I’m sitting on cold bleachers at a high school football game and here’s what I see: shivering sports fans struggling in vain to keep blankets around their shoulders; mothers trying to keep their children warm with quilts and shawls that won’t stay put; the terminally cold in coats and gloves who may die of frostbite before the end of the first half.

Chumps! If you want to stay warm inside or outside while maintaining full maneuverability, all you need is a Snuggie. A Snuggie and a perfect willingness to be ostracized and laughed at by complete strangers.

The challenge was simple: I was to wear a leopard-print Snuggie to a Lewiston High School game and report on how I was treated.

When I accepted this challenge — because clearly I was drunk that day — I believed it would be a non-event. So ubiquitous are the Snuggies, I reasoned, that everyone at the game would have one and nobody would notice me at all.

“Nope,” said the man taking tickets at the gate. “You’re the only one.”

Just me strutting through the gates looking like a freakish combination of pimp and jungle beast.


To get where you’re going, you have to walk a sort of Snuggie Gauntlet, making your way through sports fans, young and old, who think you’re a total tool. They’re like a cloud of mosquitoes who fling derision and ridicule instead of biting.

They don’t do it discreetly. Wear an overly promoted article of warm wear to a high school football game, you can expect the reaction to be in your face.

It sounds something like this.

“Oh my God, that’s a Snuggie! Nasty!”

“Seriously, who would wear one of those out in public!”

“It’s one of those blanket things you see on TV!! That must be soooooo embarrassing!”


I was the laughing stock of the ROTC, its manly members in military uniform actually pausing to watch me pass.

“A Snuggie?” one of them said. “Really?”

I looked like a cult leader in leopard print, but felt more like Carrie in that horrible locker room scene.

They really are going laugh at you.

In case you’ve been in a coma for the past two years, a Snuggie can be described like this: a robe that is worn backward.

If you’ve seen the commercials, you know that the main claim of the Snuggie is that it allows the ability to use your arms for things like talking on the phone, using a remote or beating your dog. Because clearly, the weight and design of a standard blanket is crippling to those trapped beneath it.


What the obnoxious commercials don’t tell you is that wearing one outside the home could be at best demeaning, at worst, painful. Swarms of fashionable teenagers will confront you like some villain in a video game. Friends and acquaintances will question your sanity and that of your wife.

“You married him?” said the towering Mike Morin to my wife. “I’ll bet you sleep in separate bedrooms.”

That stung a little.

So traumatizing was the sight of me in my Snuggie to Mr. Morin — as large and fearsome as a grizzly — that he could not carry on a conversation with me at all without succumbing to gagging and giggling.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I just can’t talk to you when you’re dressed that way.”

A short distance away, Margaret Craven actually recoiled at the sight of me. Manning a food booth on the home team side, she stepped back from the counter when I approached as though I carried an ominous bag marked PLAGUE.


“The weirdos,” she said, “usually come out later in the night.”

I like to think a lesser man would have run crying from the field after withstanding such abuse. And I was just about to do so when I discovered a demographic who apparently finds the Snuggie a marvelous novelty and — let’s face it — downright sexy.

“It’s a Snuggie!” squealed a Cony High cheerleader who obviously wanted me.

“You look great!” said another. “But you’re supposed to be at home sitting on a couch.”

The clearly lust-crazed cheerleader had a point. After sitting down with my psychic bruises to watch some football, the shortcomings of the Snuggie became apparent. The main shortcoming being that to eke out any sort of benefit from this overrated backwards robe, the wearer needs to remain perfectly still. Stand up to applaud a turnover on the field and the material will fall from your shoulders. Throw your arms up to beat the referee to a personal foul call, the Snuggie will pull apart at the back where there are no snaps or ties. Reach for a cup of whiskey-laced coffee and leopard-spotted fleece will fall over your fingers and spill the illicit beverage everywhere.

Millions and millions of people have bought Snuggies — or are presently coveting their Snuggie-wearing neighbors — because they crave the ability to be both warm and capable of free-range motion, a double punch of comfort man has sought since he experienced his first shiver. The ordinary blanket, after all, was invented by a caveman.


But I’m not seeing it. The Snuggie sleeves themselves become a hindrance to mobility. The warmth provided is marginal at best and we’ve already discussed the public scorn you will face if you — God forbid — try to go to the concession stand for a giant pretzel while draped in personal comfort.

You want to stay warm? Crawl under a blanket and share body heat with a friend or with a stranger you paid in the parking lot. If you need to reach out, applaud or make a certain hand gesture toward the ref, it’s easier to just snake your arm free of a blanket for a moment than it is to battle with the sleeves of a Snuggie, which looks like something Hugh Hefner would wear in his doddering years.

Frankly, I was disappointed that the Snuggie was not more convenient, because Lord knows I had to go through a hell of mistreatment to try it out. I could have sprinted across the playing field naked but for knee-high socks and there would have been less mirth.

On my way out at halftime, more abuse was served up. A young man of perhaps early high school age told me I was a fool to have parted with money for such a ridiculous thing. The ROTC guys took a few more shots.

But I was comforted in the fact that this was journalism. Journalism, damn it! I went deep undercover to expose the flops and fallacies of the hot-selling Snuggie to share with you good people, and now my work is done here.

Before I made my way through the gate and into the safety of the parking lot, there was one final insult jabbed at my fleece-wrapped frame as one man insinuated that I was a publicity seeker just a short step shy of sending a small boy into the sky in a homemade balloon.

Wearing a thick coat and hat with team logo on both, he sneered as the photographer snapped photos of me in my weenie wear.

“Some people,” the aging jock said, “will do anything to get in the paper.”

Shows what he knows.

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