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.
From a distance, I can’t help but admire college football’s insatiable appetite for evildoing. Unpaid labor, covering up crimes, willful mass spreading of contagious diseases, Michigan’s passing game, and so forth. But perhaps the gaudiest crime in a sport teeming with crimes committed at full local car dealer volume is a relatively new one. I’m talking, of course, about school athletic departments producing their own, in-house hype videos. Witness Alabama:
And Missouri, where everything is literal:
And Nebraska, forever determined to be this sport’s foremost canary in a coal mine:
And, perhaps best of all, this 2019 hype video of a Northwestern player emerging from Lake Michigan, presumably to do battle with Mothra.
This is Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern: very pumped and EXTREMELY wet. Is this the man I want replacing Matt Nagy a month from now? You’re goddamn right it is. I want a 2021 hype video of Mitchell Trubisky emerging from a fucking space egg before he gets benched for A.J. McCarron.
If these videos remind you of President Trump forcing his handlers to tweet out a promo video featuring himself, a bionic eagle, people identified as ISIS who are not actually in ISIS, helicopters, time-lapse footage of the sun rising above a mountain, Glen Campbell, tits, and Rambo, that’s no coincidence. There’s a lot of money in debasing yourself these days, and making these videos costs even less than not paying football players. That’s especially true of Yale, which ISN’T EVEN PLAYING FOOTBALL THIS SEASON, but decided to release this beauty on Monday anyway.
And that’s how we became a Yale/Northwestern/Bama/Missouri/Husker family. This Yale video, true to Ivy League form, is tasteful relative to its antecedents. But the fact that Yale is focused on ELITEness, in special fonts no less, lets you know that what you’re watching is merely a prettier version of the same public-access content every mid-tier power five school is hellbent on tweeting out. But, tired Joe Flacco memes aside, what does it really mean to be elite? I’ll let our narrator, undoubtedly a Yale player who was asked to do this voiceover for free, to explain:
There are five things you can be at anything in life.
There’s that mastery of language that Yale is known for in linguistics.
Do YOU want to be poor? Filthy and downtrodden and living in public housing? WE THINK NOT.
And is average not just its own form of being poor?
Sure, you can be merely good. If you’re LAZY.
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Greatness is the essence of excellence, and excellence is the essence of beauty.
WAIT OH SHIT THERE’S A LEVEL PAST GREAT. But how do I become elite, Yale?
To be elite, you must be resilient.
Well you’d need to be if Dartmouth beat you by over four touchdowns last year.
You can’t back down from adversity.
This is why I never wear a mask to any cocktail party at Mory’s. Does “anyone” even use the word adversity outside of sports anymore? You could get harpooned in the face by your own father and that word would still be reserved for any college football player coming back from six aggravated assault convictions.
You can’t back down when the odds are against you.
If you decided to cancel your season, you HAVE to fight back by pretending you didn’t do that at all. And you have to release a generic 44-second video this month just in case Barry Sanders Jr. wants to sign with you in February. Make sure every player you feature is using way too much eye black!
It’s the elite that transcend the game.
Like O.J. Simpson!
It’s the elite that are forever immortalized in our history books.
Like Henry Kissinger!
This is the story of a group of men that simply play the game they love…
…which they are currently not playing.
…and walk off the field a team that we will remember forever.
The only thing I remember about Yale football was that one time they backed into a shitty tie with Harvard 87 years ago. But you and I live in a world of slickly produced new truths, which means I have to scroll through my feed and witness every single college football program convincing itself that it’s relevant. Yale is no different. And in so many respects, it and its Ivy League cohorts never were.
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms.
Steelers at Bills: I miss diner food. I miss it in the usual quarantine sense, but I also miss it in more existential ways. Diner food is at its best when you’re 3 a.m. and shitfaced, and I no longer drink. Thus, barring a relapse (fingers crossed!) I will never again know the pleasure of stumbling into a piece-of-shit diner in Manhattan at 3 a.m. to order banana pancakes, fries with gravy, and a side of triple bacon. So, with that in mind, please drink a bottle of potato vodka and advance directly to your nearest Denny’s later this evening. Do it for me.
Also, fuck the Steelers.
Ravens at Browns: There are already as many blocked punts this season (11) as there were during the entirety of the 2019 season. We can blame that on the existence of the Chargers special teams, of course. But I prefer to blame it on the fact that no NFL team practices the art of… THE ROLLOUT PUNT.
Love a good rollout punt. Now, you don’t see NFL teams run this play because the opposing edge rusher would probably turn the punter into a puddle of liquid shit. But hear me out: what if a team gave it a shot anyway? I get excited on every rollout punt because it looks like it might be a fake, only then it turns out to be a PUNT. Highly compelling shit. No reason (actually there are many) an NFL team can’t be similarly deceitful. Make Taysom Hill do it.
Cardinals at Giants: The Giants have won four in a row and while I’m quietly glad that the NFC East, in aggregate, is now 20 percent more watchable, I don’t wanna live in a world where Joe Judge’s methods are validated. It’s not good for anyone when the seventh grade gym teacher the Giants hired gets REWARDED for making his players do wind sprints up the Statue of Liberty because one of them coughed during a meeting. That may get Dave Gettleman’s cock rock hard, and it may garner breathless praise from Vinny in Piscataway, but the rest of us ALSO have to live in this country too, you know.
Chiefs at Dolphins: Early in the year, I thought Russell Wilson would be a shoo-in for MVP because he was beating the shit out of everyone and because he was “due,” in Oscars-ese. It’s like the NBA MVP where the voters usually make up their minds by midseason and then stick with it regardless of what happens next.
Except here, Wilson has started doling out picks like he’s gifting them to terminal children. So for a second I was like Well who the fuck will be MVP now? OH GOD IT’S GONNA BE FUCKING BIG BEN, ISN’T IT. That would be the perfect capper to this bullshit fucking year: the crybaby dickhead finally gets an MVP. Thankfully for me, and for the general public, Pittsburgh just got its shit ruined by Chase Young and Washington. Also, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have combined for 67 touchdowns and SIX interceptions. That’s it. So I think the MVP’ll be in safe hands. Real touch-and-go there for a sec.
Vikings at Bucs: I cannot, in good conscience, recommend watching the Vikings to people. It’s a quick and easy recipe for suicide. And yet, somehow, I find this year’s Vikings team to be fucking fascinating. They wanted to rebuild and overspend on their core players all at the same time, which is some real James Dolan shit. Somehow they’ve clawed their way to the 7-seed despite all this, and could (cue your laughter) move up one more spot if they beat Tom Brady on Sunday. Fox even assigned Buck and Aikman to preside over this game. I think we all know what this portends. Still, this is gonna be one of the more inspiring 8-8 campaigns of my lifetime.
While I’m indulging, lemme fire off a couple more Vikings takes for you. ONE: Kirk Cousins is good. Not great. Not ELITE. He’s just a plain-ass good quarterback. He’ll never be more than that. But once you accept that Kirk is a permanent second-tier player, you stop plotting hourlong call-in rants to sports talk radio every time he fumbles the ball. I have learned to live with Kirk Cousins. I’m no longer frantically hunting around for ways to dump his contract onto some other loser team. He is what he is. He is also, quite possibly, the best long-term Vikings QB of my lifetime. I do NOT mean that with any reverence of any kind.
TWO: Justin Jefferson is great because he has a natural talent for remaining in stride anytime he’s catching the ball. A lot of this is dependent on the quarterback, of course. Joe Montana was the best ever at hitting wideouts in just the right spot, so that they never had to catch the ball out of position. But Kirk is known to throw an errant pass or two. When that happens, Jefferson can still contort the top half of his body so that he can catch that duck while his lower body stays en route downfield. There’s never any wasted motion with him. It’s astonishing to behold.
But does any of that mean you should watch this team play football if you can help it? No.
Patriots at Rams: Sixty-six players opted out before the beginning of this season, with the Patriots having the largest contingent stay home. Those guys all played the long game, and it’s starting to pay off. Just wait till their colleagues begin to actually die! We’re talking serious ROI here, people.
Colts at Raiders
Falcons at Chargers
WFT at Niners
Saints at Eagles: Schefter reported that Drew Brees broke 11 ribs, not five, on that hit he suffered against the 49ers three weeks ago. I didn’t even know the human body had that many ribs (it has 24), so I’m still wincing just thinking about one person breaking that many. You break a single rib and it feels like someone tore your lungs out. If I broke a dozen of them, I would die. I would PURPOSELY die to stave off the pain. I know how painless death is, so that’s the way I’d roll. I’m not like an NFL QB where they just shoot you up with bear semen, strap a flak jacket to you, and then you’re good to go.
That said, Drew Brees is now 65 years old, and even though he’s a sentient infomercial for suspect vitamins, he’s still at least five percent human. So what if, no matter how many drugs he ingests, he comes back and can’t play? What if he sucks? Or what if he breaks 11 more ribs? The Taysom Hill gag has been amusing for three games against horrific opponents, but the Saints are gonna have to start playing REAL teams again somewhere down the line. I think Jameis is a complete bag of shit who will never cease to be overrated. But if Mitt Tebow ends up starting some playoff games, it’s gonna be the crowning moment of Sean Payton choking to death on his own smugness.
Packers at Lions: If you go by career totals, the best wideout Aaron Rodgers has ever played with is… Jordy Nelson. That won’t be the case when Davante Adams racks up 2,500 yards over the next season and a quarter. Rodgers was already terrifying with minor weapons at his disposal. But now he has access to the best wideout in the entire sport, the kind of WR who would flourish even if he was playing for the Jets. It’s not fair. It violates many antitrust laws we have as a nation.
Jets at Seahawks: Our oven has a broiler, as all ovens do. Whenever I use ours, my wife grows VERY alarmed. She’s be like, “Oh god, are you using the broiler?” It’s as if I’m gonna put a cord of firewood directly onto the top rack. Me? I fear no broiler. If I can slip a steak under there and carefully monitor it so that I get it out in that 10-second window between it staying raw and it being burned alive, I will. I LIVE FOR THE ACTION. I’m a man, which means that if I can turn any appliance or grill up to 750°F, I will. The temptation is much too strong.
Cowboys at Bengals: Suddenly every NFL telecast is awash in cologne ads where it’s eternally 1999. Here’s the Lenny Kravitz one:
You think nothing can top that for laughs, yeah? You would be SORELY mistaken, old friend.
I bet it costs more and takes longer to make Johnny Depp look human than it does to make Joe Biden look human.
Broncos at Panthers
Texans at Bears
Titans at Jaguars
Pregame Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“The House That Heaven Built,” by Japandroids! I listen to Japandroids with mundane regularity, but let’s toss them in here anyway, at the behest of reader Scott:
This is as much alcohol-fueled mayhem and noise as two nice Canadian boys are allowed to make. Know how you go to a show (remember those days?) and there is a wall of amps onstage? Well, these two use every single one of them, and just blow the fucking roof off. The video shows a guy in the mosh pit with a bloody nose and a smile, and this is the epitome of this band. They make you want to punch a hole in the wall, and hug your buddy simultaneously. No God, only Japandroids, as the saying (and merch) goes.
Our own Barry Petchesky DESPISES Japandroids. His beef is that every song of theirs sounds the same (this is true, but not a drawback from my angle), and that their whole vibe is dangerously close to Springsteen’s patented “Remember When?” anthem formula. That second part is devastatingly accurate, especially given the lyrics to “Younger Us.” You fly real close to boomerland when you pore over those verses. Then again, that song fucking ROCKS. You can get away with being nostalgia merchants so long as you’re loud enough and angry enough about it. Japandroids ticks off both those boxes.
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
At long last, we come to Nate Silver.
No one trades on hindsight better than this man. “Ah see, a thing you thought possible didn’t happen. NOW DON’T YOU FEEL SO FOOLISH?” Nate’s still useful for processing election returns and what not. But anything past that? Total fucking dipshit. Voter suppression and wingnut judges are an eternal emergency in this country, and Nate Silver continually treats both as forgettable nuisances. Fucking baldass sack of shit.
Nazi Shark’s Lock Of The Week: Giants (+3) vs. Cardinals
Lots of sports sites, to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gambling, like to have animals like monkeys pick games to see if they can outwit their human counterparts. There’s no reason we at Defector can’t also get in on the fun. So we’ve asked National Socialist German Workers’ Party member Rolf, who also happens to be a shark, to pick one game a week. Take it away, Nazi shark.
“New York City is repulsive hotbed of miscegenation and ethnic uncleanliness. The reason I like the Giants is because they don’t play there. East Rutherford, New Jersey… now THAT’S a place that understands the importance of blood purity. My friend Vito (Northern Italian heritage) says they work with the cops every week to keep all the wrong folks out of the tailgate lot. Good man.”
2020 Magic record: 7-4
2020 Nazi Shark record: 1-0
Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!
Hawai’i Self Storage! I’m pleased to report that there’s a place where dwarf-based humor still thrives. Finally, old Opie and Anthony fanboys can rejoice! From Rex:
My family and I were sitting the one restaurant/bar at the Kona Airport on the Big Island, waiting for our flight home, which had been delayed an hour, when this commercial came on the one TV in the place. I had just started chugging a Kona Gold Cliff IPA and stared dumbly at the screen while this ad played and I drank my beer. My head exploded at the thought of the casting call that probably went out across Honolulu seeking the person who played the “mess” in this ad. I have no doubt the commercial maker actively used the term “midget needed” in its job listing. After the commercial ended, I finished my beer and immediately got another one. Once you watch this, you’ll agree with my decision.
I do. But Rex, you should always assume that every cast member in a local TV spot is one of the following:
- The owner of the business
- Spouse of the owner
- Child of the owner
- Friend of the owner
- Someone the owner owes money to
I’ve helped write ads like this. I know exactly how much money these people are willing to spend. They make Mike Brown look like fucking James Harden.
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:
(* – potential midseason firing)
As you might have suspected, interim head coaches have a sorry-ass track record. Hard to win games when you’ve been put in sudden command of a bad team with shitty morale. But so far this season, all three interim head coaches (Raheem Morris, Romeo Crennel, and Darrell Bevell) have won their respective debuts. That’s how stoked the Falcons/Lions/Texans were to be FREE of the other shitbags running everything. You never wanna face a team for that interim coach’s first game. What you want is to face them for Adam Gase’s LAST game, when everyone has clearly lost interest. Much safer.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Burt sends in this horrifying tale I call TURDSPORT:
In the early 2000’s a group of my friends and I decided to have a contest between ourselves that was a feats of strength kind of thing. There were five of us who gathered on that Saturday morning in the summer. Everyone had come to the contest under the strict rules that you had not had anything to eat or drink since you had woken up. Once all five contestants were in attendance we each took 4 pills of EX LAX and received two Mickey’s grenades.
Next, we all sat down at a table to play a round of speed quarters consisting of the Mickey’s, prune juice and some kind of lemon flavored diuretic. The game went on until the Mickey’s had been finished and everyone had sampled a bit of the other two in “wild card” rounds. It was at this point that we put on diapers.
The funny thing about wearing adult diapers is that you have to wear two. Well I guess you wouldn’t have to wear two if you were wearing pants but we didn’t want to have our dicks hanging out everywhere. To clarify, we were leaving the house in nothing but tshirts, shoes and adult diapers. But where would anyone want to go wearing just diapers after they have put tons of laxatives in their systems? McDonalds, of course.
Upon our arrival at the golden arches each person picked another person’s name out of a hat. For the person whose name you picked you were to designate one item from the menu that they had to eat. My first meal of the day was a filet of fish. This continued through Jack in the Box, KFC and then Taco Bell (in fairness it was a KFC/Taco Bell).
At this point everyone is starting to feel horrible pain in their bowels and can barely keep it together. As we approached the A&W three of us, myself included, could no longer hold it in. Wait, did I mention that a rule of the game was you had to poop in your diaper if you weren’t the last to finish? Well, yeah, that was a rule. Three of us had to take care of business standing up in the parking lot of A&W. I have been so scarred by this moment that once it becomes clear I have to wear diapers I am just going to end it.
Anyways, the final two contestants are still doing okay. We proceed to make one more stop for two black coffees and return home to watch these two great competitors face each other. Both sat on couches across from one another trying to ignore the physical pain while also trying to engage in mental warfare. They were very determined to win considering that the other three of us had been so humiliated and disgusted with ourselves.
In the end, after a desperate attempt to punch the other contestant in the stomach, the fourth player went around the side of the house to exit the competition. This meant that our winner could now relieve himself like a civilized person on a toilet. The speed at which that person ran to the bathroom was Olympic quality and the resulting sounds will continue to haunt me to this day.
I have no words.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
A whole Entenmann’s Danish twist. There’s no smaller portion of this you can eat. I bought one of these and a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos the other day. A real gas station dinner. My garbage son ate ALL the Fritos while I barely had any. I yelled at the boy, “You didn’t save any for anyone else!” He said, “Dad, if you buy those, you KNOW I’m gonna eat them all.” Fair enough, boy. Fair enough. The next morning, I ate all of the coffee cake. The boy came downstairs and went straight to the kitchen hunting for it.
“Where’s the coffee cake?” he asked. I let him hang for a bit before I said, “Oh, I ate that.” He got real mad and then I dropped the hammer.
“Boy, if I buy that coffee cake, you KNOW I’m gonna eat it all.”
That got a laugh out of him. I’m still mad about the Fritos, though. That boy is a menace.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Black Panther Foreign Extra Premium Stout!!! Somehow I don’t think this beer is affiliated with the motion picture. Reader Erik explains:
Had this during Happy Hour in a hostel bar in Siem Reap during a New Year’s Eve trip to Angkor Wat a few years back. Fifty cents a can. 8% ABV. Cheap, roasty, fizzy, and surprisingly drinkable. But above all cheap. And strong. After a long day exploring ancient temples in 90-degree heat, it’s just what you need to fuel up for the sights and sounds of the Night Market, or simply get plastered and lose at billiards to a bunch of sweaty, long-haired Aussie backpackers.
God, I can’t wait to travel again.
Alex Guerrero’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“When I’m on the road, I don’t often have time to source quality leeches from local vendors. But I’ve found that a TB12-brand Performance Scalpel does the job just as well. You wanna keep all your bloodlettings free of needless debris.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jets Fans
It’s Rising Sun, which probably hasn’t aged well over time but is relevant at the moment thanks to UNLV quarterback Max Gilliam.
There’s a scene in Rising Sun where Eddie Sakamura is eating sushi off of a naked lady. If you are exactly my age, you will NEVER forget it. In general, Rising Sun was a fantastic movie for moments of sudden, gratuitous nudity. They don’t make sex scenes like this anymore, which is just fucking TRAGIC. So I salute Max Gilliam for unwittingly paying tribute to it in these uncertain times, and I lament that he ever had to feel remorseful for doing so. You’re living the dream, Max. Don’t let the haters get you down.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Class, I know there’s no way to prove who actually did this, and in our American democracy, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But my classroom is not a democracy. Ha!”
Enjoy the games, everyone.