A Conversation with DJ Gallo | Left Field | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A Conversation with DJ Gallo

A sports satirist comes to Pittsburgh -- and offers his take on Steely McBeam, wedgies and Ray Lewis

Creator of the satire site sportspickle.com, DJ Gallo lampoons the world of sports with headlines like, "Chad Johnson Quits Bengals to Pursue Solo Career," "Ray Lewis Excited to Unveil His Gayest Pre-game Dance Routine Yet" and (for a story about funding a new facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins) "School Lunch Tax to Support New Arena." He first unleashed sportspickle.com in November 2001, and is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com's Page 2.

The minister of sports snark has mysterious ties to Pittsburgh, which he refuses to discuss. But he will be at the South Hills Village Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. Sat., Nov. 10, for a book-signing: A collection of his sportspickle.com writing has been released as The View From the Upper Deck.

Who are your favorite characters from sports fiction?

Roberto Clemente, Josh Gibson, Muhammad Ali.

Who are your favorite figures in sports history?

Roy Hobbs, Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, Teen Wolf.

What trait do you most deplore in athletes?

Giving me wedgies.

What trait do you most deplore in yourself?

Not being strong enough to fight off wedgies.

Other than Ray Lewis hunting you down, what is your greatest fear?

Snakes. And also Ray Lewis stabbing me with a snake.

Other than being born an Atlanta Hawks fan, what do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being born an Atlanta Hawks and an Atlanta Falcons fan.

What is the greatest sports mecca?

Fenway Park. I enjoy observing douchebaggery in its natural habitat.

What is your favorite college fight song?

Notre Dame's. The sheer power and energy of that song has motivated them to cross the 50-yard line several times this year.

What quality do you most admire in a golfer?

A short game and man-boobs. You can't score well without a good short game. And I respect anyone who is a strong, independent person, and there's nothing more independent than keeping yourself hydrated during a grueling round by suckling from your own teets. Put those two together, and I'm a huge Phil Mickelson fan.

What is your favorite sports color scheme or uniform?

Black and gold. Or whatever the good people of Pittsburgh are wearing. (I have a book signing in town on Nov. 10, fair citizens: Show up and I will compliment you further.)

Which mascot would you have liked to been?

Probably the mascot for Morehead State. I bet that mascot never stops smiling.

What is your favorite animal mascot?

The Pitt Panther. No matter how many points Paul Rhoads' defense gives up, his expression never changes. I admire that.

What is your favorite non-animal mascot?

Steely McBeam. It's 2007. It's about time for an openly gay sports mascot.

Who are your favorite sports writers?

DJ Gallo, because he pays my bills; Jody DiPerna, for obvious reasons; and Peter King, because when I want to read about NFL football, I really want to read about an old man's colon and coffee.

What is your present state of mind?

When I open a present, I'm always thinking: "Ohmigod! Ohmigod! I wonder what it is! I hope it's not socks!"

What is your motto?

"Don't have a motto." Although it's sort of contradicting.

How would you like to die?

By getting struck by a Chrysler New Yorker at the intersection of Second Avenue and the 10th Street Bridge while riding my motorcycle.

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