Photo illustration by Sam Woolley | Photos by Getty

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re talking about grilling, destroying the moon, third base coaches, pizza garnishes, and more.

We have all manner of business to get to before digging into the Funbag, the most pressing of which is that WHY YOUR TEAM SUCKS begins soon. That means you should send your entries into the email link above, and you should do it sooner rather than later because I’ve been having to close submissions earlier every year to avoid having a panic attack. For those of you new to class, here are the guidelines for your entries:

  1. This is about why YOUR team sucks, not some random team you hate. If your Steelers entry starts off, “As a Ravens fan,” I will find you and torch your house.
  2. Put “WYTS” and your team name in the subject heading.
  3. Use proper spelling, capitalization and punctuation, or else I will skip your entry and then kick you into a river.
  4. Personal anecdotes and evidence of how your team caused you misery are always the bestest. Behind every asshole Steelers fan is an angry dad who is an even worse Steelers fan.
  5. Don’t fucking attach your shit as a Word doc. You expect me to click on that? I will flush a sack of marbles down your toilet.

Got all that? Good. Also, the book tour is winding down. You can catch me tonight in Asheville, N.C. (Malaprop’s, 7pm), and then back in D.C. tomorrow night for the final stop (East City Bookshop, 6:30pm). The standard progression of awkwardness-to-drunkenness will ensue.

Now, time for your letters!

Seth:

What kind of ratings do you think NBC could get if they had OJ host SNL?

They’d probably double their normal ratings but it’s a moot point because so many people would be angry about O.J. hosting that NBC would be forced to replace him before they even had a chance to broadcast it. It’s not like Don Ohlmeyer works at NBC anymore. There aren’t a lot of Hollywood types left who still think O.J. is innocent just because they golfed with him a couple of times.

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The only time you’ll see O.J. on a mainstream media network after he walks is if he sits for some soft-focus sitdown with Megyn Kelly, where he lays on the charm and makes the same tired denials and dodges that he’s made for over two decades now, while Kelly makes her bullshit “I’m listening” face while quietly fondling a stack of 100s. O.J.’s not gonna be accepted in any other fashion, at least not by those outlets. And he’s not coming out of the joint a changed man, ready to confess on air. O.J. has always been a special breed of narcissist who has the ability to believe fully in his own lies. Good thing I can’t think of anyone else like that who has a prominent role in American life!

O.J. already told his parole board that he plans on moving back to Florida after he gets out, which means that he’ll probably spend the rest of his life either lying low or, as he did in the late ‘90s, living as a circus sideshow. Back then, he did a shitload of drugs and hung out with any dimestore shitbag willing to fuck him or give him money (cash only, please). The good news for him is that the pool of dimestore shitbags has REALLY grown since his time in prison. Indeed, these are boom times for psychotic liars, which means O.J. could, in theory, re-establish his prominence in certain…oh let’s just say niche markets. Being a pariah is the new hotness in Troll America.

While the establishment will continue to shun him, he could easily say that the PC Police framed him for Nicole’s murder because they hate men and he’ll have a job at the Daily Caller within 10 minutes. Or he could become a Youtube star! After all, Jake Paul pulled that off while nearly being a worse person. I, for one, look forward to O.J. shrewdly surveying the current landscape, finding a whole new segment of the population to sucker in, and then fashioning himself into whatever fucked-up kind of hero they need him to be. It’s what he’s best at.

Isaac:

I was discussing with my brother how no New Yorker would be caught saying “The Big Apple”. Same with Bostonians and “Beantown”. We then started wondering if Chi-town or Big Easy are used by locals—and agreed that city nicknames are basically all terrible. What’s your list of worst (best?) city nicknames?

There’s no way people in New Orleans refer to it as The Big Easy. Calling it The Big Easy would probably result in a native lecturing you. GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO NO ONE HERE CALLS IT THE BIG EASY OR N’AWLINS SO DON’T DO THAT OR MY MAWMAW WILL SLAP YOU WITH A CRAWDAD (40-minute trombone freestyle). The shame of it is that The Big Easy is actually a really good nickname. It suggests New Orleans is very big and everyone there is lazy. Seems accurate to me. I’d put it right up there with The Windy City and The Mistake By The Lake for best city monikers.

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In general, people are EXTREMELY reactionary when an outsider uses any colloquial term for their hometown that they don’t approve of. If they ever see their town’s nickname used by a brand or in a movie, they practically vomit with offense. I remember referring to San Francisco as San Fran once and some Twitter guy was like NO ONE CALLS IT THAT. Like it was a goddamn crime. And God forbid you refer to anything in Boston differently than how locals do it. NO ONE CAWLS IT THE FACKIN’ HUB WE CAWL IT GRIT CITY BUT YOU AHHHHN’T ALLOWED TO CALL IT THAT BECAWSE YOU AHHHHN’T FROM HERE AND YOU DON’T GET IT YOU FACKIN’ QUEEAH!!!!!

You know what? Everyone can eat shit. I don’t see any law on the books forbidding me from calling any city what I like. In fact, from now on I’m gonna use weird nicknames for every city just to piss locals off. I’m gonna call San Francisco “San Fran,” and Buffalo “Bufftown,” and New Orleans “The Big Urinal,” and Boston “Prick City.” WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?!

By the way, I don’t know when it became law that every sports radio caller has refer to his hometown by its area code. “Hey Romey, first time long time calling in from the 603.” Like that makes you Warren G or something. All the area and airport codes in the world aren’t gonna hip up your shit town.

 

Andrew:

What are the best fillings for a chocolate bar? Caramel has to be #1, right? Also pretzels are a dark horse, here. Crunchy AND salty, sign me up.

Peanut butter! I don’t care if it’s smooth peanut butter like in a Reese’s or peanut butter-flavored glass like in a Butterfinger. I will shove children out of the way to eat any peanut butter-infused chocolate product. There’s a reason Reese’s thrives while the delightful Caramello has fallen out of favor with the Fat American demographic.

I don’t want to start ranking fillings outright, because then we’d have to haggle over what constitutes a filling and what just constitutes “bits” (like pretzel pieces, cookies, or little crispies), and then you may as well just start ranking candy bars as a whole. But I will say this: I don’t think nougat is appreciated enough among candy bar lovers. Nougat used to be a ripe target for ‘90s stand-up “What’s the deal with ____?” jokes, but there’s a reason a lot of the best candy bars like Snickers and Reese’s Fast Break have it. Nougat gives your candy bar extra chewiness and heft. The flavors last longer in your mouth because the nougat is there to linger and coat your innards in spun sugar. It’s a glorious substance. It’s much more than just a 10-minute segment of Jerry Seinfeld’s act. I’d like nougat in my burger.

One last thing: I’m a big fan of those fancy Lindt bars at the grocery store that have special bits in them like sea salt, and bits of orange, and toasted coconut, and crushed diamonds. That is some fancy after-dessert dessert shit right there. I feel like I run a railroad empire whenever I plow through a bar in one sitting.

 

David:

My girlfriend complains that I fart a lot. I can’t help it, I’ve always been gassy. They don’t even smell half the time. But now she’s suggesting I go to the bathroom with the fan on whenever I have to depressurize. Is she being unreasonable or am I just being rude?

That’s unreasonable and will hurt your feelings every time she banishes you to the toilet to let out whatever sulfites are clogging up your rectum. Love is acceptance, I say.

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However, I would reassure her that you’re going to take steps to curb your gas output, either by changing your diet (LOL) or by taking Beano (much, much more likely). I think that’s a fair compromise. And if that still doesn’t satisfy her, then perhaps your differences go beyond mere flatulence. Perhaps it’s not REALLY about the farts (although it’s probably mostly about the farts).

 

Tim:

Could I, a guy who wasn’t very good at baseball growing up but watches plenty, be an MLB third base coach for a season without anyone noticing? I feel I could wave guys home/tell them to stay (with fun over the top hand signals) and signal from the dugout what the manager wants to batters and runners.

Hey man, those signals aren’t easy. There’s a reason I blew off that Sign Language For Babies! book. Too much work.

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Anyway, I think you could make it a few games in before BADLY fucking up a running situation and costing your team a victory and having fans throw wounded soldier beer cups at you. I have no business remembering the name Dale Sveum but I do because Sox fans won’t shut the fuck up about that one time he blew waving a guy in, and that was a seasoned third base coach. You’d probably have a similar brain fart, and that’s when people would sit up and take notice that the third base coach is just a random pud.

By the way, I figured that the third base coach had serious practice responsibilities, like supervising hitting and what not. But then I did some basic research and NO! No, all a third base coach does is coach third base. That seems monstrously inefficient. The fuck do those guys do during practice? I swear to God, every baseball team has at least nine auxiliary coaches whose only job during practice is to clap and spit. Why not have the hitting coach get his fat ass out there during games and pull double duty? That’s what I would do if I were an owner, because I’d be a cheap bastard.

 

Derek:

What’s the more crucial pizza finisher? Parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes?

Red pepper flakes. That’s blasphemous, but I don’t need that Kraft brand grated wood pulp on top of my pizza, especially when good pizza usually has parm on it BEFORE it goes in the oven. I know there are cheesehounds out there who like to empty the whole parm container onto a single slice, but that shit will stick to you like glitter for the rest of the day.

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But I wanna expand the answer here and rank all pizza finishers. Are you ready to fight? Here we go:

  1. Black pepper (I add enough pepper to cook a brisket)
  2. Basil
  3. Pepperoncini
  4. Salt
  5. Red pepper
  6. Grated parm (bump this way up if it’s real parmesan regginano though)
  7. Fake weed-looking Oregano
  8. Garlic powder
  9. Being strangled
  10. Extra olives

You know what I also do sometimes? If there’s a salad on the table, sometimes I just dump some salad right onto the pizza and fold it up and eat it like a freak. Salad pizza is always better than it sounds.

 

HALFTIME!

John:

How likely is it that somebody has acquired a degree from just using their phone? Like a person registered for classes through their phone, read the material through their phone and took the tests on their phone.

Someone, likely Stephen A. Smith, has absolutely gotten a degree using just their phone. Think of internet diploma mills like the U. of Phoenix. You could probably get a bachelor’s in gun repair from there or any other phony baloney for-profit school in two hours or less. And younger people are so used to reading and typing on their phones that the idea of taking a full courseload exclusively via phone probably doesn’t seem weird at all to them.

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By the way, I would die if I had to do this. Like, imagine having to go to a real school and get a four-year degree using just your phone. I don’t think I could do it. Blue book exams are torture, but I can’t even imagine banging out term papers and reading thousands of pages of textbook material on a fucking iPhone. I’d go blind before graduating. My phone is already trying to kill me. Using it for college would finish the job.

Matt:

I write this story to you laying in bed, compression bandage around my leg, and taking off work with a pulled hamstring. How did I get here you ask? Three gin and tonics deep while banging out some Metallica in my headphones I was apparently feeling myself enough to attempt my best spontaneous Jackie Chan kick. As you may have guessed it did not go well. My question is this, given an entire day and zero distractions, could you in your wildest dreams conceive of a dumber way to injure yourself?

I don’t even think that’s all that embarrassing. You hurt yourself while bringing the RAWK. Is there a nobler way to pull a hammy? I say no. Your hammy died doing what it loved. Tom Araya of Slayer needed neck surgery because he banged his head so hard. You think he’s ashamed? Hell no.

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Take it from someone who once fought a mirror: there are far stupider, and less joyful, ways to hurt yourself. Ever punch a wall in anger? That’s REALLY dumb. To paraphrase Mitch Hedberg, you will never beat a wall. Wall is undefeated. I remember watching that scene in The Wrestler where Mickey Rourke gets pissed and, for no good reason, jams his hand into a deli slicer. And I was like, “Oh, I could see myself doing that.” So you’ve got a long way to go before you qualify for the Darwin Awards.

In fact, I would submit that MOST injuries are stupid in nature. Your average guy walking into the hospital with an arrow sticking out of his dick wasn’t trying to foil a jewel heist when that happened.

 

Andy:

Is it racist if you are not attracted to a certain race? I have a friend who does not find black women attractive. He is not at all racist in any other way, he just claims that he does not find black women (even super hot ones like Halle Berry) attractive.

Well, he’s certainly dumb. Show him the topless scene in Swordfish and then punch him in the face. Pornhub search results make it clear that everyone has their own particular sexual inclinations, but to just say, “Literally no black woman is attractive to me” is horribly closed-minded at best and downright ignorant at worst. That’s one of those things where people claim they can’t help how they feel, but they’re not really TRYING to do much about it.

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This is why Playboy always had a white girl as playmate 11 months out of the year. All their readers wanted naked white girls, so they just kept perpetuating that as the ideal until it became even more hardened. That’s bad for society AND for your boner. I say your friend should FREE HIS LIBIDO and re-examine his hang-ups. For proper training, I suggest he start with the first sex scene from The Kids Are Alright followed by the “You’re Making Me High” video. It’s never a bad thing to discover you’re hot for even MORE people than you originally thought.

 

Barry:

What is the max number of times you may walk in on your roommate jerking off before you are forced to conclude A) You are being used to fulfill his fetish for being caught, or B) He’s into circle jerks and thinks you will be one day magically charmed by the situation and join in? I am charmed by neither scenario. I’m not talking about catching him in the bathroom or his bedroom; I mean walking through my front door with him there whacking it on the couch.

Yeah, that’s not okay. Take it from someone who was once caught by his college roommate’s girlfriend while he was whaling away to an episode of The Price Is Right: The average guy NEVER wants it to happen again. If I could have added triple deadbolts to my dorm room after that particular incident, I would have. I spent YEARS terrified of getting caught again. I’d have rather been caught murdering a child.

So if you’re roommate is that blasé about getting caught multiple times, he’s either supremely lazy or enjoys it. Once is anomaly. Anything after that is suspect. It’s like the old saying: Catch you jerking once, shame on you. Catch you twice… SUPER shame on you. I think you gotta lay down the law and say, “Roomie, keep your jerking to yourself.” Then bleach all your towels and bedsheets eight times over.

 

Gabe:

What’s the worst thing to step on/in? (Besides a landmine.) Lego is obviously up there on the pain scale, but having your shoe breached by a slushy puddle when you have no way to change out of it is pretty horrible.

You and I know damn well that gum and dog poop are the worst things to step in. Stepping in either of those things will actively ruin your day. You should see me when I discover I’ve stepped in gum. I act like someone burned my house down. What is going on with my shoe? Did I just… (looks)… SON OF A BITCH. I swear to god, if they ever make an app where you can track down the person who threw their gum on the sidewalk or failed to curb their dog, murder rates in this country would increase by 56 million percent.

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The other day I stepped in shit and didn’t realize until I had already walked in the house and had tracked it onto the rug. Worst day of my life. Hey, what’s that smell? OH NOOOOOOOO. I wanted the FBI and both houses of Congress to launch an immediate investigation. Poop is the worst thing to step in, and gum isn’t far behind.

Oh, and don’t sleep on stepping on gummi worms. If you have kids, you have invariably stepped on a gummi bear or gummi worm or gummi ferret that your kid left to bake out in the sun for nine hours. It’s a rough moment.

 

Michael:

I’m a 27-year-old who has never operated a backyard grill outside of a few courtesy burger flips at BBQs while the main griller goes on a beer/bathroom run. It’s not that I actively avoided grilling but in college there was always someone else more eager to man the grill, and since graduating my apartment has not allowed one, so it never came up. I’m moving into my first home next month and my wife has made it clear I’ll be expected to be on grill duty for dinners and several decently-sized gatherings. While I’m more than happy to pull my weight in the cooking department, I have no idea how to get started and what specifically I should be learning to make on a gas grill besides frozen burgers and dogs. Hoping you have some advice that will help me hold my own at the inevitable housewarming parties I’ll be required to grill for. My big concern is being able to find that sweet spot between salmonella and charring it to a crisp.

There are plenty of handy charts out there that can guide you through how to cook different meats on a gas grill. They’ll give you time, and the temperature, and whether or not you should use direct heat or turn off a burner and use indirect heat. But you didn’t ask to be pawned off to lamer corners of the internet, so allow me to play GRILL MASTER and give you some basic shit to cook. The key is to temper pretty much everything you grill (letting it sit out of the fridge for an hour before you throw it on), and then letting it rest for 10 minutes after it’s done.

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CHICKEN BREAST: Coat it in Adobo seasoning, pepper, chopped oregano, and lemon zest. Then grill it over direct heat for 10 minutes a side.

FLANK STEAK: Same as above, but for five minutes a side.

DARK MEAT CHICKEN: Coat it in virtually any barbecue rub, then put it skin side up on indirect heat for 45 minutes to an hour.

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SALMON STEAKS: There’s this shit called za’taar that makes everything taste like it came from Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders. Rub that all over the steaks and then grill them over high heat until a little bit of the white fat starts to come out, about five minutes a side.

VEGETABLES: Coat them in olive oil and kosher salt, then grill them into oblivion.

STRIP/RIBEYE STEAKS: Coat them in a mix of kosher salt, pepper, a little bit of coffee grounds, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Cook them for six minutes a side, poking at them until they’re firm but not hard (yes yes, laugh it up).

There you go. Now you have a basic repertoire to work from. NO NEED TO THANK ME.

 

PM:

Does humanity in 2017 possess the ability to change the moon? Like, if we as a planet decided for some reason we want to move or resize the moon, do we stand a chance? We have all the world’s resources, smartest scientists and technology, does that fucker move an inch?

Nope. As this post lays out, the amount of heat energy needed to destroy the moon or knock it off its orbit is greater than the sum total of the world’s nuclear arsenal. This is a huge disappointment to those of us who yearn for an Alderaan-destroying laser, or are just plain sick of tide charts. HOW ABOUT YOU STICK TO A SET TIME FOR LOW TIDE, MAN IN THE MOON? I don’t want to have to do three seconds of research just to know if the beach is gonna smell like dead clams or not. Jerk.

 

Email of the week!

Dan:

On the question of whether fat people are more or less likely to break a bone (from the 6/16/17 Deadcast), I actually have a bit of experience on this. About 2 years ago I was hit by a car while walking across the street. I’m about 6'3" and at the time clocked in at a robust 295 lbs.

I suffered some road rash scrapes and had a massive impact bruise just above my ass where the Tesla hit me (sidenote: I didn’t hear it coming- those fuckers run quiet). I ended up with some nerve damage requiring a microdiscectomy (back surgery), but overall I came out of it pretty well, considering. My spine surgeon advised me to lose some weight (which I have), but also commented that my bodyfat level cushioned the initial vehicle impact and the impacts I made with the pavement, thus no broken bones or spine.

Regardless, I’m on the road to being thinner, just so I can not die of heart disease before I’m 50, and maybe to be more attractive to women I see when I’m out trying not to get hit by electric cars.

I’ll be damned.