As a lot of you know by now, Hugh Freeze resigned as the head football coach of the Ole Miss football program. Despite the 15 Level-I allegations against him and his program, despite his holier-than-thou approach to the NCAA and the media, despite his roller coaster seasons, and despite his sketchy (to put it softly) recruiting classes, what ultimately did ol’ Hugh in was one bad (“butt-dialed”) phone call and a pissed off former coach that dug into those calls.
Now, what does this have to do with Iowa? Well, if you were to create a Hugh Freeze Memorial Trophy Watch List (it is Watch List season after all) of coaches that have the potential to end up butt dialing someone on accident, Kirk Ferentz and Bill Snyder would be odds on favorites to take that prize home.
So, inspired by the tweets of world-renowned podcast producer and Pants follower @davecreagh, JPinIC and I got together and decided to come up with the Top-5 Places Most Likely Butt-Dialed by Kirk Ferentz.
We all know Kirk Ferentz loves his notecards. He’s always writing on them. During games, during half time, during practice, during film study, in his office, at the doctor's office, in Gary Barta’s office, at church and at home when he finds a bomb recipe that he wants to make during the one week he takes off a year. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked if he submits his Starbucks order every morning by just writing “Coffee. Black. Extra Large. Kirk.” on each line separately (to which the barista surely asks “by extra large do you mean Trenta?” SNORT.). I bet his office has thousands upon thousands of notecards rubber banded together like he’s some medical student who is a few weeks away from taking the MCAT.
And don’t forget, to be able to write on all of those notecards, you also need pens. Bic pens. The ones where you can’t help but chew on the cap when you don’t have a piece of gum (we’ll get to that). The ones where you don’t lick the ball point when it stops working, but throw it right in the dumpster and grab a new one (probably in his back pocket, JIC).
So, to keep this habit alive, Kirk needs a supplier. A local supplier. One that can keep up with his demand and that he can call in a moments notice. Since Dunder Mifflin is in Scranton, it’s gotta be a big player. A national player.
You KNOW Staples Riverside definitely gets all the booty… er… butt-dials.
What’s the one thing Kirk Ferentz uses more than notecards? Chewing gum. So. Much. Gum. Stop for a moment and think to yourself, have you ever seen Kirk NOT chewing gum? If you have, can you confirm he didn’t have gum in his mouth and just stopped chewing it for a moment? Didn’t think so. On the sidelines: chomping gum. Writing on those notecards, chomping the gum. Talking at a press conference: hiding the gum in his cheek. Ordering his Starbucks: spitting out his gum to avoid the weird taste and replacing it as soon as his 30 oz of Pike Place are downed 5 minutes later. Asking Mary what’s for dinner: chewing that gum until he has a fork in hand.
And with Kirk’s devotion to the details, you know he isn’t sitting there chewing the same piece of gum all day. No sir. It’s all about execution. The second that stuff starts to lose its taste, next piece in. I know what you’re thinking, “But JP, he probably gets it at Costco so he can get it in bulk.” Negative. You think Kirk has the kind of time it takes to drive over to Costco and actually buy his own bulk gum? Don’t kid yourself. No, he’s cutting out the middle man and going straight to the supplier here. More bulk, more bulk discount. The only way Wrigley isn’t on speed dial is if they’ve negotiated some sort of recurring shipment schedule that is frequent enough that Kirk never needs to call to pre-order or complain about his shipment being late.
While Scott Pioli is just the assistant to the regional manager now to Thomas Dimitroff of the Atlanta Falcons, you know ol’ Kirk loves him some Pioli and Pioli loves him some Kirk. For those a little confused, these two are extremely close; stemming all the way back to their days together with the Cleveland Browns. Remember when Kirk was rumored to be the next head football coach of the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2012. That was Pioli.
Basically, whenever Kirk (or maybe even Brian) needs another 15-year extension, you know that Pioli is on the previous call list on Kirk’s Cricket flip phone. That’s an easy target for a classic Ferentz butt-dial.
For the record, I don’t think either of these two have talked more than five minutes on the phone with each other since the 90’s. BUT, I do think that both of these guys have been mistakenly butt dialing (and butt-answering) each other's phone calls for the last 20 years. Every day, when one of them gets in their car, or sits down in their old leather office chair (with the arms picked away) to go over practice film, you know it happens.
They may hear the whispers/grumblings coming out of their back pockets, but I doubt they pay any attention to it anymore. It’s been so long now that it’s just needed background noise. It’s like when city folk have to pump in noise to their hotel rooms when they’re on vacation to fall asleep. It’s just part of their process now. Part of their madness. It’s what helps them focus.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Listen, we all know Kirk has some serious attention to detail. There are always things to clean up, stuff to work on and the little things matter. Do you really think that doesn’t carry over into the restroom? Come on now. This man is meticulous and methodical. Nothing is rushed and everything must be just so. So you know his restroom habits are in the vein of one George Costanza.
The man knows his bathrooms. And what’s better than a pristine public restroom? Your own, private restroom right inside the coaching facilities. Oh, you though that massive facility improvement spent all that money on stuff for the practice facility and things for the players?
No, that money almost certainly went to the most fantastic restroom facility you can imagine. And such a fine throne doesn’t come without some bumps and bruises along the way. There’s the constant need for upgrades and quick fixes. That means the constant need for a plumber. But this is Kirk Ferentz we are talking about. No normal plumber will do. No sir. Kirk needs the punctual plumber, where if there’s any delay, it’s you they pay. You know they’re on speed dial. And you know this happens at least once a week in the football offices:
What’d we miss? What did we get wrong? Let us know in the comments!