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#5 In 2012

From Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, I’ll be recapping the top 5 posts from 2012 on 101 Books. 101 Books will return live on January 2nd, 2013!

Today’s post, “If Famous Authors Were Football Players,” was originally posted on September 7.

#5 In 2012: 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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