GIF: Elena Scotti (GMG), Graphic: NBC, Vine

Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here. Buy his book here.

Let’s start with a GIF, shall we? Here’s Cowboys tailback Zeke Elliott risking life and, uh, “limb,” to leapfrog Eagles safety Tre Sullivan…

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I could watch that GIF a thousand times and not get tired of it. Poor Sullivan tries to spear Zeke right in the dick and balls and ends up chasing a ghost. It’s a deeply satisfying play, but you know what would make it even MORE satisfying? If it were a goddamn Vine.

Vine died two years ago. It died for a great many reasons: it wasn’t making money, although that’s never stopped a Silicon Valley business from thriving. It got crushed by Instagram video. It was disastrously managed, which is a requisite flaw of ANY Twitter-owned property. However, I am also a disgusting truther who believes that none of those things are what ultimately killed Vine. You know who I really blame for its demise? I blame Roger Goodell. I can’t prove it … yet. But look at this quote from Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, about why bringing Vine back proved more difficult than he originally imagined:

“When I announced that I was working on a follow-up to Vine, I also (perhaps foolishly) announced that it would be a personal project and personally funded,” he wrote. “I underestimated the amount of enthusiasm and attention the announcement would generate.”

As a result, Hofmann estimates that the cost of V2 would be “way beyond” what he can personally fund. He also blamed “overwhelming” legal fees for hamstringing the project, without elaborating.

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Aha! YOU SEE THAT?! That’s the NFL’s shady handiwork, right there. I’m not the crazy one. You’re the crazy one. There’s nothing that pro sports leagues love more than firing off cease-and-desist letters, and so it stands to reason that they would want to snuff out the return of an app that redefined sports highlights for the 21st century.

That’s not an exaggeration. I have terminal online brain damage, in which I believe everything I see online is more important than what I see in reality. But I swear I’m not lying when I say that Vine made sports better. Yeah, you can still post highlights to Twitter and all that nonsense, but there was magic in posting a boxy, self-edited, six-second loop of a highlight. Steph Curry is currently having arguably his best season, making nearly HALF of his three pointers. That is absurd. In the middle of the night, he is launching shots from outer fucking space and draining them, just because he can. The entire Curry phenomenon was built on perfect Vine highlights … plays so unreal they felt doctored. Now he’s at the peak of his form but I cannot bear witness to it in its optimal format. I miss Curry in Vine form, and my personal needs supersede any rational concerns over Vine’s viability as a business model.

Vine was a tool for essentially remixing highlights, stopping and starting them where you wanted, zooming up close on them, and tossing in any suitable O-face you needed to help punctuate the highlight. That little part where you self-edited by holding down the button to record brought out a shocking amount of creativity. And the six-second limit made it perfect for the average American’s online attention span. If I see a video longer than six seconds now, I want to spit at it. Vine gave fans ownership of highlights, or at least the pleasant delusion of ownership. The play belonged to the player, but the Vine felt like it belonged to you. The least they could have done after folding was to put a Vine-like function on every cell phone, but I guess getting competing companies to uniformly adopt a video format and then install it on every cell phone is TOO MUCH TO ASK!

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Imagine Pat Mahomes in Vine form. Imagine it! SAVOR IT. DREAM IT. Imagine opening up Twitter and seeing, interspersed with alerts from the swiftly coming apocalypse, dazzling homemade loops of Pat Mahomes doing all his crazy Pat Mahomes shit. Imagine this Little League Bat flip as a Vine! Imagine J.R. Smith forgetting the score as a Vine! Imagine Zeke’s leap as a perfect, beautiful Vine! There are so many Vines to be had in 2018 and we’re missing them! I swear to you that I would be five percent less insane if we brought it back. Hofmann, for his part, is trying to make this happen by resurrecting Vine in a new form.

That logo isn’t promising. It looks like it was created by the L.A. Chargers’ graphic design team. But Vine’s old logo wasn’t much of a keeper, either. Given Silicon Valley’s nature, I assume that Byte will be just like Vine, only different in several unwelcome ways. Because the story of Vine is emblematic of a tech industry where good things are largely a happy accident and the result of user ingenuity, and where there’s little real meritocracy in terms of which ideas die and which turn into mass profit. Vine was a quirky, stupid little app that made sports more fun, and I miss it. If Hoffman truly succeeds in bringing it back in the face of shadowy legal challenges and financial risks, I’ll execute a perfectly timed pool dunk in his honor. It’s 2018 and everything is shit. Bringing back Vine is the LEAST the world could do for us.

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The Games

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

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Five Throwgasms

Chiefs at Rams: Best game of the season! Somehow it’ll end up with a score of 12-6.

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Four Throwgasms

Packers at Seahawks: There are a few exceptions to this, but I believe that no head coach should ever call plays. Ever. Being a head coach is its own job, with a shitload of in-game demands. You have to manage the clock. You have to throw challenge flags. You have to make sure the right players are on the field in the right situation. It’s a big fucking job, and yet numerous head coaches think they also have the time to micromanage one side of the ball in that same time frame. It’s insane. Andy Reid is a genius play-caller but it’s clear that assuming that responsibility detracts from his ability to manage late-game situations, and Reid is arguably one of the few coaches who should even be allowed to attempt such multitasking. I refuse to believe some pud like Mike McCarthy—who is both a crummy leader AND a crummy play-caller—has the mental dexterity to perform both head coaching and OC duties during the course of an entire football game. It’s a football game. It’s fucking CHAOS. If you can’t delegate, you don’t deserve the job.

Eagles at Saints: It could be because I’ve been working with Philly people for too long, but I’m sick to fucking DEATH of hearing about the Philly accent. Philly people jerk off to their own accents nearly as much as Boston people do. At least the Boston accent has the courtesy of being an accent. A Philly accent is just drunken moron slurrage. Not only that, you can basically find the same shitty accent all the way down to Baltimore. Philly fans are just a bunch of shit-covered, yipping dogs, crying out WOODER WOODER! LOOGIT US WE HAVE TRASHY GARBAGE TALK TOO! Enough. I don’t care about your accent and I don’t care about the Wing Bowl and I don’t care about Wawa. Flush it all into the sewer where it belongs.

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By the way, the Eagles ran a hook-and-lateral as just a normal play last week and I would like more of this sort of thing. More hooks-and-laterals can only help improve society.

Titans at Colts

Vikings at Bears

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Three Throwgasms

Texans at Skins: I have the same gripes about business travel as everyone else, but one extremely pleasant aspect of a work trip is coming home and staging a miniature reunion with your family. My kids literally shout DADDY when I crack open the door, like we’re all in a Folgers coffee ad. Then I kiss my wife and hang up my jacket and I feel like Ward fucking Cleaver. It’s a nice moment. Did these kids all grow a foot while I was away, dear? Why don’t you have one of them fix me a Manhattan?

Anyway, I tell you this because I came home from a work trip in the middle of the day last week and no one was home. My wife was at work and my kids were at school. The only one home was the dog and he doesn’t count. Motherfucker didn’t even get up for me. My family may as well have been dead, it was so sad. From now on, I’m timing my shit so I get home at supper. Never come home to an empty house.

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Cowboys at Falcons

Two Throwgasms

Bengals at Ravens: The other day my wife bought an exercise mirror for the little betta fish we have swimming around in a bowl on the kitchen counter. I have no idea why the fish needs exercise when it’s literally swimming 24 hours a day, but whatever. She thought it was looking lethargic, so she bought it for him. Betta fish are fighting fish, so if you put a mirror near the bowl, get them all hyped up and want to throw down, even though it’s just a reflection. They don’t recognize themselves. In other words, I am a betta fish. I’m not exactly thrilled about it.

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Lions at Panthers: Look what Matt Patricia has done to poor Jim Bob Cooter:

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Amazing. It’s truly amazing how every Pats castoff manages to have all of Belichick’s worst qualities and none of his best ones. Here’s some Detroit Lions information: They suck heavy balls!

Broncos at Chargers: I’ll give them three bucks to stop remaking The Grinch. Star Wars fanboys stage a fucking mass riot when they add a girl to the cast, and yet no one puts up a fight when studios take a perfect book/half-hour Christmas special and turn it into a two-hour pile of green shit. They’re gonna reboot it again in four years, I guarantee it. They’ll call it The Mean One and it’ll be a gritty tale about how the Grinch was actually a cat burglar before he started stealing entire holidays. MAKE IT STOP.

Steelers at Jaguars

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One Throwgasm

Bucs at Giants: Hey, you know who’s awesome? Kevin Harlan. Kevin Harlan is fucking great. This man calls 75,000 different games a year and his energy level never seems to flag. I don’t think he’s set foot in his own home in 36 years. Harlan calls NBA games, NFL games, college basketball games NFL games on the radio, and even hockey games. Did you know this motherfucker calls hockey games? Kevin Harlan will call a hockey game for you. It’s no sweat at all. I’d ask why Kevin Harlan can’t call every game, but he already does! WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE!!!!

I was listening to Harlan do the Monday Night game on the radio last week, and I swear to you that that even took time out to describe the Niners logo at midfield. “The logo, which is oval in shape…” It was great. With Kevin Harlan, I know I’m in good hands.

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Raiders at Cardinals: I’m amazed that visors are still a standard feature on every car ever produced. “Oh wow, that sun sure is bright. What if I drive blindfolded for a bit instead?”

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

“Talk 2 Her,” by Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs! Here’s Jason:

Not sure if you’ve come across Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs yet, but as a Struts fan you may appreciate the 80's powerpop stylings of these denim-clad, bearded Canadians.

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Why yes, I appreciate it very much! I also appreciate that Sam Coffey looks like half the bloggers I’ve ever worked with. Good strong blogger beard.

Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week

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When I was a kid, I used to listen to Richard Pryor: Here And Now over and over again. And one of the best parts of that album is the introduction, when the emcee says, “The two most beautiful words in the world of comedy: RICHARD PRYOR.” Well folks, I’d like to now introduce you to the two most beautiful words in the world of hot takes: CHRISTINE FLOWERS.

The lady has a Deadspin Award in her trophy case for a reason, folks. Let’s check in with Philadelphia’s preeminent Bill Cosby defender and see what she’s cooking up this week!

Jeff Sessions deserved better

FUCK YEAH. Give it to me straight, Chrissy!

I have to note that I abhor the immigration policies put into place under Sessions, who embraced with obvious enthusiasm his role as Deporter-in-Chief. After he took office, the following groups of people were on his hit list: refugees, mothers with children, victims of domestic abuse, victims of gang violence, and anyone who uses the word caravan. He reinterpreted longstanding administrative policy to narrow the options for asylum seekers, tried to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), severely limited the ability of immigration judges to exercise discretion, and implied that people like me are coaching our clients to lie about the persecution they suffered.

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BUT……..?!??!!?!?!?!

I’m outraged about Trump’s firing of his most loyal minion.

Nice. That’s a perfect turn. “Say what you will about the racist mayo dwarf, he sure was loyal to the OTHER shitty guy!” Please keep in mind that Christine is an immigration lawyer (and a seemingly compassionate one?) who ALSO truthers mail bombings and thinks being loyal to Donald Trump is a positive quality in a human being. This woman contains multitudes.

If the president actually looked at his Justice Department, he would see that Sessions had single-handedly advanced the Trump agenda on drugs, criminal justice, and, as I noted ruefully above, immigration. Trump gets up on his high horse at those ridiculous rallies and screams about caravans and the invasion at the southern border, but Sessions was the one who actually did something about it.

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Yes, and, uh, kudos to him for that?

Take the word of an immigration lawyer: He made my life and my clients’ lives hell.

But he was damn good at it, and for that I salute him?

The immigration lawyer in me is glad to see Sessions go. But the part of me that respects courage, independence, and integrity is disgusted with the shameful treatment he received.

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Oh, look! I have a migraine! If you could kindly bore a hole into my head and fill it with Clorox, I will be forever loyal, no matter how many refugees you mistreat.

Cryptkeeper Al Davis Lock Of The Week: Cowboys +3.5

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“EEEEEEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE! Looks like Jason GARROTE kept his… STRANGLEHOLD on the Dallas job! But he’s gonna need a real SCREAM effort to beat Julio BONES and the Falcons! After all, Julio can make any CORONER-back look bad! I hope my dear friend SCARY Jones makes it out of this one ALIVE!

“Why Jerry, look at you! You haven’t aged a day, sweet kiddy! We could be brothers… BLOOD brothers. Looks like we both got Daddy’s GHOUL looks! EEEEEEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!”

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2018 Cryptkeeper record: 6-3-1

Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death

Mike Evans has four catches in two weeks and for that I humbly request that he be launched across in the ocean using some sort of medieval catapult. I think that’s fair for what he’s done. YOU’RE A STUD NOW ACT LIKE IT MIKEY.

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Bad Local Commercial Of The Week! 

Frankie and Johnny’s Furniture! GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO IT’S A TRUE NEW ORLEANS SHITTY FURNITURE AD JUST LIKE PAWPAW USED TO MAKE. Here’s Fred:

This commercial is legendary here in New Orleans. The location of this former furniture store is four blocks from my house. We must stand in awe of the Special Man.

“You gotta see the Special Man!”

“Let her have it.”

You really DO have to see the Special Man. He’s just that special. The only worse than the furniture in this ad is the acting. WITH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PROBLEM!

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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 2018 chopping block:

Hue Jackson – FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vance Joseph*

Adam Gase*

Dirk Koetter*

Matt Patricia

Jon Gruden

Jason Garrett

Mike McCarthy

Steve Wilks

Kyle Shanahan

Doug Marrone

John Harbaugh

Todd Bowles*

Dan Quinn

Marvin Lewis

(*potential midseason firing)

In theory, I like the idea of NFL teams hiring coaches in the middle of the season, the way the Patriots plucked Josh McDaniels off the scrap heap and brought him back the second Denver let him go. Teams need all the help they can get, especially if they’ve already fired assistants in the middle of the season and are working with a skeleton crew. HOWEVER…

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Ah yes, famed defensive guru Hue Jackson. Surely there’s no better candidate out there to help pick up the slack in the wake of Teryl Austin’s firing. The next time the Bengals give up a 50-burger, Hue can blame it on the fact that he doesn’t have enough power. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Great Moments In Grandma History

Reader Todd sends in this story I call DINGLEBERRY DRIVE:

When I was eight, my parents sent me out to Arizona to stay with my grandparents, who lived in Phoenix’s East Valley. Back then, Phoenix was not the smog covered, Joe Arpaio-loving, meth-addicted asphalt jungle that is today. No, back then, there was lots of farm land. [Fun fact: Arizona is (or was) the second largest cotton producing state in the nation.]. So, anyway, one afternoon I accompanied grandma to my aunt’s house, which she was helping clean. Having been raised by proprietors of a hotel in small Canadian town, my grandmother was a cleaning fiend. For example, she brought her own cleaning supplies to my aunt’s: mop, bucket, etc. When the job was over and we had finished dinner, it was time to head back to Grandma’s, a trip that entailed a 40-minute drive over surface streets that cut through miles of fields. That is when disaster struck.

As I sat next to Grandma in the front of her Cutlass, my insides began to roil. There were no two ways around it: I needed to shit, and I needed to do it then. Now, being eight and a boy, I could not, of course, say, “Grandma, I have to poop.” No, I writhed in agony instead. My grandmother, being the mother of four and not stupid, understood exactly what was happening. She also knew there was no bathroom anywhere: no houses (we were halfway between my aunt’s place and hers), no gas stations, nothing. She also knew that no matter how much she loved cleaning, she did not want to have to scrub what was about to explode from my body from those cloth seats. So, being quick thinking and incredibly kind, she instructed me to climb into the back, clear everything out of the bucket, and sit on it behind her (so I could have privacy).

Although mortified, she said it in such a way that I knew everything was going to be OK and that there was no reason to be embarrassed. Doing what I was told, I found relief and, in the process, stunk up the entire car. However, grandma simply rolled down the window and talked me through it. Then, we got to her house, she got the car into the garage quickly and closed it before dealing with the aftermath. She grabbed something for me to clean/cover myself before leading me to the shower. Then, with me out of the way, she took the bucket and disposed of its contents, just as she had with countless bed pans when working at her grandparents’ hotel. And that was that. God, on some level that whole experience sucked. But, on another more profound level, it made me appreciate just how truly great my grandmother is. Happy 91st Gram!

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Why didn’t she pull over and have you shit in the bucket on the road, though? Seems like a real missed opportunity.

Gametime Snack Of The Week

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Insomnia Cookies. I took my son to a soccer tournament in downtown D.C. last weekend, and there was a big break between games, so I took him out for pizza and then took him to this cookie shop for dessert. Given the name, I thought the joint might sell pot cookies, which concerned me because A) I didn’t want to buy my son a pot cookie and B) I couldn’t buy pot cookies for myself IN FRONT of my son. But no, no this shop just sells regular-ass cookies TO stoned people late into the night. Seems like a savvy business model.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week

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DR. DIESEL SEXYLIME! From Russia? Is bringing sexy lime? You know it is, comrade! Here’s Jeff:

I was in Russia with some friends this summer and we were about to take a long train ride, so we decided to stop in a supermarket and get some train beers. Saw this one and had to get it. Ended up drinking it as a shower beer later in the trip, tasted like someone mixed a Smirnoff Ice and a beer together, then squeezed a lime into it. Still not sure what kind of doctor he is, but highly recommend if you like beers that taste good for about half a second before making you regret every decision you’ve made in life.

TEMPTING! This basically looks like Bud Light Lime, but Russian. I approve.

In other beer news, you should know that Pabst Blue Ribbon is in in danger. As someone who enjoys both cheap beer and pretending to be cool, I am alarmed. If the assholes at MillerCoors won’t repackage their swill with a PBR label on it, what other cheap beer am I supposed to drink? Huh? FUCKERS.

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Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!

“People going crazy over some colorful duck. I’ve seen better ducks, okay? You go to Old Boze Cunny’s shack… he’s got ducks. He’s got big ducks, small ducks, whistling ducks, canvasbacks, mallards, ducklings, goose ducks, gay ducks, you name it. The fancy Chinese duck is nice and fancy, okay? Don’t get me wrong. But one time Boze showed me a duck that had psycho-luminotropic plumage, okay? That’s a fancy word for saying that this duck had ACID in it. Natural acids… the kind they got in the flowers. I took one lick of this duck’s fur and let me tell you something: I was on the floor of Boze’s shack for eight straight days. I could EAT light. I became a plant. No joke: my fingers started growing tendrils. And the duck was lookin’ at me like, ‘You thought this was a game but I’m the real deal.’ To this day, lightbulbs still smell like honey to me. So no, no I’m not impressed with this Central Park duck character.”

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Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Raiders Fans

Touch of Evil, another old movie you can currently watch on Netflix, AND it has Charlton Heston playing a Mexican character, which is always highly appropriate. A few notes about Touch of Evil here:

  • Charlton Heston and Willem Dafoe have the same voice. It’s very creepy.
  • The actor who plays the night manager in this movie (McCloud!) is the worst actor in history and pretty much ruins the whole thing.
  • The bravura opening shot (shown above) is every bit as cool as farty critics say, and the rest of the film looks like a million bucks, which really all I want from a movie.
  • Here’s a line for you: “A policeman’s job is only easy in a police state.” Not prescient at all! Lousy old movies with their ominous portents!

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Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“Once upon a time, there was a big mean lion who got a thorn in his paw. All the village people tried to pull it out, but nobody was strong enough! So, they got Hercules. And Hercules used his mighty strength, and Bingo! Anyway, the moral is: the lion was so happy, he gave Hercules this big... thing... of riches.”

Enjoy the games, everyone.