The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7S

Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Find more of his stuff at his Twitter feed.

Mike Shanahan is probably coming back to coach in the NFL in 2010. Stefan Fatsis says the former Denver coach has been preparing to return to the league by watching five hours of a tape a day (I assume he spends the rest of the day felling redwoods with that mouth of his). Wherever Shanahan ends up, if he ends up in your town, do me a big favor. You walk right up to that man and punch him right in the cock.

People have bitched for years that Shanahan is anecdotally responsible for popularizing running back committees. Well, six weeks deep into this NFL season, we have empirical proof. There are only, currently, five NFL running backs averaging over 20 carries per game: Adrian Peterson, Cedric Benson, Mike Bell (who figures to drop off this list shortly), Steven Jackson, and Michael Turner. Benson leads the league with 21.2 carries per game. Over the past decade, that's the lowest average number of carries needed to lead the league.

Since 2006, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of running backs leaguewide who get fed the ball 20 times or more per game. Here is the number of 20-carry running backs in the league year-by-year over the past decade, with the league leading carry average highlighted:

1999: 9 backs (22.1 led the league)
2000: 8 backs (25.2 led)
2001: 8 backs (22.1 led)
2002: 7 backs (23.9 led)
2003: 13 backs (24.5 led)
2004: 12 backs (24.6 led)
2005: 11 backs (24.0 led)
2006: 9 backs (26.0 led)
2007: 4 backs (21.5 led)
2008: 4 backs (23.5 led)
2009: 5 backs (22.1 led)

So, since 2006, the number of backs who usually get more than 20 carries per game has been effectively sliced in half, the workhorse back being phased out for those delightful Marion Barber/Tashard Choice/Felix Jones platoons that make you want to dunk your head in a vat of fucking battery acid.

I don't begrudge coaches for doing this. There's more than enough evidence out there to show that running a single back 5,000 times in a single season doesn't do wonders for their durability. BUT… not all running backs are made equal. For example, Emmitt Smith ran for over 20 carries a game for seven of ten seasons during the 1990's, and that doesn't even include postseason appearances. Rotating running backs in and out of the game keeps them fresh, but it also may prevent them from getting into a rhythm. Great backs like Smith were famous for getting their biggest gains as the game wore on. The three and four yard gains they got in the first quarter often turned to six and seven yard gains in the fourth as they got a feel for the defense and knew how to exact the most damage upon them.

You don't see many running backs have games like that anymore, where they get 35 carries for 175 yards or something and completely OWN the fucking game. Games like that may take their toll on some backs. But sometimes there are anomalies like Smith, who remained an effective runner over the course of decade despite taking heaps of punishment. And, judging by his speaking skills, those hits have taken virtually NO TOLL on his mental facilities. None at all!

So quit pussyfooting around, NFL coaches. If you think you've got a potential workhorse back in your stable to thoroughly beat into the fucking ground, USE THEM. They're gonna get brain damage anyway! Come on! They're not pitchers. Don't treat them so goddamn gingerly. I'm sick of running backs being as statistically inconsistent as wide receivers. I don't wanna live in a world where people have to start Brandon Jacobs on their fantasy squad every week and then cross their fingers that he'll get more than eight goddamn carries.

The Games
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7S

Five Throwgasms

Falcons at Cowboys: I'm a huge fan of the NFL Network's postgame show. They show nothing but highlights instead of talking, and Rich Eisen is so fucking awesome right now, I could kiss his head stubble. As they opened on footage of a kickoff return TD last week, Eisen said, "Now, why would we show you a kickoff? Either someone scored, or someone made a booboo." It's the little things.

BUT… as tolerable as I find Deion Sanders on this show, he deserves shit-giving last week for saying, and I paraphrase, that the Redskins woes are not Dan Snyder's fault, because Dan Snyder goes out and pays for "the best players". Now, I wonder why Deion might feel that way about Dan Snyder. Couldn't be the $8 million signing bonus Snyder gifted to that fucker at the end of his career. Oh, Deion. Just when I was starting to warm up to you. FUCK YOU, COCKBREATH.

Cardinals at Giants: Eli Manning is a complicated man. One second, he's angrily berating Ahmad Bradshaw on national TV for failing to pick up the blitz. The next…

He was met outside the locker room on his way to the team bus by his father Archie and mother Olivia. His mom hooked her arm through his and they walked off together.

Would it surprise you in the least if it turned out that Eli occasionally performed amateur taxidermy and stabbed drifters to death while sobbing? No, it would not. Such a quiet boy. Such a good boy. Those are always the ones.

By the way, any time I now meet someone named Olivia, I immediately picture her as a sassy talking pig-child. Best kids' books ever? Best kids' books ever. Even the author's name is cool.

Also, big ups to Arizona last week for pulling off the surprise pooch kickoff, the cooler version of the surprise onside kick. Surprise pooch kickoffs are fucking awesome.

Vikings at Steelers

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7S

Four Throwgasms

Saints at Dolphins: From the still hungover Matt Ufford comes Awful PR Quotes. Nice. It's like Access Hollywood in print form.

Bears at Bengals

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7

Three Throwgasms

49ers at Texans: Your top scoring player in fantasy football after six weeks is Mr. Matt Schaub of the Texans. Mr. Ufford has Schaub and Tom Brady on his fantasy team. He never knows which one to start any given week, and he always ends up choosing wrong. And he's terrified that he'll end up trading the wrong one. This situation will henceforth be known as Uffy's Choice. If you see Ufford on the street, be sure to hug him. Maybe offer a free dry hump.

No matter how the Texans finish this season (8-8 ahoy!), they certainly are one of the league's most enjoyable teams to watch. Owen Daniels is a goddamn MONSTER.

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7

Two Throwgasms

Pats at Bucs: And here's your London game for the year. Nice game. Honestly, why not just bomb these people?

I take this moment again to remind you college folks out there that, if you have the opportunity and parental means to spend a semester abroad, DO IT. Don't fucking question it. Don't hesitate for a fucking second. Get on that plane and go. The rest of the world loves getting drunk and fucking and getting naked in public even more than we do. IT'S TRUE! When you go to London, there are pictures of tits visible at any newsstand. People are drinking in the pubs at 9AM without a shred of guilt. Great Indian food is always within a ten-block radius. (Including fresh naan. Oh, naan. You are everything pita bread wishes it could be). It is a GLORIOUS place, and one day I will retire there and spend the rest of my life at the bottom of a pint glass, a copy of Mayfair tucked into my back pocket.

Eagles at Redskins: The intrepid Dan Steinberg (intrepid is always the word people use for reporters. I do not actually know what the word means) reports that Tony Kornheiser, freed from his pesky ethical obligations as a Washington Post employee, joined Redskins owner Dan Snyder in his luxury box during the loss to the Chiefs last Sunday. Would you have guessed – IN A MILLION YEARS – that Kornheiser and Snyder would watch a game together? Is that NOT A STUNNING HAPPENSTANCE? Anyway, TK says…

"But at the end of the half, there began a chant—Sell The Team. Sell The Team. Sell The Team.—that everybody in the box heard. The people in the box were stunned. I don't know that he heard it, because he wasn't there, but the people in the box were STUNNED."

Holy shit. Really? People in Snyder's box were actually surprised that fans were displeased with his stewardship of the fucking team? Have these people spent the past decade living in a fucking box? Are you NOT STUNNED THAT THEY ARE STUNNED?

One good thing Snyder has done? Sell beer in the stadium bathrooms. What once was an intimidating wait for the urinal trough is now a leisurely delight.

By the way, I'm really excited for the inevitable hosannas that Gruden and Jaws will be heaping on Jim Zorn during this telecast. Last year, as the Lions were wrapping up their 0-16 season, announcers practically fell over themselves to be nice to Rod Marinelli. Oh, poor Mr. Coach Man! He tried so hard! He's a good man! Bullshit. Fucking bullshit. Quit coddling these pricks, announcers. They make shitloads of money and get to boss around football players all day. They don't need a verbal rubdown from you every time they're about to see the axe swing.

Last thing about the Skins: New play caller Sherm Lewis doesn't know protection schemes and blitz pickups yet, so all his play calls will be routed through assistant coach Sherman Smith on their way to QB Jason Campbell. Hope you enjoy delay of game penalties, everyone.

As for the Eagles, at least once a year they have a game like last week where it appears as if McNabb and Reid are doing this whole football thing for the very first time. It's baffling. I know cooler heads will tell you that the Eagles are better off with those two around. But, as a fan, when your team, year in and year out, finds ways to DO THE SAME FUCKING STUPID SHIT THEY ALWAYS DO, you can't be blamed for eventually wanting to rid yourself of them entirely. At the very least, a new coach and QB would have the courtesy to fuck up in some new and different way. Maybe they'd RUN the ball too much. I'm sure Eagles fans would welcome such recklessness. Fourteen runs? Against Oakland? Holy Jesus.

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7

One Throwgasm

Packers at Browns: Linda Hunt is back on television! Want better stamina in the sack? Picture Linda Hunt banging Anne Ramsey with a strap-on. Toss Poltergeist lady in there if you have to. THIS BONER IS CLEAR. Also a good boner killer: Meryl Streep in "Doubt". Ruins the whole kinky nun thing.

Chargers at Chiefs: My kid makes me watch lots of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every day. I am now certain that Goofy hails from Kentucky. GORSH!

Jets at Raiders: Go, little pigeon! GO!

He's twice the receiver James Jett ever was!

Colts at Rams: Well, ESPN Horndog Day was fun, wasn't it? I have only one question in light of all this, and that's this: Who the fuck thinks "I would like to fuck you" ever works as a come on? Has that line EVER resulted in success? Has the woman ever taken that in and replied, "Oh hey, that sounds great!" Never works to try cutting the crap and propositioning a chick right off the bat. Especially if you're drunk at a bar. And perhaps a junior-level ad exec living in New York. TRUST ME.

We need to stage a phony press conference in honor of Steve Phillips. Rachel Nichols and Jeremy Schaap could be in attendance, and ask Phillips all sorts of important questions. Steve, what first attracted you to your mistress? Was it her BIG FUN t-shirt? Steve, isn't this yet another searing indictment of your personnel evaluation skills? Steve, seriously, why not just stick your dick in an overflowed toilet?

Out of respect for DJ Gallo, we will NOT be publishing all those emails we got about Gallo fucking the Syracuse Orange in the PJ Clarke's urinal.

Bills at Panthers

Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall

"Abra Cadaver," by The Hives. DEAD! DEAD!!!!! THEY TRIED TO STICK A DEAD BODY INSIDE OF ME!!!!

Embarassing Discography I Own That Will Not Fire You Up

The entire Snow Patrol album catalog. I like Snow Patrol's music a lot, and I have no excuse for it. Liking them is barely a step removed from liking Coldplay. I know that. They have, arguably, the worst name in rock. It doesn't even sound like anything remotely resembling a band name. It sounds like a group of people who tow injured skiers to the chalet in one of those ski patrol sleds. I've always wanted to be carted around on one of those. If I were rich, I would travel exclusively by being ski-hauled.

Anyway, back to the band. They serve as the soundtrack to Grey's Anatomy, which gave the world Katherine Heigl. Their lead singer, Gary Lightbody, has a gay porn star name. The used to put environmental poetry on the splash page of their official site. They're lame in so many ways. In EVERY way.

And yet, I love some of their songs (like the one above). I can't help it! Don't you see? It's so pretty! Like a puppy wearing a Santa outfit! CAN'T RESIST… MUST… RESIST…

/switches over to Slayer record
//switches back to Snow Patrol when no one is looking

Open Mailbag Tuesdays
Got something you want displayed for show and tell in the Deadspin Tuesday Mailbag? Pork loin omelet recipe? Email me any question or observation you like.

Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Darren McFadden. Awful. Horrible. And now out until at least Week 10. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. What's the matter, prick? Too busy making bastard kids to bother staying upright? YOU PIECE OF SHIT. I HOPE ALL OF YOUR BABY MOMMAS GIVE YOU THE HUNDLEY TREATMENT, HOUNDING YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES FOREVER AND EVER UNTIL YOUR SPIRIT IS CRUSHED AND YOU LIVE OUT THE REST OF YOUR DAYS PRAYING FOR DEATH TO BE KIND AND SWIFT.

Suicide Pick Of The Week
Last week's suicide pick of Philadelphia was incorrect, making me 5-1 on the year. FUCKING ANDY REID. This is the time of year where I again remind you that joining suicide pools is a fucking idiotic endeavor and that you should spend that $20 on your cocaine slush fund instead. That puts the Eagles, Vikings, Texans, Ravens, Saints and Skins off the board now. We once again pick a team for your suicide pool and something that makes you WANT to commit suicide. This week's pick? Indianapolis, and Slate writer Jonah Weiner, who has now penned not one, but two different Slate pieces telling you that a nu metal band everyone knows is terrible really isn't that bad. First he tried to defend Limp Bizkit. Now he tries to do the same for Creed. Look at this sentence. FUCKING LOOK AT IT.

"Higher" might turn out to be the nu-grunge "Don't Stop Believing": dismissed by cognoscenti on arrival as bludgeoning and gauche but destined for rehabilitation down the road as a triumphant slab of ersatz inspirationalism.

Holy Jesus. It's like I'm reading Slate and Pitchfork together at once. Inspirationalism isn't even a fucking word. Only Slate could make the idea of liking Creed's music a pretentious endeavor. I hate that fucking band even more now. You go to Hell, Jonah Weiner. IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME.

Nazi Shark's Vegas Lock Of The Week
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 one game a week. Take it away, Nazi shark.

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7S

"This week, I like the Falcons getting 4 points on the road against the Cowboys. Hey, I had an article published by Slate once. It was titled, ‘The Third Reich: Hey, At Least The Trains Ran On Time.'"

2009 Nazi Shark Record: 5-1. People, time to start listening to the shark.

This Week's Pants Party Winner
Last week's Pants Party winner was PK's Mile High BM Club. Reader Alan F. gets free rant space here:

Quit bitching about Favre and your poor 6-0 team. I'd have the Lions field a team of 53 Matt Millen's if it meant not sucking for one goddamn year. And while you'll have to "suffer" through the Land Baron and his 105.9 QB rating, we Lions fans last had a Pro Bowl QB in 19-fucking-71. I was negative 8 years old. So piss off!

That's more than fair. I'll shut up about the Vikings now.

This week's winner was douchenozzle22, who already mailed in a rant. SO PUNCTUAL! It'll be in here next week.

Great Moments In Poop History
Another week, another HUGE payload of fantastic poop stories. This one comes to us from Landon L. I call it, "Sinky Dinky Doo":

A few years back, my little brother was fresh out of the army, newly married and was renting a little junk house. One bedroom, kitchen, living room and one bathroom that you had to go through the bedroom to get to. So my brother has a few friends over sitting around and getting drunk.

At some point, as everyone is leaving, it is decided that our friend, totally wasted, couldn't get home and needed to crash at my brother's place. No big deal. There's the couch, have at it.

Morning rolls around and my brother wakes to find our friend passed out in his own puke on the couch. My brother isn't happy, but apparently his wife hated the couch anyway, so he wakes my friend and tells him that they need to haul the couch to the dump. Not a big deal. On the way there, my friend will not stop apologizing to my brother. He is saying sorry so much, it becomes annoying. My brother keeps telling him he doesn't care about the damn couch. Finally, our buddy admits the puke on the couch is not the only issue. He took a shit in the kitchen sink.

BOOSH!

Apparently, in a drunken haze, needing to shit and not wanting to wake up my brother and his new wife, he decided that shitting in the kitchen sink made sense. So he climbed up on the counter and did it. It is hard to comprehend how someone would reach such a decision. Obviously the easiest thing to do would've been to go through the bedroom, wake up my brother and his wife, take the shit and be done with it. Or take a shit almost anywhere else. Outside, on the floor, in your pants. But he picks pretty much the worst place to shit, the kitchen sink.

Is it really the worst? At least there running water right there. I'd rather someone shit in the sink than on the carpet, or in the cookie jar, or in the veggie crisper.

Needless to say, my brother is pissed off. Unfortunately, there are also some dirty (now very dirty) dishes in the sink.

Look, Madge! I pooped in it!

The situation is so completely fucking weird and gross my brother doesn't even know how to address it. So he calls my dad.

That part killed me. "Hey Dad, you're old. Surely you've dealt with people shitting in the sink." That's like when I call my dad eight times every time I do my taxes.

Great conversation I'm sure. Anyways, it's decided that the dishes need to be thrown away, obviously. And the sink needs to be cleaned thoroughly several times. My brother drives our friend to the store so he can buy every bleach-based cleaning product available on the market. A long scrubbing, spraying, sanitizing of the sink ensues.

Finally, still ragingly pissed off. My brother decides that some additional inconvenience charge is in order. He demands $300 from our friend. With no precedent for the situation, our friend had little choice but to pay up.

I once had a friend who was a full-fledged alcoholic. The real deal. Drank every morning and all that. He stayed at our apartment once. In the middle of the night, my wife tripped over him on the way to using the bathroom. He had fallen asleep in the hall without his pants or undies on, and had pissed on the carpet.

I wish I had thought to charge him $300.

Fire This Asshole!
Is there anything more exciting than a coach losing his job? All year long, we'll keep track of which coaches will almost certainly get fired at year's end or sooner. And now, your updated chopping block:

Tom Cable
Jim Zorn*****
Eric Mangini
Jeff Fisher*
Wade Phillips
Dick Jauron*
Jack Del Rio*
Todd Haley
John Fox
Norv Turner
Raheem Morris

I don't think there's any chance Raheem Morris gets fired after this year, but so many angry Bucs fans demanded he be included on this list, I had little choice. Go to any Bucs message board, and your odds of finding missives from disgruntled Republican fans that compare Morris to Obama is 100%. THIS MAN IS BLACK AND LACKS EXPERIENCE!

Gametime Snack Of The Week

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7S

Waffle fries! Mmmm… waffle fries. So fried. So ridged. So crisscrossy. So good for ketchup retention. It's like a giant fucking ketchup net. I could squeeze out the entire Heinz bottle onto one of these fuckers.

Gametime Beer Of The Week
When I started the Jamboroo, this section was originally titled Cheap Beer of the Week. But I pretty much ran through every terrible cheap beer I could: Black Label, American, even the malt liquors. But reader Craig O. has come across a cheap beer I was unfamiliar with until now. That beer? Beer 30 Light.

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7

Beer 30 light should be your game time beer of the week. Not only is it cheaper than that swine piss known as Natural Light, but the vibrant purple can perfectly match any Vikings apparel you choose to wear.

Agreed. What a fantastic cheap beer. Why is it called Beer 30? Why is there a clock on the can? "Thirty seconds are up. Time for another!" I also like how there's a mountain on the can, to trick you into thinking you're buying Busch or Coors Light. If you've got a mountain on your can, you are selling one god-awful beer.

Robert Evans' MVP Watch!
Time to start thinking about who the leaders are for the NFL's MVP award. So every week, legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.

The Death Of The Workhorse Back. Jamboroo, Week 7

"Baby, my favorite for the NFL's MVP this year is still Peyton Manning of the Colts! You know, this whole Balloon Boy business reminds me of the time Warren Beatty and I took Quaaludes and accompanied eight nude Swiss prostitutes on a hot air balloon ride across the Alps! That was a good day for Ol' Beatty and I. Champagne? YOU BET! Orgies in a large wicker basket? YOU KNOW IT! Beatty was right about those Swiss girls, they really do fuck like clockwork. Very precise."

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Rams Fans

"The Golden Child." Long regarded as one of Eddie Murphy's biggest flops, yet it now looks like the goddamn Godfather compared to his recent output. Plus it has bloody oatmeal. Can't go wrong with bloody oatmeal. TO MONTY!

Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Isn't it amazing the same day you got a pool is the same day we realized we liked you?"

Halftime Masturbation Kit
-For the guys: Continuing the Golden Child theme: nude screengrabs of star Charlotte Lewis. (Site NSFW) Charlotte is half-Irish, and half Iraqi-Chilean. She could practically declare war on herself.
-For the gals: Sean Faris. RAWR.

Enjoy the games, everyone.