The Solid Musical, Week 1: PROCESS, A MUSICAL COMEDY

This, if I'm not hunted down by Harvey Updyke or Ben Brantley, is to be the first in a season-long series of Great American Musicals, adapted to tell the stories of college football.

What greater marriage could there be than two uniquely American products, both built on the broken backs and crushed dreams of youthful dreamers?
Sing along if you know the words, or follow along with video links if you don't.

This... is The Solid Musical, Week 1.

*either would be an honor

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(scene: Nick Saban’s living room, where his contemporaries have gathered to celebrate his birthday)

NICK’S FRIENDS [variously]
Nicky… Nicky… Nicky baby… Nicky bubbie… Nicky… Nicky darling...
Nick, we’ve been trying to call you (Nicky… Nicky… Nicky baby… Nicky bubbie…)
Coach, we’ve got something to tell you
Nick, we’ve been trying to reach you all day
The fans were asking!
Nick, there was something we wanted to say!

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Nicky, come on over for dinner!
We’ll be so glad to see you!
Nicky, come on over for dinner!
Just be fourteen of us, only fourteen of us!
We looooooooove you!

NICK, STERNLY: Call me Nicky again and I’ll have this theater torn down.

[friends step into background, warily]

Phone rings, tape rolls, it’s all the process
Mailings, verbals, it’s all the process!
Late nights, greyshirts, two-a-days / Booster talks, Champ Walks, telephone calls
None shared, none bared, taking names
All those trophies up on the wall…
Roll tide, filling the days, roll tiiiiide, seventy ways, Coach Nick, ROLL TAAAAHD

From those good and crazy people, my friends!
Those good and crazy people, my enemy-friends!
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? That’s what it’s really about, really about!


It’s the little things he did to get us
Did to get us
Did to get us
That make Nick get your piss hot
The schemes that he employed to get us
Coverage he destroyed to get us
Comebacks he might’ve toyed to get us
That make… Saban a joy.

It’s defenses he lays bare to get us
Dares to get us
Swears to get us
That makes Nick such a joy.
It’s McCarron on a roll to get us
Makes me lose control to get us
Capitol One Bowl, he sends us
That keeps Nick on the top.

B1G Radio Caller:
It’s not so hard to be Saban
When you recruit like the Tide
It’s not so hard to be Saban
You know that Tide oversigns.

It’s sharing title games together
Hats together
Grass together
That make Nick such a joy
Recruits we try to shop together
Coaching gigs we swap together
Big Ten teams we drop together
That make, this perfect relationship

We don’t try to think of the decade ahead
We just try to get through the pain
Kentucky and Auburn and Florida Atlantic
We’ll still make a decent bowl game
It’s the little things… the little things, the little things, the little things

NICK: John, you know you were fired, right? I mean, I’m pretty sure someone else is coaching your team this year.
JOHN: What's this now?


(scene: Nick at dinner with Butch Davis, Pete Carroll, Dennis Erickson, Steve Spurrier)

NICK: You guys ever sorry you went to the NFL?

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You’re always sorry, but still you’re paid well
You’re always wondering, what might have been…
Then checks come in.
And still you’re sorry, but still you’re paid well
And still you wonder, the Cleveland Browns?
And then you’re canned.

Everything’s different, nothing changed
There’s ACC jobs if you’re feeling pain.

You’re near .500
But free of Emmert
Why look for answers when the checks clear?
You always are, what you always were,
You’re a sociopath who doesn’t really care.

I’m now at Utah
(I had to Google)
But who cares, I’ve still got
A couple rings
You’re still a coach.

You don’t live for it
You do live with it
Who cares if you went
Fifteen and seventeen
You still got paid

Bad teams get better, good get worse

BUTCH: Unless it’s Cleveland, I think they’re cursed.

You’re sorry, paid well
Why sweat your record
When you’ve got paid?
You’ll always be, what you always were
You’re a sociopath who doesn’t really care.

STEVE: [has fallen asleep in a kiddie pool he appears to have brought with him]


NICK: Right now, I am looking at lots of jobs. There’s Cleveland. Dallas. The Jets! New York is fun. I’m ready to shop around.
FRIEND: So why aren’t you?

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You could drive a blogger crazy!
You could drive a blogger mad!
First you make your future hazy
So a person could be had

Then you leave a blogger gasping, wheezing
Outside your door
Which could only make those teams you’re teasing
Offer even more
I could understand your reasons
If you said that you would stay
I could see ten more seasons
If you stayed at U of A
You’re worse than that
A person that
Titillates our readers and then leaves them flat
Is crazy, he’s a troubled person, he’s a truly crazy person himself

When a coach’s coachability is saleable,
He should not stay like a chump
It’s harder than a matador coercin’ a bull
To try to get you out from those Gumps
So winning and familiar and marketable a man
Is everything an owner could wish
But turning down the Cowboys is the act of a man
Who likes to pull the hooks out of fish

Click-click! A plane is in the aaaaa-aaa-air
We saw! We’re checking Flight A-waa-aa-are!
Click-click! I’m tracking all his moo-ooo-ooves!
Click-click! We all now look like rubes.
All that misdirection!
What is wrong?
Where’s the loose connection?
How long (roll tide) how long?

You could drive a blogger buggy,
You could blow a person’s cool
Make a team think they might get lucky
While you make us look like fools
When a blogger has to redact words,
That’s when you’re good
You impersonate a person better
Than Nick Saban should!

I could understand your thinking
If you didn’t win a lot
I’d wonder what you’re drinking
If you took the Cleveland job!
Exclusive you! Elusive you!
Will any owner ever get the juice of you?
You’re crazy, you’re a lovely person, you’re moving
Deeply maladjusted, never to be trusted, crazy person yourself!
Saban is my column and I’m givin’ it up!


Have I got a job for you! Wait til you meet them!
Have I got a job for you, boy, hoo boy!
Rich! Under SEC inquiry!
Fraud! But his dad’s taking over the team!
The fans would be thrilled if you went 8-8!
Call me tomorrow, I think you’ll fit great!

Am I in the job for you! Wait til you see it!
Am I in the job for you, boy, hoo boy!
Boy! To keep this job what I wouldn’t give!
Maybe I could! But now I’m starting Geno Smith!
And as for Super Bowls and all that
This job may be where I am but it’s not going to last.

Whaddya like? You like being number one thing?
Fans who treat you like you’re a king?
Whaddya like? You like getting championship rings?
Then whaddya want the NFL for?
Whaddya like? You like choosing your players?
Gimme games against Georgia State?
Whaddya like? You like going thirteen and one?
Then whaddya want the NFL for?
Whaddya want the NFL for?
Whaddya want the NFL for?


Another top-100 just faxed in his letter
And signed on with the Tide
While another top-100 just decommitted Auburn
And is looking around
At another top-100 who just put on our hat
And they’re looking at us
Who signed on with the Tide
And came to play for us
Maybe last season

It’s a team full of five-stars
Some come to block, some to rush
A team full of five-stars
Some will start, some greyshirt
And every day
The ones who work
Can find each other in the weight room and the community
By the training tables and tape sessions and the Jacuzzi
And they walk together past the stadium with your statue
And they beat the Bulldogs and the Irish and they win titles too
"Did we pick him up or did he verbal yet or should we let him go?"
"Did you get the mailers, we sent eighty-four in one day!"
"Can you official on Saturday if it doesn’t rain?"
"Look I’ll fax you in the morning or my mother will explain."
And another top-100 just faxed in his letter

It’s a team full of five-stars
Some on the line, or secondary
A team full of five-stars
Some will get cut, some will stay
And every day
Some roll away

Or they find each other on the practice fields or at Bryant-Denny
By the Bear statue or the museum or the crystal trophies
And they drill together for another year atop the SEC
And they drink at parties (but don’t tell coach, he can’t know)

And another top-100 just faxed in his letter
And another top-100 just faxed in his letter



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I'd like to propose a toast.

Here’s to the coaches who jump –
Everybody laugh.

Going to the Niners or Bills
And planning a parade
On their own behalf.

Off to the Bucs
Or maybe Philly
Claiming they’ll win!
And looking grim,
‘Cause they’re now sitting
On the hot seat!

Is Mark Richt still on the hot seat?
I’ll drink to that.

And here’s to the ones who play smart-
Aren’t they a gas.

Teaching a class at Akron
Wishing it would pass.

Another commentating gig,
Another million dollars,

Ferentz' buyout, Mack Brown's contract…
Let’s go and take some callers!
I’ll drink to that.

And one for my callers.

And here’s to Urban's home life
Isn't he too much
Watching his health but skipping
Back out on his wife
When a gig comes up.

Todd Graham will follow the rules.
Then jump off to three new schools
All too busy to know that they’re fools
Aren’t they a gem?
I’ll drink to them!
Let’s all drink to them.

And here’s to the fans who just watch.
Aren’t they they best.
When they get depressed
It’s a bottle of Scotch,
Another chance to disapprove

A Tubervillain quitter
Another season down the tubes
I’ll drink to that.

So here’s to the coaches who go.
Everybody tries.
Look into their eyes
And you’ll see what they know,
Everyone gets fired.
A toast to that optimistic bunch!
Thinking they’ll act on their hunch!
Let’s hear it for the coaches who jump
Everybody’s fired! Fired! Fired! Fired! FIIIIIIIIIIRED!

(If you didn’t stick with the video, at least go through and watch the last ten seconds. That martini was Chekhov’s gun through the whole song. The fact that Patti made a point to soak the people in the front row of the Philharmonic is why she is, now and forever, the best. I was at this show, seated about a quarter-mile away in the cheap seats, and I swear I flinched.)


Nicky! Nicky! Nicky baby! Nicky bubby!
Nicky, we’ve been trying to call you!
Saban, we’ve got something to tell you!
Coach, we’ve been trying to reach you all day!
Nicky, there was something we wanted to say!

What do you get?

Someone to make you GM.
Someone to pay you too much.
Someone to hand you the reins, to make you the face?

That’s true, but there’s more to it than that.

Is that all you think there is to it?

You’ve got so many reasons for not leaving Alabama, but Nick, you haven’t got one good reason for not trying the league again.

Come on, you’re on to something, Nick. You’re on to something.

JIMMY JOHNSON: Jesus, Bill, don’t sneak up on us like that, fer Christ’s sake.

BILL BELICHICK: (mumbles, walks away)

Some team to need you too much.
Some team to know you too well.
Some team to pull you up short
And put you through hell

JIM: You see what you look for, you know.

BARRY: You’re not a kid anymore, Nicky. I don’t think you’ll ever be a kid again, kiddo.

JIMMY: Hey, buddy. Don’t be afraid it won’t be perfect. The only thing to be afraid of really is that it won’t be.

BILL: Don’t stop now. Keep going.

Some games you might not win.
Some games it won’t seem fair.
Some teams who like it or not,
Will have to rebuild, a little, a lot

BARRY: And what does that all mean?
JIMMY: Nick, how do you know so much about it when you’ve never been there?
JIM: Uh, Jimmy, he coached the Dolphins for a couple years.
JIMMY: Aw, hell, I did that. That doesn’t count.
BILL: It’s much better living it than looking at it, Nick.
BARRY: Add ‘em up, Nicky. Add ‘em up.

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Fans who will crowd you with love.
Fans who'll inexplicably care. (
Fans who want you to comes through,
Who’ll always be there,
As frightened as you
Leaving the Tide…
Leaving the Tide.
Leaving the Tide.

DANA HOLGORSEN: Blow out the candles, Nick, and make a wish.
NICK: (startled) Jesus, who let you in?
DANA: Oh, like I don’t know how to shimmy up a fire escape. (slaps Nick on back, walks off)
NICK: (clutches coat pocket, realizes wallet is missing)
JOHN: *Want* something! Want *something*!

Some team make me GM.
Some team pay me too much.
Some team hand me the reins, make me the face
And make me aware
I could leave the Tide
Leaving the Tide

Some team needs me too much
Some team I might know well

Some team pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For leaving the Tide
Make me alive.

Make me confused
Mock me with praise
Let me be used
Double my pay
The League is my home, not the Tide

Somebody crowd me with love
Somebody force me to care
Somebody make me come through
I’ll always be there
As frightened as you
If I will survive
Leaving the Tide
Leaving the Tide

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(Roll Tide.)

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