Should Pro Athletes Take Sabbaticals?

Should Pro Athletes Take Sabbaticals?

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we’re covering cartoon duos, autocorrect, buying the White House, and more.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: I am on vacation next week. Your Funbag will be manned by former punter and current man-of-leisure Chris Kluwe, so yell at him over here with your questions.

Now, your letters:



While watching the Adrian Peterson press conference a while back one of the questions asked was how he felt after a year off. He answered as expected, but as a fellow Vikings fan it got me reminiscing back 2012 and what he did after missing eight months. That made me wonder what happens if he goes out next season, has the best year of his career and goes on to have 4-5 more good seasons to eventually break the rushing record to prove that running backs can play well into their 30’s? Do future running backs look at it and think taking a year off in the middle of their career will help? Obviously Adrian didn’t take nearly two years off for his own goodwill, but do we start to see guys like Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley take sabbaticals to get healthy?

That’ll never happen because A) There’s no real scientific proof that taking a full year off can help elongate your career (you are resting but also aging!), and B) No team or its fans would stand for it. Look at Derrick Rose. He basically took a year off to get his knee right, and for that, he had an entire nation brand him as soft. WHAT A SELFISH, GUTLESS ASSHOLE. I GUESS HE JUST DOESN’T WANT IT!

It’s a shame because, under the right circumstances, I could see how a sabbatical from any sport would be beneficial. Look at LeBron James. He’s played in five straight NBA Finals. Over 100 basketball games a year. I can’t even imagine the toll that takes on your joints and muscles, not to mention your psyche. This man just lost the Finals AND showed the world his dick. He could probably use a year abroad in Italy, apprenticing for a cobbler. But instead he’s gonna get right back into the muck, because if he took a Sabbatical after just one year in Cleveland, fans would go fucking berserk. Why did he leave? Is it something we did? What if he never comes back? TRAITOR! FUCKING TRAITOR!

In general, it’s very hard to take any kind of extended break from the world anymore. I know I’m not capable of it. There’s too much shit going on; there’s too much shit to engage with. You find yourself terrified of falling behind on money, on relevance, on your place in the grand scheme of things. Screens make it even harder, of course. I can’t take a plane ride without freaking out that I’ve missed some critical sports transaction. OH MY GOD THE SAINTS TRADED A DRAFT PICK AND I WASN’T THERE FOR IT WHEN I NEEDED TO BE. Shit like that.

There is this illusion of momentum, where you feel like everything will fall apart if you are not engaged with it at all times, and that can be true of regular people and NBA superstars alike. Being on social media or whatever makes you more visible to more people, which means you become even MORE hung up on what those people are thinking about you at all times, even if they aren’t thinking about you at all.

And it’s all bullshit because the world keeps moving no matter what. LeBron could fuck off for a year and tune out all the hubbub over it and come back and everything would probably be just fine. But you have to have the balls to do it. Or you have to get secretly suspended for gambling and then pretend to take up minor league baseball. ZING!


I got into an argument about best cartoon duo with my friend. I say Beavis and Butthead are the best cartoon duo. He says that Chip and Dale (those stupid chipmunks) are better.

He’s an idiot. What grown man watches Chip and Dale cartoons? That’s nonsense. Here are the best cartoon duos:

1. Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. If you haven’t seen Chuck Jones’ list of rules for making those cartoons, I highly recommend it.

2. Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd

3. Mr. Burns and Smithers

4. Tom and Jerry

5. Beavis and Butthead

6. Ren & Stimpy

7. Ace & Gary

8. Buzz & Woody

9. Wallace & Gromit

10. Foghorn Leghorn and George the dog

11. Shaggy and Scooby Doo

12. Yogi & Booboo

13. Daffy Duck & Porky Pig. I hate Porky Pig. Porky Pig sucks. I’m not even gonna make the standard joke about him not wearing pants. He’s just a stammering, worrying moron. He irritates me. Nothing worse than putting on Looney Toons and getting some WWI-era Porky Pig cartoon that feels nine hours long. Porky Pig can eat a dick.

That is my list. You know what? Go ahead and put the Wonder Twins in last place here. The Wonder Twins were fucking stupid.


Do you think Caitlyn Jenner will ever drop a sex tape, like Kim?

No, because she doesn’t have to resort to that to get attention. You drop the sex tape to get the initial round of attention, and then you publicly disavow it, and then you build a phony-baloney career off of its notoriety. You’re classy now!

But Caitlyn Jenner is already super famous and gets a shitload of attention, so the sex tape isn’t necessary. Someone should start a sex tape consultancy business in Los Angeles. They could advise you as to WHEN to drop the sex tape, who you should film it with, and what acts you should perform in the tape. “Lindsay, I know a respected character actor who would be PERFECT for you to blow on a rooftop.”


In the near future, when smartphones can analyze and replicate any odor, the primary use of this technology will be for guys to send each other the smell of their farts, right?

God, I hope so. I would also capture the smell of any good food for the sole reason of sending it to people and taunting them with it. “DOESN’T THIS POT ROAST SMELL GOOD? WELL FUCK YOU IT’S ALL MINE MWAHAHAHAHAHA!” People love it when you brag about living better than they do!

I would also want to post smells in any comment section. What better to start a flame war than to add a bit of methane to your OBUMMER comment?


Let’s say Netflix introduces a new app that allows you to watch a movie you’ve already seen, but it wipes your memory so it feels like this is the first time you’ve ever seen it and you can be completely surprised by whatever happens. Which film do you “see” first? I would go with The Sixth Sense, which I saw already knowing the ending, and always wondered if I would be able to see the big twist coming.

I think I would pick The Empire Strikes Back instead (provided the rest of the movies, save for the first one, have also been wiped clean from my memory). If I saw that movie for the first time now, my skull would collapse. I WOULD BE A CHILD AGAIN. That’s all Star Wars fanboys want… to relive their childhoods, because they’ve all failed so miserably in adulthood.

I would pick Empire, and I would pick Raiders, and then I would just wipe my brain over and over and re-watch both of them 7,000 times. No other movies would be needed. In fact, the entire movie industry would probably collapse as a result of this technology. Why reboot Spiderman when you can reboot it in your head instead?

Also, I would wipe every porn movie and sexy 80s movie clean. HOLY SHIT! BOOBS! GODDAMN! That would be a real eye-opener. Risky Business would be unreal.


How can we get a hold of the ducking shut head that is behind Apple’s nefarious autocorrecting? He needs to know the pain of the masses.

Yeah, but you can always turn it off. And I haven’t done it. I have accepted the trade-off: Auto-correct is a prudish moron who won’t let me swear, but will also finish off long words like “debutante” for me after typing in just four letters. And I’m just lazy enough to want that option. “Eh, let me mash a few letters with my thumb and let auto-correct figure the rest out.” It’s worth it, even if it is constantly correcting ON to IN for me. ON is also a word. Why did you think I meant IN? Go fuck yourself.

I’ll tell you one feature that I do turn off though: the auto-correct slot machine on top of the keyboard that offers three guesses as to what your sorry ass is typing. That thing will make you go blind. I’m trying to send a text. This is not a carnival. You don’t get a prize for guessing that I was trying to write “FRED.”


Just saw a woman enter the passenger side of a vehicle and then scoot over to the driver’s seat and drive away. This person is clearly, dangerously insane, right?

Was the driver’s side door too close to the other car to open? Because that happens, especially where I live. Where I live, the urban planners assumed that every citizen drives around in a Tron Lightcycle, so the parking spaces are roughly two feet wide. This is not enough room, especially when some Potomac soccer mom rolls up to the grocery store in a fucking retrofitted EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle. And they don’t park well, either. There’s no room anywhere, which means that you are often forced to enter your car through the hatchback. One day, I will have to take a welding torch and peel the roof off of my car just so I can make it out of a Whole Foods parking lot. This is a savage land.

ANYWAY, if this lady was just randomly entering from the other side, maybe there was a dog or a cat hanging out in the driver’s side, and she had to give the dog a cookie to get it to fuck off to the back. That’s all I can come up with.


What company logo has been tattooed on the most people? My vote is the Nike swoosh.

Do sports teams count as companies? Because they should. If we’re discounting sports teams and leagues and all that, I would vote for one of the car companies. Like Chevy. Or Mercedes. It can’t be the Apple logo, right? Please tell me it’s not the Apple logo. God, I’ll just sit down and cry if a million people got a fucking Apple logo tattoo.

Also, Hello Kitty. That counts as a logo. Tattooing that on your ankle makes you playful!


In what order do you shave your face? I do: (1) neck, (2) right cheek, (3) left cheek, (4) mustache, and (5) chin. Pretty sure I do it that way in case there’s a fire or something and I have to stop in the middle, I won’t be left with a side/neck beard and no goatee like Wolverine.

I start with the left cheek, at the sideburn, and drag that fucker down as far as I can, all the way down the neck. If I have a clean blade, I want to start off the shave by making as long a stroke as possible. Makes me feel like a big man. I would shave my whole face in one stroke if I were bold enough, like running a zamboni. MY GOD! HE ONLY USED ONE STROKE! HE IS SUPERMAN!

Then I do the other side, and then switch back, and then switch back again, and then pause for a moment to consider keeping the goatee (never), and then I do the mustache, and then the chin, and THEN I get any stray neck patches. So I’m pretty much on board with you. Also, I shave the middle of the mustache FIRST, to prevent any Hitlering.



What kind of incident would need to take place to have the NBA take away court side seats and turn them into foam walls? I don’t think one player/fan collision resulting in death would do it. I think 10 in a month would though.

I think more than one death—particularly if a prominent player died (OMG LeBron really DID split open his brain on that camera!)—might be enough to move the seats back. But they would NEVER put up nets or foam partitions because high rollers pay thousands of dollars for those seats, specifically because there’s no barrier between them and the players on the court. That makes them feel special and visible and important. After all, coaches ALSO sit court side, so that makes you a coach of some kind! Assistant Racial Epithet Coordinator.

It’s actually funny that people are still ponying up shitloads of cash to be seen at a basketball game now. What sane person wants to be seen anymore? I wanna be hidden, so that I can pick my goddamn nose in peace. You couldn’t pay me to sit there for two hours, adjusting my crotch for the world to see. Some nerdy blogger will make a Vine of it!


A buddy of mine makes his mixed drinks by pouring the soda, juice etc. first, then adding the alcohol…. He should acquire Lupus right?

Let’s not go overboard punishing him for his habit there. I mean, you MIX the drink, right? In theory, it shouldn’t matter which liquid you add first, even though we ALL know that putting the liquor in last keeps it floating at the top forever, and then that first sip is like drinking straight from an unleaded pump. Maybe your friend is an alkie and just wants to top his drink off every three minutes, imbibing pure booze while never actually consuming that needless mixer below. Don’t put anything past an alcoholic. They can find a way to justify pretty much anything.

I make cocktails once in a while, and sometimes they require some good ol’ muddling, which means you add the citrus and bitters and sugar or whatever FIRST, then some booze, then you stir it up, and then you add some ice. It usually comes out all right. And then I finish the cocktail, get lazy, and just pour rye whisky directly into my throat. That happens when you get older.


Let’s say the next president gets the “brilliant” idea to sell the White House to help put a dent in the deficit or pay for some robot soldier development program. Surely there’s some rich asshole out there willing to pay damn near anything for the WH. How much do you think the White House is worth?

Probably over $200 million. That’s about the cost of the most expensive house listed on the 2015 real estate market. So I assume the White House is worth that, plus an extra $50 million or so in intangibles. And you know what? We SHOULD sell the fucking thing. Why does our head of state live inside a giant target? HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND HIM, ALIENS! If I were President, I wouldn’t want to live in what amounts to a huge office building, with virtually no privacy of any kind.

And it’s a complete waste of money. Every new President gets to refurbish the White House as he sees fit. FUCK YOU. I’m not paying for new carpet just because your ego can’t handle walking around on the last guy’s carpet. You gotta keep the carpet, and the paint, and the cum-stained Presidential bedspread. Tough shit. I can’t believe it but I’m with Greggggggggg: No more special perks for GLORY BOY Presidents and other government officials. You gotta live in Detroit.

(By the way, I browsed a while back and the most expensive house listed at the time was some mansion in Greenwich, CT that cost over $100 million and did NOT have central air. $100 million for baseboard heating, man. The housing industry is fucking insane.)


So is it just me or does every one try and pick out a perfect office fuck spot? In all my jobs I’ve ever had I’ve tried to pick the perfect place (non-bathroom because where’s the fun in that) where people won’t find me in case some crazy sexual shit starts to go down in the office with a co-worker. Am I just a horny jackass or is this a common thing?

Hey, Gawker Media just moved offices! Now I have to go up there to look.

Anyway, I rarely did this in any office because every office looks pretty much the same. There are cubicles, and offices, and conference rooms. Your fucking options are readily apparent: desk, conference table, top of copier. That’s about it. There’s not much in the way of variety, unless you work for Google or something. Google probably has designated fuck rooms on campus anyway, so you can be productive WHILE you’re fucking. They don’t want you leaving work to bone. “Hey, bend over. Now let’s ideate some concepts for Wave 2.0 while we do it. We’re on billable hours, you know.”


Is “Bring your daughter/son to work day” a real thing? Or is that just something that is in TV shows and movies. Because I can’t think of a job where that wouldn’t be just terrible.

It’s a real thing, although I don’t know how or why anyone would bring a child to work for a full day. You’d have to just sit Junior down at a free computer (there is never a free computer) so he can surf porn all day while you try to get shit done. Children destroy productivity. I remember when my wife first got pregnant and she was like, “Maybe I could just work from home all week AND raise the baby at the same time.” That’s how clueless you are when you first start out.

Anyway, children in the workplace are like dogs. It’s fun when they make a cameo, but then they need to fucking leave. Unless you work at some creepy cult joint that has a whole day planned out for all the kids and staff on hand to deal with them, there’s really no need to take then in on the fourth Thursday of every April. I go to the office to get AWAY from you kids. Don’t follow me there. I’m gonna leave a smoke bomb behind me on my next commute so you can’t track my movements.


There is no physical reason for there to be passenger windows on a commercial airplane. As someone who has flown on dozens of windowless Army C-130’s, the only reason I can guess there are windows on commercial planes is to keep the public calm and let us feel as if we have some measure of control. How badly would people freak out if the FAA suddenly mandated all commercial airplanes be windowless?

It would be awful. No one would fly. Would you want to be trapped in a windowless tube with no view of the outside world? That stupid porthole is your only remaining tether to sanity up there. I flew in a relatively new plane last week and the windows are a little bit bigger on new planes. It makes a HUGE difference. You don’t feel as trapped. I demand panoramic windows on all planes. It feels like I’m in the future.

I also flew in a helicopter once, and having a forward view of the sky while flying is a whole other experience. It reminds you that you’re, you know, FLYING. It also makes you grimly aware of that mountain right in front of you.

By the way, Chris makes a good point about flying in the military. I remember watching Zero Dark Thirty and the lady at the end flies home in the back of plane with bin laden’s coffin. No windows. No TVs. They should warn recruits about this. “Flying with us SUCKS, by the way.” It’s one of the little details you don’t think about before you enlist.


Today is seems that every middle age, white sports journalist (Peter King, etc.) fawns over the likes of Bruce Springsteen and U2, even though every piece of music they have released since 1990 has been mediocre at best. In a scary realization, it hit me that Dave Grohl / Foo Fighters are going to be the equivalent of these musicians for the next generation of crusty old white men. They haven’t released anything memorable since the early 2000s either. How concerned should I be?

It’s too late. They’re dad rock. All rock is dad rock now, but Foo Fighters are REALLY dad rock. I still like them but I skip a lot of their shit now because “Everlong” will come on and I feel like I’m a million years old. I can’t do it anymore. I may as well put on some dad jeans and go yell at skateboarders. The transition happened without me even realizing it.


Hypothetically, what if ISIS adopted a new logo to represent their terrorist organziation. Let’s say it’s the New England Patriots logo. How long until the Patriots change their logo? Is there outrage? Or, let’s say ISIS gets their hands on a replica Ohio State Buckeyes mascot uniform and that’s the guy that starts showing up in the awful beheading videos. Does OSU get a new mascot? Do they ignore it? Or do they simply say, “ISIS isn’t part of the OSU tradition,” and continue to trot him out there week after week to rally the team?

The last one. BRUTUS DOES NOT CAVE IN TO TERRORISTS. Also, that brand equity is worth millions! They’ll be damned if they let ISIS hog all that precious awareness. The mascot stays and OSU takes ISIS to court.

Email of the week!


I’ve got a coworker named “Dan.” We’ve worked together in the same office for about 15 years. He’s a good guy, but we really don’t hang out together after work or anything.

Every Friday, a bunch of my coworkers (including me and Dan) fire up the grill we’ve got stashed out behind the building near the loading dock. We cook up burgers or something simple for lunch. No beer, but it’s usually a good time.

Last Friday, we’re standing around eating and talking when all of a sudden I can’t breathe. Nothing going in or out. I start flailing around in a bit of a panic and make eye contact with Dan. “Are you choking?” Nod. “Do you need the Heimlich?” Nod again. Dan calmly steps behind me, wraps his arms around my torso, covers his left fist with his right hand and starts the maneuver. He continues to violently dry hump me for 15 or 20 seconds until I hack up a piece of bell pepper.

After gasping for breath, I thank him for saving my life. He’s kind of embarrassed that I would put it that way and insists that anyone else would have done the same thing. That may be so, but he’s still the one who stepped up when I was in trouble and saved my life.

What do I owe Dan? A lifetime of indentured servitude? My soul in a bottle? Donuts? He insists it’s no big deal, but I would have died last week if it weren’t for him. I’m still a little freaked out by this.

Just thank him and be cool to him. Don’t make it weird. And avoid bell peppers.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He’s also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter@drewmagary and email him at You can also order Drew’s book,Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

Illustration by Sam Woolley.

Source : adequateman[dot]deadspin[dot]com
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