Cultural References In This Sean McVay Profile, Ranked

Photo illustration by Jon Eiseman. Original:
Photo illustration by Jon Eiseman. Original:

The longtime Sports Illustrated writer Michael Silver works for the NFL now, and it appears that his editors there are finally allowing him to live his dream of writing like a prestigious version of Bill Simmons circa 2002. His lengthy profile of Rams head coach Sean McVay is packed with more pop culture references than is frankly safe. Here they are, from best to worst.


1. “To say Goff has responded to McVay’s coaching is like declaring that young Marshall Mathers reacted favorably to Dr. Dre’s production.”

2. “By the time he pulled up to the driveway of his six-bedroom home in Encino Hills, with a majestic balcony overlooking the San Fernando Valley, McVay, like Get Out protagonist Chris Washington, had descended into his own ‘Sunken Place.’”

3. “And now, sashaying his way across Mulholland Drive—atop the hillside that served as the setting for the final verse of Tom Petty’s iconic ballad ‘Free Fallin’’—McVay, in a mental and emotional sense, prepared to leave this world for a while.”

4. “...there’s a new star in Tinseltown—and the wunderkind whom former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley describes as a ‘football savant’ has a chance to captivate this area like no coach since Pat Riley of the ‘Showtime’ Lakers in the ’80s.”

5. “In 15 regular-season games in 2017, Goff completed 62.1 percent of his passes (up from 54.6 percent in ’16) for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions, for a 100.5 passer rating—a collective boom that has rendered the bust label into the ‘old takes exposed’ file.”

6. “Cooley was right—after Washington’s 2016 campaign ended with a disappointing 8-7-1 record that left them out of the playoffs, McVay was soon channeling his inner Horace Greeley: Go west, young man. In the end, the only question was which California-based franchise would hire him.”

New Orleans-based writer and editor