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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

There Is No Way Trump Knows The Lyrics To The National Anthem

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

Today is Halloween. Is Tuesday the absolute shittiest possible day for Halloween to land on? Why yes, I believe it’s neck and neck with Monday for that particular honor. I’m starting to think that the old “the day after the Super Bowl should be a day off work” take should also apply to Halloween. By 8 p.m. tonight, I’ll be blind drunk and my kids will be full of maltodextrin. Tomorrow is not gonna be good for us. We need help. I used to live in one town that would float its official trick-or-treating day around on the calendar. I used to think it was sacrilege at the time. I now fully grasp the reasoning behind it.


Your letters:


What are the odds that Trump would be able to recite the entire “Star-Spangled Banner” on the spot? Basic parameters: the challenge is given live on TV, and must follow promptly. He has no advance knowledge of this, so he has no time for prep.

Zero. None. There’s no way he knows the lyrics to the anthem. Look at this video and note how he skips the entire beginning of the song when he’s mouthing the lyrics. I promise you that if he was forced to do all of it, he’d veer immediately off script. “The anthem? Amazing song. GREAT song. Written by Francis Scott Key, one of our absolute heroes. The rockets, the red glare, all of it. Why is no one asking Hillary if SHE knows the lyrics? Many people say I know the lyrics better than anyone! I’m being treated very unfairly! I went to WHARTON.”

In fact, it has been a great source of irritation to me and other ELITE MEDIA colleagues that journalists with legit access to the President don’t quiz him on basic facts like this. Katie Couric destroyed Sarah Palin’s political prospects simply by asking her to name some newspapers, and Trump is somehow an even bigger moron. He should be RELENTLESSLY asked to recite the lyrics to the anthem, point out Puerto Rico on a map, name all 50 states, and toast a Pop Tart without burning it. He can’t do any of those things.

But they won’t ask him to do any of that shit because it would be “mean” to ask the big sweaty gas man a “gotcha question.” These access merchants are totally spooked to show ANY hint of political bias, even when dealing with a fucking crook in office. It’s bullshit, you hear me? This is the most willfully ignorant man in America and it’s important to know whether or not he knows how many continents there are (the answer, of course, is 12). All this bullshit over the anthem and no one has ever asked the fucker to recite it! Now there’s the REAL scandal. I bet Putin knows the lyrics better.

Here is a standing offer: I will pay the President FIVE DOLLARS if he can recite the lyrics to that song without the aid of a prompter. Five big ones. I await your call, sir.




Why do soda 12-packs come in a 2x6 can box and beer 12-packs seem to always come in 3x4 can boxes? I don’t know if there’s an actual reason but if there isn’t let’s hear some theories.


Goddamn, you’re right!


I have no good explanation for this. The reason Coke switched to 2x6 cases a while back was because they fit snugly between fridge shelves and because the carton itself acts as a handy can dispenser. Or, at least, it does in theory. If you’re like me, you’ve ripped the perforated end off the carton, only to have a little extra tear off and all the cans come rolling out. And then my kitchen turns into an advanced stage of Donkey Kong. Annoying.


I assume the reason beer companies haven’t made the same switch is because of cost and labor (changing a product package is the corporate equivalent preparing a trip to Mars), and because Americans don’t consume beer and soda in the same way. I’m sure the fine folks at Coors have spent tens of millions on research to conclude that if you, Mister American Beer Drinker, buy a case, then you and your drinking buddies are probably drinking the whole case that night. There’s no placing it in the fridge and grabbing one with your salad at lunch. That shit all goes into a bathtub filled with ice.

This is a shame because I believe the 2x6 model for a 12-pack is superior, and because I like it when the beer in my fridge is self-contained. There’s nothing worse than having a bunch of cans rolling around sideways in a drawer, or standing them up on one shelf and then realizing you gotta reach past them to get at the onion dip. I cannot be trusted to arrange a fridge reliably. I need corporate America’s loving guidance.




How would you celebrate a touchdown?

By handing the ball to the ref and jogging back to the huddle. ACT LIKE YOU’VE BEEN THERE BEFORE, INMATES.


For real though, I have been VERY pleased with the new age of group celebrations. Even when they’re dumb (like the Vikings pretending to drive on the wrong side of the road after a TD in London), I appreciate teams gathering after practice to plan and choreograph their routines. Everyone hates real mimes. But FOOTBALL mimes? The best. And you know damn well that guys are saving their best shit for later in the season. Antonio Brown is gonna unleash a mime routine during the playoffs that’ll make him an honorary Frenchman. “I have a football and I’m trapped in an invisible box!”

Anyway, if I had the chance to score an NFL TD and celebrate, I promise you that I would rack my brain for some kind of creative celebration no one has thought of—what if I ride the ball like it’s a horsey?—before giving up and pretending to poop the ball instead. As with Halloween costumes, I’m too exhausted to be creative. Even if I prepared a routine in advance, the moment would get too big for me and I’d completely forget all of my blocking. I’d freeze up, hump the ball instead, and then get fined $4,908.47.




Ohio State fans rushed the field yesterday after beating Penn State. Twitter outrage tells me that this was a severe breach of football game etiquette — it was a home game, Ohio State was favored, it was not a rivalry, etc. What are these silly rules and where do they come from?


In a vacuum, I think you can knock OSU fans for storming the field after a game that wasn’t A) A championship or B) A momentous upset. Normally, you gotta be Borkletown Valley A&T beating Bama to qualify for field-storming and goalpost-uprootin’.

HOWEVER, I do think OSU fans may have been carried away by how events in that game unfolded. They were down 11 with just under six minutes left and staged an epic comeback. If I were a drunken college kid and my team scored two late TDs to beat Truther U, I would also probably abandon decorum and storm the field too. Looks fun! I don’t need much of an excuse.


I know that there’s now an overabundance of court storming and Gatorade baths in sports, but I can’t blame people for wanting to commemorate big wins that happen in THEIR lifetimes, you know? It’s no fun to sit there and be like, “Well, this was a nice win, but it’s certainly not as big as when we beat Michigan in ’79!” If it’s a big win to you, it’s okay to treat it that way.

God, I just spent way too much time being nice to Ohio State. Get fucked, Ohio State. I hope the next time you storm any field, there’s a septic tank leak.




My friends and I have been debating what makes a NFL team owner a “good owner?” Is it spending money? Not meddling in personnel decisions? Public perception? Quality coaching hires? Can you help us sort this out?


I can. To me, a good owner is one that spends money freely, hires decent people, and then stays the fuck out of their way. Take the Vikings, for instance. They are run by a literal criminal who built a new stadium with public funds that do not exist. I should despise Zygi Wilf, and yet…he spends money and seems to keep his nose out of things. He’s not bad, as far as the job of ownering goes. He hired Brad Childress, but I can’t even knock him for that. It took a while for a great many of us to realize that Brad Childress sucked shit.

The chances are good that your favorite team’s owner is gonna be a corrupt and greedy asshole. That’s the baseline. It’s too much to ask your owner to be, like, a decent person. I can live with the scumbaggery so long as the guy isn’t actively fucking with what’s going on out on the field, or moving the team, or taking advice from hobos and demanding it be followed in the war room. That’s when you’ve wandered into Haslam Country.




We have a window directly across from the toilet in our bathroom. It looks into our backyard and we can see the neighbour’s house from it. My wife is convinced they can see us pooping (they can’t, I asked him once when we were taking out the garbage at the same time, and he said his wife says the same shit) from across the alley, and insists the blinds stay down. I refuse to poop in darkness in the middle of the afternoon while I search for random Amazon shit I NEED. She’s a monster for wanting to poop like a prisoner in seclusion, right?


Well, first of all, I assume your bathroom has lights. It’s not like she’s forcing you to take a shit in a darkened closet. Just turn on the lights, man.

Secondly, there’s a happy medium for you and the wife, and that is frosted windows. There’s contact paper you can buy at the hardware store that you just slap on the windows. That will obscure the view but still let sunlight in. Now you can shit and jerk off in front of that window all you like. No one will ever know! THE PERFECT CRIME.


I do wish I had audio of you chatting with then neighbor about this. “Hey yo listen Dave…You can’t see me shitting up there, can you?” I know your man said he couldn’t, but even then I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a big duker in plain sight, especially now that Dave knows all about me pooping by the window. I’d feel like someone could see me and think I’m a perv who gets off shitting in broad daylight. I’d rather blur the windows and remove all doubt.



If you’re sharing a bed with your S/O, the bed gets split 50/50 down the center, right (outside of the 10 minute cuddle intro)? When my boyfriend isn’t sleeping diagonally and taking up 70% of the available real estate, he’ll start on his side facing away, roll onto his back and then onto his other side, effectively covering the same 70% of ground. His excuse is that he’s 6’ 3”, but this is total bullshit, right? When I need to change position I prop myself up and do it on the spot like a civilized human being. I want my goddamn space back!


Yeah, you get rights to half the bed. That’s the deal. The boyfriend needs to make a concerted effort to stay on his side, but I think it’s fair to understand that, as a big dude, he’s not always gonna succeed. I’m his exact height, and so I understand that the struggle is real, especially if you’re sleeping in just a full-size bed. We used to split a full-size bed back in the day and I would accidentally (I swear!) elbow my wife in the face once a week. This did not please her. I have also been known to take the comforter with me when I turn on my side. Anyone who commits a similar infraction can’t be surprised when the person left with the short end gives an angry grunt and yanks that shit back.

In a smaller bed, turning while keeping in the same imprint on the mattress takes a bit of jimmying. I will flail about and shake the bed while trying to remain in place. Then my wife yells at me for shaking the bed, and then I’m like I CAN’T HELP BEING THIS BIG, LADY! And then we fall asleep mad. I’m convinced this is the reason some elderly couples have separate twin beds. They are past the endgame. The wife just wants peace and quiet, and the husband just wants room to turn and groan and jostle his nuts. That’s in my future. I already know it. There will be separate beds and a musty nightstand that smells like soup packets.


By the way, if you can swing it, you can always get a split queen mattress if you’re feuding over bed real estate. You get two clearly demarcated sides of the bed, but it’s still one bed. It is the Trans-Pacific Partnership of bed setups.




Would you rather see an NFL season where half the teams go 16-0 with the other half 0-16, or a season where every team finishes 8-8?


The former, although it isn’t mathematically possible for half the NFL to go unbeaten in a season due to division scheduling. I like it when good teams are really good, and when bad teams are REALLY bad. As much as parity purportedly benefits downtrodden franchises, you are already bearing witness to what a universally mediocre NFL looks like. Do you really want every team to be the Dolphins? You do not. (Cowherd voice) Americans like DYNASTIES, folks. They wanna see greatness.

Imagine having a playoff field composed entirely of unbeaten teams. I’d shit hot knives for that. Watching the Pats blow a perfect season in 2007 was fantastic, and now you’re telling me I get to watch it happen eleven more times in the span of a month? Take my money. Even if the Patriots win the tourney of the unbeatens (and they would), take all my money.




Do you think Trump can ride a bike? Like, could he keep it upright for enough pedal strokes to make it a couple hundred yards?


A cursory Google search turns up photos of Trump holding a bike (as evidenced here) but not riding one. I wonder if he thinks you ride one explicitly by holding it. “(picks up bike) How come I haven’t started moving yet? You people are all fired for giving me a bike that doesn’t work.”

Anyway, our own Barry Petchesky is a born-and-bred New Yorker who did not learn to ride a bike until age 31. It’s not unheard of for native New Yorkers to go through life unable to drive, or ride a bike, or walk across a street without going EYYYY SHOW ME YOUR TITS HONEYPIE! Combine that with the fact that Trump is a supremely lazy man who both abhors exercise and frowns upon the idea of potentially looking ridiculous (even though he looks ridiculous at all times), and it’s obvious: He’s never ridden a fucking bike. He doesn’t know the anthem, and he can’t pedal a Huffy one city block. Imagine him trying to bike up a hill. Tell me you wouldn’t pay two bucks to see that unfold in real time. I will make yet another standing offer to him. The fucker can’t even walk a golf course.



Why is it that when people are asked a question they always start their answer by saying “Um yeah, no,...” I hear it all the time in all types of conversations and it’s driving me crazy. It makes no sense! People use at work, on podcasts with friends, family, everywhere. And where the hell did this come from and when did it start?


I use that. Although I just use “Yeah no, [blah blah blah],” instead of adding an “Um” up front. That “um” is really passive aggressive. I won’t stand for it. “Um, yeah, like maybe you think ordering appetizers for the table was a good idea, but NO. No Rob, it wasn’t. Um, no thank you.”

This is another linguistic flourish similar to “I mean,” where you preface what you’re about to say with a little spin, both as a time-filler and a setup. A little English on your English. I like to say “Yeah no” whenever you can probably guess that I’m gonna say no, and I want to affirm your suspicions before going ahead and saying no. Do I think that all sounds needless, complicated, and stupid? Yeah no, I still like it. I mean, I’m not gonna apologize for WHO I AM. Yeah no, no way. You’re wrong.




Who is the best baby? I think Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs has to be at least Top 3. The fire baby from The Incredibles is good too. I think King Cake Baby is somehow in both the top and bottom 10.


So we’re talking all babies, real and fictional and costumed? My friend, the answer is Maggie Simpson. NO ONE DENIES THIS. Maggie Simpson is the No. 1 all-time baby, followed by any old-time cartoon baby that talks like a Brooklyn gangster. “Yeah, see? I want milk, see?” I love a good gangster baby.

The worst baby is a tie between King Cake Baby and any of my own children back when they were babies and knew to begin crying JUST as REM sleep kicked in. I’m talking the real deep, heavenly sleep. The second 12:40 a.m. chimed on the clock, that’s when they knew it was Explosive Diaper O’Clock. I’ll never forgive them (I will probably forgive them).




What do you do when a service professional shows up to your house (i.e. plumber, furnace repair, cable guy, etc.)? Do you go somewhere else in the house while they work? Do you LEAVE the house? Or do you awkwardly linger in their proximity, pretending to stay busy, just in case they have any questions or maybe need a hand with something? I do the latter and I always feel like a creep.


I don’t leave the house when he’s there, because I don’t want the guy to go smelling my wife’s underwear and making off with the good china. I stick around and hang in my office, and then I strategically “check in” to ask how things are going, although I’m really just making sure the guy isn’t stealing my beer. As a dad, I also like pretending that I know what he’s talking about, so that I SEEM handy even though I have clearly called a professional because I’m in over my head.

HIM: The problem was the intake valve from the main alternator.

ME: Hmm mmm… and do you think corrosion had something to do with it?

HIM: No. No corrosion.

ME: I KNEW THAT. Carry on, sir. (puffs chest) I’m around if you need assistance. Please don’t steal my children’s dolls.




Do soccer players make better foosball players? A friend and I got totally crushed by two other friends who are great soccer players. Is this their soccer skills coming out or are we just bad?


You’re just bad. Soccer skills have nothing to do with foosball skills. Look at this footage from the U.S. Foosball Championships (yes, such a thing exists):

Do these foosbros look like they can play soccer worth a shit? Fuck and no, they don’t. Ain’t no wrist action in soccer!


By the way, I was a bar a while back with a friend and we played a couple of strangers at foosball and we fucking CRUSHED them. I have never been more unreasonably proud of myself. I blasted the winning shot and didn’t make a big deal of it as we shook hands (“Good game, bro”) but inside I was BEAMING. I felt like a God. It’s like winning beer pong and high fiving with your partner because you totally dominated the opposition. “Dude, we are unstoppable. We may go down as the greatest team in history, bro!” Those guys thought we were an easy hustle. Little did they know I’ve been a foosbro for YEARS even though I can’t play soccer worth a lick. I hope pro foosball scouts were in attendance that night at the bar. Again, I eagerly await their call.



Why can’t I eat fried rice like a human? I am an adult and generally able to eat like a civilized human, but when I get fried rice I shovel it into my mouth like it will be taken from me at any moment and I will starve in the wastelands. I can eat similar foods normally. Red beans and rice is also delicious, but I don’t jam it into my gaping maw like a beast. Is fried rice just too delicious or do I have problems?


Not your fault. Remember that rice has a special chemical in it that triggers mass consumption. I know this is true because I’ve ordered Vietnamese carryout and eaten two cartons of the shit straight up. I blame the carbodiaxaphyll in the rice for that. Throw in the general saltiness of fried rice and it’s even more binge-able. That’s science.

Also, rice is extremely messy. One stray forkful and it’s all over your lap, especially fried rice since fried rice doesn’t tend to clump like white rice does. This is why you never serve rice to a child, and it’s also why I open my mouth wide to catch all the rice on every bite. You could fit the sun in there. It’s like I’m getting a cavity filled. I don’t wanna miss a grain. That would make me upset. Keep eating rice as you are now. Very normal.




There should be a penalty for complaining about not getting a penalty.

No way. Then you’d have even MORE penalties. The whole goal is to cut down on the flags and stoppages. One of the reasons you see guys complain about not getting calls on every play is because there’s already fucking flag on every play! So when there isn’t, the wideout is like, “Hey, why didn’t I get one?” It’s a horrific cycle that shifts the entire focus of a game onto the flag count, and it drives me insane. Just stop throwing fucking flags and guys will stop bitching for them.


I was watching Steelers-Lions and Collinsworth was like, “This crew is letting them play!” And so the natural reaction to that is, why doesn’t EVERY crew do this? I’m sick of rolling the dice and ending up with fucking Jeff Triplette and his gang running roughshod over a game. It makes me want to die. I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic. Swallow your whistles, you fuckers.



Do you think that you’ve “found” more money than you’ve “lost” in your lifetime?


Nope. I can’t ever really know how much money I’ve lost by accident, but the laws of the universe tell me that it’s definitely hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, more than I’ve lost. Same for you. FACT: Your great uncle once gifted you $100 million in bearer bonds and left them on the hood of your car, only he never told you, and you didn’t realize it, so you drove away and they all scattered in the wind. That’s a true story. The dime you found in the ashtray isn’t gonna make up for it.


Email of the week!


My in-laws have very weird “rules” when we have a family dinner at a restaurant. First of all, they only choose restaurants where the food is served family-style. Pizza. Thai. Indian. No restaurants where everyone can order their own entree. My brother-in-law is the one that orders for the whole party, without exception. Once I had the temerity to order a soup for myself. It was scandalous, with lots of under-the-breath muttering.

About two weeks ago, we went to a Thai restaurant where my brother-in-law ordered two appetizers and four main dishes for 11 of us. The waiter very politely suggested that wouldn’t be enough food. My brother-in-law pulled out his ready response ... “oh, we’ll order more dishes later”. We didn’t because we never do.

Once the food comes, everyone takes one or two tablespoons from each entree and passes it on. Meanwhile, they comment on how much food there is and how we over-ordered. To be fair, they always pick up the tab. Over time, I’ve developed a coping mechanism - I eat my actual dinner either before or after.

Can you give us a ruling on this? I ask you, is this normal? Is this a gross violation of the Geneva Convention or other binding international treaties?


They’re cheap. That’s the only possible explanation. If someone ordered that small amount of Thai food, I would burst an artery.

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