Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.
My kid's in a tee-ball league (not really a league; they just hold a scrimmage with the same group of kindergarteners every week) and his coach is a loud man. A very nice, big, loud man who sounds like he is yelling at you even when he is not yelling at you. Yelling is his speaking. Anyway, last week, my kid was playing shortstop (never play shortstop because the ball comes your way a lot), and a kid on the other team hit the ball toward my son, and he didn't move. These are five-year-olds. They tend to ignore the game in favor of thinking about candy. Anyway, Coach Loudasfuck watched my kid let the ball pass by and got … mad? I shouldn't say he got mad. He got … ANIMATED.
"What are you doing?!"
My kid did not notice the yelling. Either he didn't hear the coach, or he was pretending not to, or he was quietly praying that coach was yelling at another person. The latter is a quality move. I used to hope I wasn't the one getting yelled at all the time.
Coach walked over and put his hand on my son's shoulder.
"What are you doing? The ball went right by you. Pay attention!"
So my kid meekly agreed and put his hands on his knees. Next batter up: another ground ball right at my kid. Again, he didn't fucking move. I was standing behind the fence and I tried to use telekinesis to alert the boy to make an effort to see the ball and retrieve it, but nope. No, that shit rolled right into left field. Instead, he stood up and started pointing at the bases for no apparent reason.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"
Now my kid was scared shitless. I saw it in his face. I knew that exact look and that exact feeling. I had been in that doghouse before, man. And all I wanted to do, in that moment, was pull my kid out of it.
There is still a metaphorical doghouse in sports, and players can get consigned to the doghouse for any number of reasons: poor play, insubordination, careless mistakes, poor off-the-field behavior, banging the coach's sister, etc. Pretty much everyone who has played sports has been in this doghouse at some point. Except for that one guy on every team who is crazy talented and never fucks up in practice. HATE THAT GUY.
But if you've ever played sports and weren't always consistent, you've probably seen the inside of that doghouse. And it sucks. For most coaches, disapproval isn't a personal thing, but it FEELS personal to you. You feel singled out. You feel like someone hates your fucking guts. I've had that feeling, and I wasted a lot of teenage hours trying to sort out WHY coach hated me, even if he didn't actually hate me. Maybe it was because I was fat, or because I was a poor listener, or because I would never be good enough. Yes. That was it. I'd never cut it. I was an untalented loser and coach hated untalented losers and I would be an untalented loser forever. And I would never get laid. (When you're a teenager, you have the time and the imagination to concoct these very elaborate exercises in self-hatred.)
If I got yelled at in practice, the next drill was always the scariest. Because I would be terrified of fucking up twice in a row, and then I would psych myself out, and then I WOULD fuck up twice in row. And when coach yells at you twice in row, you feel like a definite pattern has been established. He's picking on me. God, this is fucking embarrassing. It's an instant rut. Guys who got yelled at also got made fun of by teammates, which was a double whammy. LOL COACH WANTS YOU DEAD.
I spent the majority of my time in formal athletics hoping to not get yelled at, and whenever another guy on the team got yelled at, I was crazy happy because it felt like I wasn't the absolute worst guy on the team. Sure, I suck, but at least I'm not Fred. But then I would fuck up and get yelled at and then I would re-arrange my arbitrary team player rankings and put Fred over me, and then I would fucking hate Fred. If I lost a drill, I would get mad at the guy opposite me for not cutting me a break and making me look bad in front of coach. At some point, I probably got so obsessed with not fucking up that I couldn't have told you what sport we were playing.
That's what being in the doghouse can be like. It's not some deliberate coaching strategy, unless you're an evil dickhead like Bill Parcells. Most coaches are too busy and too indifferent to human emotion to plan such things. The doghouse is mostly a self-constructed slump in confidence, and it's a real bitch to get out of it if you weren't all that confident or talented to begin with. It's lonely. You feel like you're the only one fucking up, and you feel like no one wants to come near you because they're scared you'll get your suck on them. And parents are useless. Your mom and dad say you're a handsome and special little boy all the time. It means nothing. This was my kid's first taste of the doghouse, and it probably won't be his last. Coaches have them. Bosses have them. Drill sergeants have them. Teachers have them. Sometimes life feels like one goddamn doghouse after another.
After Coach Loudasfuck corrected my son, he rubbed his head and made a joke and said, "I'm not trying to pick on you," which my kid probably disregarded. I wanted my kid to make a nice play after that to redeem himself, but that never happened. The scrimmage ended and we walked back to the car and the boy let out a sigh and he said, "I hate it when Coach yells at me." He sounded 10 years older than he actually was. That's how the doghouse runs you down. You just have to fight through and hope you come out on the other end with one bare shred of confidence left intact. Or … or you can do what my kid did, which was to wait for tee-ball season to end, and then never go back.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Bengals at Colts: It's getting cold out! Are we all excited to start sleeping in the cold? God, it feels fucking great. Sleeping in the heat is garbage. But when fall comes around and you can open up your window and let the chill come in and bury yourself in that comforter… FUCK AND YES. Sometimes, when it's cold and I'm all snuggly in bed, I think to myself, "Hey, if I don't wake up, that's cool. It would be cool to be dead right now." I don't wanna die when it's hot out. That would suck. Cold sleep rules.
Niners at Broncos: George Blanda was the oldest man to ever throw a pass in the NFL. He was 48 years old during his final season with the Raiders back in 1975, and by then he was relegated almost exclusively to placekicking. His final full season as a starter came 10 years earlier, at age 38. At age 38, Dan Marino was in the final season of his career. He went 5-6 as a starter and had the worst completion percentage of his career. At age 38, Joe Montana was also in the final season of his career. He threw just 16 touchdown passes. John Elway was also 38 in his final season (although he did walk away with a second ring). Randall Cunningham's last season? 38. Vinny Testaverde's last full season as a starter? 38. With the exception of Brett Favre, who took the Vikings to the NFC title game in 2010 at age 40, 38 seems to be the age where old age is like, "Nope. No more football for you, dickhead." That's when the door gets slammed shut.
But Peyton Manning is 38 right now, and holy shit, he's gonna be able to keep playing QB forever. I mean, it's completely insane, what he's doing right now. There is no sign that his skills are about to fall off a cliff. I mean, he's probably on a shitload of drugs, but still! If he plays for another five years like this, it'll be the goddamnest thing I've ever seen. He could end up retiring at the same time as Andrew Luck. It's crazy. He's gonna be like Gordie Howe, rolling out onto the field at age 70 for a minor league and teaching these young punks how it's done. He's not human.
Chiefs at Chargers: I can't bring myself to read up on the entirety of this #gamergate story, mostly because I don't give a shit. All I know is that I can't think of a less important issue in the world today than gamer's rights. Like these people are a fucking oppressed minority. What kind of dipshit self-identifies as a gamer anyway? I like video games. I don't walk around with a GAMER shirt on. I watch TV. I don't go around being like, "I'm a TV watcher!" That would be fucking stupid. This is why my kids can't have an xBox. No parent wants their kid to become one of these mouth-breathers, never getting a job and gumming up the PlayStation controller with their own cum. I'd much happier if they all became KEWL BLOGGERZ like me. Now there's a lifestyle that get you respect!
Saints at Lions: During last week's Lions telecast, the announcers noted that Jim Caldwell does a really good JoePa impression. I think we're all gonna need to see video evidence of that. My entire Caldwell worldview could change simply by watching five seconds of that impression.
Giants at Cowboys: Here's a picture of Jerry Jones pointing…
Here's another, and another, and another. So much pointing! I feel like that's a common rich guy move. You just get out of your jet and start pointing at shit. "That's my team right there! Hey, get me that girl's number! What is that car over there? Why don't I own one of those? HEY, BUTLER! COME PULL MAH FINGER!"
Dolphins at Bears: Last Saturday, they had on a bunch of different good college football games at once AND there was a playoff baseball game to check on as well, which means that all remotes should have a MASTER PAUSE button that pauses everything, so that I can jump around as necessary. Sure, this would take up an impossible amount of hard drive space and eat up valuable bandwidth, but I need more only-occasionally fun remote features to show off to children and/or party guests.
Seahawks at Rams: Reader Matt:
Austin Davis looked like a 9 year old with that tablet last night. Is it just me or does it look like players are using those stupid surface tablets to play Angry Birds when they are on the sideline? How much time do you think is spent on non work related activities?
Zero. If you get caught … DOGHOUSE. No way a QB is risking getting caught. Imagine Colin Cowherd catching a screen shot of you doing that. Hot takes for days, man. Just the worst takes ever.
Panthers at Packers
Falcons at Ravens
Texans at Steelers
Cardinals at Raiders: Have you seen Sebastian Janikowski's beard lately? He looks ready to sell people molly directly from the sidelines, even more so than usual! They should appoint him Kicker For Life and let him represent Oakland's collective shadiness for the next six decades.
Vikings at Bills: This was supposed to be the second straight week that MMA announcer Mike Goldberg was gonna do play-by-play for a Vikings game, which would have been a fitting punishment for the Vikings being so terrible. In case you missed it, Goldberg butchered last week's game and then got all MMA-y on Twitter with anyone who pointed out that he did a bad job, and then he deleted all the tweets. TYPICAL KEYBOARD COWBOY. Anyway, FOX yanked Goldberg off this game and replaced him with … Tim Brando. Tim Brando?
I look forward to Brando being yanked NEXT week in favor of someone who is even worse at Twitter, like Amanda Bynes or something.
Jets at Pats (TNF): Our Will Gordon is right about Heineken being fucking terrible. He's wrong on Yuengling, but dead right on Heineken. I've been to hotel bars that only have Heineken and Amstel, and those places should be razed and turned into public parks. There was only one awesome thing about Heineken, and that was the keg can. I don't know if they sell them anymore, but more beer should come in keg cans. Cans are better than bottles anyway. Bottled beer gets warm and gross in your hand after five seconds. Cans stay cold as hell, to the point of giving your frostbite. That's way more fun.
Titans at Dan Snyder Shits His Dick: This happens with the Skins every year. Every year, they have a couple of nice players, and then someone gets injured, and then they have to start a hobo at cornerback because they are the shallowest team in football. This has been the case for two decades now, which means they'll never figure out, which means that it'll keep happening, which is awesome. They should take prop bets on the site of RGIII's next injury. I'm thinking shoulder this time around.
Browns at Jaguars: This is an indictment of the Jags, not the Browns. The Browns are fun to watch now.
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
"Punching Goodbye Out Front", by Kinski. From Alexander:
That opening riff likely doubles your testosterone level. I think the song comes from seeing how much fuzz and distortion you can add to a guitar without it becoming inaudible.
I approve. Bonus points to Kinski for putting a falconer in their video. Every rock video should include a falconer. And butts. Butts and falconers all over the place.
Suicide Pick Of The Week
Last week's picks of the Tennessee, Denver, Arizona went 2-1, making me 11-7 for the year. Time again to pick three teams for your suicide pool and one thing that makes you want to commit suicide. This week's picks are New England, Baltimore, Cleveland, and watching Victor Cruz get his patellar tendon shredded on Sunday Night Football. It didn't even look that gruesome on the replay. But the crying, man … Seeing Cruz crying his eyes out just about killed me. Usually, I'm so busy being grossed out by the replay that I don't even notice the crying involved. But with Cruz, it was all pure sadness. I wanna get him a card. That would probably be weird, but still.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
There are not bullshit first round curses in this week's edition of TMQ, just Gregggggg complaining about high-scoring football games because he probably believes overindulgence is a sin. Thankfully, you will find Greggggggggg nitpicking plot flaws in both the new X-Men movie AND Hawaii Five-O this week!
On "Hawaii Five-0," a bad guy hit in the chest by a round from McGarrett's pistol is lifted up into the air. That may have seemed nifty to the stunt team, but a pistol bullet weighing less than an ounce would need to be traveling mighty fast to propel a man airborne.
Here's my question: why is he watching this shit? No one under age 87 watches Hawaii Five-O. And no one is watching it for historical accuracy. So why does Gregggggg put himself through this? I'll tell you why: Because he's LOOKING for flaws. He is deliberately choosing the most random TV shows possible and then going in with his stupid notepad to look for faulty bullet physics. And the reason he does THAT is because a) It helps him achieve orgasm and b) It shows that TV is being run by MONEY-GRUBBING JEWS who want to normalize reckless and violent behavior because they want to PROFIT. That's my working theory.
Emmitt Smith's Lock Of The Week!
"This week, I like JJ What and the Texans (+3.5) to go into Pittburn and beat the Steelers! JJ What? JJ BEST DEFENSING LINEMELT IN THE NFL! That's what! Hahahaha! That's just a little play on turds I came up with. A dubble on Tawny, if you will! JJ What is such a headape for offensive court Naders out there. You have to adjunct your whole screen just to accouch for him! Now THAT is what I call a disruptured forts in this game! Even when you double teen What, he can plow through that double teen! HE EATS DOUBLE TEENS FOR LUNCH!"
2014 Emmitt Smith record: 3-4
This Week In Terrifying Animal News
Yep, it's the lady who discovered a leech that had been living in her nose for a month. This sort of thing always happens to people who go backpacking. Backpacking is just asking for trouble. "Well, I was out backpacking and this wolf made me his bride!" Stop backpacking. There are leeches and bears and serial killers and haunted Mayan temples out there. Just a bad idea all around.
Fantasy Player Who Deserves to Die A Slow, Painful Death
Victor Cruz! Just kidding. It's Keenan Allen, who died. An anonymous reader vents:
You know what player deserves to die a slow painful death? Keenan Allen. Seriously, fuck that guy. San Diego is 5-1, Phillip Rivers is playing out of his mind and Keenan Allen has literally done nothing ALL SEASON. Choke on nails you sack of dicks.
Yeah! What he said! I own Keenan Allen and I can't even bench him because the second I do, he'll go off. What a fucker. I hate this game.
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 2014 chopping block:
(*potential midseason firing)
I don't see how Tampa defenders can have a hard time grasping Lovie Smith's scheme. It's the Cover 2. No one fucking moves in the Cover 2. Maybe it's so simple they think it's a trick.
By the way, let's welcome Mike Tomlin to the firing line. Oh, how Steelers fans have longed to see this man canned. I bet they started planning his firing right after they won the Super Bowl. "Sure, we won. But we almost lost! That's on Tomlin."
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Matt sends in this story I call TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE POOPING:
Had to be 3rd or 4th grade when I still had an irrational fear of taking a dump with someone else in the bathroom (this still exists to some extent) so going #2 while in school was just a gigantic no-no. I can remember sitting at my desk, knowing I had to go but not wanting to chance it that there may be someone in the bathroom with me who would undoubtedly rip open the door mid-poo and scream in my face and then tell everyone in the school I was shitting.
So I hold it til recess, but now it can no longer going to be contained, and I walk to the corner of the school yard and just let it happen. It was winter and I can remember thinking that maybe if I sat down on the school steps, it would be cold enough to freeze the turd, making clean up relatively easy and no one would ever know. Needless to say, that didn't work so I faked an Asthma attack, went to the Nurse's office and called my parents all while the shit was still in my pants. I refused to sit down again in the Nurse's office, and sat on my backpack when my parents came to pick me up and I could mysteriously breathe again.
When I got home I can remember there was less shit than I thought there would be so I just threw my underwear out the bathroom window, grabbed the roll of tinfoil (no idea why) and went around the house to grab the underwear and throw them away.
None of the protagonist's actions make sense in this story, which is why it's probably real. Nothing any third grader does makes sense. "Well, I can't shit in the toilet. Best to wait until I have to shit in a yard."
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Spicy pork rinds dipped in sour cream. Have you tried this? You should try this. It will kill you, but it's TOTALLY worth it. I should have known fried pig fat would be enhanced with cultured cow fat. It just makes sense! Wrap all of it in chicken skin and we're good to go.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Cool Colt! I was drinking with some friends the other night when one of them said he remembered when they came out with a mint-flavored version of Colt .45. I had no idea this ever existed, but check out the ad above. Cool Colt was real! They got Tone Loc to do the voice-over and everything. I can't even imagine how bad this must have tasted. It was clearly developed to be paired with menthol cigarettes. Just two massive doses of menthol-laced poison going directly into your body at once. Here's an old review…
First sip is shocking, to say the least! It tastes like I'm drinking Newports! Unbelievably horrendous. If I ever had to drink a full 40 ounces of this, I'd probably wanna kill myself first... I am actually getting used to it but that doesn't make it any better.
Ok, halfway done & it's definitely getting easier but my body still wants to reject it. I think it's starting to make my neck ache. This thing's cellular structure may have slowly mutated over the past dozen years into some sort of poison. The stuff sitting on the bottom looks like a pile of dirt. Can you believe I paid $20 to drink this via eBay?
No, I cannot. I would pay a dollar to drink it via eBay, but not 20. Twenty is going overboard. I must have this. Cool Colt might be the most frightening malt liquor ever devised.
Robert Evans's MVP Watch!
Time to start thinking about this season's candidates for the NFL's MVP award. Every week, legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans will join us to give us his assessment. Take it away, Mr. Evans.
"Baby, my favorite for MVP is still Philip Rivers of the Chargers! Baby, I'm so excited for all the Oscar buzz surrounding my dear friend, the great MICHAEL KEATON! Mysterious? YOU BET! Do I always confuse him with Michael O'Keefe? NOT SINCE 1987! What a poker player Keaton is! You can never read him! Woodland. 1993. I invite a few dear friends over for a round of blowjob poker (it's like regular poker, only everyone plays with their pants down, with a hookers there to provide under-the-table entertainment). And Keaton is cleaning up! I'm down a Corman budget and I say to Keaton, 'Baby, your face hasn't moved! Are you even enjoying that blowjob?' And Keaton says, 'Eh, it's not without its charms.' To this day, I still don't know if he was putting me on about it, or if he was genuinely disappointed by the head! TALK TO ME, MIKE!"
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Raiders Fans
Spaceballs. I'm surprised they haven't remade Spaceballs. They've remade everything else … why NOT remake a movie that is itself a satirical remake of another movie? I'm sure whoever was responsible for Meet the Spartans has pitched this 500 times. I was at summer camp when Spaceballs was first released, and I was pissed because all my friends were going to get to see it before me, while I was stuck in the woods learning to paddle a canoe and shoot arrows and shit. My mom knew I wanted to see it, so she clipped a review from the Star Tribune and sent it to me to make me feel better. The movie got two stars. That reviewer can eat a dick. I spent the rest of camp angry at that guy, even though I hadn't seen the movie yet. Movie critics ruin everything.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Tonight, a stowaway bear is terrorizing space shuttle astronauts. But first, a sneak peak at tomorrow's Itchy & Scratchy parade!"
Enjoy the games, everyone.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. 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 Tara Jacoby