‘Game Plan’ by Don DeLillo


Game Plan by Don DeLillo, 1971

The magic trick:

Using extravagant language and absurdist humor to simultaneously celebrate and mock the sport of football

Hilarious football shenanigans today on the Magic Tricks site.

DeLillo simultaneously celebrates and roasts the sport’s penchant for dramatic language. Some of the terms and turns of phrase here are just wonderful. It’s absurd, of course. The entire thing. The story. The characters. The desperate desire. The joy. The guilt. The spectacle. Football is glorious. Football is stupid. And that’s quite a trick on DeLillo’s part.

The selection:

“On the 32-break I want you to catapult out of there. I want you to really bulldoze. I want to see you cascade into the secondary.”

“Tremendous imagery,” I said.

“But be sure you protect that ball.”


“Get fetal, get fetal.”

“Fetal!” I shouted back.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s