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How To Give A Ball-Bursting Football Speech

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

We were down 21-0 at the half when I gave a speech. Our field was located a good half-mile walk from the locker rooms, so at halftime, we would retreat to a filthy hovel of a room situated under the cement stands on our side of the field. It was always moist in there. I bet the walls were covered in spider eggs. The benches were ancient and looked like they could give you a thousand splinters just from one swipe. I think I would have preferred just retreating to an end zone and chilling there for the half, but this room gave us privacy. And when you’re down 21-0, and you haven’t beaten your main rivals for six straight years, you need a place to hide.


I was a senior. I had already been benched for a better guy WAY earlier in the season. I couldn’t pass block. I couldn’t pull. (Incidentally, pulling is the fucking worst. If you see an o-lineman successfully execute a pull on TV, give him a standing O because that shit is impossible. Whenever a play called for me to pull, I prayed that it got changed at the line of scrimmage so that I wouldn’t have to pull. When pulling, I always tripped, or ran into the center, or pulled so slowly that the back ran into me. Pulling is impossible). Once in a while I got in a token series at left guard, but otherwise my football career was all but over. One college liked me as a prospect, but that was only because they had put in the tape and mistaken me for another player. I didn’t correct them. I’m no dummy. Why yes, I am #68. THE ROAD GRADER.

The coaches yelled at us and made some strategic adjustments (I think?), and then they vacated the crawlspace and left us alone. That’s a big coach move: to yell at your guys and then leave them alone so that they can yell at each other some more on your behalf. Once the coaches were out of the room, no one said much of anything. A few guys muttered, “This fucking sucks,” and “Come the fuck on, guys,” but that was about it. I had never given any speeches to the team because I sucked. About the only time I ever got vocal was on the sidelines with the rest of benchwarmers, screaming out FIRE IT UP, RED as loud as I could. I must have yelled that a thousand times. I went real deep with my voice for it too, like an ump. Listen to my deep voice, everyone … my penis is very large! If I had been standing next to me on the sidelines, I would have rolled my eyes.


Anyway, no one was talking and, because I am an attention whore, I felt compelled to finally speak up. You can get away with being a benchwarmer and giving a speech if you happen to be a senior, because seniors have, like, seen some shit. And you can only pull that off one time, at the most. No one’s gonna listen to a scrub senior more than once. If you wanna be Mister Motivational, you better be a team captain or a quarterback or someone who’s really fucking good and clearly carrying the rest of the team.

I started talking. I did not stand up. In case this speech didn’t work out, I didn’t wanna be identified.


“I’m so fucking sick of this. We fucking lose this game year after year after fucking year.” (It’s important to swear a lot.) “Is this how you wanna fucking go out? You wanna be part of THIS tradition, the tradition of losing? I DON’T!” I was really yelling now, like Hey that guy needs to chill yelling. “You don’t fucking let this happen. You don’t fucking sit here, hanging your heads, feeling sorry for yourselves because you think it’s already over. GOD DAMMIT YOU GO OUT THERE AND YOU FUCKING KICK THEM IN THE FUCKING ASS!”

I was done. There was a brief pause, and then a postgrad fullback named Chuck said, “I think that about sums it up, boys.” Then we walked out and won the game 28-21.


Now, I don’t think I played a single down that half. If I did, it wasn’t an important down. But in my mind, I TOTALLY gave myself credit for engineering the comeback. I was just like Homer Simpson taking false credit for his bowling league victories. Of course, the real reason we came back to win was because Eric, our running back, ran for over 200 yards. But I was already completely deluded. After the game, a couple of dudes were like, “Hey, who gave that speech? That was Drew?” And I was like OH YES, THAT WAS ME.

In general, a sports speech is delivered mostly to satisfy the ego of the person delivering it. Watch any NFL Films clip of Ray Lewis firing up his teammates for the eight thousandth time if you’d like proof. Just by telling you that dopey high school football glory days story, I’m engaging in a self-aggrandizing, masturbatory exercise. It’s a daydream. If you’ve watched enough movies where the hero gives a speech, (Braveheart, Gladiator, Patton, etc.), pretty soon you picture yourself doing likewise. Because in those movies, the players and/or soldiers are just automatons. The leading is more lionized than the action. I’ve muttered UNLEASH HELL to myself a thousand times at completely random moments. There’s the illusion that your words have such remarkable power that they can magically unlock the talents and ambitions of those around you. MY WORDS! MY POWERFUL WORDS! Everyone wants to be seen as a leader. Everyone wants to be followed. Everyone wants what they say to matter and have a tangible effect on the real world.


But in sports, particularly as you get older, that’s mostly an illusion. The old NFL cliché is that if you need a speech to get your dick hard for a football game, you probably aren’t cut out to be a pro anyway. There comes a point where self-reliance always wins out. The speeches are never as effective as they are in the movies. So if you’re planning on ripping your team a new asshole and punching through a chalkboard sometime in the near future, please note the following summary:

1. Again, pick your spots. Joe Flacco apparently gave some kickass speech to the Ravens the other week and all of his teammates were shocked because Joe Flacco is a bland dolt. “Hey, Flacco is saying stuff! He must mean it!”


2. Lots of fucks.

3. Be an old guy who has seen some shit, or be good enough to back your shit up.

4. No props. You are not Carrot Top. If you need a gimmick, you’ve already failed.


5. It’s fine to lose your composure. In fact, the moment requires it. You can stammer and curse as you are genuinely angry and it’s clear that this is not an act.

6. No ripping off movie lines. Everyone knows the Pacino speech.

7. If possible, cue up Beethoven’s 7th symphony:

8. Get fucking fired up. No … I mean it. Shoot yourself full of Toradol, get red in the face, and GET FIRED UP, GOD DAMMIT. You see this chair? [throws chair] I’M NOT LEAVING THIS STADIUM UNTIL BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED AND WE HAVE WALKED OUT OF THERE WITH ALL OF THE ENEMY’S GOLD AND WOMEN! You are not men today, men. You are fucking WOLVES. You were born under a dark moon and raised to hunt and ache for raw flesh. You are drooling fangbeasts that live only to KILL. And they will see it in your eyes, men. They will see the dark hunger inside of you and know that DOOM awaits them, just before you slice through them and show them their beating hearts OH GOD FUCK YEAHHHHHHH!!!!


Do all that and you’ll be fine. And with that, I welcome you to the best football weekend of the year …

The Games

All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms. And during the playoffs, I PICK the games, because that’s such a risky, BRAVE way of putting yourself out there.


Five Throwgasms

Colts (+7) 38, Broncos 24. They have to demote Phil Simms after this season. Something has to be done. I don’t think he has anything to say other than “Good call!” any time something happens. For real, if you run a fullback dive up the middle on 3rd and 56, Simms will be like, “I like this call here, JEEM!” There are no bad calls in the Simms universe. Do these guys get personnel evaluations at the end of the season? I wanna be there when an HR person sits down with Simms and evaluates him while Simms sit there, failing to comprehend any of it. “I’m being evaluaeeted?!”


Cowboys (+6.5) 28, Packers 27. Even though I don’t believe that the infamous flag pickup against Detroit was some planned screwjob, I’m sure that league headquarters is more than pleased to see the Cowboys advance in the playoffs, especially when it means they get to play the Packers this week. And if the Cowboys make the Super Bowl and play the Patriots or some other high-profile team like that? A hundred and fifty million people will watch that shit.


That flag pickup is just a subtle reminder that the NFL’s spiel about parity will never be an absolute truth. Mike Tirico was droning on and on about the league’s precious sense of community during the Panthers game …


This is all crap. These owners didn’t become billionaires by SHARING. They all want to beat the piss out of one another, and they’ll do virtually anything to get an advantage, both economically and on the field (By the way, I used to be all right with Tirico, but he’s become such an ardent shill for the NFL that it’s hard to take him seriously anymore). There will always be teams that naturally draw higher ratings, or teams situated in more favorable geographic areas, or teams that attract more attention simply due to their historic record of success and/or general popularity. And Roger Goodell has his own club of darling teams: the Giants and Steelers and Packers, etc. He loves any team that makes the NFL help sell its horseshit.

It’s no coincidence that teams like the Bills and Browns have struggled over the past few decades as their cities have experienced grave economic misfortune. Neither team can attract top-tier coaching or GM talent, and they aren’t raking in Fuck You Money side deals from Pepsi like the Cowboys can. The Double J may have to stay within the confines of the salary cap, but he can still ensconce his boys in a plush stadium and whisk them around on a private jet and surround them with insanely hot women and, on occasion, stumble upon a team that’s good enough to make a run. There will always be that marquee effect that gives one team a boost over the rest of the league's derelicts. And that’s why Lions fans were so pissed about that call. It was yet another reminder that the Cowboys, for all of their atrocious mismanagement, are blessed with certain advantages that Detroit cannot ever have. For them to get ONE MORE goddamn perk in the form of a PI non-call … that would break any fan.


By the way, I wrote a very reluctant defense of Skip Bayless this week and now I feel dirty and gross. And some people replied that Bayless had no right to offer a “medical” opinion on whether or not Manziel is an alcoholic (Bayless didn’t even use the term with confidence, btw). Oh, so I need a fucking official diagnosis to talk about this now? Let me just go procure a note from my local alcoholicologist so that I’m licensed to talk about Johnny Football getting shitfaced on an inflatable duck.


Patriots (-7) 20, Ravens 17. For the record, you only get a Super Bowl ring if you’re a member of the team’s active roster at the time of the victory. If you get traded or cut during the season, it’s up to ownership to decide if you get one (SPOILER: You get nothing!). That means that Ray Rice will NOT get a Super Bowl ring if the Ravens win it all. Instead, he will be turned into a vague abstraction and presented as an obstacle that the Ravens bravely overcame on their way to football immortality.

Imagine that trophy presentation. It will be ghastly. Imagine Cris Collinsworth saying, “After all they’ve been through …” as confetti strews down on John Harbaugh and his bitchy bitchface. Imagine the fucking Ginger Hammer, standing up there like a pud, proclaiming, “What a fantastic season! Steve, your team fought through so much … adversity … and now you can call yourselves champions!” I’m telling you, lightning would strike the dais if that happened. God is cruel and unreasonable, but even He wouldn’t just sit there and let that moment happen.


Four Throwgasms

Oregon (-7) 49, Ohio State 28. I figured that Oregon wore all-green uniforms during the Rose Bowl to camouflage themselves and get an edge over Florida State. Why, it’s like they’re invisible! Where ARE they?! But now they’re switching over to white and gray unis for this game, and the edge has been lost. I’m telling you: If Oregon blows this, it’ll totally be because Ohio State can see them now. You had a good thing going, Oregon. Your hunger for maximizing merch revenue may cost you in the end.


Three Throwgasms

Seahawks (-11) 44, Panthers 0. All eight teams left in the playoffs have a quarterback. This isn’t a surprise, but clearly it pays to be a shitty team with a good QB instead of a good team with a shitty QB. If you don’t have a QB, you should just draft two of them every year until you finally stumble onto one. The rest of your roster is immaterial until you finally find one. You may as well field of a team of geese.


Two Throwgasms



One Throwgasm


Playoff and CFB playoff picks: 3-3 (1-6 vs. the spread… I KNOW FOOTBALL)

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

“Bruce Lee,” by Indian Handcrafts. Submitted by Byron:

The video for this is pretty great with the two dudes that make up the band battling it out in a Bruce Lee film fight scene.


If you film your video in olde-tymey '70s action-movie style with grainy titles and shit, I am 10 times more likely to watch it. It’s like a magic trick to me. How’d they make it look old? SO COOL. Also, be on the lookout for completely unnecessary close-ups on a taxidermied bear. Big fan of that bear.

Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit


You already knew that “Jim Caldwell” and “football gods” would be featured prominently in this week’s edition of The Football Bell Curve. I’m gonna pretend I didn’t read that part and just skip ahead to the two most pretentious and annoying parts. Always a challenge to isolate such things...

When my wife and I lived in Belgium…

Yep. Yep, I think that will do it.

…which is about 400 miles north of Maine, we became aware of seasonal light differences. In December, I'd put the kids on their school bus in darkness; it would return in darkness.


NO WAY! Really? I had no fucking idea that daylight changes with the seasons. Someone get me a Eurorail pass to Bruges so I can witness this phenomenon in person.

In June, night would not fall until around 11p.m., then the bedroom window would start to glow around 4 a.m. Pronounced differences in solar timing made me understand why seasonal cycles played such a role in European mythology.


Oh my God, it’s true. When Francisco says “For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.” at the beginning of Hamlet, it’s because Denmark is, indeed, cold! That’s quite something! But tell me, Greggggggg, how might I apply this new learning to modern ethical lapses?

Now most Americans other than farmers and construction workers pay little heed to what time the sun rises and sets…


So true. Just this past Tuesday, I walked outside and fell into a hole because it was night and I did not notice.

while most of us are always too warm. Going back to cool buildings and early bedtimes in winter might be good for our national health.


Who made this person? How does a person come to be like this? If hanging out in warm buildings and going to bed late helps PREVENT me from being like Greggggggg, I’m all for it.

Okay, so that was horrible. This is worse:

Should College Cheerleaders Be Sexy?:


Next Monday's inaugural CFP title tilt will pit Oregon versus Ohio State — which along the sidelines means sex-bombshell cheerleaders versus cheerleaders in traditional outfits. Owing to its Nike-driven marketing focus, Oregon has led college sports both toward dazzling flashy uniforms and helmets, and toward scantily attired cheerleaders. Is the latter a good idea?


I dunno. Ask your boner. It’s probably been in need of attention since 1982.

Professional cheerleaders ought to exude sex appeal.


They are after all professionals, and the dancing girl who shows lots of skin has a long history in entertainment, at least as far back as vaudeville.


Is this a parody? Is this whole article written By Jon Lovitz in his Evelyn Quinn costume? WHY, BONERS GO BACK TO THE DAYS OF SHECKY GREENE IN THE POCONOS!

High school cheerleaders should not show skin. Obviously teens will have sex on the brain no matter how often adults wag their fingers, but sexualizing high school sports is a step one hopes is never taken.




That leaves college cheerleaders. They're adults legally, and sociologically more like grown-ups than kids.


Are you saying they’re not a girl, not yet a wommmannnnn?! That’s the kind of quality analysis that gets you a Brookings fellowship.

College women should make their own choices about everything, including whether they want to dance half-naked on national television. But considering that football factories are already exploiting players for income, should colleges also sexualize their cheerleaders in order to rev up crowds and ratings? Tweet your views to @EasterbrookG.


Christ, he couldn’t even put together an actual opinion on it. If you’re looking to AMERICA to validate your creepy old man boner, Gregggggg, look elsewhere. Verily. NEVERMORE! PUNCH PUNCH I AM PUNCHING YOU FROM FAR AWAY.

Emmitt Smith's Lock Of The Week!


“This week, I like the Broncos (-7) to run roughhog all over the Minneapolis Colts! Not gonna make a pick in that Cowboys game, HOOOOOO! I will accuse myself on that one! That’s a clear cockflick of internists! But I will say this: Don’t sleet on those Cowboys. I know there was some counterVersace at the end of that Lions game. And I know people didn’t like the sight of New Journey gunter Cris Carter hanging out in the lucky box with Mr. Jones. He’s our good fuck arm! But these Cowboys… they STRIVE on diversity. Doubt them at your own fist!”

2014 Emmitt Smith record: 8-12

This Week In Terrifying Animal News

Say hello to the mountain katydid. Who bit you? KATYDID. The katydid is “full of foul-tasting chemicals,” but only warns off predators after the fact. What an asshole of a bug. How about a heads up the next time I eat you and you turn out to be repulsive?


Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death

Ryan Lindley. The worst part of the whole Lindley fiasco was how announcers tried to be so nice to him. At the beginning of every start, they were like, “Tell you what, we asked Bruce Arians if he was gonna change his game plan for Lindley, but he’s still gonna be Bruce Arians! Lindley really got comfortable after finally throwing those two touchdowns he’ll never throw again!” It was like listening to a Baghdad bob radio broadcast. There’s a difference between going easy on a guy and just blatantly living in fantasyland.


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 – FIRED!

Marc Trestman – FIRED!

Mike Smith – FIRED!

Jim Harbaugh – PARTED WAYS!

Dennis Allen - FIRED!!

Doug Marrone – FLED!


Ken Whisenhunt

Jay Gruden

Joe Philbin*

Ron Rivera

Tom Coughlin

Lovie Smith

Roger Goodell

Gus Bradley

(*potential midseason firing)

The whole Doug Marrone thing is fantastic. When he was let go, NFL beat guys were like, “Oh, he’ll be in hot demand! Especially with the Jets!” And the Jets interviewed the guy and were like, “Uh … no.” And then there were 800 anonymously sourced pieces about what a controlling prick Marrone is, and now he’s practically unemployable. And here I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see who would win the DOUG MARRONE SWEEPSTAKES. He’ll make a fine future ex-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma.


Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Nick sends in this story I call POOPWALK EMPIRE:

I was recently in Atlantic City to celebrate my birthday with my friends. For anyone that is not familiar with AC, it is a slowly-dying version of Vegas, and like Vegas, nothing positive comes from it: (i.e. losing money, over-packed clubs, hobos). This story deals with the latter.


So we were checking out of our hotel for the weekend and we all were dragging after a long night of partying and my friends and I slowly eek towards the reception area to check out. While we all discuss the highlights of the weekend, and who was the most deep in the hole as far as gambling went, we noticed something. Standing outside of the 15-ft plane of glass that revealed the inviting atmosphere of the hotel, there stood a tall, thin woman eerily lurking between a Honda and Mercedes. I direct everyone in the lobby's attention as this woman proceeds to squat in between the two cars and drop trou and take a what I can only describe is a Snickers-sized dump right there in between two vehicles. A singular log of shit. Everyone in the lobby is a mix between retching and standing agape at what is currently happening. Little did we know, it was about to get even better.

Desperately scrambling for something to wipe her crusty ass with, she picks up a dirt-ridden Dunkin Donuts bag that she finds a foot away from her monstrosity and proceeds to go back to front on her ass with said crumpled Dunkin bag. She discards the poop bag onto the sidewalk and then makes a solid 2 seconds of eye contact with our group before scurrying away to her cardboard box that likely sits outside of the Tropicana.


Fun fact: this is the third AC/poop related story that I tell. I'm 25.

He’s right. Never go to AC. It’s a suicidal experience. I’ve never been anywhere sadder.


Gametime Snack Of The Week


Trader Joe’s Cinnamon almonds. If you need shellacked nuts and large plastic tubs of very small cookies, Trader Joe’s is the place for you. But if you need, like, an orange, TJ’s is of absolutely NO help. Remember: Trader Joes’ is NOT a grocery store. If you’re going on a standard grocery run, it’s much better to hit up the local PathGiantKrogWay, and then go over to Trader Joe’s for all the frozen shu mai you require. If you think you’ll be able to tick off everything on a grocery list just by going there, you are in for a HUGE disappointment. Also, the parking lot is always hell on Earth.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week


STEELER. Union made, if that sort of thing matters to you. Yes, Pittsburgh may be out of the playoffs, but at least you Steeler fans can drown your sorrows in this probably-not-officially-licensed team brew! From Jason:

My buddy and I are both from Pittsburgh and we went to Toronto to visit a friend a few years back. While at "The Beer Store" we noticed there was a beer called Steeler Beer. This is clearly a way to profit off dumb yinzers (like myself) who think this could actually be affiliated with the team. So we asked the cashier if it was a good beer to which he responded, "I wouldn't recommend it." That was all we needed to pick up a case of this heaven in a can.


As we got back to our friend's place we start drinking this glorified Keystone Ice and noticed on the box it says do not drink while eating. Too late. Long story short: I passed out face down on the bathroom floor for the evening next to a vomit-filled toilet.

I MUST HAVE IT. Isn’t it more dangerous to NOT eat while drinking? I’m all confused now. I must know why Steeler beer can’t be consumed with standard foodstuffs.


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 final MVP pick is still JJ WATT OF THE TEXANS! So excited for the movie Selma, featuring my dear late friend Doctor Martin Luther King! Revolutionary? YOU BET! Loud in the sack? YOU COULD HEAR HIM FROM MY POOL HOUSE. I feted Dr. King on many occasions back in the 1960s. Well, after once such soiree featuring much champagne and Warren Beatty humping a rosemary bush, I got a call from none other than J. EDGAR HOOVER! Turns out, he had my whole place bugged by the Feds! ‘Gimme what you got on King,’ he demanded. But see, Hoover had made the first mistake! Demanding is the act of a man who needs something! I told him no way, baby.


“‘We got King on tape with one of your ladies,’ he said. ‘And we got audio of Nicholson paying a woman to rip out his butt hairs!’

“Well now, I stood firm. No kid from NYC is ever gonna turn rat! Instead, I offered Hoover the surveillance camera footage I had of Beatty showering here three years earlier. And lemme tell you: you never heard a grown man squeal louder. And today, Nicholson and I look fondly back on the time Beatty’s enormous tan cock saved an American hero from the corrupt establishment. Most important picture I ever made, apart from all those Ann-Margaret fuck tapes.”


Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Raiders Fans

The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is a fine movie despite having roughly six framing devices too many. I love it when people with British accents talk dirty. As with any Wes Anderson movie, this one is overly cute and art directed into oblivion. I wonder if Anderson yells at crew members whenever they fail to procure the correct antique pewter doorknob for him.


Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“The state lottery, where everybody wins! (actual odds of winning, one in 380,000,000.)”


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 You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage. Photo via Getty.

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