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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Would You Trade Places With Your Dog?

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

Your letters:


If you could, would you switch places with your dog during the day? The rules for this hypothetical are as follows: You would become your dog the second you leave the house for work in the morning and he would become you. This would immediately reverse the second you come home. You could only do dog things while in the dog body, but you’d be fully aware. The dog would be able to perform your daily functions competently (work, errands, social obligations that may take place during the day, etc.), but never stand out or get you ahead in any way. The benefits are that you’d be able to be a lazy ass dog during the day and never worry about work bullshit again....but the drawback is that you miss out on that whole aspect of your life and could never really hope to make anything more of it. Do you take the dog’s way out?


No. I’ve seen what my dog’s day is like. That dog is bored as shit. All he does is sit around and wait for someone to feed him or pet him or tug his dick. For real, he’ll just lie on his back with his legs spread, like he thinks someone is actually gonna come around and give him a handjob. I got news you for, dog: It’s not happening. You don’t even have balls, so it’s not gonna get you anywhere. Plus we don’t table feed the dog, so every human meal is torture for him. No pulled pork. No handies.

Dogs may be too stupid to know they’re bored, but you wouldn’t be if you pulled a Shaggy D.A. and turned into one. It would be fucking torture. You’d be clinically depressed with two hours. There’s an old sea shanty that says a sailor’s life is a dog’s life, and that seems accurate. Imagine being confined to a single space, day after day, with only a set number of activities, just waiting around for shit to happen. That’s what being a dog is like. You’re basically a prisoner, torn from your relatives and forced to live in a strange place and rely on your owner (your warden!) for everything. Pretty problematic when you think about it. You can’t even shit when you want to! That is not fun. I’m as lazy as the next man, but there is still is part of me that yearns to be productive. I only like being lazy when I’m laboring under the delusion that I’ve earned the right to be. If you just put me in a dog’s body and give me nothing to do all day except lap at some water and lick my nut scar, I’d go mad.


I know it’s tempting to wanna be a dog these days. One nice thing about owning a pet is that they don’t give a fuck about the rest of the world. All they know is you and your home, and that’s blissful ignorance in shitty times. With a pet, you can steal a moment or two away from all the bullshit and live in a cozy little bubble of your own before ICE comes and deports your grandma. But you wouldn’t want to actually BE that ignorant all the time, especially if that handjob is never coming.


I saw that you can donate to the Red Cross by texting the word HARVEY to some number. What would happen if I texted HARDEE or some other misspelling instead? Would I still get charged, or would someone contact me asking if I really wanted to donate since I misspelled the word?

For your benefit, I did this and got no reply from the Red Cross’s automated text line, although I am sure they have already alerted Jerry Richardson as to my interest in Monster Thickburgers. You gotta spell the hurricane’s name right to make your donation, which is part of the reason I assume Trump’s million-dollar offering will never come to pass.

The Red Cross was one of the joints that I gave money to for Harvey, but I had forgotten about this series of articles explaining why the organization has come up in short in delivering help to those in need. So if you’re planning to give to South Texas, shop around for charities. I know it’s crazy easy to text a donation to the Red Cross, but it’s worth doing your homework before you give your money.


By the way, I don’t think it’s happened yet, but I promise that Harvey’s current, relatively-low-to-New-Orleans death toll of 60 people will spur more than a few Harvey/Katrina takes from the Curt Schillings of the world. You WILL hear someone say, “Unlike New Orleans, those Texans didn’t wait around to be rescued!” It’s coming. I am bracing for the surge of takes.


Is it butt or buck naked? Which is correct? I think it’s butt.

Ice T agrees with you:

Tonight, I’m tryin’ to make this real clear, dear
I’ve no time to whisper in your ear
No time to remove our fears
I just wanna get near
Get butt naked and roll around
Move our bodies like up and down
Do that stuff that your mama calls smut
Girl, Let’s Get Butt Naked And Fuck!


Come on, you know you want to do it too
It’s good to me, and it’s good to you
I only speak what’s true
You say you don’t, but I know you do
Come on up to my room
We’ll undress by the light of the moon
Lay down and I’ll caress that butt
Girl, Let’s Get Butt Naked And Fuck!

The man is a true poet. Anyway, according to a cursory Google search, both phrases are perfectly acceptable. You need only to listen to your heart. Personally, I like to mix it up and swap in a BUTT for a BUCK once in a while. To me, “butt naked” means you’re running around with your ass out, whereas “buck naked” means that you are naked specifically so that you can go buc wild. Surprisingly, no one ever gets “butt wild,” unless they are in a Ford Field tailgate lot.



If Pat Tillman were still alive would he be an insufferable commentator talking about how the protesting generation of players doesn’t do it the right way? Part of me thinks he was more subtle of a thinker than that or at least wouldn’t publicly call people out, but I’ve also seen enough “Veterans Against Kaepernick” types to believe that 100%.


No, no way. Pat Tillman was no meathead. He even said the Iraq War was folly. I don’t wanna be presumptuous, but I don’t think Pat Tillman would be wild about anyone using his name in the cause of nationalism. He wanted to serve his country but was also highly skeptical of its motives. The fact that he was killed by negligent friendly fire from under 10 yards away, all to salvage a busted Humvee, makes his skepticism all the more haunting. He was a Renaissance Man. He didn’t just want to be a soldier, and he didn’t just want to be a football player. He wanted to do everything, so it would have been really nice to see what would have happened if Tillman had survived Afghanistan and gotten everything out of life that he had planned to get out of it.

The Krakauer book about him is a pretty good distillation of his character. Read that book and you will INSTANTLY want to be his best friend. He used to do crazy shit like leap from mountain trails onto the top of tall trees, just to see if he could pull it off. He was a thoughtful wild man—and also extremely handsome—so by page 50 I was like, “Wow, I feel like he and I totally could have been roommates.”



I’ve never been a QOTSA fan, but this new album is pretty badass. Your thoughts?

I think it’s a good album, HOWEVER… [insufferable fanboy nitpick alert] I feel like it needed one more absolute instant classic on it. Like, there’s no “I Appear Missing” here. That make sense? There wasn’t a song where I was like, “Oh shit, I gotta hear this again” before the song was even over. I think it’s a grower of an album, just like the last one. That band is really good at punching you in the face with riffage before exploding in melodic ecstasy. That’s my sweet spot, amigo. I’ll probably like the album the more I listen to it, and once I have the chance to listen to it whacked out of my skull on drugs (“Un-Reborn Again” is probably my favorite). All I know is I’m seeing them next month and I am gonna drink enough alcohol that night to kill a Turkish weightlifter.


By the way, I don’t have any problem with “Uptown Funk” guy producing that album. Never complain if your favorite band hires a guy who has a knack for making songs that people actually enjoy.


Can we get a ranking on ways to cook hot dogs? Need to settle this with my roommate who boils them like a philistine.


It’s not the WORST way to cook a hot dog. After all, your local Sabrett hot dog vendor boils them in toilet water, and those are some pretty tasty hot dogs. And who doesn’t enjoy a bratwurst that’s been boiled in beer? I am gullible enough to believe that anything cooked in beer is 10 times manlier than other food.

That said, I would probably rank cooking hot dogs like this:

  1. Grilled
  2. Split and seared on a griddle
  3. Fried (usually as a corn dog or Sonoran dog)
  4. Roasted
  5. Boiled
  6. Stabbed in the face
  7. Microwaved

Personally, I love to overcook at least one hot dog per when I grill a package, just to see what happens. Like, when it explodes on the grill and turns char black? That’s a shitload of fun. And I’ll be honest: I’ll eat a hot dog any way you cook it. I’ll eat that burned one. Even if you nuke that shit, I’m not that picky. I am a hot dog whore. Give me ALL the nitrates, consequences be damned.



How much would you be willing to pay to play RB for a season on a 6th grade football team and what would a typical game stat sheet look like?


I wouldn’t do that because I’d feel guilty about plowing over a bunch of middle school boys, even though that’s TOTALLY what middle school boys deserve. Anyway, if I were forced at gunpoint to tote the rock for Sweet Valley Middle School, I promise you that it would play out exactly the way it plays out when I play with my own children. I would start off strong, then get winded after approximately 10 minutes, and then beg out of the game to go take a nap. Sixth graders aren’t small, mind you. My oldest kid just started sixth grade and she’s nearly as tall as my wife already. I couldn’t just wade through those little bastards every play. Those kids play dirty. They pinch and they claw. I say I make it for 15-20 carries and a few touchdowns before telling coach I have to go get something out of my car. And then I just drive off and go eat a pizza or something.

This is a recurring dream of mine, by the way. Whenever I have my stock back-to-school dream, I’m not back in class. I’m back in football practice. I’m 40 years old and trudging to the practice field with all these fresh-faced assholes and I stop in the dream and am like, “Wait a second, I’m not supposed to be here, am I?” Then the dream ends before I have the chance to wreck anyone. It’s a real tease.


My 8-year-old plays soccer and at the end of every season, there’s a parents-vs.-kids game. And lemme tell you, the parents don’t always win. Those kids have energy for days. The last game, I really did play my hardest. In fact, I tried so hard that I kicked the shit out of a ball and screamed it right by my own son’s face. I could have decapitated him with my Dad Foot Strength. That happens sometimes. Sometimes, kids play well enough that you forget they’re kids. And that’s usually when Junior ends up taking a fastball right to the dome.



I’m 47 and I’ve decided that if I’m trying to cross a street where there’s not a stop sign or stoplight handy I would much rather get hit by a car than break in to an unathletic old man trot and get roasted by the mean teens on the corner. I’m not totally washed at this point in my life but not very many old men can make that spur of the moment jog look good, and Lord knows I ain’t one of them.


I still break into the trot, especially if the signal clock is below 10 seconds. If I don’t make it across in time, a Maryland driver WILL take that as permission to run me over with their Honda Civic. Also, I like to make that insta-jog look EXTREMELY casual, like I’m Randy Moss rope-a-doping a cornerback. Yes, I’m jogging. But I think we ALL know I could turn on the afterburners and go a whopping .003 mph faster if I really chose to. I’m just letting the other drivers know as a courtesy that I am kicking it up to a slightly higher gear for their sake. I am making an effort to get across in time thanks to my little power trot, so please do not kill me.

I am still deluded as to how dumb I look while exercising. Like, if I’m running, I still envision myself as Hermes, gliding on winged shoes across the heavens. In reality, I look like a giraffe with a broken front leg. But since I can’t SEE how bad I look, so I can still take comfort in the delusion. It’s fun!



What percentage of Players Tribune articles do you think are actually written by the players themselves, as opposed to agents/ghost writers?


Zero. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of good posts coming out of Jeterland, like that one Dion Waiters story. Some of those first-person accounts are legitimately compelling, and I don’t necessarily blame athletes if they wanna use a ghostwriter to help shape up the copy. The real problem is that a lot of those confessionals are mixed in with a load of self-promotional garbage. I never ever want to read A TITLE IS WHAT I’M REALLY HUNTING FOR, by Carson Wentz. Or IF YOU THINK I CAN’T COME BACK FROM BEING DECAPITATED, YOU DON’T KNOW ME, by some other guy. That site needs some sort of designated check mark for posts that don’t read like a Gatorade ad storyboard written by an assistant at the Wasserman Group. SOME PEOPLE SAY I’M A JERK BUT THAT’S JUST HOW BAD I WANNA WIN.


What the shit is up with bacon packaging - could there be a less user-friendly system, especially when you don’t use the whole pack? What am I supposed to do with half a pack of bacon to preserve freshness? Sometimes I fold the stupid package label down over the remaining pieces and roll the whole pack with plastic wrap, but I inevitably end up using 2 miles of wrap and still having bacon juice seep all over my refrigerator. Are you supposed to take the bacon out of the package and put it into a different, bacon-shaped container? Does Williams-Sonoma make something like this? I know the obvious solution is to eat the whole pack of bacon at once, but I’m trying to be more healthy and less heart attack-y.


It’s extremely annoying. Both bacon and smoked salmon come in packages that defies cling wrap. What I usually do is take a pair of poultry shears and cut the pack of bacon in half: through the plastic and the paper flap thingie and the slab of bacon itself. Then I put one half in a Ziploc back, stick it in the fridge, and cook the rest. That’s about as good of a system as I can devise to handle flimsy bacon packaging.

I assume the reason bacon packaging is so shoddy is because of cost. Your pound of bacon cost four bucks because the supplier probably feeds pig their own shit, and then skimps out on fancy resealable pounches because they know that nothing is gonna stop you from buying bacon anyway. Oddly, you can buy fully cooked bacon that comes in nicer packaging. You get a tray with a little flap that you can close backup. The markup is roughly 9,000 percent. I’ll never pony up for that shit. I like my bacon cooked fresh anyway. I want it sizzling in the pan and shooting greaseballs into my fucking eyelids.



What percent of the time do people use the panic button on the key fob for a true emergency situation? The only reason I use it is to find my car in at an amusement park or professional sporting event.


Oh I only use it by accident. I thumb around for the UNLOCK button and instead I set off an alarm that can be heard two continents away. It’s the worst. If I really WERE about to get mugged, I promise I would forget about the panic button option entirely. Wouldn’t even cross my mind. I would just scream like a baby and then get stabbed to death.

By the way, please don’t use the panic button just to find your stupid car. The rest of us have to hear that, you know. Just hit LOCK or UNLOCK and walk around like a moron until you see lights flashing. My car will actually let out a small honk if I hit LOCK twice, and so you’ll often see me at the parking garage listening for a honking Kia like I’m eavesdropping in on intercepted WWII transmissions.



If you said in 1993 that in 2017, between OJ Simpson and Donald Trump, one will be president and one will be in jail, it would have been unbelievable, right? So it spawned a new game in our office called “Dead, Jail, President” — of three chosen people, which will be where in 20 years? So of Kid Rock, The Rock and Chris Rock, which will be dead, which will be in jail and which will be president in 2037?


Well, The Rock will be President, as outlined by Caity Weaver here. As for the other two, I don’t know that Kid Rock’s booze habit will allow him to live for another two decades. So I’ll say he dies and that Chris Rock gets jailed for trying to direct another movie based on a French comedy. I like this game though. It’s a fine update of FUCK MARRY KILL. Better than what Matthew Berry came up with, at least.


As a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, I started to think. How many years of sustained ultra success or how many Super Bowls would the Bengals have to win to become a bandwagon team? Like the Seahawks or the Patriots? Would it even be possible for the team even if they were extremely successful the next ten years? Or is it just not a trendy or big enough city for this phenomenon to happen too?


It can happen to any team in any town. How many people gave half a shit about the Cavaliers before LeBron rolled into Cleveland? You already know that the Patriots were the forgotten stepchild of the Boston sports scene before turning around and becoming a juggernaut, and you already know that the Seahawks were barely an NFL team before they started going to Super Bowls. Hell, people in my school did the Ickey Shuffle when I was a kid, and that Bengals team didn’t even win anything.

So never underestimate bandwagon fans and their ability to reverse engineer their reasons for claiming loyalty to some previously woebegone, dogshit team (“I always liked their helmets!”). In theory, any team can become a bandwagon team if it has enough cool players and wins enough titles. Carpetbaggers WILL come out of the woodwork. Justin Bieber will rock your jersey. Now, will that kind of sustained success ever happen for the Cincinnati Bengals, to the point where they would foster a large, insufferable bandwagon culture? No. Of course not. Not in a million goddamn years. But it COULD.



People that use like a thimble full of syrup on their pancakes are losers, right?


Hell yeah, they are. Listen, a pancake breakfast is arguably the worst possible food in the world for you. You got fried cakes topped with an ice cream-sized scoop of whipped butter, and THEN topped with pure maple sugar. So let’s not half-ass it. Don’t pretend there’s some light way to eat a short stack. I want my pancakes SMOTHERED in syrup. If there’s a dry spot on my pancake, I make sure to dip it in the lake of syrup on my plate before proper ingestion. I do not cut corners.


I’m moving into a new place with four friends next month, but there is some disagreement about how to choose bedrooms. A couple of the guys want to auction them off, which I think will lead to resentment if someone drastically overpays/underpays for a room. Am I being unreasonable, or should I not trust five dudes to act like sane adults when money is involved?


Are the bedrooms all vastly different in size? Does any of the bedrooms have their own bathroom? If the disparity is huge, I think it’s maybe worth opening the can of worms and suggesting that some guys to pay a higher share of rent for the bigger rooms. If they’re all roughly the same, I don’t think the auction is the worst idea. Otherwise, you’re gonna have to draw straws, and you will get FUCKED by that process. It’s a lock. You’ll draw the broom closet, and the penthouse suite will go to some dipshit who spends five days a week crashing at his girlfriend’s joint. This is the kinda shit that makes me endlessly grateful I’m no longer single. I’d rather live in a dumpster alone than have an unsolvable rent argument with four other guys.

Email of the week!


I played in the minors for the Astros back in the late 90s and in 1998 was living the glamourous life of a Quad Cities River Bandit. It wasn’t enough that they lavished us with $1050/month pre-tax, but they also lined our already fat pockets with upwards of $20 a day meal money on road trips. So in short, we were living large. Tired of fast food while in Battle Creek, Michigan, some of my teammates and I decided to eat lunch at the local Cracker Barrel.

As we got ready for the game, my lower stomach started cramping, I broke out in cold sweats and just kept feeling worse and worse. By gametime, I felt legitimately terrible and was as white as Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. Normally, I would have bowed out and let our backup infielder play, but earlier in the week he literally broke his face on an errant throw, and they hadn’t promoted anyone yet. So it was either have one of my friends come in from the outfield to humiliate themselves on the infield, or gut it out.

I went with the latter, and quickly realized that I had made a huge mistake. Between every half inning from the 2nd inning to the end of the game, I was having the angriest liquid poops of my life. My third baseman (I was the SS) would come yell at me whenever it was time to either a) take the field or b) go to the plate. At the plate I swung at anything I could reach (the Vlad Guerrero approach with absolutely none of his power or skill) and unfortunately I bounced a seeing-eye single through the infield at one point.

Not only did this mean I had to focus so as not to shit myself while I ran the bases, but more importantly I now couldn’t get to the toilet until after the next half inning. During the next half inning, our manager made not one, but TWO visits to the mound…and changed pitchers. It was agony (for me; the other infielders who knew what was happening it was hysterical. Assholes).

For the rest of the season, my glove had teeth marks on it from where I was gnawing on it during the pitching change to prevent dousing my pants with diarrhea in front of a few thousand of Michigan’s finest drunk locals. As soon as the game was over I sprinted to the bathroom until I was threatened with being left there because the bus was leaving. My two lessons from this: (1) Never eat at Cracker Barrel and (2) if given the choice between your friend embarrassing themselves or you being in pain for 3 hours, sell your friend out. Cause that shit ain’t worth it. 

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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