The NFL season is over! No! NO! NOOOOOOOOOO! Oh, fuck you, God! You've got some nerve allowing late winter, spring, and summer to get in the way like that! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!
This is why I could never really be against an 18-game regular season, as proposed by the NFL owners right now. Sure, two more games makes players more susceptible to injury, threatens to turn the entire season into a battle of attrition that has little to do with skill and more with injury luck, and shorten player careers. Then again, that's not really MY problem. All I know is that an 18-game schedule would give me two extra weeks per year to NOT agonize over the NFL not being around. And, because I'm a selfish prick who only cares about himself, that's really all I need to be convinced of the idea's awesomeness.
Now that the season is over, you're going to hear a lot of things about the brewing labor war (WAR!!!!!!) between the owners and the NFLPA. Ideally, this dispute would be settled on the fucking field where it belongs, with Ray Lewis jacking up Ralph Wilson and breaking all of his frail old man bones on a single hit. But that isn't how NFL owners do things, because they are pussies. What do you need to know in order to survive what could be months and months of bitter CBA negotiations? Fear not, for the following FAQ shall tell you everything you need to know.
Q: Will there be a lockout?
Q: Oh fuck, really?
A: Nah, just fucking with you. The truth is that no one knows if there will be a prolonged work stoppage, not even the main combatants. But the beauty of everyone NOT knowing if there will be a deal or not means any asshole can make any prediction about it have it be just as valid as any other asshole's prediction. For example: I think that once March rolls around and the threat of a hugely unpopular work stoppage becomes more tangible, there will be more pressure on both owners and players to get a deal done. Now, that previous sentence is all a lie. Total bullshit. But it SOUNDED possible, didn't it? That's the beauty of covering a work stoppage.
Q: Who is optimistic about a deal getting done?
A: John Clayton, and this one other dude I heard on the radio the other day. He was probably wrong, but it made me feel much better.
Q: Who is pessimistic about a deal getting done?
A: Peter King. Oooh, Peter says this could be the last football game FOREVER! AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER OOOOH LOFTY-SCARY…
Q: Where will these negotiations take place?
A: Likely in New York. Can you believe the GALL of the NFL, to hold such an important event in a cold weather locale? It could be 34 degrees outside during the next meeting. NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO GOLF! PETER KING WON'T BE ABLE TO FIND A HOTEL WITH FREE WIFI! Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal didn't have a good enough time! THIS IS SETTING A HORRIBLE PRECEDENT!
Q: If there is a work stoppage, who do we blame?
A: The owners. Owners are richer than players. And my rule of thumb is to always hate the richer person more. Furthermore, the owners agreed to a CBA back in 2006 that they all say they didn't really like that much. So they shouldn't have voted for it then. Tough luck for you, fuckos. Even though I don't really give a shit about the players, they're the ones out there subjecting themselves to horrible injuries every week without lifetime guaranteed health care. As someone who had to buy health care for himself this year, let me just say that the people in charge of health care companies should all get leprosy and left to die in a fucking warehouse.
The NFL makes an unreasonable sum of money. Its owners essentially have a license to print cash. Anyone owner who says his team is losing money is fucking lying. If the Pittsburgh Pirates, the absolute dregs of baseball, can make assloads of money and still cry poverty (as the financial records we posted indicate), you better believe that NFL owners are even more full of shit when it comes to revenue. This isn't about owners losing money. This is about them not making what they perceive as ENOUGH money. The Bills don't make as much as the Cowboys do. So where can that team find some money to make up the disparity in both revenue and self-esteem? From payroll. And two of these teams (Chargers and Vikings?) are about to get a sweetheart deal with L.A., giving the league an even greater number of "luxury" teams. That's what this shit is about. The Panthers started talking this year about getting a new stadium. Know when their current one was built? 1996. Fuck them.
Q: Will there be a Draft?
A: Yes. Though draft picks cannot be traded unless they are traded for other draft picks. This is a shame, because I was really looking forward to the Redskins giving away a first- and third-rounder for Ryan Grant.
Q: Is there anything I can do to stop this potential lockout?
Q: If there is a lockout, will I have the balls to punish the NFL by not watching when football finally returns?
A: Nope. You sure won't. And neither will I. Let's face it, everyone hates the BCS but that game got record ratings anyway. We're fucking sheep. We WANT to punish owners when they fuck us over with a work stoppage, but we can't. I know I can't. That's what makes me so angry about this. It's not that football will be gone, or that I'm totally powerless to stop it. It's that I know I will sit there and I will just fucking TAKE it. I'll wait them out for as long as possible and go right back to being the slavish devotee I always have been. And the NFL knows this, which is why they probably have no problem going through with it. They are assholes.
The relationship between fans and sports has always been one-sided and abusive. Teams take advantage of fans again and again and fans keep coming back because this is the sport they like and this is the only real place to get it. And any alternative to it — the UFL, Arena ball, reading books — doesn't feel the same. It's horrible knowing your unconditional love for something is about to be exploited to the hilt, and that it won't ultimately change how you feel. It causes more resignation in me than pure anger. Ugh. So depressing. I'm so disgusted with myself. Let's just close out the Jamboroo and get on with this offseason.
No games! BARF. Right to the random crap:
• The other night I was trying to go to sleep, but there was something in my nose and any time I exhaled, my nose made a whistling sound. So I dug in and rooted around for a booger, but couldn't find jack shit. So then I just had to lay there and listen to my nose whistling all goddamn night. And it only gets worse as you get older. I bet half of all people over 50 whistle out their nose while sleeping. A retirement home at night must sound like a NBA game refereed by Joey Crawford.
• Ozzy Osbourne's plastic surgery makes him looks like Sharon Osbourne.
• I had to edit a Word document the other day and the document I was going through had Track Changes in it. This is when someone changes what you wrote and all the highlights are noted in red. I have no idea why red is always the default color for edits. Red is the color of anger. Any time I open a document with Track Changes and see lots of red shit, I immediately want to find the person responsible and kick them in the throat. Not only is it annoying to go through all those changes, but your ego also kicks in and is like, "My words! My precious words! SOMEONE HAS RAPED MY PROSE!" And sometimes people yell at you in the notes below. They'll be like, "Keep consistent!" And they aren't there for you to punch in the face when that happens. Lawyers use Track Changes in Word all the time to edit each other's briefs and shit. This is why most lawyers are suicidal. If I worked at a law firm and had to go through some asshole partner's corrections every day, I'd swallow bleach. Track Changes eats shit.
• My kid turned 5 last week. No one told me that five was the age where kids will steadfastly refuse to allow you to talk to other people while in their presence. Five seconds I'm on the phone with someone and the kid starts going, "Dad. DAD. DADDDDDDDD… DADADADADADAD." Just a fucking relentless assault. And you have to do everything in your power to keep from beating the shit out of the kid with the phone and explain to them that Daddy will be right with them. All I ask for is a time machine that lets me fast forward to, like, age 10. That's all. I really don't need the next five years of my existence.
• I need to read through the entire recipe before I go cooking something. Ever start cooking something without reading through the whole recipe and then get to some step like, "Refrigerate for 24 hours"? That's a DAGGER. But I want these ribs NOW! Also, I greatly dislike any recipe that refers to a SECOND recipe within its ingredient list. Like, you'll go through some pasta recipe or something and one of ingredients is "Giada's special spice rub (see recipe on pp. 176)". Fuck you, Giada. Put all that shit on one page. What am I, your bitch?
• From the "Mike Wilbon Is A Better Person Than You" archive (it's a very large archive) comes this snooty dispatch:
If you're looking for that TMZ moment, a revelation of Charlie Sheen getting drunk and turning the East Room into a piano bar or Tareq and Michaele Salahi slipping past security and sitting next to President and Mrs. Obama, stop reading right now.
Yeah, you disgusting sports fan! How dare you try and tarnish Mike's experience at the White House by digging for cheap rumors and gossip, or so he assumes all of you do! Michael Wilbon is awful.
• I bought potato chips for my kids the other day, even though they aren't supposed to eat them (nor am I). But we were in the store and kids have an insidious way of getting you caught up in the thrill of the moment. They see the chips and they're like, "Can we have chips?" And their eyes sparkle and you're like, "Do you really want them?" and then they start jumping around and screaming YEAH YEAH YEAH! And you know that it's a bad idea. You know it'll come back to bite you in the ass. But it's just so fucking fun to see them go nuts when you finally relent. "Okay. I can get a bag." I mean, they fucking EXPLODE when that happens. They start singing and clapping and everyone is like YAY! CHIPS! Then it's five hours later and all they want for dinner is chips and you know the bill has come due and now you're FUCKED. Still, that little moment in the store is almost worth it. Also, these were sour cream and onion chips, which are the TITS.
Super Bowl Pick: 0-1 (0-1 vs. the spread)
Playoffs: 3-8 (4-7 vs. the spread)
Song For The Offseason
"Keep Your Hands To Yourself," by the Georgia Satellites. Also known as one of the easiest songs in the world to play on the guitar, along with "Smoke on the Water" and "Rock You Like A Hurricane".
I took guitar lessons at a music store in the Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka, Minn., when I was a kid. Our instructor was named Brian, and he had a wispy mustache. This was the first song he taught us. I was a very impatient student. Brian said the best way to learn the guitar was to start off with an acoustic guitar, which I thought was stupid and for pussies. I rented a Gibson instead. He also explained that we should really know chords before we know how to play any songs. And I was like, "Fuck that, Brian. When the fuck do we ROCK?" I demanded we move on from the kiddie stuff and go straight to the "Damage Inc." solo. He explained that you have to NOT suck in order to play that particular piece of music, but I was undaunted. I bought the tablature book to "Master of Puppets" and sat there trying to play all the songs. And, of course, what came out of my guitar sounded NOTHING like the actual song, which angered me to no end.
No one has ever given up the guitar faster than me. I hated practicing. I hated any chord that demanded stretching from my fat fingers. I hated all of that. So what I did instead was take my guitar and play air guitar with it all day long. Think of how pathetic that is. You have a guitar and you're so lazy that you only pretend play it. And I still do that if I see a guitar lying around! I'll pick it up and pretend to strum something really meaningful even though I can't remember how to play anything.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
Check any NFL game program, any NFL media guide, any NFL roster anywhere, including on ESPN.com — every player's name is followed by the name of a college or university. True, it's biographical information, but the impression is given that the player is a graduate of the school. Yet only "half of the NFL's players have college degrees." So why is a college or university listed after every player if only 50 percent graduated?
This is done to create an illusion — an illusion that pro football players, when in college, studied and earned their degrees.
Is there anyone on Earth who automatically assumes a player graduated from his listed college just because it's listed there? The reason they list the college is because the player played football there, and probably committed any number of sexual assaults. Sometimes, when I see a player play, I ask myself, "Shit! Who did he play for in college again?" And so the listing helps refresh my memory. I don't ask myself, "Say, which college did he play for and clearly graduated from and refrained from underage drinking at?" That would be naïve.
Easterbrook then suggests we only list players at their highest level of graduation, which is a delightfully elitist concept. That guy who played for three years and then entered the draft early to help his family? Let's only list his high school, so everyone KNOWS he's just a dumb GLOREEE BOY uninterested in intellectual pursuits. Look at the uneducated Negro, everyone!
Nazi Shark's Vegas Futures 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 Tampa Bay getting 50/1 odds to win Super Bowl XLVI. I went undefeated in the playoffs, and I've decided to spend my winnings as I always do: making my annual pilgrimage to Jamel:"
Every few months, townsfolk host outdoor parties where guests sing "Hitler is my Führer" to chants of "Heil" around a massive bonfire.
"Now THAT is my kind of town."
2010 Nazi Shark Record: 14-6-1 (4-0 playoffs)
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Anonymous sends in a story I call HOW TO POOP IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING:
A co-worker and I would go to lunch just about everyday, there were a couple of crappy fast-food restaurants about 4 blocks away that we would walk to since she had a desk job and wanted the exercise as long as the weather was decent. She was about 7 months pregnant so she usually used the bathroom before our walk back to work just to be safe and this time was no different….or we thought. We made it about 2 blocks when she says "Oh my God, I have to go now, let's go!" and starts to half running half walk while trying to hold what I think is pee in. As she is moving as fast as she can with her pregnant holding it in waddle, I get ahead of to start unlocking the security doors so she doesn't need to stop. To get back to our company where she can safely use the bathroom we have to walk through a parking garage where there's another security door to get to the elevator and being the gentleman I am I get the doors unlocked and call the elevator.
The elevator arrives and by some miracle, it is empty. While I was getting this done she has stopped about 50 feet from the elevator and is crying profusely. I ask her if she is OK (genius question) she says she just can't walk anymore so I go into pep talk mode with the ol' you can do it, we're almost there speech and am about 5 seconds away from trying to pick her up and carry her when she says "Ok, I'll try, get the elevator again." So, I go to get the elevator and when I turn around she has moved but, not towards the elevator but towards the wall between some cars.
I walk back towards her and she tells me "I knew I couldn't make it, can you grab something so I can clean myself and this up with before it starts to smell? Also, I need you to grab my bag from my office so I can change?" So, now I have to go into stealth mode and somehow take the elevator to the 3rd floor, steal her bag from her office, and get back down to the basement without anyone seeing me since me carrying a woman's bag might arouse some suspicion since we had been having some theft issues in the office. I ask her where her car is so we can get her away from the smell since it had already arrived and was not going to wait for a possible clean-up. She caught a break that she was wearing a sundress type thing so she headed for her car, which wasn't very far, while I set out on my mission.
I made it up to the office without incident and back to elevator without anyone catching sight of me. As I waited for the elevator I tried to conceal the bag behind me like a 7-year old shoplifting and of course when the elevator opened, there was her boss. She immediately recognized the bag and asked what was going on so now I needed a story that would somehow not involve her following me or making a bigger deal about me having other employee's belongings on me. I told her that her employee had puked and was embarrassed so she was waiting in her car, with the hope she would just go away and let me go. Nope, she was so concerned for her employee she needed to go see her and make sure she was ok. Once me and her boss reached the garage level and started walking towards the pregnant woman's car, I think she figured out pretty quickly that puke wasn't the problem. She told the pregnant woman she'd see her the next day and to get better and never said a word the whole way back to the office. I swear we waited 10 minutes for that elevator to arrive.
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 final chopping block:
Wade Phillips (FIRED!)
Brad Childress (FIRED!)
Josh McDaniels (FIRED!)
Mike Singletary (FIRED!)
Eric Mangini (FIRED!)
John Fox (FIRED!)
Tom Cable (FIRED!)
Jeff Fisher (FIRED!)
Sean Payton (Moved!)
What a cocktease that Sean Payton move was. If I were a coach, I'd buy a new house in a different area code every year just so that my team would panic and redo my contract.
Snack Of The Offseason
Red Hot Beef Jerky! Reader Jason writes in:
Were you aware that Franks made beef jerky? I just discovered this fact this morning at my local convenience store and the course of my life has been changed. I fucking love Franks and I might love beef jerky even more. This is the best thing to happen to my taste buds possibly ever.
Oh sweet baby Jesus DROOOOOOOOOL. All products should come pre-infused with Red Hot. Jerky. Crackers. Ice cream. There isn't anything we couldn't improve.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
GOLDEN KING! From the exotic land of Hong Kong comes this foul-smelling, lead-poisoned brew. Reader Andy writes in:
Attached is a picture of Golden King. Cost per can: 3 HKD (exchange rate being 7.75 HKD to 1 USD). Advertised as " A cold-filtered pasteurised (sic) beer with a pure and refreshing taste ". More accurately described as iron ore flavored piss. A very regal looking can, though, wouldn't you say? No coozie on this bitch, no siree.
It looks like it's brewed with sweet and sour sauce. I MUST HAVE IT.
Robert Evans' Super Bowl MVP!
Legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans is here to christen the Super Bowl MVP. Take it away, Mr. Evans.
"Baby, your Super Bowl MVP is Aaron Rodgers of the Packers! Long live the new king, baby! Ah, another offseason. I'll be spending my offseason as I always do: Here at Woodland, playing tennis with Dustin Hoffman, cutting backroom deals, dealing with the hilarious antics of my maid Consulea, and entertaining some of the biggest names in town. Beatty? YOU BET! Keaton? NO DOUBT! Come and visit, won't you? There's always room at Woodland for you. I'm an old man now. I'm in the twilight of my life, which is why I always set my tanning bed to Sunset mode these days. The memories I have become more and more precious to me as I go on. Nicholson telling that she-male to fellate a goat in Jamaica. Sally Field making love to me on the roof of the Paramount lot. Yet old age sometimes deprives me of those moments, which seems so cruel. The best way to keep the memories alive is to tell you stories, even if they're the same old stories I always tell. That way, the memories stay close by, right where I can reach them. Perhaps if you swing by, I'll tell you about the time Coppola stuffed a dead pig with heroin and tried to smoke it.
"Oh, and take the Facebook movie in your Oscar pool. EVANS KNOWS THESE THINGS."
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Panthers Fans
Adventureland. You put a Husker Du song in your movie, you're okay by me.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
Marge: Barnacle Bill's Home Pregnancy Test? Homer, shouldn't we have gone with a better-known brand?
Homer: But Marge, this one came with a corn-cob pipe!
Halftime Masturbation Kit
For the guys: Highlights from the Miss Reef Argentina contest. They judge butts.
For the gals: Jim from OutSports notes that Aaron Rodgers looks just like gay porn star Jack Ryan. Not to be confused with Red October Jack Ryan, though both are heavily involved with seamen. HEY-O!!!!!!
Before we finish off, a couple announcements. First, as always, this is the last Jamboroo until September with the exception of the Draft Jamboroo in April. Secondly, there will NOT be a Thursday Funbag taking the place of the Jamboroo during the offseason. But there's no need to go pooping yourself silly. I'll still be posting on Thursday, it'll just be more features and angry rants where I say FUCK a lot. That's the deal. And the Tuesday Funbag will still be around to amuse and delight you. Finally, thanks to all of you readers for making this season an absolute blast. To everyone who sent in poop stories and shitty beers and angry fantasy threats, I say kudos to you. Enjoy the offseason, everyone.
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.