Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season.
They showed RG3 going through pregame warmups last week before sitting out the Skins/Browns game. Just once, I would like to warm up on the field with an NFL team. I don't have to play or stand on the sidelines. I just wanna be part of warmups. FACT: Warming up in front of a gathering crowd is one of the underrated perks of being an athlete. If any of you play on sports teams at any level of competition, I would strongly urge you to milk that pregame warmup for all its worth.
I remember being a shitty football player in high school, and going out for pregame warmups made the whole terrible experience worth it. It was the only time I was allowed on the field, frankly. So I took full advantage. I did dramatic groin stretches at midfield (you know the one, where you crouch down to one side and then switch to the other side so that your ass is in full view). I took off my helmet and let my golden locks flow for all the fine ladies to see. I laughed it up with teammates. Guys, we're gonna fucking CRUSH some touchdowns today. We'd do team stretches in a line and I would scream out the numbers when we counted to five while stretching my hammies so that everyone could FEEL MY INTENSITY. God, I'm stretching so hard. Gonna be a good war today, gentlemen.
And then the coach called us in to do real drills and that was even BETTER. I used up all my energy during those pre-game drills. They'd make all the linemen get down in a stance and then fire off the line and I would sprint a solid five yards, just so that the crowd knew I meant business. If there was someone I knew in the crowd—family member, friend, etc.—I would totally wave at them to let other people in the crowd know there were people there to see ME. Look at me! I am athleting it up in this bitch. Then the game would start and I would sit on the bench like a chump. But that pregame warmup. Ohhhhh, that pregame warmup I'll treasure forever. I know damn well that there are pro athletes out there who are constantly aware that people are staring at them out on the field, and they enjoy every second of it. As well they should. You only get so many chances to be on the stage. Milk it for all it's worth, gang.
Before I get into the games, please note that Will Leitch will be your guest host for next week's Jamboroo. He did a fine job with this last year, so have no fear. After all, who DOESN'T love baseball and ranking Woody Allen movies? I know I do!
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
49ers at Seahawks: I now have mixed emotions about Christmas stockings. When I was a kid, stockings were the best thing ever. You went downstairs, saw a stocking stuffed with crap, and shit your pants with excitement over what was inside. What's in there? A cap gun? A NO FAT CHICKS shirt? A live snake? A set of keys to a boat? (Nothing is better than the present that acts as a clue to an even bigger present.)
Now that I'm the parent, stockings are fucking brutal. I never remember to stuff them until the last second. Oh shit, STOCKINGS. Then I go searching in the basement for shit we've already bought that might fit inside one, only to fail. Yesterday, I went to CVS and bought nothing but random stocking crap: silly string, silly putty, silly rat poison, etc. I'll fill a stocking with chicken bones if it gets the job done.
Bengals at Steelers: I was on the road last week and I sent a text message to Scocca about Gregg Easterbrook. That text read:
I probably should have noted in the greggggggg section that tuberville really is a shitbag but whatever
I sent that text to my wife instead. She was so, so confused. Who is Greggggggg? Where is this Tuberville town you speak of?
Vikings at Texans: I went to New York last week and on Thursday night, I got very drunk while out with friends at a bar. Ever get so drunk that you end up crying and you don't know why? Somehow I got so shitfaced that I was crying and talking about God. I don't even know what I was saying. Maybe there IS a God, guys. I think. How else would people know how to, like, make whiskey? YOU CAN'T EXPLAIN THAT. Every Hold Steady song is based on getting that drunk.
I woke up with a hangover that lasted 20 hours. My wife came into town the next day and when we went out to dinner, I was still hungover. It was the kind of hangover where the idea of food makes you want to throw up. And here I was, sitting in the middle of a restaurant. EVERYTHING smelled like food. I could smell bread and cheese and garlic and it all made me want to vomit in my hand. I excused myself six times during dinner and to go out into the street and get away from the smell, forcing my wife to eat by herself. The diners next to her stared in bewilderment. They thought I was a coke addict. That poor woman. During dessert, I threw up right on East Third Street, in full view of passersby. There's something liberating about throwing up in public. People know instinctively to get away from you. SUCH POWER. I should throw up in public more often.
Giants at Ravens: One of the stupidest NFL cliches is when a team wins the coin toss, elects to receive the ball, and then one of the analysts is like, "Coach Harbaugh wants his offense to set the tone for this game," or some other stupid bullshit like that. I can't stand it when my team wins the coin toss and then takes the ball. You should always defer. Here's evidence from SI's Jim Trotter back in November:
Since the start of the 2010 season, flip-winning clubs that have opted to receive first are 185-209 (.470), versus 140-115 (.549) for those deferring.
Obviously, deferring doesn't guarantee that your team will end up with more possessions than the other team by the time the game is over. But announcers act like getting your offense on the field first in the first quarter is some kind of amazing confidence builder. It's not. You're just eating your dessert before you have dinner. In fact, once the giddy rush of having the ball first wears off, you have to sit there knowing the OTHER team gets the ball first in the second half. And if that team has the ball at the end of the first half and goes right into another possession after halftime, it crushes your spirit. DEFER, dammit. Always defer.
Saints at Cowboys: I can't decide whether I want the Cowboys to blow a playoff spot or blow a playoff game. Because it's gonna be one or the other. But if they make the playoffs, then the Double J will probably keep Jason Garrett and Tony Romo around for another year of solid DERPage. Playoff game it is.
Redskins at Eagles
Falcons at Lions: I was at the train station the other day (it's the loftiest way to travel) and I had to get in line to sort out a ticket issue and I saw another dude making a beeline for the counter. So I was like NOT ON MY WATCH and I started walking as fast as I could. And as I slipped past him, I accidentally rolled my suitcase over his foot. And then he kicked my suitcase in retaliation because I was a selfish dick. Then I moved to the front of the line and deliberately avoided eye contact because I was a fucking coward. He tapped me on the shoulder. I fully expected to get punched in the face.
HIM: That was really rude, what you did.
HIM: You ran over my foot.
ME: I did?
HIM: You did.
ME: (coming clean) Shit, you're right. I don't even know why I'm pretending that I didn't know I ran it over. I'm sorry, man.
HIM: If you're in a hurry, I understand...
ME: I wasn't even in that big of a hurry. I'm just a prick. I'm really sorry. Honestly. Please go ahead.
HIM: It's all right.
ME: Look, I'm real fucking sorry. (extends hand) I'm Drew.
HIM: I'm Mike.
And then we shook hands and I realized... This is a meet-cute. I just had a meet-cute with another man. I pictured us becoming best friends forever, going out for drinks and playing touch football and looking back on the day we met and saying, "Can you believe we met that way? WHAT A WORLD!" That did not happen. Anyway, my competitive line racing days are over.
Titans at Packers
Patriots at Jaguars: The president gave a speech in Newtown during the Pats/Niners game last week, and I decided to watch it since I had the rest of the game recorded. But then Obama started to read the names of the victims and I tried to flip the channel. My wife was watching and admonished me.
"I can't. I can't bear to hear them."
"You have to. Put it back."
So I did. And he kept reading name after name. Every time I thought he was done with the list, it kept going. I broke down in tears and covered my eyes because it seemed like covering my eyes might help block out the mental images conjured by all the names. By the time the President had gotten through all of them, I was a wreck. I went to bed after the Niners went up 31-3 because I couldn't even process the game. Sometimes, you can be watching a game and nothing will register, like when you read a book and forget the words as you're looking at them. That was me Sunday night. I hope, this weekend, that everything is boring, that everyone lives and nothing shitty happens. It would be a nice change of pace.
Raiders at Panthers: Speaking of all that horribleness, I'm amazed at how many people can AFFORD guns. I'm not here to start some annoying PoFlaWa (go to this post if you're a masochist for that sort of thing), I'm just saying that fancy guns cost a shitload. Look at some of these prices. Holy shit! If I could afford that, I wouldn't have the urge to shoot anyone. I wanna meet all the people who are disgruntled by the current state of American affairs yet apparently have thousands of dollars in disposable income on hand to build an arsenal. Guns are not cheap.
Chargers at Jets: Did you know the Chargers have their own Bloody Mary mix? I'm not sure Philip Rivers approves. From Steve:
Last year the Chargers came out with a team-branded wine from Napa which cost upwards of $30 a bottle. This year they've adjusted their branded adult beverage offerings quite a bit, offering this mix in a two-pack of large bottles for under $10, though you still have to add your own vodka.
I don't drink Bloody Marys so I don't know how it compares to other options, but I overheard one lady at Costco tell her friend that "OMG, this is the best Bloody Mary mix ever." Sounds like a strong endorsement to me. The perfect gift for the by-now alcoholic Charger fan in your life, and the perfect mix to toast the firing of Norv and AJ and welcome a brand new doomed regime on New Year's morning, 2013. Cheers!
Bills at Dolphins
Colts at Chiefs
Rams at Bucs
Browns at Broncos
Bears at Cardinals
"Shitstorm," by Strapping Young Lad. From Andy:
Really, the title, "Shitstorm", says all you need to know. They also have another delightful little number called "Rape Song" that's pretty neat, but don't worry, it's anti-rape so you can listen to it with a clean conscience and your friends at Jezebel won't get all pissed off (probably).
Don't underestimate the Jezzies' ability to get pissed off. This song isn't very good. I don't know why only one in five million metal bands realize that having your lead singer actually sing makes your music a thousand times better, but whatever. I like the lead singer's hair. Nothing beats long metal hair and a receding hairline. Such a hot look.
Lots of sports sites, to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gambling, like to have animals and random celebrities pick games to see if they can outwit their expert counterparts. There's no reason we at Deadspin can't also get in on the fun. So we've asked a fictionalized, Nazi version of popular sportswriter Bill Simmons to pick one game a week for us. Take it away, Nazi Simmons.
"This week, I like the Ravens getting 2.5 points at home against the Giants. The Giants just got shut out on the road by Atlanta and now they get road favorite status? Why, thank you for your money, Vegas! Thank you so much!
"Now, why spend 7,500 words writing a NSDAP Power Poll that breaks down classic Nazi leaders by tiers named after The Challenge contestants? Isn't the better question 'Why not?' Let's get this party started...
"Wait a second. What's that coming out of the wat—"
HOLY SHIT! NAZI SHARK JUST CAME BACK TO LIFE AND ATE NAZI BILL SIMMONS! Rolf the Nazi Shark has entered the Tyson Zone! You could tell me anything about Rolf and I would believe it.
Anyway, Nazi Shark will be making picks for the rest of the season. As for Nazi Bill Simmons... eh, fuck that guy.
Nazi Simmons record: 6-8
2012 Nazi Shark record: 0-0
Me. I deserve it. I'm the one who has never won a fantasy league. I'm the one who drafted Chris Johnson, traded Chris Johnson, and then lost in the playoffs to the team I traded Chris Johnson to because Chris Johnson decided to bust off a 94-yarder. Chris Johnson is but an innocent pawn in this sick, twisted game. It's all MY fault. God, I fucking hate fantasy football. I spent all of Monday Night staggering around my house, cursing myself for making all the wrong moves. Weeden! Why did I start Weeden for RG3 instead of Cousins? I could have done more. I COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS. God damn you, fantasy football. You are horrible.
Reader Paul also hates Doug Martin:
No question about this one, it's Doug Martin. "Oh hey, I'm Doug Martin. I sucked for a while, then I got really good, then I shit the bed like an incontinent lap dog during fantasy semi-finals." Eat a whole burlap sack full of dicks, Doug Martin.
I was at the Gawker Christmas party this weekend and I was talking to one of the people in the finance department.
HIM: You shit on Gregg Easterbrook, right?
HIM: God, I fucking hate him.
HIM: I just... I really fucking hate him. I just HATE him, you know? I hate his fucking guts. He's fucking awful. I hate him. He sucks.
With that in mind, let's take a look at this week's TMQ. And remember: TMQ is best understood as an accurate record of actual douchbaggery — it may not be, but that's the way TMQ is best understood.
Eric Decker of Denver beat Cary Williams of Baltimore for a 51-yard touchdown. Once Decker broke into the clear, Williams came to a stop and watched him, not bothering to pursue.
That's because corner is a GLAMOUR POSITION. You'd never see any Patriots O-linemen standing around like that. Cary Williams, you are guilty of the single worst NFL play of the season so far. Wear this scarlet GB on your jersey from henceforth, and let the world know of your moral shortcomings.
Exchanging gifts is a nice custom, but not if the result is clutter. Modern homes and apartments are full of unwanted items — stuff that is in the way, serving no purpose and fulfilling no desire.
You pathetic, fat, disgusting, COMMON Americans, buying each other needless merchandise, all the while ignoring gifts that offer the chance for personal betterment: like my new novel—THE LEADING INDICATORS—a story about why all of you are so complacent and miserable.
Don't give yet more clutter for the holidays. Make a charitable donation in someone's name, then wrap the receipt in fancy foil paper.
"A donation has been made in your name to to the Human Fund."
You will feel good, your recipient will feel good.
No, they won't. "Giving" someone a charity donation is like handing them wet cement. "Here, I got you this. Aren't I amazing?!"
Your columnist put himself through college, doing so partly by taking extra classes so I earned a bachelor's degree in three and a half years, cutting out one semester of expense.
O HO HO HO! No glory boy is he! Greggggggg worked days and nights to put himself through Colorado College, and was so fucking smart that he didn't even need four years to do it. And yet, he went undrafted by the NFL. A pity that weasel coaches never saw true talent. THIS MAN DESERVES A HEISMAN.
In the first half, Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel declined a penalty against Oakland, to make the Raiders' situation second-and-10 from the Oakland 47 rather than first-and-15 from the Oakland 42. That is, Crennel let the opponent have 5 yards in order to prevent a repeat of first down. There were nine seconds remaining in the half when Crennel made this decision... Jiminy Cricket.
Godfrey Daniel! Here now are seven more TMQ exclamations that I invented on the spot:
• By paddle of Noah!
• Libras and Virgos, oh my!
• Sweet song of Solomon!
• Heavens to Farsi!
• And the Football Gods loins retched!
• Tout Jewy!
When Andy Reid sent out the field goal unit, TMQ wrote the words "Eagles season over" in his notebook. And so it was.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! The Eagles were 4-9. Four and nine! They lost eight games in a row at one point! Their season was over five zillion years ago! Am I supposed to be impressed that you predicted a ruined season after a team lost eight in row, benched its starting QB, fired two assistant coaches, and were already out of playoff contention? WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO SMUG ABOUT? You stupid fucking notebook doesn't make anything official. I bet you wrote "War over" in your notebook three years after World War II ended. Where is this fabled notebook? Do you use a feather quill to write in it? FUCK YOUR NOTEBOOK. It's the least valuable book ever written. I hate that notebook and I hope you drop it in the toilet. The Good Book warns, "Woe unto you when all notebooks speak well of you."
The Bengals emerged from the game 8-6, with a decent shot at the postseason. They have been getting energy from Vontaze Burfict, who went undrafted after being roundly denounced in the draftnik world.
YES! Yes, Vontaze Burfict. That's exactly why the Bengals are good. Not Andy Dalton or AJ Green or any other MEGAGLORYBUCKS player, but Vontaze Burfict. By the way, I wonder why Burfict went undrafted:
On October 6, 2010 Burfict was benched by Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson. The reason given was Burfict's unusually high number of personal foul penalties. In a game against Stanford, Burfict was called for grabbing the facemask of Doug Baldwin, and-after complaining to the referee-charged with a personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct that gave Stanford a first down at the ASU 7. Two plays later, Stanford scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown.
I can't believe a bunch of arrogant draftniks would overlook this fine young man after he got benched his sophomore year for costing his team precious wins. Shame on you, draftnik world. SHAME ON YOU.
TMQ has long believed that whenever all experts are certain something will happen, the reverse is about to happen.
EXPERTS: Gregg Easterbrook will be President one day!
Your columnist tutors at a Maryland housing project...
"And this is why zombies aren't as possible as ghosts. Now, what do we say to Kevin Sumlin if he tries to recruit us?"
Video games are a really tempting way to avoid studying. If they had been around when I was a teen, there's no way I would have read so many books or spent three or four hours after school each day at the high school, doing extracurriculars and sports.
If video games had been around when I was a kid, I would be the triple-brained LOGICSTUD that I am today. Oh, how I fear for the children out there. Do you realize that kids today only look at the ball while watching game tape? They've never even HEARD of Chance Warmack!
In college, pollsters award style points for big-margin wins. In the NFL, the football gods punish running up the score.
That's pretty much the opposite of every other TMQ column, which clearly states that running up the score is usually okay in the pros but not against OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN. The Football Gods have nothing to smile on now! God, Gregg sucks.
Last week's picks of the Seattle, Detroit, Miami went 2-1, putting me at 35-10 for the season. Again we pick three teams for your suicide pool and something that makes you want to commit suicide (NOTE: Please do not commit suicide). This week, the picks are Carolina, Denver, Indianapolis, and revolving doors. We had a Funbag question a few weeks ago about things that are cool when you're younger but now suck as an adult. I would like to add revolving doors to this list. When I was a kid, revolving doors were the greatest thing in the world. Look at it spin around WHEE! Now I'm old and I have kids and those kids try to all squeeze into one quadrant of the revolving door together, only to trip over each other and begin crying immediately. And there's always some macho asshole coming out of the store that just has to push the door as hard as possible, so that everyone knows he can bench 300 pounds. Fuck that guy, and fuck revolving doors. How am I supposed to roll a suitcase through this gauntlet? Get a real door.
Reader Graham sends in this story:
Back when I was a little kid I once spotted my old man standing on our lawn with a pitchfork. Now, this was a work day so he was in a full suit and tie and was wearing rubber galoshes to keep his shoes dry. He was standing, perfectly still, just staring at the ground. Then, all of sudden, BOOM, stabs the pitchfork into the lawn and comes back up with a mole impaled on one of the tines. He had a deadass mole hanging from the pitchfork. He put the pitchfork with mole down, walked to the garage and drove to work.
We grew up in Seattle and it was always wet, so our lawn was a marsh full of earthworms. Made for a perfect mole sanctuary. They made our yard look like Bushwood. My old man tried traps, poison, and smoke, even going so far as to try and drown them a la Carl Spackler. Nothing worked. He did find that waiting over a mole hill with a pitchfork did at least satisfy some of his bloodlust due to the little blind bastards ruining his goddamn lawn. Molehill moves, stab away. If you are angled correctly, dead mole.
That night he returned and had me help him create a small cross out of dowels to which we affixed the mole corpse and planted the crucified corpse next to the hill. If he had not been with his young son I guarantee my Dad would have left a note that implicitly stated to not fuck with his lawn. Which would have been a waste considering all moles speak Portuguese. I eventually took up the pitchfork mantel and between the two of us we must have killed over 20 moles. Unfortunately, they breed like rabbits and while we won some battles, they won the war. The lawn is now a sport court.
Now I want to find a mole to kill.
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 2012 chopping block:
• Norv Turner
• Mike Munchak
• Chan Gailey
• Rex Ryan
• Pat Shurmur
• Romeo Crennel
• Ron Rivera
• Andy Reid
• Dennis Allen
• Jim Schwartz
• Ken Whisenhunt
• Lovie Smith
• John Harbaugh
(* - possible midseason firing)
I think we're now past the point of midseason firings, which is fine with me, because that means the coming Black Monday will be the BLACKEST MONDAY EVER. Usually by this time, two or three coaches have already been fired, which kind of ruins it, you know? But this year, every head coach will likely survive to the bitter end, which means you could see eight or more guys all shitcanned within hours of each other. HOLY SHIT I CAN'T WAIT.
Pralines! "Say, what if we took a lump of cooked sugar and nuts and ate it?" Sounds like N'AWLINS tradition to me! GUMBO GUMBO PRALINES GUMBO EVERYONE HERE PLAYS A BRASS INSTRUMENT GUMBO PRALINES GUMBO.
By the way, dissolving pralines in your morning oatmeal? NOT UNDELICOUS.
Zhiguljovskoje! Reader Greg (one tasteful G) sends in another cheap Russian brew:
Not that strong (4.0%), but apparently drinkable! My tasting would say that it is remarkably average. But, for $1.99 for "1 quart, 1 pint, 3 oz", that is suitable gametime cheap beer of the week.
Hooray for the international Trade Fair supermarkets in Astoria, you never know what you'll find in there.
I want there to be a kicker with the last name Zhiguljovskoje. He'd boom 60-yarders and post drunken shirtless Facebook photos of himself all the time. I MUST HAVE HIM.
Time to start thinking about who the leaders will be 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 NFL MVP is Adrian Peterson of the Vikings! A lot of people are talking about this new Tarantino slavery movie coming out. Controversial? YOU BET! A cheap excuse for a white 'hippiester' from Los Angeles to use racial epithets as many times as possible? YOU KNOW IT. I gotta hand it to the young turk: It's not easy getting a slavery pic off the ground. Back in '78, we were trying to get our own slavery vehicle together: THE SLAVEFATHER. Poitier was going to be our lead. Nicholson, of course, was to play the dirty filthy plantation owner. And a young GRACE JONES was going to be Poitier's daughter, a young slave girl torn between her love for her father and the forbidden romance she carries on with Nicholson! Talk about a winning pitch! We brought in Billy Friedkin to direct: the original slavedriver!
"We had an entire replica of a Southern plantation built right next to an ACTUAL plantation that didn't have the right paint job for our DP to work around. We brought in loads of black extras to work the fields and paid them scale and a half. No auctions on an Evans set, baby! Well, turned out the financing hit a snag and while we waited for it to come through, Friedkin pushed for more and more rehearsals. He had the extras out in the fields 20 hours a day, and whenever people asked for water, he hit them with a megaphone! And I said, 'Whoa baby, you're taking the realism too far!' And that's when he accused me of being a traitor to the Southern cause. He had his lackeys grab some rope and tie me to a nearby fence. Uncomfortable? YOU BET! No champagne for miles? NONE AT ALL.
"Anyway, I'm tied to this fence and young Grace Jones saunters by. And I beg her to get some scissors and cut me loose. Well, she just laughs in my face and grabs a nearby whip. 'Baby, no!' I screamed, but it was too late! She pulled my pants down, tickled my Little Evans, and then whipped me hard and as long as she could! Then she would stop to give me a little hand action and go right back to the pain. And then she hissed in my ear: 'Reparations, you whore.' And I said, 'You got it all wrong, baby! I'm a tribesman! We're on the same team!' Then she whipped my genitals fifty times and I had the BEST orgasm of my life. I asked her to do it again the next day but the set had already been foreclosed on by the bank. If you see Grace, tell her I miss her."
A Christmas Story. Always A Christmas Story right before Christmas. I know that TBS always does their annual marathon of this movie, but the marathon starts at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. They should go ahead and start the marathon a full week beforehand. What else am I gonna watch on TBS? Meet the Browns? Fuck that shit. I would like the entire network compromised for a whole week because I'm too lazy to stream that movie.
"They took the foam off the market because they found out it was poisonous, but if you ask me, if you're dumb enough to eat it, you deserve to die."
Enjoy the games, everyone.