Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season.
For an activity that has captured the imagination of tens of millions of Americans, we sure do a shitty job keeping track of records in fantasy football. You can find virtually any other football-related record you like using a simple Google search, but there is no centralized resource for fantasy football, just a smattering of one-off articles like this ESPN story that ranks the greatest fantasy performances since 2000. That article was written in 2010. It needs to be a living archive, one I can look at every week in case one of my players has a great game and I want to see where it ranks among the all-time best so that I can then vigorously rub myself. It's really important to me personally.
Fantasy stats on NFL.com only go back to 2009; Football Reference has historical data but you'd have to build a record book yourself. We need to make a concerted effort to keep track of this shit FOREVER, because, at the end of every regular season, we need to have a formal NFL Fantasy MVP award, one that includes a trophy sponsored by some dipshit car company and gets voted on by a bunch of writers you can't stand. The NFL has taken great pains to legitimize fantasy football over the years, to the point that individual fantasy scores are now seen on the NFL Network's stat crawl. They may as well go all the way and make a legitimate award out of that shit.
Because I don't really care about rushing titles or reception titles anymore. I used to care about who ended the season with the most rushing yards, but that curiosity has been eclipsed by my curiosity to know who the best fantasy player was at every position. Save for maybe league MVP, I don't care about REAL awards. Offensive Player of the Year is just a poor way of declaring a fantasy MVP anyway.
The reason we don't do a very good job of maintaining fantasy records is because many leagues don't use traditional scoring. I'm in a league that doesn't and it's really fucking annoying. But we can ignore those rogue IDP leagues and still measure historic greatness based on the usual one-point-for-10-rushing-yards-type metrics. Right now, if you look up the stats on NFL.com's fantasy page, the highest-scoring player in fantasy football is Robert Griffin III of the Redskins. The fact that RG3 is outscoring everyone and the fact that he was a relatively low pick and therefore offered incredible value to anyone who drafted him (I did because I KNOW FOOTBAW) make him the clear-cut fantasy MVP (you could also argue he deserves mention for the real thing, as Robert Evans will tell you later).
Once we start handing out that award, we can begin to create a real and lasting history of fantasy football accomplishments. We can have the AP hand out awards for Comeback Fantasy Player of the Year, along with the inevitable Sleeper of the Year and Bust of the Year Awards. This is important because having real awards for fantasy football will make them part of a player's legacy. When Chris Johnson dies, I want his obit to say that he was twice voted Bust of the Year by a league-sanctioned body of voters. I want that shit to hound him to his GRAVE.
Because fantasy football is the thing that has made football virtually bulletproof. As long as fantasy is around, Roger Goodell can monkeyfart his way through work stoppages and concussion coverups and half-assed bounty investigations and do virtually no lasting damage to the sport. It's impossible for that moron to truly fuck up, and I think he owes that to fantasy. We cannot allow fantasy stats to be permanently lost to history. I want the Priest Holmeses of the world to have a record book they can point to and say, "People annoyed me at airports all the time because I was fucking awesome."
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Redskins at Giants: Speaking of fantasy, my friends are I are all now so old that we're too lazy to actually propose trades to one another in our fantasy league. Every time I start thinking of trade scenarios that might help improve my team, I get a fucking headache and need to lie down. And if anyone ever presents me with an actual offer, I rarely pull the trigger because I'm a HUGE coward. Even when I offer a completely lopsided trade to someone, I get worried that they'll take it and then the trade will instantly be proven unwise. Fantasy trades now present me with a level of anxiety that I'm not prepared to deal with. I have an easier time figuring out which yogurt to buy at the store.
Ravens at Texans: Late fall is the time of year here in Maryland when spider crickets begin invading my house. I have railed against the threat that spider crickets pose to mankind for years, BUT THE GLORYBOYS IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA REFUSE TO HEED MY WARNINGS. One day, the spider crickets will quintuple in size, grow brains, and slaughter us all.
Anyway, I have gone from being scared shitless of spider crickets to enjoying the chance to do battle with them (but secretly, I'm still scared shitless of them). The other day, my wife saw one near the front door and I was like, STAND BACK, MISSY. KILLING IS MAN'S WORK. So I took off my shoe and threw it at the fucker but spider crickets possess RG3's escapability. He leapt away from shit instantly. So I hammered at him again and again until I thought I'd scored a direct hit. But the spricket was nowhere to be found. I looked carefully by the step until I saw it jump OFF MY SHOULDER back down to the ground. How the fuck did he get there? How is that possible? Thinking about him sitting there, perched atop my body ... my God. I can feel the fluid draining from my asshole. Anyway, I went berserker and clubbed the fucker to death in front of my kids. And my kids cheered me on, like they were watching a cockfight. I scooped up the cricket's body with a napkin.
KID: Flush him down the toilet, Dad!
ME: Yes, let's teach him a lesson he won't soon forget. DROWN IN PEE, SPRICKET.
Then my kid lifted up the toilet seat and cackled with laughter as she flushed that asshole down the toilet. Then we high-fived. Spider crickets are the worst.
Seahawks at Niners: I take my kid to the bus stop every morning and the bus is often late due to high traffic in my area. And waiting for the school bus is slow torture because I constantly trick myself into thinking I hear it coming. I'll hear an engine far off in the distance and I'll be like, THAT'S IT! THE BUS IS HERE! and then it's just some asshole in a van. I need my school bus to be equipped with a transponder so that I can follow it on a smartphone at all times. That way, I can call the bus driver on his cell phone and demand that he run over 60 people in order to reach my neighborhood more quickly. I am a concerned parent.
Lions at Bears: Have you seen this Jay Cutler ad for NFL Shop? He's shockingly charming.
I have a whole new opinion of Jay Cutler now. Just from those 30 seconds. He's a way better actor than Aaron Rodgers, who SUCKS at ads. Maybe Cutler isn't such a bad guy after all. I'll happily change my opinion of people at the drop of a hat. All they have to do is star in a funny ad or win a debate against the president.
Packers at Rams: Aaron Rodgers got his helmet knocked off last week against the Texans, and every time that happens on the field, I always assume the player who loses his helmet will then be decapitated. ZOMG HE LOST HIS HELMET! THE HEAD IS NEXT!
Cowboys at Panthers: I went to the gym on Monday and I was watching SportsCenter and whenever Berman or Ron Jaworski or Merril Hoge popped up on screen (which was all the goddamn time), I muted that shit and listened to music instead. But you know what? Even with the sound off, ESPN people are STILL annoying as shit. I could see Jaws chuckling for hours at a time and I just wanted to die.
I got this email once from reader Eric:
Why does EVERY personality at ESPN suck? And I don't mean that in a dramatic, exaggerated 'the world sucks because I'm eight years old and I can't pick out a toy at Target' suck. I mean they really all suck. What gives? Does ESPN hire only d-bags? Do they turn them into d-bags once they get there? Is just our perception that they are d-bags because they work for the sports machine?
And after that experience at the gym, it's clear to me now that ESPN cultivates a culture of suck. It's nurture over nature. They are actively teaching their NFL people the best way to suck. Use lots of hand gestures! Overstate your position! MOAR TEBOW! They want Jaws and Herm Edwards and Gruden to essentially be the same, terrible analyst: a sort of overly demonstrative zany football nut caricature who has no ability to connect with normal human beings. It's bizarre. I want to find the training booklet they hand out to all their incoming Mark Schlereths. I'd like to see just how they train everyone to become utterly insufferable, even when no one is listening. It's kind of impressive, frankly.
Jets at Patriots
Saints at Bucs: I lost my keys the other day. Totally Whitlocked that shit. There are three distinct phases to losing your keys. The first is the happy-go-lucky phase, in which you are unaware that your keys are missing. The second phase is realizing your keys are missing but being certain that you'll find them. "Oh, they're probably in the washer." The third phase is when you've checked everywhere and it now begins to dawn on you that they may be lost forever. OH FUCK. Someone may have found them. Someone may have figured out whose house they belong to and it's only a matter of time before they break in and rape my face.
I searched everywhere: the car, my sweatpants, my emergency sweatpants, under the couch, in the baby's room. I even called the sandwich shop to ask if they had any in the lost and found because maybe I totally let them fall out when I was paying for that roast beef-and-provolone sub. After 36 hours of searching, I called off the search mission and declared them dead. I went to have new keys made, and when I got back from the hardware store, I went to go put my new keys in the key dish. Turns out my old keys were in there, as well. In the key dish. Where I always put them.
ME: Holy shit, my keys!
WIFE: Were they in there the whole time and you didn't notice? Are you kidding me?
ME: It's God's fault.
WIFE: Oh, please.
ME: No, for real. He made them disappear for a day, then made them reappear right here just to make me look like an asshole.
WIFE: Why would God do that?
ME: BECAUSE HE'S A FUCKING HATER. I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FUCKING STUPID I AM.
Steelers at Bengals: We've all talked about football announcer terms we're tired of. Here's one more: "Swarm." As in, "Dick LeBeau wants these guys swarming to the football." Really? You want them to go where the ball is? Boy, that's a real fucking unique trait among NFL defenses. You know who swarms to the football? EVERYONE. Stop with the swarming shit.
Cardinals at Vikings
Titans at Bills: I have no memory of wines. Whenever I drink a wine I like, I immediately forget the brand and have to start from scratch the next time I'm at the wine store, throwing down 10 bucks for a bottle and basically praying that it's the same one I bought from before. All I have to do is save the bottle and write down the info on the label, but writing things down takes effort and I have no interest in it. WINENESIA IS A SERIOUS CONDITION FOR WHITE PEOPLE OF DECENT MEANS, PEOPLE.
Browns at Colts: I have hairy nipples, and sometimes I like to swirl the hair around my areola so that it looks like a hurricane. If you have hairy nipples, I recommend doing this. Nipplecanes are sexy as fuck.
Jaguars at Raiders: They need to give the refs a bit of leeway when they call helmet-to-helmet hits. Too many times, a defender gets flagged for tackling a guy and then having the momentum of the hit force the QBs helmet INTO his helmet, even though the defender clearly wasn't aiming for the guy's helmet. You have to give the forces of inertia some blame for that. INERTIAAAA!!! (shakes fist)
"Just One Fix," by Ministry. Reader Bill:
I don't understand why you haven't jumped on Ministry's dominance. They have microphone stands with random animal bones on 'em. They have awesome riffs. "Just One Fix" doesn't have to be about drugs; it can be about something you need right now or your mind is gonna blow up. Right now, I want this song. Play it! Tornadoes! Losers on heroin! Burroughs 10 minutes before he's dead! Vomit!! Guns!
And hey, how about that one guy holding his dick? He seems like a winner.
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 Bucs getting 3 points at home against the Saints. I figured the Bucs are good for at least +4 WAMC. That's Wins Above Minority Coach, of course. God, minority coaches are so stupid. Look at them, standing on the sidelines, just breathing. THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO SPEAK.
"My only fear is that the Saints use my pick against me to play the NOBODY BELIEVES IN US card, just like Hitler did back in 1923 right before the Beer Hall Putsch. NO ONE believed in the Führer back then. He was just some sniveling little painter. But then my dear Hitler gathered his SA together and told them NOBODY BELIEVES IN US and they stormed the shit out of that beer hall. And he kept playing that card all the way to the chancellorship. Once you throw that card down, you really get the lynch mobs into it. I was there. My Dad took me to one of the rallies when I was a kid and we KNEW that we were gonna win. You could sense it in the Reichstag. You could see the fear in all the Jews' eyes because they knew they didn't have the crowd with them. If only the Jews had been smart enough to play the NOBODY BELIEVES IN US card before we rounded them all up. Could have been a whole other story for those vile pigs."
2012 Nazi Simmons record: 2-3
I drafted Shonn Greene in the 8th round this year, thinking maybe he'd be a decent flex or bye week option for me. Nope. Then I remember Rashard Mendenall is due to be activated soon for the Steelers. I snag him and drop Greene. I bench him for Week 5 as a kind of "wait and see" deal. He goes off for 16 points and I think "BAM. Fantasy football genius in the house". Week 6 rolls around, and I see my opponent has dropped Donald Brown and picked up Greene. What a sucker. He might as well be giving ME points. NOPE. Greene goes nuts for 38, Mendenhall nets me a solid point, and I lose by ten. Shonn Greene and Rashard Mendenhall can split a bag a dicks together.
I drafted Mendenhall before the season and kept him stashed on the roster, and when he broke out in Week 5, I felt like a goddamn genius. I couldn't plug him into the lineup quickly enough. Then I flip on the TV Thursday night and Baron Batch is getting carries and all I can think is WHY IS THAT ASSHOLE GETTING CARRIES? THOSE ARE RASHARD'S LOBSTERS, GOD DAMMIT. Turnaround injuries are the worst.
This week, Greggggggg takes time out from asking aliens if they know Jesus to pay tribute to Ray Lewis, who is certainly no GLORY BOY.
And in an era of me-first job-hopping by players and coaches alike, Lewis has spent his entire 17-season career in the same place. He might be the last of a dying breed in terms of loyalty to team and city.
Reader Alex has a response for this:
So it's me-first for someone to jump from one organization to another when all one gets out of it is better pay, benefits or professional opportunities!
Oh wait, according to Easterbrook's own bio, his articles have appeared in The New Republic, Slate, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Wired and Beliefnet. What a me-first glory writer! No loyalty to one periodical! Oh how I miss the halcyon days when a writer would write for one magazine only. If they wouldn't publish it, the writer just wouldn't publish at all. LOYALTY!
Note: The TMQ column itself has jumped from Slate to ESPN.com to NFL.com and back to ESPN.com. THE COLUMN GODS SHALL SURELY AVENGE THEMSELVES ON THIS ME-FIRST GLORY-COLUMN'S LACK OF LOYALTY!!
(Also against the Jews, because the column gods obviously hate the bloodthirsty Jews.)
It gets worse.
Lewis, by appearances, is redeemed. No one can know what is in another person's heart. But since 2000, Lewis has seemed a changed man. And this is more important than his achievements as a football player.
Gather round, everyone! Let's all congratulate Ray Lewis for APPEARING to have redeemed itself, even though it could all be a total lie and Ray Ray may have stabbed eight people while you were reading this. TMQ respects anyone who seems to want to better him or herself. LET'S GIVE RAY LEWIS A REFEREEING JOB.
Even given the sordid history of gerrymandering, the new district in Maryland takes the crab cake.
O HO HO HO! Good one! Don't bother trying to make a better joke because I just scribbled "game over" in my notebook. This competition is over.
I propose this rule: Always vote against any candidate or single-issue group that robocalls your home.
Make it so, Election Gods! Even if both parties use robocalls all the time for everything.
Now that the new television season is in swing, consider "NCIS: Los Angeles" one of the top-rated shows. Your columnist has viewed perhaps a quarter of the episodes in its oeuvre.
Not once, but twice in that sampling, three NCIS agents and one LAPD officer have flown from Los Angeles to a distant nation, entered posing as tourists, gotten weapons and seemingly a case of ammunition through airport security unnoticed, killed a dozen bad guys, rescued someone, then simply returned to the airport to fly home on a commercial jet.
No fucking way. I expect a lot more realism from any show starring LL Cool J.
In Hollywood and TV nonsense, no one is ever checked at airports.
And think about the impact this has on our children. Thanks to these GLORY BOY HOLLYJEW TV execs, your kids will think it's just fine to become international vigilantes. There is future blood on your hands, Chris O'Donnell.
There's no reason a person cannot be religious and also admire the human form, or be enthusiastic about sex appeal.
When I jack off to a cheerleader, it's with the love and respect of Jesus in my heart.
It was always inevitable the WASP male aristocracy would fade, and that's good, as one group formed the leadership core of society for too long. But a generation ago, Baltzell and other smart observers believed WASP males held such a grip on the reins of power that they could never be dislodged.
It was always inevitable that white guys would one day lose power. KUDOS TO THE GENIUS WHO SAID WHITE GUYS WOULD NEVER LOSE POWER.
Now the WASP male not only is fading, it's happened with such effortlessness that hardy anyone has noticed.
But TMQ has noticed! Watch for the mainstream media to pick up on this two years too late! GODFREY DANIEL.
Last week's picks of the Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh went 2-1, putting me at 11-7 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 Oakland, New England, Buffalo, and bad pass interference calls. I have a hard time getting as worked up about all the terrible PI calls from last week as I did all the terrible PI calls from the beginning of the year, because I know that these are the real refs and that they represent the best possible human refereeing we're apparently going to get. Which is depressing, because holy shit, those are some awful PI calls. We need robot refs. We really do.
Reader Amanda sends in this story:
I was driving up to go snowboarding last week and the road up the mountain is nothing but switchbacks for about 7 miles. Halfway up the mountain a giant spider comes crawling across my windshield. I tried not to panic because the road is a bit icy and I would rather not end up in a ditch with my doors crushed to the point where they have to use the jaws of life to rip them open only to find that the spider has already eaten me alive, but it was very difficult. What was worse was that about 2 miles from the top, the spider dropped off of my windshield and was now somewhere unknown in the car. I drove way too fast the rest of the way up, but I was afraid of what might happen if I didn't get out of that car. As soon as I parked, I went to grab a beer in the lodge to calm my nerves before trying to get my gear out and risking the imminent spider attack. I finished my beer and headed back to my car, and as I opened the door, the fucker was sitting on the driver's seat, just staring at me with his 8 menacing eyes. I pulled my shoe off and beat it a couple times. Then I stabbed it with a pen for good measure (I've seen too many spiders come away unscathed from a good shoe-clobbering to trust that it was dead. Sneaky fuckers.) I was feeling really good at this point. I brushed it onto the ground, and was feeling so good about my super spider killing abilities that I rode better than I ever have that day. I met up with a friend for another beer and took her back to the car to show her the corpse I had created, but it was gone. She kept telling me that the wind had probably blown it away, but in my mind, there is now a super zombie spider plotting his revenge somewhere on that mountain.
GAHHHHHH ZOMBIE SPIDERS
I could use a few more good stories about killing spiders/roaches/bats etc. for the Jamboroo, so if you have one, send it in.
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:
• Juan Castillo (FIRED!)
• Aaron Whatshisface (DEMOTED!)
• Norv Turner
• Mike Munchak
• Chan Gailey
• Jason Garrett
• Greg Schiano
• Jim Schwartz
• Pete Carroll
• Rex Ryan*
• Romeo Crennel
• Pat Shurmur
• Ron Rivera
• Mike Shanahan
• Andy Reid*
(*-possible midseason firing)
I was talking with a friend of mine who was a Chargers fan and he was hoping that Monday Night would be the end of Norv, that maybe Norv would be fired immediately. But Chargers GM AJ Smith, who is a penis, will NEVER fire Norv this early in the season. Because if he writes off Norv now, he's tanking the season and guaranteeing his own unemployment. The AFC West is so bad that Smith is clearly hoping the Chargers put together a shoddy 9-7 record, nab a cheap playoff spot, and that buys him another year of being a penis. AJ Smith is horrible.
Also, I bet that Andy Reid fired Juan Castillo specifically so that the Eagles would be so understaffed that he can't be fired in the middle of the season (oh, and because Castillo was awful and never should have been a defensive coordinator). Now his bosses are all in Cleveland and that means we're a year away from Andy Reid coaching the Browns, which will be the saddest thing in the history of the world.
Giant Bavarian pretzels! There was on Oktoberfest thing here in Maryland last week. I bought one of these fuckers, took it home, toasted it, and then slathered it with butter. Diagnosis: DELICIOUS. Those giant pretzels you get at the stadium are complete dogshit in comparison.
Angry Fish! Reader Philip:
Angry Fish Pilsner is the official beer of the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball club. The Beer sells for $2.50 for a 16 oz can (cheap by Canadian standards). The beer itself is pretty tasty, and the Razor tooth/Jose Canseco armed fish logo is a nice combination of disturbing and awesome. Here's the best part: the Goldeyes won the 2012 American Association independent baseball championship by beating Peter King's favourite neutral city in the final, sweeping the Wichita Wingnuts in three games. Clearly the Wingnuts suffered from a decidedly neutral home field advantage. Is it the best beer for the non-winter two months of an otherwise freezing Canadian city? I'm sure Peter would say maybe.
Indeed. I MUST HAVE IT. Seriously, it looks delicious, even if a "goldeye" sounds like it oughtta be an UrbanDictionary entry for spraying self-tanner on your asshole. "Bobby's girlfriend gave him the smoky eye last night, so he had to give himself a goldeye this morning to cover it up!"
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 Robert Griffin III of the Redskins! You want to talk about binders full of women, you go to Nicholson's house, baby! He has STACKS of them. Red binders for redheads! Black binders for all of Robert De Niro's ex-girlfriends! Small binders for underaged girls! One day, I was futzing around his place, paging through a magnificent photo album featuring Jack and Angelica Houston jamming camera parts into each other's orifices. Avant garde? YOU BET! Disturbing? ABSOLUTELY. Well, Nicholson pulls me aside and hands me a binder encrusted with emeralds and bearing the Royal Family crest.
"'You dog!' I said. 'The Queen?'
"'Not quite,' he said devilishly. 'The Queen MOTHER.'
"I opened up the album I'll be goddamn if the Queen Mother wasn't bent over in front of me, with a platinum scepter lodged deep in her Oscar bait! THAT'S NICHOLSON FOR YOU."
Paradise Lost. The first one. Never go to Arkansas. Ever.
"Daddy says dice are wicked."
Enjoy the games, everyone.