[Ed. note: This article was originally published after the 2012 season opener, in which the Cowboys defeated the Giants 24-17 and Kevin Ogletree caught eight passes for 114 yards and two TDs.]
The other day I authored what I thought was a pretty good article. The article consisted of a 9-word headline followed by a 3-word content.
When I realized what I had done, I immediately applied for a job at ESPN.
My first article there will also have only three words:
"Fear The Star."
After Wednesday's glorious defeat of the New York Football Giants, I decide to have a word with John Mara about the $10 million he still owes me. So I google the Giants' number and dial. I am momentarily confused by the New Jersey area code, but am reassured when a recorded voice answers:
"You have reached the Football Giants."
The recording proceeds to offer me a private seat license. I politely decline. The recording ignores me and offers to provide information about tickets. I again decline. The slightly whiny voice then tells me:
"If you know the extension of the person you wish to reach, you may dial now."
I dial 666.
The recording informs me that my call cannot be put through to that number at this time.
So I look up Mara's fax number and send him a fax instead:
"Fear The Star."
When I arrive at work on Thursday morning, I take the elevator up to my office. Coming out of the elevator I can take the left or the right entrance to get to my office. The left door leads me directly past an esteemed French colleague of mine.
I take the right door.
On the way to my office, there's a little kitchenette that I turn into to get my morning coffee. Just as I'm about to pour me some coffee, somebody else enters the kitchenette. It is, of course, my French colleague.
"Aaahh, bonjour my friend," he cries before he proceeds to grip and vigorously shake my hand.
I am beginning to suspect that the guy is stalking me.
"I 'eard zee American Football 'as started again, non?" he says.
I mumble something about killing Giants in the swamps of Jersey. This leaves him utterly dumbfounded.
But he shakes it off and says, "ow about we watch zee football together zee next time?"
I don’t move a muscle. I just stare at him. Until he leaves. Then I continue to stare straight ahead for five more minutes. Later, I wonder if this is one of those moments my co-workers will recount on the news when they’re asked whether there were any "early signs"?
After that, I go to work right away. I call a staff meeting of the entire marketing department.
When all my minions are gathered in the conference room, I stand up, look around the room and tell them to crush the competition. With my work concluded for the day, I retire to my office and wonder what I'll do for the rest of the day.
I decide to call building management.
"Hey, I need some plants in my office."
"Sure, what would you like?"
"Don't tell me you've never heard of an Ogletree."
"Of course not, sir. We'll have one brought to you tomorrow."
I cannot wait to see what they'll try to pass off as an Ogletree.
Later, my ex-wife calls me at the office. "Listen," she says without preamble, as if I ever don't. "Listen, our son's English teacher just called."
She pauses, perhaps to give the moment more weight. Perhaps because she wants me to venture a guess as to what the teacher had to say. I refuse to play her games and wait her out. This drives her nuts. I chalk that up as a win for me.
"Well, don't you want to know what the teacher said?"
"It seems that our son has has been writing "Fear The Star" under all his English homework assignments lately. Any idea what that's all about?"
"No." I hang up.
I am very proud of my son.
As I get comfortable in my office, my secretary walks in, looks me up and down and says, "So you've been up all night watching that American Football again, have you?"
I assure you, this is not phrased as a question.
She then tells me that I have a meeting scheduled at 10:00 am. I pretend to check my calendar, but instead pull up a Cowboys roster.
"I'll have to move that meeting to 10:25."
"Why? You don't have anything else scheduled until then!"
I cannot explain to her that Wednesday's Romo to Ogletree connection requires me to start the meeting at 9:85, and since there is no such time, I'll have to make do with 10:25.
I think my secretary is on to me. She's been eyeing me suspiciously ever since the preseason started. I'm thinking that one of these days I'll just do what she tells me to. That would baffle her to no end.
We are currently in the process of fine-tuning our financial targets for next year. Our financial overlords want a gross margin projection for the next fiscal year that is accurate to within two decimal points.
If you hand in a gross margin on a given product of, say 49.5%, they will suspect you of not being overly rigorous in your forecasting. If you give them a 49.49% there will be some very, very happy spreadsheet cowboys at headquarters.
All of this is of course patently absurd, and a large reason why I think spreadsheets are for wimps, and that people who can work with pivot tables are Satan's Spawn.
But I decide to indulge them. So I pull out my Cowboys roster, decide on a set of fortuitous jersey numbers and begin changing the decimals in all our financial projections. All the numbers in the spreadsheet now end in numbers worn by Cowboys starters: 09, 19, 24, 39, 42, 52, 68, 77, 82, 94 ... you get the drift.
I could do this all day.
Oh, this product has a disappointing margin? Must be a Doug Free. This product is supposed to be our newest blockbuster? That's a Morris Claiborne. This one has been running strong for over a decade? Jason Witten.
Financial planning just got so much more fun.
Sometime later that day, I get a requisition form from one of the serfs toiling for me in sales, who's up for a new company car. The requisition form is a long Word document in English. I notice a spelling mistake at the end of the document, which I naturally correct. I also notice that car is spelled incorrectly. I use the replace function to find 'car' and replace it with 'Carr'.
I approve the form and send it on. Somebody else can clean up that mess.
I try all day to get somebody to clean my glasses. My secretary gives me the finger for even asking.
I may have to brush up on my people skills.
One day when I rise to power I will buy the Philadelphia Eagles. After the Vikings leave for Los Angeles, I will move the Eagles to Minnesota (State motto: L'Étoile du Nord or "The Star of the North"). I will then rename them after the state bird, the Common Loon.
The Minnesota Loons. That does have a certain panache.
I will then buy the Houston Texans and move them to Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Texans. Chew on that.
The other day I drove downtown to do some shopping. I was in particularly good spirits, and I was sporting my newest Tony Romo jersey. I drove my car into a public garage, got out and walked to the elevator. While I was waiting for the elevator, two young guys approached and one of them started snickering when he saw my jersey, looked at his friend and remarked how the name on the jersey was phonetically similar to a homophobic slur.
I smiled at him, pointed in the general direction of where they had come from and said, "You forgot to lock your car."
He turned around, pointed his car key in the direction they had come from and locked his car. The lights blinked once on a 3-series BMW. I smiled at the two guys once again and let them enter the elevator, indicating I'd wait until the next elevator arrived.
When I signed up for the True Blue fanclub in Oxnard, they gave me a handful of fanclub stickers. The owner of the 3-series BMW is now an honorary member of the True Blue fanclub. I hope the stickers don't come off his bumper too easily.