Dear Fiesta Bowl people:
It has come to my attention that you're in need of a new CEO for your little football-game thingie. I know what you're thinking: Being a columnist for an alternative weekly has got to be a full-time job, but I actually have some spare time each week. I'm thinking maybe 40 or 50 hours or so. Besides, you don't want your CEO to have too much spare time, what with an idle mind and all ...
I've actually been a fan of your game since back when y'all invented it just so Arizona State University (I just have to chuckle every time I use that last word in the same sentence as the first two) would have an opportunity to play in a bowl game. It was a modest goal—not a particularly noble one—but modest.
Unfortunately, not many people up there in the Valley of the Sun are able to rein in their grandiose schemes. That's why, if I decide to take this job, I'll have to work from here in Tucson. Needing to move to Phoenix would be a deal-breaker.
I remember watching a Fiesta Bowl game on Christmas Day back in the 1970s and thinking to myself, "Wow, how cool, a football game on Christmas. These Fiesta Bowl people really are on their toes."
It was the only game on TV that day. Seeing as how, after the gifts are all opened, Christmas Day is the most boring day of the year, the Fiesta Bowl would dominate the day and cement its place high atop the second tier of bowl games. Silly me; you had your sights set even higher. You wanted to go after the Big Four—the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl—and, using the techniques that are taught at Harvard Business School, separate the weakest one from the rest of the herd and then pounce until you end up feasting on its entrails.
(That doesn't seem right. I was watching a documentary on capitalism, and then I must have dozed off, because when I woke up, the TV was on the Discovery Channel.)
Anyway, you ate the Cotton Bowl's entrails, and suddenly you were one of the Big Four. Silly me (and just about everybody else): We thought you had done all that through shrewd business acumen and deft maneuvering. It turns out that you used strip clubs and golf outings. Jeez, you might as well be a lobbyist for a pharmaceutical company. And/or a friend of Dick Cheney's.
But that's all water under the bridge, the bridge being the one that former CEO John Junker built over the moat at his palatial estate and charged to the Fiesta Bowl.
What you need now is damage control, lest you find Tostitos being hawked on a Wednesday afternoon between Christmas and New Year's Day, just after the game that was sponsored by a chain that does drive-through prostate exams, and before the one sponsored by farm implements.
As Mel Brooks, playing the Honorable William J. Le Petomane, said, "We have to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!"
You're going to have to think way outside of the box here (and go outside of the incestuous circle) lest the Bowl Championship Series people separate you from the herd.
I'm perfect for the job, and here's why:
• I know you paid the previous guy something like $600,000, plus expenses. I'd be willing to do it for half that amount. Who am I kidding? I'd do it for half of half that amount. And my expenses would be minimal, because:
• I've never even been in a strip joint. It's partly because I don't drink, so that would save you some money right there. I'm not weird or anything. I found out after I got married, much to my wife's chagrin, that I actually enjoy looking at naked women. But a room full of them, all dancing to George Michael music (I got that from Beverly Hills Cop II), while I'm supposed to be conducting business? I don't think so.
• I don't play golf. Why should I? I'm not 70. I still have a few years of basketball left in me (which doesn't cost anything), after which I'll take up tennis (which costs very little) for 10 or 15 years, followed by golf or death, whichever comes first.
• I won't buy (and bill to the bowl game) $31,000 worth of gold and silver coins to give out, like the other guy did, although I'm sure he had a really good reason for having done so. I did, however, get a 1904 nickel in change the other day. It's worth 75 cents.
• I don't wear oddly colored blazers. Or blazers. Every time I'm in the UA press box at football games, there are always old white dudes walking around in blazers, expecting to have their old white butts kissed. The college-bowl system blows, and not just because it doesn't produce a real champion.
• I promise I won't give State Sen. Russell Pearce any free tickets or other gifts. Heck, I wouldn't give Russell Pearce the sweat off whatever part of my body is sweating. Besides, I think he might just be doing a fair amount of sweating on his own right about now.