Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering spoons, Madden, long drives, and more.
Whoa, hey, the paperback edition of Someone Could Get Hurt drops today, so if you were too cheap to spring for a hardcover last spring (and you were; I've seen the royalty statements), now you can buy it on the cheap. Everyone wins when you give me your money.
Now, your letters:
So you're at game 7 of Thunder/Grizz looking good in your favorite black shirt. Do you put on one of those godawful OKC Thunder shirts that they leave on the seats for the playoffs and look just as stylish as the 250-lb. 50-year-old-man next to you? Would you ever wear it again after the game?
I would rock the Thunder shirt. I know that the whole "everyone in the crowd wears the same shirt" gimmick is tired. It's the sartorial equivalent of doing the wave for two straight hours, and makes the arena look like an extended Mormon family picnic. (Deadspin's own Tim Marchman: "OKC crowds are like giant audiences of encased meat.") But I'd rather cave to peer pressure than be the only asshole in Section 108 not wearing the shirt. It's not like you're going to that game to get laid. It's not a nightclub (unless you're in the VVVVIP section at Barclays). You're there to see your team win. So you may as well put on the shirt, otherwise you are a GLORY BOY and a DISTRACTION who cares more about your own appearance than sacrificing for the good of the team. You have a low motor.
I was watching a Pacers game where they tried to have everyone in the crowd wear yellow shirts, and the fans weren't having it. Half of them wore their street clothes, and it looked like shit on TV. If you're gonna do it, you gotta be 100 percent committed, like going out onto the dance floor at a wedding.
I think people are so worn out by the gimmick—every team does it for every playoff game now—that they can't be bothered to do it anymore, so I think the NBA should institute a cap for these promotions. You get ONE game per year to have a monochrome-shirt crowd. That's it. No doing it on a random Tuesday in February against the Bucks. If you want to save it for a clinching playoff game, but you never make it that far, tough shit. No carryover. Not only would it make it into a special event, but it would force NBA teams to adopt alternative crowd-rallying strategies. For instance, what if everyone in the stands wore a Jason Voorhees mask and agreed not to make any noise? Just 15,000 serial killers staring the opponent down. I'd be terrified. The home team would win by 782 points.
And yes, I would wear the cheap Thunder shirt again. I always need new gym clothes to pit out.
What if soccer goaltenders were able to use their hands on either end of the field? Let's assume they have to dribble basketball-style in the offensive box. How do you think this would affect strategy?
So once out of the box, the goalie could run with the ball like a football player? The problem is that no one would legally be able to tackle him. A seasoned Italian goalie could induce eight red cards in a single run down the field. So the goalie would have a free shot on goal and his teammates would all crowd back near the net to act as surrogate goalies. Then the opposing goalie would make the save and mount his own attack up the field. And back and forth it would go.
I'm pretty sure this would suck. You would have to make physically tackling the goalie legal. And then the goalie would have to wear pads. And then five of his teammates would act as "blockers" in front of him. Perhaps he could legally pass the ball to a "receiver". And then we could expand the goal to a portion of the field simply labeled the "end zone". Now THAT would be one kick-ass game of soccer!
In what sport do the refs/umpires have the most power? After the first round of the NBA playoffs, I'm convinced that it's basketball. The ability to rule a bunch of different plays as an offensive foul/defensive foul/no foul has an enormous effect on the game.
I would vote for a home plate ump, but the reality is that any ref can exert enormous power over a sporting contest if he chooses to be crooked. That's the unsettling thing about being a sports fan. Deep in my heart, I know that the games are officiated in a random and subjective matter that can have a CATASTROPHIC impact on the end result, but I try not to think about it. Holding could be called on every NFL play. Strike zones can be widened. NBA refs can dish out fouls any time they like. But I gladly ignore this possibility, because I would much rather believe that every game I watch is evenly called, and determined purely by ability and scrappitude. This is why people hate Joey Crawford. I don't need the ref stepping in on free throws and making demonstrably shitty calls and ruining the illusion of fairness for me. Fuck that guy.
Remember: Eric Gregg once handed the Florida Marlins a pennant and a World Series title by doing this…
That's how much power a home plate umpire wields. In retrospect, I'm shocked there wasn't rioting in the streets after this. If anything, we're too nice to our officials.
When loading forks, knives, & spoons in a dishwasher, do you load them with the handles turned up or turned down? I load them with the handle facing up, so that whoever unloads them grabs the handle & doesn't put their fingers all over the part that will eventually go in people's mouths. But I understand the reasoning behind loading them with the used part sticking up; that's the dirtiest part of the utensil.
I place knives with the tip down so that I don't stab myself when I reach for a wad of them. But forks go in with the tines up, otherwise they can stab through the basket and get wedged in. And lemme tell you: There is nothing more enraging than when a rogue fork or spoon decides to lodge itself permanently in the dishwasher basket. It's like trying to pull Excalibur out of the fucking stone. I want to burn down the kitchen when it happens. Knives go down, forks go up, and spoons can go either way. I usually put the spoons in up, because the handle takes up less space inside the little basket hole, so I can cram more shit into it. If you force in enough spatulas and salad spoons, it kinda looks like a flower bouquet. So pretty!
What would the fallout have been if it came out that Donald Sterling had actually been suffering from, not prostate cancer, but brain tumors? What if his family had all agreed he "hadn't been himself and had been saying things out of character for months"?
I think we all would have collectively ignored that new piece of evidence. Once we all agree on a scandal narrative, it sticks. Undoing it is both tedious and annoying, and I'm far too lazy to adjust my worldview accordingly. As a sports fan, I want Donald Sterling banished and humiliated, and I'm willing to distort my own truth to achieve that result. That's how the news cycle works now. Corrections make for shitty entertainment.
Besides, as Le Batard noted, Sterling's ban was basically a lifetime achievement award for racism. You can claim a brain tumor made you say weird shit about black people in passing, but you can't be like, "Hey guys, I slipped and fell and hit my head, and that's why I employed widespread systemic housing discrimination for the past decade or so. My bad!"
Hey Drew, my friend is a relatively well rounded, 32-year-old, married-with-kids male living in the tri-state area. He is well educated and seems like he probably doesn't live under a rock. However! When Philip Seymour Hoffman died, he revealed that he did not know who Philip Seymour Hoffman was. Which begs my question: On a scale of 1-10, how ridiculous is it to not know who PSH is? I give it an 8.
That's completely unreasonable to not know. I know we live in a time of pop-culture oversaturation, where you feel stupid for not keeping up with every goddamn show or movie that gets released, but there should be a baseline of shit everyone ought to know. You should know who Philip Seymour Hoffman is. You should have seen The Godfather. You should be able to name a contemporary musician or two. If you can't do any of those things, you are being willfully ignorant. Your stupidity is no accident. You wanted it that way, and you should be duly punished. What have you been doing all this time? Reading? You asshole.
When are they going to stop calling the NFL video games "Madden"? The man hasn't broadcasted a game since 2009, and there's a growing generation of video gamers who've never heard him call a game at all.
I doubt they ever change it, because the name "Madden" has taken on its own life in gaming, so much so that it's entirely divorced from the man himself. When someone says to you, "Hey, let's play some Madden," you know exactly what they're talking about, and that kind of awareness is far more valuable to EA than anything else.
I know that some people have speculated that Jon Gruden will one day take over Madden's slot, but I don't believe that, mostly because Gruden sucks. On television, he's a manufactured personality: a bizarre mashup of motivational speaker and roided-up film-study nerd. At least John Madden sounded like an actual human being. No one's inviting you over to play some Gruden. That would be weird. I would mistake it for some kind of rough-sex metaphor.
Do you think that The Biggest Loser's producers employ the use of some sort of predictive algorithm to determine if potential contestants will be attractive once they lose the weight? Or might they ask prospective competitors to submit a bone structure x-ray with their application?
I don't think you need any NERDY NERD MATH to figure that out. So long as the contestant has a relatively pleasant face with no acne scarring and/or nasal deformities, they're probably gonna look good with 200 pounds lopped off their frame.
It's a trick of the mind. If you see a normal man who weighs 175 pounds, you'll say, "Hey, he's an all right looking guy." But if you see that same guy next to a BEFORE photo of him weighing 375 pounds, he will seem substantially more attractive to you. You'll say HOLY SHIT, THAT GUY LOOKS GREAT NOW! You're comparing him to his fat self, instead of comparing him to the general skinny-person population, and that works in his favor.
Also, and I know this sounds corny, but I'm sure the producers of that show scan for attractive personalities. If they cast some sad sack who never smiles and acts like a dick, you won't give a shit how much she weighs. But if she's effusive and outgoing, that only adds to her appeal once she's lost the FUPA. That's clearly the sort of person they want.
If Mel Kiper was legitimately that gifted of a talent evaluator/draft prognosticator, wouldn't some desperate NFL team (the Browns!) be paying him an exorbitant amount of money by now to help right their sinking ship?
Well, who's to say he hasn't gotten offers? Perhaps he's turned down the gig because he enjoys the high pay and national profile of being Lord of ESPN for a couple of weeks every spring. Staying tucked away in the Browns front office would be a waste of good hair. Both Chris Mortensen and Bill Barnwell of ESPN were offered positions with the Jaguars, only to eventually turn the Jags down (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA), so such offers are not without precedent.
But it wouldn't surprise me if Kiper has never been offered a formal scouting position with an NFL team. First of all, Kiper is an NFL outsider, and a whole shitload of NFL people resented the guy when he made himself into an unofficial authority on the draft. Bill Tobin's old rant on Kiper pretty much summed up how people within the league felt about him:
Hiring Kiper means acknowledging his scouting abilities, and I don't think many NFL people like that idea. They'd much rather perpetuate the notion only real FOOTBAW people have the instincts and moral rectitude to scout college players.
More to the point, I think Kiper has probably never been hired because everyone knows that he's full of shit. As a fan, I know that any assessment from Kiper on a player my team drafts is bound to be erroneous. But it SOUNDS good, which allows me to form any number of unreasonable daydreams about that player. Kiper says he has great out-of-the-gate speed for a linemen? THIRTY SACKS. It's bullshit, but it's entertaining bullshit, which is why I gobble it up.
And I suspect that Kiper knows this as well. Why go to an NFL team and risk humiliating yourself when you can remain a draftnik and never have to formally answer for your shitty talent evaluations?
Outside measuring purposes and little kids, is the teaspoon completely useless? My wife disagrees with me, and uses the teaspoon for eating cereal and ice cream, which I think is dumb. Tablespoon is the superior utensil, right?
Back when I needed to lose weight, I actually switched from using a tablespoon with my cereal to using a teaspoon, because it's a FACT that if you take smaller bites, you will fill up on less food, and then hopefully drop a few pounds. I'm the sort of person who will scoop up as much cereal with the spoon as possible in order to take the largest bite, possibly because I am a human landfill, so using a tablespoon meant consuming half a cup of Fruity Pebbles at a time, which is not healthy. So while the tablespoon is a far more enjoyable spoon to use, you're probably better off using the pussy spoon.