Hey, sports fans, fall is in the air, the groundhog can see his shadow, and we all know what that means: SIX MORE WEEKS OF BASEBALL! Just kidding. Of course we’re talking about the annual “kickoff” of America’s REAL favorite pastime and second favorite F-word. And if you doubt for an instant that football is king, consider this: in most U.S. states, the highest-paid public employee is a football coach.
In the states with the five highest-paid, publicly financed, college football coaches (AL, MI, OH, OK & FL), the average coach’s annual base salary (which excludes bonuses, endorsements, media fees, etc.) is $6.1 million. Yup. Six-point-one-great-big-fat-ones. That’s almost FORTY-FIVE TIMES the $141,000 mean salary of the governors of those same five states.
With incentives like that, it’s no wonder we have so many chowderheads running the country, right?
Well, that may be about to change.
We recently sent our crack investigative reporter to interview the governor of a state in which the flagship university’s football coach (whom we’ll call Coach Smith) is in the third year of a five-year contract worth $20 million. During his first two seasons Coach Smith had a less than stellar record of 9-16.
The governor asked not to be identified.
CIR: A recent article in Sports Illustrated hints that you’re looking to have Coach Smith fired and pursue the head coaching position yourself. Is there any truth to this?
GOV: You know how much I make a year? $102,000. Before taxes. Oh, plus I get to live in the governor’s mansion, which hasn’t had a plumbing repair or a kitchen upgrade since the seventies. Any chance you remember harvest gold appliances?
CIR: But you’ve never held a professional coaching position. In fact, our research indicates that you were exempted from P.E. classes in junior high and high school because of chronic eczema.
GOV: Back to the governor’s mansion, y’ever heard the expression, “happy wife, happy life?” Well I’m here to tell you, off the record, that Elaine, who has the disposition of a poison frog to start with, hasn’t managed an honest smile since I was inaugurated. There’s no way you’re gonna print that, right?
CIR: The fact that you’ve never played, let alone coached, any competitive sport at any level raises serious questions regarding your qualifications to helm a college football program with a legacy of five national championships. Before you were elected governor you were employed as an assistant manager in the food services industry, isn’t that correct?
GOV: Yes. Which speaks directly to your point: I was just as unqualified to be governor.
CIR: One of your political opponents has accused you of using your resources as governor, specifically the power of the state police and its intelligence gathering capabilities, to extort your way to the coaching position you seek. What do you say to this?
GOV: First off, I’m willing to do the job for half what Coach Smith is making, so there. And second, I plan to keep him on as an assistant. After getting skunked 45-0 by Southern Utah last week it’s no secret his prospects of remaining a head coach in the big leagues are browning in the toaster as we speak.
CIR: So, he’d be an assistant on the books, but wouldn’t that be a little like when Donald Trump offered the vice-presidency to John Kasich if he agreed to run the country after they got elected?
GOV: Let’s just say Coach Smith would remain an important asset to the team. We might even win a few games. But think of the revenue windfall to my state: two million the first year alone. That’s more than enough to give the governor a hefty pay hike and completely overhaul the mansion. Hell, by the time they fire me I might even consider running for office again.
© 2016 Ron Dulaney