(Inside the locker room at Northwestern’s state-of-the-art technological marvel of a practice facility)
Isaiah Bowser: Another day another hard scholarship dollar huh?
Aidan Smith: Actually, did you hear the news?
Smith: Check Twitter and look up NCAA
Bowser: Uhhhh, I’m not sure that’s a good idea...
Smith: No, see, check it out on my phone, it says the NCAA is allowing—
Bowser: no dude put it away before Coach Bossman—[door breaks off hinges, crashes to the ground]
Pat Fitzgerald: PHONES AWAY, DAMMIT! Here we have a good practice and I’m happy and then I come into the locker room afterwards and all I see is KIDS ABSORBED IN THEIR TIKTAKS, MESSAGING EACH OTHER ON THE TINDER INSTEAD OF HAVING A REAL FACE TO FACE CONVERSATION!
Bowser: ...what happened to the door?
Fitz: THAT, BOYS, is me SETTING AN EXAMPLE. The door was an obstacle in my way and it stopped me walking into the locker room. Did I give up on my strategy?
TEAM: No, coach.
Fitz: DID I TRY TO GET ALL FANCY, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT SOME CREATIVE WAY AROUND IT?
TEAM: No, coach!
Fitz: DAMN RIGHT. I did what I’ve always done: bashed my forehead into the obstacle until it gave way! AND DID IT GIVE WAY!
TEAM: Yes, coach!
Fitz: SO WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU BELIEVE IN WHAT I TELL YOU? You think you can just hotwire into a DSL router cable and download your way around your foe? I’M STANDING HERE BEFORE YOU BECAUSE I WANTED IT MORE THAN THAT DOOR DID!
I don’t know if you maybe wanted to do your snaptags and laugh at Whatsherfaceapp more than you wanted to bash your head into Iowa until they fell down like that door, but this is going to change! I overheard some of you talking about this NCAA ruling!
TEAM: (exchanges nervous glances)
Fitz: Well, before I explain how that does and doesn’t affect you, I just want to let you know that anyone caught with an Instapot app will find themselves off scholarship so fast it’ll make your head spin. YOU KNOW WE HAVE NO TOLERANCE FOR DRUGS.
ANYWAY. The NCAA, in their infinite wisdom, have deigned to stop enforcing the sacred bylaws against players profiting from their own name and likeness.
TEAM: (unsure what to say)
Fitz: But don’t think for a MOMENT that you’ll be doing that on MY TIME! You’re in this program to WORK, not to Dreamcast your followers and subscriptions. If you’re here thinking you’re going to make a pretty enough penny to go and build some kind of fancy football facility for yourself by the lake, there’s the door!
TEAM: (looks at door, looks at lake)
Fitz: Look, you have to understand, I want you to be the best men you can be. But part of that is doing backbreaking labor for little to no tangible benefit to yourself, just as the Good Lord intended, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to have any technology in this temple. I know, I know, this facility is state of the art, but that wasn’t my decision. If it were me, we’d have all built it ourselves by stacking huge stone blocks. The Ancient Egyptians did this, and the Pyramids still stand today. You know how they did that? Because they understood that hard work is its own reward! They had WORK ETHIC!
I’m not asking you to refrain from making the most of your lives outside of this football program. I’m just asking you to give 110% of everything you have every hour of every day of every year for this team, and I’m concerned that some of you might see this NCAA ruling as an invitation to stray from our principles and disappear into your phones or pagers or pocket PC’s or whatever you have now.
Fitz: (pulls out phone, spends 20 solid minutes typing, scrolling and staring)
Well what do you know, boys. I’ve looked all up and down the Information Superhighway, and you know what I can’t find?
CHARACTER! WORK ETHIC! PRIDE! I checked the app store and they had no results for the APP THAT GIVES YOU THE WILL TO WIN!
That’s because you can’t find that on your phone. It’s in the taste of a meal you killed yourself with your bare hands. It’s in the satisfaction of changing your own motor oil in the middle of winter. It’s in the power of knowing that stack of cinder blocks used to be ten feet in that direction until you picked them up and stacked them over here. It’s the discipline to spend two hours staring at the same spot on a blank wall just to prove that you can. You can’t find it in an email attachment. You can’t find it in an SMS or a bluetooth or a WLAN.
I’m just concerned, because you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want all those things, would you? I’m concerned by what I saw last week. It’s almost like you aren’t touching our locker room sign to really absorb its message.
(points to three-foot-tall lettering on wall sign) WHAT’S THAT SAY?
TEAM: No yeeting
Fitz: I CAN’T HEAR YOU!
TEAM: NO YEETING!
Fitz: DAMN RIGHT! THE ONLY “YEET” I WANT YOU DOING STANDS FOR
This is AMERICA! We don’t take kindly to organized labor or change for any reason because we already got things perfect decades ago! WILDCATS ON THREE ONE TWO THREE
Bowser, texting: brb gonna yeet into lake michigan