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BSD Mailbag 4.15.16

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The Blue-White Game is this weekend! Let's answer some mailbag questions about that and some other stuff, too!

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Over/under on how many hot taeks there will be about the QB’s this weekend? – tFrench

Lemme throw the O/U on 9.5 (for just posts on the web/in newspapers, as for comments, O/U is 9,999.5). I'm inclined to think that nothing will get too horribly overblown, but sure enough, there will be one Trace McSorley pass batted down at the line of scrimmage or one Tommy Stevens interception that will completely sell someone on one dude or the other. And I am SO ready for this.

Who do you like in NHL Playoffs? Picks from East/West. – lionrambler

Are the Devils in it? I have willingly watched exactly 0 seconds of hockey this year, so I don't know anything. I just found out the Florida Panthers were good and I thought they sucked, and when on earth did the Dallas Stars get a 1-seed? Do they still have Bill Guerin and Brenden Morrow?

Anyway, give me the Blackhawks I guess. I went to Chicago for the first time in the fall and I thought it was an awesome city, so go Blackhawks. AYE HOCKEYMANS BE TOUGH AND SCORE POINT GOALS.

Do you expect to learn anything from the game this weekend? Or will this only fuel blog conjecture for the next 4 months? – Success With Honor Always

I am of the belief that you generally can't take too much away, but I think there are some things you can see and go "alright, cool." Like if one young player looks especially decent, you can say "hey, that person looks decent." Or if a quarterback throws a ball 80 yards you can probably assume that they can throw the ball 80 yards.

(Don't take anything away from the spring game, y'all. It'll ruin you.)

What's your estimated percentage of the offensive playbook we see on Saturday? Will it be based on how much the offense has learned so far and/or not wanting to show too much of it before the fall? – PSUBeatle

Probably like 10-15 percent. Hell, that may be too high. This is a combination of two things: one is that this is the spring game so Joe Moorhead doesn't want to give too much away, the other because the team is still implementing it. Listen to players in practice meetings with the media, it's a lot of "we're still working to get everything installed" and what not. It's like updating your iOS, only it takes less time because nothing on earth takes more time than updating your iOS.

Is the rare nice day forecast for Blue-White God’s way of making up for the horrendous weather at most of the home games in the fall? – PSU12

*looks at weather*

*sees mid-to-high 60s and sunny*

OH PRAISE JESUS.

Because you gotta keep them honest with the passing game, obvi.

How long into a relationship does it take until you just let the farts rip in his or her presence? – Gerry Dincher

I think it's a case by case basis. Like if your S/O is always super wound up, you should probably not let one rip for a few months. However, if they're really cool and go with the flow, maybe a month (or less!). I think this is one of those things you establish at the beginning of a relationship. "Oh, so you like to sleep with two pillows? And do you care if I'm not great at cleaning the dishes? Cool, also: when can I pass gas in front of you without freaking you out?"

I don't know what the deal is with Man City. I guess they did something recently. But before this season, I’d never even heard of Leicester City, and now they’re basically a lock to win the league. Would hopping on that bandwagon be the most American thing for me to do, other than outright ignoring soccer after calling it dumb, lame, stupid, boring, etc? – 06Lion

So as a Manchester City supporter, I should hate Leicester because they are ahead of Citeh right now (and have been basically all year). But I love love love Leicester City so much. Jamie Vardy rules. Riyad Mahrez is impossibly fun. Kasper Schmeichel has been a beast in net. And their manager, Claudio Ranieri, is the coolest grandpa on earth. Just read this, he bribed his team to put forth a good defensive effort with pizza! And it worked! What a guy.

So basically, go ahead and support Leicester. No team in the world (except for maybe Atlético Madrid) works harder for 90 minutes than these dudes, and their rise to the top of the league defies every single piece of conventional wisdom that exists in footy. Hell, there's no real comparison in sports for what they're doing – maybe a baseball team filled with Minor League dudes winning the World Series? I have no idea. Leicester is so great.

The Warriors are the favorites, and they are for good reason, but with the exception of the 96 Sonics, has there ever been a team comfortably over the 60-win mark as disregarded as serious contenders as this Spurs team? – ckmneon

I don't think so, and it's amazing, because I legitimately think this Spurs team can beat the Warriors over the course of a seven game series (Oklahoma City can too if Durant and Westbrook just go into full fuck you mode and combine for 85 a night, but that seems impossible, so). Whether or not they would remains to be seen, but I think the Spurs would be really good at keeping Golden State's transition game somewhat in check (the Dubs are tops in the league with about 21 fast break points per game). Plus they'd throw Kawhi Leonard on Stephen Curry, and while I have no idea if that would work, it's probably the best strategy out there.

Watch this series, and make sure you pay special attention to two things: if the Spurs decide to let Curry do whatever and lock down the other four guys or if they try to put the clamps on Steph, and which team's second unit gets the upper hand. That second thing is especially important and may be the thing that decides the entire series.

Similarly, has there ever been a team that’s been the clear best team of the conference with the clearly superior middle (the East) as disregarded as this Cavs team? – ckmneon

I think the Cavs' issues are twofold. First, there's the fact that literally no one cares about what they do on the court until the postseason rolls around, so all of the media drama related to the team has to come from the locker room. It's the lamest thing on earth, but when a team is basically on autopilot until the postseason – which is the only plausible explanation for why Cleveland has been so meh throughout the season (shout out to Dan for presenting me with this theory, which I subscribe to 100 percent) – and that team is the team everyone wants to talk about all the time, it makes for a weird situation.

The other issue is that they aren't head and shoulders above everyone else in the East, in my opinion. And if they do really disregard the rest of the conference, I think they may be in a fair amount of trouble. The first round against Detroit they should win, but Stan Van Gundy and Andre Drummond will make that hell for them. The second round against the Hawks (should win) and the Celtics (should win but I wouldn't be surprised if they lost because Brad Stevens will coach circles around Tyronn Lue) should be difficult. Then in the Finals, Miami and a REALLY good Toronto team are lurking. I think they make it to the Finals, but that potential Finals series against a Heat team that wants to beat LeBron or a Raptors team that finished one game behind the Cavs is going to be hell on earth for them.

Please write a 300 word response detailing how Kobe Bryant left his mark on the NBA and how he changed your life on a personal level. – skarocksoi

So 300 words is difficult, but Kobe Bryant was super fun to watch play basketball, he was probably a bad person, and I think his legacy is ultimately a little overrated for a myriad of reasons. But, having said this, his final game was fun as hell and anyone who disagrees is lame.

All offseason BS set aside....I got ripped up saying this before, but here it is again since many people over radio shows and sports articles are saying/asking the same thing. Does PSU really go above 7-6 this year? – PeteZockyU

I think that's certainly possible. We'll expand on all of this later in the offseason, but I think this team has three areas of concern: quarterback, offensive line, defensive line. Every other position (RB/WR/TE/LB/DB/K/P) I feel relatively confident in, but those three are concerning. The good news is all three units feature some talented guys, so if they can turn that talent into productivity, I think eight or nine wins is plausible. If not? Six or seven, probably. A lot of things need to happen before I can give this an answer with any amount of confidence, though.

CTID!!!!!!!! I cant wait to finally replace my tight ass Silva kit with an American sized De Bruyne this summer. What made you a City supporter, Bill? – PhillynCityTID

Well for one, it's the best team in the land and all the world. But when I was getting into soccer, I wanted to pick an English team that was good, but didn't have a zillion other fans. That meant I'd never support Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, or Tottenham (because for some reason, everyone likes Tottenham). Oddly enough, I didn't meet another City supporter until I met Noel during my junior year – I started loosely following footy after the 2010 World Cup. Plus I always had a general dislike for Manchester United, so it worked out. Also: Noel Gallagher is good as heck.

Anyway, for those of you who don't follow the footies, City is fun because it's a team of historic losers, and even though they've had fuck you money poured into it recently, it's still a team that always feels like it's on the precipice of disaster. Some of its players – Joe Hart, KEVIN GOD DAMN DE BRUYNE, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure when he cares – are some of the most fun players on earth. Their captain is a dude named Vincent Kompany, who plays with more passion than any athlete ever. I still get chills watching this. And this too, obviously. CTID, my friend.

Why is Maryland?? – chulupabatman

It's a good school (in terms of academics) that employs two Penn Staters as head coaches for sports teams (Kerry McCoy in wrestling, Steve Aird in women's volleyball). Other than that, uh, because Under Armour pours money into them? Which is fine!

Is Hackenberg draftable? – JMO-PSU

imo, yes, but its hard too   say.

Kickball. Who came up with the bullshit rule that if you hit the runner in the head before he or she gets to base that said runner is safe. "No hits above the shoulders!" Come on, what is this the NFL? – Gerry Dincher

I have not played kickball in eons, but I never had a major issue with this rule. It teaches you how to throw with accuracy, which is important, because struggling with accuracy can hurt your NFL Draft stock when you're an adult.

But now that I'm older, I think I hate this rule for two reasons. One is that you kill enough brain cells with alcohol already, so this probably isn't too big of a deal. The other is that I'd probably want someone to go for my head. Considering it's smaller than the rest of my body, if I can move out of the way, odds are they're missing me. I could get an inside the park home run if someone exclusively tries head hunting! Come at me, jerks. I'll bob and weave my way to kickball glory.

Anybody committing? – jaytay13

Nick should have something on that. Go read it! It will be good! And if he doesn't post anything, feel free to verbally harass him!

(If I had to guess, my money is on a guy like Michael Miranda or, if he gets swept off his feet, Mark Webb. I have zero idea, thought. OR DO I!?)

(I know nothing.)