I’m working on my personal brand. I don’t want to be just a football player, a dumb jock who just throws balls in the air further and faster and more accurately than a few other guys (guys like Tom Brady). I want to be a whole human being. I want to have feelings, feelings that don’t just have to do with beating the Patriots or the Steelers or Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady. I want to seem more sophisticated than a guy who makes his living standing over another guy’s backside waiting for a hunk of inflated leather to be shoved into his hands. In everything, I want to be the best, not second-best, not third-best, not a monkey’s uncle. For now, survival of the fittest means scoring touchdowns and jumping for joy. But where will I be in 30 years? Bald and commenting on games while wearing a garish suit like Terry Bradshaw? Is that the fate of my personal brand? I want to win and jump for joy and eat hot dogs. If you make a really smart comment, do they let you walk off camera and jump for joy?
I used to have a girlfriend. She was as beautiful as a meadow in the summertime, and she could sing so pretty with that soprano voice of hers. We would have sex, and I really liked that—almost as much as throwing touchdown passes. I would get up out of bed and jump for joy after every orgasm. She said I was acting like a baby, then I would eat a hot dog, and she’d tell me that was a little boy’s food. For a while it seemed like she found it kind of adorable, called me “baby,” even jumped for joy with me a few times after sex and shared a hot dog or two. I was as happy in the bedroom as I was on the field. It was the first time I’d been that happy anywhere else. Then she said we should “just be friends.” It was like getting sacked in your own end zone.
I may play a boy’s game, but I’m a man now, and I need to act like one. But what does it mean to be an adult? I have a job and a lot of money—those things both seem very adult. But when I’m not running around in padded tights and a helmet, I like to wear flip-flops and shorts. I get vacation half the year, which is a sad time for me because I don’t get as much attention from everybody. I need to make my personal brand more versatile, so I have something to do in the spring and summer. And let’s face it, I need a new girlfriend, someone who can take me to the next level, not just some actress, but maybe a pop star or a supermodel. A girl who knows foreign languages or who, unlike me, grasps the concept of irony, like Lady Gaga. Good thing I’m not in a hurry. While my personal brand may need that overhaul in the future, I don’t have to worry about it for now. Nobody’s ever thrown an ironic touchdown pass.
How do I win the Super Bowl of life? Can you achieve happiness from the shotgun formation? Is there a play-action path to salvation? If you’re at fourth and 10 on the way to heaven, what does it mean to punt? Is purgatory sort of like kicking a field goal from the red zone? Is the Almighty protected by an infallible offensive line? Is heaven an end zone that never ends? What is the metaphysical equivalent of a two-point conversion? How do I tighten the spiral of my soul?