The date is December 12, 2144, and it is a momentous day.
Every man, woman and child in America has coached the University of Pittsburgh football team.
It began innocently enough. There were a few hires that didn't pan out back in the early 2000s/2010s. For awhile, the team just seemed to be down on its luck. No one wanted to come to Pitt, and if they did, they were out within a few years at best. But then, an idea came forth in 2014 after Paul Chryst left for Wisconsin:
What if, instead of worrying about quality, Pitt just kept hiring anyone willing? I mean, by brute force, someone would have to be good and want to stay, right? I mean, it's all just numbers.
At that point, there were 319 million Americans. How long would it take until you found someone able to do the job?
This seemed like a great idea. A few assistants jumped at the opportunity. The entire previous Pitt coaching staff each got a shot for a week, before losing once and being replaced. Then came the grad assistants, the video guys, the equipment staff, and the band directors. Each failed and was replaced immediately by the next in line. Still, Pitt wallowed in obscurity. The years went by, and the losses stacked up. Something had to be done.
As the 2010's drew to a close, a novel idea sprang forth: CROWDCOACHING!
What if you unlocked the power of the PITT ONLINE HIVEMIND to direct the team? If one person couldn't do it, could a thousand?
And then, without warning, disaster struck.
Suddenly, the team was solely focused on uniform combinations and stadiums. Athletes were required to wear mustard pants at all times. As far as the eye could see, campus buildings were being razed and replaced with 15 different on-campus football stadiums at once. The team itself could still do no better, as one asshole kept rigging the Collective Playcall Poll with repeated punting.
Something had to be done, and quickly. The University had soaring debt, no classrooms or educational facilities, and the most dysfunctional football team imaginable. They needed to be bailed out.
Reluctantly, the United States government took over full control of the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department. Sensing an opportunity, they made a deal with the downtrodden region. They agreed to fix the mess caused by dumb internet fans on one condition: Instead of the school picking a bunch of bad coaches all over again, a new draft system would be installed to fairly and equitably distribute coaching duties among every American citizen at random, every day.
And so it began.
Losses piled on top of more losses. Pitt became little more than a travelling team, an inverse Harlem Globetrotters, going around the country to wherever their head coach lived, and losing to the closest college team. It wasn't all bad. Nick Saban ended up with the job in October of 2034, at the age of 83 years old. He won that game and promptly died immediately after due to shock. A statue was erected on campus that the team would, because of travels, never actually see.
Years passed. The nation sunk more and more into the program to try and fix it. With all this attention, they began to take their eye off of one important thing: Defense of the people. Todd Graham, one of the first coaches in this long line of misfortune and had risen through the years to the rank of Demonic North American Overlord, quickly conquered the United States with his patented high-octane, hammer down offense. In his life-long hate-fueled quest to humiliate Pitt sports, he sent a text message stating that he would not release his iron grip on the populace until Pitt football could win another game. Knowing this would be impossible without stable coaching, Emperor Graham chortled in evil delight upon his wicked throne.
Legions of coaches were drafted and failed. Years turned into decades. Everyone tried their hand at it. No one could succeed. Hope was lost.
But then, fate smiled down upon us as it found the very last person in America who had not coached the hapless Panthers.
A woman stepped forward to claim her place.
Amy Wannstedt had been ridiculed all her life for her great-grandfather's failing at his alma mater. The family lore said that when he had passed, he cursed the name of his former employer and the family held that grudge for years. She always knew the day would come when she would be faced with the same dreaded task that we all had: coach Pitt or face continued oblivion. She steeled herself on that fateful Saturday and accepted the ancient, rusted coach whistle that literally millions before her had worn. Her goal: to clear her family's name and rid the world of the terror of Emperor Graham.
And you know what?
She did it.
The details are hazy. Some say there was a pact with Satan, God, or both. Others point to statistical inevitability. We know that their opponents, the mighty 13-time defending national champion Carnegie Mellon Tartans had seemed invincible, but Pitt finally pulled off the upset on a last ditch chuck into the endzone by the Pitt quarterback.The nation, united in pride, rose up and threw off the shackles of their sleazy overlord, tossed him into the ocean (he had family there), and began rebuilding our great nation anew.
Having secured independence, Amy Wannstedt was voted President of the new United States of Pitt and a new Golden Age was born. Somewhere in a small South Oakland slum, she climbed the steps to a ratty apartment door, knocked three times, and entered the dwelling of a poor college quarterback.
"Here. This is for you. From that day." she said, handing him the football he had tossed for the winning score.
"I'm so f-ing proud of this team", Todd Palko said, between sobs.