"Hear ye, hear ye. The Ancient Order of Football Cavemen calls its weekly meeting to order, cave leader Pat Dye presiding. Lay down your clubs and spears, light the torches on the walls, spread out the animal skins on the floor and huddle up.
"All Cavemen, get in a three-point stance – hand in the dirt! – and repeat our creed: 'We support the manly activity of football. We will protect it from outside influences seeking to soften our most masculine sport. We are manly men, and we believe in the manly men who play and coach the game. No women allowed.'
"OK, first vice president Zog, please bring us up to speed on the urgent threat we've been dealing with for the past two weeks."
"Coach Dye, the news is bad. The reports were true: Condoleezza Rice has been named to the College Football Playoff selection committee – and not just to serve coffee or lead cheers or knit matching sweaters for the manly men. They're going to let her have a vote and voice opinions and everything. Our way of life is in jeopardy."
"Thank you, Zog. Fellow Cavemen, we're in trouble – but the game isn't over yet. We need a goal-line stand against the sissy-fication of our sport. We need to be ready to react when Condi Rice opens her mouth and exposes herself as a poser football fan. We have to pounce on the opportunity to call her out and try to pressure her off the committee. Grog, we need you to start crafting the counterattack."
"Um, the news is bad there, too, Coach Dye. They put Condi on a conference call with reporters Wednesday, and everyone says she was very impressive."
"How can that be, Grog? She's a girl who never put her hand in the dirt. She doesn't know anything about the importance of a good three-technique to a defense. She's never sight-adjusted a route to a hot read. Why, she wouldn't know a good trap block if she saw it."
"Actually, Coach Dye, she said her dad was an offensive lineman. He taught her to always watch the line."
"Hmmm. Well, she certainly can't know anything about football history."
"Uhhh, she cited the 1966 10-10 tie between Notre Dame and Michigan State, and Fighting Irish coach Ara Parseghian playing for the tie to preserve a backdoor national title. Said she listened to it on the radio as a kid growing up in Alabama. She mentioned it as her first realization of the fan frustration with the college football system of crowning a national champion."
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"But what has she ever had to do with college sports, other than watching games as a fan?"
"When she was provost at Stanford, athletics reported to her for six years. She was on the search committee that hired Dennis Green, and said she was involved in the hiring of Ty Willingham."
"Well, I'm not impressed. She's still a dadgum outsider. Shouldn't that be held against her?"
"She was asked about that as well, Coach Dye. She said there is a reason corporate boards are not all comprised of CEOs, in order to gather input from diverse sources. She said the committee needs 'people who will make critical judgments.' "
"That's easy to say, harder to do. What's she going to do when 10,000 Alabama fans email her on a daily basis to lobby for the Crimson Tide? How will she handle that?"
"Well, Coach. You do remember that she was Secretary of State, right? Not to sound disrespectful, but not even SEC fans are as intense as the Middle East. As she said, 'I think I've experienced plenty of heat in my life.' "
"OK, I've about heard enough of this, Grog. You sound like you almost believe she should be on this committee."
"Well, Coach, she did sound intelligent and confident. Check out what she said about the committee's work being as open and accessible as possible to the public: 'There should be enough transparency about how this process works so coaches, players and fans have confidence in the process. … We want to encourage transparency but not hamstring committee members ballot by ballot.' And she talked a lot about the importance of 'head-to-head competition,' which means settling championships on the field. Almost everyone wants that, right?"
"I am appalled at my own lodge brothers buying into this sabotage of our values and beliefs. We cannot weaken our resolve to maintain the masculine status quo. Listen, one of the keys to keeping football a man's sports is to make the whole thing sound as complicated as possible – like there's no way to understand the game if you haven't played it. That's why I made the hand-in-the-dirt comment to begin with. The more complex it seems to the average fan, the more they need the manly men who played and coached to explain it to them."
"Coach, I think we could do nothing but speak in football jargon for the next year and she would figure it out. I hate to say it, but she's smarter than we are."
"This is all too much for me. Zog, cue up video of the 1987 Iron Bowl so I can enjoy the manly attributes of a 10-0 ballgame and escape from this terrible assault upon our way of life. Meeting adjourned."
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