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When Nevin Met Orson: A One-Act Play

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(Author’s Note: I’m not going to lie to you; jet lag and an atypical midday nap on Monday have conspired to throw off my sleep schedule, as a consequence of which I am out of sorts, and it shows. Fortunately, lots of other folks have more than taken up the slack, for which I am most obliged. Since the Miami allegations, especially as they relate to Orson Charles, have been covered comprehensively, here as well as elsewhere, I have opted to take the story in a different direction, which may or may not work, but, frankly, once I am done with it, I can set it to be published in the morning, then I can go to bed, get a good night’s sleep, and, with any luck, awake refreshed shortly before you read this in the morning.)

Orson Swindle was a humorist out of Gainesville, and, because I had a real close relationship with SB Nation, Doug Gillett came to my house and he was with Orson Swindle. I showed [Swindle] my closet. The reason why I show all the kids my closet is because that’s where I had like 50 to 70 UM game-worn jerseys of all the best players in the last however long. That was our first visit.

Nevin Shapiro (except, no, not really)

[Exterior mansion, day; dissolve to interior, master bedroom, with sounds of ocean waves and "Miami Vice" theme audible in background. Nevin Shapiro enters, clad in white leather shoes without socks, white slacks, a pink T-shirt, and a Miami Hurricanes baseball jersey unbuttoned over it. He is followed by Orson Swindle and Doug Gillett, who are dressed like Orson Swindle and Doug Gillett, respectively.]

Shapiro: . . . And that’s how Michael Irvin introduced me to powerballing! You know that’s what killed John Belushi, right? Say, Charles, . . .

Swindle: Swindle. Or Spencer. Either one works, really.

Shapiro: You’re not the tight end out of Plant?

Swindle: Nope.

Shapiro: Ah, well, what the hell; you’re here, anyway. I’ll pay you 20 bucks if you go back in the closet!

[Swindle and Gillett look at one another.]

Gillett: Uh, listen, I don’t know where you got that idea . . .

Swindle: Um, yeah, Doug’s into a completely different EDSBS contributor . . .

Gillett and Swindle: Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Shapiro: What? No, I mean literally! Come inside my closet!

[Shapiro opens the closet door, revealing a row of Miami football jerseys.]

Shapiro: See that one? That jersey was worn in the game Florida State lost to the ‘Canes on a fluke missed field goal---I forget which one---and that one was worn by a guy who went on to fail six drug tests in the NFL! Want to wear one of ‘em?

Swindle: Uh, no.

Shapiro: What’s the matter? Don’t you want to play for Miami?

Swindle: In fact, I don’t. I’m a Florida fan, and I used up my collegiate eligibility years ago.

Shapiro: Yeah, but you’re on the internet, right?

Swindle: Sure.

Shapiro: Well, that’s good enough for Randy Shannon to recruit you, so it’s good enough for me!

Gillett: Excuse me, but aren’t some of these jerseys from players who are still in school?

Shapiro: Oh, yeah, absolutely!

Gillett: Did you pay them for their jerseys? Because A.J. Green did that, and . . .

Shapiro: Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you, a cop? No, I didn’t pay them for their jerseys! I invited ‘em to a party, let ‘em have all the booze and hookers they wanted, and stroked a check to Donna Shalala, and they gave me their jerseys! Paying for them? That would be reprehensible! Say, either of you want to invest in a company with no employees, inventory, or business model?

Swindle: No, thanks. I already sunk money in Jim Donnan’s Ponzi scheme.

Shapiro: Donnan? Why would you put up cash for his pyramid scheme?

Swindle: I figured I owed him for all the joy he brought me in Jacksonville in the mid- to late ‘90s.

Shapiro: How ‘bout you?

Gillett: Yeah, I’m done with getting involved with sketchy schemes involving boosters, money, and recruits.

Shapiro: "Done"? You mean you’ve been involved with that sort of thing before?

Gillett: Can you keep a secret?

Shapiro: Uh, . . . yeah, we’ll go with that, sure.

Gillett: I was the bag man who delivered the money that got Cam Newton to Auburn.

Shapiro: No, way! That was you?

Gillett: Yep. It was all Spencer’s idea.

Swindle: If Urban Meyer couldn’t win a national championship with Cam Newton, I wasn’t going to let anyone win a national championship with Cam Newton! Well, not one the NCAA will let them keep, anyway.

Shapiro: Ha! The NCAA! They’re a bunch of wusses! You don’t think they’re ever really going to drop the hammer on another program the way they did on SMU, do you?

Swindle: Uh, . . . yeah, we’ll go with that, sure.

Gillett: So, anyway, Spencer, Holly, and I put together the plan in a joint Florida/Georgia/Tennessee venture to get Auburn put on probation.

Shapiro: Where’d you get the money? Ponzi scheme? It was a Ponzi scheme, right? Those are the best! They’re so cool! I call ‘em "Fonzie schemes," ‘cause they’re so cool. Get it? Fonzie? Ponzi? ‘Cause they sound alike?

Gillett: Nah, we requested donations on a Crimson Tide message board. Took about 20 minutes.

Swindle: It’s a good thing they only came up with 180 grand. If they’d hit 200, I’d’ve been required to get one of those Bear Bryant back tattoos.

Shapiro: Aren’t you afraid Danny Sheridan’s going to rat you out?

Gillett: Nope. We planted one of our co-conspirators on Sheridan’s legal team, and he’s advised Sheridan to keep quiet.

Shapiro: How do you know you can trust the guy you’ve got working for Sheridan? Because some guys will turn on you and spill the beans, you know?

Swindle: Yeah, don’t you just hate guys like that?

Shapiro: I know, right!

Gillett: We’re not worried about our guy on Sheridan’s legal team.

Shapiro: Yeah? How come?

Gillett: He hates Auburn.

[Shapiro turns to close the closet door.]

Swindle: Hey, wait, before you do that . . .

[Swindle pulls a digital camera from his pocket and gestures toward the open closet.]

Swindle: Do you mind if I take a picture?

Shapiro: Be my guest.

Swindle: I can’t wait to see what LSUFreek does with this!

[Swindle aims the camera at the open closet and, while looking through the viewfinder, begins backing up to get a better shot. Behind him, unbeknownst to Swindle, is the Hurricanes’ 2001 national championship trophy. Swindle slowly continues backing, backing, backing . . . and, as his buttocks brush roughly up against the base of the trophy, we fade to black.]

Go ‘Dawgs!