Tim Tebow is not an underdog. It's important to remind people of that every now and again because the established media narrative for Tebow these days is that no one ever believed in him, that he arrived on the Broncos' doorstep as an aborted three-month-old fetus and, through the power of SuperJesus, built himself up from scratch into the some kind of magical fourth-quarter leper messiah. In truth, Tebow is only an underdog if you consider two factors:
1.) His throwing mechanics.
2.) The fact that his new team president and head coach didn't really want him.
That's what Tebow had going against him this season. If you want to turn him into football's David Eckstein because of those two things, be my guest. You'd merely be overlooking the fact that Eli Sunday here is a world-class athlete, a two-time national champion, a Heisman Trophy winner, a first-round draft pick, and a fucking millionaire. You'd also be overlooking the incredible amount of fan support that Tebow has gotten from Denver fans, Christians and non-Christians alike, during his entire professional career. Any other athlete in that position would be EXPECTED to succeed. Perhaps not in such dramatic fashion, but they'd certainly be expected to play well and win games. But somehow, because this is Tebow, the narrative is HOLY SHIT! CAN YOU BELIEVE LITTLE TIMMY TEBOW HAS BEEN ABLE TO PULL THIS OFF?! IT MUST BE THE WORK OF OUR BENEVOLENT CLOUD GOD!
That kind of thinking does a disservice to both fans and to Tebow himself, who is playing well late in games ON HIS OWN, and not because Invisible Jesus is standing behind him at all times, like a pervert golf instructor helping your wife with her swing. Trust me: there are plenty of tardbillies out there who think the latter scenario is the case, as evidenced by reader Matt:
This was taken from a girl's Facebook status, if not obvious.
"Inspiring, mentally tough, full of hope and humble beyond belief! God really is using Tim Tebow. AMAZING!"
I have no problem with Tebow except for this type of annoying analysis that people feel the need to share.
That's basically the whole Tebow thing in a nutshell. No card-carrying Tebow-hater like me has that much of a problem with Tim Tebow as a person. On his own, Tebow is a fairly harmless little goody-goody. And this Broncos run has been fun to watch. I even like it when Eisen and Deion do the TEBOW chant on the postgame show. It's all the bullshit SURROUNDING Tebow that many of us can't stand. It's people like Peter King essentially saying that there's no rational explanation for Tebow's success when there are PLENTY of rational explanations for it, namely the fact that he's a first-round pick blessed with incredible athletic ability. It's political pollsters asking Iowans about Tebow in a phone survey. It's all the unnecessary dreck that comes with and ruins what Tebow is doing, like this Rick Reilly column, which is worse than pancreatic cancer.
And yes, it's also a matter of faith. I grew up in the first Golden Age of Religious Hypocrisy (we're currently living in the second), with Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart disgracing themselves because they loved pussy and skimming from the collection plate more than they loved the Lord. I am conditioned by my upbringing to regard all outward displays of faith with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I don't think that's a bad thing. History has proven time and again that the people who actively flaunt their faith usually end up being full of shit.
Tim Tebow may be the World's Most Perfect Christian. He may bless every sneeze and have successfully abstained from jerking off his whole adult life (not likely). But I've seen plenty of supposedly perfect Christians in my time that end up being the FREAKIEST FUCKERS ON EARTH, so you'll excuse me if I choose to believe that Tebow secretly watches hentai alien octopus porn when no one is looking. Here's some idiot yammering on about Tebow being a great role model for his kid. Dude, you don't KNOW Tim Tebow. "Nobody knows anybody, not that well." All you know is the Tebow brand, and that isn't enough. Seriously, how many times are people going to be suckered into the myth of the Perfect Sports Role Model?
Not only is it OK to root against Tim Tebow, it's practically your duty as cynical American. Hating on Tebow means rebelling against the same media bullshit generator that made superhumans out of the likes of Tiger Woods and Brett Favre. It's saying a gigantic FUCK YOU to anyone who thinks you're a cold-hearted, football-hating miser for not BELIEVING in Tebow. For not "enjoying the ride." For not letting go and giving in to his wily Christian charms and ability to produce rainbows in the shape of a crucifix during the fourth quarter. Hating on Tebow means subscribing to the idea that the fucker is human, which is a much more accurate and boring story than the current myth being erected.
So yeah, I hope that the Broncos lose their final three games by 30 points each and Marmalard ends up winning the division. Because even though Philip Rivers is a devout Christian, no one's gonna declare his backing into the AFC West title a miracle.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: I'm on Christmas vacation next week, which means you get a substitute teacher: Mr. Will Leitch. So email the tips line if you want to be part of Leitch's Pujolsaroo next week.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Patriots at Broncos: I don't trust John Elway now that he's adopted Nick Saban's hairstyle. Also, he dips! The man is fifty-one years old and he's still fucking dipping. There needs be some kind of law that forbids grown men from dipping past the age of 27. You're not a lacrosse player in prep school. YOU RUN AN ENTIRE NFL TEAM. Be a man, god dammit.
By the way, Tom Brady should be exempt from being yelled at by dipshit redass assistant coaches. And if Bill O'Brien doesn't like it, he can go work for Brian Kelly.
Jets at Eagles: I went to the skin doctor the other day for a routine checkup and because I RESPECT THE SUN, and when I went into the shitter they had a poster on the wall depicting the different kinds of melanoma you can get. One of them was called "thick melanoma", and the photos of it were just as disgusting as you would imagine them being. It's like regular skin, only THICK. And BLACK. And GNARLED. I was scared to piss just looking at the things. I really wish doctors would stop displaying huge photos of various horrifying ailments for me to look at and lose sleep over. It's not doing me any good.
Ravens at Chargers: Terrell Suggs is 90% gums. Seriously, look at that mouth. It's repulsive. Ever meet someone with that kind of gummy smile at a cocktail party and spend the whole conversation trying not to stare at their hideous mouth? You want to be civil about it but they've got MILES of wet pink gums just staring you in the face, with tiny little chiclet teeth stashed beneath? It's the worst thing ever. I feel like dating sites should have giant warning labels for any and all overly gummy prospects.
I was wondering if there was a proper UrbanDictionary term for someone who displays too much gum, but I had very little luck. So Spencer Hall and I came up with a few:
• The Pink Wall
• Talking Labia
• Hubba Bubba ("Nice looking gal, but she got the Hubba Bubba.")
• Gummy Bearer
• Veneer Offense
So yeah, never look at Terrell Suggs' mouth. You'll deeply regret it. Can this man not afford proper cosmetic dental work?
Panthers at Texans: WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE FUCKING DECEMBER SATURDAY AFTERNOON GAMES? I know I bitch about this every year, but every year that it goes unaddressed makes me more pissed off. This is the sixth year of no December NFL Saturday afternoon football. All we get is one shitty primetime Saturday game this week (Bucs/Cowboys). WHY? Why am I left with no football on Saturday afternoons during the most important stretch of the regular season? It makes no goddamn sense.
My appetite for football is at a fever pitch right now. I can't possibly cram enough NFL football down my sloth-hole to be satisfied. I want MORE MORE MORE. Furthermore, this is the holidays, so the NFL is FUCKING ME OVER by taking football off the TV just as I have to deal with annoying relatives and ungrateful children home for winter break. Do you know how awful school vacations are, Roger Goodell? THEY ARE WORSE THAN JERRY SANDUSKY. All schools should be in full operation for 16 hours a day, 365 days a year. NO DAYS OFF. An extended school vacation is simply license for a child to go batshit insane, and there's NO football on this Saturday during the day to alleviate that pain. Goddamn you, Goodell. Goddamn you and the ginger hair that's leaking red poison into your tiny little brain. Put two shitty games on during the day this month or else EAT A FUCKING NAIL GUN.
Steelers at Niners: I resent the Niners for reverting back to abject shittiness just as the playoffs are approaching. I KNEW THEY WERE FRAUDS, DAMMIT.
Lions at Raiders:
Redskins at Giants: I would like to know how the Giants continually manage to unearth monster pass rushers. The number of elite pass rushers they've managed to draft is fucking insane: LT, Strahan, Osi, Tuck, JPP, etc. There are franchises that go decades without unearthing that kind of pass rushing talent, and yet the Giants seem to produce a new measty pass rusher every other year. They should draft NOTHING but defensive ends from now on, and then concoct a defense that consists of eleven long-armed quarterback mutilators.
Jaguars at Falcons: Jesus, who's the asshole who gave the Jaguars two primetime games in December? FIRE THIS MAN.
By the way, it will pain Gregggggggg Easterbrook to learn that first-round GLORY BOY AND ASPIRING CRIP Julio Jones caught two touchdown passes last week and helped the Falcons win a game. I bet he would have caught four touchdown passes if he had been an undrafted tight end!
Cowboys at Bucs: Loogit the Double J wearing glasses in the luxury box now! He's not fooling anyone with those things. I know damn well he still thinks reading is for pussies.
By the way, Al Michaels wants to dry hump Cowboys Stadium. Every time there's a Sunday Night game there, he won't shut the fuck up about how nice it is. You can tell that the stadium represents, for him, a kind of Republican wet dream of billionaires building things that only billionaires can build. He's so in awe of Jerry Jones' industriousness that he probably writes sonnets about it on his notepad at the Four Seasons. You don't have to remind me that the Jumbotron is in HD, Al. I know that already. Prick.
Seahawks at Bears: Is it me, or are refs incapable of throwing an intentional grounding flag on time? It always takes a coach complaining and then nine minutes of intense group discussion before that flag finally pops out. Move it along, Hochuli. I've got Christmas cookies to eat.
Saints at Vikings: The NFL just introduced a new magazine to the world (Tunison already gave it a proper tribute at KSK), which is weird because the NFL tried to do the exact same thing ten years ago and failed. Remember NFL Insider magazine? Of course you don't, because it sucked. But I remember it well because I went to the launch party for it back in 1999, the night before the '99 draft. I got shitfaced and told Daunte Culpepper that I hoped the Vikings would draft him the next day, and they did! And he sucked! Never get shitfaced and make a bro pass at an NFL player. It's awkward and horrible.
Packers at Chiefs
Dolphins at Bills
Titans at Colts
Bengals at Rams
Browns at Cardinals
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
Reader Bill submits "Death's Door" by Uncle Acid and the deadbeats.
It's like if Sabbath had a baby with Kyuss.
I approve. Look at that album cover! It's got a woman with a knife, and then ANOTHER woman on the knife itself! Also, I approve of any album cover that has black trees on it. Black trees are scary as shit.
BONUS CANNIBAL CORPSE SONG OF THE WEEK!
"Frantic Disembowelment" by Cannibal Corpse! It's Christmastime once again, which means we pay our annual tribute to Buffalo, NY's finest purveyors of obscene death metal. Gather the kids round the yule log for a spirited reading of these warm and heartening lyrics:
By violent thrusts...
The pancreas flew
The spleen I did chew
The carving is over
You lost and I won
Fulfilling my dream
I killed you for fun
Oh yeah, that's the stuff. PURE HOLIDAY MAGIC. One day, Cannibal Corpse is going to produce a proper Christmas album, and I will be there. Don't forget to check out the cover art! That's a woman birthing a demon child out of her mouth, stomach, and uterus simultaneously, while cackling demons look on in approval. This record is surely popular in the Tebow household.
Embarrassing Song I Once Liked That Will Not Fire You Up
"Pressure," by Billy Joel. Listen to this song and tell me that Billy doesn't sound like he's on the shitter every time he yells out "PRESSHAHHHHHUUHHH!". Watch Billy as he twitches in his office chair. It's a marvel of bad video acting. They don't make videos this painfully earnest anymore, and we are a poorer nation for it.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
Godfrey Daniel, why hasn't every NFL team signed thirty tight ends to its roster, Gregggg?
Four NFL teams — Green Bay, Houston, New England and New Orleans — routinely use multiple tight end sets. Their combined record is 43-9. Why does the rest of the league not notice?
Because three of those teams also happen to employ the best three quarterbacks in football. A multiple tight-end set is SUPER EFFECTIVE when you have Drew Brees throwing the ball, cockface. And why don't more teams ride bikes? And hire Canadian assistant coaches? And sign nothing but undrafted players? If only the Falcons had not invested in Julio Jones, then they would not be currently suffering from the dreaded JULIO JONES CURSE, which affects them only when Julio Jones doesn't play that well.
P.S.: It's working for Stanford, too.
Stanford has the most highly touted QB prospect this decade. Not that it matters or anything.
In other sports news, right now big-time collegiate athletics couldn't look worse... Yet despite all the problems, big-deal sports is great for college! Sports mania is among the reasons nearly all the top colleges and universities are in the United States.
I know! Just look at the top ten colleges as listed by US News:
I think we all know those colleges are lauded the world over because they all routinely play in BCS bowls.
Why has sports mania helped American higher education? By raising enthusiasm about college. Big-deal football and basketball cause colleges to be seen by young people as exciting institutions to attend. Sports provide pizzazz to the life of a campus.
Has this man EVER had a beer? Ever? This man needs beer. And not some GLORY BOY beer like Michelob. I'm talking a blue collar, hard-working beer. Preferably a German beer, since I know that Gregg hates impurities.
Kevin Sumlin joins Randy Edsall, Rich Rodriquez, Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino and other recent weasel coaches who walked out on their promises. Weasel coaches are promise-breakers who care more about money in their pockets than their commitments or word of honor.
I hate to be in the position of defending Bobby Petrino, who is a dipshit. But what the hell is wrong with a coach taking a different job for more money? Isn't that pretty much the most American thing to do? The college football postseason schedule is FUCKED. Because there's an entire month between the regular season and the bowls, college coaches are left in the awkward position of negotiating favorable terms with other schools before the season has technically ended. But honestly, who gives a shit? "WON'T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?" Give me a break. If you were angling for a new job, you wouldn't tell your current employer, either. Randy Edsall is a fuckhead, but not because he left UConn for Maryland. And if a bunch of 20-year-old men are so frail that they can be emotionally traumatized by a coach taking a new job, then they're naive and stupid. Under Gregg's definition, EVERY coach who takes a new job is a "Weasel Coach," and every coach must stay in the same job forever and ever, lest the precious kids turn feral.
Suicide Picks Of The Week
Last week's picks of Baltimore, Seattle, and Denver went 3-0 (35-7 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? Arizona, Tennessee, Atlanta, and the "Napoleon Dynamite" animated series. I hate you, FOX. We were all past this whole "Napoleon Dynamite" bullshit years ago, and then you had to go and make a fucking animated show out of that piece of shit movie. And now every mouth-breather in the universe is gonna make annoying "Napoleon Dynamite" references again. FLIPPIN! GOSH! TOTS! Eat shit and die. And yes, there IS a Vote For Tebow t-shirt out there. I'm moving to New Zealand.
Postmortal Book Tour - DATES ADDED
The date I gave for the DC reading was incorrect. It's actually going down next month. Plus, Durham has been added, so all you Duke folks can show up and rape me with a lax stick. Here's the updated schedule:
1/19 - Washington, DC (Dodge City Bar, time TBA)
1/31 - Chapel Hill, NC (Flyleaf Books, time TBA)
2/1 (tentative) - Durham, NC (The Regulator, time TBA)
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 Broncos getting 6 points at home against the Patriots. MATISYAHU SHAVED HIS BEARD! Look at that photo. He literally looks like he's been imprisoned and deprived of food and water. I couldn't be happier. Check out this asshole's Twitter feed:
At the break of day I look for you at sunrise When the tide comes in I lose my disguise
"BARF. It's like a Jewish John Larroquette Twitter feed. Tell me you don't want to join my cause when you read that dreck."
2011 Nazi Shark Record: 8-6.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Steven sends in this poop story I call POOPERMARKET:
It was Saturday night, and my wife and I were at a Texas BBQ joint in Atlanta when I felt it coming on. I decide to try and hold. We get into the car to make our way back, a 25 minute drive that already feels like an hour just moments in. I've undone my belt and unbuttoned my pants in the hopes that I'll be able to make it home without melting a hole in my pants. We drive through two DUI roadblocks without incident (only delay), and I'm squirming. We turn the corner and see a Kroger grocery store. Without a moment to even consider my alternatives, I make a beeline to the Kroger and jump out of the car - begging my wife to park the car alone at 10:30pm in a very shady grocery store parking lot.
I enter the store sweating, and ask the attendant, "Where is your restroom?" He responds, "Upstairs." WHAT FUCKING GROCERY STORE HAS 2 FLOORS? I'm nearly positive at this point that I'm in the only two-story Kroger in the world. I hightail it upstairs and into the bathroom. The one stall bathroom looks like a trucker hurricane passed through it moments before my arrival, but I'm in no position to go anywhere else. I'm now in extreme pain as I wipe the toilet seat clean. After wiping, I begin to place my customary double-folded TP sheet on each side of the toilet when the pain becomes too much to bear. I must release. I've placed only one side of TP down, so instead of sitting I do a gym style squat over the toilet. The shit flows like fucking milk and honey. I've never in my life experienced such an explosion of poop. It was like the liftoff of the space shuttle, and the resulting ricochet went everywhere - on the seat, on the floor, on the wall. The shit was in every fucking place it could have been.
After round 1, I realize that I have to sit down. At the same time, I decide there's no way in hell I'm standing up completely to wipe everything (the poo will get squished between my butt cheeks - gross), so I blindly wipe the toilet seat with TP while continuing to squat over the toilet. Once the seat is clean, while looking forward in the stall I manage to place two double-folded TP sheets over the seat, and I then sit my ass down.
Shaking, I continue my shitscapade. After finishing round 2 (which was shockingly normal), I wipe and flush. At that point I thought I was done. Relieved, I pulled up my pants, buttoned the jeans and took one step toward the stall door. Then I saw it. I had briefly missed the toilet while hunching over for Round 1 and in placing my feet for the squat, I stepped in my own shit. Fuck.
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!
• Todd Haley - FIRED!
• Tony Sparano - FIRED!
• Jim Caldwell*
• Norv Turner
• Chan Gailey
• Mike Shanahan
• Hue Jackson
• Andy Reid
• Raheem Morris
• Pat Shurmur
• Tom Coughlin
• Steve Spagnuolo
• Jason Garrett
(* - Could happen any moment!)
No more Todd Haley! Oh, I'll miss him so. The way he ruined the fantasy value of everyone on his roster. The way he treated every player like an unruly kindergartener and yelled at them like an asshole. What a guy.
We had eight firings last season and I'm optimistic that we can match or even top that number this time. I think Morris, Spags, Norv, and Caldwell are all goners. That would leave just one more firing to match last season, and some fickle owner always pulls through for me. Come on, Danny Snyder. You know you want to can Shanny and bring Vinny Cerrato back. DO IT FOR ME.
DeSean Jackson Memorial Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Reader Ben would like Jermichael Finley to "eat a taint":
Facing Fantasy playoff elimination and needing a win, I make the OBVIOUS MISTAKE of starting the presason's top-ranked fantasy tight end Jermichael Finley. The Packers put up 46 points, but despite this, Finley somehow managed to score fucking ZERO. I am now going to miss the playoffs because of this underachieving cunt!!! You couldn't even manage a garbage-time 30-yard pass from Matt Flynn like you did against the Vikings? Fuck yourself and die.
Yes, but Gregg Easterbrook says that lack of production was the key factor in Green Bay's win! WHY DO OTHER TEAMS NOT SEE THIS RUDIMENTARY FACT?
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Christmas cookies! I don't know about you, but I spend every Christmas season telling myself that I'll only overeat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And then my wife bakes Christmas cookies on, like, December 1st, and the whole plan goes right to SHIT. I'm powerless against them. Once they're out of the oven, I go to fucking town. Just one cookie after another, until I know my life is hopeless. It's disgusting and repulsive and I CANNOT STOP. I can't eat a single cookie. It's not possible. It's either no cookies, or EVERY cookie. Once I break the seal, there's no going back.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
GREEN LABEL! Reader Lucas sends in this batch of Taiwanese rat poison:
I'm in Taipei, Taiwan and found this truly awful beer. It cost 35 Taiwan dollars or about 1 US dollar. It smells like skunked malt liquor and tastes like sawdust. However I took solace in the text that reads: "Green Label brings you a comfortable time. The refreshing taste cheers your mind."
I know I like having my mind cheered. I especially like the tagline BREWED FOR GOOD TIMES. I feel like every beer should have that tagline. It just makes so much sense when you think about it. Also, it has the KIRIN brand on it. How can it be that awful? Kirin is my go-to beer any time I want to eat sushi until I throw up. 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! Congratulations on everyone today who got nominated for a Golden Globe award! An amazing honor? YOU BET! Rigged like a Turkish horse race? EVERY DAMN TIME. Let me tell you about the Hollywood Foreign Press voters: There are 13 of them, and they all come from former Soviet bloc countries. And we in the industry refer to them as Stallions, because they're the exact same group of rich assholes that scrounge up the international drug money needed to help Sylvester Stallone make every Sylvester Stallone movie.
"So I'm out with this one Stallion one night - a disgusting, fat, swarthy fella named Volkov. And I need Volkov to vote for The Out-of-Towners because it hasn't been formally released stateside yet and we need the bump. So Volkov sidles up to me and says (with beet juice running down his chin the whole time), 'Evan, I vant coke and six hooker.' And I'm like SLOW DOWN, COMRADE! You need to dance with Evans! You need to show Evans a bit of tact! You need to speak in code, like, 'I need six unknowns for a major production,' or, 'Nicholson is coming over.' Then I'll know exactly what you want! But this guy just comes right out and says it! Well, I know no shame, so I joylessly order up the beauties and the cola. And you know what this idiot did? He has the hookers do the coke, and then makes them dance for him while he eats a whole turkey. Who does that?!"
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Colts Fans
The Descendants, which is very good movie, but is also the SADDEST GODDAMN MOVIE EVER. It's certainly the second saddest movie ever filmed in Hawaii. The saddest, of course, is Six Days, Seven Nights, which is sad for entirely different reasons. Anyway, I feel like movie critics tend to gloss over things like this when they review a movie. They never say things like, "Hey, this movie's really good, but you will be reduced to a muddled lump of wet noodle pudding after watching it." I feel like that kind of disclaimer is needed, because this movie is really fucking sad.
I watched this movie at home on a screener DVD. And when you get a screener of a movie that's still playing in theaters, it comes with a huge warning not to pirate the movie ever, or else trained assassins will find you and split open your asshole with a razor blade. In fact, they're so concerned about piracy, that you literally have to agree to DESTROY THE DVD after you watch it. The warning screen tells you to cut the DVD in half and throw it in the trash after you watch it and you have to click I AGREE. So I watched the movie, and then I did NOT destroy the disc afterwards. I feel like it could explode in my living room at any moment.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"When I read your magazine, I don't see one wrinkled face or single, toothless grin. For shame! To the sickos at Modern Bride magazine..."
Enjoy the games, everyone. REMEMBER: Leitch next week.