup

Dexter McCluster: Yup. Has been for four minutes. I'm timing it. Every now and then he just says "Mesmerise" really loudly, but mispronounces it.

Houston Nutt: SMESMERIZE!!!!

Dexter McCluster: Like that. I mean, this fellow doesn't think we will fall prey to such vaudevillian bunk, will he? Mesemerism was clearly proven to be a fraud by--

Picture 4

Dexter: Jevan, I say, you haven't--

Jevan Snead: [SMEZMERIZED; stares ahead blankly and confidently.]

Dexter: Oh, dear.

Back in the South Carolina locker room...

Spurrier: One more verse, and I'm comin' out. But you gotta sing it like you mean it. I'm not comin' out otherwise.

Coaches: [singing]

Shirtless and tan, hunky and tough
Flawless from the tee or the rough,
We won't talk about his time in DC,
Spurrier rules from sea to shining sea.

Spurrier: Show 'em the picture. Don't I look good on that bike? TELL ME I LOOK GOOD ON THE BIKE, DAMMIT.

Spurrier on Bike

Stephen Garcia: You look tight on the bike, brah.

Coaches in unison: "Yes." "Striking." "The very picture of health." "Quite the sportsman!"

Spurrier: I don't believe you! I'm staying in here. Y'all go embarrass yourselves. I'm staying in here with Tiger Woods golf. He never lies to me...unlike some people I know.

Ole Miss masses in front of the tunnel. Houston Nutt is now doing the Tootsie Roll for no reason.

houstonnutt

Nutt: TO THE LEFT! TO THE RIGHT! GIGGITY! TO THE FRONT! TO THE BUTT! LESSGO REBELS!!!!

Dexter McCluster: I remain confused by what this man does as a coach.

Jevan Snead: Me, too. It works, though.

Dexter: True. Let's participate blindly and enthusiastically. This gentleman baffles, but he wins, unlike our former management.

Jevan: Quite. As the madman says: GIGGITY.

Dexter: And a GIGGITAH to you, sir.

Jevan: GIGGITY!!!

Dexter: My, this is getting fun. After you, sir.

Jevan: Yes, after you, my little Wildcat.

They begin to dance onto the field as the number four team in the nation.