It’s Me, The Unwanted Advice–Giver
2:02 PM EDT on September 30, 2021
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.
I never wanted advice from my old man, but that didn’t stop him from trying to dispense it anyway. We were playing golf 25 years ago. I shanked a tee shot, because that’s what amateur golfers do. I was pissed. I had hit clean drives before in my life, so why the fuck didn’t the ball just go straight every time I did it? I screamed out FUCK as loud as I could and then stormed off the tee. My old man tried to calm me down by offering some input on my form.
“Can I just give you some advice?” he asked me, plaintively. He was almost certainly gonna suggest I keep my driver in the bag at the next hole and use a piddly-shit iron instead.
“NO!” I yelled at him. “I don’t wanna hear it.”
We got to the next hole. Dad had the honors this time around, so he teed off and then ceded the box to me. I pulled out the driver—accept no substitutes—and shanked the ball again. Dad soldiered onto the fairway while I cursed again and smashed my driver into the turf. The course ranger saw me do this and drove over in his little hall monitor cart.
“Did you just intentionally rip up the turf?” he asked.
“No no no sir, I didn’t,” I lied as I feverishly repaired my rage divot. I don’t think I even bothered to offer him a plausible alternative explanation.
“Just try to watch yourself,” he told me. I meekly acquiesced and then muttered “tight-ass” under my breath as he drove off. After we finished the round and got in the car, my dad said to me, quietly, “I’m not the enemy.”
“I’m not the enemy.”
Now, no one will mistake my dad for Chi-Chi Rodriguez. He got into golf in his 50s and, as such, has always had a handicap well in the double digits. But I was an even worse golfer who hated taking lessons. If I had listened to Dad with intent ears, I probably could have improved my lot by laying up more often, or relaxing my swing, or changing my tee level. But I didn’t. I wasn’t at the right age to listen, and I certainly didn’t have the right temperament. I was at the dusk of my adolescence and still very much convinced that I knew every goddamn thing. Meanwhile, Dad actually DID know things and was more than happy to impart his wisdom upon me. The pity for him was that he had a testosterone-addled kid who thought listening to your parents at 19 was for the weak. Same parent-child dynamic that has repeated itself, over and over again, throughout the course of history.
You can probably guess what happened decades later. I am a dad now. I am MY dad. I’m learned some things. I’ve seen some serious shit. I know what I’m doing most of the time. Do my kids wanna hear ANY of my hard-earned life lessons? Reader, they do not. Karma has paid me a visit and turned me into an unwanted advice dispenser. Whenever the kids are home, I am now the dad who sidles up to them asking (but really insisting) to help.
“You know, if you sit up on the couch instead of splay out on it, it’ll be much better for your back.”
“Do you want me to show you how to cut your sandwich so that nothing falls out of it?”
“Say, whatcha building there? A Lego set? Lemme check out the instructions on that bad boy.”
"Are you writing? I write for a living! Lemme tell you a few ways to make that prose snappy as heckfire!”
We were playing mini-golf this summer and I tried, in vain, to show my 9-year-old the right putting form. I got behind him and placed my hands over his, same as some '80s movie creep would when he's trying to hit on a girl. I showed him the right grip and told him that the club was weighted to swing itself. Did he give a shit? Of course not. He BLASTED that ball two holes over. His next shot found the parking lot.
I’m in a great spot in that my kids are all now relatively self-sufficient. They can operate on their own … LEARN on their own. I am, with a few touching exceptions, the absolute last person any of them wanna go to for help. This was my goal early in parenthood. You nurture your kids so that they become independent, so that they don’t need you anymore. Then you’re free to do as you please, just as you did before having any kids at all.
But then, once they do become independent, you have to wean yourself off nurturing them. That’s extremely hard for me to do, because I still have a lot of shit I feel like I need to teach them. And when they DO need my help—often involving a wifi issue—not only do I fix it, but I then give them a lengthy postmortem on both the problem and its solution. Well kids, you see that brownout we just had triggered an error in the modem, which means I had to reset it but only after leaving it unplugged for at least two minutes. Come now, lemme show you how the modem turns on and off! By the time I’ve finished my little seminar, they’ve already dispersed. I am a human allergen.
Luckily for me, my kids don’t blanch at my entreaties with anywhere near the hostility that I used toward my own father. Right now they consider my dadding to be strictly relegated to sitcom levels of overbearing. Of course, my own dad was never all that obnoxious about offering golf tips. He just wanted me to be better for my own sake, and I would have been had I bothered to listen to him.
I can’t play golf anymore. Back injuries did me in for it over a decade ago. And so I no longer get to stroll the course with Dad, taking in the scenery and admiring nearby creeks as I dig through them with a ball retriever. One day I’d like to get back out there with him again, even if I can’t swing a club at all. Maybe he’ll have pointers on my walking gait for me, or maybe he’ll know the best spot to take a piss where no one else can see. The grand irony, and it’s not new, is that I only became ready to listen to him once everyone else started tuning me out. Dad should’ve warned me about this. He probably did.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Raiders at Chargers: As of right now, it’s possible that we will have an all-L.A. Super Bowl in L.A. this February. Roughly five locals would be in attendance for it.
Cardinals at Rams: Brandon Staley looks like a pro golfer and it’s highly distracting. Every postgame, I expect him to be like, “Well I definitely had some problems with the driver out there today, and that was a big problem with the way they made that first cut of rough out there.” Instead, he’s saying this:
Extremely disorienting in every respect. I’d never take putting advice from him.
Ravens at Broncos: The yellow first down line turned 23 years old this week, which means that I have now lived more years with it in existence than not. I can no longer live without this technology. Next to the scoring bug and the demotion of Paul Maguire, the first down line is the best thing that’s happened to NFL broadcasts since I’ve been alive. My sense of the field is now utterly dependent on it being there. It went out sporadically last week during a game I was watching and I had a mild panic attack. I was like OH GOD HOW MUCH DO THEY NEED FOR A FIRST DOWN?! IT COULD BE ANY NUMBER! This is how I know I’ll be unable to commandeer a self-driving car with any assuredness a decade from now. I’ll just crash that shit into a lake.
Panthers at Cowboys: I can’t stop getting speed camera tickets. I’m willing to glop myself in with the rest of Maryland’s incompetent driving population, but I’m not THAT irresponsible of a motorist. I don’t go 90 in fucking school zones like I’m a Canseco. I drive normal. My only crime is to not drive with Waze on at all times. Because it would warn me about the 5,000 speed cameras all stationed within a mile of my house that get tripped up if you drive one micron over the speed limit.
Now, speed cameras are better than police stops and I support municipalities using them … so long as I’m not the one getting tagged. But I am, and therefore I consider them to be a grave injustice and an unjust way of bilking taxpayers. I had two camera tickets arrive in the mail on the same day, each one from a separate state. And my wife always sees them. Does SHE ever get a camera ticket? No. Why? Because the cameras are sexist against men, that’s why. UNFAIR.
Browns at Vikings: This was the offseason I finally divorced myself from Kirk Cousins emotionally, and so of course he suddenly morphed into a worthy MVP candidate in his first three games, making insane throws like this:
That is not a throw that Kirk Cousins usually makes. Or has ever made, really. You get streaks of Good Kirk like this every season, so I’d be a jackass to think that he’s really any different of a QB this time around. And yet, I swear I’ve never seen that fucker ball like this. Ugh, I’m doing it to myself all over again, aren’t I? Fuck.
Seahawks at Niners: Mark Sanchez was the color guy for the game I watched last week and he alternated, often within the same possession, between having legit potential and being a chipper idiot. During the Seahawks-Vikings game, he was like, Kirk Cousins isn’t flashy; he’s not gonna make plays with his feet; he’s not gonna wow you with any of his throws; he’s not gonna be on any highlight reels; his teammates probably hate him; but he is a COLD-BLOODED KILLER. Then he said that whole thing AGAIN like half an hour later. In between, he broke down defense with the kind of clarity that only a recently active player like Tony Romo can provide from up in the booth. I couldn’t decide whether I liked him or actively despised him, which makes him a decided improvement over Matt Millen.
Chiefs at Eagles: Thirty years from now I’ll be sitting in a nursing home, sucking blended oatmeal out of a feeding tube, and the crawl on HULUSPN+ will read “Josh Gordon reinstated for 57th time, plans to sign with defending champion Grosse Pointe Lions.”
Bucs at Patriots: It’s very important that everyone involved in this game lets you know that it’s just another game. And it is, because the Bucs will win it 37-10 and you won’t remember a goddamn thing about it.
Lions at Bears: You know why Justin Tucker made that field goal, Lions? Because you wore all-gray home uniforms, like the fucking losers you are. The Lions were like, “How can we make it both look AND feel like we’re a prison team?” I’ve got it: uniforms the color of clinical depression. BOOM.
Dan Campbell deserves better than this. He’s a steakhead but he still, to my everlasting surprise, does a lot of shit correctly. He hired a good staff. He’s not a cock to his players. He got the team's lawyer to help him run the clock. You can’t adhere to vital practices like this and then send your team out in Leavenworth jammies. It ain’t right.
Steelers at Packers: Big Ben can no longer do that thing where he loses a kidney early in the season and just keeps playing through it because he’s too stupid to notice. Injuries actually affect his play now, which is fucking GREAT. I’m nearly at the end of having to serve time watching him play football. I can’t believe it. I never thought he’d finally die, but we’re close. So, so close. And the best part is the Steelers have NO plan past him! They have Dwayne Haskins, who’s ass, and Mason Rudolph, who everyone likes to hit with a brick. They have nothing. PLEASURE OVERLOAD PLEASURE OVERLOAD.
Texans at Bills: I’m ashamed to admit this but I didn’t know the position of “sniffer” existed until this past week when I read about it in Purple Insider, which is the only subscription site I read as often as I read this one. What’s a sniffer? I’m so glad you asked. Join me in the tape room, won’t you? Let’s watch Penn State use one right now.
So with a sniffer, you take a tight end or fullback and line them up directly behind a tackle or guard. From there, they can act as lead blocker on an iso play (as seen here), pull out to block on a pitch, or slip through/around the line and run a route. It’s an H-back, essentially. But isn’t “sniffer” a much more enjoyable word for that? Lets me know that the H-back is within true sniffing distance of Cody Ford’s gooch. Also, it allows coaches to pretend they’ve invented a new scheme when really this is just some shit Joe Gibbs was using back in like 1987.
WFT at Falcons: Let’s see how that brand-new culture over in Snyderland is holding up.
“Over the past year we’ve built an incredible leadership team and a robust strategy to move the Washington Football Team into a new era,” [team president Jason] Wright said in the statement. “Julie Jensen and Scott Shepherd have been integral to helping us manage that transition and establish the foundation of our strategy and business plan as an organization. Julie and Scott are choosing to move on to pursue new and exciting opportunities, but we are deeply grateful to both of them for their contributions to our team and wish them the best in their next endeavors.”
This is the new way of spinning employees (one of whom was on the job for less than a year) leaving your organization. Instead of saying you decided to part ways, or doing the old Snyder tactic where you smear them on their way out the door, you just go, “Wow, these incredible people got ALL their work done for us! Amazing!” I look forward to Julie Jensen and Scott Shepherd telling the Post a year from now that working for the WFT was the most miserable time of their lives.
As Wright leads Washington through a name change and the early stages of developing a new stadium, he’s said he envisions the team becoming more than a football organization. Rather, he wants it to be viewed as a sports entertainment company,
Well now, I can think of another place that decided to brand itself as “sports entertainment,” and it’s easily one of the most trusted and dignified brands in the entire country.
Colts at Dolphins
Titans at Jets: I’ve been having fits of subconscious anxiety lately. The reason I know this is true is because I cannot stop shitting. That’s how my anxiety apparently manifests itself. I had a big meeting the other afternoon and I swear to God I shat SIX times before noon that day. Not even the runs. We’re talking solid, otherwise healthy bowel movements. I kept count. By number five I was like, “Really? AGAIN?” I told my wife, I was like, “Can you believe how many dumps I just took?” (very sexy) and she was like, “That’s because you’re nervous.” And I was like, “Well that’s crazy. I don’t FEEL nervous.” But oh … oh, my asshole did. There are worse ways for anxiety to rear its (turtle)head, but still. I’d really like to stop shitting now. Wish me luck!
Jaguars at Bengals: Every week the Thursday matchup gets worse and worse. I saw the promo for this one last Thursday night and openly gasped in horror at it. Next week is Rams-Seahawks, but I promise you that the NFL will flex in a matchup between the Jets and UConn. Give the points and take UConn.
Giants at Saints
Pregame Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Animated Violence,” by Osees! And really, is there any better kind of violence out there? From Marcel:
I heard this bad boy blaring during the second season of Lodge 49. Very appropriate riffage while watching Paul Giamatti and Sonya Cassidy stuff dumplings in their face. I gave it a few listens after the fact and it still ruled.
That it does. I’ll listen to any stoner metal that beats a single riff to death and mixes the vocals down into a tar pit. That’s primo shit. Bonus points for the art in the above clip, which can only be described as Evil Shrek.
Let’s learn about Osees for a moment, shall we? They’ve had seven different names. And in the last 18 years they’ve released, uh, 26 albums. Such a fine line between prolific and Ryan Adams. Lead singer and guitarist John Dwyer has been the only member of the band to survive its entire lifespan, which suggests he’s probably a super fun guy to be around. Also, if you do a Google image search for “Thee Oh Sees” (one of their old names), you’ll see multiple photos of Dwyer sticking his tongue out while playing tasty riffs live in concert. It’s like if Michael Jordan was Lemmy, but also looked like Ed Sheeran.
Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!
Cobb’s! WHAT WHAT?! From Brian:
Had a weekday off and was watching bad daytime TV and just saw this commercial for a local second hand shop in a bad area of town.
Bad area of town? WHAT WHAT?! I say that’s the kicking ass-est part of town, Brian. My daughter would absolutely go to Cobb’s to browse for old jeans and shit. She is a thrifthound. She doesn’t even bother going to normal stores anymore. All she wants to do is go with her friends to the local Unique and stock up on two-dollar tops and used jackets that may or may not contain bedbugs. As a dad, this greatly appeals to my budget sensibilities. She even likes yard sales. What 15-year-old on earth likes yard sales? Mine does. SO PROUD.
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)
Here’s a fun little stat for you: Through three games, the Bears have a grand total of 575 yards of offense. They pass for just 90 yards a game. They’re not the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL (that would be, predictably, the Jets, who average 6.7 points a game), but HOLY SHIT. There’s nothing that turns me on more than looking at horrifying offensive statistics, and the Bears are forever awash in them. They could have hired Andy Reid himself and still managed to punt 57 times per half. They’re an extraordinary ballclub. Arlington Heights has never seen anything as exciting as what’s coming its way. LOOK OUT, EXURBAN HUMPS!
SHAMELESS BOOK PLUG
The Night The Lights Went Out is coming out October 12. With the notable exception of Shea Serrano, the person least capable of selling you a book is the one who wrote it. This is true in my case as well. So if you need to be convinced by objective third parties that I have written a towering masterpiece, go to the 23:00 mark here on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Linda Holmes knows what’s up.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Mike sends in this story I call FART OF DARKNESS:
Twelve or thirteen years ago, when my wife and I were first dating, she invited me to go on a canoe trip with her family. This was not a horrible idea since I enjoy the outdoors and could tolerate them. We're into the trip a few hours and decide to pull off to the shore for a picnic lunch. To preface this, let me tell you that I had some weird shitting issue in college where after every meal I would have to shit IMMEDIATELY. This day was no different.
The patch of ground we had docked on for lunch was a meadow on peninsula that stuck out from the bank. There were cottages not 50 yards behind us and also directly across the river. Nowhere to drop a sloppy deuce, and my bowels are becoming increasingly crampy.
I come up with the next best plan: shit in the river.
Without looking like a total weirdo and jumping into the river by myself, I ask if anyone wants to swim. My wife's brother and dad join me for a dip, not knowing my true intentions. I distanced myself from the family down river in a section up to my chest, drop the swim trunks and let loose an enormous amount of diarrhea. My thought process was I'd point my ass downstream so the shit would be washed away from me. Unfortunately, my torso caused an eddy effect. The water and the diarrhea was now swirling all around me. I am panicking, surrounded by my own shit,
My wife says from shore, "What's all that orange stuff around you?" I immediately swim away from my human toilet and tell her I must have stirred some dead leaves up from the bottom. I later told my wife the truth about what was floating in the water. She called me a disgusting pig.
Been there, amigo.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Pastilles! Hand me a Hershey’s Kiss and I’ll be like whatever, this is stupid. But hand me one of these little bad boys and I’ll clap my hands like a fucking baby seal. Pastilles are highly clutch; the kind of thing that makes going to any specialty food store eminently worth it. We have a Rodman’s near us. It’s perfect for Pastilles, dried spätzle, fine cheeses, hard-to-find beers, and weird canned fish from Romania. All the essentials.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Habesha! From Dan!
Habesha. Ethiopia's pride. The "Cold Gold.” Habesha is... beer. Mostly flavorless, inoffensive, and definitely well packaged. A bottle of this stuff will set you back about 35 Ethiopian birr - $0.85. Ethiopian Airlines stocks these on their flights, so if you ever find yourself on a beat-up plane headed to Addis Ababa, snag one. You absolutely won't be left with any meaningful impression.
That’s just what I want out of a 13-hour flight.
Dan Campbell’s Clump Dog Of The Week: Justin Tucker
“Look man, sometimes that’s just the way things go in this league. You grind and you grind and you grind and them at the end of the game, you get your teeth kicked in. You’re just seconds away from victory and then, God, it just gets taken away from you. And you’re left on your knees, crying blood, asking what more could I have done? Then you go home and you replay the moment in your head over and over again, wondering what you did wrong, praying that the pain will go away one day and that you’ll be able to stand back up, as a man, without your guts falling out of your body when you do. Then you try to eat and it all tastes like battery acid. And your kids tell you they love you but it doesn’t mean anything. Then you try to sleep but all you can do is lie there and feel your nuts aching. It’s fucking horrible, but that’s football. Just a total bitch of a game. I don’t know why I love it. Hat’s off to Tucker for making that kick, though.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jets Fans
The Green Knight, which features a cum shot! You don’t actually get to see Dev Patel nutting in real time, but you do get to see the residue. I was absolutely not ready for that, but I welcomed it all the same. Much better than the cum shot in Happiness. While 40-year-old fanboys demand every Batman movie be grittier than the last, here’s a fantasy movie that really DOES get fucking weird and isn’t all grandiose about it. I demand more Green Knights, cum or no cum. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“And now, please rise for our opening hymn, ‘In the Garden of Eden,’ by I. Ron Butterfly.”
Enjoy the games, everyone.