"Wanna dance, baby?" coo strippers in clear heels and thongs. "Wanna coach, baby?" coo college coaches in pinstripe suits and Italian loafers.
Perpetual free agents, once seated, these stripper coaches whisper sweet words of endearment to a willing fan base. "My family loves it here. I don't want to be anywhere else," is coach speech for "Wanna buy me a drink? Don't you want to get somewhere more private?" Past championships are the coaches' cleavage, the glittering, powdered flesh that fans can't look away from.
Just like in a strip club, the coaching intimacy is false, every word a calculated attempt to make you open your wallet one more time. Have a stripper coach sitting with your program, reveling in fun, swimming eye-deep in wins? All it takes is a nod from another table and your coach or stripper is up and gone, off to the next willing participant.
In my last book, "On Rocky Top," I referred to the present state of coaching in college sports as a mercenary era. But I think I was too kind. Mercenaries are more straightforward in their dealings; pay them and they're yours. But there's no expectation of intimacy or loyalty, it's all about the money. Our present era is dirtier, seamier, like a gentlemen's club full of coaches during a two for one special dance. It's not just getting the new jobs that this generation of coaches have perfected, it's the soundbite of seduction, saying just the right things to make your union seem more permanent than the short lap dance that is really taking place.
The college coaching business has become the dirtiest and least loyal part of sports in America. Part of the reason is contractual -- I'm sure that NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL coaches would leap at the opportunity to double their salaries on a mere offer, but all of those leagues are subject to collective bargaining agreements that keep coaches in place once they sign contracts. It's why, say, Phil Jackson doesn't jump to the Boston Celtics in the offseason for more money and why Bill Cowher, for instance, had to sit out a year before he could even contemplate another NFL job. Once you sign a professional coaching contract, you are tethered to that team for the length of the deal, so long as the team wants you to remain.
But college coaches?
College coaches can take jobs anywhere at any point with virtually no contractual recourse. In the past, coaches were constrained by a genuine love for the places they worked, a recognition that as college coaches they represented something more than the dollars they earned; they worked for a university as molders of young men, and that required a degree of decorum.
Now all our modern coaches are strippers and your school's fight song might as well be the prelude to Chastity taking the stage: "Hail to the Victors" followed by "Pour Some Sugar On Me."
Ultimately, fan bases across America end up infuriated at falling for the seduction, listening to those magic words that made us give up our better judgment and pay for Coach Cal's lap dance. If you aren't convinced yet, then follow me along a greatest hits routine, the most stripper-level moves by coaches in a stripper coach era.
As a prelude, there are a couple of ground rules to the stripper coach: A.) The coach has to be moving from one place where he could win a national championship to another; leaving a mid-major job for a big-time job doesn't qualify and B.) The departing coach has to be in some form of physical danger upon his first return to the scene of his former job.
Without further ado, here are the 10 biggest stripper coaching moves:
10. Roy Williams takes the North Carolina job after spurning Bonnie Bernstein in his famous postgame interview.
"I don't give a [expletive] about North Carolina."
It's hard to call Ole Roy a stripper coach since he spent 15 years at Kansas before leaving for his dream job at North Carolina. But I'm sliding him into the picture based on his answer to the interview question, the way he left Kansas fans twirling in the breeze while he made his decision, and the anger that resulted from his leaving. That's started to wane now thanks to Kansas winning their own title, but it has been six full seasons now.
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Not to mention the fact that ole Roy waited until Matt Doherty had blown up the program to leave for the Tar Heel state, having spurned the Heels following Bill Guthridge's retirement in 2000, which struck many as a pretty calculated move.
9. Nick Saban leaves the Miami Dolphins for Alabama, spurning LSU in the process.
Once more, Saban, I think, is a coach on the fine line between mercenary and stripper head coach. Saban covered his move among SEC rivals with a brief trip to the Miami Dolphins after leaving LSU, and he's not exactly the most charismatic talker out there. If he were in the strip club, Saban would be the angry, drunk stripper, who doesn't seduce you into a lap dance so much as she angers you into one. The kind of stripper who walks up, sneers at you and says, "You spilled my last drink when you moved your seat. Buy me a new one. Move over."
By the way, if you think about the stripper analogy and actually start picturing the coaches in clear high heels, everyone loses. (Except possibly Marv Albert.)
Finally, LSU is, at best, Alabama's third biggest rival in the SEC after Auburn and Tennessee. So it's not like Saban pulled a Pitino and went to the biggest rival.
8. Rick Pitino accepts the Louisville job leaving Kentucky fans furious.
Even with the buffer of the Boston Celtics between jobs, Pitino inaugurated the era of the stripper coach with his decision to join up with Kentucky's biggest rival, the Louisville Cardinals. In fact, Pitino might be the ultimate picture of the stripper coach because he's so well-manicured. His hair is perfectly adorned with gel, his suits are specially fitted, his fingernails are always immaculately groomed. Pitino might as well be an old male stripper.
It's the height of the stripper coach era to move from one blood-feud rival program to another. The decision shows a degree of tactless disloyalty that hits right at the heart of the stripper coach mantra: I do what I want when I want, consequences be damned.
Pitino is now in his eighth year at Louisville, and his dalliances with women in restaurants somehow seems perfectly appropriate given it was his move to the Cardinals in the first decade of the 21st century that helped to unleash the stripper coach phenomenon.
It's only the Boston Celtics job in between these two positions that keeps Pitino from being No. 1 on our list.
7. Houston Nutt bails on Arkansas for Ole Miss.
Ten years after Tuberville pulled the ditch job on Ole Miss -- higher on our list -- the Rebels get their revenge by stealing Arkansas' coach. Granted, Houston Nutt left with a small lynch mob already chasing him in Fayetteville, but the decision to jump ship within the division is the ultimate stripper coach move.
Because it's such a calculated attempt to make a move, you clearly know the strengths and weaknesses of every team. Moving within a division isn't a wild and outlandish maneuver or a decision predicated on loyalty. It's completely and utterly stripper-esque, hopping from one couch to the next because you know the situation is better for you.
Plus, Nutt even looks kind of like a Saturday Night Live skit version of a male stripper with his frantic twitching antics. Can't you see him alongside the now deceased Swayze and Farley, swaying to the Chippendale's beat?
6. Dennis Franchione leaves for Texas A&M after turning down a 10-year contract extension from Alabama.
How does Coach Fran notify his team of the offer he accepted at Texas A&M?
Via video conference.
Yep, he doesn't even have the decency to return to Tuscaloosa.
It's like Fran wrote the entire script for "Up In The Air" before the novel was even completed and the movie was released in theaters.
5. Tommy Tuberville tells Ole Miss, "They'll have to carry me out of here in a pine box." Two days later he accepts the Auburn job.
With nary a pine box to be seen anywhere, Tuberville leaves after spending four seasons at Ole Miss, during which time he runs up a 25-20 overall record. Anytime there is no buffer between your coaching moves, i.e. you take another job, and you end up coaching against the team you previously coached the next season, you're the definition of a stripper, hopping from one client to the next between songs.
Tuberville pulled the classic stripper move on Ole Miss. "I'll be right back, hunny," before vanishing for the fat man in the next booth with the fatter wallet. And, let's be clear, Tuberville's jilting of Ole Miss was worse than Nutt's jilting of Arkansas because there was no real heat on Tuberville from an angry fan base and because of the pine box quote.
A quote, mind you, that deserves to end up on Tuberville's gravestone.
4. Bobby Petrino moves to Arkansas in the middle of the NFL season and ditches the Atlanta Falcons.
Petrino's stripper coach move hits at a major theme, the enabling nature of college contracts. As I stated above, college contracts don't restrict the movement of a coach from one job to another within college sports. But they also offer immediate escape valves for any coach on a professional level, who would otherwise have to sit out once they abandoned their contract.
Petrino, after flirting with Auburn about replacing Tuberville -- oh, the irony, one stripper trying to snag another stripper's sugar daddy -- bolts from the Atlanta Falcons in the midst of his first season coaching the team, a 3-10 disaster.
How did Petrino depart?
He left a note for the team in the locker room.
Seriously, you can't even make this stuff up.
Before the ink on the note was dry, Petrino was in Fayetteville, Ark., calling the Hogs at the Razorback press conference.
3. Rich Rodriguez spurns West Virginia for Michigan.
This departure took contentious to a whole new level. How so? Because West Virginia took the extraordinary step of actually suing Rich Rod for $4 million in buyout money. The lawsuit was eventually settled when the University of Michigan agreed to pay $2.5 million and Rich Rod agreed to pay $1.5 million.
Settling the lawsuit did nothing to assuage the anger among West Virginia fans. Rich Rod, who had previously asserted his affinity for the university on multiple occasions, left in the wake of an epic choke job, a final-game home loss to Pittsburgh that likely kept the Mountaineers from playing in the national championship game. What's more, he didn't even have the decency to coach the in the BCS game.
If country roads ever take Rodriguez home, he'd better travel with bodyguards.
2. Lane Kiffin flies out of Knoxville bound for USC.
In the wake of his decision comes a mild riot, furious investigations of improprieties, an on-campus attempt to redirect Tennessee recruits who are already living in the dorms to USC, a mad dash to turn off coaches' cell phones, and enough anger to power a small city for a month.
Kiffin ends his era at Tennessee by showing up for a press-conference in jeans and a short-sleeve white polo. He refuses to take questions and speaks for 60 seconds. Knoxville police are immediately dispatched to Kiffin's home to offer protection, and the famous Rock on Tennessee's campus is painted with vulgarities.
Kiffin, who named his son Knox while living in the city, arrives in Los Angeles and a new name appears on the USC website for his son. Knox Kiffin is known by his first name, Monte.
1. Coach John Calipari leaves Memphis for Kentucky.
In so doing, Cal pulls off the triple crown of stripper coach moves: A.) He leaves Memphis for Kentucky B.) He leaves just as Memphis is placed on probation and has its Final Four vacated C.) He steals several of Memphis' top recruits and takes them to Kentucky.
Basically, Calipari did to Memphis's basketball program what William Tecumseh Sherman did to Atlanta, burned it down to the ground.
Right now Kentucky basketball fans will fight you to the death, or the bottom of their moonshine jug -- which may be the same thing -- if you so much as utter a negative word about Coach Cal. They're in love with their stripper.
But if we've learned anything from this list, it's the following: If you hire a stripper coach, eventually it's going to hurt when you go to pee.
Clay Travis is the author of three books. His latest, "On Rocky Top: A Front Row Seat to The End of an Era" chronicles the 2008 Tennessee football season and is on sale now and makes a great Groundhog Day gift for people and groundhogs alike.