SETTING:  A sandy desert in north Sahara. A caravan wends its way among the dunes, pausing now as dusk approaches. As the warders move the camels into position, the villagers from nearby Brohnc assume it is a sultan and approach, seeking alms and small gifts. Suddenly they freeze; this is not the van of some sheikh. As the main tent is raised, they recognize it must belong to a great wizard: the tent is unadorned, and while simple, the cloth is pure woven, intricate, and dust free. Only a powerful necromancer travels thus. Trembling with trepidation, but curious beyond measure, they move to the entrance and supplicate for many minutes before humbly seeking entry. A strong, stern voice answers: “Granted”.



SCENE: The interior is dark, and the most powerful incense any has ever smelled fills the air. The area is commodious enough to fit the entire village. Then suddenly he appears: the villagers are paralyzed with wonder. IT IS MUNSACK THE MAGNIFICENT! ALLAH BE PRAISED! His blue and orange turban leaves no doubt. Calmly he sits on a pillow adorned with the face of Joe Vandal, farts loudly and with considerable olfactory intensity such that the incense cannot even remotely alleviate it, then lifts his eyes to the assembly.

One of the villagers finally summons the courage to ask : “Master, will you tell us the future?” Munsack slowly nods. “What about the quarterback situation?”

Hearing this, Munsack throws his right arm in the air: no one moves, or even breathes. “Have ye so little faith” he begins “that an inevitable, required change throws you so? From the South we are graced with an athletic, strong armed one. His 3rd year with the program, with snaps with the 1st team as numerous as these sands, he shall prosper. For one to overtake him, he must be exceptional beyond belief. We’re ok.”

Another asks: ” What of the defensive line?” Munsack draws slowly from his hookah, blowing a fine plume of smoke, then says: “Yes, many have gone. But stalwarts remain. Bacon and T-n-T form the nucleus. Worthy will step up. I have noticed one named Cushing, and Grimes has been more prominent. Our experience level at DE is a concern, but Coach K has been here a long long time. Have faith.”

“And what of the secondary?” Munsack replies:” Yates was very good, but He from the Lake is no slouch; he is First Rate, solid Blue Chip in fact. Jerrell and the Tower will have an interesting spring. Expect some bumps, but it will level out.”

“Running game?” “Our premier runners at this time appear to be D.J. and the as yet unproven Ajayi. Having watched the latter in one scrimmage, he appears to have the goods. Ours is an offense that really only uses one back heavily. Adjustments must be made. Our coaching staff, all of them, I salute as Fellow Wizards. They will make them.”

“What is your overall prediction O Annointed One?”

Munsack stands and addresses them all:

“Winning football games, any game, is never easy. You have been spoiled by the luxury of victory upon victory such that you expect it, despair when defeat, unavoidable though rare, occurs, and too many of you criticize as though you yourselves had been placed in jeopardy in the contest, had poured hours over playbooks, recruiting videos and the like, and were thus in a position to cast aspersions. Be still. The success continues. See to it that you acquit yourselves as fans such that you prove yourselves worthy of the efforts of these stalwart young men.”

With that, Munsack stands as the villagers bend their heads too the floor in homage. Though they dare not look him directly in the face, they feel the intensity of his glance as strong as the searing Saharan sun they face every day. But by avoiding his stare they also miss the twinkle contained in his eyes, his muted but distinct smile, the true affection he has for them, and the blessing he bestows upon them before departing to his private chamber.