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B1G 2020 // Opening the Candystriped Mailbox

Where you had some wildly divergent questions, and I provide some reasonably interesting answers, probably.

Condominium mailboxes Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

This season should probably not be happening, and definitely not before spring if it must occur, but we’re gonna keep pretending that it will until it doesn’t. Wear a damn mask, and learn how to wear it properly, folks. If it’s not covering the tip of your nose, you’re doing it wrong.

So here’s the thing: when you write enough of these B1G 20XX weeks, eventually you’ve hashed and rehashed a lot of the same ideas, and the only things that have changed are the names of the athletes on the field. Rather than copy-pasting an old article in its entirety, we’re going to brush off a well-worn, but well-liked, gimmick, and that’s opening up the floor to questions from you the readers. We put out the call, and enough of you responded that I didn’t have to think of anything else to write today, so thank you for that.

Let’s dig in.

Some guy named beezer07 asks: How sad am I allowed to be, knowing Stevie Scott can’t play forever?

Well, beez, there’s this thing called the Circle of Life. It’s got a whole song and dance to accompany it, but the short version is this: For every Tevin Coleman, there is a Jordan Howard; for every Jordan Howard, there is a Devine Redding, Mike Majette, and Morgan Ellison, and then a Stevie Scott comes along. And some day, maybe, a Sampson James will eclipse Stevie Scott, and he will move from King of the Jungle to disembodied voice of James Earl Jones in the clouds.

To circle back to your actual question, as sad as you want to be. Let it all out, my friend.

Doc1028 asks: How much better is Vanilla Coke compared to the other flavors of Coke, and should Coke be scared that Dr. Pepper is bringing in the big guns with Dr. Pepper Cream Soda?

Ah, my other area of expertise. For those not on the in here, OTE presents a weekly Where We’ll Be, and What We’ll Be Drinking article during the regular season. While most of the “writers” offer up some selection of alcoholic beverage, I tend to wax poetic on the wonders of Vanilla Coke, because I’m thrifty and also woefully underexposed to what beers and other drinks I actually like the taste of.

As for Coke flavor rankings, my not-totally-definitive rankings look something like this: Vanilla, Cherry, Classic, Cherry Vanilla, Coke Zero and its ilk, any other non-Lemon fruit flavor, Lemon, and then a long pause, any and all versions of Diet Coke.

Finally, the only cream sodas anyone needs to know about are A&W’s Cream Soda, and Barq’s Red Cream Soda. If you have the choice, take the A&W. That is the definitive #1 and I am unanimous in that.

Along a similar line, theguyfromy-wega asks: Essay question, Coke or Pepsi?

My answer here might surprise some of you: I’m actually a much bigger fan of Pepsi on the whole than I am of Coke. Here’s the 3 factors that explain why I shill (#notsponsored, but my DMs are open, Coca-Cola) Vanilla Coke as my drink of choice. Factor #1, my current job serves Coke products, and while we don’t have Vanilla, it’s free, and I don’t turn down free soda if I like it. Factor #2, Indiana is also a Coke product school, and buying a 12 pack of Vanilla Coke was easy enough to do on the regular meal plan, if you knew where to look. And finally, the most important reason, Factor #3: Back when I was in middle school, Pepsi Vanilla was the drink I preferred, and it wasn’t close. Then, for whatever reason, Pepsi stopped producing it. For a solid decade, if I wanted a vanilla-flavored cola, Vanilla Coke was it. Then, Pepsi started making Pepsi Vanilla again, but they only made it in a natural sugar variety, and it didn’t really taste like the old formula. Hard to win a competition when you’re not participating, and even harder when you make the product distinctly worse on top of that.

Future OTE Indiana “writer” 87RidesASurfboard asks: What’s the most phallic player name on each B1G team, past or present?

Because I don’t feel like using Incognito mode to figure out past players, we’ll mostly stick to current rosters. In no particular order: Mike Penix, Dick Butkus, Willie Lane, Nick DeJong, Noah Hickcox, Jack Coan, Phalen Sanford, Hunter Johnson, Tate Hallock, Jack Wangler, Sam Wiglusz, Will Knutsson, Brian Armentrout, and Everett Wormley. You’re welcome.

And last, but certainly not least, Broated Nutcrackle asks: What is the coolest moth you’ve ever seen?

Ah, my other other area of expertise. It’s this one.

See, the joke here, is that my other other area of expertise is MTG, and this is a card from the game.

B1G 2020 Schedule

Monday: The Preview

Tuesday: What’s New on the Coaching Tree

Wednesday: A Mike Penix Appreciation Post

Thursday: Mail Call (see above)

Friday: A Non-Zero Amount of Purdue Hate

All Week: Potlucks