Right now, there's some guy named Denny in Elwood, Nebraska just getting the news that Bill Callahan's contract got extended. He's just seen it in the paper. He's exploding and his family is thinking "Oh, God, please, not this again" and they're looking for any excuse to leave and escape the constant ranting about how Callahan hasn't proven anything yet and how he's not worth all that damned money. It's a near-constant for Denny, looking for anything to complain about in a way that's a disorder yet to be named.
In five minutes everyone has left the house and there's no one left to listen to his tirade so he calls his brother-in-law, Doug, who moved down by Orleans a few years ago. Doug is the calm one, and as long as he has a cold beer, he'll listen to all the shit that Denny can shovel. No one knows why, but they all thank God for Doug's existence as it lets them off the hook. They're thankful for Doug being around most of the holidays and family gatherings because they can let Doug and Denny be alone with a television and Denny's incessant ranting while everyone else enjoys themselves.
Denny starts in on his usual stuff, the same stuff he'd been yelling at no one just a few minutes before and Doug lets him ramble on for four or five minutes like he always does. Doug takes another gulp of Coors, stuff that most human beings won't drink but Doug likes because, as he says, because "We're not so far from Golden, Colorado that it's gone bad yet from traveling a long distance". After finishing one can and grabbing another, he waits for Denny to inhale and then says,
"What the hell is wrong with them extending Callahan's contract?"
Now that his lungs are once again filled with air, Denny shouts back into the phone.
"Haven't you been listening?"
"Yea, I've been listening, but so far you haven't answered the question. You've just repeated the same damned complaint you've had for the past three years. Hasn't won a big game, hasn't won the Big 12, blah blah blah. Same shit, different day."
Denny is now discombobulated, the same reaction he always has when Doug disagrees with him. No one else ever sees this because they've all left by the time Doug says anything. Doug knows it keeps his reputation of being able to put up with anything Denny dishes out, so he just out-waits everyone. As long as he has the reputation everyone else will buy him beer whenever he's around Denny and he likes free beer as much as anything.
"Well, shit, they gave him, what a two-hunderd and fifty thousand dollar raise? For what? He hasn't even won a..."
"They gave that peckerhead that's coaching at Alabama four million to start just for showing up."
"Well, just because they're stupid in Alabama doesn't mean we have to be."
"It's a lousy two hundred and fifty grand. They'll probably pay that much in interest next year on something new they're trying to build."
"All the more reason we ought to be saving our money. Now that sonofabitch is going to be around for another five years. What if he still hasn't won a big .... "
"They'll fire him and buy out his contract. That's what they do these days."
"Kind of a waste of money ain't it?"
"Like I said, that's what they do these days. He's got all these good kids coming in from all over the place. Kids these days aren't dumb. They want to know that he's going to be around to coach them. Plus that, they looked damned good to me last Saturday or didn't you watch the game?"
"Like I didn't watch the game. They beat the hell out of Nevada. I didn't even know Nevada had football. Everyone out there's is probably too damn busy gambling to play football anyway. Besides, if there's so much money floating around, how 'bout they send some my way?"
"How much did you get last year for not planting your CRP acreage?"
"You're an asshole", Denny says and then he laughs.
That's the way it always ends, the conversations between the two of them. Denny rants on about something just to feel like he's alive, Doug listens for a while and then sets him straight. That's the way it'll be for as long as Bill Callahan doesn't win a big game, or the Big 12, or a national title. Even if he does, it'll start all over again the next season because Denny had the same things to say about Tom Osborne for twenty years. You'd think people would be used to it by now.