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       Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete's Handbook, p.1

           Drew Magary
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Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete's Handbook

  Copyright © 2008 by Drew Magary

  All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

  Little, Brown and Company

  Hachette Book Group

  237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

  Visit our Web site at

  First eBook Edition: October 2008

  Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  ISBN: 978-0-316-04019-8


  Author’s Note

  Chapter 1: Getting to Know You and Your Balls

  Chapter 2: It’s Not Just a Sport; It’s Now a Soul-Crushing Job

  Chapter 3: Hot Naked Men

  Chapter 4: They’re Like Bosses, Except They Like Hitting You

  Chapter 5: “Don’t You People Have Homes?”

  Chapter 6: The Best and Worst Part of Athletic Superstardom

  Chapter 7: A Study in Anchors

  Chapter 8: Favored Children of the Antichrist

  Chapter 9: “What Do You Mean, She Wants to Press Charges?”

  Chapter 10: It’s About Goddamn Time

  Chapter 11: It’s Not Whoring If You’re Famous

  Chapter 12: It’s Like Dying in Advance!


  To my mom and dad

  . . . who taught me not to say inappropriate things.

  Which is why I wrote them all down instead.

  Author’s Note

  Certain quotes and testimonials attributed to various athletes, players, coaches, journalists, executives, and other people of note in this book have been wholly fabricated for the sake of humor — specifically, all quotes and testimonials attributed to the following persons: Gilbert Arenas, Charles Barkley, Barry Bonds, Howard Cosell, Johnny Damon, John Elway, Weeb Ewbank, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Michael Jordan, Ray Lewis, Vince Lombardi, Mike Lupica, Joe Morgan, Dirk Nowitzki, Arnold Palmer, Carson Palmer, Gary Payton, The Phillie Phanatic, Red Ruffing, Marge Schott, Chris Simms, Stephen A. Smith, Casey Stengel, David Stern, Joe Torre, Johnny Unitas, and Brenda Warner.

  Chapter 1

  Getting to Know You and Your Balls

  An Introduction to Pro Athletedom

  Welcome to the next level. You, sir, are a man with balls.

  In the vast realm of sports literature, there has never been a book that has taught pro athletes how to be pro athletes. This is a pity, for pro athletes are people who need, nay, crave, guidance. Yet, no one off the field is willing to provide this guidance: not their coaches (too busy watching film), not their families (too busy buying leather goods at Barneys), not even Vince Lombardi (too busy slowly decaying into the soil). I recently asked a high-profile athlete who wished to remain anonymous (it was Tracy McGrady!) to map out his typical weekday for me. This is what he sent me:

  10:00 a.m. — Wake up, followed immediately by a light nap

  11:30 a.m. — Egg-white omelet with multigrain toast, slice of honeydew

  12:00 p.m. — Xbox

  3:00 p.m. — Light snack

  3:05 p.m. — More Xbox

  5:00 p.m. — Hop in Town Car to be escorted to arena; play Xbox in the backseat

  5:30 p.m. — Rubdown by nubile twenty-three-year-old assistant trainer while playing Xbox

  6:00 p.m. — Light snack and light nap, maybe some Xbox

  7:00 p.m. — Shooting drills; discuss Xbox with fellow employees

  7:30 p.m. — Light nap while playing Xbox

  8:00 p.m. — Play real-life game

  9:00 p.m. — Halftime; Xbox

  10:00 p.m. — Game over; hop in Town Car to be escorted to club

  10:30 p.m. — Late dinner, drinks; some light fellatio in a semiprivate alcove

  1:00 a.m. — Asleep, unless new Xbox game has arrived

  Now, does this sound like the schedule of someone who has direction in life? Pfft. Hardly. Pro athletes need a handbook that tells them everything they need to know to maximize their potential — on the field, at the bank, and in the bedroom (or, in some cases, in the arena utility room). At long last, that book has arrived. Welcome, good friend, to Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete’s Handbook.

  You will find this book a veritable treasure trove of information and useful tips to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of athletic superstardom. For, while a career in professional sports provides you with fabulous wealth, adoring fans, and a fully stocked koi pond in your backyard, you must always be wary of its dangers. If you’re not careful, you could end up in prison. Or in a bad relationship. Or in Cleveland.

  You’re luckier than your forebears, because you have this book to guide you. Throughout history, there have been many books written about pro athletes. But who, I ask you, has ever written a book for pro athletes? No one. And you know why? Because it would be idiotic from a marketing standpoint to write a book exclusively for a group of people who represent only a minuscule fraction of the general population, particularly since many of them choose not to read books anyway.

  But let’s not let a little thing like common sense stand in our way. That’s for pussies.

  The sad fact is that pro athletes like yourself have no idea how to handle the world they’ve been thrown into. The only people you have to rely on for help are other pro athletes. And many of those people, frankly, are retarded. Some pro sports leagues do offer symposia for rookies. But those presentations are long, boring, and gay. Yes, our pro athletes are sorely lacking proper education in the art of being a pro athlete. It’s a huge gap in academia. One that must be filled with great, thrusting force. And I’m just the person to supply such force.

  Who am I? I’m glad you asked. Now, I’ve never played professional sports in my life. On the contrary, I have a spine made of peanut brittle, and I possess all the athletic ability of Gerald Ford during the brief period he was lying in state. I have also been outraced by various stationary objects, including a lamppost, a small mound of sawdust, and renowned college basketball coach Rick Majerus.

  But I have watched. In fact, I have spent more than thirty years carefully observing athletes from afar. I even went so far as to place thousands of cameras and film crews in stadiums across the world so that I might watch athletes via open-circuit television, all at considerable effort and expense on my part. And I’ve been known to order my camera crews to slowly “replay” certain moments in the action so that I may study athletes more closely. From all that intense field research, I have accrued a knowledge of the ins and outs of pro athletics that well surpasses that of at least any twenty-nine-year-old.

  And now, I share this vast wealth of knowledge with you, the professional athlete. No doubt you’ve encountered your fair share of coaches during your career, a small number of whom may or may not have made sexual advances toward you. Well, I’m here to be your life coach, taking you through your career from its beginning to its inevitable and heartbreakingly unpreventable conclusion. I’ll give you the crucial skills necessary to succeed on the field, to get paid lots of money for it, and to avoid any number of unwanted sexually transmitted diseases. Ever heard of PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease? Trust me: you don’t want that shit.

  Moreover, this book isn’t just for pro athletes. No, it’s for aspiring pro athletes as well — which is to say, the rest of us. Read this book, and you’ll be putting yourself in the shoes of your favorite athlete, or at least a reasona
ble facsimile of said shoes. It’s a fact: we all like to live vicariously through professional athletes. Why, I often envision myself as former pro volleyball superstar Gabrielle Reece. Then I rub my nipples in a gentle, counterclockwise motion and vigorously masturbate myself to orgasm. Good stuff. With this book, you’ll be able to do the same.

  * * *


  Did you know the first black Major League Baseball player was Jackie Robinson? Seriously? You didn’t know that? Jesus. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  * * *

  As a pro athlete, you are a man with balls. Sometimes those balls are round. Sometimes they are oblong. And sometimes they are stitched, which is kinda nasty. You are about to become the man we all desire to be or, at least, should desire to be. But you must use your balls wisely, lest they blow up in your face — or worse, someone else’s. At long last, I have come to show you how to use those balls to maximum effect. All for the bargain retail price of $16.99. (Note: Price in Canada may vary!) You’re welcome.

  So let’s grab our balls and get ballin’, ballers.

  It’s all downhill from here: draft night.

  The first step in becoming a professional athlete is to be drafted into the league of your respective sport (unless you play an individual sport, such as tennis or golf). For you, the aspiring pro athlete, draft night is the greatest night of your life, a validation that everything you did in college — excelling on the field, spending a handful of hours in kinesiology class, and getting shitfaced off grape Dimetapp and Everclear outside the Delta Upsilon house — has finally paid off. Tonight is the night you become a pro athlete, the best of the very best. It’s like a debutante ball, only you don’t wear white gloves, and you aren’t raped by your longtime boyfriend, Chad, at the end of the night. Here are some tips to make the night memorable:

  GREETING THE COMMISSIONER. This is important. When the commissioner calls your name, do the following: stand up, hug your loved ones, walk slowly to the podium, take your jersey, shake the man’s hand, hold your new jersey aloft, smile for the cameras, and leave. That’s it. Do not hug the commissioner. I can’t stress this point strongly enough. Your commissioner got to the position he’s in by ruthlessly consolidating his power at the expense of friends, loved ones, and Jesus Christ. The man will not hug you back. He barely knows the names of his own children. Don’t fuck with him. Alabama defensive end Eric Curry hugged former NFL commish Paul Tagliabue when his name was called by the Bucs back in 1993. Remember Eric Curry? Of course you don’t. He’s dead. All because of a hug.

  WHERE YOU’RE GOING. It’s the biggest issue on your mind: What team will choose you? Will it be Utah? Man, you really hope it isn’t Utah. Utah blows. People there are creepy. One time I went to Utah and saw a nine-month-old wearing an engagement ring. How did Utah even get a team? If you were drafted by Utah, how would you make sure you got out of Utah quickly, without even having to visit? God, now you’re all nervous. This Utah business is pretty fucked up.

  I’m not going to lie: it’s completely out of your hands. But the good news is it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can force a trade later on. However, be warned: everyone after that will hate you and consider you something less than a man. Which, in the case of Steve Francis, is more or less justified. For ideas on places you should weasel your way out of, see page 15.

  WHAT TO WEAR. No dilemma is more baffling than what to wear the night you are drafted. It’s your chance to make a first impression on the general sporting public (actually, given the prolificacy of ESPN, it’s your 1,234,987th impression). So you need to dress for the occasion.

  Are you black? Then God has provided you with a brilliant canvas of a complexion against which all bright colors will pop, to use a designer term. Don’t wear muted colors or earth tones. That’s for pussies. I want to see you in cherry reds, electric blues, and even canary yellows. Charles Oakley can probably lend you something. And no double-breasted jackets. You know who’s double-breasted? Women. You’re not a woman, are you? Also, the more buttons on your suit jacket, the better. Marshall Faulk still holds the record, rocking an incredible forty-two buttons on his jacket the night he was drafted. You couldn’t even see his head. Bad. Ass.

  Are you white? Yeah, well, then do the opposite of what I just told you. Cracka. For more fashion tips, see chapter 10 posthaste.

  WHO TO BRING. Bringing someone with you to draft night means that you care for them deeply, or have accidentally impregnated them. As a pro athlete, you need to arrange a support system for yourself. That all starts here. Or, depending upon whom you exclude, that all ends here. Here is a brief list of mandatory people to bring.

  • Your mother

  • Your grandmother and grandfather (mother’s side)

  • Your college or high school girlfriend (don’t worry, you’re breaking up with her later that night)

  • Your best friend

  • One cousin of your choosing

  • Your wife and five children (BYU draftees only)

  • Your high school coach (his wife is optional)

  That’s the list. Many athletes go well past this tally, but remember, you aren’t just setting up a support system for yourself, you are also setting yourself up as the support system for anyone you bring. The more people you bring, the more people you have to share in your success with. Do you really want to bring your stepfather? I don’t like the way he looks at you. He seems just a little too chummy, if you get my drift. Very handsy.

  CELEBRATING. Be sure to do all your celebrating the night before the draft. Why? Because, if you are drafted high, the owner of the team that chooses you will immediately whisk you off in a private plane (complete with lacquered minibar!) to a meet-and-greet with coaches and management. That’s right: they want to put you to work immediately. Unreal. Dicks. And if you are drafted low, you will inevitably be disappointed in where you went and will order loved ones out of the room so that you can destroy valuable objects in a frenzy of blind, uncontrollable anger. I suggest the lamp. It smashes with little effort. I also suggest swearing a blood oath of vengeance against the teams that passed you over.

  Should you find yourself disappointed on draft night, fear not: you will have someone there to comfort you.

  “Wow! Cash in an envelope!” Selecting an agent.

  Since you’re talented enough to be a pro athlete, there’s a good chance you’ve been dealing with agents since the age of eight. It’s important that you find an agent who will maximize your earning potential. But more important, you want an agent who will provide you with a false sense of security in your own abilities. You want a man willing to whitewash reality for you at any cost, and to provide a twisted form of substitute love and devotion that will fill the gaping hole in your heart left over from an unhappy childhood. Is that worth a lifetime tithing of all your earnings? Shit yeah.

  Now, there are many agents to choose from. You can choose an oily agent or a slick agent or even a conniving agent. Or you could go in an alternative direction and choose a family member or lifelong family friend. If you choose to go that route, take this book, close it, and slam it against your face until your eyes and ears bleed. Don’t be a shithead. Take the agent experienced in shady, underhanded dealings and don’t look back.

  Many agents will put together elaborate PowerPoint decks that detail their long-term and short-term plans for making you a multimedia superstar. You don’t need to actually read these presentations. I suggest judging them strictly by thickness.

  Agents will also offer gifts or perks to persuade you to sign with them. I call them sweeteners, which is very clever on my end. Here are the sweeteners you should expect.

  • Money

  • Trip to Vegas or the Bahamas

  • Time-share for your parents

  • Pit bull or other feral dog

  • Down payment on a Cadillac Escalade or other luxury SUV of equal or greater value

  • Strip club membership and / or club currency

  • Steak dinner (order the porterhouse)

  • Concert tickets with backstage passes (If your agent can’t get you backstage to meet Shakira, he’s not connected enough. Fuck him.)

  • Drugs (optional)

  • VIP table at the club of your choosing, with at least two bottles of Ketel One ordered (so not optional)

  • A contract hit on the enemy of your choosing

  You can also pick an agent who is dead honest with you and genuinely cares for your welfare, but refuses to make empty promises. This agent’s name is Jerry Maguire, and he doesn’t fucking exist.


  I will kill for you, and then feast upon the flesh of the deceased

  by Marty Battaglia, professional agent

  Being an agent is my one true passion. I have no other life outside of my clients: no friends, no family, not even a dog to speak of. All I got is you, baby. It’s all you, all the time. There are no barriers with me, my friend. My clients are my family.

  And since I consider you family, I can confide in you that the truth is I rely on clients such as yourself to keep my subhuman body undead for-evermore. I need your precious, precious energy. That’s why, if you let me represent you, I will do anything for you. I will defend you. I will take a stand for you. I will fight tirelessly on your behalf.

  And I will kill for you. Oh, yes. Mark my words.

  I will kill for you and then feast upon the flesh of the deceased, which will only strengthen my representation of you. I will tear out the heart of our chosen victim, hold it aloft as a trophy of our conquest, and then swallow it whole. Because killing is the ultimate act of dedication to my clients. One I’m delighted to make. So I will kill for you. Even if you don’t want me to. Especially if you don’t want me to. That way, I can prove to you how serious I am.

  I will do anything for you, my friend. I will go to fucking war for you. No joke. I will forge a declaration, get it passed through the puppet regime of a very small Latin American nation, and formally declare war. Then, I will wage a full-on orgy of bloodshed unlike anything the world has ever seen. All on your behalf. I’ll even commit war crimes. Stomping babies? You got it. Heads on bayonets? Oh, yeah. Mass shootings? That’s the best part.

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