Fuck The Fade Route

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Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.

Holy shit, the Giants. In case you missed it (hopefully you did; maybe you were eating a sandwich or something), I’m gonna show you the worst display of play-calling in modern football history. Here’s first and goal for the Giants at 4-yard-line last week (series starts around 3:10). They are down by six with time running out. The first play is a fade route to Odell Beckham, which is incomplete. The second play is a fade route to Reuben Randle, which is, again, incomplete. The third play is … WHAT THE FUCK?! ... another goddamn fade route. To the tight end! Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo (WOO WOO MCADOO!) just says, "Fuck it! The wideouts couldn’t catch this, but I bet our slowass tight end can!" That also falls incomplete.


Fourth down is a pick.

I would have liked to have been in a Giants bar for this series. If I had a time machine, and I had already disposed of Hitler, I would travel back to last Sunday and head to some gross Giants bar for that game, just to hear the fans scream out WHAT THE FUCK for three plays in a row. Because the fade route is the worst. The absolute worst. The fade route is an offensive coordinator’s way of saying, "Welp, I have no ideas. Just, like … go get the ball!"


It’s certainly not a good strategic play to call. You are mere yards away from the end zone, and your move is to throw the longest ball possible within a confined space? Why is that a good idea? Half the time, the QB throws the ball out of bounds by accident. Throwing a fade route is like asking a quarterback to nail a coffin corner kick. It requires perfect touch and precision and it forces the wideout to outrun the defender when there is little room left to run and get his feet down where there is little space to do so. If you have Megatron or some other freak receiver, I guess this is okay to try ONCE. But not three times. And not to fucking Larry Donnell.

I know J.J. Watt caught a fade route for a TD last week, but he barely stayed inbounds, and J.J. Watt is a mutant anyway. Goal line possessions are both valuable and tricky, and it makes my fucking blood boil anytime an offensive coordinator wastes a down on a passing play that gives the QB no other options and forces him to throw a deep ball when a deep ball is not at all necessary.


There are many other options at your disposal, like running the ball! That seems okay. And play action! With multiple options for throwing the ball! Every time some idiot calls a fade route in the end zone, the announcer is like, "Well, it’s man coverage, so it’s a 50/50 shot!" No, it’s not. The Big Lead did a loose study on the fade route and estimated that only 25% of fade routes to the end zone are successful. It’s not 50/50, and it certainly isn’t 50/50 when Eli Manning has already thrown a zillion picks and you’re making the tight end climb the ladder for a ball that’s not even in the corner of the end zone. Any offensive coordinator who calls three fade routes in a row should be remanded to working a toll booth. Forever. No more fade routes.

The Games

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


Five Throwgasms

Lions at Patriots: I’m not sure the Patriots will lose again and if they end up winning the Super Bowl, I want every asshole Boston fan that complained about Tom Brady to print out their complaints and then fucking swallow them. That includes Simmons, who basically wrote that Brady doesn’t take charge enough because he had three older sisters who pre-pussywhipped him as a child. I didn’t make fun of this enough when it first ran, but look at it again…


Brady grew up differently than Manning … as the baby brother of three older sisters. Repeat: THREE OLDER SISTERS…

Could you say that Brady, for 15 seasons and counting in New England, is still tagging along to some degree?


These are not people who deserve a fourth ring. They deserve an alternate universe where that loss to Kansas City really WAS the death blow, and Brady is replaced by Jeneane Garofalo, and Garofalo ends up sucking, and Brady gets pissed and forces a trade to the Jets and wins five more Super Bowls. THAT is what Boston fans deserve. "Tagging along." Get fucked.

Cardinals at Seahawks: I’ve seen that terrifying promo for "Peter Pan Live!" a few times now and I’m convinced that Christopher Walken took the role of Captain Hook specifically so that people could do an impression of Christopher Walken doing Captain Hook. My hope is that, in the live show, Captain Hook takes out a gun, shoots Peter Pan, and says, "I haven’t killed anybody … since 1984."


Four Throwgasms

Dolphins at Broncos: CBS now has "Next Gen" stats during the broadcast, which tell you the total number of yards a player ran on any given play, and collectively over the course of the game. Those stats don’t mean anything, of course. But they ARE cool to look at, mostly because it’s fun to discover that Peyton Manning ran a grand total of three steps over the course of the whole game. CBs doesn’t compile the stats online, though, which is a shame. They could have season leader for yards run, yard efficiency rankings (how many of the yards you ran were, you know, forward), and fantasy yard running leagues, where you get bonus points if Big Ben runs 50 yards before finally getting his ass sacked. I would play that for a week before growing to hate it.


By the way, the Broncos and Colts are abominable at running the ball and that will clearly be their downfall come January. I mean, you have to run the ball a little. Not much. Like, 10 yards. Ten yards is adequate.


Three Throwgasms

Ravens at Saints: You know, out of all the NFC South teams, the Saints are the only one where I’m like, "Well they’re not THAT bad." And that’s a lie. They are that bad. They’re shit. They’re just as shitty as the rest of that division. It’s amazing what a Super Bowl win five years ago will do for your image. It can give you a permanent aura of damage control. I’ll still be thinking, "Hey, they’d be dangerous in the playoffs!" even when the Falcons win the division at 7-9.


Jets at Bills: This game gets bumped up the watchability scale because it’ll just be three hours of snow porn. They’ll probably cut away from live action for it. Some producer in a truck will be like, "The Jets aren’t making this third down. Let’s throw in footage of that snow haboob murdering the city."

By the way, the forecast calls for rain for this game. Nothing says you have angered God like getting dumped with snow and then getting a rain chaser. You don’t even get to enjoy the snow before it turns to shit soup. Rain after snow is the absolute worst. Kids will come back from sledding with 80-pound puffy jackets.


Giants at Cowboys: This is typically where the Cowboys choke away a 20-point lead with 30 seconds to go, so I’ll be greatly disappointed if they handle their business. Both teams will combine to throw 90 fade routes.

Bengals at Texans: I have two sons and my wife is terrified of their boners. One of them gets a little boner and the wife comes to me and is like, "He’s got a … a thing!" Well, what I am supposed to do? Step on it? Meanwhile the kid is over in the tub going, "Cool! BOINNNNNGGGG!" They both already know that boners are cool and fun. That’s good boner attitude.


Two Throwgasms

RG3 Is Dead at Niners: One more thing about RG3: Whenever he gets sacked, it takes him AGES to get up. I’m not saying getting sacked is easy or fun, but he has to know that everyone thinks he’s fragile like a crystal egg. Lying on the turf after every sack doesn’t exactly boost your confidence in his ability to remain intact.


Titans at Eagles: I tried to watch that Randy Moss "30 for 30" the other night, and I swear I’m not being petty when I say this: A lot of those documentaries are the same, man. They have a formula now: open with still footage of some forgotten town, and then they show some grainy old game footage, or maybe some antique ESPN highlights, and then they bring in a few witnesses and/or talking heads, and then they bring in the athlete to talk if the athlete is still alive. It’s the standard oral history template, put on video. Just because it looks pretty doesn’t mean it’s revolutionary or anything. The Moss thing was boilerplate hagiography, and I say that as someone who loves Randy Moss. They did this same kind of tasteful documentary back when SportsCentury was still on. I think I saw Mike Wilbon talking in one of them. If Mike Wilbon is a talking head in your documentary, it’s generic horseshit.


Browns at Falcons: Like I said, I’d rather have the Saints crawl out of the South. They’d feel much more legitimate as a shitty playoff team to me, even if that’s a lie. If the Falcons make the playoffs, I will be OFFENDED.

Bucs at Bears: This Tiger Woods screed over at JeetsLand is amusing because not only does it demonstrate that Tiger is still a complete penis, but it’s also proof of how utterly useless that site already is. Anytime an athlete takes to print to be like, "I’m gonna set the record straight," what they’re basically saying is, "I’m gonna set my brand straight!" This is the most enjoyable part:

I like to think I have a good sense of humor, and that I’m more than willing to laugh at myself. In this game, you have to.


You ever met a golfer who could laugh at himself? That game is designed specifically for people who CANNOT laugh at themselves.

Rams at Chargers


One Throwgasm

Chiefs at Raiders: We’re back in the "TNF Promo bends over backwards to sell you a terrible game" portion of the NFL schedule. This week’s promo was like IT’S ONE OF THE NFL’S OLDEST RIVALRIES. Indeed. It’s old, all right. Throw out the record books when the Raiders play the Chiefs! Unless the Raiders are 0-10, in which case … do NOT throw out the record book. KEEP the fucking record book, and go out with your friends instead.


By the way, here is the rest of the Raiders schedule: KC, @STL, SF, @KC, BUF, @DEN. They’re fucked. They won’t even catch Denver resting their players. They’re doomed to 0-16. It’s gonna be like watching them drown.

Packers at Vikings: Can we just not play this game? Let’s just call it a Packers win and spend Sunday at the movies or something. I feel like a schoolyard bully just told me to be outside at 3 o’clock so he can beat my ass.


Also, please God: No more R-E-L-A-X references. If the Packers win the Super Bowl, that stupid tweet will be the first thing they mention in the NFL Films yearbook video. They are beating that tweet into the ground. It was not a magic tweet.

Jaguars at Colts

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

"Born In A Mourning Hall," by Blind Guardian. From Stephen:

It's just righteous anger throughout, and the second verse where the tempo changes for a few lines to make a point are just brilliant. Then you add in the crowd participation (which is why the live version is a must) and it just makes me want to go to a mega church and punch the pastor.


I’ll watch any live heavy metal footage in front of an endless festival crowd. It’s amazing, really. Find any heavy metal band you’ve never heard of, and there will ALWAYS be a YouTube clip of that band somewhere in, like, Finland, with 90,000 people singing along to every word. Every band is huge somewhere.

Suicide Pick Of The Week

Last week’s picks of the Pittsburgh, Washington, and San Francisco went 2-1, making me 23-11 for the year. Time again to pick three teams for your suicide pool and one thing that makes you want to commit suicide. This week’s picks are Kansas City, Green Bay, Indy, and kids watching multiple screens in the same room. Kids NEVER agree on watching the same show, so sometimes, because I am a lazy parent, I will say to one of the kids, "Here, watch something on this iPad, you little fucker." And then they end up watching it in the SAME room. They never find their own room for it. Why would you do this to yourself? Then the kids yell at each to turn their shit down and I keep telling them, "There are other fucking rooms in this house. GO! GO TO THEM AND EMBRACE SOLITUDE!" And they never do. This is problem that I have created entirely on my own. It is stupid and inane and is a first world problem of the finest vintage, but it’s still awful anyway. Kids live to annoy one another, and nothing I say or do can stop them.


Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit


Time for another edition of Gregg Easterbrook takes everything literally…

Cognomen Update:

That alone is enough to make my balls water.

Since they departed San Francisco, TMQ has taken to calling Jerry Rice's old team the Santa Clara 49ers.


Which is dumb.

I've long referred to the Giants as Jersey/A and the Jets as Jersey/B.

Which is confusing.

I call the Bucs the City of Tampa Buccaneers because Tampa Bay is a body of water: Tampa, Florida, is where the team performs.


Aren’t you fucking clever.

I don't just object to the Rdskns part of the team owned by Chainsaw Dan Snyder; I object to the Washington part, as the Rdskns practice in Virginia and perform in Maryland. Thus, to this column they are the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons.


JUST CALL THE TEAMS WHAT THEY’RE CALLED NO ONE IS IMPRESSED BY YOU. You are not performing a public service by reminding me of this shit. God, I just… (squeezes fist)… I’m gonna kick something, by God! Maybe a table.

One more blockquote, just because anger:

Analyzing the Muschamp dismissal, did any sports touts even mention the strong graduation rate — that is, regard "student-athletes" as actual student-athletes? Maybe Muschamp's error was working to make sure his players were in class rather than spending every second in the weight room or film room.


Yes, that’s it. Will Muschamp was fired because was too busy coaching these kids for LIFE. If only the SPORTS TOUTS paid attention to grad rates, and lollipop rainbows, and gingerbread end zones … then the world would be a more moral place.

Emmitt Smith's Lock Of The Week!


"This week, I like the Ravens (+3.5) to go into New Orphans and beat the Saints! I have to think that New Orphans is the biggest appointment in the NFL this treason. They have underbelieved to an enormous agree. Coach Walter Payton cannot be please by this! I wonder if New Orphans is just too FUN for these players. Burden Street. Farty Gronk. Felt Tuesday. THAT’S A LOT OF DISSATISFACTIONS! If I’m Walter Payton and Drew Bees, I’m saying to my guys, ‘No more staying out latent. No more drinking beer and eating hot bowls of Rambo in the Fresh Corner. NO MORE FARTY GRONK! Keep your mind on the game and stop putting yourselves on a Penisstool!’ That is what I would say."

2014 Emmitt Smith record: 6-7

This Week In Terrifying Animal News

Say hello to the lanternfly, an insect that originated in Asia (no offense, Asia, but you have the worst insects) that has flown over to America and is now threatening to destroy the state of Pennsylvania, which isn’t a BAD idea, per se … Anyway, the fly is big and colorful and I suppose "pretty" if you’re a weird insect person. But here is the bad news …

In large numbers, spotted lanternflies can create weeping wounds of sap on tree trunks, the build-up of sugary secretions and large fungal mats. Such damage, in turn, can attract wasps, hornets, bees and ants.


Great. Fucking great. These assholes are the event planners of the insect kingdom. They rent out a banquet hall and set up the tables and invite ALL their asshole wasp friends to come join the party. And what a fungal mat? I don’t anything to do with fungal mats. That’s what’s inside the Tampa locker room (ZING!).

Fantasy Player Who Deserves to Die A Slow, Painful Death

Reader John still has issues with Isaiah Crowell:

Isaiah Crowell.. Isaiah FUCKING Crowell, who the fuck is this guy? Oh, I know, he's the guy NFL commentators kept jizzing over like he was the new workhorse of some kind of Cleveland "Renaissance". Anyways, since every reliable running back caught ebola, I was reduced to picking this fuckup off the waiver wire in week 6 after putting up 10+ points for the third time in six games, so I figure, "Hey, this guy has Jacksonville, Oakland, and Tampa Bay the next three weeks, he'll fucking kill!" Well I thought like an idiot, because this fuck only manages to put up 3.2 Points in all of those three weeks COMBINED! So figures as much, Crowell runs into his first bad matchup of the last the month: On the road vs the Bengals, so I bench him. And what does this raisin faced fuckhead do? TEN POINTS, OBVIOUSLY! Seriously, fuck Isaiah Crowell with a rusty chain-link fence post.


One day, man. One day I’m gonna quit this stupid game and be the happiest man on Earth.

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 2014 chopping block:

Rex Ryan*

Marc Trestman

Mike Smith

Doug Marrone

Jay Gruden

Ken Whisenhunt

Ron Rivera*

Tom Coughlin

Marvin Lewis

Lovie Smith

Dennis Allen-FIRED!!

Roger Goodell

Gus Bradley

(*potential midseason firing)

The best thing about the current mess in Washington is that the Skins look bad no matter who they decide to get rid of. If they have to ditch RG3, they’ve wasted an enormous amount of resources. And if Dan Snyder decides to one-and-done Jay Gruden because he and RG3 are bros, then it’s even funnier. Of course, whatever they decide to do will ultimately end up not mattering at all. Whether or not RG3 stays or goes, or Jay Gruden gets fired and Dan Snyder lets RG3 coach the team as well, it’ll all fail. You could bring Andrew Luck here and I promise you that Snyder, in cahoots with this fanbase, would find a way to ruin it. No one gets out of here alive.


Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Brian sends in this story I call POOPHANGER:

When I was like 14 or 15 I went hiking in the Olympic Mountains with my Boy Scout troop. It was our second day of hiking, we had been climbing all day. About 15 minutes before we got to the top ,my body decided that it had to shit like NOW, RIGHT FUCKING NOW. This was not possible as we were A. on the side of a mountain and B. I was with 6 other friends/bullies. No way was I pulling down my pants in front of them.

I scrambled up to the top with our only roll of toilet paper in hand. I got to the top, looked around and saw a secluded area surrounded by trees of by a cliff. I started sprinting so I could drop pants and FUCKING GO.

Just as I'm reaching the trees, my foot catches a root and I trip. The toilet paper goes flying out of my hand and bounces. Bounces Again. Bounces on more time and flies off the cliff and falls in a streamer of white paper some 500 feet or so (maybe a thousand? Who knows).

Just as the Toilet Paper bounces off the cliff I scream out in frustration "NOOOOOOOOO, THE TOILET PAPERRRRRR!!!"

Seconds later I hear an echo come back from the other side of the canyon, "SUCKS TO BE YOUUUUUUU."


Gametime Snack Of The Week


String cheese. There is a 20-year window in everyone’s life between the last time they eat string cheese as a kid and the first time they eat it as a parent. And it’s fucking delicious. I wish I had eaten more string cheese in my teens. I don’t bother pulling it apart now. I just shove it in. No string at all.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week


Kirin STRONG! Don’t let the Kirin brand fool you! This isn’t the delicious big bottle of beer you order while eating mediocre sushi! This shit is REAL shit. From Jimmy:

A perfect beverage to wake up with at 3 AM to watch Tony Romo's back disintegrate one play after another, Strong is a type of "Chu Hai" familiar to every serviceman deployed or stationed in Japan. It is basically Shochu (rice whiskey) mixed with carbonated fruit drink. Available at your local on-base post exchange, Chu Hai costs $1.25-2.00 per can, or about 175 yen. It tastes like 7up, but fizzier, and the buzz sneaks up on you. It comes in several flavors- lime, lemon, grapefruit (bitter), grape, apple, pineapple, and I even saw a green peach. I don't know what that is, but naturally I had to have it. They don't sell it in bottles to keep the price low. De-lish.


The Strong doesn't just refer to the 9% ABV, but also to the level of heartburn you get the next day. Recommendation: do not play Wizard Staff with only Strong beers. Everyone loses, even a Level 12 Saruman. A Gray Wizard cast a spell of pink vomit on me and my defenses could not overpower it.

Amazing. I want this. I TRULY MUST HAVE IT. Even if this is the Bud Light Lime-a-Rita of Japan, it has to be better than our Bud Light Lime-A-Rita. By the way, you will notice that the can has two percentages on it: 9% ABV and 2.5%... something else. What is it? What is the other 2.5%? Is it cyanide? Cancer dye? Uranium? I gotta know.


Robert Evans's MVP Watch!


Time to start thinking about this season's candidates for the NFL's MVP award. Every week, legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.

"Baby, my favorite for MVP is Aaron Rodgers of the Packers! Terrible to see my dear friend—the great BILL COSBY—have his name dragged through the mud this year. Funny? YOU BET! A rapist? HARDLY! Oh, wait … now, wait a second here. I’m just remembering. 1962. The Ferret Club. Irish and I, sitting in the booth, drinking champers and having a couple of starlets (it was Ann-Margaret and Leann-Margaret!) feed us shrimp eggs. Well, into the club comes the Cos, who proceeds to sit down at our booth and tell a FABULOUS story about an overweight kid named Albert who used to sit on the other children. Would have made a great TV show, if TV was my business (TV is grade school, baby)!


"Well, we all finish up our shrimp eggs and snort some aspirin and it’s off to Woodland! Next thing I know, I wake up on the floor of my shower. I have sweater yarn in my teeth! And Nicholson is in the tub with four popsicle sticks up his ass! All this time, we figured it was the girls that slipped us the mickeys! I’LL BE DAMNED! I don’t know how I’ll break this to Nicholson. He’s been huge on popsicle sticks up his ass every since! This changes things considerably!"

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Raiders Fans

Edge of Tomorrow, which is good! Not shitty at all. I also appreciate that someone made a movie that had all of the cool shit in Avatar—enormous futurecopters, exoskeleton fighting suits, etc.—and got rid of all the annoying, stupid shit—liberal treehugging themes, blue alien dipshits, ponytail fucking, that Jake guy. Big improvement, if you ask me.


Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

"Bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

Enjoy the games, everyone.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com. You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.