Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering flags, Ballghazi, hitmen, and more.

Your letters:

Joe:

If you lost an eye, would you go patch or glass eye (or prosthetic eye, ocular prosthesis, or whatever is the acceptable term)? I say patch. I would rather know people were thinking, “How did he lose that eye ... was it a freak fireworks accident? A knife fight? Malfunctioning framing nailer? Sweet patch!” than to wonder if they knew my eye was glass or just a lazy eye.

I’m taking the glass eye, because wearing an eyepatch looks uncomfortable for long stretches. It’s like walking around with half an airplane sleep mask on. What if it itches? What if it slips off? How would you notice? It’s not worth all that upkeep just so you can walk around thinking of yourself as a pirate assassin.

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In general, it’s better to be inconspicuous. Sure, some days it’s nice to walk around in a suit and an eyepatch, looking like a soap opera villain and referring to yourself as “Cutthroat Joe.” But what if you want to just duck into a drugstore and buy lubricant without people wondering, Hey, what’s eyepatch guy gonna do with that? You want the option of being able to hide. Hiding is useful sometimes. People with eyepatches and ear gauges and face tats* and horn implants … they can’t hide. They’re screwed.

So I would take the glass eye. People only notice it if you look them in the eye, and I never look anyone in the eye when I’m out doing errands. I’m staring at the floor the whole time when I’m talking to the kitchen-cabinet salesman. Yes, yes, tell me more about the tray loader … no, I will not look at you, or else you will own my soul. And if I feel like being noticed, I can whip the glass eye out at parties and scare the shit out of kids with it by hiding it in the jelly-bean dish.

(*I wonder if anyone has gotten a tattoo of an eyepatch. All of the piracy with none of the slippage.)

Matthew:

The best outcome to Ballghazi would be for the Pats to start Brady in week 1 and dare Goodell to do something about it. Just have Brady go full Costanza and trot out for the first series like nothing happened. If they’re looking at a possible 0-4 anyway, why not just play Brady all four weeks and dare Goodell to make them forfeit the games? I know Kraft would never allow it, and the refs would probably just refuse to blow the whistle and start the clock, but it would be the absolute ultimate “fuck you.”

Yeah, but Goodell is a closet sadist and would relish the chance to dock the Patriots a first rounder and $2 million for every game in which they defy the suspension. He probably writes those official discipline letters in the nude. Anyway, he would just punish the Pats over and over until they finally gave in. It’s a depressing thought, but everyone falls in line eventually, which is why you don’t see players ignoring suspensions on a regular basis. Ultimately, they know they’re powerless to resist. All this bitching and moaning that players and us LIBRUL MEDIA folk do about Goodell? In the end, it’s worthless. It’s all easily ignored. It accomplishes nothing. Goodell can do whatever the fuck he wants, and does.

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And the Patriots wouldn’t do this anyway now that shitfaced Bob Kraft has already made his whole public spiel about THE GREATER GOOD and not appealing the penalties because he cares just too damn much about the other 31 owners. Like the NFL is a fucking kindergarten classroom. “Okay, Clark Hunt can be line leader today.”

Leigh:

Our five-year reunion is in two weeks. Did you go to your five-year?

YES. Go to the five-year reunion, because everyone at the five-year reunion is still single and still an alcoholic and still trying to get laid. Everyone is more attractive at the five-year reunion. Everyone is happier. Everyone looks different, but in a good way. You’ll be like, “Goddamn, Becky Hupsman looks GREAT!” And then you’ll try to hook up with her and fail, and then all your teenage self-loathing will come rushing back in a mighty tide. It’s the BEST. Anyway, savor the five-year reunion, because people only get fatter and balder from there. People start bringing kids to those things. Who brought that kid? I’m trying to get shitfaced here, man. Get the talisman of old age out of my goddamn face.

By the way, it’s a BLAST to go your spouse’s reunion. Any reunion. There’s no angst. No flashbacks. You don’t know anyone. You’re the new blood. You’re the hero who made an honest man/woman out of Daisy “The Horndog” Hornberg. Plus, you get to dig up all kinds of dirt on your spouse. “Oh, wow, she never told me about the time she took a shit on the dean’s patio.” If you need a date to your reunion, call me up. I’ll be there.

Erix:

When I’m done pooping at the office, when do I flush? Do I do it right when I stand up, or do I wait until my pants are done back up and my shirt is tucked in? I flush right away, but I fear others wonder why I linger in the stall for another minute or so afterwards.

I usually flush last. I stand up, I examine the damage I did to the toilet, I buckle up my pants, and THEN I flush. I don’t worry what other people think of me waiting to flush, because I am in the stall, and the stall is my happy place. No one can hurt me.

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The only time I flush right away is if I know I got the stinkfinger and have poop on my hands (happens more often than I would like), and I know I have to wash the poop off before I touch my pants, or else I’ll have poop on my pants. In a public toilet, this is a fucking nightmare. At home, it’s a simple matter of washing my hands while my dick is still out.

As for your office, you probably have an autoflush anyway. The choice has been taken out of your hands: You stand up, and it flushes. Kind of un-American, when you think about it.

Brendan:

How many professional hitmen are there in the U.S.? Guys (or gals!) whose primary occupation is contract killing. I’m thinking 10 to 20. Probably almost all recent Russian immigrants, if movies are any indication.

Primary occupation? Not including military subcontractor personnel? Zero. There are zero active, suave hitmen in America. They don’t walk around your city wearing Armani suits, carrying a leather briefcase housing a laser-scope rifle, calmly sneaking into a nightclub and perching themselves up on a lighting catwalk, ready to take people out. Those people are fictional. In fact, the average “professional hitman” is probably a stool pigeon. If someone offers to kill someone for you, they’re wired. And your ass is going to jail.

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In 21st-century America, you can’t make a living exclusively on murdering people for hire. Oh sure, there are shitbags out there who will kill for money. But those are not assassins. Those are shitbags. Killing is just one nefarious deed they will perform for cash. They’ll also assault people, break into places, and poop on your ex-wife’s windshield. Contract killing is strictly a freelance operation. No one’s out there earning benefits and 401k packages just from this kind of work. You have to be more diverse than that. You need to be good at kidnapping, and arson, and insurance fraud, and cooking meth. So if you’re sending a resume to Deadspin, you better have more than just a few murders to your name. Your resume will go right into the trash if that’s the case.

John:

Why can’t the cities of America take over their sports franchises? Wouldn’t cities make millions of dollars a year?

They can’t do that because that is COMMUNISM, by God. In fact, the NFL has explicit rules against any other city trying to pull a Green Bay and purchasing its own NFL team. Back in the early ‘90s, the Vikings were owned by a collective of 10 rich dudes, which the NFL was not at all happy about. It makes succession complicated. That’s part of the reason why, in 2015, the majority owner of an NFL team must be an individual. Not only that, but the majority-owning individual only needs to own a 30 percent stake in the franchise. In other words, the NFL not only prefers individual owners, but they prefer individual owners who take on an INSANE amount of debt, and are often incentivized to relive that debt by bilking your local town for stadium money … the very same city that the NFL forbids from owning your team outright. And that is why America is the bestest, freest country in the world.

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By the way, even though it’s a swell idea in theory, your city would thoroughly fuck up your favorite team if they managed to buy it. Have you met your local government? If D.C. purchased the ‘Skins, players would have to fill out seven different applications and pay a $50 fee just to get a fresh towel. The Packers are an exception in every possible way when it comes to municipal sports ownership.

Gabriel:

Which state has the most insane obsession with a particular high school sport? Texas football? Minnesota hockey? Indiana basketball? Florida vehicular manslaughter?

I grew up in Minnesota, and even though high school hockey there is fucking huge (for real, if you played hockey in high school, you were treated like a stud), I have a hard time believing it beats out Texas when it comes to high school sports lunacy. I mean, they’re building 30,000-seat stadiums for that shit. That state has no money and no water, but high schools will gladly scrounge up $40 million to have a football stadium with a Pizza Hut booth. It’s a cult. It’s like the Duggar family in sports form. I’ll never understand it. If you aren’t a student or a parent, I can’t fathom giving half a shit about the local high school football team. Why would I watch a bunch of moron kids fuck up every third play when I can watch the pros on TV? People who are super into high school sports creep me out. They’re diddlers.

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(By the way, I’ve said this before, but when I went to college in Maine, people there were fucking NUTS about girl’s high school basketball. They preempted TV programming for it. You’d be watching some show, and all of a sudden a fucking Nard would be doing play-by-play being like, AH YAH A FINE PLAY THEY-AH BY CINDY BLAWDGETT. Maine is the netherworld.)

HALFTIME!

Omar:

What is better, being a movie or a TV actor? I’m not talking about the A-listers, but average actors.

If you have a family and you genuinely care about that family (I assume most actors don’t), I assume TV work is better, because it’s usually local, and because it’s relatively secure as acting jobs go. You still need to work 20 hours a day, but at least a Teamster drives you back to your bed at the end of it. On a movie, you could be stuck in, like, a desert for two months. Every movie actor is like, “It was like camp!” whenever they shoot a movie in a remote location, when you know damn well they hated every second of it.

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In general, acting is a fucking awful job. You’re a prop. You gotta get up at an unholy hour, and then stand around forever until it’s your time to act, and then the script changes at the last second, and then the director makes you do 50 takes while giving you some vague instruction about how to do it differently. The set is either 100 degrees or four degrees. And then the paparazzi try to get dick pics of you. It’s a horrible job, and you don’t even get to complain about it, because the pay is often good, and because many stupid people out there all want to be movie stars. Never act. Most actors want to direct, because they know acting is shitty.

Luke:

Am I allowed, in 2015, to be mad about a trendy/casual restaurant not giving me a free refill? Or should I just be an adult and not drink 17 Diet Cokes during dinner?

The worst is when the waiter offers you a refill and you timidly say YES even though you have no idea whether or not the refill is free. I never ask, because I don’t want to look like a cheapskate. And then the bill comes for six iced teas, and I curse myself for not working up the nerve to inquire.

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The rule is that the more expensive a restaurant is, the less likely it is to offer free refills. When you go to Per Se and get a Coke, they don’t direct you to a soda fountain. You get imported Mexican Coke in an air-chilled snifter with a cube of liquid nitrogen ice and it will set you back $15. For one. No refills. It’s enraging. You already made the agreement to have the joint rob you blind the second you walked in the door.

Roehl:

What if we limit passing to once per first down? You get to try to pass once after the start of a drive and once after every first down. You don’t get to save up attempts. I think this will encourage long passes and emphasize running. Good idea for football? Where do I pick up my medal?

You’ve seen Marty Schottenheimer run a team, right? He basically followed that rule even though it wasn’t necessary. Not the most scintillating brand of football. If you use your one pass on first or second down, then you have no choice but to run on third. No OC would ever pass on first or second down as a result. It would be brutal to watch. If anything, it would be better to limit running the ball to a single down per first down. There’s nothing worse than watching some team that can’t run the ball for shit try to run the ball. It’s agony. Draft any Rams running back for a demonstration of this.

Jeff:

I had my first kid recently and also ripped a pair of jeans recently. So I go to Express to get new jeans, because that’s where I always went for jeans. But I see now their jeans are over $80! I can’t afford that! So I end up getting jeans at Kohls for $20. That’s when I thought about the stuff my dad wears. I thought he loved dad clothes and dad sneakers, but the truth is he must have had a bunch of nice stuff, but then I came along, and then my brother ... I guess I don’t have a question. I’m so tired.

Yeah, dad jeans are strictly the byproduct of A) saving money, and B) you no longer giving a crap. Why do I need to look good anymore? Who am I trying to impress? How will dropping $200 on a pair of Mavis help me get laid? HAGGAR KHAKIS FOR ME, GANG. The other day, I took my kid to the bus stop while wearing socks and flip flops. Just an utter abomination. Did I care? No. I have three kids. I am tired. Mock my striped polo shirt all you like. I tried looking for nice clothes a while back, but nice clothes cost a fortune and are designed for tiny people. No dad is spending money on clothes when the house still needs a decent surround-sound system. You have to prioritize.

Tim:

How do people manage to have so much food in their refrigerators? Mine is practically 25 percent full at all times, and I still end up throwing shit away after about three days. I have friends who have refrigerators where food practically falls out whenever you open the door. How do they eat it so fast without it going bad? What am I doing wrong? Am I missing something when it comes to cold storage? I feel like I’m not a full-fledged adult until I can jam-pack that thing with as much grub as I can and not have even a single carrot stick go bad.

Are you single? If you’re single, your fridge will be barren, because the only person you need to feed is you. If you are my mother, on the other hand, your fridge will be stuffed like a goddamn Thanksgiving turkey, because you have to feed your family, AND you have to have a surplus of food ready at all times in case an emergency funeral happens or something. I can’t even poke around in my mom’s fridge, because she’ll cut me with a knife if I fuck up the placement of everything inside. All I wanted was some turkey, Ma. I’m not trying to cause any trouble.

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Anyway, don’t concern yourself with all that empty fridge space for now. That’s good beer real estate. When you’re a bachelor, your fridge can be 80 percent beer. It’s wonderful. Then you get married and have kids, and the beer gets exiled. I can only fit, like, three cans in there at a time now. The rest of the fridge is reserved for yogurt. Why do we have so much goddamn yogurt? I resent the presence of all this yogurt.

Tyler:

My coworker was born and raised in China and came to the U.S. four years ago. I have taken it upon myself to start Americanizing/Westernizing him a little more day by day. I asked him today if he was a Beatles fan, and he replied that he heard they were good and intended to give them a listen in the future, adding that he really liked their song “Hotel California.” He asked me to put together something for him to listen to. Would a greatest-hits album do this trick, or is this a cop out?

If you’re trying to Westernize him, aren’t the Beatles a little bit old? He’s not gonna fit in if he’s hanging out at the bar being like, “So, how about those Beatles! PRETTY CURRENT, EH GUYS?!” You should be subjecting him to something newer and vastly more terrible, like Imagine Dragons or something. He can have the same awful taste as everyone else if he’s listening to Imagine Dragons.

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Anyway, if you’re trying to make him a Beatles fan anyway, it’s okay to give him a greatest-hits album. Give him the red one. It has all the early hits (“Love Me Do,” etc.), so he can get into the Beatles the same way Americans got into them five decades ago. Then he can get into the weirder stuff if he feels like it, and then he can venture into other bands and experience the evolution of pop music at warp speed. If he’s a quick learner, he’ll be into the new Kanye stuff within weeks. He’ll be PRODUCING it himself. Music is fun that way.

William:

What would happen if the NFL (or other leagues) decided to enforce the ridiculous disclaimer during every game that says, “Accounts and descriptions of today’s game without the NFL’s consent is prohibited?” It always strikes me as so arrogant.

That disclaimer is really meant to protect the broadcast rights of the NFL and its partners, so that you can’t do your own radio broadcast of the game as it happens live (“And there’s a pick by Eli … God, why is Eli such a fucking moron, guys?”) and profit from that pirate broadcast. Of course, the language they use to claim ownership of it goes WAY beyond anything that’s reasonable or enforceable. But that’s the NFL for you. They attempt to own everything first, and then work backwards from there. There’s no possible way that the NFL can legally forbid “descriptions” of the game, like a tweet or a recap that gets posted online after it’s over. If they did, public outrage would shut them up quickly. I’m sure there have been many internal discussions over at league headquarters about forbidding tweeting about games and shit. And I’m sure Roger Goodell has considered having you killed for making that one Vine.

Grant:

Where does the U.S. flag rank relative to other world flags, aesthetically? I like the Scandinavian flags, and Chile’s flag (aka Lite American Flag).

Our flag is awesome. Consider the stars and stripes versus the flags of most major European nations. I can’t even tell them apart. They all have three stripes, man. We have THIRTEEN. We win the stripes arms race handily. Europe can suck it. Plus you can use our flag motif for other things—hockey masks, truck wraps, cakes, etc.—and it’ll look cool. You can’t do that with the French flag. That would look boring as hell.

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Not to say that we have the absolute best flag. Bhutan’s flag had a goddamn dragon on it. Hard to beat a dragon flag. And the Union Jack is fantastic, especially if you’re watching any classic Def Leppard video. Here’s how I would rank the Top 10 flags:

1. Bhutan

2. U.K.

3. USA

4. Jamaica

5. Canada

6. Nepal (it’s pointy!)

7. Saudi Arabia (it has a sword!)

8. Pakistan (it was a moon!)

9. The old USSR flag (they should have kept it)

10. Barbados (it has a trident!)

Kellen:

Is it strange for a grown man to take himself for ice cream in public? Without being accompanied by a date or child? I say it is, but a friend says it’s normal. What about other treats like candy? What treats are acceptable for a grown man to eat in public?

Whenever I go on a business trip, I buy myself a milkshake. This is because milkshakes are good, and I don’t give a shit if the world finds out and thinks I’m a dipshit because of it. One time, I was so hard up for one that I took a cab to a nearby ice cream joint. I was the only person alone there. Everyone else was parents and kids, probably wondering why I grown man was treating himself to ice cream. But all I wanted was a shake, man. This persecution must END.

Email of the week!

JG:

Is there any more terrifying work situation than when an IT guy tunnels in and takes remote control of your computer? “Oh, this will only take about 30 minutes to an hour. Please hold off on using your machine during this time. Thanks!”

Helplessly watching as the cursor darts across your monitor, clicking in registry files that you didn’t even know were there. Feverishly Googling the tools he’s using to see what they do.

What the fuck is he doing in the command prompts!??!?! Is my machine logging my keystrokes??!?!?!! OHGODWHATIFTHEYSEEICLICKEDASEXYFRIDAYPOSTONTHECORPORATENETWORK!?!??!?!

Inexplicable horrors.

Sounds about right.


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 order Drew’s book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

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