Every year we do the Why Your Team Sucks previews for this website and every year, despite the NFL’s best efforts, there are a handful of teams that defy expectations and actually play decent football. And even though we do a WYTS entry for every team, it’s always amusing when certain fanbases don’t get that memo and email me, WAY after the fact, to curse me out over a preview of their hometown team that proved to be inaccurate. This happened with Cowboys fans last year, because Cowboys fans are obviously the worst.
Ah, but what if I told you there is a new KIND of worstness out there? America, I want you to forget everything bad you know about Philadelphia fans—and it’s quite a bit—and behold a new and terrifying strain of Eagles fandom:
Apart from a 2008 Phillies World Series title that slipped from the collective consciousness about as swiftly as Tom Green’s career, you and I know that the Philly teams, the Eagles in particular, are a bunch of moribund losers. The Eagles have never won jack shit and, as a follower of a similarly unaccomplished NFL franchise, I was mistaken in my belief that Eagles fans were a kind of brethren in fatalism to me. That is how I’ve thought of Philly fans for the bulk of my existence: angry, pessimistic, unreasonable, etc. The fact that the Eagles never won anything made this kind of fan much more tolerable to me than any kind of similar fan in Boston or New York. Philly fans were miserable wretches, but they had earned it. Shit, I liked them. That was naïve on my part, but I really did.
That is not what we’re dealing with now. These are not the battery-hucking Philly shitbags of yore. We are dealing with a new breed of Philly fan that, even with the Eagles shooting their dicks off in Seattle on Sunday night, are cocky and arrogant without having won anything at all. Thanks to Carson Wentz and Joel Embiid, you can already see these assholes taking out an advance on their championship braggadocio. They are basking the glow of titles not yet won, and it’s quickly become the worst thing in sports. Look at these fucking dingbats:
God, Sam Hinkie. Ages ago, this website took a decidedly anti-Hinkie stance because Sam Hinkie was just a smarmy dipshit who took the very basic idea of tanking multiple seasons, dressed it up in meaningless technogarble, and sold it off as a newfangled innovation in sports management. At the time, I steadfastly refused to believe that any Philly fans would buy into his Process horseshit. I had always assumed Philly fans were much more jaded and ornery than to tolerate that much failure. I figured the number of actual Hinkie supporters out in the wild numbered in the tens.
But I was wrong. Instead, Hinkie introduced these buttholes to a magnificent con, wherein the “future” is, at all times, more valuable than the present, and any team that “wins” the future (just as the Skins used to win every NFL offseason) has just as much of a right to exult as a team that has won, like, actual things.
The result is a new kind of insufferability that has the potential to go beyond the standard horrors of your average Boston or St. Louis fanboy. These new Philly fans have somehow combined the tendencies of a violent drunk with TED talkers. I have never seen such front-running in all my life. Imagine if Ravens fans were exactly the same but also all VC-inflected maniacs. It’s getting that bad. Turns out that Hinkie didn’t revolutionize sports. He just revolutionized being a shithead.
And again, we’re talking about the Sixers and the EAGLES, man. The Eagles are a fucking joke. They’re run by Lifeguard Andy Reid and any sane Philly fan should watch the coming playoffs peeking through their hands. That is that kind of mopey fatalism I am accustomed to, and it’s certainly more appealing than a bunch of bald assholes crowing because they’ve been tricked into believing that you can’t lose a game if you haven’t played it yet. Philly fans need to go into detox, watch the Eagles choke in the divisional round, and return to being the irascible scum they used to be. Because that’s a far cry better than the mutoid shitbags they’ve become. I used to have some affection for you, Philly. Now you deserve to be smacked in the balls with a cheese ladle. Go swim in a dumpster pool, fuckheads.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Eagles at Rams: Pretty surprised that Fletcher Cox’s special cleats last week didn’t have a bunch of pictures of other dudes’ wives on them.
Seahawks at Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey is an absolute stud and you can now tell that a sprightly young shutdown corner is about to become THE must-have item for teams at the 2018 Draft. The Jags have Ramsey. The Saints have Marshon Lattimore. The Vikings have Xavier Rhodes. The fad is about to peak. There are gonna be 500 scouts at the combine all asking dudes ARE YOU LIL REVIS?!
Falcons at Saints: What is this Better Late Than Never show? Who asked for this? I wanna find the guy who greenlit this idea and stuff him into a hole. “Hey, you know what would be interesting? If we took Terry Bradshaw, the Fonz, Captain Kirk, and George Foreman, and we paid them to take a vacation.” Why not just run a test pattern for an hour? I cannot think of anything more painful that Terry Bradshaw landing in Asia and being like HOO WEE THEY SURE TALK FUNNY HERE! I can already tell this is gonna be Mike Huckabee’s favorite TV show.
Vikings at Panthers: I was at the grocery store last week and ran into an old lady. I don’t mean I knew her from somewhere else. I mean that my cart impeded her progress and I politely let her scoot by. And then it happened AGAIN, and we both kinda laughed and she was like, “Oh well, we just can’t stop bumping into one another!” And it happened AGAIN. And then AGAIN in another aisle. Now the lady wasn’t casually laughing; she looked genuinely irritated that she had been forced to encounter me so many times. I just stopped talking to her at that point. I kept my head down and pretended the whole awkward horrorshow wasn’t unfolding right in front of me. If I run into her at the store again, we may have to fight to the death. I think I can take her.
Ravens at Steelers: Look man, at least half of all the NFL’s problems could be solved merely by deleting the AFC North. The Bengals are the dirtiest team in football (seeing them playing in their stadium on TV is somehow a depressing sight in and of itself). The Steelers are even dirtier but pretend they aren’t. The Ravens are scum. And the New Browns never should have existed to begin with. Tell me you’d miss the AFC North if we got rid of it. YOU CANNOT. Contract those four, hold a dispersal draft in which every team but the Patriots gets a few picks, and BOOM! Suddenly the NFL is hot shit again.
Raiders at Chiefs: I have never seen an NFL player angrily pick up a flag and chuck it into the stands before last week. Honestly, it provided me with some much needed catharsis. How many penalty flags have I seen land in my lifetime? Ten thousand? God, flags suck so bad. It was way past due for some enterprising young scamp like Marcus Peters to take America’s frustration with penalty flags out ON a flag itself. I wanna go buy a penalty flag and burn it just to see how awesome it feels.
Titans at Cardinals: The other night I was out with my family walking our dog when the dog stopped to pinch a loaf on the curb, and steam came off it because it was so cold outside. And so I was like, “Now THAT is a real Cleveland Steamer!” and the kids died laughing. Just that pairing of words itself is enough to inspire fits of laughter in otherwise oblivious people. When they asked what that meant, I just told them it was a steamy turd and left out the other business, and so now they cry out CLEVELAND STEAMER! any time the dog takes a dump. The wife is not enthused. I say it was worth breaking it out for them. That kind of bonding with your children is priceless.
Skins at Chargers: From Kevin Clark at The Ringer comes this fantastic field trip to the Chargers’ home stadium, where they were, no shit, giving away the new U2 album to help win over fans, a move so perfect in its symmetry that I wanna fucking die. “Hey LA, here’s some more shit you don’t want. We also slipped eight delivery menus under your windshield wiper while we were at it.”
The Chargers might win this division, and they’ll have done it playing essentially 16 road games, with marketing support that has all seemed expressly designed to backfire. They should get a banner for this. I’m not even being coy, like I am with the Colts banners. If they win the West, they should get a banner and hang it in Stubhub and it should say 2017 AFC WEST CHAMPS DESPITE OUR COMPLETE MORON OF AN OWNER MOVING US AND HANDING OUT SHITTY U2 ALBUMS. It’s a long banner but they got room to work with.
Lions at Bucs: I could kill the Bucs for not finishing off Green Bay when they had the chance. Look at this goddamn Jameis fumble:
Every game, man! How does he do this EVERY SINGLE GAME? Is there a fucking timer that goes off in his head when it’s time to play Hot Potato with the ball? I hate Jameis so much he should be made an honorary member of Congress.
Patriots at Dolphins: People, the Media Knower has logged on:
I’m enjoying the “self-appointed content maven dying to be tech rich” phase of despising Bill Simmons. “Now is clearly the time for ESPN to open an office in Silicon Valley.” I wish they had suspended Gronk for life.
Packers at Browns: Oh hey, look who’s still quietly in the playoff hunt with Aaron Rodgers possibly due back in a week. I’m not concerned. Nope, not concerned in the least.
(stress eats a thousand cashews)
Goddamn you, Bucs.
Cowboys at Giants: I’d like to think that Eli directly orchestrated Ben McAdoo’s early ouster just so he could get his job back. No one suspects poor, innocent little Eli—America’s Huggies baby—would be capable of such Machiavellian backchannelling. That exactly what makes him the perfect assassin. Meanwhile, he’s got the entire NFL media eating out of his fucking hand:
JESUS CHRIST MAN. He didn’t fucking die. The fuck is wrong with you people?
Jets at Broncos: I honestly think that the Broncos would lose to the Browns if those two played right now. I’ve seen plenty of one-and-done coaches in my lifetime, but you gotta go back to Bobby Petrino to find a coach who couldn’t even finish his first season with a team, and Petrino wasn’t fired; he just ghosted on the Falcons because he’s a sleaze. I believe Vance Joseph can go Petrino one better and get fired before Christmas. I believe he’s THAT special of a terrible coach.
Bears at Bengals
Colts at Bills
Niners at Texans
“Battering Ram” by Saxon! Look at how old these dudes are! From Joseph:
Dio-level vocals (by a dude who looks to be a bit too casual about summoning DARK FORCES OF METAL), chugging riffs, and actual footage of shit ramming into each other. It’s the halftime song to end all halftime songs. You’ll want to run headfirst into the nearest surface.
The lead singer looks so much like Tom Wilkinson that I’m convinced it could very well BE Tom Wilkinson. Anyway, big fan of any video that shows olde timey footage of two trains smashing into one another. SO METAL!
[sticks out tongue menacingly]
As you know, the state of Alabama stands poised to elect an accused child molester to the Senate, because of course it will. That means it’s the PERFECT time for a joint like the Washington Post to find a professional Southerner and have them explain that if you ain’t from Alabama, you ain’t get to talk none about Alabama. Here is the hilariously named Ted Gup to defend his trash heap of a state:
In my family, Alabama was always spoken of as a magical place reflecting much of what is best about America.
So true. It’s got racism, grits, more racism… really the full spectrum of American values.
That may be hard to swallow for some. But for the Gups, Mobile was a haven.
I’m really not gonna be able to get over this Gup thing. BUBBLE BUBBLE BUBBLE GUP GUP GUP! BUBBLE! BUBBLE! GUP! GUP! BUBBLE GUP!
Hence, my father’s taste for grits; my courtly bachelor uncles, Nat and Gabe, lived there.
What does “courtly” mean there? Does it really matter that you had horny gentlemen for uncles?
In the city archives, a black-and-white photo of 56 Dauphin St. captures a sign reading “Gup The Tailor.”
Ol’ Gup… He’ll stitch you up good!
So it pains me to read how today’s Americans view Alabama, where much of my extended family still lives, as home to the sanctimonious Senate candidate Roy Moore, accused of trolling for children, and as a backwater state rife with bigotry, hypocrisy and xenophobia.
But it is.
I think of the Alabama to which I was reverently introduced in my youth — an Eden with live oaks draped with Spanish moss, wide porches and open hearts, romanticized to be sure.
I think of Alabama in a way that has already been proven false… but it’s MY Alabama. Replete with courtly uncles and mud in the tires!
Mobile took my family in when no one else would. I feel indebted.
Like, I feel like Tucson probably would have done the same thing. I don’t think Mobile is all that special in that regard.
In the minds of many, particularly in the North and Northeast, Alabama has become the poster child of the narrow-minded, the self-righteous, the extreme.
It is the butt of jokes.
(What is “Alabama” backward? Alabama is backward.)
DAMN! That’s a good one. (It is not a good one).
The cesspool of modern politics would seem to find its drain in Alabama, where even God is seen to lend his blessing to corruption.
Yep. All accurate. Please don’t try to BUT this.
…if Alabama makes us uncomfortable, it is perhaps because our own foibles are writ a little larger there, magnified that we may see ourselves for who we are and what we are becoming.
OH GOD GET FUCKED. Every time, man. Every single fucking time some redneck part of the country does something completely and predictably embarassing, there’s always some genteel expatriate ready to leap out from the hedgerows and be like, “Maybe the problem isn’t with the state that willfully ignores credible reports of child predation. Maybe the problem is YEW!” Somehow, us Yankees are the intolerant ones for gagging at this shithole. Somehow Alabama is the victim. Gimme a break with the J.D. Vance nonsense. Fix your fucking shit, Bama.
It is the mirror we shun — not just a state but a state of mind. We hold it at arm’s length because we cannot face the truth about ourselves.
Oh yeah. That’s definitely it, kiddo. Sure, Roy Moore might be an ephebophile. But are we not ALL ephebophiles? No? We’re not?
Alabama is no more monolithic than the rest of the country, and no less divided.
Alabama has voted overwhelmingly Republican in 10 straight presidential elections.
The truth is that if Alabama did not exist, we might have to invent it.
No, no thank you. I can invent better states. The imaginary state of Hotjimmy, which I invented just now, has lots of pretty beaches and cold beer and NO racist judges of any kind. Better state imho.
In this moment of national doubt and angst, we need to look down our noses at someplace else, to express the disdain of those who themselves have become unmoored, complacent or resigned.
We sure do, because those people have FUCKED us. Strip Bama of its electoral votes and put Roy Moore in a fucking jail.
Alabama is the perfect foil in the Trump era, a reference point on the Southern horizon — a safe distance from Los Angeles and New York — that offers us the sense that we are somehow different, better and above.
My adopted home, smug Boston…
Oh well, I mean, fuck Boston. No wonder you think Bama’s intolerance is a universal thing. Jesus, you went from Bama to Boston? Do you root for the Tide AND the Red Sox? Because then you are Satan. Why’d you leave Bama so much if you love it? Who the fuck hired this guy?
…like so many other places quick to judge, can block out its own dire record on race and religious intolerance as it spurns its Southern cousins (mine, literally). But it is self-delusion, the kind that compromises the conscience and allows for the rest of us to descend deeper into the abyss. In each of us, there is a bit of Alabama, the shameful and the noble, warring for dominance.
What a fucking load. Again, this is all a bunch of trite, smarmy nonsense. We are NOT all Alabama. Every state has its problems but not every state would entertain the idea of Roy fucking Moore for a Senate seat just to stick it the Demmycrats. This is just blind excuse-making for a mutant segment of America that now dominates our politics and holds many of us in its thrall, and I’m sick of all that being excused away. You don’t even LIVE in Bama anymore, Gup! EAT SHIT.
“Oh, men. MEN. Men, I know those uptight suits at the league office are crackin’ down on late hits. But lemme tell you something, we’re still gonna hit late! We’re gonna hit LATE AND HARD AND GOOD! That is the blood sacrifice I’m willing to make, especially when I send a third-stringer out there to lay the wood! OLD TIME GOONERY! SUCK ON THAT LUMBER, TROY VINCENT! We’re gonna hit those fuckers so late, they’ll be in the showers when the smackdown comes! Gettin’ hit in the nude stays in your head!”
Ryan 2017 record: 8-5
Spare me your late-season gonzo outing, Tyreek Hill. You and Kareem Hunt are DEAD TO ME.
Is there anything more exciting than a coach losing his job? All year long, we’ll keep track of which coaches will almost certainly get fired at year’s end or sooner. And now, your potential 2017 chopping block:
(*-potential midseason firing)
I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming Scot McCloughan grievance hearing! Here’s some good Florio:
“If transcripts are leaked that show some embarrassing inability to properly manage the situation with Scot McCloughan… it’s gonna be a big, ugly mess for the team, and it’s gonna be a big, ugly mess for specific individuals like Allen and Gruden, based upon the way the dominoes may fall when it’s time for Scot McCloughan to prove that he got screwed when he got fired for cause and didn’t get paid out the final two years of his contract.”
Why, it’s almost as if the team that fired its only competent front office person and then smeared him as a drunk on the way out the door is NOT operating at the level of professionalism it purports to! Jay Gruden is a goober, but because he’s not a big-name autocrat like Mike Shanahan, and because Kirk Cousins has played well, he is very good at lulling Skins fans into believing this team is more functional than their crummy record would indicate. Their schedule was hard! They had a lot of injuries! They gutted out a win at Seattle! All of that feeds into the delusion. Meanwhile, this is still the same pukestain organization you’ve always known. I remain impressed by all the new ways Dan Snyder can find to masquerade his glaring asshattery.
Reader Jon sends in this story I call POOPIN TO THE OLDIES:
A few years back I was visiting my inlaws in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day I did the typical eat and drink yourself into a bloated coma. I am/was a Crossfitter (I know, I know...) and the morning after Thanksgiving a local gym had a morning workout that was pretty popular. The class was pretty crowded and during the warm-up I noticed some rumbling in the guts. I had not moved my bowels since before Thanksgiving dinner and it was becoming a problem. After the warm-up we started doing some heavy kettle bell swings at which time things went from problematic to critical. I clenched my ass and made a dash for the bathroom.
It was a smaller gym and the bathroom door opened right onto the gym floor, so anyone in class could see right into the bathroom if the door was opened. I ran in, sat down and unleashed unholy thunder on that bowl. The cheap paper mache toilet paper was no match for this shitstorm, so I waddled over to the sink to get some paper towels. As I was waddling back some guy opened the door and caught me with my shorts around my ankles and a wad of paper towels in my hand, desperately trying to cover myself up. Just about the entire gym witnessed this. Their looks of horror are forever burned on my brain. The guy said “Sorry!” and closed the door and I finished up, sprayed Lysol for about 5 straight minutes, and then walked out. The guy kinda laughed and said something about how the door knob was crappy and did not lock when you thought it did or something. Great!
Anyway, I didn’t know any of these people so I said fuck it and finished the workout. I never went back.
That’s what you get for Crossfittin’.
Garlic bread! Why not make all bread garlic bread, hmm? Show me the flaw in that plan. Why not a garlic bread hoagie?
Leinenkugel’s Old Fashioned Shandy! I have no shame when I tell you I have tried virtually every variety of Leinenkugel’s shandy: orange, lemon, grapefruit, watermelon, etc. I am not above enjoying a hard soda poorly disguised as actual beer.
But this one…man, this one is disturbing. I love beer. I love old fashioneds. I did NOT love this. I was unnerved by it. Some things should really not taste like other things. The next time I want an old fashioned, remind me to just have an old fashioned.
“Socks aren’t just for feet, okay? Okay, so you got a sock, what can you do with it? Well, you can make some cheese. You get a rat, you milk it, you boil the milk with a splash of urine, then strain the curd through the sock. BINGO. That’s a day’s worth of cheese already in its own cheese cloth. And travel pillows! Stuff a sock with pine needles and that’s better than anything they sell at the Newark airport newsstand for you, all right? Put an orange in one and you got a flail if someone tries to steal any of your OTHER socks. Cut the toes off and you got one of those thermal sleeves those basketball guys wear. And with Christmas coming? Come on, you know what to do. That’s just sock basics. Anyone using socks just for their feet is missing out on the good life.”
So I Married An Axe Murderer. It really is amazing how much creative freedom Mike Myers had back in the day, and it’s even more amazing that he used the bulk of that freedom testing out his Scottish accent. Like in every pitch meeting, he was like, “That all sounds great, but what if my character… was SCOTTISH?” And they would just roll with it.
“I’m sorry, but I cannot divulge information about that customer’s secret illegal account. Oh, crap. I shouldn’t have said he was a customer. Oh, crap. I shouldn’t have said it was a secret. Oh, crap! I certainly shouldn’t have said it was illegal. It’s too hot today.”
Enjoy the games, everyone.