Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday at Defector during the NFL season. Got something you wanna contribute? Email the Roo. Buy Drew’s new novel, “Point B,” here.
Adam Schefter has been such a tireless, chirpy lapdog for so long that his presence in my life is less a coincidence than it is a hard law of science. Gravity keeps me adhered to the Earth’s surface. Water and air combine to deliver fresh oxygen to my working cells. Every day has 24 hours and not an hour more. And whenever the sport of football, at any level, wants good publicity that it doesn’t really need, Schefter is there, overjoyed to receive a puppeteer’s hand into his waiting asshole.
Adam Schefter is not a journalist. Now that’s rich coming from me, a guy with no training in the form who made his bones on the internet practicing sports insult comedy. But I still know what actual journalism looks like when I consume it, which is an important remedial skill to possess when Donald Trump is president. Schefter long ago crossed over from being a valuable NFL insider for the Denver Post to being whatever the fuck this is:
And whatever the fuck that is, Schefter is good at it. There are other access merchants polluting the sport: Pelissero, Rapaport, Glazer, Peter King, etc. But it’s Schefter, more than the others, who has made professional schmoozing his lifeblood. You can read all about it if you want to see how the utterly flavorless sausage is made. Schefter gladhands every league power broker and is determined to remain in their good graces no matter what kind of horrific shit they do. You remember how he handled the Ray Rice situation, when he openly mused whether or not a two-game suspension for Rice was “lenient enough.” And maybe you remember his valiant attempt at image rehabilitation for Greg Hardy after Hardy, too, was proven to be a vicious assailant of women:
Ol’ Schefty put on his Serious Man pants and tore the Ravens a new one to help balance the scales after that fuckup. But that moment of staged clarity did NOTHING to alter his approach. Why would it? ESPN doesn’t pay Schefter $1.2 million a year to have an active conscience. They pay him for nuggets, which he delivers on a regular basis. When I profiled Glazer many years ago, Glazer told me that he had to have X number of scoops ready for every Fox NFL Sunday telecast. He had a quota. The quota is the job. And it’s a valuable job, of sorts. I follow Schefter. Everyone does. He has the goods. But you don’t get the goods by expressing actual, human opinions about their import.
At ESPN, among other outlets, there is a hard line separating the journalistic enterprise with the entertainment enterprise. It’s a firewall, and Schefter cherishes that firewall like it’s a fucking dolly he slept with as a child. There’s a reason that Schefter, as connected as he is, did NOT break the news of Robert Kraft’s arrest in 2019. Keep in mind that, before authorities announced charges, word about the bust had spread so far that even we at Deadspin knew about it in advance. We weren’t able to corroborate it before the announcement, but that wouldn’t have been an issue for Mr. Smiles over here. Luckily for Schefter, it’s not his job to report news that would tarnish the precious shield. That would be too light a load of water to carry, unlike here.
ESPN has insiders in other sports, but none of them have the sycophantic zeal of Schefter. Adrian Wojnarowski is a famously vengeful crank who will cut your brakes if you have an agent he doesn’t care for. Jeff Passan routinely seeks out contrary opinions, even occasionally his own, when he reports on MLB’s fuckery. For better or worse, you get the sense that there’s an actual person behind the scoopage these men are delivering. Schefter, by contrast, has shed every last trace of that humanity. He’s Jimmy Pitaro’s perfect little student: there to generate anodyne news slugs and not make any trouble about it. You can ratio Schefter all you like for his rah-rah bullshit. That’s not gonna stop him. He has the backing of the four-letter behind him, and they like that he can fulfill his quota and not piss off the wrong people in doing so. Somehow that’s even more valuable to them right now, when sports news and world news have become hopelessly, eternally intertwined. We’re stuck with Schefter until he has a 404 error. His cheerful, deliberate ignorance is a feature not a bug. If ESPN could mint out 500 Schefters, they would. Don’t think they aren’t trying to as we speak.
So, while we endure Schefter’s vanilla reign, I’d like to use this moment to say, unequivocally, that he fucking sucks. Adam Schefter is an optimized bootlicker who, like so many other prominent Americans, has been surgically divested of shame. He’s Wormtongue with a smile emoji for a face. He’ll never be anything more than he is right now, and you should never trust that he’s gonna give you any news that hasn’t already been blessed by someone who deserves to burn. Fuck him.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Chiefs at Ravens: Throughout the pandemic, I have become a connoisseur of fake crowd noise. The best I’ve heard is for NBC’s Premier League broadcasts, which is taken from archival noise of corresponding home stadiums and coordinated to match how the crowd really WOULD react in real time to what’s going on out on the pitch. The worst is Fox’s fake baseball crowd, which may as well be sourced from a fucking bingo parlor. Their NFL noise isn’t great either, but I think MNF’s fake crowd is the worst football fake crowd we have to endure. They jack it up way loud, which is exactly what you DON’T wanna do when the camera is panning around vast swaths of empty seating. I can only suspend so much of my disbelief. If the noise is so loud that I actively notice it, then I’m also gonna notice that it’s a lie. And I cannot abide my TV lying to me. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
Cowboys at Seahawks: I gave up sugar recently to drop some weight. If you’ve ever had to cut something out of your life for the sake of self-betterment—junk food, alcohol, Twitter, your stepdad—you know that sometimes you dream about that shit after its exile. And so I have vivid dreams where I’m eating sweets and I wake up scared that I actually did eat them, only to get my bearings and realize, to my relief, that I have remained a good little boy. But whenever I make my goal weight, you better fucking believe I’m falling off the wagon. I already have a plan ready. I’m gonna eat ice cream with my mom’s chocolate sauce. Here is what goes into the sauce:
•Couple bars of semisweet baking chocolate
•Tablespoon or two of sugar
•Stick of butter
Melt all that shit in a pan over low heat and stir it together. PRESTO. You’re getting fat the classy way. I scrape the pot when my mom makes that sauce, and so will you. TREAT YO SELF.
Raiders at Patriots: I have crossed the Rubicon and now find the Raiders adorable.
I’m 43 and still can’t get enough of motivational locker room porn. When I played football, those moments were as close to in-game action as I got, so you better believe I put everything into a group BREAKDOWN! Nobody went into a quarter-squat harder than me, you better believe it. If Joe Judge did this shit I’d take out my dick just to make my wanking motion that much more pronounced. But Jon Gruden … this is the shit Gruden clearly lives for. I can’t hate him for it. He’s better at the high school coach bit than all the other high school coaches combined.
Packers at Saints: Hear me out on this: It makes perfect sense that every NFL player tore an ACL in Week 2 instead of Week 1. All of these guys were in shape to play football right off the bat, without a preseason. But many of them probably weren’t physically ready to RECOVER fully from Week 1. That’s its own hump you gotta get over. I remember that specifically from when I played. They ran us through two-a-days and scrimmages so that our bodies would get used to the meat grinder and learn to recover consistently from it.
And we did, but not without PURE AGONY. There were days in camp when I couldn’t even walk down a flight of stairs after practice, I was so sore. Then the soreness would go away and I’d be used to the punishment. A full body callus. I know a lot of big names don’t see a single snap in the average preseason, but they still get a full camp and offseason team workouts. That’s usually enough to get their recovery skills primed for the regular season. But without that pre-beating, you can play in Week 1 but you won’t be able to shake it off in time to trot out there for another round seven days later. That is my theory. I KNOW FOOTBAW.
Rams at Bills: Fox definitely has fewer sideline cameras than they did a year ago. You can tell any time a play needs to be reviewed, because they never have a lot of angles on the play, and the angles they do have are often shitty … shitty enough to make overturning the play impossible. That alone makes challenging any borderline play more fruitless than it already is. Wise coaches—let’s say there are four of them—will recognize this and adjust their challenge patterns accordingly. But, like, Dan Quinn isn’t gonna notice this shit at all.
Bears at Falcons: Speaking of Quinn, I know that he insisted that the Falcons players knew they could touch an onside kick before it traveled 10 yards, but you’ve seen that play and you know that’s horseshit. Watch again.
The Falcons hands team is CLEARLY stepping back and waiting for the ball to go ten yards before they try to pounce on it. They didn’t know. Even the fucking owner knows they didn’t know. Quinn didn’t prepare, and he’s covering his own ass by blaming his own players, and he should be fed to a dog. There should be consequences for choking against Mike McCarthy, of all coaches. That Quinn still has a job as we speak is an insult to not just working class people, but to, like, me. I’m more prepared than Dan Quinn is and that’s horrifying. Give me his contract.
Texans at Steelers: I will not try the KFC fries. You can’t make me.
[is offered the fries]
Okay I guess just this once.
Dolphins at Jaguars
Bucs at Broncos
Bengals at Eagles
Titans at Vikings: I switched over to Red Zone Channel last week because I was sick of watching the Vikings eat field paint at the hands of the Colts. Naturally, the second I flipped over, what do I see? The Colts in the red zone again. I need a mute function for RZC. If a team I dislike (mine) happens to be on it, it should cut away to the “No Rain” video. How can I be pissy about football when I have the Bee Girl? I CANNOT.
Niners at Giants: We’re in season, which means that every team’s Twitter feed gets what I usually find to be the most delightful ratio-ing of all: the basic announcement of a loss. The problem this year is that those replies have already become choked with “seals the deal” bots and by MAGA fuckbrains blaming the team’s loss on ANY pregame demonstration. Like if a team locks hands in solidarity before kickoff? OH LOOK ANOTHER LOSS THANKS TO WOKENESS. There’s literally no gesture of love or compassion that they can’t take as a fucking affront. Pieces of shit. Send them all to the chair.
Jets at Colts: I had forgotten that the Colts drafted Rodrigo Blankenship this offseason. I loved Blakenship at Georgia and I still love him as a pro. Look at our man…
He’s got the glasses AND the porn stache. Every kick is like traveling back to 1981. Protect this young man at all costs.
Panthers at Chargers: Five months after I self-published it, Point B comes out as an audiobook next Tuesday for your hearing pleasure. When I got the mp3s from Podium, I clipped certain parts as voice memos and I listen to them when I’m stoned off my ass. Mine is a needy ego.
Lions at Cardinals
WFT at Browns
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Sawed Off Shotgun,” by The Glorious Sons! The title alone is enough for me. From Kevin:
I saw your adopted British sons, The Struts, play at a tiny venue that had no more than a thousand people. Their opening act was the Glorious Sons: a band I’d never heard of before and let me tell you they fucking slayed. Just a good ole rock band and S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun) was their biggest jam of the night.
I believe I saw this band open for The Struts as well, only they opened for the opening act, which was White Reaper. That was a good fucking night. One day when this is all over we’ll meet again at a 9:30 Club show. I’ll be hoarse by 9:07 p.m.
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
Like I said before, I never even heard of this idiot until he kicked a buddy out of his chateau for saying something mean about the Times lady who quit but wanted everyone to believe she got fired. Now he’s everywhere in my goddamn feed. I blame all of my friends for giving this fartsniffer oxygen. When you amplify the haughty dipshit (as I’m doing right now!), you BECOME the haughty dipshit. I wish this guy fell back into his briehole.
Magic Johnson’s Lock Of The Week: Cardinals (-5.5) vs. Lions
“Kyler Murray threw for 286 yards and a touchdown in a victory against the Washington Football Team just one week ago! When you put up numbers like that, you can expect a thrilling victory will come with it! I’m so happy that 1-800-FLOWERS is now 1800flowers.com! If I were the family of Kyler Murray, I would order him flowers from that website to celebrate his win! ENCORE!”
2020 Magic record: 2-0
Fantasy Player Who Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
You’ve got some nerve tearing you ACL like that, Saquon Barkley. AFTER ALL THAT FANTASY OWNERS HAVE DONE FOR YOU.
Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!
The Bang Bang Lady! From Michael:
Seven years old. But still airs in East AL/West GA border towns regularly.
Alas, the bangbanglady.com URL now directs you to an error page. This is a shame, because I trust these two ladies to sell me recreational explosives more than I would trust anyone else to. Also, pretty shocking no porn sites have snatched up that URL for an easy redirect.
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 2020 chopping block:
(* – potential midseason firing)
It’s clear now that Adam Gase doesn’t want to be here anymore than you want him to be:
I know a dead man talking when I hear it, and I only got one working ear. After Rich Kotite got fired by the Jets, he never worked as a coach again. In any capacity. That’s what’s coming for Adam Gase. Only the Jets have the power to render a head coach so toxic that he can’t even thrive as a retread after the fact. A year from now, Adam Gase is gonna be managing a Home Depot and demanding employees show up even after they test positive for the rona.
Great Moments In Grandpa History
Reader Ethan sends in this story I call THE SHIT HITS THE GRAN:
Once upon a time, my grandfather suffered a subdural hemorrhage. He spent a good amount of time in a convalescent home. One October weekend, I took my grandmother to visit him. It was definitely tough seeing my normally regal grandfather laid out, barely able to move. After some long minutes of silence my grandmother breaks the ice.
“You know, dear, today is our anniversary,” she says.
“Oh, is it?” my grandfather replied. “I’m so sorry. I must have forgotten.”
“I’ll forgive you, as long as you got me something nice”.
“I did. I got you a bag of shit.”
Now, my grandfather NEVER swore. I mean never. At least not in front of the kids. It was such a stunner even my super prude of a grandmother almost fell over laughing.
“Is that all you got me?”
“No,” my grandfather said with a total deadpan. “I got you two bags!”
Now here’s the kicker. As I’m driving my grandmother home I ask her why she said it was their anniversary. I had been to numerous anniversary celebrations at the end of December. Here we were in October. My grandmother told me they actually got married in October, more than a year before anybody knew about it. They went to Atlantic City, eloped, then waited more than a year before they had their official celebration with their families. My grandmother assured me that there were no shenanigans (super prude) happening. They got back to NY after their Atlantic City trip and went to their separate apartments and never consummated the marriage.
This is bullshit, right? They were horny young people but were also very proper, so they went and got married so they could knock one out without feeling guilty about it. Is there any other reason to do what they did?
Nah but let them have their lie. It’s a worthy lie. Also, your grandpappy and I are both in the Hemorrhage Club, so I love him sight unseen.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Sweet potato chips. You’re already familiar with the cottage industry of sweet potato substitute junk foods out on the market, with sweet potato fries being the worst offender. HOWEVER, there’s a restaurant in New York my wife and I liked that used to serve baskets of sweet potato chips that were warm and fresh. When you got a good one, it wasn’t crispy at all. It was SOFT from absorbing all the fatty, oily badness in the fryer. You dunked that shit in salsa and it all made sense somehow. I’ll forgive sweet potato chips for existing based on that basket alone.
But sweet potato fries remain on notice.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Three Horses Beer! From Madagascar! From Evan:
On my recent trip to the faaaaar reaches of Africa, I came across the national beer of Madagascar. The menu said “THB” and our guide assured me that their beer had won many awards at beer competitions in France (side note: as anyone who has drunken Kronenbourg can attest to, France is not a European nation that should be giving out awards for beer). I ordered and the waiter came back with a large bottle of “Three Horses Beer” complete with the 3 horse logo. The verdict: Not bad! A very drinkable pilsner, worthy of French beer awards for sure. I still don’t know what the three horses represent, but maybe it’s better that way.
I think horses are the unofficial mascot of beer pretty much anywhere you go. Plus, look at those three horses in particular. They look like they’ve seen some real shit. They know their hooch.
Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“See now, the way you make sausage from recycled paper is … you find some paper. Doesn’t have to be good paper. I actually like the kid paper with the woody bits in it. You take that paper and you put it in a coffee can. And then, you spit in that coffee can for, let’s call it two weeks, okay? Now you got your paper and your moisture. Then, you season it with some three-leaf clovers. That’s nature’s parsley, okay? You take all that good filling and you cram it into a condom. NEW CONDOM. Not used. Did you know latex comes from plants? You can eat it.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jets Fans
Hamilton. I’ve goofed on Hamilton fanboys for so long that it only seemed fair that I watch the goddamn thing, from the comfort of both my home and my working budget, to judge it on its own merits. I expected a flawlessly staged, well-written musical, and that’s exactly what I got. In particular, both Thomas Jefferson and the King George who won’t stop spitting are both really good. I can’t argue with people who think Hamilton is one of the best productions in Broadway history because it obviously is.
That said, I was glad when it was over and you couldn’t pay me to endure watching that shit ever again. I broke it up over the course of three nights and it still felt endless. Hamilton fits right into the canon of works of art that you admire more than you like. It’s like how I thought The Ice Storm was well made, but would rather shit hot knives than ever take in a second viewing.
You don’t need yet another full review of Hamilton, so lemme just succinctly list the parts of it I thoroughly despised:
- Alexander Hamilton. I have no beef with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s performance of him, but Hamilton is still the worst character in the whole thing. Just a completely self-absorbed prick. And frankly, the dialogue went by too fast for me to glean what Hamilton actually did that was all that good. It was probably all lies anyway.
- Hamilton’s wife singing look around look around. Every time I thought I was free from that refrain, they would reprise it. It’s the Mr. Clean jingle, man.
- Not enough blood. In fact, no blood at all! And a guy gets shot to death in it!
- No songs I actually wanted to listen to again after I’d seen it. Despite the fact that I’m a certified I Hate All Musicals guy, I do like SOME musical songs. Even one from Teen Beach Movie. I’m not an impregnable fortress. But no, I have not gone madly dashing to Spotify to listen to “The Room Where It Happens” on an infinite loop.
- Hamilton had the worst outfit of the entire cast.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Bart, if I wanted to kill you, I’d have choked you like a chicken the moment I walked in that door. But then, what kind of guest would I have been?”
Enjoy the games, everyone.