Without further ado or embellishment...here's the Mailbag:
Q: Most successful war: on poverty, on drugs, on Christmas? - beezer07
Townie: Northwestern fans will say poverty, because the government forced them to raise the wages they pay butlers.
MNW: It’s a real issue, man. I had to settle for Christmas in Cabo instead of Aruba. Next thing you know I’ll be in Tucson.
WSR: As I’m sure I’ll hear when I return to my ancestral homelands of Bachmannland this week, it’s the war on Christmas.
Yorke: The War on Chrismas, because it’s the only onte of the three that we’ve won.
GF3: I’m just glad there’s any wars we can still win.
Q: Mangino pictures...why? - Dead Read
Townie: Because Chris Farley, John Candy, and Jon Belushi are dead, so we need a new fat guy to laugh at.
Yorke: Mangino, Mangino, I love you, Mangino. You’re only a bae away!
LPW: He’s shockingly, morbidly obese. I mean, seriously, take care of yourself before you drop !
GF3: Because the man has never taken a bad picture!
MNW: Tracy Claeys’ self-esteem requires it.
Q: Which matchup do you like the most for the B1G in bowl season other than the Fiesta Bowl? - bschim23.1
Townie: I’m going homer on a couple of these questions, but I like Penn State vs. Georgia. The dawgs will field a team coached by the waterboy and two grad assistants. They lost to a terrible Florida team. Penn State has a great chance to bring home a win here.
Stew: Minnesota they’ll be a bit more healthy, and going up a completely mediocre MAC school. The obvious answer is many times correct.
WSR: I think the best matchup for the B1G this bowl season will be our livers vs. alcohol.
Yorke: Michigan vs. Florida in the Citrus Bowl because the Gators are slumping hard and will have trouble scoring points. Even before it was getting crushed by Alabama and Florida State, Florida was having serious trouble with Vanderbilt and Florida Atlantic. If Harbaugh’s boys lose this one, it will be a big disappointment.
LPW: I’m excited to see how MSU does against Alabama.
C4B: Pinstripe Bowl. Duh.
GF3: Oh, the Rose Bowl. The tears will be glorious no matter which way it ends.
MNW: The Holiday Bowl, because everyone likes seeing Wisconsin get skullfucked.
Q: Big Ten running backs since 1995, who was your favorite to watch? Why? - Graham Filler
Townie: I love watching great running backs. But I’m partial to bruising, punishing runners, rather than the flashy, jump around guys. Give me Bo Jackson running over Brian Bosworth anyday. The dates eliminate my all time favorite Penn State rushers...guys like Kurt Warner, D.J. Dozier, Blair Thomas, and Ki-Jana Carter. So I’ll go a different route.
In the 1990’s there is one Big Ten player that stands out as someone I really liked to watch (mostly in the NFL)...Mike Alstott. He wasn’t the prettiest runner, but he killed people. In his prime, he was damn near unstoppable.
Stew: Shonn Greene still gives Frank Duong nightmares.
Outside of my homersota views, Gordon was a lot of fun to watch, so was Hyde. I could never get into Dayne.
WSR: I was going to say MB3, but that fails to recognize the greatness that was Chris Darkins. While Barber and Maroney and Tapeh and Terry Jackson II and Gary Russell and Amir Pinnix all got to run behind Glen Mason’s one-dimensional run blocking machines, Darkins was great behind a Jim Wacker (RIP) o-line. Sure, his best season was 1994, and he got hurt and missed a big chunk of 1995. But he was one of the best Gophers of my youth and he got to wear the best uniform.
MNW: As I’ve said a thousand times before, my dad raised me watching the Gophers from Sec. 201 of the Metrodome, describing zone blocking schemes under the Mason-era Gophers. Marion Barber and Laurence Maroney have a soft spot in my heart, because I could watch them run through those big railroad-track holes all day. So damn beautiful.
GF3: It’s a dead heat between Montee Ball and Carlos Hyde.
Yorke: Based on YouTube, Larry Johnson. Based on backs I watched on TV, Ezekiel Elliott. Give Saquon Barkley some time, though. For Johnson, it was because, unlike the Penn State backs that came after him, he could carry the team on his back and run away from (or through) defenders once he broke into the secondary. For Elliott, it’s because of his explosiveness and throwback extra small jersey. Barkley has the kind of athleticism that we haven’t seen in a Penn State back since Johnson.
LPW: Northwestern has had some great ones. It’s tough to choose between Darnell Autry, Damien Anderson, Noah Herron, Tyrell Sutton and Justin Jackson. Darnell Autry is the most accomplished, but I think Justin Jackson could surpass him.
Q: Who would Notre Dame have to play for you to support them in a Bowl Game? - cmart102
Stew: Ugh, I think I once cheered for ND against FSU back in the 90’s. Back then I cheered for anyone over the 3 power Florida schools (yes, that includes UNL *BARF*). Now, things are a bit different. I still can’t decide what I wanted to happen when ‘Bama destroyed ND in the championship game a few years ago. It was funny that they got destroyed, but it would have also been fun had ‘Bama lost. Though, I think ‘Bama winning scared me less. So, Bama > ND. I think UNL might be the only team I might actually cheer for ND against. But I’m not entirely certain.
WSR: wisconsin, obviously.
LPW: At one point, I would’ve said Stanford when they were coached by Jim Harbaugh, because Harbaugh was trashing Northwestern at one point for some reason, probably academics. Fuck him.
Other than that, Alabama. I despise Nick Saban and his oversigning.
C4B: Pick an ESS EEE CEE team, any ESS EEE CEE team.
GF3: A team of Hitler clones coached by Jared Fogle.
Q: Why is MNWildcat still employed by OTE? - MNWildcat
Townie: Because we can never have too many Northwestern "writers".
WSR: Because it’s cheaper to not pay him anything for his "writing" than deal with the COBRA and impending lawsuit and the time to fill out the unemployement request forms that state repeatedly that we didn’t actually pay him anything.
Yorke: Wait, there are people getting paid for this?
LPW: It’s a fun thing for him to do when he’s bored at "work".
C4B: Why are any of us, honestly?
GF3: It’s actually an old employment law dating back to the New Deal era. We have to keep 18 jNW writers employed, and the tarp alone should tell you we can’t fire him because the fanbase is tapped out.
MNW: Fuck that guy.
Q: What’s your favorite kind of clickbait headline? The "1 thing"; The "Moment", The "Ooolala", The "Bleacher Report"? - Graham Filler
Townie: These child stars grew up ugly/Look what plastic surgery did to your favorite actors. Because why not?
Stew: The Moment ones sometime actually have some entertainment in them.
Yorke: These 17 child actors turned into super hot adults… Whichever one that is.
LPW: Buzzfeed listicles sometimes catch my eye.
GF3: "Doctors don’t want you to know this ONE WEIRD TRICK.
MNW: "Anna Kournikova Upskirt Pics"
Q: What Bowl Games are you watching this week? - BigRedTwice
Townie: As many as my wife will let me. I'll try to watch some of every B1G game. And I'm going to the PSU/UGA game. Should be fun.
Stew: If it’s on, I’m probably watching at least a portion of it.
WSR: All of them.
Yorke: I will once again try and fail to watch ALL THE BOWLS. They scheduled Western Kentucky and South Florida for Monday afternoon trying to get me to miss it, but I’m going to be ready this time.
GF3: I have to choose?
Q: How good do you think Greg Schiano will be, relative to Chris Ash? - SpartanHT
Townie: Schiano will be good right away, because he as an excellent staff to support him. He also has talent to work with. Chris Ash has to build everything from scratch. This is the deep end of the pool...Ash will probably need a season or two (or four) to have success.
Stew: I’m not sure there will be that big of a difference between the two. OSU will continue to plunder NJ for the top recruits, and run out terror monsters. The defense will still probably be second fiddle to the offense, though.
WSR: I think he might be an upgrade. He can communicate with his players that they don’t need to pay prostitutes, right?
Yorke: Schiano is at Ohio State and Ash is at Rutgers, so I’m thinking Schiano will win more games over the next five years (not that anyone is expecting Schiano to hold the position that long).
LPW: I think he’ll do well, given the talent and recruiting advantage. I dont see him sticking around forever because I think he’s chomping at the bit to become a head coach again. One could do worse than be a DC on a national championship caliber team.
GF3: Ash’s best hope is to bet the farm, win on a few hail mary passes, and parlay it into a real job after a year.
MNW: Stop asking football questions.
Q: What is the best bowl game where both teams have a record of 8-4 or lower? - justsomehawkeyefan
Townie: See my homer bowl post above. I think my Nittany Lions will be fun to watch against the Georgia Bulldogs. And Jesse...you can keep your opinion about our bowl to yourself.
Stew: I’ll say the Sun Bowl. The mad pirate and the Hurricanes. Should be a close, entertaining game for casual viewing.
Yorke: The Super Bowl between the 8-8 Redskins and the 8-8 Texans. The Pinstripe Bowl between Indiana and Duke should be fun as well.
LPW: What Stew said.
GF3: I’m not here to judge a beauty pageant for hare-lipped, pigeon-toed wastrels, now am I? Who cares?
MNW: GF3 is right. They’re all beautiful. And while I want to pick the Poinsettia Bowl (8-4 Boise vs. 8-5 NIU), there’s something to be said about Bahamas: ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW
There you have it. Some unvarnished "Truthyness" from your OTE Writers. Have a happy holiday (war on Christmas and whatnot).
The OTE "Writers".