Start with an update: I said Jeff Corriveau might never top his 2011 back-to-school strip, and I still feel that way, since that strip was so concise and came outta nowhere.
On the other hand, today's Deflocked put me on the floor.
Two quick observations: First, that's a nice recap of the ongoing arc in the first panel, bringing new readers into the scenario.
Second, a gag of such dour cynicism normally would fall to Mamet, and I've said before that well-constructed characters dictate who handles what jokes, but, first of all, cynicism is endemic in the strip, so it's not a break to hand it to Tucker.
Also, locking yourself into a format is a flaw, and the gag fits the situation with this particular character.
And in any case, it's funny, and funny is a good thing.
Speaking of nerdiness
So now that I've taken a good gag and gotten all nerdy on how it works, here's Tank McNamara about to immerse himself in something so nerdy that it is guaranteed to also suck all the joy out of its subject matter.
I'll grant you that I've never quite grasped gambling to begin with. That is, I enjoy a friendly wager on a game of rivals, when my favorite team plays yours.
But that's on a level with "bet I can hit that tree with a snowball," not the kind of bet where, if you lose, Paulie Walnuts and Bobby come by to collect.
Also, it's about who wins and who loses. Which is what the game is about. When you start offering point spreads, you've wandered away from the fun part.
Herm nails it.
Most of all, I'm going to cheer for my team anyway, which isn't always the case when you've got money riding on the success of the opposing quarterback or defensive end.
When you get to a point where you care more about the points you are racking up in your fantasy league than whether your favorite team wins, you've got a serious gambling problem.
Not necessarily "serious" in the sense of losing your home and putting your family on the street, but "serious" in the sense of totally losing your perspective.
Or at least in the sense of becoming, as Dave Kellett memorably pointed out, the kind of pathetic nerd you would mock if the subject were not Seriously Manly Sports For Seriously Manly Men.
In any case, the NFL recognizes the problem of sports gambling. They recognize that failure to rake in some of the revenue for themselves would be a problem.
In 2003, the NFL pressured ESPN into cancelling "Playmakers," one of the network's top-rated shows, because that story of a fictional team suggested domestic violence, performance enhancing drugs and acceptance of gay teammates were issues in professional football, which, of course, they are not.
But not only are they content to let ESPN broadcast fantasy league tip shows, they feature these tout-fests on their NFL network as well.
Which is different because gambling on sports is legal, yes.
But mostly because gambling revenues flow up, not down. As is often noted, those gaudy casinos in Las Vegas were not financed by letting the marks win.
And don't ever ask the NFL to choose between sentiment and revenues. Their allegiance is confined to the skyboxes of the nobility, and extends neither to the peasants in the bleachers nor the serfs on the field.
Certainly, the league doesn't give a rat's ass about "team loyalty" if they can sell a few more overpriced jerseys.
I moved my boys 1200 miles from Colorado 28 years ago and they are still Broncos fans, but ...
... never mind. Here's the ad I was going to point out, but, while I was looking for it, I decided to cancel my own rant because this NSFW guy has totally, hilariously nailed it.
Here's one of the few paragraphs that doesn't contain at least three well-deserved F-bombs:
I hate this family. I hate this ad. It was clearly dreamed up by some hideous art director who was given implicit instructions to showcase a sociopathic family tree of people abandoning their original team just so they can gobble up more expensive crap at the NFL Shop. The NFL wants you to be a fairweather fan so that you watch more games and pull a Laura Quinn with your jersey every chance you get. It’s sickening, by God. And you know what the worst part is? The mom is HAPPY about this. She thinks this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to her family. Can’t she see the forest for the trees? Can’t she see that she is barely holding together a loveless collective? I bet Brendan and Julie and Dan LOATHE each other and spend every Thanksgiving staring their phones so they don’t have to talk to one another.
I'm not a college football fan, so the Laura Quinn reference went over my head. Turned out to be a great reference.
And speaking of fantasy leagues
Real Life Adventures suggests something sure to fail.
I gave dating sites a shot several years ago, more out of curiosity than need, which is probably the safest way to approach both romance and the Internet.
I had about a half-dozen dates, only one of which led to a second, and the second was where we decided nothing was happening, which is a weird conversation to have over breakfast, but better to have it over breakfast at Denny's at 11 am than in your kitchen at 7:30.
Anyway, what I found on dating sites was a lot of women who listed their jobs as low-level clerical workers and their favorite hobby as travel and their favorite place as a Greek isle or Tahiti or Paris.
I ain't no mathematician, and I ain't no mathematician's son, but I know when the numbers don't add up.
However, those jet-setting fileclerks are a perfect match with the handsome, athletic millionaires who frequent those sites.
Now here's your appropriately themed, very strange moment of zen