Longtime SNL fans (or just Will Ferrell fans) probably recall the epic sketch with Ferrell and Sarah Michelle Gellar in which a frigid family of WASPs sit down for dinner, only to have the situation devolve into an affluenza-riddled shouting match in which Ferrell bellows, as a point of pride, “I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!” Y’know, this sketch.
We bring the sketch up for a reason, and not just because it’s early on a Friday afternoon and we’re already too drunk to walk. No, before Ferrell’s climactic scream, another of his pedestrian boasts is that he “can do a hundred push-ups in 20 minutes.” For whatever reason, something in the wiring of a straight man’s brain* will lead him to believe that large amounts of push-ups are an effective demonstration of how correct he is in an argument. Like, for example, what transpired between Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano and his right tackle, Kevin Haslam.
SCARLET SCUTTLEBUTT, which sounds more like a severe medical condition than a blog, has the story of Schiano proving he’s right with his chest muscles:
In the midst of the first water break, Schiano lightened the mood by challenging starting right tackle Kevin Haslam to a push-up duel.
“”He challenged me and at first I was like, ‘Coach, I’m going to relax, save my energy,’ ” the 6-7, 295-pound Haslam recalled after practice today. ””And he was like, ‘Get down,’ so I went down.”
Note: this usually does not work with women. Anyway, as the headline already told you - weird how it always ends up spoiling the surprise like that - Schiano rocked Haslam’s world.
“”I’m sure he let me win,” Schiano said, laughing.
Haslam didn’t go that far, but the fifth-year senior conceded he relented once he saw the intensity in which Schiano was pushing.
“I was doing the pushups and started to slow down, and then I saw Coach and he just kept going,” Haslam said, also chuckling over the mid-practice levity. “”I’m like, “I know I’m going to beat him, he’s not going to show me up.’ Then I noticed he was still going. I’m like, ‘Man, he’s in pretty good shape. I have to get up.’ I think he would’ve pushed to 50. He was doing pretty well.”
If you’re thinking to yourself that this is a functionally incoherent way to behave, well, yes. But since we’re talking about a coach and his starting player and they’re both laughing about it, perhaps it’s less of a challenge and more of a “hey I’m bored” situation.
But that’s boring. These people are in New Jersey, where push-ups qualify as currency, argument tactics, and votes in city councils. Lie to me, Scarlet Scuttlebutt, and tell me Schiano did it because he was angry, not because he wanted to have fun.
*We’re not singling out straight men with any malice to gay men; it’s just that we’ve never seen one of them get amped up and decide that challenging someone else to push-ups is going to solve a problem. Gay men, be proud of this, among many other things.