FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering weird TV people, jock strap games, chapped lips, boner grinding, and more.

Your letters:

Matt:

What percent of NFL players don't really want to make the playoffs? It's extra work, more practices, more hits on the body, more time away from their families, little extra money. You can't tell me that every player on a 9-7 team is dying for his team to snag that last Wild Card spot.

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What about the journeyman guys who are on the verge of free agency—wouldn't some of them rather reduce their injury risk by missing the playoffs? Or do they all think they can make a playoff run and unexpectedly star in the Super Bowl and then get signed to a huge contract by the Raiders?

This article from CBS sports last January has the full breakdown of playoff bonuses for NFL players:

Pay scale

Wild Card game (division winners): $23,000

Wild Card game (non-division winners): $21,000

Divisional playoff game: $23,000

Conference championship game: $42,000

Super Bowl winning team: $92,000

Super Bowl losing team: $46,000

Now, these bonuses don't include any of the potential elevator clauses that an individual contract may include for playoff performance, but still: These figures are embarrassing. Think of the millions upon millions of dollars that owners get in playoff revenue. Yet, come playoff time, they get to pay a flat salary to every single player, even the quarterbacks. One pod of Super Bowl advertising can pay the bonuses for every man on both teams playing in the game. That's fucking crazy.

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The $20+K bonus and TV exposure you get for playing in a Wild Card game is significant enough for a lot of low-round guys and journeyman free agents to go out there and try. And I think most guys who make it to the pros are naturally competitive people who want to win a championship regardless of pay. But Jesus, these people shouldn't have to be paid in intangibles. It's not an internship. If I were a Pro Bowl running back in a contract year, I don't think I'd be heartbroken if we somehow blew the six seed to Baltimore. They gotta pay these guys more.

Anon:

I'm a senior in high school, and our Homecoming is coming up. It is pretty trashy with lots of grinding/butt dancing. That said, is it good or bad to get a boner when grinding with a girl? Would it make things awkward or please the girl?

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I think it all depends on how well you know the girl in question, and if she happens to be in the mood for boners. Like, if you're with your girlfriend at a club and you're dancing real hot and you're turned on, and she's turned on that you're turned on … THAT'S GOOD BONER TIME. But if you're Arnold Poindexter, and some girl you barely know is nice enough to give you a little grind, and you're frotting the shit out of her within seconds … she'll probably be pissed. As always, your success as a teenage boy will be entirely dependent on your ability to read cryptic, unspoken facial and body cues from the girls around you. And then you'll fuck up, be branded a creep, and spend the next five years wallowing in your own misery as jocks around you somehow get laid despite being boorish pricks NO I'M NOT BITTER.

Anyway, only grind your boner into someone who trusts your boner implicitly.

Jake:

What's worse, a dry nose or dry lips?

Lips. Chapped lips are the worst. And what's really terrible about them is that they spring up instantly, when you aren't prepared AT ALL for them. I walked outside for three minutes the other day, and by the time I got to my car, my lips looked like Ronald McDonald's after a week in the desert. I had to buy an emergency ChapStick. I have a drawer full of 10 emergency ChapSticks, each of which I was compelled to buy because I forgot to bring the last emergency ChapStick with me.

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When I was kid, my lips would get chapped all the time. I've told this story before, but it got so bad that my mom bought an extra-strength balm called Lycell and made me use it. When you put it on, it made your lips deathly white, and so all the kids on the bus would see my white lips and start goofing on me and accusing me of having herpes. And I did that thing you do when you're a kid being picked on by the rest of the bus: I would turn to the window and slump in my seat, as if to disappear into the space between the cushions. So whenever I get chapped lips now, not only does it hurt my lips, but is also hurts MY INNER CHILD. At camp, this one older kid who had it in for me kept calling me "Choplicker." I hope that kid is dead now. Chapped lips suck.

And wind-burned lips are even worse. You're 10,000 feet up on a mountain when suddenly your lips have third-degree burns on them. Good thing I'm not wearing a scarf that feels like a thousand needle-puncture wounds every time it grazes my face!

Jordan:

The Cowboys have Jason Garrett, DeMarco Murray, and Dez Bryant all now essentially free agents. They all of course want to get paid, and the Cowboys are obviously beholden to cap restrictions. But what's to stop local Dallas businesses from giving these players extra money, outside of their salaries, to stay in the market? Surely some DFW billionaires can scrounge up an extra $5 million/year to have Dez Bryant be the face of their oil or tech company in exchange for those players sticking around? Are their rules in place to prevent that?

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It would be legal so long as the Cowboys didn't facilitate the deal, or so long as Jerry Jones didn't hold some back-room meeting with Big Ed's Brisket Barn where they tacitly agreed to use the joint as a front for under-the-table bonuses. I live in the D.C. area, and they will stick a Skins player in any local ad here, because the fans are such suckers. It's hilarious. "Hi, I'm former defensive end Charles Mann, and I'd like to tell you about Northern Virginia's premier toe-ring distribution center!" I bet players hate RG3 because he hoards all the local ad money and doesn't spread that shit around.

I have to think that players talk amongst themselves about this sort of thing. Surely, their agents have tipped them off as to which local markets are ripe for Eastern Motors endorsement cash, and which are useless. And I'm sure Jerry Jones has extolled the side benefits of being a Cowboy to numerous free agents and draftees. "See now, JR's RVs could use a handsome new spokesman such as yourself. PLUS I'LL BUY YOU PUSSY YEEEEEHAWWWWWW!!!" They could probably try to engineer an unspoken agreement with some of these local companies to pony up a lucrative side-endorsement contract for Dez or DeMarco. The only problem is that your average local business owner is a cheapskate shitbag (even the rich ones; especially the rich ones) and will only pay in used recliners. It's not as fertile a market as you might think.

Matthew:

Assuming there are no alternatives, and you don't grow mint or some other stupid fucking weird plant in your backyard, would you rather live without toilet paper or toothpaste?

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Toilet paper. As protective as I am with regards to my anus and genitalia, I don't want tooth problems for the rest of my life. Ever have a real tooth problem? It's expensive and painful and requires 87 different appointments with dentists and oral surgeons and periodontists and maxiofacial globotomists. I had to get a crown for one of my teeth this summer*, and it sucked, and that's just ONE tooth. I would skip the toilet paper, keep my precious toothpaste, and hop into the shower after every bowel movement. It's probably not all that sanitary to wipe your ass with dry toilet paper anyway.

*I had to get root canal prior to getting the crown, and I was terrified, because I had never had one before. At this point, people use a root canal as a base unit of measurement for anything that is inordinately long and painful. Anyway, I go to the root-canal dude, and he tells me that the procedure isn't as bad as its reputation. Then he throws on some Gipsy Kings and finishes my shit in under an hour. He even SANG along, and I was so doped up that I didn't really mind. When I went back to the regular dentist and told him that my root canal went fine, the dentist asked, "Did he sing?" And I was like HOLY SHIT YEAH DOES HE DO THAT WITH EVERYONE? Anyway, I would recommend the singing-root-canal guy.

Tom:

What would happen if a video surfaced of Mike Vick killing dogs from back in 2005? People know that he did this, and he served his time, etc., but you have to think seeing him actually kill animals would cause outrage even beyond that from the Ray Rice video. Do the Jets cut him? Does Goodell suspend him "in light of new information"?

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Vick is technically a free agent now that the season is over. So I think that, if an old video surfaced of him killing dogs, the scandal would get a second life in the news cycle (the TV news cycle, that is … if you read anything about Vick online these days, there will still be commenters demanding he be dragged to hell in chains for what he did), and he'd probably be rendered unemployable, if that wasn't already the case. Chances are, Michael Vick's career is over anyway. I know there are a lot of teams out there that have dire issues at quarterback and could use a backup, but I don't know who's gonna pony up a few million for a 35-year-old Vick when they can probably find someone who's younger and cheaper.

Five years from now, we'll probably get some sober "30 for 30" documentary on Vick with talking heads being like, "People don't understand how freakish of an athlete he was" when everyone has known for a very long time how freakish of an athlete he was. It's a lock. He'll get docufied into immortality.

Peter:

If a legendary American president like Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt reappeared in society today (kind of a Christ-like second coming) but still had to go through the normal electoral process, would he win?

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No. Teddy Roosevelt actually ran for a third term in office after four years off the job and got crushed in the election. So just because you are a revered olde tymey president doesn't mean that you can just assume victory is well in hand. YOU NEED A GROUND GAME. What if Slate unearths all the old racist terms you used back in the day because that was the style at the time? What if Zombie TR eschews a spin team and gets up onstage at his first rally and declares, "We shall spill the blood of a MILLION Japs to secure the South China Sea as our own!"? What if Tea Party nutjobs turn on Lincoln because he started the War of Nuhhhthun Aggression? What if people see this picture of TR killing an elephant? You can kiss the soccer-mom vote goodbye, brotherman.

Everyone would be super jazzed to vote for Zombie TR for the first nine days of his resurrection, and then we would put him into the electoral process and slowly pick him apart until he was just as tiresome and undesirable as every other candidate. Gotta master that social media if you're gonna be a successful Zombie Ex-President.

HALFTIME!

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Mark:

Don't you think it is time to upgrade tombstones a little bit? I feel like we shouldn't be spending thousands of dollars on caskets that get buried underground and instead invest in the part of the burial we do see: the tombstone. That thing should have a screen on it like blimps have, saying awesome stuff about the deceased person and cool videos.

Yeah, but then you have to wire it and pay the electric bill for it and pay the undertaker to wipe the screen daily with Windex so that cemetery visitors can check out all the yearbook quotes your corpse has in rotation. No relative should be forced to pay for that kind of upkeep. I would dig up my parents and re-kill them if they made that kind of posthumous demand.

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Frankly, I'm amazed people still pony up for fancy caskets and shit. You have to have a lot of blind faith in something if you believe a corpse needs to eternally rest inside an enclosed waterbed. It should illegal to trick people into paying $8,000 for a deluxe funeral casket that probably isn't even biodegradable. You may as well cut out the middleman and just bury the cash, so that I can go on a treasure hunt and recover the loot personally.

When I die, I want them to send my corpse to a medical school so that students can play catch with my spleen. I've heard they'll even cremate you for free. I hope my kids use the money they save on burial for beer. And if they ever want to visit me, they can go to my dormant Facebook feed and leave a comment alongside all the neo-Nazi troll comments and boner spam. A tombstone is just for GLORY BOYS who can't stomach the idea of being forgotten.

Conor:

Suppose William McKinley survives his assassination attempt, and Teddy Roosevelt never becomes president, or, at the very least, the impact of his eventual presidency is lessened to the point where he is not a candidate to be on Mt. Rushmore. Which president before him goes up in his place?

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Completion of the memorial was finished in 1941, which means that a lot of obvious modern candidates like FDR (who was in office at the time—can't go ordering your own face carved into a mountain when you're still the guy in charge) and JFK hadn't served in office yet. Assuming Zombie TR doesn't return and make a strong third-party run, that leaves you with notables like Woodrow Wilson (won World War I), John Adams (founding father), James Monroe (ditto), or James Madison (ditto, plus his wife made tasty snack cakes). Pretty boring list of choices. No wonder they put Ben Franklin on money. He's way more interesting than any of those guys. We need more historic figures who hosted hooker orgies and went fishing for lightning.

Brad:

Would it be possible to be successfully trained to be a brain surgeon without going to college, and using nothing but on-the-job training? Let's assume that you would have a solid two-three years of hands-on experience under the watchful eye of a board-certified surgeon, and he/she would show you everything they know.

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No, because you would know how to do certain brain-surgery things, but you wouldn't understand WHY you were doing them. That's kind of important if things should go wrong, and I assume that not every brain surgery goes according to plan. ("Whoa, how did this guy get a dildo stuck in here?!") This is especially true if you've only been hanging around Dr. Headinjury for just three years. That's NOTHING in terms of medical education. Like, maybe you know how to saw open a head, and root around in the goo for tumors and stuff, and then stitch it back up. But if your patient suddenly starts braying like a sheep because you touched the wrong part of his cerebellum, and you need to reverse the sheep effect so that he talks normal, you probably need to have a thorough education in anatomy and biochemistry to understand what is going on and how you can fix it. Otherwise, it's nothing but sheep people wandering out of your operating room and stack of malpractice suits headed your way.

My neighbor is a brain surgeon. The real deal. And sometimes I'll see him come home from work early in the morning. He's spent all night putting people's brains back together. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out if toothpaste is more important than toilet paper. If an asteroid is about to hit earth and the president decides to hoard the most worthy citizens onto his secret space station (you know he has one), I already know: The neighbor is making it, and I am shit outta luck.

John:

What are the odds that people like Sarah Palin, David Letterman, and anyone who has been parodied in a porn watches that porn regularly? I could totally see Palin strapping up and sodomizing Todd with the Nailin Palin series on a loop. What goes through their heads? Are they proud? Ashamed? Turned on?

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People who are that famous tend to be shameless egomaniacs who gleefully digest anything that's ever been written or said about them. So yes, I'm sure someone sent Sarah Palin that Lisa Ann movie as a joke gift, and then she laughed it off, and then she found a moment alone to throw the movie on and jack herself off with a spatula. And now she has made a nightly ritual of it. That's what I do if someone made a porn about me. It would be a dream come true: to have your own porn without the risk/embarrassment of being in it personally. "Oh man, look at ME! I'm having sex on camera. Go, me! FAPFAPFAPFAP." They should have a luxury service where they film your own parody porn for you, with impersonators and everything. I'd pay at least four dollars for it.

Jeff:

Hannah Storm tweeted the reason for stiff-arming her makeup artist was because the makeup artist (a close friend of hers—see how she mingles with the small folk?) would have been in major trouble if she were to be seen on air. What type of punishment do you think ESPN hands out to makeup artists and other "non-talent" types who expose their secret identities on air?

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I assume you get fired. Or maybe you get one more chance before they say to you, "No, for real this time: You're fired." I was in the FOX control room once for FOX NFL Sunday because I was doing this profile of Jay Glazer, and those little on-air goofs get magnified 50,000 percent by TV people. When I was in the room, there was some dead air for a bit, and the producer shouted, "Guys! That was HORRIBLE! Fuck! You can't get that wrong!" And he was really shouting. Standard behavior in the TV universe. It's like working in a restaurant kitchen. People scream and curse and throw shit, and they've all been doing it for so long that it seems perfectly normal. No one batted an eyelash.

It's funny because those little fuckups are charming, and TV could probably use more of them. Howard Stern made an entire career out of taking advantage of those goofs, and yet modern newscasts are still presented in such an artificial manner that they seem divorced from reality entirely. I mean, for real, how normal of a conversation can you have while you're sitting at fucking five-man desk with a suit on? I'm not saying everyone should sit on couches and act like this is the BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW. But a lot of this stuff feels canned and useless. Watch any NFL pregame show, and you'll see one dude make his little spiel, and then it's the next guy's turn, and then it's the next guy's turn, and then we go back to JB giving you the Dr. Hibbert chuckle and telling you what's up next. It's fucking wallpaper. A makeup artist rushing in with emergency eyeliner is the most exciting thing to ever happen on a lot of those shows. If only they could swear and drink beer during the telecast, and then it would be REAL, MANNNNNNN. I'm sure no one has pitched this idea.

Dan:

Don't you get the feeling that some of these actors/actresses getting choked up during the NFL domestic-violence commercials might be ... acting? I realize how sensitive of a topic it is, but could that many of them really be getting that worked up as they go to film a 20-second spot?

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Of course they're acting. They were hired for that very reason. I have nothing against actors coming in and doing what they were trained to do, even if watching Hilary Swank try to work up human tears for 30 seconds is awkward as hell. I have a feeling that lady can only emote when she's pretending to be a different person. I don't like the spots because they're a transparent attempt by the NFL to get into Roger Goodell's infamous "domestic violence space." But if some airhead actor wants the job (by union rules, they almost certainly had to be paid for the work … Swank probably worked for scale as an act of charity), that's fine by me.

The best is watching the players try to act in those spots. I guarantee you that no one told Eli that he was gonna be in a PSA. They just hauled him up in front of a white scrim, asked him the square root of nine, and let the cameras roll from there.

Email of the week! Reader John sends in two stories showcasing the depravity of man:

Greyhound Races:

My father graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958. Company commanders would "muzzle" up the plebes in game-worn jock straps in the showers, putting the jocks over their faces like greyhounds and put them on all fours in a line of six to eight people making them "run" around a track in the showers for elimination rounds of "greyhound races." The "jockeys" would encourage their "dogs" to move faster with rat tails, a rolled-up towel with water dipped on the end, snapped right on the backside of the participant.

Space Invaders:

Our college-hockey initiation was to dress down to just a jock and cup, with the 10 of us freshman lined up against a brick wall. The seniors would scrunch up their tape balls (athletic tape and gauze pressed together to create the firmness of a hockey puck) and create a firing line. Like the characters in the video game Space Invaders, we had to systemically move back in forth with our shoulders hunched up and down while moving side to side. Seniors would fire tape balls at us, giving us massive welts. If you cringed, you stayed on for another round. You got eliminated after your third hit, and those left had to move faster side-to-side like the game. They kept score on fastest time and highest score. You got 5x points by "ringing the bell," meaning hitting someone square in the nuts.

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Man, guys are weird when they're alone together.


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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Art by Sam Woolley.

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