Jeff: I thought of two coaches we haven't talked about nearly enough. Jeff Fisher—who also employs wanton-bounty-finagler Chuck Cecil and whose team has not played since week 9? And then there’s Texans’ coach Gary Kubiak.
David: The poor, neglected AFC South. Teams I don’t care about playing in cities I don’t want to visit. Of the two of those coaches, Fisher’s the one I’ve actually thought more about, if only because he’s seemingly living this hilariously CBS-inspired Nascar Dad life. Always driving to the bad part of town to find out What Really Happened with his star wide receiver at the club that night. The idea would be like a crime-solving football coach played by Billy Ray Cyrus—or Ken Wahl, because ideally the show would’ve been made in the early ‘90s—only BCR’s got Fisher’s sleeping-squirrel mustachio and the ability to diagram the cover-two. Chuck Cecil is the serial killer nemesis. Not in the show. In actual life. His basement is terrifying, and I would bet any amount of money to that effect.
Jeff: A friend of mine always used to love it when Minnesota TV personality Mike Max would say Kubiak’s name in his midwestern dialect. The “u” in Kubiak took roughly 39 seconds. Even though I have not seen this video, I recommend everyone else watching it:
David: I have seen that video, and I also recommend everyone watching it. I am assuming that there are people with fetishes for old Scandinavian midwesterners in blazers talking as slowly as they can, and further assuming that that video is traded among them. This might be a way in to taking about that thing with Rex Ryan’s wife and the foot fetish videos. Maybe we could get someone else to talk about that? Because I don’t think I can do that without risk of serious organ damage or death.
Jeff: All I know of Kubiak is that he is revered as some proto quarterback whisperer from Denver and that he sounds and looks a lot like the kind of guy who says you should order and devour a Frisco burger while he eats a salad. Also he looks like the sort of “together” guy who unravels when fired from the head post of his highly talented, hugely under performing team. As in, “Oh, Kubiak? Last I heard, he was busted in Fresno for doing something inappropriate with a carrot.”
David: Just judging by the way the team plays, Kubiak probably deserves to be fired, but even by both Houston and NFL standards, the owner of the Texans is apparently an impossibly severe asshole. I imagine he’s constantly forwarding Kubiak all these Birther emails, and then having his personal assistant show up at coaches’ homes during meals to take notes on what everyone’s talking about around the table.
Jeff: On the radio I heard Mike Golic talking about Cowher wanting a head coaching job, so our Y.A.F. from last week seems oddly prescient. We are breaking news, Roth!! Maybe he coaches the Texans, or the 49ers? Though maybe he takes the L.A. Vikings job. And those millionaires need a talking to.
David: I believe we also broke the news about Jon Gruden being hilariously, maniacally pedantic. We are so far ahead of the lamestream media on these stories.
Jeff: Though, in the holiday season I was hoping Gruden would say “I just started using a SICK iPhone app that lets me turn into a character trying to escape the treacherous topography of Ron Jaworski’s face. It’s $2.99 well spent.”
David: You pointed out that Jaworski remembered to pack some extra face for the cold-weather Vikings/Bears game, which was obviously a good choice. And on Cowher, I mean, he obviously wants to get back to coaching, and he should do that. His stage-five case of Sergeant Slaughter Face suggests that he’s not going to get used to sitting eight inches from a cackling Shannon Sharpe on a pregame show, ever. I imagine Curt Menefee is tired of being chewed out at production meetings for not hitting his consonants hard enough. They’re all traumatized by how often he blows his whistle during production meetings.
Jeff: Curt Menefee is like a big pile of sleep. He is offensively harmless.
David: I kind of feel for all these coach dudes that look like they would play a lot of golf after getting fired, even though they really hate golf. You know doing the studio shows is killing them. At least Gruden, during that snow game, was on a total Double Rainbow positivity trip. Everything was awesome to him, everyone he was talking about was “just a great guy to be around.” Joe Webb. Brett Favre. Sid Hartman. Walter Mondale. Daunte Culpepper, even though Culpepper was drunk as hell and wandering around the stadium wearing Crocs, a mink coat, and nothing else, trying to sneak onto the field for the 50th Anniversary Celebration thing.
Jeff: I think Culpepper was on the Vikings 50 list. And both parties agreed to pretend the last decade never happened. That Joe Webb TD run was brilliant. I hope they keep playing him, even though the whole thing turned out terribly, and I wasn’t all that psyched about him starting. In fact, I drove to Wisconsin with my family and 91 year-old dog under the MISGUIDED belief that Joe Webb would be the starting Vikings QB, and that missing the Vikings first Minnesota-based outdoor game in 30+ years was not a big deal. They were and are out of the playoffs after all, and 18 hours later I arrived within 90 minutes of TCF Bank Field or whatever it is called, checked Twitter, and of course, Favre was now starting. I did not have it in me to forge on to witness Favre’s Return to Blizzard-like Conditions VII, and it turns out he did not really, either.
David: It’s amazing how quickly he learns where the TV cameras are in a new stadium, though. He’s like a kid out there. Specifically, he’s like a sick Disney Network kid with a fakey-fake name—dandy first name + color/European capital, e.g. “Skylar Taupe”—who can only convey emotion by smile-singing a song about Believing In Yourself. Watching that poor old bastard hump his teammates after throwing that touchdown was awkwardness on a dad-is-really-drunk scale. Like “Dad is really drunk and insisting on doing tricks on the riding mower” level. The narrative seems to be that his getting body-slammed into forgetfulness “humanized” him at the end.
Jeff: Most all of his body parts have now been humanized this season. He helped articulate his teammates’ concern of frozen field concussions by getting one himself. I think maybe he should start expressing himself in song, because that career could go on forever. He could be like a Glen Campbell type figure and not sprain anything, unless some stage manager in Branson leaves mop water on the stairs. Maybe he sang football songs, like the Hank Jr. opener when the Monday Night game is coming on, and “Turn Out the Lights,” Don Meredith style. And “Dropkick Me Jesus,” etc. People would by tickets.
David: I would buy tickets. I just don’t know that he’s ever going to quit. He’s going to come back in the UFL next year. Steal Ken Dorsey’s job and alienate all the fans of the Bradenton Fester within a month.
Jeff: What was interesting is that Bud Grant was paraded around the field at halftime in shirt sleeves as part of the ongoing Vikings at 50 celebration. I submit that they should rehire him immediately. He looks like he has been 62 forever.
Jeff: What in the hell is the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s bowl? To combat malnourishment due to alcoholism?
David: I saw a little bit of it, and it was basically a very violent advertisement for crummy wings and bitter, blue-cheese-y tears. The actual Beef O’Brady’s commercial I saw was astonishing. It featured “Nachos O’Brady”—which were, I think, a bunch of chips poured into a pitcher of Michelob, with a flap of American cheese floating on top—and a bunch of families acting all psyched and laughy in that nitrous-leak restaurant-commercial way. And some sort of offer implying that everything came with bottomless onion rings and a spike of heavy cream to your heart. At the end, a woman looked right into the camera and said “See you at Beef’s!” And then my TV farted and died.
Jeff: By the way, as much as I know most rich people anywhere are crooked I still can’t get over the Daniel Snyder Washington City Paper roundup.
David: It’s astonishing, that thing. I actually wrote another 600 words on my column last week, just For My Records, after I filed. I felt like I didn’t quite capture the barfy nightmare-majesty that is that guy and his Redskins. Now I almost have, and all those words of prose are just trapped on my desktop, stinking things up and extracting onerous fees from all the other documents near it. They’re making my iPhoto icon pay $50,000 for what seems to me a very dubious synergy scheme.
Jeff: I am surprised no one has thus far received a “FREE REDSKINS TICKET & $300 CASH VOUCHER*” from him, the only stipulation (written in fine print and attached to a separate pamphlet mailed to someone who is not the recipient of the “promotion” is that by going to the Resdkins game and taking the cash, you agree to donate (1) working kidney or functioning lung to Daniel Snyder’s Health Care concern, or watch him trash your organ on a beach once it has been removed. For kicks.)
David: There is something reassuring about how shitty that little goblin is at his gig, though. The idea of that level of venality coexisting with actual competence is purely terrifying.
Jeff: I did get to listen to the Packers/Patriots game and the Packers really had me believing they were going to pull it out.
David: I almost did, too. Matt Flynn’s ridiculous Gunslinger Fingerz dances and tiny PCP pupils and general air of manic, terrifying and wholly unearned confidence had me sold for a bit.
Jeff: By the way, Packers radio announcer Larry McCarren always sounds like he is disgusted with the world. Even if you were tackled a yard short of a first down, he makes it sound like you were caught with a hooker. In a church pew. On Christmas morning, as a toddler videotaped your encounter.
David: Somehow I missed that 300-pound lineman running 70 yards with a football. That absolutely looked like a video game glitch. I kind of expected him to just keep running for like five minutes until I finally gave up and unplugged my television.
Jeff: This almost matches the Reggie Hodges thing. This guy should be named King of something.
David: I am honestly so happy to have gotten to see that. I remember when I was a kid, reading the back of this guy’s football card, and it said something about him having a 32-yard kick return, and I just remember thinking “This spaetzle of a man? How long would that even take?” I now know that it doesn’t take nearly long enough, and that it’s basically as magnificent as sports get.
Jeff: I don’t think people should shit on the Giants punter, unless he also gave Andy Reid the Giants playbook or something, unless the NFL is now playing some strange Hooters.co.russia fantasy league rules where DeSean Jackson punt returns are worth 28 points.
David: I love Coughlin talking after the game about how he didn’t blame the punter and took total responsibility, when the cameras caught him screaming “I blame you, and am holding you responsible” at the punter afterwards.
Jeff: Speaking of which, #28, DJ Ware hanging out in the Giants end zone having passed by Jackson…as Jackson turned to taunt the Giants, could he not have at least shoved Jackson and tried to keep him out of the end zone? Am I missing something? Has this been written about already? He fucking watched Jackson. Did not leave the end zone, just ran parallel to Jackson once he picked up speed again.
David: I would love to tell you I noticed this, but I was bleeding A LOT by the time Jackson made it to the end zone. I don’t remember anything until Monday afternoon, at which point I’d apparently filed my column for the Journal and, judging by the looks of my apartment, eaten 36 pieces of fried chicken and killed a man. I was wearing pants, but I wasn’t wearing them as pants.
Jeff: I loved Jackson’s Nestea plunge, but this one was reminiscent of Dwayne Rudd vs. the Bears in 1998. But this was like the Katy Perry version of that.
David: I’m biased, but I obviously agree. Also, I’m not going to do it, but I feel obligated to point out how much I’m struggling with the Andy Reid/Katy Perry cup-size joke, here. It wouldn’t even be funny, but every fiber of my being wants to just make it anyway. MOVING ON.
Jeff: Nothing beats Coughlin sitting in a dark room for 2.5 hours following the loss.
David: “Coach Coughlin went home, put on a hairshirt, and sat in a bathtub full of cold water. Later, still damp and weeping, Coughlin descended to the basement, where he screamed at various old sporting goods items for six hours, with special venom reserved for a lawn-dart set he and his wife had received as a wedding gift. Finally, he poured boiling water on all of his house plants and drank 16 ounces of iodine. Little did he know that just a day after that ordinary Saturday, he and his Giants would suffer the most bitter loss of his career.”
Jeff: Yeah, I don’t find anything strange about the guy’s behavior.
Eli: Coach I am sorry the game did that to you.
Tom: Oh, that wasn’t about the game. I was just trying to stick it to Con Ed. I was going to watch TV in the dark with the power off, but then I realized that, well, you know. But the thing is, I got kind of comfy sitting there. And it reminded me of the time I was sent to Finland. When I was in the Navy. I fell in love there. And we won the war.
Eli: Which one?
Tom: Read your history books. I’m not just going to sit here and give you all the answers. That’s not coaching. Some things are in God’s playbook.
Eli: Did God have a 28-point explosion in his playbook?
Tom: Gary Kubiak got busted doing something inappropriate with a carrot, Eli, I think we should focus on getting him some help, and not talk too much about what happened the other day.
David Roth co-writes the Wall Street Journal's Daily Fix, contributes to the sports blog Can't Stop the Bleeding and has his own little website. And he tweets!
Photo by AJ Guel, from Flickr.