Profiles In Sports

Profiles In Sports

Donald Ramp…..Jim Belushi

Announcer: Chess. The thinking man’s sport. For over half a century, dozens of world grand masters have come out of America’s high school chess clubs. Most of the credit for that belons to the unsung hero of chess – the high school chess coach.

[ show Chess Coach Donald Ramp yelling at his players during a match ]

Donald Ramp: Pawn to Rook 4! Pawn to Rook 4! Nooooooo!! Get up, get up, get up!! [ starts kicking chairs around ]

Announcer: Donald Ramp, of Rodville Center High, dedicated to turning raw kids into chess champions.

Donald Ramp: You call that castling?! Come on! Why don’t you just give him the king?! Give it to him!

Donald Ramp V/O: A lot of people think that chess games are won on brilliant moves. They’re not. The match is really won or lost long before the pieces are set up.

Donald Ramp: Next Saturday: Wheaton High. Big match, tough school. They’re using a Sicilian defense. How do we counter? Simple. [ draws chess board on the chalk board, filling in the individual squares ]

Donald Ramp V/O: The fundamental thing about chess? Knowing the rules.

[ show Donald reviewing strategy with a student ]

Donald Ramp: When you go over there, move the knight..

Student: [ confused ] The knight?

Donald Ramp: Yeah.. the horsey thing, the horsey thing! Come on!

[ cut to another interaction ]

Donald Ramp: Move it, movie it, movie it! Move the bishop!

[ cut to Donald reviewing film footage of an earlier chess match ]

Donald Ramp V/O: Sure. I am hard on the guys. But I’m just as hard on myself. Most nights, I’m in the office ’til midnight, watching game films.

Announcer: But Ramp’s lust for victory can lead to controversry, like the furor surrounding his overseas recruiting trips.

[ SUPER: “Andrei Zhubarov, Chess Team Captain Class of ’85” ]

Andrei Zhubarov: I love to play for Coach Ramp. He was like a father to me, he bring me to this school in my shuffleboard years.

[ cut to another tense chess match ]

Donald Ramp: You call that a jump?! His [ bleep ] bishop wasn’t anywhere near the [ bleep ] queen!

Announcer: Ironically, it was during the filming of this profile that Coach Ramp expeirenced the most regrettable incident of his career.

[ Coach Ramp knocks down one of the opposing player’s chess pieces, a riot ensues. Members of the opposing team jump him, screaming, “Hey, you can’t do that!” etc. ]

Donald Ramp V/O: Some people say I lost control that day. But when you’re down two pawns, you gotta do something.

Announcer: For inciting the brawl, the American High School Chess Confederation branded Coach Ramp with a lifetime suspension.

Donald Ramp V/O: I’m really not sure what I’ll do. For now, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family.

Daughter: Pass the salt, Daddy?

[ Coach Ramp lifts the salt shaker, then moves it about the checkerboard table around other shakers, simulating chess moves ]

Donald Ramp V/O: The only thing I miss are the matches, the excitement, the adrenaline.. The rest of it, I can live without. Still.. I guess the game never really leaves you..

[ fade ]

SNL Transcripts

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