That Bearded Mofo

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Straining The Joints

Published Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:30pm PST

And the injuries keep on coming. It's the second week in a row that a player has ended up with a lacerated kidney. That's really specific. Cancel football.

Ben Roethlisberger, LeSean McCoy, and Andrew Luck are going to miss time for a second time this season. Cancel football.

The Rams signed concussion magnet Wes Welker because, apparently, we want to watch a man's brain turn to mush right on the field. For Wes's sake, cancel football!

Okay, don't cancel football. But, man! I don't know how many more times I can watch a slo-mo replay with my hand half covering my eyes, afraid that I'm going to see a knee or an elbow turn in a way that it is never supposed to go.

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"Is it halftime yet?"

In Gateway fantasy news, no teams broke the 2nd-highest season score mark this week, but it was the 4th straight week that a team surpassed 175 points. With baller games from Le'Veon Bell-injury beneficiary DeAngelo Williams and tight end Delanie Walkerightintotheendzone, Back 2 Black (Charged UP) showed he ain't dead yet and punched right to the top of Week 9 with 175.5.

Week 9 was a week of scoring all around. Half the Gateway teams scored 150 or more. That's only happened one other time this season (Week 3), but the really amazing thing is that it happened when six NFL teams were on bye. Where did all these points come from? Well...

Marcus Mariota had another 4 TD game, and as a bye week fill in no less (45 pts). TE-squared--that's my new name for tight end Tyler Eifert--hauled in 3 touchdowns against the Browns (28.3 pts). Drew Brees showed out even though his TD rate dropped by 4 from the previous week: he only threw 3 instead of 7 (41.3 pts). Bye week substitute Derek Carr may have Blaine Gabbert-ed his way into the starting spot over fantasy teammate Russell Wilson after his 4 touchdown game (37.3 pts). And Antonio Brown's 17 catches for 284 yards was the most awesomest day anyone has ever had without crossing the goal line (47.6 pts). Well, actually, that day belongs to the Columbian farmer who found $600 million of Pablo Escobar's money buried on his land.

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Pictured: crops

Despite all those points being scored, there was only one significant change in the standings this week. The Black & The Goaled dropped 3 spots to 7th. All other changes were single place moves. Next week, no one plays anyone in their own conference, much less their own division, so there's no shot for any team to change its own destiny. But you can always pray for another's downfall.

Who's up for a little game? Nobody? Too bad. It's time once again for the association game. That's the game where we find the wild stories of the week and connect the dots to see if it all makes sense. For instance, tennis great Serena Williams chased down a thief that stole her phone and she got it back. Whaaa?

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Serena Williams > Pharrell Williams > Hat man > Batman

Only 3 connections lets us know you better not be playin' on Serena's phone! And remember, the fewer the links, the stronger the case. Let's get started on these mamma jammas.

Association 1
In Sunday's game at Indianapolis, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib let his fingers do the walking right into Colts tight end Dwayne Allen's eye. Not only did the move cost Peyton Manning one last chance for his new team to beat his old team, but it also cost Talib a game. Talib is appealing the NFL's suspension because he says optical gougery is not what he does. Is retinal finger blasting in Talib's repertoire?

Aqib Talib > Talib Kweli > "We go through episodes too, like Attack of the Clones" > Wordplay > Words With Friends > Qi > That's not a damn word > Sriracha > Cha Cha > "Slide to the left... Slide to the right... Criss cross! Criss cross!" > Crosscut fries > Curly fries > Curly Howard > The Three Stooges > Eye poke

Just 14 connections say keep an eye on Aqib Talib's fingers when he's around. Wear glasses, goggles, and eye patches on both eyes at all times. Monocles are optional.

Association 2
In the vein of copying off of an already successful product, app-makers have come up with Rumblr, a Tinder-like app that allows you to match yourself with others in the area. How is Rumblr different? This app lets you find people who want to punch you in the mouth. That's right. Rumblr is Fight Club in the digital age. How long until somebody kills somebody? In a world where practically anything is accessible via a thin little glass and metal box in your pocket, is there really a market to make punch lunches part of that anything?

Rumblr app > Application > "HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn." > Make it stop > Republican debates > Dr. Ben Carson > Led a stick-up man to the register at Popeye's Chicken > Dark meat > Darkwing Duck > DuckTales > TaleSpin > Ch-ch-ch-Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers > Chip on your shoulder > Gotta fight someone

And with only 13 connections, it's official: we live in The Purge: Anarchy. They should've beta tested this app with just the field of Republican Presidential candidates. I'd love to see Lindsey Graham swipe right on Jeb Bush. Or to see Ben Carson step back, duck behind a podium, and, after all the melee is done, stand tall and quietly whisper "Gotcha".

He's leading polls. ... HIM!

Association 3
After months--technically years--of racist incidents on the Mizzou campus followed by many student protests calling for accountability, both the president of the University of Missouri school system and Mizzou's own chancellor have stepped down. Despite the many previous pleas for President Tim Wolfe to resign, he did not give in until Monday. What changed his mind? Football, that's what!

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Never underestimate the power of the pigskin.

In a show of solidarity with the protesters, the Mizzou Tigers football team vowed not to play or practice until demands were met. Now, maybe having to pay a million dollar cancellation fee if the team didn't show up for this Saturday's game had something to do with it, maybe not. Probably yes. But how can we know for sure? Hmmmm...

$1 million fee > I ain't paying that shit > I quit

Okay, that's a little to the point and too on the nose for what I'm looking for. We want to see how football specifically can get things done. We'll try again.

Football > Gridiron > McGriddle > Golden arches > The Golden Girls > "Picture it, Sicily, 1922..." > Italy > Axis Power > Nazi Germany > Would you kill baby Hitler? > "Gotta do it." > Jeb Bush > George W. Bush > Bad Presidency > Richard Nixon > Resignation

We have it in 15 connections which is a little weaker than I expected, but... C'mon. What else besides football is powerful enough to make people do stuff like this?

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This guy woke up and put on a barrel.
This was intentional.

Association 4
As reported from Ohio, an intoxicated man was arrested after allegedly having a 9-year-old drive him to the local gas station to pick up some barbecue sauce for dinner. I've never been drunk, but I am a connoisseur of barbecue sauce, so I know when you need some, you need that shit. But putting a kid behind the wheel to get it? Is anybody really that desperate?

Drunk > Drunk Uncle > SNL Weekend Update > Uprising > Rising from the ashes > Phoenix > Phoenix Suns > Sir Charles > Sir Mix-a-lot > Baby Got Back > Baby backs > BBQ sauce > Peanut sauce > Peanuts > Snoopy > Red Baron > Red flag > Six Flags > Bumper cars > Kid drivers

Oh boy! At first look, it would seem 19 connections make this a long shot. But this is the rare, never before seen, multi-association. With only 11 connections from Drunk to BBQ sauce and only 8 from BBQ sauce to Kid drivers, we've managed to link multiple distinctive parts of this ridiculous story.

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Who remembers owning this as a kid?
And why haven't you Men In Blacked that from your memory?

Almost time to go. But before we do, here's one last association about this upcoming weekend.

Association 5
It's an out-of-conference battle between 6-win team The Comeback Kid and juuust below .500 GameTime Decision this week. Which team will end up woozy with delirium from a crushing loss?

Delirious > Eddie Murphy > Boomerang > The Comeback Kid

Ooh, only 3 connections. I hear smelling salts really help bring you back to your senses. You may want to invest in some, John.

~That Eye-shielding Mofo~

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