Monday, November 17, 2014

Fans lining up for the ultimate knowledge: What does Derek Jeter think?

Hamilton College is a rich, WASPy upstate NY school located on a hill in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by white people with guns. About 10 years ago, it hired for its faculty a member of a Canadian UFO cult who sought to clone the dead child of a West Virginia politician. (I am not making this up; those were the good old days.) Its list of past speaking dignitaries includes Hillary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, Desmond Tutu, Margaret Thatcher and alleged serial rapist Bill Cosby. Next month, the school will seek to answer one of the profound questions of our era:

What does Jeet thinketh?

On Dec. 10, Derek Jeter will speak at Faber Hamilton. Want a ticket? Forget it. They're gone. On Craigslist, fans are even trading the ultimate upstate currency - Syracuse basketball tickets - for a night with The Captain. The school will live-stream the Great Jeterian Address into two auditoriums. As The Master might say, "El Capitan... It's a bleat... from Jeet!"

I know what you're thinking: Bid deal. We know what he'll say. He'll thank the fans, talk the pitch, mention tomorrow's game, and stress that winning - not personal achievements - is what is important. Then he'll wave goodnight. He'll go 60 seconds, maybe 90 - max.

No. This will be Jeet talking for - who knows? 20 minutes? 40 minutes? Maybe he'll turn out to be Fidel Castro and rumble for three hours. This is a speech. This is a paid speaking engagement. This is where you warm them up with a Don Zimmer anecdote, do a little "Mister Torre," sprinkle in some Yogi wisdom, build to a crescendo - George's death bed maybe? - jerk open the tear ducts and leave the crowd wallowing, weeping, wailing for more. This isn't a side-wink to a doting Suzyn Waldman. This is a podium. This demands a call to arms: peace in the Middle East, or end cancer in our lifetimes. This is the start of Jeet's second career. He's either going to talk for living, or he'll have to tend bar.

Forty minutes of Jeet. It sounds like one of those New Age soundtracks, the patter of an oncoming rainstorm. For 20 years, the guy was a monk in a monastery. Now, he's ending his silence? What if he turns out to be evil - denies the Holocaust and calls for beheadings? What then, Hamilton? What will Jeet sayeth?

Right now, I gotta think he's pacing the floor with a quarter-bottle of Scotch, chain-smoking and flinging unjacketed Miles Davis records against the wall, trying to summon descriptors from the depths of his tortured soul. He's like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, waiting for a mission. The floor is covered with blood - his blood - and he's been eating Chinese takeout since Oct. 3. He just smashed a mirror. This will be his moment, his time to testify.

Three weeks until the night of a thousand answers. This is like landing a robot on that comet and drilling into the subsurface for worm viruses.

In three weeks, we will know...

What does Jeet thinketh?

6 comments:

KD said...

Maybe that prof can clone Jeets for the Yanks? science has progressed, you know, and we need a steady stream of championship caliber shortstops. The speech may just be a ruse.

Alphonso said...

I can't imagine he has anything to say.

He has been so brainwashed to "pre-game and post-game speak" that it seems inconceivable that he could have original ( non-censored ) opinions on anything.

He won't even attest to which newspaper, if any, he reads.

Having lived in a baseball shell for his entire life, what subject matter could he possibly have been exposed to?

I get it; the gig at Hamilton will be baseball anecdotes and lessons. Tales of Zim. Something like that.

Do you imagine he will speak of the implications of the Japanese recession on the dollar?

KD said...

Duque, share with Jeets the text of your “Yankees Apocalypse” talk you gave at the library last year. Toss in some appropriate updates. Help a brother out!

Not Anonymous said...

I agree with Alphonso. There will be nothing compelling here.

Elie Wiesel said...

In 2005, Hamilton College cancelled a lecture by University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill after threats of violence, thousands of negative E-mails, hundreds of newspaper articles, and hours of talk-show ranting. Churchill had sparked the controversy in an essay in which he compared the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center to "little Eichmanns." No such controversy with El Capitan, presumably.

John M said...

Maybe if Jeet called the victims of the Japanese recession "little Tojos" this would get interesting.