It’s Friday and time for the mailbag.
Honestly, I can barely keep my eyes open this morning because my one year old has decided to regress and cry all night long. So I spent half the night on a daybed beside his crib after he started screaming at midnight, woke up with a nightmare thinking vampires were chasing me, went back to my bed and then he started crying again at 4:30 so I brought him back down to our bed. And this morning the kid wakes up, looks directly at me and says, “Snack.”
I mean, these kids just rule my life.
Kid keeps me up all night long then wakes me up first thing in the morning and immediately demands I get him a snack.
All parents are bitches.
Craziest thing about all of this, somehow neither of his brothers wake up despite being in a room screaming across the hall from him.
How’s this possible? He’s like a damn fire truck going off and they sleep right through it. I need this kind of of sleep.
Anyway, let’s roll.
My friends and I were watching the ESPYs last night because it’s mid-July and this is the worst point of the year for most sports fans. When Christian McCaffrey was nominated for record-breaking performance, for some reason I recalled the tongue in cheek line from his mother, Lisa. “That’s why Ed and I got together–so we could breed fast white guys.”
Somehow, that devolved into a debate about the free market value of a top athlete’s sperm. Take Christian McCaffrey, for example. All-American football player, two incredibly athletic parents in their own right, and a grandfather who was an Olympic sprinter. What would a woman or man seeking IVF, who wants a shot at raising a freakishly athletic child, be willing to pay? $100,000? $500,000? $1,000,000?
Essentially, what would the market value stud fee be for a LeBron/Cristiano Ronaldo/Usain Bolt level athlete?
As a fan the free market and a connoisseur of strange sports takes, we would appreciate the gay muslim’s take on this matter.”
There’s the market and then there’s the “do really rich dudes want to be involved in it market.”
Because that changes everything.
Imagine what the art market would be like if insanely rich dudes and their wives weren’t interested in the status symbols that come from buying expensive pieces of art. (And the tax dodging that they get from doing so, but that’s another story.)
The market would collapse as soon as regular people with regular incomes could buy art.
So that’s your big question here. Who wants to buy the sperm? What if, for instance, a group of hedge fund dudes decided to compete to have the most athletic “kids” of all time? One of these dudes could go around buying up athlete sperm for hundreds of millions of dollars. That would just be a rounding error for him.
Then, just to solidify his competitive advantage, he could have those athletes sign agreements for even more money that gives him exclusivity to the sperm outside of their own private lives. So if you wanted McCaffrey sperm — and what white person wouldn’t, the dude is the greatest white skill position athlete of all time — you’d definitely want your kids to be physical freaks and not have too much competition. That’s how billionaires roll, they don’t just want to win, they want to crush you in the process.
Most billionaires are too much of alpha males to want to raise kids from another man’s sperm though — especially because they think their sperm is incredible, seriously, every successful man thinks he has super sperm — so I think you’re probably talking about more normal dudes who would pay for this. So the market isn’t as highly expensive as you might think. Moreover, men value athletics more than women. And mostly it’s women picking out their sperm donors. There’s already tons of women out there flipping through binders of men and analyzing them for SAT scores, height, mental health and physical health histories.
That matters to them more than forty time.
I’m more intrigued by what would Elon Musk sperm, founder of Tesla among other companies, sell for? Or George Clooney or Justin Timberlake?
And, fyi, we’re all kind of in a sperm market already, right? Women are already choosing husbands based on which sperm they want to combine with their eggs. And it’s pretty clear that the traits women value the most are money/education that leads to money, height, intelligence, and maybe, just maybe, sense of humor, although you can argue that sense of humor is connected to intelligence.
Whereas men are out here totally distracted by boobs, butts, great legs and pretty faces.
Biology is so sexist.
“As a longtime reader and vocal supporter of yours, I need your wisdom as the King of Hypothetical Fights. My friends and I have gone back and forth over this for years. Do you fight a shark or a lion?
1. You are in their natural habitat (open woodlands for the lion, and middle of ocean for shark).
2. The animal WANTS to kill you – a.k.a we’re not talking about a typical “shark attack” you hear about at the beach where people survive.
3. 1 vs 1.
4. Neither animal goes easy on you based on your privilege status.
Assume pretty typical circumstances for everything else. Would you pick the lion or the shark? We’re all split 50/50. I’m picking the lion because being in the ocean means 0% chance of escape and all my movements would be slowed tremendously (maybe 0.001% chance of escape vs lion on land?). What is your best shot, if any, of escaping or winning this battle?”
This is a great bar debate. My initial inclination was to go lion, but there is no way you can escape from a lion on land except, maybe, by climbing a tree — would a lion climb the tree after you? I have no idea — or going into a lake or river. The problem is the lake or rivers in Africa all have crocodiles and hippos so you’re risking death there too. Maybe even more so. So I’d want to know the stats on crocodile or hippo deaths. Like what percentage of the time that you run into a river or lake in Africa and try to swim across it are you killed by one of these animals?
Is it comparatively rare — for instance could you could swim across the river 100 times and get eaten once? — or do you get eaten much more often than this? I need that data to make a solid decision.
Regardless, you’d have to go to the river because the odds are better there than with a lion. But you have to find a river and you have to get there before the lion which seems virtually impossible unless the lion comes after you when you’re already on the bank of the river. Your only other option is to climb a tree and hope the lion doesn’t try to climb up after you.
You cannot fight the lion with your hands and win so just stop with that idea.
Now the shark question, to me, becomes where does he attack you? In essence, can you escape to shore or a boat are you too far away to reach the shore or boat? If you’re too far from the shore or a boat, then you’re a dead man. Because if you’re at sea and a shark attacks you, you start to bleed out and even if that shark leaves you another shark will come and eat you or you’ll pass out from loss of blood and drown.
But if you’re fighting, Blake Lively style, in an area where you could theoretically reach the shore or a boat somehow then I’m going shark attack.
And that brings me to my primary issue with this hypothesis: I can’t think of a situation where a shark could attack me and I wouldn’t be somewhat close to the land or a boat. Right? It’s not like I go swimming in the middle of the ocean with no beach or boat near me. If I did that, I would die regardless because what am I going to do, tread water forever? Whereas I could see being out in the African savanna on a walk from one village to another and a lion comes after you and there’s nowhere to go other than a tree or a body of water.
So while I think it’s more terrifying to be attacked by a shark than by a lion, I think you have a better chance of fleeing from a shark given most normal swimming in the ocean circumstances — i.e. you’re close to a beach or a boat — and surviving than you do a lion. However, if the hypothesis is I am nowhere near a beach or boat when I’m attacked by a shark then you have to go lion, because there’s no way to escape the shark in the middle of the sea and you could climb a tree or run into a body of water to escape a lion.
“I know what your thoughts are on Black Lives Matter (#BLM for the kids), and I know what your thoughts are on the First Amendment (First Amendment, boobs, and Chickfila are the 3 pillars of my life). But what do you think about protests blocking interstates, like those that have happened around the country in the past few weeks? Specifically, last Sunday in Memphis BLM shut down the I-40 bridge between Memphis and Arkansas. Fair or foul? I understand that it’s certainly a way to gain attention, but it seems like there are better ways to gain more positive support for a cause. Why not protest on city streets, rather than obstruct the travel of those that have nothing to do with the injustice you’re claiming exists?”
I don’t care what you’re protesting the minute you block a road I’m against everything you stand for.
I think people who block roads should have to go to jail for a month. It’s absurd that we allow this to happen. There are parks in every American city to protest in, you can even stage a protest march if you get a permit and allow police to handle the traffic you create, but if you just shut down an interstate, your cause is dead to me and you should go to jail for a month.
Anyone arguing — “Well, this is what we have to do to make people notice us,” is an idiot.
Put them in jail.
Anonymous math guy writes:
“According to your data, there have been 35 unarmed people (of all races) killed by police this year (2016). 18 white, 12 black, 5 Hispanic. There were 93 unarmed people killed by police last year. 32 white, 38 black, 18 Hispanic, and 5 other. I used unarmed because if the suspect is armed, then I think it is a totally different scenario. Even in the unarmed scenario, there may be justification, but I do not have the time to dig into each case. Yes, in an ideal world, we all hate death, but these numbers are very small.
So I wondered how often are police kiled? The stats I found were from here for 2016 and here for 2015. I did not know this many cops died in the line of duty. But when you dig into these numbers, it is interesting. Obviously, not all of these deaths are homicide, but even if you just look at the gunfire and vehicular assault deaths, you have 34 police deaths in 2016 (after you add in the 5 from Dallas). This means that almost as many cops were murdered as cops killed unarmed persons (of all colors). How is this not a story? In 2015, the number was a bit lower for the entire year (47 gunfire and vehicle assaults), but still, that is a lot of cop murderers. And I am sure other of the cop deaths are murders, but I focused on the ones that were definite murders.
Is it just because it does not fit the narrative to cover the fact that, at least in 2016, these numbers are so close? In fact, if you look at a percentage basis, a cop is so much more likely to be killed by a citizen than an unarmed citizen is to be killed by a cop.
Now here comes the math:
2016 (so far)
Odds as a police officer being killed by a gun or a vehicle assault: (0.00309% (34 out of 1,100,000))
Odds as an unarmed person being killed by a cop: (0.0000108% (35 out of 323,730,000))
Odds as an unarmed black person being killed by a cop: (0.0000308% (12 out of 38,929,000))
In other words, you are 285 times more likely to be killed as a cop by a gun or a vehicle assault than you are to be an unarmed person to be killed by a cop. And you are 100 times more likely to be killed as a cop by a gun or a vehicle assault than you are to be an unarmed black person to be killed by a cop.
Odds as a police officer being killed by a gun or a vehicle assault: (0.00427% (47 out of 1,100,000))
Odds as an unarmed person being killed by a cop: (0.0000287% (93 out of 323,730,000))
Odds as an unarmed black person being killed by a cop: (0.0000967% (38 out of 38,929,000))
In other words, you are 148 times more likely to be killed as a cop by a gun or a vehicle assault than you are to be an unarmed person to be killed by a cop. And you are 43 times more likely to be killed as a cop by a gun or a vehicle assault than you are to be an unarmed black person to be killed by a cop.”
Facts matter, kids.
Here’s a final stat for you: police are 18.5 times as likely to be killed by a black man as they are to kill an unarmed black man.
“Like you, I have a very curious interest in the future of TV, the struggles of the cable TV market, a al carte vs. bunble, sports media rights, etc. However, I just paid my monthly cable bill this morning and realized something that I don’t know why I didn’t realize sooner. The TV portion of my cable bill is $113 per month before taxes, yet my channel lineup only costs $83 per month. Why the difference? Well that’s because I’m getting charged a “HD Technology Fee” of $10 per month, which is my DVR and cable box, and 2 “Receiver Fees” for $10 each (which is the cable box for my other two TV’s. That’s a total of $30 per month for totally, completely obsolete and superfluous pieces of equipment. My TV’s are already HD, as are the channels, so why do I need a cable box that’s HD? Why do I need a DVR in the first place? There’s no need to actually download any tv shows to a cable box anymore, there is zero technological purpose or function. On Demand TV requires no download. Yet, 27% of my monthly cable bill is tied up in these pieces of equipment. If my bill were only $83 a month, for essentially every channel there is (minus HBO and other premium channels), then this entire cable bundle vs. a la carte discussion is non existant. Yet, consumers like us are being upsold with equipment we don’t need. Why? Because cable companies have vast amounts of capital tied up in the manufacture, marketing, advertising and distribution of these cable boxes and they have to meet the Return on Investment for all that cost. So we can complain all we want about the carriage fees of the channels we love, or hate, but that’s a fraction of the cost compared to the useless fees we’re being charged just for the privilege of being of being a cable or satellite subscriber.
Here’s the future of cable TV in a nutshell, the only physical equipment and infrastructure you need is a cable/satellite connection to your house, and an app that you can download (either directly to your smart TV or to a device like a Roku or Apple TV). That would cut the cable cost to consumers by 25% minimum, perhaps even 50% in the future.”
There is zero doubt that the cable bill is a total joke. No one has any idea what they’re paying for, which is why a la carte holds such appeal, even if it may be a worse deal for sports fans.
I wrote a column yesterday for all of you out there who are trying to save some money. You can end your cable subscription and watch every SEC football game for $75 and you can watch every NFL and college football game that airs on national television now for $140.
That could save you a thousand dollars this year. A few of you emailed or Tweeted me and said this seems like a lot of work to save a thousand dollars. And if you make a decent salary that may well be true.
But lots of people are making $40k a year or less. Take out taxes and you’re talking about $30k a year to actually take home. If you can save $1000 on a $30k income, that’s pretty significant. So I’m going to try and look out for you guys when I can and save you some money. I’m rich now, but I used to be poor.
If you combine this with the money I make you from gambling, I’m basically the greatest free financial adviser in world history.
“So my girlfriend (and you) have convinced me to start watching the Bachelorette. I have now watched the previous two episodes, and it seems like Jordan Rodgers is the favorite to win. My girlfriend and I got in an argument after this week’s episode because I said Jordan would be dumb to marry JoJo if he wins. She got mad and said they would be a great couple, etc.
Here is my argument:
Jordan’s stock is on the rise right now. I would even say on fire. The reason being is because he is on this show, he is good looking, and he is single. Every girl knows who he is because of this show and every guy knows who he is because of Aaron. If I am Jordan and I win this show, I would end things with JoJo (great girl and really hot but come on: she’s on a show to find a husband). Then, I would go straight to the producer and ask to be the Bachelor. No way they can turn that down. Then my stock rises even more and I get to date 30 more hot girls. I come out of that show with my pick of the litter and even more fame. I’m sure this would lead to endless opportunities in the entertainment business. What are your thoughts? Do you think he should just settle with JoJo?”
You always want to be the guy and girl who gets rejected at the very end.
Sure, it hurts your pride, but you pretty much are guaranteed — if you are at least remotely interesting — to be the bachelor or the bachelorette for a full season. Then you get to become even more famous because everyone is rooting for you to find love.
As I’ve been saying for years now, if you’re a single guy and you aren’t watching these shows you’re giving up at least four sexual encounters a year. Do it!
Hope y’all have great weekends.