Skip to Content

I Am The Bullshit King Of My Household

Group portrait of a company playing cards around a table, Frits L.J. Moormans (mentioned on object), Den Bosch, c. 1865 - c. 1880, photographic support, albumen print, height 74 mm × width 91 mm. (Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via 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. And buy Drew’s book, The Night The Lights Went Outthrough here.

The concept of there being a proper time and place for things is utterly alien to a human child. I have been asked every deep and awkward question by my kids, and not a single one of them was asked when I was prepared to answer them. I got “Am I gonna die someday?” in the car. I got “What is God?” while I was about to fall asleep. And I got “What does a vagina look like?” at the dinner table. I’m just sitting there, minding my own business, when suddenly an existential bomb goes off. When kids want to an answer to something, they want it right now.

This is a story about one such moment, although it thankfully doesn’t involve me having to bust out a diagram of a woman’s fallopian tubes for an 11-year-old.

It was around 8 p.m. I was in my recliner, enjoying my recliner time. My youngest son comes up behind me and asks, “Dad, do you know the rules to BS?”

I knew exactly what he was talking about: Bullshit, the card game. I had played that game, along with Asshole, a million times back in my school days. But when college ended, I went from drinking games to plain old drinking, and the particulars of those games were forgotten in the process. So I told the boy, “I’d love to help you, but I honestly can’t remember how to play Bullshit because it was so long ago. You’ll have to find out from someone else.”

He did. A week later, he and his older brother came to me and said, “Hey Dad, do you wanna play Bullshit with us?” My instinct was to say no, because nothing beats recliner time. But here were my sons asking me to play with them, and when was the last time they had done that? These guys had graduated from toys and games of Candy Land years ago. I spent their developing years on the basement floor with them: making train tracks, building forts, playing miniature soccer, doing battle with Transformers, fucking with remote controlled cars that would break after a week of use, and giving them elephant rides where they rode on my back. I played with my kids until my knees turned raw. I played with them until I had to beg for a timeout so that I could grab a beer and take a shit.

But those days were long over. My kids had become official Phone People. And while my knees were grateful for the transition, I had become acutely aware of how little hands-on parenting there was left for me to do.

So we played Bullshit.

If you don’t know the rules to Bullshit, allow me to offer you a refresher. You deal out the entire deck of cards to the table. One person starts the game by putting an ace—or however many aces they have—face down, in the center of the table. You declare, “One ace,” and then the next person has to put twos face down, the next person threes, and on from there. If you don’t have any of the required cards when your turn is up, or you just wanna have some fun, you bluff the rest of the table and put some other card in your hand face down. Any other player can call your bluff by crying BULLSHIT. If they’re right, you have to take all of the cards in the middle of the table. If they’re wrong, they have to take them. First person to run out of cards wins.

Once my sons started explaining the game, the College Drew inside of me woke up and remembered all of the rules before they had even finished telling me them. Round and round the table we went, and I began to remember even more about this deceptively simple card game. I remembered that there’s more than one way to say the word bullshit. I remembered that I could stare my opponents down after they’ve played a suspect card and give them a mini-interrogation. “You sure about that?” “Oh really?” “You really think I don’t know what kinda shit you’re pulling on me right now?” I remembered that if I had all four of one card, I could yell BULLSHIT on others with more confidence than I ever possessed or ever will possess.

And I remembered that getting caught means taking a drink. So I grabbed a near beer and took a swig anytime I got got.

When I write about my formative years, it’s rarely in favorable terms. I was overweight. I worshipped Andrew Dice Clay, with all of the accompanying prejudices that entailed. I wasn’t a good football player and my teammates didn’t like me. Girls liked me even less. But there were some quality times in those years too. I made good friends off the field. I got laid. I partied. And I played me some highly competitive games of Asshole and Bullshit. These are games designed for shit-giving. Now my boys were closing in on college age and learning those same teenage rituals. The more games of Bullshit we played, the more our repertoire expanded. The 15-year-old laid down a phony ace and I got right in his grill.

“Hey guess what?” I told him, “BULLSHIT.”

The line killed. They cracked up. I was their age again. If you’re a guy, you’re all too familiar with those moments when shit talk goes too far. But you’re also familiar with the comfort zone where you and your friends are going at it in perfect balance, trusting one another implicitly as you tell each other to go fuck yourselves. At one point in the game, the 11-year-old caught me bluffing and I reflexively said, “Oh, you piece of shit!” My wife, sitting over on the couch, didn’t like me saying that. But the boys got it. My boys curse now, and they’re getting good at it. They couldn’t WAIT to call me a piece of shit in return.

Or their mom! We invited my wife to play and she couldn’t hack it. I called bullshit on her, accurately, so many times that she grew frustrated. Finally she said, “Why you gotta call it every time? Just let it go!” All of us, her included, died laughing. She bailed at the end of that game, but the boys and I kept playing that night, and the night after. Anytime they wanna throw down with me at the Bullshit table, I’m in. And if they ever ask me what the rules to Asshole are, I’m not gonna stay in my recliner.

The Games

No more games. The season’s over. You can watch the UFL games if you’re that desperate for football, but I won’t respect you in the morning. This is the offseason, and the offseason is for dreamers. I don’t have to watch my team wheeze its way to a losing record this spring. Instead, I can walk among the blossoming azaleas and daydream, extensively, of procuring a new quarterback who makes my world a better place. Then fall will return and hit me like a fucking brick. But for now? I get to enjoy nothing but happy, impossible thoughts. You can, too! Football is made for such things. And so now it’s time to close out the Jamboroo for the season. Here’s a final helping of random crap before I bid you farewell.

• For a solid decade and change, I would never watch an NFL game without also checking my phone all the way through. I needed to see the internet talking about all of the shit that the announcers weren’t, and I needed to get some jokes off of my own. But a month or two ago, in the pursuit of self-betterment, I decided to watch TV, NFL games included, without my phone by my side. This paid off in spades during Chiefs-Niners, because I was rapt from the opening kickoff all the way through overtime. Granted I’d had a gummy, but bad football is still bad when you’re feeling jolly. This, in my opinion, was anything but. The first three quarters of this Super Bowl felt like some serious old-time football, where even the smallest play felt monumental because the defenses were playing so well. I hadn’t been that intrigued by a slugfest since Giants-Bills. Then everything went bananas in the fourth, and then overtime turned into World War I. I went to bed feeling like I had watched one of the best Super Bowls in history, perhaps even the best.

Then I wake up in the morning and log on. And ALL people did during that game was complain. It was boring. Both teams were bad. Tony Romo is so over. There wasn’t enough scoring. The wrong team won, blah blah blah. I was apparently the only person alive who had a good time all Super Bowl long. That means I win. I’m going it alone from here on out. On a related note:

• Chris Russo has essentially become Skip Bayless 2.0 over at ESPN, saying dumb shit just so that people will notice him saying dumb shit. But he did say that he hated Super Bowl parties, and that he preferred watching the big game alone. I was all ready to be like Fuck that take, until I realized that I myself haven’t been to a Super Bowl party since, like, 2001. So Mad Dog might have had a point there. [George Thorogood voice] I watch alone ... YEAHHHHHH WITH NOBODY ELSE.

• You’ve enough of Taylor Swift takes to last you all eternity, especially all of the “Taylor Swift is bringing football dads closer together with their daughters!” dreck. So I just wanna say that the box shots of Swift on Sunday were a delight. I’ve seen Taylor Swift in the Grammys crowd, so I know when she’s faking her enthusiasm. For this game, she was invested. She cheered like a real fan, and for that she has my lasting respect. I’m not gonna go buy her albums or any of that shit, but still: respect.

• I didn’t pay much attention to the ads during the game. You and I are over them. But I did unmute the TV for this one:

They nailed 85 percent of this ad. Christopher Walken spending his day forced to endure everyone doing a shitty impression of him? Yep, that’s a good story for an ad. I bet he’s so, so tired of those bits. But then they end the ad with a nod to Usher’s upcoming halftime show rather than giving me a proper punchline. I genuinely expect better out of BMW’s marketing department. Stick the landing next time, motherfuckers.

Super Bowl pick: 1-0
Overall: 7-6

Song for the Offseason

“Resonance,” by HOME. I never listen to music with my kids anymore. We hop in the car and the AirPods go right into their ears. But once in a while, they’ll hook up to the car’s Bluetooth and give me a listen to their Spotify account. This one came from the 11-year-old. He prefers mellow tracks while he’s gaming, and this one is mellow as shit. Highly recommend.

Eric Adams’s Futures Lock Of The Week: Giants (+6000) to win the NFC

“Now I’ve never been to New York City before in my life, but lemme tell you: The things I hear about that place? Not good.”

2023 Record: 10-10-1

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 final 2023 chopping block:

Pete Carroll – FIRED!
Bill Belichick – FIRED!
Josh McDaniels – FIRED!
Frank Reich – FIRED!
Brandon Staley – FIRED!
Ron Rivera – FIRED!
Arthur Smith – FIRED!
Mike Vrabel – FIRED!

Earlier in the postseason, ESPN’s Kevin Clark said that Mike McCarthy was now the most pre-fired coach in the history of everything. I nodded along in silent assent to that idea, but then Jets owner Woody Johnson came leaping off the top rope with this bad boy:

"The discussions I've had in the last couple of months, they've seen me about as mad as I can be with what was going on, with the offense particularly," Johnson said, according to reports. "We have all this talent, and we have to deploy talent properly. So I think they all got the message. This is it. This is the time to go. We've got to produce this year."

He added: "We have to do a lot better than seven [wins], definitely."

I think we all know this means that Robert Saleh is beyond pre-fired. He may as well just spend all of next season drunk on the job. No sense trying to stave off the inevitable.

Great Moments In Poop History

Reader Nick sends in this story I call UNLAWFUL ANAL ENTRY:

The only reason I believe the second part of this story is because my dad was never much for hype.

I’m 19 or 20 at the time. My friends and I are rehashing recent nights out over some beers. My dad wanders by, pauses, and says, “I’ve got one for you guys. When I was your age, me and Al went over the river for wings, clams, and beers [until 1971, the drinking age in Ontario was 21, while in New York State it was 18]. After we eat, we head to another bar for a final drink. As we go in, Al says, “I gotta go to the can, you order the beers.” Off he goes and I get the pops. Just as I’m taking my first sip, Al comes back all shook up. He says, “Leave the beer. We gotta get the hell outta here.” Well, when you’re in Buffalo and your buddy says you gotta get out, you get out. When we’re safely on the road I ask him what happened. He says as he got close to the washroom he realized the clams were coming back. He went in, booted open the nearest stall, and barfed profusely. Only problem, there’s a guy taking a shit in the stall.”

So we all crack up, and then my dad goes, “But there’s more. Fifteen years later I’m having dinner at my golf course. At the next table, a guy starts telling a story about the time he was taking a shit in some bar over the river, when the door gets kicked in and some bastard pukes all over him and then takes off.”

We’re floored. I go, “So did you tell him that was your buddy?” 

Dad says, “Now why in the world would I do that?”

Fair enough. But the thing that still haunts me is the other guy’s perspective. He’s in the stall: four walls of peace, solitude, tranquility. Sure the lock is flimsy, but a lifetime of peaceful dumps has taught him there's nothing to worry about. Then it’s all shattered in the foulest way. I bet he never shat in public again.

I sure wouldn’t.

And Now Let’s Go Down To The Sideline To Check In With Tracy Wolfson

“Drew, I just spoke to Defector team medic, Dr. Conrad El Segundo, and he says that Charissa Thompson is still recovering from the virtual dinosaur attack she experienced a week ago. He told me that Charissa is ‘awake’ and ‘drinking her fruit punch like a champ.’ But he also cautioned that recovery from this sort of incident can be very slow. No timetable yet for Charissa’s rehab, Drew, but Defector officials tell me that they hope she can return in time for the 2024 season. One of them said, ‘Hey, it’s Charissa. She’s a lion,’ and that ‘this part of your column is entirely fabricated anyway, so she’ll be ready.’ Back to you, Drew.”

Thanks, Tracy.

Cheap Beer Of The Week

Tukan! Follow your liver! It’ll always deliver! From Justin:

From the wild jungles of Costa Rica, I present to you TUKAN! Experience the swampy taste of the jungle in tropical beer form. At nearly $0.60 per can, you simply can’t go wrong with this cerveza lager, and the friendly bird would never lead you astray (note: you absolutely can go wrong and the bird is a liar).

Okay but Justin, the label on the can says that this beer was awarded the Lupulo Selecionado. That has to mean something (I don’t know what it means).

Movie Of The Week For Panthers Fans

Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, which more than makes up for Nebraska. Here’s a movie that takes place at a prep school in the 1970s. By coincidence, I went to prep school, one that looked pretty much exactly like the one depicted here. Holdovers was shot at Groton, Deerfield, and Northfield Mount Herman. Do I know all of those schools? You bet your sweet ass I do. In fact, I am alarmingly familiar with the entire New England Prep School Universe. It’s very tightly knit, and every school in it has a history of sex scandals that would make you want to hide in an attic. Anyway Paul Giamatti kicks ass and if he beats out Cillian Murphy for Best Actor a month from now, you won’t see me crying foul. Three and a half stars.

Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“I'm not saying it isn't sleazy, honey! But try to see it my way: All my life I've been an obese man trapped inside a fat man's body.”

Enjoy the offseason, everyone. I’ll see you back here in April for the draft.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter