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Big Ten Media Days: The Bob encounters The Fickell finger of fate

Interim_medium  Good day, I'm Luke Fickell, head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes, and since this is my first time at The Big Ten Media Days, I thought I'd break The ice by opening with a joke: I just saw this is in The news. Did you see this? Did you see this? The NCAA has decided not to slap The dreaded "Failure to Monitor" label on The Ohio State athletic department. But what The NCAA doesn't know -- and here's The joke -- is that The athletic department knew everything from The very beginning. Furthermore, I have tapes, transcripts, photos, videos, receipts, DNA samples, used tattoo needles, and a suitcase full of gold pants to prove it, all hidden in an undisclosed location.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium That's not really a joke, but, okay, welcome to the Big 10. What's with the sweatervest?  Isn't that the old guy's thing?

Interim_medium Well, The Ohio State University athletic department gave me this sweatervest on my first day. Funny story. I went to The old coach's office -- you know, The big one, with The mahogany desk and The cognac and The signed photos of Woody Hayes and Archie Griffin -- and they told me that office was under construction and redirected me to my new office, which was actually my old office, which is actually a cubicle. But I didn't hear any sawing or hammering.  

Iconpresser_flipped_medium But what about the sweatervest?

Interim_medium Oh, well when I got to my new-old office, they had this waiting for me.  It's stenciled all nice-like, and they say it's a game-worn original with "authentic smell and staining".  Those guys really go The extra mile.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium  Wait a minute -- are you capitalizing all of your "the's"?

Interim_medium No, don't be ridiculous.

Iconpresser_flipped_mediumAre you sure?

Interim_medium Of course, that is Th -- I mean, that is La cosa mas ridiculosa in El mundo.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium That's just Spanish, and you're still doing it.  

Interim_medium ...

Iconpresser_flipped_medium Anyway ... so they gave you that sweater-vest...

Interim_medium Stapled it on me, too. Hurt like Th -- I mean, it hurt like ... An dickens.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium "An Dickens"? Fine, whatever, but did they make you wear that sticker, too? 

Interim_medium Yeah, that was a good joke. I poked my head into the AD's office, just to, you know, introduce myself, and they slapped this on my face.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium Can you breathe through that thing?

Interim_medium It's this new breathable, stretch fabric from Nike, so, yeah, sort of.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium Don't you find this treatment kind of offensive?  I mean, you were named the head coach -- you're not just an interim coach anymore. 

Interim_medium You would think so, but I've been keeping my spirits up.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium How so?

Interim_medium Humor. Like that joke I told you earlier. It's a good joke, huh? Well, I have more jokes just like it. Whole books of them. Massive binders of jokes. All in undisclosed locations. And I'm, hey, I'm a funny guy, you know. I like to talk. I'm thinking of going to some open mics, bringing my props .... [ominously] ALL MY PROPS ... and telling my jokes.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium That's great. It's good to have a hobby. Who are your comedic influences?

Interim_medium Daniel Ellsberg... and Gallagher.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium Those are ... interesting choices.

Interim_medium Well I like prop stuff. And suspenders. Anything that brings about suspension. [ominously] SUSPENSION.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium Can you share some of your act with us?

Interim_medium Sure. (rummages under table) What's this?

Iconpresser_flipped_medium It looks like a big salad bowl filled with little toy musical instruments.

Interim_medium It's a bowl band. Get it? BOWL BAND.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium You've lost me.

Interim_medium How ‘bout this. (rummages some more) What's this?

Iconpresser_flipped_medium It's just a piece of paper with "probation" written on it.

Interim_medium Yes. Yes it is.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium This is getting a little weird. Can we get back to football?  How do you see the year going Ohio State?

Interim_medium I think this year can be characterized by one word: stability.  I see continued success, and I see it ending with me still having my job as head coach.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium But, come on, you've never been a head coach before, you're very young, what qualifies you to take over one of the premier college football programs in the country?

Interim_medium My name ends in an "ell" sound, this program practically runs itself, and I know things.

Iconpresser_flipped_medium Fair enough. Watch your back, Luke.