The League S03E06: Yobogoya! Will Destroy Ya

This episode brought both the shits and the giggles. Literally.

The season is all about destroying Ruxin — body, mind and what’s left of his soul. I’m sure somewhere in The Art of War it details exactly the strategy Ruxin’s faced through the first half of this season.

First, you crush their spirit by ruining their hope for the future or, in this case, Ruxin’s son’s education. Then you smoke them out into the open by making their home life miserable. Ashley the Au Pair, mission accomplished. Then you make them question themselves, which Ruxin’s started to do since losing lineup nirvana. The stage is set for a breakdown of epic proportions.

Next? I guess we’re left with destroying career? Sounds good. I’m sure Sun Tzu would agree.

Ruxin gets his first real chance to work with a big partner in his firm, Mr. Hudabega, played by Ray Liotta, in defending Yobogoya, a maker of cheap, low-quality fast-food mystery meats. Ruxin’s “you should know better if you’re paying $2.99 for 3 pounds of meat” defense pleases the excitable Mr. Hudabega, who immediately takes him under his wing and dubs thee “Skippy.”

But Ruxin’s not the only one working with Yobogoya. They’re also running a jingle contest, and the winner will receive a lifetime supply of the tasty but intestinally devastating meals.

If you caught “lifetime supply” in there, you already know Taco’s on the case.

It’s in mid-Yobogoya feasting that we find Taco at a “brothers lunch” with Kevin as Kevin tries to emphasize to Taco that he needs to start setting his lineup every week.

But that moment of family togetherness (and Taco misunderstandings, mostly), gets interrupted by Andre and his new hobby, urban foraging, which is most assuredly destined to get someone killed. Probably Andre. And was anyone else unable to distinguish Andre from an overgrown leprechaun while he was foraging?

Come Sunday, Ruxin feels the need to tinker with his lineup and doesn’t notice Jenny’s sneezing and symptoms when he borrows her laptop. By the time she sneezes, he’s already been exposed, putting himself in danger of getting sick and losing the chance to work with Mr. Hudabega on the big case.

Ruxin gets a second helping of the MacArthur germs soon after when Kevin rushes back from the bathroom without washing his hands to take the laptop back from Ruxin before Ruxin hacks Taco’s account to set Taco’s lineup. And Kevin gets himself in trouble with Ellie for not practicing what he preaches about washing hands.

Rather than complain more about the germ exposure, Ruxin chooses instead to gripe about Taco’s lack of involvement in the league. He issues a decree demanding that Taco set his lineup on his own that week or be banished from the league.

Nobody likes a free win machine in the league.

Kevin, Jenny, and Pete must come together to form a shadow government in order to save Taco from Ruxin’s ultimatum. The league really is at their best when they band together to torture or save one of their own — doesn’t matter which.

Back at the office, Ruxin, of course, comes down with something after being exposed to Jenny’s germs. Rather than cop to his illness and sit this one out, Ruxin blames a bee allergy, triggered by an indoor bee (plenty of those, right?).

His excellence in lying gets him past the first level of suspicion from Mr. Hudabega and keeps him on the case.

Eager to share his latest trendy hobby with the league, Andre invites everyone but Sick Ruxin over for an “urban foraging” dinner. The dinner itself is as terrifying as you would expect a dinner assembled from plants around the city to be. Mushrooms from under the L train anyone?

Lucky for Team Shadow Government, Kevin, Jenny, and Pete get saved from the urban foraging dinner when Taco comes to the rescue. Fresh off winning the Yobogoya contest with his jingle, Taco arrives with enough buckets of mystery meat for everyone.

Sensing there was too much joy in one location, Ruxin pops over to Andre’s to force Taco to set his lineup without any help from the rest of the league.

Setting him up on Andre’s computer, the stage is set for Taco to fail. But first, Taco can’t help but accidentally stumble upon Andre’s foraging porn, Forag-acation (not a real site, but if you click it, you get rewarded), like Rain Man.

Poor Andre. He’s just a magnet for embarrassment, and it doesn’t help that Taco’s a magnet for porn.

With Taco at the computer, the shadow government puts their plan into action. Just out of Ruxin’s view, Pete uses “traffic cop” signing to suggest the correct lineup moves to Taco, who slowly (and excruciatingly) manages to submit a valid roster for the week.

How did Taco ever win this league if he can’t even name the positions on a football field? And how terrible does that make Kevin?

Speaking of traffic cops, with Ashley out of sight and out of mind — we can only hope Bobbum Man didn’t get her  —  Pete has found his new archnemesis in the form of a traffic cop, “Glovesy.” Glovesy does a terrible job dealing with the traffic at a broken traffic light, and Pete can’t take it.

After his shadow government operation Pete’s feeling pretty good about his signaling abilities, and when he finds himself stuck at Glovesy’s intersection again, he jumps out of his car and challenges him to a “signal” off.

Their battle, while heated, results in a car accident, and Pete promptly leaves the scene before he gets busted. It was a great little distraction for Pete since his immune system was apparently strong enough to resist Jenny’s illness.

Having won the case alongside Mr. Hudabega, Ruxin’s still covering up his illness and still letting Mr. Hudabega call him Skippy.

When he learns Peyton Hillis’ strep throat will keep him from playing that week from Mr. Hudabega, Ruxin, a Hillis owner, is left with a decision. With his phone about to die, he could go on about his business, continuing to hide his illness and leaving Hillis to notch a zero for the week…or he could try to make a switch and risk sneezing in front of his boss.

Ruxin tries hidden option C first. He reaches out to Kevin, hoping that Kevin will help him adjust his lineup as commish. He’s tried this before. Doesn’t he ever learn from his mistakes?

Kevin, unsurprisingly, refuses to help the champ. He has more pressing matters to deal with as the Yobogoya he ate at Andre’s foraging meal signals him that it’s ready for evac while he’s stuck in traffic with Jenny and Ellie.

Denied any outside help, Ruxin’s only option as a truly competitive fantasy football addict is to hijack Mr. Hudabega’s phone to make the roster move. But, in the excitement of adjusting his lineup, he can’t suppress a sneeze.

Caught in the act, Ruxin still won’t admit he’s sick, even as he continues to sneeze all over the partner’s phone. Instead, he continues to insist it’s his bee allergy. But two EpiPens later, it’s just not worth it anymore to lie.

Now, to the question you’re all still asking, will Kevin shit or get to a pot?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgUSozI4gxk

Distraught and out of options when nature calls in traffic, Kevin jumps out of the car in search of a restroom. Finding none, he runs into a park just in time to drop a “tasty brown treat” within sight of Ellie’s teacher — of course, the one she’s told that Kevin doesn’t wash his hands.

What an animal Kevin is. What an animal we all are. I love this show.

Memorable quotes from Episode 6:

TACO: “No, I want specifics. What do you do with your time? Your aimlessness fascinates me.”

KEVIN: “Taco, you can’t buy a bucket of nails for $2.99.”

TACO [to Andre]: “Okay, you can go now.”

ANDRE: “I’m an urban forager. It’s no big deal … Actually, it’s a huge deal.”

ANDRE: “Mushroom caps and…oh, no, that’s a condom.”

RUXIN: “It’s a bunch of horse meat. North Koreans wouldn’t even eat it.”

RUXIN: “If you’re gonna pay $2.99 for 3 pounds of horse meat, there’s a reasonable expectation that your colon’s gonna implode.”

JENNY: “Tinker away, Tinkerbell, straight to NeverNeverWinLand.”
RUXIN: “Will do, Captain Hooker.”

PETE: “Who decided it was a good idea to replace a traffic light with an asshole?”

JENNY: “I think it’s great. It’s like we have a little frittata wildcard in our league.”

RUXIN: “…SmallHandsOnBalls.net is not up and running right now.” (Go ahead. Click that.)

SHADOW GOVERNMENT: “One. Two. Three. WE WERE NEVER HERE.”

PETE: “Don’t try to get me to see Michael Flatley again.”

RUXIN: “And you faked it, just like that Giants faked that injury in that Monday Night Football game.” (Had to highlight this one only because it incorporated real in-season events from this year)

RUXIN: “No, you won ’cause you got me sick ’cause you’re a filthy beast, and you live in this disgusting hovel. And your daughter’s just a petri dish with pigtails.” (Absolute destruction. Well done, Ruxin.)

RUXIN: “Oh, you think so, Sherlock Homeless”

RUXIN: “We’re going to put those Amish f**ks in prison.”

ANDRE [on the mushrooms]: “They need no sort of seasoning because they have their own sort of pungent aroma.”

ANDRE: “Okay, you know what? You have a category-5 Yobogoya storm hitting mainland in about 10 hours so I hope your colon’s ready.”

TACO: “Correction: That was a pony having sex with a human.”

TACO: “I know how it works. Take the bye players out; put in the straight ones.”

RUXIN: “Bye players? What is Andre in the league all of a sudden?” (Ruxin had some terribly cheap jokes during his illness. I guess that gives him an excuse.)

MR. HUDABEGA (RAY LIOTTA): “If you can’t afford a porterhouse, then you deserve hepatitis.”

MR. HUDABEGA: “You’re the son I would have if I stuffed it in my media coach.”

MR. HUDABEGA: “You shit-zipper!”

KEVIN: “I have digni…ohhh, Yobogoya.”

The League S03E02: The Sukkah never trades

Trades. Every league wants trades. They keep the league competitive and promote inspired conversation between league members. But it’s very difficult to maintain the culture that allows for them within a league because they are the most dangerous version of in-season gambling.

Play a trade well…and you’ll have the envy and hatred of the rest of your league. You’re team will be better, stronger, and more playoff-bound, but you’ll have to endure plenty of ridicule from those who feel you unfairly improved your team through a trade.

And make the wrong play? Well, if you lose on a trade, you’re just going to be apologizing for the rest of season to your league as they lose to the monstrosity of a team you allowed your trade partner to create.

Much like the delicate rain forest ecosystem, trading is hard to sustain. Eventually, the trading parties dry up. Fewer teams are willing to trade, and those that want to trade fear getting screwed by the other party or being mocked by the rest of the league for making a bad deal.

It’s a true test to the type of league you have if you can pull your league out of that nosedive to no-trade land. And this is where we find the league in the second episode.

When we last left the league, they were locked out of their own draft while Dirty Randy and Rafi filmed a porn inside Andre’s apartment. Now they have to deal with the consequences.

Jenny’s hitting the streets (and park bench advertisements) again as a real estate agent. Ruxin’s tasked with getting Baby Geoffrey into the best Jewish prep school.

That leaves Pete tasked with successfully fixing the league by encouraging trades to balance the teams they autodrafted. But no one trusts Pete…or anyone else in the league, and why would they when your league is tossing out trades like Dwayne Bowe for Owen Daniels or Owen Daniels for LeSean McCoy and Tolbert (A little much, no?).

Unfortunately for Jenny, her first park bench ad for her return to the real estate game becomes the bed and motorboat of choice of a homeless man. Jenny tasks Kevin with evicting him, but Kevin confessing to the homeless dude that it was “that time of the month” only makes things worse.

Kevin ends up following Ruxin’s example to get the problem solved, which is never a good way to solve a problem and come out clean.

Since the draft, Andre’s noticed a few strange things in his apartment…but he hasn’t caught on to what went on in there. Even though the rest of the league is disgusted to even enter his place, he only picks up on the hints when he contracts thrush through “immaculate infection.”

Andre threatens the league with an offer: he’ll trade any player to anyone who’ll give him info about what went on in his apartment during the draft.

The ultimatum scares Kevin, always the weakest of the league, as he fears Ruxin will cave to Andre about “Sexfest 2011″ to benefit from the trade. And upon hearing what the rest of the league did, Andre might, in anger, confess to Ruxin that the draft order was falsified when his name was drawn first overall.

The fear leads Kevin to allow Ruxin to throw his Sukkot, a Jewish harvest festival, in Kevin’s own backyard. Ruxin’s own house had to be ruled out because he was captured by Google Earth spray-painting a swastika on a pothole to get the city to fix it.

The Sukkot starts to get a little more like Festivus when Pete proposes an airing of grievances to reestablish trust in the league (even though the lies continue).

Once the ruse of truthliness is complete, Pete launches into an eight-way trade proposal, balancing the teams and filling all the position holes the autodraft created. It’s actually quite impressive. Bravo, Pete. Bra-vo.

In the process of Pete’s trade genius-ary, we get a glimpse of the full league roster, including the strangers we’ve never seen before. There’s Jenny, Taco, Kevin, Pete, Ruxin, and Andre plus the mysterious twosome of Chuck and Ted.

Will we ever meet Chuck? Or Ted? One can only hope they make as great a first impression as Dirty Randy…and they better have really good excuses for drafting from afar all these years. Live drafts are the only way to fly.

With the fantasy football work done, the league gets to the Sukkot-ing, but the party is destined to fail as soon as everyone sees how deeply involved Taco is. He’s made plans to host “Taccot,” his own combination Jewish festival and shroom rave after the Sukkot in the same tent, but he’s not content to keep the party elements at bay until the rave begins.

For starters, he volunteers his weed as the “plants” for the lulav tradition in the Sukkot ceremony, despite Ruxin’s groans. Oh, the bitter herb. Luckily, the representative from the Jewish prep school Ruxin is trying to impress doesn’t realize what she’s working with during the ceremony.

Meanwhile, the trades have all gone through. Pete’s happy to see that everyone’s teams have improved, but Kevin comes to tell him that Andre has declined his trade with Pete. Andre wants to take Pete’s place as “patient zero” of the league this year, the one who benefits from others misplaced trust, and he does so by screwing the master himself.

As Taco’s intruding on the festivities continues, Taco sends Ellie to put a “sukkah” DVD that he made in honor of the festival, we’re smart enough to know where this is going.

Instead of Taco’s DVD, Ellie finds the first copy of the “Sacko” porn Dirty Randy filmed in Andre’s apartment, and Ellie plays it for the masses at the Jewish ceremony on the outdoor screen.

Ruxin’s hopes of Geoffrey going to private school? Ruined. At least he’ll be able to hold his own in the preschool fantasy league.

Memorable quotes from Episode 2:

TACO: “What if she’s in a terrible accident one day, and someone has to tell them how to put her titties back together?”

TACO: “Woah! He is motorboating those fakies.”

TACO: “It’s like a Jewish Bonnaroo?”

RUXIN: “Yes, minus the patchouli and underlying sadness.”

RUXIN: “I’ve called the city 100 times, but they do not care about the plight of the upper-middle class white suburban male at all.”

KEVIN: “We do not get our periods at the same time.”

RUXIN: “Does a man ever tire of looking at the sunrise…when he’s balls deep in Kevin?”

RUXIN: “It’s like you trolling around the bar looking for a hand jibber, every once in a while, someone says ‘yes.’”

TACO: “I was in the room. There was so much semen.”

RUXIN: “And second, if I did look inward, which I won’t, I think we would find that my Judaism is the least objectionable thing about me.”

JENNY: “Problem plus swastika equals problem solved.”
RUXIN: “Tell that to the Jews.”

ANDRE: “This is not about me. I am the accuser. ‘Cause I know there be a witch in this town, and you’re all suspects, you cowpokes. And this dark city of Gotham’s got a gloomy cloud…’cause I’m gonna ride my horse right down Main Street.”

HOMELESS GUY: “She’s the floating muse, a dreamscape of femininity.”

KEVIN: “I’m not going to be trade-raped by my own wife.”
JENNY: “I’d be so gentle.”

KEVIN: “Maybe he’s like a menstrual medium.”

JENNY: “Are your brain and mouth connected, Kevin?”
KEVIN: “Sometimes.”

TACO: “Taccot is an ideal plane of existence where the 12 tribes of Israel come together with people who are high on mushrooms and groove to Aphex Twin.”

What is Aphex Twin, you ask? This…

http://youtu.be/5Az_7U0-cK0

PETE: “We’ve crossed the distrust horizon into the land of no trades.”

JENNY: “You are the patient zero of distrust, Pete.”

RUXIN: “Wait — an eight-way? But Andre’s sister’s not even here.”

TACO: “I like kickers. They’re the toughest.”

ANDRE: “It’s like a useless Good Will Hunting.”

RUXIN: “I’m keeping her and her family of conquistadors away until Geoffrey’s acceptance into the school.”

ANDRE: “I didn’t realize that sukkah was a high holy day.”

JENNY: “You promise me. Never smoke the lulav, okay?”

TACO: “Let’s get blazed, mother-sukkahs!”

KEVIN: “‘I’m Baby Geoffrey Ruxin. I’m in the cul-de-sac, son!’”

And just because you’ve been good, here’s the full version of Ruxin’s Shiva Bowl Shuffle from the season premiere.

The League S03E01: The Lockout with your Dirty Randy out

All this season, just like last season, I’ll be recapping episodes of FX’s The League, a tribute to fantasy football culture in sitcom form. Stop by every Friday to discuss the highlights of each episode and commemorate the best trash talk and one-liners. Bang-bang! What’s the hang?

What better way to begin a season of The League than with The Shiva Bowl Shuffle from Ruxin and his entire fantasy team from last season? I especially enjoyed the Sidney Rice bit: “I’m hip to IR.”

But do you guys see the “George Clooney stubble” on Ruxin? I don’t think I do. Then again, I don’t think I could say I did…even if I did.

At last The League has returned to us like a prodigal son going to Vegas and only giving us periodic, seasonal updates on his winnings who finally comes in the door stinking of booze, bankruptcy, and bad decisions.

In the season premiere, we got caught up with what’s happened in the offseason — mostly just the guys punishing Andre as much as possible for winning The Sacko while Taco walked the earth — and we pushed ahead into how the league is going to screw Ruxin and get away with it. I don’t think they will…do you?

We should all be so lucky as to steal a few moves from The League penance playbook. For being last in the league, Andre had to grow out his hair, play a flute at a bus stop for strangers, take last pick int he draft, AND draft from an alternate location while the league held a draft party at his house. That’s just cold…but so good.

Andre, your life is terrible, but I want to steal all of these ideas for my own leagues.

Taco would be the one to find himself cast as the American cautionary tale on Algerian television, wouldn’t he? He may make all Americans shamefaced in Algeria, but at least he blessed the world with his music.

I’m not sure what a Kevin baby would look like, but the entire time he was talking to Kate about having one, I was imagining what a “rankings slave” baby would look like. Would it try to get out of the womb first, before its peers? Or would it rather stay in the womb until after the due date and be a sleeper baby? Also, would it be as susceptible to dog training as Kevin?

My leagues always talk about a cool way to pick the draft order each year. Personally, I think it should involve some kind of unrelated and uncontrolled competition like a turtle race or a WNBA game. In that regard, Season 1′s No Child Left Behind foot race remains the best way to determine draft positions that I’ve ever seen.

Inevitably, my leagues always end up drawing names or numbers out of a hat like the league did this season with the cobra box. So sad.

How the hell did Ruxin know exactly how they screwed him in picking the draft order? He walks in and called it like he had a mic in the room. And who is Chuck? So many questions! WHEN DO THEY OPEN THE HATCH?

Kevin’s always the weak one. It kind of makes you feel worse for him than Andre because he has the perception of power. He gets trained by half the league through various forms of mind weakness — dog training tricks, pen clicks, and high-notizing. If he wins the league, it might only be because someone guides him to the Shiva like a puppet.

To cheer Kevin up after the draft, the league turns to the dirtiest of Randys, Dirty Randy. And Seth Rogen is perfect for the part. I can actually imagine him being a porn director in between his mainstream movies, but maybe that’s just the Zack and Miri Make a Porno effect on his image.

Before we talk about the porno, by the way, I must say I did not understand how it would have been feasible to draft online with only one computer like Ruxin had planned.

In a perfect world, people would walk up, make a pick, and sit down, but this is not a perfect world. Stickers and a paper draft board I get, but I’ve never seen an online draft go well without everyone having their own computer on which to queue players.

Unfortunately for all, the draft plans go awry as Ruxin’s celebration of self runs long on his rooftop shrine. While he rants about LinkedIn and league rules, Taco lets the Dirty Randy crew into Andre’s place to start shooting, and in classic Taco fashion, he locks the rest of the league on the roof.

The highlight of the porn shoot for me — well, besides the porn star screaming “You have hair! It’s awesome!” to Dr. Nodick — was the Taco, Rafi, and Dirty Randy discussion of middle eastern politics and culture. There’s a color analyst among those three. I just know it.

I’d say it was a successful first episode from the writers this season. There’s plenty of drama to be had now that the entire league — other than Andre and the mysterious outsiders like Chuck — autodrafted. Maybe we’ll see some more trading this year? Yes, please.

For now, we got our The League fix, plus a little porn and plenty of terrible ideas to punish those who finish last in our own league. What more could you ask for in a season premiere? No, really? I’d like to know.

Memorable quotes from Episode 1:

PETE: “It’s definitely less creepy when you follow them onto the bus.”

RUXIN: “Andre, do you see yourself more as like a rapist who does magic or a magician who also likes to rape?”
ANDRE: “With me, magic always comes first.”

RUXIN: “A little Shiva-lingus? Come on, Kevin, find out if it tastes the same.”

ANDRE: “You are Sauron.”

TACO: “Bang-bang! What’s the hang?”

TACO (as Cowboy of Algerian TV): “Back in the USA, we get venereal disease from our cell phones, and homeless people know karate and carry guns.”

JENNY: “I, as much as I wish I could, cannot give birth to a Shiva.”

KEVIN: “It hurts so bad when I pull hard!”

RUXIN: “And then we’ll let the other three lemmings keep their act together as long as they can without exploding with the shame of diarrhea that is currently soaking their pants.”

RUXIN: “Why don’t you put the guns away, anorexic David Crosby?”

TACO: “Blood oath. Kevin, give me your penis.”

RAFI: “I am day drunk. (In song) Get ready to SEE my dick!”

DIRTY RANDY (to Ruxin): “You, though…I’d film the SHIT out of you.”

DIRTY RANDY: “Puns are as vital to the porn industry as they are to the pet shop industry and the child hair salon industry.”

RAFI: “It’s like a white rain of 1,000 loads.”

TACO: “PUMPERNICKEL!…High-notized.”

RUXIN: “You don’t do morally bankrupt…but me? I swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck in a pile of coins.”

RUXIN: “Don’t invite me to join LinkedIn. It just reeks of dudes with cell phone holsters.”

ANDRE: “You have have two kickers? I don’t even have ONE. I KNEW it was a kicker year!”

KEVIN: “You know, I’ve been watching football my whole life — I don’t even know who this person is.”

RUXIN: “Oh, Shiva ring, forever UNCLEAN!”

JENNY: “This porn is disgusting, you guys. Is this what you like?”
OTHERS: “NO!”
KEVIN (softly): “No…”