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

Please Do Not Puke While Standing

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

Hey yo, before we get into the Funbag, some brief announcements. First off, I’m gonna host the Deadspin Awards LIVE from New York this Thursday night. You can watch it over at our Facebook page. I bet it won’t be a sad and lonely experience for you at all!


Secondly, I’m gonna be conventioneering (my word) all next week, first at the RNC for GQ, and then at Comic Con to whore out the new book. So if you’re some big shot GOP fancypants who wants to invite me to a secret rich guy orgy, or you’re gonna be at Comic Con dressed as Red Sonja, hit me up.

Okay, now it’s time for your letters…


The other day I was recounting for a friend the last time I got food poisoning. When I got to the vomiting part, my friend stopped me and asked why in the world was I puking while standing. I’ve always stood for this event, and if asked I would have guessed that the split between kneelers and standers was 50/50, maybe 60/40. Since then I have brought it up with others and none of them stand if they can help it. Am I an outlier? What do you think the ratio is here?


For this exercise, let’s assume that you have time to plan when and where you’re going to blow chunks. As Draper says, “When I’m puking, all form goes out the window.” But let’s say this isn’t a case of suddenly needing to vomit, and more of a slow, horrible build-up. If that’s the case, my standard preference is to barf into a toilet, while kneeling. There are some obvious benefits to this: A) It reduces splashback, B) It makes cleanup a simple matter of flushing and maybe wiping the rim, and C) If I have to induce puking, it helps me to get as close to the stinky toilet water as possible, to help amp up the nausea and D) I like to be melodramatic and hang over the rim, groaning in agony. Be sure to buy a fluffy bath mat to rest your poor knees on if you do likewise.

I surveyed the Deadspin staff and there are a handful of people here who stand exclusively, which is crazy talk. You’re gonna miss. Some stray bit of pukey shrapnel will break free of the toilet orbit and go flying across the bathroom.

The only time you should stand to puke is if you’re in the woods. If you’re outside of some frat party and you’ve got an expanse of woods nearby, you’re free to hose down a nearby maple. But inside, you need to get down like you’re avoiding incoming mortar fire. If I had to rank puking positions, it would go like this:

  1. Kneeling, toilet
  2. Standing, wilderness
  3. Off the side of a boat
  4. Lying down on side in hospital gurney, into kidney-shaped bowl
  5. Standing, into a sink (NOTE: I puked into a sink once when I stayed with a friend and everyone got mad at me, probably because I chose the kitchen sink. I had no time for alternatives.)
  6. Standing, into a toilet
  7. Sitting in car, out the window. If you don’t have time to pull over and get out of the car, bad things await you.
  8. While swimming in a pool
  9. At Ralph Wilson stadium, onto the next row of fans


Each morning I put my milk in my mug BEFORE I pour the coffee into it. That way the coffee pour swirls the milk all through the mug providing optimal balance of coffee to milk throughout the cup. I can’t be the only one that does this?


I think you are! How do you know if you’ve put the correct amount of milk in? Do you measure it? The reason people add cream AFTER the coffee is so that they can gauge the proper amount. If your coffee is still jet black, you need to add more. If it turns beige like an old Volvo, you’ve gone too far. The shade tells you everything you need to know. Also, what if the milk splashes when you pour the coffee in? That’s a fucking disaster. Why, you’re just like the savages who write in extolling the virtues of putting in the milk before the cereal! HOW DARE YOU.

By the way, I would be down with putting your sugar in the cup first*. That way, the impact of the coffee helps get that shit swirling around. If you bought some big $7 asshole latte, the sugar just sits there on top and then you have to mix it in with one of those limp straws at the Starbucks fixins bar. There’s gotta be a better delivery system if you want to add sugar to a drink that already has 50,000 calories. I think they should have a simple syrup dispenser.


(*I have also been known to put the hot fudge UNDER the ice cream, and that is because I want to make sure there is at least a pint of hot fudge in my sundae. If someone at the ice cream shop gives you a little tiny bowl and then there’s no room for fudge on top after it’s been filled with ice cream, that is BULLSHIT. I want hot fudge everywhere and I am willing to resort to unorthodox measures to ensure it. I also put the toppings into my froyo cup FIRST to ensure easy mixing and so that there’s no candy-free yogurt on the bottom.)


Okay, I was just thinking this: Could a modern team sport in our era ever create somebody as transcendent as Muhammad Ali, who seems to have had some impact in every damn part of American life?


Sure. What if LeBron gets arrested for civil disobedience, and then goes to jail for two years, and then comes back and wins three more titles? I’m not saying that’s gonna happen (I’m sure Nike has a full emergency brand strategy to implement if it does), but there can and will be more transcendent sports figures. Ali was one of kind, but the worst thing you can do is use him as a cudgel to vilify any athlete who comes after him. It’s like me with Michael Jordan, when I watch some young whippersnapper play basketball and then huff, “Well he’s good, but he’s no JORDAN!” You do yourself and others a disservice when you sanctify certain people in order to discredit the entirety of mankind’s future for their sake, when you don’t even allow for the POSSIBILITY of future greatness.

Whether it’s because of Ali’s legacy, or because of Twitter, or because of self-controlled media outlets like the The Player’s Tribune, or because we have spent all of 2016 watching the country teeter on the brink of self-immolation, there have been a LOT of athletes lately who have felt comfortable speaking out about social issues (often to the chagrin of the Mike Francesas of the world). Serena has spoken out. LeBron has. Carmelo has. Even John Cena is getting in on it! CHECK IT OUT!

I’ll be goddamned. John Cena preaching about that shit is 10,000 times more effective than any politician droning on about it. That’s a scientific fact that I made up just this very moment. And honestly, it’s nice to see a whole group of athletes waxing eloquently about all this, so that one lone actor doesn’t have to stick his neck out (the way Ali did).


So yes, it’s not sacrilege to think there will be another Ali. But whoever it is, they’ll be impactful in their own particular way. And honestly, one of the great joys of living is seeing who those great figures—be they athletes or musicians or politicians or anyone else—turn out to be. All I can tell you is that it will NOT be Adam LaRoche.


Right now, what item can be found in the most refrigerators in the US of A? I’d wager over 70% have a Chinese food soy/duck/hot mustard packet in them.


BEER! It has to be beer because it’s the only item in 60% of all bachelor fridges. Like, maybe there’s a stray bottle of mustard in there for comic effect, but when the average guy runs out of beer, he takes swift and decisive action to remedy the situation. I start to sweat when this house gets low on beer. I probably have issues.

So here is how I would rank the current omnipresence of fridge items:

  1. Beer
  2. Water
  3. Soda
  4. Milk
  5. Cheese
  6. Ketchup
  7. Eggs
  8. Half a bottle of salad dressing
  9. Shitty white wine
  10. Congealed, disgusting slices of leftover pizza
  11. Mayo
  12. Jar of pickles unopened since 1984

Honorable mention goes to Hershey’s Syrup because I once worked on that ad account a long time ago, and their biggest problem selling Hershey’s Syrup was that everyone already owned a bottle of it but never fucking used it.



I just drove my 36-year-old wife around the neighborhood looking for Pokémon. She responded with sex. Is this a win or a fail?


Sounds like a fine bargain to me.

I never got into Pokémon because I have a primal hatred of anything resembling anime. But I’m no fool. I know that, as it stands right now, you sound like Andy Rooney if you go around bragging about how little you care about Pokémon during the Great Pokémon Surge of ‘016. So I downloaded Pokémon Go yesterday and played with my kids. And they flipped their shit for it, even though catching a Pokémon on the first Pokeball is a real bitch. Five days from now, my entire family will be wiped out by an oncoming street sweeper because I needed ten tries to bring a stupid Mankey down.



Shouldn’t they retire names? There’s only one James Brown to me, and I disapprove of the use of a middle initial Like Michael B. Jordan. Certain names should be made unavailable, regardless of the middle name.


I know that sounds like a good idea, but new parents would just work around it and make the situation even worse. Some mom in Utah would end up naming her kid Zohn Stokktyn as a tribute to John Stockton, and so on. I know moms in Utah do that already, but I don’t want them to be further emboldened.

Many countries have laws restricting how parents name their children (From that link, New Zealand rejected parents who wanted to name their kids “Stallion, Yeah Detroit, Fish and Chips, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy, Sex Fruit, Satan, and Adolf Hitler”). And as someone who has seen the damage wrought by the Brazzdyn-ing of America, you might think I would support these measures, including a law retiring the name Fred “The Hammer” Williamson forevermore. But I don’t, because A) This is a free country, B) Parents would just break the rules anyway, and C) You should have to live with the consequences of naming your kid Zyclee. That’s how self-governing works. You’re free to do what you want, but don’t be surprised if people want your cleverly-named child crammed into a garbage disposal when you do.



Last summer, a friend and I were having some beers and talking football in anticipation of the season. Neither of us are Giants fans, but somehow we got on a very specific tangent on whether Eli Manning will make the Hall of Fame. We shook on a $500 bet. He points to Jim Plunkett and stats that aren’t quite where they need to be in comparison to HoF QBs. I say the two Super Bowls against the Patriots and a little shine from his last name get him in on a slow year eventually. Who’s pocketing cash?


I guess you are, even though Eli is the rare player whose Hall credentials deteriorate the MORE he plays. I remember after his second Super Bowl victory when people were hotly debating Peyton versus Eli, and it wasn’t a ridiculous argument! Even I was like, “Well Eli is a mouth-breathing goober who turns the ball over like he’s handing out free corn on the side of the road. BUT RINGZZZZZ.” That seems idiotic in retrospect, but it was a real bar argument at the time.

Now, every time I watch that bumpkin overthrow Odell Beckham by ninety feet, I just shake my head and say to myself, “I can’t believe THAT guy won two Super Bowls.” No one can. Even Giants fans are still flabbergasted. His only HOF-worthy skill is his remarkable ability to avoid getting hurt or benched. In a truly objective environment, Eli wouldn’t make the Hall.


But you and I know that isn’t how it works. The Hall loves quarterbacks, and it loves big names, and all Eli needs to do to make it is split an Allagash with Peter King, have daddy make a few phone calls, and do a couple of years calling college games, and eventually I bet the committee stops squabbling and gives him the Deirdorf Exemption. I’m mad already. NOT ELITE.



If the Dodgers are, say, 10-20, how many games under .500 are they? I contest that they are five games under .500. The required number of wins to be .500 in the observed 30-game set is 15. The Dodgers fell five short of that mark, making them five games under .500. My co-worker argues that the Dodgers are ten games under .500, because they obviously need ten more wins to be .500. I know the latter is more accepted, but am I wrong here?


I understand your rationale. But you’re better off caving to the crowd and saying they’re ten wins below .500, and I’ll explain why. First of all, the future games are all that matter in this instance. You’re ten straight future wins away from un-fucking your season, and that’s a more accurate description of your team’s situation than, “Well, if they had won five past games, they’d be .500.” It doesn’t matter because those games are over now. If you didn’t want to be ten games under .500, you should have won more of them. I don’t think math should go easy on a shitty, loser team. Saying you’re just five games under .500 is being euphemistic.

Also, bigger numbers are better. If I can overdramatize the situation by saying a team is TEN whole games from breaking even, that’s what I’m gonna do. “Look at these shitbags! They’re a million years away from being merely adequate! HOW MUCH IS MAGIC JOHNSON PAYING THEM AGAIN?!” Sports are more fun when you can exaggerate a little.


Drew (not me):

I attended the University of Houston and have been a football fan of theirs my whole life. Though I graduated and had access to season tickets, last season I sat with my still enrolled friends in the student section. The student section is objectively more fun than the pay seats. Assuming I still have at least one friend still enrolled, how long is it still ok for me to sit in the student section with them, and at what point do I transform into that creepy guy that’s still trying to hold onto his college days?


I think your student section days are over. But if you still have friends who haven’t graduated and they’re literally the only people you can go watch games with, then I understand if you hang on for another year or two. After that, assuming you’re not a grad student, you gotta go sit with the grandmas and grandpas. I know that sucks, but you’re better off making the switch before you turn 28 and all the coeds give you the stink-eye because you’re still in the student section throwing marshmallows at the cameraman.

It’s not all bad. Unmoored from the student section, you can go full Bills fan. Rent an RV. Start tailgating the previous Wednesday. Wear an adult diaper to handle all your beer urine. Laugh at all the poor kids still in school who have to study in the library the next day. Being a pathetic grownup has its advantages, you know. You could even become a booster! Hook a linebacker up with a local stripper and he’ll be your bro FOR LYFE.



I work at the front desk in a building that has a real estate company and a marketing company as the primary businesses. They request I play music in the lobby so it’s not just silent, and lately I’ve been playing Johnny Cash, however I’ve had several comments that that’s unusual. What’s the definitive ranking of lobby music while waiting for an interview or for a meeting, while keeping in mind the receptionist has to listen to it all day without wanting to kill themselves?


Classical music. If I’m going in for a job interview and the lobby is playing Mozart, I am immediately tricked into believing this is a CLASSY company that poops trillion dollar bills. I have hit the big time. They’re gonna make me a partner and I’m gonna have a 6,000 square-foot home in Greenwich, with twelve nannies at my beck and call. That’s the impact a little classical music has on my lily white soul.

The problem is that, as the receptionist, you will almost certainly slump facedown onto your keyboard and fall asleep if you listen to Vivaldi all day long. So what I propose is that you start off the morning with some classical music and then, when you hit that post-lunch hour where everyone is dragging ass, you bust out the Slayer. That’s the jolt of energy everyone needs.


This is the reason Muzak exists, by the way. Everyone goofs on Muzak, but it’s scientifically proven to be ideal background music—adding a touch of atmosphere to the room without invading your brain and making you want to die. You can shuffle between pop and rock and ambient electronic music all you like, but even then some songs will stick in your craw. You’re better off with the supermarket rendition of “Free Bird”.


What if there was an equivalent of “hut hut hike” that pitchers all said before each throw? How fucking awful would that be? Hip! Skip! Huzzah!


Wouldn’t it be the catcher calling that out? In football, the QB yells HUT because he needs the ball from the center. So if baseball adapted the practice, it would be the catcher using those dummy calls. Man, I bet that would make batters FURIOUS. You could really fuck with them by screaming RED 32!!! while crouched directly behind them.

In fact, there’s nothing in the rules to prevent the catcher from doing just that (or so I would assume). If I were a manager, and I didn’t want the other team stealing my catcher’s signals, I would devise a system of coded audibles and have the catcher try them out. Then everyone on the field would die in a fierce brawl and I would be famous.



I had pizza recently at my new favorite local joint, but I noticed something that annoys be beyond anything else at a pizzeria. The pizza was not cut all the way through. This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve been to this place now, and the pizza has been like this each time. I don’t want to go for a piece, and end up dragging 3/4 of the pizza with it because 16-year-old Jimmy couldn’t cut the damn pizza. Is there anything more annoying at a restaurant than that? (Other than blatant chef misconduct like spit or a stray hair.)


It’s definitely annoying, especially if the pizza is red hot, and tearing off a piece means searing off your fingertips. HOWEVER, I do have some sympathy for Jimmy the pizza boy. Do you know how hard it is to get through that bottom layer of pizza? It’s like drilling through bedrock. I gotta roll the pizza cutter over my shit a dozen times, carefully staying on the line to prevent slice mutilation. And even then, I still may not be able to make a clean cut. We need a pizza guillotine, with a 14” blade that BEHEADS each slice, making the pizza easier to separate. I would pay four dollar for this Oxo-brand device.


I need your input to settle a dispute. As we all know, a friendly greeting generally goes:

Person 1: Hi, how are you?

Person 2: I’m great, how are you?

Person 1: Just fine, thanks.

My wife however, when meeting someone, subverts this into:

Person 1: Hi, how are you?

Person 2: I’m great, I hope you are.

Person 1: Just fine, thanks. Wait, uh, I mean . . .

I’ve been trying to tell her this greeting tactic makes Person 1 feel like an idiot and it flies in the face of all expected normal human communication patterns. She thinks it is different and is somehow friendlier.


Yeah no, she’s wrong. If someone said that to me, I would freak out. “Why does she hope I’m fine? Does she know something I don’t? Do I have cancer? OH GOD MAYBE I HAVE CANCER ON MY FACE.” You might think you’re being clever by subverting cultural norms, but you’re coming off as passive aggressive instead. I have no way of knowing that’s your homemade stock response. I will take it as a response you devised just for me, because there’s something wrong with me. “I’m hope YOU’RE just fine, you fucking asshole!” There are other, better ways of making a unique first impression. Wear a cool hat or something.


How many NYC rats were killed on 9/11? I’m counting rats that were in the building, or rats living right below, or in the surrounding sewers.


There are over two million rats living in New York City, so you could probably just measure the tower footprints, and then calculate the small percentage of Manhattan that they occupy, and then multiply that by 2 million and tack on a few extra rats because of the size of the World Trade Center buildings and because of the subway stop that was beneath them. We’re talking about thousands of rats. And roaches, too. Tens of thousands of roaches and rats. Hopefully, they all have been sent to bin Laden’s bedroom in hell.


Inspired by a recent viewing of Full Metal Jacket: which do you think is worse? Gouging out someone’s eyes and skull-fucking them or unscrewing someone’s head and shitting down their neck?


Skullfucking. That’s too personal. Plus you might still be alive for it. If you’ve already cut my head off, I don’t care what you do with my body. Shit down my neck and hang me from a bridge for all I care. I won’t be alive to notice. But if you’ve cut my eyes out and I’m still conscious while you commit further atrocities, I will be deeply offended. You’ve gone too far.

Email of the week!


Showed up to a pickup basketball game at my local gym and quickly found myself at the bottom of the athletic pecking order. Don’t consider myself a bad player, but these guys made me look like Matthew Dellavedova on skates. We’re playing 3 on 3 and my team’s offensive strategy quickly becomes hiding me in a corner where I won’t hurt myself or get anywhere near the basketball. For the first time, I consider leaving.

Eventually, there’s five guys left and we’re shooting to see who stays for 2 on 2. It’s down to me and one of the better players. He misses and I realize I’m basically shooting for the chance to get further humiliated. Of course, I nail my shot, which leads to a few groans throughout the gym. My new teammate gives me a look (the same one Carmelo Anthony has perfected in recent years) and announces that he’s done for the day. For the second time, I consider leaving.

So now it’s down to three of us and we decide to play twenty-one. I get about three shots up the entire game. After getting blocked from behind, I try and grab a loose ball and accidentally elbow a guy right in the face. He swears and walks off the floor while I apologize profusely. Without saying a word, he grabs his stuff and gets out of there. For the third time, I consider leaving.

With 1 on 1 apparently not an option, the other guy takes off, leaving me all alone. While shooting in a now empty gym, the thought occurs to me: When should I have actually left?


NEVER. Never give up, my gritty little friend! I wish I had the power to clear out a basketball court and have it all to myself. LUXURY.

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

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