Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering Christmas dinner, paintball, cell phone cases, and more.

Your letters:

Anonymous:

My girlfriend and I are expecting another child together. I bet the farm on it being another girl. That said, we are going over potential names, One of the names she likes is Gianna. Here is the dilemma: Once upon a time, Gianna Michaels was one of my favorite porn stars. When my GF said she liked Gianna, that is the first thing that popped into my head. How do I get her to change the name?

The easiest way out of this is to lie and say you had an ex-girlfriend named Gianna, or that you once hooked up with a girl named Gianna. That’s usually enough to discourage your baby momma from moving forward with her plans. And if she asks for details, you can just concoct a story using various elements of old porn clips from the porn star herself. “Well, you see, she was my real estate broker, and when she showed me an apartment, she told me EVERYTHING was included with the apartment. And then we boned on the sink.” Problem solved!

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The problem is that you live in an age of freely accessible and widely distributed porn. So chances are, once your baby momma crosses Gianna off the list, she’ll just grab a new name that ALSO reminds you of a porn star. “What about Jenna? THAT SOUNDS CUTE AND INNOCENT!” Pretty much every female name now has a famous porn star attached to it. That’s probably 60 percent of the reason white people are naming their children after Instagram filters now. Just a bunch of terrified men desperate to keep their filthy porn habits under wraps. This is why we did not name my kid Stacy Valentine Magary.

In general, you will find that people tend to make their names their own. When I watch Anita Baker sing, I’m not like, “Hey! She has the first name as Anita Blonde! THEY’RE THE SAME PERSON TO ME.” That’s not how it works. The name and the person form their own weird entity. You oughtta be able to compartmentalize to some degree. There’s Gianna the baby, and Gianna the lady you saw do that thing with the eggplant.

Brett:

We’ve had ham for 22 years straight on Christmas Eve. I do not like ham. I’m going home around a week early this year, so time to marinate isn’t a factor. What is the best roast I can make? I say it’s leg of lamb; my sister wants beef tenderloin.

You don’t like ham? But it’s ham! It’s nothing but salt and fat. When I’m old and decrepit, I’m just gonna gnaw on ham bones like a medieval king all day.

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Anyway, I would suggest you make PRIME RIB for Christmas. Tenderloin can dry out easily, whereas prime rib is pretty much an $80 hunk of beef tallow. First, buy a big fucking rib roast with the bone still in it. Second, buy a really big onion. Then, when you get home, heat your oven to 250 degrees. Next, coat the rib roast in a shitload of kosher salt and pepper. Then, mix up some chopped rosemary, a few cloves of chopped garlic, and some orange zest in a bowl and rub that mixture all over the roast, too.

Next, grab a pan and put it on the stove at medium to high heat. Sear the roast on all sides until it’s good and brown and you want to rub it all over your body. While that sears, peel the big onion and slice it in half lengthwise. Put the onion halves down in a baking dish and then put the roast on top of it. (Or, skip the onion part and use a big roasting rack if you have one of those, which I do not.) Put a thermometer in the roast and toss that shit in the oven.

It’ll take a few hours depending on the size of the roast, but it cooks to medium rare at about 130 degrees or so. Then take it out and let it rest for a while before you carve it. Be sure to pick at the fat: You cooked it, so you have the right. You can also make au jus out of the onion and fatty beef juices on the bottom of the baking dish if you want (just add water and simmer).

Goddamn, now I really want some prime rib. Let’s all have prime rib every day of the year. If I were running for president, hyperloops and daily prime rib would constitute the entirety of my platform.

Nick:

Who do you think would win a cage fight melee between all four major networks’ top NFL broadcast teams? That is, Nantz and Simms vs. Buck and Aikman vs. Michaels and Collinsworth vs. Tirico and Gruden. Assume no weapons allowed, but other than that it’s no holds barred. I say ESPN takes it hands down, mainly because Jon Gruden seems capable of terrible, terrible things and Tirico could probably hold his own.

Yeah, I think Gruden would clean up against all those old fogies. Every time they cut to Gruden in the booth, he looks like there’s a guy tied to a folding chair off camera and he’s about to work the guy’s face like a side of beef. If Jon Gruden were a cop, he’d be the guy they call in to punch the shit out of the suspect after he won’t talk. “This’ll teach you to lawyer up, son. I’m gonna beat your ass, and then I’m gonna go have a hot meal at the local Hooters.”

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Part of this is a pose. Gruden’s job is to sell you on FOOTBAW, so he always announces every game as if he’s about to go play in the game itself. It’s actually his worst trait as an announcer. But he’s relatively young and fit compared to the rest of that announcing lot. Al would just run away to his suite at the Four Seasons; Simms and Aikman have a combined 7,000,000 cerebral hemorrhages between them. Simms sounds like he’s being awakened with a pair of defibrillator paddles for three straight hours every week. WHAT?! OH! HEY I TELL YA!

Also, Tirico can be a surprisingly aggressive fellow. Never forget!

Tirico approached her and said, “I wish I was single. If I were, I’d throw you on the table right here and fuck your brains out.” After she tried to excuse him as drunk, he persisted: “I know you want to screw me. So let’s leave.”

Okay! Sounds like a good time.

Darren:

Let’s say ol’ Nicky Saban decides to quit Alabama to try and rebuild a really awful football program ... like Kansas or Rutgers awful. How long until he could turn the Jayhawks into a respectable program given their current dilemma? One year clearly wouldn’t be enough, as a program like that is so devoid of talent above an 8th-grade level, but I don’t think it would take much more than two or three years to get his usual cyborg recruits and start winning some games.

One year would be all he needed. Alabama was a train wreck before Saban took over, and they went to the Sugar Bowl just two seasons after he arrived. (Saban’s predecessor was current Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who is apparently now a head coaching candidate because of Carolina’s unblemished record … DO NOT HIRE THIS MAN).

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And look at Michigan. Take away that botched punt against MSU and they’re a Top 1 team in just one year under Jim Harbaugh. That’s the difference a coach can make in college. In the NFL, quarterbacks make all the difference. In college, it’s the coach. The coach is the one who recruits. The coach is the one who has to maximize what limited practice time there is with players—young players who can be VERY unreliable if they aren’t coached properly. You also have to adjust to each school’s particular advantages and disadvantages, as outlined to me here by my amigo Spencer Hall:

You’re at Stanford, cool, you can only recruit smart kids from L.A. You’re at Navy, well, guess what, you’re an option team. You’re in the Big 12, so fuck you, you’re gonna have to run the spread, because every high school in Texas runs the spread.

The coach is also the one raising money and getting fans and boosters all to invest in the program, and some pud like Charlie Weis can’t do that. If you have a coach of diverse talents who already knows how to put all of those support structures in place, a shitty program can turn around in no time flat.

John:

So, my company is having an offsite planning meeting, and on one of the days we are going to play paintball as a team-building exercise. I’m not sure how shooting your coworkers with high-velocity spheres of paint counts as team-building, but I’ll go with it. The question is, how crazy do I go on this? Do I channel my inner Chuck Norris/James Bond/Jason Bourne and shoot them without remorse? Or should I be more reserved and allow myself to get blown up like Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen?

You can go crazy. It’s fine. Some co-workers will be extremely casual about it, and you can hunt those fuckers down and take them out first. That will clear the field of n00bs and dipshits and leave only the SERIOUS gamers. Then you can show your boss the full breadth of your ambitions when you stalk him and light his sorry ass up. You’re a real go-getter! You might even get promoted that same day. Or everyone will think you’re a psychopath because you spent all day hiding in a tree stand while everyone else got purposely eliminated so they could go play beer pong. Either way, you’ve made a name for yourself!

Jimmy:

I don’t like Star Wars. All of my friends, and we’re all around 40, fucking LOVE Star Wars. Which is fine. To each his own. The problem is, all my friends assume that I share their love of Star Wars. On the nerd scale, they all fall around Patton Oswalt in character on King of Queens, so it’s not like they’re a bunch of neckbeards, but I know I will hear endless shit if I tell them Star Wars just mostly bores me. So, do I stay closeted as a non-Lucasexual, or do I come out?

Well, have you ever TRIED liking Star Wars? Maybe you just haven’t found the right Star Wars movie yet! Allow me to direct you to my church’s Star Wars conversion-therapy program. My cousin entered it a year ago and could NOT be happier.

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Anyway, my wife doesn’t like Star Wars either, and it’s not like we sit there all day arguing about which one of us is right about it. That would be stupid and unproductive (and I would win!). If you don’t like Star Wars but your friends do, just leave it. You don’t want to get into Star Wars with a bunch of Star Wars freaks like me. We’ll just go on for HOURS, rehashing all the same shit we rehash every few years when a new movie comes around. Eventually, the new movie will be released, and then people will shut up about Star Wars for a few months, until the trailer for the NEXT one comes out and we start up all over again. I THINK RIAN JOHNSON REALLY UNDERSTANDS WHAT THE FRANCHISE IS ALL ABOUT.

Kent:

Have you RANKED the worst types of trade media before? Sports (I guess that could even be broken down into baseball, football, basketball), politics, tech, financial, media, celebrity/entertainment, pop culture ...

Oh, God. God, they’re all so terrible, and in their own distinct way. Even when you break sportswriting down by sport, you find niches of insufferablilty. The football media is a bunch of humorless assholes. The baseball media is a bunch of pennant-waving goody-goodies who spend every day standing in front of a Zoltar machine asking to be small again. And basketbloggers should all be thrown into a pit of angry bees. Anyway, I’m gonna try to rank these dipshits as best I can (in descending order of tolerability), although these rankings can change at any moment as each faction jockeys to be the absolute worst:

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1. Political media. Think of the wide scope of horrific people this category entails, from Michael Savage to Keith Olbermann. Imagine having to eat dinner with George Will. IMAGINE IT. Imagine sitting there while that old colostomy bag goes on and on and on about what today’s political environment MEANS. And then you think the meal is over, but he orders a decaf coffee and KEEPS TALKING. You would die. You’d never get out of alive. Not only are those people awful, but the only people they ever talk to are each other!

2. Finance/Tech. A strong contender for the No. 1 slot, because 90 percent of finance and tech-media people are just old bankers/startup guys paid to whore for their ex-colleagues and spend their time off-camera encouraging you to do CrossFit.

3. Media. There shouldn’t even be a media media. This arm of the media was created specifically because the media can’t ever shut the fuck up about itself.

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4. Showbiz. They call Westerns “oaters”! And what about Perez Hilton? He’s the worst person on Earth.

5. Sports. That’s me! I SUCK.

6. Food. Eh, they seem okay. At least they like to eat.

HALFTIME!

Wes:

After a recent cell-phone purchase, I am faced with the dilemma whether or not to buy a case for my phone. The thing is, I hate cell-phone cases. First off most common cases are tasteless colors like bright blues, yellows, and pinks—shit colors you would never own. Or you stick with black or grey and be one of the many lookalikes. Why do cell-phone manufacturers make these cool-looking expensive devices, and then we have to cover them with cheap, garbage cases? Can’t they just make a good-looking phone you can functionally use without a case?

I have the answer to this! The iPhone was invented by Steve Jobs, a man who NEVER exercised and never tailored any of his products to people who exercise, much to the bafflement of his coworkers. That’s why there’s no iPhone Sport, which is completely insane. There should be an iPhone Sport, and it should be bright yellow like the old Sport Walkmans, with the little gray rubber sealing that made your Walkman look like a miniaturized James Bond sub.

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But there’s no iPhone Sport, because Jobs was a lazy hippie, and because Apple openly wants your phone to break every two years so that you have to spring for a new one. Also, BIG PHONE CASE makes a mint on accessorizing your phone. You should see the way kids go apeshit for rhinestone phone covers. That’s why the local Cellaris kiosk at the mall can get away with charging $30 for some shitty rabbit-ear case that doubles the mass of your original phone.

Anyway, despite the ongoing scam, you should buy a case for your phone to protect it, and you should NEVER ever buy that case at the mall or at an Apple store. There isn’t a single accessory in an Apple store for less than $35. It’s an outrage. Meanwhile, you can order a decent case off Amazon for less than 10 bucks. In fact, just order two so you have a second one handy when you get taco grease in all the nooks of the first one. My phone is now dirtier than the inside of a human ear canal.

Jaycee:

You have an extra ticket for your local NFL team. This is a team who’s not a Jacksonville or a Cleveland, but a team who’s in first in their division and is generally exciting to watch. You ask a buddy, and he says, “I’ll get back to you.” What’s the appropriate amount of time that you can wait before offering it to someone else, who you know would certainly give you an answer on the spot if they can or can’t go? I would say common courtesy would be two or three days max, right? This game is one month away: plenty of time to work out any potential scheduling conflicts. I think an “I’ll get back to you” is just a passive-aggressive “Thanks but no thanks.” Thoughts?

Yeah, “I’ll get back to you” is really just a way of telling your friend that you’re looking for an excuse not to go, but haven’t quite found one yet. I think your time frame is fine in the scenario you outlined, but the truth is that there’s never a month of lead time on this sort of thing. Usually, the scenario is that the game is TONIGHT, and you have an extra ticket, and natural law dictates that absolutely everyone you know has other plans. That’s adulthood in a nutshell for you: No one is ever free to do anything. Anyway, when that’s the case, your boy has a time limit of roughly one hour to make a formal decision, because you gotta field other suitors. Nothing worse than having it be open-ended and then have two assholes commit to a single ticket. It’s like a shitty sitcom.

Christian:

I just brought a 44-ounce ICEE into the office after lunch, and all the gym nerds are giving me shit. They’re the assholes, right?

Fuck ’em! They’re just BUTTHURT because you’re the only one with the BALLS to go out and there and have what a man truly desires: namely, a giant bucket of sugar water that will kill you young. They wish they had the soon-to-be-extinguished life you have. I bet they’ve never been BEEN with an ICEE. Never touched lips to one. Total ICEE virgins.

Amory:

Let’s say that during the middle of the State of the Union, the president gets a sudden nosebleed—what happens? Do you call it quits, or just do the damn thing with some tissues stuffed in your nose? I bet Teddy Roosevelt just keeps going like nothing happened, but there’s no way Carter isn’t down for the count.

I have to think that there are already contingencies in place in case the president suffers from a nosebleed or has a visible bat in the cave during any public address. His podium is almost certainly equipped with emergency supplies such as water, tissues, hankies, duct tape, a flashlight, and a .357 Magnum pistol just in case Congress became zombified. Also, the president has a teleprompter and an earpiece in place for these big speeches, so an aide could easily direct him to brush away any loose-hanging scab tissue or plug his nostril with a cotton ball. They leave nothing to chance at the White House. I bet war plans are less detailed than the emergency-mustard-stain-alert kit.

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I actually feel bad for guys like Marco Rubio who have dared to have their political speeches interrupted by a moment of actual human experience. Like, the guy reached for a bottle of water during a speech because he was thirsty. What the fuck else was he supposed to do? If the president got a nosebleed during a speech, people would make memes of it from now into oblivion. And it wouldn’t be fair at all! You people tossing the crying MJ face on his sinus infection are MONSTERS.

For real though, it would be great. I hope it happens to Trump. No one would handle a nosebleed more poorly.

Patrick:

What percentage of cold or flu sufferers imagine themselves as Patient Zero in a world-ending plague? If I let loose a muffled cough in the office, I inevitably imagine myself in the opening scene of a real-life version of The Stand.

It’s only if I’m really sick. Like, if I’m shivering and holed up in bed and moaning on my side, THEN I’m ready to act like Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion. Or Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. Remember when he gets sick as a dog at the brothel and is just shivering in a wool blanket before he goes and fucks everyone up? That’s how I act when I’m sick. I really milk it for all its worth. WE ALL HAVE IT COMIN’, KID.

Tom:

Could you do it, Drew? Could YOU kill Baby Hitler? How would you do it?

For the record, no. No, I could not kill a goddamn baby sitting there in its crib. I would stand above the child, knife in hand, psyching myself up to do it. And then I would burst into tears and drop the knife is a very dramatic slow-motion shot. Then I would go find Hitler’s mom, grab her by the collar, and scream FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T LET HIM APPLY TO ART SCHOOL.

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And then I would hope that would be enough. Everyone else talks a good game about slaughtering infants, but who among us REALLY has the guts to make it happen? We should clone Hitler babies and have professional Baby Hitler Killing as a sport in order to separate the men from the poseurs.

Matt:

What are we as a country going to do if Star Wars is terrible? I don’t know if we can take that kind of hit to our collective morale. I mean, the president had to go on primetime last night to reassure us we aren’t all going to be murdered and remind us not to be horrible bigots. We have hyped this movie like nothing before. If Episode VII is akin to the prequels, what is the national reaction going to be like? I think we need to have a contingency plan in place.

We’ve already survived the prequels, and nothing could be worse than the prequels, given how much time and anticipation came in between. By contrast, you’re talking about a relatively short period between Star Wars movies, with a general public that is already HIGHLY fearful that they are in for yet one more horrible disappointment. If the movie’s bad, I’ll just throw my hands up and act like one of those Cleveland fans watching the Ravens take that blocked field goal to the house. I would just be angry at myself for getting my hopes up all over again. But it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I could go watch Fury Road again or something.

All that said, please don’t let this movie suck, or I’ll kill myself.

Preston:

Do the Bengals stand any chance whatsoever in the playoffs?

Nope.

Email of the week!

Ky:

I forgot to renew my car registration. I drove around nervously with an expired sticker for a few days when I realized that I just don’t see many police cars on my daily commute and that a “2015” registration sticker looks an awful lot like a “2016” from a few yards away. I just kept driving and driving with that expired sticker. Seven months later, my wife was so paranoid that I would get pulled over that she made me go get it renewed. I got to the DMV and there was literally no line. I paid a $5 late fee, was in and out in under 10 minutes, and didn’t even have to provide proof of insurance (already on file, they said). I walked out of there with absolutely zero consequences for breaking the law for weeks on end, and I have been giddy with excitement ever since.

Now, though, I’m worried that I used up all my luck on this one stupid thing, and that I’ve got nothing left in the tank to cover the next 70-odd years of life. Is there a way to get luck back on credit? Or did I just splurge all of my karma?

Nope, you used it all. Next week, you get hit by a van. In an ironic twist, it will ALSO have expired tags.


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.

Lead illustration by Jim Cooke.