"That's fear," said Riley.
"No," said Towne. "Fear is paralyzing. It's desperation that lets you be calculating. You're a desperate man, Riley."
Riley did a double take. He wasn't interested in making a movie, but he and Towne became friends. When Towne was married last year, Riley served as his best man.
"We soon found, as director and coach, that we had the same sorts of problems in exercising authority," says Towne, "especially the art of the aggrieved outburst."
"Going temporarily insane," Riley calls it. "The thing you do once a year. That's often enough to keep me embarrassed about it."
"We decided that there were rules for it," says Towne. "You must never vent your anger on a single person. That would be destructive—always. And there had to be some luck going your way. At the moment you knew something had to be done, there had to be something you could do. You're like a nozzle on a hose under pressure. You have to figure how to release it, in what direction."
Towne tells his favorite Riley explosion story: "They've lost to San Antonio, and not only that, in the last couple of minutes, instead of watching Pat diagram a play, some players have been watching Dancing Barry."
"And the girls," says Riley, wearily.
"So they've lost, and in the locker room he's steamed. He's going to blow up."
"Even though it might be calculated," says Riley, "you have to show how passionately you care."