Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering LeBron and Kate, toilet coffee, jar monkeys, and more.
Did TCU get fucked over?
Yep. Baylor also got fucked over, and I will let you Big 12 loyalists out there debate over which one got fucked the hardest (I love the phrase "body of work" used on CFB arguments, like TCU just composed a series of operettas). Frankly, I'm surprised that U-Texas didn't make a few threatening phone calls to just grab the fourth playoff spot for themselves. "Put us in there or we'll bolt to the AAC NYEEEEEHAWWWWW!11!!1!!!11!!!"
But this is the beauty of having a college football playoff. I think that there are people who wanted this playoff to exist under the impression that it would be FAIRER, and that fewer teams would get fucked over. But that's not how college football works. The industry of college football is built ENTIRELY on people fucking other people over. Conferences fuck over other conferences. Coaches fuck over schools. Committees fuck over players. Players fuck over the pizza guy when he asks for a tip. Everyone gets fucked over, and the playoff only AMPLIFIES all of the fucking-over going on.
This is all by design. Before this playoff existed, BCS advocates cited the controversy generated by the system as one of its selling points: The idea is that fucking people over helps draw more attention to the sport, and that's somehow GOOD. So the playoff has been set up with that in mind. Of course they only have four teams. And of course there's a super-secret 12-person committee that decides this shit over a tasteful lunch spread. And of course they switched in one of the most storied programs in the nation at the last moment and fucked over two Johnny-Come-Latelies in the process. If that wasn't done deliberately, then the system was deliberately set up to ALLOW something like this to happen. In college football, you get bonus points for being a brand name, and you get whored for being some random-ass joint like TCU. That corruption is baked into the system no matter what kind of postseason format they dream up.
And now that there's a playoff (which, for the record, I like), they can get away with even more egregious horseshit, because a month from now, no one will really care about TCU or Baylor getting locked out. A team like Bama will win it all, and it will be convincing, and all that braying from the Big 12 will cease to be endearing. That's how it works. I just hope that, five years from now, they create a football NIT to really drive home the insignificance of being a bubble team.
What sports story could ever possibly upstage the Super Bowl and force ESPN to begin that Sunday night's edition of SportsCenter with something other than the Super Bowl itself? I have to think it'd have to be something totally horrifying, like if an entire NBA team perished in a plane crash or if Derek Jeter (or a figure of similar stature) had been arrested for murder.
Yeah. I think both of those things would probably do it. Any tragic story that has broader impact on the world at large would force ESPN to do a solemn two-minute opening ("But we begin tonight on a tragic note, with the horrifying murder-suicide of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick") before cutting to Berman at the site of the Super Bowl, yukking it up as if nothing has happened.
But outside of mass tragedy, I don't think there is any purely sports-related story that would trump the Super Bowl. Like, if the Raiders announced they were moving to London on that same day, it wouldn't beat it. If Kobe scored 100 points that day (in a losing effort, obviously), it would still get second billing. Even if the Olympics went bankrupt that day, ESPN still knows that the NFL is its Sugar Daddy. You cannot out-sport the Super Bowl. Someone has to die.
Sometimes when I drive alone, late at night, and there is no one in back of me for miles and miles, I think about slamming on my brakes and trying to stop short. Let's say, for the sake of argument, I am going 65 MPH. I figure this helps in two ways: (1) In case I ever have to stop short going that fast, I have some experience, and (2) it would be a big rush of adrenaline. Is this good practice?
No. Do not do that. My dad used to stop short suddenly to test the brakes when I was a kid. It drove me nuts. "Look at the ABS system engage!" he'd say. Meanwhile, I ended up flossing with the seat belt. You don't need to practice stomping on a brake. You're already well equipped to do that if you have a working foot. Besides, you never know if there's some asshole out on the road who forgot to turn his lights on. Drive anywhere at about 8 p.m. at night, and there's always at least ONE dude on the highway who is holding out on putting the headlights on. He's really determined to stay incognito.
While on the shitter at work, a guy took the stall next to me, then proceeded to prepare a cup of coffee while on the bowl. Shaking out the sugar packets. Stirring. Covering. Drinking. On the toilet. Is eating/drinking on the bowl now a thing, or are you as grossed out as I am?
I'm against eating on the toilet under any circumstances. It's unsanitary and cumbersome, and it pays to wait that extra three minutes to eat your meatball sub without any airborne fecal particles lingering. But I'm all right with enjoying a beverage in the shitter under the following circumstances:
1. You are home.
2. You have a clean, flat spot to place your beverage when it's time to complete your deposit.
3. Your drink is fully prepared and ready to consume. Sugar-packet guy from Jason's email is a fucking freak. Add your cream and sugar and stir PRIOR to spreading your asscheeks and letting a 12-ton submarine launch out of your body.
The only exception to these circumstances is if you're shitfaced and you bring your beer into the shitter with you at a bar. I'm not putting my beer down for anything or anyone. The idea of pausing on my way to getting shitfaced is so unpleasant that I will gladly sip from a Bud Light bottle while pushing one out. A toilet beer isn't as satisfying as a shower beer, but it's still a decent one-man party.
My boyfriend spent a semester helping clean out one of the Natural History buildings on campus for a renovation project, and he came back with some of the weirdest stories and pictures. Enjoy this little guy!
Oh, god dammit. I was enjoying my day, and then jar monkey had to come along and ruin it. It's the little monkey hands that get me. I don't want those hands touching me. Poor bastard. He kinda looks like Luke Skywalker in there.
I sometimes eat nachos without melting the cheese. I get the tortilla chips out, sprinkle some shredded cheese on them, drop a little hot sauce down, and pop them in. Am I a complete psychopath?
How do you get the cheese to stay on the chip? Wouldn't it just all fall off? You have to melt the cheese so that it adheres to the chip. Otherwise, you have anarchy.
By the way, shredded cheese ranks right up there with other delicious foods that also happen to be a pain in the ass to eat. If manners weren't a factor, I would eat shredded cheese all day, like I'm dipping from a pouch of Big League Chew. But that shit gets everywhere. My kid ate a bowl of shredded cheese once, and half of it is now embedded in the carpet. Here is a quick list of delicious, annoying foodstuffs:
1. Shredded cheese
2. Coffee grounds
3. Plain sugar (if you spill some on the countertop, it stays there forever)
4. Rice (never give rice to a child)
5. Ritz crackers
One day, when I'm old, I'm just gonna say FUCK IT and wear a pocket bib on me at all times. No more mess.
What is the amount of time one is allowed to be sad after one's sports team loses an important game? I ask because I live in Baltimore, and after every Orioles loss in the ALCS, I had to tiptoe around emotionally fragile male friends (and they are always men; women have no problem getting over a loss) who just couldn't get over the turd that their beloved birds laid on Camden Yards. A friend told me he was "recovering" from ALCS Game 1, even though he wasn't in anyway hungover or sick or injured. His mother did not die at the game. He just was sad. I find this to be a bit much. I believe a realistic mourning period for a sports loss is less than 10 minutes. Trashtalking against the loser fans can begin at minute 11. If you are sad beyond that amount of time, it's time to examine your emotional life, right?
I think it depends on the circumstances. In the case of the Orioles, they missed out on their best chance to make the World Series in ages, so I could see that haunting you for a day or two. It's fine to be downcast. But it is NOT fine to treat that sadness as some kind of debilitating illness. Like, if you say to people, "Oh, sorry I spilled rat poison on your donut … my mind was on that damn game," you're a melodramatic shithead, and I hate you. You're not allowed to wallow in it, or take it out on other people. You take the L like a MAN, I say.
Frankly, it's good to be sad for a while after your team loses. If it still matters to you, then that's cool. I have a wife and kids, and I have all the PERSPECTIVE that comes with being a middle-aged guy. I don't want this perspective. This perspective is annoying and gets in the way of my sports enjoyment. I want to be the dickhead college student who acts like he got an arm amputated when TCU gets knocked out of the playoff field. Sports are a lot more fun when you care that much about the outcome. Sometimes I get a little bit scared that I'll lose my passion entirely, and end up like this asshole. But then my team does something REALLY dumb, and I yell, and I want everyone around me dead, and all is right with the world again. So don't hate on your local mopey sports fan. They make sports fun! I say you get a day to be visibly upset after a wrenching loss. And then you gotta be a normal human again.
Whenever the TV audio cuts out for one of those emergency broadcast tests, have you ever secretly hoped that it was some kind of a supervillain taking over the airwaves to deliver some final ultimatum? And what are the odds that would ever actually happen? Can people actually DO that?
No, they cannot do that. No single entity could simultaneously compromise every cable line and satellite feed and local affiliate signal to create a unified broadcast to announce plans for world domination. UNLESS … unless the aliens had some kind of powerful gamma signal that acted as a master switch and trumped all other satellite and cable signals. That would give you a pretty healthy idea of how technologically advanced the Zlorggg are as a species. Do not fuck with them. I can't wait for them to finally arrive and CHANGE THE GAME.
Anyway, if you are a regular human trying to colonize the airwaves, the only way to do so is to be so newsy that the networks CHOOSE to simulcast your demented manifesto. There are only a few possible instances where this could happen:
1. You have kidnapped the president and are stating your ransom demands with a gun to his head. (NOTE: Do not attempt.)
2. You found the alien. You also kidnapped it, I guess.
3. You are the president, and a nuke just hit and/or zombies have taken over.
4. You are Jesus, and you are explaining why you came back.
5. You are Beyoncé, and you just announced that you have a new cat.
Under all of those scenarios, you could probably take over every TV channel. Except for Bravo, which would still run counterprogramming for Midwest housewives.
What would happen if a baseball home-plate umpire went nuts and started calling terrible strikes during the World Series? Balls in the dirt, pitches over the batter's head, etc. How long would it take for the other umpires to intervene?
Oh, he still works the whole game, even if he causes a full-scale riot. The other umps aren't gonna say jack shit, because they're all union cronies. Given that Eric Gregg once handed an entire World Series to the Marlins, I could easily see MLB giving the crooked ump a chance to work Game 2 before finally pulling the plug and chalking up his malfeasance to some vague health issue. "Home plate umpire Vinny Scadiviglio has been put on official paid leave due to chronic botulism fatigue." Baseball has never been a sport to rush into a decision. They need five years and eight different committees just to change pretzel sponsors.
What do you think would happen if a TD-scoring crowd-leaper chugged a beer from a fan?
So many scalding-hot takes. I think even I would be taken aback, because I'm so used to modern Gatorade ads featuring grainy black and white footage of athletes pulling monster truck tires through a tar pit and curling small airplanes while standing on a highway overpass. The modern sports culture makes the idea of playing a sport while compromised by alcohol seem INSANE, if not downright irresponsible. Remember: People got on Barry Switzer for eating a hot dog during the fucking Pro Bowl. And a hot dog doesn't even impair your judgment (OR DOES IT?!).
So you know Colin Cowherd would get right on the "He let his teammates down!" angle if Gronk ever did this during a game. I really do hope Gronk does this, because he's the most obvious person to do it, and he'd probably score four touchdowns after it happened. In fact, I would like there to a sister football league called the Drunk NFL, where all participants MUST be loaded during gameplay. I'd like to see if the quality of play drops noticeably compared to the NFL. (NOTE: It almost certainly would, but I would ignore that, because I have a pro-booze agenda.)
Will Jameis Winston go down as the most hated professional athlete of all time? Think about it: Liberals will hate him forever for the sexual-assault allegations; conservatives will hate him forever for being a flashy, outspoken quarterback; and apolitical sports fans will hate him for ESPN's around-the-clock coverage of every stupid thing he does. Florida State fans support him for now, but once he's gone, you know a chunk of their fanbase will admit, "I never really liked that guy."
I still think Jack Johnson would take that crown, because he made lots of shitty olde-tyme racists DEEPLY angry, angry enough to legitimately plan to kill him. Some people think Winston is a prick, and some people think he's a criminal, but I don't think people see him as a tangible threat to the way American way of life the way nutjobs did back in Jack Johnson's day. Back then, you had to WORK to send a death threat. You had to write a letter and buy a stamp and go to the Pony Express saloon to mail it. Those were the days, my friend. I would rank the most hated athletes like so:
1. Jack Johnson
2. Ty Cobb
4. John Rocker
5. Barry Bonds
7. Ben Johnson
8. Freddie Mitchell
9. Christian Laettner
10. Christian Peter
11. Dennis Rodman
12. Luis Suarez
13. Bill Laimbeer
14. Ryan Leaf
(UPDATE: I forgot OJ. OJ is #1. I am moron.)
If you were being technical, you could probably also put Jackie Robinson and Ali here, although that seems wholly inappropriate. I actually loved Ty Cobb as a kid, because all the kiddie baseball books back then (you could check out these books at the library that gave you a little bio for each of the greats, along with stats to gawk at) said he was one of the best players ever, and they never mentioned the whole "scumbag racist brawl-igniter" part of his personality. Then I saw Field of Dreams, and Roy Liotta dumped on Cobb, and I was like, "Hey! He disrespected the Georgia Peach!" Then I read about some of the actual shit Cobb did, and I was like … "Oh! Oh, I see now!" So make sure your kids know about the REAL Ty Cobb.
So I think Winston still has his work cut out for him, but give him time, everyone! HE CAN DO IT.
Why don't we hear more about quarterbacks going on vocal rest? Peyton Manning losing his voice has to be as detrimental as, say, a tweaked shoulder, right? I mean, they could switch to a silent count, but has to hurt their efficiency.
I think six days between games is probably enough time to rest up Peyton's voice box for the next game. It's not like he's a singer who is spending two hours every night blasting out high notes to a packed house. When you're Celine Dion, you gotta spend the whole day talking in sign language and massaging your thyroid with frozen cucumbers to keep your voice elastic. No QB has to do that. Besides, getting hoarse only makes you sound MANLIER. I feel like I've smoked a thousand cigarettes when I get drunk and hoarse. I love it.
One of the great joys of playing QB is talking like a QB. Every single one of them comes to the line and shouts out calls five octaves lower than is necessary. It's like playing QB automatically turns you into Batman. REDDDD EIGHTY! REDDDD EIGHTY! Even when you play touch football, guys deepen their voices like that. Quarterbacks and umpires get away with this all the time, and NO ONE questions it. I wanna see a quarterback who talks like Michel'le and calls out audibles while sounding like a fucking chipmunk. "Red eighty! Come on, you guys! I said red and eighty! What's so funny?"
NFL game, fourth quarter, offensive team is down four. Last play of the game, and the quarterback throws a Hail Mary to a WIDE OPEN player. A defensive player is standing by the pylon, sees the ball, sees the open player. What would be the penalty if the defensive player picks up the pylon and throws it in the air at the football, deflecting it and causing the ball to fall incomplete?
The referee has the rarely-if-ever-used power to award a touchdown to a team if they deem that the other team has committed a patently unfair act (for example: Mike Tomlin tripping a guy while he's running down the sideline). My guess is that the referee would decide to award the offensive team a touchdown or, failing that, he would call pass interference, kick out the pylon thrower, and allow the offense to run a play from the one-yard line with no time left on the clock. And then all hell would break loose if they got stoned on the final play. The pylon-thrower (who could throw a foam block that far? I'd be impressed!) would get suspended for eight games. Skippy Bayless would cry out for the Ginger Hammer to change the result. Roger Goodell would promise to get it right by bolting pylons into the ground permanently. It would be a big mess. And now, as always, I would like to see this happen.
What if it became public that LeBron fucked Princess Kate? Does he get suspended? Does a war start? What if she leaves Will for him and they get married?
You can't suspend a guy for having sex with another consenting adult. I don't think LeBron would get in any kind of official trouble for it. I just think it would be the greatest thing to ever happen in the history of mankind. WE GOT YOUR GIRL, ENGLAND. STUFF THAT IN YOUR PINT GLASS. Kate would be disowned by the Royal Family immediately. British tabloids would cry outrage, with a whole lot of poorly veiled racism included. Every hip-hop song from here on out would mention it. It would be our biggest triumph as a nation since V-J Day. I would give LeBron a separate trophy for the accomplishment. And then both of them would die in a car accident after being chased by photogs. It would be really sad.
Email of the week:
I'm 16, and I'm terrible at talking to girls. (by terrible I mean I can't). The only girl I can talk to that I like is my sister's best friend. She also has a boyfriend who she "wants to marry". There is probably at best a 5-percent chance she likes me, but somehow I've convinced myself to think she's into me even though she isn't. What is the protocol to get rid of such an absurd thought that she's into me before I embarrass/shame myself, other than asking her?
Find a hobby. You're 16, right? Play a SHITLOAD of video games. Play so many video games that the real world begins to look fake to you. Become so obsessed with Call of Duty or some other shit that you can't even begin to think about girls or food or personal hygiene. That girl will probably end up going out of her way to avoid you, and then you win!
If you don't wanna go that route, I suggest you expose yourself (not literally!) to as many other girls as you can. Sixteeen-year-old guys will fall in love with anything. So when you think you're REALLY into one girl and she's not into you, all you have to do is find some other girl anywhere who will, like, share a piece of gum with you, and you'll be onto to stalking HER next. That's how it works. I would obsess over one girl, then get rejected, and then transfer all of that lunacy onto whatever poor, unsuspecting gal crossed my path next. Jenny's not cool anymore. CINDY IS DREAMY. Happens like it's nothing at all. Because teenage boys are psychotic.
The truth is that you're never gonna avoid embarrassment at that age, because you're so easily embarrassed. One bad text will ruin your shit for days. You have to get out there and experience a shitload of personal humiliation before it finally dawns on you that it's really not that big of a deal. And then the more you talk to ladies, the less awkward it gets, and you eventually learn how to not fuck up, and then you become confident, and then women like you. That happens at around age 35. So just hang in there, and it should all be fine. But don't tell that girl you like her. She'll destroy you.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at email@example.com. You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Photo via Getty.
The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter.