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The 21 mystery solved

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Well, the question came up today: Just what was the “21” on the flat-screen TVs in the football house team lobby referencing.

“We’re really kind of trying to advertise 24 minus 3,” coach Ralph Friedgen said coyly.

Of course, to me, 24 minus 3 equals missing a season-long villian getting offed on the TV series that requires more suspension of disbelief than any other.

And that meant there were two questions that needed to offered up from my end: Do you don’t want people watching the last three hours of 24? Are you not a Jack Bauer fan?

“I wish I had Jack,” Friedgen said. “Man, that guy’s indestructible. I’d give him the ball every play.”

(Latest piece of evidence Friedgen is as relaxed as he’s ever been: He’s joking about Jack Bauer about 72 hours before his season kicks off).

In any case, yes, the 21 is a reference to the 21 1/2-point spread for Saturday’s visit to No. 12 California. And Friedgen opted to credit his “motivational coaches” for coming up with the ploy.

Wonder if that means we’ll see something like “24-14” in two weeks when Middle Tennessee rolls into town.

Patrick Stevens

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