Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering poop, bridges, Stonehenge, and more.
But why does the NFL in all its majesty not have tenths-of-seconds on game clocks in the final minute? Seems like it’d be pretty important in some instances, and there’s really no downside (other than having to install new game clocks?).
The downside would be officials huddling to drill down that tenth of a second on every replay and challenge, which would take forever. That’s the worst part of replay: when they’ve sorted out the call, but then need 15 additional minutes to check the clock and the spot of the ball. By the end of that ordeal, I’m ready to jump off a dam.
That aside, you’re right. It’s remarkable that the NFL, in all its exactitude, doesn’t have tenths of a second on the clock when the NBA does, AND when it could allow for one more dramatic play at the end of a game, should a wideout not named Terrance Williams happen to step out of bounds with half a second to go. That remaining half a second would take 20 minutes in real time to play, but still: SUCH DRAMA.
Basketball is a whole different animal, but the clock in basketball has helped create any number of kick-ass endings. In fact, football would stand to benefit MORE than basketball on final plays from its implementation. Once the ball is snapped with 0.2 seconds left, the clock becomes immaterial. The QB doesn’t have to get a pass off before the double zeroes hit. I know the NFL would find a way to fuck this all up, but in theory, it could be cool.
How soon until a computer is coaching in the NFL? We already have Watson and Big Blue kicking major ass against Gary Kasparov and Ken Jennings, Google has a computer beating people at GO, a supposedly very complex game nobody has ever heard of. It stands to reason that with all that computing power, and the proliferation of statistics so specific you can pretty much determine how many interceptions Blake Bortles will throw after having Chipotle on a Thursday, that the NFL would be introducing computer coaches well before female ones.
Never. No GM is gonna entrust his fate to the GridBox2000. What if GridBox2000 decides to go for it from inside its own 35-yard-line, because it’s the “right” move, and then it fails? I’ll tell you what would happen: that thing would get trashed faster than HitchBot.
And how is GridBox2000 gonna fire up the men? You need a grizzled old man stand up in front of a whiteboard and break chairs and curse like a sailor and DEMAND BLOOD if you want those players fired up. They’re not getting fired up by GridBox using a special algorithm that analyzes the racial and social demographics of the locker room to dial up the perfect inspirational movie clip. It would probably choose something from Glory Road or some other shit movie. Computers are not infallible. For all the miracles they work, they are remarkably clumsy at basic human relations. Call automated customer service sometime if you require proof. I need those intangibles.
Even if a coach becomes reliant on software to the point of having it script and call plays, he’ll still be considered “coach” of the team. This is because humans are GLORY BOYS who can’t stand the thought of being one-upped by their own technology, so they stand right next to it and take credit for it. Look at Steve Jobs, who was always posing next to his precious iPhone in his mock turtleneck, sucking up all the attention like a smug bastard. There is nothing men love more than posing next to shit they built. AND LO ON THE SEVENTH DAY, I GAVE YOU THE SALAD SPINNER. So if a CPU does all the coaching work, I promise you that Todd Haley will be standing right next to it, yelling at everyone to do what he says it says.
Also, people (me included) have a tendency to overvalue analog technology and the human factor in making things work. After all, if everything about you can be replaced with a machine, what are you? Are you just a blob, taking up space? What is your purpose? Do you have value? Doesn’t it mean ANYTHING to have real human interaction anymore, or are you a digital slave whose free will is an illusion? I SAY WE BURN THE COMPUTERS AND LIVE OFF THE LAND GOD GAVE US. WE ARE BETTER THAN GRIDBOX.
Anytime I drive on a bridge over a large body of water, I wonder if my vehicle blew over the medians/barriers due to bad weather/avoiding an animal/damages to vehicle/bridge failure/a freak accident, if I could survive and come out of the whole ordeal relatively unscathed. I’d like to think I could pull some James Bond type stunt and launch myself out of the window, hold my breath long enough to avoid drowning from suction/aeration, swim to shore safely, and proceed to make out with Halle Berry or Gemma Atherton. It’s gotten to the point where I subconsciously roll down my window and unbuckle my seatbelt just to prepare. Am I crazy to think I could survive or crazy to even think about it?
Okay, do NOT unbuckle your seat belt while driving over a bridge. That is ill-advised. But if you’re freaked out about driving over bridges (I know people like this, including my own wife, who makes me change lanes so that I’m not on the outermost lane of the bridge because then she can see down to a potential watery grave and it freaks her out), buy the hammer. Have you seen this hammer? You use the hammer to break through the windshield and the razor to cut through the seat belt. In theory, this hammer will save your life if you ever drive into a lake. My guess is that you’ll forget where you put it and then drown within 10 seconds, but still. Imagine using that hammer and succeeding. It would feel SO badass. I wanna drive off the Delaware River Memorial Bridge right now just to see if it works. Might be worth it!
I’ve talked about this in Funbags before, but I am always angling for ways to survive hideous disasters: jumping up just as a falling elevator lands at bottom of a shaft, crawling down to the landing gear of a crashing plane and jumping onto a haystack just before the moment of impact. I know that I would never, ever survive any of those situations, nor would I survive a car submerged underwater (in the movies, characters who escape from this can breathe underwater forever and have perfect vision with no goggles). But just thinking about surviving helps me cope, in a weird way. Maybe I beat the odds. Maybe I’m the one guy that bounces off the ground and lives when the parachute doesn’t open. Maybe I am Superman with a bad polo shirt. YOU NEVER KNOW!
You and some fast, hard-hitting NFL player (think Ed Reed or Sean Taylor in their primes) start on opposite ends of a golf course property. If the player doesn’t kill you in an hour, his daughter will die. You have everything on the property at your disposal — golf carts, clubs, lawnmowers, your local knowledge from walking the same damn course every day. You CANNOT, however, leave the property at any point in the hour. Would you live or die if this actually happened? Would you run or fight? Do you simply drive a golf cart around the lake for an hour and hope that he can’t catch you?
A golf cart can hit speeds of up to 15mph, which is fast but not quite fast enough. So I would try to outlast Reed driving it around, praying the battery doesn’t die out AND praying that I survive his initial charge, because he can sprint faster than the cart. As he’s sprinting from the opposite end of the course to come get me, I would pick a club to keep on me (pitching wedge), and I would also try to wrest off one of the lawnmower blades (failure, massive hand wound) to use as a weapon. Failing that, I’d get a long tool from the groundskeeper shed, like a cultivator (those three-prong dealies) and keep that nearby when I fire up the cart.
And traps! I’d have to trap Reed by placing a shitload of golf tees upside down in a nearby bunker. Then maybe he’d run into the bunker and impale himself on those tees, like the dudes hunting Rambo in First Blood. It could work!
I’m just kidding. It wouldn’t work. He’d catch me and rip my throat out.
Is there any way the NFL can make the time between plays more interesting? I’m thinking something like the offense has to use a remote-control car to deliver plays, and the defense can use its own car to deliver a play or sabotage the other car.
You have a phone, don’t you? Just check your phone, and then get sucked in, and then miss the next play, and then get mad at yourself for missing it. That’s how I like to handle stoppages.
Truthfully, the time between plays isn’t that bad in the NFL. It’s all the OTHER pauses, like commercials and replay and officials asking for the clock (which should have tenths of a second on it) to be reset. But again, a phone alleviates all this. That’s why the NFL hasn’t suffered from occasional quality-control defects (which are probably overstated … the action this weekend was fucking great): It’s a sport built for short attention spans. I can’t even watch sports with continuous action anymore. When am I supposed to tweet or send out a sweet-ass Vine or TRASH TALK MY BROS during a soccer game? I can’t. With football, I can drift away from the action at a set rhythm and not miss anything. That’s the secret sauce. All those in-game stoppages are useful for my digital needs.
My friend was just rehashing his story to me about his visit to Stonehenge, where he went with his rugby team and a girl’s team. After a multi-hour bus ride and a meal of tainted haggis, he realized that his bowels needed to make an immediate Brexit. Turns out Stonehenge is pretty fuckin big and only has bathrooms at the end. He sprinted the entire way around and once he was in sight of the gift shop, he relaxed too much. There was no going back, and the Stonehenge gift shop bathroom was gifted a pair of scarred boxers. This leads me to wonder: At what historic landmarks have the most people shit their pants?
Do national parks count? Because I assume that the Grand Canyon is littered with soiled underwear. There are a lot of parks and natural landmarks that don’t have toilet facilities, because conservationists want to keep the area clean (given the potential fecal consequences, this can sometimes end up backfiring), so if you plan on visiting the legendary Uluru (nee Ayer’s Rock) in Australia, make sure you poop at the nearby refueling station, or before traversing the 1,700 of Outback wilderness to get there, because they don’t want you pooping on a sacred Aboriginal landmark.
Also, since I live near D.C., I gotta warn you about visiting the National Mall, because the Mall is BRUTAL. I like the Mall but everything there is a 40-minute walk from everything else. The Jefferson Memorial may as well be located in Delaware, it’s so far away. Children are dropping of heat stroke all around you. Every time I go down to the Mall, I’m stunned there aren’t dead bodies and poop littering the reflecting pool. If you’re hoping for an obvious toilet or a Metro stop close by, you’re in for a rude surprise.
By the way, I have been to Stonehenge. It’s a rest stop! It’s just sitting there right on the side of a highway. You pull over, look at the rocks, go “Wow those are big,” talk some shit about Druids, and that’s it. You can’t kill a full day at Stonehenge.
What is the best movie that has sports as a plot point, but isn’t considered a sports movie?
The Godfather. That decapitated horse was a prize racehorse (its name was Khartoum, by the way). That’s sports! Totally counts. In fact, you should mess with people by telling them that The Godfather is your favorite sports movie. They’ll be LIVID. “But … but … but it’s not ALL sports! It doesn’t count!” they’ll say. And then you can wave them off and say, “Oh, it’s a sports movie, all right. You just haven’t studied the tape the way I have.” And then you can tell them Pulp Fiction was actually a boxing movie, and then they’ll kill you with their bare hands. It’ll be great.
By the way, would you like a scorching hot take? Here it is: Sports movies are fucking terrible. All I wanna do when I’m watching some shitty sports movie is go watch actual sports. Every year, people rehash their favorite sports movies and turn up a bunch of titles that would have faded into obscurity ages ago if eternal bar arguments hadn’t propped them up. It’s Take Inflation, is what it is. Raging Bull is the only sports movie that regularly gets mentioned among the best movies in general. After that, you’re talking about movies that range from solid to downright shitty. I really liked Major League, but I don’t need to be reminded of its existence every time talk radio has a slow day. All the new sports movies out are just cheap ploys to get into your local college football team’s movie night rotation. I see you, We Are Marshall. You can’t fool me.
What’s the absolute worst fruit in a fruit salad that is always in there and also always way overhyped? Obviously grapefruit would be a candidate, but it isn’t always in the fruit salad. For my money the easy winner is pineapple. Pineapple has to be incredibly perfect for pineapple to be good anyway, and a sour disgusting ballsack pineapple will literally seep into every fruit and permeate the taste of everything in the fruit salad. And everyone always fawns over pineapple like it’s the best fruit ever, it kind of sucks on its own anyway. Am I crazy?
You son of a bitch. TAKE IT BACK. How dare you talk that way about pineapple? Pineapple is so good it barely counts as a fruit. Like, my wife will limit pineapple intake around here* because there’s enough sugar in it to kill a bear (16g per serving). And then I get mad because it’s fruit, and fruit should be exempt from nagging.
Anyway, fuck you. Pineapple is the MVP of fruit salad**. I want an all-pineapple fruit salad. I don’t need wilted strawberries in there. Or unripe honeydew. Unripe honeydew is in every fruit salad, and it always sucks. It’s filler. It’s the Brazil nut of fruit salad. Get rid of the honeydew and get some extra pineapple in there for me.
(*In general, it’s actually a good idea to not eat too much pineapple in one sitting, because apparently there’s enough acid in there to strip your cheeks clean. I ate half a pineapple last week and everything tasted like batteries for two hours after that.)
(**Ever put raisins in there? NOT BAD. Tell me I’m a monster.)
Earlier today I went to Starbucks with a good friend. While waiting for our coffee, he decided to dispose of the gum he was chewing by leaning over the trash can nearest us and spitting the gum directly into it. This was done in front of maybe 20 other adult human beings. I, of course, shamed him in front of everyone for being the disgusting type of pig human that would do such a thing. In public, I always thought one should spit the gum into their hand and then throw it into the trash. Yes it’s saliva in your hand but it doesn’t look nearly as gross and what if you miss?! Then you’re bending over picking up fucking gum off the goddamn floor. Not in my house! Am I crazy or should he be murdered?
I think the right move is to get a napkin, spit the gum into the napkin, and then dispose of it accordingly. By the way, this changes if the garbage can in question is outside. Like, if you’re walking down Broadway and there’s a garbage bin filled to the brim with used hobo diapers and McDonald’s bags, you don’t have to be quite so anal. No one will judge you. New York was designed to be spat upon.
I have a grosser story for you. I was at a buffet a few weeks back and there was a big Caesar salad bowl out on the table, and this one drunk guy put his hand IN the bowl and grabbed a wad of salad and served himself that way. I am a disgusting pig of a man who sometimes doesn’t bother to wash after pissing, and even I was horrified. You can’t bare-hand salad, man. There have to be some rules. If you walk up to a buffet of hot dogs and they forgot to put out the tongs? Fine. Reach in a grab a weiner. But you can’t do that with salad. That’s downright barbaric. I reacted like a housewife in a John Waters film.
Baseball season is the only time that anyone probably buys sunflower seeds. I never see anyone walking down the street spitting shells or sitting in their office with a fresh bag of barbeque flavored sunflower seeds while going over some important documents. So what’s up with the sunflower seed industry? It seems like there are several sunflower seed companies and they all seem to survive. How? It’s basically a seasonal, niche business right? Or am I underestimating big sunflower seed?
You’re underestimating them. Sunflower seeds are the perfect snack for when people are bored and stuck somewhere with nothing to do. It just happens to be that baseball is the most famous example of that kind of situation. But it’s not the only one. I took an Uber the other day and the driver had a bigass cup of spit-out seed shells right in the cupholder. SMELLS LIKE A TREND TO ME, FOLKS. Or what if you’re a security guard and you’re bored to death all night, waiting to shoot people? Best way to pass the time is to meticulously eat seeds one by one. And remember when Ace Ventura ate them? I believe I have all the proof I need.
Sunflower seeds are big business, by the way. It would not shock me if these seed pushers were deliberately trying to increase doctor’s office waiting times AND expanding youth baseball leagues. The Fisher Nut Company thinks little Johnny could refine his swing if he gave up hoops and played winter ball instead. THEY’RE MONSTERS.
What percentage of NFL players taking a knee would cause the NFL to cancel playing the national anthem before each game? Say 40% of players take a knee, enough to notice, but not a majority, does the NFL start telling networks to only show every other guy who is still standing only?
Yeah, I think that’s what they would do. Frankly, I’m shocked that Goodell let the networks show anyone kneeling this past weekend. I thought he would barge into the FOX offices, throw out all the pizza, and demand any protestors barred from the telecast. “Do you know how much money we have invested in those giant flags, people?!”
Anyway, even if the protests grow and more players start to kneel, or link hands, or do a handstand during the song, the NFL is never cancelling that anthem. To Goodell, football IS America, and vice versa, so it’s unthinkable for him to stage a game that doesn’t have an anthem or a military reunion, or some other token display of patriotism. Even if violence broke out and someone literally tried to attack Colin Kaepernick, they’d still play the anthem. They’d just keep both teams in the tunnel for it. You’re never getting Goodell to quit nationalism cold turkey.
Is there an industry you think was better before the Internet? I’m going to go with travel. Sure, online travel is fast, but I’ve realized it’s too much information and most of it isn’t good. So I booked my last trip by going to a travel agent. It was worth interacting with another human being. It was a complicated trip - three cities in one country, different transportation, car rental, etc. They had everything I needed, laid out my options on transport and hotel, made sure I’d be able to make my connections and mapped it out for me. And the price was comparable to what I would have gotten online, in a much shorter time, with less aggravation and with less of a chance of screwing up. Plus they gave me swag. Big fan of swag.
What about music?
****AGES 20 YEARS WITH A SINGLE TAKE****
Without the Internet, people are still buying albums and the music industry is still making decent money. Artists don’t have to license their songs to every advertiser and TV show to help pay rent. Shit-ass singers can’t hide behind Pro Tools and Autotune. DJs are no longer famous. Old time rock and roll rises again! Vinyl! Let’s ban all technology from music, dammit! TELL ME THE DOWNSIDE, PEOPLE.
I’m just kidding. I never want to fix a cassette with a pencil ever again.
You are given a one-time payment of $100 million cash (after taxes). The conditions for accepting the money are as follows: every 2 hours for the rest of your life, you have to drop whatever you’re doing, find a mirror, spread your cheeks, and stare at your own butthole for 2 minutes. You can blink, but you can’t break eye contact with your butthole or else the clock starts over. You are allowed to sleep through the night, but every time you do wake up in the middle of the night, you have to go stare at your butthole before you can go back to sleep.
I take it. If anything, it might help me identify potential health problems before they become serious: polyps, etc. And aesthetically, I’ve got no huge problem with looking at my asshole, mostly because it’s MY asshole, and not, like, Dick Cheney’s. I can tolerate my own butthole just as I can tolerate my own boogers and farts far more than the boogers and farts of others. As Richard Pryor used to say, “A asshole looks like a asshole. I don’t care how you dress it up. It’s still a asshole.” I’ve seen my butthole before. Not my first rodeo. I can handle it. Shit, with $100 million, I can tattoo the sun around it. It’ll make my day seeing my filthy rich sunbutt every two hours.
Email of the week!
My sophomore year in college, I was drinking at a friend’s house off campus after class, partaking in typical college tomfoolery. Our discussion ended up veering towards a particular tenant in the apartment complex everyone hated. I didn’t live at this particular complex, but sitting around drinking beers and figuratively shitting on this stranger was a decent way to pass time.
After a couple more rounds of Natty Lights, we decided that we had to take action; we had to literally shit on them. We came up with the brilliant idea of making poop filled water balloons to shoot from the balcony with a water balloon launcher onto the person’s car, because that’s the type of genius shit college kids come up with when left to their own devices.
We decided the best route to put poo into a water balloon was to initially shit into a plastic bag, cut off the bottom corner and squeeze it into the water balloon. Basically we were going to make a homemade cream dispenser a pastry chef uses, but we weren’t topping a cake,Oh no, we were going to shit in some water balloons. Still to this day, coming up with a blueprint to put dookie into a water balloon is one of my most creative moments I’ve ever had in my entire life.
With the plan set, it became a little too real for some of the other guys and they started sounding hesitant, so I quickly volunteered my bowels to be the ammo for the stink bombs to keep the momentum of the evening alive. I headed into the bathroom fairly confident, as I had been taking very solid dumps all week long.
I sauntered confidently into the bathroom, plastic bag in hand and integrity intact, dropped trough, leaned against the wall, strategically positioned the plastic bag and started shitting my brains out. The whole time this was going on, I was giggling like a child while imagining how my friends were in the living room talking about how much of a stone cold badass I was.
After about 5 minutes, I finish dropping heat and was ready to look at the hilarious turds that would soon be the first ever inserted into a water balloon. This was to be the funniest prank I had ever been a part of, and the excitement was palpable. I slowly brought up the bag to examine just how lethal these balloons were going to be, and was baffled to see the bag was completely empty. There weren’t even any brown marks on it. I think this was the first time I was ever in shock as I looked down at my jeans to see 3 healthy, solid turds lounging on my crumpled jeans. Panic slowly started to settle in as I realized I was about 30 minutes from my dorm so I couldn’t run home for a quick change, and we were planning on going out a fairly shortly after we ruined this poor saps day.
I sat there for about 5 extra minutes just looking at my poop as it looked back, laughing at me, judging me. Luckily, it was very solid so I made gloves out of the toilet paper (single ply) and picked each individual piece of crap up and deposited it in the toilet. There will never be another feeling quite like picking up your own poop off the outside of your jeans, and ever so gently placing them in the toilet. I felt like Indiana Jones removing the bag of sand in the opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
I put some hand soap on the leftover toilet paper, scrubbed my jeans and walked out to my eagerly awaiting friends. I told them I couldn’t squeeze out any the brown bullion, and that we should just forget the juvenile idea and maybe grow up a little. I ended up going out all night, being very wary to not have my ass too close to anyone’s nose and not to brush up against anyone.
This is less of a poop story and more of a “how I came to know that Karma exists” story. Just a note to anyone who reads this and figures they may give it a shot, your butthole is not always positioned quite where you think it is.
Ain’t that the truth.