The Iowa State athletic director just had a bad day. Happens to the best of us.
Foul on #45. Over the back.
WHAT THAT'S A TERRIBLE CALL
Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to...
Wait, aren't you Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard?
AREN'T YOU A STUPID POOP HEAD
I beg your pardon?
I SAID ARE YOU OR ARE YOU NOT A STUPID POOP HEAD YOU POOP HEADED JERK
THE BAD REF STORE CALLED AND SAID YOU ARE STILL ELIGIBLE TO BE RETURNED TO THE BAD REF STORE
I DON'T EVEN THINK THESE RIMS ARE REGULATION HEIGHT
Well, I never...
NEVER WHAT NEVER MADE A RIGHT CALL HUH STUPID FACE
I'm going to have to demand that you leave, sir
I NEVER WANTED TO BE IN THIS STUPID GYM ANYWAY
MORE LIKE HILTON TRAGIC
/throws down his cardigan sweater
/walks out of gym
/pulls fire alarm on the way out
/arrests Jamie Pollard, puts him in squad car
OK, Jamie. Why are you acting like this?
Because love is dead, Hot Cop. Love is dead.
Two months earlier, Jacobsen Athletics Building, Iowa State University
And that's how a petty computer thief turned himself into a sympathetic figure. The end.
That was a stupid stowy
No it wasn't, Fred! It was a good story!
The big mean puter wobber guy was afwaid of pwane wides? Pwease.
It's the truth! ESPN said it's so!
Now, if you sit tight, we'll read the story of the man who stopped coaching so that he could sell satellite dishes to his former assistants while they served three to fi...
Excuse me, sir?
Yes, what is it?
There's a caller on line one.
Did you find out who it is?
That's the thing, Mr. Pollard. The man says he is...
Gene Chizik, sir.
/sits up straight
He's...he's probably calling to...congratulate us...on our new scoreboard.
I'm sure that's what it is. Send the call in.
Are you sure, sir? The last time you talked to him, you spent the next month watching The Lake House on repeat.
Yes, I'll be fine. Send the call in.
You can do this, Big Jam. You can do this.
/pushes button for line 1
Iowa State athletics! We're just like a little Texas, in that we had one hit in 1993 and now it's our coach! Jamie Pollard speaking!
Jamie, it's Gene.
Well, hi Gene!
Get it? HYGENE!
Yes, yes, Jamie. I always loved that joke.
How are you?
I'm fine, Gene. How have you been doing?
Not too well, Jamie. Not too well. But it's good to hear your voice again.
Tell me about your new scoreboard.
The ISU athletic director and former ISU head football coach have a long, friendly chat. After two hours, it ends. The next day...
Mr. Pollard, Gene Chizik again on line 1
Don't fall too fast, Jamie Boy. You always fall too fast. Take it slow.
If you can't get him here, let it go. If he won't come to Ames, everyone will think you're pathetic.
/pushes button for line 1
Iowa State athletics! Where University of Phoenix basketball players come for a second chance! Jamie Pollard speaking!
Jamie, it's Gene again.
Look, Jamie. I had a great time talking to you yesterday. I was hoping that maybe we could...oh, nevermind.
Naw, Gene! Come on! Let me hear it.
I was hoping... I was hoping maybe we could give us another chance.
Well, Gene, I'd be lying if I didn't admit I've been thinking about it all day.
I just have one concern.
Gary Barta and Kirk Ferentz prank call me all the time, and I'm worried that you might actually be them.
What? No, of course I'm not them. We talked for an hour yesterday! How would they keep a prank going that long?
I'm just saying, I need a sign that it's you.
Fine. I'll email you a picture right now of me holding up our sign. Just a second...and...there.
YOU HAVE MAIL
Well, that's you with a sign reading MSMK --
-- the Roman numeral for 5-19.
Yes, yes it is.
OK, Gene, let's give it a shot.
When can you come to Ames?
When can I...well, Jamie, I live in Alabama. I want to stay here. But I'm sure I can visit soon.
I'm so happy!
Me too, Jamie Poo. Me too.
The next few weeks passed quickly. Gene and Jamie talked every day for hours. They made plans for the future. Jamie wanted to hire Gene as defensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting for a head coach in his 40s. Gene made plans to visit Ames three times, but every time something arose: There were cows on the runway of the Auburn airport, or Gene had to save the lives of some plants poisoned by Alabama fans, or he had to babysit the war eagle.
Eventually, news of the relationship got to the Ames press.
Breaking news out of Ames tonight: We can confirm that Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard is in negotiations to bring back former head football coach Gene Chizik in some sort of advisory role, potentially as a member of Coach Paul Rhoads' staff. Our intrepid old-timey cub reporter interviewed Pollard briefly.
Yeah, he's come to visit me a few times, actually. We went hot air ballooning, and he met the president of the university. Wonderful visits.
What role is he going to play?
That is still to be determined. He's my friend, though.
In late January, just after Gene had to cancel another visit to Ames because "Hope Floats" star Sandra Bullock was using the only airplane in Alabama -- "Sandra Bullock! Is she just like Birdee Pruitt?" Pollard had asked, assuming that Bullock was from Alabama and that everyone in Alabama knew each other -- Gene called with terrible news.
Gene Chizik on line 1
/hurriedly pushes line 1
Jamie, thank God you're there.
I've been in a car accident!
Yes, it was horrible.
Are you at the Alabama hospital?
Yes, I'm at the Alabama hospital, and I'm going to be here for a long time.
What happened? Did you break your leg?
No, no. I didn't get seriously hurt in the accident, but they ran some tests while I was here, and they found that I have mad cow disease.
It's terrible, Jamie. They say I only have a month or two to live.
But...but what about our plans?
They're going to try some experimental treatment, so maybe it will go away
What can I do?
I need you to stay strong for me, Jamie. Strong and in Iowa.
I can come see you! We have a bunch of planes in Iowa!
No no no
They don't allow visitors at the Alabama hospital.
We'll talk every day still, though.
And talk every day they did. They would talk for hours, often falling asleep on the phone. Gene's condition deteriorated and he was mostly unable to talk after a few weeks, but Pollard still called. He would talk to Gene without audible response.
And then came Signing Day.
Ah, Signing Day. A day full of hope.
I've been so busy with Gene that I haven't even paid attention to who we are getting.
/turns on television to ESPNU
Rece Davis here on National Signing Day, and Peyton Manning has somehow just signed with Ole Miss. We'll be monitoring this and all the other recruiting stories with our panel of experts, including former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik
Boy, Guz Malzahn has really done a great job of recruiting since replacing your sorry ass, huh Gene?
Well, we'd like to think we laid the groundwork for this class
That does not fit the narrative, Gene.
Well, we recruited most of these kids. In fact, a lot of them left after our staff was...
Mr. Pollard, Gene Chizik is on line 1.
/pushes button for line 1
[raspy voice] Jamie! Hello! How are you today?
I'm fine, Gene. [gnashes teeth] How...are...you?
Oh, it's a good day. The mad cow isn't so bad today.
Well, that much is obvious.
What does that mean?
I'm watching you on live television.
I'm watching you on live television. You are on ESPNU.
I am...on ESPNU
What the hell is an ESPNU?
There's no way ESPN has Chizik on television.
Call his bluff.
Well -- [cough] [raspy voice] I mean, um, well, what am I doing on ESPNU?
You're an analyst on their Signing Day Special.
He says Chizik is on their Signing Day Special
Really? It's Signing Day again already?
I totally spaced that off.
Did we even get any players?
KIRK! FOCUS! What should we do?
Kill him off. Kill him off now.
Well, Jamie [cough], this mad cow is really getting bad. This is probably it for me.
[cough] Good bye, Jamie.
Go to hell, Gary.
Back in the police car
So that's why I did what I did. Can I go home now?
You pulled a fire alarm in a crowded gym. I can't just let you get away with that.
Come on. Let's head to the county jail.
Fred can bail you out.
He's already there on a recruiting visit.