(hopeless fucking muppet. Also photographed : Ben Graham, Laveranues Coles, Chad Pennington and Elmo)
Anyway, Mickey – who is named after Mickey Mantle, my sports hero growing up – had Jets’ season tickets for years, and I would try and meet him in the parking lot at his tailgate whenever possible. One day a few years ago, I showed up at parking section 4H to hang out with Mickey and his buddies before going to the press box. (No, I did not drink beers.)
A few feet away from our group were a couple of guys who were unusually rowdy. Mickey said these guys were always a bit over the top in their pre-game celebrations, which included large quantities of libations and food.
On this particular day, one of the guys, who wore a hat in the shape of an artichoke, had already consumed too much of the libations, and would alternately chug a bottle of beer and then barf. Chug-barf. Chug-barf. It was foul.
But for the man nicknamed “Artichoke Head,” it was about to get much worse.
Not one to waste an opportunity to tailgate, he refused to give in to his pre-game “illness” and decided to “play hurt,” just like his football heroes. Between heaves, “Artie” would cook up a bunch of sausages for the gang.
At one point, he grabbed one of the sausages off the grill, tossed it up in the air, and tried to catch it in his mouth. He missed, and it fell to the ground.
He then bent down, picked up the sausage, held it aloft, and yelled “J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!”
He then dipped the sausage into his own … um … uh … his own puke … as if it were some sort of salsa.
And then, he ate it.