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Stop Airing Propaganda For New Stadiums

Illustration by Sam Woolley/GMG

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

It’s the official debut of Megatron’s Butthole on Sunday Night Football and I dunno about you but I am already STOKED for Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth to fawn over the joint like they just entered the penthouse suite at the Bellagio. You’ll forgive them if they talked about Zeke Elliott just as a football player last week, but this week LOOGIT ALL THE CONCESSIONS AND TASTEFUL ART! Truly a one-of-a-kind facility. Immaculate. Behold this tracking shot up an escalator to reveal the grand concourse!


That new Atlanta stadium, by the way, was due to cost Atlanta $200 million in public funds before cost overruns jacked up the public burden to nearly $700 million. Will NBC mention any of that? Fuck and no, they won’t. That’s not how the grand opening of a new NFL stadium works. You won’t hear about funding. You won’t hear about faulty exits or big lines for the toilet. All you’ll get is a bunch of fellatio from announcers who will gladly trade their dignity for a free tour and an open invite to the pigs-in-a-blanket tray in the owner’s suite. About 1.4 million people didn’t have power in Georgia this week and Arthur Blank is gonna get his asshole polished on live TV. Even Sean McDonough, who I normally like, got in on it on Monday Night Football by fawning over the Vikings’ stadium. Every new stadium is presented as gift from an owner to the fans, even though fans are paying every step of the way. It’s fucking gross.

And the worst part is that this is all a given now. I don’t expect TV people to show one ounce of reticence about this kind of billionaire chicanery. It’s an unspoken rule that you will probably get fired if you dare spoil an NFL owner’s moment of triumphant swindling. Or you’re like Al Michaels and are already too rich to give a shit about it anyway. Like an Olympic telecast, this new wave of NFL stadiums is a celebration of, as Faye Miller put it, the beginnings of things. First impressions are the only impressions that matter. All you see are the shiny surfaces and luxe seating. Everything that can and will come after the fact is gleefully ignored.


The 49ers opened a fancy joint in the boonies three years ago and half that stadium is already uninhabitable. You legitimately can’t sit in an exposed area of the Niners’ place without suffering 12th-degree burns. An audit found that the Niners have already cheated Santa Clara out of millions in back costs. The team tried to seize youth soccer fields and turn them into parking lots. If any of this ever gets mentioned on the air, it’ll be in passing, treated as a mild inconvenience that will surely be dealt with. It certainly won’t be granted the same kind of adoring spotlight that the stadium’s debut received. Remember all that bullshit about the Niners having the first “smart stadium”? Does any fan in the Bay Area give half a shit about the stadium app while frying out there? Of course not. The team is a failure and so is its new stadium, and that is obvious everywhere but on television.


What you will see Sunday Night is a paid advertisement…a glowing tele-brochure that presents the opening of a new stadium as a moment of grand symbiosis between an NFL team and the city it calls home. A communal rebirth. It is in line with the Great American Myth of the industrial giant—a man who changes the world and lifts up all the little people while also just happening to amass a fortune along the way. And the myth works! Would I like to see Jerryworld one day? You know I would. I saw it on the teevee! IT SURE IS PURTY! I am drawn to these places even though I know the truth: Outside of mild diversions, stadiums give nothing. They only take, and they will keep taking so long as TV executives aid them in delivering whatever horseshit propaganda the NFL needs to keep them coming.

The Games

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


Five Throwgasms 

Packers at Falcons: Jemele Hill got a rap on the knuckles from ESPN this week for stating the obvious, which is that President Trump is a white supremacist.


I find it amusing that Trump is the rudest, grossest man on the planet and yet ESPN is sitting here saying that Jemele Hill is the one being inappropriate, and that calling an extremist an extremist is somehow a worse act of extremism. This is how we got into this fucking mess. It is not only dumb to demand everyone stay in their lane while a fucking madman runs the country, it’s irresponsible. It’s like putting a bomb in a room and telling everyone there that only three people, including David Brooks, are allowed to talk about what to do with it.


Everyone is supposed to be polite while the pussygrabber burns democracy to the fucking ground. This is how Steve Bannon gets invited onto national television instead of thrown down a fucking laundry chute. Trump’s rise was fueled almost exclusively by racism, imagined double standards, and people being too fucking polite—and too scared of losing money—to state the obvious about both him and his yahoo supporters. Right and wrong are treated as equal viewpoints instead of, you know, right and wrong. So fuck ESPN for caving in.


Vikings at Steelers: It took all of one half for me to go from “LOL Sam Bradford is a used toilet brush” to “OMG HE’S A LATTER-DAY MARK RYPIEN!” I am awful. I practice none of what I preach. If you see me, hit me in the face with a crowbar. My man did look good, though. So long as he doesn’t have to move one millionth of an inch to avoid pressure, he can deliver. I see nothing that could possibly go wrong.


Four Throwgasms

Cowboys at Broncos: I took Zeke fifth in my fantasy draft even though he was way down at No. 30 in the autodraft rankings because of his suspension. I figured that shit would get delayed into infinity. So when the appeals court granted an injunction, you better believe I acted like every dipshit fantasy bro on Earth and thought ONLY of my shrewd draft skillz and not, you know, all the terrible things that led to his suspension. Again, the crowbar.


Eagles at Chiefs: America, turns out some rich people are afraid to flaunt their wealth, and the Times is ON IT:

She made a confession: She took the price tags off her clothes so that her nanny would not see them. “I take the label off our six-dollar bread,” she said.


Wow, big fucking reveal there. You know how many articles have been written about rich-ass New Yorkers who are ashamed of being rich? New York runs this kind of story every other month, with a bunch of jackasses who make $10 million a year being like, “It’s really not that much money if you live in New York!”

They wish to be “normal”

Yeah well, it’s pretty easy to stop being rich, you complete asswipe.


Three Throwgasms

Dolphins at Chargers: This is the first Chargers home game in L.A. and it’s being played in Carson, which is where the Chargers and Raiders assumed they’d be building a stadium before Stan Kroenke backdoored them and left them scrambling for the life vests. Very fitting that the Chargers have to sit here for three years and wonder could have been before finally moving to Inglewood to be Jack Tripper to Kroenke’s Mr. Roper. I think fans should throw crumpled up drawings of the Carson stadium design at Dean Spanos anytime he’s walking the concourse.


By the way, I went to Los Angeles this summer and I forgot that if you tell friends in L.A. that you are coming to L.A., it’s basically worthless information. It’s like telling a Canadian you’re gonna be in Canada for a few days and asking to meet up. Here is how virtually any L.A. social plan goes:

YOU: Hey, I’m gonna be in LA!

THEM: That’s awesome! Which part?

YOU: (looks at map) It says I’m staying in East Santo Farto.


YOU: Is that far?

THEM: I actually live on the other side of town. After 4 p.m., literal zombies roam the 5 and eat people’s throats out.


YOU: Oh. Well maybe another time!

So good luck to the Chargers getting Angelenos to drive 80 minutes to watch that team tie its dick in a knot.


Lions at Giants: Two straight weeks of the Giants offense in primetime? What did I do to deserve such gifts, Mr. Schedule Maker?

Anyway, if you stayed up for the late MNF last week (not a chance on my end), you probably witnessed the BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE moment from sideline reporter Sergio Dipp, who basically got pulled from the broadcast after getting tongue-tied on the air. Now I feel bad for Sergio Dipp, but holy shit, what a name. That’s the name of a lost Parks and Rec character right there. I would put Sergio Dipp on TV every night just so that the play-by-play guy could say his name at least a dozen times during the broadcast. AND NOW FOR A DIPP BREAK WITH SERGIO DIPP.


Skins at Rams: I know he wouldn’t do this, but what if Kirk Cousins just tanks the whole season specifically so that Washington doesn’t franchise him again, and so that another team like San Francisco pays him big money because they knew he was tanking just for them anyway? All I’m saying is that if I were going to deliberately sabotage my own season to free myself from Dan Snyder’s clutches, I would do EVERYTHING Kirk did against the Eagles on Sunday. I know the more plausible explanation is that Kirk is just shitty, but he’s already proven himself a shrewd businessman. I say Kirk should keep throwing the ball to other people because only goods things can happen from it, for both him and for ME.


Patriots at Saints: Sean Payton is completely checked out in New Orleans. Last week he was in the red zone and ran the ball on 3rd and 5. Who the fuck does that when you have Drew Brees? I think Payton had a late dinner reservation he didn’t want fucked up.

Bills at Panthers: My son plays soccer and this year his league passed out magnets for parents to stick on their cars. I put one on mine, but now I’m worried other drivers think I’m a soccer parent (which is true) and that I am deranged suburbanite who will run them off the road if it means getting to Whole Foods 90 seconds faster (which is only partly true). I have seen other soccer magnet cars on the road. They give zero fucks. You got soccer moms driving like other cars on the road don’t even exist. So if you see me out there in my little Kia with the soccer magnet, just know that I will let you merge. I’m not a monster.


Bears at Bucs: I watched an unreasonable amount of storm porn over the weekend, and CNN’s coverage was particularly grating because they kept sticking correspondents out in the middle of 80-mph winds and then EXPLAINING why they felt compelled to do just that. They were like, “Dave’s really getting hammered out there but we wanted to show you these pictures to let you know just what Florida is dealing with.” And it’s like… NO SHIT. It’s a hurricane. I think I have a pretty clear idea of what that entails. You can just film the storm. You don’t have to send some poor schmuck out there and secretly hope he gets blown away on camera to get the point across.

Titans at Jags 


 Two Throwgasms

Browns at Ravens: Everyone’s raving over Tony Romo because A) He’s not Phil Simms, and B) He’s already proven fantastic at diagnosing plays before the ball is snapped:


Now I know Romo was a gifted passer, but shouldn’t more analysts be able to do this? Cris Collinsworth can nail a playcall on occasion, but that’s about it. From now on, I demand every meathead jock in the booth have playcall ESP or else they should be fired on the spot.


One Throwgasm

Jets at Raiders: Who needs decent quarterback play when you have Giorgio Tavecchio:


A-MAMA MIA! When I was kid, virtually every kicker was either Swedish or a Del Greco. So I am very excited for the next wave of foreign-born kickers to charm the league before Springfield passes Proposition 24 and sends them all away.

Niners at Seahawks: I don’t have the stats on it but virtually every game last weekend ran shorter thanks to the reduced commercial breaks and the already-hilarious process of making the poor ref look at replays on an unwanted Microsoft Surface tablet while New York HQ barks orders at him. So let me take a moment to offer a rare hat tip to the NFL for recognizing that Americans don’t want to spend any more time watching the Seahawks offense than they have to.


Texans at Bengals: You couldn’t dream up a more fitting TNF opener, really. Andy Dalton just threw four picks. Every Texan is concussed or suspended. Poor Deshaun Watson will get killed behind that Houston line and then probably get replaced by Tom Savage, who has all the pocket mobility of an armchair. You know that TNF ad they keep showing where the pregnant lady gets up from labor and turns on the game? Yeah no, she’s not turning on Texans-Bengals. That ad lied to you.

Cardinals at Colts: I know the games last week were terrible but I don’t really give a shit because I still enjoyed sitting around watching Red Zone all day. When you have Red Zone, bad football is actually enormously entertaining. They cut to Andy Dalton throwing in the end zone and you know damn well it’s gonna be a gut-wrenching turnover. And then it unfolds right before your eyes! HIGH DRAMA, I say. Also, you should see me on Sundays. I look and act exactly like someone with the flu. I sit in a chair with a blanket draped on me. I don’t get up. I ask for people to bring me things. Sometimes I have tea. It’s pathetic. I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING.


By the way, I started a newsletter recently because you can’t be truly insufferable online unless you have one. So go subscribe. The 10,000th subscriber gets a free used burrito wrapper.

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

“Scott Green,” by Dune Rats! Reader Nick sends in this delightful pot anthem:

Shove this one down your pipe and smoke it. Blackhawks jersey? Check. Ganja and Ecstasy? Check. Shit-stained skivvies? You bet your ass. This is DUNE RATS WE’RE TALKIN’ ‘BOUT HERE!! GNAR GNAR, FUCK YA!


That’s a quality video, although I refuse to believe the TEENS out there call weed “Scott Green.” That sounds like narc talk to me. “You kids lookin’ for some Scott Green?”

Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week


By now you know that Hurricane Irma destroyed enormous swaths of the Caribbean and Florida, killing nearly 40 people in the islands, over 20 people here in the US, and left countless homes leveled and millions of people displaced. But of course, the REAL tragedy is that Jimmy Johnson’s tiki bar was damaged. Isn’t that right, Peter King?

Johnson sounded beaten down when I spoke to him, still adjusting to the reports and the texted photos of his place. There was two feet of ocean sand in his pool with the Tiki bar on his property. His dock, shredded. His long driveway, covered with what appeared to be seaweed, tree residue and at least one power pole sheared somehow by the roof of his Tiki hut. There’d been 18 inches of water that flowed onto the first floor of his home. Johnson was seeing the effects of the storm through the texted pictures.


I really do feel bad for Jimmy’s house, but this strikes me as the LEAST damaged property currently situated in the Florida Keys. A quarter of all Keys homes were obliterated. Jimmy’s a wealthy guy. Jimmy’s got insurance. Jimmy wasn’t in the Keys when the storm hit. Jimmy will be fine. He’ll probably even find a nice place to stay while the tiki bar is rebuilt and his people text him photos of the improvement. There are people in the USVI who are running out of food right now, man. (You can go here to donate to Tim Duncan’s relief fund.) Sand in Jimmy’s pool is not on top of the triage list.

“Looks like the place has been napalmed,” Johnson said, his voice sounding somewhat similar to the post-games in his first season in Dallas, the 1-15 lost season of 1989.


Is that comparison supposed to make me sad? Because normally, the Cowboys going 1-15 has rather remarkable healing powers for the average citizen.

“I saw the pictures and I about threw up. I spent 30 years building up that property to exactly the way we wanted it, and to see it now, it hurts. But I guess you look at it and think, I’m fortunate, at least, because I can afford to build it back up.”


See, Jimmy actually has the right perspective here. He is man who normally lives in obscene comfort, who will have to wait a little bit and pony up some cash to go right back to living once again in obscene comfort. It makes you wonder why King is even bothering to focus on him.

Rex Ryan’s Lock Of The Week: Broncos +2


[sees Ted Cruz liking a porn tweet]

“OH! OH! Oh, Teddy Ballgame likes himself a little mother and child reunion! THAT’S GREAT HUSTLE! I always thought about inviting the Cruzer to a Ryan ‘dinner’ party but it turns out he’s already got one foot in the door! Say the word, Teddo, and you’re in for a night of brandy and fuck swings! I DRAW UP BEDROOMS PLAYS THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR DICK GASP. We even hire sitters, even though there are no kids in the house!”


Ryan 2017 record: 1-0

Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death

Austin Hooper. Who the fuck do you think you are, Austin Hooper? Those were Julio Jones’s long balls and you know it. Every opening week has some random fucker I’ve never heard of racking up big yards at the expense of someone I’m playing, and I never accurately guess who the new fancy boy will be, and it makes me want to do MURDEROUS things. Looking at you, Hooper. And YOU, Kenny Golladay! What kinda name is that? That’s not a real name. You jumped to the NFL right from the pages of a Truman Capote book. I want answers. THIS IS BULLSHIT.


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 2017 chopping block:


Chuck Pagano*****

Hue Jackson

Marvin Lewis

Sean Payton

Mike Mularkey

John Fox

Bill O’Brien

Bruce Arians

Ben McAdoo

Jay Gruden

Todd Bowles*

(*-potential midseason firing) 

Chuck Pagano is the worst coach in football right now and it’s not even close, really. Last year, he could maybe hide a little thanks to Rex Ryan and Gus Bradley still hanging around, but this year he’s on his own. He stands out like [activates Pagano cliché generator] WOOD THAT WON’T CHOP. He’s a goner.


Also, Jay Gruden sucks and that team is NEVER prepared. I think they just spend all week watching old Vine compilations in the tape room.

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Joe chimes in with a story I’ll call THE ASS CASTLE:

I was 14 years old, and my nerd friends and I were in the “no jeans” club (something we made up to justify 7-days of nonstop sweatpants sportage). I had these awesome white Chicago Bulls sweatpants - the ones with ‘BULLS’ and the Bulls logo running down one leg. The last time I remember wearing them cleanly was to a sleepover my high school hosted for incoming freshmen. It was such a relief to wear my going-out pants to an event where I wouldn’t look like the dweeb I was.

One day, my dad decided to surprise my siblings and me with a trip to Enchanted Castle in the Chicago burbs. Enchanted Castle had video games, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, batting cages, and most importantly, babes. We pull into the parking lot in the ‘87 maroon Buick Regal we bought from my aunt that year, and as I got out of the car, I farted hard. This was a good thing, I though, as I strutted in with my hair parted down the middle and a cluster of braces and rubber bands protruding from my virgin mouth, ready to pick up some chicks.

I spent a good hour or two playing arcade games, mini golfing with my family, and checking out the babes. I remember watching this girl playing a game, when I hear my dad behind me say, “What the hell Joe! Jesus, did you shit your pants?” I had to walk around the inner walls of the Enchanted Castle to the bathroom, my back to the wall the entire trip. In the stall, I saw that the fart I let loose in the parking lot was really a shit, and my white pants were brown down both legs in the back. I was so embarrassed.

I hurried out of there, and we got into the car and drove straight to a Goldblatts. My dad bought me some black sweatpants and new underwear. I changed in the backseat and threw the shitty underwear/my lovely Bulls sweatpants in a plastic bag. We went home. I was ashamed.

And that bag? I know it sounds like horseshit, but my dad the germaphobe threw that bag of shitty clothing in the trunk of that Regal, and there it stayed until we sold it years later. No one retrieved that bag out of the trunk, and I assume whomever bought the car had a bag of festering, rock-hard, brown boys clothes to clean out. I like to think that they kept the bag in there for eternity.

I have told this story to every girl I subsequently tried to date, as a way to endear myself as self-deprecating. But, considering my luck with “babes”, maybe that was a mistake.


Yeah no, don’t do that.

Gametime Snack Of The Week


Meatball subs! Are you ready for a piping hot, burn-your-mouth take? Here it is: A meatball sub is an inherently flawed sandwich. I love meatballs, and I love sandwiches. But meatballs in a sandwich are a goddamn headache. One meatball always falls out (cue the song). Or you get one big bite of meatball, then you hit the gap between one meatball and the other and get nothing but a mouthful of wet tomato dough. What America really needs is a meatlog sandwich. Just one continual turd of meat going from end to end, so that every bite is even and nothing falls out. WHO SAYS NO, I ASK YOU? There WILL be an Arby’s meatlog sandwich within a year, and it will be awful, but I still stand by my take.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week


LEGEND! From Mongolia! LAND OF CONQUERORS. Reader Scott sends in this astounding can of yak piss:

The can is adorned with a picture of a yurt, which is a tent used in Mongolia. The yurt on this can is extra fancy with wheels and two lions in front of it. I imagine this is how Sigfried and Roy would go camping. A overnight chill in the fridge, and I cracked open this Legend, and poured it in a tall glass thinking this is the type of beer one would share with Putin after a long afternoon of shirtless horseback riding.

The taste was beyond description, but I will try. The first sip made me think that this Legend tasted like a Miller Lite that had just done hard time. Bitter, flat and depressing. I would pair this beer with pork rinds, apple Jolly ranchers and Cheetos. Overall in a pinch if this was the last beer in my fridge I would probably drink it, and then take a good hard look at the choices I have made in my life.


That looks terrific. I feel like drinking it would make me very big and strong. I would pair it with a 10-pound. plate of garbage at the local Mongolian BBQ, which has NO ties to Mongolian culture whatsoever, but is still suitable for my binge-eating and drinking requirements. I MUST HAVE IT.

Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week! 


“Hurricanes? I lived through hurricanes, okay? First thing you gotta do is find an old abandoned house. If an abandoned house is still standing, it’s gotta be strong, right? So start with that. Then, you need empty milk jugs. Fasten some empty milk jugs to anything and BOOM. Got yourself a good raft. Then, you need a net. You would not believe the stuff I’ve caught while street fishing in a storm. I’ve caught wet bread, new mufflers, even animal parts. A net’ll get you places.”

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Browns Fans 

Logan, which is a perfectly good movie, but you gotta be kidding me with the YOU CAN TALK? movie cliché getting deployed yet again. You know how it works: Some character is mute for the first half of the movie, then suddenly starts talking, at which point the other character makes bug eyes and is like YOU CAN TALK?! It’s even stupider in this movie because the little girl pulls a Rush Hour after an hour in, and then Hugh Jackman looks dumbstruck, and then they NEVER bother to explain why she was quiet beforehand. It’s just a silly twist they stuck in there for no reason at all. Either have the characters talk, or don’t. No more vows of silence.


Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“The weather service has warned us to brace ourselves for the onslaught of Hurricane Barbara. And if you think naming a destructive storm after a woman is sexist, you obviously have never seen the gals grabbing for items at a clearance sale.”


Enjoy the games, everyone.

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Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.