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The Doctor Is In

SCENE:  Inside the Lyceum, newly appointed Chancellor Dan Jones, recently Dean of the Medical School, prepares for a roundtable meeting with the "Big Four" of Ole Miss athletics - AD Pete Boone, Head Football Coach Houston Nutt, Head Basketball Coach Andy Kennedy, and Head Baseball Coach Mike Bianco.  He is wearing a white coat; that's what doctors do.  He is oblivious to it, but you and I can hear the sitcom-style laugh track accompanying the following scene:


Dr. Jones:  (Puts his stethoscope in his ears and absent-mindedly checks his own heartbeat over the wrong side of his chest - silly goose)  Hmm ... That's funny, I don't hear anything.  (He removes the stethoscope from his chest and then returns it to the same wrong side).  Still nothing.  How odd.  This thing must be broken.  (He puts the end of the stethoscope to his mouth like a microphone)  WAAAAY DOWN SOUTH IN MIIISSIIISSIIIPIIII; THEEERE'S A SPOOOT THAT EVEEEEER CAAAALLLSS.

(A buzzer sounds)

Dr. J:  CLEAR!

A Voice Through the Intercom:  Dr. Jones, Pete and the three stooges ... er ... coaches are here to see you.

(The laugh track explodes with the deafening roar of simulated comedic approval.)

Dr. J:  Send them in.  Right way.  No time to waste.  Very, very busy.  Lives to save and all.  (Pete and the coaches walk into the Chancellor's new office.  It is cold and bare like a hospital room.  A few plants in the corner, likely sent in congratulation, seem instead to give off the damp fragrance of pitiful condolences.)  Good morning, men, good morning.  Pete, it's so good to see the progress you've made on the Basketball Practice Facility and Jumbotron.  Really spectacular looking facilities.  And, Houston, what an exciting season we're coming up on.  Top notch job, really.  And, Mike, I can't wait for this weekend.  Me and the missus are going to take some heart-healthy red wine out to left field and really make a weekend of it. 


Oh, and Andy.  Well, sorry to hear about all that trouble with that gypsy man in Cincinatti.

Coach Andy Kennedy:  Don't worry about it, Dr. Jones.  I've put it well behind me.

Dr. J:  Good, good.  Stress like that isn't good for your health, so I'm glad you've resolved all that.  But, if just feel like you want a little payback, I've got some friends in Ohio who could really screw up his HMO, okay?

AK:  Well, thanks for that.

Pete Boone:  Dr. Jones, I don't mean to be short, but it's hard enough to get all these people together, and Mike's kind of busy right now, so, if you don't mind, what'd you ask us in here for.

Dr. J:  GET TO THE POINT!  Capital idea, Boone!  I've just got a very short list of recommendations I've made up for you.  You know, just some non-mandatory strong recommendations that come directly from your boss.  No pressure or anything!  HA!  But, seriously, my expertise in the cardiovascular system of the body give me, I think, some keen insight on how we can make our student athletes healthier and happier.  For example, Mike, I think that in order to really improve the overall health of your squad, you might want to give some of them a little more exercise and some of them a little less exercise.  You know what I mean?

Mike Bianco:  I'm not sure I follow, Dr. Jones.

Dr. J:  Of course, you do.  It's terribly simple.  Take, oh, I don't know, Evan Button.  He seems to be playing a lot lately.  So much so that in my expert medical opinion, it seems to have taken a toll on him.  Now, Tim Ferguson, on the other hand, he needs some more exercise; he needs to get in the game, stretch his legs a little.  You know, for the overall health of the team.

MB:  I still don't think I understand what this all has to do with the health of the team.

Dr. J:  Mike, who is the doctor here?

MB:  You are, sir.

Dr. J:  And who is the boss here?

MB:  You are, sir.

Dr. J:  Which one of us was President of the American Heart Association?

MB:  You were, sir.

Dr. J:  And which one of us recruited Aaron Barrett?

MB:  I did, sir.

Dr. J:  I think this little exchange we've just had speaks volumes, Michael.  Volumes.  I don't want to micro-manage, I just want to use my expertise to be critical of the ways that each of you executes his personal and professional lives.  For example, Houston ...

Houston Nutt:  Giggity!

Dr. J:  I occasionally suspect that ...

HN:  Giggity!  Giggity!

Dr. J:  ... you may be under the influence ...

HN:  Giggity!  Giggity!  Giggity!

Dr. J:  ... of various derivatives of some amphetamine.

HN:  Giggitygiggitygiggitygiggitygiggitygiggitygiggity (he goes on like this for some time; but is eclipsed by the crashing magnificence of the laugh track).

Dr. J:  Anyway, here are my prescriptions for improvement.  Take two of these and only call me if you get arrested.  And, don't worry, I only make house calls when you have losing seasons.  Now, get out of my office while I'm still resisting the temptation to bill you for something.

(The laugh track is so overwhelming that its glory causes millions to stare into space as if they have heard the voice of God.  Somewhere, Drew Pomeranz weeps at its beauty).

A jingle to the tune of the "Oscar Meyer Wiener Song" plays: