I Am Your Greatest Horror: The Dad Fact Dispenser
2:06 PM EST on January 6, 2022
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 new book, The Night The Lights Went Out, through here.
I was watching Venom: Let There Be Carnage with my youngest son the other night. He had been waiting forever to see it. Waiting his whole life, really. He had to wait months after watching the first trailer for its release. He had to wait even longer after that theater-only release to watch it safely at home. He had to wait even longer after that because I didn’t want to pay $19.99 to rent it when it first became available on demand. Then he had to another week because Christmas affairs got in the way. Finally, at long last, we had free time and the movie was available at a price I deemed fair ($0, because I got a complimentary rental from my satellite provider). He got his popcorn and plopped down on the sofa, ready to get carnaged into oblivion. I should have enjoyed him in this moment. I should have gazed lovingly at my son as he absorbed every kinetic minute of one of 2021’s most average films.
But I didn’t appreciate the moment. Instead, I had to strangle myself for 90+ minutes to keep from telling him a vital piece of information…
You know, the guy who plays Venom also played Bane! Isn’t that something?
I never told my son that, but God how I wanted to. I was dying to. Frankly I’m not even certain why I felt obligated to restrain myself at all, because I never do. I tell my children every useless piece of arcana that resides inside this brain. I do it all the time. This is because I am a dad, and there’s nothing I love more … than dad facts.
You already know about dad jokes, which are so legion that they are now freely told by dads and non-dads alike. I mean, they’ve really come much … FATHER … than I ever would have anticipated. But there is another genre of dad-aphernalia that is my truer passion, and that is gifting my children, who are just young enough to potentially be unaware, a surfeit of novice trivia factoids that they will never have any use for.
Would you like some examples? No? Tough titty. The other day, the kids claimed that Tim Cook invented the iPhone. Well, I wasn’t gonna let that stand. It was Steve Jobs, I told them. But did you kids know that Steve Jobs didn’t necessarily “invent” the iPhone, but rather browbeat a team of designers and engineers into inventing it on his behalf? Very rude man, that Steve Jobs. He used to park in handicapped spaces even though he wasn’t handicapped! Were you aware of this? No? DAD FACT.
There’s more. I bought a new car last year. It was a Hyundai. My daughter asked if Hyundai was a Japanese car company. DAD FACT OPPORTUNITY. No, I explained to her. Hyundai is a Korean auto manufacturer. But I didn’t stop there. Because why regale your offspring with one dad fact when you can, instead, become a sentient Wikipedia entry? Hyundai and Kia are the two main Korean auto manufacturers here in America, I told her. And Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan are the main Japanese auto manufacturers here. Oh, and Subaru. And Mitsubishi, but no one buys those. But many of those companies actually build their cars right here in the U.S. of A. And did you know that Lexus is actually Toyota’s luxury brand, and Acura Honda’s, and Infiniti Nissan’s? Hyundai has their own luxury brand named Genesis that actually started out as a Hyundai model and not a make. “Make,” in the common parlance is the brand of car, whereas “model” means …
HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I’M NOT DONE TELLING YOU A BUNCH OF BORING SHIT!
There is nothing I can tell that you don’t already know, but that will never stop me anyway. I try to work in dad facts anywhere I can. The car is my best venue, because there’s no chance for my family to escape. If we pass by a salt truck, I will quickly explain how salt lowers the melting temperature of ice. If we get caught behind a cement mixer, they’ll learn that Dad went to school with a kid whose old man was one of the biggest construction magnates in the Northeast. There’s a LOT of money in construction. If we drive on I-95 south of the beltway, they WILL hear the story of Tim Kaine getting caught in a 27-hour traffic jam. And all he had to eat was an orange! Can you believe that shit? I would’ve fucking DIED.
And if there are sports on in the family room (I always put sports on), I become a torrent of dad facts. Neither my wife nor my children have much, if any, interest in watching sports. Especially football. No matter. I am still prepared to educate. When Kirk Cousins comes on the TV, I alert everyone in the room that he used to play here, in D.C. Also, he sucks. And look! They’re doing a pregame package on Antonio Brown! He walked right off the field in the middle of a game last week. Whole big thing! Oh wow, an ad for The Power of The Dog! Did you know that guy is also Doctor Strange? Also, he’s English!
You are bored right now by this post. You’re rolling your eyes and making a vigorous wanking motion with your right hand. I understand, but also did you know that that motion is a pantomime for male masturbation? The origins of masturbation go all the way back to the Sumerians in 3,000 BCE, or “BC” as it was once called …
What’s that? You didn’t ask for this information? Well listen man, when you turn my age, information is all you got. I don’t have hulking biceps. I can’t drive all that well at night anymore. I can’t outrun my children because they’ve grown too fast. Dad Facts are my both my currency and my lifeblood. They’re the only thing I have to offer at the dinner table, and to the greater public. So let me have them.
Also, a lot of British people hated the idea of Daniel Craig playing James Bond at first because he didn’t have dark hair. Talk about picky!
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Chargers at Raiders: Hunter Renfrow is an excellent receiver, which is why I thank the good Lord every day that he’s not a New England Patriot. My man’s rookie contract is up after next season and I can already see Tommy from Quinzee or some other prick fuck posting a million Jack Nicholson nodding GIFs in expectation that the unholy union of Renfrow and Mac Jones will come to pass. I hope a nuclear strike wipes out the Eastern Seaboard before that ever happens.
Niners at Rams: The NFL is calling this new Week 18 the “season finale,” which accomplishes nothing. Join us next season when they break up this “finale” into two parts. Real edge of your seat shit.
Cowboys at Eagles: Jalen Hurts isn’t the most prolific quarterback in the world (just 16 TDs through the air this season), but he can run. If you have an average to bad quarterback, they should at least be able to do some cool shit with their feet. My team has a shit QB who also runs like a security guard. It’s unbearable. Every time the rush bears down on him, I know exactly what’s about to transpire. With Hurts, there’s a decent chance that, after failing to notice a man wide open 20 yards downfield, he can take off for six yards and leave you feeling like he accomplished something. That’s all I want. I would trade 58 draft picks for that feeling right now.
Meanwhile, after last week’s debacle against the Cardinals, I now know that Mike McCarthy will 100 percent sabotage his own team come playoff time when he’s somehow burned all six of his timeouts 75 minutes prior to kickoff. This will be hilarious except he’s gonna do it against Green Bay, and that’ll ruin it.
Patriots at Dolphins: Earlier this week I got a zit with no head. The worst. If a zit is gonna appear on my body somewhere, the least it can do it have a head for me to scratch or pop off. On a related note, Josh McDaniels will be a hot commodity on the coaching market next week.
Steelers at Ravens: I watched UGA beat the piss out of Michigan on New Year’s Eve and spotted at least five Georgia defenders I would kill to have my team draft. Nakobe Dean is like fucking Nightcrawler out there, magically appearing wherever the ball is. Seems like a useful guy.
Saints at Falcons
Bengals at Browns: We interrupt the Jamboroo to bring you a little Funbag question from Rick:
I went to high school with Mike Tomlin so I am naturally a Steelers fan. I also taught at Clemson so I naturally don't like LSU. But with the Steelers unlikely to make the playoffs, I find myself cheering for your Baby Boy Burrow and I wonder if that is heresy? Am I allowed to get behind Cincinnati in the playoffs or will I be banished from Steelers fandom forever if I do? HELP!!!
Obviously, I support any Steelers fan turning against their own team, because I hate the Steelers. But to make a broader point, I think EVERYONE should root for the Bengals to win the Super Bowl. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve hated every Cincinnati sports team my entire life, and I hope Boomer Esiason gets caught in a wind turbine. But look at Ja’Marr Chase outrun seven goddamn defenders on a single play.
Seven! There’s no better entertainment value for your money right now than this team. They just out-funned Patrick Mahomes, and no one does that. I can’t hate these Bengals. Quite the contrary. I find them downright sexy. The chili is still garbage, though.
Jets at Bills: Every two-‘gasm game this week has playoff implications for one team but not the other. So this Jets-Bills matchup is important in a technical sense, but wholly unnecessary in every other. Not gonna watch the Jets take a promising lead only to blow it when they try to ice the game by running a QB sneak on fourth-and-12.
Titans at Texans: We had a snow day here on Monday and Tuesday and there are few things I enjoy more than being the Snow Day informant in this household. It’s the reporter (egotist) in me, really. I want firsties when it comes to all vital news in this house: snow days, a fox in the yard, a riot at the Capitol, etc. Those are precious dad facts. And I get pissy for a millisecond when I’ve been beaten to the punch. When the email came in from the county on Sunday night saying school was gonna be closed, I dashed upstairs to tell everyone. Then my wife was like, “We knew that 10 minutes ago.” I was crushed. I had the goods, man. Can’t believe I cultivated such a strong relationship with Rich Paul only to get out-scooped on that.
Seahawks at Cardinals: At my brother’s 50th birthday party last month, my Dad told me that he didn’t understand this whole bitcoin thing. In an instant, I was in dad-fact heaven. I explained the whole thing to him, plus NFTs. And the best part was that he still didn’t understand after I told him, because no reasonable person would. So I got to retell the facts a second time. Then my mom asked what bitcoin was at Christmas and I got to do it all over again. Fantastic. Five stars. Would explain again. They hate bitcoin now.
Chiefs at Broncos
Colts at Jaguars
Panthers at Bucs
Bears at Vikings: My team is about to go coach shopping (God willing) which means I get to draw up a wishlist for what I want in a new leader. This is what makes coach shopping so fun! Let’s begin.
- Is not 97 years old
- Is primarily an offensive coach
- But also cares about defense too!
- Never mismanages the clock, ever
- Makes actual, effective in-game adjustments
- Knows how to work with quarterbacks instead of actively despising them on principle
- Will care enough about special teams that I won’t have a reason to audibly groan at least twice a game
- Never punts
- Never opts for a field goal unless it’s fourth-and-32
- Never coached in college and, in fact, looks upon college coaching with incredible disdain
- Won’t hire his goddamn kid to run half the team
- Occasionally says something in the presser where you’re like “Holy shit this guy seems like a thoughtful person and not a steakhead cop.”
- Is relatively handsome compared to his peers
That’s it. That’s the list. Byron Leftwich, is what I’m really saying. Can’t wait for my team to blow him off and hire a Pats assistant who ticks off exactly none of those boxes instead.
WFT at Giants: In case you missed it, former Giants have such nice things to say about Dave Gettleman!
Huh. If only Gettleman had already had a documented track record of alienating and mistreating his own players from his time with the Panthers. Why it’s almost as if the Giants hired him specifically because he was a dumpy, wannabe tyrant.
Packers at Lions
Pregame Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“State of Non-Return,” by OM! From Dylan:
It’s undeniable that Sleep is one of the most influential metal bands of all time. But I will argue to the death that bassist Al’s other band - OM - is riff for riff the far superior band… and all the riffs are on a fucking bass.
You had me at the “all the riffs are on a fucking bass” part. I’m a weirdo in that Sleep’s “Dopesmoker” doesn’t do much for me, not even when I’m emulating its subject matter. But this song works on me. It might be because of the tambourine.
Worst Quarterback In The League Of The Week
Ben Roethlisberger, who had a down season but still wasn’t NEARLY down enough for my taste. Everyone was like, His arm is shot! He can’t play anymore! Then I’d flip over and watch him throw two late bombs to Diontae Johnson to pad his stat line, if not win the stupid game outright. Unacceptable. I want this man embarrassed on the field before he fucks off to Bedminster for the rest of his days. Asshole.
Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!
Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center! I don’t ever toss out a “wait for it,” because I am not a patient lad. But reader … wait for it. From Gavinsky:
This is for a business that’s here in Kansas City and also has locations in St. Louis, or at least they used to. Their website no longer mentions a St. Louis location and it's possible they left town with the Rams. For me, it's the jingle that does it in this commercial. All things being equal, I'd prefer that you get this condition treated. But if you aren't going to do that, in the name of all that is holy, please do suffer in silence. You have to watch all the way to the end to get the jingle.
I laughed so, so hard. I want raw footage of the entire recording session for this jingle, with a producer manning boards hitting the button and going, “Steve? Can you punch it up a bit on ‘hemorrhoid’ there?” Absolute magic.
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:
Jon Gruden – FIRED!!!!
Urban Meyer – FIRED!!!!
(* - potential midseason firing)
That’s a long list, but it’s time for me to own up and predict who will REALLY get shitcanned on Monday, and all I got right now are the following names: Zimmer, Nagy, and Fangio. That’s it. That’s the list, and even Zimmer isn’t a gimme because the owner of the Vikings, Zygi Wilf, likes to pretend his team is the Giants. Just a terrible prospect if, like me, you enjoy seeing grown men have their livelihoods callously ripped away from them.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Michael sends in this story I call TEAM AMERICA: TURD POLICE.
In 2004, my buddy and I spent a week in Seoul, South Korea. We didn’t know anything about South Korea except that we wanted to see the Demilitarized Zone near North Korea. So we booked a bus tour up to the DMZ. Prior to the trip to the DMZ, we had been warned by the concierge that when you go there, you need to be on your best behavior, because the North Koreans usually observe the border and look for Westerners acting strangely. We went out drinking the night before. We got back to the hotel at 6:00 in the morning. The bus picked us up an hour and half later at 7:30 in the morning. The tour bus consisted of American military enjoying a day off and middle-aged Japanese tourists. As the tour started, I wasn’t hungover. I was still 100% completely drunk. The hangover took a few hours to arrive.
One of the stops during the tour was a tunnel dug by the North Koreans into South Korea. The tunnel was at most six feet high, but with jagged rocks sticking down. I’m 6’3”. The only way for me to comfortably walk was kind of like a gorilla. As we come out of the tunnel, the tour guide states that we have 10 minutes to take photos and then back onto the bus. I noticed that there is a tennis court painted on the ground outside of the tunnel. Since we are still drunk, my friend and I spend 9 minutes playing pretend tennis. It’s at that point I begin to notice the grumbling in my stomach, followed by that grumbling taking a rocket train heading south. I break into a cold sweat.
I go into a full sprint toward the bathrooms. I bump into and/or run past everybody on my tour as they head back to the bus. My bowels unleash three days of beer, grilled meat, cabbage, garlic and chili paste. There is also an incredibly burning throughout the poop region. It hurts every single time I push. The stench is truly unbearable. It smells like 6-month-old kielbasa and sauerkraut. I am in there for at least 15 minutes.
As I leave the bathroom, I am completely covered in sweat and walking with a limp. And all I can see is the bus waiting every single person sitting quietly in their seat. They all stare at me as I make my way to my seat completely covered in sweat as I limp down the aisle.
Am I the only one here who thought Michael was gonna have to shit in the tunnel? I’m kinda let down, if I’m being honest.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Bhuja Mix, which is really just nuts and bolts laced with various curry spices. Let’s go to the marketing copy, shall we?
We create crunchy taste sensations that are better for you. Open a bag of BHUJA and you hold adventure in the palm of your hand.
Do I really though? I don’t feel like I’m rappelling down the south face of K2 when I’m eating this.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Boxer Lager! For when 30 beers isn’t enough! From Seth:
You made me remember Boxer Lager, which comes in 36-packs! How do you not buy a case of beer when it comes in 36-packs? Even if it tastes worse than AIDS, you have to buy it.
You really do. Time for a story: I was at my parents’ house during Christmas break. My parents both stopped drinking a couple of years ago, and my old man made up for the difference by treating himself to a near beer at the occasional cocktail hour. I had avoided near beer since quitting drinking because I didn’t trust myself to handle it, and because most near beer has trace amounts of alcohol in it. I didn’t want ANY booze entering my system and triggering some kind of instant relapse. Then I discovered that low-ABV drinks have the same amount of alcohol as, like, a banana. So I relented on shit that has a .05% ABV, but I still held off on the near beer.
But it was nearing Christmas, and I had already had plenty of fake whiskey and other near-booze cordials while experimenting with green sobriety. They hadn’t served as a gateway drug to the real thing. Not even close. So I said, “Fuck it, I’ll try one of dad’s near beers.” I told every adult in the house I was gonna do it, and they all were like, “Sure, whatever. Knock yourself out.” So I poured a near beer, raised it to my lips, and it tasted fucking HORRIBLE. I gave the rest to my dad without a second thought. God bless near beer for living up to its longstanding reputation. Temptation averted.
Dan Campbell’s Clump Dog Of The Week: Baker Mayfield
“Everyone’s dumping on the guy but what I see when I watch him play is the GUTTINESS. That’s what I want my guys to have. He dragged himself through that game last week with what, a busted shoulder? That’s the kind of psycho wolf mentality you have to have to win in this league. That’s why I played through a broken kneecap, a twisted ankle, clammy lungs, a bum keister, a torn armpit, ribitis, candied earlobes, Parkinson’s Disease, a hyper-extended brainstem, giraffe bites, male pelvic baldness, the 'Saharan cinch flu,' and dislocated nipples. That’s what a psycho wolf does. He doesn’t stop to nurse his wounds. He goes on the attack, even if he’s got a petrified rectum, which I had once. Trust me here: you don’t want it.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jaguars Fans
Terence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, which I avoided for a long time because I read the reviews and assumed it was way too arty for my macho sensibilities. I was the guy who saw Malick’s The Thin Red Line in 1998 and was disappointed it didn’t have more battle scenes in it. But I took a big chance at the high school dance and rented this bad boy a month ago anyway. Here’s what I got for my $3.99: Brad Pitt being a convincing hardass, a bitchin’ trip across the birth of the universe, clumsy but endearing dinosaur CGI, the camera always looking skyward, and a luminescent blob that was either supposed to symbolized God, or an intermission. I really liked it. From now on, I’m a Visual Tone Poem Guy.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Bart, I'd like you to read this copy of Johnny Tremain. It's a book I read as a girl.”
“A book!? Pfffft.”
“I think you might like this. It's about a boy who goes to war. His hand is deformed in an accident.”
“Deformed? Why didn't you say so? They should call this book Johnny Deformed!”
Enjoy the games, everyone.