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If Famous Authors Were Football Players

A famous philosopher once said, “Football is an awesome sport.” And I agree.

In the last few days, football (the American version) has kicked off here in the States. To me, it’s like the Christmas season in September. College games kicked off last Saturday, and the NFL starts in full force on Sunday.

You might remember how, last year, I posted about the art of reading while watching football. It’s a talent few have. Today, I’d like to combine my love of reading and football into one of the weirdest posts in the history of this blog.

Have you ever wondered what if famous authors were football players? Of course you have. Well, wonder no more. Instead, imagine with me, if you will, a world in which talented writers charge on to the gridiron.

What position would they play?

Quarterback: F Scott Fitzgerald. He wrote about a tall, handsome, rich guy (quarterbacks always make the most money) with a partying streak. Women love him. Plus, F Scott’s from Alabama, which cranks out football players like Delaware cranks out…what does Delaware crank out?

Running Back: Harper Lee. She’s short, shifty, and was one and done, like a lot of great running backs who have a few good years and then retire before they’re 30.

Wide Receiver: Jonathan Franzen. Wide receivers are always complaining about something. They’re divas. Franzen fits the bill well. What he might lack in speed, he’ll certainly make up for in his ability to make pretentious contract requests—like asking for oak bookshelves, red M&Ms, and towels warmed to 85 degrees in the locker room.

Full Back: Robert Graves. Who? Yeah, see, that’s my point. Fullbacks get no love. They just bust their butt blocking for the running back, and no one knows who they are. Graves wrote I, Claudius, an unbelievably awesome novel, and no one seems to know who he is.

Tight End: Joseph Heller. Tight ends have to do a little bit of everything—they block, catch passes, run routes, and even play special teams. Heller is the perfect candidate for tight end because he can make you laugh, cry, and think about the meaning of life—all in the same novel.

Offensive Lineman: David Foster Wallace. Okay, he might not have been a huge guy, like an offensive lineman. But he wrote huge books, and he was extremely smart. They say O-Lineman are the smartest guys on the field. DFW’s cat-like tennis reflexes would be a plus here.

Kicker: George Orwell. Lightweight and skinny with bad facial hair. Like a kicker, I imagine Orwell might have often got mistaken for the janitor. Need more proof? Okay. What was Napoleon walking on at the end of Animal Farm? What is the most important part of the body for a kicker? Bam! Orwell’s a kicker.

Defensive Line: Ernest Hemingway. A man of few words. Skilled in hunting and bullfighting, which will come in handy as he forces his way through the offensive line and toward the quarterback.

Linebacker: Kurt Vonnegut. Linebackers need to be in your face and aggressive, plus cursing frequently doesn’t hurt. Vonnegut has a wild-haired touch of crazy. He might’ve looked a little frail, but I think he could’ve lit some people up when needed.

Cornerback: Virginia Woolf. Talks a lot. Cornerbacks, like Woolf’s writing style, never seem to stop communicating words, words, words. Plus, they have a way of “intercepting” the joy out of reading. Get it? See what I did there?

Cheerleader: Margaret Mitchell. Yay, Scarlett! Yay! Go Rhett! Yay! Pass that football and run! Run to the place where you score! Do good things! Win ball! Yay!

Coach: C.S. Lewis. Old Clive Staples Lewis just exudes wisdom, doesn’t he? I imagine C.S. standing in the middle of a crowded circle of players in the locker room, calmly leading the troops into battle, not unlike Aslan in Narnia.

Owner: Ayn Rand. I’ve never read Rand, but I hear she’s an uber capitalist. So who better to own a multi-billion dollar football team filled with aging writers?

So that’s how I envision a powerful football team of writers.

My bet is that Hemingway plays dirty. You’ve got to watch for the chop block if you’re up against him on the defensive line.

Whom did I miss?

(Image: Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. This made my morning. I’m impressed I actually remembered each of the positions! And the best description by far goes to the Kicker – ‘Lightweight and skinny with bad facial hair.’ That really does describe everyone I’ve ever paid attention to!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
    • That’s it. Kickers are always struggling in the facial hair department. And if you’ve seen any photos of Orwell, you know he had the same problem.

      Like

      September 7, 2012
  2. Brilliant!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  3. bba #

    Tim Green read the title of this post and got really sad. Then he kept reading and just got sadder and sadder. I feel bad that you ruined his day.

    Like

    September 7, 2012
    • He wrote courtroom dramas, right? Meh.

      Like

      September 7, 2012
      • bba #

        YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE COURTROOM DRAMA!

        Like

        September 7, 2012
  4. very creative – and I don’t even understand football–but this made me understand it better!

    Like

    September 7, 2012
    • Awesome. I was worried that some of my readers might tune out. Glad you learned a little bit!

      Like

      September 7, 2012
  5. Ayn Rand was more of an individualist (as opposed to capitalist). I see her as a running back in that she would drop her shoulders and do it all herself.

    I’d also put DFW under center; need the most brains here. Think Payton Manning (GO DONKEYS!!)

    Owner – Gotta be Tom Wolfe. Dude has the ridiculous sense of style built for the owner’s box.

    This would be really fun to debate over a beer. Alas, my football buddies would struggle with authors other than Rick Reilly.

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  6. Jessica #

    Nicely done! Love your pick as coach.

    Like

    September 7, 2012
  7. On a somewhat similar theme Monty Python did a sketch of two soccer teams made up entirely of philosophers. Different game and different subject but it links in with putting sport and academics together.

    Like

    September 7, 2012
    • I love that! Thanks for sharing. Hilarious.

      Like

      September 7, 2012
  8. Bravo!!

    Like

    September 10, 2012
  9. Joey #

    F. Scott Fitzgerald is from Minnesota. Zelda was from Alabama.

    Like

    September 13, 2012
  10. sugarplumfairy84 #

    I love all things reading and don’t particularly care for football, however, this was an interesting and humorous post that made me chuckle. I now have an urge to watch football!

    Like

    September 14, 2012
  11. I looked up Robert Graves, and still don’t have a clear idea why he was influential, but hey, you gotta cheer for the Irish writers and poets.

    Like

    September 16, 2012
  12. We had the same thing when I played Pop Warner. If I screwed up, the coach will call us and yelling at us in front of the whole team. Have we won every year …. Guess. With a team of coaches who have not won in their kilometer.
    live football scores

    Like

    June 6, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, September 6 and 7, 2012 « cochisewriters
  2. #5 In 2012 | 101 Books
  3. My Most Popular Posts, Broken Down By Category | 101 Books

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