Illustration: Elena Scotti (GMG), Photo: Getty, 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 wallets, watching sports alone, asshole coaches, and more.

A few weeks ago I had to go get an MRI (I’m fine). If you’ve ever gotten an MRI, you know it’s unpleasant because they seal you inside a plastic tube for like, half an hour. I remain convinced that it only takes them five seconds to get the images they need, but they keep you in that little Buried Alive simulation for extra time afterward as part of some grand corporate sociological experiment. Also, MRIs are incredibly loud. They gave me earplugs AND a pair of cans and it still sounded like I was at a soundcheck for a Stereolab concert. Never get an MRI. Whatever you have will turn out fine in the end, I assure you.

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Time for your letters:

Vitor:

What is the best time to take a dump? I’m 32 now and I’m convinced that my current 9-10am standard is the best, as it’s still pretty early so I feel relieved for most of the day and I can still kill off a decent chunk of work time.

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Yeah, “morning constitutional” is part of the common vernacular for a reason. You wanna start your day off right. No better way to do that then to push out a big ol’ tray of brownies. Clears both the body AND spirit. Plus you can catch up on all the news! “Oh wow, we bombed Iceland last night?” [absolutely massive fart]

I am a highly regular man because I take fiber supplements and because I smother everything I eat in Korean chili paste. Haters can try all they want, but I’ll NEVER stop poopin’. And in my long and prolific shitting career, I’ve found that the time of day is less important to when you shit than the surrounding circumstances. The best “time” to shit is when you’re alone, and in a pleasant bathroom, and preferably right after you’ve had a good meal. You shouldn’t smoke after a meal to unwind, but nothing wrong with dropping anchor instead. That makes for a satisfying digestif, if I do say so myself. Shit after a meal, and your heart will be happy. A good shit after lunch helps extend that work break, sometimes indefinitely!

The worst time to shit, apart from right after a shower, is in the middle of the night. Fucking awful. Even shitting before bed is an ill-timed affair. It sounds like soothing ritual but it isn’t. Sometimes I’ll stay up to watch a football game, and after the final whistle my anus will be like, “Hey, how about it?” and I’ll be like “Motherfucker, I just wanna go to bed!” Total pain in the ass, sometimes literally. I don’t wanna go to Sleepland with that not-so-fresh feeling going on.

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Andrew:

I’m a diehard Michigan State fan and I’m just sitting down to watch the final four game. My wife is out, the kids are asleep, I just made a ribeye and I have some whiskey on ice. Is it ok to be more excited about this quiet experience than to be out in a bar somewhere, feeling the highs and lows with a crowd?

LOL you must be my age. Yeah, of course it’s okay to get excited for your own personal Steak Night. I know that Saturday’s game didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, but at least you got to be alone. Just you and some meat and a crushing loss. Not a bad night! Well, I mean, apart from the crushing loss part.

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That said, while it’s fun to indulge the old fart in you and watch the game at home, you can easily slide into a rut where that’s the ONLY way you watch games. Try to avoid that. I know overstuffed bars are a pain the ass, but if you find the right one, it can still be a blast to watch a game out in public, maybe even with all your KRAYZEE BUDDIES like DougO and Angry Bob and Davey The Big Load. You gotta mix things up, otherwise you’ll be watching your thousandth game alone and it’ll make you bored and cranky. Like me! Don’t be like me.

Having kids means that it’s hard to eke out time for yourself, so when you DO manage to find some of that time, it’s a delight. But eventually, the kids grow up and they don’t need you hassling them all the time, and so you can sequester yourself more and more until you’re just a lonely old drunken bastard. Don’t do this. My kids are old enough now where I can begin the laborious process of re-establishing my social life, but I’m also very lazy and unmotivated when it comes to doing so. And yet I must. When I begrudgingly agree to go out and watch a basketball game at a bar now, that’s me RAGING AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT. I’m sure the dying of the light is very intimidated by this.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the ribeye.

Paul:

Why don’t MLB managers shake hands after the game?

Because they’re gonna play each other again in, like, 16 hours. What’s the point? That would just take up extra time, and the average manager already has to waste too much time after the game telling players to keep their chins up, answering horrible press conference questions, privately explaining to Chris Davis why he’s being sent to Toledo, and picking gum out of his own spikes. He doesn’t have time to walk across the field and shake hands with fucking Bob Melvin or whoever. I know managers love to waste time DURING the game, sauntering out to the mound every five minutes to give the pitcher a new toothpick to chew on. But after the game, all that same manager wants to do is get blotto in the bar of the team’s Courtyard Inn.

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The NHL playoffs begin tomorrow, which means it’s the time of year when hockey assholes drone on about how tough hockey players are (that makes their fans tough too!) and how great the post-series handshakes are. While I do like the handshake line, there’s a reason why they don’t have them in the regular season. The ritual would get rote in a hurry if you did it for 82 games. Quality not quantity, etc.

Watch NFL head coaches do the postgame handshake sometime. With a few exceptions, they’re quick and awkward because no one involved in them wants to be there. Those guys only face off against one another once a week, but that handshake is still a meaningless custom foisted onto them by NFL tradition. And I firmly believe that MLB managers all hate each other even more than NFL head coaches do. Force those guys to shake hands 162 times a year and you’re not doing anything apart from destroying the value of a handshake. I like sportsmanship as much as the next soccer dad, but I want acts of sportsmanship to mean something. I don’t want them to just be mandated drudgery. The rest of life has enough of that already. I only want to see baseball managers fight. Just two old guys in dumpy uniforms trading jabs for three seconds before tiring out and heading to separate bars.

Jeff:

What is the key to making a really good salad? Is it the dressing? Is it the type of lettuce? How do you make a salad that doesn’t suck?

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BACON. Just dump 50 pounds of crumbled bacon onto your salad, and PRESTO! It’s a good salad. In all seriousness though, the key to a good salad is all the shit that, health-wise, should NOT be in the salad: meats, croutons, cheese, glazed pecans, etc. All those bits are what make the salad good. You want bits in there that adds flavor and crunch and all kind of other TEXTURAL ELEMENTS. So if you’re making a salad at home, add some chopped eggs, or some goat cheese crumbles, or some bacon. Or all three. You know what? Just skip the vegetables and eat a bowl of bacon and egg bits doused in Italian vinaigrette. Eat it with a spoon. Now that’s what I call a salad!

Also, sometimes I make croutons myself. It’s a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it to eat a fistful of warm croutons right there in the kitchen. You slice a stale loaf of nice bread into cubes, fry the cubes in a shitload or oil and butter, add a bit of salt and maybe some garlic powder, and then grate an even bigger shitload of parm on top of them as they turn golden brown. The 7-year-old sometimes eats croutons for dinner. We’re raising a very healthy boy. None of the croutons I make survive long enough to make it into the salad. Croutons are their own food group in this house.

Chuck:

Seger > Springsteen. Fight me.

Okay. I’ll fight you. I know I goof on sportswriters creaming their jeans over Springsteen, but I like him better than Bob Seger. Bob Seger makes music for pickup truck ads. I know he gets cited as a Detroit legend and a vital part of rock history, but I require no Bob Seger in my life. I’m probably still bitter from Metallica covering “Turn the Page,” but still. Bob Seger is just respectable George Thorogood. I’d much rather go to a Springsteen concert with 20,000 bridge-and-tunnel denizens and writerer types than go to a Seger concert and be surrounded by a bunch of golf dads telling me that this is what REAL rock and roll sounds like. Like this guy was the forefather of thrash metal or something.

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Also, I loved Risky Business as much as anyone, and I think “Old Time Rock And Roll” is a perfectly good song (watch Seger play it live with Springsteen himself right here), but that song is one long old man take. It’s for people who wanna bitch about hip-hop existing. Let’s not go nuts about Bob fucking Seger, man. Next thing I know you’ll be yelling at me to get into Supertramp.

Jon:

What’s acceptable when it comes to shirtless throwing out of the trash? I live in an small apartment building (12 apartments), and like to throw out the trash before I go to bed. Chances are, I won’t meet anyone on my way. Must I encumber myself on the off chance that one of the neighbors will be offended by my exposed dad bod? And if going shirtless is acceptable, what about boxers instead of shorts?

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This is why robes exist. If you take out the trash in a robe, you’re technically dressed, but you still look appropriately disheveled. Plus you get to pretend you’re Tony Soprano and what not. I gotta take da fuckin trash out again? Why can’t we just boin it? If you don’t have a robe, you should probably put a shirt on. I used to live in an apartment building and I’m pretty sure(???) that I didn’t take out the trash while topless. It wasn’t worth the risk. I absolutely did it in bare feet, walking into the freight elevator area of my building to throw my trash down the chute, picking up 500 different communicable diseases with my feet in the process. But I was not built to be shirtless, and I didn’t want a neighbor spotting my belly hair out in the wild. Not a chance.

Maybe you’re built like Gronk and you’re more confident about your exposed upper body. Even if that’s the case, I’d probably still toss a shirt on when you leave your apartment. Maybe you think some hot girl will spot you chucking out a bag of used condoms and be like He looks like a real player!, but instead you’ll just get spotted by some nosy old lady who’ll write an angry letter to the management company about your cavalier nudity.

HALFTIME!

Ian:

Suppose for whatever reason America’s Sweetheart Tom Hanks was at an event with Donald Trump, and then Trump said something racist or sexist, and then tasted the back of Tom’s hand. An open slap in front of God and everybody. What happens?

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Nothing? I mean, it’d get replayed on the news for 24 hours and then Republicans would try to prosecute Hanks and hold hearings about Slap-ghazi that would then drag on to the point of national exhaustion. But I don’t think anything of consequence would, like, happen. I’ve been waiting for YEARS now for powerful Republicans like Trump to suffer consequences, and yet it never seems to happen. Trump has been openly racist for a while now, and he’s already lowered the bar for human behavior to the point where I barely look up when a famous person engages in shitty behavior that is NOT outright child murder.

So watching Tom Hanks slap the spray tanner off him would be gratifying, but then it would just get fed into the flame war wood chipper the same way all other stunning news does now. Fox would be like WE TOLD YOU THAT LIBERALS ARE UNHINGED AND VIOLENT and WHY CAN’T THE PRESIDENT USE THE N-WORD? And then liberals like me would beg for impeachment only to watch nothing happen yet once more. Everything gets painted in the same coat of bullshit now. Like the rest of the digital world, I’m committed to my hate. It keeps me sane. It would take a nuclear war for people to disengage sides at this point, and Hanks slapping that asshole isn’t quite on the same level.

Besides, Hanks would inevitably apologize for the slap and bemoan the state of discourse in America before going back to work and starring in some Spielberg movie about the life of Dave Thomas.

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Andy:

What percentage of “funny” commercials have you actually laughed at in your lifetime? It’s gotta be less than 5%, right?

Probably less than five percent, but I’ve definitely laughed at ads. I was a teen once, you know. Teens laugh at ads. I laughed at all the shitty Bud Light ads: “I love you, man,” “YES I AM,” etc. I thought that shit was genius. I absolutely laughed at the WASSSSSUP ad and all its spinoffs. You’ll laugh at any stupid shit when you’re a horny young guy. That’s the exact right age for a dude to hear “Dilly Dilly!” and be like, “OMG that is so classic.”

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Also, ads used to be funnier because they knew people were watching them. The late Cliff Freeman ad agency, responsible for some of the legit best ads ever, operated under the premise that ads were entertainment and needed to be written and filmed as such. But nobody watches full ads anymore. So brands just stick Flo from Progressive on camera for 30 seconds straight so that you catch a glimpse of her as you fast forward. It used to be about the ADS, mannnnnnn. Teenagers who used to laugh at shitty TV ads now laugh at branded Dude Perfect Youtube videos instead. And I get to be a frowny-faced dad who’s like, “It’s VERY hard to get me to laugh out loud,” because people like and respect you when you’re a humorless prick!

DP IN BAWSTON:

We get it. You worked in advertising. Every. FUCKING. Funbag.

That’s tough but fair. Sorry. Did I ever also mention that I cheer for the Minnesota Vikings, or that I’m a dad, or that I have a bad back? Those rarely come up, I swear.

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Joe:

At what age do guys stop masturbating? It’s gotta be like 50 or something. My logic is the older generation can’t work a cell phone, so internet porn is out the window. Are they the people that still buy magazines? At what point in your life do you just stop doing it.

Never? I know I had no plans to stop masturbating. JERKIN’ TILL I DIE. You’ve met America’s octogenarians, right? They’re the horniest assholes in the world! STDs among retirement home occupants are skyrocketing! These people are fuckin’. And if they ain’t fuckin’, they’re jerkin’. Beats staring at the wall. So unless it becomes a physical impossibility, I don’t think there’s a point in life where you just stop helping yourself to yourself. Men are overly proud of their libidos and many of them would rather die than spend the rest of their days sexually inactive, be it alone or otherwise. There are probably dead men out there still trying to get one last tug in. You open up a tray at the morgue and there’s a cadaver being like I CAN STILL DO THIS. If there really is an age where you just stop, I don’t wanna know about it. I’m trying to being optimistic about the future, man. Don’t take away what will be perhaps the one halfway decent thing about it.

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Derrick:

So my co-workers and I were discussing our top five asshole football coaches. What would you rank them as? We had Todd Haley and Greg Schiano tied for number one, and rounded it out with Bill Parcells, Belichick, and Cowher. What are your thoughts? What would a top 10 look like?

None of those guys would be in the Top 10. Those are garden variety assholes, with Parcells pioneering a whole brand of “abrasive dickhead who thinks telling it like it is makes him endearing” coaching that has infected the NFL for decades now. But Parcells and his ilk have a long way to go before they can catch the likes of, oh let’s say Bobby Petrino. You know what I’m saying? There are assholes and then there are ASSHOLES. Maybe Bill Cowher would douse you in spittle as he chewed you out over a blown coverage, but did he quickly and rudely skip town to Arkansas when things got bleak? No. At least, not until he takes the Giants job a year from now.

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All coaches are assholes, so you really have to overachieve to stand out as a super big asshole AMONG all those assholes. Greg Schiano and Todd Haley have put in a lot of effort, but they still don’t qualify as members of a rogue’s gallery that could include Petrino, Gregg Williams, Tom Cable, Woody Hayes, DJ Durkin, Earle Bruce, plus Art Briles and Jerry Sandusky if you want to get extremely dark about it. Just being a regular asshole isn’t enough to compete with some of these monsters. You really have to study the tape. You have to scheme. Why, it’s almost as if the profession specifically attracts and cultivates people to HAVE certain belligerent characteristics! Good thing we don’t lionize aggro coaches more than we ought to, nossir.

Ryan:

I’m 40. Recently my money clip/credit card holder wore down and I replaced it with an Eagles’ velcro wallet. I bought the Velcro wallet for my seven-year-old son to hold his library card, but he never uses it. My girlfriend says I’m too old to use a Velcro wallet. I’m too old to try to impress people so I don’t care. Who’s right?

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I used to own a velcro wallet! True story. It had the Michigan logo on it and I thought it was super cool, even though I was like 24 when I had it. Anyway, the thing soon came apart. Also, I realized that the Velcro was doing more to actively hinder me in accessing my own money and cards than it was keeping all that shit securely in place. Opening it was just another goddamn thing I had to do before I could buy a sixer of tall boys, and it eventually grated on me. A very close family friend gave me a nice leather wallet to replace it, and I’ve had it ever since. It even has my initials on it! CLASSY. Do what’s comfortable for you, but it is satisfying to whip out a genuine leather wallet and feel like a professional grownup. I still have a Chuck E. Cheese card in mine. So manly. If you have the money for one, get a decent wallet and you’ll feel all fancy every time you use it. Or spend that money on dope instead. It’s your life.

Chad:

Why do chuds love the term ‘classy’ so much? It’s always the first comment on any article where a player did just above the bare minimum. Drives me crazy.

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Well shit, I just used it up above. Shit. Anyway, overuse of “classy” is a persistent affect from Anchorman, which came out 15 years ago but still lingers in the bro consciousness because apparently no movies have been made since then. YOU STAY CLASSY, ANTONIO BROWN. The ironic Rob Burgundy voice WILL replace the ironic Borat voice at some point. Five percent of the time, it’ll work every time.

Anyway, “classy” is now a spent word/phrase, like “woke” or “feels” or “breaking news”—shot full of so much irony poisoning that my brain doesn’t even scan the word anymore. If you wanna be topical and fresh like me, you gotta use other words, or reference other movies instead. Like Holy Grail! NI! NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI!

Ryan:

Will it ever be enjoyable to go to a game in an NFL stadium again? What would have to happen to put us on a path to enjoyable stadium experience?

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I actually went to an NFL game this past season—at FedEx, no less!—and somehow managed to enjoy myself. And I say that even though this was the game where Alex Smith got hurt. Seeing that happen live was unpleasant. But my son and I still had fun, mostly because a good friend of mine is a Skins season ticket holder and he gave me his tickets and parking pass gratis. So, in order to make the live NFL experience enjoyable once more, all they have to do is make tickets and parking free. I’m sure owners would be fine with this.

In all seriousness though, the expense of these games is part of the reason why the stadium experience can be so underwhelming. You paid $200 to watch the Bills play the Lions, and this is what you get? No wonder people get absolutely fucking destroyed in the parking lot before games. Can’t complain about the game if you don’t remember it! Everything about the fan experience at an NFL game is designed to separate you from your money. Even the Falcons’ supposedly humane scheme of selling cheap beer was not-so-secretly devised to attract favorable coverage (check) and to get fans to buy even more concession goods (check check).

In theory, it wouldn’t be hard to make going to a football game enjoyable. Ask college football fans. All you need to do is keep things affordable and convenient for fans. But we’ve now reached the point where you’d have an easier time making universal health care legal than getting Roger Goodell’s NFL to agree to such a proposition. Like so many other things, the NFL stadium experience has been deliberately fucked up so badly that it cannot even begin to be unfucked. I don’t expect it to get any better, no matter how much extra construction money owners vacuum out of your town’s coffers.

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Email of the week!

Andrew:

In response to your post about grinding your teeth: I also grind my teeth at night. A few months ago, I woke up one morning and noticed that something was in my mouth. Confused, I spit it out into my hand and turned on the light. Turns out, I had fallen asleep with my AirPods in my ears, one of which somehow ended up in my mouth, which I then CHEWED THROUGH to the point of complete pulverization. See photo attached.

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GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!