A highlight from 676: Heres Looking at You, Kid

This American Life
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Gary did not want to become a football player. No interest in the game at all. Here's a timid kid. Kind of kid. Who in baseball would cause his is when he was up at bat he was so scared of getting hit by the ball when high school. You know your personality is still up for grabs gary. Sice school there was not one person but to people with a very different vision of who he was they were assistant high school football coaches and very noticeable big personalities and they were twins. And i didn't really know their name. I'd seen them round there. Were super handsome. And in great shape. I mean they were ripped and they would wear gold's gym tank tops and jams the shorts these hawaiian short through those and they had really long hair and they were. They were very charming charismatic. Funny and they were known as the jetsons which was this. The self proclaimed nickname. I think they called themselves. The jetsons referred to themselves because the jetsons was people from the future and they felt that they were like that they would definitely the first people i ever noticed who referred to themselves. And that is that the third person Jetsons are coming to get you. The jetsons will see you the jetsons. That's what they sometimes they would. They would say. Johnny jetson will with you today. Joe jetson we'll be with you tomorrow magical figures and these magical figures. These assistant football coaches. They gave gary his own nickname and the fall of junior year. It was not a glittery name like the jetsons kind of the opposite actually waste. They call them. As in waste of talent goldman to playing football told him the football will get him a college scholarship. Get him girls. They said the newspaper would write about him. They want him on the team so badly. Because gary was a giant compared to most of the kids playing football back then this is in peabody massachusetts boston suburban salem in the late eighties most high school players back. Then we're five nine five ten. Gary was six six two hundred pounds newsletter play basketball and his high school team. Those coaches scolded him for his complete lack of aggression and for crying would he really love doing was art. Projects going to arts and crafts store reading. He kept an enormous stuffed animal collection in his room even in high school. He's a pretty depressed at the time. Gary comedian today. Gary goldman stage When he tries to describe what he was like as a kid. I talk about being charlie brown. I say picture my childhood. Charlie brown if snoopy had died that was that was my. That was my childhood. I felt so sorry for him. Is that like the whole point of his character is that he sat. only even. That wasn't lonely enough. You have to kill off his. Yes soon the jetsons of telling him that they were going to make him into a start. He laughed it off. He liked the attention from the jetsons. Sure but he did not consider this seriously at all. Football seemed brutal. Just nonstop violent physical contact. He did not think he could cut it guys who played football. They were so tough. Gary on the other hand he got picked on. He got bullied. He was bullied out of little league. So footba no way and then. His junior year ended and just a couple of days. In december break was june six thirty in the morning. Phone cost them up. It's the twins they said. Go man this is the jetsons. Meet us at the universe jim. At seven thirty we are going to train the man this summer and get the goldman a scholarship and make the goeman into star by the end of the summer. You will be two hundred forty five pounds and ripped like arnold was so weird and bold and on the spur of the moment. He figures what the house and he has. It's thought that you have sometimes as a kid. He thinks these adults say i can do this. Maybe they're right. They were so convincing. They were so convincing and there was a part of you that thought like yes magical man. It was. It was intoxicating. It was because they were so cool and my entire life. My my family was more of a. Don't get your hopes up type of attitude philosophy of things. Don't don't always work out the way you want them to. And and so. It was very negative house. And i remember asking them. I said you really think i'm gonna. I'm gonna play on the size school football team. I i don't have that much experience in their answer. Should i swear or just a favorite every single time. I would ask them any kind of question. They say fuck. Yeah not everybody was using that expression back then. That was the first instance of somebody saying that to me instead of. Don't get your hopes up and we'll see it was fuck yet and i just i was like. Oh my gosh. These guys are are so so exciting. They believe in me That's every morning. He works out with the jetsons from seven. Thirty to nine thirty then. They take him to a diner. They buy a big breakfast with eggs and other proteins night density teach them running routes member. Gary had never played football and it was just like the jetsons said it was incredible. It was like a rocky montage. I was getting stronger and bigger and they would say things they they had this thing. The man is getting you. J- the goal man is getting you into the end of the summer. How did you look. I looked fantastic. Plan i i. I'd grown my hair mall like them and closed. Started to look really cool. May they were. As

Coming up next