The NFL is about to secure new TV deals with all of its broadcasting partners, deals that could net the league over a billion dollars per year from EACH network. This means a couple things. First off, your cable bill is gonna get awfully rapey. Secondly, the final piece is in place for the league to begin shuffling around its low-rent franchises. With a long-term labor contract in place and unfathomable sums of TV money pouring until 2021, the Ginger Hammer now has the stable environment needed to start moving around any NFL team that has a shitty stadium situation. Here are the potential teams that could be involved:
The Jags don't make this list because new owner The Iron Sheik (THASS RAYCESS!) is locked into a lease that keeps the team in limpbizkit headquarters through 2030. WHOOP DEE! The Bucs and Panthers both play in relatively new stadiums, but because NFL owners are greedy cunts, they make this list because apparently having your own stadium with a fucking PIRATE SHIP THAT SHOOTS CANNONBALLS simply isn't good enough for the Malcolm Glazers of the world. The Vikings have already started eye-banging Los Angeles and some other mystery city they won't identify (WICHITA!). The Bills have made Toronto their mistress. The Niners are on the verge of moving to Santa Clara, provided the city ponies up $850 million, which I'm sure is totally a good deal for local taxpayers. The beginnings of the migration have already begun. Now, with this new TV deal, they're about to bust wide open. Every move you've long suspected was on the verge of happening WILL happen.
Once the season ends, shit is gonna hit the fan. I promise you at least one team will announce its intention to move this offseason, with many more following suit. In 10 years, you could have the following teams:
• LA Chargers (NFC West, switching conferences with the Seahawks)
• Toronto Bills (AFC East)
• LA Raiders (AFC West)
• San Antonio Vikings (NFC South)
• San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara (AFC West)
• Mexico City Rams (NFC West)
• London Bucs (NFC South)
• Oklahoma City Panthers (NFC North)
The odds of all of these teams relocating is unlikely. But it only takes three or four them moving to alter the NFL landscape dramatically. Of course, this means little for you, the NFL viewer at home. At this point, it doesn't really matter where NFL teams are located because we follow them in such impersonal ways: On TV, through fantasy football, etc. They could put all 32 NFL teams in one town (Again, Peter King says WICHITA!) and I'd still watch it all the time. The televised game is bulletproof to provincialism at this point.
But if you're the sort of naif who likes going to games in person (sucker), and you dread the idea of your hometown team packing up and moving to some Megatardmall in the middle of LA, the day of reckoning is at hand. Roger Goodell has a legacy he wants to cement (apart from fining players arbitrarily and being Peter King's top), and that means being the guy who brought the NFL back to LA and to points abroad. He now has everything he needs in place to make that happen.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Giants at Cowboys: I was in Milwaukee last week when I realized that I had forgotten to pack socks for my trip. I realized this only after I had just worked out, so I took the hair dryer in the hotel room and blow dried the sweat out of my socks. And the smell produced by blow-dried used socks is quite something. If you ever have house guests who stay too long and you want those fuckers to leave, blow dry a used sock. Like someone fisted your nostril and just kept it there.
Texans at Bengals: I have a new way of referring to your fantasy roster from here on out. Anytime someone brings up a player you own in fantasy, what's the first you thing you say? "Oh, I have him/own him in my fantasy league." I submit that you should answer that you are his head coach instead. "Oh, Andy Dalton? I'm his head coach. Great kid. I fought like hell in the war room for us to land him." May as well go all the way with the fantasy.
Bears at Broncos: I was in Chicago last week and I went out with a friend to a restaurant called the Purple Pig. For eight bucks, you can order this dish (language copied directly from the menu):
Pig's Ear with Crispy Kale, Pickled
Cherry Peppers & Fried Egg
People, eight bucks isn't a lot of money. I've never gotten out of a Chipotle paying less money. And for eight bucks, I damn near pulled a Meg Ryan in front of the whole restaurant. In fact, six hours after I ate this at dinner, I went BACK to the same restaurant (while shitfaced) and ordered it again. Nothing else. Not even a drink. I sat at the bar, asked for the pig's ear, threw down ten dollars, and went to Pleasuretown. ALONE. No one else was there to witness the moment. It was all mine. Just me and that ear.
We gentlemen talk about spank banks any chance we get, but I'm going to open up a new wing of my brain for future use: THE FOOD SPANK BANK. It will contain this fried pig's ear, along with the combo sandwich and cake shake I ate at Portillo's for lunch that same day. They blend a piece of cake RIGHT INTO THE FUCKING SHAKE. Reader Fred went out of his way to alert me to the following fact about the cake shake:
Secret ingredient in Portillo's Famous Chocolate Cake? That's right...mayo.
WAY TO FUCKING RUIN IT, FRED. Whatever. That shit was INSANE. A week later, and I am still positively AGLOW from my one-day affair with cake shakes and pig's ears. The food spank bank is perhaps the most crucial spank bank I invest in.
Bills at Chargers: One other note about Chicago (which is my favorite city in the universe): I was at that restaurant late at night and I was sitting by myself at the bar. Three people down from me, there was this drunken lady who was hitting on a dude in a suit. He was there with a friend and they were enjoying a leisurely dinner, and this girl wouldn't leave him alone. At one point, she took the serving spoon from one of the dishes they'd ordered and stirred their food around for them. Then she loosened his tie for him. He looked visibly uncomfortable to be hit on so openly. I was hypnotized. I just kept waiting for him to throw caution to the wind and bring her to the bathroom for three sloppy hot minutes, but NO! He stood his ground and withstood the assault. I simulataneously admire and despise any single man who so willingly turns down a free lay.
Raiders at Packers: FUCK YOU, NFL.com. Every time you click on a GameCenter at NFL.com, a 30-second ad pops up and you aren't allowed to skip it. And there's no "disable audio" button either. I HATE YOU, ROGER GOODELL. Even ESPN, which leads the world in intrusive, horrible promotion techniques, hasn't stooped this low. I hope someone keys your Town Car.
Saints at Titans: Am I the only person who rolls up his sleeve every time he wipes himself? I have an intense fear of getting the stinkwrist.
Falcons at Panthers
Niners at Cardinals
Vikings at Lions: Brian Billick was the analyst for last week's Broncos/Vikings game, and I'd like to give him a firm bear hug for not gushing over Tebow the entire game (a game in which Tebow played very well). He was complimentary of Tebow only on good plays, and he didn't bring every discussion point back to the Jesus Baron. And it's a mark of how shitty most announcing crews that are that this represented a SPECTACULAR IMPROVEMENT over how Tebow is usually covered. Holy shit, if Gruden and Jaws had done that game, it would have been guffaws and backslaps for four straight hours. It would have been unbearable. I know people hate Billick from his coaching days, and he can get a little chatty on the air, but I'd take him over Dierdorf any time.
Chiefs at Jets: I was making plans with a friend last week and when he emailed me back, this is what I got.
Planning to get out of here at 16:30-16:45ish to head towards you.
And I was like, "Did you just thrown down military time on me? Who the fuck does that?" Then I went to meet him later with another friend (who was a doctor), and BOTH of them said they always communicated in military time.
ME: You're full of shit.
THEM: No. We're serious.
ME: Who the fuck talks in military time? Is that a thing now? Are people really doing that?
THEM: (share a candy bar that they eat with a knife and fork)
I don't trust military time. It's the metric system of time. I don't want to have to subtract four every time I see an afternoon or evening time just to get my bearings. (UPDATE: I mean subtract TWELVE. You see how hard it is?!) You military time fetishists will NOT get America to turn in your favor.
Eagles at Dolphins
Patriots at Redskins
Browns at Steelers: We need to talk about Big Ben's hat from his postgame interview last week. THIS HAT. That is awful. It's clear to me that he has not yet fully purged the douche from his system. There's still plenty of douchey residue left in his system. Only a braindead pussyape would think he looks good rocking a gray pinstriped fedora with matching sport coat and blue t-shirt. I feel another bathroom attack coming on, I tell you.
For Gruden, there is nothing funny about a mistake, and if he downplays errors it's because he wants to fix them. His enthusiasm isn't meant to fool the fans-it's meant to motivate and inspire them, as if they were players.
BULL. SHIT. Florio already noted that Kelefa Sennah failed to point out the obvious fact that Gruden overpraises players because he may end up coaching them. The idea that he does it out of some benevolent mission to inspire fans is laughable. Also, WHY DO I, THE VIEWER, WANT TO BE TREATED AS A PLAYER? I'm not a player. How the fuck does it inspire me if you're an announcer telling me that Jake Delhomme doesn't suck when he clearly does? What kind of slobbering retard gets motivation from that? You know what you get when you treat fans like players? You get Lou Holtz pep talks on the air. I don't want that. I'm a fan. I want my announcer to be just as annoyed by shitty plays as I am. I don't want to be SOLD something. And then there's this part:
When it was Jaworski's turn, he issued a stern proclamation. "Call me crazy, but I'm really excited for Tyler Palko tonight," he said, and a roomful of skeptical sports producers erupted in laughter. Jaworski had given himself the thankless task of building up the Chiefs, praising them as much as he could without putting his own credibility at risk. Perhaps viewers would buy into the idea, however far-fetched, that Palko would emerge as the night's underdog hero. Later that day, as Jaworski was making a cup of coffee in the ESPN bus, he tried the line again. "Call me crazy, but I'm excited about Tyler Palko," he said. He exhaled. "I've got to sell this," he said to himself.
Why? WHY?! Why are you selling me this? Tyler Palko BLOWS! Why the fuck are you openly trying to lie to me? Why are you pushing a concocted storyline that won't unfold? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Jaws isn't putting his credibility at risk with this dogshit. It's GONE. He has none. He's a fucking overgrown Jeff Dunham puppet spewing out bullshit. It's a fucking disgrace. All you have to do when you call a game is A) Explain shit that the viewer might not pick up on, B) Express an honest opinion about what you see, and C) Try not to talk too much. That's it. That's ALL you have to do, and yet ESPN fucks this up time and again by selling a product that I've already bought.
I don't ever want to hear anyone defend Jaws and Gruden again. Ever. They're fucking frauds.
Colts at Ravens
Bucs at Jaguars
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
Reader Kevin submits "Panic" by Mantic Ritual. Look at that album cover! It's got everything I like: an abandoned old church, a hooded figure, someone about to be stabbed, and a band logo wrought in an overly pointy font. I wish this was painted on the front door to my house.
When I was a kid, I used to go to Down in the Valley records on the mean streets of Wayzata, MN, and I'd just stare at the metal album covers for hours on end. I didn't bother to buy most of the albums. I just really enjoyed the fucked up cover art. One day, I'm gonna open a museum that features nothing but artwork by Pushead.
Embarrassing Song I Own That Will Not Fire You Up
"Sugar," by Lenny Kravitz. One day, I'll have a good explanation for my Lenny Krazitz Phase. Today is not that day.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
Say Gregggggggg, those Green Bay Packers sure are good! What do you think is the secret to their success?
What are the Packers' secrets? First, the personnel:
Oh, you mean Aaron Rodgers, right?
/throws fire extinguisher at window
...The only NFL roster with five tight ends...
/finds kitten to strangle
Please note that TE Andrew Quarless was placed on IR this week, giving the Packers a mere FOUR tight ends to work with. OH NOES! You can forget about 16-0 now that the Quarless is out! HE WAS THE KEY PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.
...as TMQ has noted before: Green Bay has five tight ends, and has won 18 straight games. Why don't other NFL teams notice this rudimentary fact?
BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING. Do you know what's a much more rudimentary fact? The fact that AARON RODGERS IS PLAYING QUARTERBACK BETTER THAN ANYONE HAS EVER PLAYED IT. That's why he won a Super Bowl last season, with his #1 tight end OUT FOR THE FUCKING SEASON.
Yes, finally. After all those tight ends and free agents, MAYBE Aaron Rodgers has something to do with it. So tell me more about what makes Rodgers so special, Gregg.
Rodgers is handsome.
Just as the football gods are propitiated by cheerleaders with sex appeal, the gods also smile on handsome quarterbacks. Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Drew Brees — it may not be fair, but this seems to be the way it is.
I know! Like that Johnny Unitas! SUCH A SEX GOD. Or Peyton Manning, who makes women cream their jeans any time he tries to sell them a flat panel TV set! Again, I must note that Easterbrook strives every week to analyze football in a scienticiany manner, and then he goes and credits Aaron Rodgers' success with being fucking HANDSOME.
Canadian influence: Green Bay quarterbacks coach Tom Clements played quarterback for Ottawa, Hamilton, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg of the Canadian Football League. In the CFL, it's move the chains or lose.
Unlike in American football, where it's move-the-chains-but-still-win-anyway! Ask the Rams! They've totally thrived by not moving the chains.
There are two other big factors:
1. NO JEWS.
2. NO SASSY GLORY BOY WIDEOUTS
• Mystique: The Packers have won four Super Bowls, 13 conference and/or league titles. Green Bay has the oldest consistent winner in football. The place is Titletown. Vince Lombardi is looking down.
No, he's not. He's fucking DEAD. Mystique did nothing for this team in the 1980's. The Packers are winning now becuase they are a well-run organization that, I again remind you, EMPLOY THE GREATEST QUARTERBACK IN THE UNIVERSE.
Bicycles: Packers players ride bicycles to the opening of camp, an annual summer ritual attended by thousands of children. Cheesy? Well, it is Wisconsin. Corny? Gets the season off on a fun note. And Packers faithful sure are having fun.
Other things that Gregggg thinks have contributed to the Packers' recent success:
• Your Maker
• Their distaste for bodyguards
• Their ability to point out plot holes on "Terra Nova"
• Not partying after midnight
• No Julio Jones around to start gangland feuds
• THE CONSTELLATIONS
Godfrey Daniel, what happened at the end of regulation in Arizona?
I guess what happened is that you found a new archaic exclamation to break out. HEAVENS TO SOLOMON.
As for the Bengals, they are fading, losing three of four after a fast start. But Andy Dalton to A.J. Green gives the team a bright future.
Oh, you mean first round GLORY BOY AJ Green, from the UGA football factory? I think not. I think the Bengals are better off cutting him and building their team with five undrafted tight ends. What a jackass.
Suicide Picks Of The Week
Last week's picks of New England, Carolina, and San Francisco went 3-0 (32-7 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? Baltimore, Seattle, Denver, and the sudden onset of chapped lips. Ever been taken by surprise by chapped lips? It's awful. It always happens somewhere well out of range of the nearest Chap Stick authorized dealer, too. You're running in a marathon or something when suddenly you realize, "Oh, fuck! My lips are chapped!" Then it's lip-licking for the next seven hours until you find sweet relief.
Postmortal Book Tour - DATES ADDED
They added a couple more dates for the book tour. One's gonna be in DC, the other in Chapel Hill. If you want me to come to your town to read and answer questions about AJ's penis size, the easiest way to do it is to call your local independent bookstore and DEMAND they hold a reading.
1/19 - Washington, DC (Dodge City Bar, time TBA)
1/31- Chapel Hill (Flyleaf Books, time TBA)
Also, I'm gonna do a second LIVE FUNBAG next week to whore out the book for the holiday season. From 1 to 4PM next Tuesday, I'll answer every question I possibly can.
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 Patriots giving 8 points on the road against the Redskins. I like that Brian Kelly fella. The way he gets all red in the face and starts shaking when he's REALLY pissed at a player. There's a little bit of the Fuhrer in him. I know real potential when I see it."
2011 Nazi Shark Record: 8-5.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Joel sends in this poop story I call ZORBA THE POOPER:
This is several years back, and I'm a senior at a small college in America's Dairyland. I'm also a member of an eccentric history professor's salon.
So every week, we'd get together, listen to classical music, and talk about history. Perfectly normal behavior for 70-year-old men wearing monocles and smoking jackets, yes. Completely lame for college students. I know.
Anyway, this prof would occasionally take us to a Greek restaurant in town for dinner and endless drinks. So we're there one Friday night, and I got completely hammered on wine and sherry. (Two drinks I wasn't exactly familiar with, so I had no idea how to pace myself.)
We also eat all sorts of Greek food: squid in a heavy red sauce, lamb, gyros, saganaki (flaming cheese in brandy) - all swimming in thick, yellowy olive oil. Afterwards, we head back to the prof's house for more sherry. I stumble home around midnight.
As I get to my room, I feel the gut-churning burbling that tells me, "Maybe that squid wasn't totally fresh by the time it got to our land-locked state."
I sprint to the co-ed bathroom and hurl myself into a stall just in time to start vomiting a heavy stream of horror: squid heads, Greek cheese, purple wine and brandy, and more. Gallons. But the pressure of the hurling – which just about pushes my eyes out of their sockets – is suddenly hitting the other end, too. I realize that I'm about to start shitting.
So I stand up and tug my pants down – keep in mind that I'm still puking the whole time. I drunkenly spin and try to sit on the bowl, but my inebriated state and the pants around my ankles make this move nigh impossible. So then a river of purplish-blackish shit starts shooting out of my ass like some unholy volcano. Simultaneously, vomit is still gushing out of my mouth, so I am spraying the walls and floors as I spin around like a drunken marionette.
After a few seconds of spewing filth from both ends like a satanic fire hydrant, the mayhem stops. This stall is the foulest scene I've ever witnessed: The walls are absolutely coated in shit and vomit. It looks like a horse exploded in there.
I waddle into a shower - still in my clothes - and scrape the mess off of myself. (God knows what I did with those clothes.) Then I creep into my room and fall asleep.
The next morning, I am awoken by an angry crowd outside the bathroom: "Who did this? What the fuck happened in there?" I pull the covers over my head, and pass out until 4.
The next day, our dorm's janitor – a barrel-chested Russian man with Leonid Brezhnev-caliber eyebrows – discovers the carnage and says, "No! I do not clean!" For three days, he refuses to clean the bathroom, so the havoc hardens on the walls. Finally, on Wednesday, someone goes in and cleans it all.
And no one ever found out it was me.
A "professor's salon" sounds an awful lot like an haven for molesting.
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
• Mike Shanahan
• Andy Reid
• Leslie Frazier
• Raheem Morris
• Pat Shurmur
• Tom Coughlin
• Steve Spagnuolo
• Jason Garrett
• Todd Haley
(* - Could happen any moment!)
Had to add Garrett to the list for icing his own kicker. Reader Joe also demanded that Pat Shurmur be added to this list: " He is the biggest fucking joke in the NFL. Opposing teams have stated they know exactly which plays are coming."
Also, reader Mike has this grievance with Andy Reid:
Is there anything more annoying than when a team scores a big touchdown late in the game to take the lead and with the whole sideline jumping up and down the head coach just ‘stoically' holds his index finger in the air screaming "One, One!!"?
So you just scored to go up 20-17 with 32 seconds left in the game and your gonna kick the PAT to go up by 4 rather than try a 2pt conversion for that all important 5-point lead?? How brilliant of you!! What a mastermind LEADER!!! I want to kick Andy Reid in the dick every time he does this.
I want to kick Andy Reid in the dick at all times.
DeSean Jackson Memorial Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Reader Andrew hates LeGarrette Blount:
LeGarrette "The Gash" Blount. What's that? LGB scored 16 and 13 points in weeks 11 and 12, respectively? Obviously, I had him on the bench, seeing as he'd scored 10 points in the previous 4 weeks combined. The good news is now he's rolling and I can start him against the 32nd ranked Carolina run D during a must-win, playoff-clinching, Week 13 matchup. And what does The Gash repay me with? 1 fucking point. Kindly get fucked by one of the cannons attached to that stupid fucking pirate ship.
Now, now. Don't get too mad at Blount, or else he'll tell his friends to kick your ass.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Supermarket rotisserie chicken! Is there any more important food product inside your local grocery store than the ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken? IT'S DELICIOUS. The second my wife brings it home, I pop the lid off that bitch and go to town. I start with both wings, then I take on both drumsticks. Within five minutes, the poor bird looks like a grenade hit it. I could eat an entire supermarket chicken in three minutes flat. I don't know why my wife doesn't just buy two every time.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
DAKOTA KICK! New Warming Glow editor Danger Geurrero sends in this amazingly terrible beer:
This beer is called Dakota Kick. Not Dakota Ice or Dakota Light or Dakota Dry or Dakota Special or Dakota's Best or Dakota Premium. Dakota KICK. I think that deserves acknowledgement. It tastes like death in a shoe.
Wow, that is one awful looking beer. Look at that can. Looks like it was made by the last art director working at Espirit. They couldn't even afford real mountains for the background. They could only spring for squiggles. I bet it tastes like tossing an Afghan prisoner's salad. The name reminds me of Saigon Kick. "Love is on the wayyyyyy." I MUST HAVE IT.
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! Shame on American Airlines for booting my dear friend Alec Baldwin off a plane! Draconian? YOU BET! A huge overreaction? LIKE POLANSKI WHEN YOU TELL HIM THERE WON'T BE ANY 13-YEAR-OLDS AT THE PARTY. I've never been kicked off a plane before and I've done far worse than play some silly phone game! We're talking Iberian horses in the cockpit, gang!"
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Colts Fans
I'll Do Anything, which is widely considered the worst movie James L. Brooks ever made. And it's shitty, to be certain (FUN NOTE: It was originally filmed as musical, only to have all the music cut out). But there's one scene in it that's absolutely devastating. Nick Nolte is on a plane with his kid and the kid starts screaming and throwing a huge fit, running around all over the place and Nolte can't calm the kid down at all. And so Nolte looks up and declares I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. Yep, that's parenting. By the way, in light of that thing I wrote yesterday, I beseech any frustrated parent to check out this book by Adele Faber, a book that really helped me. It's corny as shit, and the book even includes homework (GAHHHHHHH!), but it works. Any time I use the techniques in this book and they pay off, I feel like I won Zelda. It's fantastic. Trust me, when you get to the end of your rope, you'll try anything to make it better.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
Milhouse: Bart, my mom won't let me be your friend any more. That's why you couldn't come to the party.
Bart: What's she got against me?
Milhouse: She says you're a bad influence.
Bart: Bad influence, my ass! How many times have I told you? Never listen to your mother!
Enjoy the games, everyone.