Fall took its sweet-ass time getting here. I live in a state where fall has essentially become extinct. One day it’s brutal jungle humidity: air so thick you could ice a cake with it. The next day a vicious frost comes in and suddenly your testicles are 30 percent of their previous size. Fall and spring are only daydreams for the elderly now. Most of the leaves haven’t even turned different colors here yet. No copper leaves. No deep crimsons leaves fluttering in the sunshine. Some of the leaves have dropped while still green. Didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to their respective families one last time.
If you’re an aspiring Floridian, or a blithering idiot who dislikes autumn in general, the prospect of a 90-degree day in October in Maryland is a fun and happy occasion. It is not fun for me. I just spend months slathering my ungrateful children in sunscreen and toting 50 pounds of equipment to the local pool every weekend, towels included. I am a sputtering old engine that overheats the second it gets hit with a particularly strong ray of sunlight. I require coolant. I require the crisp, precise air that falls brings with it. Like Liam Gallagher, I require seasons and the visible signs of time passing that can and SHOULD accompany them. I require a hard wind blowing across my crack that prevents the onset of swamp-ass.
Mostly, I require layers. I wanna put on layers of clothing and blankets, and I wanna constantly shed them and put them back on to stay in the Goldilocks zone of optimal body temperature. And lo and behold—here late but not gone entirely—is honest-to-god layering season. Bust out your decorative gourds to celebrate, please.
This is all I ever wanted: days with a high of 67 and a low of 52, where you almost feel hot in the sun before stepping into the shade and being reminded that no, no summer is finally fucking gone. I can now indulge in every aspect of gratuitously layering my ample flesh. I want a fully cooked lasagna of apparel on my person. Now, deep into October, I get to become one with my layers. For my birthday recently, I got a track jacket AND a puffy jacket. I wore the later over the former over a t-shirt and then took the dog for a walk. That was a good walk. Oh, and I’m about to bust out my man clogs, too!
I love those man clogs, baby. They positively scream S-E-X to anyone who beholds them. I like to take the dog out to shit in my man clogs. Then I get home, take off my top layer, plop down in my beloved chair, strip my socks off, and then cover myself in a fleece blanket. I swap out layers like I’m my own Ken doll. I tuck the blanket under my legs, like I’m trapped inside the world’s most luxurious bodybag. Then I turn on the 4 p.m. slate of NFL games. And then, I nap. Mouth open. Drool. All that. Sometimes the dog naps in my lap while I nap. That’s right! I get a DOG layer. Nap-ception is real and it is most lovely. I am unreasonably proud of my nap game, to the point where I go to sleep at night thinking about the nap I took EARLIER that day. Those autumnal layers are just the napping fuel I require.
As winter approaches, my kids put fleece blankets over their comforters for an extra layer of snugglability while they sleep. When I tuck the youngest one in, I rest my head against the fleecy goodness, feeling it brush against my cheek, and I realize that his bed is somehow more comfortable than my own. Then he yells at me to get off his bed and go away. Whatever, boy. I still got my little blanket fix.
I need these fixes constantly as the mercury falls. I am addicted to comfort. On a superficial level, this makes me as old as your grandpappy. But as the author Bill Bryson noted in his book At Home, comfort is actually a relatively new feature of the human condition. Before the advent of the bunkie, there were neanderthals sleeping on cave floors by night and, by day, constantly on the move from hungry saber-toothed tigers and what not. Americans like me don’t have to do that anymore, and we don’t.
As such, I have pursued a lifelong mission of making up for whatever comforts my ancestors were deprived of. The holidays come and the “long winter’s nap” stanza from ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas flashes on a prompter inside my head. I wanna be cold and I wanna find warmth within that cold: pulling the comforter up to my chin, or nuzzling with my hoodie hood as it flops alongside my neck, or spreading out on the couch downstairs with a buffalo plaid flannel blanket lulling me to naptime as the Chargers blow a game in the background. There is comfort in that comfort, you know. There are layers to the layers. There is the safe, reassuring feeling that you are sheltered from whatever is ravaging the outdoors at any given moment. There are warm fires and cookies baking and pillows cushioning you, all to remind you that someone or something cares about you and wants you to feel toasty.
I can’t get that feeling when it’s a thousand degrees out. I can only get it when the sun finally backs off and I can finally wear pants for comfort instead of presentation. That’s when I can finally scratch my itch. And then I can house a dozen oatmeal raisin cookies. Get in your layering while you can, America. Layers are the only worthwhile middlemen ever devised.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Chiefs at Packers: The Packers will probably win the NFC North. I’m not saying that as some kind of reverse jinx or anything. They’ve been the best team in that division and there’s not much to suggest any of the other North teams, the Vikings included, will be able to beat them.
This is a bittersweet success story, because obviously it’s nice for the Packers to be finally rid of both Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson and to flourish without them. But holy shit, think of all the time this franchise LOST keeping those two mummies around. They could have discovered free agency a DECADE ago, if not earlier. Instead, they signed Reggie White in the ‘90s and then never did anything else. They could have fired Dom Capers at any time, the way every other NFL franchise has. Instead, they had the gall to help his feed his family. Grotesque. They could have helped Aaron Rodgers by having a real playbook. Instead, they were content to stand pat and run fullback dives to nowhere for years and years.
All those years of waste have left these current Packers furiously working to take advantage of having competent leadership before Aaron Rodgers fucks off into retirement. They need to win TWO Super Bowls this year just to compensate for the grief. And if it comes at New England’s expense, I can’t say I’m rooting against them.
Cardinals at Saints: I went to New Orleans last month for a bachelor party. The final locale options for the party were NOLA and Austin. I don’t regret our choice, and neither did anyone else. When I got back home, my kids asked me which city was larger between the two. I told them it was New Orleans. Duh. It’s not called the SMALL Easy. They were dubious. They’re old enough now to know that fathers are the No. 1 source of fake news across the world.
So we looked it up, and wouldn’t you know it … these here interwebs say that Austin is nearly triple the size of New Orleans. I was way off. I know that city limits and other geographical horseplay can fudge numbers like these, so I double checked the greater metro area stats. For NOLA, the population number goes up to 1.3 million. For Austin, it goes up to nearly 2.2 million, and it’s getting bigger at an alarming rate. So you Austin folks, do be careful. MLS has already given you a franchise, but the big boy leagues could soon cast an eye in your direction. And that’s when you’re REALLY fucked.
Panthers at Niners: I regret to inform you that Nick Bosa is, already, incredibly fucking good:
Both Nick and his brother were both so good right out of the gate that they instantly lent football credibility to franchises that, just prior to their respective arrivals, didn’t have any. We’re gonna need more Bosas, and we’re gonna need them to all play for the three shitty teams in the AFC East. It’s our only recourse.
“Joe Batters” was a nickname given to him by Capone after Accardo dispatched to death a couple of colleagues who had displeased Capone.
“Big Tuna” was the result of his affection for and ability at fishing.
“Accardo was considered a stupid child,” says Neil Gordon, who brings Accardo back in his new book, “Tony Accardo is Joe Batters: Mob Boss Murderer, the Untold Story.” “But he was, in his way, a brilliant man and perhaps one with a photographic memory.”
Yep, that’s a Bosa, all right. Nick Bosa should demand to go by Nicky Batters in the Niners’ locker room, and he probably will. “Accardo was considered a stupid child” is killing me.
Raiders at Texans: My wife’s birthday was the other day and, doing my duty as a HUSBAND AND FATHER, I bought her a card and wrote a little message in it. Right away, I made a typo. In longhand. I do this quite often, and it’s pretty glaring when you do it in a card you bought specifically to tell your wife how much you love her and how glad you are to be married to her. I couldn’t erase the fuckup because it was in pen, so I just crossed it out and started over. ROMANTIC. I should just forgo handwriting altogether from now on. That wasn’t my first handwriting typo and there’s no way it’ll be my last.
Eagles at Bills
Giants at Lions: Matt Stafford tossed four TDs against my team last week and fumed at the defense all afternoon, which was dumb because my team still won, and because it’s Matt Stafford. He’s 20th in passing yards all-time, right between Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas. Matt Stafford gets his. I know he’s never won a playoff game, but still. If Stafford lights you up, you actually have to attribute SOME credit to him. It’s not some fluke when he plays well. Your defense didn’t collapse against Eric Crouch back there.
Jets at Jaguars: Odell Beckham was right to be pissed about his uniform violation fine.
I know I just spent all those word up above extolling the virtues of covering up multiple times over, but the NFL’s insistence on players wearing full leg hose every week is both fitting of Roger Goodell’s nagging Puritanism and also completely stupid. Let Odell’s legs breathe if he wants them too. The guy has to run geometric sprints down the field all game long while an angry corner is shoving him around and telling him that his mom’s a whore. He’s gonna work up a sweat doing this.
The NFL doesn’t even have this rule for safety reasons. Like, you might think they want to protect your lower legs with long socks in the event you get cleated in the shins. But NO! No, this is simply a remnant of the league’s dress code that dates back to fucking 1945, as once noted by the great Paul Lukas:
Commissioner Elmer Layden, apparently with way too much time on his hands, decides that NFL players have unsightly legs and decrees that all players must wear long stockings. This rule, still on the books, is why NFL players wear high socks while so many NCAA teams still play bare-legged.
These men don’t have unsightly legs. Their legs look like a million bucks. God forbid fans see any exposed skin out on the field. Those two Jags fans buttfucking in the upper deck would be appalled!
Bucs at Titans
Skins at Vikings: The Vikings are busting out their de facto color rush unis tonight. You’ll be stunned to learn that they look like shit.
Always fun when a team account is the only enthusiastic participant in something. For once, I’d like to see the Vikings wear gold jerseys for a game. The old style ones. Would they look like shit? My friends, they very much would. But trust me, any other color looks better on a grown adult than Grimace-ass purple.
Browns at Patriots: Oh wow, another TITANIC matchup for the Patriots. Will they survive this gauntlet of a first-half schedule? Watch Lamar Jackson dislocate both hips when he returns to the field next week for Baltimore. It’s only fair for God to strike him down to make things easier for the Pats after they’ve had to endure so many grueling foes, Netflix included, for the past eight weeks.
Pats fans used to bitch endlessly that Peyton Manning and the Colts got to play in a cupcake division. Now their own team plays in the fucking AAC. The Jets will probably trade Jamal Adams to them for a seventh-rounder just as a courtesy.
Dolphins at Steelers: There’s an epidemic of bothsidesism when it comes to defensive holding now. It happens every telecast, and it usually goes like this:
[ref doesn’t call anything]
[replay shows the wideout getting mugged]
MARK SCHLERETH OR SOME OTHER MORON: Well you can see that Xavien Howard gets a little jersey there but JuJu’s getting a little handsy too! You know what? I LIKE THIS. JUST LET ‘EM PLAY, I SAY.
You know replay blows when even the fucking announcer refuses to look at it right.
Broncos at Colts
Bengals at Rams (London)
Seahawks at Falcons
Chargers at Bears
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“On the Wings of Satan,” by Midnight. Did you know Satan can fly? It’s true! If he can fly, why does he hang out in the depths of hell? BECAUSE FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY. From Nicholas:
I submit “On the Wings of Satan” by the almighty Midnight — Cleveland’s one-man, Motörhead-meets-death-metal Grim Ripper. When I was a little kid (let’s say 8?), I found and listened to my dad’s Bat Out of Hell cassette. I was disappointed. I couldn’t have put it into words then, but the best way to explain it now is to say that this is the song I actually wanted to hear when I saw the Bat Out of Hell artwork. Anyway. Go Browns.
I completely understand that kind of disappointment. It’s like when I found out The Grateful Dead were a jam band. I was stunned and appalled, even more so when I had to actually listen to their music. None of this is a problem with Midnight. When you title your album Complete And Total Hell, I have certain expectations. Consider those expectations met.
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
Frank Bruni was once the top food critic at the New York Times and he was great at it. And then … then he became a political columnist.
Frank, if you had to sit through any of the debates so far, you would know that the answer is yes. There’s ample proof everywhere you turn that God has forsaken us all, and that he went out for cigarettes and never came back YEARS ago.
The most recent Democratic debate lasted three hours and, according to one transcript I checked, exceeded 30,000 words.
“And Webster’s dictionary defines WORDS as…”
Almost none of them were about religion.
That’s disheartening because whenever a politician speaks I always think to myself, “You know, I wish this guy would talk more about how much he loves Jesus, and why Jesus wouldn’t want motorcycle helmet laws to exist.”
When Booker fleetingly mentioned his participation in a bipartisan Bible study group, I snapped to attention. That was the closest the debate came to acknowledging the importance of faith in many people’s lives.
And it IS important. Frank has proof!
While the percentage of Americans who don’t identify with any religion has grown significantly over the past decade — to 26 percent from 17 percent, according to a sweeping survey by the Pew Research Center...
Okay maybe he has the direct OPPOSITE of proof. Still!
It’s still the case that more than half of Americans say that they pray daily and 45 percent attend religious services at least once a month.
Whoa hey, once a month? You talk about devout! It’s like I’m livin’ in a monastery here! More than half of Americans say they pray daily. They also say that they consider themselves politically independent, that they watch what they eat, and that they NEVER masturbate. Please note my poll numbers have a margin of error of texting while driving.
But you wouldn’t know it to tune into the Democratic primary.
Because we got more important shit to worry about! Every fucking NYT op-ed is like OH WOW THOSE CRAZY DEMS JUST HANDED 2020 TO TRUMP, and it’s never because Democrats are shitty lawmakers, or because they’ve got their hands in the till, or because they’re old and stupid. No it’s because they don’t hang out with fucking Pat Robertson enough.
In light of the rightful separation of church and state, they don’t want to be seen as spotlighting or peddling any one creed.
But it’s not necessary, and it’s not smart.
What IS smart to be a pious phony. Voters can’t get enough of that shit.
President Trump and his Republican allies are poised to paint Democrats as unhinged lefties not only in terms of health care and taxes but also in terms of cultural issues, including abortion and L.G.B.T.Q. rights.
“These CRAZY ASSHOLES want to make things fair and compassionate for everyone!”
And some Democratic presidential candidates are already playing into their hands.
That’s a shame because if Bernie had launched into an impromptu rendition of “Amazing Grace” right there at his lectern, then the GOP wouldn’t dare criticize him ever again. All of these op-ed fart-sniffers are fucking deranged and actively impeding progress when they pull this kind of Edge 2020 Matchup bullshit. Truly, Frank Bruni should have stuck to excoriating reviews of Ninja New York. That was his proper calling.
Magic Johnson’s Lock Of The Week: Seahawks -7
“The Seattle Seahawks are 5-2 and the Atlanta Falcons, who are from Atlanta, are only 1-6! That’s a record you don’t want! Laker Nation, I was so happy to visit Lockheed Martin’s annual expo with my wife Cookie, alongside comedian Tommy Davidson and television superstar Dog The Bounty Hunter! Huge thanks to CEO Frank Feldt for hosting us and letting us demo his latest H27 daisy cutter on a nearby homeless shelter!”
2019 Magic record: 3-4
Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Zach Ertz, who has a grand total of one touchdown all season long. This man has been Carson Wentz’s teacher’s pet for years now, and what do I get out of it? JACK AND SHIT, that’s what. Do you know who the highest scoring tight end in fantasy is right now? It’s Austin Hooper. Tight ends should be banished from fantasy forever. They’re like kickers, only more disappointing.
Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!
Shenderovich Shenderovich & Fishman! HERE WE GO LAWYERS HERE WE GO! Reader Jim writes in:
Here’s an ad for a local law firm in Pittsburgh that is fucking insane.
It sure is. The Shenderovich twins looks like they should be haunting the Overlook Hotel. It’s extremely distressing to look at those two men as they fold their arms in sync. But that’s hardly the only thing amiss. Check out Doogie Fishman here:
And check out the headlines the firm has made!
Just a stellar effort, top to bottom. I assume Shenderovich Shenderovich & Fishman was the first law firm AB called when he almost dropped a sofa on a kid’s head.
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 2019 chopping block:
(*—possible midseason firing)
Let’s check in on the eternally poised and levelheaded Matt Nagy:
He seems to be coping well. Remind me to pull this shit if I ever commit a murder (and, Lord willing, I will!). Reporters will descend upon my house and they’ll be like, “Drew… Did you do it? Did YOU kill Terence Trent D’Arby?” And I’ll say to them, with maximum disgust, “Wow, so the BLAME and SHAME media is looking for someone to destroy yet again! I’m trying to run a blog here, so I’m not gonna let any outside negativity distract my blogging team from the task at hand.” And some people will buy that shit! Like, three of them. One of them will be my mom. But the two others? CERTIFIED DREWPIES.
Great Moments In Grandpa History
Andy writes in with a story I call THE ITCHY AND SCRATCHY AND POOPY SHOW:
My grandfather was a fairly quiet guy. He just wanted to sit in his chair and watch baseball games and have Grandma stop bothering him, or stare at nothing if it was the offseason. After she died, though, Grandpa really came out his shell—for him at least. He would walk to our house every night for dinner, stopping at the 7-Eleven on the way to buy his scratchers. Until he didn’t. He came over one night and said he’d been banned from ever stepping foot in that 7-Eleven again. He wouldn’t say why. Several of us went over the next few days to the store to find out what happened, but no one at the store would talk about it either. So some weird shit went down with Grandpa near the Slurpee machine. I bet, though, most likely it was just him getting frustrated at the clerks and yelling some racist epithets at them he would casually drop from time to time that wouldn’t surprise me coming from anyone who graduated from high school in 1925.
But nothing beats the last time I saw him. After I got married and moved across the country, I was home visiting and went to pick up Grandpa in the nursing home where he lived in his last year of life so we could have a family dinner at my parents’ house. I arrived to find the nurses begging him get out of the bathroom where he had locked himself for 3 hours trying to go to the bathroom. I finally persuaded him to come out and he just yelled at me as he opened the door, “WORST FUCKING BOWEL MOVEMENT EVERRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!” He didn’t say another word on the drive. Those were the last words he spoke to me personally. I could never have imagined him saying that when Grandma was alive, so I’m good with it.
As am I.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Cowboy bark! They put Oreos IN the bark. Why didn’t I think of that? Here is yet another Trader Joe’s product that tastes good so long as you can stomach all of the obscenely twee copy on the packaging. “Ruggedly Adventuresome.” Oh yeah, this is definitely the sustenance I rely upon when I’m driving a herd of cattle across the dusty plains of Oklahoma. I definitely don’t pour this shit directly into my mouth from the bag while my son watches an episode of Bakugan, blaring at Arrowhead Stadium volume, in the background.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Broegel! From Belgium! That’s right, Belgium: It’s not just for overpriced mussels anymore! Reader Bo says:
Behold! From Belgium (via Aldi), it’s Broegel (which must be Belgian for “Bro!”). Made with German Brew Master “spirit” and German and Czech malts and hops. A lot of work and international cooperation went into making a flat, vaguely unsatisfying beer. Like, I don’t know exactly why, but I don’t hate it or like it. Maybe that should be their slogan! But, hey, $5.99 a sixer, so it has that going for it. Not to mention the 14th Century Capricorn goat on the bottle.
I like the goat head on the label. I’m in for any beer that looks like it could be used as the ceremonial drink in a ritualistic occult killing.
Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“Why do they feed sharks chum? That’s a waste of good chum!”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Dolphins Fans
Clash of the Titans. The original version from 1981, which looks like it was produced in 1958. I’ve never seen the remake and I never will. All I want is a young Harry Hamlin (who looks disturbingly like Tom Brady) surrounded by an insane cast including Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Burgess Meredith, the EROTIC Ursula Andress, and other stage luminaries who must have gotten paid bank to fire off one-liners Harry Potter-style while Hamlin battled kickass Ray Harryhausen clay action figures. That supporting cast and those effects represent 99 percent of this movie’s budget. The rest of it features obviously miniatures of Greek cities getting leveled by a vicious bucket of water, and jump cuts that would get you thrown out of film school. And a stupid robot owl. I still love it.
By the way, there’s a boob in this movie. Just one. My seven-year-old saw the boob and was outwardly unfazed by it, which means he’ll remember seeing it until he DIES.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“I have GOT to grow an inch by tomorrow or I won’t get that part! Pull, you mighty stallions, pull! Show me no mercy!”
Enjoy the games, everyone.