Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.
Did you watch the Packers-Cardinals game on Saturday night? It was perfect, right? It had everything a great football game could possibly have: Hail Marys, bad coaching, alien coin flips, big fucking pass plays, me getting blind drunk, and on and on. I see nothing that could possibly improve that game.
But if you ask some people, the end of that game was flawed because poor Aaron Rodgers didn’t get a chance to have a possession in overtime. Clay Matthews bitched. Rodgers bitched. To an extent, it’s understandable for those two to grouse, because they were on the losing end of overtime. But then there were other people calling for change to the format as well, as evidenced here, and here, and here, and here. Oh yes, Lupica got involved. YOU WANTED TO SEE AARON RODGERS GET ONE LAST CHANCE…
This is the postseason, when there is no good reason why they can’t play a fifth quarter, or a sixth, if need be.
I can think of a good reason: because it would kill the players. The NFL already rejiggered its overtime format to allow both teams to have possession of the ball, unless the team that wins the toss scores a touchdown on their opening possession. This, of course, is exactly what has happened to the Packers in the playoffs two years running. And you know what? That’s fine. Fuck ‘em! That’s what you get for hiring Dom Capers to coach your defense! You must pay the ultimate price.
Because here’s what will happen if the NFL tweaks this format yet again: Some team will score a touchdown on its opening possession, and then the game will keep dragging on forever, and then someone will bitch that the team that scored first got a raw deal. And then people will complain to change the overtime rules BACK to where they were. As it stands now, I have friends who don’t even like the NEW version of overtime, because GRRRRR LET YOUR DEFENSE PROVE ITSELF GRRRRR.
The NFL has a lot of bad qualities, and one of the worst is its ongoing obsession with tweaking the rulebook to ensure “fairness,” because the sport is now so immensely popular that you can find and amass an army on either side of a proposed rule change. This is why the current catch rules are so hilariously convoluted. The competition committee is endlessly trying to perfect the rules and, in the process, chipping away at them until there’s nothing left but a muddle of shitty legalese. As a result, refs become overwhelmed and start doing their jobs poorly.
I already have a difficult time explaining football to newcomers. I don’t need one more goddamn thing on top of it every year. I can understand not wanting to end Sudden Death on a piddly shit field goal (it’s not terribly entertaining to see a team get into the red zone in OT and then immediately sit on the ball). But if you give up a zillion yards to Larry Fitzgerald on an opening touchdown drive, you don’t deserve the ball back.
The only reason that people are currently clamoring for a change to the overtime format is because we’ve just seen the remarkably unlikely occurrence of a brilliant quarterback suffering two straight overtime playoff defeats. If you’re a neutral observer, those two games didn’t need anything else added to them to be great spectacles. And if you’re hell-bent on pursuing the notion of ultimate fairness, just know that you’ll never find it. I find it amusing that the supposed toughest sport on Earth is so obsessed with making sure everyone gets a chance. It’s sports. The playing field is not always level. You’re not always going to walk away happy. And even if they controlled for every last possible outcome, people would still bitch anyway. Leave overtime alone.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms. And during the playoffs, I pick the games, because that is the bold and courageous thing to do.
Panthers (-3) 31, Cardinals 27. I must have jumped out of my seat a dozen times during that Cards/Packers game. There’s nothing like watching a game with other people and then jumping out of your seat at key moment and being like OH! OH MY GOD! HE CAUGHT THAT SHIT! It’s like sports Twitter, but REAL! Who knew?
By the way, as much as I like Bruce Arians, I don’t think he can just wave a magic wand and say, “We’re not gonna play as tight now that we’ve won a playoff game!” I saw Carson Palmer get spooked against the Packers. That shit doesn’t just magically go away.
Patriots (-3) 49, Broncos 10. I wonder how angry Peyton Manning is that people are like, “Wow, this is the LAST Manning-Brady game!” Because people aren’t saying that because of BRADY. Brady’s got a few years left in him. They’re saying it because Peyton is near death and the Broncos are gonna lose this game by five million points unless their defense goes bananas and gets a couple of return touchdowns. I bet he’s fucking livid. They’re gonna ask him about retirement after this game and he’s gonna get all huffy and be like, “I’m still good!” as flies buzz around his rotting cadaver.
By the way, as much as I hate on the Patriots, I have absolutely NO desire to see Peyton Manning lose another Super Bowl. We only get one Super Bowl a year. I don’t wanna waste it watching Old Man Peyton make stupid faces for three hours with a red helmet dent in his forehead. Someone get him a walker and a hot cup of tea and gently shove him off into the sunset.
Now, onto the random crap:
• Does Bill Simmons know his team has four titles?
YOU HAVE FOUR FUCKING TITLES, ASSHOLE. But yeah, the League really has the fix in for you. Sure, kid. I like that Pats fans have added Ravens fans’ paranoia to their repertoire. You gotta work HARD to be the worst. You have to have facets to your game. Maybe this offseason they can work on screaming SHOW US YOUR TITS, like a basketball player working on his fadeaway.
• If I remember correctly, there have been only FOUR instances of a head coach going for two at the end of regulation to win a game instead of forcing overtime, and two of them involved teams coached by… wait for it… Mike Shanahan. Shanny went for two when he was coach of the Broncos (a win against the Chargers), and then did it again as Washington’s coach(a loss against the Falcons). Jon Gruden also pulled off the walk-off two-point conversion, as did Mike Tice in a meaningless late-season victory against New Orleans back in 2002. These men are not exactly legendary game managers, but they went a combined 3-1 on the walk-off attempt. And that was BEFORE the NFL moved the extra point back.
But of course Mike McCarthy kicked the ball after the Hail Mary. Hey Mike, your team just pulled off two miracles in a row and have the Cardinals shocked in disbelief. BETTER PLAY FOR OVERTIME SO THAT ARIZONA CAN EMOTIONALLY RECOVER.
As far as I’m concerned, you should always go for two to avoid overtime, regardless of circumstances. The chance to right win is right there, two yards away. It’s not like overtime gives you significantly better odds of winning. If anything, the odds are worse. And the idea that you’ll get criticized if you don’t make it doesn’t wash, because fans LOVE going for two. I would be at the presser after the loss and be like, “We went for two because we want to be AGGRESSIVE. I believe in these men. If there’s a chance to win, I’m taking it!” And then I would chug a bottle of Jack right at the podium. Kicking for overtime is antiquated bullshit and Mike McCarthy is a coward.
• Our own Albert Burneko wrote a huge post about Wile E. Coyote this week and included this unprovoked drive-by on Tom & Jerry:
So much of Tom & Jerry is just them running back and forth, boringly, before something stupid happens for no interesting reason… In the 21st century, we’re all much more familiar with the rhythms and conventions of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons than with those of Tom & Jerry, which is a nice way of saying nobody gives a fuck about Tom & Jerry anymore.
Whoa hey, what the fuck, man? Now I love Burneko (again, we’ve never spoken outside of work), but this is bullshit. Tom & Jerry are fucking brilliant. Sometimes, you just want to watch ten minutes of a mouse beating the shit out of a cat, and hearing that cat scream in agony as if he were a real human suffering. Without Tom & Jerry, there wouldn’t be Itchy and Scratchy, or any other forms of overly gratuitous cartoon violence. What kind of sick bastard allies himself against that? Shame on you, Bert. You badmouth Tex Avery at your own risk, muchacho.
• It may suck to be a Browns fan, but at least the world is cognizant of your agony. Meanwhile, consider the Titans, who just made the most uninspiring coaching hire since the Bills pulled Chan Gailey out of a nearby hayloft. They hired Mike Mularkey! The Jaguars’ leftovers! I have never seen a more transparently cheap and temporary coaching hire. The fact that their walrus CEO is screaming out NOT FOR SALE only makes it more obvious that Bud Adams’s family is going to sell the team and that the team will be a complete fucking mess by the time it happens. AND they’re gonna ruin Marcus Mariota in the process. We’re already low on good quarterbacks. It should be a federal offense to put one of them in the custody of Mike Mularkey.
• Here’s a simple way to alleviate the shocking number of coin toss mistakes currently plaguing the NFL: have the team captain call heads or tails BEFORE you flip the stupid coin. Calling it in midair is clearly too complicated and stressful for the referee in charge. You’ve got the crowd screaming and you gotta make sure you flip the coin nicely so that people won’t make fun of you. And somewhere in there, you gotta listen for a player to say HEADS or TAILS. That’s too much multi-tasking for Ed Hochuli. Just ask them before the flip and then flip it. If some crooked ref always games the toss as a result, that only makes it more dramatic. (UPDATE: They already do this and I am dumb.)
• One more thing that needs to stop: coaches calling a timeout within the two-minute warning to convince the refs to review a play. Sometimes this actually works, which is INSANE. If your replay system allows for a coach to call a timeout to convince officials to review something they were too stupid to review, then your system is flawed.
• I was watching Andy Reid bone the clock against New England and I have to reiterate how much I love bad coaching. I can’t get enough of it. If I’m a neutral observer, there’s nothing more entertaining than a poorly coached game. Think of the millions of people that Andy Reid brought together on Saturday, merely through the power of his bad coaching. I was screaming at the TV and I’m not even a Chiefs fan! You know when your team has to hurry up to score, and the network cuts to a replay, and you’re like, “HOW IS THERE TIME FOR A REPLAY?! THEY NEED TO FUCKING HURRY UP!!!!” That was the entire fourth quarter of that game. It was mesmerizing. I love wasted timeouts, and poor two-minute drills, and ill-advised challenges, and everything else. Bad coaching makes football wonderful.
• I didn’t realize they were making a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen. Did people really see that movie? Why? Anyway, the new one is London Has Fallen. I think fans should get to vote on which city gets to fall in the third movie. AKRON HAS FALLEN.
• I was watching Cards-Packers with a couple of friends and we were all drunk and when halftime came on, I put on some music to keep the party ROCKING. And when I get drunk, I sometimes (always) listen to a lot of shitty ‘80s songs and film scores and dad rock, so I put on “What A Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers. WHAT A FOOL BELIEEEEEEE-HEE-HEEEVES… BLAH SUN GAN FUR NUTYA!
And my friend says to me, “Drew, please. Please don’t play this.” He was right to call me out on it, too. I would like to apologize to anyone else upon whom I’ve inflicted the Doobie Brothers. It’s not right. If YOU have a friend who’s about to commit a similar crime, speak up. Don’t let evil flourish.
• They split the Powerball jackpot three ways last week and I was annoyed, which makes absolutely no sense. In a perfect world, that money is spread out to make as many fortunate souls wealthy as possible. And yet there is something in me that HATES that idea. I want one person to have ALL the money, because if it’s ever my turn to win the jackpot, I don’t wanna have to share it. I want that $1.5 billion for ME and me alone. LOOK UPON MY RICHES AND DESPAIR! That is sick and awful. I’m the reason we have an oligarchy. I should seek counseling.
• I know the NFL is pimping out the award named after him, but those FOOTBALL IS FAMILY ads featuring Eric Dickerson talking about Walter Payton are weird. It’s like they’re saying, ‘Listen, we know this is a violent and corrupt sporting enterprise, but in our defense: SWEETNESS IS DEAD.”
• Batman v. Superman looks fucking terrible, but I would have totally fine to watch a standalone Batman movie with Ben Affleck. The truth is that the actor playing Batman isn’t all THAT important. Any handsome, mildly charming middle-aged guy will do. The only way to ruin a Batman movie is to crowd the screen with 50 other annoying characters and keep Batman over on the pine, which is what this movie will inevitably do. They’re making a Batman movie this spring and Joker movie this summer, but not a Batman-and-Joker movie. These people don’t deserve your money.
• Next week is the dreaded bye week between the conference title games and the Super Bowl, which can only mean one thing: POOPOROO! Yes, soon it’ll be time for me to mail it in with a week’s worth of crowd-sourced poop stories. So if YOU want your story included, send it in now. Don’t wait until the last moment! That always ends in a terrible mess.
None. Three games left and then no more football for seven months. I’m already having a panic attack.
Last week: 2-2
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Last Day,” by Shining! Here’s reader Jason to explain:
They were originally an acoustic jazz quartet who, after a few albums, went all metal but kept in the occasional groovy saxophone (at about 2:20). They recently played a show on an overhang of a 2300 foot cliff in Norway on the summer solstice and turned it into a music video.
I’ll be damned. They really DO bust out a sax in the middle of this! I support any jazz quartet that decides to become a metal band. That’s just smart career management. These guys were probably busking for ramen money at Starbucks. Now they’re rocking on top of cliffs! That’s shredding your way to success!
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
It’s Dan Snyder! One advantage to being a billionaire shitbag is that you can spend 20 years aggressively destroying a franchise and then go 9-7 for ONE season and somehow con your way into a handful of THE NEW DAN SNYDER! profiles. This one is from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, who makes it clear that the only people who think Dan Snyder is any different these days are the people predisposed to kiss his ass in the first place:
On game day, the owner’s box at FedEx Field contains an omelet station, trays of lamb chops, Hebrew National hot dogs with buns imprinted with the Washington Redskins logo and, in the back, an office Daniel Snyder’s guests jokingly call The Hurt Locker.
Imagine being the poor soul who forgets to properly brand Snyder’s hot dog buns. “Where is the logo? GET OUT OF MY HURT LOCKER.”
It is where Snyder and his closest companions retreat when the game perturbs him, when his intensity boils over. The Redskins’ majority owner can get so nervous for games, one person close to him said, that he rarely eats during them.
See, I don’t think this is true at all. I think he spends every game smoking cigars and then putting them out on small Indian babies.
“There’s definitely been a different vibe in the owner’s box during games this year,” said Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, a guest in Snyder’s box for 10 years.
Of course. Of course Snyder’s BFF is the Prince Charles of FOX News. I can really count on Chris Wallace to give it to me straight on this one. “Dan personally gives blood to puppies every Halloween but the press never talks about that!”
“There’s just a quiet confidence, almost a serenity about it…”
“I think you can see his growth,” said retired Redskins running back Clinton Portis, a friend of Snyder’s who served as a sideline reporter, paid by the team, on preseason broadcasts. “He’s allowing the coaches to coach, the players to play and the front office to run the team.”
Portis is dead broke and would say pretty much anything on Snyder’s behalf if it means holding onto three percent of his former income stream.
SNYDER: Clinton, I’ve really grown this year.
PORTIS: He’s grown!
SNYDER: I feel at peace.
PORTIS: He’s at peace!
SNYDER: Now go stick your dick to a frozen telephone pole.
“My own view is they finally got lucky,” said one former team official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to offer a frank assessment of the Redskins’ owner. “I doubt there’s anything Dan’s done differently. Dan’s going on 51 years old. He’s not going to change.”
THAT. THERE YOU GO. God bless Kilgore for that. You can cut away every other paragraph of this and be left with its essence: LUCKY SHITBAG GETS LUCKY.
Snyder still can come off as abrasive and discourteous.
“They couldn’t have in my mind a better, more qualified man making decisions other than Dan,” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a telephone conversation.
They should have also interviewed Dan Snyder’s dog for this. Fido, what did YOU think of the Skins’ season?
“A big part of how he’s different today than 15 years ago is he’s been kicked around hard — really been kicked around hard, more than most in the NFL. It’s made him more resolved. It’s made him understand the life he’s chosen.”
HE’S NOT A FUCKING SAILOR. He’s a fucking billionaire! What REAL adversity has this man suffered in the past 15 years? Whoa hey, I got tennis elbow from all that firin’! The life he’s chosen… Christ. Jerry Jones needs to eat shit.
Cooley, a popular ex-player who has become Snyder’s friend, attempted an NFL comeback. Six or seven times this season, Cooley asked Snyder to put him on the team. “Go talk to Bruce,” Snyder would reply. “And go talk to Scot.”
“He didn’t put me on the team,” Cooley said. “Five years ago, he would have. I totally respect that. I think that’s amazing. I think that’s how you do it the right way.”
“Anyone smart enough not to sign me is okay in my book.”
When Wallace’s father, the legendary CBS “60 Minutes” anchor Mike Wallace, died in 2012, he said Snyder and his wife, Tanya, were the only couple to mail him flowers and a condolence note.
Sure. Whatever. He’s a goddamn saint. Fuck Dan Snyder raw.
Emmitt Smith’s Lock Of The Week!
“This week I like the Air Zone Cartons (+3) to beat the Painters in Charmin! I love what Boost Errands has done with the Cartons. They love to stench the field! And I love seeing Palmer Carson go VERTIGO with the ball! To me, this is the most compete team in the entire NOTIONAL FOOTBARN LEEK. I think they can win the Sugar Bowl! I really do.”
2015 Emmitt Smith record: 10-11
Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Fitzgerald Toussaint, who basically handed the Patriots a second postseason bye week with that stupid fumble. Teams in the NFC are tearing out each other’s guts to make the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the candyass Patriots can win the AFC title game while lying on a fucking massage table. I AM BITTER.
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 2015 chopping block:
Joe Philbin - FIRED!
Tom Coughlin – PUSHED OUT!
Chip Kelly – FIRED!
Ken Whisenhunt – FIRED!
Mike Pettine – FIRED!
Jim Caldwell – NOT FIRED?!
Jim Tomsula – FIRED!
Lovie Smith – FIRED!
Marvin Lewis – NOT FIRED!
Jim Caldwell – NOT FIRED!
I still think Jim Caldwell is doomed to be fired a year from now. New Lions GM Bob Quinn couldn’t fire Caldwell right away because players like him and people respect him and they would have been pissed at Quinn if he hadn’t given Caldwell a fair shake. So now he has to wait a whole year so that he can go to the team and be like, “You guys were right! Jim is a class act. But NOW we’re gonna fire him and Josh McDaniels is coming. Also: all of you are cut.”
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Garrett sends in this story I call THREE POOPS AND A BABY:
A few weeks ago, one of my wife’s friends came over with her infant son. Fast forward a bit and I find myself watching the 8-month-old and my son (almost 6) while my wife and her friend head out to shop. All is well, the baby is kicking it in the little rocker-seat his mom brought, my son is playing some New Super Mario Bros on the Wii U and I was streaming the Falcons - Carolina game.
Fairly suddenly—perhaps due to the barrage of nachos, Tostitos cheese dip scooped directly from the jar and cheap jalapeno slices—my bowels growl in consternation. I bolt for the bathroom, informing my son to not mess with the baby and proceed to have the most disgusting jalapeno poop ever. I’m finishing wiping the sweat from my brow and beginning to wipe my ass when I hear, “Eeewwwww, gross!” come from the living room. My yells from the bathroom as to what is gross are ignored as my son continues playing Wii U, so I finish my business as quickly as possible and emerge into the living room to see runny baby shit all over the rocker and the infant’s hands.
The kid is smiling ear to ear opening and closing his hands, like he’s enjoying the feel of the runny dump or something. Eyes still glued to the video game, my son helpfully informs me that “Chase pooped himself.” So I grab a new diaper and take the kid to the bathroom to get him all cleaned up and changed and whatnot, and once this process is finished, I emerge back into the living room to something...amazing? Disgusting? I’m not quite sure how to categorize it.
There, in the living room and still playing his Mario, is my son, squatting naked from the waist down—his pants and undies sloppily on the floor to his right—his butt hovering above a single impressively long log of shit that’s resting atop a diaper that has been open and laid flat on the floor. That led to the following conversation:
Me: “What the hell are you doing?”
Son (nonchalant, still playing the game): “I had to poop.”
Me: “Don’t be ridiculous. Why didn’t you use the bathroom?”
Son: “I was too anxious to try this castle.”
Me: “You can pause the game! In the time it took you to pause it and poop on that diaper you could have used the toilet and been back!
Son (still playing the game): “I didn’t want to stop playing! I’m sorry, I was aannnxxxiioouuusss to try this level!”
Yes, that’s right. While actively playing his video game, my son managed to take off his pants and underwear, retrieve a diaper from the diaper bag a few feet away, spread the diaper on the floor, then very precisely poop onto the diaper. There was no mess! I was torn between being annoyed and being impressed when he hits me with one last question.
Son: “Just this one time, and I promise it’ll just be this one time, will you wipe me?”
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Taco-Litos! From Chris:
A coworker came in with these. Similar to your average salsa tortilla chip but with superior crunch, plus some are packed full of the flavor dust. Bonus-a solid half inch of said flavor dust at the bottom for you to savor. So good.
Good bless Mexican snack food. If there’s a snack food at the gas station that has nothing but Spanish on the package, I am buying that snack food: lime-flavored pork rinds, etc. Donald Trump wants to build a wall and, in so doing, will keep out all the delicious snacks and Mexican Coke. THINK ABOUT THAT, IOWA.
By the way, I always want more dust on my chip, so why doesn’t Frito-Lay just sell extra dust separately? Sell it by the can. It could be like a powdery dip. Yes, it would kill me. But this is America and I want it.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
RIO BRAVO! Mexico’s famous lager! From reader Rex:
I came across a pile of this at the Grocery Outlet in Oakland. At $4.99 a six pack, it was impossible to pass up a chance to try “Mexico’s Famous Lager”...So famous, I had never heard of it before.
I finally cracked one open near the end of the second half of watching my hometown Seahawks “play” the Panthers on Sunday. It was the perfect beer because it had absolutely no flavor at all, which was appropriate as all of my senses were dead at that point, when the Seahawks were down 31-0. The 4.6% ABV must be a lie because it really did taste like something from the Rio Bravo, if that is even a real body of water.
It is! The Rio Bravo is just term Mexicans use for the American Rio Grande, which seems unnecessary since the name was already in Spanish. But there you have it. Not the strongest artwork on that can. I’ve seen better river drawings in a Dollar Store coloring book. Still: fresh water! Nature! BEER. I MUST HAVE IT.
Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“You have to boil snow before you drink it or else you get diarrhea, okay? Because if you get diarrhea, you’re gonna have to use the rest of your snow stash to clean it up. Gets you both ways.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Browns Fans
The Revenant. I know that bear doesn’t rape Leonardo DiCaprio. But I’ll tell you what: it DEFINITELY violates him. You don’t walk away from that kind of bear assault without needing to talk it out. Anyway, I liked this movie. It was like Planet Earth, but with people getting arrows to the face. That’s my kind of movie. Give me some pretty trees and hatchet fights stitched together and I will be forever in your thrall. If you didn’t like The Revenant, you just weren’t drunk or high enough.
The only problem with this movie is that DiCaprio’s kid in it is, like, 15. I know DiCaprio is 41 years old now, and could technically have a teenage son, but fuck that. I’m not buying that pretty boy having Dad Strength. No way.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Son, there’s only one thing punks like that understand: squealing. You’ve got to squeal to every teacher and every grown-up you can find. Coming to me was a good start.”
Enjoy the games, everyone.