You could tell I was walking in rarefied air.
The place had all the trappings, plush carpet, furniture that cost more than my car… you know the drill. But the pictures hanging nobly on the wall prompted my greatest interest.
The kind of club you could puff your chest out if you were a member.
The room was lined with pictures of their members.
Yeah there were some familiar faces up there. Down at the end was Texas…there's the spot with OU's picture. The old guard was also represented as I looked at Penn State and Alabama. Certainly this place took great pride in its membership.
But I was also interested in the bare spots on the wall. See, I told myself, I'm not fooling myself, this place isn't locked down.
He cleared his throat at the back of the room and I knew I was up.
Slowly I approached his desk…not the type you might imagine. It was a simple glass table with nothing on it except one manila folder. Lurking inside that folder was the resume.
He looked like one of the old guys on Trading Places. Stodigly dressed, horn rimmed glasses, impeccable hair. He gave me a once over before slowly opening the folder, much like a minister might open a Bible on Sunday morning.
Quietly he ran his long, crooked finger down the paper in front of him.
"So," he began. "You think you belong here with us?" He hovered on the word us…stretching it out where he almost hissed like an Aggie fan, minus the milkman costume.
I could sense this might not go well.
"Yes sir, as you can see by the resume I think our record speaks for itself."
He paused as if to say something as he stared right through me with his steely eyes.
"You know," he answered. "We've let in others who, let's just say, hadn't truly proven themselves, and I don't have to tell you how that ended up for them.
"Or do I?"
I followed his eyes to a naked spot on the wall. Only then did I notice the ugly nail hanging barren, as if a picture had been ripped down with little fanfare. Then I noticed the Missouri picture leaning against a wall, looking like yesterday's refuse.
That also explained the Chase for the Heisman bumper stickers that appeared to have been scratched off some of the service vehicles out back.
"Yes sir, I do understand but I think you can see we most assuredly belong here."
The silence hung in the air as he scanned the paper in front of him.
Finally he looked back at me, smiling (sneering?) slightly. If I didn't know better, I'd think he was annoyed by my being here.
He then started to pepper me with questions and objections.
I told him about Tulsa and timing and luck of the draw in Big 12 schedule making.
The lack of a running game?
I pulled out my phone and showed him clips of Baron Batch and Shannon Woods. I produced the stats to show him the number of games with over 100 yards.
The dearth of defense?
"Hey this is the Big 12 brotha', go play intramurals!"
"My arm, I think it's broken!" (Hey it worked in Caddyshack)
He then produced a sheet of paper from the back of the folder.
"We've also received an objection from someone who complained that you ran up the score."
He shuddered when he said it, as if a goose had walked across his grave.
I looked closer at the complaint and saw it was submitted, along with a picture, by some guy in overalls.
"Sixty minutes sir," I replied. "We only take a knee to apply it to your throat."
Hardly mollified, he pushed back from the table. He took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose, never taking his eyes off of me.
"We'll be in touch," he finally said.
"So you'll call?" I asked anxiously, sounding somewhat like a desperate coed after a date. "You have all my numbers?"
"Your resume is certainly impressive," he said nodding slightly. "Very impressive."
"We want to check more references," he said gravely. "I believe you'll meet some of our members soon," he nodded his head towards the wall. "Let's see what they have to say."
Alright, I can live with that. I've waited over 30 years to get here, what's a few more weeks.
I thanked him for his time and headed for the door.
"Hey I noticed those bumper stickers out back."
He nodded again, slightly embarrassed.
"Try these on for size," I said as I tossed him a few Pass or Catch 2008s for those bumpers.
"We'll see you in a few weeks," he said.
I believe he just might.