Illustration: Jim Cooke (GMG), Photo: Shutterstock
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 shoelaces, Trump’s hair, insomnia, Philly sports fans, and more.

Drew is still recuperating, so the Deadspin idiots and those unfortunate enough to know them (me) are filling in for the Funbag. The last time I did this I found out that nearly half of all Deadspin readers stand up to wipe their asses after shitting, so I really can’t wait to see what surprises you all have in store for us this week.

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Andrew:

I think I have figured out a way for the Washington football team to change their name, and get everyone on board. The Washington Veterans! Even Trump would be foaming at the mouth to support them. It would cost a fortune to change all the merch, but they would completely supplant the Cowboys as America’s Team, thus fucking over Jerruh. Everyone wins!

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I think this is pretty brilliant on a few different levels. For one, it knocks out all of the “but tradition!” knee-jerkers who show up to defend the name, because there is no more laudable and important tradition than respecting the troops. Who could politically afford to be publicly against the Washington Veterans? No one. And anyway, the Cowboys have had their time. I don’t think kids today even know that Dallas is supposed to be “America’s Team,” because the Cowboys have not won a Super Bowl since 1996. The Cowboys are fine, but their only claim to the title these days is a Jumbotron the size of Rhode Island. They’ve lost the reputation that earned them the right to be Spike Hammersmith’s team in Little Giants, for example. America is overdue for a new America’s Team.

Some additional suggestions for Dan Snyder to consider:

  • The Washington Freedom Fighters
  • The Washington Soldiers
  • The Washington Enlisters
  • The Washington Peacekeepers
  • The Washington Doves
  • The Washington Troops
  • The Washington Troop Respecters
  • The Washington Draft Deferrers (just a nice nod to our commander in chief)

Additional suggestions welcome in the comments.

Danny:

Do you double-knot your laces when you tie your shoes? Do most people? I have for basically my whole life, but recently I stopped and it’s been fine. No noticeable impact on my life. Which makes me wonder, how many precious seconds have I wasted double-knotting my shoelaces for 29 years?

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The only shoes I lace up in this day and age are exercise shoes—for running, or playing tennis or basketball. Otherwise, for my sneakers in heavy rotation, I keep them very loosely laced with knots that I kind of tuck under the other laces. Is this normal? I guess I’ll find out. A side effect of this habit is that sometimes I have to tie my running shoes (bunny ear method ONLY!!!) or whatever and I have a complete brain fart over how to do it. Do you ever have these moments, for things that used to be totally routine, where your brain kind of folds in on itself and you just don’t know how to do it? No? I’ve had a lot of concussions. I had to write a physical check a few months ago and almost had to Google the part where you write out the amount in longhand simply because I’ve been using Venmo and online transfers for so long now.

I feel like double-knotting is introduced when you’re a young kid and have no sense of balance, so any slight lace interference on the playground or in dodgeball or whatever could actually leave you with a skinned knee or a broken wrist. I don’t really see a scenario where an adult needs to double-knot his laces, unless you’re a dodgeball-playing adult, which, I don’t want to make any assumptions here. But I think the time you may have wasted double-knotting could POSSIBLY have been offset by the time you would have spent relacing as a calamity kid. Rest easy.

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Molly:

Why don’t more people talk about how great it is to go to the movies by yourself?! I finally went for the first time alone this past year and it was GREAT. No one whispered to me during the previews, I got to keep all of my snacks, I could cry with only strangers surrounding me, etc. More people should talk about how good solo movie outings can be.

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I actually believe, as an ancient 30-year-old who is coming to appreciate her alone time more than ever, that going to the movies solo is just fully better than going in a group or with a friend. This is especially true in the age of the fancy-ass movie theater, where you can order a beer and fried pickles and just be a piece of human garbage in a huge reclining leather chair in the dark, with no one you know anywhere near you. Add a weed gummy to the mix and you have a perfect outing. You can get stoned and not have to feel weird about being a weirdo, you don’t have to Seriously Discuss The Film afterwards, and you can go to showtimes that fit only your schedule. I did exactly this for Fallout over the summer and I felt like a queen.

It must be said that there’s a significant barrier to normalizing this sort of thing: heterosexual men. They need to take responsibility for the significant role they play in ruining the appeal of solo outings for women. If I go to a bar with a book and sit at the bar reading my book, I am not seeking out your conversation. I actually am probably enjoying the awesome privilege of not having to make small talk with someone I don’t really know. If we all followed “You Get Two Questions,” the basic and formative rule set by my former colleague Allie Jones some time ago, we’d take some important steps forward in Making Solitude Solitude Again. It’s okay, and even nice, to be alone in public. Be the change.

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Austin:

Are there any household tasks Trump did regularly before becoming president? I’d imagine he would at least change the batteries in the remote if he was home alone.

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I asked the person who thinks about Donald Trump the most among people I know (and maybe on earth?) to answer this question. Here’s our special girl, Ashley Feinberg:

“The simple answer to this is almost certainly no. Between his limited range of motion and extreme laziness, the likelihood that Trump did anything more labor intensive than lifting the blankets on his own bed before drifting off into a solid two hours of addled sleep is slim. There is, however, one mundane task that I have thought about endlessly: Trump washing his hair. As a near-nevernude who is deeply ashamed of his body (see below), it seems unlikely that he would ever allow anyone to see him in a state suitable for hair washing.

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“I’m guessing he washes his hair in the shower, and based on what we’ve seen on windy days, that hair grows in a series of patches that can measure up to seven inches at their longest, most luscious point. Now, imagine our nude, angry president, exiting the bath in a cloud of steam, his hair soaking wet and matted into a collection of clumps. Maybe one goes down to his chin. Another tendril reaches for a mole on his shoulder blade. Large, shiny patches of bare skin separate each section. Does he brush it? Does he put it in a towel? What would it look like if he let it dry like that instead of swirling it into something approximating a full head of hair? There is nothing I wouldn’t do to know the answers to these questions.”

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Gross!

Tom:

If Tom Brady came out as a Scientologist would the general public be surprised or think, “Yeah, it all kind of makes sense now”?

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Huh. It all kind of makes sense now.

HALFTIME!

Matt:

I have an idea for the replay problem in football.* All replays have to be at full speed. This way, egregious mistakes will be fixed but we can stop having games grind to a halt while everyone dissects close plays frame by frame. Best of both worlds?

*Forgive me if this idea is unoriginal; I have not seen it talked about anywhere else yet.

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I like the logic here—it would take a lot of the power away from the replay, since it’s not using a significant piece of the technology—but I don’t think this could work. The refs would be so nervous about getting it right in real time that they’d just watch the replay even more times than they already do. What if instead we limited the amount of replays they’re allowed to watch on the sideline? I think you should get one shot at a correction. If it’s egregious, like you said, they’ll get it right away; if it’s open to interpretation, there’s no dilly-dallying and they make an instinctive, decisive call and we all get to move on with our lives.

Randy:

Let’s say you go to bed at 11 pm and need to wake up at 7. What’s worse: falling asleep right away but waking up at 3 am (and not being able to get back down) or tossing and turning until 3, but then falling into a coma-like sleep?

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I go through fairly intense and somewhat regular bouts of insomnia where my body forgets how sleeping works for 3 to 5 days before I recover, and the kind I’m more intimately associated with is the tossing-and-turning-until-3:00 type. I’d take this over waking up at 3 a.m. and not falling back asleep any day. I sometimes find that the crashing-at-3 insomnia injects some kind of college-y buzz of energy the next day, and I’m firing on all cylinders even though I’m on three or four hours’ sleep. The early wake-up just means that by 3 p.m. you’ve been awake for 12 hours and you have another three or four to spend at work.

The rookie insomniac’s mistake is getting super frustrated at the 2-3 a.m. hour and springing for a sleeping pill or some other kind of chill pill then. Don’t bother, honey. Just ride the wave.

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Alex:

With all the talk of pancakes being bullshit, I have a Bullshit Food take—hotdog also bullshit. All it is a flimsy, tasteless, cheap meat in the center of too much bread. Plus, the only way to make it better is to add a whole lot of other shit to make it even good (a la Chicago Style). Like if a hotdog is an option then something like a burger or club sandwich are usually also options, which are all VASTLY superior. I also don’t see this being a food normal people just regularly craving. Am I off here?

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Hot dog not bullshit. Hot dog a place-based food.

Sure, a hot dog is essentially just a cheap meat tube made tastier by bread, but what’s wrong with that? And sure, it would be a mistake to order a hot dog in the presence of a club sandwich or a burger. But hot dogs are a place-based food that are required fare at any of the following locations:

  • Any ballpark
  • The Coney Island boardwalk
  • A barbecue taking place in a backyard OR park
  • I think that’s it

Also, there is nothing inherently wrong with food that is substantially improved by a large range of condiments and toppings. It makes food artists of us all. Would you ever even say such a thing to a taco’s face? I doubt it.

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Chris:

The other day during a conference call, my stomach was making those weird rumbling/squelching sounds and other people could definitely hear it. There isn’t anything to be done about those and as far as I know, it can/does happen to everyone so it got me thinking about what the list of ‘unavoidable bodily events that could happen at a work meeting or social setting’ would look like. Here’s what I got based on things that happen to me at work, ranked by what is most embarrassing (note: I’d clearly think that soiling oneself or unavoidable gas would be number one with a bullet, but thankfully I’ve avoided that fate):

1) Explosive sneeze that coats your inner elbow and looks like something out of science fiction

2) Coughing jag induced by trying to quietly drink water, forcing you to wave or give a thumbs up to indicate you’re not dying

3) Stomach rumbling/making audible noises

4) Sweating, especially if it isn’t that hot out and everyone else seems fine

5) Random case of hiccoughs

This is a good list, with two small notes:

a) It’s always nice to take an opportunity to remember and reflect on the fact that men don’t menstruate.

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b) Where in the world are we calling “hiccups” “hiccoughs”?

Josh:

The short version: What amount of team success is most enjoyable for the fans over many seasons?

Completely self-indulgent explanation: I am a Bay Area sports fan. I watched the 49ers suck for most of life, then they were great for a few years. The first year was a gift, because there were no expectations and it was all house money. The second year was exciting because I was optimistic and energized every game. After that, I expected them to win and every loss destroyed my day. Even some of the wins left me saying things like, “Yeah, but they only scored 3 in the second half”, or “Yeah, but Kap was only 59%, and there were a couple balls that should’ve been picked”.

When I started following the Giants you could get a ticket to just about any game for under $10, and $6 of that was the Stub Hub fee. Their success was the most fun because each playoff run seemed equally improbable in some vastly different way. While about 5 core players remained through the championship teams, there was enough turnover in the supporting cast that it hardly felt like they were a dynastic juggernaut. They always managed to feel like the underdogs to me. But that success came with sold out games, which brought the ticket price to $60 minimum for crappy seats on a miserable day that no one in their right mind would want to spend by the water in San Francisco. So their success came at the cost of my own ability to enjoy the team.

The Warriors are too good and have become the heel of the league. If they lose it is their fault, and there is no pride in the victories.

I only followed the Sharks for a brief stretch. They consistently would be the best team in the regular season and shit the entirety of the bed in the post season. I watched this happen for a few years and then couldn’t do it anymore. I pity and am confused by my friends that are fans. It is like watching Rocky for the tenth time, thinking “He is really going to do it this time. He is going to take down Creed!” I can’t justify watching any games, regular season or post, because it is all meaningless.

So with all that in mind, what is the most enjoyable combination of toilet/ competent but not playoff level/ championship caliber years?

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Wow, what a great question for me, a New England sports fan.

Wait, come back here. I’m also a millennial :-D which means I missed the glory days and grew up during the toilet years of Boston sports. One of my favorite Celtics players was Walter McCarty. Then suddenly Drew Bledsoe got hurt and we won two Super Bowls and within a few years all of the bad teams I’d followed since I was a kid were not merely good, but good to the point of annoying the general public. So I’m still a New England sports fan, but I’m the kind who apologizes for it in anticipation of the eyerolls and groans—the kind of fan Warriors fans should be by now, but for some reason are not. (But shout out to you for being a Warriors fan who Gets It.)

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I put some thought into it and the current best market for the combination of good-but-not-so-good-as-to-exasperate (or ruin ticket sales) might be Philly. L.A. is close but they haven’t earned the Rams yet, and the Lakers aren’t quite Showtime. Consider Philly: the Sixers are a consistently fun project and now have Jimmy Butler. The Phillies are fine. The Flyers are bad, I think? But they have Gritty, so they are good. The Eagles are one year removed from what I imagine was one of the most satisfying Super Bowl wins of all time, and they did decently enough this year that their fans can’t be super disappointed. I was texting with two Eagles fans during the Bears game, and after Cody Parkey made the first field goal attempt, one texted “Oh well” and the other “Too bad.” The “Too bad” guy then turned off the game because he thought it was over and didn’t realize Parkey had gotten iced until I wrote back, “I’m gonna puke” after his subsequent double-doink. What had he done in the interim? Written “See u next year” over a picture of Bradley Cooper, of course.

This, to me, is a fanbase that is unwittingly in the sweet spot: not so damaged that they expect failure, not so spoiled that they expect unchallenged success. And also, not so removed from toilet-dwelling that they’d be happy to see a toilet-dweller like the Bears do something good for once. Oh well. Go Pats.

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Drew Story of the Week!

There are a lot of nice things I can say about Drew since—as he kindly wrote to me when I myself was in the hospital some years ago—“we go all the way back to AJ’s salad days,” but the thing I most appreciated about him as a colleague is that he is a consummate team player. On a writing staff, he’s somehow simultaneously the MVP and the sixth man. When I was managing editor at Gawker, AJ worked out some kind of deal where Drew would blog for us once or twice a week in addition to his regularly-scheduled Deadspin duties. We were fairly short-staffed at the time, and Drew saved my ass (and accordingly, the site’s) on multiple occasions, even though the Gawker commenters seemed dead-set on proving their humorlessness every time he blogged for us. Drew would show up in my Gchats *just* as I needed someone to write, like, a FJM on the Brant Brothers, or I’d email him a link and I’d get a post filed an hour later, no questions asked. I won’t get into the details, but he memorably saved me from a full-on Nick Denton meltdown one day when a particularly sordid story broke. Denton wanted us to write a ridiculous take I will not repeat here, and Drew put together a thoughtful essay that did the essential job of getting Denton off the site’s back without saying anything like the unspeakable things Denton wanted said. Drew is the best.

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Sadly, though, this one never saw the light of day.

Wed, Jun 13, 2012, 12:38 PM

Drew: Another possible post: Should you use a shoebox as a cum receptacle?

Drew: [link]

Drew: DO NOT CLICK ONTHE PICTURE

(Don’t click on the picture.)

Email of the week!

Josh:

Settle an argument for me...

You know the documentary ‘Blue Planet?’

(In case you’re not familiar with this show, it’s a 7-hour nature documentary by legendary filmmaker and naturalist David Attenborough. Attenborough has produced countless hours of similar programming, each one more impeccable, more well researched, more inspiring and enlightening than the last. The visuals are stunning, and Attenborough’s stately, poetic narration is like a rallying call to a world desperate for something pure, something wholly good. These films just might be the last sources of hope and wonder produced on this planet.)

So, let’s say David Attenborough goes to the BBC and says:

“Listen, I’m going to make another 7-hour series for you. I’ll do it every year for the next 50 years. That’s 350 highly monetizable hours of prestigious, groundbreaking content. And I’ll do it for free. But I want one thing: each year, 6 hours, 59 minutes, and 58 seconds are all yours. But, in the other 2 seconds, I get to say the word ‘penis,’ completely out of context, one time.

“For example:

At the bottom of the ocean, the darkness rivals that of the deepest reaches of outer space.

Penis.

Still, life is abundant and has learned to adapt to conditions man cannot survive.”

Does the BBC accept this offer?

Even the wonders of the natural world probably get a little old after 18 years. David deserves to spice things up, and I think the BBC could turn it into a viral campaign for who can find the easter egg first. Easy choice.

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Miss u Deadspin, xoxo.