Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Evil New Toy Fad That Must Be Destroyed

Illustration by Sam Woolley
Illustration by Sam Woolley
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I was on single parent duty this weekend because the wife was on a gals’ vacation, so I took my older son to a soccer game and had to bring the younger one as well. And before we left, I asked the four-year-old, “You wanna use the bathroom?”



“Because there’s no bathroom at the field, you know. You should really go.”



So we go to the field next to a local school and, sure as shit, within five minutes the kid is knocking knees and whining that he has to go.

“We’ll go in a bush behind the school,” I tell him.

“No, I have to poop!”


We check every door on the school and they’re all locked shut. And there’s no time to drive to some place that has a real bathroom, so I take the boy far behind the school, find a big tree in the woods, and hold his hands while he squats in midair. And I swear to you, this boy dropped the biggest shit I’ve ever seen. It looked like a fucking layer cake sitting on the ground. I felt awful. I’ll never feel comfortable going into the woods again knowing something like that may be there.

Anyway, this is my way of telling you that I’m on vacation next week. No Funbag. Buy a dog. Here are your letters:


Are you familiar with this whole “Toy Surprise” racket? Big Toy is individually wrapping various brands of single plastic figures of the absolute lowest quality and charging $3.99 a pop, and then they flood YouTube with videos of excited child actors opening them like it’s fucking Christmas morning. Some of these videos have fifty million views. My 3-year-old daughter has become inexplicably sucked into this scheme, and if we don’t buy a Shopkin every time we’re at the store she goes full Chernobyl.


I am deeply familiar with this scheme. Every time we go out, my kid wants to buy a Paw Patrol Mash’Em—which is just a tiny rubber figurine sealed in a plastic container. Not only are these things worth a grand total of half a penny, but they STINK. They’re made of the cheapest possible Chinese factory polymers, and the smell rubs off on your hand if you get within breathing distance of the toy. It’s like an infection. Everything in the house smells like dodgeballs now.

As Ken notes, the scam is here that you don’t actually know what toy you’re getting until you buy it and crack it open, which would be a deterrent for any adult who has ever gone onto Priceline but is like fucking crack to a little kid. I refuse to buy these things, but my kid often insists on shelling out four bucks of his own, not-terribly-hard-earned money over and over again, because he wants to get ONE specific character, as if Chase from Paw Patrol is the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card of the lot.


Anyway, he finally got the right figure after three or four tries, but now they make these toys for Marvel characters, Pixar movies, Thomas the Tank Engine, and every other franchise property. It’s repugnant. It’s one thing to drop a quarter into a supermarket bulk machine to “win” a plastic grasshopper ring or something stupid like that. But this is REAL MONEY. I will find the heartless impresario behind these toys and I will make him PAY.


Does “haha” or “LOL” indicate more laughter? Does it matter how many ha’s?

It does matter! Both of those are cursory responses to a joke, so if I reply “LOL” to you, there’s a good chance that I’m brazenly lying. I did not laugh out loud, nor did I chuckle. I just found what you said amusing enough to politely acknowledge that yes, you made a funny. And I think “Haha” is kind of the same way, except that it can also be sarcastic. “Haha very funny, you FUCKING ASSHOLE,” etc.


Please note that I hate people who are like, “It’s very hard to make me laugh out loud!” People who say that are humorless assholes who think their audible laugh is some kind of amazing prize to be won. I am a laugh whore, and if I’m cracking up over that photo of a butthole being eaten at a tailgate, I’m throwing out a “DYING” or a “HAHAHAHAHAHA” to acknowledge it. That leaves no doubt as to my level of chucklage.

There’s also, “Ha!” which is something other bloggers will email back to you if they found what you said to be EXTREMELY clever without actually being all that funny. I’m also a big fan of using BAHAHAHAHAHA when I’m laughing out loud, but for evil reasons. Like, if Trump walked out of the bathroom with toilet paper still hanging out of his butt and went out in public like that, I would throw down a BAHAHAHAHAHA. And if I personally make a joke that I like because it’s evil? Then I use MWAHAHAHAHA. Got that? That’s “MWA,” not “BA”.


All I know is that I never use ROTFL because that’s never literally true. You gotta physically tickle me for that to happen.


Did Abraham Lincoln ever say the word “Fuck”?

Yes, although Lincoln scholars claim that he abhorred profanity and wouldn’t tolerate it, which makes Honest Abe a bit of a tightass (also, Lincoln historians tend to be awfully protective of their subject matter). If you learned everything you know about 19th-century profanity from episodes of Deadwood (as I did), you may be misguided. “Fuck” is a very old word, dating back hundreds of years, but this article notes that it wasn’t until relatively recently that its use expanded from “have sex” to all the cool new applications we have for it today.


So if Lincoln is dropping F-bombs, he’s probably doing it A) Rarely, B) In bed, where maybe he’s a bit more randy, or C) When he’s quoting someone else. He was a lawyer, after all. He had to come across a deposition where Shotgun Pete told Sheriff Houligurt to go fuck himself. Gotta be an unavoidable part of 1800s jurisprudence.


Two average NBA teams are set to play each other. The arena is pitch black. The lines on the court, the hoop and the ball are glow in the dark. The refs have night vision goggles and call the game as they normally would. One of the teams has glow in the dark jerseys and the other team has their normal jerseys. Which team wins?


The team with glow-in-the-dark jerseys. I know you think the team without glowing unis would have some kind of advantage because they’d be rendered invisible in the dark, and thus hard to defend, but then they can’t pass to each other. All the other team would have to do is listen for the dribble and converge. Even if your rods and cones adjust to the darkness, and even if certain players like Russell Westbrook are practically clairvoyant when it comes to seeing the court, I still feel like it’s too much to overcome playing in a near-total blackout. Everyone would lose a tooth within the first 20 minutes of gameplay. It would still be a cleaner game than last night’s, though.

However, let’s say there’s another major sporting event where the power goes out, like it did during the Ravens/Niners Super Bowl. The next time that happens, I demand that play continue via torchlight. Every team would be forced to have a stash of emergency torches and candles on hand, and they would have to finish the game that way. It would be super romantic. They could play Babyface over the loudspeakers during the entire fourth quarter. WHO SAYS NO.



Is there a more frustrating condiment to extract than capers? Every jar I’ve ever bought has the opening circumference of a dime, yet the contents are these briny, delicious morsels. If you’re using just a few for a bagel, how the hell do you get them out? Knife? Ass end of a spoon? Or is there some sort of specialized caperspoon contraption that I’m unaware of and unwilling to buy?


Use a sundae spoon. Those are crucial for extracting any tricky jarred foodstuffs like capers (blech), maraschino cherries (NICE), and cornichons. Some cornichon jars include a little plastic tray with a handle sticking up through the center, so you grab the ring and LIFT the tiny pickles to the rim for easy access. It’s a very smart bit of jar engineering.

Most jars are horribly flawed in design. They taper at the top in order to accommodate the lid, and then what? You are FUCKED, that’s what. Anything under that lip is trapped there forever, and I get salsa all over my hands when I try to dig too deep. It’s a catastrophe. The jar should be at its WIDEST at the top, not at its narrowest. It should be shaped like a popcorn bucket so that nothing goes to waste, and so that I don’t have to engage in a life-or-death, Hemingway-esque struggle with a lone cherry anytime I want to make a Manhattan.



Have I ever listened to a podcast where, unbeknownst to the audience, the host was naked while recording it?


Well, you’ve listened to the Deadcast, right? ZING!

Seriously though, I think the answer is no. I’m sure there are certain Ringer CEOs who get off listening to themselves talk, but podcasting in the nude would be horribly distracting. You’d have cold headphones wires touching your body the whole time. And if you’re sitting for the whole thing, you’re probably gonna get swamp-ass all over the office chair. And how are you supposed to maintain an engaging conversation with a boner in your hand the whole time? The whole thing sounds self-defeating. First you podcast, and THEN you get naked. Or the other way around.



My girlfriend and I broke up back on January 9th. We’ve been living together for 1.5 years, and we still have a lease on our current apartment until the end of July. Obviously, this situation is un-fucking-believably volatile, with days of absolutely no talking, then a massive, loud shouting match. She tries to stay away from the house; I try to stay away from the house. But, y’know, the house is where we live, and anyway I do a fair amount of work from home. How do I avoid colossal meltdowns on a weekly basis, and how do keep myself from feeling like I’m going absolutely insane?


You have to move now. There’s no way around it. I know it’s a waste of money, and I’m sure no one wants to be the one who “loses” by surrendering the whole apartment to the other, but you should just fucking leave. If it’s causing you that much stress and anxiety, it’s not worth any amount of money to stay. I would just go try to live with my folks or something until the lease ran out. Everyone hates a sunk cost, especially me. I’m the sort of person who would take a moment to hesitate before dishing out for life-saving heart surgery. Why not keep the arterial blockage AND the cash? I can tough it out!

But sometimes it’s worth it for the sake of your mental and physical well-being. You accept the situation, cut your losses, and walk away relieved, with no bitterness or resentment. Besides, what prayer do you have of getting laid if you’re still living with your ex-girlfriend? It’s not like having a normal roommate where you can just tie a sock on the doorknob. Get out and get on with your life.




What is the correct direction to point the “C” during the YMCA song? I was at a sporting event recently and was shocked how many people were leaning to the right (which is backwards when anyone else looks at it)... please clear this up. P.S. It was a University of Alabama basketball game so the data may be skewed towards stupidity...


I did it just now in my house and I instinctively went to the right, which is wrong! I should totally go to the left for the sake of the viewing audience (of zero people). But I don’t. I assume this is because I’m A) Right-handed and B) Thinking about the C from my vantage point. Also, it’s the YMCA dance. I’m not exactly putting a lot of thought into this. If I can ace the shape of the letters in rhythm to the chorus, I’m already coming out WAY ahead of personal expectations. Normally, I’m a good two seconds behind

There should really be a tutorial on the dance at your local ballpark. If you watch this video, you can see that the Yankee Stadium grounds crew makes a point of doing the C to the LEFT, even though it looks awkward for them to do. Everyone else should follow suit, especially at a Yankees game, because security will brand you a terrorist and club you if you do not.


By the way, C is the only letter in YMCA that is not symmetrical, which makes it the trickiest letter of the bunch. Makes you think.


I’ve attended two funerals since Jan-16. In both cases there were individuals that were fairly close to the deceased but didn’t attend because they, “don’t do funerals”. I know they are affected by the deaths. I can also see if they were just so distraught and drugged up on Valium that they couldn’t get out of bed. What’s your take: acceptable behavior? You can say, “I don’t do physicals” or “I don’t do dentists” but that’s only hurting yourself? What other event can you pull something like this off? Family reunions, distant cousin’s graduations?


There’s no wrong way to grieve, but just flat-out saying “I don’t do funerals” seems less like a grieving process than just something an asshole says. The whole point of the funeral is to go and pay your respects. No one is EXCITED to be there. No one is like, “Funerals are TOTALLY my thing.” It’s not the optimal way to spend an afternoon, but you grit your teeth and drag yourself to the funeral home out of love and honor for the deceased. If I die one day and Marchman is like, “I’d go to Drew’s funeral but that’s not how I roll,” you better believe I will turn into a ghost and start shaking all of his light fixtures. The fucking asshole.

And a lot of times, a funeral actually helps with your own healing process. You eat. You share fond memories. You see people you maybe haven’t seen a long time. You get drunk afterwards. That’s the beauty of grief. That’s why it’s worth enduring the pain that comes with confronting the finality of death. It hurts, but sometimes you at least you come away knowing that you’re not alone in your despair, and that life will still go on. You’re not getting any of that if you decide to skip out and just binge-watch TV all day instead.


That reminds me, I was walking to my car the other day from the supermarket, and I passed two guys from the market sitting out on break. And one yelled to the other, “I DON’T DO FUNERALS UNLESS THEY CLOSE!” No destination funerals for that fella.


So I’m talking to a coworker today and she reveals that her husband (also a coworker) takes a shower at night, picks out his socks for the next day, puts them on, and then goes to sleep. In order to already have them on the next morning. Is this a thing? My initial thought was that this was the most bizarre personal routine I’ve ever come across, but is he just some kind of time-saving wunderkind?


No, he’s crazy. Who can sleep with socks on? Your feet need to breathe, man. I’d die of heat stroke if I had to sleep in socks.

More important, I do NOT believe that showering just before bed keeps you just as fresh as showering in the morning. This is especially true for men, because men are enormous, lumbering hogbeasts who sweat and toss and grunt and generally fester while sleeping. My pillowcase has stains on it that look like a goddamn art project. You don’t get to wake up the next morning and pretend like the past eight hours of bacterial accumulation didn’t happen. I have showered at night and then gone out the next day, only to catch a whiff of myself and recoil in utter horror. It’s not a good moment. Night showering is a lie.



Would you eat horse meat? Like just try it. You don’t have to eat a horse steak or anything. Do you think it would taste good? I’m guessing it tastes pretty good.


I would eat it, yes. Although I went to a restaurant once that served up lots of different wild game, and the KEWL HIP FEWDIE within me was very excited to take a crack at exotic meats like elk and red deer. So I tried both of those things, and you know what? Regular steak is better. Regular steak has the gobs of fat needed to enhance proper flavoring. An elk spends too much time running away from bears and shit to get the beer gut necessary to be tasty for humans. Sorry, elk. I tried. So chances are I would order the horse meat to show off my street cred, and then quietly admit that it’s not all that great.

I also had chicken fried rabbit that night, and THAT was the best goddamn shit I ever had. We should chicken-fry more small woodland creatures. They would not be missed.



Given how proud Donald Trump is about winning the election, do you think he’ll have championship-like rings made for himself and his cronies with the number of electoral votes he received displayed prominently? I’m legitimately surprised it hasn’t happened yet.


Who’s to say it hasn’t? This is not exactly an administration that embraces transparency, so who the fuck knows what else is happening behind closed doors. Trump probably had rings made and hung a gold-leaf banner from the Oval Office ceiling and then put it on the Navy’s credit card. There’s gonna be a lot of shit in the next four years that gets kept under wraps, even if Trump is the loudest, dumbest, clumsiest man on Earth. While he was busy handing bills to Germany, he probably got Ivanka a keypad entry to fucking Fort Knox. OMG DADDY IS THIS ALL FOR ME?!


Say you get a box of chocolates. Do you keep it in the fridge? I’d never heard of doing this before but my girlfriend thinks I’m INSANE for just leaving it out at room temperature.


Chocolate is tempered, so you should be able to leave it out unless you decide to put it on the radiator or something. The only reason to put it in the fridge or freezer is because you prefer the taste of it that way. But I’m not a fridge chocolate kind of guy. I want that shit to melt in my mouth. I want it to ooze freely down my throat and coat my insides with luscious DECADENCE. Also, have you ever had a boxed caramel out of the fridge? You may as well have your molars professionally extracted. It’s not that fun to bite into a goddamn rock.


So my group of friends and I are all in our mid to late 20s. For some reason a few of these friends created this weird pseudo cult while in college (they went to a different college than me) where they believe life is over once you turn 50. They think that once you turn 50, you are old and miserable and your body is falling apart and you are just a huge burden so you should just die. So they want to do stuff extremely risky and dangerous at this point with the hopes of dying sooner rather than later. This has actually caused some arguments, they are legit about this. They even have a name for this “cult” combining two of their names. Despite me bringing up that all of their parents are very active past 50, they are convinced you are just destined for hospice the very day you turn 50. Am I the crazy one here for thinking this is extremely dumb? I just think 50 is way too young to be saying your life is over, am I missing something?


First of all, it’s a bad idea to be in a cult, or a pseudo cult, or an extremely mild suicide pact such as this. The fact that they named the cult makes it even more troubling. You can do this when you’re 11, but not as actual grownups. Once you name the cult, shit gets real. And that’s even if you have a really cool name for the cult, like THE BLOODIED SPEAR or something like that.

Secondly, there’s nothing that says your 50s have to be utter misery. Shit, I can’t wait for my 50s. The kids will be out of the house by then. My whole adulthood will be leading up to that moment. I will be fucking BORN AGAIN. I can travel! You think I’m missing out on that? Fuck and no. If I die in a car accident now and miss out (and Marchman, again, doesn’t go to the funeral), I will be livid. I did all that dadding for nothing!


Your friends should also know that your whole attitude toward aging changes AS you age. You actually mature, which sound crazy but CAN happen! I’m sure the 19-year-old me would look at my current predicament—taking kids to shit behind random schools—and be like, FUCK THAT. But I have obviously changed my outlook considerably, as will you. If you don’t allow for the possibility of growing as you grow old, well then you’re wasting your life already. When I’m 50, I’m going fucking fishing.

Email of the week!


The kid of a relatively well-known former athlete is on my kid’s coach-pitch baseball team. We’re four practices in and Former Athlete has shown up at every one, been a good sports parent and mingled naturally with us commoners. I’ve kept my distance; only saying hello and making small talk when appropriate. Quite a few dipshits regularly invade Former Athlete’s space, but I wasn’t gonna be one of them. Until, that is, I became the absolute worst of them.

So I was taking some video on a new phone of my kid hitting. I headed back to my chair (20-yards or so behind home plate) to check it out. It looked like shit, so I played around with the different camera modes, stumbled into one called “Sports” and then held up my phone to test it out. I thought nothing of it, but Former Athlete, who had just finished taking video of their kid hitting (like a beast already), walked into my camera view. I took a few more seconds of video and then played it.

It was mortifying. A few seconds in, Former Athlete glares directly into my phone (and soul) with a look that left no room for interpretation: I had taken a creepshot. Here’s the thing: The more I dwell on this (I should stop dwelling on this), the more annoyed I get at the arrogance of the accusation. I give no shits about their sport or TV persona. I wouldn’t take video of Former Athlete in an appropriate venue, let alone intentionally pull a creepshot. That said, I totally get why they thought I was. So what’s the call? I’ve got four more practices to go with no socially acceptable way out of this, but should I own the creepshot or pass if off on Former Athlete’s ego? I seek resolution.


Kiss him full on the lips the next time you see him.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.