Following the runaway success of the new HBO/Sky Atlantic show The Young Pope - a show which I've seen many GIFs and tweets of - the producers at EDSBS's TV wing (birthplace of such hit shows as Suddenly Sarkisian and Seconds From Sparty, No) asked me to develop a treatment for a new show with a similar, but football-focused bent.
It's a simple premise, really: what if a millennial were a college football coach?
YOU: What about PJ Fleck?
ME: PJ Fleck doesn't count. He's, uh, a robot.
YOU: Okay, what about Matt Campbell, then?
ME: I don't know who that is.
YOU: Or Mike Norvell, or Neal Brown, or Jason Candle, or-
ME: [beckons guards to have you removed] with that, we're happy to now offer a sneak preview of this fall's sure-fire hit, The Millennial Coach.
[SCENE: The Athletic Department offices of State University A&M]
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: I just don't know who we should hire as our next football coach, Bill.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: It seems like we've tried everything. Former NFL coordinators... briefly-successful MAC coaches... Kirby Smart. I'm all out of ideas.
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: None of them are connecting to players like we need them to.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: I blame the players. These kids, they don’t know what they want. I went into the practice facility the other day and asked them, “what do you want”? They started rambling on about being paid for their labor, being allowed to profit from their own name and likeness, robust protocols for protecting their health... I tell you, there wasn’t a single useful suggestion for improvements to our weight room complex.
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: Wait, Bill, I’ve got it. We’ve got to hire someone who understands them.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: Someone who speaks their language.
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: Someone who thinks they way they do.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, visibly excited: Someone we can bring in at a lower salary and work to death but still pin all the blame on their inexperience if it all goes to shit.
BOTH, IN UNISON: A MILLENNIAL COACH.
[there’s a whole theme song and montage here, buncha stock footage of Portland and coffee shops and tattoos, just imagine it yourself, okay]
[SCENE: The practice fields, later that spring]
DEFENSIVE BACK: I thought practice was supposed to start at 8am.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: That’s what the schedule said, but I haven’t seen the new coach y-
BRAYDEN SNAPCHAT, THE MILLENNIAL COACH: [screeches into scene on a fixed-gear bike] wyd
DB: Uh, coach, you’re three hours late. Half the team went home.
BRAYDEN: Flexible work schedules, my duuuuudes, I was busy binge-watching a web series, you guys know what I’m talking about [goes up for high-five, is left hanging]
OT: I definitely do not know what you’re talking about. I have an accounting class in an hour. Are we having practice?
BRAYDEN: Practice is for loser baby boomers, maaaaaan! I just want to be good at everything without trying!
WIDE RECEIVER: I don’t think many of us share that view, sir. We’ve all worked very hard to be here, and we have a tough schedule coming up this year. We’re going to all need to- are you listening?
BRAYDEN: [is busy taking top-down photos of a bowl of ramen] totally, Bonaroo looks lit this year, I agree
WR: I didn’t say anything about- seriously, what’s this guy’s deal? Does anyone know what’s happening here?
BRAYDEN: I just changed my name to Emoji
RUNNING BACK: Listen, let’s try to salvage something out of this practice. Last season, ball control was a big issue for us, we had one of the worst turnover margins in the country - that’s what got Kirby Smart fired - so I think maybe we should focus on controlling the-
EMOJI: man who wants to be burdened by controlling a ball or owning a home or living a productive life not saddled with debts massively larger than those of previous generations? It’s all about the sharing economy, duuudes
WR: That makes absolutely no sens- where are you going?
EMOJI: Just gotta go chase this Pokémon for a minute, I’ll be right back
RB: Coach, please, we’ve all got a lot on our plates right now, and the last thing we need is-
BRAYDEN: I changed my name back lol commitment is hard, amiright fellow millennials
DB: Coach, can I speak freely for a minute here? I think you’re unfairly generalizing a broad swath of people into a ridiculous caricature of modern behaviors. Like any generation, ours is diverse - certainly, there are some people who are lazy or entitled or lack direction - but that’s always been true, in every generation. If you looked beyond baiting headlines and actually got to know some of us, you’d understand that many young people today are hardworking, passionate, committed people with a clear vision for their future. They’re not asking for everything to be perfect, and they’re not expecting anything to be free. They just want the same opportunities that have been provided to the people that are now criticizing them, and- are... are you crying?
BRAYDEN: MY PODCAST PARTNER LEFT ME FOR ANOTHER PODCAST
RB: Should we just practice without him while he works through this?
TEAMMATES: Yeah let’s go.
[a few hundred yards away]
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: [shaking head] Look at that, he’s lost control of the team.
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: These millennials just don’t respect authority.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: We never should’ve put a millennial in charge.
GRADUATE ASSISTANT: Guys, guys! The Boca Raton Bowl runner-up rings are in.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: [puts on three, admires in light] I got a bonus for this.