But that was 17 years ago. My father's dead and the Chargers suck.
What I was wondering was why a fashion magazine like GQ loves football?other than the obvious benefits that flow from nearly two pounds of glossy advertising. I headed to Gallagher's Steak House, to the party tossed by GQ editor-in-chief Art Cooper along with the Giants and the Jets, to get the answer.
I'm not the hugest football fan, and with the city looking at a real chance for the first subway series since the days of the nickel fare, getting up for a football-themed soiree was somewhat of a chore. But the night started with a weirdly appropriate New York moment. My recorded cab voice was Mr. Ruptured Achilles' Heel, Vinny Testaverde, himself. "Please remember to pack up your belongings," he told me. Same to you, V.
Gallagher's was packed, and decorated with clusters of little blue and white "GQ"-inscribed footballs. There were GQ cheerleaders, too, also decorated in blue and white and similarly inscribed. It was easy to guess why they loved football: It put modeling dollars in their pockets. The central bar was three deep with young fashionable types there for the free booze and models, interspersed with the Sunday-pots-of-chili-and-cold-Lowenbrau guys who root for the Cowboys, or maybe make it up to Baker Field when Princeton visits. Diehard football fans could head to the back room to chat up some of the real players who showed up. They could talk to Giants linebacker Jessie Armstead about his perfect attendance record, or ask defensive back Percy Ellsworth if he missed returning punts, like he did on occasion for the University of Virginia; or maybe Jets tight end Fred Baxter had news on Testaverde. I asked Baxter who he liked if there's a subway series?if GQ can ask Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe and ESPN host Chris Berman which football helmet was their favorite, I figured I could ask baseball questions. Baxter told me he lives in Atlanta and likes the Braves. He said, "If the Braves don't make the World Series, I don't care who wins."
The lovely young models in the room didn't look like they loved football, but they sure did like easy-on-the-eyes Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn. Sehorn is featured in an eight-page fashion spread, and looks really good. Both Jason and cashmere are making comebacks this year. He was holding some stack of papers, fanning himself. "Are those modeling contracts?" I asked. No, they were just something to move the stale Gallagher's air around. Would you chuck it all for a big fashion career? "No," he answered, "football is my love."
I ran into New York Post columnist Amy Sohn, who greeted me surprisingly warmly and told me how simply awful it is to have a column in the New York Post. I found GQ special correspondent and former Food TV star Alan Richman, probably the most pleasant man in the room that evening. We talked about the decline of Food TV until he spotted Cooper for me.
I reintroduced myself and sent my boss' regrets. Cooper wanted to know where the black turtleneck he gave my boss was. "Where's yours?" I countered, pointing to his open, collarless buttondown.
"C'mon," he said. "Not in the summer." I passed along John Strausbaugh's scorn over a chart in the football GQ about the decline of males as they age. According to that chart, men in their 30s experience 121 orgasms a year. According to Strausbaugh, if that's wads shot, it's way low; if it's times laid, they're lying. Per month is more like it, is Strausbaugh's view. Cooper said, "Tell Strausbaugh he's a wimp," and then excused himself to go give those football players some lovin'.