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BSD Mailbag 5.9.14

You've got questions--and Black Shoe Diaries has answers!

I'd beat them in a cake baking competition.
I'd beat them in a cake baking competition.
Michael Dodge

So for the Kickstarter, now that it's fully funded, can't you just sell the digital mag for twice the price to anyone who didn't help kickstart it? Like, just put a link to a digital sales site and let people buy it from there? Or maybe get it on Amazon?--skarocksoi

The e-mag will definitely be avalable to everyone who didn't preorder it. The specific vendor is yet to be determined, but it most likely will be a different vendor than last year's. As for the pricing, we don't have an exact dollar amount for those who didn't preorder via the kickstarter, but I'm hoping it will be at least a little higher as an incentive to donate for future years.

I'm so excited, and thankful to all of you, that we got fully funded. There's some incredible content, above and beyond the normal opponent and positional previews, that we have lined up for you guys--and it's well worth it. I can't say more, but I'm sure everyone who preordered the magazine will be more than pleased, and pretty excited as well.

Why the hell did you take Ted Kwalick in the first round?--Devon

I...I got nothing. I was going to take one of the QBs taken ahead of me and didn't plan ahead. I got nervous, and figured, TE in the College Football Hall of Fame and a first round draft pick? Okay.

I regret it (sorry, Ted).

You chose the highlight from the Michigan game, which will go down as probably the best Penn State game I attended in person. I think we can all say it was an upset, as was the beat down of Wiscy. Do you think this team pulls off a big upset this year? If so, which one?--87Townie

It depends on what you define as a "big upset". Right now, I think only OSU and MSU are out of reach--of course, that's on paper, in May. I wouldn't classify any other win as a big upset, and everything else as winnable. So while some might consider Michigan an upset, I consider it a tossup...everything else, in any other year, I'd say we should win, flat-out. This year, we won't know the impact of depth or scholarships, so I could see a lot of them going either way.

If forced to choose one of the two, though, I'm with you--MSU seems easier than OSU to me. But I'd prefer to win OSU.

Correlation or something more? There seem to be a lot of Penn State basketball fans that are also soccer fans. Why is that? Is there something about being willing to be a fan of a team that most people ignore that draws us to both of these? Is it a willingness to root for teams like Penn State basketball and the USMNT that consider it a success just to make it to the second round of a tournament? Are basketball fans more likely to be soccer fans as well? Or, am I noticing a pattern that doesn’t exist?--psfann

I'm not what I'd consider a soccer "fan", so I went to the a source--our own Bill, who answered the question thusly:

Well, there are a ton of basketball fans because basketball is the best sport in the world and if you disagree I will punch you in the grundle. And soccer's f'ing awesome, which explains why there are so many people who love both sports.

In all honesty, I doubt there's a correlation. People love Penn State basketball because it's the team that represents our university, and you always cheer for your teams.

As for soccer, it's growing for a multitude of reasons. In no particular order: 1) FIFA is the best sports video game franchise out there right now, and has brought in a ton of fans to the game. 2) With the sudden rise in popularity of the game (USMNT, increased coverage on ESPN/Fox/NBC, the fact that guys like Messi and Ronaldo are so damn good/entertaining, how compelling things like this year's race for La Liga/the Premier League are), it's drawing in more American fans than ever. 3) It's the biggest game in the world, and as the world is getting smaller, little parts of different cultures are beginning to blend in with American culture, leading to things like soccer slowly becoming part of American culture.

I do think there's a level of satisfaction that comes from rooting for bad teams/underdogs that achieve a level of success, but if that were the case, there would be more fans of shit teams and less fair weather douchers. Mostly, I think this is just a case of soccer rapidly growing in popularity, and basketball fans gravitating towards it for the same reason baseball, football, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, jai alai, and parcheesi fans gravitate towards it: because soccer is awesome. Roll Damn America. Klinsmann is our King.

Quickest way to BSD fame? Constant pot stirrer comments? Slow, methodical precise point and counterpoint comments? Or complete whackjob, borderline sociopathic comments?--LoggingLion

Do you want fame, or infamy? From the first or third, you'll get the latter--and the third will probably get you banned, and turn you into a meme. The second will make you a valued member of the community, and also allow you to get people to start to trust and value your opinion and your comments--which can lead to some awesome subversion.

Cari, when it comes to your cupcakes....butter cream or sickening sweet icing?--BMAN13

Oh, it's buttercream all the way (from scratch, natch). Some like to make frosting with lard or Crisco--I like the traditional butter.

For those who care, my ratio for a traditional vanilla buttercream frosting is 4 cups powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Subbing vanilla rum in for the milk is an awesome choice as well--but not if your tailgate has kids at it.

So why does my car make that "WHIRRRRRRRRRR" noise when I drive really, really fast in reverse? I ask because I like to drive very, very fast in reverse.--Tailgate Shogun

1) Go here

2) Submit question

3) ????

4) Profit

On a scale of a Morelli pick-6 against OSU to Tamba teaching Troy Smith to do a headstand, how great is it that 24 is back?--ckmneon

I almost hate to admit it, but I don't watch 24. It's one of those shows that I always knew I would like if I got into it, but could never find the time. I still own season one on dvd, though.

Is the Sterling Jenkins and Brandon Wimbush Open Thread more creepy or less creepy than Aurabass' threads?--WorldBFat

Some of the comments are borderline, but overall not in the same realm. No deletions necessary--thankfully. Thanks to Junny for setting that up--good times for all. Reminds me of the Breneman announcement open thread--that was more surprising, though.

If you found a magic lamp, what would your three wishes be?--skarocksoi

Awesome question.

1) $100,000 a year without having to work so I, and my family, can live in relative comfort and blog in peace (and heck, not more because I'm not that greedy)

2) James Franklin to stay for 10 years (which would only happen if he's successful)



F/M/K: Tyrion, the Hound, Maester Pycelle--psualum9931

I'm with NuclearLion, it seems obvious to me. F the Hound (not the King, amirite?), M Tyrion because he's awesome and witty and I adore him, and K Master Pycelle. Because either other option for Pycelle is gross.

A more difficult Game of Thrones one would be F/M/K Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Jaime, because I love them all. Side note: Jared punted on this question because, and I'm quoting here, I'm a bigger Star Wars fan than him. Ha.

Are suspenders the new bowties / absurd socks? As in the mid 2000s with dudes wearing pink, I was wearing bowties and asinine socks before it was cool and will continue to do so now that it’s almost cliche because I decide what cool is, not other people. But I’m noticing an uptick in people wearing suspenders / braces.--ckmneon

True story, when you start typing in "are susp..." into google, the first option is "are suspenders in style". Apparently, they're really in style in the UK--does that mean they're the new bowtie or absurd sock? I dunno, does RGIII wear them?

Let's say I want to convince a young lady to watch Big Trouble In Little China with me. How should I describe it to her to make it sound appealing, considering she is not a stereotypical man and thus might not find the film intrinsically appealing?--WorldBFat

The fact that she's not a stereotypical man isn't the question--it's whether she's a stereotypical woman. Because I would have no problem sitting down and watching it--the cover in itself is so '80s awesome, you know it'd be worth it.

Of course, I'd pretend like it's a hardship just so I could get something else out of it, but still.

Does Pickin Nits bring in the lowest amount of page views? I’d imagine it does. Follow up: What is the most popular? Oh, Hello! followed by Committany Nation?--garder54

Are you talking about series, or specific posts? Some of our standalone posts have garnered the most page views this year, and it's not even close. I don't consider the sirens (Oh, Hello! posts) a series, and they'd be next. But for series, the Committany Nation and Nick's recruiting interviews do very well for us--mostly because he's cultivated associations with other sites, so they plug them for us.

As for the lowest, it really depends on the post--because every series has outliers that skew their statistics one way or the other. I'd say that Pickin' Nits and SWH posts both are at the bottom of the rung, but both series do better than some of our standalone posts. And better than these mailbags, which are pretty niche.

Why is playoff hockey so under rated? IMO, nothing tops playoff hockey.--spigmana

In a few years, when PSU's a part of it, I think you might think that college football playoffs top it. Also, I'm not watching this year because the Caps aren't in it.

What political figure throughout history would be the greatest dancer?--Dbridi

Franklin Roosevelt? Sorry, tasteless.

I'll go with Donald Rumsfeld.