Illustration by Sam Woolley

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

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I’m gonna get into the games this week in just a moment, but first I need to talk about Brian Kelly. Because as much as I hate Notre Dame, I hate Brian Kelly even more. After losing to Stanford last week, Kelly got into a beef with the Cardinal’s strength coach (of all the opposing coaches to pick on, the strength coach is the one you should least want to fuck with). I have no doubt that this spat involved yelling because Kelly, who is a literal red ass, yells at everyone. Here’s a photo of him yelling:

And here’s a gif of him yelling at his own player:

And here he is grabbing his OWN strength coach while also yelling at him:

The Irish are currently 2-5. I know this because every time they lose, I throw a little party at my house. And I’d like to draw an easy correlation between Kelly’s miserable temperament and that 2-5 record, but I can’t because Kelly hasn’t had a losing season since 2004, and he’s far from the only yeller in the coaching ranks. Dabo Swinney yells. Jim McElwain yells. Little Mora yells. Nick Saban yells, although not quite as much as the others. Jim Harbaugh yells because he has no voice modulation of any kind. Most coaches yell, and most coaches get away with it because yelling is a cheap and easy form of leadership. If you want to grab a player’s attention quickly, and the stadium is already loud, raising your voice usually does the trick. In the short term, yelling works.

But in the long term, yelling is worthless. Yelling is a shortcut … a sugar rush of discipline for leaders who are too weak and/or too lacking in creativity when it comes to helping players improve. Go look at an NFL coach’s sideline demeanor and compare to a maniac like Kelly. In general, NFL coaches only yell if they truly need to be heard over the din, or if they have to bitch out a ref. Would Kelly have the gall to yell at his players if they were all 26 years old? Probably not, and that’s because Kelly is a fucking coward who knows he can only get away with that bullshit if he’s bossing around unpaid teenagers. As with corporal punishment, yelling represents a failure of imagination.

I know all this because I am a hypocrite. I have yelled at my children. Oh, have I yelled at them. Sometimes they’re just so fucking RUDE. They slam doors, and punch each other, and hiss “I don’t care” if you tell them it’s lunch time. It’s very, very difficult to manage your temper around such lunatics. And so I yell, even when parenting books and magazines make it clear that yelling does not work. I yell and I curse and I threaten. In fact, I curse just like my own dad cursed at me. I can hear him in my head when I shout “GodDAMMIT” at them. It’s uncanny.

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All that yelling works for roughly five seconds. The kids cry, and say sorry, and then immediately resume their dickish behavior. And then THEY start yelling at people, because I yelled at them. And on and on and on it goes. That’s when I know I’ve failed. I should not yell. I should walk away, or glower, or attempt to change the subject. I should weather the storm, because that’s always the right move. But sometimes, when the pressure is on, I break down. Then I go yell at myself for fucking up so badly. Sometimes I literally hit myself in the head out of shame and guilt. I even yell when I write (ALL CAPS!). At one point, I had to tape a sign that said EVERYONE STAY COOL on the kitchen wall because I’m a sheep and I will often do whatever a sign tells me to do. Sometimes I count the days since I last yelled, like a boozer on the wagon. You shouldn’t yell, and you shouldn’t be an unapologetic cock like Kelly if you do.

Every school and college in America should require a courseload in how to keep a level head. It’s a learned skill, and one that’s exceedingly difficult to master, especially if you have a high profile job where everyone in the stadium is screaming at you. I make fun of Andy Reid a lot, but in other ways I admire his ability to look completely and utterly unfazed by 50,000 people screaming at him that he’s an idiot. There’s a reason that guy has lasted. There’s a reason the Chiefs play hard for him. I’d rather have my coach be a steadying influence than the source of all my angst.

I got yelled at when I was a player, because I was bad and I fucked up a lot. Given my lack of natural talent, no amount of coaching would have served me well. But I remember the yelling, man. I still remember the dread that came any time a coach blew his whistle and screamed MAGARY loud enough for the rest of the team to hear. Everyone would freeze. You could hear the trees shaking in the wind. God, I just wanted to fucking die. On the next drill, the pressure to not get yelled at again was unbearable. I couldn’t keep my assignment straight because all I could think about was the coach singling me out again and blowing off my scalp with the power of his screaming. Then I would fuck it up and he wouldn’t say anything at all.

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I don’t think I ever got better at anything thanks to someone yelling at me, and I know my kids aren’t better off with me yelling at them. Every winning coach out there who yells would probably be just as successful without it. That even includes Harbaugh, who is the happiest yeller in the world and didn’t mean to tear your arm off when he asked you to pass the salt.

People need motivation sometimes. I get that. And when they anger you or disappoint you, it’s only human to express that frustration. But there are are smarter ways to get that across than turning into a rage volcano. Yelling is for people who lack self-control, and people who think volume is some bold method of leadership. Yelling is for fuckfaces like Kelly, and Bob Knight, and other bullies who never grew out of the practice. I wish I weren’t one of them. I hope, one day, I’ll figure out a way to get better.

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The Games

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

Five Throwgasms

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Seahawks at Cardinals: I play DFS every week and one of the drawbacks of Daily Fantasy—apart from the fact that you will lose all of your money—is that, as opposed to a full-season league, I burn out on players at warp speed. All a player has to do is give me one bad week and they are DEAD to me. I’ll never use them again. Did I start Odell last week when he tore up the field? Hell no, because he FUCKED me in Week 1. Every player has up weeks and down weeks, but I am too stupid and impatient to accept that. I can never trust Odell again. At this rate, I’ll hate every last player in the league by Week 7.

By the way, the flipside of this is when a player does well for me and I start to treat him like a mortal lock every week. Then they finally have a subpar outing and go right into Full Hate Mode. I’m an awful person. 

Four Throwgasms

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Skins at Lions: Here in DC the local sports talk radio station constantly airs a divorce lawyer ad from a firm named Cordell & Cordell, and it’s the saddest shit you ever heard. Every 10 minutes, I hear, “Make sure you take an inventory of all your belongings! Video works fine!” and then I want to drive off an overpass. These people have a scarily intimate knowledge of the Skins fan demographic.

Texans at Broncos: This game would be much better if John Elway started shooting paintballs at Brock from the owner’s box. I want him to spell out TOLD YOU SO in orange latex across Brock’s chest.

Patriots at Steelers: Another potentially great game fucked by a critical injury. You can only survive so many of these before people start heading for the exits. Roger Goodell screwed Tom Brady over and now he’s gonna have to surround him with tanks and snipers on every down just to keep him healthy and help keep the NFL solvent.

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Vikings at Eagles: One of the hottest social media TRENDZ is people letting you know that you said or did something dumb by responding with just your first name, like an angry mom. It happens in text messages, and on Twitter, and in Slack. I will now demonstrate.

ME: So what if Trump grabbed some pussy? Sometimes you’re in a rush AMIRITE?!

OTHER PERSON: Drew.

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ME: What?

There it is. It’s gotten to the point now where I have to actively avoid addressing people by their first name online, because I don’t want them thinking that I think that they fucked up somehow.

Three Throwgasms

Chargers at Falcons: Dick Enberg retired this fall and I regret not paying proper homage to him when it happened. I grew up with the NFL on NBC, with Enberg doing games with Merlin Olsen. Dick sounded a giddy cruise director watching grown men smash each other’s brains in. O HO HO HO MY! He was great. In the span of a few short months, we’ve lost both Enberg and Vin Scully, with no adequate replacements. Old men are the best announcers, and we need more of them. We should plunder the Medicare rolls and find new old guys to help fill the void.

By the way, Joey Bosa is legit. I’m very excited to see how the Chargers squander the next 10 years of his career. He’s gonna get 100 sacks for a parade of 10-loss teams. 

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Rams at Giants (London): This is the first NFL game to be played at Twickenham Stadium. And if Roger Goodell has his way, they’ll eventually hit every storied English venue: Burdenshire, Creamwich, Ravenclaw, Burblefuckwell, Pudding-Upon-Haffersputty, Lord Rhys Rhysmylf Field, and Thurston Mallardbone Arena.

Saints at Chiefs

Two Throwgasms

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Bears at Packers: I have some very quick notes about Green Bay:

  1. Eddie Lacy was clearly hurdling defenders on purpose every other play so that people wouldn’t call him fat. He is now injured.
  2. We’re just on the verge of Packer fans chanting RIPPPPPPPPPPPP every time Aaron Ripkowski touches the ball. It’s not as catchy as KUHHHHNNNNNN but they’ll get there.
  3. Aaron Rodgers sucks now and the Packers should definitely bench him and then trade him, preferably out of the conference.

Browns at Bengals: I keep telling myself that the Browns aren’t THAT bad. They’ve had terrible luck with injuries. They have Terrelle Pryor. They’ve kept some games close. THOSE KIDS FIGHT SO HARD. And yet, I know that’s all a bunch of limp excuses. The Browns suck, and treating them like a bunch of kindergarteners probably doesn’t help the cause.

Bills at Dolphins: I’ve been watching a lot of the baseball (I call “the baseball” because I’m old) and a lot of players are now wearing their jerseys unbuttoned, sometimes halfway down so that you can see their t-shirt and whatever late-night infomercial magnetic crucifix they happen to prefer. I’m not saying these ballplayers are trying to fuck all of us, I’m just saying that they’re really putting the vibes out there. We’re two years away from guys playing in loafers and no socks. Stop trying to seduce me and play some BALL, gentlemen.

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Raiders at Jaguars: I don’t know how the governor of Nevada can approve $750 million for a stadium and not have people storming the capital with wrenched-off slot machine levers. THEY’RE FUCKING YOU. VEGAS! Not only is it the largest public contribution for a stadium in history, but that $750M still represents less than HALF the cost of the joint (If you ask Mark Davis and the NFL, this is some kind of remarkable silver lining to the expense). You can build a perfectly nice NFL stadium for a billion dollars, but the NFL wants these stadiums to get more and more expensive, so that they can grab more public funds and mark up every last part of the gameday experience. These fucking assholes. No wonder people are staying away.

Colts at Titans

One Throwgasm

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Ravens at Jets: OH SHIT YEAH IT’S GENO TIME. Watching Geno fail is 10 times more amusing than watching Ryan Fitzpatrick fail. You’re gonna love this move, Jets fans. True, the Jets are gonna end up drafting another QB this spring even though they’ve drafted a QB in the second round two of the last four years. But still! Savor Geno’s boobery while you can, New York.

Bucs at Niners: Getting really tired of announcers saying a defense can “pin their ears back” when they have a lead over the other team. That phrase doesn’t mean what they think it means. Just say they can rush the passer more freely with a lead. I don’t need all this ear talk.

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

“Robot Stop,” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard! From Bentley:

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I wanted to make sure you had King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard brought to your attention. First off, their name rules. It’s too ridiculous and not quite ridiculous enough at the same time. They’ve been making… some kind of music down in Australia for 3 years now, pumping out some ridiculous number of albums. The last 4 (Nonagon Infinity, Quarters, Paper Mache Dream Balloon, and I’m In Your Mind Fuzz) are in order balls-to-the-walls rock, 4 songs clocking in at 10:11 each, a relaxed and hippy-esque flower child album, and another balls-to-the-walls psychedelic rock album, and each has its own merits. But enough about them. Listen to this song, “Robot Stop” from Nonagon Infinity. The first lyrics are “LOOSEN UP! TIME TO JUMP! FUCK SHIT UP! DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT! My coffin’s all I see / lately – robot STOP!”

Strong work. I am now indeed loosened up and ready to jump and fuck shit up.

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Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week

Let’s hear it for Jonathan Chait’s new book…

Also, Doug Gottlieb has been lighting up Twitter lately, clearly auditioning to join the stable of horses’ asses over at FS1.

Oh yeah, that’s the stuff. WHAT ABOUT THE KIDFOLK, SIR? MAYBE THINK ABOUT THEM THE NEXT TIME YOU TALK TWERKIN’. It’s a slippery slope, America. If you let men dance in the end zone, what will they do next? Huh? I’ll tell you what they would do: GANG WAR. It’s so obvious.

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Curt Schilling’s Facebook Lock Of The Week: Bears (+9)

Meme by Patty Red

Schilling 2016 record: 2-3-1

Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death

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Carson Wentz. You moose-dressing asshole. How do you not score against Washington’s defense? Rutgers could hang 30 on that team. Who said rookie quarterbacks were allowed to be inconsistent? Clearly this young man has let success go to his head. I want him benched.

Also, reader Will hates the Steelers defense right now.

Fuck the Steelers defense. I lost my matchup this week by one point and these fools put up a NEGATIVE FOUR AGAINST THE DOLPHINS. I still don’t know how this is possible. Pittsburgh already had a virtual home game in Miami because this trash Yinzer fanbase is the kudzu of the NFL; an invasive species that takes over any pro football stadium the Steelers happen to play in. On top of all this, they were playing the Miami Dolphins offense, which is as fearsome as a newborn puppy. Jay Ajayi had never had a game in his pro career where he had rushed for over 50 yards. HE RAN FOR 204 YARDS ON SUNDAY. I would’ve been better off just leaving the D/ST slot blank, but leave it to the Steelers to figure out a way to infuriate me even in a humiliating defeat.

I’m with Will. The Steelers belong in jail for that. There are, like, two good fantasy defenses and the rest are slop. It’s annoying.

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 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 2016 chopping block:

John Fox*

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Jeff Fisher

Mike McCarthy*

Mike McCoy*

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Todd Bowles

Marvin Lewis

Hue Jackson

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Gus Bradley

Mike Mularkey

Ron Rivera

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Chip Kelly

Chuck Pagano*

(*-potential midseason firing)

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Prior to the bye, the Colts have to play Tennessee, Kansas City, and Green Bay, in that order. I think 3-6 would be enough to do in Chuck Pagano for good, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. There’s nothing worse than some coach on the brink of getting fired who stages some bullshit, heartwarming win streak to prop up his own corpse until the end of the season. I hate that.

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Craig sends in this story I call POOPY THE SNOWMAN:

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I was attending an all-night church party on New Year’s Eve and we were at a ice rink playing broom hockey. Being a good church kid I didn’t drink alcohol and instead was drinking Sparkling Cider. For some reason I chugged two giant bottles of Martinelli’s cider, then went about the business of playing broom hockey.

After sliding around on the ice for an hour or so, it was time for all of us to pile back into our church vans and drive the hour back down the freeway to our church. I was sitting in the back left corner of the 15-passenger van when the gurgling in my belly told me that something was very, very wrong. I told the guy next to me that I was pretty sure I was about to poop my pants and we immediately began begging the driver to pull over to a gas station. The guy refused, assuming that we were just being idiots - the kind who chug giant bottles of sparkling cider.

As an act of desperation, I opened the windows on the back doors and prepared to drop trou ... my buddy immediately shut that idea down, pointing out that the poop would just shoot back into the vehicle. At this point, everyone in the seats near me began to move forward to get away from whatever noises and smells were emitting from my body.

Eventually, the driver realized something serious was happening and pulled over on the side of Interstate-5 north of Seattle. I penguin walked out of the van, looked around and sat down on the guardrail like it was a toilet. As I was unloading this watery mess I looked up to see 13 faces pressed up against the windows watching me. That moment of glory didn’t go over too well with the ladies.

As I was attempting to finish, another van suddenly pulled up and shined its lights on me - they assumed we had broken down, so they pulled over to help. We waved them away as quickly as we could, leaving me in whatever peace you can find on the side of a 10-lane, major freeway on New Year’s Eve.

Eventually I finished and started looking around for some leaves, or paper or whatever to wipe with. My buddy got out of the van and said he had an idea. So as I sat on that guardrail I watched him pack a snowball and hand it to me.

I held it with two fingers and wiped away, eventually giving it a distinct brown circle. After pitching that snowball onto I-5, I climbed back into the van and we hustled back to the church where I recommenced pooping my brains out.

So remember kids, don’t eat brown snow. Or chug bottles of sparkling cider.

Noted and noted.

Gametime Snack Of The Week

Japanese rice crackers! So crunchy! So lovingly coated in salt varnish! I have a modest proposal, and that is we swap the pretzels in every bag of snack mix with rice crackers instead. We all know those pretzels are there to act as needless filler, and that pretzels are bullshit. So why not put in these little fuckers instead? Surely the cost of production would remain level, and I wouldn’t have to ferret out every stupid Rold Gold from my bag of Munchies. Everyone wins. 

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Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week

COBRA! Not King Cobra, but standard Cobra. Reader Andrew explains:

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I submit to you COBRA beer, which I had last week at an Indian restaurant in Geneva called Bollywood. You’d think a beer named after either the most fearsome of snakes or G.I. Joe’s archenemy would be aggressive, but sadly, it’s anything but. This stuff had about as much bite as a bottle of Aquafina. I demand that Cobra beer be forced to change its name to something more fitting, like Garter Snake or Earthworm. Look, even the label says that it’s “impossibly smooth.” Fine, that’s great, but they why did you call it Cobra?! That’s some really weird marketing.

In general, I like a light beer with any spicy Indian food, so really this beer is more like the cobra antidote, while my chicken biryani represents the actual serpent. THINK ABOUT IT.

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Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week! 

“You can drink your own breast milk. It’s not bad for you. Say you got a funnel. Lotta funnels lying around. Okay, so you take the funnel, and then you get some surgical tubing. Again, lot of that around, used or otherwise. You jimmy that tube onto the funnel, and now you got yourself a breast pump. Good, strong pump. Much sturdier and more effective than the baby store ones. Then you suck. Takes a while. I like standing near the Peoria microwave plant to help loosen up the valves. But once it gets going, you got milky gold. You can drink it, churn it, even sell it. I just say mine is from ‘Jimmia’ if anyone asks about the source. They don’t know any better. Still good milk.”

 

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Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Browns Fans

E.T. My kids didn’t wanna watch this, but the second Elliott screamed PENIS BREATH at his brother, they became fully invested. When kids hear a swear word dropped in a movie or in a song, their eyes LIGHT UP. They’re kinda shocked, but also kinda excited, too. I shouldn’t enjoy their reaction to profanity as much as I do.

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Gratuitous Miller’s Crossing Quote

“You think that I’m some guinea, fresh off the boat, and you can kick me! But I’m too big for that now. I’m sick a’ takin the scrap from you, Leo. I’m sick a’ of marching into this goddamn office to kiss your Irish ass! And I’M SICK A’ THE HIGH HAT!”

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Enjoy the games, everyone.