Location: Omaha, NE
Game time: 5:00pm CT
Weather at tip-off: 48° fahrenheit, east winds at 8mph, 93% chance of rain
Radio: Radio: 1620am / 101.9fm / 1620 the Zone App feat the voice of Xmus Jaxon Flaxon-Waxon Bishop
TV: FS1 / Fox Sports App
Verba de Ludorum
CH. 1 - IN THE CLUTZ
He thought he’d built an empire.
Instead, he slowly lost complete control.
Bit by bit.
Until he got hit by a Volvo in Sweden.
Jacob Abraham Clutz was born January 5th, 1848 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
At 15, Jacob was offering embattled Union and Confederate soldiers tainted bottles of water that were sure to give them dysentery, because he wanted to level the playing field, but more because he wanted to see chaos. He was a menace to a bloodbath war, a real sociopathic jackass, but no one could corral the young prankster.
28,000 people died in his hometown, yet Jacob couldn’t stop pulling pranks.
He survived the war at his front step, showed up at Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and heckled from the crowd. During Edward Everett’s two hour long speech, young Jacob found himself restless and decided to pick some pockets.
Here’s what he managed to steal:
- A bible
- Two birds
- One stone
- A VHS copy of “Die Hard”
- Seventy five knives
- Keys to an abandoned castle
- Pocket lint
- A bottle of moonshine
- Two bucks
Jacob thought this was a pretty good score, so he trotted away and tried to impress the schoolgirls. He tried to sell his wares to them, but none of them had money, but he managed to gain the attention of Liberty Hollinger - a schoolgirl who was a master wordsmith at fifteen.
She saw in Jacob what no one else wanted to see: a man on the brink of greatness. All he needed was a little push. So she pushed him, into a ditch, and stole all of his knives and castle keys, then returned to the oration happening in her hometown.
Jacob laid in the ditch for a while, sipping on the moonshine, and wondering where he’d gone so wrong.
Days passed, yet there he lay, in the ditch, with the rats and dampness encompassing his entire self that only a Manhattan basement apartment could recreate.
When he eventually emerged, after having a series of “religious epiphanies,” he sought out the girl who robbed him, and offered her parents the two dollars he stole in order to marry their daughter.
“Young man, we haven’t seen our daughter in days,” the Hollinger father said politely, “but if you can find her you can certainly keep her. She’s far too literate for my illiterate family, and scares us very, very much.”
“Yes, she isn’t a very dumb peoples like we’s,” the Hollinger mother screamed from the kitchen of the house, where she was trying to repair the loom with a mouse and the barrel of a musket, “good luck, we love you small boy!”
Jacob didn’t get any hints here, but there happened to be a trail of knives leading to the abandoned castle that sat upon the hill just to the west. He set forth, thinking that if she’d gained entry to the castle, that she’d also stolen the loot that was contained there. Fear of a rich woman shook young Jacob to his core, so he sprinted to the castle gate.
“Liberty!” Jacob yelled from the castle gate. “Liberty you’s my wife now and you gotta share the loot!”
Inside, Liberty was finishing up a dynamite first-hand account of the horrors she saw at Gettysburg. The blood. The dead bodies. The two hour long speech that went on and on and on. As she put a period on the last word, she hit the “schedule to publish” button, picked a time, and then sent it to her editor via carrier pigeon. Her work was done. Then she heard Jacob from down below and decided to entertain the boy.
She discovered Jacob at the front gate, with bite marks marring his arms and legs, worried that he probably had the plague or the rat flu.
“Jesus Christ, Jacob. You’re in pretty rough shape,” Liberty remarked.
“You’re my wife now. I am your husband, I paid two whole dollars for you, and I demand you take care of me,” Jacob shot back.
“Oh shit,” Liberty murmured to herself. “This sucks.”
On December 15th, the two were married at a Lutheran church. Liberty’s family didn’t show up because they were non-believers in the Gregorian calendar and had no idea when the wedding was. Jacob’s uncle Pebtry showed up with a cask of moonshine. No one else was there, so Jacob got shine drunk and ordained himself and married his wife... to himself. He sort of liked the ministry and preacher work, so he rummaged through the closet and found some robes and a collar, then just started showing up to the church everyday and preaching about stealing things because it was tax exempt monies.
Liberty’s writing of the war eventually got published and she got some insane royalties off of it when Cornell purchased the original transcript to be accessible in their vast library. There was a Broadway play about her writing called Cats that told the story of confederate and union soldiers who were lost to the fog of war.
With the burgeoning successes the young couple were experiencing, they decided to move out into the wild, wild west, for they’d grown tired of the burdens they experienced with the recurring intrusive thoughts that the war in Gettysburg brought on.
CH. 2 - BUSINESS IS BOOMING
Willy Jones was a Chicago businessman.
He knew business. He was all business. He knew everyone’s business and everyone knew his. He wore a hat that had “BUSINESS” embroidered on the side of it. When he got drunk he talked about business, when he was suffering from sobriety he told stories of business, when he was sick he thought about business opportunities, when he was in love he was really just thinking about business.
Business was his pleasure, his leisure, his work, and his ambition.
Willy Jones wanted everyone to experience the euphoria of business. He wanted people to mind their own business but grow their own business and have the synergy to keep a business for generations. His lust for business to be everywhere was a straight shooter’s pipedream; and Willy Jones got a chance to get some people to be all about business.
On a fine day in Chicago, Willy Jones tripped over a dead carrier pigeon on his way to a business meeting. He believed this to be a sign from God, so he unraveled the message tied to the leg of the lifeless bird and took the script to the local library.
The librarian read aloud to the illiterate Willy Jones this message:
“Fremont needs business.”
A sign from God indeed.
Willy Jones then asked the librarian for a map, to show him where Fremont was.
Willy Jones sprinted to the train station. When he arrived, he was covered in sweat, but it was the lust for business that carried his legs the 4 1⁄2 miles it took to get to the station. He purchased his ticket to Omaha, then sat with his hands folded, a smile beaming from his face, as he eagerly awaited his business opportunity.
An old man in a worn flat cap sat down next to him.
“Say pal, you seem to be in good spirits. Did you learn how to read?”
“Heck no! Reading is for stupids. I’m going to do business where business is needed,” Willy Jones shot back.
“That’s good. They say that reading is for stupids, anyways. I am a stupid. I know how to read,” the old man softly replied.
“You stupid old man! I could do business circles around you! Besides, don’t you know that Fremont is about to become the new business frontier of the New West?”
“Fremont? I’m from Fremont! Do you mind if I go with you To Fremont? I assume you’re going to Fremont, because you’re all about business and you just said Fremont is the business frontier of the west. I have lots of money,” the old man excitedly blurted.
“Heck yes, Old Man! What is your name?”
“My name is Ben Sasse’s great grandfather. What’s your name?”
“Pleased to meet you Ben Sasse’s great grandfather! I’m Willy Jones!”
The two boarded the train together, arms linked, and chatted about their bright and prosperous future in Fremont. Ben Sasse’s great grandfather told Willy Jones stories about how he hated detassling corn, how the new generation works very hard, and why gay men and women should be allowed to get married. It was a very informative ride for Willy Jones, a ride he’d never forget.
CH. 3 - ATCH-OO-ISON
Liberty Hollinger and her husband Jacob Clutz arrived in Atchison, Kansas, after a long journey out west. Here are some of the things that happened to them, to get you up to speed:
- Went to North Carolina on accident
- Jacob joined the General Synod
- The General Synod thought Jacob was super cool
- Jacob got bit by two snakes
The General Synod (pictured below) told Jacob that a Lutheran college was desperate for a really super cool president like him. They were of the mind that, if Jacob was able to become president, that they themselves could, one day, become president as well.
Liberty and Jacob settled into town and were set to become faculty in the small brick building being built in downtown Atchison. There, they produced many offspring while they endured a lengthy wait for construction to end.
Years went by. Jacob continued preaching the good word to anyone who would listen while Liberty started drinking moonshine and showing her children the vast benefits of bathing and drinking in moonshine. She was lost to the moonshine. It was depressing.
But, it was a beautiful life they were living.
Until the grand opening of Midland College.
Over the years, General Synod began to deteriorate from wind and rain damage, their hat eventually becoming just a lonely piece of rope that danced in their crevice, the hope of becoming president dwindling to a fantasy.
General Synod reached out to Jacob. The general told him he was going to be president of Midland College, that it was his responsibility to make sure the kids of Atchison could get a pretty good education while learning the teachings of Jesus or whatever. Jacob agreed to take this challenge.
Midland College opened in 1883. Jacob A. Clutz became the first president.
General Synod - it seemed - disappeared from the face of the earth.
CH. 4 - JONESING FOR BUSINESS
Willy Jones and Ben Sasse’s great grandfather stepped out of a horse-drawn carriage into the town of Fremont, Nebraska. After a lengthy train ride and a carriage ride to Fremont, the two clutched eachother’s hands tightly as they stretched their legs.
“It smells like business around here, Ben Sasse’s great grandfather,” Willy whispered to his newfound confidant.
“Don’t let that smell fool you. We have a lot of work to do before we can gin up some business,” Ben Sasse’s great grandfather replied.
The two marched, hand-in-hand, to the city council building. Upon their arrival, Ben Sasse’s great grandfather slapped down a handful of bills and sneered at the clerk.
“We want to make business here. Long lasting business. So get me someone who means business or else we’ll take our money to Beatrice.”
“You fool! Beatrice is a hell hole! You’d be an idiot to try to make business down there! You might as well just burn your money here in Fremont,” the clerk replied, “Who the hell are you, anyways?”
“The name is Ben Sasse’s great grandfather. My boyfriend and I are here on official business. Willy, show ‘em the paperwork.”
Willy Jones fumbled around in his pockets for the letter he found on the dead pigeon.
“We might need a librarian to come in and read this,” Willy Jones said as he presented the piece of paper to the clerk.
“You imbecile. Everyone in Fremont is literate. We look down upon those who aren’t,” the clerk snapped back as she grabbed the piece of paper.
Willy Jones became beet-red in the face. He didn’t understand how an entire populace could be literate. He was embarrassed for the first time in his life, so he covered his face with his Business hat and began softly sobbing.
Ben Sasse’s great grandfather then kissed Willy on the head.
“Look what you’ve done to him! Maybe we should go to Beatri-”
“Oh my Jesus,” the clerk shouted, “the Chosen One has come to perform business in Fremont! Harry! Mike! Opal! Shabber! The Chosen One has arrived!”
Just then, every door of the city council building flung open simultaneously. A piano rolled across the floor into the waiting area. Shabber, a dark haired German man mounted the piano, while Harry, Mike, and Opal broke into song.
“(Unison)Business! Business! Business In Fremont!
A Lord’s Blessing For Us, Just What We Want!
Business! Business! Business In Fremont!
Money Here, Money There, A Job, An Education, All For Your Aunt!
(Opal) We Need Money In This One Horse Town
We Need It Fast Or It’s Gonna Be Ashes
Please Don’t Let Fremont Burn Down
More Education, A Lot Less Fascists!
(Harry) Capital Is What We Need
A School For Kids, Adults, Teens!
So It’s Up To You To Listen, Take Heed!
I’m So Sick And Tired Of Farming Beans!
(Mike) Give Us All Your Money Please
Our Town Needs Normalcy, We Already Got Literacy
A Tiny Little College, Nine Rooms, Windows For The Breeze
Maybe A Dorm, A Chapel, Just Keep Us From This Misery
(Shabber) *45 minute piano solo*
(Unison) Business! Business! Business In Fremont!
A Lord’s Blessing For Us, Just What We Want!
Business! Business! Business In Fremont!
Money Here, Money There, A Job, An Education, All For Your Aunt!”
“Well, I’m convinced. Let’s build a hardware store, Ben Sasse’s great grandfather,” Willy Jones tells Ben Sasse’s great grandfather.
“You fucking idiot! We need a college! We just sang about it for almost an hour,” Mike pleads.
“Oh, right, sure, a college. A business college! For business! Where kids, adults, and teens can get right with their business,” Willy Jones exclaims excitedly.
The seven of them, the clerk included, enjoyed a nice group hug. Ben Sasse’s great grandfather threw his fist full of dollars into the air. Champaign was had. Ben Sasse’s great grandfather and Willy Jones held hands. It was a phenomenal affair.
From there, the blueprints were laid.
A 9-room brick building in Fremont, perfect for a 30 or so students, was set to be built. With ten courses on the docket to be taught, Willy Jones could charge abut $30 a head, make his money, and become the greatest president in Fremont Normal College and Business School has ever had.
CH. 5 - MERGERS, MURDER, AND BUSINESS pt. 1
Willy Jones was all business. Over time, while his college grew exponentially, he became increasingly competitive, too.
When Willy Jones heard of Midland College in Atchison, he devised a plan to buy it and move it to Fremont. Same goes for Luther Academy, too. If there was a religious background to his college, Willy Jones knew he could reap all the benefits - tax free.
One day, he decided to send a warning shot, and inquired with a brilliant mind.
“Ben Sasse’s great grandfather, what do you know about acquiring schools to make a super school?”
“I don’t know much about it, but my great grandson will know one day. What were you thinking? What college would you like to acquire?”
Willy Jones contemplated whether or not he could trust his confidant. He’d built an empire in Fremont already, churning out graduate after graduate, and growing big business in the small town, while sending graduates out into the world to be all about business themselves. “I think we should send a carrier pigeon to Atchison, Kansas. I think that Midland College is too far south to be considered Middle Land, and we’re far closer,” Willy Jones devised to Ben Sasse’s great grandfather.
“I’ll write up a rough draft now. We’ll show those punks who’s boss,” Ben Sasse’s great grandfather replied.
He did just that.
Jacob Clutz received the letter a few days later. It read:
Nice college, it’d be a shame if someone tried to buy it. I am going to buy it. We’re all about business up here in Fremont. You guys are all about lying to people and telling them they’re in the middle land. We’re true middle landers up here. Give us your college or else.
Willy & BSGG - Presidents of Fremont Normal College and Business School
Jacob knew he had to strike first, so planned a trip to Fremont - in disguise - to burn the school down to the ground. If he was going to protect his empire in Kansas, he had to make damn sure that no one would threaten his legacy.
He had his kids dress up like matches, himself a matchbox, and took a photo with them. He strapped the photo to a carrier pigeon and sent it off to Fremont, addressed to Willy Jones. Perhaps, Jacob thought, a photo would be the perfect threat to send to an illiterate man.
When Willy Jones received the photo, he burst into a rage that’s reportedly still felt on the Fremont campus to this day. Whenever one walks near the Victory Bell, one can feel his anger and it enters their bodies for hours.
This spat went on for years. Furious notes written by Ben Sasse’s great grandfather, sent to Kansas, only for a disturbing photo of fire to appear days later.
In 1900, in order to avoid more harassing letters, Willy Jones changed the name of the school from Fremont Normal College and Business School to Fremont College and Business Institute.
This put Jacob off of the scent for a while. Transmissions stopped, but in 1907 an ominous stone - attached to the leg of a pigeon - arrived at Willy Jones’s doorstep. Engraved on the stone was the depiction of a flame.
This sent Willy Jones overboard. He became increasingly paranoid, unable to sleep, and kept constant watch of the empire he built - a campus that included a standalone chapel and a whole lot of green space.
Then, just a month after receiving the stone, the main building burned down to the ground. It was suspected that someone used a flint to light the roof on fire, and the tassle of a General’s hat was found a few yards away from the crime scene.
Willy Jones rebuilt. Classes resumed in tents. He tried to keep it all together, but in 1916, the school mysteriously burned down again. The same pigeon delivered the same stone just days before.
Jacob Clutz had officially won.
Willy Jones vowed revenge.
CH. 6 - MERGERS, MURDER, AND BUSINESS pt. 2
In 1919 Jacob Clutz was part-in-parcel to the purchase of Fremont College and Business Institute. Noting the successes that businessman Willy Jones had in that time, Clutz figured it was fertile ground to make vast sums of money, but more importantly, he beat Jones to the punch.
The entire campus in Atchison shuttered and the entire operation moved to Fremont. Ben Sasse’s great grandfather, who was a legacy employee of Fremont College and Business Institute, was booted out the door. Willy Jones was stripped of his title and banished to Beatrice, where it was believed he died of a broken heart.
Jacob Clutz’s empire reached its peak. It was beauty incarnate. No longer Fremont College and Business Institute, it was now Midland College, where it rightly belonged - in the middle land.
Jacob Clutz and his wife had time to travel now. With a $500,000 grant to build on to their Fremont campus, they decided to backpack through Europe and see some of their ancestral grounds.
It was at a stop in Sweden, in a famous Lutheran church, where Jacob gave what’s known as his greatest oration ever. He pulled from Gettysburg, straight up ripping off lines from Edward Everett’s speech that he ignored. The congregation swooned with his every word, filling his mind with an ego set to burst.
As he and his wife stepped out of the church, a car began ambling down the street. It continued to pick up speed, topping out at 17mph.
Clutz never saw it coming. The car struck him at top speed, sending him gently to the curb, where he would die moments later.
The driver never stopped, and no one could catch the speeding vehicle. The identity of the driver is still unknown to this day, but Clutz’s empire was officially no longer his.