Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season.
By Drew Magary
I watched Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder play his worst game of the season last Thursday night against Tampa, and one of the more unpleasant things about watching a young quarterback play like shit is when you try to convince yourself that he’s playing poorly because he’s young and still needs to learn, and not because he sucks. You want to believe there’s hope for your shiny new QB. You want to believe that he threw into sextuple coverage just because he’s still adjusting to the speed of the game. You want to believe he can still morph into Drew Brees or some other wayyyyy better passer than Christian Ponder. But then there’s that little voice in the back of your head that grows every week, becoming more and more adamant that no, no this guy is ass.
By all accounts, Ponder is among the smarter athletes playing in the NFL. He holds two graduate degrees (though they come from Florida State, so make of them what you will). His GPA was excellent. He seems to have a sense of humor about himself, a real personality. And frankly, that might be part of the problem, because if history is any indication, the best quarterbacks are men who have no distinguishable personality or intellect. I read Johnny Unitas’s biography, and even though Unitas was a great quarterback, the book made it quite clear that he had all the warmth and personality of a goddamn brick. In fact, that seems to be what people admired most about him. Good ol’ Johnny. Nothing ever bothered him! Not even gettin’ divorced! Here’s an actual quote from Tom Callahan’s book: “Everything was a shrug of the shoulders. He was so unromantic that he was romantic, in the end.” Unitas was a robot, basically. A really cool robot, but a robot, nonetheless. A cipher.
And if you go through the history of great NFL quarterbacks, you’ll find that many of them share that same glaring lack of personality. Joe Montana, the best quarterback I ever saw, had such a vacant persona that he was bounced from NBC’s pregame show after only one season. Think about the list of empty-headed dipshits who have managed to populate pregame shows throughout the years. Montana didn’t even have enough pizzazz to match THEM. This classic SNL sketch that Montana starred in is almost a perfect referendum on his social skills. “God, what a stiff.”
He’s not alone in that department. Montana, Marino, Aikman, Warner … these are all men who are, outside of football, profoundly uninteresting human beings. And the tendency seemingly has been amplified in the modern NFL. No one will ever accuse Tom Brady of being the liveliest person in the room. His wife uses him as a mannequin because, frankly, he IS one. I get dumber every time I hear Brady talk. Drew Brees wears Affliction shirts without a hint of irony. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the worst actor of any NFL player who has ever lived. AND ELI! Holy shit, Eli sounds brain damaged when he speaks. And yet, you’d probably rather have Eli around during the two-minute drill than his brother, who is clearly funnier and more sociable.
It’s almost as if you need to have that personality gene missing in order to survive playing quarterback. After all, no reasonable human being would want to stand there and try to throw the ball 60 yards with a linebacker an inch away from breaking his jaw. You HAVE to be a bit of an airhead in order for that kind of danger to not register in your brain. There’s also the age-old cliche of quarterbacks who think too much, who spend too much time intellectually processing a play instead of being like THERE IS HOT READ. HIM GOOD. I THROW BALL NOW. You will never accuse Ben Roethlisberger of overthinking a play. That’s probably part of the reason why he has two rings.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Steelers at Giants: Before the storm hit on Monday, my wife was positively REVELING in going around and finding people who didn’t know shit about the storm, then scaring them to death. “You haven’t heard about the storm yet? OH, GIRL. IT’S THREE STORMS IN ONE. BIGGEST STORM SINCE 1991.” I’m not above this sort of behavior, either. There’s something oddly satisfying about playing weatherman for other people and breaking their storm news hymen. I’m the first to warn you about this? I MAY HAVE JUST SAVED YOUR LIFE WITH THIS INFORMATION.
Cowboys at Falcons: I was one of those people who totally ignored the Falcons’ 6-0 start. Pfft. They’re not really that good. Of course, that’s not true at all. They’re crazy good, it’s just that I don’t WANT them to be crazy good. I’m always looking out for far sexier teams to put above them, like, “Whoa hey, don’t count out the Saints yet!” even though you should now totally count out the Saints. It’s so easy to conform your opinion of a football team to your biases against them. This is why everyone likes to go on and on about how bad New England’s defense is, because most of us HATE New England and would like to see them fail. I know I would! That is a historically bad defense right there. Worst I’ve ever seen, I tell you.
Panthers at Redskins: Last week, the Panthers picked off Jay Cutler on a two-point conversion attempt and took it to the house. Only it didn’t count because, in pro football, the defense can’t score on a two-point conversion. Here’s my question: WHY THE FUCK NOT? Why would the NFL deliberately take a away a potentially exciting play, one that would be perfectly fair to implement? It does no one any good for that rule to be in place. Perhaps it might prevent a more cautious coach from going for two, but coaches are pussies anyway. Make that shit legal, Ginger Hammer.
Eagles at Saints: I went on a road trip over the weekend and when I went to get gas, I went into the gas mart to buy a drink. I gave the guy two bucks and then told him to keep the change as I walked out the door. I have a sneaking suspicion that only raging assholes pull the “keep the change” move. When you tell the cashier to keep the change, you think you’re saying, “Hey, I just tipped you eleven cents. AM I NOT GREAT OR WHAT?” But that’s almost certainly not how the cashier interprets it. To the cashier, you’re an uptight dickhead who couldn’t wait six seconds to get your change back, and instead went running out of the store, leaving the cashier with a crummy pile of coins and an accounting problem. I bet Change Keepers are loathed among Sunoco employees.
Dolphins at Colts: I also bought a bag of Doritos and ate them while standing at the urinal. I let my dick go free while I used both hands to stuff my face. This is repulsive and I don’t recommend you do this in public. It may get you arrested. I have regrets. There were children around.
Broncos at Bengals: In general, whenever someone tells me an athlete is washed up, or whenever there’s an anonymous scout that tells a reporter that a player “doesn’t have it anymore,” I automatically believe it. If you went up to me today and were like, “Listen, I’m a Bengals fan it’s a dirty little secret among us fans that Andy Dalton is already washed up,” that would completely alter my perception of Andy Dalton for the rest of his career. He could win three Super Bowls and I’d be like, “That’s not bad, given that he’s no longer playing at his peak!” Sports fans like to believe they know everything, but secretly, we’re all remarkably gullible. Label someone as a choker or a clutch performer or whatever and it’s easy to plant the idea into other sports fan’s tiny little brains.
Ravens at Browns:
I’m in a fantasy league where former Deadspin editor Will Leitch is commissioner. Every Thursday, Leitch sends out a reminder to anyone who has a vacant starting slot to fill it, and I LOATHE him for doing this. What business do you have butting into my matchup, Mr. Commissioner? You just ruined my chances of facing off against a shorthanded team. HOW DARE YOU. That is an abuse of authority. Some real Ginger Hammer type shit. Your only job as commish is to schedule the draft and collect the money. Otherwise, YOU HAVE GONE MAD WITH POWER.
Bills at Texans: There are few things more satisfying as a married person than subverting your old lady’s expectations. Just the other day, my wife strolled in to tell me I had to go put the laundry in the dryer.
WIFE: Hey, I need you to go down and…
ME: Did it.
WIFE: You switched the laundry?
WIFE: Like, you put the stuff from the washer into the…
ME: Dryer? I sure as shit did. You didn’t think I did it, did you? You just thought I was some lazy, shiftless asshole who doesn’t do anything, right? WELL JOKE’S ON YOU, MISSY. BECAUSE I FUCKING RULE. Maybe you should stop stereotyping your husband as a no-good layabout! YOU ANTI-DADITE BASTARD.
WIFE: All right. Come down. Jeez.
ME: I CHANGED IT, WOMAN. BOOYAKASHA.
Bears at Titans: My kid was walking around with Plumber’s Crack the other day so I stopped the kid to deliver the news.
ME: Your crack is showing.
KID: My crack?
ME: Your butt crack.
KID: What’s a buttcrack?
ME: It’s the little space between your butt cheeks.
KID: What’s a butt cheek?
ME: Oof. Here, get me a crayon and I’ll map it out for you. WHY ARE THEY NOT TEACHING YOU THIS IN SCHOOL?
Vikings at Seahawks
Bucs at Raiders
Cardinals at Packers: We need to do something about college uniforms because they’re changing so fast that I can no longer tell who the fuck is playing who. I’m all for matte helmets and all that crazy shit, but some of the uniforms have gotten so far away from recognizable colors and logos that somehow, the brand of the team gets lost in the shuffle. When I worked in advertising, agencies used to design style guides for a company and its logo. These style guides were always strict (some might say dickish) about making sure designers didn’t fuck with the company logo. It had to be a certain color, and size, and font. You couldn’t just take the McDonald’s arches and make them purple and add skyways to them. When that happens, it screws with a customer’s mindset. It has to stay consistent so that people know they’re getting the same horrible food they always get at McDonald’s. Fuck with the template enough and suddenly it’s not McDonald’s anymore. That’s what it’s like to watch Nebraska play wearing uniforms that look like the new Robocop costume.
Lions at Jaguars: I have a small baby and one of the baby’s favorite chew toys is this string of rubber beads that women can wear around their neck in a practical yet fashionable way. These things look like anal beads. There’s no way around it. Every time I see the baby chewing on them, I think to myself Jesus, those have been in a swinger’s butt. It’s terrible. Never let your children chew on beads. You never know where they’ve been.
Chiefs at Chargers: I was in the kitchen the other day when I had an idea about writing something, and when I came up with it, I said out loud to myself, “Good call” without realizing I had said it out loud. My wife overheard this.
WIFE: Did you just say “Good call”?
ME: Did I? I said that out loud?
WIFE: What was a good call?
ME: Oh, Jesus. I really did. Holy shit, I’m an asshole. I eat chips at the urinal and tell people to keep the change and whisper GOOD CALL to myself. I can’t be saved!
WIFE: When did you have chips at a urinal?
ME: Uh…. never mind. So watch your mouth out there when talking to yourself. You never know who’s listening in.
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
"Shadows of War," by Loudness. Reader Nate:
We used to crank this in the weight room in high school before football practice.
FUCK YEAH JAPANESE METAL! So much finger-tapping. God, I love finger-tapping. When I was a kid, I thought that was the most badass guitar trick in the world. When I went to my first guitar lesson, I demanded the instructor show me some finger-tapping moves and when he said I should probably learn some chords first, I became immediately uninterested. CHORDS ARE THE BABY SLOPES OF ROCKING OUT.
Nazi Bill Simmons Lock of the Week!
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 Chiefs getting eight points on the road against the Chargers. I know you Cowboys fans took that loss the Giants pretty hard. Cousin Horst was telling me that it was a Level VIII Schlucken Punch Loss. Bullshit. I’m sorry, but any diehard Third Reich fan will tell you that it doesn’t come close to Stalingrad. NOT. EVEN. CLOSE. You’re damn right I used all caps for that. I watched the battle on TV that night. You could feel the battle slipping away. You could sense the eeriness. To this day, my father has NOT gotten over it. He still curses poor Hitler for not trading for Oppenheimer when he had the chance. Let’s just establish the proper levels of Schlucken Punch Losses for everyone right now.
Level VIII: Stalingrad
Level VII: Normandy
Level VI: Nuremberg
Level V: Marge Schott suspended
Level IV: ‘86 Red Sox, Game 6. A black man humiliates a white man by hitting the ball between his legs? HORRIBLE.
Level III: The ending of Inglourious Basterds.
Level II: Passage of the Civil Rights Act
Level I: Cowboys’ reversed Hail Mary, the Holocaust (IF IT HAPPENED)
Can we all agree on this, please? Tell me that isn’t the proper hierarchy. You can’t.
2012 Nazi Simmons record: 3-4
Chris Johnson Memorial Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
Reader Scott is not a fan of Greg “Professor” Jennings:
He injures his groin in Week 1, misses a game, then plays “limited snaps” in Week 3, a seemingly normal comeback template. Hey, it’s all good now right? Wrong, so very wrong. He catches one ball in Week 4 (fortunately a TD), and re-aggravates his groin. Then he is a “maybe” for three consecutive weeks, ultimately being ruled out of each contest. FOUR WEEKS AFTER HE LEFT A GAME, the ad wizards working for Green Bay realize “Gosh it sure is weird that he hasn’t come back from a strained groin yet”, so they finally get a second opinion. It’s been torn this whole time, and he needs surgery - a surgery that he would be close to returning from if he had gotten it three weeks ago, when he hurt himself. I hope the entire city of Green Bay gets AIDS.
Gregg Easterbrook Is A Haughty Dipshit
Thankfully, Greggggggg was able to write his column this week, even with Hurricane Sandy dancing and strutting about the East Coast like the GLORY STORM she clearly was.
Halloween is tomorrow, a spooky day. Your columnist plans to dress as the national debt — that will be scary!
AHAHAHAHAHA GOOD ONE, GREGG! I plan to go as wasteful Federal corn subsidies. You talk about scaring children! Wait till they hear about the financial burden being foisted upon them by their forebears!
If you want to scare an NFL coach, dress as an Atlanta Falcon.
Because Julio Jones is a first round GLORYBANGER who will stab you and your kids! True story.
The Falcons bring a strong offensive line and a power rushing attack. They have hardworking veterans with football IQ: Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, John Abraham, Roddy White, Dunta Robinson.
And Julio Jones! Julio Jones is fucking awesome and you can’t deal with that fact, Greggggg. Everything you said about Jones is wrong and I want to hear you say it. SAY IT! SAY IT YOU FOUR-EYED CUMDRIBBLER.
If Atlanta can knock off the Sinners, the Falcons will look more like a Halloween Frankenstein.
God, I hate it when he calls the Saints the Sinners. I’m gonna coin a new cognomen for Gregg. It will be some obscure Aramaic term that signifies a man huffing his own rectal fumes.
Zombies have been the theme of big-budget movies “I Am Legend,” “28 Days Later,” “Doomsday,” the many “Dawn of the Dead” and “Resident Evil” films, “Cabin in the Woods,” plus countless B movies, 1950s drive-in movies and direct-to-video flicks. This despite the fact that, how shall I phrase this — zombies do not exist.
NO WAY. Really? They don’t? WHAT THE FUCK, HOLLYWOOD? I demand more zombie movies where the zombies don’t exist and more people have to be detained and questioned at length by airport security. Now that’s entertainment. By the way, aliens? They also don’t exist. Sorry, gang. Greggggg noticed this way before the mainstream media did. He could tell they weren’t real because no one in the movies asked them if they believed in Christ’s forgiveness.
TMQ admits to liking sci-fi movies that include warp drive and hyperspace, notions without a scintilla of grounding in physics. Still it seems particularly annoying that in zombie movies, the zombie plague always spreads super-ultra fast; causes instantaneous mutations; and makes zombies extra strong.
Yeah! Why does this fictional zombie plague have so many FICTIONAL elements? I mean, it’s laughable, really. Such a bête noir. Even Hawaii Five-O doesn’t take such dramatic liberties, and TMQ has seen half of its oeuvre. Introduce a zombie that walks too fast and Greggggg immediately writes “movie over” in his notebook.
Ghosts seem a lot more possible than zombies.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Hey, you know what seems a lot more plausible than zombies? Werewolves. AMIRITE? Totally more realistic to showcase the perils of lycanthropy.
Now that the weather is turning cold, cheer-babe professionalism comes into play. Professionalism in this sense means skin or at least skin-tight, which propitiates the football gods.
And Gregggg is the Director of Football God Development, so he would know. He specifically told the Football Gods to award any team that gives makes his dick go CLANG! GODFREY DANIEL, THAT YOUNG LASS IS QUITE AMPLE IN THE HINDQUARTERS. I hope she doesn’t care for zombies.
Trailing Seattle 24-21 with 35 seconds remaining, Detroit’s Joique Bell, undrafted out of Division II Wayne State, lunged at the Seahawks’ 1-yard line and might have been granted a touchdown.
And he should have been, because he’s an undrafted player looking to better himself. I bet Joique Bell would turn down lottery money if he won it!
Suicide Pick Of The Week
Last week’s picks of the Green Bay, Chicago, and San Francisco went 3-0, putting me at 16-8 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 Houston, Detroit, Green Bay, and dumb fantasy questions. Turn on the radio any day of the week and you will find a sports talk station fielding fantasy questions, all of which are so breathtakingly stupid that I want to reach through the radio waves and smash the caller’s face with a hammer. “Yeah, so I have to play two out of the following three players: Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, and Mike Tolbert.” ARE YOU FUCKING JOKING? You needed help making that choice? DIE. The other version of this is when a guy calls in and he’s like, “Hey, I have Brees, Brady, Rodgers, and RG3 on my team. Which one do I start?” ARE THERE ANY OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN YOUR LEAGUE? Pick one out of a hat and then go kill yourself. One day, I’m gonna start a Twitter feed that does nothing but retweet idiotic fantasy questions and I will be happy.
Great Moments In Mouse-Killing History
Reader Peter sends in this story:
My junior year of college I was living off campus on the first floor of this old apartment building. It had been renovated in the ’50s or ’60s but was originally built as a vacation home for rich people in the ’20s (it now qualifies as a residence for The Poors and college students, but whatever). Knowing that it was old and that I was on the first floor, I expected some unwelcome visitors from day one.
Pretty early on my roommates and I started spotting mice in the apartment. Well, I should say mouse, because we never saw the signs of more than one mouse at a time. We only ever saw the mouse in the hallway or my bedroom (which was actually intended as a living room), and never for long enough to actually do anything about it. The mouse would pop out of one corner, scurry along the side of the room, squeeze underneath the door (a quarter inch of space) and bam, gone. All of this typically happened at like 3 in the morning as well, so I could never prove to anyone that I wasn’t just hallucinating.
One night, as I’m studying for a midterm around 11pm or so, I notice something—a slow moving something. There’s a mouse crawling across my floor, but he’s WAY too close to me for his own good, he’s moving incredibly lethargically, and he’s not making an effort to stick to the sidelines. I look up from my book, I’m watching him, waiting to see if he’ll gear up for a sprint. The mouse waddles onto a notebook I left on the floor, stops, sits on it, and pisses, calm as you like. This was a no fear piss, a “fuck you, human” piss.
So I stand up, and I’m looking for something to kill this mouse with, because he just pissed on my notebook and like, what the fuck dude, seriously. So I grab a shoe, walk over to the mouse (maybe 3 steps), and stand over him. I’m daring the mouse to move, because I’m in the kill radius, and it’s his last chance to turn on the jets and get out of there. He’s just chilling, a few inches from the pissed-on notebook. So I wail on him. I hit him once with the shoe, but the mouse seems to bounce with it. So I hit him again, and it’s clear I’ve crushed his spine, but he’s still moving his legs somehow and Oh God what have I done so I hit him over and over now, rapid blows, until his brain matter is on the floor and he’s basically flat. Having never killed a mammal before, I feel surprisingly cool about taking this mouse’s life. I scoop him up with some paper (from the same notebook he pissed on), walk him out to the dumpster in the alley, drop him in, and go back to studying. The next night, I spotted another mouse in the hallway. The only logical conclusion is that the mice in my apartment all had a party, got drunk, and dared their idiot friend to go take a piss on my notebook. Assholes.
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 2012 chopping block:
• Norv Turner*
• Mike Munchak
• Chan Gailey
• Jason Garrett
• Jim Schwartz
• Rex Ryan*
• Romeo Crennel*
• Pat Shurmur
• Ron Rivera*
• Mike Shanahan
• Andy Reid
• Leslie Frazier
• Mike Mularkey
• Ken Whisenhunt
(*-possible midseason firing)
I don’t wanna jinx it, but this might end up being a banner year for firings. We’re still on track for Andy and Norv to finally be ousted at the end of the season, if not sooner. As always, I desperately want these men to take each other’s jobs. And look at so many other coaches that are clearly doomed! Rivera is doomed. Shurmur is doomed. Crennel is doomed. And poor Rex Ryan is probably also doomed. That’s six firings that are close to guaranteed and we’re barely at midseason. It’s gonna be a bloodbath. OH GOD IT’S GONNA BE SO GREAT I WISH A COACH GOT FIRED EVERY DAY.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Pistachios. In every bag of pistachios, there are at least two or three unshelled ones that manage to slip by. And they’re always shellacked with salt. I bet one of them has 5,000 milligrams of sodium. Those are the prize pistachios. I adore them. By the way, I should get a refund for any pistachio I can’t open. Why should I pay for five bad pistachios? Same with mussels. You can’t give me a bowl of mussels, five of which are still closed and LOADED with hepatitis, and charge me full price. I deserve at least three cents off in reparations.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
AC/DC beer! Reader Mike:
I know nothing more about this… but it’s cheap!
Fuck yeah, I would drink that. It should say YOU’VE BEEN DRUNKERSTRUCK along the bottom of the can. I wish there were more heavy metal beers. If I went to a sushi joint and they sold Loudness beer in the Ichiban size, I would order eight of them. I MUST HAVE IT. (Please note, I do not include any Kiss-related lagers, which I’m sure exist, in my enthusiasm. Kiss blows.)
Robert Evans’s MVP Watch!
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 Peyton Manning of the Broncos! Lotta talk about Star Wars this week. I suppose this would be a good time to tell you about George Lucas. Odd? YOU BET! Brilliant? NOT REALLY. I invited ol’ Lucas over to Woodland once to toast his success with the first Star Wars. I was dying to get him to sign with Paramount to do a sequel, so I laid it on thick. I got a pound of the finest Columbian blow from Carrie Fisher. I hired a dozen hookers to walk around wearing nothing but high heels and Storm Trooper helmets. And I had the Shah of Iran deliver me his own supply of beluga. ALL OF IT EXPENSED TO PARAMOUNT FOR A GOOD CAUSE.
"Well, Lucas shows up dressed like a dead wino. He ignores the hookers completely and spends all day in the driveway, asking me about the fucking ‘56 Mustang I kept out back. Every time I offered him some blow, he’d go on and on about the car. ‘This is one hot car, Evans! Let’s go cruising!’ Who talks like that? It’s a car. The only thing that matters about a car is how much pussy it brings in.
“‘Listen Georgie,’ I said. ‘You can have the damn car if we got a deal. I want you on board for this sequel. Tell me your vision.’
"And he lays out the single worst movie pitch I’ve ever heard. Do you what Lucas’ original pitch for Empire was? Luke Skywalker, working at a Tushie Station or whatever it’s called, fixing space cars and cruising for gals. He was gonna call it Episode V: Trouble In The Tushie. And that’s when I got out of the George Lucas business for good. What a stiff.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Chiefs Fans
Frankenstein. I watched this last night and had totally forgotten about the scene where Frankenstein kills the little girl. She hands him a flower, and then he just picks her up and throws her in a lake to fucking drown. You don’t see kid-drowning in a lot of movies anymore. I think we’re due for a renaissance.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"Let’s see: Tide…Cheer…Bold…Biz…Fab…All…Gain…Wisk. I believe today I will try…Bold."
Enjoy the games, everyone.