In the spirit of the holiday season – and to augment the GOP tax bill’s attempts to put more money into all of our pockets – this entire column will be an expanded $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway.
This kills three birds* with one stone:
1. I don’t have to think of a column topic this week.
2. I stimulate the economy without adding to the national deficit.
3. I don’t have to think of a column topic this week.
* No birds were actually harmed in the making of this column.
Q. You’re a smart fellow – please define a catch in the NFL for me in 25 words or less. (Chris Miller; Chicago)
A. I think it would be easier to define nihilism: It is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. And that’s replay-proof.
Q. Have you ever watched ESPN’s “First Take”? I mean, on purpose? (Mark Cohen; Gibsonia, Pa.)
A. I lost a bet once and had to watch it for a week, strapped to a chair with my eyes propped open like the protagonist in “A Clockwork Orange.”
Q. As you know, marriage – as well as football – is a contact sport. If you want to avoid contact in marriage, you get a larger bed. Should the NFL make the field wider so the players will have more room to avoid contact? (Wilbur Lazernik; Rockville, Md.)
A. You should have your own daytime talk show and be NFL commissioner.
Q. What’s the longest that Toni, a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some), has ever spent alone with you in a room before walking out? (David Schwartz; Indianapolis)
A. Close to an hour one time, but that was on our honeymoon.
Q. If baseball is called “baseball,” football is called “football” and basketball is called “basketball,” why isn’t hockey called “puck”? (Martha Morris; Bethesda, Md.)
A. I have not watched a hockey game since “Slap Shot,” and “Slap Shot” was so good, I cannot imagine any hockey game ever equaling it.
Q. If you lived in Alabama, would you be an Alabama football fan? (Jay Bradburn; San Jose, Calif.)
A. If I lived in Alabama, I’d be a Queen Mary 2 around-the-world cruise fan.
(Column Intermission: Injury-plagued, foul-plagued Stepson of Destiny Isaiah Eisendorf is battling through his senior season at Division II Le Moyne in Syracuse, N.Y., averaging 7.7 points and 5.0 rebounds for the 9-3 Dolphins. If his numbers don’t improve, he could become the first family member to transfer from a four-year school to a junior college.)
Q. Do the players on ESPN poker wear the same clothes every day, or do they just own several of the same outfit? (Michael Okubo; Chicago)
A. Listen, pal, those ad execs on “Mad Men” only owned five suits. Besides, how many hoodies does a poker pro need?
Q. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention barred seven words or phrases from agency documents, such as “vulnerable” and “science-based.” Does The Slouch have any forbidden terms? (Bryan Boyle; Albany, N.Y.)
A. “Skip Bayless.”
Q. When you carry the ball and hit the ground, the play is over. So when you catch the ball and hit the ground, why isn’t the play over? (Michael Liss; Bellevue, Wash.)
A. Didn’t I address this already? Anyhow, I have been watching football since I was 5 years old, and these days I can tell you what the Law of the Sea Treaty is before I can tell you what a catch is. The Law of the Sea Treaty, incidentally, is formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, more colloquially known as the UNCLOS III. It’s pretty much just a set of rules governing the oceans, and it is also replay-proof.
Q. Why is Bill Belichick so Bill Belichick? (Alan Rappaport; Paterson, N.J.)
A. Why is a swamp so swampy?
Q. The first continuously-published American newspaper was first sold on April 24, 1704. In that edition, you “Pay the man, Shirley” 1.20 English pounds. Fast forward to 2017: You are now only offering 1.25 U.S. dollars as a cash giveaway. By my calculations, you should be offering individuals whose questions you use 213.22 USD. (Howard Margolis; North Potomac, Md.)
A. I am sending you 0.00 USD, which, by my calculations, converts to 0.00 English pounds.
Q. I like to think I am too intelligent and too sophisticated to be wasting my time sending you some sophomoric question in a pitiful attempt to win a lousy $1.25. On the other hand, I like to see my name in print. What should I do? (Richard Crowley; Annapolis, Md.)
A. I think you’ve answered your own question.
Q. President Trump says tax cuts for the rich will improve the economy and lead to higher salaries for workers. Does that mean contributors to your column can expect a raise from the current $1.25? (Graham Vink; Vienna, Va.)
A. I voted for the Trotsky-Engels ticket.
Q. Now that the NFL is using index cards to measure first downs, will they start using an abacus to keep score? (Jim O’Brien; Racine, Wis.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!
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