Tuesday, December 10, 2013

the last book I ever read (The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, excerpt nine)

from The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian:

Saturday was game day. Pickens followed his routine. The morning was spent tooling around the ranch. While his guests shot skeet, played tennis and took a helicopter tour of the ranch, Pickens inspected the oil exploration project under way on the far corners of his property. By noon the televisions around the lodge were tuned to college football games on ESPN, ABC and CBS. Ohio State faced Michigan State in one room. West Virginia versus Baylor in another. By 4:00, Pickens had reappeared in the library wearing orange leather boots and an orange sweater vest. Everyone knew what that meant—time to head to the main event.

The Gulfstream engine purred on the ranch runway as passengers filed on board. Pickens sank into his seat and fastened his seat belt. Georgia and Tennessee were knotted up 30-30 on the flat-screen monitor at the front of the plane. Disinterested, Pickens glanced out the window at a herd of black cows grazing on prairie grass beneath a wooden windmill off the runway. The pilot invited everyone to relax. It was 178 miles to Stillwater: flight time, thirty-six minutes. At 4:30 sharp, it was wheels up.

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