Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering the NFL, stoner poop stories, old-man voices, and more.
My wife just asked if I want to go to a pumpkin patch and corn maze with another couple next weekend. Besides the fact this is probably planned for Sunday afternoon, it's sounds about as fun as a colonoscopy. Am I a dick for being the only one of four people who begrudgingly attends these things like Billy Gillespie attends AA meetings?
If you don't have kids, there's no reason to go to any of those things. You will drive for a full hour, then you will pay an admission fee (always too much), and then you will overpay for your bushel of apples, or for the loaf of banana bread on sale in the barn. And the hayride is never fun, because there's nowhere comfortable to sit on a hayride. You're sitting in HAY. Sharp, dry hay. It's awful. If you want to be outside in the fall, you're much better off taking a hike or going to a park. These are attractions built specifically for families, because you can take the kids, buy them a treat, and burn a couple hours off of the day. If you're childless, there's not as much urgency to fill that void of time. You can save that money for booze instead.
That said, I know what it's like to be married and bored. Even without kids, you can still spend an entire weekend racking your brain for shit to do. There's always that urge to get out there and do something DIFFERENT (well, at least the wife wants to do something different), to make some kind of precious memory by heading out to a vineyard or going to a Kazakhstani Orthodox Pastry Festival or whatever. When my wife and I were first married, we used to spend all day trying to come up with shit to do, and everything got rejected because it was either too expensive or too much effort. Half the time, we would just go to some fancy grocery store and look at the food, then go home empty-handed. Then we would get drunk and make out. Married couples and families end up spending a lot of time being bored together.
Which is worse, the NFL or the NCAA?
Oh, the NCAA. It's not even close, really. At least the NFL pays players lots of money. For a decent salary, you're always gonna have to tolerate whatever hypocritical bullshit your boss dishes out in a company mission statement. Oh, you hope that VitaminWater not only makes record profits this quarter, but changes the way people choose to hydrate their bodies? Whatever, Jim. [Wanking motion.] The NFL is one of many, many companies that sees itself in an altruistic light in order to get favorable coverage.
The NCAA, meanwhile, operates on the same platform of bullshit, but has been able to take it to such extreme ends that they've never had to pay players at all, and can (or could) control their likenesses while indulging in many of the same gross corporate whitewashing techniques that the NFL has displayed over the past month or so. The NCAA hands out penalties to schools and to players not because it teaches them all a valuable lesson, but because it allows the NCAA to keep on doing business.
If anything, the NFL has made the recent mistake of trying to be too much like the NCAA, as public sentiment for amateur athletics has declined. For all I know, Roger Goodell is on the verge of saying those new domestic violence classes count as a "free education" and will try to strip players of their salaries entirely. Right now, I have the most evil sports conglomerates ranked like so:
But give the NFL time. They're working on it.
What would Goodell do if someone did a Ray Rice-themed TD celebration, fake-punching a teammate and then dragging them along the ground?
I think he would suspend them for life, only to have an arbitrator reduce the penalty to two games. And then he would suspend the arbitrator for two years. That's legal in the current CBA. I'm sure DeSean Jackson has this kind of TD celebration planned, and teammates are furiously attempting to talk him out of it.
What kind of shitstorm would ensue if Roger Goodell was arrested tomorrow for beating his wife?
He'd be gone. It would make life easier for everyone, frankly. We nerdy blog nerds would finally get to throw a party, celebrating his ouster. WE DID IT, AMERICA. And owners would finally have to suck it up and go through the tedious process of finding a new stiff as their frontman.
As of now, this is pretty much the only way that Goodell can lose his job. I mean, if he's not gonna be fired for all the general boobery he just displayed, the only avenue left to his dismissal is being arrested for a violent crime. And that means … we're gonna have to frame him. I'm on it. THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE FOOTBALL IS TO BECOME THE VERY MONSTERS WE DECRY! I see no problem with this approach.
If Pete Rose was made eligible for the Hall of Fame, would he get in on the writers' vote?
No way. Those guys HATE Pete Rose (not an indefensible position, by the way, given that Rose is a complete fucking scumbag), and letting him in would leave them open to charges of inconsistency. You let in Pete Rose, but not Bonds? Shit like that. Baseball writers are obsessed with consistency, to the point where no one will get into the Hall of Fame for the next fucking decade because of it.
When you think about it, a Hall of Fame vote is the only real, tangible, impactful thing a sportswriter can have. Bloviating about sports is an inherently meaningless and disposable endeavor. Take it from me! But the result of a HOF vote has a real and lasting effect on a player's life. That's why baseball and football writers' cherish those votes, along with MVP votes. It's the ONE time their judgment actually matters beyond gratifying their own ego, so they puff that vote up as much as humanly possible. Writers shouldn't be allowed to vote on anything. They shouldn't even be allowed to vote on writing. Writers have awful taste in writing.
So I have a teacher friend that was teaching summer school. He recently texted our group of friends that a kid was reprimanded because he was caught masturbating in school. What percentage of boys leave high school having masturbated there at some point during their academic career (k-12)? What percentage of kids that masturbate in school are caught? How common could this possibly be?
Let's go ahead and rule out boarding schools from this survey, because I went to boarding school, and boarding schools are coated from wall to wall in teenage semen. By the time I had graduated, my dick looked like it had been in a war. And I don't mean that as some kind of twisted brag. It was horrible. I jacked off on someone's doorknob once as a prank. I belong in prison.
If we're talking about a normal high school, there are only a handful of places where you can get away with jerking off. You got the toilet stall. You got under the bleachers. You got the library stacks, if your library is big enough. Maybe the gym showers? Maybe you break into the school during off-hours and bust a nut on the teacher's desk? The average teenager is horny enough to masturbate in all of those places. HOWEVER … there is nothing teenage boys fear more than being caught masturbating. If I wasn't masturbating in school, I was busy figuring out ways to not be caught masturbating. The idea of being caught is enough of a deterrent for lots of boys, provided they can control their urges. I say that 50 percent of boys have masturbated somehow, somewhere in their local high school. The other 50 percent are cowards.
(By the way, I think I've noted this before, but one time I did my business in class in eighth grade. The teacher was showing a filmstrip of something, so I started rubbing the outside of pants until SPLOOOOOSH. At the time, I thought no one had noticed. I'm sure I was wrong. Cleanup was a real bitch.)
I had diarrhea about 20 minutes ago—100 percent brown water. As I write this, I can feel my lower intestine loading the next round. What do you think would happen if I refuse to pull the trigger? If I hold it in long enough, will the liquid eventually mix with something more solid and, subsequently, cease to be diarrhea?
No, you would simply shit yourself. That's what happens. There is no reversing diarrhea with brute fortitude.
Why does a person's cough sound more and more like imminent death the older the person gets? Do the lungs get loose in the chest cavity or something? Some of it maybe can be chalked up to people being less hardy as they age, but I don't think that's all of it. I had dinner with my dad last week, who is in his sixties, but in far better shape than I am. Seriously, he does triathlons and crap like that, and sometimes wins the lower-level ones. But he had a cold, and all I could think about the entire dinner was Val Kilmer hacking up blood into a rag at the end of Tombstone.
It's because old people don't give a shit. If they have to gargle snot in front of you to get relief, they'll do just that, and they won't care how much it horrifies you. I've heard old men at the gym cough and wheeze, and the sound is … it's not even human. It sounds like some kind of alien is being birthed in a lab. It's startling. I will freeze in terror when I hear the sounds. That's just my natural defensive instinct kicking in.
I also think that it's a byproduct of the human voice naturally deepening with old age. It's one of the things about aging I'm looking forward to: I can't wait for my Pacino voice to kick in. I HAD COFFEE WITH MCCAULEY HALF AN HOUR AGO!!!! I bet you get that voice right around 55. When I'm 55, I'm just gonna start yelling at everyone using my old-man power voice.
Taking everything into consideration, do you think we as a society would be better off without the internet?
NO. NOOOOOOOOOO. NO. It's easy to look at YouTube commenters and want to nuke the internet out of existence, but we are still way better off with it than without it. Back when I was a pissboy at an ad agency, we had to run printouts and ZIP disks of new ads over to the client in Pennsylvania. Three fucking hours in a car just to show some brand manager a photo of a Kit Kat. Did that make me a better person? FUCK NO. That made me an angry, bitter person who resented having to go to Pennsylvania every fucking week. You can make more friends thanks to the internet. You find work more easily. You can purge your demons in some BDSM forum without going out and hurting anyone. You can contact people and send them things without burning gas. All of that is good.
I'm all for the occasional digital detox, and making sure your kids don't spend all their time staring at screens and shit. It's like any other technology—cars, planes, genetic engineering—that can make the world better when used responsibly. That won't always be the case, but—pollution aside—I don't think humans would be nicer or better if we all just decided to revert to Stone Age living. People back then were fucking animals. They didn't savor the smell of fresh pine or anything like that.
I'm sitting at the Barnes & Noble café right now trying to get some work done like a dipshit, and this mom gets her two young kids some sugary iced beverages and sits down and gets on her phone. Big surprise, the kids start acting like assholes. The girl is chasing her brother around and screaming. They are kicking each other. She is following the brother around and coughing on him. Every time they sprint passed my table, I am secretly hoping they run into it so I have a reason to tell the mom to handle her kids. They are literally hanging off of her, and she's talking on her phone and ignoring the whole world around her. So here is the question: Fuck the mom for making everyone else's life in the café shitty while she talks to whoever the fuck, or fuck me for being such an asshole because nobody else in the café seems to give a shit?
That's a shit mom, but you get what you get for working in a public space. If you want peace and quiet, you gotta stay home or hit up a library. Otherwise, you are taking your chances with loud kids, smelly hobos, assholes on cell phones, and the rest of life's rich pageant.
I know that working at home isn't always a feasible option for people, but I think a lot of people go work at Starbucks just so they can bitch about people interrupting their work at Starbucks. What did you expect, going there? You are in America's public restroom. Of course people are gonna be fucking annoying. If you're working at a café or something like that, it's because you would like the option of being distracted. You would like to look up occasionally and stare at hot people, or you would like to pause every five minutes to go buy a cake pop. You're looking for new ways to procrastinate. Much better to seal yourself up inside a library, with no hope of human interaction or fresh air!
I am an adult male, and I still get a kick out of watching my car go through the car wash. I look on, judging the workers as to how efficiently they apply the various types of soaps, which are all probably the same, despite the fact that I paid double for the SUPER DELUXE RAIN-KILLER SHINE WASH. (Typical BIG CAR WASH!). I say, "Wow … This is what it must look like from other people's perspective when I am driving my car." I even giggle to myself when the big brushes start doing funny dances. Am I a freak?
Nah. Car washes are still awesome. Someone is taking your car and running through a goddamn obstacle course. It's amazing. YOU SURVIVED THE SPINNING MOPS, CAR. BUT ARE YOU READY FOR THE JET HOSES?! If Abe Lincoln rose from the grave, the car wash is the first place I'd take him to blow his mind. It would take him a week to recover from seeing it. There are certain modern marvels that will always fill me with a sense of awe, and they are listed here:
- Car washes
- Really large ships out on the horizon (OMG BIG BOAT)
- Tall buildings
- Driving on very long bridges
- Cranes (how do they not fall?)
- Airplanes being able to fly
- Really big trains
I took my kid to National Train Day here in D.C., where they open up the tracks at Union Station and let your kid go tromping through all kinds of steam engines and shit. And lemme tell you something: Trains are goddamn impressive. LOOGIT THE BIG CHOOCHOO!
What percentage of males do you think have had sex more times than they've masturbated in their lifetime?
"One hundred percent!"—every Wahlberg.
Seriously though, I think it's probably in the neighborhood of five percent, between religious nuts and porn stars who are able to outwork their own self-gratification. These are men who are either having too much sex or not masturbating enough. Either way, their brains are probably unsound.
Are long snappers even considered linemen by the rest of the O-line? Is Richie Incognito inviting the long snapper along to mandatory strip-club team-building meetings?
No. Long-snappers are special teamers. They fuck off with the punters and holders and kickers at the kiddie table to do their weird drills. All that chummy stuff that o-linemen do—like making some rookie pay for a steak dinner, or having a daisy chain—that's usually limited to the starting five. Everyone else gets treated like dirt.
Let's say Bledsoe never gets hurt in 2001, giving way to Brady. Assume he goes on to play the next three "productive years" in New England instead of Buffalo. Do we ever see the emergence of Tom Brady, arguably one of the greatest QB's ever? Is it possible Brady continues to ride the bench in New England and talent doesn't win out? Does he eventually leave New England thinking (knowing?) he has the talent to start elsewhere? Does he just get tired of the NFL and wash out because his window has closed? Is it possible there is another talent like Brady who never got his chance?
I think Brady would have flourished at some point down the road. He could have simply sat for another three years while Bledsoe slowly flamed out, or he could have moved on to another team with a recommendation from Belichick in his back pocket. Would his career have played out exactly the same way? Of course not. But I think he would have at least emerged and started somewhere, for some undetermined length of time.
And of course, there's probably some unheralded Kurt Warner-type out there who would have blown up if he had just landed in the right town with the right coaches and right skill players and right injury-prone starter in front of him … and then didn't. There has to be. People want to believe that sports are purely a meritocracy, and they aren't. Sometimes, sports are inherently unfair and arbitrary, and people who deserve a shot don't always get one. That's the chip on every ex-athlete's shoulder. Every retired scrub out there thinks he could have been a star if someone had just given him a shot. Do not drink with these people.
What kitchen utensils and appliances are the worst to clean? First on my list is manual potato-mashers, which you either have to soak (does nothing) or take out back and spray with the hose to get everything off. Also, waffle-makers, because batter gets everywhere. Even worse if you try to go blueberry or chocolate chip.
I will always list baby bottles first, because baby bottles were designed by some East German sadist with a rubber-nipple fetish. Anything that requires me to use different kinds of brushes just to clean one thing is a failure of industrial manufacturing. There are also nooks inside baby bottles that cannot be cleaned and never will be cleaned. You can see the yellow curd-rings forming over the course of the bottle's lifetime. My kids are done with bottles (but not sippy cups), and my life is vastly improved because of it.
As for standard dishes, my least favorite thing to clean is a cookie sheet that has lots of shit crusted on it. The sheet is too fucking big for the sink, and so water gets everywhere. Plus I gotta labor over the thing for hours to get all the scum off. Half the time, I just leave black spots on the thing and justify it by thinking they will add flavor to future dishes. Even when I use parchment paper or foil to prevent shit from getting on the cookie sheet, it's not always foolproof. Sometimes chicken grease will leak through. On the rare occasions when it doesn't, I celebrate like I just won an Oscar.
Email of the week!
Let me preface this by saying that I have Crohn's disease, which, for those who don't know, means that 90 percent of my day, I feel like I have to take a shit. Some days, of course, are better than others.
I just visited a few friends in L.A., and they wanted to show me what an L.A. "weed dispensary" was like. We ended up buying a Fruity Pebbles treat (which would probably be delicious and amazing even without the weed), some macaroons, and two brownies. I also wanted to go to some typical trashy L.A. bars just to see if we could find any C- or D-list celebs slumming it on a Friday afternoon, watching some World Cup.
After eating the Fruity Pebbles treat, a macaroon, and a whole brownie, I was feeling pretty good. Now, as everyone says, the thing about L.A. that sucks is the traffic. Everywhere we went, someone had to drive, or get a taxi. I signed up for Uber, because hey, I like using fancy apps and having someone tell me when they're exactly four minutes away from picking me up. So after watching one of the World Cup games, I get the stomach rumbles ... nothing that uncommon, given my Crohn's, but bad enough that I don't want to take a roadie. I check Uber and see that a driver is five minutes away, and that my hotel is about 20 minutes away. I tell my friends I've gotta pass out and get in the Uber. This is where the trouble starts.
Immediately after putting on my seatbelt, I start to sweat and panic. I realize that I probably had too many edibles, and also that a 20-minute ride was going to be about 19 minutes too long. We turn onto one of those awesome L.A. freeways, and all I see are red brake lights in front of us. The Uber driver is trying to tell me about all the cool places in L.A., and how this traffic isn't actually "that bad," but all I can hear are my stomach gurgles and an inner voice that said, "You're not gonna make it." I tell the guy I'm not feeling great, and that maybe we should get off at the next exit so I can use a restroom.
He says sure, but that might take a while, as we're just sitting in unending, unmoving traffic. He offers me a bottle of water, and at this point I think the last thing my body needs is more liquid, given that I'm about to release copious amounts of brown liquid at any moment. Finally, I ask him just to pull over to the right lane. I see there are a few trees, and I can at least duck behind one of them. This guy gives me a few Kleenex and says, "Good luck, buddy." I get out of the car and run behind a tree, where a truly volcanic eruption takes place.
I did well—even in my stoned state, I was able to make sure that my pants and boxers weren't going to get any splashback. Of course, the few Kleenex the guy had given me barely covered what was necessary, but something was better than nothing. Of course, since I'm still pretty messed up, the whole time I keep thinking about how this is Fred Flintstone's fault, since he made the Fruity Pebbles so delicious and enticing in the first place.
I get back in the car and the guy just gives me a look of sheer pity. We drive back to the hotel in silence. Fuck Fred Flintstone.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Image by Jim Cooke.