The Golden Telephone

The Golden Telephone

In the early ’80s Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Miami were all courting the same high school football player, and each school flew him to their respective campuses for a visit.

The first visit was to Florida. The prospective recruit was excited to be in Miami and talk to Coach Johnson. As they were talking, the recruit noticed a a full sized phone booth in the corner of the office. There was a plaque on the door saying “All calls $20,000.” The recruit said, “Coach, Johnson, what’s that phone booth for?” Jimmy Johnson stood up, walked over to the booth and opened the door. Inside, hanging on the wall, was a solid gold pay phone. It looked unused. Coach Johnson explained that this is a direct line to heaven. The player became very excited because his grandfather had just passed, and he would love to talk with him. Coach Johnson explained it is possible, but the cost is $20,000… no exceptions.

Disappointed, he thanked Coach Johnson and flew off to Oklahoma. He arrived in Norman and was taken directly to see Coach Switzer. Immediately, he noticed the same phone booth tucked in a corner of Coach Switzer’s office. The recruit again asked about the phone booth. Coach Switzer got up, waked over and opened the phone booth door. Once again, there hanging on the wall was a solid gold telephone. Coach Switzer explained that it is a direct line to heaven. The recruit then asked if it would be possible for him to call his grandfather . Coach Switzer said it was possible but the cost was $10,000… again, no exceptions.

Once again disappointed, the recruit flew off to meet with Coach Osborne in Lincoln. He was picked up at the airport and taken directly to the campus to meet with the coach. As he walked in the door, he noticed that hanging on the wall was a solid gold phone. Along side the phone was a plaque that read “All calls 25 Cents.”

The recruit was understandably confused. Surly this wasn’t the same kind of phone he encountered in Miami and Oklahoma, so he asked the Coach about it. Coach Osborne remained in his chair and explained that it was indeed a direct line to heaven and was available for use by the athletic department, but the cost could not be waved .

Still confused, the recruit blurted out, “Coach! I’ve seen these phones in Miami and Oklahoma but the cost was so high I couldn’t afford to place a call. Why is the cost so low here?”

Coach Osborne, still seated, leaned forward in his chair and said calmly,  “son, here in Nebraska, it’s a local call.”

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