Welcome to the Mailbag...
Q: Why is basketball the worst sport? - MountainTiger
GF3: Because it’s what people like Grayson Allen grow up wanting to do. Water seeks its own level.
Thumpasaurus: We discontinued Illinois men’s basketball four years ago.
MNWildcat: For making me--even momentarily--believe before tearing me down in new, creative, and hitherto unexplored ways.
The Original GF: Instead of focusing on the negatives of college basketball, I would instead point you to a list of three (3) positive things about college hoops:
Want to attend a CFB game? Probably going to take up your entire day and/or weekend. Tailgating, imbibing, traveling to and from, cleaning up the tailgate, 4 hour game...You get the point. Attending a CFB game? Drive there, park, go to the game, go home. All in a night's work.
Bored on a Monday, Tuesday, Wedn..basically any night of the week? Turn on BTN or ESPN on and you’ll have an intriguing Big Ten matchup. Unless Rutgers is on, because that’s just sad.
Lose one game? Lose 7 games? No worries. Just make the Tourney, that’s the overall goal, and then anything can happen. Lose two CFB games and you are done, done.
Candystripes: I think you misspelled “lacrosse”.
Speth: Love college basketball. Not least of all because Wisconsin reasonably can expect to win a title in said sport. Also Grayson Allen is the worst.
BRT: Because of the squeaking, I think. (Disclaimer: I actually like college basketball. It’s on all the time, and during a time of the year when nothing else is. This sounds like damning with the faintest of praise, now that I type it.)
Jesse: No, your the worse*
*Purposeful typos are purposeful… Also, basketball is glorious. I’m from Nebraska and it’s one of the only things you can do year-round.
Q: Would you rather be forced to watch 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, or Keeping up the Kardashians for 24 hours straight? - ICEICETHATGUY13
GF3: Is it safe to say seppuku is off the table? If so, I supposed Big Bang Theory. Mind you, if you’ve ever laughed at that show, your sense of humor failed to progress after junior high. That’s still better than 2 Broke Girls, which should be titled “How to Give Up On an Acting Career Without Doing Pornography.”
The Original GF: I’m going to take this time to list great shows I’ve watched in the last year or so on Netflix or Am Prime or elsewhere
- Man in the High Castle
- Archer (Which is moving to FXX)
- THE CROWN
- Stranger Things
There, that’s better.
Speth: No House of Cards Graham? For shame.
BRT: Probably the Kardashians. At least there’s no laugh track. I am yearly amazed that “Two Broke Girls” is still on TV. How? Who is watching it? How do good show struggle to get renewed when that 7th grade screenwriting project continues on unabated? This is how we got to where we are as a nation, America. By continually renewing “Two Broke Girls.” It’s probably the Kardashians fault a little bit too.
Jesse: Easily the Kardashians. At least with terrible, contrived, reality television, I’m gonna assume there’s a chance I see Kanye West at some point, and I love me some Kanye West. His absurdity would make the 24 hours much better than literally anything that the other two shows could offer me. If Kanye doesn’t show up? Well, I still vote the Kardashians because as BRT says, no laugh track.
Q: Who is the biggest sports talk d-bag? Options include Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, or name your own. - Abbas_Cincinnatus
GF3: Clay Travis. Clay Travis. Clay Travis. Did I mention Clay Travis? Because it’s Clay Travis.
Thumpasaurus: STOP YOU’RE ONLY MAKING THEM STRONGER
MNW: I really do wonder if some of those people earnestly believe what they’re saying. Like...Colin Cowherd? Yeah. He does. And some of those takes are spiiiiicy. But on the whole, he’s a harmless, bloviating talk show host who I’m not particularly offended by.
But idiots like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. That’s...that’s gotta be an act, right? No one can actually have that many serious, stupid, just downright ignorant and misguided opinions. Surely not.
Speth: I'll say Bayless just because he has a full on hate boner for Aaron Rodgers right now, but they're all twat waffles in their own ways.
Jesse: Clay Travis is the correct choice.
Q: With Bowl Season having conclusively proven that the B1G EAst was the worst division in college football this year, why are Michigan and Ohio State content to employ coaches who couldn’t win it? - MountainTiger
GF3: The Little Bro’ing comes early this year…
Speth: The MAC didn't win any bowl games either, so it's really up for debate if the B1G East is better than either MAC division.
BRT: OSU tied for first in the crappy East, so they’re off the hook, but yeah, not sure what Michigan’s problem is. They should definitely fire that guy.
Q: Which do you prefer for Midwestern winter...two weeks of perma-cloud, but temperatures above 25 degrees, or a few Sunny, frigid (less than 5 degrees) days? Is a little bit of winter sunshine worth the frostbite? (At Northwestern, the sunny, frigid days were the ones where Freshman from California would wake up super-excited, and then just start crying when they stepped out of the dorm). Also, what is your favorite winter activity, and why is it sledding or pond hockey (yes Minny people, we understand that you get to drink while ice fishing)? - GTom
GF3: Sunny, Frigid, and skiing. Travel sometime. You’ll like it!
Thumpasaurus: Oh I will absolutely take the sunny frigid days. It’s so rare to see the sun during the winter in Michigan. I’m looking outside right now and it’s gray and there’s a freezing rain advisory. What day is it? (Hint: it’s every day). And of course skiing rules when the weather supports it. When it’s icy, it really sucks. The NFL Playoffs are a winter activity though.
MNW: Snow. I want big-ass flakes falling from the sky. So I’m only taking cloudy if it means it’s snowing, too, because those gray and disgusting days (LIKE TODAY, MILWAUKEE, WHY THE FUCK IT IS RAINING YOU ARE A MIDWESTERN CITY AND IT’S WINTER) are just the goddamn worst.
Similarly, if it’s gonna be -15 and the wind’s a-whippin’ down the Plains and the sun’s shining, I want there to be a nice snowpack so the light really reflects off the snow and gives me a migraine while I drive my Ford Focus (shut up) across I-90 and get blown across the center line every time a breeze comes gusting out of the north.
But no, I love the cold and I love the snow. I just prefer them both.
Speth: I hate all of it. Snowboarding is a good time though. I suppose I'd rather have 25 and perma clouds since fresh snow is the only acceptable snowboarding surface. Ice is the worst for EVERYTHING
BRT: Sunny and frigid, 100%. After six years in upstate New York where it was cloudy for like nine months straight, I no longer underestimate the value of winter sunshine, which Nebraska actually has in abundance. Also, I love that you limited these to “two weeks” or “a few days” for a Midwestern winter--it is, unfortunately, a bit longer than that. ;) My favorite winter activity is staying inside with a quilt and sewing or reading or watching something while being warm and cozy. You guys enjoy freezing your snot on the pond though.
Jesse: I moved South because I hate being cold. Know what’s awesome? Sunny and 75 degrees in December.
Q: PJ Fleck, Bryan Harsin, Dave Aranda, or Craig Bohl? Explain your choice. - GophersinCNY40
Thumpasaurus: Craig Bohl. Currently has Wyoming halfway decent after building one of the most dominant football programs in history. I value experience more than energy and intensity, and he has the most. Plus, every game would be a Bohl Game.
GF3: What’s the context? Dumpster-fire extinguishing? Seems Fleck got the nod for that. His perpetual Little Bro/Underdog/Row The Boat schtick and taste for MAC talent will fit in perfectly at Minnesota.
Speth: Aranda. There's a reason he isn't taking any of the shitstain jobs that were open this winter. Or even really getting mentioned for them.
BRT: PJ Fleck for Worst Name. Bryan Harsin for Guy Whose Parents Thought Adding a Y Made Him Unique. Dave Aranda for Coolest Name that Sounds Like a South American Dance. Craig Bohl for Best Name for Journalists to Pun On During Bowl Season.
Jesse: I’m a fan of Craig Bohl, but I am curious what he would do at a bigger school competing against other P5 coaches for talent. He’s arguably one of the best Xs and Os guys out there, and what he did at NDSU is as good a resume as any of the other guys, but again, what works for him now might not work in the future.
Fleck isn’t too bad, but I also wonder if he is sort of in the Craig Bohl world. Has really outmaneuvered his peers, but maybe we should slow our roll on him being an effective P5 coach just yet.
As for Aranda? I just hate guys who don’t have HC experience. It’s probably a little reaction to the past, but being a fulltime Head Coach for the first time after being part of a system is just difficult.
So, that leaves me with Harsin. Sure, Boise State and Western Michigan are probably similar except I think Harsin’s overall resume seems to speak for itself. In four years of head coaching (one at Arkansas State and three at Boise State) he’s finished first three times in the conference. I have misgivings about hiring a Boise guy, but then I look at what Washington is doing under Chris Petersen and at least ask myself if he’s worth a mega-contract. Plus I love ridiculously fun offenses. I’d hire him.
Q: In what conceivable theoretical ways could St. Paul be better than Minneapolis? - LL Sota
GF3: It’s better if you’re a hipster, because it’s smaller, a bit grungier, and it has Mickey’s diner.
MNW: Nah, thankfully all the hipsters are in Uptown or Nordeast or wherever they live across the river. Somehow St. Paul is even too grungy for them.
Which, I mean, is awesome, because a good quality of life for a Midwestern urban area, coupled with really fuckin’ bitchin’ racial diversity (the city is 10%--ten. percent.--Hmong, not just Asian-American, but Hmong-American), neighborhoods built on a tradition of wealthy and not-wealthy living street-by-street, not 1-2 neighborhoods away…
St. Paul is the city that actually lives up to the Midwestern culture of rolling up their sleeves and getting it done, while Minneapolis is the sad, snobbish neighbor who knows it’s never going to be Chicago but looooook at all the culture we supposedly have no one gives a shit that you’ve got a sculpture of a cherry on a spoon, art is fucking stupid.
Speth: This like asking if I'd rather be crushed to death or burned alive. Either way it sucks
BRT: It’s easier to spell. (#nonAAU’d)
Jesse: My sister lives in St. Paul now. It’s lovely. Everything is pretty easy to get to. The neighborhoods are diverse. The trails and parks are fun. Oh, and they have a Brasa. That’s literally all I could ask for. As someone who will literally not move north of Omaha, I find myself attracted to St. Paul. Take that for what it’s worth. (nothing… it’s worth nothing) (but Brasa is my favorite. The yucca fries are unreal.)
Q: Jim Delaney shows up at your front door holding a tray with a 3 pound burger on it. He states that, if you’re willing to try, and can finish the whole burger in 20 minutes, he will jettison both the Maryland and Rutgers football program from the B1G as he realizes he’s made an absolutely massive mistake by adding them, pointing out that they add virtually nothing to the conference. Do you choose steak fries or onion rings as your side? - chulupabatman
GF3: Neither. I offer to eat a second burger if we can ditch PSU and Nebraska, too.
Thumpasaurus: Gimme a side of beer-battered bacon.
Speth: Onion rings. Way less dense. Finishing that burger is of utmost importance
BRT: Frings. Fries AND onion rings.
Jesse: I’m pumped by the prospect of steak fries and onion rings. Don’t really care what the stakes are here. This sounds delicious.
Q: Who wins the [REDACTED] at Buttgers football game on October 21, 2017? - ziowa9
GF3: Not the B1G or football fans in general, that’s for sure. But probably Purdue.
Thumpasaurus: Jim Delany.
MNW: I hope this is one of those games that gets national attention in the way that Kansas-rutger did last year. Like, “two historically-fucking-terrible “Big Ten” programs! Coming together! To play bad football! In the birthplace of college soccer!”-promo level national attention.
This is the game that’s supposed to be flexed out to Root Sports or ESPN+ or Vctory Sports fucking One.
Speth: Purdue. You can't pay me enough to watch though.
BRT: Purdue had sparks of life at times this year, and their QB has a few football skills, so I’m going to go with the Boilermakers. Nebraska is off this weekend, so lucky me, I can watch this game in alllll of its glory.
Jesse: Rutgers wins. Until proven otherwise, Purdue is still probably the worst team in the B1G. It pains me to say that as I like our Purdue bros, but they bad.
Q: In what sport will your school's next National Championship be in? And when will it happen? - Somedumbguy
GF3: Football, because OSU is the only B1G school that does that sort of thing. 2018.
Thumpasaurus: Men’s golf. This year. Seriously, we’ve been hovering around #1 for years but this time the tournament is in Sugar Grove, IL at a course with which our players are intimately familiar. I’ll be pretty surprised if we don’t actually win the national championship this year.
Candystripes: Assuming that I can’t say cheerleading (which we just won our 5th natty in 6 years, fwiw) [also, why is there a national championship for cheerleading?], I gotta believe men’s soccer will tack on another star to their jerseys sometime in the next 5 years.
Speth: Gender’s a pick em but the sport will be hockey. Women's is more likely to be sooner but if we're talking about a sport more than 8 teams play it'll be men's hockey.
BRT: Women’s volleyball is probably the most likely candidate here, though I’m admittedly not up on things like Bowling and Rifle and whatnot. They seem to space out their NCs by not less than five years and not more than 10, so I’ll be optimistic and say 2020. Bonus: Minnesota’s next NC will also be in women’s volleyball, and they’ll win it before the Huskers win it again.
Jesse: Probably bowling. I think we’re third or something like that.
There you have it, folks. St. Paul is the superior Twin City, the OTE staff is willing to perform feats of strength to get rid of Maryland and rutger, and I definitely love snow.
-87townie and the OTE Staff