The funniest thing I heard this season was right after Ndamukong Suh went all stompy stompy on Evan Dietrich-Smith, when Troy Aikman said, "There's no place for that in football." I know! I can't believe someone would act VIOLENTLY during a game of football! "You can't fight in here! This is the war room!"
Football is an inherently filthy sport, which is why we like watching it. Former DT Kris Jenkins admitted to The New York Times last week that, like Suh, he was no stranger to dirty tactics:
I've had my ankles twisted. I've been bit. I've done stuff. I've tried to break guys' elbows, pinching people, twisting ankles, trying to bend up their arms, pop an elbow out. Why? I had to fight back.
Of course, all that naughty stuff is usually hidden under the pile, away from your innocent eyes. If Jenkins had been caught on camera trying to break someone's elbow, I'm sure the Mike Lupicas of the world would have been ready with stern words and several hours of detention. Suh's little tantrum is a convenient way for fans and the media alike to differentiate between what they deem to be acceptable football violence and what they deem to be unethical football violence. But the truth is that football is a game of a thousand small assaults. Suh's just happened to be the most pure assault of the bunch, an act of sheer anger. We like that kind of anger when put in the context of an active play (how many times have you heard an o-lineman lauded for having a mean streak?). But the second it happens after the whistle blows, everyone acts like Suh just set fire to a retirement center.
I'm not excusing Suh here, by the way. He got the gate, and he got a two-game suspension, and that's all well-earned. I don't give a shit. I just think it's EASY to be outraged over his tactics while pretending the rest of the game is as genteel as the fucking Henley Regatta.
I played football for a while and I can tell you firsthand that the reason lots of guys "play dirty" is because it works. When a guy smashes your head into the ground and tries to stomp your ball-and-socket joint out of place, it really gives you something to think about the next time you square off. And it gives other players out there something to think about as well. You think the next guy to play against Suh isn't thinking about that attack? He knows damn well that Suh is a crazy motherfucker prone to going off at any moment. I'd be scared shitless, mostly because I'm a huge pussy.
Players who aren't dirty face a distinct disadvantage against scofflaws because dirty players violate your false sense of decorum surrounding the game. One time a dude hit me late on the field and didn't get flag and I was so OFFENDED by the idea of him doing that, that I could barely concentrate on anything else. "Did they not SEE what this ruffian tried to do to me? THAT IS NOT GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP!" Like a good trash talker, a good dirty player causes opponents to lose focus, to get distracted by their own sense of outrage and injustice. It's like going from the standard rules of engagement to guerilla warfare. SUH IS THE VIET CONG OF DEFENSIVE TACKLES.
And the thing is that most dirty players get away with it. Suh got suspended, but that kind of punishment is rare. There's a whole lot more shit out there that goes uncalled. You're not gonna see the finger-biter at the bottom of the pile get suspended any time soon. And so the average player is probably left to decide that, if the other guy is gonna do it, I may as well too.
So the next time Suh pulls this kind of shit, people in the media shouldn't be so surprised. They make it sound like trying to contain rage and violence into a tight little window is an easy thing to do. And they act scandalized when that rage finally seeps out onto the edges of competition. They shouldn't. It's a dirtyass game, and it always will be. Suh is just showing you how nasty it can get.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Lions at Saints: The Saints tried a fake
field goal on Monday Night, and they executed it perfectly. They caught the Giants off guard AND Chase Daniel completed the pass to Jimmy Graham. The only problem is that it was FOURTH AND ELEVEN, so Graham got dragged down before the first down. We talked here earlier about the idea that fake field goals may never be worth doing, and I had no clear answer because I don't like doing research. But I DO know that it's fucking stupid to design a fake field goal play featuring a pass that doesn't even reach the first-down marker. The element of surprise was USELESS on that play because the Saints had so far to go. The play has better odds of working at a shorter distance, but that also means that the defense is probably more attuned to the idea of a fake headed their way. I'm telling you: Fake field goals and punts will always ruin your shit.
Bengals at Steelers: When I take a shower, sometimes I like to get right up into next to the showerhead, open my mouth, and let the shower bukkake all over my face. I don't even realize I'm doing it sometimes. I feel like I have issues.
Packers at Giants: Dude, if it takes me longer than one full second to ascertain whether or not you're rocking a mustache, that's a SHITTY mustache. Eli Manning and Joe Flacco both now look like they spend their off hours trolling the bowling alley for 15-year-olds to eat out.
Falcons at Texans: I have one kid in elementary school, and when your kid is enrolled at school, the school gives you OCEANS of shit to read as a parent. They have school newsletters. They have PTA newsletters. They have government booklets outlining the curriculum. They have entire handbooks just for parents to read. I'm talking forty solid pages of reading here. This is bullshit. I'M not the one in school. I finished school ages ago and I sure as shit ain't going back. It's my kid's turn to suffer through all that horrible bullshit. My wife presented me with a mountain of forms and parenting exercises issued by the school and I had the same anxiety I had back when I had to memorize dates for a history test back in 8th grade. It's awful. Never send your kids to school.
Titans at Bills: They showed Chan Gailey at the press conference after the Jets game, and people were asking him about Stevie Johnson pulling a troll move on Plaxico Burress in the end zone. And Gailey started off by saying, "I don't think Stevie is a bad person." Then Eisen made the same clarification before talking the incident over with Deion and Mooch the Shithead. Do we really need that qualifier here? Are there people out there stupid enough to think that Johnson's move makes him a bad human being? Give me a fucking break. It was AWESOME. If you think a goddamn end zone celebration is enough to judge someone like that, you're an idiot. (See below: Easterbrook, Greggggggg)
Broncos at Vikings: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts were the announcers for the Broncos game last week, and the little CBS graphic for them gave them the collective nickname, "The Bird and The Beard." I want to open a pub in Ireland with that EXACT same name. It'll be filled with drunken poets and heroin addicts in no time flat.
Eagles at Seahawks: Once in a while, my wife will test our kids' knowledge by asking them a question. The only problem is that, when she does this, I'm not aware that the questions are intended for just the children, and so I ruin it by blurting out the answer.
WIFE: And what's the name of the state we live in?
ME: MARYLAND! I totally know that! That's easy as shit.
WIFE: (face of death)
Jets at Redskins: I've noted this before, but if you have a chance, you should always take time to listen to Sam Huff do Redskins radio broadcasts. It's a delightful thing to hear, like someone slipped Andy Rooney LSD and made him watch a football game. I tuned into the pregame last week and Sam was bitching about the fireworks they shot off before the game in Seattle. He was REALLY pissed. Even after his boothmates told him they did the same thing at FedEx Field, he was still inconsolable. The man is a treasure.
Raiders at Dolphins: One of the best books I've read recently was Hellhound on His Trail, which is an account of Martin Luther King's assassination and the ensuing manhunt for James Earl Ray, who made it all the way to fucking EUROPE before he was apprehended. I did not know that. I also didn't know that the FBI once wiretapped MLK while he was banging a chick:
(J. Edgar) Hoover was shocked to learn King used raunchy language when he talked about sex... The FBI had taped a garbled recording of King in a hotel in Washington supposedly having intercourse and using rather profane language during the act."
Just try reading that passage without immediately picturing one of the greatest men in world history plowing a girl and letting loose a majestic stream of profane oratory. HEAVENS HAVE MERCY THIS IS ONE SWEET PIECE OF PUSSYPIE. I'd pay top dollar for that sex tape. Great book.
Ravens at Browns
Panthers at Bucs
Jaguars at Chargers: In light of Blaine Gabbert getting benched last week, I'd like to do a study on the historic success of long-haired guys at QB. Gabbert's been lousy. Tyler Palko and his permullet have eaten ass. Curtis Painter is shit. These long-haired quarterbacks are USELESS. Even Tom Brady wasn't as successful when he let his hair go long. And Namath never let it get past his shoulders. From Gabbert to Mike Buck, you cannot be a winning QB if you look like Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd. IT'S TMQ'S IMMUTABLE LAW OF GLOREE BOY HAIR.
Colts at Patriots: You will never see an announcer more upset than when Wes Welker drops a pass. It's like they're watching their own child drop a pass. Welker dropped an easy pass against the Eagles and Dierdorf acted like he just saw a fucking eclipse. "Well now, you don't see THAT very often from Wes Welker!"
Chiefs at Bears
Rams at 49ers
Cowboys at Cardinals
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
Reader Mike submits "The Drift" by Big Business. I like the video because a deer explodes in it.
Embarrassing Song I Own That Will Not Fire You Up
"Fake Plastic Trees," by Radiohead. I suffer from a kind Reverse Guilty Pleasure syndrome, in which I feel great shame listening to acclaimed bands like Radiohead and Wilco. I don't want people to think I'm listening to Radiohead as a way of letting people to know I have good taste in music. It also pains me to know there's a chick wearing fingerless gloves in Brooklyn who finds this song just as touching as I do.
At my first advertising job, they ran a loop of the ads we did on a monitor in a hallway. One of them was the manipulative Brazilian ad you see above, in which "Fake Plastic Trees" is used. The makers of the ad want you to think the kid with Down's syndrome is the one who doesn't go to school and shit, but at the end there's a TWIST and it turns out the normal kid is the one who is disadvantaged. They purposely used Radiohead to make you feel like a dick. I don't approve.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
Did you think Stevie Johnson's GLOREE BOY end zone celebration would go unnoticed by one of the foremost minds at THE ATLANTIC? Think again!
Buffalo's Stevie Johnson caught a touchdown pass to put the Bills ahead 14-7 at Jersey/B. Johnson proceeded to make himself look like an idiot by mimicking the Jets' Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg, then was flagged when he dropped to the ground to suggest a jet crashing.
Johnson says he should be considered an elite receiver, and his agent has been asking for elite-receiver money.
How dare he ask for money! So crass. SO BOORISH. So typical of his privileged status as a seventh-round draft choice.
Yet Johnson hurt his team with his everyone-look-at-me nonsense ...
I can't stand this kind of criticism. The man scored a touchdown and did a kickass troll move. By all means, LOOK AT HIM. A football player draws attention to himself, and Gregg treats it like it's the ultimate sin. Give me a break. God forbid we celebrate the individual in football for a fucking split second.
... plus ignored the mature player's dictum: When you get to the end zone, act like you've been there before.
NO! Don't act like you've been there before! How many times will you get to score a touchdown in front of a million people in your life? TAKE YOUR DICK OUT AND SATISFY YOURSELF. You may never get another shot at it.
Just to prove it was no fluke, Buffalo now trailing 28-24 with 35 seconds remaining, Johnson dropped a perfectly thrown pass that likely would have been the winning touchdown. [...] Johnson's failed end zone play at Jersey/B would not have been an easy catch, but elite receivers make difficult catches.
Listen, I know Stevie Johnson is a shit for botching that catch, but that last sentence is just DRIPPING with paternal condescension. I suppose if you hadn't been so UPPITY, the Football Gods might have allowed you to make such catches!
I declared the 49ers set free from the Crabtree Curse because Mike Singletary, who drafted Crabtree, has departed: It was he, not the team, who was cursed.
Again, this is retarded.
Defending champion Green Bay has won 17 in a row and is playing nearly flawless football. What's the secret? Maybe other NFL teams need more tight ends and undrafted rookies.
Maybe other NFL teams need AARON RODGERS, WHO IS CURRENTLY THE BEST QUARTERBACK ALIVE AND THE REASON THE PACKERS ARE REALLY FUCKING GOOD.
The Packers' roster has five tight ends, most in the league, and three undrafted rookie free agents.
OMG! So many scrappers and gritters! How can you lose when your team has a whopping THREE rookie free agents on it? This is like giving Abe Vigoda 100 percent of the credit for the success of The Godfather.
Horrible as the Hiroshima bomb was, many citizens of Hiroshima survived.
It's estimated that 340,000-350,000 people lived in Hiroshima at the time, and that 90,000-166,000 died in the blast. Nearly half the entire city's population. Look for that stat and more in Gregggggg's next book: Hiroshima: NOT THAT BAD!
Atlanta leading 24-14 with six minutes remaining, Percy Harvin of the Vikes legged a kickoff 104 yards — but did not score. Chris Owens of the Falcons caught Harvin — a high No. 1 draft pick as a speed merchant—
A filthy speed merchant. A SHYLOCK OF QUICKNESS, IF YOU WILL. Oh, woe to the team that stocks its roster with talented first-rounders who run like a freight train, and eschew the undrafted rookie free agents so crucial to a team's success.
—from behind at the Atlanta 3. Harvin turned to look behind him as he approached the goal line, perhaps hoping for the glorious view of all defenders having quit.
Reader Kevin: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought players are taught to check behind them when running in open space so that no one knocks the ball out their hands. Every RB/WR/kick returner who has the ball in open space does this for that reason."
Yes, but Percy is a black first-rounder, so I assume he was doing it just to SAY WASSUP TO HIS HOMEBOYS.
Suicide Picks Of The Week
Last week's picks of Pittsburgh, Cincy, and Atlanta went 3-0 (29-7 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 England, Carolina, San Francisco, and Belichick turning Julian Edelman into a defensive back. I mean, honestly. Were the people of Boston not already ejaculating to their own unselfish grittiness enough? PUKE.
Postmortal Book Tour
Last stop tonight. Come by and we'll all get shitty afterwards.
Today (7 p.m.): Chicago (Book Cellar)
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 Seahawks getting 3.5 points at home against the Eagles. An editor in New York recently said that Jews could learn a lot from Mormons, and I agree. I think Jews, like Mormons, should also sequester themselves inside a state that no one likes."
2011 Nazi Shark Record: 7-5.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Matt sends in this poop story I call WKRPOOP IN CINCINNATI:
It was my freshman year of high school, and I had just missed the final cut for the frosh baseball team. I was devastated, but decided to move on and join the track team a month late into their season. My first day of practice I decided to workout with the distance runners.
Being a timid and gutless 15 year old, I failed to inform the distance coach that it was my first day of practice. I also must have been so nondescript that he failed to notice me as a newcomer, and thus he sent me on a road course with the experienced distance runners.
Trying to prove my worthiness, I busted my ass to stay with the head of the pack. What I didn't realize was that this was an 8-mile run. I did not have the conditioning for such a run and had expended way too much energy early on.
By about mile 5, I was already out of gas and had been passed by the rest of the group. To make matters worse, I had been feeling a searing pain in my gut for the past half hour. There was no way I was going to make it back to the school in time at the pace I was running.
For some background, I was in a very affluent suburb near my school called Indian Hill. People such as Neil Armstrong, Carl Lindner, and Peter Frampton call it their home. I knew I was about to desecrate a very wealthy person's lawn.
I ran off to the side of the road next to a driveway of a huge estate. I tried to take cover behind some trees, but probably was visible to any car that may have driven by. I barely pulled my pants down in time to an explosion of wet, smelly shit. My ass and the back of my legs were covered in poo. Being late February, there wasn't any foliage for me to use to wipe myself off with or use to cover up my mess. I felt bad for emptying my bowels on such a nice property.
Trying to run/walk those last couple miles with shit splattered on my legs felt like an eternity and was an absolute miserable experience. I returned to school pooped, literally and figuratively. I tried my best to clean myself up in the bathroom. I joined the rest of the team in the weight room, an hour late, and hoped no one would notice that I obviously reeked of shit.
A few months later, we were riding the bus to a track meet and passed by my scene of the crime. I pointed this out to a teammate, and he informed me, "Dude, that's Marge Schott's property!" Apparently, I had defiled the lawn of the chain-smoking, delusional, and racist owner of the Cincinnati Reds. I no longer felt guilty about the experience. If I had known at the time that this was her estate, I would've pooped right in middle of her driveway.
Why does Peter Frampton live in Ohio?
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:
• Jack Del Rio - FIRED!
• Norv Turner*
• Jim Caldwell*
• Tony Sparano
• Ken Whisenhunt
• Mike Shanahan
• Andy Reid
• Steve Spagnuolo
• Leslie Frazier
• Raheem Morris
• Tom Coughlin
• Todd Haley
(* - Could happen any moment!)
How the fuck does Norv still have a job? How was he not fired before he had a chance to call that insane Mike Tolbert sweep in overtime last week? THE WHOLE CITY OF SAN DIEGO SHOULD BE FIRED FOR NOT GOING TO THE POLICE AND PREVENTING THIS. He's undoubtedly the worst coach of the past two decades. He stands alone now. He's worse than Childress. He's worse than Fontes. He's worse than Kotite. He's worse than Andy Reid. He's the fucking SHITTIEST OF THE SHIT. His continued presence on an NFL sideline offends me as a human being.
DeSean Jackson Memorial Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Reader FDR hates Beanie Wells:
Beanie Fucking Wells. This piece of shit asshole, who has rushed for 100+ yards just twice in his miserable career, decided to go crazy for 228 yards and a TD the week I am playing him. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I lost my game by 18 points, and if he would have had his typical, terrible game, I would have won easily. FUCK BEANIE WELLS, WHAT KIND OF NAME IS BEANIE ANYWAYS, DICK? That is all.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
A hot dog from Portillo's in Chicago. I'm going here today. Look at all the crazy shit they put on that hot dog. I'm gonna take this hot dog out for a nice dinner and maybe some light dancing, then I'm gonna take it home and DO DISGUSTING THINGS TO IT.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
SAKARA GOLD! Reader Ark sends in this Egyptian piss:
I was in Egypt in Luxor doing the typical tourist stuff and this was the local brew. Given that 95% of the population in Egypt is Muslim and does not drink you would expect that they would fail at making decent beer. You would be right. This one is so crappy they don't even sell it in Cairo (at least that I could see). Luckily it was dirt cheap and did not cause a horrific hangover. The 500 ml can is the Safari size. Excellent.
Sakara Safari would make a great porn star name. I MUST HAVE HER. Surely, this beer has fueled more than its fair share of freedom riots.
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! I still don't get people doing this whole flirting over Facebook thing. Whatever happened to finding sexual partners the old fashioned way: through a good casting session! My God, some of tail I used to pull from those sessions. Sometimes, Nicholson and I would hold casting sessions for movies that didn't even exist! Creepy? YOU BET! Effective? LIKE NO OTHER.
"I remember one time, Nicholson wound up with the fabulous MEG TILLY on his casting couch. It was our usual hustle. We told the gals auditioning that we were making a sequel to Chinatown. So they come in and we get them to take their tops off and it's EVANS TIME as always. Well, Tilly comes in and Nicholson is smitten. Just absolutely enthralled by her. He has to have her, and so he goes into this whole spiel about what the movie's gonna be like, and he's saying Harvey Keitel is gonna be in it, and he's pulling scenes out of his ass right on the spot, JUST TO GET AT HER. Three days later, Nicholson bursts into my office and screams, 'Evans, we gotta make the picture!' And I have no clue what he's talking about. 'Chinatown 2: Never Forget It!,' he says. And he goes into this long spiel about how Tilly did things to his penis that NO other woman has ever done, and how he has to keep the lie going if he wants to keep dipping it in the well. 'You don't understand,' he tells me. 'She beats the SHIT OUT OF ME. She gives me the stern asswhipping I deserve. I've never met anyone like her.'
"And that, friends, is the story of how The Two Jakes ended up getting produced. Nicholson and Tilly broke up three days into shooting. No wonder it sucked."
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Colts Fans
Midnight in Paris, which I fucking hated. The main character in this movie is a fantastically successful screenwriter who has a crippling bout of self-loathing BECAUSE he's a fantastically successful screenwriter. Well, I think we can all relate to that sort of thing, no? WHOA HEY, STOP GIVING ME LOTS OF MONEY TO WRITE POPULAR FILMS! Movie critics love Woody Allen because movie critics are the only people with lives as charmed as Woody Allen's. And every goddamn Woody Allen movie ever has to have a Cunt Girlfriend in it. I don't think he names the characters at this point. I think the script just says, "And then CUNT GIRLFRIEND bitches out SUCCESSFUL SCREENWRITER for liking Paris too much. And then CUNT GIRLFRIEND'S CUNT MOTHER demands SUCCESSFUL SCREENWRITER buy a $19,000 chair." Can't the girlfriend in the Woody Allen movie NOT be a cunt for a change?
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Well, boy, you won. So I'm going to live up to my side of the agreement: Here's your turtle, alive and well."
Enjoy the games, everyone.