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Breaking Madden Roster Cuts: The 20 worst screw-ups of our time

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Did you make it into this week's episode of Breaking Madden? Goodness, I hope not. Here are the 20 intrepid people who are suiting up for the Colts. They have terrible, terrible stories to tell.

This, sadly (?), is the final Breaking Madden: Roster Cuts of the season. We still have the Super Bowl episode of Breaking Madden ahead of us, but participants will be selected differently (more on that in the coming days).

And man, y'all, it's a special ride. I don't think any story will be worse than that of the gentlemen who collected cockroaches, froze them in ice cube trays, brought the ice cubes to a restaurant, put them in his drink, showed them to the server, and got a free meal out of it. But you know what? We're gonna try:

No roundabout question here. We need to hear about your fuck-ups. I read about a thousand of them, most of which were truly remarkable in one way or another.

I asked this question because in this week's episode of Breaking Madden, we need a physically gifted, yet completely incompetent, gaggle of screw-ups:

Music: "Breakdown Dead Ahead" by Boz Scaggs

They are Tom Brady's opposites. See, Touchdown Tom's Awareness rating in Madden is a perfect 99/99. These folks, despite standing seven feet tall and weighing 400 pounds, hold an Awareness rating of 0/99. They're also terrible at every football skill, while remaining terrifyingly fast and strong.

I'm not sure how this will turn out for our hero. This is a noble experiment. Here are our volunteers:

rostercuts2

No use in slowly building up to the best/worst stories, right? Let's just jump right into vehicular check fraud.

For the record, I can easily see myself making the same mistake in my younger years, because the idea of a check is kind of confounding to my generation. It's such an antiquated system of payment. Here, show any 20-year-old the Wikipedia entry for check kiting and watch their eyes bug: "wait, you can do that?"

Like maxing out a credit card you have no means of paying off, you'll almost certainly face consequences in due time, but the difference there is that the creditor kind of expects you to screw up. With check fraud, you're basically reducing the international financial system to an easily duped toddler.

Checks are the "Captain Crunch whistle for free long distance" of contemporary banking, and perhaps the only financial means of artistic expression we have left. There are probably all sorts of hacks. For real, have your friend write you a check for negative-five dollars and see whether they take five bucks out of your account when you deposit it. How do you know it won't work? Who knows? You don't know! (Dear Vox: never let me hold the money.)

I think I was 19 when I received the worst reply to "do you love me?" that anyone can possibly get.

ME: I love you.
LADY I WAS IN A THING WITH: Aww!
ME: Do ... you love me?
LADY: Of course I do. I love everybody.

After that, I promptly realized what the relationship actually was and adjusted my expectations accordingly. Nah, just joking.

I hope that this really happened, and isn't some kind of conflation of different, distant memories: once, at age five, I found The Giving Tree at a friend's house. For the first time in my life, I had read something that made me cry. I was embarrassed over crying, so I hid underneath a table with a book for a while. A poop was coming on, but I remained too ashamed to come out of hiding. So I shat my pants.

"Is ... is this a robbery? This is Borders. We blew through our last $20 in 1998."

JAMES.

I actually don't have much of a problem with this. The difference between a $15 bottle of booze and a $90 bottle is enormous, and someone like me can easily appreciate that difference. For us laypersons, the actual ability to appreciate the taste drops off dramatically once you wander north of that price point: you might think that $300 bottle is the best you've ever had, but it's mostly because you told yourself that it had to be.

To actually be able to suss out the qualities of a $10,000 bottle pegs you as an even bigger asshole, because you're necessarily the sort of person who has spent the unfathomable amount of money it would require to develop an informed taste for such a thing. The good guy in the equation is indeed the guy who, albeit purely through perception and the novelty of it, would surely appreciate that bottle more than anyone.

Still. UNDERAGE DRINKING IS A DANGEROUS DEADLY GAME, JAMES.

College dorms are buildings full of little rooms where folks have vomited all over the place. On the floor, on the rug, in the garbage can. On the wall, when some poor sucker was running to the toilet and couldn't make it. Barf is everywhere. Unlike other institutions in which barfing happens even half as often, such as a hospital, there is no dedicated cleaning staff, and the duty of cleaning up the vomit is tasked by default to 19-year-olds with minimal life skills or senses of responsibility. Many of these dorms have stood for 50 or 100 years or even longer. Decades upon decades of barf dust rest upon one another like bed sheets in this ancient barfatorium, full of barf particles from people who died of senescence in 1986. People pay $100 per semester to live here, and in some cases, even more!

I'm glad you made it out safely, and if you had drowned, you would have secured the greatest obituary ever. LOST AT A SEA OF HIS OWN DESIGN.

In Quebec, at least, horse meat is so commonplace that you're likely to see it plastic-wrapped in your average grocery store next to the beef and chicken. I cooked some. It cooked pretty quickly, and tasted kind of like venison. It was good! Then I went home to Kentucky and mentioned it to some people, and they reacted as though I'd eaten a toddler. I probably should have just bred some horses until their legs were popsicle sticks and raced them and shot them in the head.

Years ago, I participated in an alley cat race, and alley cat races are really cool. You ride your bike all over town, hitting a series of checkpoints in any order you choose. This was just before smartphones were commonplace, which made things really interesting: it was just as much about your familiarity with the city as it was about your ability to ride a bike.

My bicycle's brakes had given out a couple weeks prior, and since I didn't really have any money to take it to the shop, I had just been resorting to foot-jamming -- in other words, stopping by jamming your shoe between the frame and the tire. With a little practice, it worked pretty well.

So I'm about halfway through the race, and I'm stomping on my pedals to climb the ramps in a parking garage. I get to the roof, and the ledge totally sneaks up on me. Because of how I'm balanced, I foot-jam the front wheel as hard as I can, which is fun, because it makes me fly over the handlebars. I fall on the happy side of the railing; two feet more and I would have fallen a hundred feet.

HERE LIES JON WOULDN'T INVEST IN PROPER BRAKES LOST AT A SEA OF HIS OWN DESIGN

At RadioShack, there was a special category of items that we'd try to talk people out of buying, and only sell if they absolutely insisted. This included the entire line of Monster cables, whose marketers and executives should probably be rounded up and made to wander the desert in sackcloth and shit. It also included cell phone-to-USB cables, which were pretty much always bought for the purpose of using a phone as a modem.

These people would end up being charged extra hundreds or thousands of dollars. To make matters worse, this is circa-2003 Internet we're talking about. You know what the Internet was like then?

This will happen to me one day. Related question: at what age, on average, do dudes decide they need to start doing a minimal amount of eyebrow work? It didn't happen to me until a couple years ago, when I rubbed my face and realized that hidden in my eyebrow was a single hair that was like 11 feet long. Like, if I squinted wrong one time, it might pop out like a busted bass string and knock someone's eye out or something.

WELP, now you got me laughing uncontrollably at the grave misfortune of a child.

I looked it up and verified that this gentlemen is indeed the Jeopardy! fellow. This a far, far better look than all the people who just write "What is" and leave it at that. No, this right here is what we call "found poetry."

This is Modest Mouse, one of my favorite bands of all time. They make music that you would be completely justified in hating, and that's fine. I kind of split the difference between loving them unconditionally and knowing they're the furthest thing from perfect by making up fake Modest Mouse lyrics. Look, it's easy:

I HAVEN'T NO HELL YOU ON THE WRONG SIDE OF A NICKEL
AND IF I TOLD YOU WELL DIG YO' GRAAAAVE
WAAYYYYYYLL
THIS SHIP IS SINKIN AND RATS ON A SHIP
AND A DOGS AND CRICKETS YOU THINK YOU
LOOKIN RIGHT WELL YOU JUST LOOKIN
WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYL
CAR BROKE DOWN ON THE SIDE OF A ROAD
WAY HAYLLLLL

The miracle is that this doesn't happen far more often than it does. How many new drivers do we put on the road in America each year? Two or three million, maybe? They're all sitting in a chair with this big-ass dial sitting right in front of them, encouraged only to manipulate it very slowly and expertly. And virtually never, over the course of those two or three million times, does one of them say HMMM WHAT WILL HAPPEN and jerk the wheel to the left at 40 miles per hour?

I mean that. I read about human beings being monsters to each other all the time, all over the world. It's gotten so bad that sometimes I can look at the drivers on the interstate not arbitrarily trying to manslaughter each other at all times, and I think, "aww, that's nice."

Two-factor annihilation. Smart!

This is a Pitchfork review of a sexual encounter that is (presumably) early in a person's sex life and that is the most horrifying thing I can possibly imagine.

oh no you got a small child drunk

this is bad

ok this is real bad, we're stopping

STOP

WE'RE DONE

STOP

Check back Thursday for the full episode of Breaking Madden. And for many more episodes of Breaking Madden, click here.