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BSD Mailbag 3.25.15

Let's talk about stuff, everyone.

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What’s a Kendrick Lamar, and will he be cursed by the staff to "Step up" during the offseason? — ChrisHarrell’s_stache05

Who is Kendrick Lamar, why should he be google'd? -- MrNoPants

Kendrick Lamar is a rapper out of Compton. He is, for my money, the best rapper alive right now (NOTE: there is a major difference between "the best" and "the best right now"). He has put out three studio albums. The first two were "Section.80," which was excellent, and "good kid, m.A.A.d. city," which is quite possibly the best rap album of all time. He just dropped "To Pimp A Butterfly," which is so incredibly weird but spectacular. I cannot recommend enough listening to all three, right now. In fact, stop reading this and go listen to those albums. Especially GKMC, which I cannot say enough go things about. I’ll wait to continue.



Any Way Too Early (TM) predictions for PSU wrestling in 2015-16? – PSUHist14

I don't know much of anything about college wrestling (other than someone who went to my high school is going to be a senior next year on the Nittany Lions and I hope nothing but the best for him because he's a really good dude). However, my main prediction is that NXT Champion Kevin Owens will not wrestle for the Nittany Lions this year, which is unfortunate because he rules.

Why does every cowboy sing a sad, sad song? — Gerry Dincher

Because Bret Michaels gave them hepatitis.

(This, of course, is a joke, because Bret Michaels doesn’t have hepatitis. However, Poison sucks.)

Who will win the Larry O'Brien trophy, and what's your address in case you pick incorrectly? -- MrNoPants

Coming into this year I said Cleveland, so I will stick with them. However, if changed my mind, I'd say Golden State. This team has completely bought into what Steve Kerr brought to the table, it is the best offensive and defensive team in the league (which blows my mind) and it has the best offensive player on earth right now in Stephen Curry. Add in that it has the best home and road records in the NBA and I don't think anyone can beat them... know, unless Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka come back healthy and Russell Westbrook keeps doing amazing Russell Westbrook stuff and Oklahoma City grabs the 8 seed. Then the Western Conference Round 1 series will be seven games of splendiferous murderball and I think the Thunder would win.

If you could have a "fab five" MBB class for 2016, within reason (no one and done’s), who would you add to Stevens, Carr and Bostick? Or who others besides them? — TonyLion

Well I would certainly have those three, mostly because Penn State could always stand to run recruiting in Philadelphia. If Pat Chambers locked up that trio, he would be in an amazing place. To them, I’d want to add Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina, of whom I’m a huge fan. He’s proooooobably not coming to Penn State, but he’s a smart and talented guard from the great state of New Jersey.

For the fifth guy, might as well swing for the fences and say Amir Coffey, even if there’s no way he comes to Penn State.

Has Hack been organizing some informal workouts with receivers prior to the start of spring practice like some of our former QBs have done? — RWReese

I don’t know for sure, but it stands to reason that he did. Hack knows how big 2015 is for both Penn State and himself — he’s almost certainly not going to be a top-5 Draft pick if he tanks this year. I’d say there’s a 98 percent chance he’s done some kind of informal workout with the receivers.

At what point will ESPN stop slobbering all over tO$U and end the digital fellatio of Urban? — RWReese

Listen, I hate Ohio State like any self-respecting human being, but this is kind of ridiculous. Ohio State just won a national championship, it has (for my money) the best coach in college football and it has five guys who have a chance to with the Heisman to some degree: all three QBs (whichever one gets the lion’s share of the playing time will be a Heisman candidate, possibly even the favorite), Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa. ESPN should slobber all over them.

This is the best team in college football and it has the sport’s most compelling storyline in the "who’s gonna start at QB?" thing. For the record, I’d put everyone’s odds at 5/2 for J.T. Barrett, 3/1 for Cardale Jones and 25/1 for Braxton Miller. Shit, I think OSU is evil in just about every way outside of D’Angelo Russell, and I’m compelled by this.

Here come the pro wrestling questions. Feel free to skip the next five questions.

What is the point of Bray Wyatt wrestling The Undertaker? -- MrNoPants

The point *should* be for Bray to get a huge win over the greatest performer in Wrestlemania history and establish himself as the top heel in WWE. More realistically, this will be used for Undertaker to put on his annual "one killer match a year" and show that he can still go in the ring/get a win, which would set up a showdown at the next Wrestlemania with Sting. On that note...

Is Sting wrestling in the WWE similar to the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, so over due it’s not the draw it should’ve been and not sure if I care because of residual feeling? -- MrNoPants

I'm pretty skeptical about what Sting can/will bring to WWE in terms of in-ring ability, because he hasn't exactly murdered it over the past few years in TNA. Having said that, seeing Sting in WWE has been awesome. Literally every time he has showed up, it just feels special, because it is. I think he and Triple H will have a good match at Mania because the two are big-match performers, but yeah, this is a bit overdue.

If CM Punk showed up on Smackdown this Thursday and you had to book him into an official match for next Sunday’s Wrestlemania (i.e. he can’t make a run-in or just show up), how would you do so? — Papa V

I would want him to replace Roman Reigns in the WWEWHC match against Lesnar. I like Reigns, but he’s not ready and Punk/Lesnar has so many built-in storylines (MMA dudes, Paul Heyman, Undertaker’s last two opponents) that it could have been AMAZING. More realistically, I’d put him in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and have him win. Or the Intercontinental Title ladder match, but that’s probably a horrible idea since he’s been out for 14 months. Also: I miss CM Punk =[

How gimmicky is the lead-up to the 7-way ladder match? How awesome, and by how many degrees will that contest steal the show? -- MrNoPants

Oh it's incredibly stupid, it's obvious that WWE knows people wanna see all of these guys and just threw them into some gigantic clusteryouknowwhat. Still, this match is going to be amazing, and I really hope Daniel Bryan wins (my logic will become clear in the answer to the last question). As for "steal the show," I think Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins will be awesome, but this is the frontrunner for match of the night, undoubtedly.

Is it worse if Lesnar wins and holds the champ belt hostage as an unbeatable half-committed force? OR is it worse if Vince fast tracks an undeserving/convincing Roman Reigns? -- MrNoPants

I really like both guys, but I'll say Reigns, just because the apparent plan for Lesnar if he retains/stays is for WWE to then make the secondary titles mean something again. This is a good thing. It would especially be good for Reigns because he can then compete for the IC/US Title and work his way up the card. Now, if Reigns wins the title, that's not a huge issue, because Seth Rollins would become the champion in a few months and that would be awesome, but still, it's not ideal.

Sorry about that, back to non-wrestling stuff (for the most part).

Who has to make the biggest jump on the PSUBB roster (returning player or incoming freshman) for the team to make noise in the Big Ten this year? — Big Daddy Danny V

This is a tie between two guys: Shep Garner and Julian Moore. The two most important positions in basketball are point guard and center, and if Garner can turn into a guy who averages 15 points and 5 assists a game, and if Moore can become a really good two-way center, it will make things easier for everyone else. The space that would open up for Geno Thorpe and Josh Reaves and Mike Watkins and the rest of the gang would make this team so much fun. I’m getting all fuzzy thinking about it.

Which coach's angry glare would you least like to face coming back to the sideline? -- Dbridi

See a lot of people are saying really angry coaches -- Bill Cowher, Frank Martin, etc. But I think you'd be kind of used to those, no? I think the answer is a guy like Jim Caldwell, who is a robot and probably not capable of emotions. Imagine seeing that guy with a scowl on his face. It would mean something then. None of this watered down stuff, I want a coach who needs to be moved to anger, not have it be his default setting.

What word is overused to the point of annoyance -- Dbridi

"Literally." Oh my god nobody knows the meaning of that word. It's to the point that the dictionary changed its meaning. I don't use the word "literally" unless something literally happens, and the sudden emergence of the word "literally" to provide emphasis on something is literally going to cause the downfall of society.

Is this the year of Akeel or will the freshmen get significant run to the point where there’s no majority of rush attempts between any of the guys? — The Honorable Daniel VelJohnson Vecellio, esq.

So Akeel is going to be the No. 1 back, I don’t think there’s any doubting this. I’m really, really interested to see what happens with Saquon Barkley. James Franklin seems incredibly high on him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s really cutting into Akeel’s carries by the end of the year. But for the most part, this is Akeel’s backfield. He just needs to pass block.

Who would win a steel cage match between Joe Paterno, Woody Hayes, Bo Scumbechler, Knute Rockne and Bear Bryant? — Aqua Velva Man

I’m making this an elimination match because I can. Rockne would have been the oldest guy by like 20+ years so I think the young guys gang up on him. Then I think everyone’s hatred of Ohio State leads to Hayes getting ganged up upon and eliminated. After that, Joe Pa and Schembechler go all "Big Ten pride," and while he puts up an admirable fight, Bear gets eliminated next.

In the end, it’s Joe vs. Bo, and while it pains me to say this, I think Joe is too nice to win and Schembechler is an evil man who will, like, use brass knuckles. I’ll take Bo. I hate this question so much and I hate myself.

MMA tourney with all former US presidents, who are your top seeds? — vern05

No. 1 overall is Teddy Roosevelt, easily. He is like the Kentucky of this hypothetical tournament. Andrew Jackson is my other no-brainer No. 1. Abraham Lincoln has to be a No. 1 due to the fact that he was an excellent wrestler and could probably out-ground-and-pound almost anyone. The final No. 1 — the one who is criminally overseeded (I call this the "Villanova," and for the record, I wrote this joke on Friday night when I wrote out my answer to this question) — is Gerald Ford, who was a bad dude when he played on Michigan’s o-line but is still very beatable in fisticuffs.

Which is stronger: Mike Mauti's will or John Urschel's brain? -- jcross9

David Eckstein's heart is always the answer.

Brock Lesnar? — Ben16


The 76ers, approve or disapprove of Sam Hinkie’s team building principles (mention how many games you’ve seen this season)? -- MrNoPants

I love what the Sixers are doing. I say this as someone who fully believes that you should put yourself in the best position to win a title, and that building through a Draft is a great way to do it. I've watched at least a dozen Sixers games this year, and I love some of the pieces on this squad -- Nerlens Noel is great, some of the wing players (Jerami Grant, Robert Covington) are going to be really nice role players and Joel Embiid is special -- but the best player on this team isn't on the roster yet. It will either be the guy they take in this draft (hi D'Angelo Russell!) or the one after (my money: either Ben Simmons or, if he reclassifies, Thon Maker).

Should there be age restrictions on NBA draft eligible players? Why or why not? -- MrNoPants

My preferred system is you can declare out of high school, but if you choose to go to college, you have to stay until you get your degree. I don't think it's fair that athletes go to school and take a chance to earn a degree away from other potential students, only to make a mockery of the process by going for one year and leaving. If you go to school, your No. 1 priority should be to get an education, and I think this would accomplish that. Of course, with college basketball that's not the case but this would be a step in the right direction, imo.

Also: if you think you're good enough to be a pro athlete out of high school, go be a pro athlete. Could you imagine if LeBron had to go to college? He would have murdered everyone. Hell, Anthony Davis is the best two-way basketball player alive right now, and he should technically be a senior in college. Just let them go pro if they want, mmmkay?

Preferably using the late 80s wrestlers of my youth, which wrestler is each B1G football program? — Former_DC_Buck

Understand that: 1) I wasn’t alive in the 1980s so I opened it to all wrestlers and 2) Dan and I put way too much thought into this. BUT:

  • Illinois: Jack Swagger (used to be kinda good but now is bad)
  • Indiana: Kofi Kingston (really good, high-flying offense but loses all the time)
  • Iowa: Big E (Iowa)
  • Maryland: Curtis Axel (think they’re entitled to everything and it’s hilariously adorable)
  • Michigan: The Miz (insufferable and not likable but it has won stuff in the past)
  • Michigan State: Randy Orton (was awesome, then had a down period, is awesome again)
  • Minnesota: Goldust (perennial midcard)
  • Nebraska: Sting (newer and historically amazing, forgotten in the 00s, now is just kinda good)
  • Northwestern: Damian Sandow (smart and talented but generally bad)
  • Ohio State: Hulk Hogan (prestigious and always wins but it’s SO AWFUL)
  • Penn State: Daniel Bryan (because I love it and it was an Independent star for some time)
  • Purdue: Kane (used to win secondary titles but now is just horrendous)
  • Rutgers: Nunzio (loud and bad and from the NY/NJ area)
  • Wisconsin: Mark Henry (a big ol’ HOSS who pounds on people and is always respectable)