Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Will Talking Become Obsolete One Day?

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

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I recently saw someone shift their keyboard to use an apostrophe to type the word “can’t”, rather than just letting autocorrect fix the word “cant”... Is this person clinically insane?

No because autocorrect is unreliable (“cant” without the apostrophe is also a word), and I never know when it will decide to offer me a proper correction or just let “mfurgala” stand on its own. Even when I reset the phone keyboard and wipe autocorrect’s memory, it remains fickle. If I had any balls, I would just turn the fucker off and go it alone, but I don’t because I cherish that one moment per day where it identifies my hilarious typo and fixes it on my behalf. I saved .03 seconds thanks to that move.

Frankly, sometimes I know I’ve made a mistake and don’t bother to correct it because I’ve gotten close enough. And there may come a day when dictionary experts accept more commonly botched internet words as standard usage… OR autocorrect gets so good that you never make a mistake. The little diode attached to your forehead will go right to your phone and bang out that kick-ass Tinder opening line for you. Or it will summon an eggplant emoji at JUST the right time. You won’t even have to talk.


In fact, you don’t have to talk anymore. At all. I text instead of calling because calling is a fucking pain in the ass and the connection is always spotty and there is every possibility that I will say something fucking stupid. I use Slack at work instead of calling or dropping by someone’s cubicle (useful for me because the Deadspin cubicles are 200 miles away from my desk). I tweet during football games instead of partying at the Buffalo Wild Wings with my TOP BUDDIES. I order Seamless specifically so I don’t have to explain my order fifty times to the kid manning the phone at Papa Luigi’s Pizza. I bet the amount of talking, worldwide, has decreased in the past decade in favor of written communication. There are gamers who probably haven’t uttered a single word in MONTHS. Soon, tongues will become vestigial organs that you can have snipped out, like your appendix. You’ll be able to sew your mouth shut and have a protein tube implanted in your throat so that you don’t have to stop sending dick pics on Snapchat.

I, for one, welcome our new mute overlords. Talking is fucking EXHAUSTING. Sometimes I’ll get back from some kiddie birthday party or social gathering and I’ll be like, “Boy am I tired! ALL THAT TALKING!” as if the formation of words with my mouth is some kind of strenuous cardiovascular activity. People who speak for extended periods now baffle and frighten me. Who is this cabbie talking to for four hours? Doesn’t he get thirsty talking that much? Do these people not know you can gchat now? Talking is for fucking suckers. Imagine walking through an airport and not having to hear one goddamn word. HEAVEN. We’re so close, people. We can do this. We can become speechless, brainless automatons if we just WANT IT enough.


What if the Warriors break the wins record but do not win the championship? Do you still hang a banner like the Patriots did?


My stance on banners remains the same: You hang them for titles and retired player numbers and that’s it. Division titles? GTFO. A historic regular season? LOL FUCK YOU, CHOKER. Why would you hang that banner if you already know everyone will mock you for it, for not finishing the job?

Banner-hanging is where I become a rock-ribbed Republican. If you make a banner for every little thing, then banners mean NOTHING. Every team has banners all over the place now and it’s bullshit because you and I know there is substantial difference between the accomplishments of the New York Yankees and, say, the Memphis Grizzlies. No amount of banners can hide that. Our children need to be taught that, when it comes to pro sports, anything short of first place is bullshit. Little Johnny can have his soccer team Participant trophy. But an NBA team? Fuck that. Those men are compensated handsomely for the scrutiny.


By the way, even though they remain on pace to beat the ’96 Bulls’ record, I don’t think it would be all that shocking if Golden State failed to win a title because the Spurs are also so fucking good. It’s perfectly understandable to blow your shot at history against the most dominant basketball franchise of this century. In a proper universe, those two teams would meet in the NBA Finals. Instead, we’re gonna get a kick-ass Western Conference Finals, and then the winner will destroy Cleveland in four straight games, with LeBron firing his coach midway through Game 3 and opting to play 1-on-5 against the Warriors because he finds his teammates to be so unreliable.


So in my English 112 (which is a bullshit class for a junior) we have had these pop quizzes (which only happen when I don’t read). The last quiz the first question of 7 asked, “Be honest, how much did you read this week”, I was honest and put down 0% and somehow I missed only one of the following 6 questions. But this asshole took another point off my quiz for the honest answer. Even though technically I got the answer right and on top of that was honest. Do I have the right to be mad?


No. You played yourself. You should have been smart enough to know that question was designed to punish you for being forthright. You fell for the Good Cop trick, the oldest trick in the book! I know because I use it. The other day, my kid fucked up and I was like, “Did you fuck that up? BE HONEST. I WON’T GET MAD.” And then she told me that she fucked up and then I DID get mad. I got so fucking mad. “How could do that?!” I see no way in which this tactic could possibly erode the trust between us.

Anyway, the point is that if you are confronted with a situation where someone is daring you to lie, and you know that you can get away with lying, then LIE. Don’t fall for any kind of voodoo reverse psychology bullshit and think honesty will serve you well. The entire NFL scouting combine is designed to weed out players dumb enough to answer questions candidly.


“Tell me JaDaveon, do you REALLY like playing football? Be honest. There are no wrong answers.”

“Well actually, sometimes I feel like…”

“WRONG ANSWER, FUCKBALL. You’re off our board!”

One time, I was in a job interview and the guy asked me if there were anything about my previous job that I regretted. So I told the guy how I got way too drunk at an offsite once and ended up throwing up right in the banquet hall. I got the job, but don’t ever do this. I told my dad about the interview and he nearly ran me over.



Is it acceptable now to use “cheers” as a verb? I feel like I’ve started hearing “Let’s cheers to that” all the time (especially on The Bachelor, which I must admit I loyally watch). It seems that people have forgotten that a perfectly adequate verb (“toast”) already exists for this. Am I doomed to a future where everybody is cheers-ing to this and cheers-ing to that? And if so, must I concede that “cheersing” is the new “toasting”, or am I at least allowed to feel contentedly smug knowing that they’re wrong?


You’re allowed to be smug about it, but don’t be a grammar snob about it. No one likes a grammar snob, especially when they’re shitfaced. I’m trying to drink seven greyhounds in a row here. I’m not in the mood to hear about proper usage right now. It’s like when I say, “It was him” and my mom corrects me (every time) by reminding me, “Ahem, it was HE.” No, mom. No, that sounds idiotic even if it’s technically right. It will always be “him,” and never “he,” and I’ll be shot dead before I change my ways.

By the way, I’ve told this story before, but I spent semester abroad in England back in 1997, and over there they say “Cheers” as a substitute for “Thanks” (or at least, they did back then). I liked that, so when I came back, I would say “Cheers” instead of “Thanks” to mix it up, until a friend of mine accused me of being an affected dipshit. And it was true. I went the full Paltrow. But sometimes I still slip a “cheers” in here and there. I FANCY IT QUITE BRILLIANT INNIT?!



So every time I’m playing on my phone, my girlfriend starts talking to me. Obviously, since I’m already preoccupied I don’t pay attention to her, and then she gets annoyed that I’m not paying attention. Is she irrational for getting mad at me, or am I in the wrong here (despite CLEARLY being preoccupied before she starts talking to me)?


This happens to me a lot. My wife and I will be sitting there, doing nothing. Then I whip out my phone, and THAT is when she decides to begin the conversation. Then I get pissy because we had all that time to talk before, and now I would like to search my name on Twitter for a while (even searching for misspellings of my name so that I don’t miss anything).

This is all predictable, because the ceremonial whipping out of the phone inspires a natural reaction in people. When I take the phone out, that means I am formally cutting off the world. There are no longer any illusions about my intentions. The potential for conversation has now been extinguished, and so another person in the room might sense the window closing and take that exact and remarkably inconvenient moment to address shit they had planned on addressing but didn’t address until I had my phone out and ready to scroll. You see how that works? I’m CLEARLY ignoring you, and that prompts people to respond… to desperately keep the conversation window open by making me feel like a prick for taking my phone out.


This is a legitimate problem in my house now, and I ought to do something about it. I oughtta set limits for myself (as I do with the kids) and have set times for gawking at my phone etc. That way, I could manage expectations and eliminate ninety percent of all arguments. But I don’t do that, because then I would be faced with the terrifying idea of not being able to look at my phone for an hour. An hour. Holy shit, I don’t think I’d make it.


How does a sitting wiper check out the quality and quantity of his poop? I don’t know how you would ever see it if you’re sitting down and throwing toilet paper on top of an epic log.


I usually glance down between my legs (there’s room!) and assess the situation from above. Once satisfied with the shape and color, I get down to business. This is obvious not an optimal vantage point to admire may own bowel movement because my very large ass casts a shadow over the water, like a fucking alien spaceship hovering over a major city. But, as a sitter, it’s the best I can do.

The whole standing versus sitting thing came up last week when Emma Carmichael posted about it here, and I have learned a great deal since I first posted about it seven years ago. I’ve toilet-trained three kids since then and I figured out that sometimes the kids will stand to wipe because it’s hard to balance on the toilet seat if you’re 40 pounds and you only have one hand to support yourself. So you start standing to wipe, and then it sticks (no pun intended). And that’s how you end up with two distinct wiping factions.


As for me, I will continue to wipe while sitting. There’s just too much risk in standing (and turning!) to admire your turd before cleaning up after yourself. If you have ANY poop still sticking out of you when you make the move, it’s getting pancaked, and then you’ll be sorry. One time tried wiping my three-year-old but he was upright and I couldn’t really dig in there. The resulting skid marks looked like furrows in a wheat field.



If/when Alex Rodriguez hits enough home runs to tie Babe Ruth on the all-time list, do Yankee fans boo him at New Yankee Stadium? What if it happens away against the Rangers or Mariners? I have a feeling that Seattleites would give him a standing ovation under the circumstances. They never miss a chance to jump back on a bandwagon.


I don’t think fans will give a shit either way because we’re talking about third place on the all-time list (A-Rod currently sits 27 home runs behind Ruth for the slot), and no one cares about any all-time record short of first place. THERE’S NO BANNER FOR THIRD, CHILDREN.

Also, Barry Bonds essentially quashed enthusiasm for that record once he claimed it. Even if A-Rod passes Bonds (A-Rod is 85 home runs behind him), you’re swapping out one universally loathed ‘roid addict for another. I’d barely look up from my phone if it happened. The TV people would note it, and the stadium PA might say something, and then fans would react with a combination of modest applause and light booing.


Nothing Alex Rodriguez from here on out will change anything anyone thinks of him. His reputation is set in stone. He may as well be dead. I don’t think people have the energy to love or hate him anymore. He’s just there. I bet it’s kind of freeing for him. Once you know people won’t change their minds about you, you can stop worrying about trying.


What happens if, right after the conventions, a party’s nominee (say Hillary or Trump) were abducted by aliens? Would the VP nominee get bumped up? And if the original candidate were returned to Earth, would voters trust that Trump wasn’t in the pocket of BIG ALIEN?


Okay, so if the aliens take away Hillary or Trump and DO NOT return them, then the candidate is essentially dead and has to be replaced, as noted here. That means all the PARTY ELITES and big bucks corn baron mega-donors have to get together in a smoke-filled room and pick a new asshole to replace the old one.

Also… I assume that the abduction would be noted as an act of war, and then we would have to nuke space. After all, if you hate Hillary Clinton and then aliens stole Donald Trump, all but assuring her of victory in November, you’re gonna be PISSED at the aliens. Same thing if Hillary gets abducted. You know how angry I’ll be if Zorboxxx from the Bigular 4 Nebulae, THE MOST ILLEGAL OF ALIENS, tilts the election in Trump’s favor? I’ll be fucking LIVID. Only Hillary Clinton should be allowed to sabotage the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, god dammit. These aliens are making a lousy first impression.


Now, things get more complicated if Trump or Clinton were returned to Earth prior to the election, unharmed. How can I be sure Trump is still Trump? What if the aliens cloned him and planted alien baby pods inside the body, and then taught the clone how to brag about hand size and tweet like a 16-year-old water polo captain? I’m sorry, but this “new” Trump can’t be eligible for the Presidency. We would have to sequester him and have him studied extensively by military doctors and radiation experts before releasing him back out into the wild. And frankly, even if they do ascertain that Trump has been unaffected by the abduction, and is still the talking fart cloud that Trump has always been, they should probably just fake the records and lock him in a warehouse anyway.


Regarding the choice of choosing breakfast meats, if bacon isn’t an option: sausage patties or sausage links?


Links, but I want a lot of them. Breakfast sausages are so tiny compared to their dinnertime counterparts. I don’t know why Jimmy Dean decided that breakfast was a time for sausage modesty, but it’s bullshit. My goal is to die having ingested as much meat as is humanly possible, so I’m gonna need sixty of those tiny sausages from the buffet as an opening salvo. Bonus points if they’re all shiny and slicked in pork grease

I was at Denny’s the other week. Denny’s: Racism-Free Since Four Days Ago!™ The nice thing about Denny’s is that they don’t fuck around with breakfast meats. You get four items in your Grand Slam breakfast, and all four can be meat if you feel like it: bacon, ham, links, patties, pig bladders, whatever. There’s none of this “one meat as a side” bullshit. Why would I want just one meat? I want a TROUGH of meat. And some coffee. That’ll do me.



What’s the worst family activity from the parent’s perspective? I always thought it was amusement parks (hot, expensive, lots of walking), but after this weekend my vote has got to go to snow tubing. Getting down the hill is easy, but parents at the bottom of the hill have two terrible choices: either stand in the 10-15 minute line to take the lift up while trying to keep their kids from disrobing, throwing snowballs, and/or crying vs. pull their children up the hill which was approximately 40% grade and covered in snow and ice. Within 30 minutes of our two-hour session starting, half of the families had left, mostly at the insistence of the parents. That has to be worse than an amusement park in July, right?


I just got back from Spring Break at Busch Gardens, so I’m in the correct frame of mind to answer this question because I had to wait an hour in two separate lines just to get my family INTO the park on the first day. And my kids were bitching the whole time, like “Why can’t we just go in?” MOTHERFUCKERS YOU THINK I DON’T WANNA GO INTO THE PARK? I’M JUST AS BORED AS YOU.

Then we finally got in and I got in line for a rollercoaster with my kid and by the time we made it to the front, we got held up by rich Express Line customers (again, these people should be jailed) and a family of 12 that needed to let the cars go by empty eight straight times so they could all sit together. I wanted to fucking end the world.


But then we got on the coaster and it was fun and everything was fine. That’s the deal with amusement parks. You have to endure a lot of bullshit, but then you finally get to experience the thrill of a roller coaster ripping your fucking head off. There’s a payoff to be had, especially as kids get older. Also, I was playing with the house money because, at least, we weren’t at Disneyworld.

The worst family excursions are ones that offer no such end catharsis. I’d rank them this way:

1. Flying anywhere. This will always be #1. I’d rather flee a nuclear strike than fly with children.


2. The beach. With a baby in tow? No. Fuck that. Fuck the beach. You have to bring ninety pounds of shit to accommodate a baby on the beach, including coolers, towels, snacks, water, sunscreen, wind screens, Pro Kadima paddles, diapers, wipes, bottles, shoes, and a miniature tent. And all of that gets covered in sand within six seconds of your arrival. The walk to the beach is always 500 yards longer than I’m willing to walk, and what do I get for my trouble? A frigid ocean and three kids bitching about the heat for five hours straight.

3. Water park. At a water park, you get the crowds and lines of an amusement park, with the additional wrinkle of 24/7 drowning watch. Also, everyone at the water park looks like they’ve killed someone.


4. Amusement park. Still probably too low here, but Busch Gardens had its charms. Alpengeist FTW.

5. Skiing. I took my kid skiing once and all she wanted to do was go in and have fries in the chalet. I don’t blame her at all. I skied a lot as a kid and my goal was always to get the fuck off the slope and go play in the Buck Hill arcade.


6. Fancy dinner and/or church. The key is to abandon ANY hope of them dressing nicely, sitting still, being quiet, or eating what they ordered.

7. Zoo. So hot and smelly. Jesus.

8. Art museum. Nope. If you’re taking a kid to a museum, there better be buttons to push. OOH, LOOK, YOU MADE A LIGHT GO ON OVER THAT STUFFED OTTER!


9. Baseball game. All you can do at a ballgame is keep plunking down $8 at a time for candy and hot dogs so that they won’t complain about how fucking boring the game is and how they can’t understand what’s going on. I spend most of the time during any sporting event SELLING my kids on the idea that they just witnessed something exciting. “Look at how far he hit the ball before the guy caught it! Pretty amazing shit!”


In what sequence do you top nachos at home? For me, base cheese, then tomatoes + jalapeños, olives if you roll that way, meat of choice, second cheese layer, then oven. Once it’s out of the oven, salsa + green onions on top of the cheese. My wife goes all cheese on top of everything.


I want the cheese on the chips FIRST, because I want the cheese to melt into the chip and then stick to it and create a translucent layer of fatty death. That’s the nacho for me. I don’t give a shit how you layer them after that because, chance are, everything will get all mixed up by the time I’ve attacked the plate and dry-humped it. I like to dig into the ice cream scoop of sour cream and then drag it around, like I’m spreading asphalt. Once I get down to the final nachos, the plate looks like a baby was sacrificed on it.

There’s a restaurant here in Maryland that does nachos individually. So you order nachos, and you get a platter of flat chips, each one perfectly heaped with its own portion of cheese, beans, sour cream, meat, etc. It’s heaven. I will gladly sacrifice the nacho pile for this new nacho layout.


Email of the week!


A friend of mine is a local attorney here in Buffalo and was attempting to make a long distance call to an adjuster for a client of his. He dials the number, and instead of hearing someone at the insurance company, he hears “Congratulations! You are caller 18!” from a radio DJ.

Turns out he inadvertently won a cruise (!) by accidentally calling an online radio station based out of LA that was currently in the middle of a promotional giveaway! Now some quick math tells me the odds of dialing any random 10-digit phone number is 1 in 10,000,000,000. But what are the odds of actually winning a contest this way? Has to be close to the number of atoms in the universe, right?


That’s the most amazing way to contract Legionnaire’s Disease that I’ve ever heard of.

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

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