Decorating the Manly House of Football

What, no Samsung dancing dork?

I was so amused by the new Fathead ad campaign - featuring the crazed, fire-spitting grizzly bear and the twisted CEO - I finally logged on in search of something suitable to stick on a wall.

Oh, don't get me wrong -- as a married man I have no illusions that I'll actually get to put one up in my own house… but a guy can dream. Maybe it's the vestigial 12-year-old boy in me. Maybe it's a sad admission that heading into another month of the Writer's Guild strike, I miss having an office wall on which to stick my Fathead. My mind is swimming with decorative options I took for granted and never truly appreciated until, alas, the corporate machine decided that the time had come for writers to work for free.

All propaganda aside, the fact is I have a crapload of time on my hands that I'm not used to, so what better time to inspect the Fathead inventory - a revealing litmus test for the sports world, and the NFL in particular.

Franchise, player, or icon, nothing tells you your stock is rising or falling like the hard world of cold commerce and public demand. One gander at the Fathead front page is all you need to realize these are very good days to be Tony Romo, Darth Vader, Vince Young, or Superman.

Ditto John Cena, Sidney Crosby, and Hannah Montana: A life-size wall decal guaranteed to make anyone who visits the office of a man my age deeply uncomfortable. You have the option of seeing each fathead design hung in a variety of model spaces, including the amusing "Adult Room" option - which goes from very wrong in the case of Ms. Montana, to amusingly infantile in the case of, say, Spiderman.

It's been another great season thus far for America's Team - and the Cowboys have so many options, they have their own store within the site, complete with a rainbow coalition of Cowgirl cheerleaders, Photoshopped to give the girls pale blue eyes normally associated with Alaskan Huskies.

The SI swimsuit models also are available, and I don't feel real proud of this, but I did notice that when you click "zoom" on the images, they tend to crop in on the genital region (or "swimsuit area," if you prefer). Rounding out Fathead's red light district, I am sad to inform you that not only is Maria Sharapova clad in a sexless tennis frock, but she is also coiled to unleash the least seductive or revealing shot in the game - a two fisted backhand.

If you're looking for the island of misfit toys, look no further than the "Specials" bin -- a land that exists somewhere between an unforeseen change of player address to a fall from grace.

Suddenly irrelevant jerseys account for the "Special" status of Kevin Garnett as a Timberwolf and Randy Moss as a Raider. Being completely NASCAR ignorant, I can only assume Kyle Petty is no longer driving a red car with a huge "Wells Fargo" logo on the hood.

The fall-from-grace category would seem to include two NFL QBs. Chad Pennington remains a Jet but apparently lost his Fathead mojo when he got benched. Then there is the ongoing freefall of Rex Grossman - one year removed from the Super Bowl, currently reinstalled as the starting QB in one of America's larger cities, yet available at a "special price" to grace the side of your RV or sitting room. Boy, Rex really pissed off the people, didn't he? Meanwhile Eli Manning is not on discount… yet.

Of course, my primary objective, at least before I realized I could get a life-size Anne V reclining on a beach, was some Buffalo gear. What did I find? Not much. You can get a huge Bills helmet, but you can't get any current players. I have often had fun in this very space with the fact that the best player in a Buffalo uniform is punter Brian Moorman, but… wow. Not even Lee Evans?

Adding to the douche-chill of it all is another discounted "special" -- local pariah Willis McGahee in his old Buffalo threads. I'm confused - did McGahee ever do anything in a Bills uniform to be enshrined thusly? At least the "Legends" category offers me an enormous Bruce Smith. No "Buffalo Stance," but there's nothing wrong with that, and I can only assume the Fathead brain trust is banking on Smith's inevitable Hall of Fame enshrinement to move a silo full of sack-artist. The fact that there is no Fathead of current HOFers Jim Kelly or Thurman Thomas makes no sense at all. Just as Boomer Esiason's presence in the Legend room also makes zero sense. He's the only non-Hall of Fame guy in there, unless you count the hall of over-talkers. How is that not in the specials aisle?

But I can't really complain - Atlanta Falcon fans root for the only NFL team that has no player Fatheads at all. As another sign of the times, it's safe to assume the Mike Vick Fatheads were 86'd, but pronto.

In the "swing-and-a-miss" department, the Browns only have Brady Quinn… meanwhile, New England features not one, but two Tedy Bruschi Fatheads, and one is sold out.

Oh well, apparently they go with the young and unproven or the hot hand, and when it comes to the NHL, no team had a hotter hand in terms of popularity and excitement than the 2006 Buffalo Sabres - I'll get a nice Ryan Miller for the wall, eh? Maybe a Brian "Soup" Campbell? Nope. All they offer a Sabre fan is the new team logo - a big seller, despite its bumpy introduction last season when it earned comparisons to everything from a "Buffaslug" to Donald Trump's comb-over. So what -- I have nothing but great associations with it because its arrival coincided with one of the greatest eras in team history. That's right - I clicked one right into the old shopping cart, and in the year 2018, when I get to write on a TV show again, it will look pretty sweet on the wall of my office.

The Fathead concept is clearly very successful - the best proof is how many imitators the concept has spawned, as well as a variety of companies that are willing to turn your personal photographs into huge, wall-sized stick 'ems. I briefly flirted with the idea of an entire wall filled with my dog self-grooming -- then I snapped out of it.

The kicker? When I explained to Robin what was in the shipping tube that just arrived, she smirked and said, "Great - that'll look perfect right next to your KISS poster.

Sometimes I don't know why I even bother. Speaking of which, should the Steelers even bother against the 12-0 Pats? That, and soooo very much more next time.

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