Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Let’s Talk About Your First Beer

Illustration by Sam Woolley.
Illustration by Sam Woolley.
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

Before we get into the Funbag, I got some news to bust out. First off, the Deadcast is on hiatus. We’re gonna bring the podcast in-house and attempt (in vain) to un-fuck all our current tech woes. So be on the lookout for a retooled podcast in the coming… weeks? Maybe a touch longer than that.


Also, COMIC CON is this week. Yes, it’s a bunch of pushy nerds dressed in unidentifiable cosplay outfits, all in one place! I’ll be part of a big panel there on Thursday, and then I’ll be signing books on Saturday at the Penguin booth.

And finally, WHY YOUR TEAM SUCKS is coming back soon. We’re gonna start with the Titans and work back through the original 2016 draft order. So go ahead and get your emails in starting now. Like last year, I’m gonna cut off submissions once the backlog gets too big. Put the name of your team and “WYTS” in the subject header and use good punctuation, or else your email goes right in the toilet. As always, you should only write in only if you want to shit on your OWN team. If you’re a Ravens fan writing in to bitch about the Steelers, you can kiss my ass.

Got all that? Goody. Time for your letters:


Someone dropped “I remember my first beer” on me the other day. Got me to thinking, I DO remember my first beer - in 5th grade, my friend and I took Rolling Rocks from his father’s Chesapeake Bay house fridge, and drank them on his dock as the sun went down. I remember taking a mental note that “this tastes horrible” - but without a doubt, it was an overall positive experience, maybe even optimal. 1. What % of first beer experiences are actually horrific (probably involving vomiting) 2. Do you remember your first beer?


My first beer was a Kaliber, an NA beer, that my dad let me try at a restaurant when I was a kid, so I could decide if I liked the taste of it. And of course, I didn’t. I said, “This tastes gross,” and then my dad laughed and enjoyed a real beer of his own. That’s the slick parenting move. Instead of forbidding a kid from alcohol, you let them try it, pretending you’re being all permissive and French, while secretly knowing they won’t like it anyway. “Oh, you wanna juggle knives? Sure, give it a shot. Lemme know how that goes for you.”

I don’t think most people like the taste of beer or wine or liquor when they first try it, so it says something about peer pressure that millions of people happily ignore their first instincts and KEEP drinking that shit until they’ve conditioned themselves to like it. My second time trying beer was in eighth grade when a friend of mine got a Coors Light party ball at his house when his folks were away. We all kept drinking and wincing and holding our nose to get the beer down. I ended up getting wasted and pulling my dick out in front of everyone. Word got around. And yet, I still drink to this day! WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? Whipping out my little dinger should have been a strong enough warning.


It’s even more dangerous out there now, because teenagers can follow the lead of BIG MALT BEVERAGE and start off on overly sweetened garbage like Bud Light Lime RazzzzzBrrIta and Smirnoff Ice and their ilk. Those are non-beers designed SPECIFICALLY for people who are drinking beer the first time. They may as well come in juiceboxes.

So instead of easing your way into desperate alcoholism, you drink nine Mike Hard Lemonades right off the bat and wake up nude under a bridge the next morning, in dire need of Berberine. My guess is that the percentage of kids who have a really awful first beer experience is much higher today than it was a few years ago, probably over 50%. This concerns me both as a parent AND a beer snob. You should only be able to get drunk the first time by enduring the bitter taste of a stale Busch Light. That’s how we did it back in MY day, sonny boy.


If you have a first beer horror story, by all means leave it down in the bowels of the comment section.


What is the appropriate time a friend can borrow a book? I lent a friend a book and checked in with him a month later and he has read 1 chapter. Am I supposed to sit around for eternity until he takes his sweet time and finishes? When can I ask for it back?


Have you already read it? If that’s the case, I say that the friend is allowed to borrow the book until he finishes it. That could mean YEARS, given the reading pace of the modern bachelor, but still: What were you gonna do with it? Read it again? Make notes? Write a freelance thesis on it? Show it off on your bookshelf like a GLORY BOY?! When I feel myself lost and disillusioned, I know I can always count on PROUST (sniffs farts). I think that you should let your friend keep it on his toilet tank indefinitely.

And if you ever really need it back, either because you haven’t read it or because you need to make a screengrab of an old book in order to catch Donald Trumo in a lie, you can always say to the friend, “Yo, I need that copy of Joy of Cooking back.” He won’t care.



What would you say is the biggest food ripoff? I’m leaning toward frozen yogurt because whenever I take my 5 and 7-year-old daughters to get some, the price always outweighs the amount of yogurt we get. I took them to get some on the last day of school, and three orders came to more than $21. I’m not a cheapskate, but I know that we could have gotten the same amount of frozen treats at an ice cream shop for $12, $15 tops. It doesn’t help the frozen yogurt places charge by the ounce, and my kids always find a way to pile on about 10 toppings, then let the whole thing melt on the coffee table when we get home.


Yeah, they’re a rip job. They let you serve yourself because they KNOW kids will pull the lever and hold it there for nine years, racking up eighty pounds of yogurt in their mini-bucket. It’s insidious. And then I tell the kids it’s too much yogurt, and then I spoon some into my other kid’s bucket, and then he yells at me because he wanted to pull the lever himself, and then I say WELL THEN NO ONE GETS YOGURT YOU LITTLE SHITS and then we all drive home angry. Fun outing.

I think the biggest food ripoff is beef jerky. I’ve said this before, but the average pack of Jack Link’s costs $6 and weighs half a micro-ounce. For five bucks, I want a full deer hung and dried and vacuum-sealed for my snacking pleasure. Anything less is a con. Some other notoriously overpriced foodstuffs:

LOBSTER. Did you know prisoners in Maine used to eat lobster because lobsters are so common? Did you know that Mainers will tell you this factoid once every four minutes? Lobster should cost a dollar a pound, but the MAINE LOBSTER CARTEL controls that shit like blood diamonds, jacking up the price and tricking you into believing that lobster is a special occasion food when, in reality, it should match the cost of scrod. Why can’t I get a lobster burger for two bucks at Wendy’s? WHAT A LOAD.


CHERRIES. When the Rainier cherries come in, the grocery throws up a SALE! sign on them even though the reduced price is still $7 a pound. And I still fall for it. I’m still like, “OOH! White cherries! They won’t be around much longer!” I’m the world’s most gullible shopper. If you tell me that Honey Nut Cheerios will only be in season for three weeks, I’ll rush to buy eight boxes.

ALL STEAK. Even the cheap cuts are expensive now because every artisanal restaurant serves their own fancy take on obscure cuts like flork steak. You used to be able to buy cow foreskin for nothing at all. Now that’s one of the most desired cuts. If you want brisket, they only sell it in 10-pound blocks for $85 at the store. I don’t need that much brisket. I’m not running a food truck.


ALMONDS. Especially the marcona almonds, which are the fancy almonds that come swimming in grease and salt. I like to serve them and then cry out THEY’RE FROM SPAIN! so that party guests are properly awed.

METAMUCIL. It’s over ten bucks a can! That’s a lot of money to control my farts.

LITERALLY ANYTHING IN THE ORGANIC AISLE. I saw a bag of kale chips in that aisle once that cost six dollars. For dried kale. What the fuck, man.



My friend has a framed poster for The Matrix in his room. In any normal circumstance, I’d say this is fine. But, he was born in 1997, so I think it’s definitely a strange choice. I’m not crazy, am I?


It’s fine. He probably saw it on DVD when he was a kid and had his mind blown, then got the poster and just kept it there because it’s been a bedroom staple of his for so long. I used to have a huge Def Leppard Hysteria poster on my wall as a kid. If you handed that poster to me right now, I’d hang it in my basement immediately.

The Matrix is a perfect movie for teenage boys because it has guns and trenchcoats and sunglasses, which are all the epitome of cool to twelve-year-old boys and exactly NO OTHER demographic. For that group, the movie will never feel dated. I remember being a kid and seeing some dude rock Bolle wraparound shades and thinking he was the biggest fucking badass on Earth. “That guy must be a cyborg! (drinks ice cold Kaliber NA lager)” Now I know better.



My cousin recently posted food porn from some coney place in Norman, Oklahoma; among the items pictured were a “Cap ‘n Crunch” battered corn dog, as well as a chicken fried hot dog with mashed potatoes and gravy. I kind of think of myself as a foodie, but only when it comes to shit like this - garbage food that ensures I’ll die early. Am I still a foodie, or is there some sub-category to which I belong?


I think “foodie” is one of those terms that never meant much to begin with (It’s like telling people you’re really into music), and has been overused and co-opted to the point of being somehow MORE meaningless. So you can go ahead and tell people you’re a foodie for fried Oreos if you want. The more accurate label would be “stunt food fetishist”. I think we’ve all gone through that phase where you post a hamburger that uses fried KraftMac for buns on Instagram and write “WANT” next to it. I will gladly confess to looking over a Guy Fieri menu and being like, “Damn, that actually looks pretty awesome.”

Most of this shit sounds good (at least to me) without actually being good, and that’s because ballparks and restaurants increasingly concoct these dishes because they’re angling to get on Darren Rovell’s Twitter feed. It can be the wildest shit you’ve ever seen, made with every processed snack you’ve ever loved and then bathed in Buffalo sauce, but it’s still gonna be an underwhelming dining experience because a carny made it for you. If you love elaborate junk food, make it sure comes from experts. Like the giant cookie sundae at Red Lobster. Oh, Red Lobster. Oh, you know me better than anyone.




What do you think is the longest article on Wikipedia? I have what I think is a very good guess: Michael Jackson- I can’t come up with an entry that would have a larger number of bullet points to expand upon (Jackson 5, home life, solo career, abuse allegations, Neverland Ranch, baby dangling, his death and the resulting trial of his Dr, etc. etc. etc.). I was trying to remember what album came before ‘Dangerous’ and made the mistake of going to his Wikipedia page for the answer. That’s when I wondered: could any Wikipedia entry possibly be longer? My husband thinks it would be something like WWII, but he’s insane, right? Nothing could be longer than Michael Jackson.


Wikipedia actually has a page to keep track of this, and the largest article on the site in terms of data is the 1918 New Year Honours, which I have never heard of until just now. That post is just an endless list of uptight British nobles and dipshits (Capt. Sir Douglas Egremont Robert Brownrigg, etc.), with very little in the way of actual writing. It’s like reading a phone book.

Buzzfeed listed the 100 longest Wiki articles and their number one entry was the list of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition monsters. But again, that’s a list, and it’s so large that Wikipedia broke it up into sub-pages. For straight prose, the grand champion might be the entry on India-European Union relations, which is the first entry on Wiki’s list that isn’t just an extended table of dry information.


It actually makes sense that some of some of the longest entries on Wikipedia deal in obscure subjects and events, because your average Wikipedia editor is probably an eccentric fellow. He probably spends all day painting miniature Mexican-American war figurines before hopping online to add 20,000 words to the entry on James K. Polk. Plus, it’s probably harder to get additional copy added to popular entries like Jesus and Hitler. Those tend to be safeguarded. But no one’s gonna stop you from spewing on and on and about Crown Prince Hitherton VII of Bermuda or whoever the fuck.


Which sport has athletes that you think you’d last the longest in a fight with? I think it’s got to be something like:







MMA/any combat sport

POKER! Are we counting poker as a sport? I’ll kick the shit out of a poker player. That’s my body type, man. There are plenty of leisure sports like poker and darts and even golf where you and I can go manboob-to-manboob with the talent pool.


If you don’t count any of those as real sports, then I’ll give you two other options: marathoners and jockeys. Every marathoner weighs a hundred pounds and looks like they’d shatter if a stiff wind blew through. They’re not trained for combat. I’m a little wary of jockeys because they have strong legs and can probably get in a nut shot or two. But I feel like the average guy would have a distinct height/weight advantage over a jockey. I’d also make sure to talk trash about horses while pummeling them, just to break them emotionally. “You know horses are dumb, right buddy? They are dumb and God put them here to be our four-legged plow servants.”

By the way, once you get into mainstream sports and contact sports, forget it. The average soccer player would beat my ass, even one of those fancy-ass Italian guys. He’d flop, and then get up and deliver a stinging uppercut just when I’ve let my guard down.



The other day I was washing a knife I had just used. I only soaped the blade and not the handle, which is what I usually do if the handle is made of different material, say wood or plastic.

I was wondering: 1) Am I alone in this and 2) Am I going to hell?

You’re not alone. Where am I supposed to grip the knife if I wanna wash the handle? You see my dilemma? I’m not slicing open my palm just so that I can rinse off whatever genital-eating bacteria and/or sperm cells are on that handle. No thanks. Unless the handle came in contact with raw chicken or a dead body, it’s fine. Sometimes I have to hold the blade between my fingers to soap up the handle, but then it gets slippery and I nearly cut myself and that’s when I scream out in fright like a nine-year-old girl. Not worth it.



Do you think that I, an average schlub who has a used $125 Leader Silhouette with a bent frame, could be a competitive cyclist in the Tour de France if I had an advanced illegal motor system successfully hidden away in my ride?


No, because motodoping only helps you so much. The hidden motor isn’t powerful enough. You still have to pedal. Even if you had the motor do all the work and you were just pedaling with no resistance, you still wouldn’t survive the Tour. It’s thousands of miles. Your crotch would look like a skinned calf after just one day. And if the saddle sores don’t get you, you’ll still end up accidentally careening off a mountainside to your death. Those curves are no joke.


Are there people who intentionally wash their hands in the shower, or does everyone just trust that soaping up will get them clean enough? If it’s everyone but me, please let me know quietly.


I never wash my hands in the shower. The act of lathering up does that for me. In fact, shampooing makes them DOUBLE clean! You could eat brunch off of them afterward. The only time I go out of my way to scrub my hands is if there’s visible dirt that won’t go away, or I just took a shit and a little poop got on my finger, or there’s dirt under my fingernails and I try in vain to get rid of it, only I can’t, and then I resign myself to having dirty nails that make me look like I’m an auto mechanic.


My girlfriend is moving into a house with me that I recently moved into myself. I’m aware that to make this work I’m going to have to sacrifice certain things; however, she has recently informed me that I make the bed incorrectly and that I will need to change how I do it. I make the bed by pulling the sheet and comforter OVER the pillows, as this is the most efficient way to make the bed and also makes getting into the bed very easy. She says that I need to start placing the pillows over the sheets and comforter as “it looks better” but we all know this makes fixing and getting into bed more work as you have to lift and move around pillows. (And who exactly are we making this bed look good for?!) What is the best way to make the bed?


If we’re being really snooty, what you do is spread out the comforter, pull it back a little, place the pillows on the edge of the fold, and then fold the remaining comforter over the pillows so that there’s a little crease instead of just a lump of pillow under the covers. Then you garnish with throw pillows.

That’s the ultimate WASP way to make a bed, and I have NEVER been able to successfully do it. Every time I make a bed, it looks like a dog just spent an hour chasing his tail on it. I can’t nail the little crease. I misjudge sheet length. I never get the comforter to hang evenly over both sides of the bed. Meanwhile, my wife makes the bed in four seconds and it looks like the entire staff of a Hyatt did the job. It’s bullshit. And whenever I tell my wife I suck at making the bed, she just tells me I’m being lazy. And I’m like NO, I REALLY DO SUCK AT THIS. She ain’t buying it.


As far as I’m concerned, you can make a bed my throwing a comforter over the pillows and then walking the fuck away.


I worked as a soccer coach for 7- and 8-year-old girls this spring. They whined and complained all the time, they always wanted water breaks and they could never understand the concept of a corner kick (fuck you, Emma). This age group has to be the worst for girls, right?


Sports-wise, yes. That’s when they’re learning the rules of a sport, and rules are boring, so they naturally turn their attention elsewhere. The refs in first grade leagues act as de facto coaches, blowing the whistle and then explaining to little Maddysyn why she can’t double dribble down the court like an asshole. It takes a while for kids to get really into a sport, and to play it instinctively. Unless your kid is a prodigy, in which case fuck you.

Lifewise, I am told girls get more difficult into their teens. I know this because I see parents of teenagers walking around looking like a truck hit them. They won’t even tell you WHY it sucks to raise teenage girls, because they don’t want to relive the misery.



What the policy on leftover steak? Almost all leftovers are better heated up but I didn’t want to cook it any longer. It was a perfect medium rare. I went with cold.


My policy is to slice it very thin and then nuke it for just a few seconds so that it’s a little warm but not bone grey. Then I put that shit on a sandwich with some provolone and butter and OH GOD I’M SO HUNGRY SOMEONE FEED ME A STEAK SANDWICH RIGHT NOW YO.

Alternatively, you can take it out of the fridge early and let it get to room temperature before you eat it. That really gets the salmonella going.



Why won’t my kid eat over the table? I’ve been telling her to for 5 years. Why won’t she hold her food over the goddamn table?


I dunno. We should switch kids and see if it makes a difference. Mine won’t even sit down. I must say PLEASE SIT ON YOUR BUTT at least ninety times a day.

Email of the week!


So I work at a small bank with only a few branches and one of them is in a town with a population of 250 ish people. I work there once or twice a week and there are never more than 4 people working the whole bank at any point. Problem is, about 3 o’clock is when I take my daily shit.

Today’s shit took substantially longer than usual, which is awkward because everyone can tell when you go in and when you come out. Anyways, I come out of the bathroom and the SVP who has worked here for like 35 years happened to be filling up a cup with her Dr. Pepper and we had the most awkward eye contact/turn and run experience of my life. Haven’t been able to look her in the eye since.


Aw man.

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