[A suburban house near Birmingham. MIKE SLIVE and the SEC coaches are milling around a table that holds a gorgeous turkey and every possible manner of side dish. Cornbread, of course, is included.]
MIKE SLIVE: Gentlemen, gentlemen, can we please take our seats and get started. You'll find a name tag at each seat.
[Coaches begin migrating toward their seats]
STEVE SPURRIER: Hey, this isn't fair. Mark has a much easier path to the turkey than I do. I have to reach around Les and John.
JOHN L. SMITH: I'm not that bad, baby. Just smile, perk your piehole up, and get some eat on.
STEVE SPURRIER: What?
JOHN L. SMITH: Just go with it, ride it hot and TO THE MOON!
WILL MUSCHAMP: Eh, Steve is just bitter that I beat him by 33 points. Which is amazing, considering that I don't even have a functioning offense.
STEVE SPURRIER: Listen up, you little Gator wannabe. If I hadn't turned Florida into a superpower in the 1990s, this that and the other, you would still be sitting in Austin waiting for Mack Brown to get a bad case of pneumonia.
[MUSCHAMP shakes, and begins to turn green before SLIVE intervenes.]
MIKE SLIVE: Gentlemen, gentlemen. Let's calm down and prepare to eat. Now, where is --
[DAN MULLEN strolls in.]
DAN MULLEN: Yeah, I'm here everybody. I know, you're thankful that I was able to join you tonight, but you know what? You're not as thankful as you should be.
STEVE SPURRIER: You know, this guy will be almost as impressive as he thinks he is once he beats a competent coach.
GENE CHIZIK: Hey! He beat me and John this year.
[SPURRIER looks over at SMITH, who's smiling catatonically. SMITH then begins to quietly sing, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ..."]
KEVIN SUMLIN [dashing from dish to dish]: I'll take some of this ... and some of this ... and some of this ...
NICK SABAN: C'mon, commissioner, are you just going to let people shovel as much food on their plate as quickly as possible? Is this what we want Thanksgiving to be? It's disgraceful, aight? Someone's going to get hurt.
MARK RICHT: Can we please get this show on the road? My scooter's double-parked out there.
[All the other coaches stare at RICHT.]
MARK RICHT: What? Katharyn's using the truck to donate crates of food to as many poor families as she can find.
KEVIN SUMLIN [still going from dish to dish]: Oh, Thanksgiving tradition.
MARK RICHT: No, we do that every Thursday.
GARY PINKEL [looking at the food]: I don't know if I'm going to enjoy this as much as I thought I would.
STEVE SPURRIER: Well you can always go back to the Big 12 or whatever.
GARY PINKEL: No, I'm sure it's better than what they had there. Every had roasted Bevo patty?
DAN MULLEN: What's in --
PINKEL and MUSCHAMP [in unison]: Don't ask.
[HUGH FREEZE walks in from the kitchen with a dish.]
HUGH FREEZE: Here you go, guys. Someone told me that Houston made a green-bean casserole last year, so I decided that I should keep up the tradition. Unfortunately, I'm still working off the 12-month supply of food he kept in a bunker in Oxford in case of -- what, I'm not really sure.
WILL MUSCHAMP: Ugh. That was the wor-- well, let's give it a try. [Samples Freeze's casserole.] Hey, that's actually really good.
HUGH FREEZE: Again, just wait until I'm able to buy my own ingredients. James, try some.
JAMES FRANKLIN [regards casserole warily]: How attractive is your wife?
HUGH FREEZE: Well, on a scale of one to -- what does this have to do with my casserole?
JAMES FRANKLIN: You see, if you've got a good-looking wife, the odds are you can cook. It's complicated.
GENE CHIZIK [looking at an empty seat on either side of him]: Hey, guys, where are Joker and Derek?
MIKE SLIVE: They, um, went to get the mincemeat pie. Don't worry; if they don't get back soon, we'll send you after them.
DAN MULLEN: Hey, if Derek's not using that seat, can I ...
MIKE SLIVE: Let's stay to our assigned seating right now, okay?
[Everyone finally sits down.]
MIKE SLIVE: Les, would you like to say the blessing?
LES MILES: Lord our Father, May our blessing from you always be on our heads. We thank you for this food, and the animals that brought it forth through their ending. We are grateful that family is a part of us, and that traveling has been underway without serious indisposition. And we ask that the blessings of our next year be bountiful and produce with us the chest necessary for what we face. In Jesus' name we pray ...
ALL TOGETHER: Amen.
MIKE SLIVE: Let's eat.
From all of us here at Team Speed Kills, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. As always, we're extraordinarily thankful for everyone who's read and commented over the last year. We'll be taking the rest of today and all of Thursday off, but we'll be back with more about the best conference in the business on Friday.