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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

My Night With The Fake Chuck Knoblauch

Illustration for article titled My Night With The Fake Chuck Knoblauch

As soon as I walk in I try and spot the problem cases. I start my job as doorman in a Brooklyn bar around 9, and by that point on a Friday you've already got a handful of people turned way on. Friday night was kinda crowded, couple of SHOT! SHOT! chanters, one guy nodding off on his stool, but for the most part people seemed cool, spirits were high and the waters were calm.


I walked behind the bar to pour a shift beer and said to our bartender (who possesses the very best traits the position asks for including humor, toughness and more than a little patience) "Looks like we're short on assholes so far."

She agreed but also said, "Just keep your eye on This Dude over here" and discreetly gestured toward a short, ruddy-faced guy with a pair of Oakleys strategically perched at the front edge of his retreating hairline. So I watched This Dude for a minute and diagnosed him as inebriated and overly gregarious but generally harmless. He was more or less pointing his fat head at various pockets of girls then following its weight to butt in and get rejected. Annoying sure, but everyone seemed to be laughing with/at him so he could stay. He was also double-fisting in a weird way. His bottle of Bud Light in one hand and a 20oz. Cherry Coke in the other. He never put the Coke down.


After I forgot about him for an hour, I stood outside with the smokers waiting for it to start raining at any second. He came outside nearly falling over. He looked at me, cross-eyed pointed to a group of women standing by the bar and said "Is that ass in the red pants your friend?" I wasn't sure I understood the question, but I was sure that it was getting time for this bumbling, predatory dickhead to leave. When I didn't answer and he went back inside I followed to give the bartender a head's up that I wanted to toss him in case he had a tab. One of our great regulars, Matt, overheard and said "Yeah he was in here last night just as wasted. For some reason all kinds of people were buying him shots and taking their picture with him." Weird. Maybe it was birthday or something.

But no matter, it's time for him to go. As he stood in the middle of the bar swaying like a sapling I did the old "Okay pal, time to get out of here. But thanks for coming and see you another time." Instantly he pulled the "Do you know who I am?" card. I played along as I guided him towards the door.


"I'm a ballplayer."

"Oh, yeah? I'm a pretty big baseball fan and you don't look familiar. What's your name?"


"C'mon, look at me."

"Yeah nothing. What's your name?"

This guy has to be one of the only people to ever incredulously say "Do you know who I am?" and then not say who he is. But this gig can be boring and I was mildly intrigued by the story of him posing for pictures the night before.


"Who'd you come up with?"

"Uh, (5 second pause) the Royals. That's what fucked me was coming up with them. But I got 4 World Series rings."


What is this guy taaaaalking about? If he thinks any of this makes sense he may be the drunkest person I've ever tossed.

"And I won Rookie of the Year."

"Sure you did. What year?"


And that's when the light bulb went off and I realized who I had on my hands.

"Holy shit, you're the guy that pretends to be Chuck Knoblauch! It was 1991."

"What do you mean I'm pretending to be him? I am."

"You are definitely not. Show me your ID."

"I'm not showing you my ID, Google my picture."

This is one of the strangest things about Fake Chuck Knoblauch. He doesn't look like anything like Real Chuck Knoblauch but is convinced they're twins. At this point he's doomed. He's told the wrong former sports blogger that he's Chuck Knoblauch and I'm already tweeting this shit like I expect a Deadspin branded paddy wagon to screech in and scoop him up.


He put up the fight for another minute until he finally came clean. Why he did this instead of leaving, I can't tell you.

"So why in hell did you start telling people you're Chuck Knoblauch?"

He (unsurprisingly) didn't take this like the existential conundrum I meant it to be, but more as a question of logistics.


"I wanted to tell people I was Roger Clemens but he's like 6'4"." To Fake Chuck Knoblauch height is the only thing that makes people resemble each other.

Fake Chuck had no idea that he was a sports blog celebrity. Had no idea that Real Chuck had to go on a mini PR defensive after Deadspin first published the story of him making drunken passes on the G train. I read him the story for the first time. I had forgotten the details about the Coke bottle and the chef's pants. Which made me double over in laughter since he was standing next to me with both. He didn't seem particularly interested that people knew of his impersonations. That's just kinda what he does. Goes around telling this story which is both ridiculous and stupefyingly mundane. Reading the story didn't make him feel like he'd been caught, just that he's been doing a good job. When I got to the part where he tells the girls on the train that he'd played Fenway he said to me, loudly, "See, I keep it real! I always got my story straight! Fenway sucks!"


I asked him how often it works, meaning the ruse, and again he misunderstood my question. He pointed at his crotch and yelled "IT ALWAYS WORKS."


I was pretty done at this point. I had to go back inside and work. Our aforementioned regular Matt had been following along the entire time and decided he needed a picture with Fake Chuck. Fake Chuck obliged which is mighty considerate for a guy impersonating someone. That's illegal right? That's the picture you see above.

We parted, Fake Chuck crossed the street and screamed "FUCK FENWAY!" I went inside to gather up empty glasses just as it started to pour.


Kris Liakos is the former Walkoff Walk co-dude, former Deadspin commenter CampTigerClaw and current Deadspin Family Orchestra member. He likes being photographed not giving a fuck about the Stanley Cup. He also ran into Fake Chuck Knoblauch on Friday. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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