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Don’t Force Your Sports Fandom Onto Other People’s Kids, You Asshole

Illustration for article titled Don’t Force Your Sports Fandom Onto Other People’s Kids, You Asshole
Illustration: Elena Scotti (GMG), Photo: Shutterstock, Walmart
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

Today, we’re talking about French fries, cocaine, college football, and more.

Hey, it’s Election Day! You should go vote, and then you should join me in my reinforced steel bunker as I chug wine and watch old Three Stooges clips to ward off the oncoming dread. Fun day!


Let’s go to your letters:


My brother-in-law is a Notre Dame fan. Like most Domers, he feels the need to assert his fandom to the world. Part of this includes buying my young children Notre Dame crap (t-shirts, hats, toys, etc.) As a reasonable human being who isn’t a bandwagoning status-seeker, this naturally infuriates me. My wife claims that I’m overreacting and insists that my poor kids can dress like the biggest asshole in any given bar. Who’s right here?

You are. Fuck that guy! SUPER fuck him. Only a parent can force their fandom on a child. No one else has that right. Period. End of fucking story. I made an executive decision a long time ago to let my kids cheer for whatever team they want to cheer for. This is why my son is a Skins fan, and will have to deal with the natural consequences of being one for the rest of his existence. But just because I abstained from passing my fandom down to my kid doesn’t mean some shitbag interloper gets to fill that void, ESPECIALLY a goddamn Notre Dame fan. That’s completely overstepping boundaries.

Get rid of all that gear. Return it for a full refund or drop it off at Goodwill. I would tell you to burn it in front of Bobby McAsswipe, but I understand that family dynamics can be delicate. Just quietly eliminate any trace of the ND garbage from your house. If your brother-in-law gets pissy about it, A) SUPER MEGA fuck him, and B) Just play dumb and say you don’t know where that shit went. And if your kid complains about it, tell them that Notre Dame is for bad people.

By the way, while we’re talking about Notre Dame, and while Maryland is currently self-immolating after a football player died in its care, let’s look back at the time a student died because Brian Kelly decided to hold a practice in the middle of a windstorm:

“You have to be able to look at the weather conditions and find out whether you believe it’s going to be a productive day, first. We believed it to be productive, it was productive, obviously up until the tragedy,” Kelly said, speaking to reporters after Notre Dame’s 28-27 loss to Tulsa.


“It was productive, obviously up until the tragedy.” That guy probably mourned his practice more than the kid. Total bag of shit. Anyone who wears ND clothing should be shamed into hiding. Anyone who gives ND gear to a child should be imprisoned.


I just started a new job at a company that has a pretty big young workforce (read: lots of Stoolie-seeming bros). We had an employee conference recently...and there were a lot of people talking about cocaine. Texting about it, looking to score it for after our “team building” nights out, etc. So my question - how much cocaine is out there? Are there just tons of people doing cocaine? I’m no prude, but I’ve never seen coke nor have I ever been offered it. Is the bro community that into coke?


As long as there are bros, there will ALWAYS be bros who are into coke. It doesn’t matter that weed is legal, and relatively affordable, and does a pretty good job of making you feel the way you want to feel. It doesn’t matter that there are all kinds of prescription drugs available for you to abuse. Somehow, there will always be bros who still listen to Buckcherry and take The Wolf Of Wall Street literally, and they will always enjoy being Bros Who Are Into Coke. That’s especially true in 2018, because there’s an asshole in the White House leading an asshole cult, and cocaine is the eternal drug of choice for professional assholes. The more assholes, the more coke. It’s just that simple, folks. This is why cocaine use may be on the rise. Cocaine is like bro coffee.

I’ve said this before, but I’m like our reader here in that I am extremely sheltered and have never done coke, and I am scandalized whenever I see people doing it. I am a child of the 1980s, which means I grew up with Nancy Reagan and Just Say No and “I learned it by watching you!” and all the horrifying stories of rock stars and comics who either died doing coke or came real close. So when I see people doing coke out in the wild, my inner eight-year-old kicks in and I’m like THAT’S REALLY BAD FOR YOU! Then I walk away and drink a boilermaker. Nothing harmful about that!


Years and years ago, I was working in an office and I asked one of my co-workers if he had any weed. And he was like, “Oh yeah I can get you some weed. And I can also help you out if you need something a little stronger, KNOW WHAT I MEAN?” Again, I was scandalized. I politely declined the offer and in my head I was like, “SIR. I am NOT that kind of person!” For all my online squawking, I can be an amazing tightass.


What if Adam Silver just banned the Warriors from the playoffs, for this year only?


I understand the appeal of that idea, but the end result would be deeply unsatisfying for both you and for all the other teams. Pro athletes are proud, and they always want to take on the best, even when taking on the best is monstrously ill-advised and will ensure an ass-kicking of the highest order. All of those guys want to beat Golden State, even though they definitely won’t.

So if Adam Silver banished the Warriors from the playoffs and held a little jayvee NBA Finals, not only would the athletes feel cheated, but I promise YOU would feel cheated as well. You would know, inherently, that you are not watching the best possible players play for a title. It would make everything feel like arena league shit. Also, the Celtics would probably win the Finals this way and it’s not worth spiting the Warriors to see Boston win another goddamn thing. I hope they sweep the Celtics and score 200 in every Finals game this June.


Also, the Warriors are extremely fun this year. They’re draining impossible threes and trolling Fergie and doing all kind of crazy shit. The NBA Finals basically represent the only time I can watch them on television at a reasonable hour. It’s so annoying.


Has Donald Trump ever danced?


Look at those moves. Trump’s dancing is probably the only genuine dad quality he possesses. He obviously doesn’t give a shit about his kids and would shove them into a grain separator to make a buck (fingers crossed!), but absolutely dances like a dad: the rotating hips, the light head bob, the strained smile, the complete absence of foot movement. He’s got it down cold.


I’m sure he’s danced on other formal occasions, like at his asshole daughter’s wedding and what not. But that doesn’t really count as dancing. The father/daughter dance at any wedding is just organized walking. You lift one foot, then you lift the other, and then you repeat the process for three additional minutes. There’s zero chance that Trump has ever taken a dance lesson, or let loose and shaken his ass a club, or done any real dancing dancing. That’s beneath him. Dancing is for pussies. He’s also hilariously lazy and would rather just sit at a big table looking important and fellating a Diet Coke instead. Never, ever trust a guy who won’t dance.

Drew (not me):

How much would you pay for a college football game? I’m proud to be a Gopher, but they suck and I can’t believe entry-level tickets are $60+ for most games. Am I just ignorant of how much B1G(!) athletics events cost? Is this a scam? How does my ticket NOT fund players’ salaries?!


Sixty bucks for a Minnesota game? That’s absurd. They should pay YOU to watch P.J. Fleck slogan his way to a 30-point loss. Watching the Gophers on television is a chore. Why would I pay actual money to add to that viewing burden?

I would never pay more than $20 to go to a regular-ass college football game. I would never pay more than $20 for anything, but that’s beside the point. One of the many hideous side effects of a wannabe program like Minnesota trying to run with the big boys by paying some coach zillions of dollars is that schools are more than happy to offload that cost onto you, the paying customer. Like, I get having to buy tickets to small college games and even high school sporting events. One time I had to pay $15 to attend my own kid’s gymnastics meet, which was a lot of goddamn money. But I fully understand that the money helps pay for the space and for other assorted overhead costs.


However, once that price point goes above $20, you’re basically funding a school’s worst impulses, helping them recover money they never should have spent to begin with. The fact that exactly $0 will go to the players on the field makes the whole enterprise even ickier. Like, imagine paying for a Maryland game right now. That school’s athletic director is making $720,000. Fuck him, and fuck that school if they think they deserve a penny after all the shit they’ve pulled.


Rank the foods that you would have with fries as the side, based on how good they pair with them. Obviously burger has to top the list, I’ll follow it with:

2. Chicken strips

3. Fried fish (fish and chips style)

4. Gyro

5. Nothing (just eating fries)

6. Pizza

7. Hot dog (does anyone do this?)

Hell yes I eat fries with a hot dog. Why wouldn’t I? What else am I gonna eat alongside a hot dog? A salad? I think not! I’ve even put fries ON a hot dog, just like the Frog Dog scene in The Hard Way (still one of my favorite movies despite the fact that James Woods deserves to be thrown down a mine shaft). If you’re gonna eat any sort of tubed meat, it’s only logical to chase it with a fistful of deep fried starch. That’s just for basic health.


Anyway, the No. 1 answer to your question is steak. Sopping up all that bloody steak juice with a bunch of fries is important to me both physically and spiritually. Steak frites is so good that they have entire restaurants dedicated just to that and nothing else. I know some of you prefer a baked potato with your steak but here’s my hot potato take: baked potatoes suck. Why would I have a big, dry-ass potato with my steak? And I know people are like, “They’re great with cheese, sour cream, and bacon!” So is everything else! Get baked potatoes the fuck out of my face.

So here’s how I’d rank your shit:

  1. Steak
  2. Burger
  3. Barbecue
  4. Lobster
  5. Mussels
  6. Battered cod
  7. Club sandwich, reuben, patty melt, other assorted sandwiches
  8. Hot dog
  9. Gyro
  10. Eggs
  11. Chili
  12. Fried seafood
  13. Any kind of fried chicken
  14. Pizza

I have fried seafood and fried chicken way down on this list because it’s never wise to pair fried shit with MORE fried shit. Every summer I go to some clam shack and get a basket of assorted fried garbage dumped on a pile of fries, and I can actively feel my life expectancy roll back as my eat it. I need some contrast. The whole goddamn meal can’t be fried.


As for chili, it’s a bit misleading to put it on the list because people usually have chili ON fries. The Takeout just threw down a hot take about loaded fries sucking, and I think it’s a fairly good take EXCEPT for poutine and chili fries. Chili on fries is a complete mess but also really, really fucking good. Otherwise, I agree: don’t make a bunch of fries into a nacho platter.



You think Tom Brady would be considered one of the all-time greats, with so much success, if he wasn’t in one of the worst divisions in professional sports?


Yes. It’s not Brady’s fault the rest of that division eats complete ass. And it’s not his fault that the Bills, Jets and Dolphins have been unable to find a single decent QB among them in the TWO FUCKING DECADES that Brady has plied his trade. Football would be a lot more fun if Brady had to share a division with Cam Newton, but I don’t think that sort of alternate reality would void that many of his accomplishments. He’d still get his.

Also: the AFC South sucked for the bulk of Peyton Manning’s tenure in Indianapolis, too. It happens. You can’t ding him for that. What was he supposed to do, let the Jags win a few games? He made the most of his luck, and that’s fine. I refuse to believe that there’s some Tiger Woods effect going on where a great QB causes the rest of his division to tense up and commit grievous management errors years after year after year. It’s just luck: dumb, appalling luck. This is the part where I go look at the Pats’ fumble recovery percentage and their coin toss winning percentage and then put my hand through a fucking wall. Satan is the only explanation.



Am I a dad? Let me preface by saying that I have never physically fathered another human in the definition sense, HOWEVER:

- I can appreciate a finely cut lawn, and take great pride in my small garden.

- I take the game of golf to a level of seriousness that it is borderline unhealthy.

- I have a solid rotation of dad-jokes. My current go to is “What’s red and smells like green paint?” (red paint).

- Bad drivers make me irrationally angry.

- Waking up at 9AM on a weekend actually sounds like an enjoyable thing to do.

Yeah but do you wear Asics like I do? Do you have any polo shirts with logos on them? Do you have a favorite chair? Do you muffin top when you put a pair of jeans on? If so… [Foxworthy voice] YA MIGHT BE A DAD.


I think you’re spiritually a dad if A) You’re over 35, B) You’re married, and C) You’re already set in your ways and get incredibly cranky if those ways are disturbed. I try to preach to my kids that life isn’t fair, and that there’s only so much you can control, and that things won’t always go their way. Then a storm door breaks and I curse a blue streak for eight straight days about it. That’s the dad mindset. You don’t necessarily need kids to get into it, it’s just that having children accelerates the process by light years. Twelve years ago, I was child-free and ready to rage until 3 a.m. Now my greatest pleasure comes from taking off my socks. It could happen for you one day if you’re lucky!


Let’s say the NBA has a team that is made up of current NFL players. What’s the team and how well do they fare? I say they aren’t the worst team in the association but far from competing for a title.


I can’t be the only one who thinks if the NFL wanted to they could put together a basketball team and dominate the NBA.

I’m just kidding, of course. A team of NFL players would go 0-82 in the NBA. Even if you stocked that team with nothing but young Antonio Gates clones, it would still be the worst team in the league by orders of magnitude. I have a lot of poorly informed sports takes, but I feel pretty solid about that one. It’s easy to forget that the absolute worst player in the NBA is still really, really fucking good at basketball. Ian Mahinmi could wipe the floor with most people, even Julio Jones. The man is professional: a shitty, useless professional.



What’s the clear-cut limit to how friendly you can be with your boss? I have a great working relationship with my direct boss and part of our job (hospitality) also involves socializing after hours with our guests together so booze is often involved and things can sometimes get out of hand but next day it’s no big deal, but I always feel a little weird about it. And it goes both ways - he’ll share some WAY too personal stuff, and I’ll also often times get a little too buzzed and loose with my words. Is there a point where that is no longer just happy-hour fun and can be threatening to the work dynamic?


Yeah, when he has to lay you off. Seriously though, no two boss-employee relationships are the same, so you have to let your instincts guide you. I’ve definitely done the thing where I’m out drinking with a boss and running my mouth and then I wake up the next morning being like, “Oh god, should I have told him that I wanna quit and join the circus?” At my first desk job, way back in 1998, I went to a strip club with my boss and a few other people, and the twist is that my boss at the time was a woman. You don’t need me to tell you why that might prove awkward. She was a solid boss, though.

Anyway, you can be buds with your superiors, but don’t be surprised if there comes a point in the relationship where they have to put their boss pants on and you feel hurt or even betrayed because of it. That can happen. But that doesn’t mean you should be on guard all the time, or that you should walk into your job with a TRUST NO ONE sign hanging from your neck all day long, treating everyone like a potential adversary. No one wants to work with a fucking pit viper. You can be friendly AND professional at the same time, but it can take a long time to learn how.


My advice would be to not exclusively socialize with your boss/co-workers. Your boss shouldn’t be your ONLY friend, know what I mean? That happens to a lot of people, where your work life is also the entirety of your social life. Companies encourage it now, which is a rotten thing to do. Then something shitty happens at work and you have no separate support network to retreat to … just this drinking relationship with your boss that’s all weird now. Invest in other relationships so that you don’t feel like you’re living or dying by how much your boss likes hanging with you.

On a related note … EAT SHIT GREENWELL.


Could Alex Trebek win Jeopardy if he was a contestant?

Trebek is on record as saying he’s too old to be competitive on that show. I watched an episode a while back where Trebek would not stop complimenting a grandfather for being a repeat champion because older contestants tended to struggle on Jeopardy. I don’t think that should be the case. Your knowledge base should only grow as you get older, right? But no, no apparently there comes a point where old people stop learning ANYTHING and, in fact, actively begin discarding a lot of shit they already DID know. And then they vote Republican ZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.


For real though, this is a serious problem. We have too many stupid old people, and they’re too stubborn to get smart! Their soggy cheese brains are hurting the rest of us! When you turn 65, they should have mandatory refresher courses in history, culture, and literature for all the olds. Let’s get all these geezer brains working again.


At what price/luxury level do ice machines disappear from hotel hallways?

Do they ever disappear? I just figured that you could be staying in your own private duplex bungalow at a five-star Red Carnation resort in the Seychelles, and there would still be a shitty ice machine next to a dirty stairwell located 50 feet from your door.


Email of the week!


The year was 2008. I was living in Philadelphia, and would sometimes frequent the Chik Fil-A near my apartment. One day I’m in line, and as I step up to order, the manager, a little squirrely fellow, steps out from the kitchen and starts asking me questions and making weird exclamations like “You guys think you’re ready this season?”, and “Westbrook is looking sharp!”. I gathered he was talking about the Eagles, so I just sort of shrugged and mumbled “yeah” a few times, as I’m not one for small talk. Then he asks me if I’M ready for the opener against the Rams next week. I give him a quizzical look, and he COMPS MY MEAL, telling me he’s a big fan.

I’m super confused, but don’t say anything and take my chicken club, eight piece nuggets and diet Dr. Pepper to a table to eat my solitary meal. At this point I’m sure this guy thinks I play for the eagles. I’m a pretty big guy, (6'4'’, 300lbs) so I guess it’s a semi reasonable mistake to make. At no point did he call me a specific name, or directly acknowledge I was a pro. So I figure, I’ll take this meal and lay low for a while on the Chick Fil-A.

Then, as I’m finishing my meal, the manger comes over with this serious look on his face. I thought he came to his senses and I was busted. My heart was in my chest and ready to shoot out of my mouth. He sits next to me, and says very softly, how sorry he is to make a scene, and that he shouldn’t have done that, and he is sure that I didn’t appreciate all the extra attention he brought me. I tell him it’s not a big deal, and that he’s the first person to recognize me, and I appreciate the meal. A smile breaks across his face and he takes my soda and says “how about a refill on that Dr. Pepper??” and bounds back to the kitchen. I get up to follow him a few moments later and as he hands me back my cup, the whole kitchen joins in on the E-A-G-L-E-S chant as I walk out. What I felt that moment was a curious mixture of shame, embarrassment, humor, and confusion.

I returned several times to that specific Chick Fil-A, and the manager would always come out to shake my hand, and ask if I wanted a milkshake. Which of course I did. Am I a horrible person?


I followed up with Jason because I wanted to know WHICH member of the Eagles they mistook him for, and he still doesn’t know. That would haunt me forever. Getting free shakes? Not so much.

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