Sunday, March 25, 2007

Iowa’s White Elephant Alford Passed Off to New Mexico

As the sacred saying goes, “One state’s abandoned White Elephant is another state’s treasured White Elephant.” The University of Iowa’s basketball program received an early Christmas present when Steve Alford announced he was off to Lobos’ land to help spread his black and gold Midas touch to unsuspecting New Mexicans. Who knows, Maybe Alford will be a perfect fit for New Mexico basketball, but only God knows, and given God’s smoting of Alford and his family while flying to New Mexico, the signs from above aren’t looking good for the Lobos.

After an impressive Final Four finish in Political Fallout’s 2006 White Elephant Awards, it looks as if Iowa’s Million Dollar Baby has become New Mexico’s Million Dollar Baby. Alford signed a 6-year deal that will pay him $975,000 annually -- just shy of a million bones, but don't you fret, I’m sure other perks will push him well over the million-dollar milestone. The salary, nine times as much as Governor Richardson’s, will make Alford the state’s highest paid employee.

Not everyone in New Mexico is happy about the acquisition of the White Elephant and the gift that keeps on taking. Republican state Sen. Joe Carraro weighed in with his thoughts: “I think it’s absurd. The UNM medical school can’t afford to hire a neurosurgeon because most of them won’t move for less than $500,000 a year, but we’re going to pay a basketball coach almost twice that amount? Things are out of control at UNM. They are making some terrible decisions with the state’s money.” Carraro’s looking at this all wrong; he should seriously consider working out a Nike deal for UNM neurosurgeons. What could be more therapeutic than seeing a smiling Nike swoosh logo staring at you when the anesthesia wares off after brain surgery. Better yet, what about spearheading neurosurgeon camps during the summer? Nothing says “cha ching” like a bunch of teenage neurosurgeon wannabes running around UNM dormitories, wielding scalpels overhead and yelling, “It’s Alive!”

Why Alford has sought a change of scenery remains a mystery. Despite Alford’s insistence that his decision was some sort of transcendental calling, Political Fallout has other insights as to why Alford flew the Hawk’s nest:

1. Alford wanted to be physically closer to his mentor, Bobby Knight, thus preparing for an epic battle -- precluded by a father/son reconciliation involving a battle of egos and the smashing of chairs. The battle would end with Basketball Master Knight saying, “Steve, put the chair down. I am your f**cking father, you little piece of sh*t.”

2. Iowa City businesses threatened to put economic sanctions on Alford and his family, cutting them off from their usual “freebies” until Alford landed the Hawkeyes in the second round of the Big Dance.

3. The U of I could no longer afford buying up all of the anti-Alford websites.

On a final note, Political Fallout would like to impart the following words to --

University of New Mexico: God bless and God save you.

Steve Alford:
Na-na na-na-na na na na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye
Hey hey-hey, goodbye Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.

The University of Iowa: Political Fallout is NOT for sale.


Anonymous said...

Here's an idea: Make a concerted, well-publicized effort to hire a new coach who will recruit with this as his top goal: to build the best AND BRIGHTEST college basketball team in the nation -- a team that's not only good but also academically top-notch. It would take some time; it would mean a few years of suffering more losses than otherwise. But in the end it could yield a basketball team every bit as good as any other in the country, with the added panache of being the most academically talented team in the nation.

The snowball effect could result not only in further distinguishing the U. of I. but also in attracting better basketball players by giving them the education they need to become better and more successful citizens after their b-ball careers are over.