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BSD Mailbag 9.21.19

It’s our BYE week, so let’s liven up the gameday with a mailbag!

Heather Weikel

Experience going to a Terps game at Maryland? Anybody been to a Penn State vs. Maryland football game in College Park, Maryland, in the last few years? How was the experience? I’ve been thinking about taking the wife to the game there on 9/27. Don’t expect warm reception from student section, but am curious about the overall experience.—nittnut (via fanpost)

I’ve been to Maryland to tailgate a couple times recently (and I won’t count the experience in M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in 2015).

  • In 2017, the final game of the season was warmer outside than the previous week in State College. The tailgating lots were 23 Penn Staters (and we ended up tailgating right next to the Gesicki family), and the DMV entrepreneurs were out en force, with one guy walking through the lots selling Penn State t-shirts. The view from the visitor’s section was great, and the score was greater, with the Maryland fans clearing out pretty much by halftime. There wasn’t much shit talking (which MD fans are known for) because most were expecting the beatdown that occurred. Overall, one of the best away game experiences I’ve ever had (the other is probably Iowa in 2012)
  • I also happened to be at the Iowa at Maryland game in 2014. This, by contrast, is possibly the worst away game experience I’ve ever had. In addition to the Hawks losing (I was with a few friends who went to Iowa), this was back when Maryland had just joined the Big Ten, and their fans were still irrationally confident that they’d dominate and contend for titles almost immediately. The tailgating was fine (mostly because JP and I were with awesome folks and planned ahead), but what happened to our tailgate during the game was not - we broke down most of our stuff, but left the canopy and our 50-lb table out. The table was stolen during the game, the yellow table cloth that had been on top ripped off and stuffed under my back tire, and the Iowa window flag of a tailgate next to ours was broken off at the hilt. When leaving the lots, which took forever (because the game was close, the stadium was full until the end), you could see where the Iowa tailgaters were vs the Maryland tailgaters - the Iowans, in true Big Ten fashion, had bagged up their trash, having brought trash bags with them (unlike most schools, Maryland doesn’t have reams of trash bags out in the lots for use - likely because there aren’t real dedicated tailgate lots, but rather lots re-purposed for tailgating use). Where the Marylanders tailgated, there was trash strewn everywhere around the spaces. To this day, my Iowa friends feel that Maryland doesn’t belong in the B1G, a stronger feeling than I’ve ever had.

How does Maryland fare against the bye?—jiminore

Since joining the Big Ten in 2014, Maryland is 2-3 after a bye week, with wins in DJ Durkin’s first year and in the aforementioned game against Iowa I attended. One of those losses, though, was against Penn State in 2015, in Baltimore.

Perhaps a more favorable look is at a Mike Locksley coached squad. As the head coach of New Mexico (from 2009-2011), Locksley was 0-2 after the bye (he was fired in his third season, before their bye week).

We all love our beloved head coach but how much would we hate him if Maryland had kept their word and made him their next head coach?

Bonus question….Would Maryland be perennially top ten with CJF?—LionfanAllan

I’m sure we wouldn’t like him, but I’m not sure there would have been a lot of vitriol (aside from some shitty things he likely would have said on the recruiting trail - because I’m also not sure he’d still be Maryland’s head coach. Ralph Friedgen “retired” after the 2010 football season, which is when Franklin went to Vanderbilt. It’s not a huge leap to say that Franklin could have gotten Maryland to be a perennial ranked team (with a much stronger recruiting base than Vandy, as well as a UA contract, it’s likely the rebuilding would have been lesser), but Maryland didn’t join the Big Ten until 2014 - and in this scenario, the Penn State head coaching job is still open in 2013 after Bill O’Brien leaves for the Texans. And the Penn State job is a much better one than Maryland, so my money’s on CJF being our head coach in 2013 before the Lions meet the Terps on the field again.

I don’t think we’d hate him very much, but I’m sure that if this had happened, the Maryland fans and players would hate him a LOT more - so that 2015 win may have been a loss, and handshake gate would have been much more expected.

I asked this two weeks ago, but given the way things were handled this past weekend I feel a do-over is fair game…So, how did the new football parking program work out for you?

To add some context — and humor as far as I’m concerned — the CDT ran an article about it today that included the following gems…

Despite widespread complaints on social media Saturday, the company that developed Penn State football’s new game day parking system said the changes are generally going according to plan.

The Penn State-Pittsburgh football game Saturday was the first major test for the university’s new parking system, which was developed by event logistics service SP+.

Traffic jams persisted throughout State College, including Atherton Street, Beaver Avenue and Interstate 99, with some fans complaining on social media about sitting in traffic for more than an hour.

SP+ Senior Vice President Don Jordan said feedback has been “quite positive” overall, but acknowledged some have been negatively affected. Data and video from each game is being reviewed so tweaks can be made in the future, he said.

”The plan was built to create an overall improvement of the movement of up to 30,000 vehicles on roads never designed to handle such a load,” Jordan said in a statement. “We continue to review the specifics on any complaints to confirm whether it is more isolated or a fundamental issue.”

The university deferred comment to SP+

If only the University had been this good at denial years ago… changes are generally going according to plan… the feedback has been quite positive overall… the university deferred comment… Wow. More evidence of a bloated, money-wasting athletic department.—Smee

I am pretty sure that this isn’t the athletic department’s full doing - but rather the University as a whole, as mentioned in the pull quote you gave (they’re the ones deferring comment). So your jab at the athletic department is unwarranted.

I also don’t know a single person who thought that the way the parking was going in years prior to this year was actually good (for example, the traffic getting into the lots for homecoming in 2018 was abysmal, I had a friend whose travel from the Nittany Lion Inn to the green lot shortly after the lots opened took a good 45 minutes) - so I absolutely agreed that something needed to be done. Was this the something? Definitely not.

I haven’t had the issues that most folks discuss, but that’s because I’m one of the abnormal folks who comes into the lots as soon as they open for most games (and for night games, I’m in the lots by around 10 am). So, for this past week, the lots opened at 6:30 am - we were on our way into the lots at 6:45. And at 6:45, it was a breeze and we barely had to stop. I realize that getting into the lots 5+ hours before kickoff is not feasible for everyone, but as I said, I’m not normal so I can’t speak to those experiences.

I can tell you, though, that getting out of the lots after the Buffalo game was unmitigated hell. I was parked in West (former Green lot) for that game, and we didn’t move our car until around 12:15. The entrances we were supposed to leave through were funneling everyone in our lot west on Park, to Atherton - and the patterns had three lanes going down to one by East halls, with the former yellow lot coming into the middle lane and no traffic in the right lane until Bigler, where the folks who parked up on Bigler were coming in. The traffic west on Park was at a standstill the entire time - until the attendants, shortly after midnight, decided to let us leave the exit of our lot onto Park and turn right. We ended up going down Fox Hollow, and every lot we passed was already empty, with no cars waiting to get out. I can’t confirm because I didn’t see how the South lot emptied, but when the West lots are still thousands of cars deep and at a standstill while the North and East lots are empty, you’ve got 99 problems and this bitch is one.

What feels more satisfying, a missed FG or a block FG? and you’re not allowed to say both—Sperbro

While a missed field goal is certainly *funnier*, especially if you’re rooting against a Narduzzi-coached team, a blocked one is inherently more satisfying. Because it’s not the universe that is willing your team to victory, but rather your team itself.


(and yes, I watched that two times before embedding it)

What do you think is up with our third and long defense? I got tired of yelling watch the screen pass at the television, it never listens!—wvlion

What kind of world do we live in where I’m less concerned about a 3rd and 2 than a 3rd and 22? But overall Penn State’s opponents on the year are 16 of 54 on third downs - actually in the top 35 of all NCAA teams headed into the fourth week of play. Nuts, right? Because it definitely doesn’t feel that way.

The Nittany Lions have a lower 3rd down conversion percentage (unsurprising to all) - but they’ve also only faced 30 3rd downs on the year, or 10 per game. That’s ridiculously low for a squad whose defense has averaged facing 18 per game.

Which former (or current) Penn State Football player would you least like to get into a physical altercation with?—Dbridi

Aside from the obvious about being a woman in the world today, I’m going to say game-mode Jason Cabinda. Because this look is just terrifying:

What is worse? #1: Driving down 270 on a government “liberal leave” snow day OR #2: Listening to Nardoozy’s explanation on why he went for 3?—LarzLion

Clearly it’s #1, because #2 is just so batshit crazy you just have to laugh.

On a scale of stepped on a lego in the dark to hearing your dog about to yack on the carpet and not getting there in time, where do you rank noon kickoffs against fun opponents? Aside: Any idea when we’ll find out the kick time for Michigan??—bearwithscarf

I’m sorry, I don’t get the scale - which is supposed to be the worst? I’d rank it there. Noon against Pitt is stupid AF (and I said so in 2016 as well, though that made more sense with the Pirates game that night). Noon against Michigan is stupider AF.

If you hand’t been accepted to Penn State, where would have you gone to college?—Gerry Dincher

Penn State was my safe school. I applied early to PSU and UNC Chapel Hill, and the Heels waitlisted me, so I said fuck it, I’m going to Penn State.

While I hate early season bye weeks, it does seem like this year it comes at a great time. How important do you think this bye is for the team?—psualum9931

I think it’s super important to have a bye between non-con and conference games. I think, as Sean Clifford said in his post game, that the game tape will be helpful for this team to learn and grow and become better.

What is the etymology of “bye”? I never understood where the hell it comes from. Also, if your last name really is “Bye”, should you be required to change it if you’re in a tournament where you’re listed by your last name? I once wrestled a kid with the name Bye and was caught completely off guard when they announced the mat assignment.—Succss With Honor Always

From the massive googling I did, it apparently comes from cricket. In cricket, a BYE is an extra run scored by the team at bat when the catcher-equivalent doesn’t catch the ball but the batter doesn’t touch it - in my nonexistent cricket knowledge, it seems like a catcher error but results in a run rather than just a base (non)hit.

Bye week means a little more sleep. Choose your wake up routine.

1. Set alarm for time you need to get up and get up

2. Set alarm an hour earlier and repeatedly push the snooze button

For me the correct answer is always #1. My daughters are snooze button idiots. Drives me crazy. Your best sleep (REM sleep) is usually late in the sleep cycle. The snooze button decreases your REM levels.—bva-psu

It’s definitely #1 for me too. On weekdays, I’m always #2 because it’s tougher for me to wake up before work - but on weekends, I’ve got more important (fun, mostly) stuff to do so I don’t hit the snooze button - and even if I build in snooze time, I don’t take it. So one.

When is the right time to start Fall? Sam Adams Oktoberfest has been in stores for at least 3 weeks and I hate it!!! I’m in DC where it’s still regularly in the 80s and 90s, that isn’t “Fall beer drinking weather”!!!! Am I crazy for wanting a few more summer brews before bringing on fall?

*Disclaimer – I love fall beers—rpm5103

Dude, fall is the best season of the year! I generally don’t like a lot of summer beers (IPAs are my personal beer hell) and prefer winters over any other beer style (I can more widely get my oft-cited stouts and porters in the winter) and will drink them any time. Basically, it is never too early to drink oktoberfest beers - I’ll do it in April if I can.

Town house or Ritz?—Dbridi

Do people actually eat Town House crackers? Why???

What the heck are Captain’s Wafers crackers and why are they so durn good?—Dbridi

I have never heard of these crackers before, though after googling them I’ve probably had them. They’re fine, I guess, but if I want a buttery cracker I go to the normal Ritz (though generally I prefer Carrs-style crackers when I reach for them).

Speaking of Oreos, are any of the exotic flavored Oreos worth buying? I’m a Double Stuf purist, but maybe a little curious.—WorldBFat

I’m with you, WBF. I love me some double stuf (why would you get the thins? that just defeats the purpose of oreos), and honestly I’m afraid to try to various flavors (besides pumpkin spice, which was...fine). Most of them just look so sweet that they make my teeth hurt. No thank you, I’ll stick with what I know I love.

What is/was your go-to munchie purchase for the daily train commute home? For me, a 24 oz. can of Foster’s and a soft pretzel.—Smee

When I used to take the MARC downtown every day, I didn’t really snack - but when I did, it was always an asiago bagel and diet coke from Au Bon Pain. I’d eat the bagel from the bottom up, with the cheesy part last, of course.

Is it a Buggy or a Shopping Cart? And while we’re at it, why did they have to pick little nubbies for the yellow visually-impaired assist pads that are being placed at all crosswalk ramps, including those that lead out of the supermarket? Every time I push my buggy over one of those things, it shakes the crap out of my groceries. Couldn’t they have made them solid lines so that they line up with your wheels? And aren’t you supposed to not shake children? What is happening to any kids sitting in the buggy seat? Think of the children!—papa_wheelie

I’d never heard it called a buggy until my semester in the UK, and so I’m going to say that since you’re in AMERICA, it’s a shopping cart - a buggy is what the Amish ride to market.

And what you call a bug at the crosswalks are what I think are the feature of them - if the solid lines line up with your wheels, the visually impaired folks wouldn’t know that they were there and would be in more danger.

Ever put a shirt in the laundry right side out and have it come out of the dryer inside out? How does that happen?—JayMPSU

All the time! and I lose socks! I don’t understand this wizardry.

What is the real reason Marisa Tomei never married? Asking for a friend who is afraid to click on the little pop up ad—RWReese

I generally have ad blocker set up so am not sure about the ad you’re talking about - but if you’re truly interested, this url says it all:

Who is your favorite scientist?—kavija66

I recently listened to a podcast about the Challenger disaster, so now it’s Richard Feynman. He was such a boss that he had his own appendix in the Rogers Commission Report, because he would not be denied. Plus, there was this:

What is the best instrument you can add to a standard 4 piece rock band? Assume you already have drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitar (and a singer, of course).—vern05

It really depends on the vibe you’re going for with your band. Jazz? You need the sax or the standing bass. Country? The fiddle. Pop/rock has gotta have the piano (which would probably be the default). Aerosmith? the harmonica.

What was the best 2-person band and why is it the White Stripes?—thatdarncat

I gotta go with the response in the comments, even though the White Stripes have Seven Nation Army (which helps make Beaver Stadium the experience it is), Tenacious D is the D. It’s the best. It’s the only reason I like Jack Black.

What are your favorite TV shows that I haven’t seen yet?—CaptBombs

The shows I’m currently into are Good Omens, Mindhunter, Russian Doll, Bodyguard, the Great British Baking Show, and of course, the new season of Veronica Mars (*sobs*). We live in a renaissance time of great tv so I have even more on my list that I can’t even think about yet.

Is yeet the best word since jawn? why or why not?—L.O.T.M.