I have two children. One is five years old. The other is two years old. Since they have existed, I have looked forward to the day when they are fully grown human beings who do not require my constant supervision and can wipe themselves without assistance. It's a dream, really. It's all so very far away.
But I was watching football the other day with the kids in the room, and the kids were bitching at me the whole game long to change it to Mickey Mouse Club or some other horrible shit, and two things occurred to me. ONE: I need to get my own apartment. TWO: It is not necessarily a blessing that these children will grow up any further. Younger children go to sleep around 7 or 8PM, unless you SUCK at being a parent. Once those kids are asleep, you can do ANYTHNG you want. You can watch grownup movies. You can watch grownup TV shows. You can think about making love to your spouse, but decide to surf the Internet instead. The world is your oyster. PRIMETIME IS STILL YOUR DOMAIN.
But older kids? Older kids don't go to bed that early. Just the other day I remembered that, by the time middle school came around, I was staying up later than my folks. I was demanding that they let me watch "The Cosby Show" and shit. Soon, my children will outgrow their bedtimes, and then I will LOSE my death grip upon primetime activities in my household. These kids are gonna get older and then they're gonna usurp all the TVs in the house and I won't be able to watch JACK SHIT. They'll dictate what movies we watch (TWILIGHT). They'll control the DVR (They kind of already do). They'll colonize all sedentary activities and leave me over in the corner, reading a fucking book like an old man in a rest home. Even if they have an iPad or a laptop, they'll find a way to use it and the television all at once (I know I do). Just thinking about it right now is AGONY. I have to go have a drink or something.
So this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for the short time I have left as the Prime Time King of my home. Soon, it'll all go away. Pray for Mojo.
NOW DAN V, MAKE WITH THE SPECIAL THANKSGIVING THROWGASMS.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Packers at Lions: Remember: This is the early Thanksgiving game, and Nickelback is the halftime entertainment despite the online petition drive. So if your cheapass grandma has no DVR (she doesn't), you've got 12 minutes at the half for dinner. Alternately, you could plan your meal so that you can either eat at the beginning of the Cowboys game (which isn't as good of a game), or so you can eat at the tail end of this game if it's a blowout. You can put the spread out at around 3PM, do some pre-gorging during the commercials, and then commence full gorging once you find a decent window of opportunity. Sometimes, I find myself actively rooting for a game to be a blowout so that I can focus on eating for a bit. Then I chastise myself for being a shitty football fan. It's the kind of existential crisis you might find in a Jonathan Franzen novel, or so I would assume.
Niners at Ravens: One issue I encounter pretty much every Thanksgiving is OVEN REAL ESTATE. Unless you're some fancy one percenter with two ovens in your home and a entire library of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, you're looking at cooking fifty different items in a single oven, which is a BITCH. I've never gotten this shit right, and I'm usually the one who tries to wedge in the EZ Foil of extra stuffing next to the bird because its titty timer hasn't popped yet. All I know is that the sweet potato/marshmallow thingamajig and the white trash church basement green bean casserole need to be cooked LAST. Potatoes turn arctic circle cold after about three minutes out of the fucking oven. Half the time, I'm using the gravy as the primary heating agent for everything on my plate.
Giants at Saints: Every year we say this, and every year it still holds true: FOX needs to stop letting Bradshaw do the fucking halftime highlights. Every time he does them, he sounds like he's doing them for the first time. Like someone at FOX ran up to him at the last second and was like, "Terry! Everyone has the flu! YOU have to do the highlights!" And he's like, "What? Me? Why, I'm juss a daggum cuntry boy y'all! I can't work these fancee teevees!" I don't even think he watches the first half of games. I think the highlights are there specifically to get Terry up to speed on everything that's happened. "OH! Kevin Smith scored on that run? Well, I'll be!" Jesus Christ, CURT MENEFEE IS SITTING RIGHT THERE. What are they paying Curt for if they're not gonna fucking use him?
Bears at Raiders: When I worked in advertising, the ad agency and the client would get together and create a style guide for whatever brand they were working on. And the style guide was there to tell designers how big the company logo should be, and what color it should be, and what not do with the logo (don't distort it, or add new funky colors, or show the logo tattooed on the inside of a woman's labia, etc.). The idea is that everything needs to stay uniform so that the brand is consistent. That kind of logic is what's behind the NFL's draconian uniform policy, and it's why they won't let Earl Bennett wear orange shoes even though orange shoes are cool as shit. But it makes no sense for the NFL to do it because there are so many brand elements already in place that orange shoes will have NO impact on the brand at all. The Bears logo still looks the same. The stadium and the NFL logo are still the same. There are enough consistent elements in there to allow for variation. What I'm basically saying is someone should take a shit in Roger Goodell's mouth.
Dolphins at Cowboys: If you want the original Jamboroo breakdown of Thanksgiving, go here. I also did a big KSK thing on Thanksgiving way back in 2006. I'd just like to reiterate that the little over-fried fold of skin right at the opening of the stuffinghole is pretty much the greatest thing on Earth.
Bills at Jets: I went to New York last week and before I left I made sure to pick up presents for my kids because if you don't do that, your kids will hate you forever. I remember my Dad used to travel a lot for work, and I always demanded that he come back with a handheld Nintendo videogame like Bomb Sweeper (not Minesweeper, but Bomb Sweeper).
DAD: I'm going to Detroit. What's that present have to do with Detroit?
ME: Nothing. NOW BUY IT.
Anyway, I go into the gift shop and I buy two little toy police cars. They're EXACTLY alike, because I know that if you get two different gifts, the two kids will just pick one of them to fight to the death over. So I bring them home, give them to them, and they STILL somehow managed to get into a fucking fight over one of them. And so I just lose my shit. I grab the two cars and I show them to the kids and I tell them:
ME: Look at these things. THEY'RE THE SAME. THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT. YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHICH ONE YOU'RE FIGHTING OVER.
KID 1: (points to one on the left) That's mine.
KID 2: (also points to the one on the left) NO, THAT'S MINE!
ME: Okay, now I'm calling the REAL cops.
Patriots at Eagles: In case you missed it, DeSean Jackson got boned out of a 50-yard completion on Sunday Night when he taunted at the end of the play. They brought the play all the way back to the original line of scrimmage because there was an offsetting penalty on the Giants, which makes NO fucking sense. Mike Silver, also annoyed by this, pointed out that the insane ruling was technically the correct call. Again, they have to go back to rulebook and do away with offsetting penalties FOREVER. Penalties should only offset if they happen during the play and they're of equal yardage. Otherwise, make up the goddamn difference. I hate this rule.
Broncos at Chargers
Jaguars at Texans: I was watching "Top Chef" last week (TIXAS EDITION!), and the challenge was to cater some little girl's 15th birthday party. This made me incredibly angry, because they didn't explain why this girl got to enjoy the privilege of having 16 highly accredited chefs slave over a hot stove for her and her friends. Is her Daddy a Bravo executive? Did she win a contest? How come she gets to eat that huitlacoche taco and you and I don't? SHE WOULD NOT APPRECIATE THE FLAVOR PROFILES AS MUCH AS I WOULD. I hope you realize how lucky you are to be among the chosen, Blanca.
Bucs at Titans: CBS' promotion of Jimmy Buffett doing a cameo on "Hawaii Five-O" was the most CBS thing ever. They should have Billy Squier do a stint on "NCIS" just to continue the theme.
Browns at Bengals: MJD doing the LeBron when he scored in front of Cleveland fans was a fantastic troll move. I can't decide between that and Stephen Tulloch Tebowing over Tebow's limp body for Best NFL Troll Move of 2011. Someone needs to pantomime whacking it in front of David Nelson's girlfriend to break the tie.
Cardinals at Rams: I test drove a minivan the other day because I'm a pussy. Anyway, mock minivans all you like, all I know is that the second I stepped in the driver's seat I felt like Argyle from Die Hard. It was so big! Like a drivable stadium! And the kids sit so far away from you, well out of kicking range! LUXURY. I had to restrain myself from buying the thing halfway through the test drive.
By the way, any time I test drive a car, I have to restrain myself from driving to Mexico. It's always in the back of my mind. "What if I NEVER came back? What if Mr. Used Honda Odyssey and I went down Cabo way?" So, so tempting. At the very least, I should have stolen the portable license plate.
Panthers at Colts: I was washing my kid's hair the other day and my hair washing routine is always the same. I tell the kid to look up. Then they fail to look up. Then I tell them again to look up. Then they again fail to look up. So then I say FUCK IT and dump the water on them. Then they cry for hours and hours. I think my system works pretty well.
Vikings at Falcons
Redskins at Seahawks
Steelers at Chiefs
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
Reader JO from Ohio submits "Ride in the Sky" by Lucifer's Friend.
What do you get when you combine four Germans, a frizzy-haired Brit on lead vocal, and a French Horn? Only one of the greatest heavy metal songs that no one's ever heard: Ride in the Sky. They're like Black Sabbath, but jazzier.
I didn't really ask for my Sabbath to be "jazzier," but there you have it. That is some BAD hair on the lead singer. He looks like the world's most affordable porn star. Even Kevin DuBrow had better hair.
Embarrassing Song I Own That Will Not Fire You Up
"Candy Cane Jane," by Laurie Berkner. Earlier this week, reader Derby asked what would happen if you had to blow any musician if you ever wanted to hear their music again. And I never addressed that question from a kid's music angle. What if you had to perform oral on any KID'S performer in order to play their music? What if your kids wanted to listen to Laurie Berkner, but the only way to do it was if you had to chow her box? That would be incredibly awkward. Or what if you KID had to do it? I think the children's music industry would really suffer a blow if BlowjobScan were introduced. There's no way I'm going down on Marcy Marxer just so my kid can dance around to "Germs" one more time. Hate that song.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
"Your columnist" is off this week, presumably so he can retire to his study in Potomac and give thanks for the lack of Jews on his block. But Gregggg isn't gonna take a week off without first lecturing you about greater intellectual pursuits.
Your columnist thinks The Atlantic Monthly is the country's best and most important magazine. My 30-year association with The Atlantic as a staff writer, then as national correspondent, and now as a contributing editor is a source of considerable pride.
I bet. "Say, Theodore, this is a lovely spread your l'amour (TMQ cognomen for "wife") has put out for brunch. Reminds me of a similar brunch I had at THE ATLANTIC, where I often write about our the wasteful spending on atom smashers. Anyway, we were discussing the next issue of THE ATLANTIC when one of my ATLANTIC colleagues, Taylor Branch, proposed swimming in the ATLANTIC OCEAN."
Recently, I went through 30 years of back issues stacked in my office, saving some and pitching others... Impressed as I was by my afternoon reviewing old Atlantics...
"Oh, look! There's that one with that thing I wrote about how wide receiver bonuses often lead to a rise in gang violence! GOOD ONE, TMQ."
— I'll get to the best in a moment — I was equally surprised by how many of the magazine's past covers were way off base.
Whoa hey, I can't believe that a twenty-year-old magazine would prove dated and incorrect! Turns out Dukakis DIDN'T have a chance! Let's see what humorous fallacies Gregggg was able to dig up.
August 1987: "THE DECLINE OF AMERICA"
Historian Paul Kennedy declares the country is spiraling downhill in military might and international influence. A quarter century later, American power has never been greater.
Really? THIS America? The one we currently live in that's going down the shitter? You don't leave Potomac much, do you?
Suicide Picks Of The Week
Last week's picks of New England, Chicago, and San Francisco went 3-0 (26-7 on the year). Time to pick three potential teams for your suicide pool and something that makes you WANT to commit suicide. This week's picks? Pittsburgh, Cincy, Atlanta, and new Cartoon Network versions of classic cartoons. Someone needs to find the President of Cartoon Network and beat his ass. I know Adult Swim is cool and all, but the new Looney Tunes show they have and the new Scooby Doo movies they make pretty much eradicate all that good will. I can't begin to tell you how fucking terrible "The Looney Tunes Show" is. It's like they took all the classic characters and decided to make a lost episode of "Friends" out of it. My kid was watching it and I grew angrier and angrier. And of course the kid thinks it's BETTER than old Looney Tunes, because kids are idiots. You leave the classics alone, Cartoon Network. The voice actors you hired are ASS.
Postmortal Book Tour - FEATURING FREE CRAP
If you're attending next week's Chicago reading AND you have size 12 feet, send me an email. I got a free pair of adidas d rose 2's if you want them. I'm far too white to pull these things off. Maybe you'll have better luck than me. First person to email me gets them. (UPDATE: Shoes claimed by reader Jason.)
11/30 (7PM) - Milwaukee, WI (Boswell Book Company)
12/1 (7PM) - Chicago, IL (Book Cellar)
Nazi Shark's Vegas Lock Of The Week
Lots of sports sites, to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gambling, like to have animals like monkeys pick games to see if they can outwit their human counterparts. There's no reason we at Deadspin can't also get in on the fun. So we've asked National Socialist German Workers' Party member Rolf, who also happens to be a shark, to pick one game a week. Take it away, Nazi shark.
"This week, I like the Panthers giving 3.5 points on the road against the Colts. I'm going to try and enjoy my Thanksgiving, but it's going to be hard ever since I learned that SOME JEWS DON'T EAT TURKEY:
Speaking of turkeys, did you know that the Hebrew word for turkey is "tar'negol hodu," literally, an Indian Rooster. It came by this name because turkeys are indigenous to North America, which the first explorers thought was actually part of India. The country of India is called Hodu in Hebrew, most commonly recognized from the opening lines of Megillat Esther (Book of Esther, Purim), when King Achashverosh is depicted as ruling a kingdom that stretched "me'hodu v'ad kush" from India to Ethiopia.
"Blah blah blah SPEAK NORMAL YOU HUFFPO TWAT. No one cares whatever mashed keyboard combination your people use to spell TURKEY. If you live in THIS country, you will eat the standard Christian meal of turkey, candied Jews, and creamed negroids and you will LIKE it."
2011 Nazi Shark Record: 6-5.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Matt sends in this poop story I call A POOP IN THE HAND IS WORTH TWO IN THE BUTT:
In college I went with my girlfriend of about 6 months to her family's vacation house in Nantucket. We stayed in the guest house with her sister and 2 girl cousins. The parents and grandparents were in the main house. It was about 6 pm and we were pregaming with some beirut before we hit the bars. After the beirut game I felt a shit coming on. Was pretty excited to get one out before hitting the town. I slipped away from the festivities as this is the first time meeting the cousins and still not on shit-announcing terms with my girlfriend.
I go up to the bathroom on the second level and proceed to have a pretty sloppy poop. No logs were formed, rather explosive grainy shit where I Picasso'd the back of the toilet. It was a masterpiece. I ended up flushing the toilet, and to my horror the water began to raise instead of drop. It seemed to take about 5 minutes. I ended up opening the window and tried to Dumb and Dumber the water/poop out with my hands. Needless to say it wasn't working. With no plunger in the bathroom the water ended up overflowing and I grabbed a towel and started soaking up the mess.
In the middle of the hysteria I remember my plumber friend telling me "if a toilet ever gets clogged, open palm punch the bottom of the toilet to form suction". I stuck my hand in the shit filled toilet, prayed to the Deuce Gods and punched the shit (no pun intended) out of the toilet. I heard a "glug, glug, glug" and almost came in my pants. The water went down and I cleaned the rest of the mess up with the towel. I got a trash bag, threw the towel in it and discarded when I was cleaning up beer bottles. Moral of the story, make sure you have at least one friend that is a plumber.
Fire This Asshole!
Is there anything more exciting than a coach losing his job? All year long, we'll keep track of which coaches will almost certainly get fired at year's end or sooner. And now, your potential 2011 chopping block:
• Norv Turner*
• Jim Caldwell*
• Jack Del Rio*
• Tony Sparano
• Ken Whisenhunt
• Mike Shanahan
• Andy Reid
• Leslie Frazier
• Raheem Morris
• Todd Haley
(* - Could happen any moment!)
Time to welcome Todd Haley back to the list for the rest of the season, at the urging of reader Scott. That's what happens when you lose to Miami and New England by a combined score of 65-6 and let Godboy beat you with just two completions in between. And Jack Del Rio deprived us of the chance to see MJD do the LeBron chalk move a second time to win the game on Sunday. That'll get you an asterisk every time.
Chris Johnson/Peyton Hillis Memorial Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Reader Matt submit DeSean Jackson:
My receiving corps has been a steaming pile of shit this year and wasting a fourth rounder on him played a big role in it. Die. Die. Die DeSean. Die.
I drafted DeSean as well and I can't tell you how excited I was to land him. A Top 10 wideout in a contract year? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Even when he makes plays, like he did on Sunday night, he either fucks it all up by uncovering glaring loopholes in the NFL rulebook or by NOT having his punt return TD reviewed (THE FOOT WAS IN!). I hate him. He was supposed to be a STUD! A GODDAMN STUD! I hope he gets traded to Denver and has to play with Tebow for the next two years.
Also, Reader Robert hates Eli Manning because his late fumble caused him to lose his game by a point,
Fuck Eli Manning. I hope Katie Bakes kills him in some kind of auto-erotic asphyxiation sex romp.
I think Katie would TOTALLY be on board with that.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Chips and french onion dip, a Thanksgiving tradition at my in-laws house. Every Thanksgiving, they put out an appetizer spread with shrimp, homemade hummus, sausage, and chips and onion dip. I then immediately monopolize the chips and dip for myself. It's repulsive to witness in person. I start off eating just a bit of dip with each chip, just for the sake of modesty. By the end, I'm shoveling a fucking pint of Helluva Good dip onto each chip crumb. It gets on my knuckles, I use so much. I eat so many appetizers, I'm usually ready to throw up by the time the turkey is served. It's a nice moment.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
OKOSIM MALT LIQUOR! Reader Justin sent it this Polish brew with the following message:
Picked this up at 99 cent store for 79 cents. Afraid to try it.
One day later, he wrote again:
Wow. It is bad. Not the worst but bad. No one does malt liquor like the Polish.
No they don't. The TRADITIONAL POLISH TASTE slogan should have been your first warning. God, what an awful looking beer. I MUST HAVE IT.
Robert Evans' MVP Watch!
Time to start thinking about who the leaders are for the NFL's MVP award. So every week, legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.
"Baby, my favorite for the NFL's MVP this year is still Aaron Rodgers of the Packers! There's been an awful lot of speculation this week about my dear friend Robert Wagner and his late wife, the fabulous NATALIE WOOD! Oh, what a beauty. Classy? YOU BET? Shaved where it counts? YOU KNOW IT. Now, a lot of people think they know what happened on that boat back in 1981, but only Evans knows the REAL STORY. Take it from someone who has seen MANY an actress drowned off the side of a yacht.
"Now, ol' Wags and I have been tennis friends forever. I always put him on the lefthand side when we play doubles, because the man has a wicked backhand. Anyway, Wags and I are finishing up a match with his wife and Chris Walken when they all strike up the idea of heading out on a little love cruise. I'd had some bad caviar that morning, so I had to bow out. But I didn't suspect anything odd between Wags and Walken and the old lady. In fact, I'd never seen Walken so much as kiss an escort. He usually stayed over in the corner, chewing on handkerchiefs. He's a bit of an oddball. Well, I'm asleep in my palm frond hammock at Woodland that night when Manuelito, my butler, wakes me up and sticks a telephone in my face. 'Senor Evans! Es Senor Wagner!' So I pick up the phone and Wags is in tears. 'Evans, I killed her.'
"I nearly dropped the phone. 'WHAT?! I never got my crack at her!' Well, turns out that Wags and Nat had a little tiff in the bedroom down below deck, and when they came back up, Walken was jacking off into the life preserver cabinet! So Wags grabbed his trusty Prince wooden racket and took a backhand swipe at him, only Walken ducked and Wags hit poor Natalie right on her good side! She pitched over the side, got tangled in the anchor rope, HUNG herself, and then dropped into the water! Can you believe that? From that day forward, I never played doubles without Wags on my backhand side. There's no defense for that kind of power."
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Dolphins Fans
Pocahontas. There's no real way to make the colonization of America and the resulting war between settlers and natives into palatable entertainment for kids. John Smith TOTALLY raped Pokie when she was, like, twelve. But you can't jolly well make a Disney movie that looks like "Blood Meridian," so you get a movie with a handful of "understanding" white people, no smallpox, and hilarious depictions of Indians as magical nature pixies. WE SEE OLD LADIES IN TREE TRUNKS! WE TALK TO THE MOON! They should sue James Cameron for shamelessly ripping it off for Avatar. God, that movie sucked.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"If I were a truant boy out for a good time, I'd be right here: the Springfield Natural History Museum. You're mine, Simpson."
Enjoy the games, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving.