Which Sport Produces The Worst Parents?S

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering dating, swords as gifts, flesh-eating viruses, and more.

Your letters:

Sarah:

Which youth sport produces the most insufferable parents? I have to think baseball only because I've witnessed a dad shout horrible insults at a teenage umpire while sitting on the hood of his truck drinking beer (alcohol wasn't allowed in the stands).

It's hard to argue with baseball, because it's a sport that seems to naturally attract overly competitive dickheads (see: Clemens, Roger). As we've noted before, baseball is anecdotally known as being the sport with the most assholes per capita, and it stands to reason that those assholes come from asshole parents. If you Google "baseball dad arrested," you get nearly seven million results. Compare that with hockey, a sport with its own rich history of asshole parents. "Hockey dad arrested" turns up fewer than a million results, which is astonishing given that hockey dads have committed assault, blinded opposing goalies with laser pointers, attacked refs, tripped 13-year-old opponents on the ice, and committed outright murder. And yet, baseball apparently has more asshole parents by a mile.

Here is how I would rank the worst sports parents:

  1. Baseball
  2. Cheerleading. Cheerleading is both a sport and a beauty pageant, so you get a hybrid of sports mom and stage mom. Terrifying.
  3. Tennis. So many sterling examples of awful tennis parents, from Emmanuel Agassi to Jim Pierce. It's remarkable, frankly. Individual sports tend to have the most insane parents because there are no other teammates to focus on. Your child is performing alone and that means they are subjected to ALL of your scrutiny. There's no teammate to blame. There's no way for your child to hide behind a more talented peer. They're all alone out there, attempting to prove themselves to you in front of everyone. Christ, that's terrifying.
  4. Gymnastics. Gymnastics is the kind of sport where, to become an Olympian, you have to ship your three-year-old off to some IMG academy to train with a disgraced Romanian pederast. It's a different kind of parental insanity than the baseball dad, but no less toxic.
  5. Hockey
  6. Figure skating. See cheerleading. Olympic sports seem to attract the highest ratio of nutjob parents. I think there are a handful of reasons for this. I think you need time and resources to make the Olympics, and so it weeds out the less determined nutjobs. Also, the Olympics are an all-or-nothing proposition. If your child doesn't make the team or medal, you've wasted years of both her life and your own. And that kind of internal pressure only exacerbates the batshit craziness of certain folks.
  7. Football. This probably belongs higher up the list because, you know... Texas. That Tim McGraw sure is one lousy father.
  8. Golf. The thing about golf is that it's a sport that seems to offer you the best chance of becoming an elite player without you necessarily having any natural athletic talent. Which means you have an awful lot of daddy golf coaches out on the range correcting Little Johnny Manboobs' swing every five seconds.

Steve:

If you got divorced/widowed and had to re-enter the dating scene, what would be your least favorite part about it? Mine would be having to hold in farts again. Those first few months when you're dating someone and you have to let the farts bubble up and cause all that pain and discomfort were the absolute worst. I don't miss that one bit.

I would hate having to sit through bad dates in general. The whole idea that you gotta go back and sift through the detritus in the dating pool to find one human being who won't make you want to punch yourself in the face after 10 minutes in their company... that's unpleasant. I mean, I know that every guy constantly daydreams about being a swinging bachelor and CRUSHING poon left and right. But man alive, if you're a relatively unassuming dude, there's a whole lot of work involved: making phone calls, choosing restaurants, trying to come up with interesting conversational topics. It's like having a second job.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com.

This is why people who have been on the dating circuit for an eternity sometimes pressure mates into marriage. They know exactly what's at stake. They know the endless toil involved with being dumped back into the singles scene. As you get older, you get more and more tired with having to present yourself for people, with being "on" during conversations and having to eat full meals with people who you may not even end up liking. It's a whole goddamn thing. And it's even worse in the modern age now because people treat dates like job interviews. I'd rather have a nail driven through my penis than have to deal with that again. I once made it through a whole date only to have the woman in question spring the, "Oh, I have a boyfriend" thing, which was CLEARLY false and made it clear that I repulsed her in every way. You can HEAR your life being wasted away in moments like that. Couldn't you have simply told me to fuck off before we ordered entrees?

David:

My good high school friend is getting married. I don't want to get him pillows or other crap. I have the best gift idea...the cold steel sword (see the video below). Can I ask how you feel about the "man-gift" wedding gift? Do you think it is appropriate? Most women say no, but they think that crystal champagne flutes is a gift for "us."

Just make sure to throw out the receipt, because she'll make him return it anyway.

I think there's an age limit to giving novelty wedding gifts like this. When I was 23, my brother got married and I got him and his wife a Razor scooter for their wedding gift. This was back when Razor scooters were, like, a thing. This was a shitty, horrible wedding gift, but I could be more or less excused for it due to my youthful impetuousness. If I gave that as a gift NOW, as a 36-year-old, I'd be the biggest dipshit on the planet.

I'm not saying this because I approve of champagne flutes. People register for 16 of those things, which is egregiously stupid. As if you're gonna have lavish cocktail receptions every weekend for the next 60 years. But as you get older, you appreciate having things like, I dunno, plates. Swords are awesome, but they also happen to be useless (at least, hopefully they're useless). Think of it as a home decoration and the appeal of giving it to someone is suddenly less attractive. It's like giving someone a vase, only the vase might later be used as a manslaughter weapon. So if you're under 25, go ahead. But past that? Just give them some money. Money trumps everything.

Dylan:

A person at my local hunting club had this happen to him.... Apparently the arrow was cracked and when he drew back and let go it cracked and the rest is history.

Which Sport Produces The Worst Parents?S

Okay, well that's horrifying in every possible way.


Sid:

Say you were forced to decide between contracting a grotesque flesh-eating virus on your face or on your penis, for a period of 3 months. Full recovery, no scarring after the three-month period is up. Obviously, reflex will cause all men to say "face" without thorough consideration, but I don't know. We're talking GROTESQUE here, as in people dry heave in their mouths at the sight of you grotesque.

I want to say FACE, not because I treasure my penis (though I do), but because your penis has so many nerve endings bundled together that the virus would be more painful and your suffering intensified.

But then again, it's not like your face is lacking in nerve endings. Ever try to eat with chapped lips? It's agony. Talking and eating with Darkman's face would almost certainly be hell on Earth. Whether that beats out having to piss with a stump dick is yet to be known. I guess I'll take the infected penis. At least I wouldn't face any danger of conceiving a fourth child.

Andy:

A couple weeks ago, I was out at a restaurant in Cincinnati with some friends. We started talking about the Bengals and naturally the conversation became about how horrible Mike Brown is. One of the waiters overheard our conversation and told us about a time that he had served Mike Brown and a guest at another restaurant. The bill for Brown's meal was $16 (it wasn't a fancy restaurant). He tipped the guy 75 cents. Mike Brown, the one who owns a professional football team.

I believe any story that involves Mike Brown being a horrible person.

By the way, I hate rich people who make absolutely no upgrades to their lifestyle despite possessing millions of dollars in free capital. "I drive the same truck and eat chuck roast at Franny's Diner every Tuesday night, just like I always do." GO TO HELL. Take your money and buy yourself some decent taste. The rest of us would actually DO something with that money, thank you very much. And you just leave it there, neglected, like it means nothing to you. You buy yourself a Mercedes or you deserve to burn alive.

Ben:

Is there any greater disparity between fantasy and reality than the medical/nursing profession? Porn gives us images of short-skirted candy stripers, the scrotal exam cum hand-job, reciprocal "temperature-taking" and the like.

Reality is (at best) lots of baggy scrubs and weary faces. At worst, you've got a pool of people who've won their fair share of Mario Batali look-alike contests

What about pizza delivery? How many pizza delivery boys have actually been seduced in the history of the world? Five? And I bet it was just the saddest intercourse ever undertaken. The cable guy has to have a better batting average throughout history. At least the cable guy has a career. That's way more enticing to the likes of Lisa Ann. Even pool boys have to do better because they have to show off the goods.

I had a friend who used to work as a carpenter in Idaho. And he said that, on more than one occasion, he or a colleague had a lonely housewife openly strip for them while they were working outside a bedroom window. Maybe he's bullshitting, but I choose to believe him because that's way hot.

By contrast, I think we can all agree that the coach/athlete porn scenario is the MOST realistically played-out scenario, especially in Toledo.

HALFTIME!

Nick:

Have you ever attempted to make a meal where the recipe calls for an obnoxious herb like parsley, thyme, dill etc..?

You literally have to buy a month's worth for 2 measly teaspoons. What the fuck do I do with the rest to avoid the inevitable "you just wasted food and money" comment from my girlfriend? The suits over at BIG SPICE must be laughing their tits off.

Your girlfriend is against fresh herbs? That's unusual. Usually, it's the woman who will eat a bite of pork chop and be like, "This is SO good with the parsley." Really? You thought parsley was the star of that dish? Because I feel like the pork chop did most of the heavy lifting, missy.

Anyway, fear not. Are you prepared for a use for all that leftover parsley that will BLOW YOUR SKULL?! Of course you are. This is a recipe for chimichurri sauce. Don't bitch at me that it's not a "real" chimichurri sauce or whatever the fuck. Put it on steak and you WILL have an audible orgasm. Let's go:

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch of parsley, loosely chopped (minus the two teaspoons you needed for that soup or whatever)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small clove garlic, loosely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, loosely chopped
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Put everything in the blender or food processor and blend the shit out of it. If the blender gets stuck (which is really annoying), turn it off, stir it around a bit, and add more olive oil if you need to. Blend it smooth, then pour it out. There you go. You're done. Put it on steak or eggs and you'll be shitting happiness.

Chris:

What if there was a "Redzone Classic"? (think ESPN Classic in Redzone mode). We know that NFL Films has complete tapes of every game ever - so why not just pick one random season (like 1994), and play each week of that season in Redzone mode? The season "replay" could start the Sunday of NFL Draft weekend, and would last us right up until training camp/ pre-season. So we'd see '94 Week 1 on 4/28, Week 2 on 5/5, etc.

Redzone classic would just play all of the "old" games as if they were happening in real time. Then Scott Hanson could zip around like he always does and be like, "We'll get right back to Joe Montana and the Chiefs, but first Warren Moon has entered the RedZone!"

At the very least, they should give it a shot. I mean, channel 703 on my DirecTV will stay dark for MONTHS. Do you know how depressing it is to flip to Red Zone Channel when there's no Red Zone shit going on? Sometimes, even during the season, I'll flip to it after Andrew Siciliano (who does RZC for DirecTV still) has signed off and there's a title card that's like, "THAT'S THE END OF RED ZONE CHANNEL FOR TODAY! L8R DICKHEAD." It's awful. I feel like someone died.

I would get all excited for RedZone Classic and tune in. And then, after five minutes, I would probably mutter, "This sucks," and watch an episode of Modern Family that I haven't gotten around to. I don't know about you, but for all the bitching I do about the offseason, I kind of need it. The NFL offseason allows me to catch up on all the pop culture that I missed out on during the fall. I watch a shitload of movies. I read lots of books about people being lost at sea. I promise myself that I'll get into Justified and then still fail to find time for it, which is inexcusable.

And even if RedZone Classic existed, I would still know that it's old, and that would turn me off. I hate old programming. I almost always pick shows based on maximum freshness. Once an episode of some TV has been in the DVR queue for more than a week, it becomes dead to me. And that's insane because who gives a shit when it aired, right? If it's good, it's good. And yet there's some sick desire within me to watch whatever program is the most NOW. Oh Jesus, ESPN HAS GOTTEN TO ME.

Jake:

Do you think we'll ever see an NFL team hang 100 in a game? I'm surprised Belicheck or a Harbaugh hasn't just picked a game against the Rams or someone at the beginning of the year and just decided they're going to do everything they can to get 100 in that game. As much of a long shot it is, I still think I'll see it happen in my lifetime. Sports media the next day will just be the absolute worst, I can't wait.

Even with the new rules in place to hamper defense, you'll never see it happen. No one has scored 70 points in an NFL game since 1966, and the fabled 70-burger has only happened three times in history. No one has come close to 80 points, much less 100. You'd have to score 15 touchdowns (or 14 plus a field goal) to make that happen, and NFL teams average only 12 possessions per game. There's simply not enough time. Plus, you and I both know that every time a team opens a game scoring at a torrid pace that they will inevitably flatten out, ruining your scoring boner.

When I was in college, I played EA Bill Walsh College Football all the time. You could score 100 in that game. Just run the triple option to the right for a TD, then onside kick, then triple option to the left for the TD. Scoring 100 points in that game NEVER got old. Ever. Every time I hit triple digits, I stood up and screamed, "FUCK YOU!" at the TV. I may have had issues.

Anyway, it'll never happen. And if it did, the NFL would go to great lengths to make sure it never did again because the backlash—not just from prisses bitching about running up the score, but also from purists complaining about the clear lack of defense—would be too awful to deal with.

This is why I still hold out hope that an NBA player can match Wilt and score 100 in a game. It's still feasible, right? Kobe got 81. If someone scored 100 points in an NBA game today, I would shit myself with excitement.

Jason:

ESPN is bored.

Which Sport Produces The Worst Parents?S

I'm telling you, they post graphics like that year round. They don't have to be bored to be terrible.


Walter:

Let's say your 2nd cousin is a supermodel like Kate Upton or Brooklyn Decker. Is it ok to fap to her? If not, how far down the family tree does one need permission to fap without feeling like a creep?

This is a fluid situation. If you're 15 years old and Brooklyn Decker is your cousin (even your FIRST cousin), no one's probably gonna fault you for feeling a bit funny in the pants. But if you're a 38-year-old guy and Kate Upton is your third niece once removed, you will feel like a fucking scumbag and no one will approve of what you're doing.

That's one bonus of being an awkward teenager: virtually all crushes are innocent and cute. Once you become a full-grown man, with hair sprouting out of your back and shit, you are a sexual predator who should be chained to a radiator. Not fair, frankly. Anyway, don't go masturbating to your relatives. That's a whole headache that you don't want. And don't go thinking that being related to Kate Upton will somehow improve your chances with her. That adds nothing to your upside.

Max:

Who would win if a team of just NFL kickers and punters (that means kickers/punters playing at QB, WR, DB, etc) played against the best high school football team from Alaska?

The NFL guys would obliterate the high school kids. You're talking about full-grown men versus schoolboys. And a lot of punters and kickers are fine athletes themselves. I'm not saying that just to toss Chris Kluwe's salad. I'm saying that, even though they play a peripheral role in the grand scheme of a football game, the average NFL kicker or punter is still pretty strong and fast. They'd run down Twig Palin with relative ease.

Mike:

So if you draw from the pool of talking heads of all the NFL pregame shows (FOX, CBS, NBC, NFL Network, ESPN), who do you pick for your starting five-man pregame show?

Five is way too many, as we've discussed before. You only need two people, three people at the most. I would take Rich Eisen and Deion Sanders. Deion's completely full of shit, and he uses the phrase "in the game" every four seconds ("Best cover corner IN THE GAME right now"), but I still like him better than most everyone else. Maybe Collinsworth if he's eligible for a studio slot. I don't mind Collinsworth. AND LENA DUNHAM. I WISH LENA DUNHAM WERE IN MORE PLACES.

Casey:

For most of my childhood I thought Colonel Sanders' western string tie in the KFC logo was actually his arms and legs (like a stick figure). What do you think?

Which Sport Produces The Worst Parents?

I may never stop laughing.


Email of the week time:

TS:

I was recently having dinner at a restaurant with a large group of people and one of my friends started choking on his food. Like, "about to die on top of a mountain of chicken-fried steak" choking. His wife, essentially screaming bloody murder, summoned my wife to help him since she works in the medical field, but she could barely wrap her arms around a 200+ pound man who at that point had almost gone limp in his chair. Thus, his life was left in my hands.

Have you ever attempted to give someone the Heimlich Maneuver? I've always assumed it to be a simple procedure that any idiot could perform half drunk and be immediately declared a hero. But that shit is not only hard, it is incredibly awkward - picture it as basically an aggressive humping of another dude from behind with his wife shrieking in the background and about forty gasping onlookers soaking it all in. After about fifteen giant heaves in his stomach, my friend declared that the food was actually stuck in his esophagus and not his trachea, and we could all resume our meal.

He later vomited an ungodly-sized piece of meat about three hours later. Chew your food and stop embarrassing me, asshole.

Agreed. There can't be a less dignified death than swallowing your food too quickly and then choking to death like a moron in front of a bunch of onlookers. Any time I'm in a restaurant, I always wonder if someone will start choking and if I'll get to save them, because that seems like such an easy avenue to heroism. You don't have to step in front of a bullet. You don't have to confront a terrorist. Just get the food out and suddenly you're Mr. Medal of Honor.

I wonder who gets dibs on a choking victim if two saviors arrive at the scene first. Does the guy who got there first call out, "I GOT IT!" like an outfielder? I'd hate to see that kind of tussle end with a fistfight while the victim turns blue and has a brain clot.

By the way, if you have kids, you will save them from choking at least once. They choke on things all the time. And if they aren't choking on things, they're LOOKING like they're choking on things. Babies look like they're gonna choke every six seconds and you have to jump up and be like, "OH FUCK ARE YOU CHOKING?!" when they're clearly still taking in air.

One time, I was in the car with my kid and she pulled a George Bush, choking on a pretzel in the backseat. I pulled over, reached down into her throat (NOTE: You are not supposed to do this, because it usually ends up pushing the food further down their windpipe), and pulled the offending piece out. The girl owes me her damn LIFE for that. I remind her daily. Don't give your kid pretzels when the car is in motion.