It's OK If You Don't Know Much About FootballS

Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.

I watch lots of football and I played football (poorly) as a kid but I'm gonna tell you something that probably won't surprise you: I don't REALLY know that much about football. I know the formations. I know the rules (USUALLY!). I know who all the players and coaches are. I know the basics.

But when I was a benchwarmer and my coaches tried to explain what I was supposed to be doing should I (in the event of some kind of devastating traveling-team bus crash) need to take the field, I was fucking hopeless. I had no idea how to process any of our offensive playbook. I lost track of which audibles meant what. If the defensive line did some crazy stunting action in front of me, I reacted like a leghorn chicken that had swallowed a coffee cup full of crystal meth. OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING THEY AREN'T ALLOWED TO DO THIS ARE THEY?

As an adult who watches the NFL, I don't watch the all-22 film. I don't study tape. I don't REALLY know who deserves to be an All-Pro and who doesn't. Watching Edge NFL Matchup gives me a fucking headache. I don't watch anything but the ball during gameplay. Every player and coach out there knows LOADS more about the intricacies of gameplay than I do. Even goobers like Peter King and Pete Prisco and Gregg Easterbrook and other columnists who watch tape of every game every week (or purport to) all probably know more about football than I do, and that's fine. I don't give a shit.

We live in a sporting culture where "You clearly know nothing about football" is just about the worst thing you can say to another football fan. People take real umbrage when you accuse them of not knowing the game. Virtually every talk radio segment and message-board flame war is a fight between fans to prove they know more about football than everyone else present. It is one gigantic dick-measuring contest out there to be the guy who has watched the most tape and has evaluated the most players and can make the most persuasive argument that Joe Montana made Jerry Rice better or vice versa.

And it's all horseshit. There's no real way of telling who knows more about a sport than some other asshole. And even if you were the most knowledgeable fan in the game (how many times have you heard some asshole compliment a fanbase by saying they're knowledgeable?), it's not like you get some kind of prize for it. Your prize is being a haughty dipshit. Congrats.

The truth is that you don't have to know every last goddamn thing about football (or any sport, for that matter) to enjoy it as much as the next guy. It's obviously fun to learn more about the sport as you get into it, but that's not what this is about. This is about guys who study up on football specifically so that they can say they know more about the sport than you. You don't have to feel inferior to that particular, ESPN-bred type of asshole. You don't have to feel inferior just because your ad-hoc scouting report on your team's draft pick turned out to be inaccurate, or because you made a dumb preseason prediction, or because you didn't know who Justin Houston was before he started tearing shit up this season (I didn't). It's fine. Your fandom is just as worthy as some know-it-all dickhead's fandom. It's no crime to be a bit more casual about all this, to accept that you aren't a fucking mastermind and just enjoy the game as a civilian.

Watching sports is an exercise in fantasy (especially if you have a literal fantasy team). You watch and you picture yourself as a player, or a coach, or a GM, or even an owner. And the more you "know" about the game, the stronger that fantasy becomes. You become more convinced that you COULD be a coach or a GM and that you really DO know more than the boob currently running your team, but that's almost always an illusion. It's a never-ending attempt to place yourself somewhere you cannot be, and it gets tiring after a while. I love football. I love watching it. I love obsessing over it. But I'm no oracle when it comes to this shit (not that anyone confused me for one). And that's good. You're free to be ignorant. You're free to be wrong. Because being some kind of official football expert means turning into THIS GUY:

You don't want that.

The Games

All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

Five Throwgasms

None. Another shit week of shit games in your shit life. They may as well play ALL of them in London.

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

Four Throwgasms

Bengals at Dolphins: There are few things worse as a football fan than the dreaded Late Fumble Realization, which goes like this: The running back takes the ball, gains a few yards, the whistle blows, and roughly an hour passes before players start jumping around the pile going apeshit and the play-by-play guy says, "And now the Bengals are saying the ball is out!" And you're like, "What? No. That can't be. The play ended an hour ago!" And then they show the replay and it's clearly a fumble and you want to die. I prefer my turnovers telegraphed. I don't like the horrible twist ending to a seemingly normal play. It hurts my body.

Falcons at Panthers: It's been eight weeks and they haven't done anything about the dark panels on the new Pro Combat uniforms. If your team has a dark jersey, the new unis make it look like your pits have released a gallon of sweat down the sides of your body. And the front panel makes it look like you've had sweat creep up from your pubes. It looks really bad. I KNOW FASHION.

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

Three Throwgasms Saints at Jets: Hey, wondering what Terrell Owens is up to lately? Turns out he's going to be on a very special edition of Iyanla: Fix My Life on the Oprah network:

Tell me that promo doesn't look like an old Chappelle's Show sketch. If you tossed in a laugh track the second TO starts crying, it would be perfect. "What if your NFL career is over?" There's no "if" to be had in there, sweetheart.

Chiefs at Bills

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

Two Throwgasms

Bears at Packers: My kid found a caterpillar the other day that was easily two inches long and as thick as a piece of chalk. We picked up with a stick and watched it curl around and I'm so used to cute caterpillars in kiddie books that it took me a while to remember that a caterpillar is nothing more than a maggot with legs. It's a grub, only it has fur, which makes it even more disturbing. I nearly threw up thinking about it. Anyway, we set the caterpillar free, after which I presume it crawled into the woods and transformed into a fucking dragon.

Chargers at Skins: Until I saw the highlights, I had completely forgotten that last week's Skins-Broncos game was a homecoming game for Mike Shanahan. WHAT AN EMOTIONAL RETURN THAT WAS. I think Shanny waved to the crowd for about half a millisecond before getting back to the business of letting his quarterback get killed.

Colts at Texans: They'll probably never find a way to pay a stipend to college football players (I think they should just be allowed to collect whatever merch royalties they want), but if they did ... what if they decided to get rid of eligibility restrictions? If you're gonna treat college football like the professional enterprise that it is, they may as well get rid of the notion of eligibility altogether.

That way, a pro washout like Timmy Tebow could Jesus it up at Florida for as long as they'll have him. Big colleges could become real semi-pro outfits, with guys making a long career out of playing ball and nailing coeds. And then the NFL could call players up at any time if they were veterans with more than five years of college ball experience. And then smaller colleges would get better players because young studs wouldn't want to have to fight for a starting gig at some big-name school with a bunch of 30-year-olds on the roster. WE COULD SHIFT THE WHOLE PARADIGM, PEOPLE. Just kidding. It's a horrible idea and it would ruin everything. But oh, how I'd like to beta test it for just, like, a decade. I don't think 10 years is much to ask for.

Steelers at Patriots

Ravens at Browns

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

One Throwgasm

Vikings at Cowboys: My team has no quarterback and I would like them to draft Johnny Manziel. I know that Manziel is short and that he will be drafted about five spots lower than he ought to because of this (his GLORY BOY drinking will surely also cause scouts to shake their heads in disapproval), and then he will go out and be good and everyone will feel like a fucking idiot for not drafting him sooner. I already know my team will elect to draft a lineman in the first round and give Josh Freeman one more extended season-long tryout instead of drafting Johnny Football because my team SUCCCCCCCKS. Drafting Johnny Football instantly means that your team will matter, and I need that so very desperately.

By the way, I was guilty this week of being one of the HOT SPORTS TAKE providers who expressed public disapproval over Dez Bryant's "tirade" on the sidelines during the Lions game, only to be proven completely wrong. I'd like to think that I made the assumption strictly because Dez Bryant has a well-known history of being a crazy person, but I know the truth. The truth is that I probably engaged in SIDELINE RACIAL PROFILING, which makes me a bastard. I bet poor Dez was just offering Jason Witten some Skittles. In my defense, I always despised Dan Marino for bitching out everyone after throwing a pick. AND SOME OF MY FAVORITE PLAYERS ARE BLACK IT'S TRUE.

Seriously though, there is discomforting feeling that not only did I make a false presumption about Bryant, but that I did it AUTOMATICALLY. Like a reflex. That's not exactly a reflex that I want to have. SO MUCH LIBERAL GUILT.

Titans at Rams: Speaking of bias, I have enormous school bias when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. One of the potential top QBs in next year's draft is Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. Fuck that. Fuck him. I'd rather have my balls ripped off than draft an Oregon QB. If you draft a QB from Oregon or USC or Texas or Ohio State or some other GLORY BOY MEGABUCKS factory, you reap what you sow. An amputee dog could throw for 30 TDs for Oregon. You gotta draft the guy who went to some mid-level BCS school who had to lift up the program all on his own. Otherwise you get Gino Toretta.

Eagles at Raiders: The one silver lining to these six-team bye weeks is that you get superior highlights in the postgame shows because there are fewer games to rip through. With a full slate, you'll see NFL Network be like, "Oh and the Eagles and Raiders played too. Here's one play from that shitshow." I need more than that. I need the STORY of how two horrible teams muddled through the slop to an uninspiring 9-6 outcome.

Bucs at Seahawks: My dad went to France last week and has his wallet stolen on the Paris metro. And now all I can do is envision some suave French pickpocket with a handlebar mustache sniffing my old man's wallet and saying to himself, "Ah, Meester Magaree! Ziss has been ze moment I have been waiting for! HAHAHAHA!" And then he wipes the wallet on his armpit. The French are devious like that.

Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall

"MJØD," by Kvelertak, submitted by Jonathan:

The lyrics are all in Norwegian but whatever he's saying seems to kill hipster kids. I approve.

He's not joking. The video features kids getting beaten and hacked to death with axes. I'm just gonna go ahead and pray that this song does not endorse Nazism. You can never tell when your average Norwegian metal band will go full Nazi on you.

In other music news, a new Arcade Fire album dropped this week and holy shit did the Washington Post's music critic dump all over it. I like the Arcade Fire, but I appreciate a well-crafted piece of professional hating regardless of its target.

It’s hard to decide whether to laugh, barf or weep for the future of rock-and-roll itself.

I see where he's coming from. Even though I like the band, they engage in the same OMG "NORMAL" PEOPLE ARE SO WEIRD AND ONLY I CAN SEE IT bullshit that Radiohead—another band I really like—wallows in. When a band names one of its albums "The Suburbs," you know EXACTLY what kind of distressed earnestness you're in for. Kvelertak are NOT fans of that album.

Suicide Pick Of The Week

Last week's picks of Carolina, San Francisco, and New Orleans went 3-0, making me 19-5 on the year. Once again, we pick three teams for suicide pool and one thing that makes you want to commit suicide. This week's picks are Dallas, Seattle, Green Bay, and the notorious Selfies at Funerals Tumblr feed. I taught my kid how to take a selfie the other day. I didn't even realize what a horrible mistake I was making at the time. I just hit the switcharoo icon on my phone's camera and told my kid, "Look! You can take a selfie! That's fun, right?" Dumbest thing I've ever done. The kid begs to take selfies every five seconds now. Within a day of teaching her how to do it, she told me, verbatim: "I'm gonna take an inappropriate picture of my butt and post it online!" And so it begins. WE MUST DESTROY THE FUTURE.

Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About FootballS HOOVER DAMN! Your fair columnist has watched the tape and found abundant evidence of tout sourness across the league!

For one more week, the schedule is kind to Kansas City. The Chiefs meet lower-echelon Buffalo, led by a practice-squad guy at quarterback.

Practice squad guy?! SOUNDS LIKE A PROVEN WINNER WHO WANTS IT TO ME.

/writes "undefeated season over" on the back of Denny's placemat

During his first half of professional action, (Chip) Kelly looked pretty self-satisfied — "It's true, I'm a genius," he seemed to be saying to himself. He's looking stressed-out now.

How's it feel now, WEASEL? To abandon your school and break your promises and run up the score on the poor Redskins in the first half of Week 1?! Long ago, you went down a notch in this columnist's estimation and were on the watch list for punishment by the football gods. AND NOW THAT PUNISHMENT HAS COME DUE. Tell the Gods how their asses taste, Chippo!

Last January your columnist said Kelly "would seem ill-advised to leave his dreamlike situation at Oregon for the backstabbing environment of the NFL."

Once again, TMQ predicts the future with 100 percent accuracy! Whatever he is paid, it's not enough.

The Golden Tate knucklehead move will be universally mocked — if you haven't mocked Tate yet, hurry to do so before all the slots are taken. TMQ will just ask: how often has anyone on a Super Bowl-caliber team done anything comparable?

Oh you mean like this guy?

Or this?

Or this?

Yes, it's true. NO Super Bowl-caliber team has ever had a taunting GLORY BOY on its roster. You can't win like that. You can only win with humble churchgoing Virginia Tech graduates. That's science!

Check the St. Louis wide receivers on the right of the formation on the final down, especially Austin Pettis. They barely bother to run patterns, knowing the pass will go left. Game on the line and they're jogging. Ye gods.

GODFREY MAN-LOVING!

The Duke at Virginia Tech contest paired a 6-1 top-division team with a 78 percent football graduation rate against a 5-2 top-division team with a 92 percent football graduation rate. That's exactly what college football needs.

/propitiated

A terrible won-loss record should not be held against a high school coach, since winning games is just one of several things a high school coach should accomplish — helping boys become men should be the essence of the high-school coach's role.

COACH: Johnny?

JOHNNY: Yes, coach!

COACH: Time to help you become a man!

JOHNNY: How do we do that, Coach!

COACH: Well now, why don't you strip down and join me in the steam room and I'll explain it to you.

Many readers have complained that the Nobel Prize for economics is not adequately covered by ESPN. Your columnist recently did his share with an item on new Nobel winners Robert Shiller and Eugene Fama. Now let's turn to 2008 winner Paul Krugman.

If you are wondering, "Didn't he mention Eugene Fama last week?" the answer is POSSIBLY! That is the beauty of TMQ. You never know when you will be treated to scholarliness!

With a minute to go, the Lions looked so beaten I jumped the gun and admitted them to the 500 Club.

OH NO! THE NOTEBOOK!

Then I retracted the tweet rather than delete. My view is Internet errors should be corrected, but should not vanish.

TMQ is humble enough to leave his mistakes up and then point out the virtue of not deleting those mistakes. You should try it sometime, HEATHEN.

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Tommy sends in this story I call POOPTEASE:

Three years ago during the NBA playoffs, a friend and I decide to go to a sports bar to watch the game. I lived in scottsdale az at the time and go to a pretty popular bar. We order flaming hot wings and drink cheap beer. The game was uneventful and my friend began chatting up some girl. He ends up getting pretty lucky and taking this girl home, thus leaving me alone and drunk at this random sports bar.

I end up getting a cab home but for some reason decide to tell the driver to take me to the strip club. On the way to said club it starts, stomach rumbling, nervousness, etc etc. I had no idea how far the strip club would be and I kept asking the cabbie, how long, how long?? Finally we get to the strip club and I frantically give the driver a $20 and hop out the cab. Now at this point I gotta shit BAD, I am drunk and look at the strip club, and of course there's a fucking line!! There is no way I can wait- I end up shitting between two cars in the parking lot. Now given the ingredients ( Hot wings and cheap beer), I made a mess. So my next move was to go to this dive bar next door to clean up. I waddle into the bathroom and wipe my ass.

Next I walk out the bathroom and step outside of said dive bar, immediately I see three large men, the bouncers of the strip club, and one of them shouts out "IT WAS HIM". I am like FUCK, so they start interrogating me about the shit in the parking lot. I naturally deny deny deny any sort of involvement,,, I mean who would ever shit in the parking lot??? Well, they start getting angry and start talking about surveillance cameras and cops and shit. I was like peace out and just walked away to three large angry bouncers. Well of course this strip club was on the out skirts of town and there were no cabbies around. 10 minutes walking down the road waiting for a cab and all of a sudden a cop flashes his lights and pulls over, and they start interrogating me about someone shitting in the parking lot of the strip club! Again deny deny deny, only now I have two a-hole cops doing the interrogation.

Finally they tell me- look admit to the poop- or we are going to give you a drunk a public- either way you're going to jail. So I went ahead and admitted to shitting in a parking lot- and they gave me a ticket for defecation in Public- and they let me get a cab ride home. Two weeks later I was summoned to court, admitted guilt and paid $128 fine. Still makes me laugh when I think about the bouncers seeing me come out of the bar next door, and one of them yelling "IT WAS HIM!!!"

Emmitt Smith's Lock of the Week!

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

"This week, I like the Falcons (+7.5) to slowly and MethodManically beat the Panthers in their house! I am not giving up on these Falcons. Matt Ryan is a COMPTROLLER. He's not gonna be Con Edison to let the season slip away. Now, there were tumors this week that the Falcons were gonna trade away Tony Gonzalez to a cunt tender, but don't you believe it. He's too valuable an asshead for them to do something like that!"

Emmitt Smith 2013 record: 2-4-1

This Week In Terrifying Animal News

Thinking of going to Wales to visit your relative any time soon? Well, think again, RHYS GRYYFFNDYRSHR! Because the false widow spider is there to ruin your shit:

He said though their bites can turn “necrotic” – kill tissue around the area of the attack... Symptoms, which depend on the amount of venom injected, can include chest pains, a tingling sensation in the fingers, and severe swelling.

BLIMEY! THEY'LL KILL THE ROYAL BABY!

Fantasy Player Who Deserves to Die A Slow, Painful Death

Tom Brady. The fuck, Brady? Too busy planning your lion costume to be a productive QB1 in most standard scoring leagues? YOU GO TO HELL. So what if you have no line, no wideouts, and a barely healthy tight end? THIS IS A RESULTS BUSINESS.

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 2013 chopping block:

  • Leslie Frazier*
  • Greg Schiano*****
  • Gus Bradley
  • Chip Kelly
  • Mike Munchak
  • Gary Kubiak
  • Dennis Allen
  • Jason Garrett
  • Jeff Fisher
  • Joe Philbin
  • Tom Coughlin

*-Potential midseason firing

If you were Chip Kelly and Texas offered you their head coaching gig right now, you'd pull a Bobby Petrino, wouldn't you? I would. The thing about these WEASEL COACHES is that virtually none of them end up regretting their hasty exit from a shitty situation. I bet Bobby Petrino has MANY regrets in his sorry, shitty, horrible life. But ditching the Falcons is almost certainly not one of them.

Gametime Snack Of The Week

Werther's Original, favorite candy dish staple of 90-year-olds the world over. These people make truly bad ads. Witness: "Grandpappy, can you believe people buy GENERIC butter-flavored old person candy?! BAH GAWD!" The only older old person candy than this is butterscotch. Butterscotch candy is enjoyed strictly by people who are either under the age of five or over the age of seventy-seven.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week

GAMEDAY ICE! Ooooooh my. From Eric:

Found it at my nearby Grocery Outlet. I was not brave enough to try it. The name slays me as does the knockoff NFL shield attempt. And the "ice". Really? Ice beers were, what, 15 years ago? How long has this been sitting the some random warehouse? Grocery Outlet really will try to sell anything.

That is the absolute worst looking beer I've seen in a long while. "Always traditionally brewed with the freshest ingredients." YOU LIE. I can only imagine the thought process of someone selecting this beer at the store. "Hey, that beer likes football! I like football too! GIMME TWELVE CASES." It can't be good. It has to taste like composted field dust. I MUST HAVE IT.

Robert Evans's MVP Watch!

Time to start thinking about who the leaders will be 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.

It's OK If You Don't Know Much About Football

"Baby, my favorite for NFL MVP is still Peyton Manning of the Broncos! Baby, I don't know if you can trust every detail in this upcoming biography of my dear friend and carousing partner Jack Nicholson. Trailer-shaking sex with Meryl Streep? YOU BET! "Homoerotic fear fantasies"? I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. But I can tell you that ol' Jack's fantasies about castration were as real as the snuff film dailies that Bruce Dern sent me ten years ago!

"I remember one night, when we were living it up at Woodland... Champagne? OF COURSE! An actual oversized vending machine with real live hookers inside it, created by an artist friend of mine? ONLY COST YOU A NICKEL. Anyway, things are winding down at 6am when Nicholson grabs a nearby filleting knife (I keep large knives around just in case I need them) and holds it to his Two Jakes and he screams at me, 'I'M GONNA DO IT, EVANS! I'M GONNA CUT THESE FUCKERS OFF AND BE DONE WITH IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!' And I say, 'Whoa, baby! Don't cut those two friends of yours out of the deal! What about our Last Tango in Paris prequel?!'

"And Jack shouts, 'I've had, Evans! No more of the sex and the drugs and the drugs and the sex! I'm tired of living like a fucking animal! I'm gonna fucking make a real, moral life for myself and it starts now!' Well, I grab that knife out of Jack's hand and I slap him hard across his face and I remind him that we have a three-picture deal. YOU CAN'T TAKE THE JACK OUT OF JACK. He seemed to calm down after that. I spent the rest of the night spoon feeding him cream of wheat."

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jaguars Fans

The Falcon and the Snowman. Aw man, I miss the old Orion logo. When you saw that Orion logo, you knew quality filmmaking was forthcoming. Like this movie! And Robocop. And... well, I'm sure there were other movies in there too.

Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

"Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, we have transcended incorrigible. I don't think suspension or expulsion will do the trick. I think it behooves us all to consider deportation."

Enjoy the games, everyone.


Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com. You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.