DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN WRITTEN FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY; ANY ATHLETIC WISDOM OR INSIGHT OR KNOWLEDGEABILITY THEREIN, NOT DIRECTLY QUOTED BY MY COLLEAGUES, IS NOT ONLY PURELY ACCIDENTAL BUT UNFORTUNATE.
The Barry Lewis caught me in my office, by the bar at Ye Olde Bull and Bush on Montgomery 76107 (please, no direct correspondence; all mail will be summarily returned).
"The cold must do good for your lungs," the kind man said. "Less smoking."
"Well, you're here now, I'm afraid. So a cigarette is in order."
"I have good news."
"And I a bad night. And it's getting worse by the second and syllable."
"Your fan club has arrived."
"Wait up a minute. Word from the KillerFrog Fan Forum Literary Review Board."
"And how are things in Zombieland?"
"Well, the literary review board read your defibrillator piece and they love it."
"I have proof. This one says: 'love these articles.' And this one: 'love this!!!!!' And this one: 'Amen and Go Frogs!'"
"These people are not members of the KillerFrog Fan Forum Literary Review Board."
"Because there is one condition necessary and sufficient for membership, and that is they have to hate me. Further, and it's no small thing, I have to hate them. Thus, membership in the literary review board is by invitation only. The people you have quoted are just members of the forum. And I like every one of them."
"Well, then, the literary review board is distinctly silent currently."
"I doubt that."
"Well, one says that your novel is going to suck."
"Which one? I'm working on nine right now. And anyhow I doubt he'll ever have the honor of reading it, nor me the dishonor. Thank the gods."
"No doubt you have little reason for concern. So I want to know what you think about the SEC."
"In the interests of my own welfare, I would like to invoke the Fifth Amendment, whereby I shall not be compelled in any criminal case to be witness against myself."
"You feel that strongly, I take it?"
"I mean, a governmental institution is nothing to take lightly, Barry. Much less when you're talking securities and exchanges, not that I have anything to secure, nor much to exchange."
"The SEC stands for Southeastern Conference . . ."
"Well now Barry that's the problem with acronyms, isn’t it. No one knows what you're talking about. When I speak of you do I say BL? No. I say The Barry Lewis. Because no one would know who the hell the BL is."
"You go by SI."
"Please, it's a joke."
"And other people call you TB."
"Yes, it's very unfortunate to be confused for a pulmonary disease."
"The SEC includes such teams as Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, LSU . . ."
"Then I don't like them."
"Why don't you like them?"
"Because they don't like us, Barry. Which is a natural enough reason for not liking somebody."
"Sure. They suck."
"How do you mean?"
"Because they're not us. And they won't even be so polite as allow us to play them and kick their ass."
"Well, you know about the CFP."
"Sure, I do."
"You got onto me for using p-words once already. You want me to add an 'f-word' and a 'c-word' to that now?"
"The CFP is the College Football Playoff. They currently have TCU ranked at Number 4."
"Which as we all know is stupid."
"Behind Georgia, Ohio State, and Michigan."
"Georgia is in the SEC. They are considered the best team in the country. People were afraid Tennessee might rise above us in the rankings, had they beaten South Carolina, which they didn't."
"Why would they be worried about putting them above us in the rankings when we weren't going to lose either? How can we go down in the rankings without losing?"
"In 2014, TCU beat Iowa State 55-3 and the next week the CFP lowered us in the rankings."
"Remember what I said about those 'c-words' and f-words'? There's your explanation. You can play fill in the blank. Fun.”
"There is a perception that the Big 12 is not as competitive as other conferences, such as the SEC."
"Well, how would they know when we don't compete against them?"
"Exactly the concern of Horned Frog fans everywhere."
"They need not worry."
"Then tell us why not? You've never been wrong about anything this season, except the scores."
"Barry, how many times do I have to tell you . . ."
"I know, it's the scoreboard that's wrong. It doesn't change the fact that the numbers next to TCU's W happen to correspond with that scoreboard and not your predictions."
"So answer me this, Barry. Who is our competition in the SEC?"
“Have they lost?”
"Aside from them."
"Have they been beaten?"
"Yes. Twice. And came within a point of losing to Texas."
"And remind me, how did we do against Texas?"
"We beat them by seven."
"Now, help me with my counting skills, as math is not my forte. Is seven more than one?"
"So much for Alabama."
"Then there's Tennessee."
"Have they lost?"
"Twice. Once to Georgia, ranked No. 1. And now to South Carolina."
"And how bad did they lose to South Carolina?"
"And how many times did South Carolina get beat?"
"They lost to Arkansas and Georgia and Missouri and . . ."
"So much for Tennessee then. Who else?"
"And who beat them?"
"Florida State and Tennessee."
"The same Tennessee that just got walloped by South Carolina who got walloped by all those other people?"
"So much for LSU. Are you starting to see a pattern, dear Barry?"
"The SEC sucks."
"Correct. And even if they don't suck they're easily the second best conference in the country."
"And who's the best?"
"We are, of course. The Big 10."
"I might have a cigarette with you now, the way you go on. We are the Big 12."
"Barry, how many teams are there in the Big 12?"
"I rest my case."
"So who's the other Big 10?"
"A bunch of upstarts and thieves who owe us money."
Whereupon Barry Lewis emptied the entirety of my Guinness, which I had yet to taste, upon his head.
“And now you owe the Boss seven dollars and me another Guinness.”
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