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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Is It OK To Stop Watching Sports?

FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I was on a flight yesterday and half the people aboard were asleep. And this wasn't some nighttime flight, either. This was at like, 10 in the morning. How the fuck can so many people sleep so well on airplanes? On every flight I board, there are 60 motherfuckers who are passed out with their necks wedged between their seats and the fuselage. I'd pay a hundred bucks for that superpower. I couldn't sleep on a plane if it were 3 a.m. and you'd spiked my drink with ether. I don't get it. Lucky bastards.


Anyyyyway, your letters:


Over the past year I've noticed that I have stopped caring about sports as much as I used to. For example in college, I would live and die by how well my teams did. I could tell you the league leaders, standings and upcoming big games for all the major sports. Now I can barely remember who made it to the NBA championship last year. I still get excited during football season, but it's more for getting shitfaced at the bar and trying to take random drunk girls back to my place. And only God knows when the last time I watched a 9-inning baseball game.

I'm trying to figure out what changed. I know this comes with age/responsibility, but I'm still only 25 so there's no kid/wife to absorb my time and nothing major changed with my career. Is there more to this? Maybe the fact that everyone has a smart phone, so you can look up any game score or videos of Robinson Cano picking his boogers in the dugout at the drop of a hat?


I don't think it's some general phenomenon going on. Some guys remain rabid sports fans for their entire lives (whether or not they do that for show is another question—I bet Skip Bayless doesn't even watch games anymore, he just likes being hardcore about his HOT SPROTS TAKES), some guys drift out of it. But either way, you really have to work hard to keep the fervor going.

As you get older, the number of champions and players and coaches and all that other sporty shit you have to remember grows and grows. When you were 18 or so, you probably witnessed and remembered about ten to twelve NBA Finals. Those 10 to 12 champions are easy to keep track of, and so they become indelible. When I was in college, I could probably go back every year to when I was 8 or so and tell you the name of every NBA Finals champ and loser, every Super Bowl winner and loser (and every conference champion participant), every World Series winner and loser, every Final Four team, and every Stanley Cup champion. NFL stuff aside, I probably can't do that anymore. The list has grown too long for my brain to accommodate. I need little reminders to jumpstart my brain. OH RIGHT, ILLINOIS MADE THE NCAA FINAL THAT ONE TIME. If I wanted to keep my sports brain limber now, I'd have to study, and I don't wanna do that.

A wife and kids make being a sports fan more difficult as well, but as you said, you haven't had to deal with that yet. Your smartphone, along with ESPN and the rest of BIG SPORTS-MEDIA-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX has made it remarkably easy to remain a sports fan without watching any sports. You can see highlights. You can read along with Twitter commentary and create a strange image in your head of what the game looks like ("Some kid in the stands just picked his nose LULZ 4EVER"). You can watch video clips of the very BEST moments. And when you can do all that, you have a natural inclination to feel as if you don't need to watch the rest of the game. Again, this isn't true of everyone. Some guys like watching whole games. And I'm sure some guys like that so that they can say, "Did you even WATCH the game?" when they get into some stupid fucking bar argument.


But we live in an age of constant distraction, where it's virtually impossible to sit through a whole movie or football game without getting up and doing something else for a moment: checking email, sneaking in an episode of The Daily Show between halves, etc. The temptation to do lots of shit makes it more difficult to sit down and just watch one whole thing.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. But the shame of it is that watching the whole game means you get to process it in a way that only you can. There's so much shit that doesn't make the the highlight reel and doesn't get pointed out by Peter King or whoever that you miss out on the shit that would have interested YOU about the game. Everyone has that "For me, the REAL turning point of the game was when fucking Max Starks false-started!" ready to go after they watch a full game. You see it only in the way that you can, as opposed to highlights TELLING you what mattered. Gregggg says you should watch the All-22 film for extra know-it-allitude!


I watch the NFL every year, and every year I get a little bit scared that I'll turn into some old snobby asshole who can't bring himself to be interested in the game anymore. When I was a college student, I was a huge Michigan Wolverines football fan. I watched all their games and got all fired up whenever they beat Ohio State and what not. Then they won the title in 1997 and suddenly, I was like, "Welp, that about does it for me!" Somehow, I was satisfied enough to stop giving a shit. I barely watch them now, and I can't tell you why that is. I feel like a prick for falling out of my old fervor. To my relief, that hasn't happened with the NFL yet. I still legitimately enjoy watching entire football games, which is good because I'd totally be a pussy if I didn't BRO!


Why has Chipotle not expanded into breakfast? Chipotle breakfast burritos? GOLD. Take the rice out, replace it with eggs, offer chorizo as a protein, and BOOM, you have Chipotle breakfast.


Because you would die. No one needs a thousand-calorie burrito for breakfast. The office toilets of America aren't equipped to handle that kind of onslaught. By 10 a.m., your office would smell like an exploded plastic factory. Of course, the real reason that Chipotle doesn't do breakfast is because their CEO is control freak who hasn't changed the menu since the restaurant's inception. I guess if you start making breakfast burritos, it's a slippery slope down to Doritos Locos Brunchlupas or something.

This is a shame, as all breakfast items are improved 500 percent when wrapped inside a tortilla, especially when the tortilla is warm and kind of puffy and you can see the billowy layers of it tearing with each bite OH GOD I NEED THAT RIGHT NOW. Breakfast burritos and breakfast tacos are perhaps mankind's most important innovation. You could bring peace to Egypt with them.



Will Mel Kiper Jr. be inducted to the Football Hall of Fame one day as a contributor to football?


I'm sure he thinks about it constantly. At night, right after Mel spritzes his hair and dons his hairnet, he lies down in bed and visualizes the day when all of his tape study and schmoozing come to fruition as Peter King stands before the voting committee and says, "Mel's a great guy, you guys."

But no, I don't think Mel will ever be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame, even though Chris Berman somehow made it (yes, that happened). You could argue that Kiper's had a hand in growing the NFL draft into an enormous standalone event, but there are probably a bunch of broadcasters and stadium announcers and dudes wearing barrels who are also angling for one of those "contributor" spots. Kiper has pissed off too many people to edge out his competitors, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't view him as an "official" part of the football community anyway. HE PROBABLY STILL LIVES IN HIS MOM'S BASEMENT.


I think he deserves a spot in the hall, maybe a special exhibition section where you can watch a Mel hologram break down the footwork of every other inductee. You could even throw your soda at it.


I see so much trolling on the internet - blogs, all manner of social media sites. So many assholes, fucktards, annoying people, downright mean people and people simply trying to get a reaction. Do you think this type of behavior or existed 20-25 years ago when all this internet and social media sites were not around? Did this type of behavior exist for all of modern history and the internet/social media phenomena simply exacerbate the behavior, or do you believe this behavior has always existed and the internet/social media simply made everyone more aware of it? As a 39 year old, I grew up without the internet/social media being such a big part of your life and now living in a world where it is ingrained in your life. I feel like the world was much less meaner in the past.


The world has always been a mean place, it just happens to be that the Internet allows you to see much more of that meanness firsthand. Obviously, as has been noted many times by many cranky people, the internet gives people an opportunity to anonymously shit on other people with little or no consequence, something that wasn't really possible before. Take it from me. Before the web was invented, I didn't hand out flyers around town saying GREGGGG EASTERBROOK CAN EAT A DICK (oh, but what fun that would have been).

The advent of the web means that a greater portion of the world's collective id has been exposed. All of our outrage and lunacy has been amplified. Obviously, this isn't a great thing when it means that some 13-year-old can be cyberbullied into jumping off a bridge. I have kids and I fear that, one day, some fucker will target them on Facebook and chisel away at their self-esteem until they're finally broken. This makes me a hypocrite, given that I've shit on people online plenty. But I fear it all the same.


But is the world a meaner place because of this? No. For every person being bullied online, there are multiple people connecting in more positive ways. People find spouses online. They find gaming companions. They find work contacts. They find old girlfriends on Facebook and fap to their bikini photos. All of that good far outweighs the bad. If anything, it's nice that the Internet gives people a place to vent, rather than bottle up all their evil thoughts until one day they walk into a McDonald's and start stabbing everyone. In Florida.

And you can always find supportive corner of the Internet. Imagine if you were some closeted gay kid back in 1950, with no one to talk to honestly about your sexuality without fear of social exile. You have no shortage of places to go now. You can find a home. You can always find someone who can comfort you by explaining that YouTube commenters are the bottom fucking rung of humanity. It's a more open world now, which makes it cruder, but probably better in the long run. Now let me tell you about what a shitbag Mike Greenberg is ...



Do you think you could write the lyrics for a major pop singer and/or rock band and still have the songs be successful? So, let's assume a shitty band like Nickelback has recorded a song with no lyrics or vocals, and have asked you to write everything. Do you think you could write the lyrics, give it back to the band to have them sing, and have the song be successful?


In general, I think the average person could be a successful lyricist if they had the musical talent backing them up. I mean, no one's forgetting Dylan Thomas because Nickelback came along. The important thing about the lyrics is that they FIT, that they don't block up the beat so that all you hear is Pitbull going LET'S HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME LET'S HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME LET'S HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME ... So long as the vocal melody dominates more than your horrible poetry, Chad Kroeger can work with you.

Lyrics, in general, can only help improve a song. When you like a song, you usually like it regardless of its lyrical content. But then some turn of phrase will hit you and you'll be like OMG IT'S LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT IS SINGING ABOUT MY LIFE Y'ALL. It's a nice little bonus when the lyrics hit you. That's why I'll always remain loyal to Cannibal Corpse. The lyrics to "Fucked by a Knife" REALLY complement the music, you know?



What if teams could put their players back into the NFL or NBA draft? There would be a lot of issues with the whole process (compensation to the old/new teams, contract issues, players not getting drafted, etc.) but it would give teams a chance to free up roster spots/cap room. Honestly it would probably be a complete clusterfuck but that's really all I know being a Jets fan.


Yeah, the value of that idea would be almost entirely dependent on the incentive given to teams to do it. If you're sticking a shitty player back into the draft because you don't want to pay him anymore (Hi, Mark Sanchez!), that doesn't really do much for the draft process other than add dead weight to it.

A better idea would be to make the NFL a real keeper league, where you can only keep, say, 40 players on your roster, and you have to let the rest who aren't free agents go back into the draft or something. Then loaded teams like San Francisco would have to make impossible choices, praying they don't turn a future superstar loose. Seems kind of unfair. But then again, FUCK JIMMY HARBAUGH.



Ever thought about having two dentists? You would always schedule them back to back so the second one would think you have the most amazing teeth and hygenic routine. There would be a mini-legend developing in the dentile community and you could offer to star in one of their local commercials. I think that would totally be worth the $300 out of pocket it would cost per year.


You don't think dentists talk? They're a tight-knit community, brother man. They'd figure out your scheme within a few months. They'd be at some cocktail party ...

DENTIST 1: I met a patient last week who had the most amazing teeth. This guy Matt Lowcock had teeth like pure ivory!


DENTIST 2: Lowcock? But he's MY patient!

DENTIST 1: Why, that no good scoundrel!

DENTIST 2: Let's "forget" the novacaine next time he pulls that stunt. And let's tell him needs sealant on every tooth. NO ONE NEEDS SEALANT AHAHAHAHAHA.




Dentists are evil.



How frustrating is Jeopardy when they run out of time during a category you can actually do well in? Just cut down the useless interviews, Trebek!


Not only that, but the contestants will ALWAYS start the round picking the category you like least. "Ooooh, 18TH CENTURY OPERA! I'll kick things off with that, Alex!" Manwhile, the TACO FILLINGS category goes completely uncalled. It's insanity.

Also, you know how there's always that little beep telling contestants there's only a minute to go? I bet that's horseshit. They've gone past a minute before. I haven't timed it, but I've seen them go through four questions after that horn. No way that only took a minute.



I hate onions and have hated them all my life. I try not to order anything that has onions in it, but people sneak onions into EVERYTHING. I'm 27... how much onion have I consumed so far? The thought makes me shudder.


I have a neighbor who's allergic to onions, and she basically can't eat anything because of it. It's staggering how frequently onions are used in food. They're one of those stock ingredients that seemingly every restaurant item includes, along with garlic, butter/oil, salt, parsley (sprinkled on everything), pepper, MSG, sugar, and lard. You'll never see those items listed in the menu because they're treated as givens. If you hate them, restaurant dining is virtually impossible.

Onions serve as the base for innumerable soups, stews, sauces, and more. The people at BIG ONION have made it all but impossible for you to avoid them if you hate them. You've probably consumed your weight in onions by now. They're probably growing inside your body as we speak, sprouting shoots and overtaking your vital organs. Soon, you will become encased in layers of stinky, wet oniony goodness.


Thankfully, I don't share your aversion to onions, not even the dreaded RED onion, which causes Scott Conant to burst into flames upon making eye contact. The only time I hated onions was when I was a kid and ordered a burger at Mickey D's and it came with little onion bits on it. I thought they were maggots. Kids are imaginative like that. However, I did take three seconds to rank all the onions. ONION FLAME WAR YO:

1. Vidalia

2. Scallion

3. Pearl

4. Yellow

5. Red

6. White


Is there a food category that reheats better than Chinese food? It's gotta be the best type of food for leftovers. On the other hand of the spectrum, trying to microwave pizza never turns out well and half the time I try to stick it in the toaster oven, I just burn the slice. How would you rank foods based on quality of them when reheated?


Chinese works the best because rice heats up well and you can use the sauce to mix it all up. Half the time, I don't even bother reheating the Chinese food. I just go to the fridge, look around, grab a hunk of chicken out of the carton to snack on, close the fridge, and then repeat that process 90 times until the carton is empty. And then I hate myself.

The worst food to reheat is pasta. Old pasta is fucking terrible. Even in soup, it's shitty. Sometimes, I give my kid chicken noodle soup to take to school and she'll bring it back home without having eaten it because kids are annoying, and by then the pasta will have sopped up all the water and broken apart and congealed and begun to look like old skin. It's sickening.



Did knowing the sex of your child impact your ability/desire to have sex with your wife while she was pregnant? We're having a girl and I think I'm a little more reluctant to pop in and say hello than I would be if it was a boy.


The baby's gender shouldn't affect your desire to have sex with your pregnant wife and make amateur fetish videos like Ready to Drop 26 with her. The fetus is tucked safety away from your penis thanks to cervical dilation. Neither a girl fetus nor a boy fetus will notice what's going on next door. And while every guy likes to believe they're Dr. Frankendick and can penetrate that opening by sheer force, I don't think you have to worry about that happening. If it did, I'd worry more about the amniotic sac bursting and a miscarriage occurring than the Oedipal after effects of a girl fetus seeing your one-eyed hot dog for half a millisecond. SO POUND AWAY.


You know that point when you have 1.5 to 2 bites left in a roast beef sandwich (or any other meat that might not separate with one bite, like beef fajitas) , and you take the bite and all the meat starts to pull out, and you stop, and think to yourself, "Well damn, I don't want just mustard and meat stained bread on my plate", so you unlock your jaw and take in the extra mass?




I live in Iowa. I don't think it's too bad of a place to live, however, my friends on the West Coast, who have never been anywhere in the Midwest besides Chicago, seem to think I live in a slightly improved version of "Little House on the Prarie". What's your top 5 for states with the worst preconceived reputations?


So which five states have the most undeserved bad reputations? Bearing in mind that I am a horribly ignorant person who enjoys judging places and people without ever having formally met them, I think my list would look like this:

1. Kentucky. I hear it's really pretty and NOT the open-air hillbilly meth lab that I always picture it being. Also, bourbon.


2. Texas. The food is awesome, the rent is cheap, and every liquor store is the size of Madison Square Garden. Despite being populated by batshit insane people who I imagine drive big Cadillacs with longhorn hood ornaments while firing guns in the air and getting blown by a trophy wife, Texas is pretty solid.

3. Florida. Obviously, it deserves its terrible reputation. But that doesn't stop you from pining for it in the middle of February now, does it? It's warm, it's relatively close by, and you don't have to exchange currencies if you go there for a tropical getaway. Oh, mock Florida all you like. YOU'LL BE BACK. By the way, I'm in Orlando right now on assignment. Everyone here looks like they retired from the pro wrestling circuit.


4. Utah. It's got mountains and hiking and stuff. All you have to do is avoid the polygamist white supremacist compounds and you're gold!

5. Ohio. Just kidding. Fuck Ohio.


When do you think the typical male hits hit his bowel prime? I'm thinking in terms of being able to control them and use them as you see fit. I can feel a fart coming on and decide whether to unleash a loud one or let it seep out quietly without anyone nearby knowing. I can immediately detect if it's going to stink and vacate the premises. I know it's tough to measure, but I'm in my mid-30's and I feel like LeBron James these days.


It's less a matter of age than it is diet and self-maintenance. If you're in your 30s, you probably have to be a bit more health conscious than back when you were 18 and eating Taco Bell bean burritos and quaffing hard cider on the hour, every hour. You COULD have healthy bowels then, but you don't because you are YOUNG AND YOUR HEART WAS AN OPEN BOOK.

Then you get older and you get pickier about food, which means you eat better food. And maybe you discover the wonders of Metamucil, as I have. So by age 30, you're a well-oiled pooping machine. Then you turn 40 or 50 and I assume your colon falls out of your asshole. I fear old man bowels. They're coming, and they cannot be stopped. Literally. They just leak all day long.



Everyday at work, I have to ride in the service elevator. You know what the service elevator is: that creepy ass elevator that has the cage door and then the outside door that opens up. Generally when you see it in a movie, whoever is on it is about to get gruesomely murdered. Where is you somewhere you go on a daily (or weekly) basis that you feel like you will be part of a horror movie simply by venturing to that location?


They either get murdered or they have FILTHY sex in it (see Fatal Attraction). Bonus points if the elevator has a door that opens UP, like a garage door. That usually means that a kidnapping victim has been brought to the secret hiding place of master drug kingpin Felix "The Owl." Torture then ensues. As I've always said, the creepiest place you have to deal with daily is the standard parking garage.


How much money do you think it would take for an individual to pay a sitting US President to resign immediately?


So much that the amount would trigger mass inflation and ruin world currency markets, rendering it worthless. Even then, the president would likely turn it down. Consider all the work, all the travel, all the LYING, all the horrible pandering to idiots that you have to do to make it that far. To just take the money and quit when you spent years trying to amass that insane amount of power? It would never happen. They value their power boners more than any truckload of gold bricks. And presidents retire to vast riches anyway. I say the man cannot be bought.


What's worse when changing the poopy diaper of a squirmy toddler: fully undressing him below the waist (socks, shoes, pants, etc) and then redressing all over again? Or attempting the high risk, high difficulty, pants-around-the-ankles diaper change?


I always think it'll be faster to change the kid standing up but it never is. They don't hold still. You find yourself bent into an impossible position to hold. And sometimes, I get the dud diaper where you open the stricky flap and the sticky part tears off completely, leaving you with no fastening adhesive. It's a horrible moment. Plus, with his pants around his ankles, your kid is all pissy because he's been pants-manacled. You're better off just laying the kid down and stripping him bare.


When gathered in a large group of people with no real escape, how many people on average are letting one rip? 1 in 100, 10 in 100?


The average person farts 14 times a day. If you assume that a fart lasts a second, then it would take 6,171 people to average out a fart for every second of the day. So if you go to a Knicks game and the joint is 40 percent full, someone is probably farting.

Email of the week!


Just yesterday, I come out of my bathroom, look out the window, and what do I see? Oh, my wonderful apartment neighbors... Are they clothed? Of course not. Are they fat? Of course they are. Is the fat lady spreading her asshole open with her hands so the dude can take pictures of it with his camera? Of course she is. Did I immediately run and grab my fiancee so we could both laugh our completely closed, non-photographed assholes off? Of course I did. Then it got weirder... Several minutes later, that guy departed the room and a second dude arrived looking all secretive and draped in a blanket. It looked like he laid down, received a naked massage from the fat lady, looked at the dirty asshole photos, and then got up, draped himself in a blanket again, and snuck out. The original man came back a few minutes afterwards and they fell to sleep together (sex was never had). What did we witness?? Why didn't she close the blinds?? Who was the mysterious second man??


Please note that Ryan sent photos of this, but I have left them out of the post because … well, there are about a thousand different reasons why. Trust me: It's for the best. My guess is that Patrick saw a postmodern art installation. I call it SUNSPOT.

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 buy Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

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