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Dear Pac-12: Please take our little team

Date: Sept. 29, 2011

Subject: Application to the Pac-12

Dear Mr. Scott,

In the spirit of big-time athletics, my 8-year-old’s soccer team, of which I am coach, GM, psychiatrist and rush chairman, would like to apply for permission to join the Pac-12, in hopes of forming a true superconference. We’d like to do this very soon.

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At first, my little team and I were appalled by all the conference jumping that’s been going on. Nebraska to the Big Ten. Pitt to the ACC. Texas to the English Premier League. Then we did that most human of things and asked, “Hey, what’s in this for us?”

And as the kids see it, if Phil Jackson can make Audi commercials, then the world is indeed a free and open market.

So, please accept our formal application to the Pac-12. Take our Crimson Knights, please.

We believe our gutsy little players will be a formidable addition to the Pac-12. For three years now, we have been part of what’s known as AYSO, a highly successful program that stresses balanced teams, sportsmanship and a bunch of other baloney I keep forgetting.

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Over and over, I’ve sat through these coaches’ meetings, and the stuff they say bada-bings off my forehead like golf balls off a freeway. I try. I really try. The only thing I can conclude is that I’ve outgrown it. I blame them, not me.

Once, I even tried applying some of their AYSO philosophies to my team. As you might imagine, this did not go over well. Today’s student-athlete is all about winning, and nothing more. Our team motto is: “Just win, win, win, win, win, baby.” We like this motto because it sums up our core values. Obviously, character counts. Just not all that much.

By the way, a couple of the kids requested help lining up sports cars. How does that normally work? Do we talk to you about that? And who do we see about getting the parents free houses?

As you can see, we (and our agents) are committed to the Pac-12. We are passionate about taking this next historic step.

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Let me tell you about the little program you’re about to accept. There are only nine or 10 of us, I’m not sure exactly. Some kids show up, others don’t.

Our world exists only in the things we can touch or eat. Our players see things, we take them. We like everything about life except (naturally) girls.

From what I can tell, our players do not see anything much above their own heads. They recognize their moms and their teachers, that’s all. Otherwise, all other adults are interchangeable. Every time they see me at practice, it’s as if for the very first time.

This is a good quality for today’s student-athlete, in that they don’t make ridiculous attachments based on loyalty or tradition. They make them for solid financial reasons, which is sort of refreshing.

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Make no mistake, these are finely conditioned athletes who live up to Pac-12 standards. They seem to get a “runner’s high” from sugary foods or salty foods — basically, anything heavily processed that comes in a cellophane pouch.

We travel well and often. We have played at fields throughout Los Angeles, finding most — not all — by game time. We have a banner. We might have a mascot. I think it’s a sheep, though it could be a tiny llama. Or a dad with very Mediterranean legs.

Not to seem mercenary, but the parents wanted me to ask: When exactly would we start seeing TV revenue? Some of the moms would like to get started on their holiday shopping. Also, do the parents still need to bring orange slices for halftime, or does the Pac-12 provide those?

Please note that several players have peanut allergies. Several other players are allergic to kids who have peanut allergies. Me, I’m allergic to any foods without peanuts.

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In any case, we look forward to working with the Pac-12, the conference of champions, the only conference that really matters.

Some of the dads are curious though: When we play USC, do they get to meet the Song Girls? And a couple of the players would love to borrow Traveler for their birthday parties.

Obviously, this is a whole new chapter for us. Excited is probably too weak a word. Incontinent is probably better.

Sincerely, the Crimson Knights

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chris.erskine@latimes.com

twitter.com/erskinetimes


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