All-Time, All-Star, All-Literature Football

David Tomas Martinez

May 15, 2013

Ever since I was five years old, September has meant the start not only of school, but also of football. In honor of this, I have created the All-Time, All-Star, All-Literature Football team. If I have cut your favorite player, let me know in the comments. Thanks to my advance scouts: Adam Peterson and Justin Chrestman.
Head Coach: Gertrude Stein. Taking over for the retiring (and definite first ballot Hall of Fame coach) Stephané Mallarmé. Comes from the college ranks where she ruled recruiting through her living-room work. Best known for being a mentor and organizing figure, her drills revolutionized the game. Knows the jargon of coach-speak and will give nothing away to opponents (though sometimes the halftime speeches are hard to follow). Her players gave her the nickname "Tender Buttons," though she is neither. OFFENSE Offensive Coordinator: Jacques Derrida. His offensive schemes focus on the defense's weak spot, using a single flaw to exploit holes in the structure, leaving only the faintest trace of resistance. Really likes to spread out and disguise his schemes with subtle changes at the line of scrimmage. Quarterback: William Shakespeare. Best right arm in the game, hands down. A double threat to run or pass, to poet or drama. The internal clock in his head is impeccable; the vision and depth of his reads and the accuracy of his delivery have made him an MVP candidate year after year.
Tailback: Gwendolyn Brooks. In an increasingly up-tempo league, Brooks should excel. Able to come out of the backfield and catch the ball, yards after catch should be abundant. A flashy back that is also powerful is truly a rare commodity. Any play can go to the house with this back. Underrated. Left Tackle: William Carlos Williams. A real mauler, road-grader tackle that is strong at the point of attack. If he gets his hands on you, it's over. He is a wheelbarrow. Nothing too flashy about his game, but he is solid in the fundamentals of his position, which is exactly what you want from the guy who is protecting your quarterback. Left Guard: Homer. His ability to get to the second level with ease makes him a perfect pulling guard, the type to put in space and make that odyssey from one side of the line to the other and finish with a crushing block. His perfect form makes for memorable plays that set the foundation of this offense. Watching his highlight reel is a feast of pancake blocks. Center: JEDP Bible. The longest tenured veteran on this line, having played with some phenomenal teammates through the years, which shows in technique. Will not be pushed off the point. Field awareness is a definite strength, and never afraid to change the call before the snap. Probably the wisest of the linemen assembled. Right Guard: Dante Alighieri. The scrappiest, dirtiest player on this whole line, the type of player you want accompanying you to hell. A real mean streak that has been known to show itself on the field, this guard can be vindictive on the field, dishing out his own punishments and justice. Right Tackle: TS Eliot. There was some worry about his flexibility at the waist, making him susceptible to bull rushes by powerful defensive linemen, but the proof is in the rock he has become on the right side of the line, which has become a wasteland for blitzes. There is some worry he will leave in free agency at the end of the season. Tight End: Herman Melville. Best known for being part of the jumbo package in the goal line set, "Moby" is a fan favorite that is not afraid to go over the middle. Was part of the group of players that sang the hit single "Call Me Ishmael" during the team's Super Bowl run last year (still can't get the first line of that song out of my head).
X Receiver: Franz Kafka. A big receiver that has the strength to win the hand battles starting at the line of scrimmage. A possession receiver not afraid of pain or finding the soft spot in the zone; will do the arduous tasks like block. Nicknamed "Monstrous Vermin." Y Receiver: Emily Dickinson. More quick than fast, this athletic flanker looks to get the ball in space with quick slants and agile footwork. Revolutionized the importance of this position with her play. Sometimes disappears in games. Z Receiver: Gabriel García Márquez. This featured wide out is a real deep threat that runs elaborate routes with complicated timing. One of the most athletic receivers in the league, he makes unbelievable catches believable. Only knock; can sometimes take too long to get out of more complicated routes. DEFENSE Defensive Coordinator: Sigmund Freud. Nobody puts together a better defense. His line thrusts towards every weakness, attacking holes in offenses no one else sees. A real leader of men. His 3-4 defense should lead the league in turnovers because of slips (but also in penalties because of motherfucking stupid plays).
Left Defensive End: Jane Austen. A bit undersized for lining up in the five-technique, but subtleties in strength and footwork have made Austen a disruptive force on the line. Always in the backfield because of an active motor, she just finds ways of beating the player in front of her. Nose Tackle: Miguel de Cervantes. The perfect fit for his position, a hulking, unmovable mass often overlooked in the stat sheet. It all starts with him. Occupies multiple blockers when plugging the A-gaps by pushing the line of scrimmage backwards. Favorite move is the windmill. Right Defensive End: Leo Tolstoy. Long recognized as one of the best at his position, this player is stout against the run and disruptive in the pass game. The epitome of a defensive lineman. No matter how much you may try, this big Russian isn't going anywhere. Truly immovable. Joker Outside Linebacker: Mark Twain. A technically sound player with surprising power. Can run around or through the defender depending on the play. The primary pass rusher on this defense; look for him to tally up stats. Every play, just line him up and point him at the quarterback, and he will attack. Outside Linebacker: Rainer Marie Rilke. His job is to occupy blockers and make plays when necessary. This role has made him a mentor to many young players, but don't question his ample ability. Though a powerful outside linebacker, years of violent play have left him susceptible to injuries of late. Mike Linebacker: Pablo Neruda. One of the more athletically gifted on the field, this player gets asked to do everything, and to do it powerfully. He does. A wrecking ball between the tackles with a strong love for the game. Will give 100% all the time.
Ted Linebacker: James Joyce. Probably one of the more scouted players on the defense, his job is to occupy blockers in the dense scrimmage line. A smart, powerful 'backer that might be slightly misunderstood by fans because of off-the-field issues; every year is a darling nerd for football-analysis geeks. Left & Right Cornerbacks: John Donne, Daniel Defoe. You can leave them on an island. Enough. Said. Strong Safety: William Faulkner. A real thumper that has the speed to stay with skilled tight ends but is most effective near the line of scrimmage and closer to the play. Can take chances and has been criticized when the gambles don't pay off, but the ideal strong safety, who's not afraid to put his helmet in the pile.
Free Safety: James Baldwin. The last line of defense on the football field, this player's job is to observe patiently the action of the play and attack where needed. He has the ability to read sophisticated offenses and will fill on running plays, but definitely a more pass-minded defender; definite ball hawk.