INTERIOR - SPAVITAL RESIDENCE, NOVEMBER 8TH, 2015
JAKE SPAVITAL sits in the darkness of his home theater. The projector showing the failed plays of the Auburn game. The sound of film chattering through the reel cutting the silence even though it is a digital projector. There's a shadow cast on the screen. A cap visor blocking out a failed bubble screen. A voice speaks from behind him.
Jake, I need you.
(surprised, turns around, standing)
Les Miles? What are you doing here?
Did Mehgan let you in?
(suddenly dropping the portentous mood)
She is a very nice woman. You be good to her, Jake. SPAVITAL (nods slowly) Why are you here, Coach Miles?
MILES flips the lights on.
Jake, I know that Auburn loss was difficult.
I don't know if you took a gander of our game with Bama yet, but I understand that tinge when you're failing and you don't know what else to do. That feeling is the worst. I've heard of the
social media campaign to get you fired. I'm sure it eats at you.
You see, Jake. I feel that coming for me too.
What do you mean, Coach? You're one of the most successful coaches in LSU history! Conference championships! Heck, even that natty in 2007! Why would you be on the chopping block?
MILES I know, I know. I just sought council from my Voodoo Lady in New Orleans and she says there is a wave of hard times coming. There's going to be pressure from Alleva and if these next few games end up in losses, he's going to start threatening my job.
SPAVITAL The alumni and fans wouldn't stand for that. Heck, if you aren't safe, who is? What does that mean for someone like me?
MILES That's why I'm here, Jake. I need your help.
MILES puts his hands on SPAVITAL'S shoulders.
How can I help? No one is a fan of me.
I don't have any pull anywhere.
Yes, can. You need to win these next two games.
Western Carolina and Vandy. Do your best--
Well, you say that...
No, you can do it, Jake. You can pull off a
mediocre performance at the least. Hell, you have it in you to get a shutout with Vandy.
SPAVITAL Really, you think so? That hasn't been done since 2004 with Wyoming. Do you think that will help my situation? Will people want me still as OC?
Heck no, Jake. People are trigger happy and you have
been sucking it up the past two years. You're as good as gone.
Hey, I don't need that in my own home. I can get that from my twitter mentions.
Jake, what I need from you is to build yourself up just enough. Make an effort to win these next two games.
And then what? Put up a big fight in the last game with, y'all then you beat us?
Almost. I want you to look competent in these next two games, but not so much that it makes others suspicious. Then, when you come into Death Valley... I'm going to need you to do your worst.
What? Like only get a handful of touchdowns on the board?
No. Chavis is going to give me a run for my money on defense. I can't afford a handful of touchdowns.
MILES looks away pensively.
You can't get more than one TD.
(shocked and angry)
ONE? ONLY ONE?! How can I face Coach Sumlin after that?
We used to have 70+ point games. Easy.
God, this could have been Johnny's senior year...
If anyone can pull this off, it's you, Spav.
This will save me far more than you can imagine.
A win over even a mediocre Aggie team will keep me
in Baton Rouge. It would be ridiculous to fire me at that point.
But only at that point.
I just bought a boat. I can't move now.
SPAVITAL sits down again. Holds his head in his hands. Rubs his head in contemplation.
Okay. I'll do it. What do I tell Mehgan?
Tell her you're doing it for the greater good.
The world wouldn't be right if an AD fired a winning coach after a three game losing streak. One day the favor could be returned to you.
You might need it.
MILES heads to the door. Turns around one last time and looks SPAVITAL in the eye.
Thank you, Jake. You're a good man.
Not a great offensive coordinator, but a good man,
nonetheless. Bless you.
MILES exits. SPAVITAL sits in silence. MEHGAN SPAVITAL enters the home theater.
MEHGAN Jake, did you decide what you wanted for dinner? Maybe we can go to Layne's? You know, your favorite place.
SPAVITAL Yeah, honey. I need some mystery sauce right now. Did Les Miles leave already?
Les Miles? Why would he be here? I've never met him before.
CUT TO BLACK.
IT IS OVER NOW. The charge into Death Valley ended up with a barely recognizable offense as the defense did their job. One day, the Aggies will line their ducks up correctly and the world will be great. But then Aggies will complain that the team didn't score enough points when winning the national championship. Let us just hope we do fine in the bowl game and end the season with more than a sigh. String isn't certain in his feelings of last night's game.
WHAT IS UP IN BATON ROUGE? Seriously, threatening to fire Les Miles then after a meh win over the Aggies, he's instantly out of the hot pan? Really confusing times here. *insert your opinions about the A&M AD here* Not sure what was going on in the backrooms, but it seems like it wasn't executed as well as they hoped. Glad to see Les keep his job. You know that the SEC would be less fun at the least. We can't handle a Spurrier and Miles exodus in one year. All of this coaching carousel business didn't end last night, with reports that Mark Richt of Georgia has been let go this morning.
SOCCER WRAPS UP THE YEAR. Aggies couldn't make it out the Elite Eight and ended the year with a hard 0-5 loss to FSU. This is a young team and to have made it this far has been a great effort on their part. We're looking forward to when these women make tweaks in the off-season. Seriously, the next two years of Aggie Soccer are going to be spectacular. Great job, ladies.
It's been an overwhelmingly underwhelming football season. We hope you got some enjoyment out of it this year and any negative feelings you are having now will disappear in June when you will be begging for it to happen again. Saddle up and head back to work and school. Wear maroon. Be thankful for what you have.
BTHO bowl season.