Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mayan Calendar predicts/ coaches get punted

From Today's Times and News-Star

If the Mayan culture were thriving today as it did more than 1,000 years ago, no doubt their spokesperson would be on CNN saying, “Y’all are making, like, WAY too big of a deal over this calendar thing. We are just ending one calendar and beginning another! It’s a profit deal! We rotate ads out. That kind of thing. By the way, we have some great rates next month – if there is a next month!, HA! – on visits to Mirador. Don’t pass up this Late Preclassic, Postworld Special!”

Then they would laugh all the way to the First Rainforest Building & Loan.

We modern grownups can really mess things up. Just because a guy can build a pyramid without a tractor in South America doesn’t mean he knows when the world will end.

Because the Mayan Calendar has “an era” of the world ending Friday, many people think the world itself will end that day, which is, to quote the ancient Mayan philosophers, “baloney.” If you will simply look in your TV Guide, you will see that Ball State will play the University of Central Florida in St. Petersburg Friday in the Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl, and the world has never ended during any of the previous playings of the Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl, despite its heavy Mayan fan base.

(The University of Memphis would disagree, having had their helmets handed to them to the tune of 41-14 by the University of South Florida in the inaugural ’08 bowl, but that is a different story. And if we were subjected to a replay of that, then hey, I’m all for the world ending.)

Mayans never professed to be good at calendar. The whole reason the culture collapsed is because half the population started taking Casual Friday on Tuesday  due to – no surprise here -- faulty calendars. Try building a stone city on Monday when half the population thinks it’s Saturday and see how far you get.

Besides, there is much too much going on in the world for it to end Friday. Having completely missed the presidential election in November, the American college football sporting public is making up for lost time by feasting on a cornucopia of head coaching changes at universities the land over. This is a carousel that would make even the mathematically adroit Mayans take off their socks and start counting with their toes.

Even as I am writing this, back rooms from Atlanta to Vegas are filled with cigar chomping boosters, accountants, administrators and friends of the program trying to connect the dots and find “the perfect coach.” They are encased in a whirlwind of “what ifs” and “but whats.” It is a dicey process as other coaches get pink slips and dominoes fall.

What these committees (and vocal sub-committees of faithful fans) are looking for, of course, is “a fit,” as they say in the biz. What works in Ruston or Natchitoches might not work in Lubbock or Bowling Green. Finding the right fit is not as hard as calculus, but it’s in the same ballpark.

Now the coaching, that’s the easy part. If you are thinking of “trying out” for head coach, you’ve got to be able to do these two things. One, you’ve got to be able to hold a big laminated sheet in front of your mouth while speaking. And two, you’ve got to be able to negotiate a spectacular buyout clause in case it’s you, and not the football, that’s punted. First things first.