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The Weekly Mailbag enjoys some shadenfreude.

No, it is not pronounced “shoodenfroodie”

Pat Fitzgerald pointing the Pinkertons toward the unionization efforts.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

HELLO! Much like everything else in 2020, the weekly mailbag doesn’t believe in consistency. Saturday morning? Friday whenever? Thursday snacktime? Request delayed to Monday because of IT issues? It doesn’t matter, because when MNW tells me to jump, I tell him to go fuck himself. Then I sneak off and do what I can because deep down, I might be a big softy. (Don’t tell MNW, please.)

As we prepare for a non-full weekend of games yet again, take a gander through our thoughts. Thank you very much for providing questions on our request, and look for that to return to it’s normal Sunday afternoon request time this weekend.

Be real, you know you want to talk about it: What moment of B1G schadenfreude has helped you cope with COVID/this season so far? - Sasser

WSR: Michigan State over Michigan. Holy hell. Rutgers comes out and gives Sparty an extra helping of them hands, and then Sparty goes out and just takes care of business against the Wolverines? This season is wild and dumb and that has to be the wildest and dumbest so far.

Jesse: While I want to say Minnesota because there was a LOT of shit talking from our Gopher friends about their obviously superior program turning a corner, I’m going Michigan because HOLY SHIT y’all… They are bad and there is no reason for it. It’s going to be a DISASTER if they lose to Rutgers and I am here for it.

MNW: No need to qualify it; while watching the Ottomich Empire crumble is fun (jeez, I made that analogy back in 2014), we should not allow a single crab to escape the bucket. Particularly living in the Twin Cities, watching the Gophers crumble has been totally amusing.

Gonna suck ass when they beat Northwestern, but meh.

BRT: I had no real expectations for my team this year, so I’m fully on board with chaos. I think for me it has to be watching MSU beat Michigan in spite of being absolutely terrible. Poetic. Beautiful. I also think Penn State being 0-4 is really funny. There’s a lot of hilarity this season, and I’m here for it.

Candystripes: Pretty much our whole season, but absolutely The Stretch.

pkloa: Not watching any of the games so far has really been a blessing for me. Not being in a position to point and laugh at fucking ANYONE makes one appreciate the other things in life.

Beez: It’s PSU being bad. PSU has been REALLY good (in the conference) since BOB was there, but it sure is fun to see them lose over and over and over for once. Them losing to Nebraska is the highlight so far. Also Minnesota taking a way bigger step back than expected was good and fun.

Now that UN-L won a game . . .Will Scott Frost finally stop whining now that the Cornhuskers have won a game? If not, what will he whine about this week? -NU84

WSR: Yeah, no. Now that Scott Frost has won a game, he will move on to complaining this week about how unfair both the voting system is (My guess: Only landowners should get to vote), how it’s not right that kittens get more attention but cats are awesome and cute too, and that back in his day anti-doping regulators were on the honor system and nobody was more honorable than old Nebraska.

Jesse: I’m quite frankly surprised anyone cares what Frost says at this point… I think his superpower is getting press despite being a literal non-factor in Big Ten football since getting here.

MNW: I dunno. Probably not? Why are we still paying attention to that chumbalone?

BRT: Hurrrdurrr Scott Frost! I seriously don’t get the weird obsession with him this season. I’m a lot less interested in him than many of you seem to be, which is weird, because he coaches my team. Is this a mancrush? What is happening? Help me understand.

Beez: No.

Covid has already hit the pants industry hard...would a victory of Rutgers over Michigan permanently destroy the wearing of pants? - GTom

WSR: When (not “if,” “when”) Rutgers wins, we’ll finally realize that the simulation is broken and we need somebody to unplug and restart everything.

Jesse: In all seriousness, I haven’t worn a pair of pants without drawstrings since like March… COVID is weird y’all.

MNW: No, but a Northwestern win over wisconsin sure would.

BRT: Unpopular opinion: not sure why people don’t wear pants when sweatpants (or leggings) exist? Just as comfy as no pants, and much warmer.

Brian: Is Jim Harbaugh the last vestige of a pants-wearing world?

Candystripes: I feel like this question deserves a longer response on the difference between slacks (which is clearly what you mean) and pants, but I’m not willing to have that argument since I don’t really care about the outcome. TL;DR: Probably.

Beez: Pants were here long before us and they’ll be here long after we’re all gone.

Worth discussing that it is clearly better for Northwestern to cancel this weekend rather than play Wisconsin, in terms of West Division chances? - PUREWildcat

WSR: Look, I think the important thing here is that somebody else cancels on wisconsin so they’re ineligible for Indy. Northwestern is my favorite pick because then the badger schedule will look worse than BYU or Coastal Carolina’s and an 6-0 badger team will whine and scream about how they deserve to be in the playoffs while they don’t even get a sniff.

Jesse: The fact that we are having this discussion continues to remind everyone that this is a voyage into absurdity, right? Like, playing football is still really dumb. But, I actually do wonder if the gamification of somewhat not well thought out rules about cancellations and championships and what not wouldn’t just be the best thing ever.

MNW: You have to think Pat Fitzgerald is too MAN to ever do that. But it feels like it’d be peak Northwestern nerddom to try something like this.

wisconsin’s a hotspot, Pritzker! Shut the borders down! BUILD! THAT! WALL!

Beez: It’s much, much, much better for NW’s chances to cancel this weekend than play. When they play Wisconsin and lose, and then Wisconsin gets another game canceled (probably Minnesota because let’s be honest, Fleck has no time for a team that hurts his brand), it’ll be awesomely embarrassing for NW to get the CCG beatdown by backing into it in the most back-in-able way possible. If NW cancels this weekend, though, they get to avoid the sure loss and still back into the CCG, but without the “-1” on the record. Also that this scenario exists is (a) what everyone agreed to beforehand and (b) a real good sign that we shouldn’t be playing football.

I am beginning to think there is no such thing as Rondale Moore and “he” was just an elaborate, Monti Te’o style ruse. Purdue fans are being catfished aren’t we? - glassjawsh

WSR: I like this theory. What if he was just a hologram all along and that’s how he shredded the tOSU defense? No, I’m not sure how he was able to catch the ball in that situation. Ask a scientist, not me.

Jesse: I dunno… I’m of the belief that Purdue gets one unbelievably good player at a time, so the second you got David Bell, Rondale Moore was ineligible for existence. It’s probably something to do with the law of matter or whatever, but that is my best explanation.

MNW: Fun fact: The phrase “Catfishing” stems from the first railroad mail fraud in U.S. history. Jedediah T. “Catfish” O’Sullivan, a graduate of Purdue University hoping to invest in western lands, was in regular correspondence by telegraph with a young woman named “Berthe Williamson” offering him 20 square miles of prime real estate in central South Dakota if he sent money to pay off the local land agent. O’Sullivan sent “Berthe” money to facilitate the bribe, but when he arrived in De Smet to establish the Granite Falls-Watertown Railroad Co., he learned that he had fallen victim to the machinations of a Kristoff Hanssen, a Danish immigrant who had taken the money and arrested O’Sullivan for conspiracy to bribe a public official.

Is Lovie Smith’s beard like Sampson’s hair? - He was a high school quarterback

WSR: Yeah, if you consider him a Dollar General Samson. Oh look, the former NFL defense-first coach stopped a boring-ass offense that relies on the run, just like every other NFL team that he used to go up against a decade ago. If he grows his beard back out for next year, does that mean he might be able to beat Northwestern? Ha, just kidding.

Jesse: It was Rutgers, right? Right.

BRT: “Dollar General Samson” should be a band, or at least the name of a song. Do it, Thump.

Beez: Did Sampson’s beard make him not give a shit about a key part of his job and then also be bad at his job? The Bible is weird, man.

So what’s the best way to politely decline an invite to attend a Thanksgiving gathering with your parents? - WSR

WSR: So far I’ve gone with the “Well shucks, Mom. Lemme think about it.” But that’s not going to fly and I’m going to need to drop the old “Yeah, that’s really not going to work” at some point and I still don’t know how to do it. Maybe I’ll just respond to a political rant on Facebook. That could do the trick.

Jesse: “Well, I live four states away and your state literally cannot figure out how to pass a mask mandate, much less slow COVID down so sorry…” Note, my parents actually have been super cool about all of this and everyone needs to be safe this year. BE SAFE EVERYONE!

MNW: “Polite”?

BRT: I’ve repeatedly been deeply grateful that my mother believes in science and has taken this seriously so I haven’t had to have hard conversations with her. (Although I still nag a little bit because I’m deeply worried about the rural health care system and she works in a school…) She’s become quite a hobbyist in terms of making masks to match her outfits, which is adorable. But I know many of my friends are having to have these hard conversations with their family members, and it breaks my heart. Ultimately, do what is best and safest for your family, and your parents will probably get over it.

Beez: Blame it on another member of your nuclear family being worried about COVID, duh.


Has there been anything funnier than Michigan State beating Michigan this fall?

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