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BARRY ALVAREZ MAKES A PHONE CALL

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Wisconsin's coaching search makes a stop in Ames, Iowa.

Scene: the Jacobson Athletic Building, a state-of-the-art facility housing Iowa State's athletic offices. And since this is Ames, by "state-of-the-art facility" we mean it is a shed and they just installed real glass windows. Jamie Pollard looks out over Jack Trice Field, deep in thought.

Icon Pollard
Hay bales. That's what this stadium needs.

FH icon phone
RING RING RING

Icon Pollard
It's a great day to be a Cyclone!

Icon Barry Alvarez
Heh! Wish I could say the same about being a Badger!

Icon Pollard
...Barry Alvarez?

Icon Barry Alvarez
Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Jamie.

Icon Pollard
To what do I owe the honor of the call?

Icon Barry Alvarez
Well, you know things are kind of rough around here. I'm having to replace another football coach. Be my third coach in three years. I don't want to do it again.

Icon Pollard
Are you looking for some help on coaching searches? I have a little bit of experience there.

Icon Barry Alvarez
You had to replace Gene Chizik.

Icon Pollard
God, how does anyone replace Gene Chizik?

Icon Barry Alvarez
Yes, well, now we're wondering how anyone replaces Gary Andersen, and...

Icon Pollard
Whew!

Icon Barry Alvarez
...and, yes, quite the task, and I don't think the Paul Chryst thing is happening. Politics and whatnot. But. I think both of our questions ultimately have the same answer.

Icon Pollard
Wait—

Icon Barry Alvarez
That's right. I would like Wisconsin to hire Paul Rhoads.

Icon Pollard
NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Icon Barry Alvarez
Jamie, it's common courte—

Icon Pollard
NO, DAMN IT. I'M NOT LETTING ANYONE TAKE MY FOOTBALL COACH AGAIN. I'VE WORKED FOR YEARS REGAINING MY CONSOLABILITY, BARRY!

Icon Barry Alvarez
Jamie, if you'll just liste—

Icon Pollard
YEARS!

Icon Barry Alvarez
You haven't hea—

Icon Pollard
I HAVE A GREAT THING RIGHT NOW AND I AM NOT LOSING MY COACH.

Icon Barry Alvarez
But you won't, Jamie.

Icon Pollard
BUT—but... you just said...

Icon Barry Alvarez
You didn't let me finish. We're not splitting you and Paul up.

Icon Pollard
I'm listening.

Icon Barry Alvarez
Jamie, look. I'm... wow, 67 years old. Thought it'd be more. Anyway, I'm an old man! I can't be AD forever. Especially not when coaches can't stand to work for me.

Icon Pollard
Did—did you just google your own age? I heard typing right then.

Icon Barry Alvarez
I was just responding to an email. I swear, this Internet sometimes!

Icon Pollard
Ha! I know! Did you know we invented the Internet at Iowa State?

Icon Barry Alvarez
That's... I don't... anyway, look. I have zero interest in hiring any more football coaches, but I have to right now. So my thinking is, I bring in both Paul and a boss I know he loves so Wisconsin doesn't have to go through another transition two years from now. You get me?

Icon Pollard
I'd... be some special assistant AD?

Icon Barry Alvarez
Jamie Pollard, I want you to take my job as the athletic director of Wisconsin.

Icon Pollard
You... you mean it?

Icon Barry Alvarez
Of course I mean it! I talk with my president every day, and the one thing we always come back to is, "Wisconsin's athletic department should be as well-run and successful as Iowa State's."

Icon Pollard
[beams with pride]

Icon Barry Alvarez
Do you have a buyout?

Icon Pollard
Gosh, no. Athletic directors can have buyouts?!

Icon Barry Alvarez
Oh, um, uh, of course not! That was a joke! Just having an athletic director joke! Ha, ha!

Icon Pollard
Ha, ha!

Icon Barry Alvarez
So here's the one thing I need from you. As I'm sure you're aware, Wisconsin has the "calling the badgers" tradition.

Icon Pollard
What? No, I'm not aware.

Icon Barry Alvarez
Jamie! You're kidding me. Do you not want this job, as the athletic director of Wisconsin sports? I could ask Jay Jacobs what he's up to, if you want.

Icon Pollard
NO! No no no. I know about Arkansas and "calling the hogs," but I guess "calling the badgers" doesn't get the same publicity.

Icon Barry Alvarez
You're kidding.

Icon Pollard
It never makes it onto Big 12 media! We watch the Longhorn Network pretty much constantly.

Icon Barry Alvarez
Fine. I suppose there's no reason for an Iowa State AD to watch the Big Ten Network 51 weeks out of the year. So here's the deal: calling the badgers entails painting badger stripes on your face and yelling "jump around!" I can't believe you don't know this, it's kind of our thing, ESPN makes a big deal and all...

Icon Pollard
Oh! Yes, I know that tradition. It's one of the best in sports. I didn't know that's what you call it, I guess.

Icon Barry Alvarez
Whew. I was worried. Yes, that's it. So just lacquer up that face with shoe polish, get on a camera and call the badgers and let the world know you're part of the Wisconsin famiiy! All right!

Icon Pollard
Yeah! Whoooo! Whooooooooooooo! WISCONSIN, HERE I COME!

Four hours later...

Rachel Maddow

Icon Rachel Maddow
Tonight, bizarre footage from little-known Iowa State University, where an athletic director dons blackface to yell rap lyrics at unsuspecting students AND media, and here's the kicker... the rap group he's quoting is white. We'll get a quote from the embattled exec. Stay tuned to MSNBC.

Jamie Pollard badger face

bartaicon
[clicks remote]

Icon Television
BEEEEEEOOOOOOOP

Icon Ferentz
You totally googled his age.

bartaicon
Of course I did. I could have sworn Barry was like 75! He acts 75.

Icon Ferentz
Heh.

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Turns out he's not even nine years older than you, and we still ran a great retirement angle on him.

Icon Ferentz
...

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That age, it just creeps up on you, doesn't it? Especially when everyone's just... waiting for you to retire.

Icon Ferentz
...

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I wouldn't know, I just turned 51, it's just...

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Gary.

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I don't really have the frame of refe—

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GARY. I'm not retiring or reducing my buyout.

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Icon Gary Barta Sad Face

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...buuuut, if you want to call up Beckman and gauge his interest in the Michigan job, I'd be happy to stay here and hand you another beer or five for it.

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Large Icon Barta 90 px

Icon Ferentz
God, this is so much better than coaching.