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A Hypothetical Oral History of National Signing Day At Every Single University

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Excerpts from A Comprehensive History of Every Single FBS Recruit Ever, Vol. 253 are below; please attribute any corrections to the Department of Hearsay, Bristol, CT 06010 (yeah, it's strange, but it's really a coincidence).

NSD is a big day for us, you know. We have it circled on our calendars and everything.
NSD is a big day for us, you know. We have it circled on our calendars and everything.

Excerpt 1: National Signing Day Is a Big Deal

Athletic Director: You know, National Signing Day - or NSD, as it's known around these parts - is a big deal for us. It's a big deal for the university, a big day. Everyone gets excited for it.

The Fax Machine in the Athletic Department: Yeah, NSD is pretty awesome.

Hostess: NSD is awesome! Yeah! Go NSD! What's NSD stand for?

Head Coach: Every NSD is a big deal, but this year is the biggest NSD that we've ever had at our university. We're really excited for all the student-athletes coming in. It's going to be a big year for us. We've really got some great players who can step in and make a difference on and off the field.

Fax Machine: Every NSD is the exact same. It's still awesome. Everyone loves me on NSD.

Grad Assistant: NSD blows. Well, I mean most days blow - this is off the record, right? - but NSD really blows. Normally I can sneak in a 30 minute nap in a conference room chair up at the office, but not with that fax machine going off all the time and coach wandering in at every hour.

Athletic Department Office Assistant: What, that grad assistant? Yeah, he comes in pretty much every day; we tell him there's nobody in the conference room and he goes and naps on the table for a couple hours. Snores like the undead, too. One of these days we're going to draw on him while he's sleeping.

Head Coach: We have the hardest working coaching staff in college football. I'm so proud of everyone on this staff and the commitment they put forth day-in, day-out to bring in the best student-athletes in the nation. It's a lot of work, but NSD is really its own reward. When NSD comes around and we get to see all those letters of intent roll in, it's just a wonderful sight. I love just sitting up at the offices on NSD and listening to the fax machine while I watch game tape in the conference room; it's a change, but you know, change can be a good thing.

Athletic Department Office Assistant: The fax machine? Man, I hate that thing. 364 days a year, it sits around and gathers more dust than Jerome. It's louder than the snoring.

Fax Machine: I'm whisper quiet. They're all lying. Check my manual. At least I'm here more than 35 hours a week, unlike some people in this department who I won't name.

Athletic Department Office Assistant: The fax machine is talking to you? And said what about me? Are you for real?

Excerpt 2: National Signing Day on Campus

Head Coach: You've never seen NSD at our university? Man, it's something to behold. All the students walk by our offices all day long. We keep a list posted outside near the front steps on who we've signed. I think the biggest year we've had - well, before this year - we had 1,500 students waiting outside for names to go up. I guess they skipped class, which they shouldn't do, but it's tough to really blame them when they're so excited about our program.

Athletic Director: It's great to see our students and fans so committed to this university's football program. We pride ourselves on our integrity and commitment to our student-athletes, and we like to make sure that every student-athlete that sets foot on campus has every chance to succeed. We do a fantastic job of making sure that our student athletes are the best prepared to succeed both on and off the field. It's thanks to our fine coaching staff and even better support staff - both the student body and those with the means to support our endeavors financially, although we appreciate any and all support - that allows us to be the fine university we are.

Key Booster: Man, I love it when investments mature. Gotta keep ‘em happy when they get here, too, knowwhatImean? Yeah, you know what I mean. Gotta love watching these fine athletic specimens mature. Yeah. ::nods approvingly::

Fax Machine: Half these kids aren't even going to be around in 12, 24 months. Whatever. I get all the attention when they arrive, so I don't really care. The more they aren't around, the happier I am. Think anyone would care if I only was in the spotlight for 10 minutes in a 24-hour day? I don't. The more transfers and drop-outs, the more people care about me. See how this works?

Grad Assistant: I heard rumors about one year before I got here people got so pissed we didn't land this one five-star they had to cordon off the building to prevent a riot. I remember that because I thought cordoning was something you did to chicken.

Hostess: So, well, there was this one year, right? And there was a bonfire - I think, that's when a bunch of people get together around a light pole and sing, right? - and there were so many people here! It was insane. I haven't seen anything that insane since ....well, you know, maybe since last Friday. That was pretty insane. We throw the best parties!

Excerpt 3: The Big Get

Head Coach: We really have the best staff in America. From top to bottom, we have some really tireless recruiters, the kind of guys who will put in the work that's required to really land those elite players that can take a program to the next level. And it's a cycle, too; you bring in the big guys, the exciting ones, they get other players excited for your program too. We have limits on how much time we can spend on recruiting, but you know, those key players can really do a lot for us.

Athletic Director: Our coaching staff does an excellent job of not only locating the best student-athletes in America, but they do such a good job getting them excited for our program. Really, one or two incoming student-athletes spreading the word to other recruits can work wonders for a program, and our coaching staff does an excellent job of getting recruits to spread the word about the kinds of things they can expect when they step on campus here.

Grad Assistant: One year the head coach made me sleep in my truck outside a recruit's house for a week. I think my per diem was $8 a day. Actually, that's a lie; they gave me a roll of quarters and told me to get to work. We got the guy to campus, at least. And I did laundry. That was nice of coach.

Head Coach: Really, we can talk about how good our staff is all day long, but at the end of the day, the campus sells itself. This is such a good place to be for so many reasons.

Athletic Department Office Assistant: Man, the head coach was so pissed when the only half-decent strip club in town shut down in September. The only redeeming thing about the new best place in town is Taco Tuesdays - $1 per taco isn't a bad deal no matter where you find it.

Key Booster: I can't believe Wishes shut down in September. Don't they understand recruiting season? How's a young man supposed to enjoy all our fine city has to offer if they can't visit the best places in town?

Athletic Director: Our staff and our student body have vibrant energy and they're not afraid to show it. We have the best student body in the nation.

Hostess: Ugh, I swear, if one more person on the coaching staff asks me to make sure some 17-year-old kid has a really good time with all that nudging and winking? Ugh. Just ugh. I mean, I don't mind making sure he knows where all the parties are - that's why I'm a hostess, you know? But ....ugh. ::shudder::

Key Booster: Look, I'm not the kind of person who would sit here and tell you that I or any of my friends would do anything illegal to get a recruit to come to this fine university. That's wrong and that's immoral. I will tell you that the car dealership I run has an extensive loaner program. But that has nothing to do with anything, unless you happen to need a car. If you do, we should talk.

Grad Assistant: I have no clue why anyone under the age of 50 drives a Buick, but hey, nobody complains. Especially the parents.

Excerpt 4: The One That Got Away

Athletic Director: So I remember one year - must've been a while ago since I don't remember the exact year - where we didn't land this one guy. I think he went on to play in the NFL, although last I heard he had to change positions; he's a fullback or a tight end or a linebacker or something now. Maybe he's retired. Anyway, we tried to get him, we didn't get him, for some reason everyone thought we were going to get him, and there was nearly a riot. I don't know why there was a riot; we have passionate fans, sure, but that year they probably went a bit too far. The effigy was definitely over the top; we had to cut down a few trees the following year to avoid that problem, but we gave the firewood to needy homes. That's how we operate here; everything's a positive.

Key Booster: Man, that recruit? So upset we didn't get him, although that was probably because I wasn't on the case. Not that I'm ever on any case, you know.

Head Coach: We try, we really do try hard, you know. We have such a strong staff that's so committed to bringing the best guys in to this program, but sometimes it just isn't meant to be. Sometimes it hurts - you know, when you lose a guy at the last minute to a school that was never in the running, you want to ask questions, but these things even out. We do a pretty good job getting the critical guys in, too.

Grad Assistant: Man, that recruit? Coach wrecked half the locker room when he found out. Took the repairs out of my salary, too. I didn't even know he could do that, but apparently there's a "random damages" clause in my contract. I'm not sure that's legal, but I can't afford a lawyer, so I guess I have to deal with it.

Athletic Department Office Assistant: Don't tell the GA we screwed with his contract. It was supposed to just be a prank - we have the real contract locked up in the AD's office - but the head coach was so happy when he found out what we did that he demanded we keep it quiet. Not that it makes any difference to me. Oh, that recruit? Whatever. We weren't ever getting him anyway. Dude rolled in here driving a Jag; we never get anyone who shows up in a Jag.

Excerpt 5: Online Presence

Athletic Department Office Assistant: Really, the webcam's the dumbest part of the whole ordeal.


Fax Machine: Yeah, it's my day to shine; I love the camera. Lights, camera, FAXTION! I spent all night thinking of that line. Was it funny? Did you laugh? Tell me you laughed. Please? You laughed. Don't lie to me.

Athletic Director: It's great that our fans are so invested and involved with the future of our program. We thought a neat way to give back to them was to let them see inside the process, so when it came down to if we should broadcast our incoming athletes' public commitments to their future at our university, it was never a question of if but of how.

Fax Machine: Seriously, one day out of the year people use me. I've almost gotten thrown out three times in the last two years alone, but well, they don't make guys like me any more. No, really, they don't; I was discontinued in 1994.

Athletic Department Office Assistant: The webcam costs $20. We made the grad assistant buy it; told him he had to because of his contract. One year they made me bring my laptop in from home instead. They want a better webcam, they better pony up the dough for it themselves.

Grad Assistant: I think they turn the webcam on me when I'm taking naps, but nobody's willing to admit to it.

Jerome: Man, we've got an awesome mashup of the GA snoring set to Seven Nation Army. You should find it online sometime. Just search for "Snoring Seven Nation Army." Should be the first hit.

Head Coach: I love it when people tell me they pulled the fax camera up at their office or in class. It really shows they care about our program. It really shows they're excited! This year we're going to try and set a new viewing record. We've got interviews planned and everything.

Booster: Man, I always take the day off. Gotta show my respects for the university and the fine caliber of athlete I - er, they - bring in. They. Yeah, they do it.

Hostess: Yeah, so I just show up after cheer practice and they ask me not to change. It's a little creepy - I mean, who sleeps at the office? - but it's only for a day and I think they'd get upset at me if I said anything, so I don't say anything.

Key Booster: Man, I love watching that webcam. All those faxes. Really puts a spring in my step, yaknow?

Fax Machine: Dude, even our biggest booster creeps me out. Thank God they banned him from the building a few years ago; I know he watches me anyway, but I don't think he's showered in two years. Still, it's not nearly as weird when there's more than just him, you know? I'd feel like a stripper or something if it was just him.

Jerome: Sometimes we throw quarters at the fax machine when it gets really noisy. Sometimes we just do it because we're bored.

Grad Assistant: Sometimes after I wake up, there's just all this change lying in front of the fax machine. I call those days Extra Taco Tuesdays.