Kalani Simpson Sidelines

Kalani Simpson

Another secret meeting
of the Traitorous 8

THE winds of change are in the air and the Traitorous Eight are holding another secret meeting:

First anonymous school official (ASO): Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Let's settle down and get this thing started.

Second ASO: Hey! Who gave him a gavel?

Third ASO: It sure was nice of the Denver airport hotel to give us the same suite. It just feels so ... comfortable.

First ASO: Gentlemen! Let's get down to business. I think we all know why we're here.

(A conspiratorial giggle goes throughout the room.)

First ASO: Things are getting crazy again, boys. All these high and mighty conferences are counting their money, looking for ways to keep schools like us out of the picture. But we handled it right last time, and I think if we make the right moves we can get a piece of that BCS pie.

Fourth ASO: We can? I mean, really?

First ASO: We've got to be careful here, boys. It could fall apart on us if we're not careful. Don't want to get left behind. I think we know a little about that.

(More giggling.)

(Suddenly there is a thunderous, relentless banging on the door. The men in the room look at each other, the fear plain in their eyes. What was that noise? Who knew they were there?)

Second ASO: What the heck is that?!

(Their knuckles turn white gripping the edge of the table as crashing noises go on outside for close to three minutes. At last there is a mighty scream and then ... silence. A man runs up and whispers in the first ASO's ear. He flushes white, mutters something, nods and tries to compose himself.)

First ASO: It's Mortimer. I don't know how he found us. They called security. It took four men and two canisters of tear gas to subdue him.

First ASO: Ahem. Well. The issue here before us is plain. Do we expand? Should we pick up a few new teams and play one of those very profitable championship games? Gentlemen, our play on the field speaks for itself. I think we're on the verge of becoming a Superconference.

(The room is filled with affirming harrumphs.)

Fifth ASO: (From the back of the room) We rule!

Sixth ASO: Let's go for it! If it doesn't work out we can always bail out and start over.

Seventh ASO: The only problem would be coming up with another new name ...

Third ASO: The Rocky Conference!

Second ASO: The Bad Altitudes!

First ASO: Uh. Yeah. Let's worry about that later. Possible candidates?

Sixth ASO: Boise State?

Seventh ASO: Geographically correct. Up-and-coming. Bowl game. I like their football coach, Dan Hawkins. It fits.

Fifth ASO: They could be in the Top 25 for 10 years and they'd still be Boise State.

Third ASO: What about Fresno? They're attractive. They've got name recognition.

Fourth ASO: Yeah, I also saw that episode of "60 Minutes."

Sixth ASO: (Reading off a 3x5 card:) Baggage. Scandal. Academic fraud. The athletic department's a mess. And what are they a "big name" for, anyway? Tark never did much, beyond giving them a famous name, and they're paying for that now. They had one year of football when they beat some BCS teams, then fell apart. This is a program a few years removed from the Big West.

Fourth ASO: And their football game atmosphere looks like Beirut. It's out of control.

Second ASO: I heard June Jones got stabbed there last year.

Fifth ASO: (Admiringly) That's guy's indestructible!

First ASO: Well, what about Hawaii?

Eighth ASO: At least we know they want in!

(Snickers all around the room.)

First ASO: People! Seriously, what about bringing Hawaii back into the fold?

(More crashes from outside. The water glasses shake, like in "Jurassic Park." Around the table, they all jump.)

Third ASO: The security here was so much better five years ago ...

First ASO: It's Mortimer again! The tranquilizer dart must have worn off. I think it's best if we, uh, table this discussion and continue it in our official meeting. I think if we move fast we can sneak out through the fire escape. Meeting adjourned!

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Kalani Simpson can be reached at


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