146 INT. WYNFREY HOTEL, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
URBAN MEYER and TOMMY TUBERVILLE huddle over a messy stack of press releases and media guides in the green room at SEC Media Days.
You still don't know shit.
I know what I need to know about Richt.
Which is shit.
Doesn't matter. He'll have to know how close we came.
TUBERVILLE shakes his head as he surveys the mess they've made of the green room.
Man, you're a fuckin' slob.
Yeah. It's got its own system, though. It all makes sense when you look at it, you know? You just have to take a step back and take in the whole thing.
TUBERVILLE is no longer listening. His eyes have gone unfocused, gazing across the mess of papers, not really reading any of it.
147 EXT. WYNFREY HOTEL -- DAY
MARK RICHT walks out the front door of the hotel and through the portico over the front entrance. As he walks out into the bright sunlight, he puts on a pair of cheap sunglasses.
148 INT. WYNFREY HOTEL GREEN ROOM -- CONTINUOUS
TUBERVILLE continues to gaze over the papers. Suddenly, his face changes and he leans in close. His expression is at first one of frustration, then one of befuddlement, and finally one of realization.
The coffee cup falls from his hand and shatters on the floor.
Tuberville is staring at individual releases and press clippings now -- years of collected football trivia, each item of which means little, if anything, on its own.
His eyes dart from one item to another: A decades-old picture from a bygone Georgia-Florida game, showing the victorious Bulldogs celebrating in the end zone. An '80s-vintage Sports Illustrated article touting the Oakland Raiders' latest playoff run, with the headline "BACK IN BLACK" and a photo of the home stadium's raucous "Black Hole" section. A sepia-tinted photo of Frank Sinkwich in a black jersey. Names jump out at him: Massaquoi, Bailey, Ellerbe, Stafford . . .
TUBERVILLE's eyes widen with a sudden, terrible epiphany. He bolts for the door, in too much of a hurry to notice the two words printed on the jagged piece that had once been the bottom of his coffee mug:
149 INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- CONTINUOUS
TUBERVILLE races at a dead sprint for the front door.
150 EXT. HOTEL -- DAY
RICHT waits nonchalantly in front of the portico. He looks behind him and sees Alabama defensive coordinator KEVIN STEELE standing just outside the front door; STEELE's eyes barely register RICHT's presence as they scan the hotel's front driveway. RICHT is just another coach; he might as well be a spectator who's come seeking some coach's autograph.
RICHT smiles demurely and limps down the sidewalk toward the parking lot.
151 INT. HOTEL
TUBERVILLE runs to the concierge desk with MEYER hot on his heels.
WHERE IS HE? DID YOU SEE HIM?
What, that nice Christian guy? He went that way.
The CONCIERGE gestures toward the front door. TUBERVILLE runs off.
152 EXT. SIDEWALK -- DAY
RICHT continues to limp down the sidewalk, trying his best to stay out of the way of the faster-moving people all around him. Just outside his field of vision, a BLACK SUBURBAN slowly pulls up beside him.
153 EXT. HOTEL PORTICO -- DAY
TUBERVILLE anxiously pushes his way outside.
154 EXT. SIDEWALK -- DAY
LOW ANGLE on the feet of the many pedestrians milling about outside the Wynfrey. RICHT's feet emerge from the throng and continue to limp along by the curb.
Suddenly, the right foot begins to turn outward. Soon it's facing straight ahead, just like his left, and what was once a limp has turned into a gliding, confident stride.
CRANE UP RICHT'S BODY as he unzips his red warmup jacket. He whips the jacket off to reveal a black shirt underneath, and tosses the jacket over his shoulder.
RICHT's hands then proceed to rummage through his pockets. His good left hand pulls out a pack of cigarettes, while his bent, gnarled right hand finds a gold Zippo lighter. The right hand flexes, and flicks open the lighter and ignites it with what seems like a single fluid motion; RICHT lights the cigarette and smiles, noticing the nearby SUBURBAN for the first time.
The truck stops and RICHT gets in. The driver is RICHT's wife, KATHARYN, who receives a long, passionate kiss from RICHT as he closes the door. KATHARYN glances back to check their four kids in the back seat and to make sure there isn't any traffic coming, and the SUBURBAN glides off down the street.
The very next moment, TOMMY TUBERVILLE bounds out onto the sidewalk, frantically looking left and right like a child who's just lost his mother. He is too late to make out the black SUBURBAN merge in with the rest of the mall traffic.
'And like that . . . he's gone.'