01.11.08

Go Behind The Game with Jeff Johnson (and Joe Simpson)

Posted in Gridiron at 4:43 pm by

I’m currently 19 weeks into my NFL Preview-writing career, and it’s pretty tiring. What’s most exhausting about it, for me, is trying to come up with new things to say about NFL games I don’t honestly care that much about. Most of the teams I thought were interesting or at least fun to write about are out of the playoffs, and I can’t even gin up the energy to ascribe the traits of rapacious, self-justifying global corporations (or some other macro-scale social ill) to the Patriots anymore. Maybe by the time the Super Bowl rolls around, I don’t know. At this point, I just either compare coaches to figures from literature (Norv Turner = Bartleby the Scrivener) or each other/walruses (Mikes Holmgren and McCarthy; I’ll let you guess which is the walrus). To be honest, I don’t know how the professionals do it. Well, I know how Len Pasquarelli does it: a diet comprised entirely of parm-style sandwiches and a regular regimen of unmotivated, jerky beratings of random reporters. But I’m not Len Pasquarelli. I can’t be Len Pasquarelli. I’ve accepted that.

And now that he’s back on the preview-writing scene, I’ve been reminded that I can’t be Jeff Johnson, either. He’s been in the preview game for awhile, and is now in his second season of postseason previewage over at Vice Magazine’s online presence. Wherever he’s working, the guy remains America’s most trusted source for miniature dramas starring Jessica Simpson’s dad and anonymous members of the Cowboys. Also, I think he has located the douchiest Cowboys fan in captivity, which is an acheivement in its own right. Anyway, here’s his take on the Cowboys/Giants game. Maybe get some friends together and act part of it out?

Tony could have used (the Cowboys’ first-round bye) to reflect and re-jigger his energy. He did not. He chose to go to Los Cabos, Mexico, with some of his teammates, Jessica, and, of course, her parents.

In my own life, I have almost no discipline. No rules. The only principles I have are these: 1) Try to never go to a place where Sammy Hagar has smiled. And 2) Try to never go to a place where Sammy Hagar has experienced pleasure. Tony, in traveling to Los Cabos, obviously doesn™t share my outlook. It will most certainly haunt him.

So he™s in Cabo with Jessica Simpson and her ever-present parents. She™s like 27, and still mom and dad are always around. The last time I saw parents play such a prominent role in a kid™s life, I was watching Happy Days, and even then at least Howard Cunningham (played by the genius Tom Bosley) had the good sense to go soak his hemorrhoids in a dish of vanilla ice cream all by his lonesome once in a while.


Apropos of nothing: A circle of beefy Cowboys are standing near Joe Simpson (above) in an elegant Cabos condo. Through a sliding glass door, they™re watching Jessica and Tony frolic near the pool.

Cowboys: Now that™s sweet.

Joe Simpson: Now that is sweet. Say, guys, how™d ya like to put on your tight little padded football pants and chase Mama around?

Cowboys: (laughing) With all due respect sir¦

Joe Simpson: Pweease?

Cowboys: Mr. Simpson¦ You™re talking about your wife!

Joe Simpson: (incredulous) Who???

Cowboys: That is Mama, right?

Joe Simpson: (removing lip gloss from his lips, with the back of his hand, quietly) No. (He runs into the bedroom and dives onto the bed, burying his face into the pillow.)

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