Big Shock wrote to tell me that the helmet is in route to Hoppy, much to the amusement of the guy at the FedEx store. He’s covering the cost of shipping, which is fairly minimal, and Hoppy is returning the helmet in person in a few weeks, so it looks like there’s no need for financial contributions from y’all after all.
As for the script we’ll use, let’s go back to the Original Mandel:
Suppose we went to, say, Montana. And suppose we found 100 “average” college football fans (not necessarily message-board crazies, but not twice-a-year viewers, either) and put them in a room. If I held up a Michigan helmet, my guess is all 100 would know exactly what it was. If I held up a picture of the USC song girls, all 100 would know who they were. If I happened to bring Joe Paterno along with me, all 100 would say, “Hey, look, it’s Joe Paterno!”
But if I held up a Georgia “G” helmet, how many of them do you think would be able to identify it off the top of their head? And with all due respect to Mark Richt, if we secretly inserted him into a police lineup, how many of them would actually say, “Hey, look, it’s Mark Richt!”
Subsequent developments being what they are, I think we’ll skip the Joe Paterno part, but as to the rest of it, my feeling is that we verify that each interviewee is a Montana resident, get his or her bona fides as a college football fan – something like asking how many games he or she views a year, or the name of a favorite program followed – show the helmet, along with this iconic magazine cover…
… and see if the University of Georgia rings a bell.
For control purposes, I’m thinking maybe it’s worth asking randomly if an interviewee can identify the Song Girls or Corch. And it may be fun to ask on occasion if anybody knows who Stewart Mandel is.
Let me know what you think about this. Remember that we need to keep each interview on the brief side. Even at three minutes apiece, 100 of those would take five hours to complete. And one thing you don’t tend to associate with sports bars is efficiency.
Fire away in the comments.