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

Why There Will Never Be Another Bo Jackson

Illustration for article titled Why There Will Never Be Another Bo Jackson
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.


Do you think we will ever have another two sport athlete such as Bo Jackson or Deion ever again?

No. Sports have become so specialized over the years that they often don't allow supremely gifted athletes play two sports in fucking high school. Insane parents—who want their children to become multi-million dollar athletes so that they can then siphon millions of their kid's endorsement deals—can't abide the idea of little Junior playing separate sports and thus falling behind in whichever sport he "excels" at. And, more often than not, the kid is usually willing to go along with the plan.

It's funny because I don't know that there's tangible proof that committing to just one sport dramatically increases your odds of becoming a future All-Pro. I mean, how many times have you seen a guy like Jason Pierre-Paul take up a sport late in life only to become dominant at it? "Hey, we found this 6-foot-6 kid hanging out with the swim team and asked if he wanted to play defensive end. Turns out he got a hundred sacks per quarter for us." That shit happens all the time.


Forcing a kid into one sport too early probably backfires more often than it succeeds. The kid gets worn out from playing the same goddamn sport year-round. He overworks a specific set of muscles. He never develop skill sets in other sports that can actually translate back to his chosen field. And the kid usually become an insufferable prick by age 15. All of that is bad, but control-freak parents are too bound up in the irrational fear that their child will be left behind to have the sack to just let the child play a sport seasonally.

Coaches and team execs also are to blame for this. As you know, coaches are freaks, and they can't stand the idea that their star player is wasting his time in another sport when he could conceivably improve at a faster rate (and therefore win more games and earn the coach more money) by working out with the football team all season long. This is what happened to Seattle QB Russell Wilson, who transferred from NC State in part because his then-coach, Tom O'Brien, wanted him to drop baseball (Wilson was in the Rockies farm system). Wilson ended up transferring and then dropping baseball anyway. I would have liked to see him try to do both, but there's no way team executives in either sport would ever allow it. NFL execs are not the sort of people that like you having outside interests. They want to know that you don't give a fuck about anything other than football. If you say to them, "Boy, I love painting!" during your pre-draft interview, they will knock you down five rounds on their boards. You're supposed to be some kind of obsessive football gritbot who watches tape 18 hours a day and can barely make time to have sex with other people. #STICKTOSPORTS.

Seasonal overlap is also a problem. When Deion Sanders played a Braves playoff game and a Falcons game all in the same day, it was seen as a kind of glorious stunt, not the sort of thing an athlete could (or, to many people, should) be done with regularity. If you're an NFL draftee who also plays baseball and therefore cannot be available the first month of the season, no one will ever draft you. You'd miss five games AND you wouldn't have had time to master Coach Asshole's 900-page playbook. YOU'RE A GLORY BOY. With all this in mind, the idea of a modern athlete competing in two of the major team sports is basically an impossibility. No pro team sees a commitment to another sport as a valuable asset, and no player has the sack to let his stock be downgraded in the face of sticking to two sports. The only potential scenario would be a player who plays in one sports league and then dabbles in an individual sport like golf during the offseason. I'm sure Tony Romo has won a very large number of imaginary Masters titles. It's far more realistic than him actually winning a meaningful NFL playoff game. (ZINGGGG.)

This is all a shame, because two-sport stars are fucking awesome. How much would you pay to see someone like Bo again? I'd pay at least FIVE dollars for Bo II to materialize out of thin air and break baseball bats over his knee. And imagine the hype you'd get as a two-sport star in 2013. It would be Tebow times 10. Actually, now that I've said that, forget it. That sounds unbearable. ESPN ruins everything.



This was seen in the parking lot of Fleet Farm in Alexandria, MN.

Illustration for article titled Why There Will Never Be Another Bo Jackson

That is none more rock.


You're walking to get your car in a packed lot with tons of drivers circling the lot looking for any spot. Is there anything more rewarding than when you pull out your keys, make eye contact with the closest driver, and point to your car? I feel like I really made a difference in that driver's life and in society. It's on par with how Oprah feels when she gives those poor assholes cars.


I agree. It's the same feeling you get when you give a lost person proper directions. I feel like Gandhi for five minutes. SO MUCH POWER. Of course, usually when people ask me for directions, I have no idea, and I have to stammer out a, "Sorry, man" to them. God, I feel like I let them down in that moment. They were counting on me to help them find the CVS, and I fucking blew it. It's awful. Here are some other daily moments of do-gooding that I give myself far too much credit for:

  • Helping an old lady retrieve a can from a high shelf in the supermarket. "Say. sonny boy, could you reach those tomatoes back there?" God, that makes me feel young and strong. LOOK AT ME WITH MY EXTENDABLE ARMS. Reaching your tomatoes is nothing to me MWAHAHAHAHA
  • Collecting your neighbor's mail for them when they're away. Dave's gun catalog will NEVER get soaked in the rain while he's in the Bahamas. And it's all because of ME!
  • "Excuse me, sir! You dropped this dollar bill while you were running down the street." They never give you a finder's fee for this.
  • Giving someone change for a dollar. You would have been up shit creek with the meter maid if I hadn't been Johnny on the Spot with my roll of quarters, buddy. YOU OWE ME A BRO HUG.


I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa - it's relevant to the question, I'm not just showing how fucking holy and selfless I am - and I thought of this query: What's the worst/best mosquito kill-splat: a) Clean kill. Just a mosquito corpse. No bites. b) Bloody kill and YOU have been bitten, presumably by that selfsame fucker. c) Bloody kill BUT you haven't been bitten. Someone you know (OR weirder, someone you DON'T know) clearly has.


I like staring at a bleeding, exploded mosquito corpse as much as the next guy, but that doesn't make up for being actually bitten. I'd much rather take option A and remain bite-free than marvel at the amount of plasma that son of a bitch was actually able to Hoover up in the 30 minutes he perched on my arm without me noticing. Standing in triumph over a gory mosquito murder scene isn't worth the ensuing hours of endless scratching, working the bump on my arm over and over again until I've broken the skin anew.

Mosquito season is bearing down on us, with bigger and more terrifying bloodsuckers coming to ruin our patio drinking. It's remarkable how easily you forget about the onset of mosquitoes during the winter. Once spring arrives, I'm focused on sunshine and halter tops and grilling vast quantities of meat. It never occurs to me that, as always, mosquitoes will show up to ruin every goddamn thing. Oh well. At least I'll get to light citronella torches that don't end up actually doing anything. I like to pretend I'm part of an angry lynch mob whenever I hold one. TAKE US TO THE MONSTER.



If you possessed the magic ticket from Last Action Hero, which three (non-porn) movies would you step into?


If we go by the logic of that movie (NOTE: I saw that movie a shitload of times when I was a teenager and I do not recommend you do likewise), once you step into the movie, movie rules apply. If you're a good guy, bullets never hit you (or when they do, they don't do much damage). Hot women walk around everywhere, even in the most mundane places. And, much to Gregg Easterbrook's chagrin, you never get checked by customs if you're an FBI agent entering a foreign jurisdiction.

With that in mind, you're gonna want three completely different experiences from the movies you choose. You're gonna want the thrill of an action movie. You're gonna want the intimacy of being inside some kickass historical or futuristic epic. And, of course, you're gonna want to have sex with a really attractive actress. You can pick a whole lot of movies and not go wrong. Off the top of my head, three good ones would be:

  • Ocean's 11. You get to wear nice clothes AND rob a casino and get away with it. And it's done in a relatively tidy running time.
  • Return of the Jedi. Preferably aboard the Falcon as it escapes from the Death Star. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWWWW!!!
  • Mischief. I have my reasons. Don't I, very young Kelly Preston before John Travolta convinced you to be his beard?!

Also a dark horse candidate: The Fall. Be sure to be stoned off your ass when you get the magic ticket.


Is there anything worse in the world of shitting than having to take a shit right after putting a suit on?


Raise your hand if you've ever pissed on the tip of your tie because you accidentally let the tie dangle in front of your penis when you sat down on the bowl.

/raises hand

/sees no one else has raised their hand

/quickly puts hand back down

Obviously, taking a shit after putting on your finery can be a real buzzkill. Any time you put on a suit (NOTE: a clean suit; it doesn't count if you're throwing on a crumpled suit on Friday morning to stagger into work hungover), you get that suit buzz. You straighten your tie. You walk in front of the mirror and marvel at yourself. MY GOD, WHO IS THAT HANDSOME FUCKER?! It's a really nice moment, especially if there's a wife or girlfriend there to be like, "Look at you! You clean up so nice! SUCH A GOOD DOGGY!"


Anyway, taking a shit in the middle of your suit buzz ruins it. You have undo all the good that you just did. You have to take off your jacket and throw your tie over your shoulder and make sure you don't shit on your shirttails. It's a reminder that, underneath all that Egyptian cotton, you're still a loathsome pig.

Also a ruiner of your suit buzz: Getting in a car. You dressed up all nice for that wedding. Now it's time to throw your jacket in the backseat so it gets wrinkled and then sit in the driver's seat for 40 minutes so that your ass and lower back get all nice and sweaty. GAHHHHH!




I don't know about you, but to me, there is nothing more rewarding than kicking loose all the snow that has accumulated on the bottom of your car in the winter. When it really builds up in the wheel well and you have to kick the shit out of it a few times, the feeling of accomplishment is unrivaled when a huge mound of ice and snow falls to the ground.


Wait, what about when the top of your car is covered in that wet snow that has a frozen crust? You can push CONTINENTS of snow off the top of your car when that happens. I feel like I'm breaking apart the West Antarctic ice shelf when I do that. Look at the chasm I have formed with only my bare hands! And then the whole thing goes crashing down to the ground and I get snow all over my new suit. It was worth it. I also like sliding snow off of my car hood and watching it crumble in front of my car. Not so tough now, are you, snow?


What is it about restricted entry/employee's only areas that make me so jealous? I'm not just talking about that "RESTRICTED ENTRY" door at the airport where you know that pilots are doing lines of coke and getting BJ's from flight attendants while the baggage handlers are rifling through my belongings. The big swinging double doors at Best Buy give me the same emotions. What's going on back there? Are all the employees laughing and having a good time without me? I'm a loyal, hassle free customer, why can't I be invited back there?


Trust me, you don't want to go in the back at Best Buy. If you go in the back at Best Buy, then you're even more surrounded by Best Buy salespeople, who are the worst people on the face of the Earth. NOTHING will stop them from getting you to plunk down $600 on a Samsung LCD right this instant. Walk in and they'll pick your bones clean. It's not like the restricted areas at the airport, where you get to watch the luggage go on giant roller coasters and watch as undercover air marshals wear bandoliers of armor-piercing bullets.

The only time I get angry about restricted areas is when I have to piss really badly in a restaurant and the bathrooms and restricted areas are unmarked, so I have no clue which is which. I always end up trying to piss in the supply closet. It should always say NOT A BATHROOM on the door. By the way, GQ did a story last month about urban explorers, these crazy motherfuckers who break into restricted areas and walk around sewers and shit for weeks at a time. I can't get down with hanging in a sewer, but climbing up suspensions bridges? THAT'S ALL ME. Every time I drive over a bridge and see a little catwalk running up it for utility workers, I have to fight the urge to stop my car and go running up that shit to have a life-and-death duel with Christopher Walken.


I feel that the golf commentators truly do ADD something to the viewing experience. As someone who has played golf competitively, I still enjoy listening to many of the commentators (although there are still a handful that are completely awful).


You're right, in some ways. Golf NEEDS announcers to tell you what kind of club the guy is using, and they need to tell you the slope of the green because it's hard to tell when you're watching it on TV. I'm always amazed at how well someone like Nick Faldo can explain exactly how and where the grass is undulating. "The green is gonna slope down to the right 5.6 inches right in front of the ball and then swing back up. He's going to have to apply about 43 pounds-per-square-inch of pressure on his swing to get past that dip and, swinging at a 32-degree angle, gently deposit the ball into the cup." And then the golfer leaves it short and the announcer is like OH GOD HE FUCKED IT ALL UP! That's always a blast to watch.

By the way, I've always thought that golf broadcasts should do the Mario Golf 64 thing and put a grid down on the green so that I know where Tiger Woods is supposed to aim.



I'm mounting a TV in our new house this weekend so I just bought this laser level from Home Depot for like $15. It got me wondering, if I had a laser level in, say, the Dark Ages, would I instantly be revered as the Grand Master Stone Mason of All Europe? I mean, it took hundreds of years to develop the technology to build a cathedral. I betcha my $15 gadget would cut that time down a few thousand percent. If I went back in time with just minimal modern tools, would I be able to re-build the 8th wonder of the world or something?


In theory, yes. You would become king of the freemasons and have access to all of the society's secret Jesus assassination papers. But, in reality, people would see your laser, accuse you of necromancy, and then have you stoned to death. And then your level would be thrown into a pit of fire and rendered useless. People back then were fucking morons.

Besides, you wouldn't be able to rebuild Notre Dame on your own because you're a modern American and you despise manual labor. You'd go to the middle of Paris looking for Ecuadoran day laborers to do all the building for you and you'd come up empty. It's a real rude awakening. (By the way, if you use a laser level and don't pretend that your laser can wipe out hordes of invading aliens, you're not human. Lasers are awesome.)



For the Super Bowl, both teams stay in separate hotels. But, what would happen if terrorists blew up one hotel, killing an entire team? (Let's say the 49ers this year) Most people think Comrade Goodell would cancel the game and not award any champion, but I tend to think they'd postpone the game for a week and invite the Falcons to fill in for the Niners and wear SF uniforms as some kind of "tribute" shit.


That sounds like an NFL move: commerce wrapped in patriotism's clothing. But man, I dunno. Playing the Super Bowl a week after 50 men (and presumably a great number of hotel and team staffers along with tourists) have been murdered? I have a hard time believing that even the NFL could get away with that. You're talking about a major act of war, something that would cause us to re-invade Afghanistan (because it totally works!) and spur major global conflict. It would reverberate almost as much as 9/11 did. You would remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when Jim Harbaugh died in an explosion. I don't know that you'd give a shit about the Super Bowl after that.

I always thought one of the small miracles of this century was that 9/11 wasn't followed up by smaller-scale attacks all across the country. I spent a lot of time worried that someone would walk onto a bus with a nail bomb and blow the thing up, or something like that. But it never really happened. Turns out, we do a much better job randomly killing each other than terrorists do. GOOD JOB, ERRBUDDY!



So, last night I had my first squirting orgasm!!! That's pretty badass of my pussy, right? Is this totally amazing? Or is this just weird for guys to deal with? Are they just gonna think I pissed myself? Do I warn them beforehand, or just let it rain?


Let it rain, girl. Let him think he made that happen. I HAD THE KEY TO THE FLOODGATES!


Can we all join hands and agree to replace lettuce with baby spinach in all salads/sandwiches? It's healthier, it tastes better (it actually has taste) and it is much easier to control. There's nothing worse than getting a burger with a 4x4 plank of romaine engulfing the meat.


Yeah, but I don't want spinach on top of my burger. The bitterness would overwhelm everything else. The only reasons I put lettuce on my hamburger are A) To give it the fabled "textural element," and B) To give me the illusion that I have included vegetables in the meal. That's why a decent burger usually includes a couple leaves of iceberg lettuce, which has zero nutritional value but at least maintains its integrity. There's nothing worse than trying to put some mixed lettuce onto a sandwich or burger only to watch it all go falling off instantly. Sometimes I put the top of the bun over the burger immediately to trap the lettuce, then I smoosh that shit down to keep the lettuce from going anywhere. It's not a great way of doing things.

Too often, lettuce causes mass chaos. I can't toss a salad (yes, yes) without eight different bits of baby lettuce flying out of the goddamn bowl. And the size of the bowl doesn't matter. You could use a satellite dish and that shit would still come flying out.



I was watching Chopped Champions last night, when it dawned on me that the different stations the chefs use offer distinct advantages during the competition. I will outline below:

Station closest to the Judges/Ted Allen

PRO: Closer to the plates and dishes. This is obviously a huge advantage in a timed competition when plating always comes down to the wire! Think about how quickly you can snatch those ramekens and get your bread pudding into the oven!

CON: Being closer to the judges you're under their constant supervision. I sure as hell don't need Scott Conant eyeballing me while I make my tortellini. The pressure could be intense, enough to crack even a veteran chef.

Station closest to the Pantry/Fridge

PRO: Obviously your closer to the necessary ingredients and appliances. This will amount to a huge time savings as you run back and forth looking for the smoked paprika.

CON: Your station is constantly being invaded by your competitors also heading the pantry. BEHIND! HOT BEHIND! BEHIND YOU! Shut up, grab a hotel pan and procure all your necessary ingredients in on shot, there's no reason to be going back and forth to the pantry. Why don't the chefs ever run on the other side of the table. Is this area out of bounds? I DEMAND Ted Allen provide us with these answers.


I assume that you can't run in front of the table because it's too close to the cameras. Every room on television looks bigger than it actually is, so those cameramen are likely right in the chef's faces as they're cooking, which means there's probably little to no room in front of the table. Or there are massive wires running in front that could cause you to trip and fall to your death as you're heading for the ice cream maker.

As for the station advantages, I think they could influence the competition to a certain degree. The problem is that the clock turns virtually all the contestants into complete fucking idiots, which means they don't feel like they have time to make ONE thoughtful pantry run, and instead make a million of them. And they forget about the plates until the last second, too. OH RIGHT! I HAVE TO ACTUALLY SERVE THIS HORSE TAIL. That kind of idiocy under pressure means that contestants probably don't take advantage of their station situation as often as they ought to. They're too busy butchering the Puffer Fish. All we can agree on is that the middle guy gets fucked.


Email of the week time.


I was flying back home to Vegas from a business trip late Friday night. I had an aisle seat and in the seats next to me was a couple who had apparently just met, were quite tipsy, and really liked each other. Shortly after takeoff they start making out. After a while the guy looks up and asks me politely to turn off my overhead light (I was reading) so they can have some privacy. I comply, and they start going at it even more hot and heavy.

I'm trying to be cool so I'm staring out of the corner of my eye and can see, over her shoulder, that he has one hand down her shirt, and is fingerbanging her with his other. Eventually they went to the restroom and tried to consummate the relationship but the attendants were having none of that and sent them back to their seats, where they resumed their heavy petting. So my question is: since I had to be inconvenienced by turning off mylight and being forced to sit in the dark for hours, would I have been in violation of rules by openly staring at the Cinemax show next to me, or did I do the right thing by pretending to ignore it while straining my eye muscles staring out of the corner of my eye so bad they hurt for days?


Shouldn't you have been allowed to take photos?

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.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`