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Golf's Self-Congratulatory Rule-Keeping Is Dumb

Illustration for article titled Golfs Self-Congratulatory Rule-Keeping Is Dumb
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

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Why do pro golfers keep their own score? Obviously there are other people doing this throughout the tournament. Seems unnecessary.

Because keeping your own score means you have HONOR and MANFUL INTEGRITY. Golf still has its players keep their own score because it's one of the phony ways in which golf mythologizes itself. The logic is that, since golfers keep their own score, golfers are more honest than athletes who don't have to do likewise. Take this insane quote from Christine Brennan in the wake of Tiger's 2-shot penalty over the weekend:

Golf is a game that is played by the strictest set of rules, and is loved and admired for it. Woods' refusal to disqualify himself the moment he found out about his mistake forever changes his reputation, and the game's.


PUKE. Listen, anyone who loves golf because they love enforcing its arcane, byzantine rules is a lunatic. Never mind that athletes in other sports don't keep their own score because they're too busy RUNNING AND JUMPING AND PERFORMING ACTUAL FEATS OF ATHLETICISM to also whip out a little white pad and jot down who fouled whom. No, no, clearly basketball players are worse people than golfers. After all, nothing builds character like hanging around a country club for the first three decades of your life.

Golf perpetuates its elitist ideals because it's a product of the country club culture, where people pay dearly for the privilege of feeling as if they belong to a superior breed of human. Obviously, Christine Brennan must belong to a few of these joints if she thinks the game has such a sterling reputation. To anyone existing outside of that bubble, golf has a reputation for being elitist, racist, sexist, wasteful, expensive, and dickish—a game played by cheaters, liars, crooks, frauds, and brats. It has no more integrity than any other sport, and this little Tiger episode has forcefully demonstrated the disconnect between how golf people feel about their sport and the reality of how it's played and by whom. There are honest men in golf, just as there are in, I dunno, bowling. There are also cheats and scumbags in golf, and one of the things that makes golf an even WORSE sport is the fact that the people running the game try to put it on some kind of pedestal just because players have to turn in a scorecard.

They already have officials there to act as de facto referees, so it's not as if golf is THAT different. It only pretends to be. It would serve the sport better if they just let officials keep score and didn't maintain this "honor" system where people are worshipped merely for copping to their own petty little infractions. And since we're talking about the Masters, it's time once again to bring out the Jim Nantz quote to end all Jim Nantz quotes:

SI: Are there steroids in golf?

JN: I would be shocked if there's anybody in professional golf doing that. Shocked. You hear, "They're hitting it so far." But golfers are not cheats. The guys up on the pedestal in our sport play by the rules. That's unusual in our society. It's beautiful. SI: Not one guy using steroids?

JN: One guy can cause a scandal. The fans would be devastated. But there's not a scandal and there's not going to be one. We should not even breathe a hint of suspicion; it's a nonissue.


Jim Nantz is the worst.


What is the likelihood that you or someone you know has a friend in witness protection?


Extremely low. A simple search Google says that, since 1970, only 7,500 people have been placed in federal witness protection. Mathematically speaking, you are more likely to know someone who was born with six fingers than to be friends with a federally protected witness. Protecting people is expensive. It makes more sense from a budgetary standpoint to bring a witness in, assure him that he'll be fully protected by the authorities, and then keep NONE of your promises. Then he has to go back out into the world exposed, where he eventually gets run over by a contract killer driving a backhoe. As a taxpayer, I approve of such nonchalance.

Not that those facts should keep you from suspecting that EVERYONE in your neighborhood is secretly a mob turncoat. That's one of the joys of living among other people: to quietly suspect that they used to be contract killers and/or Russian double agents. I'm not letting a little thing like reality get in the way of me thinking that Miss Bushnell down the road lives here now because she saw Sammy the Bull gun down a rival on Long Island. Sometimes I worry that I myself will one day witness a mob hit. I'll be walking to the grocery store when YOWZA! There's a drug lord hopped up on bath salts robbing a milk truck. It could totally happen. And then I'll be forced to choose between being a coward and keeping my mouth shut, or taking the stand and jeopardizing the safety of both myself and my family. Would we even qualify for witness protection? Where would they send us? ARIZONA? I bet they send you to Arizona. Ninety percent of all Arizona residents are federal witnesses. I don't want to go there. I don't want to rename myself Frank McMurtry and work in a real estate firm. Fuck that. I'm turning chickenshit. Please keep that in mind if you are a drug lord who wants to commit a crime in front of me. No snitchin' here.



How long will it be until we see the first planned exposed breast or hear the first planned f-bomb on American network TV? I mean over in Europe there are tits galore on every major network and they don't even bat an eye at it. Damn our prude Puritan forefathers. I say it's no more than 20 years until we see ourselves some full frontal nudity on ABC.


Since the major broadcast networks use public airwaves, they're still subject to the FCC's standards for indecency. And I don't think the FCC, given its strict "We'll know you're a witch if you can swim!" policies, will likely ease up on those rules anytime soon. There will ALWAYS be tightasses in a American society, and they will always ruin the fun for everyone. You will only see classy breastiness on those networks for the time being, like when they decide to run Schindler's List without commercial interruption. The FCC can't say jack shit to Schindler's List nudity.

Of course, there's nothing keeping those big networks from deciding to STOP broadcasting over public airwaves. Just last week, Fox threatened to move its network over to cable if a web app were allowed to stream its content without their consent. If that happened, that would certainly help speed along the process, since cable networks don't have to play by the same set of rules. HOWEVAH, you should note that, despite the acceleration in raunchiness of basic cable programming, you STILL can't find a bare tit or an f-bomb. There are no boobs on Mad Men (Oh God, imagine if there were). The f-bombs on Louie still get bleeped, even while the word "pussy" doesn't. Cable networks rein in those things because they don't want to piss off advertisers, who will happily pull all their money if they get one angry letter from some old lady in Ohio. Meanwhile, people on The Walking Dead are eviscerated on a weekly basis and advertisers don't bat an eyelash. Nothing about this country makes a lick of sense.


Of course, 20 years from now, everything will probably operate on an on-demand model and the networks as you know them will cease to exist. Advertising money will dry up, and your average ABC show will have an operating budget of about $3. Should be exciting. Just be glad that TV is trending in the direction of more sex and swearing, because movies are headed in the exact opposite direction. Studios would rather fund a nine-hour shot of Vincent Gallo pumping gas than make an R-rated movie.


Let's say you weren't a good looking guy, but you just won an Oscar for something like 'Best Sound Editing' or 'Best Costume Design', not a famous 'Best Actor' type Oscar. How much tail do you think you could pull from that Oscar, and for how long? I think finding some hipster film student to put out would be easy, but could you make that last for 5 years?


If you're rocking the Edgar Winter hair like most of those sound effects guys do, who needs an Oscar? The hair itself is pussy bait, my friend. Anyway, you could probably find someone who will sleep with you merely for owning an Oscar statuette in a lesser-known category. Maybe you could milk it for a year or two. But think about what kind of desperate, craven creature you would wind up in bed with. Desperate show business people are REALLY desperate. They're like bus station people times 10. You're talking about falling into bed with someone who likely has the emotional maturity of Courtney Stodden and a face like Mickey Rourke. You're not gonna be proud of yourself the next morning. Best to find someone who will sleep with you for you, and not for your Cable ACE Award.


What's the proper etiquette for peeing in a toilet in one of those tiny bathrooms where anyone standing outside can hear everything going on in the bathroom? Do you pee silently into the side of the bowl or just go full stream into the water and let everybody hear it?


If I am alone in a room and the door is closed and locked, I don't really give a shit what's going on in the rest of the world. That room is now my plaything. So I think you should feel free to grunt, moan, fart, sneeze, whatever. It'll teach the person outside the bathroom that it's not polite to eavesdrop. Sometimes, if I'm waiting outside a bathroom, I'll try to listen to see if I can hear the person in there finishing up. Are they shitting? I think I heard a fart. That's likely a turd, right? Sometimes I hear the flush and think that my turn is close, but then I wait another five minutes and hear ANOTHER flush. What happened? What was going on there? Was this a jerk-and-shit? Once I hear the sink go on and the paper towel being yanked out of the dispenser, I know I'm close to paydirt. Anyone who loiters after washing his hands needs to learn some goddamn manners.


Hypothetically, if an 8-seed is playing a 1-seed in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and the 1-seed is up 3-0 in the series and the best player—say LeBron—on the 1-seed's team gets suspended for two games, would that team lose the next game on purpose to avoid not having that suspended player for Game 1 of the next round?


The only problem with that strategy—and I applaud its deviousness—is that you're gambling that you can win Game 5 handily even if you don't have LeBron. But if you lose that game because LeBron is out, then you're at Game 6 now and suddenly your plan doesn't look as shrewd. Because when you're up three games and then you drop the next two, the whole OH GOD WE'RE GONNA FUCKING CHOKE possibility comes into play. I dunno if it's worth the aggravation. Then again, by openly tanking Game 4, you're infuriating both David Stern AND Skip Bayless, possibly killing both men in the process. I approve.



If farts were visual (think octopus ink in water) but had no smell, Would people be more or less inclined to fart in public?


Less. A smelly fart is embarrassing, but I don't see how a cloud of purple mist shooting out of your asshole in front of everyone is any less embarrassing. At least with farts as they are, you can blame it on someone else. Or you can sit there quietly and pretend that no one thinks it was you when EVERYONE thinks it was you. For those of us who take fiber supplements, you're talking about walking around in public with a stream of fart cloud coming out of you CONSTANTLY. That's not sexy. I will take farts in their current form, thank you.


Where would the world be if humans could sleep for one night and that'd be sufficient for the week?


I'd like to think that it would make us a much more productive society ... that we'd invent the flying car twice as quickly as we would with our present physiology. But somehow, I don't think we'd use all that extra time wisely. We're not all Jon Gruden. We would eat and drink and shoot each other more. Humanity needs to take a breather every 12 hours to keep itself from fucking up the universe. Give people more time and they'll inevitably do stupid, pointless things with it. When I can't sleep at night, I don't get up and start working on nuclear combustion engines. I piss 90 times and fap twice. Or I come downstairs and look around on the Internet only to become horribly depressed because apparently NO ONE is on the Internet. Even if everyone else were up all night six nights a week, I'd still be bored senseless. Much better to just sleep a third of your life away.


Which song do you think people air guitar to the most often? My choice is usually "Money for Nothing," or something else 80's. Air drum, of course, is "In The Air Tonight".


It's "Stairway to Heaven." It has to be. It has everything you want in an air guitar song. It has slow, sensitive air guitaring. It has fast air guitaring. It has room for windmilling. It has complicated fretwork so that you can dazzle friends with how quickly you move your fingers. And it has enough moments where you can strum really HARD, where you can just bring that right hand down like a sledgehammer to let people know you mean business. Play it enough times on air guitar and you will think you look like GOD while air guitaring it:

I'd also choose a Rolling Stones track as the runner-up, something like "Satisfaction" or "Brown Sugar." I have to think the Stones were the first-ever band to be air guitared to. Someone a long time ago heard "Satsifaction" and was probably like, "God, this riff is so fantastic! I just ... I GOTTA PLAY IT IN THE AIR (starts invisi-strumming)." I think we all owe whoever started the whole phenomenon a debt of gratitude.


By the way, I think "Enter Sandman" is also a fine air guitar track. Any song that has one simple riff that you can pound into oblivion is always fun on the air guitar. DUNNNNN dun dun dun DUN dun-DUN dun dun dun DUN! FUCKING ROCK 'N' ROLL, PEOPLE.


Do animals hold in farts like us humans?

It's unlikely. I suppose if a male chimpanzee is a courting a lady chimp that he might hold a fart in, because chimps are kind close to humans. But I doubt it. Chimps smell fucking awful. What comes out of their ass is almost an improvement over their general BO. I don't see why they'd suddenly turn all shy after throwing their shit around and cannibalizing each other all day.


The only other scenario where I could see an animal holding in a fart is if they don't want to alert predators. Like, if you're a gazelle and you know there's a lion stalking you, you're probably not gonna want to blow your ass out right then and give the lion a good idea of where you are (imagine if animal farts were visible!). Maybe that would be the one time an animal would play coy with flatulence. After all, we have to have developed the ability to hold our farts in from somewhere, yes? That skill must serve some kind of important use out in the jungle. I know I'd feel like a moron if I got eaten by a tiger simply because I couldn't hold it in.


If you could only have one letter of your music library which would it be? So, if you choose A you get AC/DC, A$AP Rocky, Animal Collective, etc. but nothing else.


I assume that T does NOT get you all bands that start with "The," because then the choice would be relatively easy. I also assume that, if you go by individual artist, you get the first letter of their FIRST name, the way iTunes does it. That would leave you with a host of choices:

• A, for the reasons Ned stated above

• B, which gets you the Beatles, Bruce, the Black Keys, Bob Marley, etc.

• M, which gets you Metallica, Madonna, Mastodon, My Morning Jacket, all Michaels (Jackson, McDonald, BOLTON)


• R, which gets you the Stones AND Radiohead

• S, which gets you Sara Barielles! OOH SARA BAREILLES WON'T WRITE YOU A LOVE SONG


• T (Tesla, Tribe, TV on the Radio, TOTO)

Or you can choose Y, which gets you virtually nothing. I think B probably has the most going for it, except for the fact that—Keys aside—I'm sick of pretty much all of those artists. Rolling Stone magazine just runs a rotation of those people on their cover every fucking year. It's awful. You should basically choose your letter based on the one band you can't live without. Everyone has that ONE band that they slobber over and horde the B-sides to. Mine, of course, is the Pet Shop Boys. P FOR ME GANG.



A friend of mine is in law school and used Adderall to help him focus while writing a paper. Like any normal human being, he would play Temple Run during his shit breaks. During one of said shit breaks, he proceeded to absolutely CRUSH my high score on Temple Run. Before this historic game we had gone back and forth on our high scores, beating each other by maybe a few hundred thousand points. On Adderall, he dropped 19 million on me, besting my high score by 7 million.

I imagine this is what dead Roger Maris felt like after the 1998 season. Do we give his high score an asterisk? Now that he's broken the PED-seal, can I pull a Barry Bonds and juice up just to break the record? Where do we draw the line? Do herbal supplements like Ginseng also go on the iPhone Game banned substance list? Finally, how long until this gets debated by Skip and Stephen A on First Take?


I think all is fair in the realm of substance abuse and gaming. No children's innocence will be shattered by discovering that your friend's Temple Run score was tainted. You do what you have to do to get into that Temple Run "zone," where you can sense the turns and obstacles even before they happen. This happens for me if I drink enough Bushmill's.

I say you should one up your friend by taking Adderall AND cocaine before your next shit break. You may finally break through and reach the end of the run. When I was hooked on Temple Run (I have since detoxed), I imagined that the gamemakers secretly embedded an end to the game that comes only after you reach a truly impossible number of points and have attained every powerup, including dropping 25,000 on that football player guy. Get to a billion points, and you finally make it to a finish line with buxom women cheering and a digital coupon for a free iPad as your reward. That's how Temple Run hooks you. You are truly chasing the dragon.



Why have they not genetically altered lemons to stop having seeds? I want to be able to guzzle my iced tea without worrying that I'm going to get a seed lodged in my esophagus. Has BIG FRUIT dropped the ball on this one?


They have. I've bought lemons that are ALL seeds. Just seed after seed after fucking seed. Every time I think I've dug the last of the fuckers out, I squeeze it onto my bagel and lox and a handful of rogue seeds come flying out. Seeds RUIN lemons and oranges. Whenever I buy a bunch of clementines and they turn out to be seeded, I think I am owed a thousand dollars in punitive damages.

I'm sure they have genetically altered seedless lemons (some lemons are also naturally seedless), but they never mention this on the label. It's always a roll of the dice. It's bullshit.


(TIP: Before you squeeze a lemon wedge, take a knife and make a couple of cuts in the juicy part before you squeeze. You'll never get an eye-squirt again. O AN HE FANCY.)


How many domestic house cats would it take to kill a adult human?

I assume these are feral, aggressive cats, not the usual passive-aggressive cats who only WANT you dead, but are always too lazy to act on it. Being killed by a group of cats would be a literal death by a thousand cuts, since cats would have to wear you down with small bites and scratches. I think an even 50 could probably do the job. Even if you were fit and strong, you'd still be terrified that a horde of sociopathic animals was trying to kill you. You'd be too busy being like OH MY GOD SO MANY FUCKING ANGRY CATS that they would have a slight initial advantage. It would be like being devoured by rats. Only somehow more annoying. God I hate cats.


Email of the week time. It's a GREAT MOMENT IN POOP HISTORY.

Old Shitty Hand:

A few weeks ago, I was in Haiti on a medical mission trip thing with some coworkers. There were 15 of us staying in a mission house with one working toilet. I generally have pretty impressive intestinal fortitude and had been feeling pretty good about not getting sick after a little over 2 weeks in country. However, on our last night there, while the group was debriefing about the trip in the common/dining area I suddenly had the onset of one of the most urgent cues to defecate that I'd ever felt in my life—instant onset of sweating, cramping, and for some reason, the sensation that someone was squeezing my testicles in a vice. I was convinced that this was the herald of some severe diarrhea, and I knew that I couldn't hold out until the end of debriefing. So, I got up and made my way around the table to the bathroom.

Since the bathroom was right off the common area, there probably wasn't much doubt in anyone's mind about what I was going to do. But I was uncomfortable enough and sure enough that I was about to crap my pants as to not care. I made it to the bathroom, and much to my relief, there was no diarrhea, just a normal, soft turd. (Still not sure why it was so urgent.) I wiped up and put the paper in the trash can. (Because septic systems in developing countries can't handle toilet paper, so there's just a bin full of shitty paper next to the toilet, which is pretty awful anyway.)

Having finished, I was feeling a whole lot better on a lot of levels. Then I flushed. Some of the poop went down but most of it didn't. "Not a big deal," I thought and waited for the tank to refill—agonizingly slowly given the circumstances with 14 people outside the door knowing now without a doubt what I was doing. The tank filled, and I flushed again. The turd spun weakly around the bottom of the bowl for awhile and then popped up again. 3rd flush. Still there. 4th flush. The turd was sort of battered but no less present.

I was with coworkers. I couldn't really strut out of the lone bathroom and leave a mangled poop floating in the toilet. I was rather panicked by the time I noticed the open window above the toilet, and a frenzied idea formed in my brain. I had never been on that side of the house and didn't know what was below the window. I tried to look down from the second story window, but I couldn't see what was below. This was due to the dark and the fact that the window only opened in horizontal pivoting slats with about 6 inches of clearance between each one and the vertical bar outside the window. I looked around the bathroom for something with which to scoop the poop, but there was nothing that would work.

Finally I reached with my right hand into the toilet, grabbed the poop, and slung it out the window, somehow managing to miss both the window slats and the bars. I heard the shit splat on a hard surface below. I went back out into the common room and tried to play it cool. I'd estimate I was in the bathroom for 5 to 7 minutes total, but I felt like everyone was staring at me and knew my secret. No one said anything, and I went about packing to get home, though I did use hand sanitizer no fewer than 15 times that night.

The day after we got back home, we got an email from the group leader saying that the manager of the mission house had contacted him and said that the neighbor had complained that someone had thrown what appeared to be human feces (not sure how they knew it was human) out of the second floor bathroom window and onto the table in their backyard. The neighbor and the mission organization were obviously upset and had said that our group was not welcome to return. The group leader thought and apology and explanation might help to smooth things over.

Because I'm a poop-slinging coward, there was no way that I was admitting to my indiscretion and was just going to act like I knew nothing about it and go on with my cowardly ways. However, within a few hours, we got another email saying that someone had stepped forward and it was all taken care of. So, now I know how the second gunman must have felt when the Warren Commission announced that Oswald was found to have acted alone.


Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at You can also order Drew's new book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

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