gatsbyweek

Gatsby Week: NFL counterparts

May 6, 2013
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Successful books become movies and that is nothing special. Yet Baz Luhrmann feels special. He makes weird movies that, if nothing else, try hard. His upcoming, Leo-starring acid trip interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s public school classic has Bro Nation’s undivided attention. You can’t get a high school diploma in this country without familiarizing yourself with the plot in passing. Luhrmann’s precedent for these projects, “Romeo + Juliet,” is basically a masterpiece.

Bro Jackson is declaring it Gatsby WeekMonday we draw parallelsTuesday we pass out the suggested reading syllabusThursday we do drinks; Friday we plan partiessend a true Bro into an area theater sans context, and then render a verdict.


I first flipped through the pages of “The Great Gatsby” in high school when our English teacher—an Elizabeth Montgomery doppelgänger without the bewitching personality—forced it on us.

I hated it.

I’ve read the book at least a dozen times since. It took some growing as a reader to fully appreciate it. When my own writing lags, there’s no better way to resurrect the writing process and shake up the inspirational juices than “Gatsby.”

Below I give you NFL personalities and their character equivalents from “Gatsby.” Maybe Luhrmann can use this somehow for “Gatsby II: America the Fucking Beautiful.” I heard he is already filming it. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are writing the score.

gatsby

Jay Gatsby: Daniel Snyder

A rich and ostensibly powerful man vies to recapture his youth by spending extravagant amounts of money on things that look pretty but really aren’t worth a shit. In the end, all is lost and everything around him is a complete mess. Sure, we’ve drawn hardwood parallels but in my mind the only match more perfect than this is Kate Upton deciding to date me.

Daisy Buchanan: Terrell Owens

Probably past her prime, she is superficial and selfish and overly sensitive, often relying on others to deflect blame from herself. She’ll leave the whole world a mess in order to make sure her needs are fulfilled. Pass the popcorn. This movie is gonna be dynamite.

Nick Carraway: Tim Tebow

A casual observer that is thrust into an incredible situation, befriending a handsome, rich, charismatic phony (Mark Sanchez). And, in the end, he can hardly hold it together, disappearing into obscurity never to be heard from again.

Tom Buchanan: Joe Theismann

An arrogant, hypocritical bully with great physical presence, he sprouts reckless banter while never saying—or doing—much of anything. He lives for his past glories and refuses to see things the way they are. He never goes away and to the end he remains unwilling to listen to the opinions and thoughts of others.

Jordan Baker: Josh McDaniels

Cynical and self-centered and coming-of-age almost too quickly, Ms. Baker takes a Machiavellian approach to the world. To win, she’s even willing to cheat. The sight of her makes me sick. If only there had been a camera on Jordan when she cheated at that golf tournament. You know anybody with a camera, Josh?

Myrtle Wilson: Ryan Leaf

An empty life with no hope to ever succeed, she is manipulated by everyone around her and feels completely misunderstood. She is doomed to fail and easily forgotten when she’s gone.

George Wilson: Rex Ryan

Lifeless and going through the motions, George is the head of a dead-end operation and success is a mere dream.

Kenneth Griggs is a writer and bartender living in Chicago, IL. He has hitchhiked through the Australian Outback; lived in a small fishing village in Japan; climbed Mount Kilimanjaro; and ran with the bulls in Pamplona. He spent six years as a feature writer for a daily and weekly newspaper and has two unpublished novels to his name. But his finest accomplishment is not yet sprouting a gin blossom nose.