Saturday morning was come, and all fall world was bright and fresh and brimming with life. Jamie Pollard appeared on the sidewalk in front of Jack Trice Stadium with an accounting book and a calculator. He surveyed the south endzone, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Currently occupied by bleachers, it was Jamie's task to build a new endzone, one fit for a Big 12 school.
Sighing, he sat down on a bench and pulled out Iowa State's financial records. It wasn't a pretty picture. Jamie figured the endzone would cost at least $60 million, and that was well over Iowa State's yearly allowance. Picking up his calculator he set about his task with a glum countenance.
DeLoss Dodds hove into sight presently - the very athletic director, of all athletic directors, whose ridicule he'd been dreading. Dodds' gait was a hop-skip-and-jump - proof enough that his heart was light and his anticipation high. He was fanning himself with a wad of $100 bills, and singing a gay, melodious song:
"Oh the stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas..."
Jamie went on calculating - paid no attention to the dandy lad skipping past. DeLoss stared a moment, then said:
"Hey there! Y'all are up a stump, ain't you!"
No answer. Jamie kept his head buried in his figures, surveying his accounts log and typing swiftly on his adding machine. DeLoss ranged up beside him. Jamie longed to snatch the money out of Dodds' hands, but he stuck to his work. DeLoss said:
"Hello old chap, you trying to build an endzone, hey?
Jamie wheeled suddenly and said:
"Why, it's you, DeLoss! I warn't noticing!"
"Say - I'm going swimming in a giant pile of money, I am. Don't you wish you could? But of course, you're stuck with Iowa State - ain't you? Such a small athletic budget..."
Jamie contemplated the other AD for a bit, and said:
"What, you think Iowa State's got a small budget?"
"Why, it's the smallest in the conference! Can't even afford a proper endzone. Ain't that small?"
Jamie returned to his figures, and answered carelessly:
"Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know is, it suits Iowa State."
"Oh, come now, you don't mean to let on you like that endzone. Now Darrell K. Royal, now that's how you build a stadium. You still got bleachers over there!"
The pen continued to move.
"Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does an athletic director get a chance to build his legacy at a university everyday?
That put the thing in a new light. DeLoss stopped fanning himself with his cash. Jamie worked calmly over his figures, adding and subtracting, dividing and multiplying. He framed the south endzone with his hands - added a number to his book - DeLoss watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:
"Say Jamie, let me help with that endzone. Texas has got an awful lot of money - maybe we could help y'all out?"
Jamie considered - was about to consent; but he altered his mind:
"No - no - I reckon it wouldn't hardly do, DeLoss. You see, Iowa State's awful particular about this endzone - it's right here in Jack Trice Stadium, you know. The fans want to raise the money themselves - make it theres proper. They like it this way - I reckon there ain't one school in a thousand, maybe two thousand that can do what Iowa State does on our budget."
"No - is that so? Come on now, we're Texas. We can do whatever you do - just bigger and more wastefully. Let me build your endzone, Jamie!"
"Now you know I'd like to DeLoss, but Iowa State - well, Oklahoma wanted to pay us, but the fans wouldn't let 'em; T. Boone Pickens wanted to do it, and they wouldn't let him, neither. Now don't you see the fix I'm in? If I was to let you fund this endzone, I'd be in a heap of trouble with our boosters."
"Oh, shucks Jamie, I got the money! You ain't never getting this endzone done on your own. Say - I got this Longhorn Network. ESPN pays us $15 million a year, and we already got more money than the president. How's a million bucks to air the Texas-Iowa State game on our network sound?"
"Well, I s'pose - No DeLoss, I can't. I'm afeared..."
"Two million bucks!"
Jamie scratched his head and made a great show of hemming-and-hawing over the logistical problems. Presently he said:
"Oh heck DeLoss, I can't - It's all fine for you down in Texas, but it wouldn't be fair to the folks here in Iowa who can't catch the game."
"Two million, and we'll let you broadcast the feed on local channels!"
Jamie took the money being waved in his face with a show of great reluctance, but alacrity in his heart. They shook on the deal, and DeLoss went skipping merrily down the street, quite pleased with himself and his good business sense. Jamie set about counting the stack of bills in his hands, adding the amount still needed to start the south endzone project.
Jamie said to himself that it was not such a hollow world after all. He had discovered a great law of human action quite by accident - namely, that in order to make a business man covet a thing, one only had to make that thing difficult to attain. He now comprehended that the Longhorn Network was a boondoggle of the highest order - a Network for Texas sports with no sports to air. Iowa State was in a unique position, and could charge Texas a hefty sum for a conference game they were obliged to play anyway.
Indeed, Iowa State's new endzone would be funded by the very people the Cyclones were competing with - and DeLoss was glad to pay for the privilege. Jamie mused over this new development, and then wended his way back to campus to report his good fortune.
Per ESPN, the Longhorn Network will be the exclusive national distributor for Iowa State's game against Texas on November 10th. Within the state of Iowa and surrounding areas the matchup will be televised on six ABC affiliate stations: WOI in Des Moines, KCAU in Sioux City, KETV in Omaha, KCRG in Cedar Rapids, KAAL in Mason City-Austin-Rochester, and WQAD in Quad Cities. Get that money, Pollard.