Pre-season notes on the worst football team ever.

Scout's notes (offense)

QB: James Joyce. Jim "The Passin' Polymath" Joyce is nearly blind and insists on


Team of the century

Pre-season notes on the worst football team ever.

Scout's notes (offense)

QB: James Joyce. Jim "The Passin' Polymath" Joyce is nearly blind and insists on calling the signals using a patois of foreign languages, inside jokes, and cultural ephemera. His book, Portrait of the Artist as a Rookie (Routledge), infuriated some teammates after it questioned their skill, desire, and academic credentials.

Fullback: Shirley Temple. Nimble, but the 63-pound Temple is no blocking back. It's awful to watch her get brutalized, play after play, until she's nothing but a mass of contusions and shredded taffeta. On a famous end-around against the Bears, she started belting out "The Good Ship Lollipop" but only got to "Shi—" before being knocked unconscious.

Halfback: Gertrude Stein. "Sarge" Stein runs the forty in three minutes and grunts to herself constantly. Teammates suspect that she's making up different rules and playing by them; on the plus side, doesn't need separate locker facilities.

Wide Receiver: Charles Manson. Disruptive and weaselly, Chuck Manson is at his most effective when left in the locker-room—if he's not visible, opponents start to worry he's at their homes, welding their wives and children into another murderous commune.

Wide Receiver: Rupert Murdoch. 66-year-old media titan Murdoch always starts because he owns the team. Some feel he has degraded the game with the introduction of topless cheerleaders; others, by his mere presence on the field.

Left Tackle: Ferdinand Marcos. "The puniest strongman ever squeezed from the loins of Totalitarianism" (Inside Sport).

Left Guard: Seka. Although quite well liked by teammates, this early-'80s porn starlet is the weakest link in any chain. Still, she tells fascinating stories about John Holmes and has found hitherto undreamed-of uses for mouthguards and athletic tape. "A catastrophe in cleats," said Frank Deford. "But somehow, I don't care."

Center: Antonio Gramsci. "Red Dog" Gramsci, a 4'10" hunchback from Sardinia A&M, is widely considered the worst draft pick in NFL history. He's the unhappy fruit of George Halas' brief, impassioned infatuation with Italian Communist theory.

Right Guard: Quentin Crisp. With pass rushers faster than ever, "Q-Tip" Crisp is woefully outmatched. Say scouts, "For one quarter, it's 'Hey, he wrote The Naked Civil Servant! I loved that!' Then they get over it and take Q-Tip to school."

Right Tackle: Milton Friedman. Two things Milt Friedman has to answer for: Thatcherism and allowing 4.5 sacks a game. "The doctrines of monetarism are useless against a good swim-move," says one coach.

Tight End: Kurt Cobain. Cobain's addiction to heroin makes him one of the most sluggish receivers ever to play the game. Trapped in a miasma of depression, he will drop anything thrown his way and then write a power-pop anthem about how he secretly likes losing.

Scout's notes (defense)

Cornerback: Yukio Mishima. Sensitive about his 5'2" height, Mishima is the only player ever to wear platform cleats. If he gets beaten deep, the trainer must keep an eye on him or he'll try to commit ritual suicide.

Cornerback: William Burroughs. Burroughs carries a gun and has knocked off three teammates "by accident." Claims to love football, although he refers to it as "the Green Shit funneled through America's Patriotic Guts."

Free Safety: Gregorin Rasputin. "The Mad Monk" emits a powerful odor and is mostly interested in seducing the cheerleaders. He and Burroughs have staring contests that creep everybody out.

Strong Safety: Andy Rooney. One of the most unreliable players ever to wear a helmet, Rooney never shows up until the last few minutes of the game, at which point he delivers a curmudgeonly soliloquy about why he doesn't like ATMs.

Linebacker: Helen Keller. More proof that football and socialism don't mix, Helen "Wheels" Keller is an inspiring story everywhere but on the gridiron. By the time her supersensitive fingers meet the ball carrier, he's by her and in the clear. Heartbreaking.

Middle Linebacker: Joseph Goebbels. Joe is one of history's—and football's—greatest monsters. Pumps out propaganda contending that the other team controls the world financial system. Whenever his side is losing, he exhorts them to fight harder then slips away to swallow cyanide.

Outside Linebacker: Ruth Westheimer. Lusty, grandma-oid charm can't help Westheimer. "Imagine your Nana being pancaked by a 310-pound pulling guard," says a wincing GM. "It ain't pretty."

Defensive End: Jean-Paul Sartre. "Jack-P" gives minus-110 percent every play. Could compete, if he thought it mattered. "Doesn't," says his new book.

Defensive Tackle: Andy Warhol. "A-Bomb" abhors human contact, a crippling disability in the trenches. His vérité documentary of the '65 season, Meat, is somehow 14 hours longer than the season itself. For serious football fans only. Actually, not even for them.

Defensive Tackle: Little Richard. If "campiness" were a stat, Little Richard would be an All-Pro, but it's not. He lines up 20 to 30 yards away from the offense then sprints in the opposite direction, loudly singing about Taco Bell. No one has caught him yet.

Defensive End: The cast of Friends. These six lovable, neurotic, interchangeable urbanites are viciously pounded into the turf every game, to the delight of all.

Punter: William Howard Taft. Bloated Bill's girth makes proper leg extension impossible. Longest kick: 17 inches, counting the ricochet off his paunch.

Kicker: Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Lautrec combines an exquisite sensitivity and lack of size to be a uniquely useless player. "Hey, Lincoln wants his hat back." Claims physical exertion makes him gag.

Coach: Wilhelm Reich. Coach Reich is extremely popular among the players for his messianic faith in the power of the orgasm; this hasn't stopped him from being fired 26 times. Is quite a sight sitting on the sidelines in his orgone box. Vince Lombardi's nickname for Reich: "Easy Come, Easy Go."

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