Welcome back to Dead Letters, the feature in which we reprint our favorite fan mail from throughout the week. It's like Deleted Scenes, but without all the scuzz money. We should take this moment to remind you that all emails to Deadspin and its editors are on the record unless otherwise specified. Now for your letters.
Subject: The Hater's Guide to Drew Magary
From: Pat in Chicago
To: Drew Magary
The Hater's Guide to Drew Magary
Drew Magary, like countless other college football fans, is a hater. He's said so himself.
I love watching college football. If it had a playoff, it would be the perfect sport. It has everything you need: asshole coaches, shady boosters, drunken girls with big cans, and HATE. Tons and tons and tons of unbridled hate. Schools hating schools. States hating states. Towns hating towns. They don't even know why they hate each other so much, but they do! If you knew why you hated something, that means you'd have more trouble justifying it to yourself. And I don't like the idea of that at all. I like that hate to go unquestioned, free roam and burn as it pleases.
Magary's bread and butter is hating shit. Shit that most people like. He abhors so-called "front-runners" (usually correctly so) and things he deems unnecessarily or overly popular. Funny enough, for someone who's made a career out of hating so many things that the majority of the population likes, Drew sure hasn't found a problem with eating – an activity that almost the whole world enjoys. Because the truth is that Drew Magary is the blogger for people who don't like anything, especially forming their own opinions. In this latest spewing of vitriol, Magary comes across, at worst, a meathead ("Brady Quinn in a homoerotic pose!!") or, at best, Rick Reilly with better jokes (and swears in all CAPS!). Actually, at worst, he comes across like Mark May. Mark May is the fucking triple worst. Magary, like most haters, is in danger of choking on his own scorn whilst spewing the same tired bullshit. Hey guys, chill the fuck out. Don't let the hate consume you. Usually the hate feeds those whom you hate upon—like Vigo the Carpathian and the river of slime in Ghostbusters II.
Let me say that I am a fan of Magary's. I read him whenever I can. I even bought his book, The Postmortal, attended a reading of said book and subsequently bought him a shot at a bar on Chicago's North Side. Truth be told: Drew suggested that we do lemon drops.
Let me also say that I am a lifelong Notre Dame fan and proud alumnus. I'm not a blogger, nor do I write about sports, pop culture or masturbating. I leave that to the pros, like Magary. The Hater article is true to Drew and true to his stance on college football. In fact, posts like this are usually a welcome break from ZOMG BIG SPIDER revelations & posts composed primarily of things written by other people. It actually included some nice burns.
However, most of the barbs hold up about as well as Magary's vertebrae. Magary says that ND in the BCS title game fulfills some "hype-driven prophecy." What prophecy is this? What hype? For the last few years, media outlets went out of their way to question Notre Dame's relevance (counterproductively making them relevant) and to say that Notre Dame would no longer be a legitimate contender. Like that was a stretch – ND deserved all the criticism it got for underperforming and disappointing. The hype has been dulled for more than a few years now, only reemerging this season because they won all their fucking games.
At any rate, I felt the need to respond. Here is my own Hater's Guide to Drew Magary:
ACC: There's a marked difference between being "too chickenshit" to join a "real conference" and adapting to maintain your program's competitive advantage. Is it about money? Absolutely it is. This is driving every other move you've seen in the college football landscape over the last few years. Notre Dame's popularity gives it leverage, used wisely to increase revenue, which helps boost the endowment and fund countless other athletic programs, academic scholarships, missionary works and important research at the University. For shame, ND, having what every school wants and using it to your benefit.
Boston College: Rudy sucked, but he would have started at BC. I didn't make that up, but I like it. Oh, how you must hate Notre Dame, Drew, to even consider shedding even a glimmer of positive light on Boston. Dare I say front-runner? Go buy a Red Sox hat with a shamrock on it, you fucking Boston-loving front runner!! Seems aggressive, right? Well it should.
Caps Lock: do you have this on more than you have it off? Prior to yelling at your kids, do you say to yourself "Caps Lock," and then lay down the hammer? Just to make sure the emphasis hits home? Do you then grouse about how much energy that extra thought expelled?
Dadspin: Speaking of fatherhood, do more of these. They're funny and honest and rarely do they troll.
End Zones: This was a stretch for Magary, I think. No one is trying to fool anyone here, just an attempt to stick with traditional end zone stripes. Being a successful program has nothing to do with what's in the Goddamn end zone, nor does the gold in the helmets. There are flecks of gold in there. Flecks. This is tantamount to accusing someone of being haughty if they order a shot of Goldschlager. It tastes like burning! Tennessee's end zone is checkered, for Christ's sake.
Funbag: There is no significant difference between this and the Sports Guy's Mailbag. Magary and the Sports Guy have a similar shtick. And he's from Boston. And works for ESPN.
Golden Tate: Or should the G be for GGGGGGlorrryyy Boyyy?? Are you telling me he celebrates his touchdowns? Screw that guy. Wait, where was he drafted? And there absolutely is a more annoying player and his name is Clay Matthews and I hate him.
Holtz: Lay off the old man, Magary. Great speech-impediment burn, by the way. Though I cannot argue with the fact that Lou does look like a small-town pharmacist, I would like to point out that this observation is coming from a man who looks like this:
Which has been described as a cross between The Greatest American Hero:
and this artist's rendering of Lenny from Of Mice and Men:
Inconsistency: Magary said he's never been to Notre Dame, but goes on to call the stadium shitty. You know, I've never had sex, but it seems yucky. What makes it shitty? The fact that they now give out pre-packaged nacho cheese instead of scooping it out of a huge vat of delicious orange glop? That sure doesn't help. But, really, what does Magary know of the stadium? I know many non-ND fans that've enjoyed the shit out of a game there. One guy in particular, a good friend, actually. Magary would like him. His name is Vitas. In all seriousness, I am extending an invite to Magary to attend the home opener in '13. I'll supply the ticket and the tailgate. I would ask that he bring a seat cushion as people will get real tired, real fast hearing about his bum spine.
Jamboroo: I can't stand [NFL commentator] with his [accent] and his [trite saying]. You're correct Magary; no one can stand these people. Honestly, I don't think you would be able to perform better given that a) I've heard you read, b) see picture above and c) it's hard to remain on the air for long when you can only describe certain players as "retarded" or "cocksuckers." Or both.
Knute Rockne: all that you gleaned from the article you linked was that Rockne was a "shameless self-promoter?" What about almost leaving for another job that paid more money? What coach would do that? As for shameless self-promoting, Magary should reference his Twitter feed, where he links to own articles 2x a day, when he's not linking to articles about bacon.
Liar: Or at least, exaggerator. Notre Dame plays Navy every year and, on occasion Army & Air Force. What's wrong with reaching out to the service academies? They do not play Air Force multiple times per year, that is silly and, for the record, I would be against that. Also, who gives a shit? These are FBS schools. Alabama played 2 directional schools and & Florida Atlantic this year. Georgia opened with Buffalo (a college) and played Georgia Southern & Florida Atlantic (gluttons for punishment) down the stretch. Football Outsiders has ranked the schedules of Alabama & Georgia as the easiest in the SEC. Notre Dame played zero non-FBS teams.
Mike Golic: I'll admit I enjoyed the According to Jim reference, well played. That show was terrible (or is terrible, if it's still on). Relies on overused, tasteless jokes, in my opinion. Can't wait to get some of that good stuff, like guys fapping it at work or, I don't know, guys pooping at work. Classic, Monty Python-level humor, fellas.
Just kidding. Magary would usually post a YouTube video of Hüsker Dü here. I like to call his Halftime "half second of scrolling down." Nothing against the band, but Magary should Dü himself a favor here and just stop it. Hey, look at Bob Mould here on the right:
He also kind of looks like Magary! Not intended as an insult. Just Düing some research and came across this photo. I like "If I Can't Change Your Mind" by Mould w/ Sugar. Got it on the old iPod.
NDNation: I'm not a fan of message boards. I get the attraction, but feel like they are a waste of time and usually overpopulated with morons. That being said, there's nothing wrong with taking pride in your school or defending the team you're a fan of. I can't tell you with certainty where Magary attended college, but I will bet that Bumblefuck University's football team does not have a fan run website.
Old: Yes, old people root for Notre Dame. Also, old people root for EVERY OTHER TEAM IN THE COUNTRY (Oh my Jesus, the emphasis. Feels so strong.) True, a full generation out there has never experienced true Notre Dame greatness. Hell, this team is all kids from that generation. It's really impacted recruiting, right? Except that it hasn't – top athletes who don't give a shit about waking up the echoes come to Notre Dame for the top tier facilities, national exposure, high-ranked education, post-grad networking and, yeah, sometimes to wake up some fucking echoes. Notre Dame's recruiting classes consistently rank in the top 5. I'm unsure why Magary would want to live in the past. I would say that's a Hüsker Don't. Know what else old people like? Hüsker Dü! They broke up in '87. Notre Dame won a championship after that. Quit living in the past, man.
Postmortal, The: I bought and read Magary's book and, for the most part, enjoyed it, aside from obvious flaws. Dystopian future? No author has thought of that! Plus, the storytelling seems borrowed from World War Z. The Onion's AV Club reviewed it pretty well – a B+ from Kevin McFarland, despite the fact that it is "clichéd" and "cribs liberally from The Road." But, hey, B+! Not bad! Seems like high praise from The AV Club's McFarland, who usually only gives good reviews to "The Family Guy," a show about a loud, overweight, boorish moron who overeats and frequently abuses alcohol. Oh. There it is.
Quinn, Brady: I will take this time to defend Quinn a bit. Great college career, has had multiple setbacks / failings in the NFL. Magary, in his Guide, links to some dated photos of Quinn and his early twenty-year-old guy friends, with their hands on each other's junk. So, these kids thought it was funny, not a big deal. Magary went to prep school. He's done worse, I will assure you. And I bet there is photo documentation. Magary is lucky these haven't found their way to the web. Actually, we are probably all lucky they haven't.
Rudy: Yes, Rudy is annoying and players like him are annoying. Probably as annoying as 3rd string tackles at a DIII school. Is Magary saying that portions of Rudy are fake? Made-up, even? In a movie? In an inspirational sports movie? No. Way. I don't care to hear his thoughts on Space Jam, thank you much.
Southern Cal: Magary claims to hate this rivalry, along with all other Notre Dame rivalries because he believes they are contrived by Notre Dame. He then listed in-state or bordering state rivalries that "matter more." I think it's safe to say that every team on Notre Dame's schedule gets fired up to play that game, even if it's not a competitive matchup. I agree that proximity helps breed rivalries. So does history. It's remarkable that Notre Dame can claim & maintain rivalries with teams across the country. Poll the opposing players about "ACTUAL rivalries" and see who they want to beat most.
To that end, this year's ND-USC game was also the most-watched regular-season college football game since 2006, the most-viewed ABC Saturday night game ever, the fifth-most-watched regular-season game involving any teams on any network since at least 1991 and the most-watched regular-season game not involving a 1-vs.-2 matchup since 1991. (Ratings figures prior to 1991 are unavailable.) I think a good Notre Dame just might be a boon for college football as a whole, after all.
Theismann, Joe: I'm with Magary here—I can't believe that anyone would change their name, or even be forced to change their name as a young person looking for a foothold or edge. Take Magary for instance, given that most Magary's in the US claim Irish heritage, it's likely that this name is a bastardized version of Mc-Something. I'm sure Magary's name was changed because it looks cooler that way.
Uncharged: A low blow and unnecessary to get his point across. Magary's reference to a now-dead girl who had alleged sexual assault against a Notre Dame football player was absolutely dripping with smarm. Magary does not know all the facts, most people do not, me included. This is a black eye for the University, if indeed Notre Dame was lax in its handling of the situation, and a permanent source of anguish for a family still reeling at the loss of the young girl.
Victory March: to quote Magary: "Barf." The Victory March is no worse than Wisconsin's 5th Quarter, O-H-I-O, Hawaii's tribal dance or any helmet sticker. At the very least, Magary got to show, in this one line, the literary genius he has become. Barf, indeed, Magary. Barf, indeed.
Weis, Charlie: Not much to argue with when it comes to Magary's point. Weis had a good year, was foolishly rewarded with a gaudy extension and subsequently proved himself to be a poor college coach. Can't blame the fan base though, for getting excited about a start like that. Did you see that USC game? Did you fucking see it? It was incredible. Retroactively, it was a win, too because of the whole Reggie Bush debacle. Also, for the record, all ND's Heisman winners have been able to keep the trophy and the honor (fully aware of how long it's been since the last winner).
X-Factor: I struggle with this question a few times a week: Will Magary's article today contain a story about killing a bat or killing a cockroach? This is the X-Factor in Magary's posts and usually brings the post home on a good note—that being a portion NOT written by Magary himself.
Years: It's been years since Notre Dame football was in the conversation. As a fan, it's good to have them back.
Zero: the amount of credence you should put into Magary's last list item. Therein, he describes Notre Dame as a "gaudy program that has an elephant-sized blind spot to its own wretched taste." Again, I point out that Magary primarily blogs about shitting, uses hundreds of words to discuss whether or not it is weird to fuck your cousin and loves Mastodon. He is now Captain Appropriate when it comes to taste? I hope, much as Magary hopes for all sorts of tragedy to befall Notre Dame (losing 75 percent of their games!), that Notre Dame remains in contention year in and year out. Eventually, it would become passé to write about hating Notre Dame and Magary could focus on the important things NOM NOM ZOMG LEBRON YANKEES FUCKING CHOPPED BOURDAIN GOING OUT TO DINNER GRUDEN.
But, yeah, fuck the Yankees.
Subject: Notre Dame, Zap Gun, and Gifs
From: Colin Gilbert
To: Drew Magary
Wednesday, November 28th, You Know Well Which Year
Attention: Drew Magary
I visited your Deadspin website after a colleague made me aware that you had written a most vile and foul article on the Notre Dame football team which I am a fan of. I confess, it made me just the slightest bit angry. I then navigated through the rest of that website, and the blood pressure dropped to its normal level. I have not often visited blogs, as they are filled with the poorly written thoughts of idiots. Yours is no different. As a matter of fact, most of the content on your site is made of gifs with a three sentence explanation filled with expletives on why we should be watching said gifs, and very little writing at all. The youtube videos of poor people getting into fights is a very nice touch as well. Kudos for being employed by such a fine literary establishment. Your work certainly raises the intellectual and moral level of mankind in its very fiber and sinew. What good use you are making of your writing 'talent'. But wait!
I then discovered that you had written for a number of other publications including a host of other blogs and the literary powerhouse, Penthouse. Its not quite the Paris Review, but still... good for you. Was it the forum? Probably not. That is for hacks and not classically trained authors or important essayists like yourself. Perhaps you wrote the Penthouse readers a heartfelt piece on your mentor, Philip K. Dick, whose award you have received. Again, very nice. "The Dick" as it must be called in Science Fiction circles, must be a very prestigious award. Did you receive the award at their annual meeting at a Denny's restaurant? Is part of the award a free pancake breakfast? Or was there a lump sum payout to ensure you had enough bread in your belly to offer us another such riveting and important novel as "The Postmortal"? I see your mentor, Mr. Dick, penned such masterpieces as "Zap Gun", "The Man Who Japped", and "Vulcan's Hammer." I have not read these pieces, nor yours, but imagine they must be very impressive works. Timeless, perhaps.
I noted that there are 127 copies of your novel available in used condition for $3.71 on the Internet. The initial printing must have been no more than 300 copies. Certainly you secured at least 20 for yourself. Then there are the 5 people from The Philip K Dick society who cherish their signed copy, leaving 148 human beings out there who have yet to crack your groundbreaking novel of the never before-written-premise of immortality, for if they had, they too would be re-selling it on amazon dropping the price from 3.71 to "Free - 1/2 price shipping". Did you hope it would become a movie? Awww. Drew. I hate to tell you, but I think you'll be writing for blogs for the rest of your days, spreading your foul brand of idiocy through the Internet wasteland, where nincompoops abound, including yourself.
With visceral malice and the slightest sense of pity,
Subject: ND Hater Article
From: Tommy Moore
To: Drew Magary
Dear Mr. Magary:
It is always nice to see an article where someone gets so upset about personal bias influencing the media coverage of a sports team, and then see that same author suffer from the same serious personal bias in that author's own arguments.
More specifically, I would like to discuss how you bash Notre Dame's football schedule (the only relevant on-field argument you made in your article). It was great to hear about how you are upset that ND plays Air Force every year (oh wait, they don't). Just for clarification, ND plays Navy every year (and didn't play Air Force this year). For starters, this "rivalry" game is the longest uninterrupted series in college football. But based on your article, I do not think arguing about tradition will carry much weight with you. So let me try integrity. The reason ND plays Navy every year is because during WWII, Navy essentially gave ND money to keep ND financially afloat. In return, ND has extended a standing invitation to play Navy every year. While I contend, this sort of act of integrity should be cherished, I can see you still discounting this argument because it is tangentially related to tradition. So let me try another integrity argument that relates more to modern times. ND is the first football program to be both ranked number one in graduation success and in the BCS.
But I digress, so let's circle back to your original argument about ND's Independence. It seems that you are inferring that ND wants to stay independent, so that they can continue to play a soft schedule. Even if that was the case, I still think a game against a service academy is better than the DII schools that the SEC piles up each year. But let's still dig a little deeper here.
For starters, even w/ playing Navy (not Air Force), ND's 2012-13 football schedule was said to be the toughest in the nation. Here Here and Here. But let's be honest, the Big Ten has really rolled over this year, so maybe the schedule was not as hard as originally anticipated. However, looking back at our schedule ND finished the regular season beating 9 bowl eligible teams. By comparison Georgia played 4 (less than half) and Alabama played 5 (a little more than half). The SEC has done well recently in the BCS Championship game, but this is more a product of the entire league (for the most part) refusing to play tough games outside of its conference (credit Alabama for playing MI this year and destroying them). If you have a problem, with ND playing service academies but choose to ignore the difficult teams ND beat this year (Stanford, Oklahoma, MI & USC), please spend some of your time getting after the SEC.
In summary, I understand you may hate some of the players, traditions, and "rivalries" that ND plays. But the truth of the matter is that your article comes down to an argument about how much you despise the personal bias that people feel benefits ND on the plus side. However, when it comes to the only critique about ND's on field performance this year, your article suffers from the same personal bias. This makes you a hypocrite.
Also, feel free to take this argument with a grain of salt because Taylor Swift is awesome (but screw the Yankees).
To: Drew Magary
You're a fucking scum bag!!
I had to research you a little after I read your hack article on the buffalo bills. Not sure what prompted you to write such a shitty pice but I sure would like to know. And, your experiences in the city that led to all the negativity. Maybe at one point you received an ass whooping from some of our horrible fans? Maybe one out us fucked you girl/wife/mom or boyfriend? In any case I would like to know. I'm just a interested fan seeking an answer and wishing at some point we cross paths so we could chat. But I'm guessing from your picks your a Internet tough guy.
Hope to hear back soon
Sent from my iPhone
Subject: R Budd Dwyer
From: Tj Ujazdowski
To: The Staff
although I normally enjoy Foodspin, what the fuck has been going on these last two weeks?
did Al die? Did you replace him with a fucking Inuit tribe elder who has had his taste buds surgically removed due to the fact he eats fucking polar bear seamen to supplement his protein intake due to the fact that he cant survive on tree bark and whale testicles alone?
you should have started this weeks column as such:
"ahhhhh Thanksgiving, its a time for drunken family arguments over "lifestyle" choices, and an abundance of food that is totally awesome.
yet we at Foodspin believe we should find the three least appetizing thanksgiving menu items, and post recipes to them, trying to widen the normal Deadspin readers narrow pallate."
really, candied motherfucking yams? fuck me green beans?.... come on yams arent even big boy adult food. just because the good folks over at Gerber can that shit for babies, doesn't make it fucking edible.
with the available items such as potatoes cooked 6,000 ways (all good).... you choose candied yams, which even if served out of Scarlet Johansons asshole would still be terrible...
do me a favor, look up R Budd Dwyer... and go do that...
Subject: Embarrassing Article
From: Andrew Mele
To: Drew Magary
The Dear Fireman Ed article you wrote was just embarrassing and classless. I'm not a Jets fan, but Fireman Ed is right about society getting worse. And when your as loyal to a team as he was you can say and do what you want. Who are you to tell him to F off? Horrible article and I'm embarrassed for you.
Subject: bullying fans
From: d T
To: The Staff
You should take on the name of dead beats or dead heads, because people are not amused
by your singling out fans to bully and make fun of for all the world to see.
Put your own ugly mugs on the world wide stage for people to ridicule and see how you like it.
You should be sued and reported. oh yeah, you are.
Subject: [no subject]
To: Drew Magary
Hey Drew, you're a fucking fag. Your shitty article about Whitley was schizophrenic as fuck. You implied he was racist, but did it in a tongue and cheek enough manner to make it look like you weren't serious (because that would have be retarded). Sorry I can't share in your impotent rage.
He wrote from the same point of view people at the DOD had when they decided you can't be an officer in the US Military with tattoos. Mild xenophobia at best.
In all seriousness though, he probably lynched those two black girl's he "adopted." Someone should look into that, do an investigative report or something. I need closure!
From: Mike Lee
To: Drew Magary
Newsflash: there are lots of white guys with tattoos in San Quentin and the rest of society ... stop pulling the race card out from the bottom of the deck every time you disagree with a column. Time to grow up, Drew. Not everything has a sexual, racial or crude slant. Reading Deadspin, I get the feeling that is all you guys think about. It is weak, boring and an Animal House mentality. Yawn.
Subject: Your column
From: Jim Cove
To: Drew Magary
I just read your column on Deadspin and I couldn't disagree with you more. First, I'm a black man. Second, I'm so sick and tired of every time someone speaks or writes against something a black person does we automatically play the "racism" card. I read the column you were referring to and I saw NOTHING racist about it. If anything it was inkist. While I'm a libertarian about anyone wearing tattoos, I personally don't like them. I think inking one's body is distasteful, regardless of race. If there was a white quarterback that was inked up and someone wrote column condemning those tattoos, what would you write then?
The bigger issue is this trend in the media to make everything a game of race. If black people wish to be considered equals (and we do), we also have to be free to be criticized. Yet you in the media continue to try to shelter black people from criticism by attacking criticizers as racists. All that does is make black people out to be thin-skinned crystal dolls.
Please stop perpetuating this victim mentality. We black people are not thin-skinned victims. Speak out when there is REAL racism. Expressing an opinion about someone having tattoos is hardly the equivalent of Bull Connor using dogs and fire hoses on children marching for civil rights.
From: Will Monson
To: Drew Magary
Your misguided view of this article is the only thing here that's racist. He didn't say "blacks with tattoos". He just said tattoos.
Black people are not the only people that can get tattoos and/or end up in prison, you know.
This is all on you, Drew. You're assuming he's talking about black people, and you're making a non-racist issue into a racist issue. Yes, he's an asshole for being prejudiced against people with tattoos and making assumptions that people with tattoos are criminals, but that's all this article really is. Is it a pointless and demeaning article? Hell yes! But it wasn't racist until YOU made it racist!
I pray that there is another high-profile writer out there – with the fan-base and ability to word it (much) better than me – writing an article that will do to you what you're doing to David Whitley. You're attempting to criminalize him, marking him a racist, when you are clearly more racist than he is. Maybe he is a bad writer with poor taste... but from what I can tell, he's not racist. He just doesn't like tattoos (which is a far cry from saying "he just doesn't like blacks").
From: Michael Moes
To: The Staff
Sent from my iPhone
Subject: Tom Jackson
From: Joe Fano
To: Sean Newell
You are an Idiot. You call that a bizarre tangent? Obviously you do not watch sports much. That was a statement which he said does not mean much. A tangent? Get a clue buddy
From: J. Barry
To: The Staff
I really try. Have not even chuckled at any of the posts....and I think Drew is awesome..so I like cussing and dick jokes. Homeboy is not funny or informative. Bet Denton blows in his gullet for some front page access.
Sent from my iPad