The Pac-12 Days of Christmas

Larry Scott Featured Photo

*Please note that this story is completely fictitious, and meant to be nothing more than a satirical look at the Conference of Champions. Any and all references, conversations, and situational humor is strictly fiction, and in no way depicts any actual situations that have occurred in real life. This was done as a collaboration by FishDuck.com writers Caleb Couturie and Paul Jones. Enjoy.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott enters the ballroom at the San Francisco Marriott for the annual Pac-12 Coaches Holiday Party. Carrying a lukewarm coffee, Larry looks around the room, checking to make sure everyone is in attendance.

Larry Scott calls the meeting to order.

Eric Wade

Larry Scott calls the meeting to order.

“OK, everyone is here? Great, let’s get started.”

“Mike isn’t here, Larry. I think he’s in the hotel kitchen making sure the dinner is prepared correctly,” pipes in Washington head coach Chris Petersen.

“Well, would someone mind running to get him? I’d like to get the gift exchange out of the way before we discuss the upcoming bowl games. Congratulations on your win, by the way, Kyle – nice job representing the conference.”

“If I would have known that game was going to be a ‘resume builder’ for a certain couple of guys, I might not have tried so hard,” Whittingham quips in disgust, looking venomously at new Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen.

“Don’t look at me like that,” says Andersen. “It’s not MY fault Mariota’s impending absence finally gives the Beavers a shot at reclaiming Oregon.”

“Hey, no one knows yet if Marcus is actually leaving, right Mark?” states Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

“Mark… Mark?!”

Helfrich sits quietly while singing softly.

Kevin Cline

Helfrich sits quietly while singing softly.

Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich, sitting quietly in the corner, seems completely oblivious to his surroundings while stroking an autographed 8×10 of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. He softly sings “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith as a single tear rolls down his cheek.

“MARK!” yells Larry Scott. “For the last time, can you PLEASE pull yourself together, man!?”

Helfrich sits up, and looks around. Without a word, Helfrich bursts into song. “OH WON’T YOU STAY WITH ME? CUZ YOU’RE ALL I NEED.”

Stanford Head Coach David Shaw stands up abruptly, strides over to Helfrich, and smacks him across the face.

Helfrich snaps out of it. “Thanks, David.”

“Anytime, Mark.”

An angry Rich Rodriguez pokes fun.

Gary Breedlove

An angry Rich Rodriguez pokes fun at Shaw.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez leans back in his chair, “Too bad you couldn’t have smacked Oregon like that in your game this year Shaw. Maybe then you wouldn’t be playing Maryland in the Dead Chicken Bowl.”

“It’s the Foster Farms Bowl Rich, you know that! And oh, look who’s talking. You guys looked like a Middle School JV Team in the Title Game!” Rodriguez jumps to his feet, as the blood rushes to his face.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen, calm down. It’s Christmas! Can’t we all just get along for one day?” says UCLA head coach Jim Mora.

“Thank you, Jim. Now, where is Mike?” says Scott, as he searches the room for Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre.

“I’m here, I’m here, and boy does that Prime Rib look Yummy!” says Coach MacIntyre with a sheepish grin on his face as he skips into the room. “Those boys sure know how to get that thing nice and juicy!”

“When is dinner supposed to be served?” Larry Scott asks MacIntyre.

“They said about 30 minutes, but I may have gotten a head start on the creme brulee and let me just tell you that thing is going to just be FAN-freaking-TASTIC!”

“You know Mike, if your defense was as good as your culinary skills, maybe you could have pulled out some of those 4th quarter collapses,” says Arizona State head coach Todd Graham, chuckling.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of Beaver fans still laughing at you guys,” retorts MacIntyre.

“Enough already!” yells USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian. “Can we PLEASE just start the gift exchange and get down to business?”

“Thank you,” says Scott. “Does everyone have their gifts?

Mike Leach is ready to get things going.

Gary Breedlove

Mike Leach is ready to get things going.

“I have mine all ready to go,” says Washington State head coach Mike Leach. ”Do you mind if I go first?”

“Go right ahead, Mike,” says Scott.

“Thanks, Larry.” Leach picks up his gift, a small, rectangularly wrapped present, and hands it to Shaw.

“Wow Mike, I can’t wait to see what it is!”

Shaw unwraps the present, and in his hand is an autographed copy of Leach’s recently published book, “Geronimo.”

“I really thought you would enjoy it, David. There are some great anecdotes about overcoming adversity, and I’ve bookmarked the pages discussing how the Native American tribes transferred leadership from one Chief to the next.”

Shaw looks up at Mike, a glossy and dazed reflection in his eyes. “You know Mike, I don’t know what to say. Thanks, I guess?”

“Oh, absolutely, David! It’s just riveting! Now, who is next? I find these type of traditions to be just such an important and fascinating part of our culture.”

Jim Mora stands up, and hands his gift to Sarkisian.

“Wait a minute, Larry, I thought this was a secret Santa kind of deal? I don’t want anything from this guy, aside from his recruits,” says Sarkisian with a wicked grin on his face.

“Oh just open the box, Steve,” says Mora.

Sarkisian opens the gift, and in it is a box with a picture of a seat warmer.

“I just figured you might as well get used to being on the proverbial hot seat, losing to us and all. Oh, and enjoy the Holiday Bowl,” laughs Mora as Sarkisian turns bright red at the mention of the USC loss.

“Ha ha ha,” says Sarkisian. “Well, at least I know how to give a good gift,” as he hands a present to Coach Petersen.

“Thank you, Steve,” says Petersen, “but wasn’t you leaving Washington a present enough?”

“Just open it,” barks Sarkisian.

Sarkisian and Petersen share a moment.

Kevin Cline

Sarkisian and Petersen share a moment.

Petersen opens the long, tube-shaped gift, and inside is what looks like a poster. Petersen unrolls the poster from inside the tube, and a large wall sized picture unravels to the floor. On it is an enormous depiction of Don James, holding a National Championship trophy. The caption reads, “In James We Trust.”

Petersen glances at Sarkisian with a solemn look of understanding. “Just thought you should… you know,” says Sarkisian, getting teary eyed.

“I understand,” says Petersen. “They live in the past. Perhaps someday…” he says, with a longing look on his face.

A moment of silence occurs in the ballroom, as they all reflect on what it means to be a modern College Football coach in Washington.

Petersen clears his throat, and the room seems to liven back up again.

“Well, who’s got my gift, anyway?” asks new OSU coach Andersen.

“That would be me,” says ASU coach Graham. “Here you go, enjoy.”

Andersen takes the gift from Graham, and unwraps it, finding a used umbrella, and a pair of worn out rainboots.

“Um, I’m not sure what these are exactly,” says Andersen.

Don’t worry. You’ll figure it out soon enough,” Graham says looking in Helfrich’s direction. “Right, Mark?”

Mark Helfrich perks up. “What was that? Oh, yeah. Haha definitely. You sure got him!”

Graham rolls his eyes. “Just give your gift, Mark.”

“Oh, OK!” Helfrich walks over to Mike Leach, and hands him his gift. Leach unwraps it slowly, finding only a USB flash drive attached to a miniature rubber duck that looks very similar to Puddles.

“What is this?” asks Leach calmly.

“Oh, you are going to LOVE it!,” says Helfrich. “I got the Computer Science department at Oregon to work with the video club. It’s a full 3D video highlight reel of all of Marcus’s highlights at Oregon going back to his freshman year! Here, I threw in some 3D glasses. Enjoy!”

Leach tosses the USB drive onto the table, and turns back to Shaw, hoping he will listen to his reenactment of Geronimo’s last battle.

Larry Scott looks at Rich Rodriguez, motioning for him to go next.

Rodriguez, with a devilish look on his face, tosses a small, poorly wrapped gift at Todd Graham.

Graham picks it up, and unwraps it to find a framed picture of the Territorial Cup on the mantle over Rodriguez’s fireplace.

“Why you little!” yells Graham, chasing the U of A coach while Rodriguez runs around the table giggling like a kindergartener.

“Alright, enough with this nonsense. This is the last year we do this! Everyone who is left, just put your gift under the tree in the corner, and you can grab them on the way out,” Scott yells.

Everyone quiets down, knowing they’d made Larry upset. Scott straightens his tie, then turns to address the group. “We have one thing left to do before we can eat and get out of here,” says Scott in his most menacing tone. “So just grow up for 10 more minutes are we are done.”

Larry Scott walks around the edge of the table, passing out song books.

“Alright guys, to conclude this year’s meeting ESPN has asked us to sing a Christmas carol to help draw attention to the SEC and LeBron James.”

“How is helping them supposed to help us?” Rich-Rod barks.

“I don’t know Rich, just shut up and do it please?” Scott answered.

“Fine.”

Larry Scott blows his tuning whistle and makes the group do a few scales to warm up.

“OK group, on three. One, two, three!”

Mark Helfrich: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Kyle Whittingham: “On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: two more yards from Kaelin and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Steve Sarkisian: “On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Jim Mora: “On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Rich Rodriguez: “On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Mike Leach: “On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Gary Andersen: “On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: seven maps of Corvallis, six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Sonny Dykes: “On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: eight alternatives for a last name, seven maps of Corvallis, six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Chris Petersen: “On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: nine Danny Sheltons, eight alternatives for a last name, seven maps of Corvallis, six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Mike MacIntyre: “On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: ten new Pac-12 teams, nine Danny Sheltons, eight alternatives for a last name, seven maps of Corvallis, six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

David Shaw: “On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: eleven more Barry Sanders children, ten new Pac-12 teams, nine Danny Sheltons, eight alternatives for a last name, seven maps of Corvallis, six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

Todd Graham: “On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: twelve bigger headsets, eleven more Barry Sanders children, ten new Pac-12 teams, nine Danny Sheltons, eight alternatives for a last name, seven maps of Corvallis, six new defensive coordinators, five new O-linemen, four Brett Hundley Action Figures, three more years with Leonard, two more yards from Kaelin, and a first ever Oregon Natty.”

The cameraman gives a thumbs up, and Larry Scott turns to his coaches. “Great job guys, this was just what we were looking for. Have a Happy Holiday, and good luck in your bowl games, I’m looking forward to being at each one.”

“Thanks, Larry,” they all yell, running for the door.

Larry Scott looks around the room, and smiles to himself as the coaches for the Conference of Champions exit, making their way back to their offices to finish bowl season preparation.

“Well done, my friends… well done.”

Note from the Managing Editor: It’s been a fantastic year, and we’ve enjoyed being your source of information, analysis, and entertainment for all things Oregon Ducks Football. We look forward to another great year in 2015! Happy Holidays from Everyone here at FishDuck.com!

Big thanks to editor Natalie Liebhaber, who helped pull this mess all together.

Top photo by Kevin Cline

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Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for FishDuck.com, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.

  • FishDuck

    Fun, fun, fun. I was picturing this as a skit at the Pac-12 Headquarters in SF, but I don’t think they could act that well! The gift to Shaw….ouch!

    We have Kim giving us humor each week…but we could always use more, like this. That was a nice gift to the readers–thank you Paul, Caleb, and Natalie.