Scary Stories to Tell in the Park

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published Nov. 29, 2007, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

It was a dark and stormy night when I realized that Jesse Tuggle had eight arms.

As I stared at Tuggle’s football card I had pulled from a carton of Coca-Cola, I was struck that not only were Tuggle’s arms an explosive size, reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk, but his arms were also covered in thatch to a point where wolf bane would have been a wise investment.

After contemplating just how good the Falcons would have been had Tuggle been allowed to play dressed as a tarantula, I finished eating a plate of biscuits and left the card on the kitchen table, as I headed to my room to organize my football card collection.

Had Tuggle participated in trick-or-treating at my house, I would have called the police. I would have mainly wanted to see if they had a pair of handcuffs made for a 6-foot-tall arachnid.

Jesse "Tarantula" Tuggle was part of Coca-Cola's 1993 and 1994 "Monsters of the Gridiron" promotion, featuring NFL stars dressed in realistically horrifying makeup. They also wore monster costumes, in addition to their eye black.

Each Coke product contained a four-digit code which consumers entered over a toll free number. An NFL monster would either alert the caller that they had won - according to Coca-Cola, "Super Bowl tickets and other great prizes" - or was a certified loser. An accompanying 30-card series was released in 12-packs of Coke, followed by a slightly different 30-card series the next year, featuring mostly the same players in both sets.

One day after work last month, I came home and ate a plate of biscuits. After I was done, I went to my office to do some serious research, a task which my wife refers to as "playing on the computer."

"Dem was my biscuits!" a voice called out from afar.

"Who's there?" I called out from my office. No one answered.

I began to tackle my research by organizing my old football cards. Tucked away in a box was a plastic case full of promotional cards, including my set of "Monsters of the Gridiron" cards.

"Dem was my biscuits! Who has my biscuits?!" a noticeably closer voice said. I decided to close the door to my office.

Eric "The Red" Swan was dressed as a viking; Pat "Chillin'" Swilling looked like Mr. Freeze's brother; Sean "Ghost Jones" resembled Imhotep in "The Mummy"; and Cortez "Rex" Kennedy looked strikingly similar to the way Godzilla would look if Godzilla's wife ever suggested he go on NutriSystem.

"Dem was my biscuits! Who has my biscuits?!" The voice was now quite clear. It sounded as if it were in the room next to my office.

Used to seeing football players icing their injuries, it was quite the viable tangent to see Swilling with his head fully submerged in a block of ice. I just said "viable tangent."

However, I noticed the Tuggle card was missing from the set.

"Dem was MY biscuits! Who has MY biscuits?!" the voice shouted, as my door was kicked down by a force, similar in nature to the much-ballyhooed banshees that Brian Billick refers to.

Unlike most sports card series given away with food products, which depicted star players in uniforms with no logos (because the manufacturer did not receive permission from the league to use said logos), these cards were actually given the NFL's blessing.

So, yes, that was the official Phoenix Cardinals colors used in Swan's viking ensemble.

"Dem was MY biscuits! Who has MY biscuits?! . . . YOU have my biscuits!" the voice said, as I was hit in the head by the Tuggle card.

Turns out my wife was a little upset with me for eating her biscuits.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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