Drafting Righteous Gemstones Characters into MACtion Head Coaching Jobs
Alright, here’s the premise. Your favorite MAC team just fired its head coach and will be immediately replaced by a character from The Righteous Gemstones. If you haven’t seen any of it, pause this piece and go watch all three seasons on HBO/Max/whatever it’s called right now. It’s easily one of the best comedies of my lifetime, if not the best. Also, these MAC teams are going to draft their next hires, because that’s how hypotheticals work.
SPOILER WARNING: INCLUDES NOTES OF MAJOR PLOTLINES
Akron: Eli Gemstone
The original Gemstone. Eli knows how to pack a house and get thousands of people to spend their time, money, and passions on anything that he knows is fake and made up. Even if Eli couldn’t figure out how to make Akron into a winner, he’d at least figure out how to get thousands and thousands of people to sell out InfoCision.
Judy Gemstone: “Did he win or did we win?”
Northern Illinois: Gideon Gemstone
It’d be an inspired hire for sure. Gideon has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Hollywood wasn’t for him. Is preaching? Well, he’s not going to be silver-spoon-fed the position by Eli. He’s going to have to learn how to be the best preacher ever by doing things the hard way. Also, I’m sure both Gideon (and Eli, by natural extension) would be/would’ve been good football coaches if they ever felt like going down that route.
Kent State: Jesse Gemstone
Jesse never had to work for everything that he has and he knows it. Jesse’s certainly a wildcard in terms of being the front-facing person to represent an expensive program, and his ego does ride high when the fame rises. When he had to save his church’s financial ass, he blinked at the chance to get people inspired. But damnit if Jesse doesn’t also drop some of the hardest bars throughout this season.
“Trust is a gift that should be cherished. Life is tough. When you allow yourself to trust another person, that takes some of the weight off. And that’s why it stings extra when that trust is betrayed. ... It can take years and years to mend; all that wasted fucking time. Trust is the only thing keeping that house of cards standing. Without it, we’re left with a shit-stained world full of liars and cheats. Somebody gifting you their trust is a very, very powerful thing. So breaking that trust is the equivalent of saying, ‘Hey buddy, fuck you! I don’t give a fuck about what you think!’”
Central Michigan: Judy Gemstone
Judy’s a legitimate talent with a national following. She had her rockstar phase, but she’s probably passed that now. She certainly had an expensive bill to pay for having a no-sex affair with one of the band members. A red flag for sure, but she 1. probably learned her lesson on an emotional level at home, and 2. probably learned her lesson by paying $500,000 to Stephen’s wife/ex-wife/whatever they ended up as/doesn’t really matter.
Ball State: Amber Gemstone
Amber’s married into the family, so all of her wealth and status is by association. At first, I don’t think Jesse would really like the idea of Amber coaching football in Muncie, Ind., but post-kidnapping Jesse sees things in a different light. The banana stand isn’t going anywhere for Amber, and she’s secretly the best emotional manipulator and sharpshooter of the Gemstone family.
Western Michigan: Baby Billy
The school that was able to handle P.J. Fleck is perfect for Baby Billy, who is either the funniest character on television today or the second funniest, only behind B.J. Barnes. Baby Billy’s dedication to selling out and exploiting others to make it to the top goes unmatched, and moving to Kalamzoo would be a perfect opportunity for a re-shoot of Bible Bonkers, but we’ll call it Baby Billy’s Brown Bronco Bible Bonkers. It’ll be a cultural sensation.
“I’m proud of you. Now go cheat.”
Miami OH: B.J. Barnes
I really want to talk about B.J. in terms of dressing all cute in his college football coaching outfits and how Miami would be a perfect location for him, but I’m still way too chuckled up from the chopper scene to think too seriously about that.
Bowling Green: Peter Montgomery
Probably a terrible hire, but BG’s done worse.
Eastern Michigan: Kelvin Gemstone
The youth pastor extraordinaire would be absolutely bad at this, but the guy at least stays focused on what brings him joy and is pretty dead-set on finding creative ways to get groups of people to look up to him. Oddly none of these people — giant, muscular dudes, little children, his boyfriend is a [former] Satanist — are really groups that he can consider himself a member of. Kelvin’s super extra and even now when I’m trying to come up with reasons why Kelvin might surprise me here, I’ve got nothing for him. He was born rich which is a plus for him, but we’re definitely getting to the drags of this draft.
Martin probably doesn’t want to be a leading role, but his bona-fides as somebody who knows a lot from being Eli’s right-hand man (and basically the church’s CFO) for decades. Martin’s easily one of the most organized and detailed characters on the show, and he’s always been smart enough to just hitch his wagon onto Eli. If Martin can hire some smart, loyal coordinators, Martin could operate a dynasty by having his players do more media appearances than him.
Ohio: Johnny Seasons
This guy was only in four episodes of the first season, but he’s still out there doing his thing running successful small-scale congregations. He was able to win the territory wars with the Gemstones’ satellite mall church run by Baby Billy, so I’d like to think there’s a recruiting advantage over, in this case, Western Michigan that you might not’ve been able to see before.
I’m going to be honest, I don’t really know how to spin Keefe, a former Satanist, into a good football coaching option for Toledo. I think Toledo’s built-in recruiting advantages would make the roster good enough for, at least, seven wins a year. You could replace Keefe with some girl named Taryn and everybody would love her and nobody would miss him at all. Toledo could be coached by a duck and they’d still go to a bowl game.