Before I get into closing down the Jamboroo, a couple of quick programming notes. This will be the last Jamboroo until the beginning of next season, with the exception of the NFL Draft Jamboroo, which drops anchor the week of the Draft in April.
Also, I regret to inform you that Balls Deep, the regular Thursday column I ran in place of the Jamboroo during the offseason, will not be returning. Much to Buzz Bissinger's relief.
Instead, I'll be continuing my editor at large duties here by popping in for random posts every so often. My hope is to litter the site with more Great Moments in Poop, polygraph tests, Nazi Shark picks, and poorly worded, profanity-filled rants. I believe I also owe the editor of this site a Cultural Oddsmaker column, so look for that, too.
Lastly, not that you needed the incentive, but I've joined Penthouse magazine as a new monthly columnist. Someone on Facebook told me they only masturbate to it for the articles. Me too!
So anyway, the NFL offseason is here. Fuck. I mean really, fuck. And we're only at the beginning. There's a seven-month stretch of football-free badlands laid out in front of us, and we've only gotten a few steps in. I've said it before: The older I become, the longer every NFL offseason seems to get. I miss football already. I miss everything about it. Except for Jerome Bettis. Fuck that guy.
But it's not all bad. Despite my pessimism, every offseason brings any number of non-football sports diversions. So let's break them all down now, THROWGASM STYLE.
All offseason sporting events are evaluated for sheer awesomeness on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
March Madness: There are only two sports where you'll go to a bar for the expressed purpose of watching games all day. Football is one. College basketball during March Madness is the other. Have you ever gone to a bar to watch an all-day NBA playoff tripleheader? Fuck and no, you haven't. March Madness also has the added value of those Thursday and Friday day games in the first round. It's like having two consecutive NFL Sundays in a row (four if you count the second round), only you get to skip out of work. And drink. NICE.
Bill Simmons recently sneered that the NFL playoffs have become as unpredictable as March Madness. Well, what the fuck is wrong with that? March Madness rules. "Oh no! These games aren't predictable enough! They're too interesting!"
The Golf Majors: All self-contained within a single four-day period. That's useful for a sports fan as lazy as I am. And the great thing about golf tournaments is that each round takes fucking forever, and takes place during the day. It's not like when you have to wait around until 9:30 for some goddamn basketball game to start. You've got a solid six-hour block of daytime weekend programming with each of the Majors, which means there's always a solid anchor in your channel flipping rotation. And that's important. You need those anchors.
The Draft: And it'll be a doubly amusing draft this year when the Lions take Matt Stafford at number one.
Wimbledon Finals: I'd enjoy the Wimbledon Finals even more if I ever remembered that they were on. But by the time I turn on the TV that morning and realize it's the Wimbledon Finals, Serena Williams is already hoisting a big silver plate in the air. And eating a whole wild boar off of it.
Boxing/MMA/Pro Wrestling: Watch while stoned, if at all possible.
The Actual Kentucky Derby Race, Not The Six Hours Of Gay Coverage Beforehand: There's nothing worse than those Tom Hammond-narrated, soft lit puff pieces that try to wring human interest out of filthy rich Saudi oilmen buying up horses, shooting them full of winstrol, and then racing them for money. I don't need another profile of Bob Baffert. That guy looks like an asshat. Spare me.
NBA Finals: Take two throwgasms off if the Spurs or Pistons are involved. I especially like watching LeBron James. It's like watching Adrian Peterson play running back, only no one is allowed to tackle him.
Olympics/World Cup: No World Cup this NFL offseason. No Olympics either. Dammit! Just when I was curious about how far Sasha Cohen has advanced past puberty. No inappropriate boners for me until 2010.
NBA Playoffs: I'd enjoy the NBA playoffs more if the good Western Conference games aired sometime before 3AM. Kobe? Who is this Kobe you speak of? Is he the famed backdoor intruder I've heard so much about?
NHL Playoffs: Although I'm sad Gary Thorne doesn't do NHL telecasts anymore. I quite enjoyed hearing Thorne broadcast a game and seeing just long he could go without taking a breath. "And here's Fetisov on the wing looking for Kozlov passes to Kozlov now Kozlov passes back to Fetisov who's looking for Federov he gets the puck to Federov now Federov setting up looking back to Fetisov who looks back to Larionov and it's Kozlov now with the puck looking for Fetisov (face turns aqua) gets the puck to Federov THE ONE TIMEEEEERRRRRRR… SAVE BY BRODEUR! SAVE BY BRODEUR!" (inhales zeppelin full of oxygen)
To think this guy only does Orioles games now. What a waste. He can take all the fucking breaths he wants during an Orioles game. I'm not even sure he has to talk.
PBR Bullriding: Don't sleep on bullriding. It's men riding bulls. That's solid.
Baseball: "And now there's a beach ball on the field! And the ball boys are discussing which one of them's going to go get it!"
Tour de France: I bump it up one spot this year because Armstrong is back, and because daddy loves him some French podium girls. One look at them makes me want to paint the word BASTILLE on my underwear and ask them to storm me.
NASCAR: One year in college, I decided to give NASCAR an honest try and watched over two hours of the Daytona 500. But no one died, and the announcers said the phrase "pit roo" four hundred times a minute, and that more or less ended the flirtation.
WNBA: I still think this league could thrive if they made all the players play in Easy Spirit dress pumps.
Super Bowl Pick: 0-1 (1-0 vs. the spread)
2008 Playoff Picks Record: 6-5 (7-4 vs. the spread)
Song to Get You Through The Offseason
"Infinity," by Queens of the Stone Age. Yup, that's about how long it feels.
Embarassing Album I Once Owned That Will Not Fire You Up
"Pride," by White Lion. I like the fact that, in the video for "Wait," White Lion lead singer Mike Tramp has teased his hair to the point where he does, indeed, look like a white lion. (Tramp, by the way, is the sole inventor of the Tramp Stamp, for which he is paid a very small royalty any time a young woman of loose morals decides to have a giant heart with angel wings inked onto her lumbar region).
I'd like to state right up front that I bought this album strictly because I liked "Wait." I purchased it well before the band released "When The Children Cry" as a hit single. I fucking hate that song and I always have. That song may very well be the single gayest power ballad in the history of recorded music. It violates the number one rule of power balladry. And that rule is this: If you ever record a power ballad, it must be about woman who left you, and it must be written as a completely cynical ploy to get other women to fuck you.
Any band that eschews this formula and writes a power ballad about social issues like poverty and injustice deserves swift and brutal ridicule. Here now are the five gayest power ballads of all time:
1. "When The Children Cry," White Lion
2. "Wind of Change," Scorpions
3. "Something to Believe In," Poison (horrible, horrible song)
4. "After The Rain," Nelson
5. "Time For Change," Motley Crue ("Change! Now it's time for change! Nothing stays the same! Now it's time for change!" And now you know where Obama plagiarizes all his oratory from.)
"Cherokee" by Europe would also make this list if it were actually a ballad. But it isn't. It's just a rock song. A totally gay rock song.
Nazi Shark's Futures Lock Of The Offseason
Lots of sports sites, to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gambling, like to have animals like monkeys pick games to see if they can outwit their human counterparts. There's no reason we at Deadspin can't also get in on the fun. So we've asked National Socialist German Workers' Party member Rolf, who also happens to be a shark, to pick his Super Bowl winner for 2009. Take it away, Nazi shark.
"For the 2009 Super Bowl, I like Denver getting 35-1 odds to win it all. I'd you all to bow your heads in silence for a moment in memory or Dr. Aribert Heim, a brave and courageous leader in the field of involuntary Jew surgery."
Dr. Heim was accused of performing operations on prisoners without anesthesia; removing organs from healthy inmates, then leaving them to die on the operating table; injecting poison, including gasoline, into the hearts of others; and taking the skull of at least one victim as a souvenir.
"This man was the original Patch Adams. Remember him as such."
2008 Nazi Shark Record: 7-12 (3-1 playoffs)
Great Moments In Sports Poop History
Female reader Missile Envy sends in this high school dance squad poop story.
"Like many high school dance teams, mine went to a four-day camp every summer to learn new routines, win meaningless trophies, and haze the new freshmen. Every pep squad has its traditions, and our dance team had two that are of note to this story: 1) for the duration of camp, freshmen were not allowed to do anything (speak, eat, go to the bathroom) without first asking permission from a senior, and 2) for the duration of camp, absolutely nobody on the team was allowed to shower or bathe. The smell on the bus ride home every year was legendary.
"My junior year the food was particularly bad and pretty much half the camp ended up with a wicked case of the shits. On the second day of camp, one particularly shy freshman was learning a routine and desperately needed to use the bathroom. Unable to locate a senior to gain permission, she ended up shitting her pants. She kept dancing and didn't tell anybody because she hadn't been given permission to speak. When we got back to the dorms, she wiped off, but couldn't clean herself up because showering was against the rules. She then literally spent the next two days dancing in ninety-degree heat with encrusted shit all over her ass.
"The best (worst?) part is that none of us knew this had happened until the girl told the story at camp the next year. We were so rank that a freshman wandered around for two days covered in shit and nobody noticed."
Jesus, teenage girls are fucking brutal. "I kept shit in my pants for two days when I was a freshman, and you'll do it to the freshmen when you're seniors. But you're doing great. Now fry like bacon, you little freshman piggies!!! Fry!!!"
Robert Evans' Super Bowl MVP!
"Baby, your Super Bowl MVP was Santonio Holmes of the Steelers. And I gotta tell you, that was one exciting Super Bowl. Thrilling? You bet! Emotional? Damn right. It was up. It was down. In a way, it reminded me of the torrid love affair I had with a young Tuesday Weld. Oh, she was a spitfire, that Tuesday! Brassier than my towel rack!
"Oh, things she used to throw at me when she got mad. China, vases, cats, film canisters. I tried to get the little pistol on lithium, but I'll be damned if she couldn't taste it in her lemonade! It was always something with her. I remember one night when I whisked her off to Redford's lodge in Telluride. Bob let me borrow it for the weekend. Caviar? You bet! Fresh bearskin rugs? Absolutely.
"Tuesday adored being in that lodge, gazing out at the mountains. I used to just enjoy sitting with a drink and looking at her young naked body standing by the window, set off against the white snow. I always thought, in that instant, that she was the perfect woman. I just wish I could have frozen her in that moment, when she was gorgeous and happy and full of excitement. I suppose every man wishes he could do that to the woman in his life. But you can never do it. They always change, baby. They never stay in one place. And that's why I never stay with them.
"Nice girl, though. Fucked like a mountain lion."
Snack Of The Offseason
Cotton Candy. I'll never understand the appeal of cotton candy. "Hey, you know what would taste great right now? A pillow!" Apart from Kevin Spacey, I can't really picture any grown man eating it.
Beer Of The Offseason
I'm gonna need something strong to get me through this. I know. CRAZY HORSE.
I think more alcoholic beverages should be named after famous Indians. It gives any booze a certain air of credibility.
You'd be a drunken race too if Europe wrote gay songs about you.
Random FKS-Style Tidbit
When you have a new kid, ninety percent of your energy goes into trying to get the kid to fall asleep so that you can either sleep yourself, or relax and go be a normal human being for five seconds.
But babies, I find, are rarely willing to cooperate. Rest assured that, if you have a baby, that that baby will sleep like a fucking angel all day long, and then pop its eyes wide open juuuust as you're settling into bed for the night. It doesn't matter what you do. You can feed it, burp it, swaddle it, give it a pacifier, change its outfit, subject it to white noise, change its diaper, give it a bath, dunk it in chloroform… no matter. Even if it LOOKS like the kid is falling asleep, it isn't. It's just lulling you into a false sense of security. Then you'll stop singing or rocking the kid or doing whatever it is you're doing that's keeping them momentarily quiet.
Then the kid will open its eyes again. And you will be fucked. The lesson: get an au pair.
FUN BABY FACT: Right as they're about to get fussy, all babies look exactly like John Belushi's impression of Joe Cocker.
Offseason Movie For Lions Fans
Clockers. Still my second favorite Spike Lee movie of all time. I crossed the street with Spike Lee once. We crossed Park Avenue and both got caught stuck on the median because the light had changed too quickly. This was our entire conversation.
Me: This sucks.
And that automatically qualifies Spike Lee as my best black friend. Say hi to Tonya for me, my brother!
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Kids, your daddy and his daddy are involved in a very sticky, nutty, chewy, chocolatey… PUT IT AWAY, BOY!"
Halftime Masturbation Kit
-For the guys: It's Holy Taco's tribute to women on all fours. Special acclaim goes to the girl doing the bridge.
-For the gals: The always buff Mario Lopez. I'm pretty sure that guy doesn't even own a shirt.
Your Motivational Pregame Quote For The Weekend
"I want something good to die for. To make it beautiful to live."
Enjoy the offseason, everyone. See you in April.