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  • Larry Fedora believes that football is in crisis, and the fate of the country depends on reversing course. So we wrote a screenplay that played out that exact scenario.
By Charlotte Wilder
July 18, 2018

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora gave a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at ACC media days that was pretty wild. He said a number of things, but the main takeaway was that football as we know it is under attack, and nothing less than the fate of America hangs in the balance.

It's now up to Coach Fedora to save our nation—which he'll do in summer's hottest blockbuster hit Saving Football, starring Nicolas Cage as our fearless defender of the gridiron.

INT. OVAL OFFICE

We begin in the oval office of the White House, in the middle of a meeting between PRESIDENT LORRAINE GERSHWIN, played by Meryl Streep, her CHIEF OF STAFF JOAN JOHNSON, played by Cher, and UNC HEAD COACH LARRY FEDORA, played by Nicolas Cage. Coach Fedora is pacing back and forth in front of the desk, Johnson sits on the edge of it, and President Gershwin is in the chair.

FEDORA: I don't mean any disrespect, Madame President, but you're not taking this seriously enough—it's a very real threat.

PRESIDENT GERSHWIN: Coach Fedora, our national security is of the utmost importance to me, but I just don't understand how football is under attack.

JOHNSON: And if it were, what that would have to do with America.

FEDORA: I have intel that aliens by the name of Softonians are coming to attack our game. If that happens, I fear that the game will be pushed so far to one extreme that you won't recognize the game 10 years from now. And if it gets to that point, our country will go down, too.

JOHNSON: But...[rubs eyes] how does football being attacked by aliens, which I'm not sure I believe, affect our nation?

FEDORA: It will be the decline of our country, I have no doubt. There's no doubt in my mind. I think because the lessons that you learn in the game of football relate to everything that's going to happen in the rest of your life. If we stop learning those lessons we're going to struggle. In some ways we're struggling more now than we ever have. Are we ever going to be a perfect country? No, not by any means. But I do think the game of football has had a major impact on who we are as a country.

GERSHWIN: Okay, Coach Fedora, I thank you for your time. We'll take this information into consideration.

FEDORA: No, please, a general recently told me that our military is so great because so many soldiers played football growing up. This is serious stuff.

JOHNSON: [Escorting Fedora out of the room] Thank you, Larry, that will be enough.

FEDORA: [Yelling back through the door] Madame President if you care about America, you'll protect football!

JOHNSON pushes FEDORA out and the door to the Oval office slams shut. JOHNSON looks at GERSHWIN and shakes her head.

JOHNSON: Doesn't Larry Fedora sound like it could be the name of Calvin's detective alter-ego from Calvin and Hobbes? Did you ever read those comics?

GERSHWIN: Yeah, but Calvin's alter-ego was named Tracer Bullet. Also, with a last name like that, why does the guy always wear a visor?

JOHNSON: [Shrugs] It's a college football thing. Anyway, here's the latest on our trade war with China.

EXT KENAN MEMORIAL STADIUM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

It's the fourth quarter of the first home game. UNC is playing the University of Central Florida. FEDORA stands on the sidelines surrounded by assistant coaches, yelling into his headset. FEDORA's right hand man and OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE GARGOYLE, played by Jamie Foxx, stands next to him. FEDORA takes his headset off, throws it to the ground, and marches up to DEFENSIVE END MARK WOODWIN, played by Chris Hemsworth, who's walking off the field.

FEDORA: Woodwin! Off the goddamn phone! How many times do I have to tell you Millennials to get your heads in the game? What the hell are you doing on that thing, FaceMashing?

WOODWIN: [Mumbles something]

FEDORA: I can't hear you, speak up!

WOODWIN: Sir, I said I'm sorry.

FEDORA: You should be sorry! Out here taking selfies on the field. You think the founding fathers were drawing pictures of each other as they wrote the constitution? No! They were busy founding this beautiful country! Now get back out there and help us win the game!

FEDORA goes back to his playbook. We hear a distant rumbling and GARGOYLE looks up at the sky. Fear is in his eyes.

GARGOYLE: Coach, is that—

FEDORA: Shut up, Mike, I need to focus. Should we run the 3–4 or the 2–5?

GARGOYLE: No, sir. [Points to the sky] Look up.

FEDORA looks up, where a huge spaceship can be seen appearing over the edge of the stadium. Fans start running and screaming as the ship's cannons shoot Nerf footballs down onto the field.

FEDORA: It's the Softonians! They're here to attack our game and our country! Everybody, RUN!!!

The stands erupt as people spring into action, holding up ponchos as they dodge the Nerf footballs that are now raining from the sky at an alarming rate. The balls bury themselves into the field upon impact. Turf is flying everywhere and players scramble over each other. FEDORA dives under a bench and commando crawls to the tunnel. We see GARGOYLE get struck by a Nerf football and crumple to the ground.

FEDORA: Mike! NOOOOOO!

A montage of news reports flashes across the screen. All of them show footage of college football stadiums across America being attacked as Nerf footballs continue to rain down onto the fields. WOLF BLITZER appears at his CNN desk.

BLITZER: In what appears to be an attack on the sport of football, aliens known as Softonians appeared over every college football game in America this afternoon. They shot Nerf footballs at the fields and blasted "The Boys Are Back in Town" from giant boomboxes strapped atop their spaceships. At this time, we don't know that status of all the citizens hit by the soft, foam balls, but we do know that we've never seen anything like this.

INT. Oval Office

PRESIDENT GERSHWIN and CHIEF OF STAFF JOHNSON are on the phone with FEDORA. We cut between FEDORA in the locker room on the phone when he's talking.

GERSHWIN: Larry, we should've listened to you. I don't know why we didn't. You were right all along, I'm sorry.

FEDORA: There's no time for apologies, Madame President. Now's the time to act. I know how to solve this.

GERSHWIN: Do what you have to do, Coach. You need me to call in the troops?

FEDORA: No. I've got it covered.

FEDORA hangs up and dials a number. We see OKLAHOMA STATE HEAD COACH MIKE GUNDY, played by Pierce Brosnan, answer the phone in split screen. He's crouched underneath the bleachers of Boone Pickens Stadium as Nerf balls hit the stands around him.

GUNDY: Larry, are you guys getting hit too? The game of football is under attack!

FEDORA: Yeah, Mike, now's the time to deploy the one thing that can save us.

GUNDY: You mean—

FEDORA: Yup: a good, square hit. Let's go.

Both FEDORA and GUNDY in split screens gather their players and run out of the locker room. They call plays to their teams. The aliens have descended to the field by now. The players grit their teeth, put their helmets back on, and run at the Softonians, striking them with the old, head-first tackling formation. FEDORA cheers on the sidelines, and we see GARGOYLE sit up, blink, rub his head, and break into cheers as the aliens fall to the ground.

SIX MONTHS LATER. INT. Grand hall in the White House

PRESIDENT GERSHWIN is awarding FEDORA the medal of honor and nearing the end of her speech.

GERSHWIN: And so, it is with great pride that I bestow upon Coach Larry Fedora the Medal of Honor for protecting football. And America. Your nation is grateful.

FEDORA: Thank you, Madame President. I'm gonna say, the game is safer than it's ever been.

The crowd cheers as we fade out to "The Boys Are Back in Town".

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