Fancy Boys Football Mailbag Week 11

Fancy Boys founder Matt Drufke doesn’t know anything about football. Lucky for him, Brandon Andreasen and Jack Baker do.

Each week, Matt emails Brandon and Jack NFL questions, they then immediately go and make fun of his lack of knowledge in a secret group chat. They then go and answer the questions. Here are those answers.

I feel like the eleventh week in the NFL will be defined not by any game, but by what happened at the end of the Steelers/Browns game, when Myles Garrett removed Mason Rudolph’s helmet and then hit him with it. Garrett is suspended for the rest of the season (minimally), while Mason Rudolph was merely fined. This fact has enraged some who feel like Rudolph should also be suspended for his actions in the fight (at one point, as my son would put it, “totting Garrett’s taters”). What is the appropriate punishment for Garrett? And should Rudolph have also been suspended? 

Brandon – Garrett deserves what he got. The only precedent for this was when Albert Haynesworth stomped a prone player and got 5 games. The Browns aren’t a playoff team so their season isn’t affected by this, meaning the NFL could make an example out of him.

Rudolph didn’t need a suspension. He was reacting to what he considered a late, excessive hit. I understand what his intent was, but there is a big difference between intent and execution.

Jack – It was bad, but the NFL and the media’s response was a little ridiculous. This wasn’t the Malice at the Palace by any stretch of the imagination. Adam Schefter said, “ We’ve never seen anything like this on the football field before.” Which is factually wrong, because it’s happened numerous times before including just this past training camp when Bears guard Kyle Long took the helmet off some anonymous camp body and beat him with it.

If this had happened during a 12:00 Sunday game between the Titans and Colts, we’d barely have even heard about it. But it happened during a prime time, nationally-televised game, so it’s obviously going to be a big national story.

Garret deserves a lengthy suspension, but what he did was nowhere near as dangerous as the Haynesworth incident Brandon mentioned or any of the blindside helmet-to-helmet hits the NFL and ESPN used to celebrate as dudes getting Jacked Up. Also, he’s going to get a longer suspension for hitting a grown man on a football field than if he’d hit a woman off the field, but still less time than a player who’d been caught smoking pot on three separate occasions, so who knows? The NFL’s punishment system is a complete fucking joke and is really more about managing bad PR than anything else. 

If it were up to me, Rudolph would be suspended for a game as well, at least to discourage future QBs from trying to start fights they have no intention of finishing.

Week 11 is usually the time I get bored with the NFL, and that’s exactly how I feel right now. Every game this week seemed to be either two shitty teams playing or a good team playing a shitty team. This is normally when I stop caring about my fantasy football lineup and focus on the NBA, which is a better sport in every possible way. So, give me some hope. Tell me the one storyline I should be focused on for the rest of the regular season- what element is exciting enough that it will carry me through these doldrums. Or, should I just zone out and think about what kind of food I will be eating at my friend’s Super Bowl Party (fried chicken, many cheese plates, and a seven-layer dip)?

Brandon – The ascent of Lamar Jackson into the “best quarterback in the NFL” conversation is a lot of fun. Him and the Ravens are poised to take the mantle as best team in the AFC and it is exciting to watch. The NFC West will be an absolute dog fight for the rest of the season. The Bengals quest for 0-16. There is still a reason to tune in every week.

Jack – If you can’t get on board with the baddest dude in the NFL scoring a touchdown and then celebrating with a fake keg stand, then maybe football just isn’t for you. 

Also, to say the NBA is a better sport in every way is absolutely ridiculous. Have fun watching James Harden hold the ball, jerk back and forth hoping to draw a penalty, and then launching a step back three 9,000 times before the games actually start mattering in March.

You should be paying attention to Lamar Jackson, the most exciting player in the NFL, the return to dominance of Pat Mahomes, Russell Wilson creating magic every game, the Patriots historic defense, and the continued dominance of the best player in the NFL, Aaron Donald.

The NFL has fourteen teams which are named after animals: the Bears, the Bengals, the Bills (who I’m only counting because their mascot is a buffalo), the Broncos, the Cardinals, the Colts, the Dolphins, the Eagles, the Falcons, the Jaguars, the Lions, the Panthers, the Rams, the Ravens and the Seahawks. Let’s say that you are an NFL head coach and your eccentric owner has purchased one of each of these animals and demand that you play at least five of them. To allow the dolphin to play on land, he has purchased a suit which is filled with water, allowing the mammal to survive. What animals do you choose, and what positions will each of them play?

Jack – I’m taking the Bear, Ram, Lion, Colt and Bronco. I want my bear playing defensive tackle. If you thought Aaron Donald could blow up an opposing offense, just imagine what a full-grown Grizzly could do, even Quentin Nelson wouldn’t be able to stop that. I know fullbacks are no longer in vogue, but I can think of no one better to run lead behind than a ram. This is of course assuming that the NFL doesn’t consider the horns to be a helmet, as I don’t want to get dinged for 15 yard leading with the head personal fouls every time my team runs the ball. Lions make great hunters, so I’m going to put em back there at strong safety and just dare someone to throw the ball over the middle. Lastly, I’m going to have my colt and bronco play offensive line on offense and take over the kicking/holding duties on special teams.

Just look at this execution, the blocking was superb and that’s the best goddamn hold I’ve ever seen.

Brandon – Does anyone remember the episode of Coach where they finally make it to the NFL and they are coaching an expansion team? They are in the war room arguing who they should take with the number one pick and they finally decide on Orlando Pace, but as they go to put in their pick, it is announced that their owner has traded the pick to the Dallas Cowboys for an oil derrick. 

That was a bad episode, but still much less bad than this question.

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