I posted about a month ago about the release of Robert D. Siegel's Big Fan, a thoroughly engrossing film about the obsessive and illogical nature of sports fandom. Starring Patton Oswalt in his first dramatic lead role, Kevin Corrigan, Marcia Jean Kurtz and Michael Rapaport as "Philadelphia Phil," Big Fan is a film with which I both identified and which cut a bit too close to my Giants-obsessed bones. Shining a spotlight on the bewildering, oft-unreciprocated devotion fans like Siegel's protagonist, Paul Aufiero, and I show to our beloved New York Giants, the film begs the question, why do we care so much?
MW: To begin, I've read that you hail from Long Island and attended the
MW: On a related note, I found it curious that nobody else in Paul's family is a Giants fan. In fact, it doesn't appear that any of them cares about football at all. Fandom, especially extreme fandom, is often the result of breeding (so to speak). It's generational. Fathers and sons. Brothers. Family bonding over a shared experience. But Paul's brother is not a Giants fan. And there is never any mention in the film of Paul's father. So where does his loyalty to the Giants come from? What is the origin of his fandom? Was there a defining moment in his life, perhaps in his youth, that made him this way? That made him so psychotically loyal to a bunch of strangers dressed in blue?
RS: It's never explained in the movie, but I always imagined that his father, now deceased, was the one who got him into the Giants. This was something they bonded over. But I don't even think his dad necessarily needed to be into football for him to catch the bug. I'm a huge football fan, and I definitely didn't get it from my dad or anybody else in my family. I'm the only Siegel who's into football. I really don't know where it came from. I just remember watching the 1979 Super Bowl between the Steelers and Rams and falling in love. That was it. I was a Steelers fan for life.
MW: One of the things I like best about the film was that it rings of authenticity, right down to using the actual names of players (except for Bishop). The scenes in which Paul and his buddy watch games are spot on. That's the way fans watch games. They fidget nervously. They pace. They yell. They carry on. It's very visceral. And it was a nice touch to use a real sports jock like Scott Farrell (though I would have preferred a local voice). The sports bar scene is 100% realistic (but was that close-up shot of the Flyers scoring on the Islanders really necessary?) That said, there was one little nit-picky thing about the film that bothered me. And that, quite simply, is that Paul doesn't talk like an Italian dude from
RS: I'll give you a very simple answer: Patton couldn't do a