Great Underground Empire Strikes Back


"It's BRILLIANT!", the BCS Administrator exclaimed while dramatically applying a practiced flourish of his John Hancock.

Bill Hancock removed his white, powdered wig and gently dabbed the ink from his writing quill. As his left hand gently laid the quill on the portable writing desk, he lifted the proclamation up to the light with his right.

"What does it say, sir?"

George Bodenheimer was a man unused to asking questions. His role as President of ESPN demanded clear, precise answers to questions without any possible solution. He twisted his torso on the pillow and gently placed his ESPN the Magazine on the nightstand so the Sports Illustrated tucked inside wouldn't fall out.

"Can't you read it?" Bill Hancock responded impatiently. Hancock pouted since his dramatic moment was ruined by a man giving him a question. He was, after all, a man with all of the answers so he had no use for questions.

Bodenheimer adjusted his reading glasses slightly to account for the increased distance across the king bed. "It says John Hancock." The large, practiced flourish was all that was visible from this angle.

Hancock pointed his finger at the top of the page. "No. Right here. It is the new BCS Criteria. A work of a true artist. A masterpiece in precise, inalienable logic worthy of the admiration of our founding fathers. If they were alive today, they would be rolling over in their grave! King James couldn't have translated the Declaration of Independence any better than I just did."

Bodenheimer slid over to read the smaller print. It says "Catch 15. That's the new BCS regulation? What is a Catch 15?"

Hancock patiently explained with a practiced look of annoyance. "You've heard of a Catch 22, right?" Bodenhiemer slowly shook his head side to side in denial. Bill Hancock pressed on pretending he didn't hear the denial; because he hadn't. "Well, Catch 22 was taken. So I used Catch 15... like Tim Tebow."

The dim light of the room failed to show the light bulb flickering in Bodenehimer's mind. "But nobody can catch 15. It makes no sense."

"That's why it is BRILLIANT!" Hancock flustered visibly in the near darkness. His inability to seize his captive audience's attention forced him to restart with his voice with a slow, powerful crescendo. "The rule states: The BCS National Champion shall be the lone undefeated team at the end of the season. It is simply devious in it's simplicity. In order to be an undefeated team, you must design your schedule so that no other team could possibly defeat you. Like 2008. Nobody can go undefeated."

"Sir," Bodenheimer interrupted. "Somebody was. Utah was undefeated."

"But Utah is not a BCS team. They're not somebody. They're nobody. Like I said, nobody can go undefeated. You see? Now pay attention."

Bodenheimer didn't see. Hancock continued unperturbed, with a practiced look of perturbance. "In order for a team to go undefeated, they must make the schedule ridiculously easy. That way, we can actually crown a champion."

"Sir," Bodenheimer interrupted again. "What if five teams are undefeated at the end of the season because every one has an easy schedule?"

Bill Hancock did not like the constant stream of questions. He had all of the answers and refused to allow any questions to muck everything up. Hancock reached behind his back and fluffed the pillow into greater lumbar support, then slouched down in frustration.

"It's inconceivable... and yes, I know what that means. Five teams cannot go undefeated because they will knock themselves off during the regular season. Even if, for some freak occurrence of statistics, we still have a way of sorting the teams so we are guaranteed to have just the team we want as champion."

Hancock paused dramatically with a dramatic pause.

"We use strength of schedule to separate the teams. The team with the strongest possible easy schedule will be the lone undefeated team. The only way to guarantee that the lone undefeated team is crowned champion is through a...."

Hancock took a deep breath to see if Bodenheimer was still following.

"... a poll, sir?" Bodenheimer ventured.

"EXACTLY!!" Hancock raised both arms triumphantly and waived the Catch 15 document above his head, nearly spilling the lap desk off the side of the bed.

"I'm not following you, sir." Bodenhiemer grumbled. Hancock's back and arms, raised in his proud moment of glory, deflated back into a slouch.

"I'm done trying to explain this to you, George. You'll get your damn ratings. Just wait and see. You just have to trust me." Hancock turned over to his right and turned off the reading lamp fastened to the headboard. The darkness enveloped them.

As he drifted off to sleep, Hancock grumbled. "And no spooning. I woke up last night with your leg on mine and your dang chubby poking my left cheek."

Bill Hancock was asleep before hearing Bodenhiemer's mumbled reply. "But I just had to pee. I wasn't horn...zzzzzzzzzz"

December 5, 2010  10:16 PM ET

I don't care that no one comments. This is still one of my favorite.

December 21, 2010  01:56 PM ET

Good stuff.

Looks like I needn't watch the Maaco Bowl tomorrow - because, apparently, nobody's playing in it!

March 18, 2011  04:45 PM ET

This was great!!!! LOL :^)

January 12, 2012  03:46 PM ET

No comment.


Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.

Start Your Own Blog

Start Now

Truth & Rumors


  1. 1
    Irving: Fans don't deserve the Cavs
  2. 2
    Red Sox dodged two injury scares
  3. 3
    Trump taking a legit run at the Bills
  4. 4
    Why the Raiders have lost 111 of 160 games
  5. 5
    Bruins can't count on shut-down D

SI Photos