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. Pre-order Drew’s new book, “The Night The Lights Went Out,” through here.
Here’s a stunt for you.
What you’re looking at is Bucs rookie linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka stunting inside his own nose tackle and treating Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones the way that all of America would like to treat Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones. But of course, the sack isn’t the highlight here. The highlight is the man who made that sack entirely possible: Bucs NT Vita Vea, who rushes to the outside and turfs poor Patriots LT Isaiah Wynn while also dragging LG Ted Karras along for the ride. Thanks to Vea, Tryon-Shoyinka gets to blitz through a left side of the Pats’ line that had been rendered nonexistent. This is what cool fat guys do, and every team requires one.
Vea’s career with the Bucs has been a run of scene-stealing cameos. He’s only played one full season with Tampa, and that was in 2019. He only played five games with the Bucs in 2020 before going on IR, reappearing just in time for the NFC title game against Green Bay. He registered no tackles in that game, and just a single tackle in the Super Bowl. But if you watched that game, you saw what the other 10 Bucs defenders were able to do to the Chiefs thanks to Vea’s ability to cut off the oxygen supply of any offense he faces. That play up above against New England? Vea has made that play more than once, although often in less spectacular fashion. Tying up two linemen so that his teammates can beat the piss out of everyone else is more or less his job, and he does it better than anyone else in the sport.
Vea comes from a lineage of players that includes Vince Wilfork, Ted Washington, Pat Williams, Haloti Ngata, Tony Siragusa, Jay Ratliff, Henry Thomas, Dontari Poe, Akiem Hicks, Tim Bowens, and Jerry Ball. None of these men are currently enshrined in Canton. Maybe Wilfork—already a nominee for the 2022 class and widely beloved—will get proper recognition next summer. In general though, we’re talking about a group of men who are paid handsomely and given due credit by Those Who Know, but who are otherwise forced to cede the limelight to the sack masters they pave the way for. They are the offensive linemen of defensive linemen.
And I adore them. You have been told many times that you can’t appreciate the athleticism of NFL players until you see them play live in person. But this is especially true of oversized defensive linemen like Vea. They operate at a size and a speed that does not biologically compute. No human should be that large, let alone move that nimbly. But these guys do. Watch them ply their trade live and your mind will break. They only look fat on your screen. In actuality, they’re made of vulcanized rubber. Hit them with a bat and the bat will snap.
Now, are all these guys on designer roids? Probably. Does Vea have to get an injection of gazelle insulin anytime he tweaks an ankle? Quite possibly. Do I care? No. I care not. Stuff these men with more hormones than a Perdue chicken and let them work their fat magic. I’ll still remain in their thrall, because any defense that has a guy like this is a mortal lock to be a good one. If you have a guy that can routinely force two offensive players to do the job of one, you’ve left the rest of that offense shorthanded. If I were a basketblogger, I would call them cheat codes, but I’m above that kind of nonsense.
Furthermore, and I know this from watching Hicks play for the Bears, if you have a guy like this, you have a one-man run defense. No sane offensive coordinator runs the ball near Hicks. He’ll swallow that running back and then shit him out a minute later. Like a shutdown corner, a great nose tackle wipes away entire chapters of your playbook prior to any game. You’re left shorthanded in terms of both scheme and personnel. Plus the rest of the defense gets a rest from the very pronounced wear and tear that comes with having to defend the run. So if there’s a high-quality NT in your area, please tip him generously. And then give him a big ol’ hug.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Browns at Chargers: We have to do something about CBS’ NFL theme music, because it’s crap.
This is not actively grating music, but I remain baffled that CBS had a better theme already in the rotation and switched to this one essentially because it sounded manlier. I thought they’d replace it within a few years but NO. No, the pickup truck music is now apparently a hallowed tradition over at the Tiffany Network. Makes me SICK. At least the Fox jingle reminds me of Christmas. This one reminds me of Boomer Esiason standing on a fake field in the studio and being like BAKER MAYFIELD HAS TO SHOW THAT HE CAN BE MORE CONSISTENT.
Titans at Jaguars: This game undoubtedly sucks, but the Urban Meyer factor has rendered Jacksonville mandatory viewing anyway. One of his players might strangle him dead right there on the field. I’m not missing that.
Bills at Chiefs
Packers at Bengals: I am begging every sportscaster in America—nay, the world—to stop reading tweets and quotes out loud to me when they’re already up on the screen.
Rams at Seahawks: This game is tonight and it’s good on paper, which means that’ll inexplicably end 5-3.
Niners at Cardinals: Very excited for the Dr. Dre Super Bowl halftime, except OH WAIT RIGHT HE’S A WIFE-BEATER.
During that time, she said, he was often physically abusive, hitting her with a closed fist and leaving “black eyes, a cracked rib and scars.” Michel’le said she never pressed charges because, “We don’t get that kind of education in my culture.”
Maybe Deshaun Watson will be reactivated in time to lead the Texans to this game. Would make the whole affair that much more wholesome.
Saints at WFT: It would be oddly heartwarming if Taylor Heinicke turned out to be the next Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s like the world’s lowest-stakes sports movie: Fitz injures his hip, his backup comes to his side, Fitz touches him on the arm and PRESTO! Suddenly the backup acquires the superpower to have a 17-year career with a cumulative record of 50-100. No rings, but $80 million in career earnings. And then he becomes our Most Beautiful Boater and sails over the horizon to start his own sovereign, libertarian island nation that runs exclusively on Fartcoin.
Meanwhile, Taysom Hill reared his ugly head last week and I wondered to myself WHY I hate him so. It doesn’t make a ton of sense. Taysom Hill makes exciting plays AND he excuses me from having to see Jameis Winston’s face for stretches. I should like this man. I should get pumped seeing him enter a game. And yet, I despise his coach for making Hill his own schematic plaything, and there’s a residual Tebow effect where I treat any gadgety white quarterback as an overexposed fraud. None of that is Taysom Hill’s fault. But by God if I have to watch him run ONE more goddamn failed draw from the six…
Giants at Cowboys: The only place I’ve traveled to since I got vaccinated has been New York City, and on both those visits I fucked up because I didn’t eat at a diner either time. Manhattan diners are the only restaurants on Earth that can get away with having a menu that’s 10 pages long. Any other restaurant that does this and you know you’re good and fucked. But go to a shitty Manhattan diner and you can get eggs benedict, a cup of matzo ball soup, AND a full chicken shawarma platter, and all of it will be solid. They’re miraculous places. When this site makes its first billion, I’m gonna buy a house that has a full service Manhattan diner in it. Fries and gravy ANYTIME. It’s a quality plan.
Colts at Ravens
Bears at Raiders
Broncos at Steelers
Eagles at Panthers
Dolphins at Bucs: When I first read about the coming emoji revolution, I was like any other writer who got their knickers in a twist over the idea that tiny little images could ever possibly convey the personality and nuances that language itself can. Then I realized that emoji had a valuable utility for all the times I didn’t want to have to write “Sounds great!” to someone in a text message. Much too burdensome. A crisp, snappy thumbs-up emoji does the job in spots where eloquence is not needed.
But I have my limits. And you motherfuckers … you have pushed them past the breaking point. Some of you still use emoji responsibly, which is to say sparingly. But many of you PILES OF SHIT have decided that using the same repertoire of stock emoji over and over again somehow demonstrates your innate cleverness to the world. You are wrong, and now you must pay. Because just as I automatically downgrade any person who uses fucking gifs in a Twitter thread, I will beat you to fucking death if you use the following emoji.
😬 | THE CLENCHED TEETH EMOJI
Someone just said or did something gross and your reaction, instead of verbal disgust, is just a fucking yellow face grimacing, like you’re a 70-year-old homeroom teacher who just heard the s-word. This is the emoji for people who want to point out wrongdoing but either have absolutely nothing interesting to add on top of it or are too chickenshit to say WHY they’re cyberconcerned. You are causing a gawker’s block on the information superhighway, I hope you get run over by a truck. Find some actual pearls to clench and see if that works better, MOM.
👀 | THE SHIFTY EYES EMOJI
Oh wow the Patriots just announced Stephon Gilmore’s release! You’re surprised. Perhaps even a little suspicious. You can’t help what wonder what the ripple effects of such a transaction might be. There may even be a hint of personal rancor behind the scenes of the move. So what do you do? That’s right: You use the exact same emoji you used four tweets ago because you heard the fifth trailer for fucking Dune was about to drop. WOW. What a vital addition to the discourse you just provided. Good thing I had you around to tell me to watch this space. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been online right when Gilmore got dealt to a hard-up Panthers for a sixth-rounder. GLAD I STUCK AROUND FOR THE ENDGAME THERE.
🍿 | THE POPCORN ONE
Same as the shifty eyes one, but even more inane. Everyone online is so horny to grab a box of popcorn they don’t even give a shit what it’s for anymore. The Jets and the Falcons are squaring off in London? POPCORN. Stephen A. has some choice words for Dak Prescott on First Take? POPCORN. Kevin Durant got tagged into some benchwarmer’s angry tweet? POPCORN. How fucking low are your standards for entertainment, man? Does anything not fake excite you? If you’re gonna be the world’s lamest hypeman, at least get paid for it.
😂 | “I’M LAUGHING SO HARD I’M ACTUALLY CRYING REAL TEARS!”
No you’re not.
Liar. Hack. Shitbag. This is the one that almost always gets tacked onto the end of every neofascist defending themselves in tweet form. “People out here acting like you can’t get COVID if you’re vaccinated LOL.”
(NOTE: Our own Kalyn Kahler uses this emoji often in work Slack but is actually very charming about it. She is exempted.)
🤔 | THE CHIN SCRATCHING “HMMM” EMOJI
As with the shifty eyes, here we have another emoji for people who enjoy dancing around every goddamn thing. Only the HMMM factor gives it an extra layer of fartsniffing that makes me want to burn down every college library. Here’s something else for you to think about, kiddo: my foot, in your ass.
🤷♀️ | UPTURNED HANDS LADY/GUY
The worst of the lot. The “sorry not sorry” emoji. If Kelly Loeffler were an emoji, she’d be this fucking lady, turning up her hands because well geez, she’s just a country girl who doesn’t think interracial marriage should be legal. But hey, what does she know? She’s just putting that take out there, because she knows that you know it’s right, but she’s pretty sure you’ll get all virtue signal-y anyway about it. Daw jeez, what are you gonna do, ya know? Fucking passive aggressive piece of shit.
Stop using these emoji or I will drown you in a river.
Jets at Falcons: This might be the one that makes England revolt BACK against us. They’ll stop sending all of their good actors over and everything.
Lions at Vikings
Patriots at Texans
Pregame Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Collapse,” by Coldbones! Someone here knows how much I like power trios, and it’s reader Bob!
Post-rock bands tend to take themselves too seriously and noodle around for 10 minutes before getting to the good stuff. Fortunately, Coldbones doesn’t waste any time here. It’s just three dudes who are forcibly infused with THE ROCK, and THE ROCK ensues.
That it does. This song features no vocals, but the video does feature a death priest tying the band up and then torturing them with, like, motor oil. Truly the best shit.
Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!
Attorney Donna Grodner! Baton Rouge’s … finest? Maybe? Reader Mac writes in:
Baton Rouge has about 700,000 personal injury lawyers, most of them middle-aged white guys with slick ad campaigns. I appreciate Donna’s low-fi approach. I only remember seeing this for a minute around 2010-11 but it stuck with me.
How could it not? MOVE OVER, SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK BLUES. There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to watching a person rifle through placards on camera.
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 2021 chopping block:
(* – potential midseason firing)
The Jaguars’ season will only remain compelling to me as long as Urban Meyer is still there. As long as he’s in charge, every week will be a festival of horny, negligent old-guy shit. He’ll ditch the team go backpacking with a 24-year-old mistress. He’ll show up at a Vegas blackjack table at 4 a.m. with zero context. He’ll issue grandiose statements every Monday that say, “I am COMMITTED to the city of Jacksonville, and to my loving family, but I can’t commit alone. Our players need to buy in too, and I’m proud to say they will.” This has been a real rodeo, and I don’t want it to end. It’s circa 2005 Deadspin shit. Makes me feel much younger.
But the second Urban forges a positive leprosy test and fucks off for the top job at Colorado, all of that magic will be gone. Already I mourn.
SHAMELESS BOOK PLUG
This is the last week I’m gonna use this space demanding that you preorder The Night The Lights Went Out, which comes out October 12. After this, I’m instead gonna demand you simply buy the thing outright. Because you’ll finally be able to, supply chain woes be damned. And you’ll want to, because both Goodreads and NetGalley already have a shitload of reviews in the chamber, many of them from people who’ve never even heard of me. All of them agree that reading about me experiencing a sudden, crippling brain injury was surprisingly entertaining and fun! TELL ME YOU AREN’T SOLD.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader TC, possibly O’Boyle, sends in this story I call FART OF DARKNESS:
One of my first jobs out of college required me to travel and on this occasion I was in Dallas for a trade show. With me was my sales manager Chuck, who was the prototypical road warrior who had spent much of his time traveling for the various companies that he had worked for. I had learned a lot from Chuck, but as a 24 year-old with little experience traveling on the company dime, I had never taken a “phantom” customer out for dinner.
As anyone who has traveled and done sales for a living, when you spend all day with your customers sometimes it’s nice to just be able to go to dinner and not have to be “on”. Well today was one of those days, so Chuck decided that we were going to Morton’s for dinner and we would pretend to take a customer. Now Morton’s is pretty expensive, but the best way to make it appear that you had another person with you is to order some extra food in the event that someone might question your expense report. When Chuck told me to order whatever I wanted AND order some more I was in fat kid heaven. Lobster Bisque, Lump Crab Meat Cocktail, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, and the Double Cut Filet Mignon (a sight to behold).
Now they are very smart at Morton’s and they inform you before your meal that if you would like their famous Hot Chocolate Cake, which is cake with a molten chocolate filling and ice cream, you should order it now because it takes 20 minutes to bake. (Translation – we know that your fat ass will be full before we ask you if you would like dessert so we are asking you now). Well that sounded too good to pass up so I ordered that too. Dinner was progressing nicely and about half-way through my filet I start to get the meat sweats. I stop for a few minutes and the meat sweats turn into abdominal pain, the kind that every over-eater has felt, the kind of pain that comes on in waves and then subsides and you know that you have between 15 minutes and a half hour before you blow an o-ring.
As I am sitting there feeling like shards of glass are passing through my innards, which seem to be intensifying, I tell Chuck that I am not feeling well (and he can tell by the look on my face that I am probably going to shit myself) so he asks for the check and for the Maitre D to call a cab (I didn’t even know you could do that at Morton’s). The check soon arrives along with the Hot Chocolate cake, which looks amazing. I am now staring at this ridiculous dessert in front of me I do what any fat kid would do, I fucking ate it. Even though I felt like I was being stabbed in my abdomen, it was so damn good that I forced about 3 or 4 huge bites down. They bring the receipt and tell us that the cab had arrived and I sprinted for the door.
Chuck and I jumped in the cab and I told the driver that we needed to get to the Meridien, which was about 10 miles away, as quick as possible. He definitely recognized the “this guy is about to shit his pants” look on my face and drove like someone that doesn’t want anyone to shit their pants in his mini-van cab. Fortunately there are very few cars in downtown Dallas at night, just lots of homeless people sleeping in rows on the sidewalk, and the ride was only about 15 minutes, though it felt much longer. I didn’t think that my abdominal pain could get any worse but that incredibly rich chocolate cake had joined the party in my stomach, but planned on leaving through my colon as soon as it got there.
When he pulls up to the hotel I leave Chuck to pay him and I waddle as fast as I can through the lobby. I literally shoved passed a couple waiting in front of the elevator, whose doors had just opened, and frantically begin tapping the “4” button and the close door button. The people that I had cut in front off were about to get on, but my sweaty red face and button tapping were enough to convince them to wait for the next elevator. I undid my belt and unbuttoned my pants in the elevator and grabbed the key out of my pocket. When the doors opened on the fourth floor I once again waddled as fast as I could, this time holding my pants up with one hand and holding my key in the other. My room door opened and I dropped my pants and boxers, took my shirt off (I always poop with my shirt off) and hopped right through the bathroom door almost landing my entire rear-end on the seat…almost. My asshole was half over the toilet and half over the seat, but my intestines did not care. The pressure that the liquid exited combined with the position of my asshole caused the hot brown filth to partially land in the toilet, but mostly spray up my back and the back of my legs. I spent the next twenty minutes in the shower rinsing off and getting out every five minutes or so and shitting some more. It was exhausting but so worth
Obviously the question here is, “Why didn’t TC just use the restaurant’s bathroom if he had to shit so bad?” but I guess the “I always poop with my shirt off” part answers that well enough.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Armenian string cheese, which is different from regular string cheese because it has seeds in it. My wife is Armenian and I had no idea this cheese existed (it’s only sold in pretty much every supermarket) until I met her family. Now I eat it by the pound. The key ingredient in those seeds is the fentanyl.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Kokanee! Aruba, Jamaica, oooooh I wanna take ya… We’re back on American soil with this “glacier fresh” bilge water straight outta America’s serial killer hotbed. From Jim:
I drank Kokanee while stuck in Spokane, WA for a day (not actually a bad city). Five dollars for a six-pack of 16-ouncers definitely qualifies for cheap beer. Five percent ABV. Tasted almost exactly like Coors.
I believe you. But it’s got an even better can, and that matters.
“I tell my guys every day: You GOTTA keep hustling. This Watson guy, let’s face it: he’s pretty full of shit, right? But he’s still hustling! I don’t know what the fuck he’s got going on behind the scenes, but he’s still out there working rooms and greasing palms and rubbing elbows and cupping balls … I want THAT kind of mentality with this team. I want us to keep hustling, even when everyone else is like, Stop it. Cut it out. The game is over and you already lost. The stadium emptied out an hour ago. Why are you still tackling people? We’re gonna build a winner that way. A lasting one.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jaguars Fans
Once Upon A Time In The West, which is so good you immediately understand why Tarantino stole everything from it. I watched this movie a month ago and I’m virtually certain that it’s the first Charles Bronson movie I’ve ever seen. He was also in The Great Escape, but I can’t remember if I actually watched that movie, or if I’ve just watched the 500 movies inspired by it. I grew up when Bronson’s career had descended into schlock, so I only remembered him as the star of, like Death Wish 12 and Kinjite: Forbidden Secrets. I never thought of him as, like, an actual actor. But holy shit, is he ever one. He also has a backstory that makes Jim Tomsula look like a member of the Walton family.
…As the eleventh of fifteen children of an illiterate coal miner who died when Bronson was ten, as a coal miner himself between the ages of sixteen and twenty, and as mailman, baker and onion picker at various other times, he has had great good fortune to arrive at his current condition: He is allegedly the highest-paid movie actor in the world.
Can’t say he didn’t earn it.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“The next few weeks at my dream job were like a wonderful, waking coma.”
Enjoy the games, everyone.