Photo: Getty, Illustration: Sam Woolley
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Mark:

Let’s assume Trump fills out a public NCAA tourney bracket. I’d say it’s obvious that he’d have Indiana v. Duke in the final (regardless of whether Indiana is in or not), but who else would make his Final Four?

PENN! DID YOU KNOW TRUMP WENT TO WHARTON BECAUSE HE’S GOT THE BEST BRAIN THERE IS? VERY VERY LARGE BRAIN AND THAT’S BEEN WIDELY REPORTED. He’s picking Penn to win the whole thing, unless he’s not aware that Wharton is part of the University of Pennsylvania. That’s a distinct possibility. He also may be under the impression that Wharton is located in Trenton.

As you said, he would also include teams that aren’t even in the bracket, and he’d get bored after filling out roughly 10 percent of the slots and quit the exercise to go make a midnight phone call to Jimmy Walker instead. That’s why he didn’t full out a bracket for ESPN last year. It’s too much manual labor for him. His stubby little hand would cramp up. His writing would get progressively sloppier. Three weeks after the tourney was over, he’d finally round out his Final Four picks and include Jack Nicklaus, Papa John, Trump-brand body wash, and a chicken Caesar salad.

But if an aide, soon to be fired, really sat him down and forced him to fill out the whole bracket, you and I both know Trump’s priorities would include:

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1. Any place that he has scammed out of money or plans to scam out of money

2. Any state that voted for him

3. Any place that was nice to him.

So looking at the bracket, that gives him a Final Four of Penn, Wichita State (a program that’s financed by the Koch brothers), Arizona (“Who here loves Sheriff Joe?! We all love Sheriff Joe, right?!”), and a three-way tie between Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida State in the West. Did you know he won those states? [pulls out pocket map of the 2016 electoral college conveniently kept on person at all times] Have a look! PEOPLE SAY IT WAS THE GREATEST LANDSLIDE IN HISTORY.

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The best part is that there is no way on Earth that Trump would acknowledge a busted bracket. The second Penn loses (and we should all pray for that), he’d just take the pot money and sue everyone else in the pool for libeling his picks.

Richard:

Let’s say the general contractor who built the new Yankee Stadium was a big time cult leader who committed a ton of human sacrifices. What if, to get rid of all the bodies, he buried them in the concrete of the stadium?? What do the Yankees do? They have all the money so they could probably build a new stadium, but what if it was the Twins? Or the Royals? Would you go and watch a game at the stadium?

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LOL have you met the Yankees? They’re not doing jack shit about bodies embedded in the walls of their billion-dollar Dick’s Sporting Goods. If anything, the bodies would only add to the funereal atmosphere of that dump. Just like the architect planned! They could just pretend those are the bones of THE MICK. [Lupica voice] “You knew that The Mick was The Yankees and that the Yankees were The Mick!”

Seriously though, the Yankees would actively deny the existence of said bodies. There’d be a coverup so far- and wide-ranging it would make executives at Volkswagen downright jealous. And if you dared to ask about the bodies out loud, a big burly security guard would seize you, throw your bag on the ground, stomp on it, tase you, and then force you to listen to Ronan Tynan do a 12-minute rendition of “God Bless America.” The only way they get rid of the bodies is if they exercise some shady contract clause that allows them to bill The Bronx for the entirety of the renovations. Sorry about those six elementary schools closing, but it is what Mister Steinbrenner would have wanted.

Once a team finally gets a stadium, nothing else really matters. The Vikings have a stadium that kills HUNDREDS of birds. The Falcons stadium has a leaky roof. The Cowboys stadium concentrates sunlight into a blinding laser, like the Staff of fucking Ra, and shines it directly into the eyes of the quarterback. Even the TV cameras can’t see shit during late afternoon games there. Do any of these teams care about such design flaws? My friends, they do not. They got their free billion-dollar joint. If some bodies happen to be in the crawlspace, or if some bird gets vaporized by the giant magnifying glass planted on the roof, so be it. When you’re a comfortable billionaire, caring about the rest of humanity is a general nuisance.

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Morris:

Now that everyone has a cell phone with caller ID, when someone that you kind of know peripherally calls you, how do you answer the call? Do you still do that confused “hello?” Or do you answer with a “Hey Person-That-Still-Makes-Voice-Calls!” This is more for the professional world, because honestly, no one that you’d consider a friend would ever dare do a voice call these days.

I usually turn into Business Drew and answer the phone, “This is Drew.” I’m not trying to tell people I’m THE Drew. It’s not like when Prince used to call people and say “This is Prince” to greet them. I just picked it up from working in an office and hearing the bosses all go “This is [their name]” any time they picked up the phone, so that the caller got instant affirmation that they were reaching the person they were trying to reach. So that’s what I do if it’s the middle of a workday and my son’s friend’s mom’s cousin’s PTA head is calling to ask me something.

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If it’s someone I’m a bit more friendly with, sometimes I answer with delighted surprise that I’m hearing from that person. You ever do that? “WELL WELL WELL IF IT ISN’T GABE FORKBURG?! TO WHAT DO I OWE THE HONOR, DEAR SIR?!” Always fun to roll out the welcome mat to open up a phone call. Keeps everyone loose and drunk.

The confused “hello?” is really dying off now. I only use that when it’s an unidentified number and I’m praying it’s not a robocall. SPOILER: It’s a robocall. I should have known better than to pick up.

Adam:

Why are college championship games on Mondays? If it’s going to be on a weekday, it should be changed to a Thursday game so you only have to suffer through work on Friday.

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I actually don’t mind it because Monday and Tuesday nights are usually boring as shit, so I like it when a big sports event swoops down to liven up the early week TV schedule and gives me a cheap excuse to get loaded. There’ll still be other sports to watch that weekend anyway. Also, if they moved the tournament title game to four or five days after the semifinals, coaches and NCAA officials would piss and moan about the timing disrupting the class schedule and being an unfair burden on THESE POOR KIDS. We can’t have Trae Young taking that Rock Staring 302 exam in absentia.

Andrew:

What old man complaints have become your go-tos as you’ve gotten older? I’m talking about stuff that never would have bothered or even occurred to you at 20-25, that makes you shake your fist now. My current fave is people driving too fast in parking garages. These goddamn soccer moms in their Canyoneros whipping through at 30 mph. Those turns are tight! People are backing out! BE MORE CAREFUL. (Note, these same people will drive below 55 on the interstate.)

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Oh I think that’s a fair complaint at any age. I live in Maryland and drivers here treat every parking garage as an opportunity to reenact the final showdown in Baby Driver. They’ll whip around corners and come within a millimeter of sideswiping you, then wave THANKS as if I were inviting them to attempt to kill me. Also, all the public parking garages here are always full, which means you will drive all the way to the roof of a garage, only to realize, with horror, that all the spots are taken, and then you will be essentially trapped there for an hour because other drivers have entered the same garage and discovered likewise. It’s fun!

I do think complaining about parking in general is a big old-man take. All my kids learned to curse from watching me attempt to park. I get very angry at the existence of other cars. If I see what appears to be an open spot, only it’s taken by a compact car (or worse, a motorcycle), I will fume. How are there no spots? Where did all these people come from? THEY’VE GOT SOME NERVE WANTING TO GO PLACES I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO GO.

Here are some more old man takes I now actively subscribe to:

1. There’s too much TV! I have made this complaint several times, which is strange because I grew up in the 80s and had to watch absolute dreck like The Fact of Life. I should be happy there’s GOOD TV at my fingertips any time I would like to watch it. And yet, I’m out here like “These damn kids and their binge watching!”

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2. The games are on too late! This is a stock Mushnick take, and I now have regrettably fallen in line with it. Any game that starts after 9pm EST is an act of war to me and my dad hours. I should really just move to the West Coast and be done with it.

3. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THIS DRAKE GUY? WHY DOES HE SING LIKE HE’S GARGLING A GOLF BALL?

4. People at the stadium are too drunk! My kid wants me to take him to a Skins game and I keep inventing new excuses to avoid it because everyone at an NFL game is a drunken belligerent asshole. I mean, I get drunk at games too, but I do it THE RIGHT WAY.

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5. What is that noise?! This is the big one. Any unwelcome, ambient noise and suddenly my day is ruined. “Is that a leaf blower I hear? It’s a Sunday morning! HAVE SOME RESPECT!” Old people tend to be easily annoyed by virtually any deviation in environment or routine, and I’m already well on that track. It’s awful. I gotta do something about it lest I become some old bastard shaking his walking stick at kids on skateboards. From now on I’m thinking, acting, and looking young! And I’m gonna start with a bottle of Buzz Cola!

Sam:

I’m 42. My sister gave me a Lego BB-8 for Christmas because I’m a dork. I was really looking forward to putting this together. However my seven-year-old daughter is doing all the work, and I’m pissed off about that. I’m wrong, aren’t I?

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Yup. Let it go, man. You don’t ever wanna be the Old Guy Who Still Likes Toys. Those guys always end up being diddlers. I don’t trust them. If you walk around all day in Hawaiian shirts and you’ve a jumbo Millennium Falcon as the centerpiece of your living room, I will call Child Services on you. Better to always play with your kid’s toys than have your kid always playing with yours.

Also, if you don’t want a child to have a toy, do not let them see it. Once they see it, it’s over. You have to rent a separate apartment for any Legos sets and/or mistresses. That’s just common sense.

HALFTIME!

 

 

Mike:

The Panthers are up for sale, what if the city of Charlotte purchased them? The NFL is highly profitable, and the city could use the money to fund police, infrastructure, etc. You wouldn’t have to worry about the team up and moving to LA. You wouldn’t have to put up with new stadium demands every 15 years. I see a lot of positives.

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Don’t be ridiculous. That’s too expensive. Much better for a city to give an NFL owner $750 million, then spread out the expense over decades through the issuance of questionable city bonds, compounding interest until the cost has easily quintupled! So much more convenient for all parties involved. DUH.

I am endlessly amused by the fact that the NFL loves to hold up the Packers, and their community ownership, as a shining example to the rest of the world while, at the same time, having rules in place to prevent any town from EVER owning an NFL team again. Every positive thing about a city owning an NFL team—responsible spending, wealth distribution, input from other human beings—is a negative to NFL owners. They want one owner of every team, and they do not want that owner crippled by the burden of being responsible to his or her fellow citizens. I mean, if Charlotte bought the Panthers, some of that TV revenue would go to SCHOOLS, instead of updated practice facilities! Can you IMAGINE?

By the way, my prediction is that the Panthers end up getting bought for some insane amount ($3 billion) and that the new owner turns out to be a little boy wearing a trenchcoat to disguise the fact that he’s sitting on Jerry Jones’ shoulders. “I think Legends Inc. should provide my new team with all its stadium services because they’re the best!” Also, the sale price of Panthers will only reinforce to the NFL that their lip service regarding matters of safety and social issues is paying off handsomely. Expect even MORE empty gestures from Roger and company once they’ve established a new franchise sale standard. “Actually, concussions have healing powers!”

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Brit:

So you know the little clear plastic baggies in the produce section of your grocery store? Those are clearly intended for either A) items that have an edible exterior (i.e. apples, pears, etc), to protect that exterior from the e.coli living on your grocery cart or B) items that, while their inedible skin doesn’t need protection, generally are bought in multiples and thereby need to be contained together (oranges, onions, etc.). So people who bag their bunch of bananas are insane, right?

They are, because those bags will rip if you blow on them. Bananas are too heavy and ungainly to fit in them. The same goes for annoyingly long vegetables like leeks and beets with the stalks attached. Ever try to bag that shit? This is why I never buy vegetables.

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Also, be sure to bag your meats. Nothing worse than grabbing a package of chicken and having chicken juice get all over your hands. I wanna chop my hand off when that happens. Just a miserable moment.

Quinn:

I was at a bar when a dude used his being from Michigan as an excuse to move next to me and talk my ear off for the next two hours. While I was dying inside, I wondered, “Which state has the worst people to be cornered into conversation with?”

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LOL what it is about Michigan? I went to Michigan for business once and the guy who was my guide on the trip was an extremely nice and generous man, who proceeded to tell me the entire history of the state, down to annual snowfall totals. On the way to the hotel, he deliberately drove 20 miles in the opposite direction just to show me, like, a road. I wasn’t even mad. I was in awe of his ability to make idle chitchat. Did you know the Upper Peninsula used to be a summer haven for wealthy New York barons who traveled to that part of the state to buy up its vast copper reserves, only to be enraptured by the area’s natural, wild beauty? Now you do. I am always charmed by old people who take it upon themselves to be the unofficial ambassador of any region. I feel like that will be my calling soon enough. Some niece will come visit me and I’ll trap her in a car for two hours to show her all of Maryland’s most congested parking garages. “And over there is a Marshall’s, where you can often find great deals on name-brand clothing.”

Anyway, honorable mention here goes to Maine, which will surely set off another round of hate mail from aggrieved Mainers. But the world must know my truth. Any place that is in love with its own terrain and local peculiarities will cultivate a LOT of long talkers. Throw in the Boston sports factor and you’re in real deep shit if a Mainer gets hold of you at a cocktail party.

Also, I do not like chatting with people who live somewhere nicer than me. Like, if you live in La Jolla, I’ll probably spend the bulk of our conversation plotting to kill you and steal your house. Oh, you live in the Lombardy region of Italy? Tell me more. [dons Tom Ripley glasses, beats you to death with a stone bust]

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Andrew:

A relatively known Twitter person (35k followers) posted a poll the other day and followed up. Everyone that voted delicious is insane right?

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No it just means they’ve gone Full Kyrie and voted that way to be trolling dipshits. Frankly, after that whole Munchies tweet the other week, I’m in favor of pissing off Food Twitter. Food Twitter will go to war over nothing, so why NOT troll them in the most obvious ways humanly possible? The only true barbecue is at a mall in suburban Indianapolis. Add breast milk to guacamole to make it even better! You guys ARE adding red wine vinegar to your cereal, right? RIGHT?!

William:

Bills fan. I’ve been following the whole Tyrod saga for a while, and was pretty disappointed in the fans’ reactions to him, and the way Bills management mistreated him. I’ll be honest here, I adored him. I really enjoyed the way he plays the game, and how quick he was. He has done everything asked of him, and it just felt like it wasn’t enough for anyone. What’s your opinion on the whole thing? Am I overvaluing him, or was everyone else right and he’s just awful?

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He’s not awful. I think it’s possible to believe that the Bills treated Tyrod like crap and were morons for benching him midseason, and ALSO believe that he’s just an average starter who needs talent around him and will never become Aaron Rodgers. I understand why the Bills didn’t think he was the long-term answer, but LOL NATHAN PETERMAN COME THE FUCK ON. That little stunt nearly cost Buffalo a very, very meaningful playoff spot.

But I still found the Browns’ trade for Tyrod bizarre. They’re clearly gonna draft a QB next month, so why are they ponying up a third-rounder if, like the Bills, they just think Tyrod is a placeholder QB? Why wouldn’t you just sign some veteran free agent pud instead to keep the seat warm? Third-round picks are important, man. When you nail second- and third-round picks, you can become a Super Bowl contender very, very quickly. When you don’t, you draft DeShone Kizer and trade him a year later.

And here are the stupid Browns, amassing picks Process-style and then turning around and giving them away all so they can go 6-10 respectably. I like Jarvis Landry, but having a nice wideout has never prevented the Browns from sucking before. All these people rushing to be like, “Wow, the Browns are an actual football team now!” are being hilariously naïve. It’s like the past two decades have taught people NOTHING. I’m not getting excited about a Browns team quarterbacked by Tyrod Taylor, man. Hope you enjoy zero turnovers and 170 passing yards every game.

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Aaron:

You should rank vinegars. Rice being a runaway winner.

They all have different applications, though. You use malt vinegar for fried foods. You use red wine and champagne vinegars for salad dressing. You use apple cider vinegar for barbecue. You use rice vinegar for dim sum dipping sauce, which I can drink by the quart. You use aged balsamic vinegar to drizzle on top of food so that people think you are very fancy. And you use white vinegar to clean the countertops. How can I choose from all these worthy, lovely vinegars? All I know is that, again, you should be putting them in your cereal. Really provides a hit of needed acidity in contrast to the sweetness of Cap’n Crunch.

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But you came here for DECISIVE TAKES, so I’ll pick apple cider vinegar first, just because I can. Balsamic vinegar gets knocked down a peg for being a goddamn mess. Ever try to open a bottle of that stuff that hasn’t been opened in a while? It’s like someone fused the cap on with pure molasses.

Buchanan:

What is the highest political office Gregg Popovich could be elected to if he won the Finals this year and officially retired to focus full time on running for office? I think a Congressional seat in San Antonio would be guaranteed, but what about governor or senator? Would he even have a chance at running on the Democratic ticket? I’m like 99% certain that he would beat Trump in a landslide.

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I think you’d be wrong. I know President Pop is the wet dream of every basketblogger, but Texas is Texas and I don’t think EVERYONE in that state is terribly excited to hear Pop give heartfelt postgame lectures about how we have become Rome. I’m sure the Spurs quietly get a whole lot of hate mail with DURRRR STICK TO X’S AND O’S Y’ALL written in steer blood. Just because every NBA fanboy loves Pop and Kerr doesn’t mean butthole Trump voters will.

Maybe he’d have a chance against Trump in a Presidential election, but chances are the Democrats would pass him by and nominate a former prosecutor who also happens to be married to a Carnegie family heiress instead. And even if Pop managed to score the nomination, Trump would just be like, “HEY THAT GUY DRINKS WINE! HE THINKS HE’S BETTER THAN YOU, AMERICA!” and all his voters would pull the lever again. #Winegate would occupy 16 consecutive months of right-wing cable programming. They use all the meat on the bone.

Email of the week!

Nick:

I’ve always wanted to go to something that required me to knock on a big, heavy door, and have a mean-looking guard ask me what the password is through a slot. I tell him the password and he slams the slot shut, and creaks open the door to let me in. I’m wondering if in your journalistic endeavors you’ve ever had the chance.

Here’s my ranking of cool shit that goes on behind big heavy doors with secret passwords:

1. Russian Roulette game

2. Bizarre illuminati ritual

3. Crazy drug orgy

4. Smokey jazz speakeasy where everyone dresses like it’s the 20's

5. Cockfighting ring

6. High stakes mafia poker game

7. Snuff film set

8. CIA interrogation

9. Cannibalism party

10. Fast-food meat processing

What about a medieval keep? I would love to bang on the door of a bigass keep. “We wish to stay at the inn. Our business is our own!” So cool!

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(Also, I have never had to give a password through a secret door. Please invite me to your confidential Silicon Valley orgy thank you.)