Flash back to 1999. Backstreet Boys. Ricky Martin. I know Kung Fu. Impeachment. Dark times, and fortunately we missed most of it globetrotting and acquiring an array of intestinal flora that would make Anthony Bourdain flinch.
From a distance, though we recall that in college football, no one coach played the part of fair-haired altar boy to the lecherous priests of D-1 athletic programs than Dennis Franchione, the man who turned TCU from a scaly loser of a program into a Ladanian Tomlinson-fueled dynamo capable of beating--oh, and we bet you forgot this--Southern Cal in a 28-19 Sun Bowl matchup. (We'll wait a second for the shock to wear off...now, isn't that better? Remember what we wrote yesterday about the brain being a happy forgetting machine? Who knows that better than Trojan fans? Besides the entire nation of Cambodia?) Franchione was hott. Hott like Paris. Hott like Carla Lewis. He was the biggest thing at TCU since Sammy Baugh. Rumors swirled about his eventual destination, but one thing was a given in any discussion: Fran was gone. Franchione, as soon as he got the first chance, was off that TCU job like Mariah Carey off Tommy Mottola's jock.
Fast-forward six years and two disjointed career stops later. Slap a few pounds of Alabama barbecue and Texas ribs around his waistline. Coach Fran just lost his last game to Sooper Genious Gary Barnett and the middling-to-kinda-crappy-like Slush-a-fund-aloes 41-20. He's 3-2 this year and 14-14 in his third season, with his signature win this season coming against Baylor. His freakishly gifted starting qb is rolling his eyes at him in the huddle. A website features a crosshairs centered straight on his smirky mug. (Tasteful, y'all, especially in a football-mad state where purchasing a handgun carries with it the same red tape as buying something like, say, a bear claw and a cup of a coffee.)
This all begs the question: what the fuck happened? Fanblogs is predictably on it and running, but watch as the meme of the week makes its way through the college football punditry. Our guess is that Franchione's is a Winona Ryder; a good talent whose supporting cast has, at times early in his career, made him look totally hotter and smarter than he actually in fact was. Seeing him squander a 210 pound hummingbird like Reggie McNeal in squeakers against Baylor is his version of Mr. Deeds. In terms of facial similarity, though, Franchione's got an automatic match in Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles.
That's Hedley, you nitwit!