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 Out, through here.
A football season doesn’t end so much as it does steadily erode. You start out Week 1 with a deluge of Sunday games, then playoffs arrive and 16 games a weekend becomes six, and then four, and then two, and then ***PRO BOWL CHILI COOKOFF TIME!***, and then one. Then the offseason arrives and I have to pretend that the XFL will last longer than two months this time around. It’s all deeply cruel and unfair, but I’ve already sorted out a way to fill the growing void in my entertainment diet. It’s watching modern art tour videos on Youtube, like this one:
When I once said I wanted to be an Art Guy when I become a billionaire, I meant it. I wouldn’t hog the art. I’d make sure that it was on display in a free museum during the day. But at night, that museum would be MINE. I’d have my chauffeur Concord drive me to the front door, have security escort me in and hand me a bacon cheeseburger, and then I’d just sit there and stare at my shit all night long. When modern art is bad, it’s comically bad. But when it’s good—when it’s done by an artist who has mastered tone and form to the point where they can venture confidently into abstraction—it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen.
I’ve seen works by Gerhard Richter, Yves Klein, Ellsworth Kelly, and a few others in person, and they always give me a feeling that I’m not quite certain I understand. Normally you gotta be a fucking eighth grader to have that kind of feeling. But I can stare at one of Klein’s trademark blue paintings and get it back. I can feel something entirely NEW, and that’s fucking amazing to me. Normally, I know exactly how to feel. I’m supposed to know how I feel. I go to a therapist to sort it out. But sometimes, it’s all right to feel disoriented. It’s OK to feel lost and overwhelmed. That’s what art SHOULD do to people, but often fails to. Art shouldn’t always comfort you, and it shouldn’t always be clear. It should take you to new, undiscovered places within your psyche. It should open doors. I’m a writer, so I’m always sitting here using words to explain things clearly and directly. Meanwhile Klein is like, Here’s a shade of blue that I invented that’ll make you feel it came from another galaxy. Makes what I do seem like kindergarten shit.
And you really can see through the abstraction when you concentrate on it. Same as seeing shapes in the clouds. I watched the above Richter video last night and eventually saw cityscapes, and faces, and flames, and waterfalls, and vast crowds. If Richter didn’t intend for me to see those things, it hardly matters. You get to see these works how you like, and you get to feel any way that they make you feel. Nothing is out of the question and nothing is wrong. That makes me happier than I can express here. Even if I knew how to express it, I wouldn’t want to.
When I travel now, I don’t think about where I’m gonna eat. I think about where I can see some art. Because obviously, nothing beats seeing these works face to face in a museum. But you and I are lucky in that we now have a lot of ways—outside of coffee table books—to gaze upon these works from afar. I follow a lot of artist bots on Twitter and then watch these Youtubes (on my TV, not my phone) to make up for the times where I CAN’T fuck off to London to check out the Tate. Good art is the best shit in the world, and I heartily recommend you consume more of it where you can.
Also, fuck the Cowboys. Time for the Divisional Round!
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms. And for the playoffs, I pick the games, because then you can hold them against me after the fact and I absolutely won’t take the derision personally no way.
Bengals (+5) 29, Bills 14. No one could talk about it at the time, save for perhaps Skippy Bayless, but the Bengals sure looked like they were about to crush the Bills right before Damar Hamlin got hurt. So I’m gonna blithely assume that nothing that has occurred in the wake of his injury—not his recovery, not his inevitable return to the Bills’ stadium, not the Bengals needing a dropped Hail Mary to beat an undermanned Ravens outfit last week, and not the fact that the original Bills-Bengals game still had three-and-a-half quarters left to go before it got scrapped—will change that trajectory. Safest bet there is. Bookies out there are constantly saying that Drew Magary’s picks have “the Midas touch.” Scares them to death.
Chiefs 30, Jaguars (+8.5) 28. While we’re on the subject, I don’t advocate gambling heavily, because I’m a journalist and because I don’t want you selling off your plasma to pay your debts. THAT SAID … I have now discovered the joy (and a tidy $20 in profit) from betting over/unders exclusively. Betting on the point spread is for children: little tiny children who go BOOHOO when they lose their binky and can’t shit in a regulation toilet yet. Also, betting on the spread can often end up conflicting with your rooting interests, which is annoying. But the over/under? That’s more neutral. More ethical. More MANLY. Plus I always bet the over because the NFL hates defense. It’s the perfect way to develop a gambling habit, I tell you. Try it!
Niners (-3.5) 13, Cowboys 7. This week’s column is a little shorter, and EXTREMELY off-topic, because I had to fly to Minnesota last weekend to have my guts torn out. So if you need a longer, more football-y post to occupy you as you drop anchor, here’s that magnum opus for you. And, as an addendum, here’s a brief and pointless story: I test drove my new Vikings beer coozy last night and it was, to my shock, the wrong size. I didn’t know beer coozies even came in different sizes, but I should have. Seasoned drinkers need different-sized coozies for tall boys, stadium bottles, 40s, those novelty-sized cans of Foster’s, and bottles of André. But not to worry: I took my wife’s fabric shears and modified my too-big coozy to fit my specifications. Behold!
A triumph of DIY ingenuity. NO ONE WILL KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!
Eagles (-7.5) 44, Giants 16. The Eagles may be filthy rotten cheaters, but they do cheat in the coolest possible way:
“Not one team thinks it’s fair,” said an NFL analytics staffer who was granted anonymity by The Athletic because they are not authorized by their team to speak on the matter. “Every team has complained, but you’re allowed to push so basically they reinforced the rules so they didn’t have to talk about it again.”
Good! This is football, man. There should be pushing, and pulling, and biting, and maybe even a little stabbing here and there. Better the Eagles do all this violence than their fans.
None. Here’s a quick round of random crap:
• Lost in Tom Brady’s final game of the season was the REAL story:
Seeing Jerry Jones happy in the skybox makes me want to destroy the sun. But cutaways of John Daly in Robinson Crusoe mode? That’s gold. Send that man to every playoff game and show me the beard.
• The NFL has had its “cover your legs!” uniform mandate in place since 1945, back when flashing your ankle to passersby constituted pornography. Fast forward to 2023 and the league is still a closed sphincter when it comes to the sins of exposed flesh:
Skin exposure due to improperly wearing jerseys is prohibited at all times throughout the game.
There’s no WHY to this section of the dress code. It’s just some shit that the NFL can crack down on just so that it has something to crack down on. Meanwhile, college football players are baring midriffs and calves and all kinds of other sexy business. I don’t see that sport suffering for it. I wanna see some leg. I wanna see some abs. I want that lower shoulder pad flap hanging out and flailing around as a running back busts loose for an 80-yard touchdown. Treat these grown-ass men like grown-ass men, dammit. God forbid a stray leg hair appear on television.
Last week: 3-3
Pregame Song That Makes Me Wanna Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
“Keine Lust,” by Rammstein! Only a matter of time before Rammstein blitzed their way into this spot. Here’s Wyatt:
When this comes on, the walls come tumbling down.
I never got into Rammstein because I have a rational fear of aggressive Germans, but this song has chunky riffs and the video has Rammstein dressed up in fat suits while a gaggle of sexy lady assistants clean up after them. Tempers my reluctance just a smidge.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Stephen sends in this story I call THE POOPS MUST BE CRAZY:
I was on safari with a couple of friends from graduate school not long ago. While making our way through Southern Africa, we ended up at a camp in Botswana run by locals and native Bushmen. We would spend day after day doing game drives and tracking exotic fauna like giraffes, wild dogs, lions and leopards. It was a grand old time.
Before going to Botswana, however, I had eaten something that didn’t agree with me and for several days had been struggling with periodic liquid poops every 4-6 hours. Nothing terrible, but also not pleasant.
While in Botswana my symptoms largely went away, and I began to feel more confident. Every day on safari, we would go to a small pond that was frequented by hippos and enjoy beer and/or cocktails while taking photos of the sunset. Lovely stuff. The problem is that in Botswana, the roads aren’t really roads so much as they are tire tracks in the desert. This means lots of bumps. One fateful night, we hit a rather large divot on the way to a “sundowner,” as a game drive at sunset was called, and something shifted in my gut. Suddenly, I was struck with an immediate urge to defecate. I was able to maintain my composure through the next 30 minutes of sundowner drinks. However, I committed the sin of hubris and consumed a local beer. My condition worsened, and I informed our guides that we had to go back to camp immediately.
Now the guides were excellent trackers but some did not speak English. While driving back to camp, my bowels rapidly approached the breaking point. I inquired how far we were from camp, and the driver said, “We aren’t going back to camp.” Turns out they misunderstood my request and thought I wanted a longer night-time game drive. Realizing my fate, I had the drivers stop the car, hopped out and unleashed my sins into the night while they looked at each other confusedly. I found a greasy mechanics rag to clean myself. Hyenas howled, and I quickly hopped back into the safari truck before we sped back to camp.
The next day we went on a nature walk with another local guide. He was showing us the traditional way to track animals, using their footprints, smells, markings on trees and their dung. As we were walking we hit a point in the road when the guide stopped and began examining some stool. He looked at it quizzically, and in my horror I realized the dung he was perplexed by.. was mine. He spent about three minutes examining it, then he looked up at me among my companions and concluded that the offering was from a, “very ill impala.”
I have had a lot of time to think about it, and I think he knew.
Let’s pretend he didn’t, though. Let’s pretend that your bowel movement was a master of disguise.
Which Idiot GM Is This?
You know your team is in good hands when the man in charge of the roster is a professionally sweaty guy who MEANS BUSINESS. Which team does the man below hold in his meaty paws?
That’s Chargers GM Tom Telesco, who looks like a sporting goods store owner. Please ignore all of the revenue losses his store suffered in the back half of the fiscal year. That certainly wasn’t the case for first half profits at Tom’s Glove Barn, so who’s laughing now?!
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Fucking Hell! From German reader Bernd!
Fucking Hell is a legitimate name. There’s a city near Salzburg in Austria called Fucking that’s famously had to cement its signs at the city limits, because they keep getting stolen. The word “Hell” means light-colored and, in Germany, frequently refers to a brewing style, especially near Munich. However, the brewery’s owners describe their beer as being more pilsner-style.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a sham. The beer isn’t actually brewed in Fucking. Nonetheless, the brewery’s owners managed to get a trademark registered across Europe. No US distribution, though. No one will register the trademark for them. €5.39 for a six-pack! (this is actually quite expensive by German standards).
I’ll allow it.
Gameday Movie Of The Week For Colts Fans
Everything Everywhere All At Once. I watched this movie on a plane and the now-famous buttplug fight scene was pixeled out. I assumed this was an airplane edit. Usually, on-demand plane movies are unedited. You queue up an R movie, you get a disclaimer that says THERE ARE TITS IN THIS MOVIE MAKE SURE NO ONE’S PEEKIN’, and you ignore it. But I got to the buttplugs and dildos and I was like oh OK, I guess they had to blur out all the dicks. But I TOTALLY wanted to see the dicks, mostly so that I could teach my 10-year-old, who was sitting next to me, about their value as self-defense weaponry. One day you might have to kill a cop using one of those, son! So I was mildly disappointed, and then became LEGIT disappointed when I found out that the real film is censored that way, too. A cowardly move, if you ask me. Show the dicks, Daniels. Don’t half-ass it.
Otherwise, I support any movie that plays out like a two-hour 1990s alt-rock video. Three-and-a-half stars.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
“Why can’t you be more supportive?”
“Because I don’t care.”
Enjoy the games, everyone.