Illustration: Angelica Alzona (GMG)
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Your letters:

Chris:

After being in a fantasy football league with old college friends for the past decade or so, both my interest in the NFL and fantasy football have dropped significantly this offseason. While I’m still participating in our league, there’s been a commissioner switch, half of the league lives in different parts of the country and two people have already dropped out. Is there any graceful way to leave the league?

Just leave. You don’t need an alibi. Ninety percent of the time, the best excuse is no excuse. You don’t have to be like, “Unfortunately I’ll be stranded in an underground cavern for the bulk of the season and will NOT have access to WiFi.” Just tell everyone you’re not gonna play, and that’s that. None of them will care. And if any of them DO, well then now you know which friends you don’t need to keep. If you have a friend who’s like, “You’re bailing on the league? BROS BEFORE HOES, BRO! I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU!” you will probably be relieved that you no longer have to engage in low-stakes games of chance with that person.

I’ve dropped out of two leagues in the past few years and it was fine. No one hassled me about it, at least not to my face. One of the leagues crumbled shortly thereafter. Did I privately relish my ability to rend an entire league asunder simply because I deprived it of my luminous presence? POSSIBLY. Every fantasy league is a hilarious comedy of manners. Guys roll their eyes at their girlfriends’ drama, and then they join a fantasy league and a single lopsided trade turns the entire thing into an episode of Claws. You are forgiven for wanting to divest yourself of all that.

On a broader scale: if you don’t like doing something and you don’t have to do it, stop doing it. That’s a fairly obvious piece of advice, but it’s amazing how long and how often people will do shit they don’t want to do. This was true before the internet, but it’s even more true now: People feel incredibly compelled to live up to their reputation both to other people and, more interestingly, to themselves. That’s a very guy thing, to be embarrassed by your own personal preferences, and to actively shield yourself from them. Man cards, etc. Happens to me all the time. I’ve stayed in fantasy leagues years past enjoying it because being in a league was the guy thing to do. I really like the song “I’ll Remember” by Madonna. Makes me feel special. But do I want anyone to know that? I do not. I don’t wanna know it myself. I’m feel like I’m betraying ME whenever I do something that I consider to be against my own personal brand, whatever the fuck that is. It makes NO sense at all, but it’s basically the root of all male belligerence. So drop out of that league and go drink some cheap wine. It’s fine.

Advertisement

Daniel:

I need you to settle a dispute with a coworker: are Guns ‘N Roses hair metal? I say no because they don’t sound anything like the bands that are definitely hair metal: Poison, Whitesnake, Cinderella, Motley Crue, etc. Also, they toured with Metallica, and there’s no way Metallica would tour with a hair metal band. My coworker disagrees based primarily on the fact that the members teased their long hair, and he also noted correctly that they became popular at the same time that hair metal was hitting its stride. Who’s correct?

You can lump them in with hair metal. They teased their hair. They wore leather pants that smelled like a horse stable within five minutes of wearing them. They had all the hippest STDs of the late ‘80s. They definitely had a Look that they cared about. Genres are fluid, and while GNR built its reputation on being filthier (and downright better) than all the other pretty boy bands of the ‘80s, they came from the EXACT same place (Sunset Strip), the exact same time frame, and they were just as prone to cheesy bullshit as any of those bands, if not more so. Axl swam with fucking dolphins in a video, for Christ’s sake. He would accuse every other band of being poseurs and then spend an entire concert standing on top of a stack of amps, posing.

Advertisement

If GNR was included on some Spotify hair metal list, I wouldn’t blanch at it. When I was growing up, you could find them at any fertile breeding ground for hair metal aficionados: Hit Parader magazine, Dial MTV, etc. They were only rebels within that very small, highly commercialized category of music, you know what I mean? They were fairly conventional otherwise, and not in a bad way.

What pisses me off more is when you see a hair metal compilation and, like, Foreigner is on it. What the fuck, Monster Ballads?!

Brendan:

What are the odds that Donald Trump has had someone killed prior to becoming President? We know he’s ordered strikes since taking his office, but given his long history of mob association and having the morals of a lung tumor, what would you put the over/under on him having blood on his hands already? And if not directly, what about passively knowing his cohorts planned to kill someone and doing nothing about it?

Advertisement

He’s got established mob ties but no, I don’t think Trump has ever personally ordered someone killed, although he very much likes to think of himself as someone who has both the power and the courage (in his eyes, it’s courageous) to do such things. He basically runs the country like a two-bit Jersey stolen truck ring anyway.

But in terms of directly having people murdered, no. No, he’s too chickenshit for that. Every waking minute for Trump is a struggle between his sadism and his cowardice. He’s caused irreparable harm to scores of people already thanks to both his policies (implemented by other people) and his outright neglect, and yet he can’t even bring himself to fire Omarosa in person. He admires genocidal dictators because they have the stones to commit wanton acts of murder he either can or won’t commit himself. He’s the greatest chickenshit who ever lived, and that’s probably the lone reason we haven’t all died yet.

Chris:

I’d like a ranking of gum flavors. I think fruity gum is nonsense but I have co-worker who seems prepared to fight me about it.

Advertisement

I’m okay with fruity gum because I am, spiritually, eight years old. I still wish Tidal Wave gum was still around. I get hankerings for Big League Chew. I think any gum that doesn’t come with a cartoon moose on the wrapper is bullshit gum for grownups who have bad breath. So my rankings, as ever, are probably not indicative of the greater population, but let’s give it a whirl anyway.

  1. Berry
  2. Passionfruit gum, which exists and is quite tasty
  3. Peppermint
  4. Watermelon
  5. Grape
  6. Crowbar to the dick
  7. Spearmint
  8. Cinnamon

You know how BIG GUM is always telling you that chewing gum is good for your teeth? I think that’s all a lie. It just gives people who want to chew some gum a lofty excuse to chew some gum. But even with that delusion firmly in place, I don’t know why you’d chew spearmint gum. “Oh yeah, gimme the toothpaste flavor MMMMMMMMMMMM YUMMY.” Wake up, man.

Advertisement

Also, all cinnamon candy is shitty. Big Red. Red Hots. Hot Tamales. If I’m gonna burn my mouth, it better be over some manly hot pepper that was grown by accident by a geneticist somewhere who was trying to make crops locust-proof and ended up making a 5,000,000,000-Scoville unit death plant instead. I’m not gonna have my shit ruined by CINNAMON. Every American child has gone through the ritual of biting into a red candy thinking it’s cherry or strawberry, only to discover they got the cinnamon garbage instead. The entire cinnamon candy industry is one big novelty troll job and it should have gone out of business ages ago.

Andy:

If a Republican candidate in Alabama claimed that they killed a bald eagle and ate its heart to absorb its power and dedication to freedom, would that help or hurt their candidacy?

Advertisement

Oh, it would help them. Roy Moore diddled schoolgirls and nearly 70 percent of the white people in that state still voted for him. Everything stupid works now. A GOP asshole in Bama could eat a bald eagle and then shoot himself in the dick, all just to drive those dirty liberals nuts, and he’d still win every county outside of Birmingham and Montgomery. The people are the problem, and I really don’t know how to solve it.

Rob:

I’m 42 years-old and as the family and I were about to head out to an MLB game on a Sunday afternoon, my wife asked me if I was really going to wear a tank top. It was already 92 degrees as of 11 am and it was forecast to be a high of 98 that day. I said, “You’re goddamned right I’m wearing a tank top today,” which she countered with, “Aren’t you too old to wear one in public?” What is this woman smoking? Or is she right, and the cut off for a man wearing a tank top in a social setting somewhere around mid-20s?

Advertisement

As someone whose body temperature skyrockets the second the dew point reaches 60 degrees, I have long advocated for the right of my sweaty, hairy brethren to wear whatever clothes they need to keep this planet’s growing, deathly heat at bay. If you gotta wear shorts, wear shorts. If you need to free your feet and you aren’t on an airplane, by all means rock a pair of flip flops.

HOWEVER… Look man, if you wanna rock a tank top because it keeps your pits fresh and makes you happy, I’m not gonna have you jailed or anything. But I’m definitely gonna make some assumptions about you, namely that you’ve definitely worn a Foam Dome to a Kid Rock concert within the past month. You’ve definitely gotten into at least six parking lot fights and lost at least half of them. You follow Curt Schilling on Twitter, and not for the irony.

I’ve never worn tank tops. I’m not saying that as some brag. I’m just saying that, as a former husky child, tank tops terrify me. It’s part of the reason I avoided competitive basketball. Running around in a tank top? With girls around? No thank you. It accentuated so, so many of the wrong parts of my body. To this day, I can’t fathom wearing one in public. Did you know that you can grab the side of my titty and yank on it, like you’re fastening a saddle to a horse? The tank top reveals this, which I do not want.

Advertisement

You’re damned either way with a tank top. Either you’re some bloated yokel who doesn’t have the body to justify a tank top, or you’re completely fucking jacked, in which case a tank top makes you looks like a Marky Mark wannabe who wants shows off all the work he’s done on the shoulder press. You know all that shit I said up above about not becoming a slave to your own sense of self-branding? Fuck all that. I lied. Wear a T-shirt.

Jasper:

I was on the NYC subway last night, sitting there listening to a podcast and playing a game on my phone, and I started to mindlessly pick my nose. Within literally two seconds of my finger entering my nostril, the guy standing next to me snapped his fingers right in front of my face three times, and when I looked up he gave me the Mutombo wag and mouthed “don’t do that” before going back to reading his book. I was too stunned and embarrassed to do much except mutter under my breath until he got off three stops later. Drew (and Deadspin Commentariat), who do you think acted like a bigger asshole in this situation?

Advertisement

The other guy. What is he, your fucking mom? People take a dump on the subway and patrons usually don’t say anything. I’ve seen videos! Some hobo will drop trou and leave a pile of refried beans on the floor of the 4 train and no one says SHIT. And this guy’s gonna publicly shame you for making sure you don’t have a car in your garage? Fuck him! Put that man on Riker’s. It would be one thing if you picked your nose and wiped a gigantic booger on the pole, or on a transit cop. Those are egregious offenses. But a preliminary dig? Give me a fucking break.

I was publicly shamed on New York transit once, for coughing and not covering my mouth. This was back in my early 20s, when I was a filthy, repulsive bachelor. I was standing on a bus, hanging onto the strap, and having a coughing fit. My hands were full but that’s hardly an excuse. I was really hacking away, and so the lady sitting near me goes, with perfect New York diction: COVUH YOUR MOUTH. And so I did. I still remember that lady every time I have a coughing fit. She was right to shame me, and I still feel bad that I ever thought it was okay to not cover. But that was me actively coughing on people and spreading horrible germs. You were having a private moment with your nostrils. How dare that man interrupt it? Tell that guy TURN IN YOUR NEW YORKER CARD, BRO.

HALFTIME!

Dave:

Wouldn’t it be great if the MLB could project hologram baseball on to the home field while a team was playing away games? It would have to be top-notch quality to get butts in the seats - no way that Tupac hologram from a few years ago would pass.

Advertisement

I love watch parties and support their existence unconditionally. I wish there were more of them because they’re incredibly cheap, drunken affairs. As a dad, that’s all I crave out of any sporting event. It’s why I’ll gladly take my kids to a hockey viewing party and not an actual hockey game where seats start at $175 a pop.

But I dunno if MLB could support mass viewings of regular season road games. It’s hard enough to get people to come to home games, even when baseball tickets are easily the cheapest of the four major sports. It takes a lot of overhead to stage a game: security, sanitation, concessions, parking, etc. So it’s probably not worth the expense for MLB owners to offer you and your family $5 tickets to watch, like, the Royals play a VR baseball game on a Tuesday night. To make the economics work, it would almost certainly have to be a playoff game.

Besides, by the time that technology exists, you can probably watch it that way at home. You’ll have a pair of VR glasses and a Strat-o-matic style baseball “Stadium” sitting on a coffee table, where you can watch tiny little baseball teams play “live” in your basement. They really are working on this. Japan supposedly wanted to simulcast the 2022 World Cup in multiple stadiums using VR technology. It sounds extremely cool. It also sounds like something I would test out for three minutes before going back to reading tweets on the can. I’m too old for new technologies now. The idea of physically “interacting” with a movie or a live sporting event sounds like a lot of work I don’t care to do. From here on out, the only thing I’m adapting early is if they invent a new, efficient form of whiskey funnel.

Advertisement

Ian:

Last night my roommates and I were trying to decide what quantity of money we would need to be paid to watch all 67 hours of existing GoT episodes consecutively without sleeping, without the aid of stimulants. I’m sure this challenge is impossible and not worth any amount of money, but my roommates came in with insane lowball estimates like 2k and 5k. This dispute is clearly unresolved, but lead us to a new question: If you had to choose some activity to do for 67 straight hours without the aid of stimulants, what activity would you choose? And how much would you need to be paid to do it?

I think the obvious answer here is gambling. I live on a dad schedule, so I can barely stay awake past 10 p.m. most nights. But that changes if you plop my ass down at a blackjack table in an oxygenated casino with no clocks, a stack of chips, and a steady supply of vodka-grapefruits. That’s probably my best and only chance to engage in some kind of deranged ultramarathon activity, and even then I’d still probably do a faceplant on the table before logging even a third of the hours. I’m no card sharp. Unlike Simmons and his crew, Vegas would have a very GOOD idea of what to do with me. I would drink, gamble, lose, sulk, and repeat the process as necessary. For that, I’d want $50,000 cash, a sitter for the weekend, and all my losses at the table covered.

Advertisement

Also: Walking! I’m the guy who read The Long Walk by Stephen King and was like, “Oh wow, they walk until they die. That sounds cool as shit.” There’s no way I could actually do this, mind you. I would drop dead soon after Mile 20, if I even got that far. But it definitely intrigues me. Hand me a fully loaded Italian sub and a tall boy every five miles and at least I would die a happy, walking man.

Honestly though, my brain is so broken from being on the Internet over the years that the idea of simply doing one single extended activity is more daunting to me than the actual time frame you’ve presented. To stay up 67 hours, I would need a strong mix of gambling, walking, dicking around on my phone, and binge-watching old episodes of Deadwood. If I had to do just ONE thing, my ADD would cause me to seize up after seven minutes.

By the way, I do think there are more than a few people out there who are up to your challenge. Gamers and other online denizens are all deranged freaks who can stare at a monitor for 80 hours at a time and have essentially bludgeoned their own circadian rhythms to death with a sledgehammer. I know Arianna Huffington and Tom Brady and all kinds of other rich weirdoes preach the gospel of sleep like it’s some amazing discovery they made. But it IS true that Americans don’t get nearly enough sleep, and that’s one of the more understated reasons as to why everyone is so completely fucked in the head these days. Even the President is too stupid to log off and get some sleep. He’s up at 3 a.m. on the phone with friends and being like “YOU LOOK AT CHINA…”

Advertisement

Eric:

I was listening to a bunch of baseball stat nerds discuss all the issues with baseball right now and I came up with a solution to many of them that’s simple: Make a walk three balls instead of four. This would speed up the game, force pitchers to make more hittable pitches and tilt the balance back toward hitting. It would also explode the heads of everyone associated with the game, which is an entirely good thing. There is precedent for this - in the early days a walk was as many as six balls. What do you think? Am I an evil genius or a crazed loser?

I think it would end up having the exact opposite effect from what you intended. If you only needed three balls to record a walk, scoring would double across all of MLB. Teams would run through the entire batting order in multiple innings. There would be roughly 9,000 more pitching changes per game, when there are already way too many. American League games are already too long because the DH artificially inflates offenses, and this would only make it worse. If you really want to speed up the game, you would do the exact opposite and give batters just TWO strikes instead of three, but that would be a horrible overcorrection in the opposite direction.

Advertisement

After the commissioner instituted minor pace-of-play improvements in the offseason, the length of regular season games was cut down by over five minutes. Is that enough to get me to watch a regular season baseball game on TV? LOL NO WAY FUCK THAT OF COURSE NOT. The game itself is fine … it’s the fans who are more fickle and distracted these days. As far as I’m concerned, the only way to really make baseball sexy and alluring is to make steroids legal again. Cracking down on that shit was clearly a horrible mistake. Let the pitchers and batters bulk up to their heart’s content until it looks like they’re reenacting fucking Infinity War on a baseball diamond. I like my hitters beefy and my pitchers surly, and steroids assists on both fronts. Look at all the relative nobodies who are leading the league in homers right now. Matt Carpenter? JD Martinez? Khris Davis? Is that a real name? Give all these fuckers free drugs and 20 extra homers, and then maybe people will start talkin’ BASEBAW again.

Tim:

How well would an active player run an NFL team? The player would assume all duties that the GM and coaches would perform including singing, trading and drafting as well as playcalling. I would imagine if you had Tom Brady or Drew Brees spearheading a franchise they’d compete.

Advertisement

So they have to play, coach, and GM all at the same time? I think that team would probably go 3-13. I know that NFL teams are overmanaged and overcoached to the point of absurdity, and I know that Tom Brady could probably get you a couple of wins on his own. But that’s a lot of work for just one guy. You would need Santa Claus magic to get anything done.

Also, you pretty much already know how an active player will do in management given the track record of former players who have taken on such roles. John Elway is as stupid today as he was the day he retired, so his current tenure gives you a decent idea of how a similarly inane player (BRADY) would do on the job. Clearly, it’s a mixed bag of results. For every Ozzie Newsome, there are at least two Matt Millens. And that’s when those guys are on the job full time. Now you’re asking Brady to handle all that shit in between playing, coaching, selling brain tonic, and kissing his children on the mouth for an uncomfortable length of time? It can’t be done.

Email of the week!

Matt:

It finally happened. One of my all-time greatest fears came to fruition the other day.

So, there I was, enjoying a break from work in the form of a mid-day poop, clearing both my mind and my bowels, when someone enters the restroom. They come over to my stall and try to open it. “Guess someone’s in there,” I hear a voice say, addressing another person who entered with them in the room. I think to myself, huh, tandem-restrooming, that’s kinda strange. I look to the bottom of the door to see if the people in question are creepy lingerers or not, and that’s when I see it:

Wheelchair wheels.

A feeling of absolute horror immediately overwhelms me, for I am in the handicapped stall. I now hear the assistant struggle trying to wheel the guy into the other, smaller stall (which was absolutely open when I came in), but they can’t make it work. “Well, guess we’ll just have to wait.”

I’ve never forced out a poop faster in my life. I’m wiping with the fervor of a thousand bees. Meanwhile, as this is happening, I hear the assistant leave, presumably to tell everyone in the building the atrocity that is being committed. So it’s just me and what I assume to be a very angry man who, despite being unable to walk, is now also unable to poop. I can’t imagine a worse fate.

After what feels like forever, I finally finish up and shamefully slink out of the stall. The guy wheels past me without speaking a word. I offer to give him a hand in closing the door, but he doesn’t respond, as I’m assuming he’s either A) too pissed to talk, or B) literally unable to speak or hear. Did I mention I work in a medical building? Yeah.

So, I’m now the worst person ever, right? I’ve used the handicapped stall hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of times in my life, even though I am an able-bodied, short, skinny person. All that extra space clearly means it’s better ventilated! But I’m still so traumatized from the event that in the days since, I’ve been unable to muster the courage to use a big stall again. WHAT IF???

Advertisement

Oh my god.