Somewhere in Jeff Johnson’s long feature about face-painting Carolina Panthers fans in the last issue of ESPN: The Magazine Named After The Network ESPN is the germ of an essay I want to write. Something about the infantilization of American culture. Anyway, my essay will be unpublishable, so this is the last you’ll have to hear of it.
Johnson’s astute football mind was formerly on display in his five years of brilliant NFL Picks at McSweeney’s, and has again been put to work in his detailed New York Giants “no-drinking game” at Fitted Sweats. It’d be a good idea to stretch before trying this game.
Any time the camera cuts to coach Tom Coughlin on the sideline, wearing a look of angered bewilderment, like a senile Golden Retriever snarling at traffic whizzing by on a freeway, do a sit-up.
Any time Jeremy Shockey is shown having a tantrum on the field because he was wide open, but didn™t get the ball, do three chin-ups.
Any time Jeremy Shockey is shown on the sidelines having a tantrum after the offense has just gone 3 and out, do a push-up, and also vigorously pick your own boogers, then spike them on your living room floor.
Any time Jeremy Shockey has a tantrum after making a catch or getting first down, do two bicep curls. If he catches a touchdown, do five bicep curls. If it is a touchdown, and he spikes the ball in the ref™s face or tosses it at the camera, do ten bicep curls, and put your head through a plate glass window.
Actually forget it. Any time Jeremy Shockey is shown not having a tantrum, you need to drink Rumpleminze continuously until his next tantrum and also use it as an ingredient in your game-day salsa.
Any time Tiki Barber is shown in a post-game interview with his eyebrows delicately waxed and one of Joe Buck™s suits on, work on your glutes, ingest something with spirulina, then do a mock interview with yourself in the bathroom mirror.
Any time a local reporter eagerly devours all of Tiki™s post-game comments, then writes a story about how he threw his team or coach œunder the bus, call 911 immediately.
If that same reporter takes all of Tiki’s “mean” ideas about Coughlin being clueless, and uses them as his own a few days later, quit reading the New York Post.
Also, since everyone else seems to be doing it: I’m David Roth, a fairly longtime, fairly infrequent CSTB contributor. I’m a writer and I live in New York, where I do important work. By which I mean that I am a writer of baseball, basketball and football cards for the Topps Co., Inc. By which I mean that I do not do important work. My beat on CSTB: stadiums that make me angry, the Royals, periodic wordy slaggings of Bill Simmons.