Noah Alone

By hawk6894 on November 16, 2018 at 8:22 am
Have you seen Noah Fant? We miss him.
© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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Suppertime Thursday at the Hansen Football Performance Center

Kirk Alright, the bus leaves tomorrow for Champaign...

As Kirk speaks, Iowa’s group of tight ends talk about their trip

drew Isn’t true that Illini babes don’t shave their pits?

tj Some don’t

drew But they’ve got nude beaches?

tj In Champaign?

noah Hey, did you hear what time we’re leaving tomorrow?

tj Who cares, I’ll make sure your big butt is up.

noah Thanks bud.

Fant walks back to the food line, but before he can grab another scoop of green beans. Buzz – I mean Brian – budges in front of him.

noah Hey!

brian Ah Fant, I didn’t see you.

noah Am I on more of your plays this week, coach?

brian Yeah, you were, but then I accidentally threw them in the trash. Now, I’ll have to draw them back up. Nah, it’s too late.

That is the last straw, Fant charges at Brian and puts him in a headlock.

kirk(Sprinting over to the scene) Hey, stop, stop! What is the matter with you?!

noah He started it. He threw away my plays on purpose, he’s trying to sink---

doyle Look what you did, you little jerk.

kirk Let’s go, Noah.

They leave the dining room

kirk There are over 100 people on this team, and you’re the only one who seems to make trouble.

noah I don’t know, our offense has been trouble, have you considered your own so---

kirk Alright, get in here.

noah Here?

kirk That’s right, you’re staying here in player’s lounge. Maybe, you can think about what you can do to help the team.

noah I’m pretty sure being on the field would help th---

kirk And give me your phone.

noah My phone?

kirk Yes, this is a punishment. You need something to keep you company – Rastetter and Gersonde are here almost every night playing air hockey.

noah Oh no, I don’t wanna be here with them. You know about them – they’re punters.

kirk Exactly, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.

noah I’m sorry.

kirk It’s too late, get in there.

noah Everybody on this team hates me.

kirk I hope you don’t mean that. You’d feel pretty sad if you woke up tomorrow morning and you didn’t have a team.

noah I hope that I never see any of you jerks again.

After two hours of punter air hockey, the lights go down on the player’s lounge with Fant trying to get comfortable on a couch.

The next morning, the Hawkeyes board their buses and begin the exciting trip to Champaign-Urbana

On the bus

kirk Hmmmmm. Something’s not right. Something’s off.

phil You’re always like this when we travel.

kirk Did I pack gum?

phil No… I did.

kirk Did we lock the doors?

phil It’s a key card system. It locks automatically.

kirk Did we remember to bring a football?

phil Yeah.

kirk Did we pack my notepad?

phil That’s it, I forgot to grab the notepad off your desk. That’s it.

kirk No, that’s not it.

phil Well, what else could we be forgetting?

kirk NOAH!

With no teammate to wake him up and no phone to set an alarm, Fant rouses from his sleep on the couch. He walks into the dining room.

noah Hello? HELLLOOOOOOOO? Hmmmm, somebody should be here.

Fant continues his journey through the football facility, but nobody is there. He steps into Kirk’s dark office and turns on the light.

noah Coach? Coach? Wait, there’s his notepad, coach wouldn’t have left without this. So, they haven’t left yet. Where is everybody?

As the first bus rolls in to the Champaign Holiday Inn, Coach Ferentz sprints right to the front desk.

kirk I need to use your phone, it’s an emergency.

Kirk quickly dials

kirk C’mon, pick up. Pick up.

A muffled ring tone starts to play in Kirk’s coat pocket.

kirk Oh no.

phil Call the phones at the facility.

Meanwhile, back at the practice facility.

noah(wistfully) I made my team disappear.

kirk You’re the only one on this team to make trouble.

nate Check… check… check… left OZ, left OZ, left OZ

brian You want on the field? All you got to do is arm wrestle me.

doyle Look what you did you little jerk.

noah(happily) I made my team disappear.

Fant begins running around the practice facility, screaming his head off. As he does, the phone rings at the front desk.

kirk Nothing. Oh god, what have I done? I have to go back.

phil We’ve got a game tomorrow. Why don’t we play the game and just head back after? He’s 20 years old for godsake.

kirk I can’t do it. Not after last week. I’m going. 

phil Alright. Good luck… I guess.

Back at the football facility.

noah Brian, I’m going through your office. You better come out and pound me.

One by one, Fant takes things out of Brian’s desk, including: a 1989 Playboy magazine, firecrackers, and Starting Lineup action figures, until one item causes him to pause.

noah Brian, your playbook, woof. [tosses it behind him].

noah Man, I’m kind of getting hungry.

Thirty minutes later…

pizza boy Coach Ferentz, I’m here with your pizza.

Fant hits the play button on his laptop.

Ten minutes later...

pizza Uh-huh, uh-huh, that’s great. I’d love to hear more about getting on track and Northwestern, but I’ve got a few more pizzas to deliver. Do you think you could pay me?

Five minutes later...

pizza Forget it, you know what, I’ll just leave it here by the door. Good luck tomorrow.

It’s not all fun and games, however.

harry and marv

harry Are you ready to do this?

marv We’ve got all weekend.

harry Yeah, but we better do it sooner than later.

Fant walks in front of the van from the practice facility to Kinnick Stadium

harry Wait, is that Noah Fant?

marv Is he here by himself?

Fant runs routes on the Kinnick turf, but notices the two men standing on the concourse.

noah [shouting to nobody in particular] Hey, coach, how about you come down and throw me some passes?

As soon as the two men leave the stadium, Fant follows them, getting within earshot.

harry He’s definitely here by himself.

marv So, tomorrow?

harry Yep, tomorrow at 9 o’clock.

noah Coach, where are you?

At that exact moment, Kirk is at an airport counter

kirk You have no flights to Iowa City?

rental No.

kirk Cedar Rapids?

rental No.

kirk That’s it? I’ve gone from Champaign to Joliet to Carbondale to Springfield to, where the hell am I?

rental Peoria.

kirk And you have no flights to Iowa?

rental It’s not exactly a long trip, have you considered driving?

kirk Fine, do you have any rental cars?

rental No.

kirk Aaagggghhhhhh!

blurry I heard you might need a ride.

kirk That’s right.

blurry A ride home?

kirk Yeah.

gary I might have a solution.

Saturday night, Noah Fant sits in an empty Kinnick Stadium when someone nears.

hayden

hayden Can I sit here?

noah Ummm, sure.

hayden You look lonely.

noah Two days ago, all I wanted was to never see my teammates and coaches again. They weren’t using me anyway. Now, I just want to see them, be part of the team again.

hayden That’s the great things about teams. You experience everything together. Good. Bad. But always together. Some want bigger roles, some see special treatment. But the goal, the goal never changes.

noah That’s… that’s true. Say, is there any personal trauma that you’re experiencing? Maybe something that I could look out the window at in a few days that would put a nice bow on this thing?

hayden Me? Trauma? Hell no, I’m Hayden Fry. Remember what I said… protect this stadium like it’s your home.

noah You never said that.

hayden Fine. Protect this stadium like your home. Now, it’s cold as an armadillo’s tongue out here, I’m heading back to Nevada.

Fry leaves and Fant stands up.

noah He’s right. I have to protect this stadium.

When 9 o’clock rolls around, Fant has Kinnick Stadium booby trapped with paint cans, Micromachines, a blow torch (for some reason), and feathers. The visitors stand no chance.

Somewhere on I-74

kirk Are you going to tell me why you were in Peoria?

gary No, and it totally has nothing to do with a prank.

kirk I never mentioned a prank.

gary Prank? Prank? Who said prank?

kirk I’m a bad coach.

gary Why, because you accidentally left a player behind? C’mon, we all do bad things every once in a while.  Look who you’re talking to.  I do bad stuff all the time. That doesn’t make you a bad coach.

kirk It’s not just leaving Fant in Iowa City, I’ve forgotten about him during the games too. It is almost like me leaving him in Iowa City is a metaphor for my stubbornness in not having him help our team.

gary Whoa. That’s too deep for me. Slim-Jim?

Sunday morning, Barta and Ferentz arrive back at the facility.

kirk Noah? Noah? Are you there?

Fant runs from the player’s lounge and stops in front of his coach

kirk Oh, Noah, I’m so sorry.

They hug.

noah I’m sorry, too. Wait, where is everybody else?

kirk They tried to make it, they real—

Just then the front door of the facility bursts open and the Hawkeyes pour in led by Phil Parker and Brian Ferentz.

phil Noah, Noah, my boy. We missed you.

kirk Wait, wait, how’d you get here?

phil We left after the game, the one you didn’t want to attend. Wait, you just got here, too? How long were you guys on the road?

kirk Did we win?

phil No.

brian Noah, I’m sorry. We can’t do this without you. And it’s pretty cool you didn’t burn the facility down.

noah Thanks coach.

kirk Well, we’ve got so much to do. Short week to get ready for Nebraska and I’m starving.

noah Don’t worry, I got 20 free pizzas waiting in the dining room.

kirk What? Wow. Alright, to the dining room.

As the players and coaches file out to the dining room, Fant steps to the window. All is right with the world as blue and red light begins to stream in. Kirk, meanwhile, looks up for the first time at the TV screen in the dining room.

kirk NOAH, DID YOU ASSAULT TWO JANITORS TRYING TO CLEAN KINNICK LAST NIGHT?

kirk

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