Earlier tonight, while at the gym, I did a YouTube search for Mark Gastineau, the former Jets defensive end and legendary asshole.
Why did I look up Gastineau? Well, for the same reason I occasionally Google Emmanuel Lewis and Ken O’Brien and Men Without Hats. I’m an 80s kid with an unquenchable thirst for nonsense. It’s my blessing and my curse.
I digress. The Gastineau search led me to the above video, titled MARK GASTINEAU’S JOURNEY BACK TO JESUS. I can’t recommend it strongly enough.
In case you don’t remember or weren’t here, back in the day Gastineau was Mr. New York. He sacked quarterbacks like no one else. He dated hot chicks and drove fast cars and made big money and was pretty much loathed by everyone with a conscience, as well as those with the last name of Klecko. Hell, he even had matching hearts tattooed on his right ass cheek alongside his love interest of the week, the tall and strange Brigitte Nielsen.
Put different: The man was hella cool.
Alas, that was then. In the above video, Gastineau is sunken and sad. His ill-fitted suit oozes K-Mart, his once-mighty physique looks downright Pearlman-esque. The cars, the money, the chicks—long gone (although I presume the ass tatt remains). All that the greatest pass rusher in Jet history has these days (it seems) is a profound love of his lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
I don’t buy it.
Wait. An explanation: I buy Gastineau’s sincerity, but I don’t buy the video. The cheese music. The emerging quotations. The forced narrative by the lame preacher host. I also don’t buy Mark Gastineau’s revelation that he was never happy. Really? Never? It’s an old religious trick—I was never happy before knowing God. Not even when you were sacking quarterbacks? Not even in the middle of your Playboy Mansion trips? Not even when your kids were born? Never? Never, ever? But now, because you believe in God, you’re euphoric? Hmmm …
While we’re on the subject—Gastineau used to be spunky and fierce. Now, as he says repeatedly, he worries about nothing. All will be taken care of, Mark says, by Jesus. If you ask Jesus for it, he’ll deliver—over and over and over again (unless you’re an impoverished African family with Ebola. Or a journalist captured by ISIS. Or an AIDS patient without proper health care. Or a victim of ethnic cleansing. Or …). Which, when translated into sane thought, means the following: Don’t worry about all the world’s awfulness. Yeah, it’s bad. But God has your back.
I’ll take the Sack Exchange.