My Dinner with Andre (or Bill from Fox Sports)

September 19th, 2005

I’ve had it with those prom-trotters at Fox Sports. That’s an understatement but that lead just leapt out of me like giggle juice from an upside down bottle. Those saps have chipped away at my brain cells as much as anything I’ve done to myself since 1994.

Two weeks ago I had an encounter with one of the aliens from planet idiot. I was sitting in the bar of a Cincinnati hotel, after the Vikings-Bengals debacle, drinking a tonic water devoured by a gin shark. This guy sits down on the barstool next to me and orders a Miller Lite He looks at me and I look at my drink. He asks me, "How bout that game today? Great game. Greeat game. Greeeeat game. Great game. Great, great, great, great game." I immediately look to the left thinking I was suddenly slipped into a suburban backyard picnic. Who the hell was this guy? I give this Joe Brooks a good look in the eye, my eyes barely showing to him. He touches his eyelid thinking I’m alluding to it.

Somehow I end up having dinner with this guy and he’s reacting to everything that’s going on around him.

"This table setting took a solid game plan. I like this table setting. You know if you had to pick out a guy to be a table setting it would be this one right here."

"What guy?"

"No if this table setting was a guy, I mean look at this thing. Fork. Fork. Dinner plate. Spoon. Knife. Roll plate. Salad plate. Empty coffee cup turned upside down on a coaster. Glass of water. Napkin. Boom. Table Setting 101. This is how you set a table."

"And suddenly everything became clear to him."

"What’s that?"

"Chekov."

"Who’d he play for?"

"The Wordsmiths."

"Who?"

Yes, everything did become clear to me; every inter-conference NFC game I've watched for the past decade my ear has been filled with the same voice, the same guy, at least 10 of them, doing the color commentary. This was one of the meathead drones, Bill Maas, from Fox Sports, the most offensive thing to happen to professional football since the 60’s Chargers. Fox football announcers are the worst kind of robot.

"I like this steak. This steak is good. This is a good steak. You know when a steak is good when you see that meat inside of it. That's the good part. The meat."

I looked into his eyes trying to detect a glimmer of any human quality.

"Did you see that waitress take that seam right there. I like that. Right there. She saw it. She took it. She was in complete control of her tray as she stopped for the old lady to pass and accelerated through the seam before the young couple passed through. That’s a great job by that waitress. Great job. I like that. I like that waitress"

"What?" I said to him, looking at his suddenly flush face, there was mashed potatoes on the tip of his nose and on his forehead. There were little shards of broccoli clinging to his sweaty face.

He says "What?" His plate was empty.

I tried to punch him but somehow my arm didn’t quite reach the other side of the table but it did end up above my scotch.

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