American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Radio" (2003)


Coach Harold Jones Tenders His Resignation

Audio mp3 delivered by Ed Harris


Coach Jones: Boy, you got yourself a crowded shop tonight, Del.

Del: Yeah, Coach.

Coach Jones: I think ya'll know my wife, Linda, and my daughter, Mary Helen.

[gathered townsfolk greet the family]

Coach Jones: Well, I had a talk with Radio this mornin'. And I told him, in not so many words, that we might be lookin' at some changes. It didn't take long to see the more I talked, the more he didn't understand me. We got a lot a that goin' on around. When I was playin' I had a coach -- used to tell me to keep my priorities straight. He'd say, "Son, you figure out what's important and you push everything else aside." I love football. I love everything about it. I love Friday nights when you're lookin' for a win and Saturday mornin' when you've found one. But that's not what's important right now. We got ourselves a young man we're not thinkin' about. The same young man who could hardly talk when we first met him, and now he's makin' announcements in the mornin' over the loudspeaker. Same young man who got himself a football letter last fall but he never wears it cause he can't afford a jacket. Now we're askin' him to leave.

Frank: Harold, we are not askin' him --

Townsperson 1: -- Man's not done, Frank.

Coach Jones: I know some of you don't know or don't care about all that Radio's learned over these past few months. But truth is, we're not the one's who've been teachin' Radio. Radio is the one who's been teachin' us. 'Cause the way he treats us all the time is the way we wish we treated each other even part of the time. Look, I know somethin's gotta happen here. I know some changes gotta be made. And I know I can't let what happened last season happen again. So I've decided to step down as Head Football Coach.

[gathered townsfolk react in shock, disbelief]

Townsperson 2: See what you've done, Frank?

Coach Jones: You know, I'd like to keep teachin,' if that's alright. I'd keep an eye on Radio -- make sure he stays outta trouble. And I'd like to spend a little more time with a few other folks I've neglected over the years, while I still have a chance to. Much as I love this game, you know it's not half as important as settin' that right. (Pretty good cup [of coffee] tonight, Dale.) Thank ya'll.

Linda Jones: Night.

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