Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Meeting Big Daddy Drew: An Account

Readers of this blog probably know that we three bloggers are all quite fond of a particular sports writer. Drew Magary, writer for Deadspin, correspondent for GQ, and published author three times over is our inspiration, our guiding light, and our hero. Last week, two of us met him.

Quite the poster

We love Drew so much because, bottom line, he's really friggin' hilarious. His writing makes us laugh out loud every time we read it. But at least from my perspective, he gets a bit of a warped reputation because of what he talks about. He writes about poop and farts and football and he swears a great deal. (We try to write like him in like...every post, especially the Letters segments) Because of this, people who don't really know him pin him in the Tucker Max (with whom Drew actually appeared at one stop on this tour)/Barstool Sports/Spike TV category of "guy humor," and he really doesn't fit in there. His style is much more thoughtful than those types of humor. His humor flows from thoughtfully and forcefully hating on stuff, and he uses poop, farts and swears to drive his point home. The things he writes are funny almost more because of HOW he says them than because of WHAT he says. Though he abhors the bro-y subculture of CRUSHING BEERS AND CRUSHING PUSSY, he often gets pigeonholed into that category of humor because he finds farts funny. And that's just wrong.

Sitting on the third floor of the Harvard Coop half an hour before Big Daddy Drew's book signing was pretty agonizing for myself and Jon. Drew came to Boston to promote his new book on fatherhood called Someone Could Get Hurt, AVAILABLE NOW. We had been marking down the days on our calendars, and were only moments away from facing our destiny. Not only would Drew be doing a reading and a signing, but he was going out for drinks afterwards AND WE WERE ALL INVITED. He's the fourth we've been looking for. This was our chance.

Every 5 minutes, I would look down at my phone to see what time it was, thinking that it had surely been DOZENS of minutes since I had last checked. The moment seemed never to come. But then, at about 7:02 (coming late like he's goddamn the Rolling Stones), we hear a voice from behind the throng gathered to hear him.

"PRETEND I'M NOT HERE!" said a voice, speaking in all caps. There he was, about to make his way up to the podium. Drew Magary. Our MFing dude.

He eventually came up and began his book reading. He read two chapters from his book, most notably chronicling the time his toddler son used an electric toothbrush to freshen up his peener (that's ya Dick Tac). The Q&A ensued, and Drew was spectacularly hilarious, as always.

People fired their normal dumb questions, like 'Are you afraid your kids will read this book when they get older and kill you in your sleep?' A notable thing about people's interactions with Drew was that they all tried to speak on what they thought was his level, but no one's on his level. He's so much more complex and intellectual than people give him credit for. He fielded these questions smartly and deftly.

One question in particular yielded a hilarious response. Some schmo asked Drew if he ever thought about his daughter dating when she became a teenager. Drew noted that he was looking forward to intimidating little shithead 14-year-old boys, but that in reality, he never intimidated anyone. He painted a picture of a tween boy with bangs and gauge earrings saying, "Hey Mr. M, where are your snacks?" I died laughing.

After the reading came the signing. I bought two copies of the book: one for myself and one for my dad (Father's Day gift boom). Jon brought his own from home because he pre-ordered it online, making every employee at the Harvard Coop raise their eyebrows and look at each other as if to say "Did he pay for that? I know that bitch ain't bout to not pay for that." Okay, no one was like that, but Jon was nervous that they were.

Anyway, it was our turn to have Drew sign our copies. We came up to the table at which he was sitting and he looked up and smiled at me (I was first, duh).

"Hey, I'm Drew," he says. 'I KNOWWWWWWW,' I think to myself. But I said, "I'm Steve, great to meet you."

When Drew Magary puts his hand out to shake your hand, his fingers are already in position to wrap around your hand. He sort of like cups his fingers in mid-air, as if he's trying to save time when your hands meet and he needs to grab it. Seeing your hero extend a hook hand makes you feel general feelings.

I asked if he would stand up for a picture, and he was super gracious. He was gracious to everyone. SO graceful. As we stood up, I remarked "Ah! Just a little bit taller. Nice." I'm a goddamn sociopath. Jon snapped the iPhone picture. Immortalized.

This magic moment, so different and so new...

As Drew sat back down to sign my book, I mentioned to him that he once published a story about me getting poop in the shower. He said he remembered that, and signed my book thusly:


He then signed my dad's book, saying "To Russ, Your son is tall." Classic Magary. Maybe my comment wasn't so sociopathic after all...

Then it was Jon's turn. Drew stood up again for another picture. Here's that one:


Drew sat down and asked Jon what he wanted the signature to say. Jon replied, "Whatever you want, man," which is clearly extremely embarrassing, as if his diminutiveness weren't embarrassing enough.

Jon and I high-tailed it out of there and down to Chipotle. We debriefed on our first encounter, and prepared for interacting with Drew in a SOCIAL SITUATION. Facebook and Twitter were appropriately blown up with our experiences.

Just before 9:00, we headed over to John Harvard's, which is this place that only serves the beer they brew on site. Geez. And there he was, standing in the middle of a veritable GAGGLE of diehard fans: the one, the only, Large Father Drew.

The circle around Drew was too closed off for Jon and me to penetrate. We thought that, surely, we would only get a couple of minutes with the man himself, and he would make no effort to interact with US, TWO SCHMUCKS.

We stood around for a while, watching Game 4 of the Finals, getting a beer. After a few minutes, however, people kind of started leaving. It was becoming clear that most of the people who came out to the bar just wanted to say hi, ask Drew a question or two, hang for a sec, and peace. Not us. We were in it for the long-ass haul.

Maybe 20 minutes into this excursion, Jon "Poopypants" Muchin had to go to the tiny tiny boy's room. (By the way, in case you think I'm being overly mean to Jon, we give him shit for everything always. That doesn't necessarily mean we're not overly mean to him, but it does mean that this is normal) At that moment, the Red Sea parted, and I was standing right next to Him. Our eyes met, and I didn't even have to make the first move.

"HOW YOU DOIN'?" Drew asked. Classic opening to a convo.

"Good, good! How are you?"

"Doin' great! Mark, right?" There was the clawhand.

"Steve actually. Pretty close, one syllable. I'll take it."

"STEVE, right! Good to meet you, Steve. No drinks tonight?" I had finished my beer a moment earlier.

"I am, just not at the moment."

"I understand if you're DRIVING or something..."

"Nope, I took the bus, smart, not driving."


"Ah, okay, great, so get a drink!" was his response. PHEW.

It turns out that we got MONDO face time with our hero. Here were some highlights:
  • I asked him if I could get him a drink and he requested a club soda
  • Drew admitted that he loves Boston. FACK YOU!
  • Drew said he has one real friend in Boston, but he was sailing or some shit that night. Jon and I offered to be his new Boston friends. No definitive response.
  • He mentioned that everything written on Deadspin that's not written by him or Barry Petchesky is basically written by Tommy Craggs because Craggs has to edit the ever-loving balls out of everything that guys like Sean Newell and Tom Ley write (UPDATE: I sent this over to Deadspin, and Tommy Craggs asked me to take this out or tweak it because it's not really true. So while it is true that Drew mentioned this, what he mentioned is apparently not true, according to Tommy Craggs)
  • I told Drew that I admired him, which is almost as embarrassing as saying "Whatever you want, man"
  • He remembered our names at the end of the night
As I mentioned before, everyone tries to talk to Drew on the level they think he's at. When the ESPN halftime show came on, everyone was like HEY, IT'S BILL SIMMONS! MICHAEL WILBON! LOL THEY SUCK! Everyone was trying pretty hard to impress him and get him going on the things he writes about. It was kind of okay, but like relatively pathetic and weird. Drew just kind of talked about normal stuff.

So Drew left with about five minutes to go in the game, and Jon and I followed immediately after. It was past 11:30, and the buses in Boston suck, so we hopped into a cab. I was not untipsy.

We made it home and were both gonna get ready for bed, when Jon all of a sudden says to me "Hey...do you have the books?"

Long story short, we forgot the fucking books in the fucking cab. We had no idea of the cab company, let alone the driver or cab number. The next day, to try to get the books back, I called the following people/institutions: Citizens Bank, the MBTA, the Cambridge Police Lost and Found, the Boston Police Lost and Found, and Ambassador Brattle Cab (the cabs that are featured most frequently in Google image search of "Harvard Square taxi"). The last call yielded results, and the books are safe and sound after a harrowing ordeal. That's right, something that was left in a cab wasn't lost forever. #MiraclesHappen

So that's our story. WE LOVE YOU DREW. Can't wait for him to write another book so we can have another PERFECT NIGHT.

BTW, wondering where Sean is during all of this? Well, we tried to hatch a scheme to see Drew twice. Drew was in Brooklyn the night before he was in Boston, and I was going to go down to NY, see him with Sean, and then we were all going to go up and see him in Boston, and Sean was going to stay the weekend. It didn't work out because of work schedules, but Sean had the opportunity to see Drew at TWO SEPARATE BOOK SIGNINGS in New York and went to neither. He's the LVP of the blog.

1 comment:

  1. this is pretty much what i'd write if i ever got to meet the old benjy again