WAITING FOR GOODELL: A Tragi-Comedy in Two Acts

Michael Carlson
15 min readSep 6, 2022

I wrote this in mid-August, intending to do the last of my NFL divisional previews, of the AFC North, for my weekly American football site, Friday Morning Tight End, at Patreon, (to which you can subscribe and follow my takes on football all year round at patreon.com/mikecarlsonfmte). I had been waiting to write the preview until we had some clarity on Cleveland Browns’ quarterback DeShaun Watson’s status for this season. But as I sat down to write, with the season fast approaching, there still had been no decision on the length of Watson’s inevitable suspension.

But as I was waiting, and waiting, I thought about the very process of waiting, and decided it might be better to seek some advice from the master of Theatre Of Absurd, Samuel Beckett. What I took from Sam was my understanding that his plays are not absurd because they are fantastical; they are absurd because life is absurd. Humans live lives of neuroses, with which they cope by enacting rituals of behaviour through which those lives take on meanings. Not that I am insinuating anything beyond entertainment in our play this week…though I did try to cover the NFL legal situation as it stood at the time. Ergo…


a tragi-comedy in two acts


Vladimir: In act one he wears a Ducasse Jets jersey. In act two he wears a Mark Sanchez Jets jersey.

Estrogen: A self-proclaimed high school football hero who claims his career was derailed when he took the wrong sorts of “performance-enhancing” hormones. He wears a well-worn and unwashed Ryan Leaf Chargers jersey

Pozzo: In act one he wears a bright blue suit with hugely padded shoulders and a silver tie whose knot is the size of a baseball. In act two he wears a sloppy polo shirt and baggy trousers decorated like a Harlequin’s, and his face has clown paint and a red nose.

Lucky: Wears an oversized football helmet with padding on the outside and a visor that hides his face. He is wearing one glove, a la Michael Jackson, and a long black duster, like Dream in The Sandman or a cowboy villain.


Along a roadside. A seeming campsite, with a doused fire in the centre and a huge screen TV whose cable runs to a giant dish set atop a dirty camper van. Vladimir pulls himself off a broken couch, spotting Estrogen with a various Sharpies at work on a garbage can lid

Michael Carlson

Yank doing life w/out parole as UK broadcaster & writer. @carlsonsports. Covers arts, books, film, music, politics & uh, sports. Accept no substitutes