There are three winless teams in the NFL right now—Miami, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. The Rams have been devastated by injuries. The Dolphins are clearly mailing it in to get Andrew Luck. And everyone is eager to kick the Colts in the fucking throat while they're writhing helpless on the ground. These three teams are hopeless. They aren't going to turn it around. If they're lucky, they'll eke out a few wins and scrounge up a 4-12 record to walk away with at the end of the season. They're done.
And that's where being a Colts, Rams, or Dolphins fan gets a little bit dicey. As we've said here before, one of the reasons the NFL has become such a success over the years is because it's managed to make people fans of EVERY team, and not just their own. The problem is when your passion for the league in general threatens your passion for your childhood team. Ideally, your love for the Dolphins or whoever is supposed to override that of any other team. But man, that's hard to do when your team is 0-5 and starting Matt Moore at QB.
With the advent of fantasy football and Sunday Ticket, there is an ungodly temptation every Sunday to abandon your team in favor of an objectively better football game or for Red Zone Channel. My team is currently 1-5, and Lord knows I feel the urge to wipe them off the face of my television forever. You KNOW other games are going on right now. You KNOW that you can end your pain any moment by simply changing the channel and delighting in watching better teams, teams that actually know how to throw a pass on third down. UNLIKE THE FUCKING VIKINGS AND THAT CUNTFACE MCNABBB AND GAHHHHH I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HOPE THEY BECOME THE LOS ANGELES KIMMELS AND THEN CALIFORNIA IS DESTROYED IN A 14.5 EARTHQUAKE/LAVA TSUNAMI.
You can hear the siren song of those other teams pulling you away from the one team you've supposedly professed loyalty to. You know there's a much more enjoyable party to attend than the shitheap you're at. And the only thing keeping you from switching the channel is the fear that, by abandoning your team, you're nothing more than a piece-of-shit fairweather fan. The idea of being a "true fan" is a strong one, one that keeps you watching the Dolphins and Jets on Monday night even though, in your heart of hearts, you really don't want to.
Half the time, I think I'm an idiot for not changing the channel. I sit there watching my team look like a slow kindergartener hitting himself in the face with a saucepan and I'm thinking to myself, "Why am I doing this? Life is too short for this bullshit. I should be doing something with my life, like watching a Chopped rerun." But I stick around anyway because of this demented "good fan" mentality, as if changing the channel somehow makes me disloyal, or a complete pussy. And I know there's supposed to be a certain purity in just wanting your team to win and seeing them prevail even when they're out of contention, but I dunno. Fuck that. If you're a Miami fan, you know damn well it wasn't worth slogging through six wretched losses just to see your team triumph over the fucking Broncos in Week 7. That's not an even payoff. It doesn't make up for all the shit you had to eat.
I'm not gonna lie: I didn't watch all of the Sunday night game last week, even though my team was playing in it. Once it was clear my team was getting its ass kicked, I went to bed. And you know what? I don't regret it. The only thing I missed was seeing McNabb get pulled because McNabb is awful, but I just recorded that shit and watched it the next day on a loop while shaking my penis at the TV screen. If cutting the game short makes me a shitty fan, so be it. I can live with that. I didn't want to keep watching.
And if you're a Dolphins fan and your team is getting killed, you shouldn't feel obligated to stick around either. Embrace your inner fairweather fan. Treasure it. A lot of people have bemoaned the fact that fantasy football has eroded fan loyalty. Well, you know what? WHO FUCKING CARES? Seriously, what does it really matter if you're a good fan or not? If it's more fun to switch over to a game featuring your fantasy players, no one is gonna fucking DIE. The purity of America won't be tarnished forever. It says nothing bad about you as a person if you don't feel like watching a 2-13 team play in Week 17, or if your 0-6 team is losing 40-0 at the half. It just means you aren't a braindead masochist. So go right ahead if it makes you happy.
Unless you're a Colts fan. If you're a Colts fan who's been spoiled for the past decade, YOU WILL SIT THERE AND WATCH YOUR SHITTY SEASON AND YOU WILL TAKE IT.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Falcons at Lions: I watched "The Walking Dead" the other night and I was riveted the entire time. My spincter didn't unclench until the final commercial break. Then reader @pav20 directed me to this fantastic Videogum post that rips a firm poop chute in every plot hole on that show, and I'm pretty sure I can never watch it again. All the kickass zombie action distracted me from the fact that I'm apparently watching "The Killing". If the zombies are attracted by noise, why are people even TALKING? I'd piss into my socks, I'd be so afraid of drawing attention to myself. And why is everyone wasting time praying in a church and yelling at Jesus? ZOMBIES ARE AFTER YOU. It's clearly been established that God has forsaken you. Leave.
Bears at Bucs (in London): My kid had a playdate over the other day, and I had just eaten like, an entire basket of pears because I was hungry and we were all out of Sun Chips. So I've got these pears in my system and I start carpetbombing the house with farts. One after the other. Each one worse smelling than the last. It smelled like the scrambled eggs at an Atlantic City breakfast buffet. And my wife was like, "STOP THAT!" And I was like, "Why? It's not MY playdate. I can fart as I please." Meanwhile, the two kids are trying to do Scooby Doo drawings while I'm slowly gassing them to death. I guess farting during playdates is wrong.
Chargers at Jets: Seven kickers this season, including the Jets' Nick Folk, haven't missed a single field goal all season long. A dozen kickers have hit 100% of their 50+-yard attempts. Seventeen kickers have hit 100% of their 40+-yard attempts. I have no useful insight to draw from these stats. I just wanted to make it look like I did lots of research. WE ARE IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF KICKERMANIA.
Texans at Titans: A few weeks after I bitched about FOX's in-game graphics, they now provide score alerts every time someone in another game scores and, most important, they tell you who scored and how. I can't stand sportswriters who spend all day patting themselves on the back. On the other hand, YOU ARE WELCOME, AMERICA. NO NEED TO SEND ME ENVELOPES STUFFED WITH CASH AS A SIGN OF GRATITUDE, THOUGH I WILL ACCEPT THEM JUST TO BE POLITE.
Redskins at Panthers: No more Sex Cannon! Oh, how I'll miss him. Speaking of sexy business, I was watching a hotel porno one time and before the porn started up there was a disclaimer that said SCENES DEPICTED HEREIN MAY NOT BE MEDICALLY SAFE. DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME. I was terrified. I thought I had fucked up and ordered some kind of trident-fetishist film. Or it was some daredevil porn that scenes of people fucking while jumping across a canyon on a motorcycle, which actually could have been pretty interesting. But no, this was just regular sex stuff. Apart from the threat of AIDS and all the psychological scarring, who knew boning on camera was so unsafe? I wonder if there are 50-year-old ex-pornstars who have PSTD from having their head smashed against the headboard one too many times. Have Nina Hartley's hips degenerated to the point of needing surgery? Should pornstars wear more protective equipment when going toe-to-toe with Peter North? So many questions.
Browns at Seahawks: I was out drinking with friends last week and, at some point in the meal, one of my friends copped to using Nutella as a personal lubricant when he was a horny-as-shit teenager.
ME: So wait, did you stick your dick right in the jar?
HIM: No, no.
ME: So you took out a big glop and smeared it on your dick?
ME: Did it work?
HIM: Holy shit, no.
So keep that in mind if you're 13 years old and in dire need of banging a pantry staple: Nutella lacks the proper viscosity to serve your masturbatory needs. Also, you're wasting delicious Nutella. It's almost criminal to do that. I don't approve.
Broncos at Dolphins: One other friend I got shitfaced with had just come back from living in Saudi Arabia for three years. And, because you can't buy alcohol in Saudi Arabia, he and his wife resorted to making wine in their home using grape juice. TERLET WINE! They had one big fermenting jug (TOILET) for red, and another for white. I asked him how it tasted and he said it was awful, but better than nothing. Also, his wife could only leave the compound if her face was covered, or else risk being stoned. Never live in Saudi Arabia.
Chiefs at Raiders: Here's a picture of Carson Palmer signing his Raiders contract. Holy shit, he looks OLD. Is he in remission from lymphoma or something? He looks like he's signing his scoring card at Q school for the Senior Tour. By the way, shouldn't the Raiders just go ahead and cut Kyle Boller? There's no reason to have Kyle Boller on your roster if the idea of having him play one game is so unappealing to you that you instantly trade away a slew of picks (draft picks always come in slews or bevies) for a dude who can't play anymore.
Steelers at Cardinals: There's a house in my neighborhood that has solar panels on the roof. I desperately want to build a giant papier mache thumb and place it over the house's roof, just to see if all the lights go off inside the house.
Rams at Cowboys: I watched the ALCS for three second the other night and FOX kept showing Laura Bush sitting in the front row behind the on-deck circle. That lady looks like she snorts Prozac eight times before she gets out of bed in the morning. I'm worried about her.
Packers at Vikings: An anonymous reader wrote in to let you know that asking your hotel concierge for a hooker is totally okay:
I am the Guest Services Manager at a very large, very upscale chain affiliated hotel in downtown St Louis. My job is to run the bellmen, doormen, concierge lounge on the 21st floor for the people who all make more money than us, and the concierge desk in the lobby. Not only do guests routinely ask us for escorts, but we keep a sheet of reputable ones and their going rates. Pimps or "managers" as they call themselves, also lobby to be on this list. Each of my four departments are required to know directions to the best restaurants, the best St Louis attractions, and at any time arrange for an escort for our guests. So there you have it.
The key is using the word "escort". That keeps it classy.
Colts at Saints: Reader Dan would like you to know that, as a softcore porn cameraman, he keeps thing professional:
I was recently a cameraman for the pilot of an HBO reality show mysteriously titled "The Real Strippers of Las Vegas". My job for a solid two weeks was to skeeze around the Spearmint Rhino filming closeups of lapdances and pole routines by some of the world's hottest women. I and the other cameramen found ourselves having ridiculous conversations like "Watch that light placement, it's shadowing the areola." The manager of the place has been there 11 years, and he has some HORRIFIC stories. Like, when dancers try to rip off customers, there's only one place they can put the money... he said one girl got almost TEN GRAND in twenties up there. Terrifying.
I've got stories for days, but my point is that after an extremely short adjustment period you get used to it. You're more worried about shot composition and getting the footage you need than bouncing boobies.
Good to know. I'm glad you HBO cameramen are able to maintain your professional integrity around naked women with wads of hundreds stuffed into their cooch. That also strikes me as medically unsafe. Do you know how filthy money is? You may as well put a dirty penis up there! Wait a second...
Ravens at Jaguars: Last week I openly wondered about the origin of the NFL pylon, and reader Patrick provided this link explaining where the pylon came from:
The original prototype - used in the 1962 Hall of Fame game between the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals - was designed by Bud Shopbell. That prototype (now in Canton) looks very much like the ones used today, except for some cracking near the base. Periodically on display, it now sits on a bottom shelf in the basement awaiting restoration after too many visitors bent it.
I love that the pylon is "awaiting restoration," as if the pylon repair specialist is booked solid through April. Seriously though, who can resist kicking the shit out of a pylon? I can't. If I'm near a pylon, I go JCVD on that fucker. That's its reason for being.
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
Reader Fred submits "Over The Top," by Motorhead. And I like that Lemmy dedicates the song to himself before the band starts playing. Not enough singers do that.
Embarrassing iTunes Library Track I Own That Will Not Fire You Up
"Firework," by Katy Perry. I would very interested to hear just the vocal tracks from this song, the way they posted David Lee Roth's exposed vocal tracks a while back. The music serves as vocal beer goggles.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
Could it be that the rise of the tight end has contributed both to A) The increase in girls' high school test scores and B) The Roddy White/Julio Jones gangsta feud?! I think your columnist is starting to believe it.
Four of the five most recent Super Bowl winners (the Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints) featured the tight end.
Kevin Boss caught one pass in the Giants Super Bowl win over New England. Precisely 1/8th of Drew Brees' completions in the Super Bowl win vs. the Colts were to tight ends. Can you not see how tight ends are the WHITE WITCHES of the NFL now?!
The fifth, the Green Bay Packers, featured the tight end until the starter was injured.
And won the Super Bowl anyway. This is a cracking good theory you've got going. You know the best thing about tight ends? THEY ARE NOT GLOREE BOYZ.
Your columnist attends a lot of high school football games, and if I hear "Spirit in the Sky" or "Edge of Glory" playing during warm-ups one more time, I'm gonna hurl.
Agreed. Those songs blow, and I welcome your fresh take on what kind of songs high school teams ought to deploy:
Here are some tunes for high school warm-up:
"Walking on Sunshine" — Katrina & The Waves (for a daylight game)
Seriously? That's your fucking suggestion? Are you attending a football game, or a sneak preview of the latest Garry Marshall film?
"I Gotta Feeling" — Black Eyed Peas
"Viva la Vida" — Coldplay
YOU ARE BANNED FROM TALKING ABOUT MUSIC. I'm shocked Gregggg didn't suggest any songs by Skrewdriver.
Suicide Picks Of The Week
Last week's picks of Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and the Jets went 3-0 (15-3 on the year). Time to pick three potential teams for your suicide pool and something that makes you WANT to commit suicide. This week's picks? New Orleans, Baltimore, Dallas, and announcers falling over themselves whenever a QB decides to block on a reverse or an end around. Calm down, people. It's that not that big of deal when a QB decides to strap it on and actually initiate contact with someone. You'd think there was a puppy doing cartwheels out on the field. OMG SO KUTE!
Postmortal Book Tour News
The Gelf Magazine event that was scheduled for Brooklyn has been moved over to the Village. I'm told the new place offers nachos, so that's nice.
Nov. 17 (7:30 p.m.): New York (Le Poisson Rouge, part of a Gelf magazine event)
Nov. 30 (7 p.m.): Milwaukee (Boswell Book Company)
Dec. 1 (7 p.m.): Chicago (Book Cellar)
Also, I don't know anyone in Milwaukee, so if you feel like showing me a good time around town, send me an email. And I really do mean "show me a good time." That wasn't meant as code for, "I want to buy a hooker." I'm legitimately just looking for food and merriment.
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 Packers giving 8.5 points on the road against the Vikings. Whoa hey, Susan Sarandon. Ixnay on the 'Pope Benedict is an Azinay'. We're trying to keep that shit UNDER WRAPS. People even fell for our whole, 'Well, he didn't LIKE being in the Hitler Youth' charade. People are so gullible. Anyway Susie, leave our secret FuhrerPope alone and go back to letting me ogle your giant old lady boobs."
2011 Nazi Shark Record: 4-2.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Mike sends in this poop story I call SHITGO:
On the way home from vacation one year, my girlfriend and I stopped and ate at Country Kitchen. At this point I was pushing 250 lbs. so I pretty much ate the biggest, greasiest thing on the menu. I think they called it The Lumberjack or something along those lines.
Two hours later, my stomach started cramping. We stopped at the only gas station on the highway, one of those small town dealies with just a unisex bathroom. I got in there and let loose. The sound was akin to a hailstorm on a farm pond. I suffered through three waves of fatty-induced IBS shits that lasted roughly twenty minutes. By the time I was done, I was a sweaty, gasping, stinky mess.
I got up and flushed and nothing went down. Like a dumbass, I flushed a second time. Nothing. I desperately grabbed the plunger and started going to work. It only resulted in most of the toilet paper getting snagged around the plunger. I flushed a third time and the toilet began overflowing. At this point, I knew the bathroom was about to look like a black and white photo of a stabbing scene. I threw the plunger down, ready to open the door and just walk out of the place as quickly as possible.
I opened the door to find three people standing in line.
Panic setting in, I put my head down and nearly ran out of the place. As I went by the cashier I weakly called out, "There's something wrong with your toilet."
I shoved the door open. My girlfriend was leaning on the back of the car. I started to sprint, yelling "GET IN THE CAR! DRIVE! DRIVE! DRIVE!" She kept trying to ask what was going on and I kept yelling at her to get in the car. She tore out of the graveled parking lot at a pretty high rate of speed.
We passed that gas station pretty regularly on our trips out of town. We never stopped there again.
Well done, sir. Very well done.
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 potential 2011 chopping block:
• Tony Sparano**********
• Jim Caldwell
• John Fox
• Jack Del Rio
• Steve Spagnuolo
• Ken Whisenhunt
• Andy Reid
• Jason Garrett
• Leslie Frazier
• Ron Rivera
• Hue Jackson
(********** - Could happen any moment!)
I added HUE!!! to this list because he may very well be insane, and whatever GM the Raiders end up hiring may have mixed feelings about employing a crazy person.
Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Ben Roethlisberger. God, he's so fucking annoying. Three picks one week, five touchdowns another. Can you please just distribute your touchdown and picks more evenly, you grey-penised midget rapist? What an asshole.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
YAKITORI! Yes, assorted grilled chicken organs on a stick. I went to a yakitori restaurant last week and I ordered every nasty looking thing on the menu, including heart (not bad), liver (awesome), and beef tongue (it tastes YOU while you taste it!). It was a veritable meat-on-a-stick bukkake. I kept eating and eating, disgusting my friend Jeremy, who looked on in horror.
HIM: Look at you. You're repulsive.
ME: (eating) Yup.
HIM: When you're away from your family, you lose ALL semblance of self-control.
ME: (eating) Yup.
HIM: It's kind of frightening, really. I should tape this and show it to your wife so she never lets you out again.
ME: (eating) Fuck you. Pass the kidneys.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Port Republic! Reader Bryan sends in this majestically awful brew:
These 24 oz cans were on the 10 for $10 shelf at Kroger. I think I find that more amusing than the "First Rate" or "Sail Close to the Wind" slogans. Not to mention the random "No. 2" on the upper right corner.
What does "sail close to the wind" even MEAN? Aren't you supposed to sail right in the middle of the wind, so that it can propel you forward? Look at that logo. It's like a Yankee hat that someone threw up on. I MUST HAVE IT. Just an unbelievably terrible-looking beer. This looks like a generic beer they'd mock up for a TV show because they aren't legally allowed to use brand names.
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.
"Baby, my favorite for the NFL's MVP this year is still Aaron Rodgers of the Packers! And I guess today we should all pay tribute to the late Muammar Gaddafi. It might surprise you to learn that Evans was once a guest at Gaddafi's palace in Tripoli. Treasonous? YOU BET! Luxurious? OH YES. We were there doing reshoots for The Two Jakes because filming in Libya was cheaper than filming in LA at the time. It was also technically sedition, but Nicholson and I didn't give a shit. So Gaddafi asks us and the crew to stay at his palace. And lemme tell you: That man knew how to LIVE! Stationed all around the palace were gorgeous women in clear stiletto heels, each one holding an AK. Nicholson went up to each and every one them and said, 'Darling, is that thing loaded? BECAUSE MINE IS.' What a line! No wonder he used it so often!
"Anyway, the night we wrap, Gaddafi invites us to a feast. Champagne? YOU BET! Piles of cous cous you eat off of belly dancers? SWING, BABY! Gaddafi says he's got a special treat for dessert. Now, Nicholson and I were high after chewing a barrel full of khat leaves, but we went along with it. So the Colonel brings out a 45-year-old man, begging for his life. And he shoots the man right in the head in front of us! And he says to me, 'Evans, killing is the sweetest dessert of all.' WILD! What a guy!"
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Dolphins Fans
Yellow Submarine. When I was kid, my mom threw me a birthday party at the local theater, and I remember she gave me a choice between this movie and some live-action movie. And I thought, "Well, I like cartoons. So we should see the cartoon." What an awful mistake. I remember watching this movie was the first time I ever considered the idea of suicide. As in, "If I killed myself right now, I wouldn't have to keep watching this." It's a remarkably depressing movie to watch if you're a child and you aren't on peyote buttons. In fact, I'll go so far as to say, over the past decade, no human being on this planet has watched this movie in its entirety while sober. There's no way. It's fucking intolerable. And I say that as someone who LIKES the Beatles. No one should ever be compelled to watch Yellow Submarine. It's like someone is feeding you clinical depression while you sit through it.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Egghead likes his booky-books!"
Enjoy the games, everyone.