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BSD Mailbag 5.16.2019

Better late than never, right?

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Why does high school football in New York State suck so badly? Very rarely do we hear about the top player in New York making it big in the college ranks. In our local high school I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of football players who have earned scholarships to D1/FBS programs, and the number is much different for the schools we play against. Yet, there are high schools is some geographic regions (PIALL, DMV, Ohio, Texas, Florida, etc.) where they’re producing that many every year. - Scoop Dawg

I think it may have something to do with the layout of New York State itself. First you have the southern end of the state, which includes NYC, western Lawn Guyland, and the surrounding area. That area is super urban, with not much room for football facilities, whereas basketball courts are easily set up, don’t take up much space, and don’t require routine maintenance.

Then you have eastern Lawn Guyland, which is very rich, very uppity. Not a ton of football.

Lastly, you have upstate, which spans a pretty wide area, but is also cold for a lot of the year. Not that PA or other B1G states aren’t cold, but as we’ve seen from a lot of the recruiting lately, the warmer southern states tend to produce many more football players. So while the state of NY will produce some players here or there, it just doesn’t seem like it’s necessarily set up the best for the sport.

How many people would care if Penn State never played another men’s basketball game? - Gerry Dincher

Ah Penn State basketball. Look, I’ll root for the guys and hope they do well, but to me our best hope any given year is to spoil other team’s seasons. Given that they’re self-sustaining, I don’t see much issue in them soldiering on. But the fans that have delusions of regular tournament appearances should make reevaluate what the team actually is, ya know?

Which Penn State player that was drafted this weekend is going to have the best career in the NFL? - Gerry Dincher

I’m going to say either Miles Sanders or Nick Scott. For Miles, he joins a good offensive system, and won’t be asked to carry the RB1 load, at least not right away. Just within a year or two of him are Josh Adams, Corey Clement, and Donnel Pumphrey. He’ll be given some snaps, and get to learn the offense before moving up to the workhorse level in the next couple years.

Nick Scott has routinely been overlooked, but is known for his intelligence and sneaky athleticism. He joins a Rams team that won’t look for him to start in the secondary right away. In fact, I’m sort of expecting an Adrian Amos type career from Scott - taken in a later round, allowed to learn the defense and slowly but surely rise to the top.

Why do drivers in northeast, especially New England, suck? Got hit in PA twice in 5 years, in CT twice in 4 years. Plus, I see an idiot running the red light every other day. I lived in MD for 7 years, no accidents. Given that I’m the same driver it has to do with the people. - my0207

I think the answer in the comments about you just being different from the drivers in any area is probably the best answer. Any time I end up in a new area driving around, I tend to be much more defensive than when I’m at home.

That being said, northeast drivers are awful. I live in Pittsburgh, and they’re routinely listed as some of the worst in the country. In Philadelphia, they have signs up reminding drivers not to go until the light is green. In New York I had to literally rub paint with my dad’s car, which I was following, so a cabbie couldn’t cut me off. Other areas of the country have their own issues, but for whatever reason the northeast seems to be a step above.

I’m about to drive home, and have a discussion with my better half. Any tips on how you would handle the I want to quit my job and become a fishing guide conversation? - mattinglywasking

So I have absolutely no interest in becoming a fishing guide. I assume that means you guide people to fish? Like, the bass are over here, and the mackerels are over there?

Anyway, for a mostly serious response, I’d be sure to evaluate your finances ahead of time. Can you take a career risk? Do you have savings in case things go poorly for a bit while you job search and get your feet under you? How does the new compensation and retirement look?

You only get one shot at this life, so by golly do what makes you happy. But if doing what makes you happy also puts you in the poorhouse, maybe just consider doing it as a hobby? Nights and weekends perhaps?

Is Tiger Woods back? Since this mailbag is NE centric, and there is another major PGA tournament at Bethpage on Long Island (pronounced Lon-guy-land), where Woods has won before, he probably has an advantage. He’s also coming off victory at The Masters (for which I was at a practice round a few weeks ago and stood 20 feet away from him), which helps with confidence.

Side note: If you ever get a chance to go to Augusta National, go even if you are not a golf fan. Was a bucket list item for me and going this year for the first time was an experience. - LarzLion

Before his scandal, I was a gigantic Tiger fan. I thought he’d set every record possible, and do it with ease. Then everything happened, he had some injuries, tweaked his swing, went through a bunch of coaches and caddies, and just never seemed the same. I joked with a friend, who every time Tiger would make a cut would declare him back, that I’d say he’s back when he actually wins a major.

Well, in that sense, he’s back!

Whether he’ll stay there, we’ll see.

Fun story, once upon a time I went to hang out with some cousins who live on Lawn Guyland, and was told to bring my clubs. Hopped in the car, never bothered asking where we’re going until we pull up and I see the entrance for Bethpage. I look at my cousin incredulously, and he smugly informs me that he knows a guy and that we’ll be playing Bethpage Black.

So, I’m not that great at golf, and have bogeys all over the place. Then we hit I think the 13th hole, which was something like a 600 yard par 5. Pretty sure the pin was in Connecticut. Anyway, I actually get a decent drive, probably in the 250 range, right side of the fairway, still approximately half a mile until the green. I am absolutely awful with my fairway woods, but what’re ya gonna do? Grab my 3 wood, and I some-freaking-how get a hold of it. Like, straight shot right down the middle of the fairway, probably a good 200 yards.

Walk up, and I’m still sitting about 150 yards short. Thought about the 6 iron but since I’d somehow just hit two great shots, I didn’t want to overshoot the green, and opted for the 7. Of course I caught way more loft than I wanted, and landed on the green, but left myself probably 60 feet away from the hole. Grab the putter, walk up, and take a look at the green, and I realize that somehow, I have almost a perfectly straight shot. All of the little undulations were funneled right to my line. It’s a bit uphill, so I have to put a LOT of oomph into it, but I got a solid knock on it, and watched it trundle straight up the hill, hang for a half second on the edge, and then drop in.

To this day, my best golf feat is birdying a hole on Bethpage Black.

Where do you stand on minor-league apparel? We have a single-A baseball team (Charleston Riverdogs) where I live and we love to go to games. I’d like to wear a hat or t-shirt in support of our local team, but they are a Yankees farm team and I am a Red Sox fan, so it just seems inappropriate. Even though its only Single A, and it’s hundreds of miles from the Northeast, I still wouldn’t feel right. Any other team I could probably do it, even another AL-East team, but not the Yankees. Is this rational? - vern05

Where do I stand on what?

The closest I’ve ever come to really caring about a minor league team was the Hershey Bears. I forget which year it was, but I went with some friends to some playoff games, and the Bear managed to win one of them in like double overtime. Most excited I’d ever been at a minor league game, and even better that the Bears went on to win the Calder Cup.

Beyond that, though, I just can’t seem to get into minor league sports, particularly baseball. There’s like 500 As, the product itself is meh, and I just have no fan loyalty. My local team growing up was the Harrisburg Senators and they are just the worst.

Why do people lose their accents when they sing? Dusty Springfield was from London, Van Morrison is Irish, Keith Urban is Australian; none of which you can tell from their songs. - vern05

I think it has to do with the way different sounds are pronounced when sung, most vowels get elongated, and connecting them with various consonants tends to become a bit more uniform.

I have heard that English, Australian, whatever non-Murican singers actually don’t hear a difference between the way they speak and the way they sing. Interesting.

We live in a foosball-centric society. Imagine this is not the case. Imagine enough athletic scholarships are available in each collegiate sport to cover every position three-deep, and the future professional earning potential is the same for all sports. If that were true, what sport would you have played in college? - Smee

You’re assuming that even with this superabundance of scholarships that I’d be athletically gifted enough to play a sport - that’s very kind of you.

Can we include e-sports in this? If so, I’d have seen about getting myself a scholarship to play Halo. Halo 3 was the best FPS of all time, fite me irl if you disagree (note, OG Half-Life is #2). I swear if one of you says Call of Duty I’ll banhammer you so hard, you don’t even realize.

If you pushed me to actually play a sport sport, I’d have gone soccer. I’ve played since I was 5, and am actually not terrible.

Did you watch Border?

Also, episode 3 of game of thrones must be the biggest let down in tv history, is there a competitor? - psualum9931

First question - I did not.


Second question - I must be the only person who is actually enjoying this season. I won’t go into details on every single thing, as I could write a novella defending the season, but I’ll just talk about episode 3.

First, the visuals of both the Dothraki army being demolished one by one, and then the wave of bodies hitting the front lines were stunning. The Unsullied defending the retreat, while being slowly massacred, and Grey Worm having to light the trench with his brothers on the other side - lord that was tough to watch.

The intelligence to use fodder to cross the trench, the aerial battle between the dragons - amazing.

The Night King took a dragon blast to the face and SMIRKED about it. Then he sees Jon coming after him and instead raises the dead, including Jon’s friend Dolorous Edd, as well as Lyanna Stark - that was chilling.

The Hound being ripped out of a funk to save Arya was incredibly touching, as was Beric dying to save her.

Jon, knowing that only Bran matters, ignores his friends being overrun by wights, can’t get past Viserion, yet stands his ground in the face of certain death.

Theon being redeemed as both a Greyjoy and a Stark is pure feels material.

Jorah dying by his khaleesi’s side after defending her with his own life, even more feels.

And lastly, Arya coming out of nowhere to kill the Night King with the Valyrian steel catspaw dagger to save Bran’s life - the same dagger that was first sent to end his life - both subverted expectations and was an incredibly well done call back to the first season.

It wasn’t without its flaws - some of the battle strategies were suspect, and the lighting could have been a bit better. But all of the high notes were there, you felt the terror of an unstoppable wave of death, and one of the big baddies of the show got taken down in a way that riled up the fanbase - classic Game of Thrones in my opinion.

How fucked us is this year’s parking situation? Don’t get me wrong, in theory, I actually like the new designated zones and traffic patterns. However, why do we have to select a specific lot? For 20+ years, we’ve had a crew of 10-15, varying on the season, parking in the same lot, due to us always arriving early. Now, since we have varying amounts of NLC points, we have to select a specific lot, all at different times. While I’m sure we’ll all be able to get our same lot, and be fine, it’s going to inevitably fuck up some people and their longstanding traditions, tailgates, location, etc..

Again, I like the new zones and traffic pattern, but why can’t we just select a zone instead of a specific lot? That would make a lot more sense. - IronCityLion

I hear you on different traditions being messed up. When I was a freshman my roommate and his family had always had their tailgate at the same spot for like a decade. Then sophomore year, that area was landscaped and paved for a new parking lot, and they had to move. Things change I guess, usually for the better.

I see the complaint specifically about the parking, but Penn State athletics are always going to do their best to cater to the highest donors or those with the most points - I mean, wouldn’t you? Would it be “fair” if you donated, accumulated points, got a better parking spot, only to see some yahoo ride the coattails of their friend in the higher zone? No, no it wouldn’t.

In the end, while we all love going to Penn State for football games, the city itself is just not designed for such massive influxes of traffic. That’s why you see such giant delays getting in and out, backups on 322, etc. Parking hassles are always going to exist, just in slightly differing manners from year to year. Think of it as an opportunity to start a new tradition!

What will happen sooner? PSU hoops makes an NCAA Tournament or PSU football makes the CFP? - Jon Voight’s Car

Well, see, here’s the thing. If PSU is going to make the tournament, I feel like it has to be this year or bust. The pieces are (mostly) in place, and Chambers has gotten yet another vote of confidence from Sandy Barbour. If they don’t go dancing this year, I don’t think we can safely say that they’ll ever go dancing. I mean, sure, it’ll happen sooner or later, but this appears to be the window closing.

Meanwhile, 2019 is slated by many to be a transitional year for Penn State football. While I’m bullish on the team, I’m currently looking at the schedule and the new faces and seeing a 10-2 outcome, plus or minus a game. Probably not a CFP team.

So, if my logic is the 2019-2020 basketball team should be a tournament team, but the football team won’t be in CFP territory until 2020, then the answer should be that the tournament happens first.

I’m not confident it’ll actually happen for the bball team, but I’ll stick with tournament first, playoffs second.