Somewhere out there in this great nation, there's a college football coach that still thinks Michael Jackson is alive, or maybe he just hoped 5-star strong-side defensive end Da'Shawn Hand has been living under a rock his whole life.
Coaches will say anything on the recruiting trail to try to separate themselves from the pack with a certain recruit, but they usually try to keep it realistic. For instance, they'll talk about early playing time, a direct pathway to the NFL or national championship hopes and aspirations.
That's all fair game, and it all makes sense to recruits—even if it's a stretch.
Telling a recruit he'll be able to meet the King of Pop, though?
Unfortunately, that's not a realistic opportunity.
Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com was able to interview Hand this past weekend at the Nike Football Training Camp in Columbus, Ohio. When asked about the "craziest thing" that has happened to him since becoming the top recruit, here's what Hand had to say:
Q: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you since you've been named the nation's No. 1 recruit?
Hand: Well, I ain't gonna say any names, but one coach told me that since I'm the No. 1 player, I'm gonna get to meet Michael Jackson. I said, "Isn't he already dead?" The coach goes, "Well, all right, you can meet Tito." I was like, all right. OK, I'm done.
It was crazy, but it is what it is.
The world may never know just who this coach is, but his lack of pop-culture knowledge—and, frankly, "culture knowledge" in general—seems to have hurt his program's cause with the No. 1 strong-side defensive end in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Jackson's passing was not only a national tragedy in the eyes of many, but it was a moment that captured the whole world's attention. It doesn't matter who you are or where you live, if you've ever listened to music in your lifetime there's a good chance that you've heard of Michael Jackson—or have listened to one of his songs.
There's also a good chance that you've at least heard that he passed away, considering that his funeral was watched by 31.14 million viewers, according to David Hinckley and Richard Huff of nydailynews.com, who cited the 2009 Nielsen ratings.
While most of us would prefer our coaches to be completely dedicated to football in the world of recruiting, a healthy balance of football and a knowledge of life and culture is needed to win over recruits.
Apparently, this particular coach didn't watch the funeral, turn on the TV, read a newspaper, go online or pay attention to anything, ever.
Feel free to cast your vote on who you think the mystery coach is below.