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Darkened Stadiums

A Film Noir Look at the Underworld of Coaching

By Mike Archbold


The rain slicked taxicab speeds purposely down the gloomy boulevard, its wipers rhythmically moving, revealing the city's dim and meaningless nightscape of concrete buildings, blinking neon lights, petty criminals, and prostitutes.

The taxicab occupant holds his wristwatch close to his face, struggling to read it by the light of blinking neon. Registering the time, he directs the cabby and removes a bill from his wallet. The driver reaches for the bill, his expression vague and slightly disapproving. The cab pulls off the curb, and speeds off into the night.

The man quickly pulls on his fedora, and brushes out his black overcoat. He walks quickly off the sidewalk, into an unlit side alley. A flash of lightning reveals the trash-strewn details.

He walks up to a door of a lightless warehouse and knocks. Rain is pelting down as the man adjusts his fedora. A peephole in a window opens and the door is quickly opened, the man walking inside.

Down a dreary and dark corridor two men walk. A tiny radio plays big band music.

The pair pass several rooms, rooms abandoned, nothing but wires and ancient, rusted equipment used for some long forgotten and hopelessly meaningless purpose.

Finally the two enter a drab storeroom. A single, dim lightbulb barely illuminates the scene.

A makeshift bar is set up in a corner. A gentleman in a dark suit looks up from his drink, nods, and resumes drinking. On his arm is a woman with long blonde hair, one strand dangling over her right eye, concealing. She appears to be indifferent to the new arrival.

Were you followed? Could anyone know you are here? Glances are exchanged.

Cigarettes are smoked. Voices are kept low. The night and the discussion wear on.

No deal.

Emerging from the forgotten warehouse, his face expressionless, the man checks his wristwatch. A cab pulls up to the curb and the man gets in. The same driver. The driver isn't interested in this type of affair.

Against the backdrop of fading big band music, the car heads back up the gloomy boulevard, its wipers keeping time with the beat of the neon, the money, the fleeting nightscape

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