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The Unecessarily Grumpy Mailbag Responses

As always, it’s time to get ridiculous. Or angry in one case...

“I wonder who’s going to need a DC next year...”
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

As a whole, we here at OTE try to get along and not take things too seriously. Football is what we don’t watch to avoid the pressures of every day life, and even when it’s bad it’s not really that bad (Yes, even for you Rutgers and Illinois.) But sometimes one of us has a bad day. Maybe it’s cat-related. Or kid-related. Or we’re stuck in wisconsin for work. But anyway, we try not to lash out in anger in our work.

That doesn’t apply to our beloved MNWildcat today. Hooboy does that guy need a hug right now. It’s probably my fault for not giving him one last Saturday when I saw him while tailgating, but I’ll rectify that the next time I see the little jackass.

Anyway, here are our thoughts for your questions this week. Thank you once again for helping us try to “think” a little bit, and feel free to ask more quesions in the comments.

Why the fuck is northwestern so bad at beating michigan, and so good at beating michigan state? -HistoriCat


Dantonio and Fitzpatrick.

BRT: Magic.

Boilerman31: Sean Connery in The Rock: “Trade secret, my son.”

Stew: jNW just seems to get involved in these rock, paper, scissors scenarios. A few years back it seemed like Iowa would always beat PSU, PSU would beat jNW, and jNW would beat Iowa.

Jesse: So long as they keep losing to Nebraska at Ryan, I’m good with whatever happened against the Michigans.

Beez: Um...because it’s always easier to beat someone’s inferior little brother?

Kirk Ferentz is obviously the living perfection of stoicism. Which philosophical schools/traditions do the other B1G coaches best align with? - sambrownlee4i

BRT: Non-AAU, can’t answer this smart person question.

Stew: A few that sprang to mind.

Urbz: Nietzsche, obviously.

Illinois: Hobbesian

rutger: Calvinism

wisconsin: Nihilism

Minnesota: The Secret

Jesse: I feel like it’s not as relevant as of late, but we could have made a great Purdue/existence/postmodernism joke here. Instead, I’m giving this to Chris Ash who may or may not actually exist. Reality is subjective, so is success...

Beez: 90% of my understanding of philosophy comes from The Good Place, so I’m gonna just assign different schools/coaches some characters.

Penn State: Jason Mendoza

Michigan: Tahani al-Jamil

Wisconsin: Chidi Anagonye

Ohio State: Eleanor Shellstrop

Northwestern: Janet

Is there any provision in the bylaws of the Big Ten Conference whereby a member school can be expelled? Can I initiate any such proceedings? - theguyfromy-wega

WSR: Well, we did kick Michigan out for a decade for being a bunch of filthy fucking cheaters. If you’re looking to kick someone out, just point out that they’re allowing players to participate in more than three seasons and the team is playing more than 5 games a year.

BRT: If PSU stayed in after IT and Rutgers stays in after all-sports futility, then I’m afraid it’s for life.

Jesse: Fun fact, there is a formal process that the COP/C runs. If either an oversight board or the commissioner thinks it’s worth deliberating, there larger proceedings can happen. But uh, no… that’s not happening.

Is Drew Brees the GOAT, including college play? fuck you brady. - Purdue19

WSR - Well he’s certainly better than Brady was in college. Drew Brees is the best B1G QB I’ve ever seen and it’s not even close. And he’s been an exceptional NFL QB for ages. But no, probably not the GOAT. Thankfully, neither is Brady.

Creighton: Oh, so I guess we’re just writing off Kyle Orton’s entire career now? SMDH.

Boilerman31: Lemme guess, Colts fan? Imma leave this here: <img src=”” width=”480”>

Beez: No.

Jesse: I think that Joe Montana has got to be in that conversation and probably also Steve Young. Obviously Peyton Manning. Probably not deserving but interesting to consider, but Michael Vick.

aesthetically, what would you most want your favorite team to be good at? passing? running? defense? assume you can only pick one, and your team has to be average at the others. - Jon Ross

MNW: This is the exact conundrum I think Northwestern is in (and don’t bother hitting me with ‘yeah, but’ you stats nerds; I don’t give a shit). In the late-aughts, Northwestern threw the ball with reckless abandon, did not win conference titles, and went to low- to mid-tier bowl games (Detroit, Outback, Alamo). In the mid-teens, Northwestern played “defense” and “ran” the “ball” with Justin Jackson the Ball Carrier, then kind maybe won bowl games?

Anyways, give me the passing offense that’s average on defense. You might not win the Outback Bowl, but I’ve seen what happens when you pretend you’re good at defense, too.


BRT: It would probably be most fun to be really excellent at offense, and average at the other parts of the game. This is sort of where Nebraska is, except the defense, and especially special teams are very, very, very far from average. :(

Candystripes: Given that I’ve seen Indiana be all of these (and sometimes all in the same game), I’m going to pick the fourth, unstated option: WINNING.

WSR: One that scores points? We’ve had Masonball which was good at running the ball and average (at best) for everything else, Brewsterball which was good at starfucking (LOVE YOU, BUD ELLIOTT) and was below average at everything else, Killball which had outstanding defenses and average at everything else, and have yet to see what we’re getting out of Fleck. But yeah. Give me the ability to constantly score points.

Beez: Defense. It’s probably the best way to make your team championship level, assuming you’re simply average at the other two. Also it’s fun to watch your team’s defense smother people. Also also, look at the way the NFL is structured: The best teams are very good at passing, but even the best teams really can’t win it all without at least being able to play some good-to-great defense.

Jesse: Offense would be nice but I don’t care so long as the system produces a damn win.

Stew: Seeing as Iowa has been doing the good defense, average offense thing for 15 years, I would like to change it up a bit, just to see how it goes. I’m curious what it looks like to cheer for a team where it doesn’t seem like a Herculean effort to score points. I mean, against anyone other than OSU, that is.

Does this mean Illinois can have nice things? And why not? - bewilder2

WSR: No. Shit no. It just means they had Rutgers on the schedule.

Boilerman31: No, no they can not. Because it’s still Illinois.

Beez: This meme always seemed more descriptive than prescriptive. I see no reason why the description can’t change, other than that Illinois is terrible.

How long before Nebraska gets a win? Follow up question: How long before they defeat a top 25 team? - Kenystlded

WSR: Nebraska’s already in the longest losing streak in the history of the program. They’ve got Bethune-Cookman coming up, and if it’s not then...yikes. 2019? Maybe? And as for the top-25 part, well...who knows? It has to happen eventually, doesn’t it?

MNW: They’ll beat Northwestern. And even if they don’t they’ll beat Minnesota. Law of averages, in my mind, says Adrian Martinez throws for a 500-yard game before this is all over.

Stop with the pity bullshit, UNL fans. And in your questions, for that matter, fuck off with the “aw shucks, we’re so bad, but how long before we trip someone up?” nonsense.

You are shit. Sit there and be shit. Your coach has an assy team, you have an assy fanbase, and you play an assy Big Ten schedule. Sit there and wallow in it. Literally no one -- not Oklahoma, not Kansas, not Colorado; not Iowa, not Minnesota, not wisconsin or Northwestern -- feels bad for you. (Fuck Iowa State.) You have made this bed of being shit on by programs you pooh-poohed because Tom Osborne is God or whatever, and you’ll get out of it far too soon because recruits still half buy into your bullshit mystique, and so odds are you’ll win multiple games this year just because you should because you recruit better.

Man, I didn’t think I hated Nebraska, but now that they’re gonna pull this “woe is me” horseshit and beat Northwestern on Saturday, I’m really fucking irritated.

Creighton: Nah, they’ll beat Bethune Cookman and get at least a conference win or two. Fun fact: They’re currently sitting at 73 in FPI and are racing against UCLA to try and become the first winless team to finish the season in the top-50 (I assume, I’m not bothering to look that stat up)

BRT: I mean, hopefully before I look like this

Future BRT, somehow pictured without a cat

But I’m beginning to lose hope, tbh.

Also, MNW? It’s not the bullshit mystique they’re buying. It’s probably something to do with the chance to play in front of, you know, people in seats instead of tarps and empty bleachers or something stupid like that.

MNW: Wow, 10 people are fans of Northwestern. Truly, you’ve fucking nailed me with logic. I can’t wait to have the PhD, that I might punk unsuspecting idiots like this.

BRT: You wanna pop some ‘ludes, check the attitude, and try this again here, big guy?

Boilerman31: /Backs away slowly from MNW

Beez: I wouldn’t be shocked to see them start out-track-racing teams as soon as this weekend. But for approximately 5 backbreaking penalties, Wisconsin probably only beats Nebby by a touchdown last week. The offense is absurd, and the defense just needs to be merely terrible and lucky. Look for them to beat someone they shouldn’t soon, either Northwestern or Bethune Cookman.

Stew: I see I don’t need to answer this question.

Aside from the obvious (i.e., winning the occasional trophy game), what innovation would you like to see NCAA schools implement to reverse the trend of lower attendance (which is entering its likely fifth straight year)? - StewartRL

MNW: Fast answer: Got a metric fuckton of tarps y’all can borrow. Shit off; enjoy low- to middle-attendance.

Longer answer: Beer. Put beer in stadiums, particularly in the end zones of places like Northwestern and Purdue, where people kinda give a fuck but give a lot more of a fuck if they have a beer in their hand.

Shorter answer: Give up dumbass slogans like “row the boat” and just win fucking games, asshole.

Creighton: Well for one, athletic directors like Iowa’s Gary Barta have crunched the numbers and figured out how high they can raise ticket prices where the increased revenue will outperform the decreased attendance, sooooo maybe find a way to cut that shit out because nobody wants to pay $90 to see Iowa play Tennessee Tech or whatever.

Candystripes: If you come within 500 feet of the stadium on game day, you are required to stay for at least a half. Might be the only way to boost IU football attendance that doesn’t require the team to do the impossible.

Boilerman31: Purdue installed beer sales throughout the stadium. The powers-that-be also finally woke and decided that maybe having an okay football program would help as well.

WSR: Ok, beer alone is not enough. Make sure that the stadium isn’t a black hole for wifi. Don’t just keep jacking up ticket prices, especially since we all know the B1G is a printing press. Don’t add mandatory seat donations while jacking up ticket prices. And find a way to make tailgating accessible around the stadium. Yeah, I get that you want to cater to the old assholes that have one foot in the grave to try to slide in front of their 4th wife and kids from that mistake of a marriage in the will, but you need to take care of fans under the age of 60. Oh, and one last thing: it’s a football game. I realize that it’s the biggest opportunity for the University to showcase other endeavors around campus, but for the love of all that is holy please stop being WeRateGophers and bringing out sick and dying people. Just let us watch football.

Beez: Beer in stadiums is a good idea. Doing whatever is necessary for phones to work properly is a good idea. Making it feel more like a college/campus-led event and less like a bunch of quiet, boring, not-poor people enjoying a fine Saturday while hoping to avoid those pesky young kids is good. Also just make it free for students.

ever actually beat Contra without the Konami code? - glassjawsh

WSR: Yup. But..uh...if only if you’re OK with me using a Game Genie. Outside of that it just didn’t happen. I did beat Super Contra, but that doesn’t really count.

MNW: Start over, and speak differently.

Creighton: Hell, I couldn’t even get past the second level.

Jesse: nope.

Beez: The list of Nintendo games I’ve actually beaten is very short. They’re hard.

(WSR Note: HE IS NOT WRONG! I’ve had Solstice since I was 10 and still haven’t beaten that fucking game.)

Rank the following chocolate Halloween candy:

Twix, Kit kat, M&Ms, 3 musketeers, Milky Way, Snickers, Reese cup, Reese pieces, Sixlets, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Crunch bar, Hershey’s chocolate, Hershey’s cookies and cream - 87 Rides A Surfboard

Creighton: Reese’s Cup, Snickers, Kit Kat, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Butterfinger, Reese’s Pieces, Baby Ruth, Cookies and Crunch, Hershey’s, Sixlets. The last four are all garbage candies.

BRT: Reese’s Cup, Milky Way, Kit Kat, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Butterfinger, other chocolate and non-nut items, and then chocolate with nuts, which are gross and unnecessary in candy and dessert.

Candystripes: Chocolate things > non-chocolate things > anything with nuts other than M&Ms.

Boilerman31: Full size > Fun size > Snack size. End of story. And da fuq is a Sixlet?

Beez: Anything with white chocolate is at the bottom, along with Whoppers and Circus Peanuts. I mostly don’t care other than that, although most-peanut candies aren’t my favorite.

Stew: Sticking with the list provided:

  1. Reese’s cup
  2. Twix
  3. Kit Kat
  4. 3 Musketeers
  5. Milky Way
  6. Reese’s Pieces
  7. Butterfinger
  8. Snickers
  9. Crunch
  10. Sixlets
  11. Hershey’s
  12. Cookies and Crunch
  13. Baby Ruth

If punting is winning, has rutger won all their games according to B1G Standards? - Purdue19

WSR: Isn’t just trying to play winning in some sense of the word? I mean, the U8 girls soccer team I coached this summer wasn’t supposed to keep track of scores. Playing hard and trying is a way to win sometimes. (Also, the girls kept track of the score for me and absolutely mollywhomped some kids. It was great. And no, Rutgers doesn’t wins for punting. They get Delanybucks.)

Creighton: I think maybe they should lower their standards to a Tennessee-esque “Game of Life” type thing.

BRT: I agree with Creighton. Instead of paying Rutgers, maybe they can accept LIFE tiles instead.

Beez: I do not accept the premise of the question.

Saturday’s forecast is for downright frigid conditions – might not even make it to 60, and it’s been 85-90 since the beginning of October in Columbus. What kind of advantage does that give Minnesota since they’ve had an unfair advantage of practicing in that weather? - bucksfan92

MNW: Look, there’s a lesson here about the differences in Big Ten locales and why the weather is fucking changing so much, but half of you idiots don’t want to read it.

So hurr hurr hurr, Minnesota is cold and Ohio is warm; durr durr hurr, Dilly Bars.

BRT: I guess I don’t have much to add to my crotchety colleague’s response above--but obviously, OSU will be just fine against Minnesota, even if they move the game to the South Pole.

WSR: Oh, it’ll be a huge advantage. It’s almost enough to make me think that if we get all the breaks and Ohio State has a few injuries that we might be able to cover the 29.5 points.

Boilerman31: Boilerman’s weather impact factor rankings go as follows:

1. Wind

2. Rain / Snow

3. Temperature

If more expansion, how about Kansas in the B1G? If not Kansas for expansion, what about WVU? - NUDave

MNW: Why? Like...why Kansas? I have to assume this question is trolling. There’s no way someone can be this dumb.

Candystripes: Come back to me when you’ve got a plan for the Big 20.

Boilerman31: As Emperor Delany has shown, it’s not about fit, it’s about eyeballs.

WSR: Look, I’m as big of a West Fuckin’ Virginia fan as anyone you’ll find in these parts. But it’s just not going to happen. There aren’t the eyeballs or the academics to fit. It is what it is, so we’ll just get to enjoy watch them throw up 70 points on Iowa State and pray that we avoid them in the Bowl games.

How overrated is Haskins? - JayMPSU

WSR: Oh come on. Really? Haskins is really really good. Like “So who’s 2nd place for the B1G POTY” good.

Candystripes: Slightly less than Trace McSorely, slightly more than James Franklin.

Beez: At most, slightly. He’s good, but like McSorely, his receivers do a lot of the YAC thing.

Very unlikely scenario....... But What happens if Illinois wins out and is the West CCG participant? -whersmyelephant

WSR: I go to Mass and repent and wait for the end of days, which is surely upon us.

MNW: You don’t go to Mass, you fucking liar.

Creighton: I’m driving to Indy and getting front row seats with Thump, because seeing the event with my own eyes will be the only way I’ll ever accept that it actually happened.

BRT: Then the CCG will be even bloodier than is customary.

Candystripes: Hell, if Creighton’s paying for the tickets, I’ll join him and Thump.

Boilerman31: /OSU scored again

Beez: If Illinois wins out it’s because they’re a pretty good team. Would not be the worst thing in the world.

Question for the panel: Do you view other teams’ fan sites? When, how often, and most importantly...why? - Dead Read

WSR: Yup. And I comment on a few as well. Outside of one particular team, I tend to like most of the fanbases in the B1G and enjoy some light-hearted banter. Part of the trick is to be self-deprecating, and Minnesota has given me boatloads of opportunities to practice that.

Creighton: I have a small list of sites I visit after a particularly embarrassing loss for schadenfreude purposes. These include Maize N Brew/MGoBlog, Wide Right and Natty Lite, and both Longhorns sites on SBN. I can’t really stomach the rest of the blogs for teams I hate. I also like to read the shitposts at Red Cedar Message Board the day before the Michigan/Michigan State game.

BRT: Nope, though sometimes I’ll look up recaps and whatnot if I need them for a specific article. I haven’t been on the right side of a fanbase meltdown for awhile anyway, and even if I was, the game threads here scratch that itch fairly well. I don’t think I’ve ever commented on an opposing fan site.

Boilerman31: No.

Beez: Rarely, and mostly to silently lol at d-bags who carried their d-baggery over from pre-game confidence to post-game rationalization/whining.

Stew: I used to a lot more, but will still occasionally dip my toe in. I always like seeing the opposing fanbase’s perspective on games leading up to, and immediately following the games. I will also go to a team-centric site if there are big news events happening there, just to get a sense of the feeling of the fanbase. That’s generally a good way to lose faith in humanity. I also love me some schadenfreude, coming from good german stock. So I’m hardly above checking in on the occasional dumpster fire, meltdown comment sections.

How do you deal with a long tenured successful coach when he’s no longer successful? How do you pull the plug gracefully? - verbosedutch

MNW: When you find out, let me know. That way, I know what excuses to make for Pat Fitzgerald.

BRT: I don’t remember, as this has not been relevant to my team for some time.

Candystripes: I’ve yet to see both elements come into play during the same coaching tenure.

Boilerman31: You bring in an “Associate Head Coach” and pray your program doesn’t implode in the process.

WSR: You give them an extension, then shove them out the door for a young, energetic recruiter that’ll fail so you can pay two buyouts at the same time while paying for a 3rd coach.

Jesse: You somehow hire Lincoln Riley and make the long tenured guy irrelevant.

Beez: You just don’t rehire them.

Stew: You give them a lifetime contract, making it impossible to get rid of the coach. Then you allow the coach to run the program like their own little fiefdom, instituting an inheritance system to the coaching staff, favoring the eldest born son.

You have a team without a good O-Line. How do you adjust your offence accordingly, eh? - KetteringLex

WSR: You hope that you have a punter that’s easy to cheer for like Peter Mortell was and you pray that you don’t get into a shootout.

MNW: Start over, and spell like an American.

Candystripes: Not sure if this is 2016 IU, or 2017 IU. So, do the opposite of whatever we did.

Beez: Punt and play D?

Stew: Wait, adjust the offense? What kind of question is this? I don’t understand.

Why do people who are going to the gym to walk/run on the treadmills feel the need to park close to the entrance? - DrHenryKillinger

WSR: I tend to park close to the entrance because treadmill day is also leg day (because every day is leg day when you’ve got a surgically repaired arm) and I’m not a fan of running and then lifting and then waddling a long way to my car. It’s bad enough that I can barely get out of the car some days when I get home, I don’t need to impress the divorcees at the gym with my inability to walk.

MNW: Don’t worry; they’re not impressed.

BRT: Maybe they don’t live in the tropical paradise that is Ohio.

Beez: The reason I’m in that car is to get to the gym. I’m going to the gym to work out at the gym, not waste time getting an old-person-around-the-mall type of exercise. I can walk around my block or with my dog. I don’t need the extra 30 steps of exercise when I’m parking. This is the exercise equivalent of saying “lol you order a Diet Coke and yet you also eat (insert healthy thing here).”