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.
I was born in 1976, which was the last time the Minnesota Vikings went to the Super Bowl. The team has never reached the big game in my lifetime, and that's pretty much all I give a shit about. The whole Tarkenton era sounds like it was cool, but it means nothing to me because I wasn't alive to bear witness to it. It may as well have been another team, for all I care.
Throughout my personal history, the Vikings have had a knack for fielding teams that are consistently good, but never good enough. The closest I've seen the Vikings get to the Super Bowl was in 1998, when Gary Anderson missed a bunny field goal, Denny Green pussied out and had Randall Cunningham take a knee at the end of regulation, and OJ Santiago broke free in overtime to obliterate what was, up until then, a very nice 15-1 season.
The other time, of course, was in 2000, when the Vikings lost to the Giants 41-0, a game in which they were somehow favored to win, despite being the road team. In both instances, the Vikings decided, at the very worst possible moment, to play as listlessly as humanly possible. They also lost two other NFC title games ('77, which I don't remember, and '87, when I was just becoming a football fan). That's just what the Vikings do. That's who they are.
Any Jets fan born in 1976 was born the same year the team went 3-11 under Lou Holtz and whatever lives on top of Lou Holtz's two-pound head. The Jets' massive upset of Baltimore in Super Bowl III years earlier was nice, but I'm sure it means very little to any Jets fan born long afterwards. That iconic image of Joe Namath running into the tunnel with his finger in the air, off to go bang the shit out of Ann-Margret on his hotel room floor? Again, it may as well have been another team. Since 1976, the Jets have played for their conference championship twice and lost (1998 and 1982). In between, they've had to endure Rich Kotite, "The Jets clearly have no idea what the NFL draft is all about," Neil O'Donnell, "YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAMES," Belichick resigning, and all that shit. Somehow, despite having won a Super Bowl, the Jets are considered one of saddest teams in all of football, and that's because, when they fail, they do so in spectacular fashion. That's just what the Jets do. That's who they are.
Any Saints fan born in 1976 was born the same year the team went 4-10 under Hank Stram. If you were a Saints fan born in 1976, the first time you saw the Saints turn in a winning season was when you were 11 years old. Here are the quarterbacks who started for you during that stretch, until Drew Brees arrived:
Guido Merkens (Holy shit, that's the best name ever)
Billy Joe Hobert
Billy Joe Tolliver
Since 1976, the Saints have played in just one NFC title game and lost (2006). In between, their fans have endured Jim Mora, Mike Ditka (who I still believe is legally retarded), Rick Venturi, Dalton Hilliard's knee injury, and the idea that having Archie Manning as your QB was somehow a good thing. Also, the city was destroyed by a hurricane and Britney Spears opened a Cajun restaurant in New York to celebrate your state's heritage. I'm not sure which of those two occurrences was more destructive. The Saints, despite having a nice run in the late 80's and early 90's, spent most of their time being fucking terrible. Up until Drew Brees arrived, that was just what the Saints did. That's who they were.
You could make the case that any three of these teams deserve to go to the Super Bowl and win it. Feel free to subtract the Vikings from that list if you think the Favre signing cancels out all the good will. Fair enough. At this point, the only people rooting for Favre to succeed are TV execs, Vikings fans, Peter King, and old people who are still sad Tom Watson lost the British Open last year.
But if the Saints or Jets win, there will be a cathartic release that even you, Mr. Dispassionate Observer, will find rather moving if it occurs. And there will be a wholesale identity change for the franchise that prevails. That's the fun of sports. Tune in long enough, and you'll sometimes get to see a long-suffering fanbase triumph at last, even though "suffering" while watching football involves sitting around, getting drunk, and mainlining Polish sausage. Not really suffering. Quite nice, actually.
Then you get to see that long-suffering fanbase bask in their title for far too long, treat that title like it's more important than any title any OTHER team has won, and become a bunch of spoiled pricks. We call this the Boston Effect. Still, until that happens, it's quite a nice and warm feeling to see the kicked dog rise up and finally bite.
I'm not sure any NFL final four has contained so many teams that each have a long and glaring history of failure. There's only one outcast among this group of outcasts, and I think you know which one it is. The only team to not be snakebitten in this group is the Colts, who won the title three years ago. And that is why I say, this year, ANYONE BUT THE COLTS.
I told people last week I was rooting for the Colts and Chargers end up in the AFC title game, but that turned out to be a lie. When the Colts took the field against the Ravens, all I wanted was for the Colts to lose and for Peyton Manning to eat shit. I don't know why. Maybe it's because they stole their team from Baltimore. Maybe it's because their fans are all fat shitheads. I dunno. All I know is… FUCK YOU, INDIANAPOLIS! YOU HAD YOUR TURN. Time instead for a teary end to one other team's lifelong misfortune. Time for someone in this triumvirate of misery to change their history for the better. The Colts can suck it.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms. And, like every year, I switch to PICKING the games. Because why the fuck not.
Saints 35, Vikings 34: Like I said last week, the Vikings save their chokes for the most glaring and inopportune times, and here's one of them. The Vikings have the better defense. The Saints have the better offense and coaching staff. Seems like a fairly even matchup. Though it's worth noting that these two teams played last season in the Superdome on Monday night, and the Vikings won 30-27 in one of the weirdest goddamn games you will ever see. Gus Frerotte started for the Vikings that night (Frerotte was 8-3 as the Vikings starter last season, yet was out of the league this year). Reggie Bush returned two punts for touchdowns. Antoine Winfield returned a blocked field goal for a TD. The Saints fumbled five times, losing two, and Drew Brees was picked off twice. So it's not as if the Saints are guaranteed to protect the ball this go around, and the Vikings return to the Superdome now armed with a QB superior to Frerotte. But there's no fucking way I'm picking my own team to win this thing. Much better to pick them to lose and be pleasantly surprised if they somehow don't fuck it all up. Some more notes:
-The new season of Project Runway includes a contestant named Ben Chmura. I'm not saying he's Mark Chmura's little teenage Jacuzzi orgy gay love child, but I wouldn't be shocked.
-Prince was again in the luxury box at the Metrodome last week. This is the second time Prince has showed up at a Vikings game this year, and he's NEVER been seen at Vikings games before now, at least not that I remember. Does this mean Prince hopped on the bandwagon after Favre arrived? Does he have a Favre jersey? Does he wear it? That would be fucked up. All I know is that I hope Prince makes the trip to New Orleans, because the luxury box fan contrast he'd have versus Kim Kardashian would give the Vikings a huge edge.
-Speaking of Prince, I must remind you, when he performed at the Super Bowl in 2006, Peter King condemned the performance by saying, "Prince, schmince." And then Rick Reilly joked with Peter King that he liked referring to Prince as "The Artist Formerly Known". That's right. Rick Reilly, of all people, was making fun of someone for being washed up. RICK FUCKING REILLY. I will NEVER forgive either of those two old cunts for that. You men fuck with Prince, you will get the fucking Purple Rain brought down on you.
-I noted above that Prince played in the Super Bowl in 2006, when the reality is that the game in question was actually played in 2007. I fucking hate that NFL seasons straddle the New Year like that. Like, when I refer to the Giants team that won the Super Bowl two years ago, I say the 2007 Giants, and that they won the 2007 Super Bowl. Only that Super Bowl was played in 2008, despite it being the title of game of what was, ostensibly, the 2007 season. Just as I say the '98 Vikings choked against Atlanta, even though that game was played in 1999. BUT IT WAS STILL 1998 IN SPIRIT.
I like adhering to the rule that all NFL seasons take place within one agreed upon year, even if they happen to spill into the next. This is the 2009 playoffs. The winner of the Super Bowl will be the champs of the 2009 season. I don't like saying the 2009/2010 season, because that's all confusing and involves extra typing. Football years need to be treated the same way as fiscal years are. Your fiscal year may end in September. Great. The football year of 2009 ends two weeks from now, and that's how it's gonna fucking be.
-I will be watching this game at home, and I will be unable to stay in one seated position for more than three minutes at a time. I'll alternate between standing, and sitting on the coffee table, and sitting in a chair, and dangling from a butterfly fuck swing, and all that. I can't watch my team struggle to win a playoff game and just sit in one spot for three straight hours like a lazy shit. It wouldn't feel appropriate. Sometimes, I stand and put my hands on my knees, like I'm a coach on the sideline. I watch football like a retard.
-For some reason, defenses go on tackling streaks. You'll see a game where a defense tackles poorly, then they'll turn it around and collectively all tackle well the next game. Apparently, good tackling is contagious, just like menstrual cycles. The Vikings have a streaky defense like this, where they'll have a dud game in which no one on the defense can tackle for shit. If that happens early on Sunday, they're fucking doomed.
-When I was in dipshit prep school, we had a notebook in the dorm shitter with the title THE SHIT MEMOIRS written on the front. This was a communal notebook, and everyone in the dorm was encouraged, while shitting, to write in it and say anonymous, horrible things about other people in the dorm, and talk about which of them had ugly as shit girlfriends, and talk about hate banging the dorm mom. I partook of doing this on a daily basis, and loved every second of it. No wonder I blog now. One day, I sat down to shit, opened up the Shit Memoirs, and saw this entry:
THINGS DREW SAYS:
1. "The Saints are my dark horse team this year."
2. "Are you gonna eat the rest of that?"
Well played, anonymous shit memoirist. Well played.
-Back in 2000, I watched the NFC title game with an old friend from Minnesota in his apartment. It was 34-0 at the half, and I went home. I don't know if the Vikings will win on Sunday. I assume they won't. All I ask is that they play a game I'm interested in from start to finish. That's all I fucking ask.
Jets 21, Colts 19: Well, that's the last time I pick against Rex Ryan: GREATEST COACH EVAR. Also, the Colts are pretty much the same team as the Chargers. They both don't run the ball well. They're both awesome at passing the ball. And they both play just okay on defense. The Jets already played this game last week, and they won it. FUCK IT. They win it again. More notes:
-Until the Sunday of last week, five of the six NFL playoff games were horrible to watch, especially that Colts/Ravens shitfest on Saturday night. I'm all for rigging playoff games now. I get what David Stern is up to. I think I could look the other way if they rigged these games for maximum entertainment purposes. Anything to avoid seeing a game like Colts/Ravens again.
-There is NOTHING worse than a turnover committed during the course of a turnover. I can't stand that shit. Ed Reed picks off Peyton Manning, the game appears to get mildly intriguing for a half second, then he fumbles the fucking ball back to Indy and I'm stuck watching the same goddamn shitfest as I was before. Guhhhhhhh. If you're one of these asshole defenders who coughs the ball up after you made a big turnover, you deserve to be pelted with deer feces by fans when the game is over. DON'T FUCKING TOY WITH OUR EMOTIONS LIKE THAT.
-I read this week that Fred Taylor has a 16-year-old kid who's already a star high school running back being recruited by SEC schools. Holy shit. That makes me feel, like, double old.
-Last week, Dan Dierdorf said that Reggie Wayne has had a lot of "turns in the barrel". Don't go sailing with Dan Dierdorf if he invites you.
-Not to inject myself into a pissing match of billion dollar corporations, but this fat Luke Wilson map ad for AT&T is bullshit. Verizon's claim was that they have way more 3G coverage nationally than AT&T. Here is how fat Luke Wilson tried to counter that argument.
-AT&T lets you talks on the phone while you surf the web
-AT&T has the most popular Smartphones
-AT&T has the nation's fastest 3G network
Then you see the Verizon map fall apart and Wilson is all like, "Well, that settles it." Dude, you didn't address the claim at all. None of those things have ANYTHING to do with coverage. Verizon said they have more of it. They didn't say shit about the other three things. And now I know your network is ASS.
Also, Verizon can eat a dick.
Last Week: 2-2 (1-3 vs. the spread)
2010 Playoff Picks Record So Far: 4-4 (3-5 vs. the spread)
Super Bowl Deadcast
The Deadcast has been gone for a while so I could make time to finish Book #2. Alas, Book #2 still has a bit of a ways to go (I never should have had the characters time travel to Victorian-era Scotland). But the Deadcast will return briefly next week, when I'll be doing a special Super Bowl edition of the Deadcast with your editor emeritus, Will Leitch. Got a question you want read over the air for our special Super Bowl edition? Email it to me with the subject heading DEADCAST. I don't particularly give a shit if your question pertains to football or not. This will be your typical, meandering Deadcast. But you know what it won't feature? Six minutes of Bill Simmons and Aaron Schatz bitching about everyone criticizing the Pats too much for running up the score on opponents in 2007. You whiny fucking CUNTS. Get over yourselves.
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
"Colony of Birchmen," by Mastodon. RUN. WIIITH. DAYAYAYAYAYEATH!!!
Nothing beats a good song about killer trees. I remember in "Poltergeist," when the tree tried to eat the kids. Scared the living fuck out of me. You keep your filthy limbs off of me, you killer trees.
Embarrassing Song I Sang Once In Choir That Will Not Fire You Up
"Iko Iko," by The Belle Stars. I sang in choir in middle school and freshman year of high school, which makes me a fucking loser, no matter how hip shows like "Glee" may be these days. My choir teachers were always nice men who were absolutely out of their fucking minds. They'd make you do these weird vocal warmup exercises where you say shit like MY MOMMA MAKES ME MASH MY M&MMMMMMMMMMMMMMS! And they all played the piano really vehemently. They'd sit there banging on the keys and conduct you at the same time. And they'd do it all very theatrically, like Corky St. Clair. Choir was very, VERY important to them.
They always had horrible taste in song selection. They made us sing shit like this, or "Somewhere Out There," from An American Tail. You got this little two-page pamphlet for each song that gave you the lyrics and the notes you had to hit. And we always lost them, so you'd have to end up sharing with the guy next to you, and you'd be singing really close to one another, and you'd feel really gay in the process. Kids fell off the choir risers at least twice a week.
The worst was the year Dirty Dancing hit. We sang every fucking song from that movie. "Hungry Eyes." "Do You Love Me?" All of it. I can only imagine being a parent and having to sit in the audience for forty-five minutes, listening to that horrible shit.
I also sang in an acapella group in 9th Grade. We wore green bow ties. We were called the Blaker's Dozen, because our school was named Blake. Get it? Get it? God, I wish I could redo parts of my life all over again and try not be such a dipshit.
Open Mailbag Tuesdays
Got something you want displayed for show and tell in the Deadspin Tuesday Mailbag? Find a boulder in your box of generic CTC? Email me any question or observation you like.
Playoff Recipe Of The Week!
It's the playoffs. Time to get cooking. Reader Aimee demands you make candied bacon.
1 lb. bacon (not thick-sliced)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard (to taste)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Mix last 3 ingredients in a bowl. Dump about 1/2 that mixture onto a small plate. Cut bacon strips in 1/2, and press each one into sugar mixture on both sides. Shake off excess, place on cookie sheet (lined w/ foil if you're lazy like me and hate doing dishes). Bake at 425 for 12 min, turning once 1/2 way through. Watch it closely towards the end, sometimes the ones on the outside will burn a little. It'll stay good for a couple hours after you bake it, if it's not all consumed in 5 minutes like it is at my house.
Aimee also recommends wrapping the candied bacon around kielbasa and then baking it. I suggest you follow her advice.
Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Nate Kaeding. I don't know what the hell has gotten into kickers this year, but they all SUCK. Maybe when one gets spooked, they all get spooked. Malcolm Gladwell is already drawing parallels to teenage suicides in Malaysia.
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.
"This week, I like the Jets getting 7.5 points on the road against the Colts. I read recently that Hermann Goering's great niece had herself sterilized to prevent passing on her great uncle's blood. But I'd still hit it."
2009 Nazi Shark Record: 9-9. (1-1 playoffs). Read the link Rolf provided. It's fucking fascinating. I will totally watch that movie when it comes out.
Great Moments In Poop History
Next week is the dreaded extra week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, which SUCKS. So, to prevent it from sucking, and in honor of the Pro Bowl, we are going to do our first ever POOPOROO. That's right, a Jamboroo consisting entirely of Great Moments In Poop History stories. So if you have a poop story you've been trying to push out of your system for a while now, next week is the time to get it out there. Email me your story if you want to be included.
Reader Jon sends in this story I call POOPY DEAREST:
This story was regaled to me by my friend Joe (not his real name), and I guess I'll leave it up to you to decide how disturbing it is or not.
My friend Joe works at this place in Central NY called George Jr. Republic, which, to my understanding, is like a boarding school/detention center for fucked up high-school-aged dudes. It's all guys.
In one of the cabins Joe was working in, he'd find that once a day, every day, he'd walk into the bathroom to find shit smeared all over the walls, in circles. It got pretty old cleaning that up every day, so after about a week-and-a-half of that, Joe decided to take some initiative.
One of his charges in his cabin would request a cup every time he went into the bathroom. He seemed like a perfectly normal kid, much more so than Joe's other charges, so he'd give him a plastic cup. He figured it was just to get some water out of the sink in the bathroom. The kid was admittedly a little OCD, and needing to get his water form the sink and not the fountain was certainly not the weirdest thing Joe'd seen at George Junior. However, after about a week, Joe found that he'd only find shit on the walls AFTER the cup kid had been in the bathroom.
The thing about George Junior is that you have to catch the kid in the act in order to be able to discipline him, so Joe let the kid in the bathroom with the cup and waited, waited long enough for the kid to take a shit. Joe figured that if he waited ten minutes and the kid was still in there, then he must be up to no good. Confirming Joe's suspicions, he was in there longer than ten minutes.
Joe took a deep breath and opened the door.
He found the kid having sex with a cup full of shit. That's right.
Apparently this kid was raised in an extremely fucked up household: He said he fucked the shit cup because "it reminded him of his mom," and that the circles on the wall represented her boobs. Yikes.
Jesus. I really wish I could unread that.
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 – FIRED?
Jim Zorn – FIRED!
Jim Mora – FIRED!
Dick Jauron – FIRED!
Oh, you poor Bills fans. I still don't know what to say to console you. Look at this fucking train wreck:
That's Bills GM Buddy Nix with Gailey. I like the part where Nix complains that the press never calls him. Like, even the people PAID to cover the Bills don't even give a shit about them anymore. I COULDA HIRED 35 OR 40 GUYS THE FIRST WEEK! BUT THIS IS THE SHITHEAD I PICKED!
A Brief Chat Between Myself And AJ Daulerio
Daulerio: What's your take on moose tracks?
Me: The ice cream?
Daulerio: No, when you have shit stains on the toilet. I always have this problem anytime I poop in someone else's house. But you can't pee them off.
Me:: Ah. I always hit the beach on Jeremy's toilet. He HATES it.
Daulerio: And if they have no fuzzy brush or other device, is it your obligation to rid the bowl of moose tracks?
Me: No. It's their fault for having a toilet with a beach the size of Waikiki.
Daulerio: Just had this experience at girlfriend's parents' house. Went in there with wet tissue and scrubbed it. But they also didn't have a lot of water in the bowl. I hate when people do that. You're supposed to have 60% of toilet full. You need the splash, or you'll get moose tracks.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Fried Calamari! Oh, fried calamari. Friend. Confidante. LOVER. Are you the kind of person who eschews eating the tentacles? PUSSY. The tentacles are the best part. I could eat a garbage can full of fried calamari. AND I HAVE.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Jacob Best Light! Reader Dave writes in:
Here is great gametime cheap beer: JACOB BEST LIGHT
If you can believe it, PBR decided the real thing wasn't shitty enough, so they made their own generic stepchild. We came upon this stuff in college. Normally, we would go with Natty Light or the Beast; however, Jacob's Best was only $5.99/case. At that price, we would try anything. Imagine our surprise when it actually turned out to be pretty good. It soon became our "go to" party beer. We only knew of one distributor that sold it and it soon became their best selling brand. For the portlier fellow, Jacob Best also comes in a full-bodied pilsner.
P.S. Ol' Brittfar can eat a dick!.
Look at that can. Kinda looks like the Yuengling can. I MUST HAVE IT. I truly am shocked that Pabst Blue Ribbon has a generic equivalent, and that it is named Jacob. Christ, everyone and everything is named Jacob these days. If you have two of these beers, it is said that you have The Two Jakes. IN THIS TOWN I'M THE LEPER WITH THE MOST FINGERS.
Robert Evans' Super Bowl MVP Watch!
Time to start thinking about who will win the Super Bowl MVP. Legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.
"Baby, my favorite for the Super Bowl MVP is Peyton Manning of the Colts! My dear friend, Jeff Bridges, just won a golden Globe for his performance in Crazy Heart, and good for him! Talented? YOU BET! Reliable? Like my massage therapist! I remember seeing the script for Crazy Heart cross my desk two decades ago, only then it was called Tender Mercies 2: The Reckonin'. But then they turned it into its own movie! You don't usually see that happen in our industry, baby! Usually, it's the other way around! You take the original script, and you make it fit into the franchise! I just read an original script about the life of that Marie Curie broad that would make a DYNAMITE Spiderman 4 with a little tweaking! David Koepp is on it as we speak!
"Now, ol' Bridges and I go back. WAY back. I met him one day while visiting Bogdonavich on the set of Last Picture Show and all of us sat there drooling over this feisty young gal named Cybill Shepherd. What a piece of work this gal was. Gorgeous? YOU BET! Sassy? Like a wild stallion! So I ask Bridges what her deal is, and Bridges says to me, ‘Evans, you don't wanna go there.' And I said, ‘Like hell I don't!' So I whisk Cybill off to Budapest on the Paramount jet and get us a room at the Ritz. And things heat up quick! Clothes, off! Bubbly, popped! And just as I was about get her points off the back end, I reach down into her panties, and I find Oscar! Eight inches of rock hard statuette! THAT GIRL WAS NO GIRL AT ALL!
"Well, this was the damnedest thing I'd ever seen. But you know what? I went with it. Not as bad as you might think!"
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Rams Fans
In Bruges. YOU'RE AN INANIMATE FUCKING OBJECT! Best line ever? Best line ever.
I do this all the time, where I get mad about something, and then I take it out on a phone or a chair, and my wife looks at me like I'm an idiot. Well, look lady. I have to throw SOMETHING at the wall. Better the remote than the dog, am I right?
What's that? I shouldn't throw anything? I should handle adversity like a calm and rational person? Pfft. Fuck that.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Dozens of people are gunned down each day in Springfield, but until now none of them was important. I'm Kent Brockman."
Halftime Masturbation Kit
-For the guys: Layla Kayleigh.
/stands up straight, fingercombs hair quickly
-For the gals: Whoever this guy is. He's shirtless and stuff.
Enjoy the games, everyone.