Illustration: Jim Cooke (G/O Media)
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Today, we’re talking about moats, supercross, onions, Texas, and more.

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. Why Your Team Sucks kicks into high gear next week, and if you wanna be part of it, just use the Funbag email link above and send me all the reasons why YOUR team sucks. The more personal and visceral the bitterness, the better. Your team only, please. I don’t give a fuck if you’re some Ravens fan dying to sneak in a few potshots at the Steelers. You can find that shit in any team message board any hour any day. I am here for self-loathing and self-loathing only. Put “WYTS” and your team’s name in the subject line and I’ll buff it up so it’s all nice and shiny for America. I’ve had to close submissions quickly the past few years so don’t be shocked if the window is slammed shut with relative haste once again.

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Now … your letters:

Joel:

I’ve been a parent for about two and a half years now and I’m convinced the hardest part is the amount of time I’m spending on the floor. Playing or picking up toys, helping with shoes and clothes, applying sunscreen, cleaning up spilled milk or vomit, even changing the odd diaper. Seems like I spend every waking hour in a crouch, kneel, or flat out prone position. It’s killing me. Especially my knees. With respect to pee/poop/puke, not sleeping, dealing with other parents, and shelling out a fortune for daycare, the worst part about these young kids has to be getting down on the floor right?

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It’s a bitch. Your only salvation is a rug, or cheap carpeting. If you’re getting down on a hard floor whenever baby has tummy time, you’ll blow every disk in your back by October. Not good. It’s not the WORST part of parenting, but it feels lousy when playing with your child—which is supposed to be a joyous little moment—causes physical discomfort to the point where you don’t wanna do it anymore. This is only tangentially related, but my son wanted to play soccer outside the other day when I was hot and tired, and the idea of it made me exasperated, like I had to do a chore. My fucking son wanted to play with me, man. I feel awful I could ever have felt that way about it.

Anyway, when it comes to playing on the floor, do what I do and just lie all the way down. That’s what throw pillows are for. I have a bad back, so I don’t bother kneeling on the floor, or crouching, or sitting cross-legged, or doing any of that contortionist nonsense. I just drop like a stone and play trains like I’m about to nap (which I sometimes end up doing). It works. The only drawback to this technique is that my kids see me lying down everywhere and now they do likewise. It’s inevitable that kids become teens and slouch all over the place and put their feet up on every goddamn thing, but I inadvertently got these kids lounging around the world right away, like they never even learned to walk. They’ll fit right in as Americans, but this was probably poor modeling on my part.

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Also, NEVER play board games on the floor. Ever. Board games with a child are already physical agony. Don’t exacerbate it by playing a three-hour game of Monopoly on the floor, like you’re whiling away a seven-hour airport layover. I used to play Connect Four with my kids on the floor and by the time I had lost the first game, my shoulder was pulled pork. Brutal. Card games are even worse. I won’t play that shit on the floor anymore. They just play without me, which means more time for daddy to make bacon.

Brian:

Neck-up picture, what kinda athlete you got yourself pegged as? I think baseball or beach volleyball. Which sport(s) would you want people to say?

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These days? Golfer. I’m a middle-aged dipshit with sallow skin, poofy hair, and barely any chin. I don’t look like an athlete at all. I look like someone you elbow out of the way to retrieve your rollerboard from the baggage claim. Therefore, GOLFER. Putting me on a golf course is like putting a chameleon on a eucalyptus leaf. I disappear. Looking like a pro bowler or poker player would represent an upgrade for me in the looks department. Alas.

I would murder a child to be mistaken for a pro surfer or a beach volleyball legend. “Oh wow that guy is so deeply tan and has such gorgeous, natural sun-bleached highlights… he must be Karch Kiraly!” That’ll never happen. Every time I go to the gym, I do it under the delusion that if I jerk off that elliptical trainer hard enough, I’ll end up looking like Laird Hamilton. Instead I look like a dude who blames the caddie for shanking a 5-iron directly into a pimento cheese sandwich vendor’s face. This is my lot in life.

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If you had asked me this question 25 years ago I would have said a football player on both counts. That was all I wanted to be, and I made sure to look the part on picture day. I had the frat boy hat wings. I had the thick neck. I had the Serious Football Dude face. I wanted people to look at the team photo in the yearbook and be like “Oh wow that guy must be the STAR of the team!” I was not. I should’ve joined the golf team.

Sean:

What is a more effective defense: moat in front of wall, or wall in front of moat? Does the answer vary in terms of sandcastle building vs. in medieval times?

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Well, for a sandcastle, I’m very much in favor of a protective trench in FRONT of the wall. Gives me a chance to dig a hole at the beach, which I do with relish. And I figure it’s better to have the trench protect the wall rather than vice versa because if the ocean hits the wall, the wall is destroyed. If you make it so the water has to fill a trench before reaching the wall, you’ve bought yourself a solid 1.3 extra waves of protection. Your fortress is now impregnable. There’s no point in putting a moat behind the wall, unless you want that moat filled with the wall’s sand five minutes from now.

As for medieval battle, all I know about combat in those days comes from watching the Lord of the Rings movies, which don’t even take place in medieval times. They take place in an imaginary olde tyme Pangaea with elves and fairies and ghosts and shit. But people wear armor and ride horses in that trilogy, so that’s historically accurate King Arthur period design to me. Anyway, scaling a wall in those movies looked hard, especially for braindead Uruk Hai troops who are bred for killing and can fell a tree with their bare hands but also collapse and die if an arrow so much as grazes them on the wrist. Anyway, if you stick a moat in front of Helm’s Deep or some other keep, that gives you more time to fire away at the enemy and to dump boiling cauldrons of oil on them. Also, it impedes the progress of any Grond-like battering ram…

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Who’s up for whole hog barbecue gang?!

I intended to write the entire paragraph above as a preface to a classic BUT! in the middle of the take, mostly because I figured it’s exhausting to scale a wall, get cannons shot at you, and lose hundreds of your comrades, only to discover once you reach the top of it that you still gotta cross a goddamn river. It’s like waiting to ride Space Mountain. BUT, now that I’ve thought it out, I cannot reach for that BUT. You beat the wall, the keep is yours. You have the high ground and the enemy has essentially stranded themselves on a fucking island in the middle of their stronghold. They’re sitting ducks. Taking them out will be EASY provided Legolas doesn’t ride a shield down a flight of stairs like it’s a snowboard and somehow take out half your battalion with his stupid bow while doing so.

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Scott:

How many draft picks would the Raiders need to give away to get another team to eat Gruden’s contact? I mean, the Browns could use a few more picks, right?

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I actually don’t think it would take much. Those are gonna be some extremely high draft picks, mostly because Mark Davis would inevitably hire Deuce Gruden to replace his old man. And while most NFL owners are comical skinflints, I could see an ultra-rich prick like David Tepper making the deal strictly for the picks and then firing Gruden the Elder immediately, writing his contract off as a sunk cost.

Tepper would be game because he’s a new owner and the only thing new owners love more than showing off second wives who look like retired WWE Divas is making BOLD moves that cause other owners to turn their heads. The NFL is a stodgy, arcane business, and so stocking up on picks by helping another club execute a coaching salary dump counts as splashy. It would make John Mara’s bowtie spin. Whoa hey this young whippersnapper is really making a name for himself! 

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This is what passes for excitement among these bored rich assholes. Everything about the NFL makes sense if you think of it as a suburban cul-de-sac of 32 McMansions, each of which has a team owner as its nosy occupant. Someone on the block paints their house yellow and everyone else LOSES THEIR SHIT. Deliverymen never get tipped.

Jimmy:

Are raw onions spicy?

Unless you come from Nebraska, the answer is no. Onions are acrid. Lotta fancy chefs blanch onions in boiling water to get rid of that acridity before serving them. I am too lazy and manly to ever do such a thing.

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Mike:

Why isn’t Supercross more popular? I know the stadiums are usually packed, but no one I know watches it. I don’t even ride/own a motorcycle (never have), but damn if I don’t watch every single race every season (and have for over 10 years). I don’t think there’s any better racing on any vehicle on Earth. Have you ever sat down on a cold winter Saturday night and watched three hours of racing at its best? The format is great, the season is short and the personalities are unique. You got daredevils, bible beaters, rednecks, Europeans, chill dudes from Cali - everything!

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It’s pretty popular, man. Like you said, the stadiums are packed. Plus nearly a million people watch that shit on TV every week. They’ve got a network deal with NBCSN and everything. I know this because when I’m stoned as balls, I will absolutely watch supercross, motocross, snowcross, wolfcross, and every other form of televised cross. It scratches my weed itch. All the riders are ALSO stoned, but I’d rather live vicariously through their high than actually play a real game of Excitebike.

If you don’t think that counts as popular, well you may be using the NFL or one of our other omnipresent team sports as the standard for audience size, which isn’t really fair. The NFL is where it is because of decades of exposure, and because of intensely focused corruption, and because of gambling. It didn’t happen overnight, and even if it had you couldn’t just graft that formula for success onto another league or sport. There’s a reason Slamball never took off, aside from the fact that everyone broke a leg playing it. Some sports are niche sports and stay that way, and it’s fine. The way it stands now, I get to stumble upon supercross while baked and be pleasantly surprised, and devotees of the sport can indulge in paranoid fantasies of the liberal establishment holding their sport back. Plus tickets stay cheap. Everyone wins!

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For supercross to be more popular, they’d have to remake the whole thing in ways you’d instantly resent. They’d have to ditch the helmets so that riders were more recognizable. They’d have to sign with ESPN to ensure a nightly slot on SportsCenter. They’d have to tabulate fantasy stats so you could play DFS and win money based on the combined hangtime of your riders. And finally, they’d have to add strategic elements and point tallies so that it’s not just racing, because pure racing gets old for people. They gotta give riders spiked flails, and have them race through Koopa Troopa Beach, and allow challenge flags if they think an opponent rode out of bounds for two meters.

Actually I’d watch the shit out of that. I can’t lie. Give me my dystopian DeathRace 3000 league.

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HALFTIME!

Tim:

Aside from the obvious ass, face, and groin... what body part do you HAVE to clean before feeling whole? For me, it’s behind the ears.

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This will horrify you, but I don’t think I’ve ever deliberately washed behind my ears. Like I just figure the shampoo will take care of that, as some people assume shampoo runoff cleans their legs and feet. If I’m hunting for terrifying bits of ear crust, I gotta dig directly into my ear canal. The area behind my ears is now just a place for nestling my hearing aids. I don’t touch my dick with my ears or anything.

I bet that area gets nastier as you get old. Like you turn 80 and then reach behind your ear and there’s a discarded cigarette butt behind it. That happens to the elderly. I not-so-secretly enjoy picking at my body: random scabs, deeply hidden boogers, etc. So I can’t wait to get old and have an entire buffet of ear warts and liver spots and toe fungi to battle. Gonna be a real party.

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Jonathan:

If you sent a decent restaurant in an arbitrary good-sized American city from today back in time, would it be the best food in the country? Much in the way that the 2018 Jaguars would stomp the 1972 Dolphins, I think the 50th best restaurant in 2018 Denver would be easily be top 10 in the country in the 1960s (judged purely on food at least, not service or decor).

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I wanna believe that, but the answer is no. I know food is better than it’s ever been, and that Americans in the 1950s used to fear Chinese food while eating mayonnaise cupcakes. But old America was still the birthplace of the Peter Luger, Delmonico’s, Frank Pepe’s, Prince’s Hot Chicken, and other joints that are still open today and still cranking out timeless shit that modern restaurants often try to emulate and/or downright steal. So if you airlifted Hillstone to 1955, it’d be tasty, but other local stalwarts would still beat its sorry ass into the ground. You wouldn’t be able to find a decent ramen joint, but you’d still probably find pastrami from some legendary mom & pop shop that’s been making it since 1604.

Some big chefs are scam artists in the way that they act like they’ve invented new ways of eating, or like they’ve reinterpreted old classics to be better than they’ve ever been. It’s an easy scam to pull off knowing how AFRAID Americans were of certain foods decades ago, ethnic foods in particular. You can trade on that fear and pretend like you’re serving the world good food for the very first time. But good shit has always been around. The nice thing these days is that more people want to find it and know how to.

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Chase:

So let’s say the roughly half a million people who signed up to storm Area 51 actually show up and go through with it. Will the US blow them all up to protect our alien secrets?

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Given the current makeup of our government, I was first inclined to say yes. It’s not like the people running things right now actively give a shit about OTHER people. Indiscriminately mowing down half a million of us is the next logical step for national law enforcement. BUT! (there it is)… I’m guessing that the people who would actually storm Area 51 are Cliven Bundy types who watch Infowars and represent the very heart of Trump country. So they would storm the gate, brandish their arms, demand to come in, be reluctantly welcomed, spend a month littering the place with Cheeto bags, and then finally leave once a warrant for their removal had been procured 800 judicial circuits away. And then all charges against the marauders would be dropped, and then you and I would be accused of being the REAL aliens. So long as you’re a supercross fan, you’re getting a meticulously curated tour of Area 51’s boringest parts before you’re allowed to ransack the joint in the name of freedom. I’ve seen it all before, amigo. I know how the system works and for whom it works. Trigger fingers get a lot less itchy for certain practitioners of civil disobedience.

By the way, I think you and I are better off not knowing what’s in Area 51 anyway. It’s not gonna be like the Hangar 18 video. There’s no alien morgue sitting out in the middle of the desert. That base probably just has a bunch of unused bioweaponry and photo archives of UFOs that people have already seen in the news and have annoyingly glazed right past. You won’t find the Millennium Falcon in there. You’ll find all sorts of cryptic data and video about unexplained phenomena, and then Neil DeGrasse Tyson will appear out of thin air to explain it all is the most pedantic and disappointing way humanly possible.

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If we ever unearth evidence of alien lifeforms, that evidence will be fuzzy and scattershot and basically have no chance of breaking through the national attention span nor the fact-laundering machine currently operating on an infinite cycle. Aliens need to land, walk out of their ships, and fucking blow us away. Not only will it make things clear, it’ll be a tremendous relief to people like me.

John:

You said that everyone should 1000% visit Texas. Honestly I’ve lived here my whole life and it basically consists of the worst summers you’ll ever experience in your life, people who think that tacos are the reason for existence (we are a fat state), everyone that thinks you don’t like guacamole “because you haven’t had theirs” (IT’S ALL THE SAME), and decent brisket. What do you love about this state so much?

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But tacos ARE the reason for existence. If Area 51 warehoused breakfast tacos, I would sign the petition to invade it.

I’ll give you a case for Texas, but it comes with the implicit understanding that there’s a huge difference between enjoying a place you visit occasionally and enjoying permanent residence there. I go to Florida and I’m like OH WOW I SHOULD LIVE HERE! while instinctively knowing that I would hate living there. But everyone should visit Florida, just as they should visit Texas.

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Texas is cool. I like Texas because it’s built for people my size. Dallas highways aside, I’ve never felt cramped in Texas. The grocery store aisles are wider than the Talladega Speedway. There’s smoked sausage everywhere you turn. I like their barbecue the best out of all the barbecue meccas I’ve visited. There’s also quality Tex-Mex, especially for people like me who venture to the Southwest and think that even the shittiest Mexican and Tex-Mex food around there is the most authentic tasting thing in the world.

I have also found that Texas is laconic in all the ways the Deep South purports to be, but without the fucking drag. There’s a difference between being laid back and being flat-out inert, and you will bear witness to the latter from virtually everyone around greater Atlanta. Professional Southerners are like ‘ROUND HERE WE AIN’T IN SUCH A HURRY, and then they proceed to do absolutely nothing. In Texas, people are chill and mainlining frozen margaritas at all hours, but they’ve got SOME bounce in their step. That is fantastically simple and gross oversimplification of things, but everywhere in the world has its own pace and Texas’s is right in my Goldilocks zone. Too bad it’s a fucking loony bin.

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Dylan:

Why hasn’t America gotten on board with fish for breakfast? With the notable exception of lox, which you tend to drown with cream cheese and caper juice anyway, it’s not even a thing anywhere in the country that I’ve found. I don’t understand it. A nice light piece of fish is a perfect addition to a breakfast burrito, a plate of quinoa or grits, a classic breakfast plate, or just by itself. You don’t feel weighed down to the point of needing a nap by 10am like many breakfast staples, it’s healthy, and most people brush their teeth after breakfast so you don’t even have to contend with the breath issue. This seems like a slam dunk and yet America remains averse to the breakfast fish. Why?

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There are logical reasons for this, but for the moment let me ride with you and say that Americans are fucking weird and the idea of fish for breakfast would scare them to death. Fish? For breakfast? EWWWWW. Let me eat this bowl of factory processed wheat scabs instead!

Now, the real reasons people don’t eat fish for breakfast is because fresh fish is expensive, and no one has time to lovingly sear a piece of halibut before rushing off to work or school in the morning. It’s just too much of a production. If it doesn’t come in a wrapper, it’s not an American breakfast. You could make fish sticks for that meal, but that would just be fucking weird.

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Lox works as a breakfast food because A) It’s my favorite food in the universe, and B) It’s ready to go. No cooking. No reheating. You just peel it off the little brass-colored cardboard thingie and it’s set to go. And then your hands smell like fish for days. I love it. I’ll have whatever lox you’re not having. I don’t’ care if there are bite marks on your piece. I’ll wash behind my ears with it.

Email of the week!

Christopher:

I have had the same lady off and on (mostly on) cut my hair for the last 18 years. She has been in several salons, come to my house, and I’ve gone to hers. She now cuts my son’s hair too. She is kind of a “free spirit”, but we have good chats during haircuts and share similar interest in music and food. She is somewhat older than me and it got me to thinking that if she dies, the only way I am going to find out is if she flat out stops returning my texts and calls and I start to have to look up her obituary online. It seems crazy to me that I have known someone that long who I see at least 4-6 times a year, but who I share no other contacts with. Does that seem odd to you and do you know anyone like that?

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Does the mailman count? A new mailman came to the house a while back and I worried our old mailman had been fired or had died. Turned out he was on vacation. WILD.