You might know David Duchovny as an actor, but before he ever stepped on a set or memorized a line, he was an avid baseball fan growing up in New York. The son of a writer and school teacher, Duchovny would cheer for his hometown Yankees, despite the fact that they didn’t make the playoffs from 1965-75.
But make no mistake: Duchovny knows sports – and he knows when others don’t.
“It’s like the old adage about pornography; I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it,” Duchovny said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s a feeling. It’s a feeling. It’s like, ‘This dude does not know what he’s talking about.'”
Duchovny dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss his book, “Bucky F*cking Dent: A Novel,” which tells the story of Ted, an aspiring novelist who learns that his estranged father, Marty, is dying of cancer. They reconnect and bond over the Boston Red Sox, with Marty’s health dipping with every Bo-Sox loss. Thus, Ted orchestrates the illusion of a Boston winning streak, with the book culminating in Dent’s infamous 1978 homer.
“I wanted it to be as factually true as I could make it,” Duchovny said. “I don’t worry about my description of baseball. I know it well enough, I’ve played it enough, I know exactly what it should sound like, what it should feel like. I know that I’m not going to say, ‘We won four points to three.’ I’m not worried about that kind of stuff. There were certain factual ebbs and flows of the season. The son figures out that his (father’s) mood and his vitality and even his health depends on whether the Red Sox win or lose. At some point, he decides – as the Red Sox go into their skid and he’s convinced that they’re going to tank like they always do – that he starts faking the outcomes. It’s pre-SportsCenter and he can keep his dad in a news bubble with fake newspaper accounts. . . . So whether or not I got the games right on particular days, that was less of a concern to me. I didn’t have a feeling that I had to get the season exactly right. I knew I was going to get the main factors exactly right.”
If the storyline seems impossible or unrealistic, well, it wasn’t in 1978.
“If you were lucky, you saw one game a week on Saturdays on television – and I don’t even see that when I went to college,” Duchovny said. “The teams that I was locked into were really the mediocre teams of the late-60s and early 70s, so when I write about what it’s like to be a Red Sox fan and to endure decades of losing, that’s the way I felt as an 8-year-old New York Yankees fan. So when people call me a frontrunner or (talk about the) Evil Empire or (say) ’Of course you’re a Yankees fan, everybody loves the winners’ – I’m like, ‘No, no, that’s not the uniform I fell in love with.’ The Mets won in ’69, and I hated that. I hated that. To me, the Mets were the winners and the Yankees were the losers.”