I missed one of the World Cup games the other day due to family obligations, so I caught up on highlights that night when ESPN did a cut-and-paste re-broadcast of game highlights on ESPN FC, with an anchor introducing the clips like it was an episode of Masterpiece Theater. "When we last left Brazil and Chile, they were engaged in a life-or-death struggle for control of the South American continent and its vast magnesium ore deposits."
After the intro, they just took the best parts of the game, displayed a graphic whenever they skipped ahead, and let the game announcers do the rest. This is what every episode of SportsCenter should be. I don't need the anchors talking over everything like I'm a blind person who can only digest sports through audible broadcasting. Just show the relevant clips and then wrap that shit up with a tidy graphic. I know that rights issues from other networks make this unfeasible, but I'd gladly pay three dollars for Silent SportsCenter. ESPN FC was awesome. I want that applied to all sports highlights, instead of some fucking anchor testing out recycled movie lines and then asking big dumb Mark May what he thought of that big run while I am watching said big run. That is the worst. Just the sports part, please. AND WHY DOESN'T MTV SHOW VIDEOS ANYMORE, MAN?!
What is the definitive list of venues/situations in which drinking at 8 a.m. is acceptable and not a qualification for AA?
Here's my list:
- You pulled an all-nighter and are still out drinking. In this case, your morning still counts as last night, which absolves you from shame and/or guilt. Also, you're probably in Ibiza or something. Enjoy sucking on a glowstick and then collapsing on a beach at 11 a.m.
- You are watching a major international sporting event that is taking place in a weird time zone. I think there is a very specific group of Americans looking forward to the Russian World Cup specifically because they like getting away with waking up at 5 a.m. to drink.
- You are on a plane and are a nervous flyer. I don't really buy this, but I've heard enough from morning airplane drinkers that I'm willing to play along. Still, the average lady I see chugging chardonnay in the back of an airplane at 8 a.m. sure LOOKS like an alcoholic.
- You're in a foreign country where drinking in the morning is fairly normal, and besides, you haven't really adjusted to the time zone yet or something. Welcome to Ireland!
- You're a college student. You get a free pass on alcoholism so long as you are at a college and surrounded by 20,000 other binge drinkers. Hard to sort out the normal binge drinkers from the problem binge drinkers in that scenario. At my old college, they had "doghead" parties early in the morning that involved getting shitfaced right away and swallowing live goldfish. No, I don't understand why this happened, either. Sometimes people get drunk and allow their natural stomach acids to slowly suffocate an animal to death, and you go with it.
- You're on vacation. This is your time away! THERE ARE NO RULES. If you want to get drunk early and eat cold chicken fingers for breakfast, that's your right as a goddamn American. When I went on the Kid Rock cruise, you better believe the entire boat started drinking the second they woke up. You gotta maximize the good times even if it means ending up having an AWFUL time because you had no clue how to pace yourself.
- Someone important to you died. Got that call about your dad at 8 a.m.? No one's gonna take you to task for busting out the Scotch. No way.
If you do it occasionally and pick your spots, morning drinking can be a blast. You wake up, have a beer, feel naughty about having a beer, and then you feel GREAT for the rest of the day. It can happen if you're in the kind of place where everyone is into the flow of constant drinking, and it feels fun and carefree instead of dark and lonely and horrible.
If you could recruit one U.S. pro athlete from each of the four major leagues and magically convert them to futbol players, who are the four? I'd pick Patrick Kane (jitterbug striker like Neymar), LeSean McCoy and Andrew McCutchen to control the midfield, and LeBron to be a wall as a central back.
Why not just make LeBron the goalkeeper? This isn't meant as any disrespect to Tim Howard, who's really good. But I'd take LeBron or some other NBA player and make him Howard's understudy, to master the craft of blocking a goal with your face. After that, I would take Billy Hamilton, because he can do this, and then NHL player Carl Hagelin (won the fastest-skater competition this year, which is a thing), and then either McCoy or Jamaal Charles from the NFL. Taking a running back makes sense because they are good at running! I would make like the U back in the '80s and put a premium on speed, because SPEED KILLS.
How popular will soccer be, and for how long, should the U.S. make the World Cup finals? Same question should they win the whole thing.
I think you would see a temporary uptick in MLS viewing habits, and maybe better ratings for Premier League broadcasts, before it settled back down to a level slightly above where it was before the tournament. Being a fan of any sport takes work, and many people like me are too lazy to put those hard hours in when we're already starved for time, what with so many episodes of Game of Thrones to catch up on.
I've genuinely enjoyed watching this World Cup and would like to invest more time in becoming a soccer fan. I think I just enjoy watching people run very fast down a large field. It pleases me. I've even done the whole "toy with the idea of picking an EPL team" thing, but I need a guiding hand. I dunno when the season starts. I don't know what time the games are on or what channel they're on. And I don't know which team to pick that is just successful enough to be fun, but not successful enough to make me look like an asshole for hopping aboard.
Sports succeed and fail almost entirely based on exposure. When the NHL lost ESPN, the league nearly died as a result. If you make it easy for people to continue watching soccer, and the soccer is fun to watch (apparently MLS struggles with this), then the sport will grow a little bit more after the World Cup, whether we win or not. I like a lot of games that didn't involve the USA at all (Mexico-Holland, Brazil-Chile, etc.). Soccer viewership already has grown here in America because the advent of the internet diminishes the relevance of where a team is. You can follow a team halfway around the world with a lot less effort than two decades ago, and that obviously helps. But the EPL is currently only broadcast on the old Versus channel, and I couldn't find that shit on my guide with a map and two scouts to help. It needs the artificial inflation of TV here to prop it up and keep it propped up.
It's not like the USA will become a soccer hotbed overnight, as any smarmy hack like Shank will tell you. After this Cup, the best teams and players will still be located overseas, and there won't be any great rush to bring all of that Stateside. Even though a lot of soccer people would like the sport to flourish here as a TV entity, the truth is that soccer doesn't NEED America at all. Soccer could give two shits about America, and we Americans are a needy people who will only accept soccer when soccer comes to our doorstep on its hands and knees, fellating an American flag on a pole. This isn't happening anytime soon. Contrary to what some people may say, soccer isn't anywhere close to being forced upon you. In fact, soccer often seems determined to stay the hell away from you.
The next World Cup will be in Russia. I loved this World Cup, but fuck me if I'm getting out of bed at 5 a.m. on a weekday to watch a match in 2018. I want to watch more soccer, but right now I'm not quite sure how I'll go about it. And as far as soccer is concerned, that's not its problem.
I'm 45 years old. Can you rank, in order of most likely to least likely, these events happening in my lifetime:
-America wins the World Cup
-Chicago Cubs win the World Series
-Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl
-Man sets foot on Mars
I would put the Browns winning it all in the most likely spot, because if Johnny Manziel turns out to be a stud, that team suddenly has 15 years to pull a Super Bowl out of its ass. Ask any fan of the Patriots or Bucs or White Sox or Saints: The idea of being snakebitten is an illusion, and all it takes is a nice run of competence for that angst to be destroyed forever. Historically woeful teams turn it around all the time, so it's more likely that the Browns (#1 most likely) or Cubs (#2) would get their act together before the U.S. (#3) ever won a World Cup (the four-year interval makes it that much more difficult), or before we ever put a man on the surface of Mars (#4).
The Mars thing remains highly unlikely in your lifetime because Mars is very far away, and because we are no longer the kind of country willing to spend shitloads of money on exciting things. Any time someone proposes a fun idea like going to Mars or building a magnetic hovertrack from L.A. to New York, some BIG GUBMINT committee will just say DURRRR WE CAN'T AFFORD THAT LET'S JUST APPROVE THIS RESOLUTION TO MAKE MARCH 8TH FRITO-LAY DAY INSTEAD DURRRRRR. We are not a country of big dreams anymore.
Also, going to Mars means sending someone who is willing to die out in space, and we Americans are too prim and proper to allow that to happen, even though many people have already volunteered to die on the Red Planet. You know who would gladly let a citizen die on Mars? CHINA. They wouldn't hesitate for a moment. I'm shocked there isn't a Chinese jail on Mars already. Did you pass out a flier decrying the government? Six years on Mars for you.
Now that LeBron is potentially on the market, how would the NBA react to a report that he had recently developed a pack-a-day habit? Would teams still be tripping over themselves to sign him if they knew he smoked 20 Parliament Lights a day?
Doesn't seem to have hurt his gameplay in the past. I say SMOKE UP, BRONNY. It could be that the rich, bold flavor of Parliament Lights is just the thing LeBron needs before a tense Finals matchup. But obviously, this wouldn't stop Skip Bayless from taking this as a sign that LePuff (that's my future Skip nickname for LeBron) can't handle the pressure.
I'm surprised more athletes aren't caught smoking. Even though smoking is horrible for you and everyone knows it'll kill you, I still think it's amazing that no one has snapped a photo of Johnny Manziel lighting up yet. I mean, if anyone's gonna play the "I only smoke when I drink!" card, it's that guy. Pro athletes cannot stop drinking and fucking and fucking and drinking, and yet all of them are now disciplined enough to be like, "Smoking? Oh, I don't think so. That's terrible for you. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a condom-less baby-oil gun orgy to attend."
In college, we had three TVs in the common area of my apartment, because three of my roommates had TVs from previous living arrangements. I grew very accustomed to watching three football games at the same time, or a combination of postseason baseball, MACtion, and my roommate murdering everything in GTA V all at once. I now greatly miss this luxury.
So is it acceptable to have multiple TVs in your living room as an adult? In the fall, I don't want to be held down to one football game per time slot. But I fear that everyone will think I torture people and watch the live feed of them suffering on my second TV. Everyone that came to our place at school thought we were insane, but it didn't matter, because college apartments don't need to make sense. We just wanted to watch everything.
Isn't multiple televisions strictly the domain of your MAN CAVE DURRR THIS IS MAH CAVE WOMEN CAN ONLY COME IN HERE IF THEY BRING A TRAY OF WINGS TO ME DURRRRRR?
Seriously though, if you're a single fella and no one living with you with objects, I see no issue with having multiple televisions in your main viewing area. No wife would ever permit this to happen (aesthetically speaking, my wife despises the television and probably spits on it whenever she walks by it), but if you answer to no one because you're a loner and a rebel, I say go for it.
The fact is that broadcast networks now pretty much expect you to be watching more than one television at once. CBS took the opening rounds of the NCAA tourney and de-Red Zoned it, putting every game on four separate channels. ESPN now runs split broadcasts of the national title game in college football. And Sunday Ticket has the eight-panel channel that all but screams at you, "Look at this. You're watching eight different pictures-in-picture like a fucking idiot. BUY MORE TVS."
They are now tailoring the broadcast to multiple screen usage, which means I feel like a dope for having just one sorry-ass TV in my house. I'll never defeat Darren Rovell at the water cooler. I am just like any man in that I will walk into a Sears, see all the Ultra HDTVs on display, and automatically want to live there. In the store. Just put a mattress in the aisle, and I can die surrounded by endless gadgetry. Then I go home to my one TV and feel cheated. I want the WALLS to be televisions. I want to go to sleep on a giant mattress that is also a screen. I want to wear a suit of remotes. It's just part of my makeup.
If the U.S. were to ever win a World Cup, shouldn't we mandate that the rest of the world has to refer to the sport as "soccer" for the entire four-year period until the following Cup? USA!!! USA!!!
Who wins in a fight between Floyd Mayweather and a lion (wild lion, not a soft zoo lion)? They are in a ring and they both are wearing gloves.
The answer is obviously the lion, but it was important to include Dan's email this week because he was so specific about the lion wearing gloves. I feel like putting boxing gloves on a lion would only make it an angrier, more difficult opponent. Now you tape that lion's mouth shut, and we got ourselves an argument. (NOTE: Not really, because the lion still weighs 400 pounds and is a fucking lion.)
So my brother and his wife just bought their first house. I went over with my girlfriend to hang out and ended up getting pretty drunk, so we stayed in the guest room. We figured we were far enough away from the master bed so we ended up doing some sexy stuff. I'm almost positive they didn't hear us, because my brother definitely would have made a joke about it in the morning. So, my question: Do we tell them about our adventures in the guest room so they can wash the sheets, or keep quiet? It's not like we made a mess, but is that kosher?
No sane person is gonna waltz into the breakfast room the next day and be like, "Hey, you better wash those sheets, because Linda here was quite the squirter last night." I'd rather put boxing gloves on a lion than openly confess to that sort of thing.
If you open your home to guests, you should just wash the sheets the next day anyway. Assume the worst: sex, sweating, pus leaking from an untreated wound, pubic hair, etc. It's your job to care for your sheets. It's not the job of a houseguest to give you a cum-o-meter tally to help you decide if they need to go in the washer or not. You're not being a truly welcoming host if you include all sorts of pre-conditions to sheet use. "Welcome! If you're gonna spunk, please use the spunk bucket provided in the corner of the room."
Is it socially acceptable to piss with the stall door open in a public bathroom? Lately I have been seeing more and more instances of this.
The reason I think most people do it—and why I have done it on occasion—is because they assume it won't take very long to piss and then get out of there. You're at the bar and you gotta pee real bad: There's no time for closing and latching the stall door. Your bladder could explode! So you run into the stall and whip it out right away. You won't be more than a few seconds, right? No one's gonna barge in at the exact wrong OH GOD DAMMIT BOB COULD YOU NOT SEE MY HEAD POKING OUT ABOVE THE PARTITION?
I always feel bad when I'm too lazy to close the stall and then someone walks in on me peeing. I could have prevented all this awkwardness simply by locking the door, but I didn't. I am sorry. Sometimes I will close the stall door but not latch it, and then someone will push it into me AS I'm pissing. It's not a good moment.
Has there ever been a Jeopardy contestant threesome? According to Wikipedia, as of March 2011, there have been 6,000 episodes of Jeopardy. There are rarely three contestants of the same gender—it's almost always two guys and one chick or two chicks and one guy. We know (science) that really smart people are turned on by other smart people and not so much boobs and butts like the rest of us. What are the chances that after one of these pressure-packed tapings, the three contestants went to a bar to unwind and wound up in each others' mouths? I say it's had to have happened at least once.
Maybe during the college tournament, but I still doubt it. You've seen these people make small talk with Alex Trebek, right? They've got miles to go before talking another person into actual sexual congress. It would probably take them months.
CONTESTANT 1: So, during the break you said a funny thing happened when you tried to mix cobalt and methane. Can you tell me more about that?
CONTESTANT 2: Well actually, it's not so much a story as it is an appendix of a spec textbook I hope to submit to the Kenyon Press in 2017.
CONTESTANT 3: So, should we all fuck?
It's just not realistic. This is a pressure-packed competition, and the contestants are probably all sequestered at a nearby hotel either prior to the taping or after it. Have two of them ever fucked? I say HELL YEAH. But a spontaneous drunken threesome after these NERDY QUIZ NERDS spent all day inside a frigid studio waiting half an hour for a judge to deliberate on the pronunciation of "Borscht" before moving on to the next clue? I don't see that happening. It's sensory overload, man. The body can only handle so much excitement in one day.
How does the Joker eat? Not "how does he physically eat," but "where/when does he eat"? I mean, he's still a human being (albeit in makeup) and needs to eat to live, but when he's on the run from the law/Batman and all of Gotham knows what he looks like, it's not like he can go to the grocery store or Chipotle and pick something up. Even without the makeup on, his facial scarring would give him away if he tried to go incognito. Note: I'm thinking of the Heath Ledger version of the Joker who's totally a solo act (not the Nicholson version where he has henchmen who could run errands for him).
Didn't he have henchmen in that movie? I mean, he killed a lot of them at first, but I'm sure he could always find a Joker fanboy or two out there to get him some cold beer and assorted sundries. Or he could do Peapod! That would be an option now. No need to answer the door for the Peapod guy. Just leave a note for him on the stoop and then shoot him in the back as he walks back to the truck. Lunch is served, Joker-style.
Of course, we have now exhausted so many superhero-movie ideas that a high-concept movie about the Joker attempting to order a pizza is probably a viable concept. I thought it was a terrible idea, until I read Lord and Miller's script…
I know that sometimes, when batters call time-out at the plate, they are messing with the pitcher, or just want to readjust their batting gloves or silk thong underwear. But sometimes, they do nothing: They just step out for a second and then back in. Are they farting? How many timeouts in baseball are called because the batter has to fart?
I assume all baseball players are farting ALL THE TIME. In the dugout. In the bullpen. During a quick throw around the horn. Just a long stream of farting from the first inning until the last. Baseball players are disgusting, stupid people who revel in being disgusting and stupid. They will shit in your hair and then laugh for days DURRR THAT WAS A GOOD PRANK LET'S GO TO A BROOKS & DUNN CONCERT DUNNNDURRRRR. So yeah, lots of farting at the plate. You could do a whole #longread on catchers having to smell farts.
Email of the week!
Yesterday, my husband found a note on his car that said the author had taken pictures of his car and license plate, and if [husband] ever hit [their] car again, [they'd] call the police. That was it; no identifying details were included. The thing is, my husband didn't hit a car, and there was no damage on his or the cars adjacent. Oddly, I got a note very similar to this, also without hitting anything, 10 years ago while living in another city. And now the question on my mind is: How many horribly inaccurate asshole drivers are leaving anonymous passive-aggressive notes out there? One in 1,000? Maybe one in 10,000? What would they do if someone caught them leaving the note? (Especially considering that my husband's nickname is Large, and not in the ironic sense.) Is this some kind of racket?
I blame Nathan Fielder.
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.