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Is An Unbeaten Playoff Run More Impressive Than 73 Wins?

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Pretend Golden State won Game 7 of last year’s Finals. Which is more impressive: going 73-9 and winning the title with some bumps along the way, or going 67-15 and sweeping through the playoffs unbeaten, as the Warriors are on the verge of doing now?


I think 16-0 is more impressive. I know that the NBA regular season is fucking endless, so I’m not trying to discount how insane it is to go 73-9, but think of how many legendary teams there have been in NBA history: the Jordan Bulls, the Showtime Lakers, some other great team I can put here so that I don’t have to mention the Celtics, etc. None of those teams ever went undefeated through the playoffs. And not only are the Warriors poised to do it in an expanded playoff format, but check out their margins of victory so far:


They’re winning by nearly 17 points a game. I know they got to play San Antonio after chop blocking Kawhi Leonard right into the trainer’s room, but still. It’s not like they’re playing college teams out there. They’re just so good that they can’t help but diminish the stature of the opposition. I say that the Cavs do a bit of reverse psychology on them and start kicking them in the balls. TAKE COMMAND.

These playoffs have been comically uncompetitive, so it’s hard to appreciate what Golden State is doing at the moment because they’ve made it look so easy. Inevitable. But if they finish a sweep of LeBron in Cleveland to go 16-0, that accomplishment is only gonna grow in stature over the years. I already know that, when I’m 60 or so, I’ll be like, “These cyborg NBA teams are good, but they’re no 2017 Golden State!” acting like I savored every moment of these playoffs when, in reality, I’ve been openly groaning every time Durant gets a four-point play to put the lead back into double digits.

By the way, I had a big argument with my co-workers over whether or not those “Warriors blew a 3-1 lead” jokes will be worth a shit if they end up winning this rubber match with Cleveland. I think the impact of those jokes will be SEVERELY diminished. I know you can still razz Pats fans for 18-1, but that’s because Boston fans are overly defensive imbeciles. The average Warriors fan will probably be able to shrug it off if the team gets their revenge by sweeping these playoffs and planting LeBron in the Earth’s mantle.


So you know how in Toy Story, all the toys want to be played with? What about dog toys? Like, toys specifically created for dogs. Is their only wish to be played with by dogs? Keeping in mind how often dogs completely annihilate their toys... It’s all I can think of now when my dog runs around with her stuffed toys.


If you go by Steve Jobs’s original philosophy that an inanimate object is “happiest” when used for its intended purpose, then the answer is yes. A dog toy would very much like to be bitten and chewed up and drooled on and have its insides ripped out by a crazyass dog. It’s not like kids are nice to their toys either, after all. I’ve seen my oldest kid give plenty of doll haircuts. I can only imagine those poor toys sitting in the salon chair, putting on a happy face and pretending getting butchered is lots of fun.

My wife brought home some new dog toys the other day, and New Dog Toy Day is fun because the dog goes apeshit over anything new. HOWEVER, please be sure to test squeak your dog toys before purchasing them. She got a plush donut toy that sounds like a goddamn airhorn when it squeaks, and of course that’s the one that the kids and the dog like playing with the most. I am in Squeak Hell. I hear the squeaks in my dreams now. This toy is in clear violation of the Geneva Convention. Beware the squeak.



I work at a large industrial plant in New England. I had to present several training sessions to people from every department so that they could be allowed into a cage where we build different structures for use around the plant. We administered a tape measure reading test as part of this to make sure we weren’t giving any worthless people access. Of the 54 people I trained, we had seven grownass adults who could not read a tape measure. This is a shocking number to me. How are these people alive? Am I taking this simple thing for granted?


Well now you know how Trump got elected ZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Anyway, that is indeed VERY alarming, given that a tape measure has large numbers on it indicating how many inches you have measured. I will confess that sometimes, when I have to hang up a curtain rod or something, I will look at the little hashmarks and get my fractions confused. “Wait, is that 5/8ths? Oh no wait, that littlest mark is 16ths!” Then I accidentally hit the RETRACT button and the measure cuts my hand open. OW GOD DAMMIT! Why must tape measures be so volatile? That little metal bit on the end will really fuck you up. I am not a real man.



Is Maroon 5 a rock band?

No, they are a pop band, and always have been. Even when they came onto the scene a decade ago with “This Love” and all that, they were a pop group. God, I can’t believe they’ve been around that long. They’re like Train with better hair. I’m not sure the other guys in the band have ever had to pick up an instrument, frankly. I think they just sit around the studio and eat Pop Chips while Adam Levine mixes up a new electronic pop ditty with a couple of naughty words thrown in to keep it real.


You know who used to be a rock band? Coldplay. They were a LAME rock band, but they started out ripping off Bends-era Radiohead before morphing into the Limey Chainsmokers. Every time Chris Martin picks out a new uniform for the band, I bet the rest of them all wonder if it’s worth the money to keep doing that shit (it is).


Can we get a ranking of berries? Blackberries should be at the top, with blueberries bringing up the rear. Blueberries have the texture of a baseball mitt.


Fuck you! I love me a good blueberry. It’s on you if you grabbed a carton of mealy mushberries. A high-quality blueberry tastes great AND there’s no additional fruit labor involved. No seeds. No pits. You don’t have to stem them like a stupid strawberry. You just wolf down a handful like they’re peanuts and you go. Now that’s good work from BIG ANTI-OXIDANT.

So now, you’ve asked for berry rankings and I shall deliver. Please note that I’m just ranking the basic grocery store berries here. If you want me to include some wild flurgenberry that’s native to one acre of South Carolina for two days a year and makes a lovely pie filling, take your ass elsewhere. No indie berries on this list:

  1. Raspberry
  2. Strawberry
  3. Blueberry
  4. Blackberry
  5. Cranberry

That’s it! No other berries exist in the world, or so I must assume. We whittled the mass berry market down to some real quality candidates. I like all five of those berries, with very few reservations. I put raspberries at the top because a bowl of fancy raspberries is the luxury car of fruits. OOOOH FRESH RASPBERRIES! Very elegant.


Oh, and when I Googled lists of berries for this exercise, tomatoes came up in the results. Yes, tomatoes and kiwis and even bananas can technically be considered berries, even though fuck that. 


My boyfriend and I went on our first flight together this past weekend. After a few delays and three hours on a plane, we arrived to our destination late at night, exhausted and ready for bed. Upon our arrival, my boyfriend stripped to his briefs and started getting under the covers. I immediately scolded him for thinking he was going to share a bed with me for weekend without first taking a shower. To my surprise, I was met with a strong resistance to this, even though he eventually gave in. Am I wrong to think it should absolutely be a requirement to shower before sleeping after flying on a germ-infested plane?


In theory, sure. It’s always nice to get clean after trudging through an airport with 50,000 of our largest, dirtiest citizens, and then sitting in a plane for three hours inhaling their recycled vodka breath. I swear I could walk onto a plane for five minutes and walk off without ever having sat down or gone up in the air, and STILL felt grimy and horrible, like someone wrapped me in flypaper. Travel has that kind of effect on your body.

But I think you should allow for special circumstances if you get to the hotel at, like, 3 a.m. If you’re in that phase of Travel Fatigue where you are desperate for sleep, to the point where that’s all you can focus on, I think your significant other should be allowed to skip the goddamn shower. I don’t want to wait, and I certainly don’t want to have a stream of water blasting me back into consciousness. I am not here for a second wind. I want to collapse on the bed, fully clothed, and not even pull the covers over me. I want it to be DRAMATIC. I want the world to know just how exhausted I was. More exhausted than any man has ever been, by God. I don’t want to ruin that moment of final gratification with personal hygiene. Besides, the bed is probably crawling with bacteria anyway. That shower won’t save you from whatever horrors the Holiday Inn bedspread has in store for you.


Drew (not me):

If you had your dominant arm cut off tomorrow how long do you think it would take you to be able to functionally use your non-dominant arm?


I think the right answer there is never. I mean sure, after 10 years I’d probably be “used” to typing with my left hand, or using it to wipe my ass. But I’m not gonna be PROFICIENT with it. I’m still gonna be clumsy and uncoordinated and there will be residual phantom limb sensations that prevent me from ever fully adjusting. I’ll still get poop everywhere. I would also miss my right arm every day. I would spend every day being like, “God dammit, I wish I had that arm back.” I do not, for one second, think that I would become some kind of savant with my left arm, like a blind kid who has super-attentive hearing or whatever. That’s all a myth. You don’t get to be an X-Man after that tractor accident. You stay damaged.


I was sitting in my office the other day when an older Ford F-250 drove by. The door handles were the type you grab sideways to open. It made me think about all the different types of car door handles out there. I see most cars now are going for a variation of the horizontal bar. I remember when all cars had the flap you had to lift up. What were they thinking? Ergonomics were way off. Which one is the best? Should they be doing it differently?


FUN FACT: I only recently figured out that the Tesla door handles pop out when a Tesla owner wants to get inside. For a long time, I saw the handle flush with the frame of the car and figured that you either A) push it in, like a button or B) wave your hand in front of it, like an automatic toilet. But NO! No it just pops out. Aren’t we fancy, Mr. Fancy Tesla Driver Man? Can’t have any drag on your precious little electric zoomy cart now, can we? ASSHOLE.

Anyway, the best door handle is no handle at all. I have a van (shut up) and, for the sliding door, all you have to do is push the button on the key fob. Then it opens automatically. SO COOL. I like to open the door from 50 yards away and see if other people notice. How’d did that door open itself? Is it a robot car?! Never gets old. In the future, there won’t be any door handles. You’ll just open the door with your phone. Then you will lose your phone and the flying car dealer will tell you that the whole car needs to be replaced. Gonna be pretty awesome.




What is the best way to use Twitter if you don’t have all day to sit around checking it? Is it better to follow a very small number of people and make sure you read every single one of their tweets, or to follow a few hundred people and just look at the last 40-50 tweets in your timeline whenever you can spare the time? There are a lot of people whose work I enjoy that I don’t follow, simply because they tweet so often that it seems like it would be a full time job to keep up with them.


Yeah, be ruthless about who you follow. Boot anyone who overtweets. Turn off retweets (except from me, because my retweets are the primo retweets). Don’t follow five people who cover a certain area when one or two will do (politics, for example). That should keep your feed relatively clean, so that you can go back through the timeline and not miss much of anything. I always read back to the last time I checked because A) I have no life and B) I want to make sure I didn’t miss WW3 breaking out somewhere buried in the news (in a twist, the Germans are the GOOD GUYS this time!). Then I make it back to where I left off and am oddly let down. Is that ALL there is? Maybe I should follow more people. That would definitely help to fill the gaping void in my soul that cries out for any sign of hope in the digital hellscape!


While changing my newborn son’s diaper, I wondered: over the course of my entire life, who has seen my penis more: my mother, who changed me multiple times day for a few years, or my wife of five years? How long does it take your significant other to become the all-time leader?


Well, are we talking in terms of total time exposed, or number of times exposed? When you have kids, you see their genitals pretty much every day until they’re five or so, because you give them baths and help them change and all that shit. And a lot of kids don’t really care if they’re naked either. They haven’t yet been fully indoctrinated into modern culture and made to feel self-conscious and ashamed of their own bodies, but that’s coming soon enough! I think your wife would need at least five years to pass your mom for number of penile exposures, if not more.

BUT, if we’re going by total time exposed, that’s another matter. Your wife has probably spent quality time with your penis, at least up until after your wedding day (HEY-O!!!!!). But as a parent, I’m frantically trying to limit that exposure time. If the baby’s diaper is off, I want a fresh one on so that it won’t spray poop all over me. And if the kid is in the bath, I want him out quickly so that I can go back to watching TV and drinking. I have zero interest in lingering. Let’s get you clothed tout suite, kiddo. I have shit to do. Two to three years of regular sexual contact with your wife is probably enough to close the gap with your mom. I’m sure that last sentence doesn’t look weird at all when taken out of context.



For foods like pasta, macaroni in particular, do you use your fork for stabbing or scooping the food? My girlfriend will stab at the pasta 5-10 times just to get 3 noodles in a bite. She also makes a horrendous fork on plate noise. I tell her to scoop, but she’s a stabber. Should I be concerned for her mental health and my eventual physical well-being?


Well wait, are we talking about Kraft Mac out of bowl? You can just use a spoon for that, or for little shell pasta. Why torture yourself by using a fork, which isn’t really designed for handling small bits of pasta? I want as much pasta in my mouth as will fit, so a spoon is the proper delivery device if I want to hoover up Kraft Mac out of a bowl like a broke college kid.

If you’re eating grownup pasta, you stab at big pasta (ravioli, rigatoni), twirl the thin pasta (spaghetti), and scoop the little pasta (orzo, which is the perhaps the most annoying pasta). If your wife is stabbing ineffectually, she needs to switch the scooping, or just grab it out of the bowl with her bare hands. Also, the fact that the pasta slips off her fork so easily suggests to me (put on Sherlock Holmes hat) that you are overcooking the pasta. AY YOU NO-A COOK-A THAT PASTA AL DENTE, A-GABBAGOOL SCUNGILLI BON GIORNO PRINCEPESSA!


Time for our email of the week, which sounds like a fake story but is still worth reading anyway:


I am 35 and embarrassingly ticklish. It’s not a fun ‘hahaha’ ticklish either, it’s like a paralyzing electric shock that tenses up my whole body for a half a second. Every time some a-hole grabs my side or pokes my armpit, an involuntary reflex sends my body snapping in the opposite direction.

Needless to say, I am the life of the party.

Last weekend I was out with friends when the annual game of trying to get me to fart, flail, or run into some burly bro began. We were playing pool when my sister in-laws friend poked me in the side just as I was about to take a shot. My reflexes reacted so suddenly I almost accidentally hit her in the face with my pool cue. Nobody got hurt, but I went on to tell them of all the times I accidentally hurt people when they tickle me.

I started my list off with the time when I was putting books in my locker in high school, when one of my friends stuck their finger in my armpit. I pulled my arms down so hard and fast I ended up breaking his nose with my elbow. Another time a kid sitting in the row of desks next to me in Jr. High leaned over and poked me in the armpit when I raised my hand. I snapped my arm down so hard and fast I trapped his fingers in my armpit, he lost his balance and tipped his desk over and broke his wrist.

Another time, in homeroom a kid handed me a Polaroid picture to look at. When I didn’t look at it quick enough, (because I was talking to someone else) he poked me in the side to get my attention. Frustrated, I threw the picture with a flick of my wrist. The picture flew across the classroom like a Chinese throwing star and stuck right into the eyeball of some poor kid talking to his friends. The corner of the Polaroid punctured his eyeball and stuck in it like a dart. He had such a deep laceration to his cornea, that he had to wear an eye patch for his Senior picture.

While I’m telling these stories, we are all having a good time and laughing about each one. I go on to tell them of the time during a lunch period, a kid grabbed my sides while I was taking a drink in an attempt to make me shoot water out of my nose. I grabbed his ziploc bag of cookies and hurled them across the lunchroom in anger. The cookies, unfortunately, hit a special needs kid in the face. The lunchroom was put on lockdown until someone confessed to throwing a bag of cookies at the special needs kid. After some heated whispering, I was able to convince my friend who grabbed my sides to take the fall. After all, the cookies would not have been thrown if he wasn’t being a dick. He got suspended for a couple days.

Lastly, in college, I was driving a group of friends around one night when this acquaintance sitting in the front seat thought it would be funny to tickle me while I was driving. In the dead of night, in a not-so-great-area, miles from where were going, and in the dead of winter, I demanded this drunk kid get out of my car and walk. He pleaded that his jacket wasn’t thick enough, that he didn’t know where he was or how to get home, and that he had no way to call anyone (this was still before everyone had phones), and I still made him get out. Nobody had seen or heard from him since.

When I told this to the group I was with, the air was sucked out of the room. You could have heard a pin drop. From that point on, nobody tickled me, but you could tell the air was awkward and nobody was having fun anymore. Now, to be fair, this wasn’t a close friend, or a friend at all for that matter. It was some guy that lived on our floor that we all have seen around that we just invited with because we were on the same elevator on the way out. The fact that we didn’t see him again wasn’t all that startling.

Surely, if he died that night I would have heard about it. If he went missing, someone would have come around asking questions….right? He probably just avoided us out of anger and moved to a different dorm. The other three guys who were there that night either have no recollection of this happening or remember his name, so we have no way to look him up. That’s normal, right?


You had me right up until the part where you murdered a guy.

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