Sports: Me ’n’ Richie

As a kid in Havertown, filmmaker Mike Tollin was in awe of controversial Phillies star Dick Allen. In an excerpt from a work-in-progress screenplay, Tollin details Allen’s place in the city — and how his own idol-worship transformed into a real relationship

INTERIOR DAY — MEXICAN RESTAURANT
Michael returns to the table and tells Richie the news. Richie grabs his friend and holds him tight, then releases him and puts his hands on Michael’s shoulders.

Richie: Listen, you’re the point guard now. You’re bringing up the ball. Get home, tell Robbie and the kids, and get to Philly on the next flight. They’ll be needing you there. Geez all, man, I’m sorry, Stanford.

Through the five days of “shiva” (mourning) following the funeral in Philadelphia, Richie Allen calls once a day. His voice is understanding and comforting. He feels almost like a member of the family. Then, two and a half years later, there is another opportunity to share an emotional journey, but this time a joyous one.

FADE-UP GRAPHIC: March 2009

INTERIOR DAY — MEXICAN RESTAURANT
Michael: So Wampum, I just got a call — it turns out they’re inducting me into the Philly Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, with my dad, posthumously.
Richie:
Hey, that’s great, Stanford!
Michael:
I know you’re not coming — you didn’t even come to your own birthday party — but I wanted you to know about it.
Richie:
That’s beautiful. Really. And with your dad, too, ain’t that somethin’. Well, if there’s any way I can be there for you two, you know I will.
Michael:
(smiling) Yeah, sure.

FADE-UP GRAPHIC: May 2009

INTERIOR NIGHT — AUDITORIUM
Antiquated auditorium, well-dressed people listening to a rambling speech.

AUDITORIUM — PODIUM — CONTINUOUS
Michael, in suit and tie, mid-speech.

Michael:
And he says, “Aw, sorry about that. What part?” I say “Havertown,” and he says, “Yeah, okay. What are you, Jewish?” I can’t believe he’s really asking me that, but I say, “Uh, yeah, I am.” And he says …

INTERIOR AUDITORIUM — CONTINUOUS  CLOSE-UP on Richie, standing in the corner of the auditorium, smiling broadly, mouthing the words ’cause he knows what’s coming: “Well all right, God’s Chosen People! Sit down, hoss, have a beer!”

INTERIOR AUDITORIUM — PODIUM — CONTINUOUS
Michael: So after all those years, there I was — just me ’n’ Richie …

INTERIOR AUDITORIUM — CONTINUOUS CLOSE-UP
Richie Allen, nodding his head as if to say, “Yep, that’s the way it happened” and dabbing at his eyes.

FADE OUT.                                                  

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