John Marinatto’s resignation as Big East commissioner leaves him without a job and with a motive, a dangerous combination in the life and death world of college football. Granted, no one’s getting mugged or murdered for a Big East invite but we’re talking about men in charge of institutions receiving television windfalls worth tens of millions. Is there someone out there who can listen, perhaps console Marinatto?
Of course there is and he’s currently figuring out a way to decimate what’s left of the Big 12.
/Marinatto grabs the first flight out of Providence, Rhode Island landing in Dallas, Texas on a whim.
No one recognizes him. Even if he’s within miles of the SMU campus, it’s not like he’s June Jones or Craig James so where’s the harm? It’s liberating for Marinatto, a man who watched as his faith in college athletics crumbled at the throne of television revenue, expansion and exit fees. Here he’s just another Yankee ordering a Sam Adams and for once, hidden from the barrage of questions about BYU’s interest and the cell numbers of every living NBC Sports employee.
The beer’s cold, the women are shockingly kind and not a thing on God’s green Earth could ruin the day until he sits down.
Dan Beebe strolls in, smirks and takes the stool next to his former colleague.
Beebe: Been a while, John. How’s life?
Marinatto: Dan, well hello, I’d assume you’ve heard the news by now. I just needed some time away.
Beebe: Made a list yet?
Marinatto: What kind of list?
Beebe: You’re not out of the game forever, you’ll get back in. Mine for instance is pretty cut and dry. Texas. DeLoss Dodds. Oklahoma. David Boren. Nebraska. Tom Osborne. Missouri. Jay Nixon. Texas A&M. R. Bowen Loftin….
Marinatto: Dude, get a grip.
Beebe: Baylor. Ken Starr. Iowa State, just kidding. Seeing if you were still paying attention.
Marinatto: I wasn’t.
Beebe: See John, the game’s different. It’s no longer focused on the kids or the four quarters or the rivalries. All these jagaloons care about are consolidating conferences and stringing all the money they can out of ESPN or Fox.
Marinatto: That’s where I went wrong.
Beebe: We all did friend, I could have told Texas to swallow a tree stump. Could have asked Boren and the Sooners to choke on their academic ranking and forget the Pac 12 nonsense. Might have provoked Tom Osborne and Nebraska into forgoing their obsession with partial qualifiers and maybe find a quarterback capable of completing a forward pass. Keep A&M in the Big 12 long enough to convince them to build a 125,000 seat stadium just for the hilarity of it. But where I really messed up?
Marinatto: Where’s that Dan? I’m closing out you buzzkill.
Marinatto: We don’t earn a cut of the TV deals.
Beebe: Not the TV contracts you dolt, school admissions.
Beebe: Prima nocta. Every time a school admits a blonde coed, we’ve got first dibs.
Marinatto: You lasted almost five years didn’t you?
Beebe: And loved every minute of it.
Marinatto: Bartender, cash me out. The ACC is falling apart, Swofford can’t handle it and I’ve yet to visit Tallahassee or Coral Gables.
Beebe: My man. No, what are you talking about, keep me open. It’s Monday. Steak night. This one’s on the World Wide Leader.