Thursday, March 27, 2008

Interesting plane ride - take it for what its worth

(reposted from Peegs)

This relays some private conversations I had in confidence, so please do not pass the information along. I really want it to remain private, which is why I'm only posting it on Peegs' Premium IU Hoops Forum, which I know only a handful of people read.

I travel frequently to Bloomington on business, and yesterday I booked a ride on a private plane for a day trip. I knew I wasn’t going to be the only one flying, but imagine my surprise when I boarded the plane and saw Tony Bennett sitting there. I wasn’t sure what to say so I just sat down and tried to mind my own business. Tony looked a little uncomfortable, like he had just been caught eating the last Oreo, which might’ve been because of the IU hat, IU shirt, IU jacket, and IU headband I was wearing. I played it cool though.

Then I looked up and saw Bruce Pearl getting onto the plane. He looked around and said, “TONY! How the hell are you doing!!” Bruce walked over and enveloped Coach Bennett in a massive bear hug.

Once he was able to get some air, Tony gasped, “Uh, nice to meet you, Mr. Pearl.”

“Back at you!!!”, Bruce replied, slapping Tony on the back, knocking him back into his seat. “So tell me, how are you going to beat those bastard Tarheels?!”

Tony brightened right up and smiled. “Well, I’ve been analyzing all their games with a neural network supercomputer that I built in my garage last summer that uses natural learning techniques to discover hidden tendencies, and we’ve devised a defensive game plan based on faux man-oriented techniques that should…. Uh, Mr. Pearl?” While Tony was talking, Bruce had taken the air sickness bag out and was reading the instructions.

“Sorry, dude, I drifted off there.” Coach Pearl yawned loudly.

“Well, have you figured out how to beat Louisville, Mr. Pearl?” Tony asked politely.

“Yup, got it all figured out. Went to the pound yesterday and got the cutest kitten in the place. Before the game I’m going to show the kitten to my team and tell them that if they don’t win, I’ll feed the kitten to my pet boa constrictor, Harold. Works everytime.”

Coach Bennett looked a little pale. Just then we all looked up as Brad Brownell entered the cabin. He looked around the private plane like a kid in a candy store. He saw Coach Bennett and they nodded at each other, just as Bruce bellowed “BRAD!!” and ran up to Coach Brownell to chest bump him. Once Brad regained his feet, he asked where he’s supposed to sit. I told him that on private planes you can just sit anywhere you’d like.

“Cool!” he said. He sat as far away from Bruce as he could. He reclined the back of his seat and said, “Neato!” Then he started playing with the stereo headphones.

At this point, I couldn’t help myself any longer, and I asked, “So, I guess you guys are heading to Bloomington about the Indiana coaching position?”

“My sole focus right now is on my team and beating North Carolina, and I’m completely happy at Washington State and expect to coach there for the rest of my career,” replied Coach Bennett.

“My sole focus right now is on my team and beating Louisville, and I love Tennessee and if Indiana contacts me like I expect them to, I will tell them I have no interest in the position,” replied Coach Pearl.

“Yeah, Indiana rocks, man!” replied Coach Brownell.

Just then we were all temporarily blinded by a bright light from the entrance to the cabin. Once our eyes adjusted to the light, we realized that it was the morning sun reflecting off a white Armani suit, worn by none other than Rick Pitino. Coach Pitino strolled into the cabin, removed his ermine shawl and handed it elegantly to the flight attendant, who curtsied almost against her will.

“Oh, crap,” said Tony.

“I need another kitten,” Bruce muttered.

Coach Brownell knelt before Coach Pitino and kissed his ring finger. “Rise, my child,” said Rick graciously.

“Don’t tell me you’re interested in the Indiana job, Coach Pitino!” Brad said. “You’ve got a great thing going at Louisville, why would you leave there to go to Indiana?”

“My sole focus right now is on my team and beating Tennessee and I’m completely happy…” Rick paused. “Ah, hell, who am I kidding? I’m not worried about Tennessee at all and I’m bored to death at Louisville. The program is in great shape. We’ve got a great athletic director, new facilities, plenty of money, good players, good recruits…. What’s the point? Hell, Bruce Weber could take over for me right now and even he probably couldn’t screw it up.” He paused. “Well, maybe he could. Anyway, it’s boring with a capital B. But Indiana?” Rick sighed and got a little misty eyed. “They’re a complete mess. A historic program that seems to be doing everything it can to self-destruct. They NEED me. I can SAVE them. Think about it. I would win a title there, you can bet on it. If I win titles at both Indiana and Kentucky… hell, they’ll still be talking about me a hundred years from now.”

At this point Bruce stood up suddenly and took off his shirt, displaying a huge, red “INDIANA” tattoo across his abdomen. “You son of a bitch, I’m going to be the next coach at Indiana, not you!!”

“You wish!” Tony yelled. “Everyone agrees I’m the best fit!!”

“Yeah, everyone loves to win 45-40,” Brad said sarcastically.

“What did you say?!” Tony grabbed the front of Brad’s shirt as Bruce climbed over the row of seats towards Rick, who rose and began to remove his leather gloves.

I thought things were going to get ugly when someone else entered the cabin. Suddenly everything got silent. The world seemed to freeze for a few seconds, then each of the coaches sat quietly back in their seats.

“Oh, crap,” said Coach Pitino.

“What up, coach?” said Brad to the newcomer… everyone groaned and ducked out of the way.


That’s it. Like I said, please don’t pass this insider information along.

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