ASU head coach Todd Graham has a stigmatized reputation as a job hopper, whether fair or not. But the media has only focused on his career aspirations within the realm of athletics. What many do not know, he desires to star in his own serialized television drama. We were able to get a hold of an excerpt from a script he submitted to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, as a proposition for a spin-off about a college football coach who walks into New Mexico a nobody and leaves as a legend.
by TODD GRAHAM
EXT. DESERT - DAY
Deep blue sky overhead. A small patch of thin clouds accent the vastness of the empty heavens. Red rock hills speckle the landscape, while sun-faded cactus provide a break in the landscape's monotony of browns and oranges.
TILT UP to the cloudless sky, a pair of khaki pants falls upon a dirt road.
...ZOOM! Wheels plow right over the pants.
NEW ANGLE - AN RV
Is speeding smack-dab through the desert. A bit out of place, to say the least. It's an old 70's era Winnebago, restored with an intense cherry-red paint job highlighted by silver accents. A bumper sticker saying "MWC Champions Or Bust" is stuck to the back.
The winnebago galumphs across the landscape, the only sign of life. It catches a wheel and sprays a rooster tail of red dirt.
INT. WINNEBAGO - DAY
Inside, the DRIVER's knuckles cling white to the wheel. He's got the pedal flat. Poised, breathing fast. His eyes bug wide behind the face mask of his football helmet.
Oh, by the way, he's wearing a FOOTBALL HELMET. That, and white jockey UNDERPANTS. Nothing else.
Buckled in the seat beside him lolls a clothed PASSENGER, wearing a drinking hard hat. Blood streaks down from his ear, blotting his red T-shirt. He's passed out cold.
Behind them, the interior is a wreck. Chips and potato salad and uncooked hotdogs - some kind of ad-hoc tailgating vehicle - jostle around with every bump we hit. Cans of cheap-ass light beer roll up and down the floor. They explode, foam and liquid gather around...
...Two DEAD BODIES. Two freshly deceased University of New Mexico football fans tumble like rag dolls, bumping into each other.
Completing this picture is the blizzard of MONEY. An Albertson's bag lies leaking twenties. Fifteen, twenty grand in cash wafts around in the air or floats in the beer.
CLOSE on the driver's eyes. He's panting like a steam engine. He tears off the football helmet.
EXT. DESERT - CONTINUOUS
The Winnebago comes roaring over a berm and down into a deep ravine. Too deep. BAM! The front bumper bottoms out, burying itself. WAAAAH! The rear wheels spin in the air.
The engine cuts off. Silence again. The Winnie's door kicks open and out stumbles underpants man. He yanks off what appears to be a boy-band-style headset, let's it drop.
He's almost fifty years old. Military hair cut. A bit husky. He's not a guy we'd pay attention to if we passed him on the street. But right now, at this moment, in this desert? Right now, we'd step the f**k out of his way.
Underpants man looks at the RV. End of the line for that. He listens hard. Out of the silence we hear....the New Mexico fight song.
It's faint, a few miles off-but growing louder. Our guy knows he's boned with a capital B. He leaps back inside the RV.
INT. WINNEBAGO - CONTINUOUS
A chrome 9mm is clutched in the hands of one of the dead fans. Underpants grabs it, tucks it in his waistband.
His unconscious passenger, still strapped in his seat, lets out a groan. Underpants leans past him, yanks open the glove box. He comes up with an iPAD MINI and a tiny Sony CAMCORDER.
EXT. DESERT - CONTINUOUS
Ducking outside, he starts breathing again. A short sleeve wind-breaker with a pitchfork emblem dangles from a hanger on the Winnebago's awning. Underpants pulls it on. He finds the headset and positions it back on his left ear. No trousers, unfortunately.
He licks his fingers, slicks his hair back with his hands. He's looking almost pulled together now-at lest from the waist-up. All the while, the UNM fight song is getting LOUDER.
Underpants figures out how to turn on the camcorder. He twists the little screen around so he can see himself in it. Framing himself waist-up, he takes a moment to gather his thoughts...then presses RECORD.
Mah name is Todd Graham. Texas boy and the head football coach of Arizona State University. I am of sound mind. To all NCAA officials, this is not an admission of guilt. Not that it matters anyway. Character. I'm speaking now to the Sun Devil brotherhood.
Mike...you are...the best offensive coordinator I've eva worked with. I hope ya know that. Taylor Kelly. You're my big man. Discipline. I should have told you things, both of you. I should have said things. But I love ya both so much. And DJ Calhoun. Character. And I just want youth know that...the triple option. The triple option. I just want you to know that...no matter what it may look like...play hard-nosed, disciplined, no-penalties, left-lane hammer down, assignment football.
The fight song is BOOMING now, on top of us. TODD GRAHAM, the underpants man, turns off the camcorder. He carefully sets it on the hot sand. Next to it he sets the iPad mini.
CLOSE ON the screen of the iPad - a defensive alignment is animated. It's a 3-4 defensive scheme. The WILL linebacker is attacking the A gap. Tthe devilbacker is shown containing the edge. It's his defensive game plan to stop Bob Davie's triple-option attack.
Todd pulls the chrome pistol from the back of his waistband, aiming it across the barren landscape. It glints hard in the sun.
Flashing lights speed into view, reflecting off the scattered red mountains. Heading straight for us.
Todd stands tall in his underpants, not flinching. Off him, ready to shoot the first bastard in cherry-red and silver he sees...