The elevator stretched deep beneath the university’s central administration building, and opened on a short hallway with an old-fashioned, cast-iron door guarded by a member of the campus police in a ceremonial uniform.

“This is it,” said the university president to his guest, the head of the alumni association. He waved the guard aside and withdrew a tarnished key on a chain from around his neck. It jangled noisily in the lock.

“But I still don’t understand,” said the alumni association head. “Why freeze the coach, especially with the state of technology in those days?”

The door retracted into the walls, long-disused gears squealing. A circular room lay beyond, with a cylindrical capsule at its center. A beefy man wearing nothing but a primitive wooden jockstrap was suspended in fluid, lit by gas lamps that flickered to life as the president and head entered.

“Because he was too advanced for his time,” the president said, raising his voice to be heard over the low din of Industrial Revolution era life support machinery. “Our sachems knew that one day American football would rise to preeminence among college sports, but a man can only live for so long. So we chose instead to preserve him, to be thawed out only when the need for a bowl game was most dire.”

“It is most dire indeed,” the alumni association head agreed, wincing at the thought of the previous week’s 127-3 loss.

Soon the room was full of clatter and steam as the machinery was disengaged. The coach emerged from his pod to behold the president and alumni association head kneeling before him.

“It is time,” said the president. “Lead us to victory.”

“Bully,” said the coach, twitching his handlebar mustache. “We play by Boston rules. I have in my head a secret plan to score more runs per match than has ever been attempted even by the likes of Harvard. No carrying the ball, no unsportsmanlike shoving, just pure and simple contests of fielders versus bulldogs with the fair catch kick rule in play above all.”

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