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The following is the winning entry in the tip contest for The Football Fan’s Manifesto (here’s an interview I did about the book for The New York Times’ Fifth Down Blog). The winner has been sent a list of my Steelers gear (crusty underwear being possibly too flammable has been left off), from which he will choose something for me to destroy and I will post the video of that on the blog closer toward the time of the release of the book, you bloodthirsty jackal bastards. Anyway, here’s the winner Thalas’ entry.

“So, a million (seven or eight) years ago, I used to work for an agency (Solid Gold Entertainment in Burlington, VT) that provided entertainment for gentlemen on their bachelor parties, birthdays, etc. I would make lame jokes into the mic and engage the audience (to whatever degree it was necessary, often less was more) while young ladies would seek to pique the partygoers interests using only their feminine wiles. I was also responsible for driving the talent to party sites.

I’m at a mechanic’s garage in Poultny, Vt with four girls and the owner of the business as an extra set of hands. At this point, I was the extra set of hands. This was for a bachelor party. For whatever reason, there were a few people there who know the groom from college (Houston, it looks like) who played sports and had a modicum of time in the national consciousness. Among them was a gentleman who was a multiple-time pro-bowl offensive player back in the day. (Shh…Kimble Anders. I should state that as a life-long Bills fan, I really couldn’t give a fig about Kimble Anders one way or another before I met him the afternoon in question) This man was very drunk before we showed up, and continued to stay sloshed throughout the evening. I don’t mean to give the impression that he wasn’t watching the girls or anything, but he spent hours trying to engage me in conversation. At this point, I was still relatively new to the business and somewhat unsure of myself, so I was trying to be polite and funny to him without neglecting my duties in front of my boss. The other people at the party clearly liked him and they took turns trying to engage him and shut him up, but he kept working his way over to me (at the time, I used to wear Hawaiian shirts a lot — maybe that was it).

The offensive player in question started out by trying to appeal to my intelligence. He kept talking about this friend of his who invented the sentence, or at least that’s how it sounded. He was actually just telling me about a Noam Chomsky book he was working his way through. Then, he kept trying to tell me about some teammate of his that was gay (I think the guy I talked to played for the same team his entire career), but I couldn’t tell you who it was now even if you told me the name (some friends say I said Bracy Walker at the time, but that doesn’t seem right to me now, and it wouldn’t really matter to me unless you’ve already heard stories and can confirm this for me). Finally, He begins to tell me of this player’s ritual his team had. I’m very sorry to report that this involved a passing around a picture of a dog (an English Bulldog he kept saying) and his teammates (not him, of course, so says he) would take turns placing parts of their anatomy in holes cut out in the picture to get “screwing the pooch out of their system”. I think he said this was something that happened in training camp each year, but things were not clear to me (maybe this never happened, but I thoroughly am convinced that at the time, he believed it was true). According to him, a Hall-of-Famer and (at least one) potential future HOFer were involved in this. What of this is true, I cannot say, but it has certainly colored my perception about a whole team and potentially all players in general.”

Because you didn’t homoerotic misadventures went on in every locker room? Interesting. Anyway, a fine winning entry and please be merciful when deciding which priceless piece of merch I must destroy to please the readers.

Also, congrats to commenter Pip and reader Lance for each getting a free copy of the book for their winning (but not quite grand prize winning entries). Here are a couple ‘Shops Lance did.

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