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Soap opera at Rams Park has big-screen possibilities
By Bryan Burwell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Oct. 31 2005
It's confession time. I must admit that because I've been so preoccupied with
all the skullduggery and occasional comic nonsense that has gone on behind the
scenes at Rams Park, I finally realize how I've woefully miscast this mischief
as some nutty soap opera.
How limiting and shortsighted it was to think only small screen. What we have
here is a full-blown cinematic extravaganza. I know this, of course, because
when taking time off from my main role as the notorious MOP (man of the
people), I have dabbled in the Hollywood scene, so I do know a good script when
I see one. My only dilemma is sorting through all the proper titles and obvious
story lines. How do we choose from such a plentiful harvest? For example, here
are just a few scripts that have come across my desk:
"Gone in Sixty Seconds" A clever whodunit. This mystery revolves
around what might have happened to the name plate on Mike Martz's office door
after he announced he was taking an indefinite medical leave.
"The Greatest Story Ever Told" In this madcap comedy, less than two
weeks after seriously contemplating the dizzy prospect of hiring 153-year-old
Marv Levy to act as interim head coach, Rams executives now strut around the
Rams Park hallways whistling Joe Vitt's name as if it was actually their idea
to give him the job.
"Three Men and a Baby" -- It's a comedy. It's a tragedy. It's a
mystery. You know all the names. You figure out who's who. The author goes by
the pseudonym "J-Z."
In case you haven't noticed, we have lots of movie references popping up all
over the place. Last week, interim head coach Joe Vitt used a clip from "The
Gladiator" to inspire the troops, and it helped produce an upset victory over
Jacksonville. This week, as Vitt moved into his fourth week in his new job, we
discovered this untitled treatment:
ACT I, SCENE I - Two middle-aged football coaches are sitting in wheelchairs in
a cold and windy hospital hallway. They are in flimsy hospital gowns with the
tails fluttering in the wind, waiting to be wheeled into an examination room to
get prodded and probed by a bunch of strangers.
Joe Vitt speaks, shaking his head slowly, snickering snidely: "At
six o'clock this morning, (Martz) and I are in our gowns sitting in
wheelchairs, looking like grumpy old men. What a sore sight that was."
ACT I, SCENE II - A clever reporter walks into the scene disguised as an ugly
nurse, attempting to eavesdrop on the conversation. He plants a very
unobtrusive microphone into the frame of Vitt's wheelchair and wears spy
glasses with a hidden camera in the frame to record the two old men conversing,
hoping to use the speech as another inspirational message for the players at a
later date. With apologies to Harold Ramis, the conversation begins with one
grumpy old man telling the other one that the dirty rotten scoundrels have won
the behind-the-scenes struggle for his job:
Vitt: War's over, Mike. John Shaw dropped the big one.
Martz: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it
is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Vitt: Forget it; he's rolling.
Martz: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough
... (thinks hard) ... the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!
(He rolls down the hallway, alone, then returns.)
Martz: What the @#$% happened to the Joe Vitt I used to know?
Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you
Mike, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my butt from now on! Not me! I'm
not gonna take this. Shaw, he's a dead man! Zygmunt, dead! Samir...
Vitt: Dead! Mike's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta
take these creeps. Now, we could do it with conventional weapons, but that
could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out.
I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid
gesture be done on somebody's part ...
Mike, when we come back from the bye week, I want you by my side in Seattle.
I'm putting you in charge of referee challenges. Here, you hold on to my red
Re: Soap opera at Rams Park has big-screen possibilitiesOriginally Posted by Burwell
Hey Brian, I think I heard that Barry Bonds was going to the bathroom today, you better get right on that for your next report."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Soap opera at Rams Park has big-screen possibilities
All I can say for Burwell is... don't quit your day job.