Illustration: Jim Cooke (GMG)
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 doors, gym TVs, pull-ups, broadcaster fights, and more.

Before we get nut deep into the Funbag, you should know that the DEADSPIN AWARDS are taking place in New York next week, and you can go! It’s true! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hang out with BLOGGERS, and it only comes around once a year! So grab your ticket here and get your dancing shoes on. For $20 you get free booze all night. I lived in New York for six years and I can attest that this is the single greatest bargain in the history of New York alcoholism.

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Also, in order to prepare for the awards, and to get the annual Williams Sonoma roast in proper shape, there’s no Funbag next week. You will live.

Now … Your letters!

Klay:

Has Trump read The Constitution?

Of course he hasn’t read The Constitution, but that’s easily his most defensible shortcoming. You know who else hasn’t read The Constitution? Me. That’s who. I remember that I had to memorize the preamble in school, and I remember that we were supposed to have some vague knowledge of the Bill of Rights. Otherwise, I glazed over the rest. The Constitution is the Terms & Conditions of America. I agreed to it without ever bothering to look at the fine print, and it’s a good thing I didn’t because HOO BOY GET A LOAD OF THIS SHIT:

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“Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy...”

Well that’s just fucking GREAT. Way to sneak that in, framer guys. I’m sure Congress hasn’t exploited that loophole AT ALL. This whole document reads like the old SNL Dean Witter parody ads. “Once a year, we will write each broker’s name on a slip of paper and then place the slips in a hat. Each broker will then draw a slip of paper from the hat. He will buy a gift for the broker whose name he has drawn. He will be that broker’s Secret Santa.”

You can’t blame me for not reading this thing. Everyone should have a working knowledge of civics, least of all the goddamn President, but The Constitution reads like an owner’s manual with 600 pages deliberately missing. There’s nothing in here about people FaceTiming in public. NOTHING! What good is it if I still have to listen to people watch YouTube without headphones at the airport?

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The fact that the Constitution is relatively short and vague for a nation’s founding document is, in theory, a good thing. But it also means that every evil asshole gets to breeze through it, pretend they’re a Constitutional scholar, and then exploit its obvious blind spots. I can’t believe we have nine people appointed specifically to divine the desires of a bunch of old dead motherfuckers, and then we allow those people to use their interpretations of those desires as the basis for how 350 million goddamn people get to live their lives. No wonder we’re so fucked! This shit ain’t working! We treat the Constitution as holy writ when it was scribbled down by a bunch of old syphilitic bozos! I say we BURN The Constitution! Burn it and replace it with some sort of video tutorial. Swipe right to increase the estate tax!

Douglas:

My office building has automatic doors which are operated by those big, square, silver/steel buttons. The same kind of buttons/openers are installed outside the men’s room. I maintain that if you are not in a wheelchair, you are a lazy fuck if you use the button to open the front door, and a double lazy ass fuck if you use it to open the men’s room. Am I wrong?

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Probably not, but you should see my kids RUSH to push that button. It’s a gigantic blue button that magically opens a door, Jedi-style. You think any child is turning that down? FUCK AND NO. Pushing that button feels like you’re launching a missile attack. I can’t blame them for their zeal. My kids fight over that button more than they fight over elevator buttons, and they fight FOREVER over elevator buttons. I have to assign each kid to an elevator button to push, and then one of the older kids will violate protocol and push the UP button out of turn. And then, it’s tears forever. I just avoid buildings altogether these days.

I’ll freely admit that I’ve pushed the big door button myself a few times, because A) I am impatient believe that pushing the button will make the door open faster (?), and B) Around here the automatic doors are always broken. Either the foot pad doesn’t work, or the button doesn’t. Or sometimes the automatic door only opens halfway and then I have to storm through it like a DEA agent on a cocaine bust. Automatic doors have roughly the same hit rate as automatic toilets.

Michael:

What is the most watched television show on gym televisions? Not the main gym ones that play weird music videos and provide cooking tips that you will never use because your two types of gym-folk either live off of whey powder or leave the gym and hit up an Arby’s on the way home (I am in group two). The small individual TVs on the treadmills and such, providing cardio-doers with endless amounts of dull, soundless entertainment.

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As a professional Gym Goer, I know the answer to this. I can even provide you with a ranked list of the SIX INDUSPUTABLE PILLARS of gym TV:

  1. Fox & Friends. It’s true. The people who watch Fox News watch Fox News and NOTHING else, ever. That means nearly half of all gym TVs are tuned into Fox at any given moment. There is no worse feeling than walking into some windowless hotel gym with two machines and a deflated yoga ball and seeing an 80-year-old in jeans walking on a treadmill to fucking Steve Doocy and company. That’s when I decide to take a walk outside instead.
  2. SportsCenter. I don’t think I’ve sat down and actually watched a full SportsCenter since, like, 1998. I’m only now acquainted with it through my gym television, which works roughly 10 percent of the time. There, I get a fleeting glimpse of what SportsCenter currently looks like. There is always a host I can’t identify (I think every ESPN employee gets to host a SportsCenter once a year). There’s a Chris Nolan-style whirling camera shot circling around the new studio. And then there is the Top 10 and the Not Top 10 playing on a near constant loop. I’m not sure SportsCenter has played a fresh highlight since the Buttfumble.
  3. Bloomberg. I swear to you that every unoccupied gym television is tuned to Bloomberg, and I have no idea why. At 5 a.m., the gym must just get flooded with stock bros who have to know what’s going on in the Asian markets so they can get work and SLAY some fucking trades. I don’t know why you can’t just check your phone instead of having a dimestore Jim Cramer give you real-time updates on how Intel is feeling about the next fiscal quarter (SPOILER: They’re bullish!).
  4. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The undisputed heavyweight champion of gym food viewing. Watching Guy Fieri while working out is the optimal way of consuming Guy Fieri content. I get to feel superior because Guy is usually digging into a burger the size of Florida while I’m burnin’ heavy calories, but I also get to salivate over that exact same burger. It’s perfect for someone with my particular brand of self-loathing. I can’t believe he’s eating that … I would like to eat that.
  5. Today. The funniest thing about The Today Show is that it’s insanely profitable despite the fact that no one EVER pays attention to it. Four million people tune in every day and don’t hear a word of it. And the best part is that no one involved in the production seems to be aware of this. They actually think they’re important people, and not replaceable cogs working the weekday morning equivalent of a Yule Log. It’s an illness.
  6. Whatever garbage is on CNN. Do you like news, but hate Fox? Well, what if I told you there’s a network out there that has news but sucks in an entirely DIFFERENT way?

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Tom:

Are there any professional athletes who cannot do a full pullup?

You’ve seen Phil Mickelson, right? I’m surprised Phil Mickelson can swing a golf club without one of his titties slapping him on the chin.

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By the way, I know people are pissed that they paid $20 for Phil’s PPV with Tiger Woods, only to discover that Bleacher Report made the stream free. But dude, if you’re stupid enough to pay for that shit, you get what you deserve. That would be like paying $20 to watch the Pro Bowl. I have zero sympathy. Did you really think either of those guys would care about the outcome? Why not take $20 and shove it up your dick instead? Do you know that they mic’ed up both those puds for the whole event? Who could possibly want that? Listening to Tiger Woods speak is like undergoing elective surgery. And even Phil Mickelson’s family doesn’t want to hear Phil Mickelson banter for four hours.

Anyway, there are probably a bunch more pro athletes who can’t do a pull-up, and they have my eternal sympathy. I haven’t been able to do one since roughly 2010. It feels amazing when you can do a pull-up. You feel like a goddamn superhero. No wonder Ben Affleck films himself doing them in every movie he makes. I used to be able to do them in front of my kids, like at the playground and stuff. LOOGIT HOW STRONG DAD IS GRRRRRRRRRRR. Now when I hang from any bar it feels like my shoulders are about to rip apart. I’m never gonna be able to do a pull-up again and that’s a terrible bit of knowledge to harbor. No wonder I drink like John Daly now.

Moe:

I just read “Travels With My Aunt” by Graham Greene and in it, there’s a dude who carries a notebook, times every single piss he takes, and writes it down. There aren’t people like that in real life. Are there?

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Oh, sure. As always, if there’s a weird strain of obsessive behavior out there, rest assured man has exhibited it. I myself had to keep a piss journal when I underwent physical therapy for a weak bladder. I would take a piss and then make a little hatch mark in my journal. That way, I could track my progress and see if doing kegel exercises with my butthole was really helping me piss less. And it worked, for a while. Tracking your activity gives you a deeper awareness of your bad habits and makes you think twice before indulging in them. Then I got tired of keeping a journal and went back to peeing 80 times a day like a frightened toddler.

I have tried to keep pee journals. I have tried to keep weightlifting journals. I have tried to keep food journals. I have NEVER been able to stick with any of them. Logging that shit on a daily basis is not only tedious, but I found that having a nice dinner and some wine and then having to go note it in some fucking diary sucked the joy out of it. It was like narc-ing on myself. No thank you. I prefer to never know anything about anything I do. Life is much more tolerable that way. If you think I enabled that new screen time tracker on my phone, you don’t know me very well.

HALFTIME!

Josue:

Lie detector tests are bullshit right?

Yes, but I still want to be administered one. In my daydreams, I get accused of a super high-profile murder, and then a pair of grizzled cops drag me into THE BOX for 16 hours of torturous interrogation. And then I tell Detective Pzyzborski (he’s Polish), “Listen man, I didn’t do it! I’LL TAKE A POLYGRAPH TO PROVE IT, BITCHES.” And then the cops are like, “Oh wow, this guy’s insisting on a polygraph. He must be innocent if he’s that bold!” Then I get set free and the government hands me a check for $10 million for sullying my good name.

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Anyway, you are right that lie detector tests aren’t usually admissible in court unless both sides agree to it, and no good lawyer would ever do that. This is why I look forward to the President taking a lie detector test and READILY agreeing to have it presented as evidence over the vehement objections of his counsel. That’ll be a good day online.

By the way, the average psychopath may be able to trick a polygraph by wholly inhabiting their lies, but I do not possess such superpowers. If I ever had to take a lie detector test, I would suffer a panic attack and not only confess to the murder, but to seven OTHER murders that I also didn’t commit. I would fold like the Titans’ offensive line. I would cry and shit my pants and the cops would be completely disgusted with my open display of cowardice. It takes nothing to break me. I have no spine, literally or figuratively.

Rory:

You can only watch movies from one decade for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose?

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It’s probably this decade and that’s because I have three kids, which means I never get to see new movies anymore. Back when I was a teenager, I saw every goddamn movie there was. Ever see Imaginary Crimes, the coming-of-age tale starring Fairuza Balk, with Harvey Keitel as her deadbeat father?* I have. That’s because I had TIME back in the 90s. I had all the time in the world to watch every movie ever made. I feel like every guy has an insufferable “movie buff” phase, and your late teens/early 20s is the prime spot for it. I remember actually caring about the Oscars back then. God, what a shithead I was.

Anyway, since children, movies have been a fucking black hole for me. Every movie I’ve watched for the past decade has had a talking Labrador in it. I got a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of Fast & Furious movies to choose from. So gimme this decade or the last. I love a lot of old movies like True Romance and Star Wars, but I never REALLY need to see them again. I don’t want anything from the 20th Century. I know the ‘70s are considered the golden age of filmmaking, but a lot of those movies were matinee dreck, and even the good ones were, let’s say GENEROUS with pacing compared to modern movies. I’m not the kind of asshole that needs to spend the rest of his life dissecting old Hal Ashby movies. I want the newest, freshest garbage possible.

*It’s a pretty good movie. There’s also a scene where Keitel gets mad at Balk for needing money before she explains she needs it for Kotex. So that’s neat.

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Matt:

How did people get the idea that Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is a Christmas song and, more importantly, how do we make it stop?

I think I know the answer to this. Pentatonix covered it for a Christmas special two years ago, and I guess that gave other people license to run with it. Ergo, Pentatonix must be destroyed. That is not a good Christmas song. That’s not a good song, period. Remember when Kate McKinnon dressed up as Hillary and sang it after the 2016 election? JESUS. That song is cloying garbage used to fill up sad musical sequences on hospital shows. If you wanna listen to that song on a rainy day, that’s your prerogative, but keep it the hell away from MY Christmas. All potential nominees for the holiday music canon should have to be approved by a committee, and that committee should consist of me and only me. Leonard Cohen, you are fucking OUT.

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Ben:

You end too many sentences with ‘, man’...man.

Look, man ... that’s how you know I’m REAL.

Aaron:

I’ve been a dedicated griller and part-time smokeboy for the better part of two decades now. In that time, I’ve sampled literally hundreds of BBQ sauces, everything from discount store brands to top shelf exotic flavors that can only be procured at specialty retailers in the deepest hillbilly and hipster enclaves. I’ve also dabbled in creating my own concoctions, with mixed results. Then, just last night, as I gobbled down the last of my weekly pork chop allotment, I had an epiphany: the tastiest, most versatile sauce I’ve come across is ... Open Pit. Fight me.

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That’s fine. When my wife and I are feeling lazy, we buy a package of drumsticks, smother them in Sweet Baby Ray’s and then stick them in the oven. That shit turns into sugar glue after roughly two hours. It’s an easy way to have “barbecue” if you don’t feel like hunkering over a fire pit for hours on end. You’re not gonna get struck by lightning if you use bottled sauce when you want to.

Personally, I am a barbecue sauce whore. I like them all. I don’t scoff at South Carolina mustard sauce. I don’t stand on a mount and declare KC barbecue sauce as the only True Barbecue Sauce. It all tastes pretty good to me (expect for Alabama white sauce, which can go straight to hell). People who get provincial about that shit are denying themselves the pleasure of eating the widest possible variety of smoked and basted meats. I like it all. Give me your Open Pit sacrilege. I won’t turn my nose up at it.

By the way, my favorite homemade BBQ sauce is a bastardized Carolina sauce with tomato paste, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, a bit of ketchup, and some hot sauce. It takes roughly three seconds to make and does the job nicely with pork shoulder or whatever hunk of smoked fat you have sitting before you.

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Tim:

What does it say about the Colts and Luck that this plaque was on sale at the Colts Pro Shop this weekend?

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It’s not so sad now that he’s BACK! I don’t know what kind of steroids they injected into Luck’s shoulder, but I want them. Shoot them into my balls so I can fight live elephants. I bet I could even do a pullup again with those drugs. HAND THEM OVER, IRSAY.

Anyway, I am genuinely overjoyed at Luck’s recovery. I watched him beat the Dolphins on Sunday and it was vintage Luck in that even when the Colts were down, you knew that Luck would come back and Miami would completely wilt. It was inevitable. The second the Dolphins went up 10, they were doomed. It’s great to have Luck back, and it’s great that his coach is no longer a 1990s PE teacher. These are all good developments.

In fact, it’s been an absurdly positive NFL season thus far. Luck is back. All the best QBs have remained relatively healthy. The Rams, Saints and Chiefs are historically fun. The Packers fucking SUCK. This has been the best NFL season in ages, which means that it’s destined to end with everyone hurt and the fucking Patriots traipsing into the Super Bowl yet again. Can’t we just sabotage their plane or something?

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Jake:

The scuffle between the Detroit Tigers announcers had me thinking: what broadcasting duo would you like to see fight one another? Would you want to see an even fight or a one-sided affair?

Oh, I’d like to see Jim Nantz get his ass beat like a Jimbo Fisher relative. The twist is that I don’t want Tony Romo to administer the beating. Like, I know it it would be funny for the normally amiable Romo to blow a gasket and start wailing on Nantz, and having Nantz cry out, “I thought we were FRIENDS!”

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But no, no I want NICK FALDO to do it. I want the Masters to open with that soft painting music, and then I want Nantz to be like, “Hello Friends,” and then I want Faldo to be like, “Friend? YOU SLEPT WITH MY WIFE, YOU WANKER!” And then I want him to tear out Nantz’s spleen live on the air. Imagine the heartbreak in Nantz’s eyes, knowing that his bloody demise came on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. He thought this was a gentleman’s game, but NO! Instead of a green jacket he got a black coffin! Now THAT is a pay-per-view I’d buy, folks.

The other obvious choice here is Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. Those two clearly dislike one another and try to hide it by merely pretending to dislike one another. It’s painful and horrible, and I’m ready for the veil to drop. I want them throwing down and I want Van Gundy clutching to Jackson’s leg like a fucking Denver boot. That’s the content that all NBA fans crave.

Email of the week!

Scott:

One fall day while in college, I was driving down a side street on my way to work, and some dude walks out between parked cars. Typical college kid, not looking and just walking out, as I’d done dozens of times, too. I slam on my brakes, but it’s not really that close to hitting him. Then he looks at me and I see the birthmark on his face. I damn near hit Drew Brees with my car during his (and my) senior year at Purdue.

I instantly think ‘Oh god, I was almost the most hated person on campus.’ That was the only time I ever saw him in person, outside of the stadium during games, even though our college years overlapped almost exactly. I didn’t stop shaking for two hours.

Now, he’s got this all-time passing yardage record, and watching had me wondering, like this weird ‘alternate history of Drew Brees’ story, could I have impacted all of NFL history if I’d been driving just 10 mph faster? Did my shitty Ford Tempo win New Orleans a Super Bowl because it took so long to accelerate? Have you ever nearly changed history and avoided it out of stupid luck?

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I don’t think so. But maybe one day I’ll have the privilege of nearly accidentally killing Putin. You never know!