Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.
You may remember last year when the NFL’s marketing department foisted the world’s worst Vikings/Cowboys/Steelers/Bengals/London Monarchs family upon the general population. It was an ad that everyone (me) despised, but it must have moved product because the NFL has taken that shitty ad and made an entire CAMPAIGN out of it for 2015.
You cannot escape the FOOTBALL IS FAMILY campaign. At every break, you get a tasteful interview with “Brandon” (that would be Marshall) or a parade of tasteful middle-aged Cialis ad actresses all rocking team gear. They really do have a “women’s” version of the commercial where they stick a “nflshop.com/women” URL at the end. Someone at the NFL was like, “Give the women an ad and put the word WOMEN at the end so that women will know it’s for women.” If Roger Goodell has his way, all Planned Parenthoods will become NFL Shop outlets by 2017.
Now, as someone who likes football AND has a family, I’m here to tell you something you totally already knew, and that is that football is NOT family. Not at all. Football is fucking WAR. Football is anger and beer and broken legs and nachos. It is not a feel-good experience. My job as a football fan is to get shitfaced and be miserable for nine hours every Sunday. Family has nothing to do with it.
If anything, family interferes with football. I spend my entire Sunday telling my family to leave me the hell alone so that I can watch football properly. Do they ever join me? Do we ever snuggle up on a sectional and cheer on our gosh darn boys? FUCK AND NO. That’s not real life. Real life is me having to pause the game because the toddler set fire to the oldest kid’s hair. Real life is people around the house screaming and being annoying and taking me away from the bliss of ignoring the game action to check fantasy updates on my phone. I am at my most irritable on Sundays because I want to watch football and I know there will be obstacles. And then my family gets mad at me, and I get mad at them, and we spend the whole day seething. I want to watch football in an airtight box that is completely cut off from the rest of the universe, and I don’t possess such a MAN BOX, so I am mad.
THAT is what an NFL Shop ad should show. I want an NFL Shop ad directed by some Danish asshole shot in natural light where daddy is drunk and everyone is fighting and unhappy. That would get me to buy some jerseys. Anything else is a flagrant lie. Football is not family. Football is MURDER.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Packers at Broncos: If the Broncos can’t beat the Packers at home, then your Super Bowl matchup is virtually assured to be Patriots/Packers, because there’s no way in hell that the fucking Bengals or Panthers are gonna be able to knock off either of those two. I’m annoyed already. WHY EVEN HAVE PLAYOFFS?! This sucks.
Bengals at Steelers: Listen, I know I said that daily fantasy was pure evil just one month ago. But that was before I ripped off THREE smoking hot head-to-head wins in a row. I AM A SHARK NOW. And so I am here to issue the following correction: Daily Fantasy is NOT evil. It’s fucking awesome. I’m up a whopping 11 dollars and 20 cents, bitch! I MAY NEVER LOSE AGAIN! What if I become a millionaire?! Me! Just an Average Joe who parlayed his gut football instincts into a goddamn war chest. That could happen! Don’t you take my DFS away from me, feds. I will fucking fight you. I will take you on and risk arrest so I can enter multiplier pools until I’ve signed my house away DON’T MAKE ME GO BACK TO REGULAR FANTASY I WON’T DO IT I’M SO AWFUL AT IT PLEASE I NEED THIS BRO.
Dolphins at Patriots: Did you see Dan Campbell’s postgame speech against the Texans? This man is a national treasure:
“They had some drops! They had a lot of drops! Some people would say you gotta catch the ball. I’mma tell you: You transferred energy without physically even touchin’ ‘em. And things like that happen, guys. Things like that happen. THEY FELT YOU.”
You got that? The Miami Dolphins now have The Force. Tonight, they might just Force-choke Tom Brady and walk away with the football. I support that. I want Dan Campbell to transfer more of his spiritual Jaden Smith vibes into Ryan Tannehill.
Jets at Raiders: The Texans had Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett last season and somehow they gave away the better of the two. It has to hurt watching Fitzpatrick throw for a meager 86.1 passer rating and realize you could have had THAT. Ohhhh, what Bill O’Brien would give for an 86.1-rated passer right now. He’d fill his chin cleft with joint compound for that.*
*Shockingly, Fitzpatrick had even better stats with the Texans last season than he does with the Jets this season. His yards per attempt were better. His completion percentage was better. He had a decent TD:INT ratio. Kinda makes you wonder why they ever get rid of him. Seriously, what kind of beef-brained shithead runs that Houston team?
Colts at Panthers: Panthers wideout Philly Brown has insisted that everyone refer to him as Corey Brown (his real name) from now on, and that is unacceptable. Philly Brown is a much cooler name. You should be legally unable to go by anything other than Philly once your nickname is Philly. Even Doug Martin is like, “Fuck you. You’re Philly.”
Cardinals at Browns: I was in Cleveland last week! I was checking out town with someone and we were driving through a suburb when they said, “This is Parma. It’s… Well, it’s the racist part of town.” So if you’re ever hanging around Cleveland and you’re looking for some racism, Parma is your hood. Nice city otherwise! They have restaurants and everything. FUN TIMES IN CLEVELAND TODAY CLEEEEVELAND!
They were also gearing up for the Republican National Convention next summer, which meant that all the roads were under renovation. They were even building a second bridge into town to accommodate the event. I had no idea that a political convention could inspire such IOC-levels of new infrastructure. One day the Democrats will hold a bidding war and put their convention inside a brand-new, custom $500 million velodrome in Akron. The system works.
I also clogged my hotel toilet in Cleveland. I walked in, dropped anchor, and then watched in horror as the toilet water rose just up to the rim before settling back down. That’s not a fun call down to the concierge. I fled the premises as quickly as possible when they sent the fixer up.
Bucs at Falcons: According to this list, the Bucs have appeared on Sunday Night Football once. That’s it. And they’re not alone! The Browns, Raiders, Rams, Bucs, and Bills all have a single meager appearance in the league’s weekly showcase game. And only the Bucs won theirs. It’s amazing that those six teams have managed to remain so thoroughly miserable for an entire decade. I feel for them. I really do. It’s nice to win, but it’s also nice to feel like your team is RELEVANT, and that other non-fans might actually be interested in them. By contrast, the Cowboys have been on Sunday night 33 times, more than any other team. And that’s unfair. The Cowboys are shitty and annoying. If there were any justice, they’d be down there with the dregs.
Vikings at Bears: I would honestly rather swallow my own piss than a full dip. I tried dip at camp when I was a kid and was sick for hours because I’m not a real man. There’s no way I could handle downing an entire chaw. I’d jump into an industrial fan.
Giants at Saints: Right after the New York Times published that Baby Hitler poll last week, everyone on Twitter (me included) got in on the action because, at that moment, you could tell virtually ANY Hitler joke and have it be okay! You know how nice it was to have a free Hitler pass for a day? Every day on the web should be Hitler Day!
Seahawks at Cowboys: Normally, I buy it when any coach explains away a sideline fracas by saying guys were “emotional” or whatever. Totally plausible. But come on, man. This Greg Hardy thing was different. This was a legitimate shitbag who terrorized a woman and has never displayed any remorse about it. And then he went off on a fucking special teams coach for a play that he wasn’t even involved in. This wasn’t like a QB and a wideout arguing over who was to blame for a pick. This was some rampaging asshole getting after a random coach to NO benefit of the team around him. There’s a clear difference between what he did and your average sideline beef. There’s no defending Hardy, even given his skill set. This was a good team without him last year and an AWFUL team with him this year. It’s not like the Futon King over here is the X-factor. Fuck that.
Chiefs at Lions (London): It’s obvious now that, one day, the NFL will have a game in Europe at 9:30 a.m. every week. There won’t be an actual team in London because there doesn’t need to be. They’ll just fill out a full dance card for Wembley so you can wake up every morning and watch the Jaguars eke out a win against a sub-MAC team on your iPad every Sunday. I am fine with this. This is arguably the only high point of the Roger Goodell tenure. We could space out the week so that one game is played in every other time zone. You could have one game in Japan, then another in Africa, and then another on the Faroe Islands. That way, I can look up from my Cheez-Its at any time and watch Matthew Stafford get murdered by his own offensive line. That would be pretty great!
Between the London experiment and the prospect of three teams all suing to move to L.A. simultaneously, the NFL is slowly proving that it doesn’t really matter WHERE the teams play. As much as you may value your local team, the NFL could easily move it to a fucking ice floe in Greenland and still have it be successful. So long as there’s a team name and fantasy players to pick, you’re still gonna watch. They could relocate EVERY team to Los Angeles. They could build one $5 billion dual mega-Stadium, put all 32 teams on a rotation, set up permanent cameras, pay extras to sit in the stands, and it would be fine. This is already a made-for-television venture, so they may as well go all the way. I haven’t set foot in Minnesota in over two decades, but that’s still my team and they’d be my team even if the NFL switched out every player with a house cat and put them on Mars. I’m a trained sheep at this point.
49ers at Rams: It wasn’t that long ago that Colin Kaepernick strolled into Lambeau for a playoff game and beat Aaron Rodgers in -800 Kelvin temperatures. This can’t possibly be all on him, man. I know he may have boned Aldon Smith’s girlfriend (oops!), but this isn’t the same as RG3’s decline. Kaep never got hurt. His skills are still intact. Meanwhile, they shipped out all the good coaches and half the defense fucking retired and the owner staged one of the more appalling tank jobs in sports history. Of course Kaep was gonna regress. But he’s still the least of that team’s worries. I’m not trying to make Kaep sound like a saint here because he makes a shitload of mistakes and is fully capable of wanton douchebaggery. But if he gets cut, that team will become utterly hopeless for the rest of forever.
Chargers at Ravens: I hope all the refs got together before this season and, sick of John Harbaugh’s shit, decided to troll him for an entire year with bad calls. That would be fair and just. I support terrible officiating when John Harbaugh is the victim.
Titans at Texans: Nope. Fuck this game.
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Young & Alive” by Beach Slang, submitted by Jeff. Just put the word “young” anywhere in your song and I’m already on board. Oh, this is for the youths! I’m still one of those! LOL Old people are so beat. LET’S ROCK OUT, FELLOW YOUNG PEOPLE!
Suicide Pick Of The Week
Last week’s suicide picks of the Giants, San Diego, and Buffalo went 1-2, making me 12-9 on the season. Again, we now pick three teams for your suicide pool, along with one thing that makes me want to commit suicide. This week, the picks are K.C., St. Louis, Seattle, and this week’s report on processed meats causing cancer. Lemme tell you something, BIG MEAT STUDY: You don’t have the right to take my bacon away. Everything can give you cancer if you overdo it. But I pace my bacon. I ration that bacon out. You leave my bacon the hell alone.
Related: I eat roughly half a pound of sliced ham daily. Is that bad?
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
Numerous readers have pointed out that GREGGGGGGGG himself was particularly awful this week, offering his usual amalgam of praise for undrafted players, coaches who went to Andover, and Tom Brady’s weightlifting schedule. But I refuse to succumb to his GLORY BOY tactics. Instead, let us focus on WaPo columnist Alexandra Petri, who decided to bravely stand with New Jersey governor and novelty-sized beach ball Chris Christie, and against the tyranny of Amtrak’s Quiet Car:
I realize I am on the quiet car only when one of the Enforcers on board (there is another word that we could use for them, but I am showing them more mercy than they show me) hovers at my elbow and whispers, in the most self-righteous tone any statement has been uttered by a human being, “This is the quiet car.”
Or maybe you could have looked at the sign that says QUIET CAR that hangs from the ceiling of every quiet car? It’s not the Illiteracy Car. You’re free to read.
As though I didn’t know perfectly well that this was the quiet car.
Then why are you talking?
(I didn’t, as it happens, but now I am on the defensive.)
Wait, did you or didn’t you know?
Why do they need silence, anyhow?
To work? Sleep? Write up exciting nuggets for MMQB the next day about Roger Goodell’s pushup regimen?
These people never seem to be working on anything.
Yeah because they can’t concentrate because you’re on the phone in the fucking quiet car.
Half the joy, for me, of riding the train is listening to Important Acela Businessmen saying things like “Do you have the quarterly? Well, tell Jim if he doesn’t have the quarterlies, we’re all wasting our time.”
That sounds awful. You are a monster.
I love watching families travel together trying to see how long it will be before the children unravel entirely.
Once I witnessed a young child on a train shout, “NEWARK! YAY!” on seeing the sign and half our row burst out laughing. (The child had never been to Newark, he just liked it as a concept. We felt bad for his parents, having to break Newark to him.)
“Poor kid. Doesn’t know what a slum is!”
These are moments that people on the quiet car invariably miss out on. And for what?
TO AVOID PEOPLE LIKE YOU. I don’t even bother riding that Quiet Car because I’ll just sit there for four hours WAITING for the Alexandra Petris of the world to disregard protocol and piss me off. Look what you’ve done to me, Petri. I have become Peter King. I BLAME YOU.
Emmitt Smith’s Lock Of The Week!
“This week I like the Dinner Broncos (+3) to win at home against the Green Day Packers! That Dinner defense is STIFLERING! Now, I’d like to take a moment to talk about Greg Harding, because forensic violets is a problem we all need to solve together. But should Greg Harding be pun-inched for speaking his mind on the Salad sideline? HELP NO! That’s leadershit! That’s showing that you have a little fire in your jelly! YOU WANT TO MOTORBATE YOUR TEAMMATES! I don’t think Greg Hardy should be menstruated for his motorbational tictacs!”
2014 Emmitt Smith record: 5-5
Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
NO ONE BECAUSE I’M ON A WINNING STREAK AND EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL! If you’re losing in fantasy maybe you should do your research, bro!
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 2015 chopping block:
Joe Philbin - FIRED!
Reader Brian is not a fan of the Whis…
He is like 4-28 in his past 32 games as a head coach (no joke). His players also hate him because he is an asshole.
I have no evidence of that but I’ll choose to believe it anyway.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Tom sends in this story I call POOP GOES TO CAMP:
My family had recently moved into a new town, and it was the summer going from elementary school into middle school. My small elementary school would be combining with other schools in town - I would be going to school with a lot of new kids in 6th middle school. Anyway, that summer my parents signed me up for YMCA summer camp which included a few sleep-away camping trips.
One night on one of these trips, for reasons that I cannot remember, I went to bed in my bathing suit. It was one of those bathing suits with the mesh-like underwear attached. I remember waking up in the middle of the night with a rumble in my stomach. I knew I had to go but figured to just go back to bed and hope I woke up the next morning with daylight. No go. Some time later I wake up and it is a pitch black EMERGENCY. I hop up out of my sleeping bag, grab my shoes and a flashlight, open the tent quietly enough to not wake my camp-mates and begin the approximately half mile journey to the rudimentary bathroom at the front of the campground.
I had only just zipped the tent behind me and walked maybe 10 feet when it happens. Poop. In my bathing suit. There was no stopping it. I have to make this half mile walk to the bathroom with poop in my bathing suit. Luckily it is lord-knows-o’clock and there is noone else around so I get to the bathroom in peace. I open the door, head into a stall and begin the delicate process of cleaning up. I shimmy over the seat to get the poop out and it plops directly on the floor in front of the toilet seat. Oh well. Good enough.
I clean up as best as I can but now I have to walk a half of a mile BACK to the campground and I’m not putting my poopy bathing suit back on so... I walk back half naked. I press my oversized shirt down over my naughty bits and walk back. I get to the campground without any more issues (thankfully there were no banjos in the woods) and toss my bathing suit down a hill that was near the campground, sneak back into the tent, and go back to sleep until morning.
The next morning I am awoken by laughter and the unmistakable sounds children make when they find a poopy bathing suit. I step out of the tent and to my horror see my poop-filled bathing suit hanging from a branch maybe 10 feet away from the firepit/eating area. While I was right about the hill, I didn’t realize that when I tossed the bathing suit, it got caught on a branch before ever even remotely making its way down the hill.
Of course after waking up I had to use the bathroom. I was hoping someone had already cleaned the poop up off the floor but I walked in the bathroom behind someone’s dad and I obviously chose the non-poopy stall. He walked in to the other stall and he audibly yells “OH COME ON WHO SHIT ON THE FLOOR???” I can see my nice, long, 6 inch mess on the floor directly in front of the toilet.
Luckily - LUCKILY - nobody recognized the fact that it was my bathing suit from the day before and the counselors assumed that a kid from the campground at the bottom of the hill had an accident and stashed his suit up near our campground. What a miserable night but at least I avoided being the pooped his pants kid to start middle school.
PS - There were two other camping trips this same summer. One of them I sliced my finger open with a pocketknife requiring a tetanus shot, and another I got bit by a snake and had to be rushed to the emergency room (turns out the snake wasn’t venomous). Great fucking summer camp, mom.
Never go to camp.
Gametime Halloween Candy Of The Week
Reese’s miniatures! There’s a new Reese mini wrapper this Halloween. No more foil. You get the plastic wrapper instead, and it’s better because there are no foil bits that break off. Nothing worse than scouring around a floor for shreds of Reese’s or Hershey Kiss foil.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
KINGDOM DARK! From Cambodia! Reader Paul explains:
Greetings from Cambodia, a land where pretty much any beer that didn’t have to cross an international border is cheap (fifty cent drafts of Angkor and Anchor beer are commonplace). But even in a crowded field, KINGDOM DARK stands out. It is dark. It is, as the can claims, INSANELY STRONG (it is no quad IPA but in a world of sub-5 percent lagers, 8 percent is Bonds on the juice). It is 60 cents a can even at overpriced markets near tourist hotels.
Channeling Will Gordon, the beer opens with a slight note of roasted grain that quickly turns metallic on the palate (whether that is a result of the brewing process or Kingdom’s canning techniques remains a mystery). It finishes slightly hot with a not entirely unpleasant aftertaste. It is disturbingly easy to down this stuff on a hot day...and every day I have spent here has been hot.
I bet! The “insanely strong” on the can makes it. I like it when beermakers cut to the chase. I MUST HAVE IT.
Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“Island? No no no, Kaep isn’t on an island. I’ve been on islands. I spent eight years on Snake Island filling mud packs. The key to living on Snake Island was: you LET the snakes bite you. Once those fangs are in, they aren’t going anywhere. So then you can get grab ‘em good. You get a permanent wound, but you also get a meal. It’s a fair trade-off.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Ravens Fans
It Follows. This is the VD movie. As a parent, I support any horror movie that teaches teenagers that sex will kill them. That is a perfectly healthy, natural way of endorsing abstinence.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Honey, I’m your dad. I’ve lied to you more times than there are stars in the sky.”
(NOTE: This was from a new episode that I watched the other day that was shockingly great. Like, it was a legitimately coherent and wonderful new episode of The Simpsons. They don’t come along often anymore, but it’s worth checking out.)
Enjoy the games, everyone.