2:58 PM EDT on April 26, 2022
Time for your weekly edition of the Defector Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. And buy Drew’s book, The Night The Lights Went Out, while you’re at it. Today, we're talking about skull caps, undercooked bacon, sports dadding, and more.
What's the best way to cook eggs? My wife was a little hurt that I said I wasn't wild about scrambled eggs, I'd rather just fry them in some bacon grease and call it a day (she loves cooking scrambled eggs). But then I thought about it a little harder. Scrambled eggs with lots of butter and some cheese can be wonderful, but I've had so many horrible, overcooked scrambled eggs from buffets and hotels that the thought of them immediately puts me off, possibly unfairly. I love poached eggs too, but usually those are served with a boatload of hollandaise and on some tasty ham, so that might be overselling it. I still maintain that an over easy egg is one of the finest pleasures of breakfast, but I'd like to know what the Defectorverse thinks.
I can’t rank the egg preparations, Alex. Come on. That’d be like ranking my children. Sure, Joe Burrow is obviously my favorite child, but I can’t just say that OUT LOUD. That would be uncouth. The other kids have done some stuff too, you know. One of them even fed the dog the other day. I can’t just ignore that.
I eat eggs nearly every day, because it’s good for my heart and colon. I’ll even eat the sad hotel buffet eggs with little compunction. I love all my eggy friends, and I love to mix up the preparation so that I don’t get tired of any one recipe. Sometimes I make scrambled eggs like my mom does: slow on the stove top, with an extra pat of butter mixed in toward the end for extra goodness. This is how I make midnight eggs, and it always reminds me of Mom, which makes me happy (she’s not dead or anything; I just like the reminder). Sometimes I make dry scrambled eggs for tacos. Sometimes I make toad in the hole. Sometimes I soft boil an egg in my ramen. Any salad I order that has a poached egg on top of it elicits an instant boner. Truly, there’s no wrong way to go. Unless I break the yolk by accident. Then the world must pay.
That said, I’m paid to answer the tough questions here, so let do my dirty sinful business and reluctantly grade the egg styles, as Alex requested. Please note that I will revise these rankings in my head on the hour, every hour, after they have been published.
- Fried in bacon, sunny side up
- Deviled (NOTE: I have discounted my hatred of mayo from these rankings because I respect deviled egg fanboys too much to punish them for mayo’s sins)
- Over easy
- Soft boiled
- Hard boiled
- Over hard
- Quiche (I don’t like quiche but I know I’m an outlier on that one)
I’m sure I’m missing a few in there—like when an egg is stir fried into my moo shu pork, for instance—but this is my best initial effort. I usually favor whichever preparation yields the MOST eggs for me to eat, but that’s nonsensical on at least two different levels.
But there is one thing that I know for certain here: omelets are forever overrated. They are not BAD, and I won’t indulge those who say so. I’ll eat an omelet. I’ve ordered omelets, often by default because I didn't want anything else on the menu. I’ve stood at a breakfast buffet and marveled at the stupid omelet station. But the end product is usually dry, boring, and better off as a big ol’ mess of scrambled eggs plus fillings. There are superior omelets, like Japanese tamago or this French-style omelet that takes a lot of time and effort to master. But in general, most omelets are boring as shit. I’ve lived long enough to know this truth.
I was Remembering Some Guys recently and thought about Rich Gannon. Gannon, of course, had late career success with the Raiders (an MVP and a Super Bowl appearance) even though he was rather middling as a Viking. How do you feel when you see a player from your team have late career success with another?
I don’t care. I’m happy for them personally, but I don’t rock a half-and-half jersey or anything, like some pining loser. Even when Randy Moss, my favorite player of all time, got traded away, I didn’t fan-stalk him. If Moss had won a ring with the unbeaten Pats, I would have been happy for him, but I still wanted the Pats to lose that game and I’m happy that they did. Once you’re off my team, you’re off my team. You’re not my concern anymore, and there’s no point in me being like MEW MEW HE COULD HAVE DONE ALL THAT COOL SHIT WITH US IF HE WAS STILL HERE because I know that isn’t how it works.
This makes me a mercenary fan in many ways. I’ve been trained by The System to view my favorite players less as my favorite players and more as—deep sigh—assets, whose value is ever fluctuating. In a purer world, I tear my hair out anytime one of my favorite players leaves and, worse, flourishes in new environs. But that’s some serious 1960 shit. We have free agency. You have to embrace the turnover. Keeps things fresh. I never wanna be like Seinfeld and go, “Ew, I’m just cheering for laundry!” I’m old but I’m not THAT old. Shit changes in life. You get used to it.
I'm typically a calm person, but I don't think I've ever been more stressed than during my five year old son's soccer games. It's his first season outside, so I want him to learn fundamentals and flock to the ball like the other kids. I get so upset when I see him skipping around the field and not trying. How do I chill out, so don't ruin it for him and the rest of the family?
Stop going. I’m not saying that to be judgey, I’m just saying it’s the right move both for you and for your son. He’s so young that he and his friends are only beginning to learn what sports are. They don’t understand the rules yet. They don’t care about winning. They may not even grasp the concept of winning yet. All of that takes time. So it does you no good to stand there expecting him to play like an athlete 10 years older, and it does him no good to be out there knowing his insane dad is watching his every move. You gotta let go and let your son learn the game on his own, at his own pace. It’s not a clean trajectory. He may even quit after a while. All of that is perfectly normal. He’s learning, and you have to give him the time and, in this case, the distance, to do that learning. You don’t wanna be the Sports Parent everyone reads about.
I remember when my daughter first started playing basketball, all the kids would congregate at midcourt and just hang. During games. And I’d be like, “Hey man, you guys need to play.” But they were all, like, second graders. This was their first time playing an organized sport, and my first time watching one of my kids play an organized sport. NONE of us knew what we were doing. So I let go and chilled the fuck out. To this day, I never coach my kids from the stands (you get tossed for doing so). I just cheer and shout GREAT PASS! and other anodyne niceties. It works. Their games are their own now.
My brother-in-law likes his bacon, “warmed through.” He throws it in the pan for about a minute and then eats it still white fat and rubbery. This man is a monster, yes?
Is he, or is he merely a modern chef who prefers his pork belly on the toothsome side? Big Restaurant has conditioned many young urban upstarts to eat a whole slab of bacon like it’s a piece of steak, you know. I’ve eaten such things. I’ve made porchetta, which is crispy on the outside but does have less rendered pork belly toward the center. It’s fucking delicious. The key ingredient … is fat.
So no, your BIL isn’t a monster. He at least still likes bacon and isn’t some “Bacon Isn’t Good!” dipshit looking to start a fight on Twitter (my omelet take, by comparison, is highly intelligent and nuanced). If he takes it on the rare side, that’s between him and his tapeworms. My own kids didn’t like crispy bacon at the outset. They liked it “chewy,” which sounds repellent until you remember that nitrates and fat still factor heavily into the recipe. I ate some of their chewy bacon, and I’d do it again. Any bacon beats no bacon.
What if cities were capped on how many professional sports teams they could have? As a former New York and current Los Angeles resident, I feel VERY bombarded by all of the team presences all the time (to say nothing of the weird competing factions between the multiple franchises in the same sports). What if those teams were spread out and dispersed to other cities? Dollars aside, doesn’t this make for a more exciting sports landscape across the country?
Noooooooooooo. No, it does not. Teams should be where the people are. I don’t want fucking Laramie to get an NBA team just because it’s mean that California already has so many of them. We already have the U.S. Senate set up that way and guess what? It fucking blows. I hope the Senate is destroyed in a gasoline explosion.
I don’t want my sports leagues reflecting some bullshit ideal of how the country ought to be laid out. These are not egalitarian endeavors. These are the big leagues, god dammit. I goof on Colin Cowherd and other professional yappers for endlessly going on about market size when they’ve got radio time to fill. But secretly, I’m as indifferent to a backwater NBA matchup like Spurs/Pacers as everyone else. Gimme the big towns. Everyone else can eat a bag of shit. THAT MEANS YOU, GREEN BAY. If you don’t like New York or L.A. dominating the conversation, tough shit. Wait till an election year and you’ll hear plenty about Bumblefuck America and all the precious, hardworkin’ folk who live there. They are not an attention-deprived lot.
How do you feel about people telling you about a dream they had last night? I pretend to care, just to be polite.
I care! I find it interesting. I don’t want people to go full Jill Stein Mode on me and detail every dream they’ve ever had. But usually, when someone in my family tells me about a recent dream, it’s a rare occurence and it’s usually because they found the dream notable. Like if we fled an earthquake in it, etc. Then we’ve got something to talk about, rather than them simply unloading their subconscious ephemera onto me simply to waste my attention.
Also, if I was in your dream, I automatically care. How was I in it? Did my hair look good? Did everyone else in the dream know that I’m cool and famous? These details are important. They may portend something vital about your life and what your future holds.
I have an annoying issue in my left ear; it is very sensitive to wind and cold and has only gotten worse as I've gotten into my 40s. It causes frequent earaches and a sore throat. So, to nip that issue in the bud, I've taken to wearing a skull cap since this past winter. Just a basic, no-frills warm hat that covers my ears. It feels amazing and snug. I wear it while outside and in the house all day long, since I keep my home a very dad-ly 66 degrees (don't touch the thermostat!). My wife just told me, a week ago, that I have been looking, "stupid and ridiculous" for this entire winter. She says I look like a biker, particularly with a full beard. I say it's more The Edge. So, what say you, a fellow dad who loves comfort? Am I a crazy person for wearing a skull cap frequently? Do I have any other options (i.e. headphones like a youth)?
If your wife doesn’t like the skull cap, I have bad news for you, amigo: its days are numbered. You’re gonna have to find an alternative. My first suggestion, of course, is to see a doctor about your ear, since it sounds like a rather serious problem that could potentially be solved with the right treatment.
But let’s go ahead and assume you’ve already done that, and that your ear is what it is. In that case, your hat is essentially a prescription remedy. You need it, so I have no other recommendation other than trying on different hats (no metaphor intended). Even a different color skull cap. That way, your old lady knows that you’re making a concerted effort to look better, but she also understands that you really do need some sort of covering to keep your ear, and your head by extension, protected from rogue elements. Maybe you can rock a headband, a la Chris Gatling. Maybe throw a few elbows whole you’re heading toward the fridge. Let people know that you’re into a more physical brand of snacking.
Back when I went deaf, I had to wear hats routinely because I still had swelling from cochlear implant surgery. My hat kept the implant processor stuck to my head. But then the swelling went down and I no longer had to do that, which was good because I’ve aged out of hats. I used to love to rock baseball caps. Rocked them all the way through high school and college. Wore them backward to let people know I was cool. Sometimes wore a winter hat inside so that people knew I was a deep-thinking kind of guy. No longer. My head is too fucking hot to wear a hat all day long. My hair gets matted with sweat. My scalp gets sore. I’ll wear a hat outside for sun protection, but that’s strictly a medical dad thing. In general, I need my head to be free. I don’t judge other guys for wearing hats, but I’m old enough to know what’s comfortable and what isn’t.
Oh! What about a visor for Dave? Probably a dealbreaker. Usually is.
Drew (not me):
Why do certain celebrities have such successful long-lasting careers? The two guys involved in The Slap were both successful by the early 1990s. One of Will Smith's co-stars from then (Alfonso Ribeiro) now hosts a national TV show watched by millions each week. Paul McCartney is still selling out global tours nearly sixty years after appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. Forty-five years after being watched by millions each week on Taxi, Danny DeVito still stars in one of television's most beloved comedies. One of the biggest comedy stars of the 1990s (Adam Sandler) is probably making more money than ever before thanks to Netflix. Are certain entertainers really that much better than the rest?
Well yes, but that doesn’t necessarily coincide with career longevity. Kurt Cobain was one of the most talented musicians to ever live but his career only lasted a few short years because he, uh, died by suicide. Not a flawless example, but you get the idea. Some brilliant stars burn hot and bright. Some average performers know how to deftly manage their careers so that they stay gainfully employed for a while (this is what agents and managers are for). And then you have people like Meryl Streep who last forever and also happen to be the best in the world at what they do. Regardless, I wouldn’t ascribe a star having a lasting career to some kind of karmic imbalance in the universe. It’s just a matter of luck, with a few smart choices mixed in.
Please note that the above paragraph does NOT apply to coaches, team executives, NFL broadcasters, or NFL team owners. All of those people stick around forever because God is an illusion.
Do you have any hilarious memories of musicians using up-and-coming athlete’s jerseys as some kind of status symbol in music videos? For some reason the memory of some dude wearing a Peter Warrick jersey in “Get This Party Started” by Pink always makes me laugh.
No but I remember being excited anytime I saw any team merch in any video. Like when Dr. Dre said, “Got my chrome to the side of his White Sox hat” in the “Dre Day” video, and ran his fingers along the brim of a White Sox hat? I was like I KNOW THAT TEAM! THESE GUYS LIKE SPORTS LIKE I DO! WE COULD BE FRIENDS! We were never friends. A pity.
A relative is taking a job in the front office for a mediocre professional sports franchise, neither rebuilding nor contending. I'm happy for them, it's their dream job. As not one of my teams, how much am supposed to care about/follow their team?
Not at all. You’re not obligated to become a Dolphins fan or whatever just because your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate was just hired as their assistant quality control executive. I have one nephew who’s a Chiefs fan and one who’s a Niners fan (this made for a tense Super Bowl for my sister three years ago). I love both boys and I text them words of support whenever the Chiefs or Niners have a big game. But I didn’t disavow the Vikings for either team. That would have been going way overboard. In fact, whenever my team plays their teams, I hope my team wins by 1,000 points. I lead by example, as we all should.
What frugal habits do you still have?
I still hate paying for apps. I’m like, “Three bucks? Are they joking? I can’t even eat this app!” Also, my eyes light up anytime I see anything on sale at the grocery store. If it’s “Buy two get one free” for a package of blueberries, you better believe I’m taking advantage of that deal. Plus it gets me extra gas points! I’m making deals all over the place, baby!
Meanwhile, I’ll hit a gas station on the road and toss an extra bag of chips in front of the register like it’s nothing. And if I want two appetizers at dinner instead of merely one (one of them can be “for the table”), you better believe I’m ordering them. I still have money-scrounging reflexes in me that were honed from decades in the workforce, freelancing, and the constant worry over health care/child expenses that all of that entailed. But when I get horny for an extra package of Nespresso capsules, my defenses weaken considerably. Sometimes you gotta treat yourself.
Whenever I order something and am assigned a number, I immediately associate it with a jersey number.
Guy at register: “OK sir, you’re number 46”
Me (silently): “Doug Plank!”
Wife: “Don’t forget - the security code is 2537”.
Me (out loud) “Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga!”
Wife: unintelligible muttering
Please tell me at least some other Defectors do this, too.
You’ll have to wait for the commenters to weigh in below to know for certain. All I know is that I don’t do it, and that’s because I suck with jersey numbers. I really do. I remember obvious jersey numbers like Jordan (23) and Moss (84), but that’s it. I can barely remember CURRENT jersey numbers. Like Shohei Ohtani’s number? No fucking idea. Giannis? Nope. I think Aaron Rodgers is 12, is that right?
OK I was right but I wasn’t 100 percent certain on that one. The point stands. There are too many jersey numbers for me to keep track of, especially when X guy will sell his jersey to Y guy for a new Ford Fiesta or whatever. Just knowing the names of guys is enough for me. Once you’re really into jersey numbers, you become one of those weird sports numerologists who thinks it’s no coincidence that the number of stars in Orion matches John Elway’s jersey number. I can’t be one of those people, although I salute those who try.
I have a friend that is a grown man in his mid-forties. I recently went to his house for dinner. We had some beer and wine beforehand, but then moved into the dining room for the main event and found a huge glass of whole milk at every place setting (for five grown adults in their forties). He thought it was weird that I thought it weird, but he's just fattening us up to kill us, right?
I’m oddly charmed by it. I drank milk by the gallon until well into my 20s. Every morning when I was a bachelor, I’d drink a fucking huge glass of milk with my breakfast, and sometimes with dinner. It’s why my bones are so strong and erotic. So I respect any country boy who still throws down big glasses of milk. It would make me shit for days on end, but that’s 45 for you.
Email of the week!
I was a Jeopardy! contestant during the Aaron Rodgers hosting period. I did terribly on the show, finishing with a grand total of $48.
Now, anyone who gets on the show is able to win the show based on trivia knowledge alone (that's not a brag or anything, I just mean that the process to get on is so stringent that you really do have to know a fuckton of useless shit to get anywhere near that stage). Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, comes down to buzzer timing. Suffice it to say that I never got the rhythm down. The returning champion was on it almost every single time (they say this is why long-ass streaks have become so much more common).
As the game progressed, and I got more and more frustrated at my inability to ring in when I absolutely knew the correct response. I became noticeably agitated (I got dragged pretty hard on Twitter when the episode aired for my increasingly frenzied button mashing). The ENTIRE time I was flailing away, there was Mr. Immunized, smirking and chuckling at my nationally televised pantslessness.
Leaving aside that I can't imagine that Alex Trebek ever laughed at contestants while they were getting their asses handed to them (at least not to their faces), it turned the whole thing into this fucked up high school nightmare on steroids - the quarterback laughing at the failnerd, only instead of it being Chad the douchebag varsity QB, it was Aaron Rodgers, and instead of it being high school, it was the entire country.
Now I fucking SEETHE whenever I see him on television. And I think I cheered louder when they lost to the Niners than I did when Josh Allen threw that go ahead touchdown against the Chiefs and I thought Buffalo had it locked up. And I've been a Bills fan my entire life.
My point to all of this is that as much of a useless fuckwad dickhead as Aaron Rodgers comes across in every interview he gives and every face he makes on the sideline, he has whole other levels of douchery that you really have to be in his presence, failing at something you've wanted to do your entire life, while he giggles at you, to fully appreciate. And everyone should know about it.
And now we do. Thank you for your service, Andrew.