FSW: The Pep Talk

I’d like to pre-apologize for this sketch. My week so far:

  • dirty, nasty unclean hands of a salad chef (I believe that was the source) gave me salmonella on Tuesday
  • I tried desperately to give it back, all of it back, on Wednesday (and today)
  • Got to work at 4am this morning so I could make it home in time to watch the tourney (when is this Highest of High Holy Days going to be made a national holiday?!?)
  • Watched a shitload of basketball (meanwhile, I frequently unloaded much shit)
  • Hammered out this sketch while watching WVU kick UA’s asses!!! (I hate the Pac-10.)

So yeah, it’s not very good. 🙁

The Pep Talk
(Locker room, we see the backs of a few players sitting quietly, heads bowed. Coach Lou Calipahounewski walks in with a clipboard and a disgusted look on his face. He stands in front of the players silently for a few seconds, shaking his head.)

That has got to be the most godawful half of basketball I’ve ever seen. What the fuck are you doing out there? Can you tell me that? Can anyone answer me that? What the fuck are you —

— they’re just too —

— if I wanted you to speak, I’d ask a goddamn question! Did I ask a goddamn question?

(Tick, tick, tick)

Did I?!?

I think you —

No I did not! (He throws his clipboard; it shatters.) I didn’t ask any fucking questions!!! Billy! You have those stats yet?

(An assistant scurries over with another clipboard and sheepishly hands it to Coach Lou.)

Three rebounds? We had three rebounds? Three boards to their 17. That makes me sick. Johnson? Son, you need to box out. What did we work on all week long?

(Tick, tick, tick)

Johnson?! You deaf, boy?!

Boxing out?

That’s right, boxing out. Get up here. Get up here and show me how you box out!

(Johnson walks to the front of the room and stands next to Coach Lou. He gets into a defensive crouch, hands at the ready, and boxes out.)

No, goddamn it! No! How many times do I have to show you this?

(Coach Lou drops the clipboard and gets into a crouch, but it isn’t a defensive one. He arches his back, puts his hands on his hips, shoves his ass into Johnson, and starts to grind. “Shake That Thing” starts playing in the background.)

That’s right. That’s the way to work it. That’s how you box out.

(Coach gets more and more into it until finally Johnson, in a mixture of fear and disgust, backs away.)

See what I did there? I own the paint. I own the paint. You box out like that in the second half, Johnson. (Picking up the clipboard) Robinson! One assist. One assist to seven turnovers?!? Come on. That’s not how we play ball. Thats not how we play ball at all. You’ve gotta protect the ball, Jeremy. Billy! Give me a ball!

(A ball is passed to Coach Lou. The clipboard goes flying. The ball goes flying. Coach Lou goes flying. He picks himself back up off the floor and holds the ball in his hands.)

Remember what I always say: two dribbles is two too many. Always look to pass. You can move the ball faster passing it than dribbling it. (Starts dribbling. The way he does it is more like he’s spanking the ball for being naughty.) If you have to dribble, remember to keep your eye on the ball. Don’t look around or you’ll lose sight of that big, round (slapping it more forcefully) hard ball. And use both hands, don’t just rely on your right hand. (He dribbles once with his left, but loses complete control of the ball and it smacks him in the face, knocking him back to the floor. He gets up and passes the ball off screen with as limp-wristed a motion as can be imagined.)

Two minutes, Coach.

Alright guys, gather round.
They said we wouldn’t win a game and they were wrong. We won that exhibition game against Lazy Pines back in September.
They said we wouldn’t win our conference tourney and they were wrong. I knew once that blizzard hit the 94 the Governor was going to declare a state of emergency and shut down all the roads to Fargo.
They said we wouldn’t win the play-in game and they were wrong. Though that bad shrimp in the other locker room was a one in a million break.

Look fellas, we’ve been through a lot. I want to tell you about another fella I know who went through a lot. Fella by the name of George. Now I’m going to tell you something I’ve kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew George. He was long before your time, but you all know what a tradition he is. One of the greatest natural athletes I’ve ever seen. Could jump straight out of the gym, run all day, and still be getting into trouble when everyone else was ready for sleep. But George wasn’t just an athlete. He was a student, always questioning, always curious. Well, curiosity finally caught up with George one day. The last thing he said to me was “eep eep eeeeep! eep eep eeeeep!!!”

Now I’m not a religious man. I don’t know if there’s a heaven or hell, or a separate monkey heaven and monkey hell. But if there is – I mean, either the one heaven and hell for everyone, or possibly the separate monkey heaven and hell – George is up there watching. So go out there with all you’ve got and win just one for the monkey.