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What Other Football Puns Could USA’s Necessary Roughness Have Utilized?

Necessary Roughness, a one-hour drama about a therapist who works for a football team (that’s all like whaaaat we don’t need therapy, one assumes), premieres tonight on USA. The problem is, twenty years ago Scott Bakula, Sinbad, and Kathy Ireland made a movie about a misfit college football team that was also called Necessary Roughness. With all due respect to the elegance of the "necessary roughness" pun — a play on the term "unnecessary roughness," considered a "personal foul" in most iterations of organized football — surely USA could have come up with at least one other worthy reference? Vulture tested the theory, brainstorming twenty alternative Necessary Roughness titles that touch upon, in wildly different levels of subtlety, logic, and appropriateness, both football and mental health care.

Here we go:


  • Out of Bounds

  • Encroachment

  • Roughing the Passer

  • Pass Interference

  • Down By Contact

  • Running the Option

  • Calling Audibles

  • Defensive Back

  • Sidelines

  • Assistant Life Coach

  • Neutral Zone

  • Throwing Out the Playbook

  • Zone Defense Mechanisms

  • First and We Have Ten More Minutes

  • Sudden Death Inside

  • Too Many Feelings on the Field

  • Post Troubling Mental Pattern

  • Tackling … the Issues

  • Free Associating Safeties

  • Blue 42 XY Flanker Split Hot Route Therapy Show

Okay, your turn!

Photo: Quantrell Colbert/USA Network