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HAPPY 104TH BIRTHDAY, WOODY HAYES

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LIVE FROM HIS BIRTHDAY PARTY

[SCENE: The athletic department offices at The Ohio State University]

[URBAN MEYER and staff enter, carrying a sheet cake with 104 candles]

ALL: -ppy Birthday dear Woody, Happy Birthday to you... and many more!

KEVIN WILSON: [loudly, with clapping] HOW OLD ARE YOU NOW, HOW OL-

URBAN MEYER: [makes subtle ‘cut it’ gesture] Well, Happy Birthday, Coach Hayes, we’re all, uh, pleasantly surprised that you were able to join us today, obviously you’ve been a big influence on many people in this room, and of course on this program, and we couldn’t be happier to have you back in the facilities today.

WOODY HAYES: [squinting disapprovingly at cake] This pink frosting?

MEYER: Well, uh - yes, Coach, you see, it’s Valentine’s Day, and your visit - though, as previously stated, quite welcome - wasn’t entirely expected, so the only cake Kroger had on short notice was pink, and -

HAYES: So you’ve just let Communists have the run of the place, then. What’s your name, Comrade?

MEYER: Sir, I’m Urban Meyer, I’m the head coach of the Buckeyes, I have been since-

HAYES: Urban? A Papist, eh? You named after Pope Urban VII, the shortest-serving pope, who died only 12 days into his papacy? I don’t abide quitters, son, not in the Vatican or in the weight room.

MEYER: I wasn’t named after -

HAYES: Oh, I suppose it isn’t fair to say he “died”, he just “took time off for health reasons”, amiright? Oh, you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?

MEYER: So you do know who I am, then.

HAYES: Yeah, I know who you are. [leaning forward, elbows full in cake] You’re the layabout who need [making air quotes] “OVERTIME” to beat Michigan. Son, if you can’t beat those bastards from up North in 60 minutes, what in the sam hell you been doing with your time?

MEYER: Mr. Hayes, to be fair, I’ve now beaten Michigan five years in a row, a feat you yourself never achieved, and I won a National Championship in my third year as-

HAYES: [reclining back, not appearing to notice cake all over arms] It’s the way of the world now, I suppose. 75 minutes to beat Michigan, bowl games named after fried chicken, losing games to non-conference opponents like Penn State -

MEYER: Actually, Penn State is-

HAYES: The hell they are. Anyways, as I was saying, it’s just the way things are now. Ever since you ungrateful bastards chased Nixon out, the hippies have had the run of the place. I mean, look at this bunch of no-account longhairs you’ve got lollygagging around here. You!

KEVIN WILSON: Yes, sir?

HAYES: What’s your deal? Why are you coaching here?

WILSON: Uh, I was fired from Indiana after allegations of abusing players, both verbally and physically.

HAYES: And what about you?

GREG SCHIANO: More or less the same, really.

HAYES: Hm. Okay. Like some fire in my coaches. And what about you?

BRADY HOKE: AH HECK LISTEN I WAS JUST GONNA ASK FOR DIRECTIONS IS THIS TENNESSEE I CANNOT FIND MY WAY AROUND HEY ARE YOU GUYS GONNA EAT THAT CAKE OR-

MEYER: [gently pushing Hoke out door as he fills his pockets with cake] Listen, Coach Hayes, I guess what we’re all really wondering about today, the question that’s, uh, the question that’s been on all of our minds as we gather to celebrate this great birthday of yours, and, um, bearing in mind all the great things that you’ve done for this university over the years, the strong legacy that you’ve left, the commitment to excellence and the spirit of-

SCHIANO: Haven’t you been dead for almost thirty years?

HAYES: [grabbing Meyer by collar] You’re goddamned right I have, so I don’t appreciate having to come back up here and tell you hippies how poorly I take losses to Clemson.

MEYER: [struggling loose] Coach, it was a rebuilding year.

HAYES: [putting feet up into cake] You sound like the Germans in ‘48.

HOKE: [muffled through closed door] DID SOMEONE SAY GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

HAYES: Alright, I gotta haul, Bo and I are gonna go scare the shit out that Harbaugh kid for laughs. Gonna dress up as conference championship trophies.