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OTE Week 9 Mailbag: Snow days, asshole coaches, and Christmas decorations!

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There won’t be enough left of this tree to properly decorate it after Utah’s done with it tonight.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

GOOD MORING! It’s a beautiful day for college football, so we’ve decided to help bring you down a bit by offering our mailbag responses. Stay warm, have a great day, and please do not stare directly at Northwestern-Iowa.

It snowed last night in northern Minny. What is your favorite snow memory? A good snow ball fight? Perhaps being stuck somewhere with someone you adored. Sledding, skiing, tubing? I want to know! - Free Beer Tomorrow

WSR: I mean, I think I’m required by law to bring up the 1991 Halloween Blizzard. I was in 5th grade, and my last year of trick-or-treating was spent going around town on the back of a snowmobile because nobody could even walk door-to-door. Both every halloween and every time it snows I bring that up to my kids because every Dad has to have that one story, right? And one of my cousins got married the weekend in 2010 that had so much snowfall that the Metrodome collapsed. I drove from my place in the southern suburbs back to my hometown, saw 2 other cars the entire way, and had a ridiculous time with my family making sure that none of the alcohol survived to get attacked by snow.

misdreavus79: I’m from the Caribbean. I don’t like snow. Why am I here, you ask? For the same reason all the other people came here: the promise of a better life, and the reality of racism!

Green Akers: It took me until age 32 to realize it, but after a string of years feeling generally down about the holidays, metro Detroit had a white Christmas last year and I was really surprised at how much it boosted my mood. Meteorological chance opened a portal straight back to free-of-cynicism childhood and it caught me totally unaware. Not a great answer to the actual question, but I’m sticking with it.

RU in VA: ‘94 Blizzard. It was about a foot in the Philadelphia suburbs and I was 8. Enough snow for a good couple days of playing, then hardened into a foot of dangerous gross ice that shut the schools down so long we had to add a week in the summer. Ahh, the memories of mid-90s crappy public service planning.

Beez: Apparently I came home from the hospital the day after I was born (April 27th) in a full on blizzard. I don’t remember it, but it seems like a good snow memory? Really, though, there are too many to count. Instead, I’ll wax nostalgic over the annual practice among my siblings and me? Myself? Of “snow watching” for the first snowfall of the year. We’d turn on Channel 15 (The Weather Channel) and watch for hours to see if anything was changing about when to expect snow, how much, if we might get school canceled, etc. Happy times.

Jesse: I definitely remember a Halloween blizzard as a kid, but the even MORE memorable blizzard was the early October snowstorm that knocked out all the trees and created a glaze of ice on every road. I wasn’t used to things being literally shut down, but it was about as much fun as a small town could be. We had those metal runner sleds that we soaped up and we just flew down a two block hill. That was such an absurd and awesome snowstorm. Also, I hate snow and realized somewhere along the line that memories as a kid vs. the work of it as an adult weren’t equal and moved away from it. So there’s that.

HWAHSQB: Growing up in central IL and MO, every snow was a precious gift as they would come and go several times throughout the winter. Living in central IA, where the snow sticks around for four months and just keeps building up makes it less fun, but still, I really like snow. Picking my favorite snow would be like picking my favorite child. They’re all different and special in their unique ways.

BRT: We got our first dusting this week too! Some kids on my block managed get a snowman out of it, impressively. I remember sledding with friends. In my extremely flat town, this meant going to a large industrial ditch. One time, my brother hit his head on some hidden rebar, which happily ended up a much less severe injury than it could have been. But the best snow days were in college. Stuck with all your friends and nothing to do but watch movies (after an inclement hike to Blockbuster, perhaps) and hang out? Perfection. One year (2006?) we had two or three days starting the Monday following Spring Break. It really felt like God smiling on us.

If your coach is going to launch a rebrand of their team, what will they call their new brand identity, and what strange product will show up in the background during the press conference? - Vaudvillain

WSR: I mean...Over the last decade we’ve gone from “Brick By Brick,” which we had to stop using because the athletic department failed to trademark the slogan and Tennessee started using it and actually remembered to file legal documents to defend (and possibly because our OL practices at the time revolved around guys having brick fights, based on the number of retirements we had due to concussions) to snoring sounds from Tracy Claeys to rowing. I have no idea where we could possibly go next, and I hope I don’t have to find out for a while.

misdreav79: Well Penn State has already gone through a couple of rebrands. Pick the one you like! My favorite: “Generations of Greatness”. It’s the answer to the alternate uniforms conversation without actually changing the uniform in any meaningful way.

Green Akers: Tough to say. Mel Tucker’s definitely shown a panache for slogans and mantras and everything, but they’re also kind of all over the place - the stadium is now being referred to as the Woodshed, but the student section clamped onto the deep water metaphor from the Miami postgame presser, so now there’s a deep end of the woodshed. Which, you know what? I’m good with it. People take themselves too seriously.

RU in VA: Schiano is big on acronyms. F.A.M.I.L.Y - C.H.O.P. - L.O.S.S...A.G.A.I.N. You know.

I think good old Greg would tie in NYC someway. Maybe something involving bricklayers, or dock workers, who knows. If he really knew anything about the city, though, it would certainly be B.O.D.E.G.A.S.

Beez: If Paul Chryst were to rebrand the team, he would call the brand identity “The University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers Football Team” and the strange product would be Kohl’s private label brand khakis. Or maybe an oversized grey sweatshirt.

Jesse: Man, I don’t really want Scott Frost to re-brand Nebraska because the outcome would probably be something absurdly conservative, quite impossible to use, and expensive. So like, something like balenciaga copping asics.

HWAHSQB: Have you heard that Illinois hired Brat Bielema?

BRT: Something knock-off that they’re trying to sell us is as good as the real thing, just like Nebraska is almost good, but not really at all. Just a general Dollar Store vibe. A Dollar Store tie-in might get us invited to the SEC though.

What Fan base Is Most Despondent - NU84

WSR: I think it’s Nebraska. There’s a special very vocal subset of the fanbase, Cornhuskercass Livesinminnesota, that started the season talking about how this year is the year to return to glory, pivoted to laughing their asses off about the Gophers loss to Bowling Green and talking more shit, disappearing after Nebraka got pummelled by the Gophers, and have now moved on to ad hominem attacks towards PJ Fleck while ignoring the fact that he does what he says he does. Unlike someone they view as a deity. I’m sure if the Vikings were better they’d just change their Twitter avatar and not talk about college football at all, but that’s just not the case so they’ll keep spiraling.

misdreavus79: This season, it has to be Purdue fans. They are seemingly arguing with just about anyone who dares believe their team is halfway decent, even though they have a great shot at being bowl eligible and could win eight games when it’s all said and done.

Green Akers: Nebraska is the low-hanging fruit here, but I’m actually going with Indiana. Last year, they had the breakthrough season they’ve waited to see for decades, broke long losing streaks against Penn State and Michigan - and then, the conference shifted the rules mid season to make it painfully clear that, no, you don’t get to go to Indy, and the games they did win, they won in front of fan-empty buildings, and their ultimate prize was losing in the Outback Bowl, and now there’s a distinct possibility that they’re all the way back at the bottom of the hill again. Almost basketball season, though.

RU in VA: We’re going to sit here and say that it’s not Michigan? Nebraska has been in the shitter for years of their own doing. Michigan is actively trying to reduce both their W/L and national shine in spectacular fashion. I firmly believe they were two plays and a Rutgers win away from a serious Jim Harbaugh WTF are you doing conversation with the AD. There are 2 more losses on their schedule (OSU and PSU) this year. They’re coming off two straight losses to MSU with a brand new Mel Tucker at the helm - haven’t beaten a ranked team since Minnesota last year (remember when Minny was #21 to enter the year? Weird 2020).

There is no remotely immediate future where Michigan makes the CFP while my children are in grade school. Unless Mel Tucker, Ryan Day, and James Franklin learn the bass, drums, and guitar respectively and live out a dream touring as a Blink-182 cover band for a year - we’re looking at Michigan above or below only Rutgers, Maryland, and/or Indiana.

Beez: With regards to this season only, it’s absolutely Indiana. Otherwise it’s gotta be Nebraska. Scott Frost has been a mega disappointment and...they just keep losing while being statistically seemingly sound. Gotta be infuriating.

Jesse: I mean, Nebraska is up there, but it’s Michigan. Nebraska has been bad for a while now, and while many people - myself included - were hopeful that Frost could turn it around, I think we all knew this was coming. Harbaugh came off a damn Super Bowl, recruited as well as anyone in the country, and had to take a paycut to convince administration he should stay one more year. Look, Nebraska sucks but our rivals aren’t winning national titles.

HWAHSQB: You know what. Kiss my ass with your despondent “Michigan Men” Michigan is 7 and effin 1. Boo goddamn Hoo. Illinois hasn’t won 7 regular season games since 2000 effin 7. That’s 14 freaking years. Illinois last winning regular season is studying up to get their learner’s permit. Given the turnover in the OL next year, it looks like they’ll be a terror on the roads in a couple years.

BoilerUp89: misdreavus79, Purdue fans just like to argue. I’ve seen despondent Purdue fans, this isn’t it. I’m going to say Iowa fans. Three weeks ago they were on top of the world. Now they’ve been beaten up and thrown in the dumpster and are staring up at the stormy sky contemplating the next 60 years of Iowa football’s offense being run by Brian Ferentz while Gary Barta continues to hand out contract extensions and raises like candy on Halloween.

BRT: LOL, definitely Nebraska. This is uncharted water for Husker fans in a way that it isn’t for the other candidates, thus the despondency is greater.

Also, WSR is trying to be snide and is mostly succeeding, but we all think Minnesota losing to Bowling Green was hilarious. Yeah, you’ve righted the ship, but you all deserve to wear that shame the rest of the season. And will, thanks to the rest of us. :-) (WSR Note: **scowls**)

Name your top 5 asshole coaches - HoustonBoiler

WSR: Scott Frost, Brian Ferentz, Hooker-callin’ Hugh Freeze, Mike Leach, and Dabo Swinney. If and when Urbz returns, I reserve the right to add him to the list and make it 6 because nobody there deserves to be dropped.

misdreavus79: Kirk Ferentz, Kirk Ferentz, Kirk Ferentz, Kirk Ferentz, Kirk Ferentz. I think that was five.

Green Akers: I’m broadening the scope beyond current college coaches here and will include Steve Spurrier (but in a delightful way - please someone add him to their game day production), Leach, Belichick, Swinney, and low-key Pete Carroll, who everyone thinks of as a laid-back surfer grandpa but who never hesitated to run it up when he had USC rolling, to the point where Jim Harbaugh fairly could have retorted “no, what’s YOUR deal.”

RU in VA: Anyone that had to go to the Alabama football school of character reformation and platitudes.

Kirby Smart, Jimbo, D’Antonio, Kiffin, Locksley - even noted NFL turds - Jason Garrett, Dan Quinn, Pat Shurmur. Yuck.

Beez: We talking biggest, or my favorite? Or “best” at being an asshole? Dabo, Belichick, Frost, Leach, the Baylor women’s basketball head coach, and Nate from Ted Lasso. Wait that’s 6. Take Belichick off.

Jesse: Dabo, Gundy, Apparently Rolovich, probably Leach, and let’s not forget Brian Kelly, who definitely is responsible for the death of a student because he was being an asshole.

HWAHSQB: I think you all know which asshole I think rules the roost when it comes to assholery.

BoilerUp89: Bob Knight, Fran McCaffery, Gregg Marshall, Bruce Pearl, Rick Pitino

BRT: It’s interesting Ryan Day escapes this list. I think it’s because only OSU fans watch OSU anymore, and they like him. Honestly, the smarmy arrogance reminds me a lot of Frost, he’s just much better at his job so no one cares.

But anyway, I think most coaches are assholes. It’s a career field where that personality flourishes.

Is November 1st an acceptable time to start playing Christmas music, baking cookies, and putting up decorations, or should you wait until the day after Thanksgiving? - WSR

WSR: As recently as 2019, I was vehemently anti-Christmas creep. But the last two years have been a reminder to just get out and do whatever you’d like whenever you’d like because everything is dumb. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get another cup of coffee with some Peppermint Mocha creamer, take my cat out of the Christmas tree, and listen to Christmas in Hollis while I go back and add a couple tense shifts and grammatical errors to my responses here.

misdreavus79: I will second the “do whatever makes you happy” notion. But please don’t make me decorate my own house thanks.

Green Akers: Climate here dictates that the smart play is to at least get the lights up on any nice day after Halloween, but I’m personally not ready to let Michael Buble out of the dungeon until after Thanksgiving. I do plan to get the first batch of Evernog whipped up this weekend, though.

Beez: If you like a thing, and doing it doesn’t hurt anyone, don’t let the artificial constructs of “calendars” and “time” stop you from enjoying yourself. Life should be more fun than it is. Watch Love Actually in July, make those green corn flake wreaths for Halloween, and listen to All I Want for Christmas whenever you want.

Jesse: Yeah, I’m with everyone else. I got my Christmas tree down on November 1st for the first time ever because the joy on my kids’ faces - and mine honestly - were priceless. I’m also currently shopping for a neon Merry Christmas sign, so like, I might have gone all in. Christmas is amazing and while I don’t want to short-change Thanksgiving - and I will eat so much food that week - it doesn’t touch how great Christmas is.

HWAHSQB:My wife is a designer. She is very particular about her department store quality decorated Chrstmas trees. With her going back to get her PhD while also teaching this Fall, she was very concerned about when she would be able to put the tree up. I convinced her to leave the tree up last winter and it has sat ready to go all year. It’s a beautiful tree so why take it down?

BoilerUp89: You should be like me and wait until December 23 to start celebrating Christmas. No Christmas songs, cookies, decorations (other than the tree that I keep up year ‘round because I’m too lazy to put it away), or buying presents until then. Why yes, my birthday is on December 22.

BRT: Christmas is great, and I’ve been going hard on the Hallmark the past week. I don’t usually do decorations until Thanksgiving Day (we do the food stuff on Wednesday), but Christmas makes me happy, and the world is terrible. Women on IG who are like “We have a strict no-Christmas-until-Dec-1st rule in our house, and everything comes down on the 26th!” are insufferable. If you want to do that, that’s great Jennifer, but it’s not a moral failing to have a different schedule. May your Container Store decoration containers bring you as much joy as my tree brings me on Jan. 2nd, bb.

Poll

Is it acceptable to put up Christmas decorations before the day after Thanksgiving?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Yup! Be merry and whatnot!
    (42 votes)
  • 56%
    No. There are more important things to do, like prepare for updates to the tax code.
    (54 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now