Coach Silva - Wrestling
(Ep 108 - "Hulk Arnold")
Hey, Kev? Why don't you go out for the wrestling team?
Well, why not? I mean you have this weird natural ability, right?
Hey! (Gestures.) How much time do I want to spend jammed into some guy's armpit?
The way I saw it, having a weird natural ability was one thing, but getting serious about it was another.
(Kevin is at his open locker as a hand taps his shoulder.)
You're Arnold, right?
Until I ran in to...Mr.Clean.
Uh...I guess so.
What do you mean - you're not sure?
No, I'm sure.
But I still didn't know who this guy was.
I'm Silva, the wrestling coach.
Oh! Hey, how ya doing?
Your P.E. teacher gave me your name - I heard you can wrestle.
Well, you know, I'm not that good.
I didn't say I heard you were good - I said I heard you can wrestle.
Well...yeah, I guess I can.
I hate to see talent go to waste. What are you - about one-forty?
Yeah. Of course I had that jelly donut after lunch.
I got a slot open at one-forty - want to give it a shot?
And there you had it. I'd been wooed, recruited and signed, without so much as a tryout. So, of course, I said -
I don't think so. I mean...you know. It just seems like too much...work.
Well, if that's how you feel about it.
I kinda do.
Fine. But you might do yourself some good. You get to compete, get yourself in shape - maybe lose some of that baby fat.
Wait a minute. Baby fat?
(Kevin turns from his locker slowly and gestures.)
Look, I just have a lot of things to do these days!
Alright - suit yourself.
(Silva walks away.)
I mean, hey - I didn't have to stand there and put up with those insults. Baby fat?
(Kevin rubs his stomach and frowns.)
(Kevin walks into the gym. Several pairs of wrestlers are practicing.)
I...was a wrestler. So I decided to give it a shot. Show up for practice - help out the team.
Work that mat, work that mat. Good! Get outta that...
I mean, the guy had practically given me an engraved invitation.
Unless, of course, it got lost in the mail.
Practice starts at three-fory-five. You're late for practice, you do five extra laps. You're late two days in a row, don't bother showing up on day three.
Nice seeing you, too.
(To group): Alright...(points)...you, you, you, over here. Lets try some break-downs.
Still, maybe this wouldn't be so tough. Figured I'd watch a some demonstrations, see a few holds...
Arnold! You're up.
Or...be the guinea pig.
Spider! Come here. Let's see what this guy can do.
OK, then - I could handle this. It was pretty clear I had a basic advantage over this guy.
Mainly - poundage.
You know what to do?
Yeah, this was going to be a piece of cake.
(Spider grabs Kevin's legs and takes him down.)
Arnold. You get the point, here, right? He makes a move - you counter!
Yeah. Yeah - I just...wasn't ready...
Awright. Once more. You ready?
Heh-heh. Fool me once...shame on you.
(Spider flips Kevin.)
Awright, awright - get some leverage. Get some leverage in there!
The thing was, this was really a lot like gym class...but with one small difference.
(Spider gets Kevin in a pretzel hold.)
In gym class, I was the guy on top.
Awright - that's enough!
Not that I wasn't having fun.
Awright, Spider. Thanks.
Piece of cake.
The rest of you...(claps)...pair up by weight-class...let's get to work on some counters.
Wait a minute - that's it?! (Gestures.)
Why'd you let him pin you like that?
Course, looking back, I probably just should have promised to do better. But instead -
Yeah, well...you know, these shorts are really hard to wrestle in!
I made excuses.
And anyway - I didn't let him pin me. He was pretty much there. And besides, gotta save somethin' for meets, right?
Alright, Rodgers, show me that pinning combo! Come on!
I just don't think you've seen what I can do yet!
I've seen enough for one day.
(Silva walks away as he speaks to the group.)
Keep working, keep working!
I couldn't believe it!
(Earlier, Kevin wanted to quit wrestling, but Winnie was excited that she was dating a "jock". Now, Kevin gets thrown to the mat.)
So, I decided to give the sport...another chance.
Hey, Coach! We've been at this an hour! How about a break?!
Oh, I see. Now that you've mastered it.
Woops. Seemed maybe the coach and I had gotten of on the wrong foot - metaphorically speaking -
Listen...Coach - I think you're maybe gettin' the wrong idea about me.
Uh-huh, and why is that?
Well, you know, I'm a lot better than I'm showin' you here!
Oh, is that right?
Yeah. I mean, I beat every guy in P.E.
Oh - and who were they again?
I suddenly realized the names "Chuck Coleman" and "'Skeeter' Lutz" weren't guaranteed to impress.
Look! Everyone knows I'm good at this!
(Coach blows his whistle.)
In case anybody didn't hear! Arnold, here, says he's a lot better than he looks!
(Group): Alright, Arnold...Yoo-hoo...
Now, everybody knows. That's it for today! How about five laps to celebrate Arnold's greatness? (Gestures.)
I guess the message was clear. In two days, I'd gone from blue-chip prospect...to team laughing-stock.
(Kevin shakes his head as he trots off. He looks back, then exits through the gym doors.)
OK, kids - let's hit the showers!
(Guys join Kevin in the locker room.)
I guess some guys have so much talent...they don't even need to run laps - is that right, Arnold?
No. I'm just really beat. (Gestures.)
You're beat? Arnold, in the next couple of days, I'm going to make up a list of the new members of this team. Do you want to be on that list, or not?
Now, of course I said what any self-respecting teenager would say in this situation...
I don't care...
Speak up. I don't have time to screw around with you. Do you want to be on this team or not?! I want an answer - yes, or no.
I wanted to tell him exactly where he and his team could go. But what I heard myself say was -
And the worst part was...I really meant it.
(Gym. Kevin is squirming face-down on the mat.)
There was only one thing to do. Fall back on my God-given talent.
Aren't you ever gonna get that reversal right?
I'm doin' the best I can.
What's that supposed to mean?
It means what it means.
Great - I'm talking talent - this guy's giving me Zen logic.
(In the locker room, Silva blows his whistle.)
Alright, listen up! We got a big match coming up against the Spartans. Not only do they have Doug Gurney, but they 're tough in every weight-class. I'll be posting the new team roster tomorrow.
But I didn't need a pep talk. And I didn't need any team roster to tell me exactly where I stood with this guy.
(Kevin throws his headgear at the lockers.)
(In the gym, Coach Silva is alone, picking up equipment as Kevin approaches.)
What can I do for ya?
Heck, no sense in dragging this out.
Well, uh...I thought we could talk. Ya know, about this whole thing...I mean, I guess we both know, it's really not working out, right?
It was time to end it - no hard feelings.
Not that it's anyone's fault or anything.
It's just you want out!
I'm not surprised. You wanted to quit ever since you first came in here.
Well, no...that's not exactly true! I mean, you're the one who asked me to be a part -
Ah! Maybe I made a mistake. (Gestures.)
Huh, what's that supposed to mean?
What it means is...some kids have what it takes...and some kids just have excuses!
I couldn't believe it! I'd come to bury the hatchet, and this guy wanted my scalp!
Yeah, well, for your information, you haven't really given me much of a chance!
Is that so?
OK, in that case...(gestures)...now's your chance.
(Silva takes a step forward.)
You say you can wrestle - show me.
What - here? With you?
Do you see anybody else standin' around here? Come on, Arnold. What? Are you afraid you might look foolish?
Or just afraid?
No! That's not it!
Come on, Arnold. I've seen your act, I've heard your alibis, I've heard your stories. Here's your chance - show me what you're made of.
And even though I knew it was a trap, at that moment...I just saw red.
(Kevin lunges at Silva, who throws him down. They struggle.)
Why don't you give up?
Come on - give up! You know you want to...
(Kevin tenses up, then relaxes, realizing he is beaten. Silva gets up, grabs the equipment and walks off.)
It was just about the worst moment of my life. And then...it got worse.
Oh yeah, by the way - you made the team.
(Kevin is walking across the grass, near a pond.)
The rest of that week I felt like I'd fallen into a bottomless pit - with no way out. The thing that hurt most was...something I had been good at once, had somehow turned bad. I failed. Yet for some reason, there I was - a member of the team. And I didn't know why.
(The wrestling match is underway. Two wrestlers are locked together as the referee watches them.)
That Friday night, the place was packed.
Don't let him get that ankle!
It seemed like half the high school had shown up - including my fan club.
Of course I was there, too - on the bench. I'd been too embarassed to call in sick with the flu. But even if I was wearing the uniform, I knew one thing for sure - I was never gonna wrestle. Not on this team - not in a million years.
Will the 140-pound weight-class...please prepare for their match.
Nope. I was just gonna sit here - forever.
Doug Gurney for the "green" team! Bill Larsen for the "red" team!
Larsen, I'm moving you up a weight-class. Sit this one out. Arnold - your up!
You're the one I'm looking at.
But that's Doug Gurney out there!
I realized it wasn't enough to have me under his thumb. He wanted to totally destroy me.
May I have your attention please...There's been a change in the line-up. Kevin Arnold will now be wrestling Doug Gurney!
In front of everyone. So, there was only one thing to do - set out like a lamb to slaughter. I mean, what did I really have to lose?
Gentlemen, shake hands.
I prepared myself to be torn to pieces. Ripped limb from limb. And then, the impossible happened...
(The referee drops his hand, blow his whistle, and steps back. Doug lunges for Kevin, but slides by him. Kevin wraps around him.)
I actually scored two points.
Two - take down, "red".
It was astonishing! It was a miracle! It was temporary.
Two points, "green", reverse.
Next thing I knew...this guy had me in a hold I'd never even seen before. So I did what came naturally...I fled.
That's a warning, "red" - fleeing the mat. OK, "red", you're down.
It was embarassing, humiliating - but there was no way out. It was a living, breathing nightmare. And that's when it happened.
Come on, kid - make it easy on yourself.
I was beaten. Finished.
Don't let him pin you, don't let him pin you...!
All I wanted to do was lay my shoulder against that mat...But for some reason...I didn't. Something inside wouldn't let me.
Just lay down!
No matter how many points this guy racked up...I wasn't gonna let him pin me. That night - maybe for the first time...I committed myself to something. I left the excuses, I dumped the alibi's - I went for broke. I was a wrestler. And I gave it everything I had.
(Kevin and Doug are struggling. Kevin is in a head-lock, nearly pinned. The buzzer sounds. Doug looks up, and relaxes.)
Sure, maybe the score may have been lop-sided...And maybe a kid named Gurney got the win. But for me - it was a victory.
(Kevin approaches Coach Silva. Coach looks at Kevin and indicates Doug with his pencil.)
(He points to Kevin.)
Yeah...I told ya I was good.
(Kevin looks off, smiles, and walks past Coach Silva. Coach Silva frowns and turns toward Kevin, then back, and smiles.)
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