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What Will Football Look Like 50 Years From Now?

Illustration for article titled What Will Football Look Like 50 Years From Now?
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I'm sick this week, and when you have children being sick is the BEST. You don't have to do jack shit. You can go nap. You can mainline chicken broth directly into your wrist. You can opt out of bath duty and dish duty and garbage duty. The other parent has to do all the work. It's awesome. It's like a little vacation. I don't even know why I got the flu shot this year. If anything, I should have gotten flu eggs.


Your letters:


If the folks at Boston University get Belcher's brain and find the markings of Chronic Encephalopathy, does everyone lose their collective shit? How does Goodell weasel out of it?

I think it would be just one more damning indictment of the sport that Roger Goodell would try to whitewash with Play60 ads and stern memos about the league's commitment to safety. He'll dig his head into the sand further because he lacks the creativity to do otherwise. I mean, he's basically turning into Mr. Bartholomew from Rollerball anyway. He may as well go all the way with it.

There's only so much you can do, anyway. Like we always say, football is an inherently violent sport. Maybe all these head injuries will force the game to morph into something new, something completely different. It's not out of the realm of possibility, nor is it necessarily a bad thing. Football itself evolved into a sport that, as it stands now, has little in common with its first iteration. So maybe there's a new sport that will grow out of that evolution. Maybe the NFL will literally become flag football, which sounds weak and stupid. But hey, you never know. Maybe watching Champ Bailey desperately try to yank a flag out of Brandon Lloyd's pants would be the most entertaining thing ever. (Note: It would likely suck.) Some other ideas for football 50 years from now:

• Seven-on-seven. Fewer linemen means fewer linemen getting their heads mashed in on every snap.

• Padless football. No lethal helmets. No enormous shoulder pads. The runner is down when he's been wrapped up.


• Freestyle football. No pads. Forward passes are legal from anywhere. Incomplete passes are live balls. Kicking the ball is also legal. No tackling. No stoppages in play. This would probably look like a fucking train wreck.


• Robot football. All of the fun. None of the injury worries. Hugh Jackman for head coach! GUHHHHHHHHHH

I don't think any of those options make for a more entertaining viewing experience than the NFL as currently constituted. And people still watch plenty of other sports that are inherently dangerous (pro wrestling, auto racing, etc.) without thinking twice about it. I'll still watch football no matter what package it comes in, no matter how lethal. Shit, they may as well go the other way and add knives to the proceedings. Ray Lewis would clean up.



How much did Jovan Belcher's murder/suicide extend Crennel and Pioli's tenures with the Chiefs? I can't imagine they would fire them for at least a season.


It's an impossible situation because, prior to last weekend, you could make a case for the Chiefs being one of the worst teams in NFL history. They didn't lead in regulation in any of their first nine games. They had the world's lamest QB controversy. They were winless at home. People rented out airplanes to fly over the stadium to demand that Scott Pioli get shitcanned. They were due to clean house in the most obvious way possible.

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


And now what? How do you fire Pioli and Romeo Crennel after THAT? Not only did Crennel watch a player take his own life, but then he turned around and handled everything with grace and a heartbreaking commitment to professionalism. I don't know how you turn around and fire a guy after something like that, right before Christmas no less. You gotta be one cold-hearted son of a bitch to do that. The Chiefs should hire Nick Denton to do the job. He'd be game.


How many concussions do you think OJ sustained?

In the near future, I promise you that a former NFL player (coughDezBryantcough) charged with a major crime will plead insanity and cite concussions as his evidence. I know I would use that defense if someone ever caught me driving 140 mph naked down a highway shooting at other motorists (I do this every weekend). You might as well give it a try. "It wasn't me. It was the concussions! THE BRAIN WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS THAT WE CANNOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND. And that's why I pooped in Coach Shanahan's desk drawer."



Watching Bama/Georgia game, what would happen if both Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson are somehow incapacitated (heart attack, terrorist, they both go on a racial, hate-filled tirade, etc.) and are removed from the broadcast booth. Who takes over the televised broadcast at that point? Do they throw it to the studio to call the rest of the game? Does sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson take a crack at it?


I think throwing it to the studio would be the only option. You can't have the sideline reporter do it because sideline reporters are terrible, and because the sideline reporter would have to be physically moved up to a booth or tossed in a production van so that she could see everything going on. It's easier just to send it to the booth because you already have Tim Brando there to act as play-by-play guy, with Spencer Tillman saying typical useless analyst stuff. It would flow seamlessly. The only problem would be addressing the reasons for the switch. "On behalf of my CBS colleagues, I would just like to apologize for Gary Danielson's outburst. His rant against Koreans does NOT represent the view of our network or our sponsors."


Is Bo Obama (or just all Presidential pets in recent times) allowed in EVERY room in the White House? Or is he designated to only be in a few rooms? As we know, dogs like to wander around when they're bored and all, so I'm guessing it would be hard to constantly keep track of Bo to see if he in one of his designated rooms or not. "Keep that damn dog out of the Blue Room, he'll shit everywhere! Grover Cleveland got married in there for fuck's sake, think of the history!"


I have to think that Bo has a specially appointed dogsitter to follow his every move around the White House when the president or his family isn't hanging out with him. You don't want his paw accidentally on the button. That would be bad. There would be no explaining to Putin that the dog did it. He wouldn't buy that shit for a second because he's Vladimir Putin and he's evil.


Notice the handicap symbol.

Illustration for article titled What Will Football Look Like 50 Years From Now?

That no good hussy!


After watching the SEC championship game, I got to thinking: What if at the beginning of the year, Saban gets fired and I somehow get the Alabama head coaching job? I get to keep his entire staff (or replace them as I see fit), all the 5-star recruits, etc. I get the whole season. What is my record at the end of the year? Keep in mind I'd be studying and learning all year long. I'd like to think I can go no worse than 8-4.


If you have assistants to lean on, you could easily post a winning record. IN THEORY. You'd basically be Joe Paterno in his later years, before Sandusky. You could delegate virtually everything to your underlings and act as a figurehead, nothing more. The players would have no respect for you, but chances are they'd still play hard if only to improve their own NFL stock. Surely there have been college programs that have stumbled into success in this kind of situation.

The problem would be the fans. I mean, those fans would murder you. Literally. They would know you were a fraud immediately and set fire to your car. Maybe they'd let you coach a few games and say, "Bless his heart, but fuck that guy" every time they saw you on the TV. But then the wheels would come off, as your presence on the sideline would attract more and more contempt from your players and assistants alike, with your offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator going off on you behind your back and desperately attempting to assert their position as unofficial top dog of the coaching staff. Internal fights would leak to the media. Then you would make a horrendous clock error in a game against Mississippi State and a deranged fan would storm onto the field screaming PAWWWWLLLLLL and poison you in front of a cheering crowd. Then we would all makes jokes about it on Twitter too soon. That's what would happen. You die with a career record of 3-3.




I will never forget one particular field trip that I went on in 6th grade because I chewed a single piece of Orbit gum for 4 hours. Orbit was the new gum on the scene, billed as a gum with long-lasting flavor. I think gum companies pack gum with flavor when they're first released, to get people hooked on their brand. As time goes on, they quietly put less flavoring in it. This saves the company manufacturing costs and causes the gum to last for a shorter period of time, meaning customers unwittingly buy gum more often, and thus spend more money. Am I crazy or does Big Gum have us all by the balls?



This must be why I always end up buying the package of Doritos that has the least possible amount of cheese dust in it. God, I hate a dud bag of chips. The bag should just be a pile of cheese dust with four chips hidden inside.



Is there anything more disappointing than taking a huge shit, and having it slide perfectly down the toilet hole so you can't see how big it is? This always happens at my work. Was it actually as big as it felt? Who knows?


Sometimes you get the tip of it poking out or, even more teasingly, a little brown cloud emanating out from the hole. Maybe you shat out a live snake and it's busy working its way through the pipes. All of your questions would be answered if only you had a clear toilet. I would totally buy a clear toilet, and then regret it six hours later.


This looks like a good idea, right? Taken in Fairfax, VA.

Illustration for article titled What Will Football Look Like 50 Years From Now?

Totally. I promise you that some parents dialed that number because they had no other choice. Day care costs $5 billion. I'd leave my kids with Scott Peterson if he charged under $100 a week.


In what order will people from these groups reach the presidency?

• Women
• Asians
• Muslims
• Gays
• Hispanics
• Atheists

I assume you mean openly gay president, since we've almost certainly had a closeted president (Lincoln!). In that case, I would put either a woman or a Hispanic person first (the 2016 election could easily pit Hillary Clinton against Marco Rubio, so then it would be a coin toss), then an Asian person, then a gay person, then an atheist, and then a Muslim. I'm sure the powers that be at BIG GAY are working feverishly to get a gay president into office so that they can achieve world domiGAYtion.


You forgot to include Jewish people as an option because you are RAYCESS.


I just walked over 500 feet to our company's kitchen. Put my left-overs from the night before in the microwave. When the microwave dinged I was convinced my food was done and brought it back to my desk to eat. I then sit down and stir my food only to find that it is barely lukewarm. It tastes like crap, but hell if I am walking all the way back to the kitchen to rewarm it and look like I don't know what I'm doing.


That's a fair excuse. I have this same problem with conventional ovens. For example, if there's a pan of leftover lasagna in the fridge, I'll heat it in the regular oven so that it tastes better. But sometimes I leave it in there half an hour, cut out a piece, put sauce on top, go to sit, and only then realize that the inside of the lasagna is still freezing cold. It's so, so depressing when that happens. Now I have to put the thing in the microwave, which is essentially admitting defeat. I went to all the trouble of using the stupid regular oven for NOTHING. Ovens are worthless.


How many Chopped contestants have competed while high on cocaine?

Cocaine? None. Heroin? ALL OF THEM. One day a chef will accidentally leave an empty syringe on the plate.



I'd like to see the following rule change in baseball: When a foul ball goes into the stands, if a fan catches it, the team playing defense can declare that catch as an out. Each team gets one fan-provided out per game and they can claim it whenever they want, but of course they have to declare it right then.

For example, I'm a Reds fan and let's say Joey Votto hits a lazy foul ball right to me at a home game in Cincy. Do I catch it? If so, some dipshit opposing manager could claim that out and suddenly I've cost my team an out and everyone will hate me. So I have to let it drop, right? Then a crazy scramble ensues for the ball and potential fan-on-fan violence occurs. But what if Dusty Baker hasn't claimed his foul ball out until the top of the ninth and I snag a foul ball, thereby securing a victory for my team? How cool would that be, especially if they let me come down on the field and get in the high-five line of players coming off the field since I contributed directly to the victory?


SO COOL. Of course, this new wrinkle would almost certainly result in a new Steve Bartman being cultivated every week—some dumbshit fan who either botches a critical foul ball catch or interferes with another fan trying to make the play. And then that person would be heckled and threatened and ridiculed until they were forced into a life of seclusion. They would live the rest of their lives as hermits, recluses—shunning away a society that so callously shunned them. They would grow weak from not eating, perhaps even think of suicide.

Soon, everyone would fear going to the ballpark, lest a foul ball is hit their way and they find themselves suddenly the focus of intense pressure and scrutiny. It's the bottom of the ninth and a foul ball is coming your way! And you have no glove! Oh God, what do you DO?! If you try to catch it, you will fail and the ball will hit you in the eye and blind you permanently. If you run away, the TV cameras will see you pussing out. One minute, you're piss drunk and having a good time. The next? Your life is effectively over. It would be a horrible, deathly, unfair spectacle. I MUST HAVE IT.



You've been chosen to eliminate five words from the human language, in all tongues across the globe. These words will be wiped from all memory and history, leaving absolutely no trace of their origins and etymology provides no means to recreate them, ever. What are your choices? Here's mine:

1. Viral
2. Epic
3. Fail
4. Geek
5. Gamer

My first instinct would be to get rid of any word that annoys me or makes me feel ill, which means you can say goodbye to "preggers," which is the most annoying word ever devised. Anyone who uses the word PREGGERS without irony is a horrible person who owns many cats. I would also get rid of "literally," "butthurt," and of course, "mayonnaise." You could call an emulsion of eggs and oil virtually anything else and I would find it far more appealing than mayonnaise. God, that word makes me sick to my stomach. It's as if saying it makes it appear in the back of your throat.


But those are selfish choices to make. What about the n-word? What if we got rid of that? I know there are plenty of other epithets to throw around, but surely wiping the n-word off the face of the Earth would be helpful. Racists wouldn't be able to use it. And no internet commenter would ever again be like, "Say why do black people get to use that word and I don't?! NOT FAIR!" Colin Cowherd would have to find new words to mutter under his breath. It might have a positive ripple effect throughout the entire world.

Then again, maybe that word NEEDS to be in there. Maybe it stands as a testament to how powerful and destructive hate can be. Maybe it's good to have that reminder there, keeping us in check. Either way, it's still not as terrible a word as "preggers". Horrible word. TINNY, TINNY WORD.

Of course, we should also consider the BEST words, the words that should be required, by law to be used in every sentence, like these five!


• Fuck!
• Lightning!
• Buzzsaw!
• Boomerang!
• Fatty!




He did? That's awful. If I had a choice between erasing the n-word and every Simpsons episode past Season 8, I'd choose the latter.


What if, for one day, you were able to see 25 years into the future, and you found out that YOU are (will be?) essentially Hitler II? Do you immediately end your life? Keep quiet and hope it never actually happens? Either way, what a bummer.


I don't think I would have the balls to end my life. I mean, it would kill me to not learn WHY I became Hitler 2, how I evolved from seemingly normal fellow into the second coming of the most evil man in world history. Besides, what if the future is preordained and NOTHING—not even suicide—could prevent it? What if I killed myself and then was reincarnated AS Hitler II? If you're gonna be Hitler II no matter what happens, you may as well sit back and enjoy it.

I swear, one day I will write a book called Hitler II and it will be the worst thing you've ever read. The Hitler II idea has legs across virtually all broadcast media.


Email of the week time:


Since it seems inevitable that pot will be legalized nationwide during my lifetime, I'm finally realizing there are going to be things I miss about marijuana being a legally deviant substance.

I have few vices and I am generally on the legal side of things, but during the whole process of buying weed there's a little adolescent section in my brain likes to pretend like I'm moving major weight or that I'm about to go the type of self-destructive binge that only a harder drug can provide. The "code" I use to text my dealer, that slight twinge of paranoia I feel as I'm driving with a bag of weed locked in my glove compartment...I feel like Henry Hill during the 1980s part of Goodfellas, except with less sweating.

Don't get me wrong, I will sing praises to the heavens once I can walk down to the corner store/dispensary and buy a couple of grams or THC jolly ranchers. But there's a small little part of me that feels kind of cool when I go buy something illegal. Of course, all of this coolness is obliterated once I go home to get high and watch King of the Hill reruns.


You could move on to cocaine. That would do the trick. LET'S ALL MOVE ON TO COKE.