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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Your Stadium Timeout Diversions, Ranked

Illustration for article titled Your Stadium Timeout Diversions, Ranked
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I'm on vacation next week, which means the Funbag will be commandeered by a MYSTERY HOST. Who will be the mystery host? Will it be someone famous? Someone unexpected? Or someone you've seen around here before and his (or her!) revelation will probably be a bit of a letdown for you? I think the latter is a good possibility!


Now, here come your letters:


Baseball, basketball, and hockey games always have stupid little time-fillers during timeouts and breaks in the action (like kiss cam, bongo cam, shell game, cartoon races, etc.). What is the official ranking of these distractions?


I'm with all the old codgers who bitch and moan about the noise pollution at pro-sports events. I spend half my time at any arena or stadium DYING to run out to the concourse so that I can get away from that shit. Much better to stand by a bar just outside and watch the game on a TV so I can hear myself think. That's what sports is all about!

Of course, the whole reason these diversions exist is for the kids in attendance, because kids ruin everything. You brought your kid to the ballpark to teach them the beauty of the double steal, and all they give a fuck about is who wins the PC Richard Hobo Race. Every stadium must now offer something for the WHOLE family, which means no one walks away from the game happy. It's like staring at a TV screen and having the dog step on the remote for three hours. ANYWAY, here is your definitive ranking of all sporting-event distractions:

  1. Cheerleader dance routine
  2. Mascot dunking
  3. Sausage/President race
  4. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"
  5. T-shirt or burrito cannon
  6. Cartoon subway race
  7. Shell game
  8. Dance cam
  9. Token military appreciation
  10. Punt Pass & Kick, or any other kiddie-sports event
  11. Local humanitarian award presentation
  12. Kiss cam
  13. "God Bless America" and/or "Cotton Eyed Joe"

That last item is what makes going to any Yankees game hell on earth. To think that people pay top dollar to be subjected to that.

By the way, I went to a Hawks game a couple weeks ago, and the team was introduced with a marching band/cheerleader combo. Best intro ever. Even the Edgar Winter Group can't compete.


With the baseball season finally here, I can break out my vast collection of Cardinals gear. Included in my collection are a few jerseys. One of my friends says that it's perfectly fine to wear a jersey on a normal day, while another believes that only assholes wear them outside of a stadium. I usually just say "screw it" and wear them whenever I want. Am I doing it the right way?


According to the Ballpark Village dress code, you aren't. In all seriousness, I think it's fine to wear a baseball jersey whenever you feel like it (although you have deliberately limited it to seasonal use, which is probably a good idea). Baseball is played pretty much every day in the summer, so if I see a guy in his team's jersey, I'll just blindly assume it's gameday for him anyway. And even if it isn't, a baseball jersey is the jersey most amenable to casual dress. People tend to save football jerseys for NFL Sundays. And only crazy people and musicians wear basketball jerseys casually. You couldn't pay me to walk around in a context-free Timberwolves jersey. Fuck. That. A white guy in a basketball jersey is a walking bar fight.

You also happen to live in a baseball town, so I can't imagine a St. Louis person ragging on another St. Louis person for wearing a Cards jersey. They probably pass each other in the street and are like, "Oh my God! YOU'RE ONE OF THE BEST FANS IN BASEBALL, TOO! Good to know there's someone else out there who does things THE CARDINAL WAY!" What a bunch of assholes. Seriously, fuck the Cardinals.


That aside, you want to rock a baseball jersey or a hockey sweater during off hours? Fine by me. It's like wearing any other piece of clothing. If you think you can pull it off, and it makes you look and feel more confident, go for it. But if you have any doubt in your mind, and your girlfriend tells you that you look like a fucking yokel, go back to the shirt drawer.


I'm going to be a dad for the first time later this year. What's something I should be completely terrified of about that people don't normally talk about?


Trimming a child's nails. It's fucking agony. I would change a million diapers before dealing with trimming a kid's nails. I wish they would just bite the fucking things. Because no child—especially a very young child—wants to sit there patiently while you clip their fingers and toes. They squirm. They pull away until your back gives out. They cry and piss and moan, and you end up clamping down on their index finger and clipping a bit of skin by mistake, and then they're like, YOU CUT MY FINGER OFF! So now any time you want to clip their nails again, they think you're gonna subject them to some kind of Yakuza indoctrination ritual. It sucks. No one ever tells you this going into parenthood. All people talk about is poopy diapers and no sleep. Trimming nails is worse than both those things.

Also, I've mentioned it before, but cleaning a child's nose is horrific. They get boogers all the time, and they think nothing of walking around with six bats in their cave and an artist's palette worth of snot on their shirt. It's up to you to clean it up, and picking a child's boogers is just as gross as picking a stranger's boogers. No difference. But you have to do it, because parents who let their kids run around with snotty noses are the worst. Why not just dress the kid in hobo rags, you weirdo? Get a goddamn tissue.



We all daydream about owning the post-game interview as an athlete or coach, but wouldn't you love to absolutely CRUSH Gruden's QB camp? I would drill the playbook verbage endlessly before that interview. Gruden loves verbage.


COMPLEX verbage! These West Coast systems use highly complex verbage, amigo. However, I don't daydream about Gruden's QB camp, because in my daydreams, I'm a swashbuckling ne'r-do-well who plays by his own rules and throws for 500 yards a game despite showing up drunk at the stadium every Sunday morning. I'm Johnny Football, but taller. I don't need all that pussy-ass film study! Just draw it up in the dirt, guys. I'm like a kid out there!

I love the attitude of Gruden's QB Camp, where it's like, "Sure, you studied boring tape in college. But are you MAN enough to study even more boring tape in the pros?!", with Gruden sitting there grinning his shit-eating grin, deciding if the QB is worthy of having Gruden hand a pair of bronze testicles to him. Watching QB Camp or NFL Matchup is like listening to a DVD commentary from the director of lighting: Real film buffs may like that shit, but I just wanna see the movie. I love football, but I don't need to see the tedious process of how my football is made. ESPN counts on you being the fan who's like, "Well, if you watched the tape like I did…" NEVER be that guy. Ever. That guy is a piece of shit.



If a pregnant woman is choking, obviously the Heimlich maneuver is out of the question. What do you do?


According to the Mayo Clinic, it's perfectly fine to give a pregnant woman the Heimlich. But obviously you shouldn't shove your fist into her belly, or else you'll cause the fetus to rocket out toward the floor and break its neck. Instead, the clinic advises you to place your hands "at the base of the breastbone," right between the boobies and the protruding tummy. The Equator, if you will. The instructions for giving a pregnant lady the Heimlich are the same as they are for giving an obese person the Heimlich. So if you're some fatty-fat-fat choking down an entire porterhouse steak in one bite, just know that the Average Joe coming to your rescue will be fisting your tummy in the wrong place and your windpipe will remain forever closed.


How much would the game of baseball change if we ran the bases clockwise instead of counter-clockwise? I feel like my body would convulse trying to make a right-hand turn rounding the bases.


Well, obviously, that's how the game is played in Australia.

Seriously though, if you think about it, the bases SHOULD go the other way. As it stands now, the average left-handed hitter reaches first base a tenth of a second faster than the average right-handed hitter. Thus, left-handed hitters are at an advantage even though most people are right-handed. This is why Johnny Dipshit on your kid's Little League team is toying with switch-hitting and trying to impress everyone. I hate that kid, and so should you. I don't like all these fake Southpaws in the game. I don't trust them. They have an agenda.



If you sold weed for a living and were attending a concert for one of the following bands/rappers (in hopes to move as much product as possible), which one do you think you would have the most/least success at? Assume no one in attendance has come prepared, and you are the guy they are buying from. Also assume they are all selling out the same venue. I know Tame Impala won't sell out the Garden like Phish/Kanye would but for the sake of the argument:


Fully functioning Wu-Tang Clan w/a living ODB

Tame Impala

The Flaming Lips

Kanye West

If we're talking about me personally, it's Phish. I fucking hate Phish, and their music is tentpole sodomy to my ears. But I went to prep school in the '90s, and I am a white person who has lived in New England: Those are my people, as much as I would not like that to be the case. I can make a sale at a Phish concert. I'm one degree of separation removed from every single person in the arena. "Oh, you went to Colby? Do you know Jen Randall? NO WAY! Here's a dimebag."


But if we're talking about which one is the most fertile weed market in general, I guess I'm still picking Phish. No one can like Phish or the Grateful Dead without drugs. I refuse to believe it. And plenty of people there would be too scared of security to bring their own weed.

There are plenty of hipster dipshits out there who like Kanye West and the Flaming Lips without the help of altered substances. The only other competitor is the Wu-Tang Clan. You have a melting pot of hipster stoners, meathead stoners, black stoners, film-nerd stoners, and people who pretend to like the Wu Tang Clan to be cool and need weed to make it through the concert. I do not know who Tame Impala are and now I feel uncool about it.




Will we ever see a single president again? I don't mean an unmarried guy with a long-term girlfriend, I'm thinking totally single and uncommitted. And if so, how effective would he be? Would he able to focus on being an effective president, or would he spend all his energy looking for women? I think it would be chaos.


Barring a president who loses his wife while in office (like Michael Douglas did in one of Aaron Sorkin's dramatized wet dreams SWOOOOOON), I think it's unlikely. People running for president need to hit on a few basic things to pass the initial voter-screening process. They have to be seen attending church. They have to say one nice thing about guns, even if they hate guns. And they have to be married, preferably with children. You could be a philanderer with a public history of setting insurance fires, and voters would STILL pick you over the single guy, because voters are morons. That guy drinks domestic beer and sometimes fucks his wife! THAT SOUNDS LIKE MY KINDA MAN.

So that's probably why you'll never see a single president again: People don't want that president going on Tinder to cruise for tail. What if he picks up a con artist, and she ties him to the bed and steals all the nuke codes? What if he marries a girl, and she turns out to be a total bitch who Yoko's his whole presidency? One minute, he's getting tough on Russia, the next minute, the new first lady is demanding he increase national meditation spending by 50,000 percent. Voters don't like a surprise first lady. They want one they can pick apart and shit all over NOW.



What if we had a variable number of teams in the NFL playoffs? Win your division and you're in. If you don't win your division, win 10 games and you're in; win less than 10 games and you're not. We would also have a variable number of first-round byes for the division winners.


The NFL would never go for this, because they need to have a set number of playoff games for networks to sell to advertisers. And frankly, I hate the idea as well. Look at the NCAA tournament. They have 68 teams now, and that sucks. I don't know anyone who likes it that way, and that's just with four extra shitty teams thrown in. As a fan, I take comfort in symmetry: both sides of the playoff bracket being even, no byes for anyone. That's what my brain perceives as fair, even when that clearly isn't the case. I wouldn't be able to tolerate an NFL playoff bracket with four teams from the AFC (because the AFC blows) and 10 teams from the NFC. It would be really weird.


Do you think the president has ever had to halt a cabinet meeting to deal with an unexpected bout of the shits?


Oh, sure. But that's an easy thing to manage. All you have to do is arrange a signal with your chief of staff. When you flick your ear, the chief of staff gets up and tells you that you have an emergency phone call from the Japanese Prime Minister. You excuse yourself, and then go bomb the toilet. THAT'S LEADERSHIP.


The other day I was scrolling through TV listings trying to find a movie to DVR for my kids. I noticed Dennis the Menace Christmas on one of the Showtime channels at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, and it got me thinking: Do you think there has been some show/movie on a (widely available) channel to ever get zero viewership?


I don't think so, because the dude running Showtime Family Zone probably leaves that shit on at his office when he goes home at night so that he can get all those precious ratings points. And people are probably always flipping past it while searching for new episodes of Gigolos. There are many TVs in this country, and they can be tuned in to something without anyone actually watching.

I do find some ratings to be laughably inflated. Whenever some story comes out that says, "NHL playoffs get lower ratings than stationary shot of bag of cabbage on HGTV," I always find that hard to believe. I have DirecTV, and 98 percent of the channels are infomercial telethons. I think they have QVC in German, if you need it. I don't know who the fuck watches the IDEA Channel, or what kind of insane payment its owner made to DirecTV to give it such prominent placement on the dial. If it has over five viewers who tuned in specifically to watch it, I'd be shocked. These are channels created to ransack nursing homes.



How much would you pay for one day to say what you want to anyone without retaliation? Plus, no memory of the events occurring for the victims afterwords. It would be my adult Disneyland.


I talk a good game, but if push came to shove, and I really had to tell my roommate/police chief/delivery boy what I think of him to his face, I'd step off like the gutless WASP that I am. As much as I enjoy being a dick on the Internet, I go out of my way to avoid confrontation in real life, and when it does happen, I'm haunted for life. So even if I could tell someone FUCK YOU to their face without any consequence, I would still walk away from the exchange feeling guilty and horrible and all of those things you are SUPPOSED to feel, because in real life, it's almost always better to not be a cock.

So I would pay nothing. I would take the high road. Now, let me tell you all of the reasons I think Bill Simmons is a fucking terrible….



The preferred method of opening a family pack of paper towels/toilet paper is to fingerblast a hole through the plastic in one of the roll hollows, correct?


YESSSSSSSSSSSS. If only yogurt containers were as slutty.

Drew (not me):

There was a neighborhood kid growing up who was a little odd. My brother once told me this kid use to crack his boners. I'm 36 with two kids, and to this day I have no idea if he did this, or if it can be done, or should be done, or could cause permanent damage, or if they were just messing with the boy who maybe was still figuring out the whole boner thing. Anyway... Is this something? Or is it possible this fellow is the only person in the world to have done this?


It is a thing. If you get a boner and push down on it real hard (Why would you do this? Do not do this), sometimes you get a crack. I know this because I did it with my penis a few times when I was a kid, because when a 13-year-old kid gets a boner, he does pretty much everything to it. He grabs it. He shakes it. He hangs dry cleaning from it. It's there for your experimentation. So one time I was bored and pushed down on the fucker, and it kinda sounded like a cracked knuckle.

Again, don't do this. It could be the sound of your erectile tissue bursting open thanks to added pressure. That's bad. Even at age 13, I knew well enough to not do it more than once. Maybe twice. Maybe three times. Let me see if I can do it again OH GOD EVERYTHING'S PURPLE NOW.



Someone left the remainder of a peeled orange in the area of our office kitchen where people usually leave candy, cookies, breakfast tacos for everyone to enjoy.

Would you eat this? I would be OK if it was a whole unpeeled orange, but what precedent does this set if people start eating portions of unwrapped stranger's food?

Illustration for article titled Your Stadium Timeout Diversions, Ranked

I would avoid it. That is clearly a dud orange. Someone peeled it, realized it was one of those shitty, bone-dry oranges, and then ate a few segments just because they hated the idea of wasting all that peeling effort. I've been there. Ohhhhh, I've been there.


So I would pass. If you were talking about a couple of orange segments that were positively BURSTING with juicy goodness, maybe I take the risk that no one left razor blades in it. But otherwise, no. In general, you should treat sectioned fruit as half-eaten fruit. They gotta really manhandle that orange to split the fucker up. They may as well have put it all in their mouth.


What if you could crawl into a simulator that that let you experience different ways to die? Without the lasting effects, of course. Keeping in mind you would feel every bit of discomfort that you would in real life, which form of death would be the most popular to sample? Drowning? Blunt trauma to the head? Getting shot? It has to be getting shot, right? Everyone wants to know what that feels like, right?


It's between that and jumping off a cliff. I'm no dummy. I saw the "Learning to Fly" video as a child. Any time I'm near a cliff face, which is not often, I get the urge to jump right off the thing. MAYBE I CAN FLY! Probably not, but still! Might be worth the risk.

I think about getting shot at least once a day. I'll be walking down the street and think to myself, Hey, what if someone shot me right now? That would be cool! Sometimes I even make that hissing sound that people in the movies make when they get shot. I had a football coach once who got shot in the leg by accident at Mardi Gras. When he came back, he showed everyone the bullet wound, and we were all like THAT'S AWESOME. So jumping off a cliff would be my first choice. Getting shot would be my second choice. Getting stabbed would be my LAST choice.


Of course, any kind of near-death (or in this case, death) experience comes with its own psychological toll. So you wouldn't want to overdo it. You wouldn't want to pull a Groundhog Day and die 500 times, even if you wanted to see if you really COULD bust a nut while drowning. I would hate to become addicted to death, and then jump in front of a real train because the simulator just wasn't giving me enough of a death high anymore. There's a probably a Bruce Willis movie where this has happened.

Email of the Week!

Metro Moron:

I would like to apologize to the roughly 1,000 individuals I displaced off the Ballston Metro a few weeks back. I caused the ruckus in the attached image.

I tried to get on a Metro when the doors were closing. I had slithered my way between the doors on the way home the previous evening, so this shouldn't have been a problem. It was. The door closed on my arm. Said arm was holding my computer bag. I couldn't get my computer bag through the door, nor could I pry the doors open. Some middle aged lady on the other side of the doors just kept yelling "DON'T LET GO...THEY WILL OPEN THE DOORS" while making some universal public transit sign to open the doors (I believe this made sense in her head and her head alone). It didn't work. They usually open back up, but after multiple other doors incorrectly opened followed by 30 seconds of silence, I had a bad feeling they were going to have to let everyone off. I was right. We had to empty the entire train so it could be taken out of service. Once we unloaded, I just sat against the escalator trying to put out the vibe while wearing an invisible/highly visible 20 ft tall dunce hat.

Thankfully, there was another train right behind it (which I could have taken a mere 60 seconds after I tried to parkour through a set of closing doors), so everyone just grumbled onto that one. I did not get on that train, but in retrospect, I wish I would have. "Man, can't believe they didn't just open the doors, eh??!??!?!?!? What a story!!! Happy holidays, all!!!!!"

The entire time my arm was sacrificed to the Metro door gods, I said nothing and felt like a colossal jackass. I'm a tall dude (6'10"), but I was hunched over the entire time trying to rip the doors open with one hand while the other was left clutching my computer bag for dear life. Lots of Metro dust on my arm. Heavy sweating. Multiple Twitter accounts bemoaned the delays, but most seemed to blame it on some sort of BIG DC METRO conspiracy that's becoming more and more of a real thing with each passing day. Every few seconds, I'd let out a burst of wildly inappropriate, uncomfortable laughter in hopes of diffusing the situation. Also a bad idea.

The only person I made eye contact with was an older gentleman. He would not stop glaring at me and shaking his head in disgust like that was going to somehow fix...something. I laughed, stuck out a mock pouty lip, and winked at him. He did not approve.

To everyone else but the aforementioned gentleman, I am truly, truly sorry and hope it didn't screw up your days too badly. To the aforementioned gentleman, I say good derp to you, sir.

Moral of this story - don't be an idiot with public transit like I was.

Illustration for article titled Your Stadium Timeout Diversions, Ranked

You can see why he asked to remain anonymous.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.


Image by Jim Cooke.

The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter:@DSconcourse.

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