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Kirk Ferentz's Adventures in Time Management

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Saturday's game against Iowa State wasn't the first time Iowa's coach struggled with clock management, and it won't be the last.

The Persistence of Timeouts
The Persistence of Timeouts
Christopher Polyblend for BHGP

Thanksgiving, 1968

Grandma_ferentz_medium All right, Kirky, I'm going to go for a lie-down, but you sit here and watch the turkey. When it's 4 o'clock, take it out. Got it?

Iconferentz_medium Yes, Grandma.

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Grandma_ferentz_medium WHAT IN BLAZES IS GOING ON? You didn't take the turkey out and now it's burnt to a crisp! Explain yourself, young man!

Iconferentz_medium Look, Grandma, there were a lot of factors that went into the burning of the turkey. We didn't burn the turkey with one bad decision. We burnt the turkey one minute at a time. Those first two hours did just as much to heat and dry the turkey as the last two and a half.

Grandma_ferentz_medium *grumble* *grumble* Who is this "we", anyway? *grumble*

Ferentzthanksgiving_medium

Wringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, Paris, 1972

Squirrelicon_medium Ok, Kirk. Let's go over the plan again. On the count of three, we both jump, and you should be able to catch me as I dramatically leap from the trapeze. Got it?
Iconferentz_medium Uh-huh. Sure.

Squirrelicon_medium Are you positive?
Iconferentz_medium Yeah, of course. Three.

Squirrelicon_medium You wouldn't want I, the great Flying Zefferelli, to fall to my death would you?

Iconferentz_medium Nah.

Squirrelicon_medium Good. Here goes. Say it with me now: one...

Iconferentz_medium One...

Squirrelicon_medium Two...

Iconferentz_medium Two...

Squirrelicon_medium Three! And here I go!

[begins jump]

[performs complicated aerial maneuver]

[looks over and sees Kirk Ferentz, standing placidly on platform Flyingtrapeze_medium

[The Great Zefferelli falls to his death]
Iconferentz_medium And here I go...

The Gong Show, 1978

[Kirk Ferentz is backstage with his friend Mike Shanahan's 1950s tribute band, Shanahan-na-na. The group huddles up to discuss their planned performance.]

Shanahan_icon_medium Hey, Kirk, thanks for filling in for my cousin Dale at the last minute. The song is "Goodnight, Sweetheart." You sing the bass part, the "doo-DOO-doo-DOO-doo" part. You know what I'm talking about?

Iconferentz_medium Oh. Sure. I sing that in the shower all the time. [Singing] "Doo-DOO-doo-DOO-doo."

Shanahan_icon_medium Perfect. Now, the way we start the song is I go, "A one, a two, a one-two-three-four", and you sing your part. After that, you should be able to play it by ear. Got it?

Iconferentz_medium Yup. No problem.

Shanahan_icon_medium Oh - we're on.

[the group rushes to the stage]

Shanahan_icon_medium A one, a two, a one-two-three-four.

[silence]

[Mike and his bandmates stare at Kirk, wait several seconds, shrug and begin to tentatively start the song]

Shanahan_icon_medium Goodnight Sw -
Iconferentz_medium DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO
Shanahan_icon_medium -eetheart it's time to
Iconferentz_medium DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO
Shanahan_icon_medium - go.

[long silence]

Shanahan_icon_medium Good -
Iconferentz_medium DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO

Gong-show-o_medium

[The group is gonged off the stage]

Shanahan_icon_medium Oh goddammit. That's it. You're out of Shanahan-na-na for good. And we're going places man. You're going to regret the day you messed with -
Iconferentz_medium DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO

[MS goes for KF's throat]

Jeopardy! Set, 1988

Trebek_medium And you've got the Daily Double! The category is "Famous Football Quotations". What will you wager?

Iconferentz_medium Let's make it a true Daily Double, Alex: $8,550.

Trebek_medium Oh-ho! This should be exciting. And here's the clue: This famous coach of the Green Bay Packers is reported to have once said: "Winning isn't everything: it's the only thing."

Iconferentz_medium [stares blankly]

Trebek_medium Five seconds

Iconferentz_medium [stares blankly]

Trebek_medium Three seconds

Iconferentz_medium [stares blankly]

[buzzer sounds]
Trebek_medium Oh.. I'm sorry. You couldn't quite pull that one out. The answer was: "Who is Vince Lombardi?". You still have control of the board, so pick again.

Iconferentz_medium Paul Brown.

Trebek_medium What?

Iconferentz_medium I mean, Who is Paul Brown.

Trebek_medium No, that question is over. And you still got it wrong.

Iconferentz_medium I mean: What is Paul Brown.

Trebek_medium Ummm...

Iconferentz_medium Oops, there's the buzzer. But I still control the board, right?

Trebek_medium Is this guy on a 30 second delay, or ...

Iconferentz_medium I'll take Potpourri for $2000.

Trebek_medium [sighs] Okay. Whatever. Here's the clue: "This -

Iconferentz_medium What is: that smelly crap they put in the bathroom?

Trebek_medium Get him out of here.

Strategic Missile Command, 2022

Sheedyicon_medium This is what you get for fooling around with your modem and phreaking and whatnot.
Broderick_icon_medium Who could have known I'd trick the US missile defense computer into thinking the country had been attacked by the Soviets and thus bring us to the brink of all-out global thermonuclear war?
Sheedyicon_medium Well, now the computer has engaged its security countermeasures and sealed the controls off from any outside interference. We're doomed!

Broderick_icon_medium Not quite yet. We've got one man left on the inside.

Sheedyicon_medium Who?

Broderick_icon_medium A football coach named Kirk Ferentz. Here, I'll talk him through this on the intercom. [turns on intercom] Mr. Ferentz?

Iconferentz_medium Yuh-huh?

Broderick_icon_medium Thank God you can hear me. We're in a very serious situation. If you don't prevent that computer from launching its counterstrikes, we and all the rest of humanity will be annihilated in the next few minutes.

Iconferentz_medium Gotcha.

Broderick_icon_medium Yes, well, I think I've figured a way to delay the computer. I need you to type in: "Want to play a game?"

Iconferentz_medium Right. Got it. [types: "Want to play a game"] Okay, now the computer's asking me "What game"?

Broderick_icon_medium Great. Great. Type in: Tic-Tac-Toe

Iconferentz_medium Yup. [long pause ensues]

Broderick_icon_medium Um... just type it in. Tic-Tac-Toe.

Iconferentz_medium Right.

Broderick_icon_medium That's T-I-C T-A-C T-O-E. With or without hyphens. Doesn't matter.

Iconferentz_medium Got it. No hyphens.

[Long pause]

Broderick_icon_medium You're... you're not typing. [increasingly panicked] WHY ARE YOU NOT TYPING? When that timer hits zero, we're done for!

Iconferentz_medium No...I get it. But trust me. I've played a lot of tic-tac-toe in my day, and this always works. You wait until the other person is just about to walk out in frustration, then you play "X" in the middle square. It's called "Icing the Ticker".

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Broderick_icon_medium No. No. No. No. No. -

Iconferentz_medium Just watch. This will work beautifully.

Broderick_icon_medium No. God. Please. No. Just .... please. Hit the keys. Please.

Iconferentz_medium And ... n-

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The post-apocalyptic hellscape that is Earth, 2023

Shanahan_icon_medium It's been rough, Kyle, but us few hardy stragglers have scraped together an existence among these radioactive wastes, despite the constant threats of radiation poisoning, nuclear winter, and giant mutant timberwolves .

Kyleshanahan_medium Yes. Now things are looking good for us Shanahans. Our tough outer hides have proven a natural advantage, protecting us from the deadly gamma rays. Plus our caravan defense strategy has proven very adaptable. You can plug practically any mutant vagabond into the scheme and still achieve decent results.

Shanahan_icon_medium Yes. What you say is true, Kyle Shanahan. Now, let us examine this facility. Word comes to me that this is the place whence the Great Bombs were launched. Men say that there are vast stores of rations here, protected by yards of concrete hundreds of feet under the ground.

Kyleshanahan_medium Let us investigate.

[The army of Shanahans digs through the mountain of rubble until they find a door blocked by a giant boulder. A 20 foot-tall, 3000 pound Mike Anderson lifts the rubble out of the way.]

Shanahan_icon_medium [opening door] I see a man inside! He is buried under the rubble, but he appears to be breathing! [brushes rubble off figure] Sir! Sir! You were protected here when the Great Bombs destroyed our world! Perhaps you are the Pure One the legends speak of, who will restore our - oh, dammit - it's Kirk Ferentz.

Iconferentz_medium Huh... oh, hey Mike. I was just sitting here, getting ready to ice the ticker and save the world from global thermonuclear war, when I heard a big explosion and everything went black.

Shanahan_icon_medium Wait. YOU'RE THE ONE WHO DIDN'T PLAY TIC-TAC-TOE IN TIME? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID?

Iconferentz_medium Oh no. Oh my God.
Shanahan_icon_medium At least you're getting it now.

Iconferentz_medium OH MY GOD!

Shanahan_icon_medium Yup. Yup. You've doomed humanity.

Iconferentz_medium NO — MY GRANDMA'S TURKEY! IT NEEDS TO BE OUT BY 4:00 O'CLOCK! WHAT TIME IS IT?

Shanahan_icon_medium Well, we don't have clocks anymore, but judging by the temperature of the howling nuclear wind, it's probably one... or two.

Kyleshanahan_medium More like three... or four

Iconferentz_medium DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO.

[Mike Shanahan chases Kirk Ferentz, Elmer-Fudd-style, across the windswept landscape]