As every fan knows, college football coaches' shows are among the most boring on television. The coaches speak in platitudes, the hosts act like trained seals and the players who are interviewed, well, you know, they have trouble, you know, saying what they think. Still, the shows have become a football institution. And somebody must be watching, because almost every major-college coach in America has a show.
To mark the start of the season, we've invented our own program. The Barry Banal Show, hosted by the agreeable Sid Saccharine. The show is brought to you at 9:30 on Sunday morning by Sunshine Crisp potato chips and Wahoo Cola. Today's guest is Backwater U's star tailback, fleet-footed Obsequious Johnson.
SID: Well, Coach, 1984 was a tough year for the Backwater German Shepherds. We went 0-11, but a lot of games could have gone either way. I'm sure you and all of our fans out there are really excited about this great new season.
COACH: That's right, Sid. It's a new season, we're going to give 110 percent, and we've got some real fine football players. That's the key, fine football players. I've always said that if you have fine football players, you'll have a fine football team and a real fine football season.
SID: Coach, how about a sip of ice-cold Wahoo Cola? And we can munch on some fresh Sunshine Crisp potato chips while we look at highlights from last year's big game against the Hogbellies.
COACH: Sid, this is where we rallied in the fourth quarter only to lose 51-14. It was a great effort, but they were just too fine a football team for us that particular day.... Mmmm, this Wahoo Cola sure quenches your thirst, don't it?
SID: It sure does, Coach. What will it take for us here at Backwater to build a program like the Hogbellies have?
COACH: Well, Sid, as you know, it takes a long time to build that kind of football program. Right now they have a lot more talented football players than we do. But to be honest, they can get some guys in school who don't meet our high academic standards.
SID: After the Hogbellies pulled away, weren't you wisely building for the future by giving our backup people some valuable playing time?
COACH: Exactly right, Sid, but we call our backups "alternates" here at BU. See No. 61 making that hit? He's gonna be a real fine football player. He calls himself Super Sub. That means he goes in there and makes super plays! [Coach and Sid chuckle over the play on words.]
SID: Fans, the guest portion of our show is sponsored by Vicious Cur dog food. This week our guest is a fine young man you all know, Obsequious Johnson. Obsequious is majoring in nuclear physics. He says coming to BU was the smartest decision he ever made. Obsequious, what made you pick Backwater?
OBSEQUIOUS: I, you know, I kinda knew the coaches here and, you know, Coach Banal and everything.
COACH: You had a pretty good game against the Hogbellies, didn't you, son?
OBSEQUIOUS: Yes, Coach.
COACH: But you're going to do even better this year, aren't you, son?
OBSEQUIOUS: Yes, Coach.
COACH: You're not going to fumble the ball anymore, are you?
OBSEQUIOUS: No, Coach.
SID: Don't you think your 99-yard run for a touchdown was the biggest thrill in your football career? I bet you were glad you came to Backwater so you could make that play in front of 50,000 screaming, loyal fans?
OBSEQUIOUS: Everybody watchin' and all, you know, it felt real good and everything, you know.
SID: Coach, in the feature portion of our show we usually talk about the educational opportunities awaiting the student-athlete at BU. This week's feature is on BU's new research lab for the study of Indo-European languages.
COACH: Sid, all of our football players are encouraged to use the Indo-European language lab. All we ask of them during the 18 hours a day they spend with us is great effort, great consistency and great mental toughness.
SID: Coach, we know our viewers are almost beside themselves waiting for that big season-opener next week. We'll probably see some hard hitting in that one!
COACH: Well, this is a big-hitting, big-play conference, Sid. On any given Saturday, anything can happen. Unfortunately, we're a little banged up from spring practice, so it'll be a moral victory if we hold 'em to seven touchdowns.
SID: All right, fans, that's it from The Barry Banal Show! Looks like it's going to be a great season. Until next week, just remember to "Sic 'em, Shepherds!"