Big Sky Conference Ambassador of Sky Size Measurement Lavereous Hackensack still can’t find Brookings on a map.
Although SDSU has been in contact with members of the Big Sky Conference for months, Hackensack was stymied last week when another Big Sky official mentioned SDSU’s interest.
“A bunch of us were watching ‘Elimidate’ in the Big Sky Blue Room last week and somebody asked me what I thought about the Jacks,” Hackensack said. “I remembered that the team was from South Dakota, but I thought that they were from Wall. That Wall Drug is one helluva bitchin’ party spot.”
Hackensack, whom friends call “Vern Vern,” said that he looked at the map in his glove compartment for “what must have been five whole minutes” trying to locate Brookings.
“I just couldn’t find it for the life of me,” he said.
Hackensack, whose credentials include a stint as cup holder and gofer for the Little Sky Conference in Gaum and frying machine operator at a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant in Tangiers, Iowa, said that his inability to find Brookings on a map was definitely, definitely not because he is a dummy.
“I’m a very smart guy,” Hackensack said. “Just because my dad donated a few million dollars to the Big Sky, everybody seems to think I didn’t earn this job, well lemme tell ya’, I signed my own name on that application. Take that, Fast Freddie.”
Hackensack said he confused “jackalope” with “jackrabbit.”
“You know those bunnies with the tiny antlers they have at that one rustic little store in Wall Drug? They’re just adorable, aren’t they? Anyway, I when I saw the rabbit logo on a letter my secretary brought me one day, I was almost certain that SDSU had to be in Wall,” he said.
Hackensack said his realization that the SDSU mascot is just a plain old rabbit may hurt the school’s chances of getting into the conference more than his inability to find the city. SDSU still has a shot, however, because the matter will be referred to the rest of Hackensack’s committee.
One of the requirements for entry into the Big Sky Conference, he explained, is that your team has a really cool mascot. The committee, made of Hackensack, a dishwasher from the IHOP just down the street from his office and Hackensack’s parrot Tou-tou, determines a school mascot’s “cool factor.”
“We used to go downtown, play quarters for an hour or two and then dress the bartender up like each mascot on our list,” he said. “But when customers started complaining that they couldn’t get their PBRs fast enough, we had to go back to my house for the meetings.”
Lack of a bartender didn’t kill the spirit of the selection process, however.
“We try to keep it pretty casual,”he said. “Most of the time I make the final vote in my boxer shorts.”
When asked if there was anything SDSU could do to increase its chances of being accepted into the super-duper Big Sky Conference, Hackensack had one suggestion: “Send a 30-pack of Keystone Light, a box of toaster pastries and a pair of salad tongs. I’m just saying it couldn’t hurt.”