NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football is billed by its publisher Harper Collins as “part truth-telling personal narrative, part darkly funny exposé,” and it’s authored by “Johnny Anonymous.” The pseudonym was created to protect the author, but there are some clues as to who he could be, and Reddit thinks it is Eagles center David Molk.

AndrewPao32 lays out his evidence:

clues from the book and epilogue are:
*He’s a fourth year pro who became a starter in year 3 for an unspecified amount of time due to injury.
*He’s 6’3″, 279 lbs.
*He’s a center, and he was cut in year two from his first team.
*He’s White
*He plays on an NFL team where a diva WR (called Dante) got dropped for asking for too much money
*A starting offensive linesman got dropped too, because he was getting old. He decided to retire.
*Another starting offensive linesman wasn’t dropped, is getting old and is still Pro Bowl-worthy.
*The NYTimes Review mentions he “was named one of the top linemen in the nation while in college, playing for a major football school.”

At first I started going through all the starting NFL Centers in the league. I thought I had a good lead then I read another review that said the player was mostly a 3rd stringer. I stumbled upon this graph with Heights/Weights of NFL players. I noticed there aren’t many offensive players between 270lbs-290lbs so I sifted through the few that were.

From this my top candidate became David Molk and here is why I think he is Johnny Anonymous:
*He’s white and listed at 6’1″, 290lbs
*He was drafted in 2012 by the San Diego Chargers.
*The Chargers cut him in the 2013 pre-season due to injury
*The Eagles sign him in 2014
*In Sept 2014 Eagles Starting Center Jason Kelce suffers a hernia and David Molk is named the starter
*Molk played at Michigan and won the Remington Trophy for being the nation’s top Center in 2011
*Former Eagles’ WR Jeremy Maclin stalled in contract negotiations with them this off-season and bolted for the Chiefs
*Eagles OL Wade Smith retired on 4/14/2015
*Former Eagles Pro-Bowl OL Evan Mathis was in a holdout and eventually released 2 months after Smith retired. Plausible that this book was finished between April and June 2015 where Mathis hadn’t been released yet

Okay. This is some decent detective-ing, not that Reddit hasn’t been wrong before (cough cough Boston Bombing cough). There are a some discrepancies, though, mostly with regard to our detective’s interpretation, not the similarities between the author and Molk.

First, the diva wide receiver “Dante” is obviously DeSean Jackson and not Jeremy Maclin. The author’s size doesn’t really match up, but there’s also no player currently listed as being 6’3, 279 lbs. The “starting offensive linesman” that got cut “because he was getting old” and decided to retire, mentioned as Wade Smith, could be anyone. And Anonymous also says he’s mostly a left guard, while Molk is a career center.

Still, there’s reason to believe that some of these clues – height and weight, perhaps – were exaggerated or manufactured to throw people off the scent. Because there are more similarities found by Reddit commenters.

In an interview, Mr. Anonymous said his mom died before he was 10 and that she never saw him play football. Molk’s mother did pass, but later, and she watched him play. Again, some of these clues could be slightly modified to stop people from doing exactly what we’re doing right now.

Some additional things we found:

Molk has been outspoken about player issues, much like the author of this book, saying during a 2014 episode of American Muscle that NFL players weren’t paid enough compared to the average baseball player.

Mr. Anonymous told NPR, in which he talked about divisions in the locker room by race, that he used to play baseball and switched to football. Here’s what Molk told the Press of Atlantic City before he made his first career start in place of Jason Kelce:

Why did you start playing football?

“I used to play baseball, but I was always very aggressive. I was a catcher and I remember blocking the plate against a kid once and breaking his leg. I decided to give football a try when I was in eighth grade.”

A Redditor mentioned that Mr. Anonymous claimed to be cheap. Here’s a article on Molk from the Ann Arbor News:

So what does he plan to do with the small financial windfall he’s set to receive, after signing a four-year deal Tuesday with the San Diego Chargers?

“Not a whole hell of a lot,” Molk said in an interview before the signing, which was reported by “I’m cheap. Always have been. I think I get it from my dad.

“I’ll probably just live in a studio.”

Really? An NFL player living in a studio apartment?

“Not going to buy a house, especially in this housing market,” he said. “I don’t need any more room than I have now. I don’t need a big townhouse. Just give me a little crappy apartment and a TV and a nice chair, and I won’t know the difference.

Looks like a Molk, sounds like a Molk. Is it a Molk?

via Bob’s Blitz