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Monday, September 08, 2003


Kickoff Dept.

Today was the first full day of games in the new NFL season.

Ho. Effing. Hum.

Does anyone even watch football anymore now that we have Kobe Bryant to keep our attention? The NFL needs another OJ Simpson or Ray Lewis to once again capture our hearts and imaginations. To that end, I nominate Deion Sanders to return to the game, forcibly sodomize a referee at the fifty-yard line at a Cowboys game, then fire a flare gun into the crowd. Alas, Deion has seemingly found God in his retirement, so the odds of him taking one (or, more accurately, giving one) for the league are at best sixty percent in favor.

Until that happens, I'm going to go right on ignoring football. I haven't watched the pigskin-flinging behemoths square off since Los Angeles, my adopted home until I can sell my Hollywood compound for a reasonable profit in a buyers' market and move to a Lower East Side janitorial closet, lost its teams to twin marauding megalopolises St. Louis and Oakland. I can't really begrudge Jonathan Franzen's hometown a pro team. But I take great comfort that the Oakland club, whatever they are called since abandoning the great fans of Los Angeles, lost in the Super Bowl to Tampa Bay, my new favorite team until I cynically adopt this year's champion as my own.

Despite my apathy, this year I was invited to a fantasy football draft at the home of "Bad Boys II" director Michael Bay. Each season a different cast of luminaries is invited into his league, with a top prize of selecting the squirrel which will serve as the director of photography of his next film and $20,000 cash. This year among the invitees were actors Stellan Skaarsgard and Nick Nolte, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, noted physicist Stephen Hawking, and Dan Peres, editor of bleeding-edge metrosexual rag Details. I am prohibited by an ironclad confidentiality agreement from naming the other owners in our league, but they included three of the following four people: Bruce Willis, former Hollywood madame Heidi Fleiss, Marlon Brando's beekeeper, and indie film darling Chloe Sevigny.

I am further prohibited from describing the events of the draft. But I will tell you that my idea for Deion Sanders's salvation of the NFL was influenced by events transpiring between a wild-haired actor, a certain wheelchair bound genius (I should point out that the beekeeper, if in fact he was in attendance, is both a moron and fully ambulatory), and a computer-modulated voice begging for help as stunned onlookers stared helplessly at each other in a moment with eerie echoes of the famous Kitty Genovese case.

None of this, however, has revived my interest in football. I drafted Joe Theisman to man the quarterback position in the first round and then proceeded to drunkenly proposition Ms. Sevigny (if she was, in fact, present), who took cunning advantage of my offers to trade kisses on the cheek for my draft picks. She's now the favorite to take home the trophy.

And I fear I won't be able to flush those feeble, tomented, robotic cries from my memory until the next year's fantasy draft -- where I look forward to repeating Dan Peres' impassioned, unimpeachable defense of a man wearing eyeliner to a football-related event.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
If You Like Bunsen, Then You'll Love Bunsen