I Think I Could Ski Jump

Illustration by Sam Woolley/GMG

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re talking Olympic boning, poopy undies, phone tag, and more. 


Your letters:


What sport ranks highest on the “harder than it looks” scale? I’m realizing the Winter Olympics are full of them. I can hardly stay upright on skates but speed skating is on the TV right now and boy does it look effortless.

I was gonna answer luge, because every time I watch luge I think to myself, “Hey, that looks easy! I’d do that! I bet it’s fun! THAT GUY’S ONLY IN THE OLYMPICS BECAUSE HE GREW UP NEAR LAKE PLACID!” before stopping for a moment and considering the possibility that taking a run down a luge track is an exercise in sheer terror, with one false twitch of my little toe leaving me shorn in two and dead in the fucking chute. And I don’t like the idea of craning my neck to see where I’m going. That’s a real bitch!

But then again, writers have done it and lived. Therefore, luge is the yachting of the Winter Olympics, where in it CAN be done in a leisurely fashion but, at the highest levels, actually requires a degree of rigor I’d prefer to avoid. People think curling looks easy too but I can tell you I already know I’d throw my back out trying to do that frantic sweeping shit they do. Also, notice how they never accidentally kick the stone as it’s traveling down the ice. I would kick that stone 90 times, and then scrape my own foot with the broom.

So I guess I’ll agree with Eric and say speed skating. I watch speed skating I’m always like, “They should skate faster.” A speed skater always looks so CASUAL with one hand behind his back, like he’s a waiter delivering a tray of soup to you. Meanwhile he’s actually going 40 mph strapped to a pair of machetes. Real trick of the eye there.

The real question is… which Olympic sport is EASIER than it looks? And I think the answer to that is ski jumping. I think I could ski jump. I know ski jumping looks death-defying on TV, but they give you tracks down the ramp, plus you get big freakshow skis to help with the landing. Plus you got the gravitivity and the polarity on your side. I bet I could do it. I believe I could jump 100 feet down a mountain if I BRACE MYSELF properly.


I mean, I would NEVER do it in a million years. But I think if I practiced leaning really far forward enough, I could ski jump and only tear, like, six ligaments. I jumped on a little bump with my skis once and got SICK AIR. This seems fairly similar. Also, did you know they practice ski jumping by doing it into a pool first? Look at THIS. Goddamn that looks fun. Let me train with the summertime jump pool, and I’ll land on my feet eventually. Snow IS water, you know. People forget that.

For an opposing viewpoint, our own David Roth says:

“My gut tells me that Drew would land like a garbage bag dropped out of a helicopter if he attempted to ski jump.”


Tough but fair.


How many front flips can you do off the George Washington bridge?

Only one. We’re assuming I die, right? Because I would instantly die regardless. But let’s assume death is already assured, and I’m just trying to go out with style. I still think that I would only be able to pull off one flip before my body just goes into full spasm mode and I’m flailing my way down to the bottom.


I have found, in my life, that I am terminally incapable of executing a full flip off a diving board. Doesn’t matter how high I jump. Doesn’t matter if I fiddle with the wheel on the side for maximum BOINGGGGGG. Doesn’t matter if it’s a high dive (because I’d be too scared to flip anyway). I cannot complete a full rotation. The unathleticism is hard-wired into my brain. I almost always end up doing some sort of hideous backflop. Meanwhile, some 17-year-old Zac Efrom-looking motherfucker will take a running start at the side of the pool and flip eight times before gracefully diving in. Hate that guy! He thinks he’s such hot shit because he’s got a lifeguarding gig and dates 26 girls at once! Jerk.


In a game of phone tag, who is the winner? The one who finally answers the phone, or the one who makes the call leading to a conversation?


The latter. If I am chasing you down via phone, I am the one attempting to “tag” you. So if you pick up, I finally tagged you successfully, without having to leave an alert. I won! Now I get to talk to a person on the phone! LUCKY ME.

By the way, no one gives up on phone tag faster than I do. If I call you (and really, your leg better be broken if I’m actually making a voice call… the whole point of texting is to render voice calls, voice mail, and phone tag obsolete) and no one picks up, then I just text, “Hey I tried calling” and then that’s it. If you try to get hold of me after that and fail, that’s tough luck. I’ll see you in five years. My mom knows I still love her. I’d rather sit on a table saw than have a prolonged phone call.



I’ve noticed more and more people using “shit” as an adjective instead of a noun, i.e., “this is shit pizza.” This is fucking stupid and wrong. How do I know that this person isn’t actually eating shit pizza? The phrase should be, “this is shitty pizza.” Why are people doing this? People need to stop doing this.


The way you know a person isn’t eating literal shit pizza is because no one would ever eat literal shit pizza. I think you can probably deduce that the moment it’s said.

Anyway, as a connoisseur of the profane arts, I admire your grammatical nitpicking of “shit” and “shitty,” but it’s all right. Let it go. The whole fun of swearing is in mixing it up. That means that it’s okay if I want to tell you that I am having a real SHIT day. I tried doing flips off the GW Bridge and totally wiped out! It’s okay to make those adjectives interchangeable, or even to save the “shit” adjective for definitively shitty things. The Bengals are shitty, but the Browns are a real shit organization, top to bottom. See how the “real” in there gives it extra heft? That’s how you know they suck the hardest.



We’re stuck with the shitty soft-focus features on whatever Olympic athlete NBC wants to flog any given night forever, right? I’m watching the inexplicable night of Olympics before the actual opening ceremony and all I want to see is the promised mogul skiing, and instead I just four minutes of an angry ballet teacher explaining how some kid is gonna do great.


Yeah but that complaint is older than you are. I have been complaining about syrupy Olympic profiles longer than I’ve complained about MTV not showing music videos. As long as I have lived, networks have catered the main Olympics broadcast to some mythical 45-year-old mom in the heartland who needs to see a baby in peril before she can properly enjoy a bobsled run. Those segments are just a fact of life at this point, and the broadcast is now split into so many different networks and streams (which occasionally work!) that you can usually avoid Brayden Gnarhill’s story about his dead grandma and go find live sports instead.

I think they’re also a better about producing these segments now. It used to be Mary Carillo sitting in a chair with some athlete and trying to make them cry for 10 minutes. They’re a little faster now, and they tend to be told in the first person, without a lot of horseshit narration. They also mix up the tones, so some stories are maudlin and others are breezy. You’re still gonna get some Chopped-style story about a woman needing to win the biathlon as a tribute to her mom, who died of triple lupus. But otherwise, they’re all right. Sunday night, NBC did this pre-produced package where they recapped a Norwegian dude who fell at the beginning of a cross country race, fell into DFL place, but somehow managed to come all the way back and win the thing. I was glad I watched it. It was the exact right amount of cross country skiing I need to watch for the next four years. It’ll tide me over nicely. I’m very happy for Sven Svengaagaardsen. I hope he treats himself to a snowmobile ride after so much toil. They should let him sleep on the NBC set for a night. Looks very homey.



I assume the Olympics are one big orgy for the athletes who are done competing, given the number of condoms handed out. If you were an American athlete, do you stay within the American team, where you probably know your teammates better, and probably have better odds? Or do you go international and find out if that Latvian you likely will never see again is interested? Based on the geography and the Olympics being every 4 years, you have to go international, right?


Oh, they definitely bone internationally. First you trade jerseys, then you trade bodily fluids. That’s all standard practice. If the Olympic Village isn’t a continuous re-enactment of all the sex scenes from Eurotrip, I will be SORELY disappointed. These are the Olympics, man. Everyone must bone in the name of the Olympic Spirit. Everyone must speak the language of LOVE.

Also, I assume that all the Americans competing know each other and have slept together. So when it’s time to hang out in the Olympic Village, they already know their internal prospects. Maybe one girl is down to hook up with you. Maybe you ghosted on a luger and now you gotta spend two awkward weeks avoiding them in the food court. To change things up, you gotta go international and start flirting with all the Poles. If they can’t speak English, than they can’t understand any of those rumors going around about you and that sheep! That’s a big plus.


By the way, figure skating hero Adam Rippon lamented the condom choice in the Olympic Village. He was hoping for rubbers with the Olympics logo on them and shit. So, if you are a future Olympian, I suggest you have custom rubbers MADE prior to the Games and bring them with you to the Village. While everyone else is fucking with bargain bin Durexes, you can pull out a full accordion tearsheet of rubbers with Mike Pence’s face on them. INSTANT HERO.


What are the flavors of Goldfish crackers, ranked?

Have you had the graham ones? Because those are pure evil. Those are nanocookies. You can eat them by the fistful and not stop until you’re dead. I still have vanilla crystals in my bloodstream from my last binging session.


Anyway, there are now 50,000 SKUs of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. They come in cartons and bags and pouches and canteens and holsters. It’s such a tyranny of choice that I usually find myself defaulting to the base flavors. So here are my rankings, based on my experience as a professional glutton:

1. Flavor-Blasted cheddar. These are the regular ones but with more dust.

2. Cheddar

3. Parmesan

4. White cheddar

5. Pizza

6. Vanilla cupcake

7. Cinnamon

8. Smores

9. Rainbow (cheddar, really)

10. Pretzel

11. Nacho

12. Sour Cream and Onion

13. BBQ

14. Ranch

15. Eternity in a dentist’s office

16. Plain

Please note that I did not include every flavor here because the list would run the length of the Internet. Wikipedia notes that there is a Cheddar Pretzel flavor that is “available in certain regions of Canada,” which intrigues me. I don’t know why those grizzly-humpers get all the cheesy pretzel goodness while us True Americans go without. But whatever. If I am sitting at some bar, drinking shitty beer and in need of something to munch on, I want some cheesy Goldfish. I don’t want the fucking BBQ ones. Save those for potato chips, man. They even make salt and vinegar Goldfish and I’m telling you right now, without ever trying them, that they will make you wish you had bought the chips instead.




If the U.S. was split into two countries, one liberal and one conservative, how would the liberal coasts connect? Could we somehow get a sliver of continuous land across highly-armed North Dakota and Montana to connect Minnesota and Washington? Would Justin Trudeau donate some Canadian land to help the new liberal country? No way a liberal boundary gets across the Mid-continent anywhere south of Iowa.


It’s impossible. It can’t be done. The political divide in this country falls between urban areas versus rural areas, which makes it impossible to find a clean, geographic split. That’s kind of the problem right now, because my issues with Trump America are pretty much irreconcilable. I’d fucking love to just break off from the Southeast or whatever and let the CMA faction of America fend for itself, because I know this isn’t gonna get any better.

But no. No, we have rednecks embedded 10 miles outside pretty much every city. Combine that with the sprawling nature of American government, military, and commerce, and it makes breaking up the union all but impossible. We’re stuck together forever. Christ. From now until I die, I’m gonna be living through this bizarre Cold Civil War where we all live in the same country but hate each other’s guts, and no one can really do anything about it. All those brief flashes of hideous violence that have become the norm will remain the norm. It’s gonna be fun! I’m gonna really regret not moving to, like, Denmark.



Do you think if someone were participating in a photo-op or press conference with Trump they would be able to grab his weave/toupee/wig/spaghetti monster and rip it off before security stop them? How securely is it attached? Also, would this be a crime and what would happen next?


Judging by the video that got passed around this weekend, that hair doesn’t come all the way off. It flaps around and separates and reveals parts of Trump’s epidermis you’d rather not see firsthand, but it’s anchored onto his head somehow. It is, simultaneously, the most effective and least effective weave in human history. I think if you grabbed it, his head would go with it. Then the Secret Service would pin you down and tear your arms off. You’d be charged with assault and spend the rest of your life eating wet crackers in Supermax. I would not recommend you go through with this plan.

By the way, Michael Lewis did a big Trump story for Bloomberg this week and one of the more amusing details is that Trump flies via helicopter a lot. And when he does, he has to wait for the chopper blades to die all the way down before he gets out, or else they’ll blow his hair off and leave him looking like a cave monster. If there was a dying baby sitting right by his powering-down helicopter and he had to choose between saving the baby and getting his hair mussed, he’s absolutely picking the hair. I bet when he’s in a real rush and has to get out of the chopper, he wears the MAGA hat.



My wife and I are in the thick of potty training. Our toddler has peeing down, but refuses to poop in anyplace other than her underwear. When this happens, we clean the poop out and wash the underwear and put it back into the rotation. We’ve had several people be surprised that we don’t just throw the underwear out immediately. They are the crazy people, right?


Crazy is too strong a word. After all, your gut instinct when confronted with a pair of poopy drawers is probably to burn them, right? But kids poop a lot, and undies cost money, and you’re not the one that has to wear the used poop undies, so I understand why you’d rinse out that Gymboree three-pack and leave it in the rotation.

The much bigger problem, obviously, is that your kid is shitting into her underwear routinely. If I were you, I’d go back to training pants if you can. Every kid potty trains at their own pace, and you can’t really force it, or else you end up with… well, you end up with a kid shitting in her undies every day. It’s okay to cut your losses and move back a step if she’s not quite ready to shit in a toilet or a baby potty or whatever.


I used to tear my hair out over stuff like this. With our first kid, we got her a pink school bus and told her she could have it if she went doodoo in the toilet. That goddamn bus stayed on the top shelf of the hall closet for a year. In the name of potty training, I have cleaned shit out of underpants, bathing suits, athletic pants, pajamas, kiddie potties, you name it. I’ve had to pick it up off the fucking floor. Kids will only shit in the potty when they express a natural interest in it, and you can’t force it, or else there’s shit everywhere. The more you force it—the more you agonize because you think your kid is to be shitting into a diaper—the worse it’ll be. See if you can go back to diapers.

By the way, when we had to do night training, we actually bought one of those diaper alarms that you fasten to the kid’s nighttime diaper. When it gets wet, the alarm beeps and the kid wakes up to use the john. Now this alarm actually worked, but let me tell you what kind of sound it makes. Picture a smoke alarm crossed with a fucking tea kettle going berserk. It was awful. I’m amazed that alarm didn’t kill the dog on the spot.



Why do the windows on airplanes never line up with the actual rows of seats? Why is it that I always seem to get the seat with no windows, yet John in front of me gets two? And he doesn’t even use them! I would use them.


The windows on the plane are fixed but the seats are not. In a perfect world, every row lines up with the window and you don’t have to contort your neck into the shape of a Tetris piece just to get a passing glance at the Rocky Mountains underneath you. But you already know that BIG AIR is intent on squeezing every last bit of profit out of you, the airborne consumer. They also know that the average American will reluctantly, but voluntarily, herd themselves like cattle into a Boeing 737 if it means saving a few bucks on airfare. Hence, the rows get narrowed down and your view of the window gets reduced down to a slit roughly the width of a door jamb.

They are actually making planes with larger windows, by the way. I assume they’ll hit the market sometimes around 2086. You will still be too cheap to buy a ticket on one.



Am I supposed to eat granola with my bare hands or do I need to pour it from the bag straight into my mouth?


I like to cut out the middle man and pour it straight into my mouth. Sure, a smattering of oats will spill out onto the counter, but those oats are collateral damage. If they were scrappier, they’d be part of a cluster. Those oats are not team players. I consider it addition by subtraction.

Granola has 1,000 calories per micro-ounce, so I think all the hippie execs at Bear Naked expect you to use it as a condiment, sprinkling granola on top of a yogurt parfait, or on fruit, or perhaps on a salad if you’re a weirdo. As always, there’s a massive disconnect between how manufacturers tell you to use a food, and how Americans actually consume them. Your average American eats the whole bag of granola standing up, and then moves onto drinking Hershey’s Syrup straight from the bottle.



If a football team committed to following Tom Brady’s trademarked diet for a season (including offseason, preseason, postseason), would it make a measurable difference? Somehow, someway, I feel like it would.


It would not, because guess what? They’re all on diets. They all do intensive resistance exercises. They all train year round. Here’s Dwight Freeney’s diet, as chronicled by SI eight years ago:

From the Wednesday morning before the Jets game to kickoff that Sunday afternoon he ate beef and pinto beans and nothing else, not even for breakfast. He drinks only grape juice, water and occasionally tea as a treat. If he goes to a restaurant he brings his ingredients with him and instructs the chef on how he wants it prepared—no oil, no pepper, no garlic, no garnish, no powder and certainly no pan spray. His digestive system is so streamlined, he says, that if he swallows a sprig of parsley he feels guilty: “I could gain two pounds!”


Imagine what that man’s farts smell like. He could kill a whole room. Also, if I run a restaurant and you bring ingredients with you and force me to cook to order, I am charging you a supplemental fee of $11,000. All of these guys are deranged freaks. Marshawn Lynch may subsist strictly on Skittles and video games, but your average pro athlete has had to make a great deal of sacrifices in order to remain properly conditioned. Brady is the greatest of all time, and I’m sure his methods work for him. But other guys have methods, too. Brady would probably get a bunch of other guys hurt with his stupid no-strawberries policy.


Someone in my office has reproductions of the Patriots Super Bowl Championship banners hanging from the drop ceiling above his cubicle. That’s justification for burning the whole building to the ground, right?



Email of the week!


In the summer of 2007 my wife and I were in our senior year of college and interned at different places. She went to Northern California and I stayed in Socal. One weekend when she wasn’t around I went a couple hours north to our hometown and proceeded to get drunk and black out at the local bowling alley with some high school buddies.

I woke up around 6:00am the next morning on my friend’s dad’s couch. I still had my shirt on from the night before, but my pants and underwear were missing. My lower body was wrapped in a towel. The last thing I remembered was drinking pitchers of beer at the bowling alley. Clutching the towel around my waist, I got up off the couch and slowly retraced my steps. I peeked in the bathroom—the towel was missing. I crept back down the hallway toward the bedrooms. Keep in mind that I had never been in this house before. I snuck past a couple closed doors and found an open bedroom with my pants and other stuff on the floor. I went inside.

There was a vaguely hand-shaped smear of poop on the wall by the light switch. But that wasn’t what caught my eye. What caught my eye was the pyramid-shaped pile of shit on the nightstand. You won’t believe me when I tell you this, but this goddamn thing was about the size of a human head.

I tried to put the pieces back together. The top of the nightstand was roughly butt height. Maybe I thought it was a toilet in my drunkenness? Maybe I just didn’t have time to make it to the bathroom. Who knows. Either way, I knew I had to act fast. People would start waking up soon. I took the towel off and put my pants on, then wrapped the giant hunk of shit in the towel and went out through the front door. I went two blocks over and into an alley. Luckily it was trash day and I opened the nearest trash can and dumped the entire towel, shit and all, into it. Then I went back and started looking around in the kitchen for something to clean that shit handprint off the wall. That’s when my buddy’s dad walked around the corner with a quizzical look on his face.

I said, “Hey. Morning. So...I went to the bathroom last night and I may have gotten a little poop on the wall...”

I’ve been best friends with his son ever since.

As is custom.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.