Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering oil changes, LeBron at QB, poop phones, and more.
I watched the Iron Bowl on Saturday and after basking in the glorious HOLYSHIT-ness of it all, I wondered what would happen if you returned a field goal in the middle of a game but failed to bring it all the way to the house. Do you get the ball at the spot you returned it? Or does the ball automatically go back to the spot of the kick?
Turns out that the return counts no matter how far you advance it. So if your dude fields the ball in the end zone, then runs it out to the five and trips over his own shoe, you get the ball at the five. OH SHIT! So keep that in mind. It makes perfect sense to attempt a field goal return at the end of a half. But in the middle of a game, you could potentially lose a shitload of yards bringing out a ball that's been kicked from mid-field. Especially if your team is the Bills. That would happen to the Bills.
Who has the perfect amount of advantages from their fame with the least amount of drawbacks? I wouldn't want to be Kobe Bryant famous, where you can't even go out to eat without people constantly approaching you for photos and autographs. But being NOT famous also sucks. Is there anyone who has achieved the perfect balance?
Entertainment Weekly did an interview with Louis CK a while back in which CK said that he had achieved the exact right amount of fame and didn't want any more of it, but I think that's wishful thinking on his part. He's way too famous now, and he's so beloved that I'm sure people walk up to him all the time and treat him like an old friend, like "OMG the kids at my kid's school are assholes too!" and then poor Louie has to be like, "Who the fuck are you?" The best kind of fame is fame that happens at your behest, where you can be as recognizable or as unrecognizable as you please. You can go to the store and not be harassed, but then you can schedule a concert and have 10,000 screaming fans packed into an arena waiting for you. And you're rich. You gotta be rich.
The goal is to be well known, to be revered as someone who's competent in his or her profession but boring enough not to attract paparazzi or any of that shit. Like the lady who wrote The Hunger Games. I bet Suzanne Collins (Did you know she lives in Newtown, Conn.? That's awkward) can put her hair in a ponytail, go to the market, and be left alone. But then she can fly to LA, head to a bookstore, and get a fucking line that wraps around 18 city blocks. Any situation where you can plan the environment where people recognize you is pretty solid. Lots of writers can do that, and no paparazzi will ever bother them because writers are ugly. You can also probably avoid 95 percent of Famous People Problems simply by not living in New York or Los Angeles.
Also, the guys from Daft Punk have it down. They can take off their helmets and be two random French assholes any time they like. But man, I bet the inside of those helmets smell like a hockey locker room. You're basically wearing a mascot uniform anywhere you play. I couldn't handle that.
Just went to put on a pair of shoes and saw a dead mouse sitting in the left one — I definitely made the right decision by tossing that pair of shoes directly into the trash, right?
Probably. It also gives you an excuse to buy new shoes. And even though many men won't admit it, New Shoe Day is pretty thrilling. I buy new sneakers once a year, if that, and that first day in the new kicks is awesome. IT'S LIKE I'M WALKING ON THE MOON! You spend that day laboring under the delusion that everyone has quietly noticed and admired your new footwear. Yes, that's right. They're New Balances. Only cost me $60 at the DSW. SAVVY.
I'm willing to wager that there are plenty of guys out there who would dump the mouse in the trash and continue wearing their shoes, because it's cheap and easy. Between doing something and doing nothing, I will almost always choose the latter. I tend to overlook grossly unsanitary incidents simply out of sheer laziness. For example, if I go to a restaurant, and I get a sandwich, and it's really good, and there's a hair in it? I just pull it out and keep eating it. Otherwise, I gotta send it back and wait for a whole new sandwich and put up a fuss and it just doesn't seem worth it when it's just a stupid hair. Even a pussy hair. If it were a dismembered finger? Whole new ballgame.
Is it paranoid to believe that someone made a social media status update about how tired/sick/busy they are just because they had plans with you in an hour or two and are looking to plant evidence in support of their pending bullshit excuse?
I don't think that's paranoid to believe. No one wants to look like a flake—even though everyone wants to flake out on everything—and so planting an alibi on Facebook is the perfect crime. Who will dispute your brown lung once you've made it public? If it's on the Internet, it must be true!
I know the Internet is a cold and mean place, but typically people are almost TOO nice whenever you post about a minor bout of flu or something like that. Whenever I tell bosses or whomever that I have to take my kid to the doctor, I always make sure to let them know it's not serious, so that they don't have to emotionally overreact for no good reason. Because if you don't let people know that, they'll email back OMG IS SHE ALL RIGHT IT'S NOT CANCER IS IT I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. Sometimes, people really want you to know they care, which is nice!
How cool would it be if, after a kicker nails a field goal, the broadcast would tell us how long that kick would have been good from? They could even wait until after the commercial break to heighten the suspense.
I think networks could do that. They would just need some NERDY ENGINEERING NERD to come up with a way of tracking a kick and computing its total distance traveled. They already replay passes with the ball tracing a digital trail on the screen. No reason they can't do the same for kicks.
The problem is that this kind of technology will set up unreasonable expectations for your kicker. I've said it before, but one of the most annoying announcer tics is when they're like, "We saw Matt Prater in the pregame warmups and he was nailing them from 90 yards out!" They always get you hot and bothered for a record-setting field goal attempt that is rarely attempted and even more rarely made. So if you see the FOXTRAIL on the screen telling you Robbie Gould's kick would have been good from 80 yards, you'll want an 80-yard field-goal attempt. And then the other team will return it for a touchdown.
Suppose Le'Veon Bell had actually been killed when his helmet popped off. Would the officials still have nullified the touchdown when they saw the ball hadn't crossed the plane before his helmet came off? Wouldn't that have been beyond the pale and entirely beside the point, or are the rules of the game immutable no matter what?
They would have still nullified the touchdown. This is a man's game! You don't get rewarded a touchdown simply for DYING. Just like some GLORY CORPSE to go asking for a handout! Remember: Even if a player clearly died on the field, the NFL would never announce it right away. They would cart him off, have paramedics attempt to revive him, and then declare him dead well after the call had been reversed. They wouldn't be like, "Oh hey, no pulse. Give that poor guy a touchdown. That'll make everything OK!" The show goes on. It's what Le'Veon would have wanted.
I recently got into a debate with a female co-worker that I would like your help settling. At a recent post-work happy hour with a bunch of our co-workers, she talked about a statistic she found on a blog that 2 out of every 3 adult men in this country have paid for sex at some point in their lives. She is completely convinced that this is true. Every other person we were with told her she was insane. I tried to make an argument based on sheer numbers, but she is unwilling to concede. I am a 25-year-old guy; I figure that would put me (and thus my peers) in the prime paying-for-sex age range. Of all of the people I know, and can only think of one person who has done this. Am I (along with most everyone I work with) living in total denial, or is this girl totally off-base?
She's off base. A recent study showed that roughly nine percent of men had admitted to paying for sex. Another study puts the high estimate at 20 percent. Obviously, not every man is going to admit that he bought a hooker. In fact, those nine percent who did admit it are fucking idiots. You could probably push that estimate up to 30 percent or 40 percent to take all liars and public officials into account. But for every hard-up teenager or dirty old man who feels the need to pay for sex, there's another man who is too proud to do it, or is too terrified of hiring a hooker who turns out to be an undercover cop wearing a secret thong camera. Or what if the hooker's bodyguard clubs you and steals all your shit? Or what if the hooker turns out to be your sister-in-law? The potential for personal humiliation is huge ... sometimes large enough to overrule any emergency boner, especially with free internet porn just a click away now.
The fear of getting caught paying for sex is probably worse than the fear of getting caught masturbating. At least when you're caught masturbating, you're getting caught doing something everyone does. And you're alone. People will sympathize. But if you're a governor caught running a train at the Bunny Ranch? Not so much.
What do you do when you get poop on your phone?
Apple instructs you to turn your phone off and wipe down the screen with a dry, lint-free cloth. They do not recommend using household cleaners like Windex, but they're only thinking about benign filth-like dirt or Cheeto dust. This is fecal matter we're dealing with, which means a dry cloth is nowhere near enough. I suggest you find a bottle of glasses cleaner, spray it onto some tissues, and wipe the poop off that way.
That's if that shit gets on the screen only. If liquid diarrhea seeps into the button area, you're supposed to bring your phone to a local retailer to see if it can be salvaged. If you bought your phone from Verizon, I have no ethical problem with your handing your poop phone to a salesman there and neglecting to tell him that it's a poop phone. Those people are animals.
Say someone was born in 1933 with the superpower to shield the Earth with a force field to protect us from asteroids, etc. This person goes throughout their life without really having to use their power and then dies of natural causes in 2013 at the age of 80. Does not having this "superhero" around bring world leaders together to invest trillions trying to develop technology to replace what this person could do? Does everyone on the planet go crazy raping and pillaging everything/everyone else because we're now vulnerable to getting hitting by space rocks? Or does everyone just shrug their shoulders and say fuck it that guy didn't do shit anyway?
The latter. If you never actually saw the guy save the planet, then you won't appreciate his power enough to compensate for it. You have to see it. You have to know what you're missing. If that guy openly deflected three world-killing asteroids in his lifetime and THEN he died, you bet your ass that we would spend $50 trillion on a NASA laser that could do the same thing, only all that money would be funneled into contractor slush funds and poorly disguised hooker expense reports. Fucking red tape.
If LeBron James told Dan Gilbert he would come back and play for the Cavs if and only if Gilbert also allowed him to quarterback the Cleveland Browns, could Gilbert make this happen?
No. If he demanded to play wideout, that would be one thing, because LeBron was a wideout in high school and because any NFL team would happily take a flyer on him at that position. But I don't think the Browns would agree to the idea if meant starting LeBron at QB for 16 games. The only possible way Gilbert could make that happen is if he informed the public of the ultimatum (via Comic Sans font, natch) and built up public pressure on the Browns to give it a shot. And even then, I don't think it would work. I think that people would resent the demand and hate LeBron all over again, which would be fun! It's been a while since we all hated his guts. Always nice to bring the feeling back.
How dominant would an NFL kicker be in a coed kickball league? Would he ever make an out?
Of course he would. It's kickball. You're kicking a glorified beach ball. It can go only so far before air drag slows it down and makes it relatively easy to catch. Kickers train year round and fine-tune their bodies to kick a very particular kind of ball in a very particular kind of way. The mechanics of kickball are completely different. So tough shit for you, David Akers!
If you had a cop car, uniform, gun and gear with total legal immunity for one night, what would you do? Here is what my night would entail: excessive speeding with lights on while driving everywhere, attend an NFL game and proceed directly to the sidelines (cops can just walk onto the field, right?); find a way to save a hot woman in distress by shooting some huge abusive bastard in a tank top; find someone who attempts to flee from me so that I can pursue them and then hit them with the police car; tase at least 3 people (hopefully a few smart ass college kids); and finally hit up as many Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and pizza places as I could (cops always get free shit).
Do cops always get free shit? If I worked a Dunkin Donuts and a cop demanded three dozen donuts for free, I'd take a shit inside one of the boxes. I bet certain places charge cops DOUBLE.
The first thing I would do with my copper outfit is walk the beat in some charming urban neighborhood. I'd sit on the stoop with Da Mayor. I'd playfully jump into stickball games with the local kids. I'd hit the local diner and tell the lady behind the counter that she makes the best damn cup of coffee in America today. By the end of the day, I'd be Officer Drew: the neighborhood's favorite cop! Officer Drew is on your side!
Then night would fall and I would do this:
How could you, Officer Drew?!
Also, I would go to the evidence room and take everything cool: wads of cash, bricks of weed, keistered heroin ... all of it. NO ONE WILL SUSPECT A THING.
Would you want to see a replay of a time you almost die in life and had absolutely no idea? Like you almost stepped on the most poisonous snake ever on a hike and you had no idea it was an inch from your foot or some lunitic on a bus standing next to you about to shoot everyone on it has a change of heart and your life is spared?
No. Ask anyone who's ever been in a near fatal car wreck or had some other brush with death that he was fully aware of. It haunts you. You can't help but envision that alternate reality where you actually die and you have no future. I was in a car with a friend once and we nearly got T-boned by an old lady and run into a ravine that dropped down at least 30 feet. And my reaction wasn't that I was glad to be alive... it was a kind of deep terror that I had managed to find myself that close to death to begin with. You feel like you fucked up somehow. You get close enough to the disaster that the image of it becomes so vivid in your mind that you can't shake it and you wish the whole thing had never happened. It's survivor's guilt, even if no one else perished at your expense.
A few months ago, my son was walking atop a wall near our house. I kept asking him to come down, but kids are stubborn, so there you have it. He was dicking around up there and lost his footing and I caught him before he could fall to the concrete driveway below. Who the fuck knows if it would have killed him or given him permanent brain damage or what have you, but sometimes I think about it and am haunted by all the possibilities. I'm not happy he's still alive. I'm angry at myself for not getting him off that wall sooner, for putting him in that position. It makes you conscious of just how close death is, and that is not comfortable. Because there are more walls, man. There are always more walls. DAMN YOU WALLS!
If a song comes on in the car from a singer with say, a British accent, do you sing the words with said accent?
I feel obligated to sing it the way the guy on the radio is singing it. I wouldn't overdo the accent, but the hint of it would be there. I'm not arrogant enough to sing my own arrangement of it. If I ever sat next to someone in a car who harmonized with a song, I'd murder them.
During a commercial break I ran to the bedroom to grab something and noticed I had left my TV on tuned to the NFL Network. Did you know that during the Sunday afternoon games, they just have a silent, live updating scoreboard? Who in the world is watching this?
It works if you're some asshole with a BRO-CAVE with lots of TVs who wants one TV used as a live scoreboard. Also, I don't think the broadcast is silent. One time I was at the gym on a Sunday and the TV on the machine was fucked up (FACT: 85 percent of all exercise machine TVs don't work) and only that channel came in, and I think they bounced around between local radio broadcasts. Anyway, the league doesn't want you watching NFL Network when games are on anyway. They may as well put on a Showtime Rotisserie Grill infomercial just to keep you away.
Email of the week!
In an old Jamboroo, you asked what the longest anyone has ever gone without changing the oil. The answer to that question is my wife.
Several years ago, I bought her a brand new minivan. At the time, we had three kids, all under the age of 5. God, she was so proud of that minivan. I told her that I was going to take it to an LSU game because it had more room than my truck (500 mile round trip), and her response was: "No way that you and your idiot friends are getting anywhere near my new car."
Anyway, we had had the van for just under three years, and one day it starts smoking. The van had about 26,000 miles on it. I thought "Well, this isn't good, but at least it's still under warranty." So, I fire her up and take her to the dealership, ready to get my FREE warranty work done. After about 30 minutes, the woman who is running the service department comes out and asks me: "When was the last time you had the oil changed in that van?" I have no idea — it's my wife's fucking car — so I call my wife and ask her. Her answer: "Never."
I couldn't believe it. She had had the van for three fucking years! I immediately begin the Inquisition on her: WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU GO THREE YEARS WITHOUT CHANGING THE FUCKING OIL?!?!?!?!?! Her response: "I thought a light would come on when it needed changing." And because she had never had it changed, she didn't have a windshield sticker to tell her when to do it.
Worst of all: THIS FIASCO BECAME MY FAULT SOMEHOW. She immediately jumps my ass, telling me that it is THE MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY to get the oil changed. I respond by telling her that all she had to do was tell me she needed it changed and I would have done it. For God's sake, I can barely keep up with my shit and I'm responsible for keeping up with her oil changes? Anyway, she refused to take any responsibility and this became yet other example of how FOOTBALL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR FAMILY.
At the end of the day, it was NOT covered by the warranty (of course) and it cost me $6,000.00 to put a new engine into a car that only had 26,000 miles and was nowhere close to paid for. Shit, I could have bought her a new Bentley for less money.
Probably the worst part of this story is that the visit to the dealership took place on the morning of my fantasy football draft and it occurred at a time in my life when I didn't have any money. So, I had scraped together cash to pay for my fantasy entry fee and I could even enjoy the draft because all I could think about was where I was going to wrangle up $6,000.00. And, now, every year on my fantasy draft day, I remember this unpleasantness.
Another reader said his old lady ran their car to 70,000 miles without changing it, but I'm a little skeptical of that. But this guy with the van? That's REAL anger.