I was fresh off my second back surgery and sitting in a doctor’s office in one of those sterile office park medical buildings—a patient mill—where you wait 45 minutes for the privilege of having your blood pressure taken and then wait another 45 minutes for the doctor to mosey in and act as if nothing impolite has transpired. Before surgery I was in an unrelenting hell of pain, unable to find any position that would quiet my furious sciatic nerves. Afterward, I found myself in less pain but adjusting to life as The Princess And The Pea, horribly sensitive to even the slightest of compromising positions, particularly sitting. You people out there who can sit freely upon stool and rocks and floors don’t know how quickly you can lose that privilege. I so much as look at a backless chair now and it gives me a migraine.
“How the fuck do I sit?” I asked the doctor. Now, doctors are usually there to tell you shit you don’t want to hear … something you already know, deep in your guts, that you have to do to stay healthy but just don’t want to face. But this time was different. This time, the doctor actually gave me a piece of dream advice.
“Get a recliner,” he said. “Recliner’s the best chair for your back.”
Well fuck man, he didn’t have to tell me twice. Rarely do you get handed a prescription for supreme comfort, and so I took full advantage. I dragged my wife around searching for the chair that would become my official Dad Chair. I searched the La-Z-Boy store and found a warehouse of giant, hideous poofy things with cup holder consoles, for the man who wants to chill but also wants to feel like he’s driving a minivan. Some of them had power reclining in case you like things that break. I searched upscale stores and blanched at the price tags. Who the fuck can afford a $4,000 chair? Assholes, that’s who.
And then, we went to a department store and I found it. Compact. Leather. Flat wooden armrests that double as convenient shelves for TV remotes and canned beverages. A perfectly smooth reclining mechanism. Ample head and neck support. I had found my chair.
That was over a decade ago. Today, The Chair remains in the family room and everyone else know that is MY fucking chair. It is my happy place. I used to have hopes and dreams but all of those have been replaced by my very old-man desire to spend the evening having a drink and sitting in my chair. My wife won’t let me sit in it until all important matters and chores for the day have been addressed, because she knows once I’m in The Chair, I ain’t getting out of it. I’ll sit through a nuclear war if it means I don’t have to get up outta my chair. I’m good.
My dad napping powers in The Chair are supernatural. You could march a parade across my face and I’ll still be asleep and drooling. I cover myself with a blanket and the dog instinctively knows it’s time for him to hop up into my lap for quality doggie time. If anyone else is sitting in The Chair and I walk into the room, they instinctively ask, “Oh is this your chair?” because they can tell it’s the Dad Chair. The Dad Chair directly wires that message to their brain. Fuck yeah, that’s my chair, and you better believe you’re getting out of it. I waited 90 minutes for that stupid doctor to give me advice for living without a functional spine, and it was worth it because it led me to that chair, where I am free of pain, both emotional and physical. Hell, I got a second one for the basement. You know that one Steelers fan who died and the family posed him in his recliner for his wake? I get that guy. I mean, fuck the Steelers eternally, but I get him.
For better or worse, my children have followed my slothful lead. Everyone has their designated spot now. My daughter has the right side of the couch. My youngest son has the left. My oldest son gets the plush chair opposite mine, and the dog usually stakes out the top of that chair’s cushion when he’s not lapdogging. If one kid takes the other’s spot, there is trouble, and I do NOT side with the child who infringed upon the designated spot of another. They gotta move. Everybody deserves to have their own little spot.
And so, this Thanksgiving, I hope YOU are able to find a spot of your own, be it a chair, or a corner of the sectional, or even a day bed. I hope there’s a little place where you can cozy up, where you are freed from both your worries and your ambitions, where you can sit and be content, no matter what kinda bullshit the holiday might throw your way.
Just don’t think you can use MY chair for it, because then I’ll cut you good.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Saints at Rams: Since it’s the holidays, I’m gonna make a shocking and awkward confession here at our communal dick joke table: My son is a Skins fan. I didn’t tell him to go root for that team, but I didn’t dissuade him either because I figured he was free to make his sports choices and live with them. He’s even got the Cousins jersey. And so, what has been a HIGHLY PLEASURABLE two weeks for anyone who loathes Dan Snyder—a hilarious collapse against these Saints, getting run out of their own stadium by fans of MY team—is personally tempered by the fact that I can’t bring myself to lord it over my own kid. He’s eight, and he really does watch every game start to finish. It’s adorable. GAHHHHHHH WHAT HAS LOVE DONE TO ME?! THIS IS SNYDER’S MOST HIDEOUS CRIME YET.
Vikings at Lions: I cannot begin to describe how strange it is to know that Case Keenum deserves to keep starting for the Vikings—they’re winning, and he’s genuinely making plays even when his wideouts are bailing him out on errant throws—but also knowing that the longer he plays, the more oddly screwed the Vikings are. I feel awful silently hoping for him to LIGHTLY fail just so that Teddy Bridgewater gets playing time, but I would very much like a firmer grasp of who, exactly, should be in charge of this thing for good.
I thought the Vikings would be forced to choose between two different free agent QBs in 2018. Now they’re gonna have to choose between three, which is how a team that is 8-2 can also be stuck in an astonishingly precarious position. I know EXACTLY what’ll happen if Keenum starts a playoff game. Fucking Simmons will brag about how betting against him is FREE MONEY and then the Vikes will lose by 60. And I definitely know what will happen if Keenum somehow gets the Vikings to a home Super Bowl (HOLY SHIT!) only to face Tom Brady and the Patriots (GAHHHHHHHHH!). This team knows how to spin the most triumphant moments into even larger nightmares. I can’t look, man. I’ve earned the fatalism.
Chargers at Cowboys: The shots of Jerry in the owner’s box are fucking fantastic now that the Cowboys suck and he’s openly at war with half the league. He looks so, so unhappy. It’s great. I want Jerry seized and strapped to a chair and then forced to witness bad things happen to him on a televised loop. That is monstrous and dystopian, but it really THAT different from 2017 America? I say no.
Bears at Eagles: I didn’t really address this last week, so let’s take a moment to appreciate John Fox managing to challenge his way into losing the ball against Green Bay. That’s one of those defining bad coach moments, like Marty taking the wind, or Pagano getting Griff Whalen assassinated, or the Nathan Peterman Experience. You don’t get to come back from those.
Jaguars at Cardinals: God, these games are fucking terrible. Let’s talk about something more important, which is: What is the most fun state name to say? Because I have watched a lot of Alabama football and heard a lot about Alabama pedophiles recently, and while that state is a worthless sewer, I’m ready to say that Alabama is the NUMBER ONE state name to say out loud. Say it right now! Tell me you aren’t having fun. Al-a-BAM!-a! I’ll order an Alabama slammer at the bar just so I can yell it. In fact, here’s a hastily assembled top 10 of fun state names:
4. Minnesota (especially if you pronounce it the way blockhead MinneSOtans do)
10. North Dakota
Last place goes to Maine. Ehhhhh Maine! Look at me, I’m a fucking dork who lives in Maaaaaine! Whatever, man. I suggest renaming Maine HAMMER MOUNTAIN.
Dolphins at Patriots: I have had to come to terms recently with the fact that I have browser pane OCD. The Chrome browser pane is NEVER in the right spot for me. Every ten minutes or so, I will move it a centimeter across or up because it FEELS like that’s closer to where I want it, and yet, I will never find the right place for it. I am chasing the browser pane dragon.
Bills at Chiefs: I am really enjoying my newfound hate-read, Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit. Maybe you thought it was weird to bench a fairly functional Tyrod Taylor in the middle of a playoff push. But AHHHHHH, Andy watched the tape and saw things you filthy peasants didn’t!
Amazing. What an asshat. I can’t get enough.
Bucs at Falcons
Panthers at Jets
Giants at Skins: This is the perfect Thanksgiving nightcap because I don’t have to watch it. By the way, would you like to hear a humanizing detail about lame duck coach Ben McAdoo? Take it away, Conor Orr:
Ben McAdoo has a great recipe for Caesar dressing. The secret, he tells players, is in the anchovy paste. The acrid, mud-colored condiment, when blended with olive oil, lemon juice and a few other ingredients, makes up the backbone of his signature dish. A little goes a long way. He likes it on salad, alongside a cast-iron steak fillet on Fridays.
Fascinating. Now tell me about how he goes about choosing coffee cups. The Caesar recipe may seem innocuous, but it explains EVERYTHING about this man (for real though, anchovies do make a Caesar).
Packers at Steelers: How on Earth was this not flexed out of Sunday Night Football? They should have flexed a rerun of CHICAGO DELI.
Titans at Colts: Wasn’t it nice to not have the Colts around last week? I felt free. Tell me that EVERY week wouldn’t be better without the Colts slurring their way through a game and getting their own QB decapitated. I’d rather watch the Jets. Not even close, really.
Now, let’s talk about MaddenVision because one side effect of watching the game from that angle is that it makes interceptions look like war crimes. I have an entirely different opinion of Marcus Mariota now that I’ve watched him launch a pass with a defender visibly heading right for its intended destination. I literally screamed NOOOOOOOOO at the TV before he even released the ball. It was unforgivable. I can never look at poor Marcus the same way again.
By the way, the best time to deploy MaddenVision is on long downs. For short-yardage plays where you really wanna see if they got the first down or not, they can go back to the sideline view. Then you go back to MaddenVision for first down. I’m sure this is all very easy for a production truck to whip up for my viewing pleasure.
Seahawks at Niners: I know he’s a bland moron, but Russ really is the most fun player to watch in the entire NFL. The second he takes the field, all his chastity vows and nanobubbles disappear and he’s Steve Young. He’s a rare bright spot in a sea of fucking dreck and I’d be a terrible football fan if I didn’t appreciate how good he is.
Also, while we’re shitting on the Seahawks coaching staff for botching faked field goals and throwing impotent challenge flags, someone should strangle them for deploying every single long-developing pass play in their arsenal every game. You have no line, Darrell Bevell. Stop making poor Russ take 47-step drops. It drives me insane.
Browns at Bengals: I know that we’ve covered attendance problems for the teams that have moved recently—be it to the burbs or to an entirely new city—but regular franchises are struggling with empty seats, too. Look at this shot of the Bengals stadium from September. This isn’t just an effect of relocation. It’s people wisely deciding that paying hundreds of dollars to go to a game and spend hundreds more on parking and shitty beer—all while surrounded by aggro dickheads—isn’t worth it. This is only gonna get worse. You are going to start regularly seeing more and more empty stadiums, followed by owners demanding a public bailout, followed by entire cities going bankrupt as a result. It’s gonna be fun!
Broncos at Raiders: I doubt that Paxton Lynch will be worth a shit but, at the very least, he LOOKS fun:
From now on, I want EVERY Broncos interception to be thrown by someone who looks like a Vine star.
Texans at Ravens
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Deny the Absolute,” by Pelican! Always nice to have Pelican back in this slot. From Michael:
Instrumental post metal. One guitarist looks like Michael Cera and brings his kid to shows.
Aw, that’s sweet. Now I like a lot of these instrumental metal bands like Pelican and Karma To Burn and Russian Circles, but I gotta tell you: I want singing. Too many metal bands either deploy a Cookie Monster singer or no singer at all. And a lot of those bands are great, but if you get an actual singer in there, it really does make a huge difference. There’s a reason QOTSA is the last truly heavy band to sell out arenas. I want a crooner laid over my monstrous riffage.
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
I dare you to find a meaningful word in this stupid column about the “new disruptors” from Time magazine fartsniffer Alan Murray:
I was recently with a group of 100 CEOs gathered by IBM’s Ginni Rometty to discuss the “big bets” on the future being made by their companies.
The session, which included top executives of companies in 17 different industries, representing $2 trillion in revenues, was off the record, so I can’t discuss specifics.
Wait, what? You’re reporting on some tech bro summit and you can’t even report on it? Why the fuck are you here then?
But I can provide a few takeaways.
All right, gimme a taste of the wisdom you absorbed at your secret little junket.
Rometty opened the session by suggesting the next wave of technology, unlike the last, is going to provide an advantage to legacy companies over digital startups. “I believe this is a ‘now’ moment for the incumbent companies,” she said. “You can go on the offense. You can be the disrupter, instead of the disrupted.”
You can be the HACKER instead of the HACKED. You can shift the paradigm rather than have the paradigm shift on you! You can BE the content.
Many of the participating companies seemed to share her optimism, and a few provided stories of how they were doing just that.
“We lobbied the GOP for a massive tax cut that will starve the poor out of existence because death is the ULTIMATE marketplace disruptor.”
The basis for their optimism? Rometty posited that the first phase of the digital revolution favored a small number of platform giants that benefited from the network effect.
Don’t forget about the effect solutions have on the ideation of circling back!
The next phase is not about the network alone, but also about knowledge.
“Knowledge… is good.”
That, she said, will depend on proprietary data, as well as the expertise in the hands of companies like those in the room. Those who use it wisely, with the help of AI, will win.
“If you have knowledge, and you give it to the robots, you will own the platform edge and suck on the fetal blood of your enemies’ offspring. Oh shit, I meant to edit that last part out of the deck.”
IBM’s Jon Iwata interviewed the 100 prior to the event, and gave a summary of some shared insights:
The group believes their companies’ core expertise is more important and more relevant than ever. Technology empowers that expertise.
“We’ve done our background and come to the conclusion that our companies … are AWESOME and people love them. And technology will only enhance our awesomeness.”
Data has become their most powerful asset (although turning that data into intelligence is still a critical challenge).
We have the DATA and the KNOWLEDGE. But to use those … we must find a way to alchemize them into something smart and useful. If you provide $300M in seed money, I bet we can find it. We may even break even by 3056.
Almost all of them are either building, or participating in, platforms, which are vital to their future.
Folks the future of content… IS PLATFORMS.
Finally, the CEOs echoed a point I’ve heard repeatedly in the last few years: the biggest problem they face is not technology, but rather creating a culture that can embrace and adapt to technological change.
So true. If only Americans were better at adopting new technology.
[looks out window to see a thousand sheep lined up to pay a grand for an iPhone X]
As Iwata summarized their view: “Culture is the No. 1 impediment … Culture moves in a linear way; technology moves exponentially.”
“Therefore, we must DESTROY the culture.” For real, burn all these people.
Rex Ryan’s Lock Of The Week: Bills +10
“Oh, men. MEN. Men, we’ve lost five in a row. I know it sucks. I know it feels like shit. But I know you tried your hardest out there to KILL and MAIM and BRUTALIZE the enemy! So this falls on me. The buck stops here. I’ll take the blame for this hellhole we find ourselves in. I am SHIT. I am scum. And I must atone!
[takes off shirt]
[grabs cat o’ nine tails]
“Men, the time has come for me to PAY. This whip is barbed at the end and will do incalculable damage to my skin. But that is what I am willing to endure to make it up to you boys! I am going to whip myself now. Don’t try to stop me unless you REALLY mean it! Okay? Here goes…
“Again, I really WILL do this! Don’t think I won’t! I am ready to answer for my failures! Unless you think that’s the wrong play, but again I am READY for this. Okay? Really, no one’s gonna stop me, huh? Okay here goes.
“OHHHHH SWEET JIMMY HOLY FUCK THAT STINGS! GOOD ACHING CHRIST! I’M ALL ABOUT FEET BUT I DUNNO HOW ANYONE GETS OFF ON THIS BONDAGE CRAP HOLY SHIT! NEVER AGAIN! I’m treating myself to double Twinkies now! But again… that was what I was willing to bear for YOU. I love you boys!”
Ryan 2017 record: 6-5
Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Look man, it’s on me when I pick Nelson Agholor to start in my DFS lineup. It’s Nelson Agholor. I should know exactly what I’m getting, and yet here I am. That BAG OF SHIT had one catch for -5 yards last week. How do you catch for negative yardage with Carson Wentz as your QB? Nelson Agholor should be locked in a bus cargo hold and driven to the ocean.
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 2017 chopping block:
(*-potential midseason firing)
I know Dom posted about this already this week but it really is worth reiterating that the Bills were in playoff position before Sean McDermott boned them over, and making the playoffs would have been a BIG FUCKING DEAL to the poor fans in Buffalo. I know they weren’t gonna win the Super Bowl this year. But the AFC is absolute shit, and they could have ended a drought that’s been killing these fans for two decades.
And yet, Sean McDermott pissed it all away. And for what? To get a fucking glimpse at a fifth-round pud? Or because his precious system simply can’t accommodate a perfectly average starting QB like Tyrod Taylor? The fuck is wrong with these coaches? How are they so intractable when it comes to their goddamn systems? Meanwhile the Eagles are the best team in football and they let the QB import plays from his time with an FCS college team. God forbid some other coach do likewise. What a fucking disgrace.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Byron sends in this story I call FAST POOPS AT RIDGEMONT HIGH:
I was an unenthusiastic student at best, something that my parents were very well aware of. So I got sent to summer school prior to my freshman year of high school to a attend the aptly named class, “Succeeding in High School.” It was pure trash: how to use a calendar, how to remember what your homework was, how to do a five-paragraph essay etc. along with some emotional appeal to the importance of self reliance and scholastic achievement going forward in life. Generally a tough sell to a bunch of shithead 14-year-old kids.
One day before class, I felt the telltale need to destroy a toilet and it needed to happen now. This was a huge high school, 4k plus students, and we were dropped off rather far from where this class was, so I was in unfamiliar territory. I do the poop shuffle as fast as possible into the nearest building and I quickly happen a restroom. I rush to a stall and unleash hell before my butt hits the seat and I am surrounded by a ghastly smell.
Then the unimaginable happens: The door to the restroom opens and I hear several GIRLS chatting... I am now the 14-year-old boy in the girls’ restroom, surrounded by deathly smells. I want to die. I panic and take my legs off the floor so they can’t see my beat up boys’ tennis shoes and try to pinch off the hell coming from inside me. This goes on for like twenty minutes: girls in, girls out until the bell rings.
My legs are now both asleep from my awkward position. I am also slowly more miserable as my overactive imagination ponders just how bad things could be if I get found out. I was an outsider in middle school and was really hoping that high school was not also going to be socially hellish as well.
A few minutes after the bell rings, there is again blessed silence in the restroom, I wait an additional five minutes just to be safe, before attempting to run out of the restroom. Running while your legs are asleep is not advised. I face-plant two feet outside the stall and have to struggle to my feet. I then shuffle in shame out the door while looking down hoping that no one sees me come out the wrong door. Thankfully no one sees me leave and I am able to not be the pervert that gets caught in the girls restroom.
Eighteen years later, when I enter a restroom the first thing I do is a urinal check, if there is not one I immediately go out the door and check to verify I have not made this scarring mistake again.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
KARAAGE, which sounds like a Marvel villain but is actually Japanese fried chicken. And goddamn, is it good. I need more triple fried knobs of dark meat in my life. There should be a karaage stand on every other block, with a Korean fried chicken stand in between each one.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve! This looks like garbage but I am always amused by big beer conglomerates still leveraging Prohibition despite the fact that it ended 85 years ago. They’re always quick to remind you, “Yes, our beer is shit … but remember that time when you couldn’t even HAVE beer? Our beer looks pretty swell when you think about that! Look at this dude in a hat open a barrel with an axe!”
Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“You know that thing about the Indians putting the fish in the ground to grow some corn … that’s all hokum, okay? You want that corn to grow fast you got a nice big pouch of urine right in your body there. You eat the old fish raw, then you fertilize the soil and then you got your express corn. That’s no offense to the Squanto types. That’s just, you know, better learning.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Browns Fans
Switch, with Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits! Is that the most possible 90s pairing? Well, I’m too lazy to think of another! Anyway, in this movie God punishes a womanizer by sending him back to Earth as a woman, and then her best friend takes advantage of her when she’s drunk, and then she has his baby. IT’S A COMEDY! I bet it plays very well in 2017!
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“I was wrong to play God. Life is precious, not a thing to be toyed with. Now take out that brain and flush it down the toilet.”
Enjoy the games, everyone. And Happy Thanksgiving!