In Philadelphia magazine’s July cover story, Buzz Bissinger wrote memorably of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles that, “unless he stops being chickenshit and goes into the middle, he will never guide the Eagles to the place that only tantalizes us.” He instructed Foles to “Sidle up to a bar on the road and order a slug of single malt, not a double shot of milk.” And,”Don’t ever publicly say again that your favorite movie is The Lion King.” Bissinger observed that “there’s still an aura of softness about him, no fire. Maybe it’s the hee-haw face.”
But Bissinger overlooked all that on Labor Day, when he selected Foles in the second round of his 12-team fantasy football league.
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In a recent mini-interview with Vanity Fair, Buzz Bissinger said he was doing much better after rehab and had locked his infamous Gucci leather away in a storage container. But as he put it then, “I really do like nice clothing.” Case in point: The dandyish velvet blazer and scarf he donned last night, as he read from Friday Night Lights at the Kelly Writers House in West Philly. Not bad, Buzz. Not bad.
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Illustration by Andy Friedman
My name is … Buzz Bissinger. I was born Harry Gerard Bissinger III. “Buzz” was a nickname given to me at birth by my mother.
I grew up … in New York City, on the Upper West Side. It was great. The city was different, and my parents gave me the full run of it at the age of 11 or 12. It was incredibly stimulating.
I live … between my apartment in downtown Philadelphia and a home in Long Beach, Washington, which I bought in October. It’s basically where Lewis and Clark ended up, with the Pacific on one side and Willapa Bay on the other. I’m in Philadelphia a week a month, sometimes more. But I dress the way they do in Washington now. More Carhartt, less Gucci.
I am most proud of … canceling my Twitter account, despite 25,000 followers.
On Sunday mornings … I read the New York Times online. Then I lie in bed watching NFL football to see how my fantasy football team is doing.
My parents taught me … both the importance of culture and, much more, the importance of working and trying to succeed. Which is a double-edged sword, because there’s a limit to ambition, and when you’re always trying to reach the next level of success, you are never really satisfied.
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Last seen confessing a shopping addiction, Philly scribe Buzz Bissinger has returned from rehab—and says he’s changed: No more Twitter, no more Daily Beast, and no more expensive clothing. All the really nice stuff went into a storage locker in Texas. He tells Vanity Fair: “I went into rehab for a variety of compulsive and dangerous behaviors, shopping addiction the least of them. I was doing physical harm to myself and beginning to take pharmaceuticals. I did tremendous damage to my marriage and caused my wife unforgivable pain. I also hurt others. I no longer cared about anything. I had a breakdown on pretty much every front. It had been in the making for years. The GQ (shopping addiction) story really did create an enormous misperception, one that was my fault. But I do not regret it. It was my way of bottoming out and knowing that I needed in-treatment help. I could no longer continue the way I was living.” [Vanity Fair]
Buzz Bissinger—last seen confessing a leather fetish in pages of GQ—seems to be re-emerging into society. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports the famed Philadelphia writer will be on Penn campus Feb. 17 and 18, speaking and teaching for a couple of days.
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As Buzz Bissinger went from adoring Lance Armstrong to abhoring him, it seems he has now reversed his opinion on Penn State, which he blasted during the Sandusky scandal. He spoke last night at Penn State-Berks at student-organized address. It’s hard to know exactly what he said, because the only writeup of the event I could find is scant on details. But here’s what we know.
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It was Tuesday afternoon, April 9, when we realized that something both inevitable and unexpected had occurred: Ed Rendell had finally lost his touch.
The signal came in the form a tweet that, on its own, seemed innocuous enough:
What’s wrong with this message? Three things come to mind: Read more »
Buzz Bissinger, besides his bipolarity, self-loathing, and mid-life crisisdom, seems also to have a bad case of Compulsive Buying Syndrome. It’s a real thing, says Dr. April Lane Benson, and what’s more, 3 million dudes have it too; of the 18 million or so Americans who suffer from the disorder 20% are men. It’s unclear if any of these shopaholics buy only one brand, however. Or how many of their addictions are linked inextricably to a leather/BDSM fetish. Or how many of them like to wear heels. Not to suggest Buzz’s issues are more serious, of course. [New York]
A week ago last night, I was walking into the Giant supermarket near my house when my cell phone rang. I couldn’t tell who it was at first, what with the Muzak blaring, so I took refuge in the empty organic-foods aisle. “You can’t hear me, can you?” a male voice asked. “It’s Buzz Bissinger.” Read more »
Buzz Bissinger has a piece in the lastest GQ titled “My Gucci Addiction,” and boy is it a doozy. We don’t want to give the whole thing away, but we do definitely want to share this bit of inventory with you:
I own eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves. Those who conclude from this that I have a leather fetish, an extreme leather fetish, get a grand prize of zero. And those who are familiar with my choices will sign affidavits attesting to the fact that I wear leather every day. The self-expression feels glorious, an indispensable part of me. As a stranger said after admiring my look in a Gucci burgundy jacquard velvet jacket and a Burberry black patent leather trench, “You don’t give a fuck.”
No he doesn’t. Sandy Hingston noted Buzz’s tendency to dress in leather during her 2010 profile of the man, and really, it’s good that Buzz hasn’t forgotten the working class roots of his journalistic craft, eh? Not to brag, but I have, like, two dozen black T-shirts in my closet—about a third of which actually kind of fit me OK. So Buzz and I are a lot alike that way.