Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.
You’re gonna be watching a whole lotta football this coming weekend, and when you watch those games, you’re probably gonna see this shitty ad for the NFL Shop, which has been running ever since the season started:
I am a Vikings fan, but I think I can say objectively that this is the worst fucking family in the universe, fictional or otherwise. Let’s go through the narration to get at the root of the suck …
"We started out as a Vikings family."
Yes, you did. And you should have STAYED that way. That is how being a fan fucking works. You pick your team, and that is your team for life. If you were dumb enough to pick the Vikings, tough shit. You are saddled with Teddy Bridgewater overthrowing guys wearing his Hamburger Helper gloves whether you like it or not.
"Until my son Brendan met Sarah, from Philly …"
Look at Brendan. No way he gets Sarah. He’s a pasty schlub and she’s a smoking hot Unicorn Sports Gal Bartender. I can’t believe an ad LIED to me.
"… got married, moved to Cincy, and had Bengal babies."
What the fuck? Why are they Bengal babies? Neither Brendan NOR Unicorn Sports Gal Bartender like the Bengals. Did they just move to Cincy and were like, "Well, we’re here. Guess these little fuckers have to like Andy Dalton now." Maybe Sarah’s parents are Bengals fans. Maybe they moved there for the free day care and her domineering father demanded her little girl raise those kids as members of Who Dey Nation or something. Maybe that’s why Sarah became an Eagles fan in the first place. She got fed up with dad, fled to Philly, became a licentious drunken Philly fan, and ended up settling with some pud of a Vikings fan. I bet she thinks of running away every single day.
"Then my daughter Julie met Emmitt Smith and never let us forget it!"
Really? Well then, get FUCKED, Julie. All it took was one selfie with Emmitt and now you’re a Cowboys bandwagoner? What is wrong with you? And you’re BRAGGING about it? I would not invite Julie to Thanksgiving dinner. I would cut her out of the will. See if your new bestie Emmitt will invite you over this year, lady. Maybe he’ll serve you turnkey and snuffling.
"And after years of eating Roethlis-Burgers, my son Dan became a fan of the guy too!"
Dude, did these people even like the Vikings at all to begin with? They can’t WAIT to find new asshole teams to root for. My God. You ate a bunch of hamburgers and now Big Ben is your hero? You know about the rape allegations and his gray penis and all that, right? Or was the burger all that mattered to you? DURRRR DIS TASTE GOOD GUESS I’M A YINZER NOW SIX-BURGH KISS THE RINGS DURRRRR. And fuck your hair.
"And that’s how my Vikings family became a Viking/Bengals/Eagles/Steelers/Cowboys family …"
Look at Julie! She’s wearing a Vikings jersey and a Cowboys hat! FLAG! I CALL A FUCKING FLAG ON THAT OUTFIT! Only Snoop Dogg is allowed to get away with this sort of thing.
I hate this family. I hate this ad. It was clearly dreamed up by some hideous art director who was given implicit instructions to showcase a sociopathic family tree of people abandoning their original team just so they can gobble up more expensive crap at the NFL Shop. The NFL wants you to be a fairweather fan so that you watch more games and pull a Laura Quinn with your jersey every chance you get. It’s sickening, by God. And you know what the worst part is? The mom is HAPPY about this. She thinks this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to her family. Can’t she see the forest for the trees? Can’t she see that she is barely holding together a loveless collective? I bet Brendan and Julie and Dan LOATHE each other and spend every Thanksgiving staring their phones so they don’t have to talk to one another.
And of course they had to use my favorite team as the focal point for this exodus. It makes sense, since Vikings fans are horrible (last week’s game was probably 80% Packers fans, and those people probably all lived close by). But I already knew that. The NFL Shop didn’t have to go twisting the knife by holding up these smug losers as some kind of Normal Rockwell Footbaw family ideal. They didn’t have to go flaunting the transitory nature of shitty Vikings fans all across national television. You hurt me, NFL Shop. You hurt my essence. No gravy for you this Thanksgiving. That family can go to hell.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Seahawks at Niners: I’m not sure there’s ever been a better slate of games for a single NFL weekend. Frankly, it’s almost too much. I have grown up with shitty Thanksgiving Day games my whole life. I have pissed and moaned about the Lions always being involved, just as everyone else has. I think the only memorable Turkey Day games I’ve seen are the Leon Lett game, Randy Moss single-handedly beating the Cowboys, and probably something cool that Barry Sanders did.
But today’s lineup has me rethinking those complaints. I kind of NEED Thanksgiving Day football games to be shitty. There is too much food and too many relatives around for me to digest these games properly. I wanna graze on football. I need a shittyass football game on the TV so that I can escape down to the basement every once in a while, but I can’t be tied to that game for four hours, man. People notice. I can FEEL them detect my absence from the living room. Where is Drew? In the basement, eh? ANTISOCIAL LAYABOUT. We’re gonna become a Cardinals/Eagles/Packers/Texans family to spite him! Ever turn on a TV in the middle of a party room and have everyone look at you like you’re a dick? Unpleasant.
Broncos at Chiefs: The Eric Berry cancer story is terrifying because a) Eric Berry is awesome and people like him a lot and I very much wish him a full recovery, and b) It serves as a reminder that you can be a young, healthy, world class athlete and cancer STILL won’t give a shit. You should get a lifetime pass from cancer if you’re in the kind of shape that Eric Berry is in. It’s not right that you train and lift 500-pound weights over your head and calibrate your food and drink intake to the nearest microcalorie, and then doctors can still be like, "Hey, there’s a bunch of cancer in your chest!" That’s crap. Cancer is just so damn rude.
By the way, Emmanuel Sanders "came back" from a concussion just a week after getting his head mashed in against the Rams. And even though we’ve had our big National Discussion about head ouchies in football, it’s amazing that TV people will still roll along with these quick comebacks like it’s nothing at all. (Saying you’ve come back from a concussion is in itself insidious because concussion damage is irreversible.) They never say, "Well, that’s kinda messed up that he’s back." They just happily buy into the idea that everything is hunky dory now. He healed up that brain booboo real quick!
Patriots at Packers: I hate both these teams, but if this ends up being your Super Bowl, I can’t really complain. That would be one kickass Super Bowl. Why, you could invite your whole Patriots/Packers/Steelers/Yankees/Red Sox/Duke family over to watch it. My hope is that the score is tied 50-50 just as the comet hits. That’s my dream scenario.
Eagles at Cowboys: No offense to Andrew Sharp but you Cowboys fans out there aren’t allowed to play the fatalist card.
You have five rings. Stop acting like you’re star-crossed. "I can’t believe the Cowboys are good!" Yes you can. Twenty years ago, they beat the shit out of everyone. You were there. You saw it. You are not adorable. Don’t go pretending the league’s most valuable franchise is the nerdy girl turned Prom Queen.
Bears at Lions: I was watching the Bears play the Vikings a couple weeks ago and it’s amazing how much announcers HATE Jay Cutler. Like, they can barely veil their contempt. And announcers usually love everyone. They’ll blow smoke up any player’s ass. But not Cutler. Rich Gannon was the announcer two weeks ago, and he spent the entire game dying to call Cutler a pussy. It’s riveting television. I’ll watch any Bears game for this reason.
Saints at Steelers: I hate to tell you this, but New Orleans only has one winning opponent left on the schedule, and the Steelers are it. After that, it’s nothing but the Bears and the rest of the NFC South. And while the Saints are horrific (Sean Payton has suddenly become the worst play caller in the universe), they can probably still scrounge together seven wins and run away with the division (the Falcons, meanwhile, have to deal with the Cards, Packers, and Steelers all in a row).
If people are really rooting for CHAOS (NOTE: rooting for chaos is a leftover symptom of BCS hatred), you gotta have a ten-loss team make the playoffs, because they’ve already had a nine-loss team make the playoffs and everything turned out fine. You need a 6-10 team hosting a playoff game to get the competition committee to be like, "Jesus, this is fucked."
Cardinals at Falcons: I am cooking the turkey this year. I took on that duty voluntarily, even though the Cajun Boy has pointed out that you can buy a fried turkey from Popeye’s for Thanksgiving. When tonight rolls around and I’m straining out a shitload of gravy, I’m gonna regret not getting that Popeye’s turkey. There’s no way that turkey is not good. I bet they grow their frying turkeys in a lab beaker.
Chargers at Ravens: Justin Forsett is the seventh highest scoring back in fantasy this year. Did you pick him up? No. Did some other asshole? Yes. Is fantasy football the worst? Yes. It is the fucking worst.
Browns at Bills
Dan Snyder Gargling Hot Balls at Colts: My bold prediction is that you will never see the Skins play on Thanksgiving Day again—be it in primetime or against the Cowboys or Lions—as long as they have that name. I’m sure someone at League Headquarters (pictured here) slipped the schedule-maker a twenty and was like, "Ixnay on the EdskinsRay on Squanto Day, honey."
By the way, for the sake of transparency, I'm gonna tell you right now that the Deadspin policy is to avoid using the name Redskins when and if possible. It's left to the writer's discretion, but Craggs can be a grumpy turd about such things, and sometimes it's best not to provoke him. So that's why you don't see "Redskins" there in the game listings. However, I don't necessarily agree with that policy. Not that Craggs and I brawl in an alley about it. We both agree that there's nothing worse than some grandstanding sportswriter announcing to the world I AM NOT USING THE NAME, like he's fucking Gandhi.
But even if you don't announce to everyone that you're abandoning the nickname, I think it's still really conspicuous when you don't use it. I still find it to be am empty gesture. I also think that, if the Redskins wanna call themselves the Redskins and invite in all of the shit that goes with it, then so be it. Craggs disagrees. His argument is that using the name only normalizes the slur. So that is why you see Dan Snyder Gargling Hot Balls up above. Also, Dan Snyder gargles hot balls.
Giants at Jaguars: Last week I bitched about the fade route, because the fade route sucks. You know what the opposite of the fade route is? Here it is: The offense lines up on third and short or some other down like that. The QB takes the snap and the entire line zone blocks one way, in unison, and the QB rolls that way as well. As he does that, he pitches the ball out to the RB, who is going the other way. A kind of naked RB bootleg. That little pitch-out play is fucking awesome. I wanna marry that play. I bet the Giants have never called that goddamn play.
Panthers at Vikings: Big game if your family is a Vikings/Panthers/Vikings/Dumbfuck family!
Raiders at Rams: Why not play this game in Los Angeles as a test exercise? It would be like a preview. By the way, like clockwork, the NFL feeds out some news item about Los Angeles virtually every Sunday morning (usually via Jason La Canfora). See for yourself: here, here, and here. Behind the scenes, they have a whole grand plan laid out for the Rams and Raiders in LA, and now it’s just a matter of dribbling out news and figuring out which SoCal municipality is sucker enough to volunteer.
Titans at Texans
Bengals at Bucs
Dolphins at Jets
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
"Bangs," by Brick + Mortar. From Scott:
Despite any band putting a "+" in their name (which takes you literally 15 seconds to find and execute on a keyboard) this song is AWESOME! A 2-person band made up of strictly a rhythm section and ZERO hipster guitarists is better than finding a Unicorn.
Indeed. Also, the video has an EXPLICIT label (people get beaten up and abducted and stuff). These days, the only way you will ever get me to click on a music video and have me watch it for more than thirty seconds is to put an EXPLICIT label on there. "Oh, you mean there are butts?" CLICK. We are quickly moving to a butt-based economy.
Suicide Pick Of The Week
Last week’s picks of Kansas City, Green Bay, and Indy went 2-1, making me 25-12 for the year. Time again to pick three teams for your suicide pool and one thing that makes you want to commit suicide. This week’s picks are St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indy, and White Twitter discussing "Serial." It’s like they went to the Twee Factory specifically to create the most pretentious pop culture phenomenon possible: a fucking NPR podcast. It is the podcast that spawned a zillion ethics theses from the Problem Internet. Very excited to do this all over again when it becomes a Prestige TV show.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
I think we were all pleased to see Josh Gordon return to the Browns lineup last week, right? NOT YOUR GODLY COLUMNIST. For you see, Josh Gordon is nothing but a weed-smoking layabout in the eyes of fair Gregggggggg:
Touts lauded the return of Josh Gordon, with 120 receiving yards. Two of Brian Hoyer's three interceptions were errant throws targeted to Gordon. In both instances he might have broken up the pass but instead just watched passively as the ball was picked off. When a pass is errant, a wide receiver should turn into a defensive back. Gordon seems to consider this beneath him.
Oh, how you MAINSTREAM MEDIA TOUTS wanted your beloved legalization poster boy to succeed. Only TMQ could discern the Authentic Truth! Don’t you see that Josh Gordon is a man of low character, and that two plays is all you need to know that he finds hard labor BENEATH HIM, and would prefer to lounge about all day, collecting trophies and having grapes fed to him? Repulsive. And now the Browns are cursed. The Football Gods forsoothed it! Good players are evil and shall drag you to HELL.
By the way, Greggggg finally did see Snowpiercer this week and promptly bitched about the economic feasibility of an ice world future train. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go ram my hand through a table saw.
Emmitt Smith's Lock Of The Week!
"This week, I like the Titans (+6.5) to win in Houston! I know that JJ Watt is a yeast, with frankish athletic utility. HE IS TRULY A MODERN MARBLE. But the Texans have such huge quenchin’ marks at Courting back! Do you go with Ryan Fitzgerald (who went to Haverford!)? Do you go with Tom Sandwich? What do you do now that Ryan Mallard is gone? It’s a cannondrum! I also like the Keiths (+1) at home against Denver! CAN’T GO AGAINST THE CROWD AT AEROBED! Happy That’s Giving, everyone! Hope you’re as excited as I am for turnlips, sweet tomato pie, green bean asshole, and GAYVY! Lots of GAYVY!"
2014 Emmitt Smith record: 7-7
This Week In Terrifying Animal News
Everyone sent in this link about the discovery of the Black sea devil, yet another addition to the menagerie of bottom-dwelling sea creatures that prove we ought to nuke the oceans. The scariest thing about these fish is that they just hang out in full darkness all the time. So if you’re swimming around at the bottom of the ocean (let’s assume you have magic neck gills), you won’t see these things while they gobble on your nutsack. Terrifying.
By the way, with a name like “Black sea devil,” I’m surprised Darren Wilson didn’t try to shoot this fish 10 times already.
Fantasy Player Who Deserves to Die A Slow, Painful Death
We have to put Bill Belichick here since he ruined Jonas Gray just to teach the nameless proles working for him a lesson. I’m surprised he hasn’t replaced the names on the jerseys with serial numbers. "You, #4098234! You’re cut." I bet CEOs watch the Patriots with their pants around their ankles.
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 2014 chopping block:
(*potential midseason firing)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tom Coughlin spends WAY too much time making his "What’s that ya say, sonny boy?!" face over on the sidelines instead of actually working. He should not have time to stand there with his hands on his hips, looking like an angry old man waiting for a table to open up at the Cheesecake Factory. That is valuable time that he could spend breaking down opposing offenses in real time and shit. Instead, he just delegates everything to everyone and then assigns himself Bitching Duties all game long.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Brian sends in this story I call GONE IN POOPTY SECONDS:
Back in college, I worked at this restaurant and my co-workers and I used to participate in a weekly Steak Night. We'd get together late at night after everyone got off work and grill steaks and get drunk. One week, I was sober-ish enough to drive home, so I left around 3 am instead of crashing on the couch or the floor like usual. I was driving to my parents' house, roughly a 30-40 minute drive. About halfway through the drive, perhaps from the poor quality and mass quantity of meat I had just consumed, I felt the tug, and I started speeding. The urge was so strong that I seriously considered pulling over and shitting on the side of the road. Instead, I floored it, trying to get home before I exploded all over my pants and my car. Nearly home, I suddenly heard a siren and saw the blue-and-red lights in my rear-view mirror. The cop walked up to my window and saw that I was breathing heavily and practically sweating. He asked me if I was alright, and I told him that if I didn't get home in the next 5 minutes, he was going to have an awful mess on his hands. I apologized for speeding and told him that if he'd let me drive home and go inside and evacuate my burning bowels, I'd gladly come back outside and accept my ticket. He said something like, "You were speeding because you have to shit really badly? Is that what you're telling me?" I confirmed and after looking at the address on my license and realizing I lived around the corner, he let me go with a warning.*
I stopped in front of my parents' house without bothering to park properly or turn my headlights off or close the door. I ran-limped to the front door and realized I didn't have a key. It was almost 4 am by this point and no one was awake. I was really pushing emergency territory here. I called the house phone and no one picked up. I called each family members' cellphone and no one answered. I was about to ruin the front lawn when, in the distance behind the house, I saw that the lights were on at the public park the house backs up to. I could see the small building that held the bathrooms. It was my only chance, so I climbed our fence and shit myself a little on the landing. That was okay. Most of the toxic awfulness inside me remained there, clawing at my asshole, for the moment. I sprinted as well as I could with both cheeks clenched until I reached the bathroom which was mercifully unlocked. I opened the door and there was a homeless guy sleeping in there. I didn't care and made a beeline for the stall, dropped trou, and took the biggest, loudest, most satisfying shit of my life. I thought it would never stop. I just kept shitting and shitting and shitting. It probably took a good 20 minutes for it all to come out. It was like that scene in Dumb & Dumber right down to the toilet not flushing.
When I finally left the stall, the homeless guy was gone.
Also, I slept in my car that night.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Pumpkin pie bars! It’s like pumpkin pie, only in a bar! And it has a graham cracker crust. All pie crust should be graham cracker crust (or Oreo crust). Regular pie crust is boring and pointless. If I were single and hated myself, I would go to the store, buy a premade graham cracker crust, and eat it without actually putting pie stuff in it.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
RAMBO! Fuck yeah! From the Congo! Reader Adam explains:
Here is a beer so awesome it's brewed in Lithuania and sold in the Congo. That's a high quality supply chain. The can also says "Strong beer" in like 5 different third world languages to get their point across. The picture of Rambo speaks for itself. Oh, and it tastes like Rambo drained his sweat socks into a can.
Adam also furnished a picture of charred frozen goat heads from the same super market, "in case you need a snack of the week as well." I will reluctantly pass on the goat heads, but I’ll drink the FUCK out of some Rambo. That doesn’t even look like Rambo. It looks like a D-list Avenger. No matter: I MUST HAVE IT.
Robert Evans's MVP Watch!
Time to start thinking about this season's candidates for the NFL's MVP award. Every week, legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.
"Baby, my favorite for MVP is still Aaron Rodgers of the Packers! Another quiet Thanksgiving at Woodland this year. We’ve gone low key, baby! Champagne? YOU BET? Naked Cirque de Soleil? NOT IN THE BUDGET THIS YEAR. It’ll be just me and Nicholson and 600 of our closest drug dealers. No word on if we’re re-enacting the first Thanksgiving again. We usually do it, only in the nude. It’s a great number! Nicholson really DOES give everyone smallpox at the end of it. Keeps a vial of it in his safe at home! I’m not sure that’s legal!"
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Raiders Fans
Jurassic Park. The original one. By the way, if they ever did manage to clone dinosaurs and make a park out of it, tickets would cost $10,000 each and your kids would beg you to go every fucking month. All my kids do these days is bitch about how we’ve never been to Disneyworld (other families seem to have the limitless resources needed to make the trip 500 times). I don’t want them bitching about never going to T-Rex Island Adventure. You stay away from cloning dinosaurs, BIG RESORT.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Good evening, everyone, and welcome to a wonderful evening of theater and picking up after yourselves."
Enjoy the games, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving!
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.