One intriguing part in a quote-heavy book is Meyer's response as to how to approach the 2008 Georgia game, specifically addressing the Bulldogs picking up a much-hyped celebration penalty after their first touchdown in a 42-30 win last season: "That wasn't right. It was a bad deal. And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. . . . So we'll handle it. And it's going to be a big deal."
-- Gene Frenette, Florida Times-Union, 19 July 2008
INT. BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT -- DAY
Florida Gators head coach URBAN MEYER, on his way home from an eventful week at SEC Media Days, sits in stoic silence in a Delta departure lounge, his unblinking gaze locked straight ahead. Presumably he's looking at the Boeing 737 parked outside, but there's an ELDERLY WOMAN sitting between him and the windows, knitting to pass the time. Periodically she looks up to find the dead-eyed stare of MEYER burning right through her forehead; each time she looks back down at her knitting, a little bit more nervous, until finally she hastily shoves her knitting in her carry-on bag and moves to another bank of chairs out of MEYER's field of view.
The coach doesn't so much as blink to acknowledge her departure. His gaze remains locked on the airplane outside.
Presently one of the flight attendants at the gate gets on the intercom.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a schedule change concerning Delta flight 1458 to Atlanta, with continuing service to Charlotte and New York-LaGuardia. Due to severe weather reported in the Atlanta area, departure has been delayed 45 minutes, and we are now expecting a gate departure time of 9:40 a.m.
MEYER's head whips around.
We will do our very best to ensure that all passengers connecting out of Atlanta will be able to make their flights. Thank you for your patience.
With precise body movements evoking those of Robert Patrick in the second "Terminator" movie, MEYER gets up from his seat and strides purposefully to the gate. Even though the FLIGHT ATTENDANT has been watching him ever since he got up, MEYER clears his throat loudly once he's standing in front of her.
That's no good. Forty-five minutes? That's no good. We need to leave now.
I'm really sorry, sir, but there are tornado watches in some of the counties around Atlanta and the airport is on a ground stop until they've passed --
Tornado watches? As in not even a warning? Let me tell you something Urban Meyer has learned in his time on this planet, miss -- tornado warning, that's something you don't want to fly through, that's a big deal. But flying through a tornado watch? That's a matter of will.
Sir, I, uh -- none of this is up to me, it's --
Maybe not. But you're an employee of the airline. You're involved because you've chosen to be. Do you know how long I have to make my connection in Atlanta? Fifty minutes. Fifty minutes between flights. What happens if I don't make my connection?
If we arrive too late in Atlanta for you to make your flight, we'll give you priority placement on the very next flight to your destination.
Uh-huh. And do I get any compensation for that? First-class upgrade? Some kind of voucher?
Well, no, since weather conditions aren't under our control, we don't typically give --
That's uncalled for. First of all, it's against the rules. If you really look at it, some people could be missing important appointments because they're not getting to their destinations on time.
Sir, I'm really sorry, but there's nothing I can do about this.
MEYER whirls around to face the rest of the passengers seated at the gate, some of whom have been watching his confrontation with the FLIGHT ATTENDANT.
Are you hearing this, everyone? You seeing how you've been disrespected here? Some of us are gonna be late for our flights, and she's telling us we just gotta sit here and take it.
You're darn right it sucks. So are you just gonna sit there and let 'em walk all over you like that? How many of you got less than an hour to make your connections?
A young BUSINESSMAN stands up.
Yeah? You OK with them telling you you're just gonna have to catch a later flight? Who else?
As several more PASSENGERS stand up, the FLIGHT ATTENDANT desperately tries to quell the situation.
Look, this is all just a --
Don't listen to her! You can either sit there and take it like good little sheep, or you can get mad! Now who's gonna stand with me?
I will! This plane needs to get moving now!
The standing PASSENGERS begin marching over to MEYER's side as the coach throws his hands in the air, riling them up and challenging them to act. As their commotion grows louder, the FLIGHT ATTENDANT picks up a walkie-talkie.
All right, everybody needs to sit down this instant, or I'm calling Homeland Security!
The mention of "Homeland Security" stops MEYER's would-be compatriots dead in their tracks. One by one, they slink back to their seats, leaving MEYER standing alone at the gate.
Finally, with a heavy sigh of frustration, MEYER walks back to the same seat he was sitting in earlier. He once again locks his gaze onto the airplane sitting outside. He does not blink.
INT. ATLANTA HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- DAY
His steely expression now frustrated, but still determined, MEYER stares down a red-jacketed DELTA AGENT at an information desk in Terminal A.
So you've already put me on one late flight, and now you're telling me you can't put me on my other flight until one-twenty?
I'm sorry, but as I've already explained, the first flight being late was because of the weather, and we don't have any control over --
That wasn't right. It was a bad deal. And it will be forever in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of the rest of the passengers on that plane.
Long, awkward pause. Some of the people standing in line behind MEYER begin to look at their watches.
Sir, I've put you on the next flight to Gainesville, the earliest one we have, which is ASA flight 4528 leaving at 1:20. If you can handle that, great. If you need an earlier flight, our only other option is to put you on another carrier, which would --
Oh, I'll handle it. And it's going to be a big deal.
The DELTA AGENT lets out a withering sigh, unimpressed.
Is there anything else I can help you with today, sir.
No. I believe our business here is completed.
MEYER continues to stare at the DELTA AGENT for several tension-fraught moments, but the AGENT merely cocks an eyebrow, challenging the coach to escalate the confrontation. After a few more tense seconds, MEYER grabs his carry-on and walks away.
Thank you for choosing Delta, have a nice day.
At this, MEYER whirls around, points to his eyes with his index and middle fingers, then points a single rigid index finger at the AGENT. Then he turns around again and continues on his way.
A little ways down the concourse, MEYER takes out his BlackBerry and dials.
Shelley. It's Urban. Change of plans. Instead of flight 4779 arriving at eleven-fifty-five, it's gonna be flight 4528 arriving at two-fifty-seven. (pause) I don't know, some nonsense about tornado watches. (pause) Shelley, I didn't call you to be lectured about the weather, all right? (pause) The amount of time is not the issue, it's the principle of the whole thing. It's a bad deal, and -- (pause) Oh, I can forget. I can forget just fine. But I can't forgive. (long pause) Never mind. Just be at the terminal at three, all right? (pause) All right. OK. Bye.
MEYER hangs up the phone and puts it in his pocket. He finds himself standing in front of a Starbucks, and walks in.
Welcome to Starbucks, what can I get for you today?
You want to know what Urban Meyer would like? Urban Meyer would like a double-shot grande latte, skim, and a muffin.
I'm sorry, I think we may be out of skim milk -- is two-percent OK?
I don't know. Is giving you two percent of the price OK?
Uhh -- I'm sorry?
It's very simple: I've asked for something, and you've tried to give me something less. And that isn't right. That's a bad deal. I understand the motivation here, but you're trying to give me something different from what I asked for. So do you want to try and get what I asked for, or do you want me to handle it? 'Cause I'll handle it.
I'll -- I'll go back in the back and see if we have any skim.
The BARISTA hurries back into the stockroom, wiping away tears. Her companion behind the counter finds himself the new target of MEYER's icy stare.
Uhhh . . . do you know what kind of muffin you'd like?
Look at me.
I . . . am looking at you.
MEYER moves closer to the counter.
No. Look . . . at . . . me. Look me right in the eyes.
Practically shaking now, the second BARISTA moves closer to MEYER's face and stares at him.
You got me now? You looking right at me, you're
not gonna turn away? 'Cause I am looking you right
in the eyes and telling you I want . . . that one.
EXT. GAINESVILLE REGIONAL AIRPORT -- DAY
MEYER stands at the main entrance to the airport, watching, jaw clenched, as cars pull up, pick up or drop off their passengers, and drive away. He checks his watch with the sharp, precise movement of a military commander, and shakes his head.
Unbelievable. Just. Unbelievable.
Presently a Mercedes ML350 with a "Florida Gators 2006 National Champs" front license plate zooms up to the curb. MEYER begins walking toward it and an attractive blond woman, his wife SHELLEY, races out to meet him.
Welcome h --
Three o'clock, Shelley. I distinctly remember saying three o'clock. It's now three-twenty-two.
I know, honey, I got here at three, like you said, but you didn't come out right away and the policeman told me I had to --
No no no. That's an excuse. What's the first rule I've tried to teach everyone in this family?
"You cannot control what other people do -- "
(leaning out car window)
Not now, Nathan. (to SHELLEY) "What other people do, but . . ."
" . . . But each person carries his own perception of reality, and we can keep them from imposing that perception on us."
And how do we do that?
God, Urban --
Shelley? How do we do that? Come on, this is a big deal. Do you understand that this is a big deal?
"Eliminate distractions, focus, and achieve the objective."
Right. That's right. That's what you need to do. All right? (beat) I don't tell you guys these things just to hear myself talk. These are rules for getting what you want, what I want, what we all want out of life. This is about a path to success.
Whatever. Can I please just have a kiss now?
URBAN gives his wife a perfunctory peck on the cheek.
Now, you want me to drive, or --
That won't be necessary. Urban Meyer can handle this.
MEYER grabs the keys from his wife, throws his suitcase and carry-on in the trunk of the Mercedes, and gets into the driver's seat. He throws the SUV into gear and, with a chirp of the tires, they're on their way.
So how was Media Days?
It was satisfactory. We accomplished what we needed to do.
'Satisfactory'? That's it? How'd Tim do in front of the cameras?
Tim handled it very well. Was poised, stayed on message, handled himself very well. If there's one person Urban Meyer never has to stay up nights worrying about, it's Tim Tebow.
God, honey, you know I hate it when you talk like that.
The Mercedes has pulled up to the toll booth at the exit from the airport. SHELLEY takes out a ticket and reaches across URBAN to hand it to the ATTENDANT.
URBAN reaches in his pocket and pulls out a twenty to give to the ATTENDANT.
This is the exact-change-only line. You gonna have to back up and go through the next one.
MEYER's jaw sets as he turns to stare at the ATTENDANT.
Would you like to say that one more time?
Sir, I need you to back your vehicle up and go through the line to your right.
MEYER stares daggers at the ATTENDANT for a few moments.
Fine. But it's not right. And Urban Meyer isn't gonna forget this.
MEYER shifts the Mercedes into reverse, cranes his neck to look behind him, and begins rolling backward.
FADE TO BLACK