Doubles A Dollar More
It’s fantasy football draft weekend and that means I’m drinking a gin and tonic at the airport waiting for a plane to Vegas. Ace the bartender is taking my drink order and with each one she faithfully and robotically adds, “Would you like a double for two dollars more?”
Ace, yes, of course I would. A Vegas trip means mastering the art of drinking straight through 36 hours without losing track of your mind, money, or lunch.
I joined the Perpetual Fantasy League (“PFL”) in 1997 when doubles were a dollar more and the phrase was a rallying cry for league co-owners Middlefinger, Varl, Squarehead, and Papagarzio. First one to the bar would text the others: “Hey, you know what — DOUBLES A DOLLAR MORE BITCHES”.
I had the same reservations about joining the PFL as I did about joining the staff at American McCarver. Do you want to join a team that takes a disproportionate amount of pleasure in the art of talking shit about each other? I’m not talking quips, I’m not talking about snark, I’m talking about a group of bright individuals devoting a good portion of their not inconsiderable mental capacity to viciously tearing each other apart… over sports.
“Yes, Ace. Is that your real name?”
“Would you like a double for two dollars more?”
I’m quick witted. I can verbally spar, but when it comes to sports trash talking, my original belief was that you either had the gift or you didn’t. You are either predisposed to be a great trash talker or you stay the hell out of the way.
In Jane McGonigal’s book, Reality is Broken, she explains:
[Trash talking] recent scientific research has shown, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to intensify our positive feelings for each other. Teasingly trash-talking allows us to provoke each other’s negative emotions in a very mild way — we stimulate a very small amount of anger or hurt or embarrassment. This tiny provocation has two powerful effects. First, it confirms trust: the person doing the teasing is demonstrating the capacity to hurt, but simultaneously showing that the intention is not to hurt. Just like a dog might play-bite another dig to show that it wants to be friends, we bare our teeth to each other in order to remind each other that we could, but never really would hurt each other. Conversely, by allowing someone else to tease us, we confirm our willingness to be in a vulnerable position. We are actively demonstrating our trust in the other person’s regard for our emotional well-being.
I instinctively know this is true, but as I transcribe the idea, I hear Squarehead in the back of my head: “No, actually you are really a shitty owner. Who the hell would draft Daniel Thomas before Mark Ingram? I am really looking forward to fucking with you ALL SEASON LONG.”
“… for two dollars more?”
Starting shortly, American McCarver will systematize trash talking by opening comments for staff writers. Staff writers will now be able to bare our teeth via the comments system and while I believe Jane when she tells me we’re just confirming trust and we’d never actually hurt other, I also trust that we’re not that concerned with each other’s emotional well-being
Fuck it. Doubles a dollar more. Bitches.