Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season.
How the hell did "elite" become some widespread honorary to bestow upon a QB? Does Phil Simms realize that "elite" is just a word and not a fucking Academy Award? It doesn't mean anything. A QB doesn't get a $500,000 roster bonus because Tom Jackson declares him elite. It's the ultimate empty sports topic because you can declare a QB elite based off any criteria you pull out of your ass: winning Super Bowls, All Pro appearances, your gut instinct, how much of a semi Gruden gets when he sees Colin Kaepernick play well, etc.
It's an insult to sports fans in this day and age to still try to make a real issue out of something so pathetically empty. When you argue about whether or not a QB is elite, what you're basically saying to the world is, "I don't have anything to say." Eli Manning? NOT ELITE. Ryan Reynolds? NOT A MOVIE STAR. So cut it out, people. I don't care who your blue chippers are, or who your All Iron award winners are, or who rates five stars on Mikey's QB Star Chart. You are wasting lives going over this shit.
In other news, happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This Thanksgiving, I want you to remember the most important thing of all: turkey skin. Crispy, salty, golden brown turkey skin. Can't you see it now, coming out of the oven, tight against the turkey's breast? You know how it's thin and some places but then, in other places, it has this little extra bit of subcutaneous fat that bursts with flavor in your mouth? Isn't that awesome? Wouldn't you MURDER for that?
Honestly, I don't even know why we bother with the meat of the turkey. We should genetically engineer all turkeys to have 50,000 square feet of edible skin. That way, the turkey comes out of the oven with layer after layer of fatty skin for me to CRUSHKILL. And I don't have to fight with my mom over not giving me enough skin.
MOM: You can always get seconds!
ME: Bullshit. Some other asshole will eat the rest of it and I'll be left out in the shitter! DON'T LIE TO ME.
Truly, it is the ELITE part of the turkey. Now, onto the games.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Falcons at Bucs: Chris Myers completely botched the call at the end of Bucs-Panthers last week, saying "Panthers win!" when Dallas Clark scored the winning touchdown. That's insane. You're a play-by-play man. How can you fuck up the single most basic call of them all? If there's one play-by-play guy out there who might yell, "Touchdown, Hitler!" by accident, it's Chris Myers.
Niners at Saints: SINISTER MINDSET!
I wonder what would happen if a team that won the toss in overtime then mounted a really, really long drive that resulted in a field goal. After all, there are drives that have lasted 10 minutes or more. Does the other team then have to make sure their matching field goal comes before the end of the first overtime? Or can they take as much time as they like to march back down the field to answer in double OT? I would like one team to wage a 15-minute field goal drive on the first possession of overtime and then have everyone utterly perplexed as to what to do next.
Packers at Giants: There's nothing better than one of those plays where everyone thinks the ball is dead, only it's not and one dude scoops it up and scores and causes the team that didn't notice to want to commit suicide. I wish that happened once every game.
Redskins at Cowboys: The two afternoon Thanksgiving games this week are actually pretty solid, which fucks me up. I'm so used to these games being terrible that I have no issue missing large parts of them to lick roasting pans clean. They should flex in one terrible game so that I don't miss anything important.
Bills at Colts: I was curious the other day about how many people watch the Red Zone Channel every week. After all, anyone who has it watches it instead of watching a single game (unless that single game involves your favorite team, of course. And you would never cheat on your favorite team with Red Zone Channel, would you? That would make you a terrible person. You would never dream of turning away from the existential sinkhole of watching the Browns. You would keep watching even though you knew, deep down, that there was a fucking ORGY of happiness going on right next door, with touchdowns scored every seven seconds and a quick cut any time someone gets a false start penalty. You'd never sell your team out like that, would you?). You watch it. I watch it. We all watch that shit.
And yet, finding actual data on how many people watch Red Zone Channel isn't easy. The NFL will happily trumpet its ratings in primetime and for marquee afternoon games. But RZC ratings remain something of a mystery. Perhaps if network executives knew that 40 million people watched it every week, they might get curious as to why they're paying $24 billion to the NFL to provide them with what is, on the Red Zone Channel, commercial-free content. I have to think there's an executive out there who punches a wall every time Siciliano cuts away from a "Mindy Project" promo.
Texans at Lions: No more bye weeks! Hooray! The NFL is now fully armed and operational again. Although with the Thanksgiving games going on, it makes this Sunday feel as if six teams are still on the bye. Which sucks. Teams that play on Thanksgiving should have to play a second game that Sunday, just to make me happy.
Seahawks at Dolphins: I went to the fridge the other day and there was a mystery item wrapped in foil on the shelf and I got jazzed because you never know what's gonna be in a mystery foil item. COULD BE MEAT! I fully expected there to be a lobster tail inside the foil even though there has never been lobster inside this house. I opened the foil up and inside was a half-eaten muffin that I had WRAPPED MYSELF and completely forgotten about. Such a fucking letdown.
Vikings at Bears: Vikings punter and Official Punter of Deadspin Chris Kluwe also serves as the holder for Blair Walsh. And I was curious to know if Kluwe ever got scared that the kicker would kick the fuck out of his hand while holding. Every time I played touch football and someone asked me to hold for a pregame field-goal try, I always made someone else do it because I was deathly afraid of getting all of my metatarsals shattered with a firm kick to the palm. Kluwe says:
I've had my fingers clipped by the ball when I was slow getting the snap down, but never had my hand actually kicked. I'm pretty sure it'll never happen unless the kicker has a heart attack mid-kick... You'd have to be pretty terrible at kicking to hit the holder's hand.
Whatever, Mr. Holder Man. Don't tell me it can't happen because it WILL and if it ever happens to me I will cry.
Ravens at Chargers: My wife bought a Groupon for some pizza joint the other day but didn't realize that the voucher was for dine-in only. This rendered it all but useless, because I'd rather euthanize my three children than attempt to eat in a restaurant with them. So I put in a takeout order, sauntered into the place, and tried to pay with the voucher anyway, hoping the mouthbreather working the register wouldn't notice.
GUY: This is dine-in only.
ME: Ah, right. About that. Listen, my wife bought this Groupon without realizing it was dine-in only. STOOPID WIVES, AMIRITE?! But we eat here all the time (NOTE: total lie). How about cutting me a break on this?
GUY: I can ask the manager.
ME: Yes! You do that. That would be crazy awesome (makes guitar noises).
So he got the manager, and this big lady came and got all huffy with me.
WOMAN: I can't honor that voucher unless you eat here.
ME: Come on. Help me out just this once.
WOMAN: If I do it for you, I gotta do it for everyone else.
Now it was time to throw down a power move, Welzein-style.
ME: Such a shame. I'd hate to never eat here again.
BOOM! TAKE THAT, WOMAN.
WOMAN: Sorry. I can't let you use it.
ME: (walks out of restaurant fully emasculated)
I will have my revenge on that place. I'm gonna go there myself to dine in, order five pizzas, eat one slice, have the rest boxed to go, and use the voucher to pay for it. Let's see you bitches deny THAT. That'll teach you to offer coupons we're too dumb to actually read all the way through!
Patriots at Jets: Just a reminder: This game is on NBC, which makes it 99 percent more compelling to me than if it were on NFL Network. I have no clue why. Anyway, Richard Dieeieieieietsch of Sports Illustrated has noted that "the MVP of NBC's Thanksgiving night game will be called The Madden Thanksgiving Player-of-the-Game." I'm very excited for them to wheel out an old, drooling Madden to hand out a day-old turkey leg. GARF GARF TO ME, TOM BRADY IS STILL THE BEST QUARTERBACK IN FOOTBALL AND YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHANCE WHEN YOU HAVE THE BEST QUARTERBACK IN FOOTBALL GARF GARF GARF.
Broncos at Chiefs: Reader Quig:
What would happen if Peyton Manning just started having sex on the sideline while his defense was at work on the field? Would the game be delayed? Would the reaction be harsher from football people if it was gay sex with a teammate/coach? What would CBS do with the inevitable HD sex tape?
Obviously, someone at ESPN would suggest that openly fucking another person on the sidelines might mean that something is still wrong with Manning's neck.
Manning and his sex partner (Dan Dierdorf?) would probably be cited for indecent exposure and then face formal charges. CBS executives would burn the tape at the behest of Jim Nantz, who doesn't care for physical affection between human beings unless it's two golfers shaking hands after an honorable round. Skip Bayless would immediately blast John Elway for trading away Tim Tebow and bringing in a sexual miscreant. And then Roger Goodell would hand down a $100,000 fine with no suspension and Peter King would be like, "Goodell AGONIZED over this decision all week, you guys."
That's if Manning gets caught having sex with a woman on the sideline. If it's a man? FULL MEDIA ORGASM.
Raiders at Bengals: My seven-month-old came down with a case of hand, foot, and mouth disease last week, which is actually a fairly common viral infection but sounds like IMMEDIATE DEATH. It's a terrifyingly named disease. It makes it sound like a rabid cow ate the baby's tongue.
One of the things you find out when you have kids is that all of the things that fell under the umbrella of "sick" when you were a kid now have names: rotavirus; RSV; hand, foot, and mouth disease. Children are no longer just sick. They have SOMETHING, something horrible and contagious and certain to kill us all. I would prefer these illnesses have much gentler names, like "spotty time and butterfly diarrhea."
Titans at Jaguars: I traded Chris Johnson this week, and it's clear now that Chris Johnson will now go on an even hotter hot streak and eventually defeat my team single-handedly in the playoffs. That's just what Chris Johnson does. I can't wait.
Steelers at Browns: The FBI came to my house the other day because they were doing a background check on a friend of my wife's for a job. If you live in the DC area, this is a routine thing. A lot of people here work in government, and in order to grant them a security clearance, the government does an extensive background check that almost certainly costs the taxpayer a billion dollars. So the agent sat down with my wife for three seconds while I listened in from the next room. I heard the agent ask, "Do you have any reason to believe that Jenny would be disloyal to the United States?" and I had to restrain myself from jumping out and being like "OH MY GOD, YES! SHE HANGS OUT WITH THE MUJAHIDEEN ALL THE TIME! ONE TIME I SAW HER TALKING IN CODE TO HER OWN NIGHT LAMP! SHE'LL FUCKING KILL US ALL!" I refrained.
Whenever there's a law enforcement official close by, I'm always terrified they will find a reason to arrest me and throw me in jail forever. What if they find out about all the places I've pleasured myself? I'd be doomed for sure. GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, FBI.
Rams at Cardinals
Panthers at Eagles
Reader Hunter submits "Horsewhipper" by ASG.
ASG stands for Amplification of Self Gratification. Can't argue with a name like that.
Lots of sports sites, to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gambling, like to have animals and random celebrities pick games to see if they can outwit their expert counterparts. There's no reason we at Deadspin can't also get in on the fun. So we've asked a fictionalized, Nazi version of popular sportswriter Bill Simmons to pick one game a week for us. Take it away, Nazi Simmons.
"This week, I like the Redskins getting four points on the road against the Cowboys. Honestly, should this Cowboys team be giving four points to ANYONE? Stop, just stop.
"Anyway, my buddy Houseburg and I were debating the other day what Amon Goeth's shooting percentage was in Schindler's List. Houseburg, a diehard Goeth fan, says it's around 80 percent, but I think that's way off. No one has seen that movie more than me, OK? I've seen it at least a hundred times, not counting the end because Spielberg botched it so badly and made numerous poor casting decisions. You can do a tally of Goeth's shots and come up with a percentage close to 100. And watch him get other Nazis involved. Göring couldn't have pulled that off. That's why Goeth gets the title of Genocide Jesus."
2012 Nazi Simmons record: 4-6
LeSean McCoy. I know he's hurt, and I know his O-line and coaching staff are awful. And I know his QB situation is dire. But CHRIST. Two touchdowns all season? WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR, DICKFACE?
Meanwhile, commenter Dany Heatley Speedwagon is no fan of Matt Ryan throwing up five picks last week:
Did someone tell him this was a playoff game?
Ooooh, that's a burn.
The leading indicators suggest that Gregg took a week off. Slacking off at the most important time of the season? Sounds like GLORY THINK TANK RESIDENT antics to me.
Last week's picks of the Atlanta, Tampa, and Denver went 3-0, putting me at 25-8 for the season. Again we pick three teams for your suicide pool and something that makes you want to commit suicide. This week, the picks are Cincinnati, Denver, Chicago, and closed gas pumps. I can't even imagine what it's like to be dealing with gas shortages on Long Island. Whenever I pull into a gas station, drive by the pump, and find out that the pump is out of service, I wanna jam a knife into my forehead. Because it took a lot for me just to commit to entering that station, you know? I had to turn off the road and burn precious seconds off my commute. And now you fuckers don't even have gas? Blow me.
By the way, once a week, I forget what side my tank is on and pull up to the wrong side of the pump. Then I curse loudly for 10 minutes and awkwardly try to re-park my car correctly in front of the pump. Everyone at the gas station loves it when I do this. Real charming move. Crowded gas stations are horrible.
Reader Chris sends in this story:
We had a skunk problem at our old house, and one night I used a Have-a-Heart trap baited with peanut butter. The next morning I had some sort of hissing adolescent skunk in there. My folks own a farm in the same town, so I thought I would do the humane thing and drown the stinky bastard. Drove the trap with the skunk in it over to the farm pond with all the windows down and a tarp covering everything up (legend has it that they can't lift their tails to spray inside the trap, but I didn't want to take chances). Tied a rope to the trap handle and threw the whole kit into the water, where it slowly sank, until just as it was going under the trap doors float up and open and the skunk swam free. I had no idea they could swim, but this guy was paddling for the other side of the pond and a clean getaway.
I'm usually a pretty calm sort of person, but for some reason I flew into an animal rage. Maybe it was the thought of this skunk escaping, finding its way back to my house Incredible Journey-style, and spraying right outside my bedroom window in the middle of the night. Anyway, only one of us was leaving that pond alive. I sprinted to the other side of the pond where the skunk seemed to be swimming, and started throwing any large sticks/small logs I could get my hands on. No go, he was like the Allied troop carriers at Normandy- he just kept coming. Finally, I grabbed a stick about six feet long, waded into the pond, and started swinging away. I could see his little skunk eyes and his skunk teeth were bared as he kept swimming toward he. He was absorbing the blows from the branch and still paddling. When he got close enough I jammed the stick down and held him under until there was no way he could still be alive. Afterward I felt a mix of triumph and regret, and was covered in mud. I never saw the skunk body float to the surface though, so there is a chance there is a Jason Voorhees skunk stalking me right now.
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 2012 chopping block:
• Norv Turner*
• Mike Munchak
• Chan Gailey
• Jason Garrett
• Rex Ryan
• Romeo Crennel*
• Pat Shurmur*
• Ron Rivera
• Mike Shanahan
• Andy Reid*
• Mike Mularkey
• Ken Whisenhunt
(*-possible midseason firing)
I wonder if Pat Shurmur will end up going down as the most anonymous head coach in NFL history. He's right up there with Scott Linehan. Five years from now, you will try desperately to remember his name while talking about the Browns in a bar and fail. "What was that guy they had for a couple years? No, not Mangini. There was a guy after him, I swear there was. Or was there? Maybe it IS Mangini I was thinking of. Could that be right? Fuck, this is totally torturing me."
Marcona almonds! The $20 almonds! Oh, do you eat regular almonds? PEASANT. It's marcona almonds and marcona Sprite all day for me and my Princeton chums!
Sconnie! Reader Zac sends in another shitty beer direct from Wisconsin:
I finally got some pictures of some beers that the convenience store I work at carries. This one is called Sconnie. It has the slogan "Celebrate the Wisconsin Lifestyle".
Eating cheese and busting unions? What's not to love? I MUST HAVE IT. Do Wisconsin people address each other as sconnies? I bet they don't.
Time to start thinking about who the leaders will be for the NFL's MVP award. So every week, legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.
"Baby, my favorite for NFL MVP is Peyton Manning of the Broncos! Another holiday movie season. If only Tristar had bought my pitch for that gangster Santa movie. Oh, what a picture that would have been. Hip? YOU BET! Spiritual without being preachy? I THINK SO! We had it all lined up. Jack Nicholson was going to play Santino 'Santa' Lesky, the meanest gangster in Brooklyn, who turns out to be a descendant of old Saint Nick himself. That's how he's able to rob so many banks in one night. And then we were going to get into Santa's internal struggle, loving the gangster life but feeling the pull of the holiday spirit. And he was gonna fuck Barbara Bach! We could have been rolling in it."
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a movie I actually liked despite the fact that the title makes it sound like it's gonna be the worst thing ever. Honestly, why not just call it MEAN VAGINA DAYS while you're at it?
"And I contend that those tourists were decapitated BEFORE they entered the KrustyLand House of Knives. Next question?"
Enjoy the games, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Top image by Jim Cooke.