Local Boy Makes Good

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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Some quotes are attributed to people yet there is no proof that the person actually said thus and thus. The late Illinois senator, Everett Dirkson, who died in 1969, comes to mind every time I think of the bills passed by our governments and how the first letter of the “illions” has changed. At one time, we measured lots of money with an “m” in front of the “illions,” as in millions. For many years, the “m” was replaced by the “b,” as in billions. Now the “b” has been replaced by “tr,” as in trillions.

In updating the Illinois senator’s alleged quote, he would be saying in today’s parlance, “A trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” By the way, there is no official record of Dirkson saying that.

I bring it up today as I hear of all the coaching changes that are happening in College Football. As I write this, it seems that Brian Kelley, now the former head football coach at Notre Dame and presently the newly announced head football coach at LSU, will be paid $15 million dollars a year.

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As soon as the ink was dry, Kelley texted his Notre Dame players that he was leaving, but that he really loved them. In fact he put it like this, “My love for you is limitless.” His love might be limitless, but also could be purchased for $15 million dollars a year! I guess everything has its price.

I was in the bread aisle of a grocery store yesterday and a woman looked at the loaves and was shaking her head back and forth and did not have a pleasant look on her face.

I just asked, “Too high?” She didn’t have to answer. I knew what she was thinking. If we are suffering from the inflation that has raised the price of just about every item we use, imagine what must be going through the minds of university athletic directors and presidents.

Inflation might have hit the price of a loaf of bread and a piece of meat to go on it, but what has it done to the price of a head football coach?

Lincoln Riley was the very successful football coach at Oklahoma University. He signed a new deal with Oklahoma last year that would have guaranteed him the job through 2025 for the sum total of $45.21 million dollars.

But here comes the University of Southern California and dangles, according to Fox News, an offer of $110 million dollars. Riley said that leaving Oklahoma was “probably the most difficult decision of my life.” I guess $110 million made the decision a little easier. I know it would have for me.

The most famous football coach of all time, not named Nick Saban, was Bear Bryant. What would he make these days? I can’t imagine, but a quick search of the internet shows that the Bear was signed to a 10-year Alabama contract in 1957 at $17,500 dollars a year.

At the time of Bryant’s 1982 retirement, he was the highest paid football coach in the country at $450,000 dollars a year. Fast forward thirty years. The current Crimson Tide head coach, Nick Saban, is paid almost $10 million. Until now, he was the highest paid coach in America.

Most of these people are not known to us, but here is an interesting name and situation that brings all these numbers home. Former Bainbridge Bearcat and current University of Georgia Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart may win the national championship with this year’s team. His new contract might beat them all!

Can we all say, “Local boy makes good?”