Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season. Email Drew here.
I’m closing in on 40 years old, which means that, like you, I’ve been subjected to some pretty horrific football announcing in my lifetime. I have suffered through Dan Dierdorf. I have suffered through Bill “He Has Hands Like Cobras!” Maas. I have suffered through Tony Kornheiser using the MNF broadcast to talk about the time he bought new windows. Just last year, I watched an entire football game called by a UFC meathead. I’ve sat through Paul Maguire, Phil SEEEEMS, Matt Millen, and the rest of them.
But Trent Dilfer… Oh, God. On Monday Night, Trent Dilfer was the fucking worst of the lot. He took the bar for terrible announcing and planted it 50 feet deep into the Earth’s mantle, where no one else can now snake beneath it.
There are many bad football announcers out there, because announcing is much more difficult than it looks. You have to say something useful about what you just saw off the top of your head within a span of eight seconds, and you must do it again and again throughout the duration of the game. It’s hard to make it through any live broadcast without saying something dumb. Put a moron former pro athlete in the job and the degree of difficulty gets ratcheted up even higher. Put TWO of them in the booth with the play-by-play guy for no reason and it’s a total clusterfuck.
I’m used to all this by now. I’m used to bad announcing. Half the fun of watching an NFL game is complaining about how shitty the announcers are. While I piss and moan about them, I rarely mute them. I never change over to the radio broadcast or anything like that. I keep everything as is, because bad announcing is what I’m used to. Bad announcing makes the whole enterprise feel homier to me. It makes me comfortable.
Except… Dilfer. Yes, there were prevailing circumstances conspiring against that game broadcast to begin with. It aired during infomercial time. The two teams involved were utter shit, and my favorite team was somehow the worse of the two by far. The Niners were dressed like low-level Death Star employees. And Chris Berman, who is a wedge of meatloaf with a combover, was on the play-by-play. Everything about that game was already horrible, but Dilfer made it fucking worse. I will outline my reasons here:
1. He was fucking loud. You have a microphone, Trent. It carries your voice from the booth directly to my television set. That means I can hear you even if you talk at a normal register. As a fan, it is MY job to yell at the game action. My yelling comes from the heart. Dilfer deliberately yelled for three straight hours on Monday Night in an attempt to sell you on the fact that he was SUPER excited by a three tight-end set. It was listening to an MMA guy call a snowboarding race.
2. He had talking points. LAUNCH POINTS LAUNCH POINTS LAUNCH POINTS. You could tell Dilfer went into a pre-meeting with the coaches and the coaches were like, “Hey, we might mix up Colin Kaepernick’s launch points,” and Dilfer was so excited by this crucial NUGGET of information that he had to let the world know about it every three minutes. THEY’RE CHANGING LAUNCH POINTS, PEOPLE! DO YOU REALIZE HOW INNOVATIVE THIS IS?!
3. He gave Anquan Boldin a horrible nickname. “Anquan Boldin! I call him ‘The Ultimate Chain Mover Point Scorer.’” Ah, ol’ UCMPS. Love that guy.
4. He felt the urge to cram all his useless football knowledge into every space of the broadcast. There are many people out there who don’t like Troy Aikman as an announcer, and I understand that. Troy Aikman has never said a memorable thing in his broadcasting career. He’s a cipher. But he’s not actively irritating. He is inane, but harmless. And frankly, that’s my ideal football color guy. If all you do is sit there for three hours and say, “Boy, that was a HECK of a catch!” once in a while, I’m fine with that. FOX, for all their flaws, understands my announcing needs. Just say something dumb that fills the air for a few seconds while I suck down a bottle of hobo wine. You don’t need to be that insightful. You don’t need to be like Jaws and DAZZLE me with your football knowledge. At some point, that serves the announcer far more than the viewer, because most viewers don’t give a shit. The intricacies of football strategy can be very dry and boring in the wrong hands, and ESPN continually fails to understand this.
In fact, it often seems as if ESPN’s mission in life is to throw you on the ground and dry hump you with their collective useless football knowledge. They cater exclusively to the “office fantasy know-it-all dickbag” demographic, and on Monday night, Dilfer represented their ideal prototype: a charmless ex-player using phony enthusiasm to cram his credentials down your throat for three hours, spasming out dreck about launch points and 3-technique shading without any real care for the viewer at home. All with Chris Berman there, too. Fuck. Christ.
I had to mute the TV. No other sound. Every time I turned the volume back up, I’d hear Dilfer and Berman and remember why they were so bad, and then I would go back to total silence. Why does ESPN hate the world so much? I’m just trying to watch the tall guy hand the ball to the fast guy. QUIT MAKING IT A MISERABLE EXPERIENCE FOR ME.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Broncos at Chiefs: Has that high-pitched Peyton DirecTV commercial been labeled problematic yet? Let’s go to Twitter…
BOOM. Happened straight away. You can always count on Twitter for shit like that. DirecTV may as well just go all the way now and be like, “And I’m low-income housing Peyton Manning, and I have cable!”
By the way, over the past 10 years, the Broncos have had eight different players lead the team in rushing. Even with Mike Shanahan gone, this team wants to fuck your fantasy team raw with its running backs. Someone should be detained and charged for this, preferably one of the front office drunk drivers.
Cowboys at Eagles: Jerry Jones just had both his hips replaced, so when they cut to him in the booth on Sunday Night, he looked old and frail and generally uncomfortable. He clearly should have been resting at home on some kind of Temperpedic mattress for the duration of the game, but instead, the Double J gutted it out in a suit just so he could get his luxury box shot. That’s how dedicated this man is to appearing on your television. I’m actually sad. The world isn’t the same with a fully operational Jerry getting shitfaced and groping everything in sight. The man had a joy for LIVING, god dammit.
Seahawks at Packers: The beauty of having Aaron Rodgers is that you can lose Jordy Nelson for the season and then go pick up James Jones for nothing and have him do just fine because James Jones works fine with Rodgers and NO OTHER QUARTERBACK on Earth. He’s a worthless player except when the best passer in the universe is throwing him the ball, which means the pool of emergency free agents out there is a more useful resource for you than for most other teams, and handy free agents will remain available to you whenever you need them. It’s not fair. It’s cheating, really. I think Rodgers should be fined.
Pats at Bills: I can’t watch Bills fans do this to themselves again. They start off hot every year, sometimes even beating New England. And the #BillsMafia gets all fired up and starts throwing full beer cans off of highway overpasses in celebration, and then it all goes to shit. They are the testing ground for God’s cruelty. I refuse to buy into them until all possibilities for tragedy have been exhausted.
Seriously though, I hope Tyrod Taylor is for real and they win this game 87-0.
Niners at Steelers: I was watching all the games on Sunday and, like you, I was wondering, “Jesus, how much money can FanDuel and DraftKings possibly have? Doesn’t it cost roughly $50 billion to advertise every second of every NFL game?” Well it turns out that
Disney FOX sunk $150 million into DraftKings, and that the company is valued at over $900 million. That’s fucking insane. That’s like valuing iwon.com at the same price. And FanDuel is partially owned by the Koch Brothers. So it’s possible that your loser daily fantasy service is actually a loss-leading sleeper vehicle for smoking hot, Koch-approved political propaganda. “You have picked up Antonio Brown (WR). But aren’t you concerned about a MEXICAN crossing the border and shooting him dead?” (UPDATE: Wrong Koch.)
Falcons at Giants: JPP has become a master at showing you his hand without giving you a clear indication of his many fingers he’s lost. Look at this video. It’s like trying to get a glimpse of the Cloverfield monster. He knows you want to see the stump, but he’s not just gonna show you the stump outright. He is rolling out a soft launch of that stump, likely culminating in a pay-per-view special. Then the stump will go on tour.
Update: Here’s the hand!
Texans at Panthers
Chargers at Bengals
Cardinals at Bears
Rams at Skins: There were barely any fans at FedEx last week for the Skins’ loss to Miami, as documented here. I think fanbases should get more credit when they choose to actively ignore a franchise that doesn’t deserve their patronage. Every Skins fan who ditches their season tickets should get a free taco or something. They’re finally learning! They get it! Too often, we blindly praise fanbases for sticking out the bad times. But what about when your team is run by a sociopath who is determined to rip people off at every turn? A good fan should have the balls to finally walk away.
Titans at Browns: Everyone knows that Boingo and Gogo are the two most evil companies in the universe, but what makes them extra evil, apart from charging you $598 for the “exclusive experience” of checking your email at a fucking airport, is the fact that they temporarily take over some of the icons on my phone when I’m using it. I have a little icon for the bookmarks on my phone, and sometimes they get replaced with a fucking Gogo logo instead. It feels invasive. THEY HAVE BROKEN INTO MY HOME. We have entrusted one of the more critical utilities in modern America to the tech equivalent of Gold’s Gym. It’s bullshit.
Jets at Colts: Reader Benjamin:
I recently re-watched the movie Big Trouble in Little China on Netflix, and it finally dawned on me: Jon Gruden has spent the last two decades trying to imitate the voice of Jack Burton. I don’t really have a point here, other than that Jon Gruden sucks.
He’s right! Gruden basically spends the whole game trying to growl like a dog at you. Someone needs to tell him that broadcasting isn’t football. I’M GONNA GO INTO THAT BOOTH AND I’M GONNA BE AGGRESSIVE ALL FUCKING DAY LONG.
Ravens at Raiders: On Sunday, I asked Twitter if Tyrod Taylor was now more elite than Joe Flacco. As always, Twitter came through:
I hope Flacco struggles all season and Taylor excels, just to really jack up the angst.
Lions at Vikings: My team is so fucking stupid, they brought back a child-beater, handed him a fat contract, and then played him the exact wrong way. Adrian Peterson shattered rushing records by running out of the I-formation with a fullback clearing the way. So what does Norv Turner do? He puts him the fucking shotgun, and keeps putting him there even after it became clear that it was a bad idea. Why even HAVE a child beater on your team if you’re not gonna use him properly? God dammit. I hate everything. Also: 85 percent of all American men have a stronger arm than Teddy Bridgewater. It’s a serious problem.
Dolphins at Jaguars
Bucs at Saints
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“What U Are,” by Redline Messiah, submitted by Ray. If your rock song or rock band has the word MESSIAH in there, I’m in favor of it. Shotgun Messiah, “Leper Messiah,” etc. I’m gonna start a band called DEMON MESSIAH, and have album called KNEEL BEFORE THE MESSIAH, and there will be lots of occult altars on the cover, with Pentagrams and fire and shit, to let you know that I’m extra EEEEEEEEEEVIL.
Suicide Pick Of The Week
Last week’s suicide picks of Miami, Carolina, Tampa Bay went 2-1. I’m out already. Fuck. Anyway, time once again to pick three teams for your suicide pool, along with one thing that makes want to commit suicide. This week, the picks are Tennessee, New Orleans, Indy, and large-scale, gritty remakes of public-domain stories such as Peter Pan. There’s no point on saving money on story royalties when the end result is a $200 million shitwreck featuring Hugh Jackman in West Village pirate cosplay. Imagine the pitch meeting for that movie. “This time, Captain Hook is the GOOD guy!” No one asked for that. When my kid watches Cinderella, she’s not like, “But Dad, why don’t I know the origins of the wicked stepmother? Is there not a postmodern take on her that’s more empathetic?” Not only are they making a terrible movie, but they’re diluting a classic tale that’s been handed down from generation to generation. By 2300, Peter Pan will be an outlaw hovercar hacker. I won’t stand for it.
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
GREGGGGG IS BACK! Verily, it has come to pass. Your fair TMQ was heartlessly dropped by ESPN only to land on his feet at… The New York Times. Of course the Times took him in. It was destiny that this man would one day belong on the same masthead as Tom Friedman.
But there’s something off about this newfangled TMQ. It’s shorter. There’s not a single word in here, much less 3,000, about all the plot holes in the final episode of Monk. Why, it’s almost as if the Times has… GASP… edited this man. BY HAMMER OF GRABTHAR! I feel shortchanged.
Anyway, elsewhere in the take business, let’s take a moment to salute Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for educating ALL of us on the issue of slavery:
Throughout history, only a relatively few slaves have been black.
So true. Ppl forget that. Why no reparations for the ancient Egyptians currently living on American soil?
Racism is as ancient and ubiquitous as slavery. The word some Chinese use for “foreigner” can be translated as “foreign devil.” Russian slang for black Africans translates to “wood chips.”
Okay. Seems relevant. I guess I know what code phrase my local Denny’s waitress will use the next time she has to serve a table full of black people. “Darlene, bunch of fucking wood chips over at Table 6 again.”
Slavery was considered mostly a matter of bad luck.
“CRIPES! SNAKE EYES! Guess it’s a lifetime of servitude for me!”
Four hundred thousand Union soldiers died to free the slaves. That blood debt was paid long ago.
Yeah, man! We died for you wood chippers! If anything, you owe US!
Abraham Lincoln was white.
So were those who voted for him.
Because they were the only ones allowed to vote?
About 90 percent of Union soldiers were white.
You might even say they were… SLAVES TO THE CAUSE.
Are you ready for the capper? Because I think you already know where this was headed…
Slavery was horrible, but no black American living today has suffered from it. Most are better off than if their ancestors had remained in Africa.
KABOOM. There it is. Next time someone asks you to do them a favor, be sure to throw them in a boat and row them across an ocean. Then tear their family apart and sentence them to a lifetime of painful work tilling your fields. THEY’LL THANK YOU IN THE LONG RUN. Their descendants will have iPhones and stuff!
Emmitt Smith’s Lock Of The Week!
“This week, I am making three picks! A triage of picks! A triumph irate! I like the Buttalo Bills (+1) at home against their genesis, the Patriots! I love the leadership of Elrod Taylor. HE’S A DIAPER IN THE ROUGH! Don’t let Bill Belvedere jism your radio, Elrod!
“I also like the Atlanta Flaccons (+2) on the road to beat the smuggling Giants, who could learn a thing or two about cock management! You need to run that cock out! DON’T GIVE TONY ROMAN ALL THAT COCK TO WORK WITH! And I’ll also pre-dick that my belugged Cowboys (+5.5) will scorn into Philly and beat the Engels. Let’s hope Chip Kelly knows how to work that cock better than the Giants did!”
2014 Emmitt Smith record: 0-1
Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Both Lions wideouts. You assholes. I drafted Golden Tate—who is arguably one of the most detestable people in the sport—and he and Megatron did jack shit against San Diego last week. I sacrificed my ethics for this man. The least he can do is pay me back with 110 yards and a touchdown. Same goes with Adrian Peterson. Fantasy managers put themselves on the line for you, you oblivious turd. NOW SCORE.
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:
(*potential midseason firing)
I didn’t have Chuck Pagano on here last week, which was a mistake given that Pagano is already losing a power struggle to GM Ryan Grigson and will probably get kicked to the curb this offseason. Grigson must have a direct pipeline to a fresh Oxy supply for Jim Irsay or something, because I don’t know how you choose the guy who traded for Trent Richardson over a coach who has taken the Colts to the playoffs every season. This oldass roster got crushed by Buffalo last week. Maybe you shouldn’t be siding with Scott Conant’s 12th cousin.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader anonymous sends in this story I call POOPER THAN LIFE:
Midwestern US. 12 AM. A Monday morning. College (of course).
The RA wakes the entire floor and sends us to the lounge. Dude is livid.
“Who did it?”
He orders every jackhole to march through the men’s room and observe the “vandalism”.
Now when I think bathroom vandalism at college I usually picture a river of puke flooding half the room, someone emptying their nut in the soap dispenser, or a diarrhea manifesto on the shitter stalls. But this was special.
There it was, a sunken ship plugging the middle toilet.
It had to be a bread loaf. The size. The shape! Symmetric. Unbroken. Fluffy. Like a steamy one right out of the oven. It had to be. Someone’s ass would be wider than a tractor trailer and wincing like he had just delivered twins naturally.
But then, you really looked at it. You looked at it and you started to feel. Something deep inside rekindled. You started to believe again. It was physically possible, right? It was so dark. So logged with water. The texture was so rugged. So thick. And so perfect. It was more than just a magical dump. It was angelic. The idea that it was even possible instantly expanded the mind. It was a question of physics. It was art. It was an actual brick of shit. And imagine that motherfucker. It was not about to go down. We all looked at each other.
The RA led us back into the lounge. He walked back through the bathroom. He returned to the lounge. White hot.
“Who stuck the fork in it?!?!?”
March back through the bathroom. A plastic fork embedded in that beautiful monster.
No one ever laid claim. The guy at the end of the hall, one of those grown-up Eagle Scout guys, went in, bare hands and a Glad bag, and tossed the creature down the garbage chute, thoughtless to what he had just destroyed.
This anonymous reader was NOT Wright Thompson. But he could have been!
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Rap Snacks, brought to you by Romeo (Don’t call him Lil’ anymore). From Phil:
Found these in my company store in St. Louis. I did not purchase.
I’m a bit alarmed by the “Bar-b-quin’ with my HONEY” graphic on the bag. The honey looks like cum. Like you BBQed with your honey, and then had sex, and then jizzed all over my chips. I don’t trust it. Anyway, stay in school. I like rap-themed snacks that have a positive message.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Holy shit, it’s Camo Black Ice! You’ll never see it coming! From reader Robert:
This is Camo Black Ice!! Definitely a high gravity lager. My wife bought this for me at the kind of place you’d suspect to find anything camo - in a lone gas station in Nowhere, Virginia, where they sell chitterlings, crabs, and fresh smoked pulled pork in the back (which was absolutely AWESOME!). Anyways, this definitely a headache in a can. The smell repulsed my wife, like I’d just hit her with mustard gas. It tastes like left over frat party beer that sat out all night and the sweat from a fat lady’s neck rolls. Pouring it into my vintage 80’s NASCAR ceramic stein my wife bought at the flea market would’ve been to high brow for this swill. I considered putting it back into the fridge between swigs, b/c the only way to drink this brown rain is ice cold. FYI, I drank this on a bet...and that is why I don’t go to Vegas.
Good God. Look at that can. It’s got five X’s! XXXXX! That’s like, extra extra extra extra EXTRA strong. And there’s an explosion graphic in the middle of the can and everything. It looks like an IED. I wonder if the military lobs cans of this at the enemy. I MUST HAVE IT. 10.5% ABV. That beer will murder you.
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 Aaron Rodgers of the Packers! What a big week for my close friend and confidante, Whitey Bulger! Notorious? YOU BET! A murderer? HEY, WE ALL GOTTA MAKE A LIVING. Before the fuzz busted our man in Santa Monica, Whitey was THE guy La-La Land went to if actors wanted to really go Method when playing mobsters and killers. You think it’s just blind luck that Nicholson looks so regal while holding a gun? That was ALL Whitey. He took Irish on at least three different killing sprees. By the end, Irish could shake down your mother like a PRO. One night, he lost a poker hand at Woodland and gunned down the whole table! I was in AWE of his technique. Took three hours to clean up all the body parts, but I sure loved seeing him get into the moment! Shame about my cousin getting riddled with bullets. But Whitey had a gift.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Browns Fans
The Lost Boys, which I was too scared to actually watch as a child even though I owned the soundtrack and TOTALLY rocked out to that one Lou Gramm song. I also read the novelization of this movie for a fourth-grade book report. My teacher was unimpressed.
I don’t think I’ve actually sat down and watched all of The Lost Boys from beginning to end. Sometimes you see an old movie on bits and pieces on cable and that’s you take it all in eventually. Deep down, I think I’m still frightened by flying hair metal vampires. They could be right outside my window, man. That’s fucked up.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Oh yes, sitting. The great leveler.”
Enjoy the games, everyone.