Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.
Good God, are we finally drafting already? Holy shit, that took forever. This year's NFL draft was bumped back two weeks because Radio City Music Hall was initially booked with James Dolan's new failed musical. So just in case you thought Roger Goodell was a strutting, big-cocked beacon of American might, just remember that he let his shit get owned by the Rockettes.
This has been arguably the lamest offseason in NFL history. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the past two offseasons, which featured Peyton Manning switching teams and Aaron Hernandez gunning down half of your extended family. PRECIOUS MOMENTS, to be certain. What happened this offseason? DeSean Jackson getting dropped? Pfft. He didn't even get to kill anyone. (Or did he?!)
I am the sort of person who treats non-football sports as filler programming for whenever football isn't on. The NBA is my friend only by circumstance, and I'll happily desert it any time Tim Tebow finds a new team to cut him. But this offseason has tested even my tolerance for minor free agency signings and bloviating draft reports. The NFL is constantly searching for a limit to our appetite for football, and I think, with this buildup to a late draft, they've finally stumbled onto it. I'm not alone in despising the late draft. Draftees have complained because they're left uncertain about their new home. Executives have complained because they have to stay late at the office in order to look like they've scouted harder and longer than other executives. And I'm complaining because I like to bitch about everything.
But we should all get used to the NFL spreading itself thin. Roger Goodell has repeatedly tried to champion the 18-game schedule. But since that's unlikely to happen any time soon, he's trying to squeeze more out of what's currently in the pantry. Hence, you have the Ginger Hammer backing an expanded playoff field. And rumors that the NFL would like to extend the draft to four days from its current three-day orgy. And a Thursday night slate this season that will get national coverage on CBS. And late season Saturday football finally returning (I'm strongly in favor of this one). The NFL is trying to manufacture more football out of the football it already has, and you can see the strain.
The NFL has blown up over the past few decades because it's awesome and because of gambling and because, compared to other sports, football asks very little of your time. You can set aside a handful of hours a week for the NFL and still get other things accomplished in your life. But now the NFL is trying to demand more of you. An extra Thursday night here. An extended combine there. A shitty Kevin Costner movie for you to go watch. You know how movie studios will take a bestselling book and split it into two movies to make more money and piss everyone off? That's what the NFL is doing with football right now. I don't want football to have the same time obligations as baseball or basketball. That's what makes those sports so annoying. They have so much product that it becomes wallpaper.
Because we live in a growth economy, no sports league can ever move backwards. No sports league will ever reduce its schedule. No sports league will ever contract its teams. You cannot get smaller anymore. You can't undo the growth once the growth has been put into place. And that sucks, because downsizing is often a good and necessary thing. Once the draft goes to four days, it'll never go back to one. It'll go to a full week, and then a month, and then become a terrible reality show. That's how it works. We kill everything good by overdoing it.
I always daydream about having more football in my life but that's a little lie I tell myself. The truth is that I like the idea of more football than the reality of it. I want to be left wanting more. I don't wanna walk away from the table stuffed and bloated and feeling like shit. I have genuinely enjoyed watching basketball this offseason more than reading about the draft. That feels weird, man. I don't like it. I don't ever want to feel like a shitty fan because I got sick of football, but Roger Goodell wants to push us all there. It wouldn't kill him, for once in his big stupid life, to show a bit of restraint.
All that said… WHO'S EXCITED FOR SOME MOTHERFUCKING DRAFTING?! It's time for your NFL draft Jamboroo. Who wants to get a mean-on?!
Let's do this.
All draft days in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Day 1: One of the reasons the NFL can expand the draft and force CBS into agreeing to a simulcast with the NFL Network is because the NFL, as of now, is basically the only thing keeping the entire television industry afloat. I have DirecTV because I like the NFL, but if the NFL pushed the red button and decided to sell all their rights to Google next year, I would drop DirecTV like an orphan with club feet. I would just watch old shows and football through Netflix for 10 bucks a month instead of paying half my salary to my TV provider. I suspect that TV people know this, which is why they'll pay the NFL billions of dollars AND take marching orders from them for the privilege. If Goodell asked Johnny Skipper to run around Times Square naked with a pair of jingle bells tied to his ballsack, he'd do it. The fact that Goodell hasn't demanded this already shows an immense deficit of leadership.
Day 2: Sometimes I wonder what kind of effect the drafting process itself has on college players. Obviously, these guys will do pretty much anything to make the league, but think about all the horseshit you have to endure. You have to go to the combine and get measured and poked and prodded. You have to take tests. You have to sit through a bunch of endless interviews with dickhead executives who interrogate you like you just planted a bomb outside a church. You can’t go out for a beer without a picture of it ending up on your dossier. And then you have to deal with the endless evaluations of your size, ability, intelligence, and desire. All so you can go live in Cleveland. Look at this analysis of Johnny Football’s Instagram account. Someone said this with a straight face:
"It's him on a Jet Ski," says DiStaso. "Not him doing something great in the community. Not him playing football. Right now, given how soon the draft is, I don't think that was appropriate. It was poorly timed. It was a big risk."
What in the living fuck? Think about how far removed that analysis is from the actual playing of football games. I don't know how anyone could stay sane undergoing this kind of mindless scrutiny. How many draftees come out of this process completely disillusioned? If I were Manziel and I had to sit through all that, I'd be like God, fuck these people. I'll take their money, but fuck them so hard. All of these scouts and GMs are scouring for men who are passionate about football, and yet they do very little to actually foster that passion. It's just, "Are you passionate? If you're not passionate, you'll be fucking cut." No wonder Pete Carroll won a Super Bowl. All he had to do was be friendly and suddenly he had a roster that played balls out. I don't think that guy worries about his guys riding a goddamn jet ski.
Day 3: Oh, were you expecting Michael Sam to be drafted here? LOL JK HAHAHA THE NFL DOESN’T ACTUALLY THINK OF HIM AS A HUMAN BEING:
Based on discussions over the last month about Sam's capability as a player with about two dozen NFL executives in personnel, he's regarded almost as a non-entity.
Why, he's not even 3/5ths of a person! Remember, people: NFL scouts want to see hustle and desire and passion and heart… UNLESS you're an inch too short. Then you're worthless. Now… onto the random crap:
• It's impossible to have an opinion on Johnny Manziel that isn't irritating. For example, I like Manziel and I would like my team to draft him because I've seen a grand total of six hours of Lil' Romo playing football and I have come to the conclusion that he JUST MAKES PLAYS. That's my professional hot take, which makes me a dipshit. And then you have the anti-Manziel faction, which believes he's too small, that he parties too hard, or that his game doesn't translate well to the pros. Ask any fan of a rival SEC school to evaluate Manziel and you will pull a Van Gogh after 50 seconds of listening. Somehow he brings out the most insufferable qualities in all of us.
• I have a Spotify account and an Amazon account. These accounts were set up with myself (and only myself) in mind, but sometimes I use Amazon to buy Christmas gifts for children, and the kids like listening to horrible music on Spotify. As a result, both services now make absolutely schizophrenic, creepy recommendations. "Hey Drew, you recently listened to Baroness AND Selena Gomez! We recommend buying a windowless van and abducting small children to throw into your basement oil pit." What I need is the ability to set up user profiles within a single account. I don't want Spotify thinking it was ME that chose that Jessie J song (actually, it was). I have a reputation to uphold.
• Hey, do you hate Slate and wish there were a SECOND Slate out there to give you an even bigger anger boner? Well my friend, you're in luck: "It's time to shout from our dish-cluttered rooftops what has been obvious for years: this celebration of TV's new 'golden age' is out of control. It's dangerous, and it's sad." Yes, it's true: Good television is extremely dangerous and could give you CTE. Salon guy's theory is that no matter how good television is, it wastes our time and keeps us from doing important shit like inventing cleaner burning fossil fuels and ocean desalinization plants. Breaking Bad is the source of continued global warming, basically. That's quality arguin'!
• My wife and I were thinking about finding a new house lately. Here is what happens when you go searching for houses with a woman: Y
OU: Oh wow, this house is only $200,000! That's not bad!
WIFE: Yes, but here's another one for $3 million. This one's much better. All we would have to do is remodel the kitchen, the patio, the upstairs, and build an addition.
YOU: (throws self in front of moving car)
• I'd like to talk to you about jump ropes for a moment, because FUCK JUMP ROPES. Not only are jumps agony to use properly, but no child ever use them as intended. Children use jump ropes strictly for bondage purposes. They tie up siblings. They rig booby traps by tying one end of the rope to a chair. They use the rope to drag the baby around the house. And they use the rope handles to beat each other senseless. Jump ropes are pure evil. I will personally burn them all. Never buy a jump rope.
• I spend every NFL season trying to perfect my DVR fast-forwarding technique, and yet I still suck at it. I'm good at anticipating the commercial break—on any show, it cuts to break right when the network logo fades off the screen—but I still lack the instinct to hit PLAY just when the commercial pod is over. I go too far (OMG FIVE SECONDS SPOILED) or I stop short, THEN go too far ahead to compensate. I'll never make the big leagues of remote control driving. This should be a combine drill.
• We found a baseball glove at a local playground a few weeks back. A real nice glove. It was broken in with WD40 and everything. Great snapping action. So I said to my kid, "We can't keep this. Whoever left this paid a lot of money for it." So we left that shit on a bench. Two days later, it was still there. So then, we took it home and sent an email to the neighborhood listserv saying, "Hey, come get your mitt." No reply. So then my wife said we should keep the thing. If this was just a baseball, I would have agreed. You lose your ball? Tough shit. Finder's keepers kicks in for an item under 10 bucks. But this thing must have cost $200. Can you keep that shit if it hasn't been claimed for a week? If you lost your glove recently, lemme know because this thing's eating at my soul.
“Twenty,” by the fabulous Karma to Burn, submitted by Jim:
Instrumental metal: all riffs, no filler. This music was made to lift weights to.
Indeed. They should make this the bumper music on CBS.
Let’s just check in to make sure…
1. Houston Texans: Idina Menzel, coloratura soprano. The Texans intend to select Johnny Manziel, but accidentally write Menzel's similar name on card. In second round, team hopes to tab Adele Dazeem.
Yep, still the worst. If you were hoping that Greggggg would spend hundreds of words bitching about the plot of Noah, you’re in luck.
I’m gonna do a reading here in DC on May 21st at Dodge City bar. I will not be sober. Also, you can now buy Someone Could Get Hurt in paperback, plus “The Rover,” a new short story I threw out into the ether last month. I will not give the profits to charity.
Reader Matt sends in this story I call POOPDREN OF THE CORN:
When I was in high school I pollinated corn for a large agribusiness company. Every day consisted of being bussed out to the same cornfield in the middle of nowhere at 7:30 in the morning and doing the same three tasks dozens of times a day for two months straight. It was a pretty shitty job, even by temporary summer job standards. Thanks to these crappy conditions, the vast majority of people doing the job were dipshit high school kids, and for most of them it was there first “real” job. The crew, which would always start the season over 100 members and taper off as people realized what they had signed up for or they had earned enough to buy an iPod, was made up of kids from 3 different towns. One of these towns was considerably smaller and the kids from there were generally hick farm kids. For breaks and lunch, my friend and I would sit relatively close to these kids because nobody else wanted to and we would get a whole picnic table to ourselves.
There was this one loudmouth chubby kid who somehow managed to be more obnoxious than the others. He was disliked even among the kids from town. One day my group got back to the tent for lunch and something was clearly amiss. For some reason, the crew leader, who had a stutter and voice that did not match his big frame, was ripping into the group of guys from the town. I took my seat to enjoy show and was not disappointed. Apparently, between morning break and lunch, one of the guys had taken a brown lunch sack to the port-o-potties (which remained in the field all summer and were infrequently cleaned), shit in it, and then put it in loudmouth’s lunch box. I could barely contain myself as the crew leader stammered through "WHAT THE FUCK!" and “WHOSE SHIT IS IT?” Eventually he laid down the ultimatum that all would be fired unless the poopetrator came forward. He gave them another reaming at afternoon break, but the group hung tough. Such camaraderie. It was clear that a few of the innocent victims wanted the guilty one to step forward, but their pleading looks went unanswered. The next day, their section of the tent was empty.
Well now, that gives me an idea. If you’ve got a horrifying summer job story from your youth, send it in. Let’s make a post out of it.
“I believe the Houston Textiles will make Johnny Mandrell the number one pick overhaul! The gunsinger! The Swatch buckler! We’re talking a guy with real diarrhea doo! He’s so cool under fiber! Now I know that some scouts don’t like the way Johnny Football freelands all over the feel. Well, that’s a shame. I don’t want a sister quarterback. I want someone who can intro guys! A guy who can take a busty play and savage something from it. That’s real value! Mandrell would look great with a blue star on his hermit!”
You may have heard about the terrifying goblin shark that was recently caught down in Florida, because of course Florida. And I’d like to commend naturalists for giving the goblin shark a monster name. Not enough animals out there have proper monster names. A mosquito is harmless. But what if we called it a VAMPIRE SKYLEECH? I think we’d intensify our efforts to rid the world of these harbingers of disease if they had a solid monster name. That’s why I always refer to ostriches as Frankenbeaks.
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 2014 chopping block:
- Joe Philbin
- Dennis Allen
- Rex Ryan
- Mike Pettine
- Mike Smith
- Jeff Fisher
- Tom Coughlin
- Jason Garrett
- Gus Bradley
- Ron Rivera
We’re holding steady from the beginning of the offseason. But you never know! Some coach could get caught on tape railing against the Jews and then we’d have a quality firing on our hands. That’s why I’d like to commend NBA commish Adam Silver for ousting Donald Sterling (pending!) last week. Firing a coach is fun. But firing an owner? ECSTASY. We should have an owner fired every week. I’ve got a taste for it now. Nothing else will do.
Atomic Buffalo turds, submitted by Ryan. That’s half a jalapeno smeared with cream cheese, then topped with a cocktail weenie and wrapped in bacon. And the nice thing is that it looks exactly the same coming out of your asshole as it does going into your mouth. You could probably eat it twice. That’s sustainable appetizing!
Camo Black Extra. From Chris:
I saw this beauty lying discarded in the snow on my walk home the other day. Camo Black Extra - 12% alcohol, so it's like those trendy imperial stouts, but without puttin' on airs. Tasting notes: kinda tastes like dog piss, but that may be because the can was next to some yellow snow. I'm not sure what I was drinking in all honesty. Price: free, if you can find a discarded half-empty 24oz can like I did. Again, some of the beer in the can may have been actual dog piss.
That is one dangerous looking can of beer. The 12% ABV lets you know that it hates you. By the way, even in my old age. I still get excited by any beer that has an abnormally high ABV. Like, if I see one on the menu that’s 9%, I order it immediately. I’m not fucking around with some candyass 4% brew. I want to be eating pavement NOW. Immediately. I MUST HAVE IT.
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 the 2014 NFL MVP award is Nick Foles of the Eagles! I was so sad this year to find out that my dear friend MICKEY ROONEY passed away. A star? YOU BET! Loved rubbing his scalp against a hooker’s wet panties? LAST TIME I CHECKED. I know ol’ Mickey took a lot of heat for doing that whole Chinaman bit in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But you should have seen the women swoon over it! Couldn’t get enough! Nicholson and I would be living it up at the Crillon in Paris and we’d hear Mickey with a lady next door, and he’d be in character, screaming MISS GORIGHTRY over and over again! And the louder the girl screamed, the more racist he got! By the time he reached orgasm, he was doing a Native American accent! Damnedest sound I ever heard. Maybe that’s a French thing.”
Twelve Years A Slave. What the fuck is Brad Pitt doing popping up in this movie? I know he helped produce it, but have some good taste, man. Here I am, watching a gut-wrenching portrayal of our great national shame, when all of a sudden Pitt shows up, stoned off his ASS, being like, “Dude… this slavery shit is sooooo not cool, you know?” He just drops in like Han Solo at the last second to liberate Solomon Northrup. I bet he gave himself a tax write-off for that shit. You can’t have big-time movie stars make cameos in a movie like this. This isn’t The Cannonball Run. It’s a serious filmgoing experience. I’m trying to stay in the zone here. Fuck Brad Pitt. I’m really excited for him to show up at the end of Unbroken and arrest The Bird.
"That guy's a genius! He's gonna change the way we think about getting hit by pies!"
Enjoy the draft, everyone.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Image by Jim Cooke, photo via Mike Liu / Shutterstock.com