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Jamboroo

I Am Fucking PUMPED For The Holidays At Home

<> on November 24, 2016 in Stamford, Connecticut.
John Moore/Getty Images

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.

I couldn’t sleep the other night. I woke up at 1:30 in the morning to piss and then stayed awake, against my will, for another two hours. This isn’t a new occurrence. I’ve suffered from fits of sporadic insomnia ever since I was in middle school. Sometimes there’s a reason for it: I’m thinking about work, I have the runs, I heard a bump in the night, I’m worried the world is in deep shit, I’m thinking about football, I got too drunk (not a factor anymore now that I’m sober), I’m unbearably horny, etc. Other times I’m awake just because I’m awake, putting pressure on myself to fall back asleep and only growing more painfully awake in the process.

But this sleepless night didn’t fit snugly into any of those categories. No, I was restless because I knew that Thanksgiving was soon, and that the entire holiday season was going to follow suit. Now, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since I was in college, but I don’t think I’ve ever lost sleep in anticipation over it. This is a holiday designed to INDUCE sleep at every stage, and I have long obeyed its commands. Also, every American who isn’t a lunatic eventually gets jaded about the entire Christmas Industrial Complex. I see Christmas shit at the store in August and roll my eyes like every other crank. I never put on Christmas music before Thanksgiving. My wife and I usually don’t even put up the tree until we’re through at least the first week of December, if not longer. I love Christmas, but I try to limit my yearly intake so that I don’t become a Christmas Person. You know the type. There are entire wings of the mall that exist to serve those people year-round.

But this year, I’m in danger of becoming one of them. I am fucking PUMPED for the holidays. I was up for two hours the other night because I was beset on all sides by visions of perfectly moist turkey, and mashing potatoes until nary a lump is in sight, and setting the table while Cowboys fans give each other mono AND COVID at the same time in the background, and busting out the egg nog, and blasting The Nutcracker on the Bluetooth speaker, and making sure I record Rudolph on the DVR before it comes and goes, and trimming the tree this very weekend, and buying myself a new computer on Black Friday, and getting the kids everything they want on their wishlists because this has been an AWFUL year and they’ve weathered it with a better attitude than I have.

I’m ready for all of that. Right now. I need it. Everyone does. Every holiday season has a decidedly melancholy undercurrent, but 2020’s is going to be even more pronounced. Tens of thousands of Americans will die of COVID in the next month. Many of us are jobless and in desperate need of governmental support that isn’t forthcoming. And, of course, many of us are going to be compelled—I’d say “forced” if we had anything close to effective leadership—to ride the entire season out at home. So it’s only natural that I want to overcompensate for all of these circumstances by getting nut-deep into holiday cheer. If I turn into plastic in the midst of all this, so be it. I’ll take any artificial sources of happiness I can get right now.

But there’s an earned cheer inside of me this Thanksgiving as well. I’m lucky in that I am not entirely alone for this stretch. I have my wife and kids with me, as I have all year long. Also, this is gonna be the first Christmas we’ve had at home since 2016. In 2017, we went to my parents. In 2018, I was stuck in a New York hospital, recovering from a massive brain hemorrhage. In 2019, we went BACK to my parents to help rinse off all of 2018’s bad memories. And now, four years later, my wife and I finally get to go where most Americans yearn to go every holiday season: Fucking nowhere. We don’t have to load up the car. We don’t have to go to a fucking airport. We don’t even have to go Christmas shopping at the mall, because the mall is a death trap. All we have to do is sit around and get fat.

I’m ready for that. I have a million reasons to be sad in 2020, but the holidays serve as a pleasant reminder that there are some things in my life that sadness cannot touch. I hope you have some of those things in your own life, too. It’s what you deserve. You also deserve to eat an entire pie yourself. In one sitting. Who’s gonna judge you for that in 2020? I sure as fuck won’t. I’ll be too busy napping, with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head and a grin on my face so wide you could land a fucking plane on it. Today is Thanksgiving, and this is your Thanksgiving Jamboroo. TAKE IT AWAY, NAT.

The Games

All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.

Five Throwgasms

Chiefs at Bucs: Ever since JPP blew his own hand off, he’s logged 37 sacks and earned over $60 million in guaranteed money in just four additional years of work. So I think it’s time I stopped making Total Recall jokes about the man and transitioned to a state of absolute fucking awe. The guy is a better player with eight fingers than he was with 10. HOLY FUCKING SHIT! Every time JPP sacks a QB now, the broadcast should flash a money shot of his mangled bare hand to remind you what he’s playing with. I don’t care how many steroids JPP is taking to help out. Let him eat all the Winstrol he likes.

In other news, Demarcus Robinson can eat shit and die. Patrick Mahomes already has a lot of mouths to feed on this offense. I don’t need Demarcus swooping in and vulturing precious catches to dilute the stat pool even further. The fucker.

Four Throwgasms

Ravens at Steelers: This game has already been postponed to Sunday, but it should be outright canceled because the entire Ravens organization now shares five working lungs between them, and because the Steelers are absolutely fucking repugnant. WILL it be cancelled? Of course not. Will I watch? Of course I will. I can COVID shame the NFL all I like, but I also really, truly, deeply hated the sports-free months at the beginning of the pandemic. Those fucking SUCKED. And so now I’m gonna be part of the problem and watch the Steelers, led by NFL Fred Durst, go 12-0, because that is where this accursed season has always been headed. I hope the Steelers get—and this is a twist—CANCER. Didn’t expect that, did you? Yep, I wish good old fashioned cancer of the asscheeks upon all of them, but mostly for Ben.

Three Throwgasms

Titans at Colts: Look closely at your TV screen this weekend and you’ll notice that Ryan Tannehill is going bald. I’m an able-haired guy, so it’s mean to point out bald guys in the wild. And yet it never gets old. THAT BALD SPOT IS ONLY GONNA GET BIGGER, RYAN. Your wife won’t be able to shoot you out of this one!

Chargers at Bills

Two Throwgasms

Bears at Packers: I would like coverage sacks to become an official stat. The NFL will never do this, because determining what is and what isn’t a coverage sack is too subjective for their tastes, and because they would never want to take stats away from household-name defensive stars. But just last year, Eric Eager and George Chahrouri at Pro Football Focus did a study of coverage versus rush that included the following rough conclusion:

Teams with elite coverage (67th percentile or better) and a poor pass rush (33rd percentile or worse) win, on average, about a game and a half more than teams with the reverse construction. Thus, is the correct conclusion that coverage > pass rush? I think that it is more nuanced than this.

I’m sure it is. But what is clear that secondaries aren’t getting proper statistical credit when the QB can’t find anyone open and then has to take a sack from a third-string DE. That end didn’t do fuck all. The secondary had to stick to every receiver for five goddamn seconds to get him his moment in the limelight. THIS IS BULLSHIT.

Cardinals at Patriots: At some point during the Bills game, I realized that Kyler Murray is my favorite NFL player. Players from my own team don’t count here, of course. Take them out of the equation (which Dallas just did a week ago), and all I wanna see every Sunday is Kyler hopping around the field like the magical fucking leprechaun that he is. It’s perfect television. There’s a new breed of QBs in this sport who can do virtually anything, but Kyler’s anything is somehow the most enjoyable anything of the bunch. I wanna be his bodyguard.

By the way, if you do NOT have a mobile quarterback in the NFL right now, you’re fucked. A decade ago, I was firmly of the mind that you needed a classic dropback passer to thrive, because eventually there would come a time when your QB wouldn’t be able to rely on his feet in bigass moments. This is the kind of shitty, not-even-thinly-veiled-racist take that Bill Polian still spews to this day. And it’s so clearly wrong now. I regret ever having it. Kyler and Mahomes and Lamar and Russell have legitimately redefined this position for the better, and I never want to go back.

Raiders at Falcons: If you missed it last week, here’s a fully rejuvenated Derek Carr doing the signature Kubrick closeup.

Kubrick had other shots in his arsenal as well, including his fabled tracking shot. But the closeup—face down, eyes up—is my personal favorite. I love me a good signature shot. Like when you put on a Fincher movie and you get a shot of menacing figure looming above the camera in the darkness?  Oh yeah, gimme all that shit. Let Fincher direct every episode of Sunday Night Football. I’m ready to see Derek Carr in whole new ways.

Panthers at Vikings

Seahawks at Eagles

Niners at Rams

Saints at Broncos

One Throwgasm

WFT at Cowboys: It really is amazing that Ron Rivera has worked for two of the absolute scummiest owners in NFL history while simultaneously being, by all available evidence, an incredibly good man:

Maybe Ron Rivera is the key to joining together the progressive left and the deranged shitbags of the right. Maybe Ron, and Ron alone, is the key to uniting this awful country. HIS BIGGEST GAMBLE OF ALL. Or maybe Dan Snyder will gag him with a COVID-soaked washcloth before he ever gets the chance. There’s real suspense to be had here.

Giants at Bengals: As they often do, things got really dire for the Bengals really fucking fast.

This is the right move. Ryan Finley belongs to that class of backup quarterbacks who you are NEVER relieved to see take the field. It’s one thing if Ryan Fitzpatrick is your emergency option. But when it’s Finley or Trevor Siemian or Chad Henne or Colt McCoy, you know you’re screwed. Opposing defensive coordinators can spend all week catching up on The Queen’s Gambit if they know Finley is on deck. When you’re Ryan Finley, you shouldn’t even be allowed to have your name on the back of your jersey. It should just say GUY, and your face in the intros should be a blank avatar headshot.

Dolphins at Jets

Texans at Lions

Browns at Jaguars

Pregame Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall

“Curb Crusher,” by Killer Be Killed! Another repeat entrant in this section. But who the fuck is gonna argue with a second Killer Be Killed song here? If you have any problem with this, YOU ARE NEXT ON THE KILL LIST. From David:

A supergroup from members of Mastodon, Sepultura, Converge, and Dillinger Escape Plan? Yes please! I chose Curb Crusher for the suggestion because it has an official video but honestly you could pick any song from the album and it would work. 

Yeah but the video is fucking great. I’ve been watching more than a few concert videos during quarantine, because I was raised on the Wayne Isham videography and because I apparently love to torture myself watching footage of concerts and can’t and won’t be able to go to for a while. But when that vaccine gets passed around… BY GOD I WILL ROCK AGAIN. You can count on it, America.

Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week

(sigh) It’s John Cleese.

I’ve worshipped Monty Python my whole life while knowing, the whole time through, that John Cleese was never a terribly pleasant man. Like the other Pythons, Cleese’s real personality couldn’t help but shine through in his work, which is what made him so good at playing fussy, impatient dickheads. I’ll always revere him, which is why it makes me sad that he’s fucking horrible at Twitter, and that he now exists as a sour old man who has joined the ranks of British Celebrities Who Are REALLY Into Niche Forms Of Bigotry. You don’t have to stay so firmly in character your whole life, you know.

While I’m killing my darlings, honorary mention this week to Defector Accomplice Mike Schur, who spent Tuesday night putting tired, contrarian takes about Thanksgiving food into everyone else’s mouth. I know you’re reading this, Schur. YOU WATCH YOUR ASS. I’m gonna eat TWO turkeys today just to piss you off.

Magic Johnson’s Lock Of The Week: Panthers (+4.5) at Vikings

“What a great year it would be if the Lakers, Dodgers, and Carolina Panther Troy Pride Jr., who once told me that Los Angeles is his favorite city in the world, all won championships this year! A clean L.A. sweep! This will surely drive up local water prices, which is when my friend Shabiz Arachi and his company TrueBlue will be able to take advantage! SO HAPPY FOR SHABIZ AND HIS BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN! Makes you appreciate how important water is to us all!”

2020 Magic record: 6-4

Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!

Richard Painter! Do you like dumpster-fire speeches that somehow contain NO irony? Do I ever have the candidate for you! Joe explains:

This was a campaign ad for Richard Painter, a senate candidate in Minnesota. The ad is a cross between those Couchtown ads from 30 Rock and every character in Fargo who tries to act tough when they’re actually terrified — all delivered with the fluidity of a marionette that only halfway came to life. And this is a man who wanted a job that requires a metric ton of public speaking.

Would it shock you to learn that Painter didn’t win his Senate bid, even though he running as an independent? It would not. Maybe he needed more healing crystals in this ad instead of dumpsters. That’s more in line with the fringe candidate spirit.

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:

Bill O’Brien—FIRED!
Dan Quinn—FIRED!
Matt Nagy*
Zac Taylor
Mike Zimmer
Anthony Lynn
Adam Gase***********
Matt Patricia***********
Vic Fangio
Doug Marrone*
Joe Judge
Doug Pederson

(* – potential midseason firing)

Zac Taylor hasn’t been on this list in a while and that’s frankly because I forgot he existed. But he, like Music, DOES exist. He’s also shown no proclivity for the job of head coaching whatsoever. Excited for Mike Brown to retain him for another 15 years.

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Frank sends in this story I call MYSTERY, SHITASSKA.

When I was 9 or 10, I was out rollerblading with friends. Suddenly, I had the urge to take a massive shit. NOT. GOOD. I knew this would be one of those disgusting poos that immediately breaks up when it hits the water to create a brown, murky haze in the toilet. I was probably about a quarter to a half of a mile from home and was seriously debating whether or not to find a bush and squat because I knew this sucker was coming fast and hot.

I decided I could make it home if I channeled my inner Dan Jansen and made a sprint for it. Only there was an x-factor. I grew up in a historic neighborhood and the streets were paved with bricks. No smooth pavement for me. Nope, just a bumpy path home that sent tremors up my rectum with every passing inch. Needless to say, this did not bode well and I shit myself about two blocks from home. No solid shit either, just a steaming brown mess that ran down both legs and into the ‘blades. It was so bad that I fell in the process. Lucky for me, I listened to my parents and wore arm and knee pads that day so I was able to escape with no physical injuries – just deep emotional scars.

Anyways, I was able to slosh my way home with my legs covered in wet, hot shit. I had been hoping I would be able to sneak in, shower, change, and dispose of the clothes without being noticed. No such luck. When I arrived home that’s when the real embarrassment started. My babysitter (both parents worked so they hired a college girl during the summers to schlep me and my sister around town during the day) was sitting on the porch reading. When she looked up she saw her summer job covered in shit. Her expression turned to terror and she asked me what happened. My response? “I fell in dog shit.”

I thought I was pretty clever until she started asking follow-up questions. “Why is it on the inside of your pants and not the outside? And why did you feel the need to apparently roll around in it to cover your shins, calves and rollerblades?” I was at a loss. Defeated, I fessed up to the truth and with all the care in the world she said, “Well, there’s no way you are coming inside like that. Go get the hose.” I conceded and spent the next 10 minutes naked, being hosed down by a hot college girl. I’m sure she was impressed with my 10-year-old, shit-covered erection.

Well I would have been.

Gametime Snack Of The Week

Flamin’ Hot Cheeto sushi. A Thanksgiving tradition in MANY households. I saw a sign for this in front of the grocery store last week and stopped in my tracks. And I never stop in my tracks at a grocery store in 2020. I don’t wanna spend more time breathing in those rona fumes than necessary. Anyway, my first instinct was to be like OH GOD THAT’S TOO FAR. But I like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and I like garbage sushi. And I like wasabi, which is flamin’ hot in its own right. Maybe, shame aside, this could work.

Alas, you see the mayo in that photo, do you not? That’s the REAL war crime. BIG MAYO won’t stop until every food is disgraced, even the already disgraced ones.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week

Karpackie Premium! Not just regular Karpackie! This one’s the NICE Karpackie. From Andy:

Picked up this bad boy on a trip in Galway from the discount bin of a local grocery store. The discount bin was essentially a large metal cage filled to the brim with rejected foreign beer cans. I couldn’t distinguish many of them, but figured Karpackie was worth a shot, mostly because it was one of the few cans without any rust on it. It’s a Polish beer described as a ‘European pale lager”. The bottom of the can was a little dented and the beer almost certainly skunked, but well worth the €1 if you like the taste of dusty nickels.

DO I EVER! If I’m drinking a Polish beer, it damn well BETTER taste like dusty nickels. That’s the kind of destitute flavor I expect.

Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!

“I don’t really like Thanksgiving, OK? I got my reasons. When Bushouse Lenny hosted a Thanksgiving feast in his ravine 10 years ago, he made this big carved roast for everyone and said the roast was in honor of his dead wife, Bushouse Lola. Well, I’m eating this roast and it’s good. It’s good, all right? And I say to Lenny what’s this meat? Where’d you get it, skipper? And he says me to that Lola made him take a vow the day they got married that they would waste NOTHING. Then he gives me a wink. Well I set down my trash can lid that day and never went to Lenny’s ravine ever again.”

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jets Fans

Hamburger Hill, which I watched as a kid specifically because I was told it was insanely violent. And it is! That hill was aptly named. Every 80s war movie must, by law, include a money shot of a soldier’s intestines spilling out of his body. Hamburger Hill adheres to this law with great zeal.

Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“Wait a minute, wait a minute! Where’s my Gummi de Milo? OK, don’t panic, she can’t have gotten far. She has no arms.”

Enjoy the games, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving!