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[00:00:02]

Rabbi Corvex distracted. Drew, that's wrong. How are you doing wrong? Happy New Year. Happy New Year to you, dude. I'm all right. How are you? How are you enjoying. Twenty twenty one so far. Oh, it's been so great. I've loved every day of it. It feels totally different. But what's funny is every every 20, 20 gag like as in new petered out like like sort of became twenty, twenty one jokes where it's like, well 2020 isn't over yet because shooting happened.

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Yeah. That's just, you know, shitty things do happen every year. That's not going to like that's not going to end.

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I really I do wonder about the extent to which twenty twenty has a future as like, you know, just like a stand in for anything being shitty. Like it wasn't like that when we were kids were being like it's like real. Nineteen seventy seven vids at this party. Right.

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There is I think twenty, twenty could have legs because boy it fucking sucked ass. Yeah it did it, it was a very clear year like in my adulthood, you know, ever since college all the 2000 years sort of blended together except twenty, sixteen for very obvious reasons. And twenty, twenty also has obvious reasons behind it. But now it's twenty, twenty one. Yeah.

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Everything's different. Yes that's right. And Democrats have controlled the Senate and it won't be called by the AP or the times of the Post for like another eight days. Yeah.

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I think probably they've wasserman's seen enough. That's usually when I go by that's my standard. So. So we're going to have fun.

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We're going to run right off the bat because our guest is our old pal and colleague, Don Cosentino. I don. Oh, it's dumb.

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Hey, guys, how are you? Thanks for having me. Good. We love seeing them here in the little zoo window. I believe.

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Dom, I believe the last time you were on, we got into a fight because you said a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream was a cylinder. And I had to explain that it was not a cylinder. It was a ROSTOM. One of the more intriguing geometric shapes is that was that invented specifically for ice cream containers?

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It's Rostom. No, no, no, no, no. Though frozen is like a mathematical term. OK, I learned I thought it was like something that they, like, patented it.

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Like they were like it's a yam unit because. Because ice cream is frosty. Yeah, very. That's the thing inside is the thing that's been frosty. It's all very simple. My thought process I think is very lucid.

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It was John that put that behind you. How was your Christmas in New Year's, Dom? It was pretty good.

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All things considered, you know, didn't really go anywhere, you know. But, you know, we we hibernated, did our thing and got through it and grateful for that. Grateful we would at least do that. So trying to make trying to look on the bright side, if that's possible. Yeah.

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I don't know if this happens to you guys. I assume it does. But like like that that second week of the break, like it really starts to become a slog. It's like there's not I've run out of nothing to do. Like I can't keep doing nothing otherwise I'm good. I don't know, get diabetes or like grows like strange growths on my forehead or something like that.

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So I gets very like towards the end I was like on Monday I was like, yeah, I'm ready for the kids to fuck off to school and I can just be normal again and well, my son still home.

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So, you know, like just having going back doesn't change here in New York City. And his school had an issue where they couldn't even reopen for the hybrid stuff this week. So he's he's back to doing remote, but at least he has that to do so.

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Yeah, we have a good set with our kids because although my kids are older than yours, so like they they have they each have a room.

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And so they they, you know, when the bell rings, so to speak, they like they can they go up with all their shit and they stay in their rooms during during the time the youngest has a break every seemingly every 40 minutes and they come down Hey Dad.

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And I'm like, yeah, that sounds fine. I suppose that sounds really familiar.

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Piss off. I'm working anyway down here for your kids because they probably want somebody to play with. And the only options they have are like these old limbs that live in their house.

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Right. The other two lanes that are the only other people they can associate with right now unless, you know, they go we go to the park when it's thirty degrees.

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So, yeah, I've tried to tell the kids that we're we're close to the end of the pandemic then the beginning because of the vaccine. Of course the rollout has been slow and you know, everyone's like, where the fuck is it.

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And and so that's only made my kids more annoyed that they can't go anywhere they like.

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Do not stake your credibility as a parent on the success of the vaccine rollout that as a non parent, I can tell you that is obviously a bad kid speaking a rollout.

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So let's roll out the latest gadget play. Oh, well, that's my Segway. He's just having fun out there, man. Much.

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I'm excited that flinger down. Of course. I need to plug the dom. Is it NFL expert at the score, the score dot com.

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You can see him there any time and he knows football. As well as anybody else, it isn't annoying about it, which is the real gift in the process. So I want to go through the entire playoff field. Of course, we'll start with the six games, this weekend's super wildcard weekend, and we'll go through who is the team you would least like to see go to the Super Bowl and win it.

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It's a bit challenging this year, Don, because there are no patriots in the field. Yeah.

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Oh, that's donorship. That really changes everything, to be honest.

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You know, the whole whole calculus changes. So I take us and we'll go through each of the I go through the games. We have to pick the games or anything, but pick each team and which which team would be it would it would enthuse you more to see lose. OK, if that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. All right.

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Let's begin because we'll start with Saturday. And again, these are triple headers on Saturday and Sunday, and that's going be a real test of spousal patience.

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Yeah, you're going to be an opportunity for everybody to grow and just be like, I don't need to watch the Indianapolis Colts. Like, I'm going to take a walk, you know, every every year during during the wildcard in Divisional Round.

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My wife is always like, how many fuckin weeks does this shit go to Don?

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Oh, yeah, she is this best of 13. What the fuck do we have? The Colts and the Bills, the 13 and three bills. Holy shit.

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Who was the more sympathetic or I'm sorry, the less sympathetic team there, Dom.

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And why?

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I would probably say the Colts are the less sympathetic one for the simple reason that they've had Peyton Manning and then Andrew Luck and now they've got Philip Rivers. And even though they were kind of set up with when they had luck before he retired to be pretty good again. And now they've kind of found their way and they've sort of enjoyed a rather unfair run of quarterback success, if you will, over the years that a lot of I think a lot of other franchises can't stand them for.

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So but couldn't you see in the bills about the bills? I mean, they went from Rob Johnson, Trent Edwards to J.P. Losman, like, this is I mean, and being able to PAC a little.

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Right. Patrick in there. Yeah, it's Kostner.

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Glad that we can get to the Fitz magic stuff early in the podcast. Yeah. Yeah.

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Well, if you recall, you brought up Rob Johnson and Rob Johnson. I will always remember Rob Johnson because in the late 90s, it was 1997, 1997 playoffs. Wade Phillips rested Doug Flutie in either the final week or the final two weeks of the season started Rob Johnson, who was already pegged to be the successor to FLUTY because Flutie at the time was already like sixty eight years old.

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And and then before that playoff game, which ended up being ended up being the Music City Miracle.

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Yeah, it was not. Yeah. 1999. Yeah. Right. Yeah.

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Yeah. And and Wade was like, you know what, we're going to go with Rob Johnson for the playoff game. You're was like what the fuck. Then the Music City Miracle happened. So that's how I remember Rob Johnson.

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Yeah. Really. It's his fault. Yeah. Yeah. That was how Faludi's career ended in Buffalo. Just he got benched just because, you know.

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Yeah, I, I am normally not sympathetic to the Colts because of Peyton Manning and because of the stink of Ryan Grigson.

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Yeah, because they're new the new GM, Chris Ballard. I always made fun of the the fact that there was somebody it was somebody who was not Peter King who marveled over the fact that he wore flip flops like around the office, like, wow, this guy, this guy, it's different. This guy might be a Buffett fan, you know.

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And so but they were there are really good fucking team. Like I. I think either of those teams, the Colts or Bills, had the best chance in the AFC of upsetting the Chiefs. But I find the bills more sympathetic simply because of what they've been through.

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The that was that's the other part of it. Good. They're really good. They're really good.

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They're really balanced. You know, and Josh Allen in this not to pick a pick at a scab here, Drew, but this Stefon Diggs trade really helped them, you know, and they've got a terrific balance on both sides of the ball in Allen's development with Diggs helping him has really been something to see.

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Yeah, something I was going to ask about because I haven't seen them as much. But it does seem like that is like half of the improvement.

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Oh, oh. He was always really good running the ball. Like it's not an issue of whether you had enough arm or any of the no. No scouting shit.

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He just needed somebody good to throw the ball to fifteen times the game. Is that like as simple as that?

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I don't think it was that because in the first year or two of Allen's tenure at quarterback, the knock was he can't throw it accurately right now, hit targets. And that has changed. Eggs are not like he he's on the money when he throws that shit now, I think. Yeah, that that's a big part of it. He can make those timing throws and, you know, they do a lot with play action and motion and all the stuff, all the bells and whistles that all the the good teams with, you know, good coordinators are doing.

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But he's found that accuracy. But I think having Dig's is the deep threat which was missing to sort of open up the field for them is really help, too.

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The other thing about Diggs is that Dig's statistically is one of the best, if not the best, quintet's contest to catch the receivers in football. So even if even if Allen was still inaccurate and, you know, hilariously racist wouldn't matter because because Diggs still would be able to catch that shit.

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By the way, I'm not bitter about that trait. And I can say that genuinely because they got Justin Jefferson in the exchange and I still like Diggs and I won my fantasy league because I picked him anyway because I'm still loyal to him.

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So I have no I'm nobody with Diggs here. All right. So we think the bills in the more sympathetic to you.

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Yeah. Yeah, everything holds even with the whole weird bills. Mafia Bar, barstool corollary.

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We're still all right with that. Right. The fan the average fan has been through enough up there for the last twenty five years. So.

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Yeah, yeah. I buy enough. You mean a folding table that had been set on fire. The average fan has been through that physically through. Yes.

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Next up, we have the Rams and the Seahawks, the Rams who may as of this recording may not be with Jared Goff up for this game and they have to start the season. The immortal John Wolford, who meet a kinds of ESPN, will always remind you she has done a great amount of background work on it.

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Turns out that he's a piece of shit sucks, but he's going against the Seahawks. I'm rooting for the Seahawks. Just I.

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I just like watching Russell Wilson play more than I like watching the Rams play more. But Dom, who do you find to be the less sympathetic team in this one?

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The less sympathetic if we take Wolford out of the equation, maybe because he's so new, but I would say the Seahawks are the less sympathetic team here.

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Yeah. All right. All right.

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Well, why why fans, Russell, they've won or lost, you know, in the sense that they're always kind of they're you know, they they remade the roster in the last few years on the fly and never really took a step back. So, you know, I tend to I think I tend to sympathize with fans, with teams who have fans who have been through a lot of misery and heartache.

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Well, the Seahawks, speaking of heartache, they haven't won a Super Bowl in like seven years or.

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Oh, my God, can you imagine?

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Oh, my God, it's such an endless drought. So you got to factor that in. You know, I am confused by the Seahawks more than I'm saddened or bothered by them in any way that like having seen them early in the year and then having seen them later in the year, like, I cannot identify that they are the same football team.

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Like it doesn't their seem.

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And I mean, the Rams, I guess, have always kind of had that constipated offense thing that that was like a choice they made or whatever after like the first eight games of McVay and Goff together, like it's just been they've been trying to score exactly seventeen points every game.

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But in both of those cases it's like I kind of don't see how they're as lame as they are. How you rams are as lambs there.

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Yeah. Like so much talent, I think a lot of it is golf. You know, that's like that was a big part of the issue, particularly late in the season. He just doesn't do well when he's pressured or when he has to like, look, do anything beyond his first read. You kind of saw the Jets game where, you know, if he had to hesitate to look for his first read, he was he was toast. And that's been a problem for him.

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And I think that's what stopped there.

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There are also I think I think the loss of Prime Gurley and I mean, they had to get rid of Gurley because he was seemingly cooked by that point anyway, and they capably replaced them with carmakers and with Malcolm Brown and guys like that.

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But it's just there was something about the Gurley element, particularly him catching passes out of the backfield that made them a more enjoyable football team than right now. That just seem like it seems like I'm watching a lesser version of the twenty twenty eighteen now. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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And I think Goff not having those weapons and then, you know, having to hesitate more, he's just bad if he has to hesitate, you know. And it was really, really kind of apparent toward the end of the season there before he got here.

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Do you think he'll stay with that team because they can they can get rid of him, what, a year from now?

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That's a great question, because, you know, we're going to see a lot of quarterbacks kind of hitting the market here this offseason. It's going to be a lot of musical chairs and things. So you know what? You know, if Sam Arnold comes available to this, they think he can you know, he can he can work some magic with him. And it's a great question. I got to look at what is it? He still has a lot of guarantees on this deal this year because that's a big issue.

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To hang on a second.

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Let's do the thing where I look it up on the Internet in real time, I would love.

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If they decided that they wanted to pivot to Donald, I think that would be a really nice story, although I have no sense that it would work. I just think that would be cool. The idea of being like, well, this guy is boring and he like if he can't make his first move, then he has to know what he's doing. We're going to bring in a guy that never knows what he's doing, like runs in tight circles and throws the ball straight up in the air one out of every three times and see if that works well.

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Oh, yeah. Golf is do twenty five million dollars and twenty twenty one. They're not going see then he's do ten million. A mere ten million. What a bargain.

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In twenty, twenty two there's an opt out, it's pencil out in twenty right after that which would leave the Rams with eight point six million dollars in debt cap money. So I guess they could get rid of him after twenty, twenty two. But it's not anywhere near the right.

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The situation that Carson Wentz has in Philadelphia, it's just it's.

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No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Right now we're getting to the hard part, Don, because this one's a little tricky. You have the eleven and five bucks playing at the seventy nine Washington football team.

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Both both of those teams, despite the record disparity, are aesthetically unpleasing at times.

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Both can be, but. All right.

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So now you got to root for you got to root for either Tom Brady to fail, which is always a delight. Yes, it is. Or or the fake feel good story.

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That is the Washington football team, because Ron Rivera has cancer and Alex Smith came back from having his leg amputated. And that's all very, very nice.

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But there's still a Dan Snyder run collect the overcame Dan Snyder's issues. Ha ha ha. Yeah, right. Yeah.

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They don't even mention it on the break. They don't even have to do the the thing where they, like, always battled so much adversity, they don't even talk about it like they don't have to to deal with it.

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By the way, I also want before you make your decision, I want to throw in the the Ron Rivera, the Jack del Rio factor, because this from Dan Steinberg of The Post who tweeted today, Ron Rivera chuckled about Jack del Rio tweets in support of President Trump, calling them a bruhaha before adding, but that's who he is.

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He's not going to change who he is, by the way. He's a total que freak. I know. Total fucking freak. So we're all done with that in mind. Who is the less sympathetic of these two teams?

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I have to go. Yeah, I need time to think about it. I'm sorry. Yeah, this is a tough one. I think what I would I would root for I don't I think I would root for Washington to. I can't stand rooting for Brady. I think I would root for Washington, eat shit here and in Tampa to go to New Orleans the following week and lose by like forty. Yeah, that's delightful.

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I can see it in my mind's eye and pursuing it. Yeah.

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To me, that's the option that I think that that that, that gets us through it. You know, also Washington is brutal to watch. It's a good defense, but poor Smith can't move at all anymore. And everyone on the depth chart below him is significantly worse. I just.

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You can't have it. Yeah, I was saying that on Monday to you that like because because everyone was paying attention to the Sudfeld fiasco on on Sunday night as well. They should have.

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But Alex Smith was awful in that. Yeah. And it's been bad all season.

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Yeah. I feel like well he went five and one as a starter. I don't give a shit I hate watching him sucks.

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I mean it's nothing on him like. No honestly. Like it is very brave that he came back. Yeah. Like I wish he wasn't playing, you know, like it's terrifying to watch him. Right.

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It's a cool story, but yeah, it's kind of it's a little scary. You know, he won the game against the Steelers. We threw that helium ball. It's like the only decent throws downfield throw he's made all year. But it's enough. It was enough because the defense did the job, you know. So but yeah, let them loose and let Tampa get the doors blown off them by the Saints the week after I, I like that we have the next the next day, Sunday.

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The first game that day is I think I think it's the best game of the weekend.

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Maybe Colts bills are the best game that we can.

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But Ravens Titans is a rematch of the divisional game last year with the Titans went into Baltimore against a forty two Ravens team and blew the doors off of them. And you got Lamar Jackson, who has not won a playoff game yet, I don't believe. No, no, no. All right. See, you're rooting for Lamar Jackson to win his first playoff game or you're rooting for Derrick Henry to keep stopping a mudhole in everyone's ass. Who is the less sympathetic team between these two?

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You want to go Roffey Erminio?

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I mean, I'm happy to cede it to you. To me personally. I'd like to see the Ravens win just because I think Lamar Jackson's cool and all that. But, yeah, it's weird. I mean, these are both really good teams. I don't have, like, a special spot in my heart for either of them. Like, I have friends that care about both teams and care about both those friends equally.

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But there's no you don't. You're like, yeah, not really. But I can't talk on the part because they might be listening. Right. But yeah, there's something I know for a fact.

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They're not I don't know though that like. Both of these teams I saw earlier in the year looking dicey and they're both playing great right now, like it's going to be a good football game at the very least. And I don't dislike either team. I love watching Derrick Henry. Like somehow I've become like a pro Tannehill presence here on the. He's good.

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No, he's good. Good now.

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But I remember him so vividly just watching him in the rain against the jets falling down, you know, but like, yeah, he's good. I guess he just needed to not have advocated his offensive coordinator anymore.

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And it worked wonders, no doubt. But yeah, Lamar is cool and I'd hate for that narrative to keep sticking to him. I guess if if the Ravens were to lose that he he can't win a big game or, you know, he chokes in the playoffs, that kind of thing. So I think for that sense, the Ravens may be a little bit more sympathetic, but I'm also a dipshit Steelers fan who can't really I'm I'm stunned that I was able to admit that I want anything good to happen to the Ravens, but I kind of want to see Lamar do well.

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Also, I want you to factor in the fact that Taylor one is out for this game because ACL in week six, back when the Titans all got covid and they were like, well, sugar haters wrong by giving them covid.

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Ha ha ha.

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So so that that sort of getting covid to own the libs phase of the Titans was over. And now they're very much the Derrick Henry show.

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But it's also completely forgotten about that, like just too many other bad things had happened in the interim that I forgot about them.

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Talking about covid is being like, this is our toughest opponent, we must defeat the legacy is another lifetime ago.

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Yeah, seriously, your next one is Bears and Saints.

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So you have your you're rooting either against the eternal joy that is Matt Naggie and Mitchell Robiskie, who either looks competent one week or one down and then the next week looks like he's never played football before.

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And then a New Orleans Saints who just today it was reported, looked into the idea of getting 50000 fans tested for this game and putting them in quarantine in a hotel prior to the game.

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They are not going to do that. But you also you have you have Sean Payton. You have the Taysom Hill experiment still ongoing forever, ongoing. Ten years from now, they'll still be looking Inotera into Taysom Hill.

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And of course, you have the Catholic Church factor, which has also gone completely forgotten, very irritating to me. Who was the less sympathetic between these two teams?

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Dham, I think you just laid out the case for the Saints being the less sympathetic of the two, without a doubt. And, you know, the bears probably bears don't belong in the playoffs. They don't he probably doesn't belong on the Bears anymore. But, you know, it would be pretty wild if they won, too. I think it would be kind of hilarious that they won this game.

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Yeah, that's that's where I am on it, too. Just the idea of Trevaskis, like if Dave Gettleman was a quarterback, like he's somehow always doing just well enough that he can't be deposed.

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And like. I know.

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And somebody that has to you know, I'm just living with Gettleman in my life like every other Giants fan is that like if Kubicki somehow wins this game, then Bears fans are fucking stuck with him for like three more years.

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Like, there's always going to be like you remember what he did in New Orleans in that creepy empty stadium against Taysom Hill for most of the game like this. But that's what it would it would involve.

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And it may happen anyway because they made the playoffs even with a shitty record, you know.

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Yeah. Also, he played well when he came back from injury and replace Nick Foles. And so if they win the game and he looks good in it and he's a free agent, then they're really screwed.

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It's kind of hilarious. Like like we have to resign this asshole, especially like in this purgatory state.

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You know, they've been that way for so long. You know, there's no they're kind of eight and eight is perfect and eight in the playoffs. It's the perfect Bears scenario. It's just what they are.

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And half personal, by the way, there's also the fact that I don't know that it's guaranteed that Alvin Kamara will be able to play in this game because he was put on the covid list a week prior. I don't know if it was because he had covered or he's had a close contact because that's I believe that's what happened with Adam Thielen earlier this season.

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So he'll be eligible to play in it because it's on Sunday that I don't know if it's the same, that he'll be healthy enough. If they had been scheduled on Saturday, given when he was put on the covid list, he wouldn't have been available.

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I esthetically I'm rooting for the Saints. I would rather watch to see their players on them. But yeah, but in terms of consider the comedy element of it though, like all these whatever, like the super fan guy saying Drew Pinsky on on the radio in Chicago for another week.

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I remember the day he was drafted somewhere in the comics was like everyone in Chicago is going to call Drabinsky and correct them on it and they'll just keep calling him Drew Pinsky for the next eight years and. I laughed at that, and I still laugh every single time, Don, you are forbidden from commenting on the next match up at the ballgame, the weekend Browns Steelers, I find I have to review.

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I have to recuse myself on this. That's ethical.

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And I respect that so much. I hate the Steelers so much. The Browns finally made the playoffs and they just got wiped out by it.

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So I would love for them to win. They're not going to. But I find the Steelers by far the most detestable team in this playoff field.

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We talked about this on Monday, too, on the Twitter show. Like to me, the issue with the Steelers at this point is like more or less, 100 percent Roethlisberger that like.

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Yes, I like the rest of the, you know, the players whose names, you know, like the defense is very good. They also look awful for, like, the last month. And I like, you know, an awful and hard to watch. Yeah. Before they came back and, you know, whatever had a big end of season win and like, looked sort of tentatively like the Steelers. Again, I have no idea what version of the Browns will even be fill the bowl by that.

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Right. So I seem by far the like the more sympathetic, but also like what a bummer of a game that is.

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Well, the other thing is that Kevin Stefanski got covid and I don't know if he will be able to be there and coach in person, you know, where I'm woefully under and four before we were caught.

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But they're they're acting head coach is like legit. The shittiest dude with a job in the NFL.

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Yeah, it's former Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer, who wanted to nuke the gays and was and whose comments about nuking the gays were were reported by Chris Kluwe back at our old job.

[00:26:31]

Yeah, but we just saw what happened with the Lions when their head coach or at least interim head coach had to sit out a game. They got tattooed by the Bucs in week sixteen. So if Stefanski can't coach during this game, I think that's a very, very serious problem and would make the Browns more sympathetic to me, but would not make the game very good.

[00:26:51]

Right.

[00:26:52]

I think that's a fair assessment because the he's he's the play caller, I think, on offense and not being able to process things and have that feel for the game once. Right. Once they get beyond the script is going to get going. I'm going to make that difficult for Baker. Can I ask you a question, Tom?

[00:27:07]

That's that I think ethically you will be able to answer, which is, are the Steelers good? Their defense is I don't know what version of their offense is going to show up because I don't know what the hell they were doing for the three or four games before the second half of that Colts game last week because they were just stubbornly trying to simply have Roethlisberger throw the ball near the line of scrimmage on every play, it seemed. And then all of a sudden they they scrapped that and looked much more dynamic.

[00:27:36]

So I don't I don't know what they were doing for those four weeks or whether that what they plan to do for the the playoffs on offense. But if they do what they were doing, they could lose this game.

[00:27:47]

You know, they're that offensively. They can't they can't run the ball.

[00:27:51]

Yeah, but it's a serious problem, right, that you can get around that if you incorporate a little bit of, you know, RPO stuff, you know, Weissberger takes some shots downfield, all the things he wasn't doing, you know, for three or four games that they suddenly began doing the second half of that. The game.

[00:28:07]

Well, he wasn't able to he couldn't hit passes. Yeah, he was inaccurate. He was inaccurate, too. But they they were there was just a there were a couple RPO type plays where it just seemed they were in a they got into a rhythm that they hadn't had for a while. And yeah, he he he was inaccurate, particularly down when he did try to throw it downfield, but he didn't try at all that often.

[00:28:27]

I'm sure he has like a dislocated along or some other hidden injury that's like affecting him. And he's he's too stupid to recognize patterns.

[00:28:33]

He looked disinterested for a while, too, like he just didn't want to be there like that.

[00:28:37]

He always looks like he doesn't want to be there.

[00:28:39]

That's that's Aaron, Arkansas, through the Pittsburgh route, beyond the all the like bad conduct in his life. He also was just like a miserable life, just a vacuum of a guy. There's one picture of him from early in quarantine where he's got fucking like Quaker bangs and this huge beard.

[00:28:58]

And he just looks like a I don't like a kind of like a hegar, the horrible, like, supporting character type.

[00:29:05]

Yeah.

[00:29:06]

And that's like it was in some ways the most human he's ever looked, but also like I didn't enjoy seeing it. Like he's just he doesn't seem like he really gets a lot of a lot of zip out of life.

[00:29:17]

All right. So let's get to the main question in the AFC. And Tom, you're allowed to affect your home rasam into it this time. Who is the least sympathetic team and then who is the most sympathetic team?

[00:29:27]

Obviously, you have the Steelers at number one for most sympathetic, but then behind that, most sympathetic would be Buffalo, I think, you know, not Cleveland. All right. I guess Cleveland. I thought we had eliminated Cleveland, but, you know.

[00:29:40]

Well, no, no, we I don't think Cleveland will win. But I'm saying what would be the more heartwarming one if they stop trying to make Domme say nice things about AFC North?

[00:29:49]

Yeah, well, because the Browns the Browns have never been to the Super Bowl. So I think that. OK, fair enough. You know, Cleveland's history, I think puts it in that. Category for sure, yeah, then Buffalo, all right, and then then the last one, the Steelers, I can say that I just I believe it's also the Steelers in the AFC.

[00:30:10]

Roth, what about you there? The Steelers are for sure. The one I want to see the least. Like the idea of like I mean, the good news is that, like, if they are as Bumi as they looked, as Bob said, up until, like the last, whatever, 20 minutes of their season, like if they're that bad, then we won't have to watch them for very long.

[00:30:27]

That's what I don't like the Colts. I do think it would be very nice if Marmelade went out winning a ring.

[00:30:33]

Yeah, yeah.

[00:30:33]

And yeah, because he said to me he had a great career, he had a great career and it would just be nice. And even though I make fun of them and all that stuff for being a red ass on the sideline, he's like he clearly enjoys being.

[00:30:46]

Yeah, it's the opposite of Roethlisberger. He's just exactly the light to watch. Yeah. Because he goes he goes months without blinking. He communicates entirely. Um, like dolphin. Sounds like he's just a maniac. Like I think that's great.

[00:30:58]

All right. And then all right. Now you got to factor in the chiefs because the chiefs aren't playing the swing because they have the bye. So does that alter your rankings at all?

[00:31:05]

Roth I still would rather.

[00:31:08]

I mean, mostly I'm just looking forward to, like, Bill's chiefs and like hoping that we get that and that will be great. And that to me would be like probably as cool or cooler than whatever we'd wind up with in the Super Bowl.

[00:31:20]

And like, as long as I get to see that game, like, honestly, whatever path to that is OK to me.

[00:31:25]

I like the Chiefs and like and if they went to the Super Bowl again, I guess I'd be a little boring. But they're fun as hell to watch when they're good.

[00:31:32]

So they're having a hard team to dislike.

[00:31:35]

They are they haven't hit that that Golden State Warriors fatigue yet where it's a fun team.

[00:31:40]

But you're like, yeah, like the Warriors definitely got to that point where they were like kind of maybe having too much fun stunting on everyone. And I was like, all right, well, that's good. That's terrific. Like, we all agree, you're very good. But like, yeah, the chiefs are not quite there yet. Yeah.

[00:31:53]

After the Patriots did for the last twenty years, it's going to take a while for the Chiefs to get to that point. Absolutely true.

[00:31:58]

Dom, take us over to the NFC and let's factor in the Packers right off the bat.

[00:32:02]

So who is the least sympathetic NFC team here and the most sympathetic, least sympathetic has to be Washington, right? Yeah, I think that's a kind of a stacked least sympathy. There's some competition over there on that.

[00:32:20]

It's a real tribute to Dan Snyder that his coach can be coaching with cancer and his.

[00:32:25]

Yeah, and his quarterback can be like essentially of a wounded war veteran returning back and everybody still kind of like, oh, I don't know.

[00:32:35]

Yeah. And they're still just disgusting out of him.

[00:32:39]

Thought of him like enjoying a win. A playoff win is, you know, irks me. So, yeah. Running around on the field.

[00:32:46]

Nice suit and a hat. Jack Del Rio is trying to show him an eight couldn't walk out of here.

[00:32:50]

I don't want to see it at all. Honestly, though, like in this league, Basel two. Oh yeah. Yeah, the the bucks are close. You know, they're down on that level. I mean, that's that's the least sympathetic matchup for sure.

[00:33:03]

Yeah. You know, the suck also if the bucks made the Super Bowl, then it would be like it would just be so much Tom Brady dick sucking, you know, and yeah. Passing the torch.

[00:33:13]

Oh, he didn't need Belichick or whatever. And I just. Yeah. Just him going for a seventh ring when you a six. I just don't.

[00:33:20]

And the Antonio Brown Reclamation Project to. Oh yeah. All the adversity that Antonio Brown has overcome. Yeah. By continuing to do things that are adverse to other people. Right. Right.

[00:33:32]

Well I also in my own home tourism.

[00:33:35]

And even though Aaron Rodgers deserves to go to the Super Bowl after a decade being away from it, like I can't root for the Packers to understand, will understand, but I can't think of the NFC team.

[00:33:46]

I do want the most to go. I think for me personally, it's the Seahawks, but I think I'm biased as I picked them to win the Super Bowl in the preseason anyway.

[00:33:53]

So I'm not certain. Roth, who I mean, would you want the NFC the most?

[00:33:58]

I like because I can say this because I don't have, you know, whatever the fan interest you do, like the Packers are very obviously the team that I would like to see play against you. The you know, the chiefs are the bills.

[00:34:10]

They're really good. And Rodgers has been and Rodgers has been like, unreal this year. Like even as somebody who's watched him with some wariness because he's obviously a maniac, but like he's been better this year than I've ever seen him be like. And which is a crazy thing to say about an obvious Hall of Famer. So that would be cool to me.

[00:34:31]

I you know, I enjoy watching the Saints do when they're good, although, you know, there's obviously, like sympathetic is not necessarily the word for either of those organizations or those experiences.

[00:34:42]

It's just like when you consider that the alternatives are like somehow like true Besuki or, you know, Brady for the umpteenth time or whatever, like. Yeah, like I would take certainly I'd watch the Seahawks if they were playing great again.

[00:34:56]

They were fun to watch too.

[00:34:57]

It's just like. Them doing the the you know, winning 15 to 12 thing is not going to cut it now. Yeah, the NFC has definitive underdogs and like the NFC field, because it's loaded, but like the definitive underdogs in the AFC are not teams.

[00:35:09]

You won't see one minute more of a chance in the playoffs Don. Who was your preferred NFC team?

[00:35:16]

I would have to agree with Ross that it's probably the Packers just aesthetically, because I think a Packers versus Chiefs or Super Bowl would be a lot of fun to watch.

[00:35:26]

Yeah, I think I think Packers chiefs were probably the highest rated Super Bowl and it'd be big. Yeah, for sure.

[00:35:33]

I mean, it would also be one of the ones where all the like the obvious sort of prefab narratives actually would be interesting. Yeah, totally fair. Like if it's if you have to do it, it's like a quarterback versus quarterback thing.

[00:35:44]

Like those are two really cool quarterbacks and a formal, final, definitive rejection of Mike McCarthy's entire career.

[00:35:52]

There you go. See, now you found your angle. You're in.

[00:35:54]

No, I'm not. I mean, I I'm preprogram to hate the the Packers, but, you know, I don't hate them as much with Rodgers as I hated them with Farve.

[00:36:04]

Like everything nice that people say about Rodgers is correct. Like he's a brilliant quarterback.

[00:36:09]

I mean, it's he might be having the best season of all time, although there's you know, you can argue about that on talk radio all through August if you feel like doing it.

[00:36:16]

But let's take a break and come back and open up the fun back. We're back again, I didn't have to clear it back anyway, so it's fun to make noises.

[00:36:34]

We're going to get into the the phone bag, but we got some games to play with you. First dunk. Costantino, you ready? Would you like to drink from the poisoned chalice first?

[00:36:45]

Yes. All right. You're not allowed to say no, but you could have said you could have said no.

[00:36:51]

I wouldn't have. It wouldn't have made any difference.

[00:36:53]

All right.

[00:36:53]

Well, this is from Mike Selon, a millionaire billionaire media welterweight that his his his biography, his Twitter biography is a joke, but he's the MVP of the Founders Fund and the ringleader of Heretic Con.

[00:37:10]

I don't know what that is anyway.

[00:37:11]

And that's the heretic convention in San Diego every year. If you're paying attention, you probably weren't Google employees are unionizing or trying or trying to unionize. And smarmy ass Mike Shalonda tweeted a tiny fraction of Google employees appropriating the language of exploited coal miners while enjoying the most privileged white collar work experience in human history should not be the subject of glowing press.

[00:37:34]

This isn't a union, it's a LARP and it's offensive.

[00:37:37]

I don't know what a LARP is. It's accusing them of a live action role playing. It's like they were dressing up at a renaissance fair. That's how he sees people trying to improve the conditions at their workplace. Nothing.

[00:37:50]

Nothing brings me more. Nothing is more heartwarming to me than when someone adds a bit of gamer terminology to their smarm.

[00:37:58]

It's really just. Yeah, incredibly pleasant. Do you have anything to say about Mike Salana? Adam, you don't have to say anything about him.

[00:38:05]

Not really. You know, the tweet kind of speaks for itself. It's not I will not be rooting for Mike Salana on Wild Card. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:38:11]

He may be the least sympathetic team and, you know, character of Wildcard Weekend.

[00:38:17]

I would I would personally be delighted if Jack Del Rio outcoached Mike Solano.

[00:38:24]

It's like it's such a disgusting sentiment, obviously.

[00:38:29]

But there's also this element where it seems like because, you know, it's not exactly the same people that are behind Prop 22, but that idea of like that law, which basically is going to screw over working people, you know, economy people forever and is going to be replicated in every state that like it was passed with that same cynical, you know, language of being like appropriation and, you know, like that basically like nothing is more inclusive or more, you know, like actually demonstrative of worker power than the sleeping in your Uber, you know.

[00:39:07]

And like that to me is like there's a level of studiousness there that like I honestly like I don't think I could have anticipated it ten years ago.

[00:39:17]

And it's not like people like Mike Salana didn't exist ten years ago. Like it's like really a very potent draft of poison.

[00:39:26]

Yeah. The past four years have really been a demonstration of people. The absolute damage is caused by people just completely misinterpreting either in good faith or bad faith.

[00:39:36]

The idea of freedom like Yepes or the idea that like like you can only lobby for better working conditions if you're a coal miner with black lung. Like, why, why? Why is that the standard? You know, that kind of thing was held against athletes for so long, you know, as though they're supposed to just shut up and play and get paid peanuts with no health benefits or anything while they're, you know, ownership makes all the money.

[00:40:02]

I mean, it's a very similar concept. And I don't I don't understand why that's not that's the standard.

[00:40:09]

But that's yeah, I'm sure there's is one of my replies being like I work at Google for free. It's just like you're playing a game.

[00:40:16]

Yeah, right. Having fun out there. It's really surprising that the VP of the Founders Fund would have such a naive understanding of why people would start a union like maximizing self-interest is a bad thing for some reason to these people.

[00:40:29]

Yeah. You know, I'm self-interest is more rational than others.

[00:40:33]

Yeah. I mean, more poison for you gentlemen than in the in the form of this week's dead or canceled. Dom, would you like to play some dead or canceled.

[00:40:40]

Yes. All right. By the way, someone suggested I do Burt Reynolds, but I had gone through so many actors that I couldn't I couldn't do that anymore. Burt Reynolds is dead, by the way. He just did. You're dead or canceled.

[00:40:54]

Subject this week, Tom, is former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. Is he dead or canceled?

[00:41:01]

He is canceled. He is canceled. That is correct.

[00:41:07]

I think he still has a byline on the Wall Street Journal's op ed page. That is exactly right. That's exactly right. That is why he is canceled.

[00:41:15]

He is unfortunately not dead. But if you have Internet brain, as I do, you will remember that right before Christmas, Graham and Mike Salone, not Mike Salana, did not dance to Leo either.

[00:41:31]

So many distinction that's made Dan say they publish in a joint op ed titled In Defense of Scrooge, whose thrift, Bless the World.

[00:41:39]

And I swear to God, that's where I saw it. Yeah, yeah. It's not a fucking joke.

[00:41:44]

That's why I saw that headline like Phil Gramm as a CO, but not like the whole author, but is the guy that was like maybe he's just there to make it, make the pros sing. That's a nice little Easter egg.

[00:41:55]

Yeah, he was on that mine is seen that that's been written now like four or five times, I think on the Journal's op ed page just in the last several years. It's like a holiday tradition for them.

[00:42:06]

Yeah, I think Scrooge, like, runs the op ed, right? Yeah.

[00:42:10]

I mean, it's it's way too much like great great great grandson like Kloeden, who then benefited from the accumulated wealth of Scrooge and Marley, first Britain and then all mankind.

[00:42:22]

Since Scrooge and Marley never consume the wealth they created, its use was a gift to all. It funded the factories and railroads, the tools and jobs that fed and clothed millions of British subjects and then billions around the world.

[00:42:33]

Their unspent wealth was of no use to them, but it was of sublime use to humanity. That is a paragraph someone wrote in earnest.

[00:42:41]

Sublime is the word Good God, the days before Christmas.

[00:42:46]

Your Guy of the week wrath is Jesse Barfield Hellyeah. We love Jesse Barfield. I've discussed him on the video series. Like I probably have told Lauren everything I know about Jesse Barfield three times, but I remember, yeah, strong outfield arm.

[00:43:01]

His kid was Josh who played in the majors and then also is now like a twitch streamer.

[00:43:06]

But yeah, Sparkhill was cool.

[00:43:08]

That was a cool Bluejays outfield.

[00:43:10]

I just thought he was funny because his name had barf in it.

[00:43:13]

Well, that's his. So Josh Berfield Twitter handle is balf on the field and he did it.

[00:43:20]

He delivered on the promise of Wow, swipe that handle from Donovan McNabb. Well, not to the well. Is it true that Barfield was traded for Al Leiter?

[00:43:32]

I think he was, yeah. The Blue Jays. The Yankees. That was when the Yankees would like develop players and then just trade them for the first thirty three year old outfielder that they could get. That was like the entire model.

[00:43:45]

Yeah, yeah. Ross was an outlier, a fox color guy and like a really good one for like a year. And then he disappeared.

[00:43:54]

I think he did studio stuff. He was very smart. He's also a New Jersey king, Toms River, New Jersey, which is it's not my jersey, but it's a nice enough version of Jersey. Like he's more in he's more in the pork roll region and I'm more in the Taylor Ham side of things.

[00:44:11]

But it's not like we can still be friends. He was a brilliant pitcher and a really smart guy and a good talker. I don't know why he's not doing TV. He might also like we could find out in the comments that he's been on. Yes. And I just haven't watched him because I don't watch Yankee games. But I saw him in my neighborhood once outside the papaya dog, and he was extremely tan. And he had like three kids climbing on him like he was a jungle gym, like they were all in parts of his body that you're not supposed to have a kid on.

[00:44:41]

Like one was like suspended from an elbow. But he looked very happy. I was I was glad for later on March 3rd, twenty nineteen aletter was doing baseball operations advisor for the Mets.

[00:44:53]

How do you not know this, you piece of shit.

[00:44:54]

They do. They did all that shit. They do it all the time. That was probably when they also named, you know, A-Rod and Jessica Mendoza as operations people. That was like what the the like Jeff Wilpon. This is important for people to understand his context. He's not the owner anymore. It's very difficult for him to get people to hang out with him.

[00:45:12]

He's awful. So you have to hire people and then they come to the office and then he comes by and he's like, Peter, what's happening? And you have to, like, deal with Jeff Wilpon for a little bit. The the cubicle sidel. Yeah. Oh, I'm good.

[00:45:27]

I'm so embarrassed. What was the name who was the boss in office space.

[00:45:31]

I mean, with no one but somebody. Yes, that's right. I was Lumberg. Yeah. It's a very, very Lumberg by people sort of like, hey, what are you doing.

[00:45:41]

I don't want to turn this into a ringer podcast, but office space has been on like Showtime or something recently and it is as watchable a movie as I can think of, just like every time.

[00:45:54]

I also I didn't do things in John McKinley's performance to laugh at, he is so delightful in it and he's one of the Bobs and he is so intense and so strange. I feel like I could watch it 10 more times and keep finding new weird gestures. He does.

[00:46:08]

Also, I don't think it's just office space. But Gary Cole, whenever I see him now, ever since then, my, like, eyes sort of like because he's good at everything. He's one of those like one of our foremost character actors.

[00:46:19]

We love him. Gary Cole, come on the podcast. We have time for one fun back question. Are you ready, Dom? Yes. This from Justin.

[00:46:27]

He writes in, What are the best cold weather foods, chili stew, beef bourguignon, French.

[00:46:34]

Got to get a list to make it through the winter. What is your favorite cold weather? Food Domme.

[00:46:38]

Mine would be a homemade chicken soup that I make ice, which is quite dangerous.

[00:46:47]

Yeah, it's my mom's recipe. It's pretty easy. It's just kind of an onion. Green pepper. Carrots, celery thrown into a pot with some bouillon, some chicken on the bone with the skin. And yeah, I have the bone. Yeah, a little some garlic and some steak seasoning to give it a little kick.

[00:47:05]

Really. Yeah.

[00:47:07]

And that's interesting. And Bazil, it can be the dry basil and just kind of let that boil. Good boil for about an hour, hour and a half. Shred the chicken, put it back in.

[00:47:17]

You're eating for days arci and put bird starch in a chicken soup if any. Do you want noodles. Yes. Rice or or matzo balls pandering.

[00:47:30]

Say no because we always think we always make with matzo balls in my house I use did Illini nice. Yeah. When we make minestrone same deal. All those little pastas are so yes.

[00:47:41]

It's ideal for a soup you know. But that's, that's like our go to winter when it's cold as hell my wife goes let's do the soup and I do soup.

[00:47:49]

So I as somebody that doesn't eat meat in my day to day because of my wive like this is different because like my answer to this is, you know, like it's to like I have one that I would make back when my wife and I were not always together in the apartment at the same time.

[00:48:08]

I would every now and then she remember that town and I would make it. And so it's been like a challenge, like I can't really replicate something like that with fake meats.

[00:48:20]

But there is a there's a bean and escarole sort of thing. It's kind of a stew, kind of like a you know, you don't cook it for nearly as long that you can do with Italian sausage, which I do when again, during those times notionally when she is not here. And then you can do it with like if you get the good veggie sausage, like the field rose stuff that actually has fat in it, you can do it.

[00:48:42]

And it's still just as good because it has, you know, that extra flavor. And that's why I like making for myself. It's something that whenever we go up and see your dad, you know, he's widowed and is not into cooking or a widower or whatever, that like, I make a big batch of that and freeze it for him. So it's like very much ingrained in my head as like cold weather, comfort food. And then also, like, it's something I can eat a bottomless amount of.

[00:49:07]

Like I make the same amount when I make it for her and me that I do when I make it just for me. And I eat this, I eat all of it like it's disgusting.

[00:49:17]

I go chilly. But that's sort of obvious is there for me. Right? Right. We had a we had a roast chicken last night. I made a roast chicken.

[00:49:25]

And that's just a superb winter kitchen until you have to clean it up. But otherwise. Yeah, yeah.

[00:49:31]

Anything. We did a roast turkey breast on New Year's Eve. Same thing. You know, it was great. But like, the cleanup is is a mess.

[00:49:38]

So, by the way, did either of you ever eat Mrs. Grass noodle soup or is this a euphemism for something?

[00:49:44]

What does that mean?

[00:49:46]

A little bit? We eat the reaper. No, it was it was prepackaged chicken soup, like a chicken soup mix. But it was I always loved it as a kid because it tasted good.

[00:49:57]

But also there was a little there's a little egg you put into the soup chicken egg.

[00:50:03]

So you put in in that. I just had fucking bouillon out, but I always thought the egg was magic. I was like, oh, that's what makes it the chicken.

[00:50:10]

A witty play on a classic. Yes. And this is Grass was my favorite as a kid, but chilly and in roast chicken. I'll go with it. I'll go with now choose another one for me for sure.

[00:50:22]

Yeah.

[00:50:22]

Dump will you be watching. Super wildcard weekend at a bar. A crowded bar.

[00:50:27]

Will you be just five days. Yeah.

[00:50:30]

Or were you watching from home. I will be working so I'll be watching from home. I kind of have to watch everything. Just the nature of my job at the at the score.

[00:50:37]

So this is true. You do have I tell my wife I have to do this for a living. She never believes me.

[00:50:43]

And yet, yeah, there's definitely a difference between, like, I have to watch these games for work and like Dom has to watch them for work. Like I can drink like no one expects me not to drink while that's happening, but. Actually has to know what he's talking about, which is that, well, they call that the Cosentino. I think Don has a beer when he watches the game. I'm writing on deadline both days. So that's part of it.

[00:51:03]

You know, when I was at our old job, I would I would be able to drink and kind of relax because I would be writing later in the week. But I'm kind of on a deadline both for both of these games. So it's a little it's a little different. A little more stressful.

[00:51:14]

Can you have a beer? Yes. Yeah, I'll admit to drinking at work.

[00:51:19]

And then can you also can you have a can you have a shot of heroin too or just a little shot.

[00:51:24]

Just a little one. You know, maybe by the by halftime of the night game. That kind of work appropriate dance with the dragon dom.

[00:51:33]

You can find Dom at at the scores or else I should plug Dom before we go.

[00:51:38]

No, just the score. We have an app to score app you could say or something.

[00:51:42]

Yes. The app is very good by the way. I use the app instead of going to ESPN's website because I get the scores no pun intended. Well done.

[00:51:51]

Faster from the app. Daisy Rosario is our executive producer. Brandon Nix is the producer and engineer our theme songs by the immortal Kirk Hamilton.

[00:52:00]

You can listen to ad free episodes of The Distraction only on such a premium. And thanks to Roth, Tom and me, you can get a free month of stitcher premium right now.

[00:52:09]

Just go to Stitcher premium dotcom and use the promo code is tricky. Extract, rate review and subscribe wherever it is that you listen and go subscribe to defector dot dotcom to. You can also you can give subscriptions even though it's not the holidays anymore. There is a give a subscription tab when you go and put the subscribe button at defector's. So go now Don. You are fantastic. We please come back sometime.

[00:52:31]

Anytime guys. Always great talking to you. I miss you both. I miss everyone that you know from the old site now at the new site of congrats on everything with the fact that it's great and I'm proud of all of you. So we love. Thanks for coming on. All right. Thanks, guys. Bye.