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The OTE Mailbag: Cookies, Fun football or Iowa, and more!

Would you rather have a great offense or a stale cookie?

Mickey Mouse: more than just Northwestern’s offense!
Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, happy Friday!

Would you rather have an excellent offense and a horrible defense, or a horrible offense and an excellent defense? - IUinVA

Jesse: Look, it’s super duper fun to have an amazing defense and inept offense because “Look at us make the other team’s QB sad” but it doesn’t really result in wins and gets really annoying when you just need a few yards and you can’t get them. I think that - in a perfect world - I’d rather have the unstoppable offense.

BoilerUp89: The excellent defense I guess. I’ve only experienced good/horrible combos in recent years, but last year Purdue’s good offense/horrible defense was so frustrating. This year’s horrible offense/good defense has been pleasant so long as I don’t go into games with super high expectations. The key to really enjoying Purdue football is not caring and keeping your calendar countdown until basketball season.

Thumpasaurus: Excellent offense as long as it’s not completely one dimensional. The 2018 Illini were the weirdest “great offense horrible defense” team ever because the offense was all uptempo running with little to no passing ability. I’d rather go the Early Teens Oklahoma route.

2013 was way more fun than 2015. In fact, in 2011 we had a top 10 defense, but the offense regressed horribly after game 6. 2010 was inconsistent throughout and therefore more fun.

MNW: Am I in the Big Ten East? An excellent offense and a horrible defense. Am I in the Big Ten West? A horrible offense and an excellent defense.

None of this matters because I don’t have eighty billion five-star recruits, but—

misdreavus79: You need to be at least adequate at both if you want to win championships, but as Ohio State proved in 2020, you can have Alabama tear you a new one in the championship game if your offense is unstoppable. Meanwhile, 2021 Wisconsin proves that a great defense and zero for offense is just loss on loss on loss.

Candystripes: Which one makes my team win the game? Because I’ve seen Indiana lose horribly in both of these circumstances, and I just want to see my team win football games, which shouldn’t be this big of an ask.

Creighton: I’ve been watching Iowa too long and it broke my brain. I’ll never be able to appreciate the Big 12 style 63-55 games. Give me 6-4 any day of the week.

BRT: Why not both? But if I could only have one, I’d choose offense. Then, even if you lose, at least it was a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

WSR: It’s absolutely the offense, because there is nothing worse than watching an Iowa game when they’re in a different time zone. Score points, pray you can hang on in the end. When you have a great offense, every single play is an opportunity for a touchdown. When you have a great defense, every single play is an opportunity to lose the game.


Offense or Defense?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    OFFENSE! Points are fun!
    (106 votes)
  • 50%
    Defense! I trust the punt and pray method.
    (107 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now

What is the best cookie? - Jesse

Jesse: Look, I realize mailbag has turned into a “what do the writers want to rank and talk about” this week, but this is serious business. Mainly because cookies are delicious and should be discussed.

ANYHOW, here goes:

  1. Monster Cookie - Anytime you have a chance to get ALL of the things in the cookie, you go with it. Peanut Butter, chocolate, butterscotch chips, M&Ms, etc. It can also just sorta become what you want with it
  2. Oatmeal Raisin - Don’t @ me
  3. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
  4. Whatever that elementary school cookie that was chocolate with chocolate chips and kind of like a brownie and had powdered sugar on it
  5. Chocolate Chip
  6. All Christmas Cookies
  7. Sugar Cookies with icing
  8. Snickerdoodle

BoilerUp89: All cookies deserve my love. I won’t rank them. Except oatmeal. Oatmeal cookies are bad and should be banned.

HWAHSQB: Oatmeal Raisin

Candystripes: Tim Tams. If you’ve never had them, order some from Amazon and thank me later*.

*Offer not valid if you don’t like chocolate or are otherwise allergic

MNW: I would’ve enjoyed that just being Jesse’s only contribution to OTE for the month—a standalone article in which he ranks cookies for no apparent reason, then just fades back into the ether of retirement.

The answer is Peanut Blossoms.

misdreavus79: I don’t normally eat cookies. As such, I’m usually not that picky? As long as I can’t taste the butter when I eat them I’m good. If I can taste the butter (you’d be surprised at my ability to taste butter in things), bad things happen.

Creighton: Insomnia Cookies has a cinnamon bun cookie that will knock your socks off. Also anyone trying to disparage oatmeal raisin is either a liar or has terminal internet brain. It’s a solid cookie.

BRT: Wow, Creighton was wrong two questions in a row. Maybe moving back to Iowa hurt his brain? Anyway, give me a really good oatmeal chocolate chip, or an iced sugar. I’m also partial to molasses cookies—soft and chewy with those big grains of sugar on them. Mmmm. If I’m going low brow, I also have to admit to a soft spot to those packages of iced cookies you can get for every holiday that somehow last for a really long time—I don’t want to know what’s in them, but they are tasty.

WSR: The best cookie is the one you have, as long as it doesn’t have oatmeal and raisins. The next best is chocolate chip with walnuts.


Are cookies good?

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    (154 votes)
154 votes total Vote Now

Favorite standup comedians? - LL Sota

Jesse: I appreciate Steve Martin so much for just being crazy weird and ridiculously talented. Otherwise I’m more or less a sucker for anyone who has the guts to stand on stage trying to land one-liners in front of a crowd demanding to be pleased.

Buffkomodo: Top of the line today is Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Tom Segura, Bert Kreischer.

My favorites that aren’t for everyone, Jimmy Carr, Chris Porter, Anthony Jeselnik, Taylor Tomlinson, Lewis Black, Rodney Carrington, Norm McDonald.

All Time: Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Steve Martin.

I’m sure I’m missing some but it’s been a busy week man.

misdreavus79: I like comedy as a genre. So, like cookies, I’m not too picky. It’d probably be easier for me to say “not Dane Cook” than to pick a favorite…

BRT: I’m not sure I’ve ever intentionally watched a stand-up comedian. I’m also not at all their target audience.

WSR: Robin Williams. Live at the Met was one of the first standup performances I ever saw, and I snorted Dr. Pepper from how hard I was laughing.

Which Big Ten fan base is the most insufferable when the team is having a great season? - BizarroMax

Jesse: I think the Big Ten - in general - gets really insufferable with success. But they all do it in the most Midwestern way possible where it’s not about how good they are (although heaven forbid you point out a weakness of the good season…), but rather how the other teams wish they were having this good a season and the tables have turned and this will last forever. The longer I’ve been around the Big Ten, the more I realize that no one - outside OSU - has success forever and everyone saying otherwise is full of shit. (Also any of the quadrangle are the most insufferable most likely)

HWAHSQB: Jesse, I can remember osu winning 2 of 13 against Michigan (or something like that) during the John Cooper era so it happens to everyone. Coop even had a losing record to Illinois. God, I miss that guy. Anyway, I think every single one of your fanbases is full of insufferable assholes. That being said, if Illinois ever gets good, I’m going to release so much pent up insufferableness that I might break the internet.

BoilerUp89: Ohio State always. They don’t even have to be having a great season, although they usually are.

Thumpasaurus: My time on the college football internet only goes back to 2009, so I’d only know Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Minnesota the one time. No Northwestern season ever feels like a great season during the course of said season, though. Both Northwestern fans spend the whole season waiting for the team to get exposed as a consummate pretender, and then it’s a great season if that only happens a couple times. The Minnesota thing was kind of annoying, but that was tempered by how it only happened once. There has been one bad Ohio State season, so that kind of fades into the background noise. Michigan fans were pretty insufferable on the rare occasion that they expected to have a great season and then wound up actually having one; they’ve been pretty reasonable this year.

But the answer is just everyone.

misdreavus79: Yours.

Creighton: Good god that could be any of us. I assume that Michigan and Nebraska could be worse than Penn State and Iowa combined, but their fan bases are so used to disappointment that they never quite get there because even when they’re playing well there’s this general sense that the floor is going to fall out from under them the next week.

BRT: I think it might be Iowa and PSU’s, though perhaps that’s recency bias talking. As far as OTE, I think PSU is more annoying because most of the Iowa posters here are at least funny. (And yes, I hate that I just admitted that.) I suspect that Husker fans would be extremely obnoxious, but we haven’t really been very good since the internet became a serious thing, so it’s hard to know for sure.

WSR: Iowa.


Which fans are the most insufferable when they’re "good"?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    (96 votes)
  • 58%
    The field
    (133 votes)
229 votes total Vote Now

What is your favorite type of smoked meat at a tailgate - ardichoke

Jesse: For me, it’s pulled pork because it’s really versatile, not altogether too messy, and doesn’t require me to wake up too early to get done.

HWAHSQB: Ribs. They don’t require silverware or plates.

MNW: Ribs or wings, as they don’t require silverware, like HWAHSQB said...but if I’m honest, I’ve always been too cheap or just too under-resourced to ever do anything smoked at a tailgate unless I’m mooching off Stew. MAYBE there’ll be burgers if we’re lucky, otherwise it’s just dips and lots of beer.

misdreavus79: The one I can eat.

Creighton: I’m a big fan of burnt ends, but ribs are a little easier to come by in these parts.

WSR: I love making a smoker full of ribs early Saturday, wrapping them in foil and tossing them in a cooler, and then finishing them on a grill at a tailgate. It’s the best, and I need to do it soon.


Which meat are you grabbing to put in your mouth?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Pulled Pork
    (73 votes)
  • 21%
    (35 votes)
  • 34%
    (56 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now

Who is your school’s best NFL player of all time. - IUinVA

Jesse: It’s probably Will Shields. Although, I had to look it up and Neil Smith and Irving Fryar had quite a few Pro Bowl appearances too. Shout out to Ndamukong Suh and Roger Craig for also being fairly good at the whole pro football thing.

BoilerUp89: Drew Brees or Rod Woodson. Do you like good offense or good defense? Dawson, Bob Griese, Alstott, and Matt Light were also all very good players.

Thumpasaurus: How about the dude who single handedly made people care enough about football that they wanted to pay money to see people play it outside of college? Red Grange was the greatest. More Illinois backs should put up 200+ yards on Michigan in the first quarter.

HWAHSQB: Red Grange was largely responsible for giving the NFL credibility and popularity, but George Halas was a member of the inaugural NFL HOF for his years as a player, 40 years as a head coach and 63 years as owner of the Bears. The NFC championship trophy was named after Halas. Halas chose the Bears colors inspired by the colors of Illinois and he was the person who talked Grange into playing in the NFL. I would be remiss no to mention another Illinois alum who had a long and storied NFL career. The great Dick Butkus led Illinois to a Rose Bowl victory and #3 ranking in his senior year.

Candystripes: George Taliaferro. Others coming from Indiana may have found more championship success, but only one man can be the first African-American ever selected in the NFL Draft.

MNW: I’ll hear any and all Otto Graham conversation, but the answer is obviously John Kidd.

Buffkomodo: Best is the question, so it’s Randel El.

misdreavus79: I’m not a big NFL guy, so unlike college, I haven’t done as much research into past players and how good they were in their NFL years, so…

Creighton: Paul Krause and Andre Tippet are both in the hall of fame, so one of those guys? Reggie Roby is up there as well.

WSR: Carl Eller, Bronko Nagurski, Bobby Bell, and Leo Nomellini are great picks, but my favorite Minnesota graduate to play in the NFL who stakes a claim to be the best? That’d be University of Minnesota law school graduate Alan Page. Alan Page is the coolest person in Minnesota, and nobody can come even close.

Alan Page, playing the sousaphone as people run past his house in the Twin Cities Marathon.

All right, everyone. I’m off to parts unknown to enjoy Minnesota not playing football this weekend. Creighton will be by a bit later with WWBWWBD, assuming he isn’t still tied to his chair by the nefarious villain. Have a great weekend, and please do not watch wisconsin-Illinois unless you need to induce vomiting.