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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Why You Will Never See Another Big Olympic Boycott

Illustration for article titled Why You Will Never See Another Big Olympic Boycott
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I had to drive from DC to South Carolina on Sunday, and when I crossed the border into South Cackalacky, I saw a giant tower with a sombrero on top to the left of the highway. This was South of the Border, the world's weirdest fucking highway stop. I felt like the boat crew in Apocalypse Now suddenly coming across the USO show. It didn't seem real. It was like someone's took a Chili's and suffused it with 5,000 pounds of LSD. Here is the sales copy from their website:

The Sombrero Observation Tower is over 200 feet high and its glass elevator gives riders a full view of South of the Border’s grounds as it glides to the top. The newly painted and renovated tower gives visitors a full 360-degree view of the Carolina countryside. At night, its neon lights glow and twinkle making it look like a sombrero shaped spacecraft!


I can't even imagine the kind of human despair that goes on at that place.

Time for your letters.


Will Doubles Luge violate Russia's anti-gay laws? And would the US ever have the stones to boycott an Olympics ever again?


If we couldn't muster the courage to boycott the Beijing Olympics in the wake of numerous human rights violations, or to sit out these Sochi Olympics because the Russians won't allow you to even say nice things about gay people, we're never pulling a 1980 again. Never ever ever. The President of the host Olympics country could wipe his nuts on the First Lady's chin and we still wouldn't boycott. There are too many people that have a financial and/or personal interest in keeping the Olympics running on schedule: TV execs, advertisers, athletes who would mow down a school of Tibetan children for a gold medal, IOC officials who hate the idea of refunding bribe money, etc. Our creaky political machinery has no hope of standing up to those factions.

If the President ever tried to mandate a boycott, those people would pull all of his party's campaign funding. Some asshole would run a TV ad that said, "The President loves queers more than he loves 'MERICA!" The IOC would never let one of our cities host an Olympics again. The potential consequences are enough to cow any 21st century American political leader. None of them have the sack to actually demand people make sacrifices in the name of basic human decency. And so the Sochi Olympics will go on, and NBC will let Bob Costas do one tasteful segment about Russia's anti-gay laws, and that will be it. It's not comforting to know that we can't take a stand on anything if it means a fucking Coke billboard is endangered by it.


How come we don't see one person doing kicking and punting in the NFL? It seems like someone should be able to pull that off, and it would help a team save a roster spot. Also said kicker/punter would get paid a little more than they would just being a kicker or punter.


Both jobs are so specialized that if you signed a kicker/punter, he would probably be able to DO both jobs, but not do them well. At the very height of the profession, the guys who are the best kickers are the ones whose hamstrings stretch a hundredth of a millimeter longer than, say, Billy Cundiff's. Microscopic differences in ability are magnified to an insane degree, so a kicker who takes up the job of punter would probably have his technique compromised in both instances. Remember: plenty of NFL teams have saved a roster spot just for guys who kick off, so you can imagine how much more vast the difference is between kicking and punting.

An Ironman kicker would probably have a subpar Net Punt Average, and he'd probably miss 30 to 40 percent of his field goal attempts from over 40 yards. Is it worth keeping a sixth shitty linebacker on your spot at the expense of all those lost points and lost yardage? No.



What would be the five artifacts throughout history that would generate the highest auction bids? What would be your list and what do you think the final bid prices would be? After about 30 minutes of deliberation, we came up with:

1) Cross Jesus was crucified on, intact (bid easily in the tens of billions, with the Vatican being the consensus winner)


2) Ark of the Covenant (also in the billions)

3) Original writings of Muhammad (the entire country of Saudi Arabia bids against Dubai - this one gets ugly and might lead to a war)


4) Holy Grail

5) Noah's Ark (assuming you could safely transport the entire thing. I see Larry Ellison buying this one as a power move).


We have to assume that there's no hypothetical limit to what people can bid, since something like the True Cross would never be put up for auction and, even if it were, it would have a value so high that no one could actually purchase it. Also, we're assuming that the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant actually exist, and that they are NOT imbued with supernatural powers that can melt a Nazi's face off. If there really were a Holy Grail that bequeathed eternal life to you, it would be worth 70 quadrillion dollars.

I still think certain works of art—the Mona Lisa, The Starry Night—belong on that list. The Mona Lisa is the most recognizable piece of art in the history of the world. For insurance purposes, it's been valued at over a billion dollars. I'd rather have that than Noah's Ark. What are you gonna do with that Ark? It's not seaworthy anymore. And it's probably loaded with old giraffe droppings. No thank you.


Other candidates include the Rosetta Stone, the Hope Diamond, the Crown Jewels, and the Sistine Chapel. After all, the Chapel is an artifact in itself. If the Vatican was pressed for cash in the wake of numerous child molestation legal settlements, it could probably fetch and hefty ransom for the chapel. A.J. Daulerio would easily offer $12.45 for it.


Has anyone ever permanently mixed up identical twins? Especially with all the confusion surrounding a newborn, it has to be virtually impossible that the given name of the kid is the one he ultimately ends up with. Eventually I'm sure there's distinguishing characteristics which help the parents but there has to be some solid percentage of parents who unknowingly pulled the permanent switcheroo.


I think it's happened. I know mothers of twins are always like, "I can absolutely tell them apart because of my magical mommy powers," but I bet they say that just to comfort themselves. What if mommy is a drunk? It would be relatively easy for Tiki to become Ronde and Ronde to become Tiki (and then for them to get switched once more so that everything falls back into place).

In general, a baby can respond to its first name before it even turns a year old. Once the child knows its own name, it's awfully hard to switch their identities. It would have to happen in the newborn stages. And really, would it matter THAT much at that point? So you mixed them up. They're babies. They have all the time in the world to slip into their new identities. If I were a twin and someone was like, "You're not Sam. You were actually Bob at birth," I would be like well, that's tough shit for my brother, because I'm Sam now. DIBS.


If you want really want to keep twins distinct from birth, all you need is a tattoo artist. Problem solved.


Do you think guys with names of attractive celebrities get residual women? Does a normal guy also named James Franco get laid more often just because his name is James Franco?


No, I think it's much harder for them because they are a living letdown. You're not the James Franco. You're Jimmy Franco, and you're boring. Your date was all excited to go out with that dude who acts in movies and takes too many dipshit grad school courses, and now her night is ruined.

I got an email once from Dan Savage, and I was like COOL! DAN SAVAGE emailed me! But it wasn't that Dan Savage. It was just some law school student named Dan Savage. Pfft, what have you ever done for the gays, Other Dan Savage? You make me sick.



Assuming no weapons, what is the maximum number of average-joes the single best fighter in the world can take on at a single time?


If they're all equal sizes, I think a gang of five or six guys could probably subdue Royce Gracie if they needed to. It only takes a few guys to subdue a full-grown crocodile, so wrangling a human—even one skillfully trained in hand-to-hand combat—would probably be a comparable task. A great fighter can probably fend off three guys, maybe four. But he's only got two arms and two feet. He can only engage with so many opponents at a time before some extra assailant comes in unguarded. Unless he's an OCTOMAN.

Again, this assumes that the angry gang of Raiders fans have the courage to attack simultaneously, and standing around hoping someone else charges in first to receive the first Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.




So my uncle by marriage and his family moved across the United States while he was flying for one of the Armed Forces. About 15 years ago, they moved from a Midwestern state to the East Coast because he had "retired" from the military and had accepted a job with a private firm. I say "retired" because we later learned, about 6-8 years ago, that his move was actually a designed decoy by the military; the missions he was flying were so top secret that they faked his retirement and gave him a fake corporation that everyone thought he worked for (everyone, including his kids, but excluding his wife).

We only found this out because certain portions of the mission had become declassified over the years but to this day we still don't know what he was doing during those "retired" years. When asked, all he can tell us was that he wasn't in danger but the people he transported could have been. What was he doing? Was he a Seal Team Six pilot? Did he fly to Mars and back?


HE'S A MOLE. He's telling you that his missions were classified because he was working for the dirty Russkies the whole time, bombing gays every chance he got.

Seriously though, I assume he was flying missions into countries that, technically speaking, we aren't supposed to be flying into. And I assume that he was delivering highly trained KILL SQUADS of Special Forces/Green Berets/SEALS/Rangers/Delta Force/Monster Squad operatives to kill various terrorist leaders and drug cartel kingpins. They kept his identity top secret so that Al Qaeda couldn't find him and be like, So it was Jimmy who was bombing us that whole time. We're gonna kill the SHIT out of Jimmy. Or perhaps he was transporting heads of state, and they didn't want his identity compromised so that enemies could figure out where Obama/Hillary/Biden were jetting off to.


All of that is reasonable. But if I were you, I'd prefer to never know the truth. I would prefer to stay in the dark so that I can imagine the most outlandish shit possible about your uncle: transporting alien corpses, rescuing spies once Ghost Protocol has been issued, etc. Reality is always so much more boring than what you can conjure up.


If you were to keep a count of how many times each movie is watched per year, which movie would come out on top every year? This includes DVD's, VHS, Netflix, Redbox and all other platforms where an individual would voluntarily put an effort towards watching the movie. Finding something that's on satellite or cable doesn't count. I'm going The Lion King. Suitable for all ages and is loved by everyone.


It's definitely a children's film because children have a higher tolerance for watching the same movie over and over and over again. I'm older now, and I never want to watch the same movie more than twice. Ever. I have all these DVDs I bought when I was in my 20s because I thought I would watch Braveheart 60 more times. I'm NEVER watching it again. I got it. I know it well enough by now. If I have the free time to watch a movie, I'm watching some NEW flick where people get thrown out of castle towers, not the same one I saw before.

I assume the title-holder changes annually based upon what new movies have entered the marketplace, but I bet that Finding Nemo has taken the top spot on more than one occasion. It's the #1 selling DVD of all time, and kids like watching Pixar movies over and over again (more so than traditional 2D cartoons, which most kids now treat like boring museum artifacts). It has to be Finding Nemo, or Shrek, or Toy Story 3, or Monsters Inc., or even Cars. If it's Cars, I'll burn this country to the ground.



I was at a country wedding this weekend. Outdoor ceremony in front of a barn, wedding party entered to country music, bride rode in a horse to (I think) Taylor Swift.

Am I an awful person for wishing she fell of the fucker?



By the way, if you're gonna ride into your wedding ceremony on a horse, you should take your vows on the horse, too. And the reverend should also be on a horse. And the horses should also get married. And the rev's horse should be killed and cooked for the reception. Don't half-ass a horse wedding.



One could easily argue that air, train, and auto travel are all becoming increasingly shitty, especially in heavily populated areas. Is anyone working on this or are my great grandkids going to be dealing with all the same bullshit travel annoyances that you and I have today?


Not only will your great grandkids probably be dealing with the same bullshit that you and I deal with, but it'll probably be worse for them. Consider that the Hyperloop has already received a fair amount of derision. The second people start zeroing in on cost and environmental impact and whether you would have to move a town hall six feet to accommodate our futuristic blast pods, the entire plan goes to shit. People, and politicians in particular, don't like doing anything. Building a Hyperloop means doing a LOT. And that's hard! If you tried to build a Transcontinental Railroad today, you'd get about as far as fucking Albany.

And don't think the people at BIG PLANE aren't already working to undermine Elon Musk's vision. Any kind of newfangled travel infrastructure that's super fast and cool as shit can only be built by an entity that has both the money to burn, the authority to build it whenever and wherever it wants, and the power to lash workers into slaving over it, which means you gotta go to Commie China to ride on a MagLev train. Total bullshit. I would totally sacrifice all my human rights for a ride on the Hyperloop.


Don't forget about weather fucking everything up, too. The weather is so insane nowadays that all departure times listed on the airport monitor may as well say WHENEVER. Once the polar ice caps melt and half of the Eastern Seaboard is underwater, it's gonna be a real bitch to fly into LaGuardia. I'm not looking forward to it.

Not Johnny Manziel:

I play quarterback for my high school football team in Texas. A year ago I threw an interception in a blowout game. Our varsity defense and their JV offense came on the field. They ran a run play. Our safety came up and attempted to tackle their running back, but he got his finger caught in the kid's facemask. He tried to pull his hand out, but instead he turned the kid's head somewhere between 180 and 360 degrees.

The kid went down, coughed up the ball and we recovered. The kid didn't get up. He was paralyzed, and they had to call the special ambulance with the doctors in it and everything. I went out after a thirty-minute layoff and threw an 85-yard touchdown pass on the next play, picking on the backup corner who had come into the game for the paralyzed player (he played both ways).

The kid recovered somehow, so he can walk, but I heard from one of my friends on the opposing team that he will never be able to play sports again. Am I right to feel guilty about this whole situation? If it matters, we lost the game by 40 points.


You shouldn't feel guilty about picking on the replacement DB when his teammate got carted off. That's just sound strategy. AIN'T NO PLACE IN THIS GAME FOR BLEEDIN' HEARTS. I say you should pad your garbage time stats while you can. When else will you encounter a team that emotionally vulnerable?

It's only natural to feel shitty for a kid who was so severely injured (I also feel bad for the kid who got his finger stuck, because that probably hurt really bad), and to wonder if it was appropriate to even continue playing the game. It's good that you have that kind of internal compassion. It means you're not a serial killer. So long as you didn't stand over the paralyzed kid and shout YOU GOT JACKED UP, BITCH!, I think you're all right.



What would happen if our three acting commissioners for football, basketball, and baseball agreed to step into another sport as interim commissioner for 5 years? Which sport would reap the greatest benefit from the experiment? Which would suffer?


If David Stern was put in charge of the NFL, he would be fired instantly by the owners because they wouldn't tolerate him acting as if he was their boss. And if Stern or Goodell were placed in charge of baseball, there would immediately be some kind of labor strife. There's no way that Stern or Goodell could tolerate—even comprehend—the idea of a sport not having a salary cap. WE'VE GOT TO GET THESE SALARIES UNDER CONTROL FOR THE GOOD OF AMERICA! Also, if Goodell were put in charge of the NBA, he would suspend everyone indefinitely while wearing some kind of commemorative Navy ship baseball hat.

Oddly enough, I think Bud would probably be the most versatile commissioner of the bunch. Just put him in charge of any league and he'd be like AWWW JEEZ, YOU GUYS, I DUNNO IF THAT'S A GOOD IDEA BUT AW GEE I GUESS IF YOU'RE OKAY WITH IT THEN I AM. Presto! Four extra wild card teams in the NFL. He's a five-tool toady.



Consider this case that a guy in my firm is handling: the plaintiff took a vaccine for hepatitis B and had the most f’ed up allergic reaction to it that has ever occurred in the history of the world.

Apparently, in about 1:1.5 million vaccines, people develop a severe blistering and peeling of their skin – as in, the skin peels OFF your body and doesn’t return. This poor bastard not only had this, but had it on his penis. It was so severe that his penis literally fell off his body.

What followed is something I cannot believe missed national news: he got a dick transplant from a dead black guy (the plaintiff is white). While that may sound like an upgrade for most white dudes, unfortunately, this guy’s new big penis does not work. How cruel is life that it not only allowed this guy’s johnson to fall off, only to be replaced by a large “new” one, but one that doesn’t work?


Well now, suddenly everything Jenny McCarthy has ever said about vaccines makes perfect sense.

Anyway, penis transplants are apparently a real thing. FUN FACT: The first man to ever receive a penis transplant ended up having to give the penis BACK because of "a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife." The penis worked just fine, but the poor bastard's wife REJECTED the thing. Think about how whipped you have to be to send your new penis back and live with a stump just because the missus can't tolerate the idea of having John Doe's organ inside of her now. That is some kind of influence that lady wields. I wouldn't give that second penis back for all the penises in China.


You get two emails of the week this week. Let's go.


I was the head coach of a college summer league team in rural NC, and one day on the bus my assistant coach and I got to talking about what we would do if we came face-to-face with Bigfoot. My initial reaction was to challenge him to a fist fight. Out of nowhere our (extremely southern) bus driver chimes up with, "the fuck you would". When asked how he knew what I would do, he responded with the greatest tale of all time.

It was 1972 and he has just gotten out of the military. He was the baddest SOB on the planet. Hearing there was a $500 prize at the NC State Fair for anyone who could beat a full grown orangutan in a fistfight, he knew he was the man for the job. He jumped in his El Dorado and pounded a fifth of vodka on his way down.

When he got there and hopped in the ring, the monkey just stood there. So like anyone he uppercut the fucking monkey clear across the cage, slamming it into the fence.

He said the monkey popped right back up, and just then, "That monkey made eyes across the ring and he knew he fucked up". The monkey then proceeded to jump on him and beat him for three minutes, and in his words, it felt like three grown men with bats had assaulted him.

Having been through this, there is no way I would fist fight a Bigfoot. Would PETA shit bricks if they heard of a monkey fighting ring now a days?


I don't believe a word of that story, and yet I love it anyway. Please do not fight an orangutan.


I went to college in Montana and on the eve of my 21st birthday my friends took me to a strip club called Teasers. This was the kind of strip club where the strippers kept their baby behind the bar while they danced. They also had a tradition where, on your birthday, they would pull you up on stage write all over you and spank you with belts. I may have used a few choice words describing one of the exotic dancing professionals and my belting was on the severe side. I was black and blue from the back of my knees to my shoulders.

The next morning, I wake up in my bed next to my then-girlfriend and get up to empty my bladder when I step into a huge puddle on my rug where apparently I had peed during the night. I then get a call from a number I do not recognize. I answer it and this guy goes, “Hey how ya doin” and hands it to a few girls that start singing happy birthday.

The guy gets back on and asks how my head feels and I respond with something like, “My head feels fine, but I got my ass beat by strippers last night and I think I peed on my floor,” to which he replies with a very nervous chuckle, “Whoa too much information” It is at this moment that I realize that the person that I am speaking to is not a random friend who’s number I have lost, but my girlfriend's father, and the girls that sang me happy birthday were her mom and younger sister and they have all heard my response on speaker phone.

So I did what any sane person would who just told his girlfriend’s parents that he is an incontinent drunk who frequents strip clubs: I screamed like a little girl, hung up the phone and avoided them like a plague until my terrible relationship eventually fell apart.


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.

Art by Sam Woolley

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