Chief of Staff. Where can I get one of those? I sure could use one.
Barack Obama has Rahm Emanuel. Lew Perkins has Nicole Corcoran. Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had Alexander Haig.
What’s that you say, sports editors don’t get to have a Chief of Staff? The world is changing. If an athletic director can have one, so can I.
The first assignment for my not-yet-named Chief of Staff is to call back the helicopter mom who left a message on my phone, posing as someone else. She called twice, leaving four minutes worth of messages about a phenomenal junior high football player, detailing his breath-taking plays. She just happened to know the player’s mother, even had her phone number. She didn’t know we have caller ID. It was the same phone number from which she was calling.
Here’s the message my Chief of Staff could send that helicopter mom: Learning how to be a great teammate, a la Russell Robinson and Kerry Meier, not publicity, is what matters for junior high athletes.
The identity of the mom posing as the mom’s friend? Sorry, that’s going to my grave with me.
Next duties for my new Chief of Staff are to shovel my driveway so I don’t get a ticket, pay my parking tickets so I don’t get arrested and clean my desk so it doesn’t get condemned.
Then find my cell phone, retrieve the messages, call everyone back and explain the reason they weren’t called back sooner is because you just found the phone at the bottom of the pile of media guides while cleaning my desk and explain it won’t happen again because the Chief of Staff won’t let it happen again. Then see if you can figure out how to retrieve the messages remotely on this phone. Is this the one that requires entering the password and then hitting the asterisk or was that the last one? Maybe this one is password, then pound sign, or is it pound sign then password?
Next up: e-mail. If they’re selling, you’re not buying. If someone giving away millions is in search of a relative to claim it, don’t bite on that one. Been there, done that, waste of time.
After plowing through the e-mail — the great equalizer for those not blessed with enough personality to actually carry on a face-to-face conversation — fire off a memo to college basketball announcers. Beg them to stop analyzing for coaches and start doing it for viewers because most of us don’t know a stagger screen from a flare screen from a zipper screen from an up screen from a down screen. Talk to us, don’t try to impress us.
Include a P.S. Don’t ever say, “He can score the basketball.” What else is a basketball player supposed to score?
If only I had a Chief of Staff to book my flights in the winter and tee times in the summer, I could tell people to “have your people call my people and we’ll work something out.”
With a Chief of Staff taking care of all the busy work, I could concentrate on how to solve the Rubik’s Cube that is the Kansas basketball team’s front line. Who’s ready, willing and able to become Cole Aldrich’s sidekick? Given that, according to coach Bill Self, Markieff Morris has practiced better than Marcus Morris of late, don’t be surprised if Markieff gets a shot as a starter today.