Breaking Madden Roster Cuts: Waste some time by reading about wastes of time

Did you make it into this week’s Breaking Madden? Goodness, I certainly hope not. Let’s meet the 19 newest members of the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers.

Johnny Manziel’s first-ever start in the NFL was kind of a disaster. In this week’s Breaking Madden, we’re going to try to return him to his roots. He needs to get out there and extend the play.

Like, forever. We need a 15-minute play.

Music: “Johnny Strikes Up The Band” by Warren Zevon

We need superhuman giants to block for Johnny, and we need to whittle the Panthers’ defense down to worthless five-foot nubs. As always, I recruited new players via Twitter.

if you would like to be in the next Breaking Madden, please tell me about the biggest waste of time you have ever experienced

— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) December 12, 2014

Six 7’0, 400-pound, great-at-everything offensive linemen for Cleveland. Thirteen 5’0, 16-pound terrible-at-everything babies for Carolina. Please say hello to our new Twitter players:


Panthers linebacker:

@jon_bois pre-ordered Madden 12 through a local 7-11. Made me keep coming back every hour from midnight to 4, then they got it at 10 AM.

— Jay Douces (@Doctor_Midnight) December 12, 2014

You could pre-order Madden at a 7-11? Damn. OK, it’s thought experiment time. In this thought experiment, you are furnished with the barest necessities: you have a home, clean water, and all the clothes you are wearing right now at this very instant. You have a limitless supply of food, but it’s all just plain rice, and you don’t have any salt or other seasonings for it.

You are not allowed to receive any gifts or barter for anything. Which of the following do you choose?

1. For one year, everything you buy must be bought at the 7-11, whether that’s clothes, or food, or household items, or anything else. The catch: you have an unlimited amount of 7-11 gift cards, and can buy as much as you would ever want to.

2. For one year, everything you buy must be bought at Target. You have only $200 to last you the entire year.

There are a lot of elements in play here. We can talk about this in the comments if y’all want.

Browns tight end:

@jon_bois red carpet at the 2008 video music awards: i had only a digital recorder, and was ignored by everyone who wanted to be on tv

— jingle jangle maura (@maura) December 12, 2014

Gonna take a completely wild stab at this. I’m guessing that if you were able to talk to literally anyone, that person was Dustin Diamond, a.k.a. Saved by the Bell‘s Screech. That man has a superhuman ability to remain seen and heard. He will produce his own sex tape and leak it himself. He will sell shirts that read “SAVE SCREEECH’S HOUSE” to avoid foreclosure on his home, spelling his character’s name with three Es to skirt copyright law. He will be on anything and talk to anyone.

Normally, I would respect that hustle, but his recent tell-all Saved by the Bell book is largely an impotent, misogynist vehicle for him to slut-shame his co-stars and accuse random child celebrities of being jerks when they were children. He’s kind of the worst, and there’s probably a 12% chance he will respond to this article. Here are some highlights from an instructional chess video he made.

Browns left tackle:

@jon_bois I played through an entire game of Civ in one sitting. Eight hours completely gone.

— Roehl Sybing (@roehlteacher) December 12, 2014

Hold on, I’ll be right back. I gotta look something up.


oh my god

Browns left guard:

@jon_bois I once went to hear John Ankerberg preach on how Y2K was predicted in the Bible and how to prepare.

— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) December 12, 2014

When I was 16, shortly before the year 2000, I gave a presentation on Y2K for English class. While researching it, I ran into a lot of wet-blanket shit: actually, the vast majority of computer systems will continue to operate with almost zero consequence. Actually, the power plants will be fine.

That was no fun, so I zeroed in on the most radical, neo-survivalist bullcrap I could find. In my presentation, I presented as fact that the power grid would immediately fail, which would shut down heating and water, and people would drink rainwater and die of diseases because they wouldn’t know to boil it, and people would be burned alive inside of their own houses because they didn’t know how to properly start an indoor fire. Pretty sure I also cited a 700 Club report stating that China was planning to capitalize on the opportunity by conquering the United States.

It was one of those rare high school presentations in which kids not only paid attention, but looked genuinely horrified. I do not describe myself as a journalist and there are reasons for that.

Browns center:

@jon_bois the government put me on a Navy ship home from Kuwait instead of a plane. Two months on a boat instead of 13-hour flight.

— Matt Ufford (@mattufford) December 12, 2014

I just talked to Matt about this. Over these two months, he and his fellow Marines had literally nothing they were supposed to be doing. No training or classes or anything. They could work out, or they could rent DVDs from the ship’s whatever store thing, and that was just about it.

This would have been 2003, right? Let’s see which movies were out in 2003.

  • Kangaroo Jack
  • Boat Trip
  • Big Momma’s House
  • Love Actually
  • Gigli

Thank you for your service, Matt.

Browns right guard:

@jon_bois I re-watched every episode of Lost for the purposes of writing and article. I never wrote the article.

— Takao Yamada (@TakMacYamada) December 12, 2014

I see you, man. I actually watched the majority of Lost, and kept on watching only to keep my hatred of it as well-informed as I could. I have also spent an enormous amount of time writing things I’ve never finished.

I’ll show you. Here, I tried to reinterpret Sebastian Janikowski’s 76-yard field goal attempt with army men.


Here is an excerpt from a story in which Bobby Petrino falls into a wormhole in 2007 and reappears seven years later in Louisville, having lived those years in an alternate dimension:


Both of these projects were like 25 percent finished before I axed them, either due to time constraints or because they just weren’t cohesive enough. I’ve got an embarrassing amount of far worse crap where this came from. The stuff I shovel at y’all is dumb enough. Know that it could be much, much dumber.

Panthers defensive end:

@jon_bois I watched the movie “Puma Man”

— Zach Eberhardt (@ZachEberhardt1) December 12, 2014

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version is on YouTube and makes the movie a bearable experience. The original was made in 1980, but it looks like it was shot in 1960, and yet — due to everyone’s recent discovery of synthesizers — sounds like the music was produced a in coked-out 68,000 A.D. It is a really weird slice of cognitive dissonance and an overwhelmingly shitty movie.

(Most underappreciated moment from that MST3K version, by the way, is at 57:40. “He’s refenestrating! See?”

Panthers defensive end:

@jon_bois I drove 7 hours to Omaha to visit my girlfriend at school. She broke up with me and I drove home.

— Erik Johnson (@WangChangBackup) December 12, 2014

And then you have to spend the next seven hours driving through … Hell, spin the wheel. Omaha’s right in the middle of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. Whoooole lot of nothing to look at. Whole lot of time to kick yourself for buying her Norton AntiVirus for Valentine’s Day. She is free of web junk, unwanted spam, and at long last, you.

Panthers defensive end:

@jon_bois I took pencil boxes filled w/ soil to every TV station in L.A. to promote event none of them came to. Most even refused delivery.

— Jesse Cazakoff (@jessecaz) December 12, 2014

Oh God, I’m so sorry. Mostly because I’m trying to map out how the Hell I would preserve any shred of dignity, and I’m failing. I’m sure this is “soil taken from the whatever field” or “soil preserved from historic wherever park” or what have you, but I guarantee you that what they heard is what I’m hearing, which is


I’d have the most trouble conducting the little exit interview I would doubtlessly hold with myself every time I walked out. “Welp! Guess they didn’t like my dirt! Heh!” And then my lip would quiver for just a moment, and then I would explode into a blubbering fit of self-pity, the kind where you’re drooling and snot falls out your nose and stuff, and then it’s on to the next one.

Panthers defensive end:

@jon_bois Navigating phone menus. Just give me the damn operator already.

— Roger Rice (@msuroo) December 12, 2014

A lot of automated phone systems out there allow for a cheat that lets you bypass the menus. Just say “supervisor” or “representative” a few times. Some systems will actually recognize what these words mean, and more can simply be brute-forced into giving up if you yell at them enough.

When I did over-the-phone tech support at an ISP, our automated system recognized this command.


Me. Thank you for calling Charter tech support. This–


Me. – is Jon. How may I help you?


Me. Ma’am, you’ve reached me. I’m a real person. What can I–


A minimum of two minutes passed before she heard anything I said.

Panthers defensive tackle:

@jon_bois college

— P.J. Zipser (@zip_zapdos17) December 12, 2014

A high schooler recently emailed me some interview questions for a class project, and asked me what I majored in while in college that helped me get the job I have today. I answered: “I didn’t go to college because it’s really expensive and school is boring.”

Before sending it, I added in a disclaimer that I was only speaking from my personal experience, and that depending on what one wants to do, college could be a necessary path and a worthwhile experience. But I’ve known so many people who earned college degrees they could do absolutely nothing with, and I’ve known lots of people who made good livings and lived happy lives without ever stepping foot in a university. The only actual blanket advice I’m comfortable giving is, “don’t trust anyone who tells you you have to go to college.”

Panthers defensive tackle:

@jon_bois spenta month going over a mile of fiberoptic looking for cracks to discover no one put battery in original test. Line was perfect.

— supercam (@supercam) December 12, 2014

This is vicariously stressing me the Hell out.

Panthers defensive tackle:

@jon_bois XMen videogame. RECENTLY found out 2 pass Mojo level I had 2 physically hit (but not too hard) the actual reset button on my Sega

— Andrew Del Toro (@stonecutter7) December 12, 2014

X-Men for the Sega Genesis was so difficult that I never even halfway finished it. I was equally surprised, pissed off, and delighted to look this up and verify that this was true. At one point, you run across a computer screen that reads, “RESET THE COMPUTER.” So naturally, most players probably ran all up and down the level, mashing buttons everywhere, trying to get something to happen.

And then you learn that “RESET THE COMPUTER” means you’re actually supposed to get up out of the couch you are actually sitting in real life and walk over and press the reset button on your Genesis. It is a puzzle specifically engineered to make you feel like a complete idiot. I was a pretty mild-mannered kid, but that shit would have gone flying out the window.

Panthers linebacker:

@jon_bois drove 6 hours to a house I wanted to buy. When I got there, the fire department was leaving. It had burned to the ground.

— Joshua Hall (@JHallSports) December 12, 2014


Panthers linebacker:

@jon_bois waited till midnight to get a wii with 3 friends then went home with a rejected credit card cause of earlier charge 2 same Walmart

— CRYST-MAS BOY (@gilgamix) December 12, 2014

This happened to me in 2005, the night the Xbox 360 launched. They put out a couple rows of chairs at Walmart at 5 p.m.; if you grabbed a chair, that was your spot in line, and you couldn’t get up unless you wanted to risk losing your place. My friend and I waited in these chairs for six or seven hours, only for my bank to decide that my purchase was suspect and decline the sale. Which, I mean, serves me right for buying literally anything at launch.

The highlight came earlier in the evening, though. One guy, who was trying to grab an Xbox for his kid, had spent the last two hours in one of the chairs. “I really need to go to the bathroom, y’all. Would you mind watching this chair for me?” Of course not. So he gets up, and as soon as he rounds the corner of the aisle, a guy who had been skulking about immediately sprinted to the empty chair and sat down before we could do anything about it.

He spends the next hour indignantly crossing his arms and defending himself. “Look, it’s cold. I know it. That’s cold. It’s cold as Hell. I ain’t gonna say sorry for it. Gotta do what I gotta do.” Everyone was shooting daggers at him, and a few people were just relentlessly mocking him, and he just had to sit in that little chair and take it. He eventually had enough, and gave the seat back to the other guy.

This means that a man drove to Walmart, sat in a chair, was roundly shamed and humiliated to the point of defeat, and drove home. For nothing.

Panthers linebacker:

@jon_bois 3 days of Law School “orientation”. At least 50% was people telling we wouldn’t succeed.

— Dan Lorentzen (@danzeedotes) December 12, 2014

Upwards of 25 people answered, “law school.” I just walked over and talked to noted law school graduate Ryan Nanni to ask him whether he’d like to weigh in. “The thing to remember,” he says, “is that everyone who chose law school had absolutely no other option in mind. They weren’t going to go to art school or something. They were going to accomplish nothing, they just chose the very most expensive way to do that.”

Panthers linebacker:

@jon_bois Atlanta traffic

— Sam Mercer (@smercedog) December 12, 2014

I’ve been in my new apartment for two weeks now. I am almost certain that I have spent less time in it than I did sitting as a child in a hot car on Bells Ferry Road. I’m pretty sure you can mail stuff to people in Atlanta while they’re driving.

Panthers linebacker:

@jon_bois I once attended a pyramid scheme seminar that didn’t provide food or drink.

— Eric Shuff (@ericshuff) December 12, 2014

Withholding refreshments seems like a scam in and of itself. Because then you get to keep them all to yourself. Think about it.

Browns right tackle:

@jon_bois took adderall to write a term paper, spent 22 straight hours arguing with facebook neocons instead

— Minecraft Holmes (@momspubis) December 12, 2014


/pulls cord, parachutes out of article

We’ve got every single episode of Breaking Madden right here, if that’s your deal.

December 15, 2014 by : Posted in Uncategorized No Comments

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