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Chicken and Me

I don't have to tell you it's been a rough 24 hours. You already know.

Chicken Knowles is a Houston Cougar.

I haven't been outside, I haven't responded to texts, I haven't eaten in like an hour and-a-half, and I've got the Cory and Topanga breakup episode of Boy Meets World playing on a loop in my bedroom.

Meanwhile, Louisville plays Kentucky in football five days from now and people are wanting to know what I think. What do I think? I think the world's a sick and twisted place that doesn't even view me as significant enough to be one of its cruel punch lines. I think I want to be left alone for a while.

And then, a hand extended from the Longhorn State.


I guess by now I should have expected it, but I didn't. A smile. Yeah man, I think I'm going to be OK.

Minutes later, the phone rings. Probably someone with a question about the game or, if I'm lucky, just a pal with an easy-to-answer fantasy football question. I grab the fancy device I've owned for a few weeks now. My friends are all proud of me for joining the smart phone fray, but I don't know, it still feels foreign to me. 

"Chicken Knowles."

Surely this is some type of error. A mix-up with a satellite signal or something. I still don't really understand how the hell these things work.

I answer the phone like I've always done. Sure enough, a comforting and familiar Bahamanian accent greets me on the other end.

"Mr. Rutherford."

"Chicken!? How are you?"

"I'm doing good. I just wanted to see how you were doing. I wanted to make sure you were all right."

I lie.

"Yeah, I'm doing OK, man. Hey, congrats on your commitment. And you get to keep playing with House. That's great. I'm really excited for you."

"Thank you, sir. I'm really excited."

We talk for a few minutes more. About what? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. I remember something about life in Conference USA and a ski trip to Vail we both know we'll never take. Really, I'm just pretending it's still mid-June, and that my old friend's voice is one that still might say the words "I'm coming to the Bucket" at a press conference this fall.

"Well, I just wanted to make sure you were all right."

"Thanks, man. And congratulations again. Best of luck with everything this year."

The worst part isn't waking up, it's the five seconds after you wake up when the confusion's gone and reality has slapped your brain back into its rightfully melancholy place. That's the worst part.

You can't kill something that exists in a place you can't reach. The Movement will never die.


OK, narrative voice off. 

The best part about this whole thing - and I swear to God this is true - is that when my phone started ringing I was watching the following video on YouTube with the volume turned way up because I was about to post the link on Twitter as part of an "I'm sad" tweet.

Sometimes it lasts in recruiting, but sometimes it hurts instead.

I was literally blasting the song when the phone rang. I started laughing when I saw the name on the caller ID and almost missed the call because I kept missing the mute button on the computer.

Dramatic is an understatement. The scene made The English Patient look dry.

Anyways, it's official: my favorite non-Cardinal of all-time is a high school senior.

Bring Chicken to the Bucket.