[SCENE: the football offices of the defending national champion Clemson Tigers]
DABO SWINNEY: Gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to welcome you to my coaching staff as graduate assistants. You’re going to work hard, but you’re also going to be exposed to what it takes to instill a championship culture in your program. The lessons you learn in your time here can serve you for the rest of your career, if you’re willing to listen, show effort, and commit yourself to excellence every day. Let’s take a minute to introduce ourselves.
DAVE: Hi, I’m Dave, I played four years at Iowa, I’m looking forward to learning the defensive side of things.
MARK: Hi, I’m Mark, I’m coming from Citadel, it’s exciting to see football at its highest level.
TERRY BOWDEN: [is playing Fortnite on a Nintendo Switch, is not listening]
DABO: [clears throat]
BOWDEN: Dang teens keep killin’ me, and-
DABO: Could you please introduce yourself to the others?
BOWDEN: DADGUMIT I’M DEAD [looks up] Oh hey hi y’all, I’m Terry Bowden, I uh, I coached at Akron the last six years, and at North Alabama and Auburn before that. I just figured I’d hang out until the teacher showed up.
DABO: That’s me, Terry, I’m head coach Dabo Swinney.
BOWDEN: [squints, takes off reading glasses] No, you’re Davis Lynch, Helen’s on-again-off-again boyfriend from Wings.
MARK: The band?
BOWDEN: Son, aren’t they teaching you the classics at that school of yours?
DABO: I assure you, I’m the head coach here.
BOWDEN: You know, my brother used to work here.
DABO: Yes, Terry, I am aware. Not only did I succeed your brother Tommy Bowden as head coach here, I was a member of his staff for a number of years, and-
DABO: [sighing] Tommy Bowden.
BOWDEN: Never heard of him. No, I’m talking about my brother Skeet. University used to keep him around to kill pigeons in the stadium. Well, they didn’t so much keep him around as they couldn’t capture him, but he did kill a lot of pigeons, and-
DABO: I’d like to get on with our agenda, if that’s possible.
BOWDEN: [checking watch] Hell yeah, buddy, me too, me and the other interns were hopin’ to skip out for the rest of the week, we’re headin’ over to Bonnaroo, gonna be wild.
DAVE: Sir, with all due respect to your long coaching career, I plan on staying this weekend so I can catch up on the playbook and assist Mr. Swinney in recruiting.
BOWDEN: Aw, heck, you’re just tense ‘cause the molly hasn’t hit yet.
DAVE: I’m sorry, the- hey, you said that was a vitamin!
BOWDEN: Son, you just learned the first three lessons of your coaching career. One, vitamins are a scam, never spend money on ‘em. Two, never take a pill from a Bowden. Three, recreational drugs are a violation of school and NCAA rules. I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to ask you to leave.
DABO: [sighing] [nodding towards door]
DAVE: I don’t feel so great...
BOWDEN: [calling after him] Just find a quiet place to lay down until it wears off. That’s what I used Akron for! [turning back to Bowden] We done here, Davis?
DABO: Mr. Bowden, it was out of respect for you and your family that I agreed to this unusual arrangement, but I am going to have to ask you to return that respect. We’re running the nation’s premier program here, and we can’t be drugging our fellow interns, or running off to Bongaloo.
BOWDEN: Ah, whatever, old man, you just don’t know what it’s like to be my age.
DABO: I certainly do not, as I’m 14 years younger than you.
BOWDEN: Heh, you know, it just hit me, this is kinda like that Anne Hathaway movie, isn’t it?
DABO: Yes, The Intern, where Robert DeNiro played an intern of a much older age than typical-
BOWDEN: No, no, the other one. The one with Batman.
MARK: Mr. Bowden, did you put a nuclear bomb under the stadium?
BOWDEN: This Mark fella’s sharp, Davis. You oughta keep him on. But no, son, I didn’t put a bomb under the stadium. I did dress up in a catsuit and steal some jewels from a mansion, though.
DABO: Mr. Bowden, I do have to ask why you decided to take this role on if you’re not going to take it seriously.
BOWDEN: It’s all about new challenges, new experiences, buddy! I’m at a stage of my life where I want to see things I haven’t seen before, and Clemson offers me that opportunity.
DABO: You want to finally win the national championship you were denied the chance to play for in 1993?
BOWDEN: I want to eat a tiger.
DABO: I’m sorry, what?
BOWDEN: Love exotic meats. That’s why I went to Akron. Fresh kangaroo roaming the sidelines every week. You pick one off, they just replace it. Gamey, but delicious.
MARK: You... you know those were humans in costumes, right?
DABO: Mr. Bowden, I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t think this is going to work ou-[sways] uh-oh.
BOWDEN: Hell yeah, it’s kicking in. Mark, grab his legs, we’ll lay him down in the back seat. If we leave now we can be there for headliners.
MARK: I’m very afraid of you, Mr. Bowden.
BOWDEN: You’re gonna do fine in this profession, son.