The League S03E08: Thanksgiving brings family together (for tur-guinea)

Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman?! It truly is a time for Thanksgiving. And this year, we give thanks for awkward family reunions (and guinea pigs).

To celebrate the season, Ellie volunteered to take care of the class guinea pig over the Thanksgiving break. Personally, I think it’s never a good idea for a kid to take care of the class pet over the holidays. All too often, it results in two scenarios:

  1. The class pet dies, either of natural causes or the home environment
  2. The kid who takes care of the pet likes it so much that they want to keep it or get another pet of their own to replace it when it’s gone.

It’s lose-lose, in my opinion, but that’s what Kevin and Jenny are in for when Ellie volunteers to take care of Shakespeare.

In anticipation of the holiday season, the league has all made a “fat bet,” a competition based upon how much weight they can lose before Turkey Day and how much they exercise. Included in the bet, any man who doesn’t exercise for at least 30 minutes each day pays $50 into the pot.

That’s probably one of the most ambitious challenges I’ve heard of for a holiday. I hope none of my friends every propose that idea.

Ruxin’s been dominating the competition thus far (although as with many things Ruxin, all does not seem to be fair in this competition). But he falls down to earth a bit when, instead of having the house to himself for his “house hotel” the week of Thanksgiving, Ruxin ends up running into his dad, who was also trying to get out of spending the holidays with family.

Together, the two holiday bachelors decide to spend Thanksgiving together, but each admits they were planning on doing it their way. And they do.

So Ruxin’s dad (who also goes by Ruxin rather than Rupert but, for the sake of clarity, will be called Rupert) runs every morning with Ruxin’s “fat bet” pedometer while Ruxin spares no lotion in choking the chicken while the missus is away.

There’s something about Jeff Goldblum talking about the realities of the human spirit and our desire to watch porn on the big screen TV (Full volume!) that just warms the heart. Don’t you agree?

The gang also gets a visit from Andre’s older sister, Heather (Sarah Silverman), who taught all of them (and by proxy, Andre) everything they know about sex. Her presence and voice-inside-the-ear on Andre about all the things the guys make fun of him for leaves him feeling out-of-place during the Thanksgiving festivities.

In another bid to make a fortune, Taco has invested in a white truffle. Despite Taco’s best efforts, not even Andre will pay him more than his costs, regardless of how many “business lessons” he tries to share.

By meal time, the league members have gathered together, Ruxin’s dad and Heather in tow, to celebrate Thanksgiving at the MacArthur house. After the fat bet weigh-in and totals are finalized, which Ruxin wins easily thanks to his father’s running, they all settle down to eat, but not before Pete gets approached by Heather.

While Pete explains his need for food before he satisfies Heather, they accidentally bump Shakespeare’s cage, freeing the guinea pig to roam. By the time Kevin and Jenny come by to feed him, the creature’s long gone, taking Taco’s white truffle with him. (Who puts a truffle in a playroom?)

Resolving to go on like nothing has happened, Jenny serves dinner, and it goes off without a hitch — well, other than a palette cleanse turned lesson in female fellatio lesson — up until it’s time for turkey, which turns out to be a tur-guinea. (Don’t worry! They found Shakespeare.)

As everyone flees the dining room in an attempt to cleans themselves of the guinea pig they’ve just consumed, Ruxin, Andre, and Taco come face to face with Ruxin’s father Rupert’s vinegar strokes when they discover him balls deep in Heather, who couldn’t wait any longer for Pete.

Talk about families coming together, right?

Memorable quotes from Episode 8:

KEVIN: “He’s vermin.”

KEVIN: “Near the food? Good God, woman, that’s how the plague started.”

RUXIN [on Kevin’s “eater high”]: “You mean diabetes?”

RUXIN: “I’m going to have my house to myself, where I can roll around my house like an anonymous man in a hotel room.”

RUXIN: “I’ve been collecting those hotel-sized moisturizer bottles just getting ready.”

RUXIN: “Why would I use Noxzema?”
ANDRE: “‘Cause it’s cold and tingly like a girl’s vagina.”

RUXIN: “It smells like a Guatemalan YMCA in here. Congratulations on that.”

KEVIN [to Andre]: “Did you meet him on Craigslist or are his intentions honorable?”

RUXIN: “Andre, and I say this fondly, your sister was such an unrelenting slutbag.”

RUXIN: “I’m pretty sure the facials were going towards her, Andre.”

RUXIN: “Think I’m gonna do about 5 miles today.”

RUPERT: “Well, look at you, you little homunculus. Without any pants. No shoes. Like a man who’s just fled from a carnival. You know, you look a bit pale. Some would say pasty. I say like a freshly peeled apple.”

RUPERT: “Continue with this homoerotic competition talk. It’s more than delightful.”

ANDRE: “You told me to stop wearing black because I looked like Nosferatu.”

ANDRE: “…That’s why mescal never tasted the same.”

RUXIN: “Full disclosure? We’re both adults. I was here to watch the Playboy Channel.”
RUPERT: “Bullshit.”
RUXIN: “I was gonna watch something filthier. Not on my laptop. Everything is at your fingers on a laptop, but no, you wanna watch it…”
RUPERT: “On a TV! Full volume!”
RUXIN: “Full volume! Not hidden away like Anne Frank in the attic whispering, you know.”

KEVIN: “Yeah, he’s running so much he’s now walking funny.”

KEVIN: “Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple. Open the doors, and just eat all the people.”
HEATHER: “Nose, nose, nose…”

TACO: “Yeah, we were playing Sister Invader.”

KEVIN: “Yeah, Seven Minutes in Heather.”

HEATHER: “He was taught by the best, this guy.”

JENNY: “…No, we don’t go to church.”

PETE: “We do have a quorum.”
KEVIN: “Never…again.”

HEATHER: “No, they’re shit-talking. You’re shit-taking.”

RUXIN: “Bro, it’s all muscle.”

ANDRE: “No, it’s called a belly band.”

RUXIN: “Hehe. Postpartum girdle!”

HEATHER: “Go tide yourself over. I’ll meet you in 8 minutes. We’ll ‘go to the bathroom,’ but really, you’ll lick my vagina.”

KEVIN: “And I want to take you to church. I just get confused. Sometimes I pull up, and I’m sweaty already. I’m not exactly sure which door to go into, alright?”

KEVIN: “Look, there’s truffle shavings. He dragged it out like a lion ripping out a gazelle. If we were a restaurant, they would shut us down. They would give us a D…”

KEVIN: “Like Helen Keller!”

TACO: “That’s why I had sex with her yesterday…I hate sexual tension.”

JENNY: “You just gently take a little lick…Cleanse your palette.”

HEATHER: “Kevin, just let the sorbet know you’re there with the heat of your breath.”

TACO: “I don’t really like sorbet, but I love watching women eat it.”

KEVIN: “I’m never going to be able to eat sorbet like that.”

RUXIN: “I feel like I’m watching my own birth.”

ANDRE: “Can we get a palette cleanser for our palette cleanser?”

RUXIN: “You fed us goddamn guinea pig like some Peruvian street urchin?!”

JENNY: “It’s a tur-guinea!”

ANDRE: “I just saw your dad’s vinegar strokes.”
TACO: “I saw into his soul. Not good.”

I just might have to change my fantasy football team name to “The Twilight: Breaking Dawn-dres.” Thoughts?

Week 12 Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders: Carson Palmer, Michael Crabtree, Steve Smith, and Pilgrim’s Pride on Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks. You should pause for a moment and think of all the players you have to thank for getting you where your fantasy team is today.

Thank you, Terrell Owens, for going off the week we finally gave up on starting you. Thanks so much for being worthless just long enough for others to drop you.

Thank you, JaMarcus Russell, for making the Raiders so terrible on offense that Darren McFadden couldn’t even be a fantasy stud this season. That draft pick would have been better spent on Julius Jones, and fantasy owners’ greatest memory of him this season will be the week he sat out and let Justin Forsett do it all.

I guess there are the good stories. I’m incredibly thankful for Ray Rice. He’s held it down for my fantasy team through the thick of the season, and he came at a bargain rate in the draft.

I also have to thank Miles Austin, who came off the waiver wire just in time to become a fantasy gold mine for me. He’s my WR3. Do you realize how great it feels to have Miles Austin as a lottery play every week at WR3? I hope you do.

But enough about my thanks. It’s your turn to give thanks. Maybe we should all send our fantasy players real thank you cards this Christmas, and not those cut-out-of-magazine, stalker cards we normally send to threaten them after they kill our chances at a playoff run, the real kind. The kind of cards that show we care.

No, you’re right. They wouldn’t be into that. Besides, cutting letters out of magazines is way more fun.

Now before you go off to bicker at relatives you may only see once this year and poke at mystery casseroles, it’s time to set your lineups.

Hot Hands Starts of the Week

Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs vs. Chargers: I’ll admit that Jamaal Charles was not my favorite person when he was a Longhorn. He had some ball-security issues, and he never seemed to be able to get those yards when it counts. Lucky for him, he went to a team where the yards never really count, and he’s doing well. Woohoo for him.

This week, he faces the San Diego Chargers, who still, if you remember correctly, don’t really have strength at nose tackle after losing their best to injury at the beginning of the season. Considering that Charles is basically half the Chiefs offense alongside Chris Chambers now that Dwayne Bowe is a no-Bowe due to illegal Slimfast, I could see him doing just enough to put the points on the board that you need this week. Pencil him in as a starter if you need him to make plays.

Joseph Addai, RB, Colts vs. Texans: I’ve been benching Addai occasionally for a better matchup in recent weeks, and every time I do it, he makes me pay. It’s like he hates me. Maybe he didn’t get my Christmas card last year?

No worries. Against the Texans, he’s back on my list. I like his chances at getting at least one, if not two, touchdowns since the Colts seem ready and able to get him in the red zone each week.

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals vs. Browns: Here’s to hoping that Matthew Stafford’s five-touchdown performance against the Browns reminds Carson Palmer what it’s like to be young with two good knees again. Palmer’s got that surgical repaired one now, but I’m pretty sure it’s good enough to do some damage against the Browns.

Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers vs. Jags: He finally scored his first NFL touchdown last week against Green Bay. This week brings the Jaguars secondary to San Francisco, and I could see Crabtree doubling up quickly. The Jaguars have allowed the second most fantasy points to wide receivers, behind only the Titans, who have stepped their game up sine Cortland Finnegan’s return.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers vs. Lions: Mostly as a brief reminder that you should start every player wearing green in this one. The Lions let the Browns offense go nuts on them last week, and the Packers are looking for another offensive blowout to build some confidence for a playoff push. The Packers will make the Lions their turkeys.

Cold Shoulders Sits of the Week

Steve Smith, WR, Panthers vs. Jets: He’s getting the Darrelle Revis treatment (running out of catchy names for Revis’ effect on wide receivers), and unlike Randy Moss, I’m not sure you can count on Smith to score to compensate for his lack of yardage. Start him only if you must.

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears vs. Vikings: While I like Devin Hester and Greg Olsen this week, it’s hard to bet on Cutler making all the right plays given his recent struggles. Interceptions will prevent him from capitalizing on what could have been a big fantasy day.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers vs. Ravens: Baltimore will take a special interest in shutting down Mendenhall and the run game, and putting the game into the hands of a slightly woozy Big Ben. I don’t know that this game is going to be very pretty.

Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys vs. Raiders: He hasn’t been nearly as effective this season. I expect him to play through his injury, but I don’t like his chances to even equal his normal production this season unless turkey has some special regenerative powers.

Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Beanie’s building momentum down the stretch, but it slows here. Tim Hightower will benefit from a lot of checkdown passes against the Titans, but Beanie just isn’t getting those yet. I expect a quiet night. Save him for those lovely playoff matchups.

Snooze-Button Sleeper Pick of the Week

Alex Smith, QB, 49ers vs. Jags: He’s dropped off the radar a bit since he first took over the starting job in San Francisco, but Smith has a great chance to blow people away against the Jags. I expect Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree to get open early and often. Smith will capitalize if you’re current starter has a dirty matchup this week.

Song to Ease Your Pain While Setting Lineups

Iron Maiden – Pilgrim

It’s the most fitting song of the season. I’m putting my belt around my hat as we speak. We all know there’s no reason for belts on pants today of all days.

Good luck to you all and Happy Turkey Day.

You can also give thanks and compare notes with The FF Geek Blog, The Hazean, Fantasy Joe and Matthew Berry’s love/hate.