Dear Bill Simmons, The Helmet Catch Was Not Luck

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Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Buy Drew's new book, The Postmortal, through here. Find more of his stuff at his Twitter feed.

The Giants play the Patriots this week for the first time since the 2007 Super Bowl, and that occasion gave Bostonwoodland's Bill Simmons a moment to once more remind you that the Giants victory was the byproduct of sheer chance and really shouldn't count:

Eli's résumé since January 2008: 34-20 (regular season), 4-1 (playoffs), one Super Bowl ring, two 4,000-yard passing seasons, 96 TDs, 57 picks, 90+ QB rating, played every game, part of the luckiest play in football history (I'm not even going there)...


Never mind that you DID just go there, let's focus instead on the idea that the Helmet Catch (nee Giant Snatch) was a lucky play. Here is the definition of luck from Google's dictionary, which I think we can all agree is the last word in lexicography (I am a strict Internet constructionist):

Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.


Do take a moment to note the last part of that definition, and then explain to me how David Tyree catching the ball against his own head was NOT a success brought on by his own actions. If Tyree didn't catch the ball, WHO THE FUCK DID?! If Tyree's catch is "lucky," then what other fantastic NFL plays must be considered fluky? Last week, Laurent Robinson made a fantastic juggling catch that was just barely out of bounds against the Eagles. Since Robinson isn't a marquee wideout, is it mere luck that he was able to catch the ball on the third carom? No. That's fucking stupid.

I'm well aware that David Tyree was a shitty NFL player. NO ONE DENIES THIS. But his catch wasn't luck. Now, if he had dropped the ball, and the refs had called it a catch, and then failed to overturn the ruling upon replay? THAT would be lucky, because then Tyree's achievement would have been the direct result of someone else's actions, and not his own. Does Tyree make that catch more than 1 time out of 150 chances? Probably not. But that doesn't matter because he fucking caught it. A fucking magic fairy didn't fly down and place the ball in Tyree's hands. He caught it himself.

Tyree is no luckier than any other unheralded player who made a big play in a big moment, like Larry Brown in Super Bowl XXX, or any career .200 hitter who manages to hit a home run in the World Series. Those big moments from minor players are part of what makes sports so compelling. Bob Costas probably creamed his very small pleated Ken doll chinos when he saw Mark Lemke bat over .400 in the 1991 World Series (Lemke was a career .246 hitter).

Luck is a factor in the success of any athlete. No man is ever truly a self-made man. Sheer chance is the reason any of us were born at all. It could have been some other loser sperm that rammed into your mom's ovum. In order to make the Helmet Catch, Tyree had to be born physically gifted enough to play football, to be noticed by scouts who encouraged the Giants to sign him, and be a member of a team that managed to get to the Super Bowl without a particularly large contribution from him. And I suppose it's good fortune for Tyree that Eli Manning elected to throw HIM the ball at that particular moment. All of that is luck, but to use it to discount what Tyree did once the ball was thrown to him is idiotic. That catch was, in fact, the LEAST lucky part of that particular moment.


I remember Simmons once did a podcast with Mike Lombardi after Pittsburgh won the 2008 Super Bowl, and his question was if the best team in the NFL had won the Super Bowl. I find this kind of question infuriating. It implies that the best team is always set in stone and that the random nature of playoff results are somehow just a cosmic fluke and nothing more meaningful. The Rams beat the Saints last Sunday. Are they really a "better" team than New Orleans? Who fucking cares? The Rams stomped on their nuts, and that's the only result that ends up truly mattering. It's why you stage the games at all. And if the "better" team doesn't win, that doesn't make it unlucky or unfair. Take your loss like a man don't be a fucking gash about it. The Giant Snatch wasn't luck. It was goddamn glorious. I wish the Patriots lost that way every fucking week.

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


Five Throwgasms

Giants at Patriots: Did you hear Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the Steelers/Pats game? I've never seen them so heartbroken. When Belichick didn't challenge the Gronkowski catch at the front of the end zone, I half expected Simms to run down to the field and throw the red flag for him. HOW COULD THE PEETRIOTS HAVE NOT CHALLENGED THAT PLAY, JEEM? Sometime soon, Nantz is going to wear a Brady jersey and rub his nipples for the entire telecast.


Bears at Eagles: Here's a video of Jason Kelce snapping the ball directly into his own ass. Fun for all!

Ravens at Steelers


Four Throwgasms

Packers at Chargers: I was in San Diego during the summer and I found myself having to shop for a dress shirt. I am an extraordinarily cheap human being, which means I'm never willing to pay more than $20 for any pair of shoes, pants, or a dress shirt. I have completely unreasonable expectations for what $20 ought to buy me on the open fashion market. I went from store to store and every shirt cost forty dollars, and every time I looked at the label I grimaced with disgust, like a German restaurant patron who sees an automatic 18% gratuity added. Forty dollars? For a fucking Abercrombie shirt? NEIN!!!


By the way, I have no good sense of what a garment will cost before I flip the price tag around. It's kind of thrilling, frankly. You see a nice shirt in a department store and it can be anywhere from $60 to $3,500. What's it gonna be? YOU NEVER KNOW.

Also, I hope Philip Rivers dies in a boating accident. Nothing personal against the man, I just wish awful things upon him and his family.


Three Throwgasms

Bucs at Saints: It's fall, which means that I am currently unable to maintain a consistent core body temperature. I put on a sweater in the house, I get too hot, I take it off, I get too cold, I put it back on. REPEAT FOREVER. Same with socks. "Say, my dogs sure are barkin'. Better take these socks off. OH FUCK BARE FEET ON AN ICE COLD HARDWOOD FLOOR! SOCKS ARE TO REPORT BACK TO FEET AT ONCE!" I really wish I could stick with the layers that I have. I'm the world's worst clothing flip-flopper.


Jets at Bills: I eat a lot of chicken, Dark meat, specifically, because white meat is for assholes. And when you eat a chicken thigh, there's often a bit of the chicken's back attached to the piece. I often find myself digging into the back and eating the little organ bits that are tucked away in there. Can anyone tell me what those organs are? (NOTE: NOT the chicken oyster. I know what the goddamn chicken oyster is.) Are those the chicken ovaries? I probably shouldn't eat them. They may be full of mercury. All I know is that they're DELICIOUS. I salute you, mysterious chicken organs.

Bengals at Titans: Poor Erin Andrews. Imagine going through life with people openly masturbating in front of you left and right. Can't be a pretty sight. And who's gonna sympathize with her? Her friends? Please. No ladyfriend is gonna want to hear her friend be like, "Ugh, I'm so pretty that men can't stop jerking off in front of me!" Awwww, poor you for being born too perfect! Here's a #humblebrag hashtag needlework throw pillow I made just for you!


Two Throwgasms

Broncos at Raiders: I would like an explanation from ESPN's web people as to why they decided to delete the "X > Tebow" comments from their website. Most of those comments didn't contain foul language, and many of the jokes were fairly mild. Meanwhile, they happily tolerate all kinds of idiocy over on other articles. Like so:

I'm tired of watching these players waste tons of dollars on Moet and Escalades . Teach them a lesson Stern!

Sidneys Brain Cramp
This might sound slightly offensive to some people, but if I had to bet on a company run by blacks or one run by Jews, my money would always be on the latter.


So just so you're clear: Make a joke about Tim Tebow? DELETED. Make a wildly offensive comment about black and Jews? COWHERD-APPROVED. There's something heartwarming about this. It brings me great joy to know that ESPN, despite all their money and power, will never be able to unfuck themselves. They're fucking pathetic.

49ers at Redskins: There's nothing quite like the annual "Redskins midseason reversion back to incompetence". You can set your calendar to it. It's reassuring, frankly.


One Throwgasm

Falcons at Colts: I know this is unfair to the Falcons, but they are the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL. Even though they're a perfectly good team (and often play in entertaining games), I'm inexplicably unenthused by the idea of watching them.


Browns at Texans: It's just like the Browns to be merely shitty in a season where you need to be HISTORICALLY shitty in order to land Andrew Luck or Landry Jones.

Dolphins at Chiefs: I was giving my kid a bath the other day, and one of the easy ways to get your kid to come out of the tub is to drain all the water out so they're left sitting in a dry tub, shivering with cold and possibly on the verge of catching pneumonia. It's a flawless plan, except when the little fucker knows you just opened the drain and then closes it back up and you end up struggling for control of the drain for the next hour. Because if it was up to your kid, they'd stay in the tub until the flesh started to peel off.


Anyway, all the water is out of the tub and I throw open the bathroom door just to let a little more cold air in, to get the kid out. And he's sitting there, scooting around and dithering about, and I'm like ANDIAMO! LET'S GO, YOU LITTLE FUCKER!

Then my son stands up, turns to me and says, "I made a poop in the tub, Daddy."

GAME CHANGER. I frantically ask him where the poop is. As I'm asking him this, I have my hand outstretched to help him out of the tub. Turns out my kid had taken a shit in his hand, and was now HANDING the shit to me.


ME: Hey, what's this you're handing m... OH SWEET BABY JESUS! IT'S A POOP! I HAVE THE POOP! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I spent the next ten minutes disinfecting the tub with Scrubbing Bubbles and washing my hand until the skin was raw. You never know when your kid is gonna hand you a turd. It's quite something.


Seahawks at Cowboys: After Halloween was over, it was time for one of my favorite annual activities: jack-o-lantern disposal. Ever take a hollowed out pumpkin and throw it deep into the woods? ECSTASY. I feel like an Olympian shot putter when I do it. Then the thing smashes to bit on the ground and I let out a mighty guffaw. MWAHAHAHAHA. You had a good life, pumpkin, until I gutted you and carved you and smashed you to bits. I wish I had taken the care as a child to vandalize more homes with smashed pumpkins. Smashing pumpkins is a delight, even if Billy Corgan ruined the whole enterprise.

Rams at Cardinals

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

"Pressure And Time," by Rival Sons. I have NO problem with bands ripping off Led Zeppelin at all. Radio stations have spent the past twenty years featuring bands trying to rip off Nirvana. I much prefer the Zeppelin knockoffs. Also, every mall should have a shop called Rock Accessories, which sells nothing but skinny pants, floral pattern shirts, skull rings, leather bracelets, and Tunisian neckscarves. I'm tired of perusing flea markets and secondhand stores for all my poser rock star accessories.


Embarrassing iTunes Library Track I Own That Will Not Fire You Up

"I Like It," by Enrique Iglesias. And really, who doesn't love a video featuring both straightened douchebag hair AND an appearance from Pitbull? It's like everything that's good about this country all packed into one derivative clubhouse anthem!


Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit

Quarterbacks across the NFL are tumbling back to Earth. Cancel that panic about runaway offenses. And let's have a quick round of applause for those who kept their heads while others were losing theirs.


Hmm. I wonder which people Gregggg is referring to when he suggests we should applaud their prescience. Oh, wait! I know! Allow Gregggggg to spend a few sentences smelling his own farts.

As quarterbacks tumble back to earth, stats return to normalcy. Of course, no one could have known this would happen. Hey wait — after the second week of the season, your columnist led with a prediction that the situation was transitory.


Hmm. Yes. Indeed. Such an incredible accomplishment for an UNDRAFTED columnist who went to an ELITE school. Take note, glory boys of the world.

TMQ said this years ago: "Someday there may be a female NFL player, and I hope never to meet her."


I know! Because she'd be all fat and stuff! Ewwww, gross!

By the way, there are few things that Easterbook loves more than tut-tutting any college or high school team that runs up the score on its opponents. When you run up the score, you are engaged in little more than glamour boy thuggery, and verily the Football Gods shall punish as they might the world's sodomites. So I found it interesting that Greggg would take time out this week to praise Case Keenum of the Houston Cougars:

Case Keenum of Houston just threw nine touchdown passes in a game. Um, that's adequate. Keenum has 32 touchdown passes versus three interceptions, which is spectacular... Houston is a lot of fun to watch.


Houston has won its past three games by the following scores: 73-34, 63-28, and 56-3. Gregg, do you not see that your hero Case Keenum is single-handedly DESTROYING American ethics with his gluttonous stat-hogging? Oh, how I weep for our children.

One more thing. Gregg wrote the following about Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett:

For a night game, Bennett was wearing a tinted visor. Unless he has a medical condition, a tinted visor for a night game seems to indicate that making a fashion statement on television is more important than performing well. The worst part of the low football IQ here is that the Dallas coaching staff didn't just tell him to get that garbage off his face.


I emailed Marty B to ask if he had any rebuttal to Easterbrook's accusations. He has yet to respond, perhaps because he was wearing a face shield while reading his email and didn't see it. TYPICAL THUG PLAY.

Suicide Picks Of The Week
Last week's picks of San Francisco, New Orleans, and Tennessee went 2-1 (19-5 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? Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and walking out of the locker room door at the gym just as someone else is pulling the same door open. Never ceases to scare the shit out of me.


Postmortal Book Tour Dates
Turns out the New York reading that happens in two weeks is part of a Gelf magazine event that will include famous scientist Aubrey De Grey. He's the dude that believes human beings may already be on the verge of living for a thousand years or more. He also has a kickass beard. Also on hand will be Jan Vijg, chair of the genetics department at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Holy shit, am I out of my depth. Come listen as I fail miserably to match wits with these people.

11/17 (7:30PM) - New York, NY (Le Poisson Rouge)
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 Giants getting 8.5 points on the road against the Patriots. I like what that ESPN commenter said about Jews outsmarting blacks at every turn. Let's face it: If I'm the captain of a pickup basketball team, I'm grabbing me a black guy with my first pick. But if I'm the captain of a pickup litigation team? GIMME SIDNEY SCHEINSTEIN EVERY DAY AND TWICE ON SUNDAY."

2011 Nazi Shark Record: 5-3.

Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Sal sends in this poop story I call MIAMI POOS:

I was on a long weekend vacation with my wife away from our three crazed sons for a long weekend. We were at the Fontainebleau in South Beach and it rained the entire time. Not just overcast, but rain. And wind. So we hunkered down and enjoyed all of the amenities of the complex. On our third day we hit the spa after we did a workout. We hadn't eaten much, but drank a ton of water and split an awesome egg, cheese burrito thing for lunch before we worked out. We weren't hung over, but definitely were feeling the effects of the previous few days.

So in the spa they have all this fruit and trail mix and water with cucumbers and oranges in it. It's all delicious and you can't stop from pigging out. Everyone tries to be cool about it, but you can see all these high-roller types stuffing their faces with trail mix. I'm not proud, I was starving and didn't care what people think, so I was pounding the trail mix by the fistful.

We hung out in the mineral bath, and rainfall shower room (totally awesome) and then we went into the respective men's and women's side of the spa. I took a steam, a whirlpool, ate more trail mix, took another rainfall shower before I decided it was enough and hit the regular shower. By now I was feeling very relaxed and a little bloated from all of the fruit, water and trail mix, which was all kinds of nuts and dried fruit. Are you familiar with the kind of damage dried fruit can cause? Did I mention I ate a lot of trail mix? Anyways....

I'm in the shower, which is totally private and is another of these rainfall type deals, when I feel this pressure in my lower abdomen, and figure it's gas from all the dried fruit and stuff. So I let it go. And boy was I surprised when it wasn't gas. A torrent of nut and dried fruit laden liquid shot out of my ass, down my leg and mingled in with the real water coming from the shower. Once I got over the shock and dismay, I realized what a liberating feeling it was. Also, since there was so much fucking water coming out of the rainfall shower thing in the ceiling the shit-nut-fruit water ran right into the big floor drain and disappeared.

I had that same feeling down below so I let it go again, but this time I pushed like I was giving birth to twins, and more of the chunky iced tea colored liquid shot forth, onto the floor of the shower and into the drain. My legs felt shot. I was amazed and relieved. I did a quick check to make sure there wasn't a surveillance camera in the shower before I jacked out round three. What a feeling.

After I finished I let the shower run a few extra minutes to make sure everything was clean. I felt about 10-pounds lighter and nobody was any the wiser. No wonder people like spas so much.


I'm never going to that hotel.

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:

• Tony Sparano***************
• Jim Caldwell*
• John Fox
• Jack Del Rio
• Ken Whisenhunt
• Hue Jackson
• Mike Shanahan
• Norv Turner


(**************** - Could REALLY happen any moment!)

Let's welcome Norval back to the list, where he will remain until the day he's finally shitcanned.


Chris Johnson Memorial Fantasy Player That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death

Reader Jesse is not a fan of Malcolm Floyd.

True story: did you know Malcom Floyd has a brother named Malcolm Floyd? That's right; same exact name except with an 'L.' That is just fucking ridiculous. Also ridiculous is the fact that Malcom without the L typically doesn't show up on the injury report, but you can bet once the game starts will quickly pull up lame with a strained groin/vagina, miss the rest of the contest, and leave some other dipshit like Seyi Ajirotutu to come in and vulture all the San Diego passing yards that don't go to V-Jack or Gates, sticking you with a big, fat zero.

Floyd is one of those players that is just good enough to take up a roster spot (especially in a 16-team league like mine), but just shitty enough to never leave your bench. He's a human waste of space. Yet, he ALWAYS ends up on my team somehow. I think it's because he had one monster game last season, his only one ever, and I keep hoping beyond a reasonable doubt that he'll stop being such a pussy and have another one. Instead, he's either hurt or catches 3 balls for 40 yards. Still, I just can't drop him because I know that as soon as I do he'll immediately become a top-10 WR.

He's basically Robert Meachem, minus the occasional production. Malcom Floyd fucking sucks. At this point, I'd accept his brother Malcolm in a trade straight up for him, sight unseen.

In summary: EAT A DICK, MALCOM FLOYD. If you ever do find that missing L from your name, wear it with pride, my friend. Wear that L like a badge, with your thumb and index finger in front of your forehead. Because you, sir, are a loser.


We need to come up with a term for wideouts like Floyd, Meachem, and James Jones. One besides ASSHOLE, of course.

Gametime Snack Of The Week


S'more cups. One of our neighbors brought these to a Halloween party this weekend. They were unreasonably good. I didn't even bother trying to contain myself. I just kept eating and eating. I wanted as many of them inside my body as quickly as possible. Here is the recipe. It's idiot-proof. Make them and you will get a tongueboner.

Gametime Chocolate Wine Of The Week


Chocovine! I was in a bodega last week buying beef jerky when I saw a bottle of chocolate wine sitting on the shelf. Only it wasn't the brand you see above, it was called CHOCOLAT and I think the retail price was about four bucks. Now here's a product that was designed specifically for child molesters hoping to drug their victims. Chocolate wine can't possibly taste good. It must taste like whatever Sal left on the Fontainebleau shower floor. 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! I'm sick of these fake documentary pictures like 'Paranormal Activity 3', gang. Cheap? YOU BET! Ugly? UGLIER THAN OMAR SHARIF AFTER A NINE-HOUR BRIDAL ORGY. Whatever happened to pictures looking GOOD, baby? In my day, we wanted our movies to look like MOVIES! You sat out in the desert in Morocco with a bag of hash and you waited ten hours to get the perfect shot and by the end of the day you were higher than sin and Nicholson had already chased 16 different PA's off the set but you GOT THE SHOT. Now? Just put a PXL2000 in someone's bedroom and people call it cinema verite. Why would you ever want a picture to look like a documentary? Documentaries are for people who like being poor."


Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Dolphins Fans

From The Sky Down, a documentary that chronicles the backstory of how U2's "Achtung Baby" was made. I don't know how the rest of U2 haven't murdered Bono yet. At one point during a studio session, Bono tells The Edge he'd like him to sound "more abstract." There can't possibly be a more useless creative direction for a musician than that. And Bono needs to play the music over and over again in order to form the lyrics to the song. He doesn't just go into another room with a joint and start scribbling shit down. No, no, you gotta sit there with him all fucking day and play that shit for him until he's come up with lyrics that don't make any goddamn sense. I'd kill him. I really would. That aside, not a bad movie. WARNING: Bono and the Edge often serve to narrate the movie, and their voices sound EXACTLY alike. Half the time I thought Bono was referring to himself in the third person, which made me hate him all the more.


Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
WAITER: I'm sorry, ma'am, but everything on the menu has fish in it.

MARGE: Mmm, what about the bread? Does that have much fish in it?


Enjoy the games, everyone.