Past is Prologue: General Neyland and the Super-Conference

SCENE: The University of Texas Athletic Department's private opium den, bordello, sweat lodge and BBQ pit, June 14, 2010.  Athletic Director DELOSS DODDS and Head Football Coach MACK BROWN recline sweaty, nude and sated upon a tiger-skin sofa while toking languidly from a hookah crafted from the head of a buffalo. On a matching oversized ottoman lounges RICKY WILLIAMS, who is having his anus expertly tickled with jayhawk feathers by a Oklahoma State coed while he suckles on a rack of ribs. PAC-10 commissioner LARRY SCOTT awkwardly straddles a bearskin ottoman, his sweat drenching the tailored linen suit he chose as he'd been told that this was to be a casual meeting.

DODDS: "-and so then I told T. Boone he better lick the sweat from my short hairs and call it single malt scotch!"

(DODDS, BROWN and WILLIAMS explode in Texas-sized guffaws. SCOTT nervously giggles as his palm-sweat stains a thick stack of documents in one hand while it makes his grip on a pen in the other a dicey proposition.)

SCOTT: "Good one, Double-D! Um, can I call you Double-D?"

DODDS: "Aw, hell son, you can call me R.C. Slocum's scrotum if you just let us hold onto those piddlin' lil' ol' regional TV rights."

SCOTT: "Um, yes, er, about that-"

BROWN: "Oh, and hey, givin' up on that whole commie equal revenue-sharin' thang would sure go a long way toward hookin' us Horns. I mean, it's not like Iowa State would spend their share on anything but meth and fat chicks! Amirite?"

(BROWN and DODDS high-five.)

SCOTT: "Yeah, well, you see-"

WILLIAMS (exhaling): "And some gratis quality tree wouldn't hurt your cause none, either."

DODDS: "Word, Ricky. Word."

SCOTT: "Now that, my friend, is an actionable item! Our franchises in Berkeley and Eugene can provide an ample supply stream to meet your recreational pharmaceutical needs. That said, gentlemen, I think you may be failing to visualize the big picture here. Imagine if you will a league of sixteen extraordinary higher learning consumption units dispersed amongst every major media outlet west of the Mississippi…a super-conference, as it were, the likes of which have never been-"

(BOOM!!! In a hickory and bourbon-scented cloud of steam appears the ghost of GENERAL ROBERT NEYLAND, nude but for a rumpled wide-brim hat and an orange jockstrap.)


BROWN: "Beebe?"

DODDS: "Slive?"

WILLIAMS: "Foghorn Leghorn?"

NEYLAND: "The name's Robert Reese Neyland, BUT YOU WILL CALL ME GENERAL! I didn't kick the vinegar outta the krauts in two fucking wars just t'be called Robert by the likes of you teet-sucklin' fancy boys!"



"I will kill y'all with this heah whistle!"


SCOTT: "Yeah, listen, um, 'General.' This is a closed-door meeting, ok? I'm sure Coach Brown will be happy to listen to your folksy yarns at the next booster gathering, so if you'd be so kind as to-"

BROWN (aside to SCOTT): "Actually that's a job I delegated to Muschamp. Got me a contract through 2016 and that dumb fuck STILL thinks he's the coach-in-waiting!"

NEYLAND: "SHUT YER HOLES! Y'all have had more noses up inside ya than the octo-mom and so prob'ly think yer shit is slicker'n teflon pussy. Well, I'm fixin' to learn y'all different-like. Samuel Goldwyn Gayer-than-Rock Hudson would have y'all believe his would be the end-all-be-all of collegiate pigskin affiliations, but any Southern football enthusiast worth his sweet tea will tellya that ain't so. Gather 'round, ya wine-sippin' flits, and lemme tell y'all about the ol' Southern Conference."

WILLIAMS (scooping Doritos from a bowl with Bob Stoops' visor): "YES! I love story time!"

NEYLAND: "Back in 1929 twenty-three schools…that's ex-ex-eye-eye-eye fer you Big XII types…formed the most shit-kicking conference God or man had ever seen. Mebbe ya'll have heard of a few of em': 'Bama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Flawrda, Gawja, Gawja Tech, Kentuckah, L'weezyana State, Mary'lan, Mis'sippah, Mis'sippah State, Nor'karlina, Nor'karlina State, See'wanee-"

DODDS: "Sewanee?!?"

NEYLAND: "Buncha eggheads, they was. Vandy before Vandy was Vandy, I reckon'. Now don't, I say don't be interruptin' me again. Where was I? Oh yeah, Sou'karlina, my beloved Tenn'see, Toolane, Vandy, Virginny, Virginny Tech, n' VMI. Pac-16?!? Hell, boys, sixteen's just a make-out party; twenny-three's a N'awlins orgy that'd make that ol' whore-monger Shug Jordan blush!"

BROWN: "Now hold on a cotton-pickin' minute…sorry, Ricky. No offense meant toward your people."

WILLIAMS: "Millionaire head cases?"

BROWN: "Do you mean to tell me that when I was at North Carolina I was coaching in a mega-conference? Hell, I shoulda been making Galen Hall money back then!"

NEYLAND: "Boy, you're thicker'n the shit of the town's molasses maker. In 1933 twelve schools, two of em named Sewanee and Gawja Tech, left to rustle up the Ess-Eee-See. Twenny years laytah seven more schools left to jimmy up the ACC. Point is, I say the point is that super-conferences were never meant to be, you see. You gotta better chance of containing that many head-strong injun chiefs as this jockstrap does of holdin' in the General's aide-de-camps, if ya' get mah drift."

DODDS: "Yeah, but, well, I dunno. I mean, Texas seems like more of a natural fit with schools like SC, U-Dub and Cal than it does with K-State. Plus, ol' Scotty boy here was about to offer us a disproportionate share of any TV money AND allow us to pursue our own Longhorn network.

SCOTT: "Actually, my vision involves equal revenue sharing and a Pac-16 network."

DODDS: "Then you need to get your eyes checked, son. We're bringing lots to this party, like built-in rivalries that guarantee ratings-"

SCOTT: "Of course. But only if A&M and Oklahoma reject the SEC's offer."

DODDS: "You mean to tell me that our biggest rivals could get SEC money, start their own networks, while we'd have to share the pie with Wazzu and Colorado?"

(Uncomfortable silence)

DODDS: "You know what? I think we can make a down-sized Big XXII work after all, just as long as every school not named Texas swallows their manhood!"

(Oklahoma State head coach MIKE GUNDY emerges from between DODDS' legs.)

GUNDY: "I'm a man!"

DODDS: "Shut up and get back to work, Mike! How'd you like Okie State to be the second-best Oklahoma school in Conference USA?"

NEYLAND: "Mah work here is done. Now, I say now if y'all will excuse me I gotta go exact Old Testament-like revenge upon that snivelin' shit Lane Kiffin. Whady'all think; herpes or NCAA sanctions?"

EPILOGUE: Lane Kiffin has herpes.

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