From Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72:
The leaves change, they say, but the roots stay the same. So just lie back and live with it. To crank up a noisy bad stance out in a place like San Francisco and start yelling about "getting things done in Washington" is like sitting far back in the end zone seats at the Super Bowl and screaming at the Miami linebackers "Stop Duane Thomas!"
That is one aspect of the '72 Super Bowl that nobody has properly dealt with: What was it like for those humorless, god-fearing Alger-bent Jesus Freaks to go out on that field in front of 100,000 people in New Orleans and get beaten like gongs by the only certified dope freak in the NFL? Thomas ran through the Dolphins like a mule through corn-stalks.
It was a fine thing to see; and it was no real surprise when the Texas cops busted him, two weeks later, for Possession of Marijuana . . . and the Dallas coach said Yes, he'd just as soon trade Duane Thomas for almost anybody.
They don't get along. Tom Landry, the Cowboys' coach, never misses a chance to get up on the platform with Billy Graham whenever The Crusade plays in Dallas. Duane Thomas calls Landry a "plastic man." He tells reporters that the team's general manager, Tex Schram, is "sick, demented and vicious." Thomas played his whole season, last year, without ever uttering a sentence to anyone on the team: Not the coach, the quarterback, his blockers -- nobody; dead silence.
All he did was take the ball and run every time they called his number -- which came to be more and more often, and in the Super Bowl Thomas was the whole show. But the season is now over; the purse is safe in the vault; and Duane Thomas is facing two to twenty for possession.
Nobody really expects him to serve time, but nobody seems to think he'll be playing for Dallas next year, either . . . and a few sporting people who claim to know how the NFL works say he won't be playing for anybody next year; that the Commissioner is outraged at this mockery of all those Government-sponsored "Beware of Dope" TV shots that dressed up the screen last autumn.
We all enjoyed those spots, but not everyone found them convincing. Here was a White House directive saying several million dollars would be spent to drill dozens of Name Players to stare at the camera and try to stop grinding their teeth long enough to say they hate drugs of any kind . . . and then the best running back in the world turns out to be a goddamn uncontrollable drugsucker.
But not for long. There is not much room for freaks in the National Football League. Joe Namath was saved by the simple blind luck of getting drafted by a team in New York City, a place where social outlaws are not always viewed as criminals. But Namath would have had a very different trip if he'd been drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Tags: Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72