In real life, the Junods adopted a daughter after the profile was published and Janet never met Fred Rogers. Photo illustration by Slate. I know his type because he talked about his type, and actually used those words, "my type," when describing women inevitably different from my mom. They met in our house, when the phones started ringing. There was a yellow phone on the nightstand with a little toggle switch that gave it two numbers. Lloyd’s father, Jerry, is almost entirely an invention of the movie, which also means most of the film’s narrative drama is entirely fictionalized, including the scene where Lloyd faints on set and one where Rogers visits Jerry on his deathbed, pie in hand.

But the story the buyer in Houston told about Zsa Zsa Gabor was different. Below, we break it all down. So we learned to lose together. There’s not a whole lot of information about Junod’s wife, Janet, in either of his pieces.

But that arrangement has been dissolved by no less august an authority than the Supreme Court, and the league will one day earn a portion of its revenue from an activity it has tried to keep at arm's length. Junod did work for Esquire, and he did win two National Magazine Awards (though they were for stories published in 1994 and 1995). To this day, I know nothing more about her than I knew then, which was that she was blonde, that she was Hungarian, that she said "Dahlink," that her sister starred in, , and that, among many others, she'd been married to George Sanders, who wrote the following on his suicide note: "I'm so bored." M y father, Lou Junod, had Zsa Zsa Gabor. That was also the first football game I ever watched, because my uncle George was married to Vince Lombardi's sister. Keown: C.J. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism.

And yet what they could not have known is that in the end, gambling is what kept my parents together. The buyer must've seen this thought play out on my face because she then tried to take it all back: "I shouldn't have told you.

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's January issue.

He didn't find a new bookie in his new home. If it did ever happen, it puts him beyond either pride or shame, allowing him to stay where he wished to live—in the realm of myth. He had an underworld glamour, even to his own children, and a reputation. He wanted to get away with something, and until he ran out of cash, he did -- he made people think he was a gangster when really he was just a mark. "He's a tout." I knew it was against the law. And you'll never see this message again.

It was a choice about where and how to live in relation to the law, moral and otherwise. We lived on Long Island, and everybody else on our block subscribed to the Long Island Press or Newsday.

What becomes of the quasi-legal and quasi-illegal interests once the quasi is gone? I asked her why not, and her answer could have filled a page, allowing for the empty space around it: "Dahlink," she said, "I haven't learned a damned thing.". Having sex with Zsa Zsa Gabor wasn't a carnal act as much as it was a mythical one. I just thought you knew. So there was the lingering question: Did he or didn't he?

The "underworld" was supposed to stand for everything that was wrong with America.

Football was always a game made for gambling; now gambling will be made for the game, and that will count as both a rebirth and an ending. People figured he had "connections," and he did -- his connections called our house, like old friends. The racetrack listings would already be marked up, subject to my father's blocky exegesis.

She embodied the cosmopolitan carnality of the fifties and pre-hippie sixties, and then became a joke in the talk-show seventies—a joke who never quite crossed the line of letting us know that she was in on the joke. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. But my father "liked the sports section in the News," which meant that he liked the attention it gave to the needs of gamblers. See? Did the NFL exist to give people an excuse to bet, or did betting exist to give people an excuse to watch the NFL? We may earn a commission from these links. Photo illustration by Slate. And besides, she said, she could never do an interview about what she'd learned in the course of her life. It might not even be true. And when my father, perhaps during one of those ill-fated Super Bowls, responded to a disastrous pass-interference call by putting his fist through the door to our den, she refused to have it fixed. "Then I'll show you how to live." Hell, they met on television, when Jimmy the Greek told viewers the teams he "liked" before the games. The second bookie was much more professional, which is not necessarily a desirable quality in bookies. "Dad, what's a tout?" It is true that Isler, who was the president of Rogers’ company, Family Communications, had tried to quash the interview. Last May, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law prohibiting sports betting was unconstitutional and thereby left the question of betting's legality to the states. But the little box of agate type, with its strange cuneiform flourishes -- "home team in CAPS" -- was all mine, and I would stare at it like a scholar until my father asked, "Who do you like? He could never win a game that involved the Cowboys, whether he bet with them or against them. The first were from his "buyers," most of whom were women, and these he answered with the door closed, speaking in low, soothing tones indecipherable to me or to my mother. She fretted, wringing her hands the way she did when she sat as a passenger in the car and my father, often in anger, started speeding. He not only looked the part, with his pinkie ring and French cuffs and blue dress shirts white at the collar, he played it, cultivating an air of danger.

The Lou Junod who had a fling with Zsa Zsa Gabor—Zsa Zsa Gabor!—was so outsized that he was ridiculous, and that's how I knew him, that's how I laughed at him, and that's how I loved him.