Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering unemployed hockey players, meat chunks, satanism, and more.
Time for your letters:
Who's the most overused ESPN analyst (any sport)? My choice is Herm Edwards: The guy has a losing record as a head coach, never won a Super Bowl, and was an average player, yet ESPN asks him questions about football all the time like he's a football prophet.
Not only do they ask him about football, but they happily bring on "Coach" to offer up his wisdom on LeBron and Donald Sterling and other non-NFL issues that he's somehow even less qualified to discuss. If a nuclear bomb got dropped on New York, they would trot out Herm Edwards to offer his fucking take. I assume Edwards has a year-round contract and ESPN needs to squeeze as much airtime out of him as possible so that they don't have to pay for another analyst in the stable. This is how the four-letter works: They will simply push and push and push someone like Herm on you to give him the illusion of authority. Like if you see him enough, you will experience a kind of televised Stockholm Syndrome where every stupid thing Herm says begins to make sense.
It's the job of all ESPN personalities to prop each other up. You hear it all the time on Mike & Mike when they're like, "On the Subway fresh-take hotline with us right now is Herm Edwards, who had such an interesting thought about the Pakistani airport hostage situation…." They confer authority upon one another, and you're supposed to just sit there and buy it. But what usually happens is that these assholes all convince only each other that they have wisdom because they've been mandated to kiss each other's asses for so long. Hence, Coach Herm. Hence, Mark Schlereth. Hence, Merril Hoge. They're all the same analyst. Only the tacky suit changes. Anyway, I say Edwards and Stephen A. and Schlereth are all tied for the most overused. Nothing will make you change the channel faster than Stephen A. showing up onscreen with his "thoughtful" face. Gravely nodding, just dying to spew useless bullshit.
If you somehow destroyed the NHL and all foreign hockey leagues in a way that meant all professional hockey players now had to find regular day jobs, what would be the industry with the greatest influx of employees on day one? Let's go ahead and also destroy/burn all of the income that these players have already received, so that for argument's sake these players are unemployed with very little in the way of financial stability. What is the breakdown? Does the number of lumberjacks understandably skyrocket?
We also have to eradicate the existence of youth HUCKEY as well so that none of these guys are allowed to just slide into a gig coaching your local Mite squad. Since we all know that hockey players are unbreakable wildebeests who are constitutionally and morally superior to all other athletes, it behooves these ex-players to go into a similarly dangerous line of work. That means not only lumberjacking, but Alaskan king-crab fishing as well. And ice road trucking. And working on an oil rig, only to be asked by the government to go into space to break apart a killer asteroid. Shit like that. They're not going into some PUSSY occupation like selling insurance or being a judge in a Federal circuit court. These are real men, dammit.
Just kidding. They'd all become gym teachers.
My friends are I are debating which professional sports team in each of the four major leagues is the least hated. Defined simply by which team has the fewest persons who specifically dislike/hate them.
The Columbus Blue Jackets. Here's a study that ranked them as the least popular franchise in all of hockey, which is itself the least popular of all four major sports. In this instance, "least popular" does not mean you're actively hated, but are instead easily ignored. Now I'm sure there's one diehard HUCKEY fan out there who despises the Blue Jackets because they're a natural Metropolitan division rival of the Carolina Hurricanes. But in general, I can't imagine the average sports fan giving enough of a shit to actively hate the Blue Jackets. Unless you despise Ohio State (justified!) and have expanded that hatred to anything that comes out of the Columbus metropolitan area (sure, why not). But even then, that's just Ohio State hate in different clothing. The number of people who hate the Blue Jackets specifically can't be that high. They're a relative new team and they haven't won anything.
You need a resume to be hated. You need to have won things that my team hasn't won. Or you need a player who has a long history of being hateable, like AJ Pierzynski. Or you need a coach who is so insufferable that you hate the rest of the franchise simply by association.
But mostly, you need fans. Big, fat, ugly, loud, horrible fans with stupid chants and ugly jerseys and some loudmouth girlfriend fan who is somehow even MORE annoying. Fans are the engine of hate. I don't hate the Packers. They all seem like okay guys. I hate their fans, and so I hate the team for giving those fans a reason to exist. That is how sports hate works. So with the Jackets and their minimal fanbase in mind, here are the other least hateable teams in each sport:
NFL: Detroit Lions. Because even rival fans liked Barry Sanders. "Oh man, Barry Sanders was fun as shit. But fuck the Lions."
MLB: San Diego Padres. I thought about putting the Pirates here, but too many of their fans are also Steelers fans, which rules them out. The only way you could hate the Padres is if you're a Cubs fan who is still bitter about 1984. Or if you hate Tony Gwynn. How could you hate Tony Gwynn? He's a fat little hitting machine with a voice like Mickey Mouse. What are you, some kind of monster?
NBA: Golden State Warriors. They seem fun.
When I take a shower, I hold my right arm roughly parallel to the ground against my stomach, and form a cup with my hand. Repeated throughout the shower, it fills with water and then I let it flow out of my hand and down my legs. If performed properly, the water feels like it coats your entire leg, which is especially great in the winter when your bathroom is cold. It combines the best part of taking a bath without the grossness and/or creepiness of, ya know, taking a bath. My wife thinks I'm a weirdo. Who is right?
That's your shower, which means you get to do anything you like in there without judgment. It is your sanctuary. Lately, I've been turning my back to the shower, letting the hot water nail the small of my back, and then reaching down to touch my toes and letting the water rush over my head. Is this weird? Am I practicing to be in the next Goatse photo? THAT IS NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS. It's my shower, my way.
Besides, who doesn't enjoy cupping your hands and then watching the water trickle out of them? LOOGIT ALL THAT WATER! That's some quality pooling. Sometimes I cup my hands real tight, but the water leaks out anyway, so I desperately search for a crack in the hand seal. If the water leaks out, everyone in the village will die!
Also fun: cupping your hands with water and splashing it on your face, like in a Noxzema commercial. AHHHHHHHHH! I feel fresher than a mountain spring.
The best part about eating leftover spaghetti for lunch the next day is the huge chunks of meat sauce that get bogged down at the bottom, right? I mean, I can't even fathom a counterargument.
The pasta is almost beside the point, really. If there's leftover meat sauce or chili in the fridge, I will go hunting for cold meat chunks. It's the king of sports. Sometimes you get a nice piece of meat and throw it in your mouth, only to realize it's a hunk of tomato. That's not a good moment.
Imagine there is a white basketball player as good as LeBron, who also comes out as a Satanist at the end of his rookie season in the NBA and is also a Richard Sherman-level loudmouth. EVERY question he is asked in EVERY interview, he manages to make it all about how great Satan is and of how much he loves Satan and how he prays to Satan before games to make his opponents play badly. The league would come up with some rule to muzzle ban him, right?
I don't think the NBA would need to, because they could simply let the players and coaches do their dirty work for them. Every day, White Satanist LeBron would arrive at the team facility to mass protests, the silent treatment from his fellow co-workers, and dirty looks from every coach on the coaching staff. That's enough to push any open Satanist back into the closet. This is why we are sorely lacking in open Satanist athletes. Who will be the first brave anti-soul to step forward? Who is gonna break through the glass ceiling for all the other Satanists out there and say, "I am here, I worship the cloven-hoofed Prince of Darkness, and cheer for the demise of mankind—deal with it"? Whoever does this will be a pioneer in my book.
What if you could shake a Magic 8 Ball and you could ask any question you wanted, and you got the absolute truth? You get, like, three questions a year. Beyond the obvious—"Have aliens been here ever?" and "Was Jesus real?" or "Who was behind the Kennedy assassination"—what are some of your first questions asked? I suppose you have to ask whether we knew 9/11 was coming, whether Obama really was born in Kenya, some other high-minded bullshit, but I always say one of my first would be: "Did OJ really do it?" Because like, what if the answer was no? What if he actually didn't do it? LIKE HOLY SHIT.
I'd never waste a precious question on OJ, because he definitely did it, and I'd feel like a real dupe for asking the 8 Ball about it, and having the 8 Ball respond, "What are you, a fucking moron?" No, thank you. I'm confident enough in my OJ hatred already. I don't require validation.
I assume that this Magic 8 Ball only gives YES or NO answers, and that it can also predict the future. I'm absolutely asking the two mandatory questions Jackie threw out. Those are givens. I want to make sure that Jesus was a real guy and not just the Batman of his age. I mean, just imagine if most of us were wiped out in a meteor blast, and it took 2,000 years to re-populate the earth, and future anthropologists dug up all these old comic books and were like, "Damn, this Batman guy seems like he was really important! People had very small plastic idols of him and everything!" I want to make sure modern society wasn't built on a lie. Ditto aliens. I want to know if they've been here, where I can find them, and if they have a ship I can borrow to get the fuck out of here.
Those givens aside, here are more important questions for the ball:
* "Will the world end in my lifetime?" If the answer is YES, I can stop saving money for my kids' college (nice!) and I can start to plan my end-of-the-world picnic right now. Will there be ribs? Oh, there will be ribs. So much unhealthy food. I'll also set up an orgy room.
* "Are ghosts real?"
* "Will a ghost get me?"
* "Will you help me kill all the ghosts, please?"
* "Will China's deadly mega hornets ever invade the United States?"
* "I just want to live my life without ghosts or killer hornets. Can you assure me of this?"
* "Will the Vikings win a Super Bowl in my lifetime?" (I already know the answer. Shit.)
* "Is Joe Flacco elite?"
* "Will a nuclear bomb go off in my lifetime?"
* "Should I see the new Star Wars when it comes out?"
* "Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?" (As noted above.)
* "Was Frank Wycheck's lateral a forward pass?"
* "Has any President ever shit himself in public?"
All important things to me.
What are the odds the dairy byproduct of a cow (Kraft singles) has ever been re-united with the very same animal again between two pieces of bread to form a cheeseburger? Has this ever happened?For the purpose of this question, I obviously insist on BIG CHEESE and BIG BEEF. Some locally grown farmers' market type retailer doesn't count.
I had to double-check to make sure that Kraft singles were made with actual milk—in a shocking upset, they are! I figured they were made out of orange dye and deer feet. Anyway, the milk inside a Kraft single obviously doesn't come from just one cow. They likely have a 500,000,000-gallon milk vat at the Kraft plant and suspend a new cow over the vat every six seconds to milk it and keep the vat replenished. One Kraft single probably contains molecules from 70,000 different cows, one of whom probably has herpes. It's true. You're eating herpes milk.
Same with the beef. That Styrofoam tray of 80-percent-lean beef at the grocery store (always buy the fattiest percentage!) probably contains lips and assholes from 800 different cows. Nice cows. Mean cows. Christian cows. Satanist cows. American cows. Brazilian cows. Sheep. A real coalition in every bite.
Anyway, chances are one molecule of Bessie's milk has met one molecule of Bessie's anus inside a single cheeseburger at some McDonald's somewhere down the line; probably some Romanian Mickey D's that has to source all its cheese and beef from a nearby sludge dump. That burger was .00001 percent Bessie and 85 percent mealworm. The worms let you know it's good.
What if you walked down the street, made eye contact with a policeman, and then sprinted away? Naturally, he'd pursue you, but what if you'd done nothing wrong? Assuming you stop when he yells at you to stop, how does he handle it from there on out? Are you allowed to act all annoyed with him?
No, he's actually within the law to arrest your ass because you fled. According to a 1968 court ruling, a cop can stop you if he has a reasonable suspicion that you're up to no good, like if you just ran away the second you laid eyes on him. Now he's free to catch you, pepper spray you, give you the full nelson, and have you detained for resisting arrest. You just conjured a criminal record for yourself out of thin air, which is not good. So be sure to deal some crack before you go sprinting away from Officer Punchalot. At least have fun and commit a real crime first.
Let's say that tomorrow a large long-term study is published that shows definitively that although the general population has a 10 percent of getting cancer in their lifetime (probably way low), smartphone users have a 20 percent chance. Do you get rid of yours?
Probably not. I still drink and eat bacon, and both of those things will probably give me triple butt cancer. Like I always say, it's hard to give a shit about the consequences if you can't SEE them in front of you right away. Like if I put a smartphone to my ear and saw a tumor with hair and eyes growing out of my arm, the smartphone would go right into the trash. But if you're telling me it will decades before the tumor manifests itself, if at all? Forget it. I'm back to Twitter on the shitter. It's like putting your death on credit. You'll worry about the cost when the bill comes due. Not now. For now… WHEE FLAPPY BIRD!
We lose billions of dollars every year because people don't bother with preventive health measures, like avoiding diabetes by not eating a Whopper. Preventing something means taking action without realizing any immediate payoff (apart from continued existence). That's a pain in the ass. Much better to do nothing and then die in a week. At least I didn't have to go jogging.
When cut, one half of a sub sandwich is always a little bigger than the other. Which half should be eaten first? I always go for the small one first because I wish for the future me being surprised and happy and satisfied that I got to eat a little more after what I *thought* was the halfway point. I cringe at the thought of eating the big half first and then feeling completely unfulfilled when I get to eat slightly less for the second half.
I eat the big half first for many reasons. First off, I could die in between halves, and I don't want to die with a great sandwich half left on the table. Secondly, if my old lady comes by and asks to split the thing, she has no choice but to accept the little half, along with my withering glare. Lastly, if I ever feel like that big half of the sandwich was enough (NEVER), I can store the little half for the next day and surprise myself with a kickass Italian sub sitting in the fridge. Those are all my reasons. And yet, no matter which half I eat first, I am still always left wanting more sandwich. I need a sandwich big enough to fit the whole world.
Four videos are released on the internet on the same day. CNN and TMZ are notified of each at the same time. Each video is crystal clear, so there is no doubt about the content. Which one would get the most views in one week? 1) A leaked Jennifer Lawrence sex tape. 2) Justin Bieber beating up a homeless guy. 3) A conversation where President Obama calls Hillary Clinton a "fucking cunt." 4) A bigfoot ransacking a campsite.
Obama's video would win because every single worldwide press outlet would pick it up and beat it down into the ground. How does this affect Hillary's chances in 2016? What is the source of enmity between these two? Is "cunt" a worse epithet than "cracka"? How big of an orgasm did Sean Hannity have while watching this video? All that shit. That takes the top slot, with the J-Law sex tape in a firm second place, and then Bigfoot (FAKKKKEEEE), and then Bieber, because Bieber has now been videotaped doing every possible stupid thing. Make it an actual murder and then we'll be getting somewhere.
How far back in time would we have send back the current national champion Florida State to beat a Super Bowl winner? '82 Redskins? Further back to before the Steel Curtain teams?
No way they beat the Steelers of the 1970s, despite obvious advancements in athlete size and training methods. I don't say this as some kind of dickhead purist, I'm just saying that the Steelers would kick the shit out of them. It's boys versus men, dammit! I WILL NOT HAVE SOME COCKY YOUNG UPSTART TEAM NEGATING 1970S DAD STRENGTH.
The current median for an FSU o-lineman's weight is 308 pounds. That gives them a nearly 60-pound advantage over a defensive tackle from the year 1970. But what about GUMPTION, dammit? Those Seminole glory boys would be too busy thinking about stealing crab to avoid a wily eye-gouging. I say you have to go back to the '69 Jets for FSU to have a shot.
The wife and I are going to a cookout in a couple of weeks, and we got tasked with dessert. My wife has her heart set on making a certain dish, which really is delicious, but it is also a dish which was created by my buddy's ex-wife whom he JUST divorced. I keep telling her that although there is no hidden intent with the dessert, she should definitely make a different one, and she thinks I'm being too paranoid, and that he won't even notice. Who ya got in this debate?
So is the divorced guy hosting this cookout? You can't bring his ex's signature dessert to that picnic. For him, that tiramisu will taste like salty tears and lawyer fees. One bite and he's back in 'Nam. There are a million other perfectly acceptable dessert alternatives to make. Plus, it's always better to make a stolen recipe for a different crowd, so that you can ably pass it off as your own original creation. LOOK AT MY BOLD FLAVOR PROFILES.
Everyone wants to have the best dish at the cookout. If I bring a plate of cookies to some barbecue, you better believe I am eye-fucking that plate to make sure it is consumed at a more rapid clip than the cookie plate next to it. And then someone brings brownie bites from Whole Foods, and we both lose. HORSESHIT. Anyway, make something different. Like blondies. Whenever someone brings blondies to a cookout, I want to kiss them on the lips.
If all current musicians were thrown into an American Idol competition, who do you think would win? Current popularity notwithstanding… would America vote for someone with mass audience appeal like Timberlake? Or do you think the winner would end up being someone with just the best vocal capabilities like Adele or Michael Bublé?
I think Timberlake would win because that show usually rewards gifted mimics who can replicates lots of different musical styles. You don't even need to have much style of your own, even if Timberlake has plenty to burn. So he could make it through Styx Night with his dignity intact.
You know who would get voted off first? Kanye. Your mom doesn't like that young man's attitude.
Email of the week!
I live in Chicago, and yesterday I was taking the train to a show up north. While waiting on the platform, an officer of the law comes through and tells everyone they have to clear out, because OBAMA is passing through and all the trains/buses are stopped until he passes. People ask how long until the trains run, and he shakes his head and in an authoritative voice states, "Could be a while."
So the group of about 30-50 of us walk down the stairs, and run into a mass of people trying to get up on to the trains. I made eye contact with a confused looking lady, and I go "I guess Obama is coming through and the trains aren't running for a while."
"For a WHILE? THIS GUY said the trains aren't running for A WHILE!"
The outrage was instant and the time quote of 'a while' was stuck on me. "That guy said it's gonna be A WHILE." I was also completely stoned, so the pressure was suffocating. Within 30 seconds people were saying they saw the motorcade pass, and walked back up to the trains. I agreed with this and wanted to go up because it made the most sense, however a good number of people lingered, still watching me to see if I would leave the station and find another way since it could be 'a while.'
So I had to turn on all my 'a while' followers, and head back upstairs. When I made the move a lady goes, "Didn't you say it would be a while?"
It was fucking stupid, and I vowed to never help anyone ever again, or trust the Chicago police. Who is at fault here? The cop for the initial poor choice of time word, these people for not being able to think for themselves and assess a situation, or me for doing drugs?
"A while," when said in exasperation, sounds like it could be hours. Screw that cop for giving you all bad information. But next time: Do not take it upon yourself to be the herald for commuter news. I'm like anyone else in that I enjoy being a source of vital information ("The power company said it was a downed tree caused the outage!"). But once you assume that kind of authority, you reap the consequences when you're proven wrong. Turned out the stoned guy was a poor source!
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at email@example.com. You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Image by Sam Woolley.
The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter:@DSconcourse.