Why Inside The NBA Could Never Happen In The NFL

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering affairs, Peter North, stoner-food hoarding, and more.

Your letters:

Jay:

Since Inside the NBA just won a sports Emmy, do you think the NFL pre-game shows would notice this, and ever have the nuts to toss the script and give honest evaluations about the upcoming games and players the way that Charles, Kenny, and Shaq do?

It's unlikely, because networks are more interested in keeping the NFL happy than they are in keeping the viewer happy. They know that you're going to watch the games no matter what kind of drivel they broadcast for two hours beforehand. So they play it safe and tacitly agree to using their studio show as a kind of halfway house for ex-players on their way to full retirement, so that someone like Marshall Faulk can get used to civilian life before spending the next four decades living in a house next to a golf course.

That is the priority to broadcasters, because all the NFL has to do is hint at leaving them out of the next round of negotiations and everyone freaks the fuck out. The NFL is interested in protecting their audience here in America (it can't really get any bigger), whereas the NBA is still trying to expand their audience. Hence, they have to be more deferential to ESPN and TNT, and they can take more chances with broadcast talent in order to expand the audience.

There's also the fact that football culture is very, very serious. I wish it weren't so humorless, but it is. Most coaches are humorless pricks. Most analysts are humorless pricks. Most owners are humorless pricks. And most fans are humorless pricks. Football is just one big humorless prick convention. It's an intense sport where everyone ends up badly hurt, so people treat it with a sobriety usually reserved for church bombings. I thought Dennis Miller was a lousy MNF commentator, but it's not like the football culture greeted him warmly. It was like, Who is this asshole? He doesn't know football! This ain't no damn comedy show! That's what you get for trying to add a touch of levity to the proceedings in football. Only pre-approved Frank Caliendo impressions will be accepted. Now there's a fella with talent!

I think ESPN hired Ray Lewis in an attempt to give their shit some of TNT's spontaneity, but he ain't no Barkley.

Jon:

Wouldn't a professional pool player make an excellent golf putter? I mean they make every "simple" shot, and that's with having to hit another ball along the way. Assuming they have decent distance on their drives, couldn't this happen? Couldn't he just put a pool cue head on the putter's handle?

So the pool hustler would lie facedown on the green and attempt to putt that way? I can't see that being effective. A pool table doesn't have a slope. There are no undulations when the Black Widow is doing the masse and getting eight striped balls into the corner pocket. Plus, you can't bank a golf ball. I bet a pool player would clean up in miniature golf, but the real deal would be a bit more complicated. Plus, what if the green is wet? Ever accidentally sit on wet grass? It's the worst. The pool player would get their shirt and pants soaked, and it would look like they peed! DISASTER.

I don't even know if lying down to nail a putt is legal. It probably isn't, given that no sport has a bigger hard-on for petty rule enforcement than golf. You probably get a stroke penalty just for asking if you can.

Justin:

Do you think Peter North (or another similarly well-known porn star, male or female) regularly watches his own videos?

Well, in addition to being a porn actor, Peter North is also a porn director. An actor-director! So it's more than possible that he would be fucking two women on camera, call CUT!!!, then rush over to the monitor for playback, then consult with the cinematographer about whether or not the lighting was correct. So from a director's standpoint, he MUST watch his own videos. He might even study it in order to correct his thrusting motion. A real student of the game. Even if he's one of those actors who's like, "Oh God, I can't watch myself on screen, AWKWARD!"

As for his spare time, I don't know if Peter North has much need for self-gratification. He spends his whole day fucking. Surely he'd rather unwind with a good book than spray his DNA all over a woman's chest AGAIN. My guess is that he probably doesn't watch his own work as much as you or I would if we were in a porno movie. If I were in a high-class porno, I would have it playing it on a loop in my dining room.

Ian:

Does the Mayflower moving company like it when ESPN shows old footage of the Colts leaving Baltimore? On the one hand, free publicity. "We can move an NFL team. Overnight." On the other, nobody in Baltimore will ever use them again. But that might also be a plus.

I contacted the PR department of Mayflower (a company that was founded in… INDIANAPOLIS) to see if they would answer Ian's question. It will shock you to learn that have yet to return my email. But they don't seem to have suffered from carrying out Robert Irsay's dirty work. Irsay gets most of the blame for that move, which is fitting, because he was a drunk and a scumbag.

I'm not gonna begrudge Mayflower for taking Irsay's money when any number of other moving companies—Ryder, Penske, College Hunks Hauling Junk, Muscles to Brussels, Sexy Freds Moving Beds, Horny Foxes Moving Boxes, Great Fucks With Moving Trucks, Well-Hung Stan With a Roomy Van, We'll Move Your Shit and Fuck Your Wife—would have been eager to swoop in and poach such a lucrative contract. A hunk's gotta eat.

(By the way, I once saw a College Hunks Moving Junk van outside a friend's house, and the movers were clearly NOT college students. It was, like, three day-laborers. That's false advertising!)

Eric:

Do you think the first couple that met on Tinder has been married yet?

Oh, totally. Tinder works in Vegas, right? I bet that app is to blame for any number of instantly annulled unions.

By the way, I have a friend on Tinder who I will not name. One of his profile pics is him with a dog. It is NOT his dog. I told him that was a blatant misrepresentation, and he defended himself by saying, "But it TOTALLY works!" So ladies, if you see a hot guy on Tinder with a dog or a baby, make sure you're getting a legitimate caregiver.

Justin:

Sometimes, when I look into the sky, I'll see two planes about to cross paths, and obviously one is much higher in the sky than the other, but it's hard to tell at such a far distance...am I a bad person for being slightly let down when they DON'T collide in a fiery explosion?

Nah. I visualize the same shit. It's not that you're actually let down by the fact that people, you know, lived. It's that life can sometimes be monotonous, and so when you see two airplanes on a potential collision course, you're tantalized by the spectacle of something explosive happening. I lived in New York on 9/11, and even after going through that horror, whenever I see a plane flying low*, I'm both scared that it's on course to hit something and also fascinated by the idea as well. I track the plane in the sky. I try to figure out its course (MY GOD! IT'S HEADED FOR THE WHITE HOUSE!). And then the plane keeps going, and I'm like, Oh, it was just a regular-ass plane. And people lived. THAT'S GOOD! You don't want life to be dull, but you need it to be. It's a natural instinct to conjure elaborate disaster scenarios in your head that have little chance of coming to pass. It's just your brain exercising. So kudos to you for having such a childlike imagination!

(*If you're a fan of low-flying planes and helicopters, move to D.C. They're all over this area, for obvious reasons. One time I saw two mammoth helicopters flying side by side up the Potomac and thought I was gonna hear "Flight of the Valkyries" over the loudspeaker. I even saw a helicopter with side bombs. Bombs you could ride. They were scary as shit.)

Kevin:

How often should I be replacing my razor blades? I shave everyday, and I only begin to consider replacing the blade when my face burns and is covered with numerous cuts—it makes me appreciate the 1st shave with a new razor blade. On a related note, I always figure one of the underrated perks of being president of the U.S. would involve getting a brand-new razor blade every day.

The people at BIG RAZOR suggest replacing them every five weeks, but come on now. I'm not made of money. Much better to wait until the little gel strip is stripped away and the blades are rusted and warped and have already given you 16 different strains of hepatitis before you replace the cartridge. I think I dropped a cartridge behind the toilet once and kept using the blade anyway to save money. Urine is sterile! I saw it in a Fight Club trailer.

If you have a toddler face like I do, and you make sure to shave when your face is all hot and wet, you can get away with replacing those blades once in a blue moon. But if you're some Greek/Italian hair monster, you'll wear that shit down at a much faster rate. At long last, being unable to grow a goatee pays off for me!

Fred:

I was recently on a conference call where one of the participants was "working from home." He forgot to re-mute himself (because everyone mutes themselves on these calls) and immediately after he stopped talking, we heard the sounds of porn. He denies it was him, or that we even heard anything, but it was pretty unmistakable. 1. Should this guy be embarrassed? and 2. How often do you think this happens?

I'm sure it happens all the time. No one on a conference call is 100 percent into the conference call. They're checking email or beating off or cooking dinner or cleaning the attic.

The only goal of any conference call is to end the conference call. This is why every time someone throws out a question during a conference call, another person pauses, stops checking email, pretends the reception cut out, and then asks their colleague what the question was again. Conference calls are fucking awful and should be banned.

Sean:

How do you think the sports media would handle Michael Sam and Jason Collins dating?

But then he'd be cheating on the kiss guy from the draft! If only there had been a KISS CAM graphic up on the screen to drive the kissiness home.

Anyway, if Michael Sam dumped his current boyfriend (who appears to be roughly one-fifth of Michael Sam's size) for Jason Collins, I don't think people would care all that much, since the two men work in different circles. It might be a curiosity, but nothing more controversial than that. MIKE FRANCESA SAYS THIS IS NOT SPORTS, OK? The big Hot Sports Take festival will come when two teammates fuck each other or a coach fucks a player. Then we'll out whip out our Distraction Monitors and wait for a locker-room slapfight.

Amanda:

Wouldn't professional sports be better if teams were required to recruit from within their regional boundaries? I mean, isn't the whole point of professional sports to prove which place, and its inhabitants, are best? Otherwise, why root for anyone?

It would be nice in theory, but then teams from California, Texas, and Florida would win everything, because those states have the most fertile talent beds. And really, aren't those states insufferable enough already, in their own unique ways? You need to level the playing field a bit, which is why the average fan has no problem rooting for a local team that fields players with absolutely no ties to the area. You get to create the illusion of adopting those players and then co-opting their best qualities for yourself. Oh, that Adam Wainwright is humble and gracious! A TRUE AMBASSADOR OF THE CARDINAL WAY. It's quite an amazing exercise in self-bullshittery.

In the 21st century, your local sports team is tied to your area in name and name only. In fact, the team probably stole all your money for a stadium and is actively HURTING your town. Lord knows that the absolute worst sports fans on Earth (Hi, Boston!) are the ones who use a sports team's success as a way of lording regional superiority over the rest of us. But I'll keep rooting for my team anyway, because there's a certain comfort in having a team, in saying to people, That's my team. And if anchoring a team to a certain area helps me connect with other fans, all the better. If you put enough personal history and interest into that team, you'll find your own meaning for them. It's a relationship you've invested in. It'll only make sense to you, but that's good enough.

HALFTIME!

Jason:

I attend a medical school with 150 students in each class. There are two separately married students who are having an obvious affair with each other. Another student is the husband of one of the married lovers. The two having the affair are awkward types, and are making a pretty lazy effort to hide it all. It's hard to believe the husband's friends don't know about it, but if they do, they may be too awkward to confront him. How long can this go on before a peripheral observer like me has to say or do something? Does a peripheral observer like me have any responsibility whatsoever?

You're off the hook. What good would come from walking up to someone who is pretty much a stranger to you and handing down a piece of devastating personal news? That guy would probably punch you in the face. Besides, you may not know every detail. Maybe it's one of those dipshit open relationships, but the wife is the only one taking advantage. Or maybe it's a medical experiment. I dunno. You're so far removed from the situation that you can regard it as juicy gossip instead of a life-shattering betrayal. It's more fun that way!

I am old enough now where affairs are an actual thing. When you're in high school, affairs are what old people in movies do. But then you get out into the real world and there are actual people having affairs, and it's FASCINATING. I'm completely scandalized any time I hear about one potentially involving people I know. OMG AN AFFAIR! SO TABOO! Who knew people liked having sex with one another? I am a naïve little boy.

Richard:

How old is too old to have another male roommate and not look like a gay couple?

Thirty. It might be younger if you live in Buffalo or Utah or anywhere else where teen marriage is the law. But in your standard swingin'-swingle city, 30 is probably the cutoff age. By then, most guys want to live alone anyway (and can afford to), so they can watch whatever they want and not have to worry about leaving a sock on the door when they bring a woman home. It's a great moment to be a guy and have that realization. Wait a second. If I live alone, I can do whatever I want! HOLY SHIT! If you and your buddy HouseBug are still shacking up by then, people will talk.

I'm 37 and I have a single friend who's the same age living in New York (not the Tinder guy), and he told me that for some reason, 37 was the age where people started asking him, en masse, if he was divorced. Like before age 37, people were like, Oh you're single in Manhattan living the life! But now people are like, Oh my God, did your ex-wife have an affair? So there you go. Apparently 37 is the exact opposite of a lucky number.

Andrew:

What are the chances, when drafting the Constitution, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson decided to troll America for some laughs and threw in a few extra words here or there thinking, "They'll be arguing over the meaning behind this for centuries LOLZ."

It's unlikely, given that trolling is a relatively recent concept. Back in the 1700s, purposely pissing people off was frowned upon. Which is so WEIRD!

But that's not to say the drafting of the Constitution was completely devoid of cynicism. For all I know, Jefferson stole a pair of hedge clippers from his neighbor and then demanded a search-and-seizure amendment in the Bill of Rights so that no one could ever find out. Read any pop history book about the Founding Fathers, or about politics during the Civil War and at the turn of the century, and you will find that people were just as sleazy and mean and corrupt as they are today. Our modern-day trolling culture comes from a rich heritage of shitbaggery, so take pride in your heritage the next time you post FAKE! in the YouTube comments section.

James:

If you're on an airplane, what are the odds that people have had sex in the plane bathroom? What about the percentage that someone has rubbed one out? Gotta be near 100 percent on the latter one.

It's 100 percent for masturbation. Fornication varies depending upon the age and size of the airplane. Like a 747? That does overnight flights and has an upstairs shitter? That plane has been christened. No doubt. But a puddle jumper to Grand Forks? I dunno how a couple of native Midwesterners would fit inside that shit. Because they're fat, you see!

Aaron:

Which state's residents have the biggest egos? I say Texans and Californians are far and away in the lead, with New Yorkers getting a few mentions. What do you think?

New York is tempered by upstate New York, because even people who live in Utica know they live at the end of the fucking Earth. I'll gladly vote for Texas, with Louisiana (GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO) and California close behind. And don't sleep on Maine. I spent four years in that goddamn state, and people there think Maine is some kind of magical lobster Eden instead of the cracked-out Zombiescape it actually is. I don't think people from Maine even know they can leave it. I think they just assume dragons and black folk lurk beyond the state border.

Steve:

A few nights ago, a couple of my buddies from home came by my place to smoke a little weed and hang out. I set out some high snacks (Kettle Brand Buffalo Bleu chips—which I highly recommend—as well as the usual Doritos, Funyuns, etc.), and after a while, the bags were finished. I had asked them not to take anything in the kitchen, as I had just gone grocery shopping and I usually make lunch to bring to my office. They disregarded that and CRUSHKILLED 3/4 lb. of cajun turkey breast, an entire loaf of bread, and even my supply of Chobani. Needless to say, I was a bit pissed off (probably would be more pissed off if I wasn't high), and I told them, to which they replied that I was a buzzkill and that I needed to chill. What does stoner etiquette say here: Is all the food in my apartment fair game, or am I justified in getting pissed?

You specifically asked them not to eat all your shit, and they did, so that's a dick move. Even if you're stoned. That turkey ain't cheap! The rule is that food is off limits if it isn't "out." I'll be at some house party and there will be food out, but I'll see BETTER food tucked away in the kitchen: turkey and chips and chocolate and all kinds of shit that's more appealing than the veggie platter. But that food isn't "out," so I can't touch it without asking permission. That's how it works. One time I grabbed some chips that weren't out and my old lady never let me hear the end of it. I may as well have taken a shit on the kitchen floor, she was so mortified. There's gotta be some boundaries, man. I don't want you sifting through my cabinets and finding out I stock up on almond butter like a crazy person.

Alex:

Do you think a player has ever intentionally bombed a combine interview because he didn't want to play for that organization?

No, because NFL people gossip like fifth-grade schoolchildren. So if you tank your interview with the Browns (could anyone blame you?), the rest of the NFL will know about it within two hours. Did you hear about Alex? Said he didn't want to win! And that he hates Jews! That kid is trouble!

Alex:

So I just found out there are five oceans now (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and the Southern). The Southern Ocean just seems to be the bottom parts of three of the other oceans. This fifth ocean is bullshit, right?

I also don't care for the advent of the Southern Ocean. We had four perfectly good oceans, and now I have franchise fatigue. This ocean was clearly cobbled together from old Pacific Ocean B-sides and Atlantic Ocean demo tapes. It's not a TRUE ocean, and I know this as an experienced mariner.

Jim:

A girl friend-zoned me in eighth grade, and throughout high school and college we've maintained a flirty friendship but have never done more than make out. Now I'm 29, and happily married. The girl and I still text a few times a week; she's an attractive single girl living in NYC, she asks me guy advice, and tells me about life in the big city. For some reason, I delete every text, to hide from it from my wife. I've even changed her name in my phone so the name Mark shows up. My wife is cooler than most, not a crazy jealous type, but I do this basically to avoid having to explain why I'm texting with an attractive single girl, albeit a friend. I think saying, "We're just friends!" would sound suspicious. Is this the right course of action?

No, because you've just fucked yourself over if you get found out. If your wife was texting some single guy she used to hook up with and hid his name on her phone, wouldn't you assume she was fucking that guy? Of course you would. No one's gonna believe the truth when you go out of your way to cover it up. There's no explaining your way out of that. You've effectively destroyed any decent alibi for your innocence if you get caught, which is not good. Besides, in all honesty, you're still probably attracted to this girl. That makeout session has been starred in your mental playlist.

By the way, there's no law saying you can't be friends with a girl when you're already married. But you just have to be extremely above-board with it. You have to make the girl friend your wife's friend as well. If the girl texts you, you have to be like, HEY JENNY JUST TEXTED ME! You have to be conspicuous, especially if this is someone you hooked up with. Otherwise… AFFAIR.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com. You can also buy Drew's new Kindle Single, The Rover, through Amazon.

Art by Jim Cooke.

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