Sunday, December 14, 2014

Everyone Needs a Doppelgänger

In 2013 it was written, and in 2014 it was sealed.

The German term “doppelgänger,” dating back to 1851, was used in fiction and folklore and meant a spirit that looks like a living person. Often, the look-alike signified bad luck, illness or even death. Doppelgänger is now in the top 20% of terms searched on and we view it positively, simply meaning someone who looks like someone else but who is not related to that person.

The first time I recall hearing "doppelgänger" was last fall, and I immediately began searching for mine. Though everyone needs and ultimately has one, the catch is that you cannot actively find your own doppelgänger because, according to ruBENstein folklore, that signifies horrific luck, the plague, and eternal suffering. Your doppelgänger must come to you spontaneously or be presented to you by someone else.

My coworker presented me my doppelgänger just a few days after I learned what the term meant last year, and last week JT validated my doppelgänger when he texted me out of the blue, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Brian Hoyer?”

Author Benjamin Rubenstein and Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer are doppleganger look alikes
 Author Benjamin Rubenstein and Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer are doppleganger look alikes
Michigan State-product Brian Hoyer started the Cleveland Browns game on September 18, 2013, when quarterback Brandon Weeden sat out due to injury. He threw 54 passes and completed 30 of them, with three touchdowns and three interceptions, in a 31-27 victory over the Vikings. The following week fake Ben Rubenstein went 25-38 with two touchdowns in the Browns 11-point victory over the Bengals.

I was playing some good g-damn football.

Later that week while watching me play on Thursday Night Football, I took a bathroom break and felt a sting in my knee. I suspected the worst: fake Ben Rubenstein tore his ACL. His season ended right there. I would get the chance to play again in 2014.

The Browns drafted Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel, also known as Johnny Football. Manziel and I competed to be named the starting quarterback during preseason. Is it selfish to root for myself when doing so hurts another upstanding citizen? I beat out Johnny Football for the Browns’ starting quarterback job earlier this year. I beat Manziel, I beat Manziel!!! But I have played poorly and I am the backup in today’s game.

Ah well, you can always have a backup doppelgänger when your previous one starts to suck.

My Brazilian friend showed me my new starting doppelgänger.
Author Benjamin Rubenstein and Brazilian comedian Paulo Gustavo are doppleganger look-alikes

Most of the results after I search for Brazilian Paulo Gustavo are in Portuguese, but I did see the word “humorista” several times. So if I can’t play football anymore then I guess I’ll be a comic, and apparently really popular on Instagram.

Johnny Football rules. Go Browns.
Johnny Manziel Flips Middle Finger to Fans

Have an open mind regarding your doppelgänger. Unless your doppelgänger is the new Renée Zellweger, in which case find an immediate backup who just vaguely looks like you.