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BSD Mailbag 10.11.19

The team is headed to the pink locker room in Kinnick to play under the lights, and we’re just here answering your questions...

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NCAA Wrestling: DI Wrestling Championships Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

What do you stand on strangers yelling out “WE ARE”? Maybe it’s me being asocial, but I’m not comfortable replying in public places, such as a crowded Disney area, an airport concourse, the mall. Also maybe it’s my subconscious fighting my asocialness that keeps insisting I wear so much gear in public.—JayMPSU

This may (or may not...) come as a big shock to you, but I am a big fan of the public WE ARE. Not necessarily shouting it (but shouting it in Lucas Oil as we’re leaving the game was perfect), but more of a quieter “hey, We Are!” when I see walk by someone in PSU gear out and about around DC. I do get disappointed when I don’t get a response, which happens more often than not.

The best was when I was in Target on a Saturday morning in winter, sans any PSU gear, when I saw a guy walking around with two young kids, and a Penn State wrestling hat on - I WE AREd him, and he looked for gear and didn’t see it, but still responded in an appropriate manner. We then proceeded to discuss the previous night’s dual meet for a few minutes, and it was everything you would want it to be.

This isn’t a question, but here’s an 8-bit version of Fight On State. It’s awesome.—thatdarncat

It is!

So The Tune Up Games Are Over and soon we will all know just how good or perhaps not-so-good this team is. But since we’re approaching Back to the Future Day (10/21), let’s assume we have a time-traveling DeLorean, and we set the destination date to August 30th, 2019. The day before the season started. And let’s say we track down 8/30/19 Cari (without inadvertently disrupting the space-time continuum, and destroying this universe). If we asked younger Cari where she thought the team would be, and where she hoped it would be, at this point in the season, how would those responses compare to where current-day Cari thinks the team is now?—papa_wheelie

Honestly, our offense is better than I thought, despite the inconsistencies. And I hoped the defense would be as good as it is (because the talent and experience there, on paper) but I didn’t expect it - so that is nice. Right now I’m leaning towards 10-2 on the year, and I was 9-3 before. And now I’m less concerned about Michigan and Minnesota than I was preseason, with the only close games being Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

How angry is Iowa gonna play? And will it matter? I’m getting to the “irrationally cocky” phase, which is usually where things blow up… but if our D-line is truly this dominant, the game shouldn’t be close. That’s assuming that our offense doesn’t turn into Michigan.—LBU_409

I don’t know how angry they’ll be - but yeah, I’m not sure it matters. Maryland came out angry and emotional, and that helped them a ton, right? This team needs to trust their talent, their practice, and their coaching, and they’ll be fine.

Kinnick at night is worth how many points to Iowa?

The NFL betting line typically allows 3 points to the home team after matching up the teams statistically. Does that correlate to college games also, or would you increase that to 4 or 5 points based on the average rabid fan base? Specifically, how much of an advantage, point-wise, would you say that a night game at Kinnick gives to the Hawkeyes?

To further the discussion, how much does “player or team motivation” change the outcome of a game?


Generally, home team advantage in betting lines is the same as NFL - but I’d argue it should be more. I bet, though, that if this was at home for us, we’d be favored by 10-14 points.

And this is the best pregame hype speech:

You get to pick one of two options to definitely happen

  1. Penn State football beats Iowa on Saturday night to stay undefeated
  2. Penn State wrestling beats Iowa this season to extend their dual win streak and challenge Oklahoma State’s record.—Succss With Honor Always

Oh, it’s definitely #1 because that has less of a chance of coming true. And it’s still a good chance, it’s just...a Cael-coached team can never be counted out.

LAST MINUTE: How do you feel about this:


I can’t express how much I love it, can’t stop giggling about it, and still can’t believe it’s true.

I’ve liked Snyder for years (ever since seeing his 2016 National Title in person, which was the first really exciting heavyweight bout I’d seen live). In the duals against Ohio State, I never really rooted for him because him not getting bonus against Nick Nevills, for example, would directly impact my team’s score; it was only after Bo pinned MyMar that I was able to openly and unabashedly cheer for Snyder his senior year.

It’ll be great practice for Snyder and the guys already training at the NLWC - as well as for Anthony Cassar, who’s looking to defend his title against a more-weathered Steveson this year. I am just upset they’re not holding scrimmages in which we could see Snyder square off against David Taylor, Cael, or Bo - I’d pay big bucks to see that.

Did you get tickets to the Olympic Team Wrestle Offs the first week in April? And, do you know if they will let us tailgate prior to going in? We plan on breakfast both Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot and hope it is possible. and 7th row, section 123 lower level!!—BMAN13

I did! I don’t remember where my seats are (I’m going with a friend who’s a season ticket holder, so she got the tickets). Tailgating would be swell! It’s my birthday weekend, so celebrating with thousands of my closest PSU wrestling friends seems like a good use of my time.

After Theo Johnson, who are our top remaining targets, or will be saving a spot or two for potential flip candidates?—phillyfanisc

I’m sure we’re still going hard after Fleming, even though he’s an OSU commit. I don’t really follow recruiting as much now as I used to, but I’m sure avenues will open up with a great product on the field in 2019. Check out our weekly pieces for more!

Any smoke to the fire that Fleming is warming up to PSU? We know (thanks twitter) that he has a new GF, who is a PSU student, and that he’s been to at least two PSU tailgates this season. Offense is playing well and we have actually thrown the ball more than OSU (more passing yds per game and much better yds per completion than OSU). What is the BSD take on this, please disperse the BSD spies on campus to gather more intel!—lamgol

Haha, I’m not sure my take is the “official” BSD one, but I’d be surprised of two things regarding Fleming: 1) that CJF et al have completely written off recruiting him (especially after what happened with Micah Parsons), and 2) that as of now, Fleming’s solid with OSU. But you never know!

With the way the portal is now, do you think it will hurt certain teams recruiting? For example, If you are a big time QB are you going to pick Michigan when Jimmy seems to find his starting QBs off of other teams. Everyone seems to be using the portal to strengthen their squad, but could it hurt certain positions?—bva-psu

Sure! I think squads that don’t use portaled quarterbacks (like, for example, PENN STATE) can and do use that as an example - ie, our starting quarterbacks are groomed and coached in-house, so if you come here you know you’ll get well trained.

Who’s worse the old ass alum who wrote the now infamous letter, or all the ones commenting that are actually defending him.—Sperbro

What is your tailgate theme for the Michigan game, now that it is 7:30? —BMAN13

Our overall theme for 2019 is “Favorites” (it’s my crew’s 15th anniversary year tailgating together, so we’re reusing themes that we all have loved). So far this year, we’ve had Caribbean, Southern France, Fiesta/Quincenera (I bought a poop emoji pinata), and Oktoberfest - next up, for Michigan, is Tour of PA. So an amalgamation of a lot of different cultures, with beer and pierogi.

Honest question: With the prices being what they are to park, is it better just to bar crawl instead of tailgate? warmer, no need to cook, etc—Sperbro

Absolutely not. Tailgating is an experience unlike any other, and a bar cannot compare - even when it’s cold and rainy out, I’d prefer to be out in our walled-in canopy with my family and friends, huddled in front of the heater, than in a bar that’s just like any other. Plus, being right next to the stadium for so long has its perks.

Additionally, if you have season tickets and buy parking through that, it’s way cheaper than bar crawling (I think $150-ish for the season) - and how extensive you go in terms of food is up to you, and your fellow tailgaters, who can all share that expense.

What was your favorite Halloween costume that you wore when you were a kid? Are you old enough to remember the plastic masks that served to do little more than suffocate you? Like this one. I had that costume.

Gerry Dincher

I honestly don’t remember most of my Halloween costumes (and much of my childhood), and most of what I do remember is because of photographs.

One such photograph is a costume like you showed above - my sister and I were super tiny, and dressed in these type of costumes. One of us was Snoopy, and I don’t remember what the other of us was.

Did you know that the state bird of Iowa is actually the Goldfinch? And that a “Hawkeye” is not even a real bird!—PascalsDog

I knew that a Hawkeye wasn’t a bird (it’s a Marvel character, duh) but I didn’t know that bit about the Goldfinch, that’s interesting. BSD: come for the tangents and memes, leave with additional tidbits of wisdom you’ll never need in your life but will forever remember.

Is IOWA really an acronym for “Idiots Out Walking Around”? I think I read that in a history book or something…maybe on a bathroom wall…not really sure. I do know that Jenny at 867-5309 is not up for a “good time” and I think I read that in the same place. Did you know that since the advent of the smart phone defacing of bathroom stalls has declined considerably? Fact.—RWReese

That’s mean. I like Iowa. And what you say about the bathrooms is interesting...also 867-5309 is a State College phone number, and when I went to PSU you didn’t need area codes so I feel for whomever had that number.

Do human farts smell as bad to dogs as dog farts smell to us?—Dbridi

I typically don’t go around attempting to smell farts but probably.

This was brought up in the “Three Takeaways” post, but I figured that I’d ask it here as well: What do you think happened to Ray Gricar?—Bob Sacamano

I bet he’s in witness protection somewhere, living it up and laughing at all of the ridiculous conspiracy theories. I bet he googles himself like 2x a year, too.

In the weeks that we wear throwback unis, should the name of this here site be changed to White Shoe Diaries? I should have asked this last week, but I didn’t realize we wearing throwback unis until it was too late.—Scoop Dawg

So, changing the name of the website is actually really tough and not something that those of us on the masthead have control over (it’s a mothership thing). I am pretty sure, though, that we did change our Twitter name to White Shoe Diaries, because that’s a lot easier and can be easily switched back.

Completely out of curiosity, and assuming the info is readily available, what is the ratio of average views from masthead-generated columns to FanPosts to FanShots? Pick whatever timeframe you like for that “average” – day, week,… Or feel free to use the median if that’s easier. I’m just interested to see if anyone really does read the FanShots! I’m guessing 20 to 4 to 1.—Smee

Since I stepped down, I don’t have as much access to metrics as I used to - but I can tell you, that the best performing fan post generally gets anywhere from 3-5k page views total (and this is rare, I’ve only seen that once or twice), which is typical for most front page stories their first day only (with hundreds or a few thousand more over the course of their life on the front page). The disparity is a lot, and that’s why we try to bump great posts when we can, like ckmneon’s Advanced Stats.

when presented with a box of DOTS or bag of Skittles how do you eat them?

-I only eat the same flavor…orange with orange, cherry with cherry, etc

-I combine them so that I experience new flavors…strawberry and lime, whatever comes out next is how I eat them

-I mix up my methods…orange only with orange, cherry only with cherry but I will combine the lemon and the lime—kingkub

I’m a weird eater, and I have to have things like M&Ms or Skittles (not Dots because they are bad and you should feel bad) in pairs, and the pairs have to be the same color or flavor. I generally will dump out the entire bag (or whatever serving size I’m going for that day) and count out the flavors and eat down the ones with the most numbers until all of the flavors have the same number of candies left and now that I’ve typed this all out that’s probably an overshare and all of you now think I’m super odd (if you didn’t already).





Who are your favorite tv sitcom characters?

My top 5, no particular order:

Dwight Schrute

Less Nessman

Cosmo Kramer

Sergeant Schultz

Cliff Calvin

Honorable mention:

Lenny and Squiggy—dmetz

This is such a great question! I’m not so sure I could limit to just five if it wasn’t sitcoms (I don’t and haven’t watch a lot of comedy historically), but here goes:

  • Ron Swanson
  • Captain Raymond Holt
  • Dwight Shrute
  • Tracy Jordan
  • Selina Meyer