Illustration by Sam Woolley

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering rock stars hating their own fans, workout albums, the Olympics, the Draymond Green nutshot, and more.

Your letters!

Anonymous:

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So, I may or may not have taken a football player’s final for $20 yesterday. It raised his final grade by a letter. I don’t know how to feel about this. Am I morally obligated to self-report to the NCAA or am I a school hero for helping one our athletes stay academically eligible?

Only $20? Tell him the next final will cost him $100 or you’re going to Mark Emmert. Surely he knows an assistant linebackers coach who knows a booster who knows a car dealer who can front him the cash.

As for moral obligations, you already know where this site stands with all that shit. As far as I’m concerned, you are performing a basic service for the athlete, one that ought to be legal and only harms the cheater in the long run. Furthermore, you are entitled to appropriate black market value for your services, which means MORE than twenty lousy bucks. After all, if you get caught, who do you think Coach Buttslapper will point to as a scapegoat? It ain’t Johnny Quarterback. This is why you should include a mandatory 10% risk assessment fee on all future cheating services.

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Michael:

My friend and I are trying to decide on the most played album in weight room history. Has to be Metallica The Black Album right? My buddy says Jay Z – The Blueprint. Another said Linkin Park - Metoria. I know no one plays full albums anymore, but I’m right, right?

I think The Black Album is easily in the top 5 but I think it has a lot of competition for the top slot. Here’s how I would rank them. (NOTE: Rankings based on zero data!)

1. Back in Black. It’s the best-selling hard rock album of all time AND it’s on the older side. If you were lifting weights back in 1981, what else would you listen to? You had to just play Back in Black on a loop for a few years until Master of Puppets finally came along.

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2. Appetite for Destruction. You know what I used to like to do? I would get all fired up to RACK SOME SWEET WEIGHTS by popping Appetite into the stereo and then, when the opening riff of “Welcome to the Jungle” hit, I would do a little air guitar flourish. That’s a strong weight room move. You don’t go full air guitar. You just wait until the guitar hits, and watch as everyone realizes what tape you’ve put in. Then you give everyone a little taste… a little AW YEAH move before you go and SLAY some concentration curls.

3. The Black Album. One reason The Black Album may not be #1 is because fanboys like me enjoy a steady rotation of the first five Metallica albums. So you mix in a little bit of Puppets here and Ride the Lightning there while you strut around the joint in your weight belt. Who is that strong virile man listening to such bold music? He must be a superhero because he has a large belt on!

4. Dark Side of the Moon. As a child of the 80s, I was ordered by law to remember that Dark Side stayed on the Billboard album chart for a record 736 weeks. In fact, all of seventh grade was just a yearlong study of Pink Floyd album sales. Anyway, some asshole probably did squats to this a lot.

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5. The Marshall Mathers LP. If you’ve ever been in a weight room, you know that it’s usually populated with guys who like brooding songs about spousal homicide.

6. Break The Cycle. AW YEAH LET’S GET SOME FUCKIN STAIND UP IN THIS BITCH. Your local Gold’s Gym is an incubator for the hottest butt rock trends. Staind owes its whole legacy to power lifters.

Honorable mention to Slippery When Wet, Devil Without A Cause, License To Ill, that stupid Moby album, The Chronic, Puppets, Dookie, and the Garth Brooks album of your choice. But no fucking Eagles albums.

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When I was a kid, I used to go lift weights at the local YMCA, and the free weights were in their own little room, across from the cardio and stretching and Nautilus equipment. And any time you walked in, the local hard rock station would be on, blasting out AC/DC and GNR and all that. And I was always like “Yeah baby, this is THE GUY ROOM.” Then I’d lodge my shoulders under the squat bar and pump my muscles, hoping people noticed me through the window. HOW YOU LIKE ME IN MY WEIGHT CAVE, AMERICA?! I was not a mature person.

Matt:

How long is it appropriate to talk on your cell phone when you are in the car with at least one other person in the vehicle? I say under a minute is acceptable but that’s it. My roommate was on the phone with her mom for almost 15 minutes the other day and I wanted to tuck and roll at 50 mph after minute three. Isn’t it common knowledge that nobody wants to listen to just your half of the convo?! Tell your mommy “hey I’m in the car with other people, can I give you a call back when the person actually has the option of escaping our uninteresting formal wear discussion?”

Yup. You get one minute, especially when you can have the same conversation via text. And you know what else? It’s even worse when you hear the entire conversation between two people. I have Bluetooth in our minivan and I deeply regret it, because A) Every time the radio cuts out and the phone rings, it scares me shitless, and B) You have to hold the rest of the family hostage to finish the call. If my wife takes a call in the middle of the ride, everyone in the car just stares at her until she finally hangs up. It is NOT a natural dynamic.

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Being on the phone is a lot like being inside a car itself. Everyone on the road is isolated and believes that every other driver is a dick EXCEPT for them. And that’s true of phones and screens as well. If I’m in a restaurant and someone is loud on the phone, I get pissed. But if I’m the one who’s on the phone, then a kind of temporary amnesia sets in, where I forget how dickish it is to be loud on the phone in public. They should just make it so that your phone shocks you with a taser volt if you talk for more than thirty seconds. And if you hit the SPEAKERPHONE icon, then the phone injects you with liquid mercury.

By the way, the only thing worse than hearing someone else on the phone is hearing them play a video without headphones, especially ANY viral video. Any viral video is basically homicide fuel if you’re forced to listen to it secondhand. Like the Chewbacca mask lady? That was a funny video, right? But now imagine that someone in the room is watching it and you aren’t. Suddenly it’s not so funny. Suddenly it’s a real problem. “THE FUCK IS SO FUNNY OVER THERE, HUH?!”

Ian:

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Is it even possible for the US to boycott the Olympics, or is there way too much money involved? I’ve got to think that some NBC exec would stab Obama in the neck if he ever tried. This bums me out because I like watching things go sideways.

Yeah, it’s basically impossible to cancel at this point. One reason the Olympics scam will never die is because, since they only happen once every four years, everyone involved has an incentive for them to go on. The networks wanna keep their sponsor money. The sponsors want their branding platform. And the athletes don’t want to skip out on their best chance at both glory and a potential career-making event that may never come along for them again. If you spent the first 20 years of your life training for THIS, and someone tells you that you’ll be swimming in poop, you’re probably gonna go ahead and swim in poop.

The Olympics are too big and too rare and too lucrative an event for all parties involved to heed warnings about disease, graft, and worker exploitation. The people who would benefit most from the Olympics disappearing are people who have no influence over them. That’s why they’ll go on, as planned, no matter the risk. If the 1980 Olympics had happened today, the US never would have boycotted them. I guarantee it.

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James:

I went to ND for grad school (infinitely less self-righteous than an undergrad, I swear) and I live in Dallas. I was having idle chitchat with an Aggie co-worker who began talking shit. I point out that there’s no real rivalry between our schools, take it easy. He says, yeah because rivalries are generally even, and the Ags own the Irish. I have zero recollection of the Irish ever playing A&M. I looked it up; they’ve played 5 times ever, with three of them being bowl games. And ND is 3-2. This conversation happened 2 days ago. I can’t bring up the record now and tell this guy how wrong he is, can I? I look like that much more of a petulant shit. I just have to eat it, right?

No way. Fuck him. You print out that stat and you walk right up to that ROTC shitbag and you staple it to his big stupid Texas face. Notre Dame sucks and everyone hates Notre Dame, but that guy has no business trying to pretend that A&M is in a class above them. It’s A&M, for crying out loud. They haven’t won dick. Their most famous alum is on the verge of renting himself out for dwarf-tossing parties. DON’T TAKE THAT SHIT LYING DOWN.

By the way, there is no better person to trash talk than a fellow co-worker. Here’s someone who isn’t really your friend, and whose opinion matters very little to you in the grand scheme of things. He’s a perfect target for unleashing a torrent of hate mail and deeply researched sports burns. Write him an email every day to remind them how badly your team owns his:

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From: James

To: Chad

Subject: RE: Guess who blew an undefeated season to us in the 1993 Cotton Bowl, asshole?!

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Suck my balls! Also, I need competitive data on BarnCorp by EOD.

Andrew:

For all our eye-rolling, would you ever want to go back to pre-foodie days? Sure, pomp and snobbery are bad, but I remember eating in the 80's and 90's. It was bad. Everyone cooked everything to death, and fast food was a false god. Surely we’re better off dealing with smug assholes than not being able to find good tacos.

Oh yeah, of course. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: Everyone goofs on hipsters, but we’re clearly better off with them. You can go to pretty much any city now and find some replica Brooklyn street with ramen parlors and tea emporiums and restaurants that have “provisions” somewhere in the name and will sell you a Moscow Mule and a $12 plate of upscale cold cuts. I’m all for that. Now when I hit a random city, I can just ask the hotel person, “Hey, where’s the hipster area?” And they can take one look at my fat white face and know exactly what kind of neighborhood I’m looking for. “Oh, you want West Sixth Street. Try Birdie’s Larder. They make a GREAT Korean barbecue custard.”

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HALFTIME!

Travis:

What feels better: a sneeze that sneaks up on you or a sneeze that you feel coming and takes awhile to happen?

The latter. I got back problems, so I can’t have any sneeze sneaking up on me. That’s an ER visit waiting to happen. Too dangerous. I have to be primed, and in proper sneezing position. I also like to make the “I’m about to sneeze” face, where I freeze and kinda look like I just smelled something weird. Then I slowly raise my arms and KABOOM! Snot all over the walls. It’s a real performance. I like to plan my sneezes out, even if I risk the dreaded humiliation of telegraphing my sneeze to everyone around and then failing to produce. “Oh! Turns out I don’t have to sneeze at all! As you were.”

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Josh:

Is there any better feeling than having your buzzer at a restaurant start flashing/vibrating? The shock of it going off quickly changes to the thrill of knowing you have survived and earned your upcoming meal. You think have been chosen to move into the dining room, because you are the hungriest person there. You think that there must have been something you did to get to eat before the rest of the line, but ultimately knowing you have just waited your turn like everybody else.

I have a love/hate relationship with the restaurant vibrator. On the one hand, it solves the obvious problem of me putting my name in at the front, going to the bar, and then spending 20 minutes terrified that the hostess has forgotten that I exist, or that she’s given my table away to some prick. Also, some of the vibrators double as tasteful coasters, and it’s fun to watch one go batshit crazy when your table is finally ready. It’s like the thing is trying to tell you that your clothing is on fire. I like to hold the vibrator up so that everyone in the bar notices it. WHY YES THEY HAVE CHOSEN ME.

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On the other hand, any restaurant that uses them is fucking annoying. There’s a reason that Le Bernardin doesn’t hand you a fucking light-up Chuck E. Cheese novelty coaster when you walk in. The restaurant vibrator is a clear sign that you have walked into a huge, crowded, tacky, expensive chain restaurant that gives zero fucks about making you wait forever (that’s you, Cheesecake Factory). They are handing you that coaster to make you go away. I know their schemes. They think they can leave me in the doorway holding this circus souvenir for forty minutes? WELL THEY’VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING.

David:

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Steven Adams, who made $2.279 million this year, has taken two pretty brutal kicks/knees to the balls from Draymond Green this series. If someone offered you a job where your sole responsibility was to, twice a year, stand in the middle of an arena full of people and have a large, athletic man kick you in the balls as hard as he can, would you take it? The job requires a lifetime contract, so you’re getting a bi-annual ball kick until you die, and you’re not allowed to have any other earned income (i.e. no shopping your memoirs around, but investment income is still fair game). The job pays 2.279 million a year in 2016 dollars, adjusted for inflation. Do you take it? I say hell yes, bur my buddy says I’m an idiot.

What? Who says no to that? I’d take that in a heartbeat. The average man experiences at least one or two nuts shots a year anyway (quintuple that if you have children), so why not monetize them? Put a fucking steel boot on Draymond for all I care. I’m taking that money and buying the fanciest, most luxurious frozen peas you’ll ever find to cool my aching balls down. Then I’m putting my kids through Super Harvard, which is the secret Harvard that only multi-millionaires are allowed to know about. It’s located on an island and there’s free lobster every day. And when your kid graduates, they automatically get a $300,000/yr banking job. My exploding balls are willing to shoulder the burden for that.

By the way, I’m overjoyed at the prospect of the greatest team in basketball history potentially going down thanks in part to one poor man’s brutalized scrotum. If the Thunder win the series, they should spray champagne directly onto Adams’ ball sack. And if they go on to win a title, the ballsack should get to ride in its own float. One day I’ll tell my kids about seeing Steven Adams balls live on TV. Gonna be a proud moment. I haven’t seen a group of people rally around a man’s balls like that since the Clinton Administration.

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Rbp:

Which band/artist hated the highest percentage of their own fan base?

MORRISSEY! I assume that every Morrissey concert ends with him spitting on you, accusing you of murdering animals, and then throwing sachets of hydrochloric acid at the front row. Morrissey fucking hates everyone. He’s the best. Some more candidates:

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Lou Reed. Lots of artists hate their fans, but few of them would have the gall to record an entire album just as a Fuck You to them.

Oasis. Liam Gallagher, specifically. Ask Liam to sing “Wonderwall” and he will bite your ear off.

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Steve Miller. You saw him at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, right? He doesn’t seem like the happiest fellow. Every time you scream at him to play “The Joker,” he visualizes knifing you and leaving you for dead in an alleyway. So many of those old timers are so, so bitter.

Rivers Cuomo. Infamously despises Weezer fanboys’ favorite album and has spent the past decade or so deliberately trying to write the dumbest songs possible in retaliation. I’m not even sure I blame him. Weezer fans were Gamergate before Gamergate was Gamergate.

Sting. I remember watching an old VH1 special about The Police where Stewart Copeland was fed up with Sting rearranging every hit song in concert to be a fucking Chilean waltz or whatever. Imagine going to see them live and getting treated to “Roxanne” as a xylophone instrumental.

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Axl Rose. If he loved you, he’d be punctual.

Lauryn Hill. Ditto.

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Billy Corgan. God, fucking Corgan. Not only is Corgan the worst vocalist in rock history, but he’s also one of the most contemptuous assholes in the universe. Smashing Pumpkins weren’t even that good of a band, and this guy treats his own shitty albums like they’re some kind of historical artifact that can’t be taken out of the cellophane packet for fans to touch. I hate him almost as much as he hates the rest of us.

John Lennon. Broke up The Beatles because he didn’t want you to have nice things. What a bastard.

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Mark:

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for a number of years and we’re getting married soon. Obviously we will celebrate our wedding day as our anniversary going forward, but does the old “How long we’ve been together” anniversary get thrown out completely? What’s the accepted protocol here, especially because the two dates aren’t anywhere near each other.

It’s a cute factoid to bring up every so often, but you’re not obligated to remember it or buy a gift or anything. No cards. No flowers. My wife and I remember it, but only because it’s close to our actual wedding date and because it allows us to pad the “years together” stat, which is always fun. “Yes, we’ve been married for fourteen years, but we’ve been TOGETHER for seventeen. Trophy pleeeez.” I also like to dramatically sigh any time we tally up all that time. “Seventeen years, huh? OOF.” She’s a huge fan of that.

Mark:

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I just finished having a conversation with my boss and he said he uses his iPad WHILE he gets a haircut! He has to be the only person in the world who does this right? Is this normal behavior?

How does he do that?! Doesn’t he get bits of hair on the iPad? They could get caught in the button! Does he just throw the iPad out and buy a new one after every haircut? This is a crazy person. If you are a barber and your client whips out an iPad or a Bluetooth headset instead of talking to you about the weather and/or the politics of the day, you are legally allowed to stab him in the jugular with your shears.

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Nate:

Is there a polite or easy way to tell your significant other that they drive like a horse’s ass?

Not really. All you can do is make passive aggressive comments and grit your teeth every time they make a turn into direct traffic, and hopefully they get the hint after roughly three decades or so. Good luck!

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Like I said at the top, driving is a real blind spot for everyone. Even now, at age 39, I still get pissy when people judge my driving. I took my family out to lunch last week and took a wrong turn (NOTE: God is determined to make me look bad any time I am in the car with my loved ones), and then I got all huffy about it, even though my wife barely said a word about my fuckup. It didn’t matter. I was just like, “Oh, you got something to say? WELL THEN YOU DRIVE, MISSY!” And I pulled over and we switched. I was just that much of a baby about it. I think I was hungry at the time. So tread lightly.

Andrew:

How does one go about asking a hot air balloon operator to turn around so you can have sex with your balloon ride date?

Well hopefully, you hired a veteran balloon pilot who knows to keep his back turned once a couple decides to start boning in mid-air. You’re paying him for both his piloting skills AND his discretion. Be sure to tip him BEFORE you get in the basket, and offer a playful wink so that he knows there’ll be hanky panky about!

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In all seriousness, I don’t know why anyone would go up in one of those things. I wouldn’t be able to hit on my date because I’d be too busy shitting my pants.

Jon:

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As a father, is there anything more satisfying then successfully putting the baby to sleep after your wife has tried and failed?

Nope. Also, be on the lookout for the fabled “Daddy Phase” in which your child goes from only wanting mommy to—for a brief period—only wanting YOU. It’s a pretty sweet moment (“Well well well, look who’s the better parent now!”), until you realize how much extra work is involved. Holy shit, this kid wants me to bathe him AND read to him. You sure you don’t want mommy for all that, boy?

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John:

As a fellow Viking fan, I think we can agree the Packers are trout sniffers. But I suspect that Vikes matter less to the Pack than do the Bears. How humiliating is it when your arch-enemy’s main rival isn’t YOU?

It’s awful. If anything, it makes me hate the Packers more. Oh, so we’re not your true rival, eh? Well maybe if I burn down your stadium and kidnap all your children, you’ll see things differently! I WON’T BE IGNORED.

Email of the week!

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Nick:

I just now learned about your tussle with your reflection in a department store, so I had to immediately tell you my tale. In 2013, I went with some friends to the Texas A&M-Alabama game, where a million points were scored and a billion yards were gained. Anyway, after the game, we were bar-hopping as the young college kids do, and due to the crowds we shuffled into the very middle of this bar with some posts and counters. Or so I thought.

I leaned up against the middle counter/bar, and as I glanced to the other side of the bar opposite the counter, I noticed it was equally crowded. As I glanced closer to my line of vision I noticed a person that looked much like me. I also noticed this fellow had the same pair of sunglasses I had tucked into my shirt, and we both pointed to each other’s pairs at the same time.

At this exact second, it looked like this other guy was extending his hand out for a handshake, so I followed suit...which resulted in my hand hitting against the glass mirror and an embarrassingly painful moment of awareness. I don’t remember telling any of my friends about this. I don’t really have a question; I just wanted to express my solidarity with your plight.

Stay strong, brother.