2012: The Year in TV Moments

The Year’s Funniest Flag-Football Clothesline
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Dec. 27 2012 3:00 PM

2012: The Year in TV Moments


Parking-lot flag football in The League.

FX, Nov. 15, 10:52 p.m.

Living in a golden age of television has its down sides. Like how it can take until Wednesday to finish watching all the shows I record on Sunday night. But more importantly, it can be emotionally draining to watch intense, well-made dramas like Dexter and Homeland and The Walking Dead.

So thank god for The League, a goofy, absurdist comedy about a group of friends who allow their fantasy-football league just a touch more priority in their lives than they should. The show has hit its stride in this, its fourth season. The opener featured Taco (Jonathan Lajoie) acquiring the naming rights to the baby his brother Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) and sister-in-law Jenny (Katie Aselton) just had, and calling him “Chalupa Batman.” The ridiculousness has only escalated from there.


In the Nov. 15 episode “The Tailgate,” each character was at his or her utmost best (or worst). Andre (Paul Scheer)—always achingly, awkwardly generous—rents an RV so the gang can tailgate at a Bears game, only to pack tofu dogs and vegetarian chili. Ruxin (Nick Kroll) is at his most obnoxious, Kevin his most stubborn, and Taco reaches new heights of harmless obliviousness. Jenny, annoyed with Kevin for not treating her like a lady, opportunistically pounds beers with their tailgate neighbors, who just happen to be high school rivals of the guys, the Vatos Locos.

Rachael Larimore Rachael Larimore

Rachael Larimore is a Slate senior editor.

It all comes to a head when the Vatos Locos challenge the League to a flag-football game. If the guys win, Ruxin gets to use the operational toilet on their RV. If the Locos win, they take the box seats that Andre has reserved for the game. It’s not looking good for our guys—until Ruxin sneaks into the Locos’ bathroom during halftime and realizes that Vato Loco Frank “The Body” Gibiatti had used a peephole to watch Jenny pee while she partied with them. Jenny jumps into the game and clotheslines The Body, allowing Kevin to score a touchdown and save their tickets.

One reason I watch The League is because, in a way, I am Jenny. Or at least want to be her. SportsCenter hovers in the background constantly, I will rearrange my day to watch a big game, and I’m generally more comfortable with a group of guys than at a girls’ day out. But, like Jenny, I don’t want to be “one of the guys” all the time. In this, the funniest scene of my favorite stupid comedy, Jenny shows what will happen if you don’t respect her: She’ll kick your ass. Give that lady a beer.



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.