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The Old Guard Of Quarterbacks Needs To Go Away

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers enters the field before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Bryan M. Bennett/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.

The 21st century has been very, very kind to NFL quarterbacks. Sixteen of the top 20 all-time passing yardage leaders played in this century, with eight of them still active. Half of the top 10 touchdown leaders all-time are ALSO still active. As we speak, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are constantly exchanging the top spot of that particular list, which has had the fortunate side effect of ending the practice where they stop the fucking game after a record-breaking touchdown so that Drew Brees can wave to the crowd like he’s the Queen of England. Thanks to better passing schemes and rule changes that keep them sealed in bubble wrap, quarterbacks are lasting longer and throwing more successfully as they do it.

OK, enough with all that torpid exposition. It’s time I bring you to the take, which is that I am sick to fucking DEATH of seeing the same assholes year in and year out. I am on my 57th consecutive year of watching Ben Roethlisberger pissing and moaning his way to 10-plus wins. I have nothing but contempt for that droopy bag of shit. Only three of the past 10 Super Bowl winning QBs (Mahomes, Foles, Wilson) were drafted in the 2010s. And only four of the past 10 Super Bowl winning QBs (the other three plus Flacco) won their first ring that particular year. For the past decade I have been stuck watching the same core group of quarterbacks over and over and over again: Brady, Brees, Big Ben, Philip Rivers, Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers. That the Manning boys are both now blessedly retired somehow counts as an upset given that all of the aforementioned QBs will continue hogging all the relevance until I’m fucking dead. Drew Brees just broke 97 ribs and he’s STILL gonna keep trotting out there until he can personally gift the job to one of his asshole kids. All of these fuckers refuse to ever go away.

Last year’s Chiefs title run was a relief not only because the Chiefs are the most exciting team in football, but because Patrick Mahomes’s MVP represented the promise, at long last, that a new guard at the position would take over. The talent within that next generation—Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen—is staggering, and that group deserves to have a run of its own. But for that to happen, they’re gonna have to beat the same, tired-ass motherfuckers that have lingered around the NFL since half the staffers at this site were in diapers.

I can’t take it anymore. We already have a gerontocracy at the highest levels of government. We don’t need that shit in football. I’m glad that quarterback is as deep a position as it’s ever been. And I’m glad that we’ve finally reached the point where every gifted mobile quarterback doesn’t receive a complimentary shattered tibia on his way out of bounds. But I require more turnover with my championships. Because the 2000s QBs represent their own collective dynasty that has reigned over this sport well past the contempt threshold. None of them have even had the common courtesy to get COVID, and you know damn well that Brady flouts safety precautions like he’s swearing in a new Supreme Court justice. In real life, as on the field, nothing is ever allowed to touch that piece of shit.

By contrast, this year I’ve watched Dak get his leg amputated, Deshaun Watson’s future annihilated by his own team’s horrific upper management, and Lamar Jackson inflicted with both the coronavirus and Montezuma’s Revenge. Somewhere in an undisclosed location, these older QBs are gathering in conclave to conspire against the generation that would succeed them: cutting their wages and benefits, ending regulations to protect them, and hiring double agents to sneak Ex-Lax into their water supply. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Can’t you see what these QBmasons are up to? WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE TO NOTICE THIS?

This old guard needs to fucking die. If it means that I have to watch the Taysom Hill experiment last another five years, so be it. I’ve lived through shitty quarterbacking before and I can do it again. The difference this time is that the system has been deliberately engineered for new QBs like Herbert to succeed, and to succeed quickly. So if we take Big Ben off life support and shove his bloated corpse into Lake Erie where it belongs, we have all the infrastructure and incoming talent in place to not only withstand his absence, but to thrive after it. God, I wish he would go the fuck away.

I wish they all would. Longevity only has so much charm. Whenever the old guard moves up to the booth, Mahomes and his contemporaries will already be in a good position to win all of their titles and snatch all of their records. The Mahomes Generation’s time has come. It’s been long overdue, and now their predecessors get the fuck out of the way.

The Games

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

Five Throwgasms

Chiefs at Saints: I’m already on record saying that this college football season has been demonstrably evil, but I’ve done enough keyboard moralizing on that shit already. The more important take is that the actual product they're putting on the field this season is a fucking joke! Rosters are decimated. Every Big Ten team has exactly two wins. No sane team wants to play in a bowl game. The rankings may as well have been drawn out of a hat. Games are scheduled with all the advance notice of a playdate. None of this is legitimate. No season in which Brian Kelly goes 10-0 can be considered anything but a fraud.

I caved and tried to watch a little CFB this past weekend and I was like, “These games are fucking awful.” And trust me, that’s not my normal attitude toward college football. Normally I’ll watch Ole Miss and Arkansas play to 17 overtimes and cackle with glee. But right now, these games have all the excitement, talent, and ambience of a split squad baseball game in the fucking cactus league. Pretending this is responsible is shameful enough, but pretending any of it has been WATCHABLE has been the real offense.

Four Throwgasms

None. It’s an incredibly dire slate of games this weekend. So let’s take a moment to remember that Sean Fennessey is a complete penis.

If you recall, Fennessey’s the Head of Content at The Ringer, but then took it upon himself to appoint himself that joint’s in-house Movie Knower after he moved to L.A. and said to himself, “Hey, how come no one talks about movies besides me?” Ever since that fateful moment, the rest of us have been subjected to his precious musings. Like this one!

How about you spend less time telling everyone GUYS I THINK THESE STUDIOS MIGHT BE MAKING CYNICAL DECISIONS and pay your fucking employees instead, shitheel?

Three Throwgasms

Patriots at Dolphins: In case you missed it last month, Jim Nantz is demanding a fat raise from CBS to match Tony Romo’s salary. I don’t think that Nantz is gonna leave CBS either way, because that pair of loafers would work the Masters every year for a dollar if that was the going rate. But let’s say CBS tells him to piss off and he walks. First of all, I make fun of Nantz all the time, but I also have no problem with his play-by-play calling. He always has that horrible, canned one-liner ready at the end of any title game. But otherwise, he’s exactly as soothing and inoffensive as his personality. Also, Nantz has done so many big games for so long that, like Al Michaels, his presence on the telecast lets you know that you’re watching an EVENT. Nantz has the timbre. You gotta have the timbre. I just listened to Mike Tirico fill in for Al last week because NBC now gives Al a handful of weeks off during the season. Mike Tirico does NOT have the timbre. He sounds like Chip and Dale calling a game. TOTAL HORSESHIT.

So here is what I propose. CBS lets Nantz go. He goes to Sunday Night Football, and then Al moves over to Monday Night Football to pair with Louis Riddick, who I like a lot. There. Now we have the timbre evenly distributed across all of primetime. Plus Tirico gets consigned to the dumpster where he belongs. EVERYBODY WINS.

Seahawks at WFT: The Teamsters are gonna make the playoffs because Chase Young is a god already. That makes it two years in a row where a pathetic franchise has sudden credibility after drafting a monster OSU defensive end (Nick Bosa being the other). A couple weeks ago here, I supported the argument that having a kickass secondary is more important than having a kickass pass rush. I will now pretend I didn’t support that take at all. Instead, lemme say this: ALL YOU NEED IS ONE LINEMAN. One beastly lineman and the Super Bowl is yours. Also, make sure you use whatever roids Ohio State is feeding its players. And make sure to pasteurize those roids to get the rona out.

Also, Ron Rivera is on the verge of winning division title with Dan Snyder as his owner, cancerous lymph nodes, and a quarterback salvaged from the afterlife. He probably deserves a few awards for that shit.

Bears at Vikings

Two Throwgasms

Panthers at Packers (Saturday): There are two Saturday games this week and they’re both horrid. That hasn't stopped the NFL from bringing out Kay Adams for promos where she’s like, “You mean I get to watch the 4-9 Panthers on SATURDAY? COUNT. ME. IN.” Will I watch these games? Of course I will. I just ripped on college football for staging a partial season of sham games over the past few months. In contrast, I gotta hand it to the NFL. Their hilarious indifference to the pandemic has resulted in a season that has been EXTREMELY real. Far too legitimate than is proper. Whoever wins the Super Bowl this year should get TWO Lombardi trophies. Unless it’s one of 57 franchises that I hold a personal vendetta against.

Chargers at Raiders

Eagles at Cardinals

One Throwgasm

Browns at Giants: I know Lamar Jackson just staged a triumphant comeback from mudbutt to defeat Cleveland, but I’m with Lauren Theisen in believing these Browns are still extremely good. I can’t believe they let Freddie Kitchens run this team for a year before getting their shit together. I know you’re saying LOL IT’S THE BROWNS DIPSHIT, but still. All the pieces were there, and management was BEGGING Jimmy Haslam to hire the head coach they now have. And he still didn’t! And they burned a whole year off the calendar for it. There are successful class action lawsuits built on flimsier stuff.

Bills at Broncos (Saturday): Roger Goodell, who leads the world in empty gestures, graciously invited vaccinated health care workers in the Tampa area to attend the Super Bowl.

This way, Roger gets a packed stadium for the Super Bowl, plus he gets to troopify everyone in attendance. It’s a flawless scam. And Jim Nantz will be at the mic for it! Can you imagine how how much ginger dick Nantz is gonna suck during all five hours of that telecast? HUGE WASTE OF TIMBRE.

Jets at Rams: The Jets’ final two games after this are against the Browns (home) and the Pats (away). They’re not winning either of those games. They’re gonna join the Browns and Lions in the 0-16 canon, and they’ll be the worst outfit of the bunch. This is it: the worst team in NFL history. That’s what you’re bearing witness to right now. The 0-16 Lions were sad and the 0-16 Browns were helpless. But neither of those teams were as aggressively miserable as this one is. I was around for the Kotite 1-15 Jets. I never thought I’d see a worse team, and yet here it is. These Jets are just as dysfunctional as that clan, only LESS talented. It’s like watching a really depressing Danish film.

Texans at Colts: No more Cyberpunk discourse, please. I did nothing to deserve it.

Lions at Titans

Steelers at Bengals

Bucs at Falcons

Jaguars at Ravens

Niners at Cowboys

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

“Volt Thrower,” by Conan! From Daniel:

Conan is a band that can be described as LOUD and SLOW and RIFFS, although Volt Thrower is one of their faster songs. It's essentially just one monster riff played for 3 minutes, but who needs more when the one is so good? Plus, the name of the song is a play on the best war-themed and British death metal band of all time. Also, the music video is scenes of armored spectres on giant snails battling, cut with scenes of the band playing in badass cloaks, all doused in psychedelic coloring effects. I mean, come on. All hail Volt Thrower!

The only music videos I ever watch anymore are disturbing animated videos made by bands on drugs for fans on drugs. This is what all music videos should look like. Even Raffi’s.

Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week

It’s the man himself.

No one throws down I WAS FIRST TO THIS AWFUL TAKE!!! more often than Gregg Easterbrook, who remains an absolute pile of shit. Here he is signal-boosting that WSJ op-ed about the incoming First Lady—written by a dude who once said that gay people were “cursed”—that everyone fucking hated. It’s a signature GREGGGGGG move to swoop in and be like, “Hmmm yes indeed I was the first one to bravely dip my toe into these waters, and now other men of repute have joined me in daring to say likewise.” Both these men deserve to fucking choke.

By the way, the word SCHOLAR means nothing anymore. I know the intended effect is to conjure up images of a thoughtful man in his parlor, feverishly poring over ancient manuscripts and notating them with a feather quill. Really it’s just some think-tank asshole. I wouldn’t piss on Gregg if my urine had the vaccine in it.

Cryptkeeper Al’s Lock Of The Week: Raiders (-3.5) vs. Chargers

Art by Jim Cooke

“EEEEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!!! Hello again, kiddies! Seems our friends from Los HANGEDgeles think they can beat my dear Nelson AGGGGHHHHHH!alor, Denzel EVIL, Gabe HACKED SON, and the Raiders! Well, for you, quarterback JUST IN, MURDERED!, I think you’ll find this game will be no… SLAY at the beach! EEEEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!!!”

2020 Magic record: 7-4
2020 Nazi Shark record: 1-1

Bad Local Commercial Of The Week!

Destination Kia! Are you guys pumped for some quality CNY aaaaaaccents? Well, reader Peter has a pair of them ready to turn your eardrums into shredded lettuce:

If you ask any upstate capital district New Yorker if they know the phrase “Puppies and Babies not included,” I can assure you they do. This represents one of nearly 100,000 commercials that have played since Megan and James began having kids. I would also be willing to bet that everyone within a 100-mile radius of Albany, NY is counting the days until their kids are no longer babies, only I wouldn’t put it past them to evolve the phrase into “dogs and teenagers not included.” The kicker is that Megan showed up at my father’s annual neighborhood party. My wife begged me to go up to her and ask where the puppies were as she only brought the babies but I wussed out.

That was more wise than cowardly on your part. That couple looks like the exact kind of couple I NEVER want to be stuck talking to at a party.

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 Patricia—FIRED!
Matt Nagy
Zac Taylor
Anthony Lynn******************
Adam Gase*
Vic Fangio
Doug Marrone
Doug Pederson*
Mike Zimmer
Jon Gruden
Matt Rhule

(* - potential midseason firing)

It’s becoming clear that Frank Reich was the brains behind the entire 2017 Eagles operation. Ever since he left, Carson Wentz can’t throw and Picnic Dad can’t call any decent plays. I’d tell you this makes me sad, but I’ve had “38-7” in my mentions enough times over the past three years that I only feel JOY and ELATION that the Eagles are stuck in eternal cap hell with Ginger Eric Trump stapled to the bench. FUCKING SWALLOW IT.

Great Moments In Poop History

You mean apart from the one you witnessed Monday night? Well, an anonymous reader sends in this story I call BUMDOG MILLIONAIRE:

I'm writing from Bhubaneswar, India, visiting some friends. I have been eating the food for a week now in Delhi, and had no gastrointestinal troubles. It isn't that kind of story, but I will never forget what happened. 

First day in Bhub, I check into my hotel room. I realize I really need to go, so I head to the bathroom. No toilet paper. I call the front desk and they say they will be right up. Ten minutes pass, and I REALLY need to go. I decide to try it without the TP. I finish up, everything solid and normal. Door knock. It is the guy with the TP. 

I figure I will get up quickly, pull my pants up, and get the paper...clean up, job finished. Unfortunately, I didn't get a clean break, so to speak, and I could feel some crap sandwiched in between my buttocks. I got back to the bathroom with the paper, knowing I had a hell of a job ahead of me. I wiped like crazy but I realized it was still too foul down there. I decided to shower and clean myself up. 

Now, in India, showers often have no stalls. The whole bathroom is the shower stall, and there is a drain in the floor. Kind of weird but I was getting used to it. I start the shower and start washing my ass. Only then do I realize that the drain was waaaaaay over by the sink, underneath the sink really. So I'm standing barefoot in this lake of shit water as it starts spreading ALL over the bathroom floor. I had to pick up my towel and clothes before they got hit with the shit tsunami. After I wash up, I spend another 5 minutes guiding this disgusting water to the drain (which of course was draining incredibly slowly). Oh and it smelled really good too. Closest I have come to stomping through a sewer. 

I immediately thought of you, Drew Magary. Flattery, I guess.

I am indeed flattered.

Gametime Snack Of The Week

DOMINOSTEIN! My mother-in-law is German and buys these for us every year. That’s gingerbread, jam, and marzipan all coated in a layer of rich, dark chocolate. Makes boxed chocolates taste like used toilet paper residue. And I like boxed chocolates. I’m not an '80s comedian.

Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week

Turbo King! From Rwanda via reader Fred!

A few years back, while killing time on a seven-hour layover in the Kigali, Rwanda, airport, I decided to splurge and spend $20 to get into the Rwanda Air first class lounge. I was perusing the beverage options when this lion figuratively and literally jumped out at me. It tasted like equal parts Newcastle and white wine vinegar, and while at 6.5% I could have forced a few down if I had to, I was worried about how hours five, six, and seven might go.

Fred, if you’re drinking ONE Turbo King, you can’t be worried about what a dozen more will do to you. You’re already committed. There’s no way to drink repurposed nitroglycerine RESPONSIBLY. Turbo King is your king now. You must do as it commands.

Alex Guerrero’s Lifehack Of The Week!

“There are so many simple thought-forward and body-forward exercises you can do with a mere household thumbtack. You can hit various pressure points in the finger webbing, follow the tack with your eye for boost in neuro-cognitive response, poke it into your heel to release what I call ‘dirty’ hemoglobin, and conduct minimally invasive trepanations before your afternoon banana.”

Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Jets Fans

The Seventh Sign, featuring legendary bad guy Jürgen Prochnow playing the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Naturally, this Nü Jesus is a little bit sketchy.

Gratuitous Simpsons Quote

“Marge, someone squeezed all the life out of these kids. And unless movies and TV have lied to me, it's a crusty, bitter old Dean!”

Enjoy the games, everyone.

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