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BSD Mailbag 11.20.20

Let’s get to it!

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

What are the chances I’ll get my hands on a PS5 or Series X before the end of the year? Also, 6-0 rest of the year?—JayMPSU

Considering, according to Bill Connelly of SP+, we had about a 1% chance of going 0-4, which is what happened, I’m not ready to rule anything out, either in terms of Penn State football or your ability to procure the two hottest consoles in years without preordering them. Stranger things have happened than both those things, and it is 2020, after all.

Over/Under for total wins this year? Still at 1.5 wins IMHO. And I’m going down with the “ship” and sticking with the “under.” If Franklin commits to Levis as the starter for the remainder of the season, I’d actually feel more optimistic. I’m not seeing this happening, however.—SlippySlappy

I’m not sure why you used “quotes” around ship and under in this question, but my answer still hasn’t changed from last week.

We have (and have had so far this year!) the ability to beat anyone on our schedule. We have lost every game to date. Yeah, it sucks, there’s no sugar coating that. But I’ll still go into each game with some realistic optimism. And also, Will Levis should be the starter – the offensive line clearly plays better when he’s lined up behind them.

If we go 0-5, what do you think the best way is to release the frustration every fan will feel?


The most realistic way is that most of us will get blackout drunk and try to forget that it happened. The worst thing for me this year is the fact that not only are we 0-4, but I can’t commiserate with my friends and say that though we lost the game, we were 1-0 in tailgating on that day. The lack of being able to spend time with my non-biological, chosen family (as well as my biological family, who tailgates with me) is more heartbreaking to me than any football loss ever would be.

Why do we as fans think we know better what plays to run or who should start? I think the fact is that most of us have never played college football, have never coached college football, yet we are experts on college football. As a teacher I get the same type of treatment and second guessing from parents who have never been in my shoes and done what I do and it frustrates me a lot. I love college football, but seriously how much are we enjoying what is supposed to be entertainment. I like this discussion platform, but I think we all need to take a step back and realize what is most important in life. And believe me I love PSU as much as anyone.—wvlion

It’s hard to cede control of anything you care about. It’s the same reason why we as fans can be so overly superstitious about it – as humans, we fear the unknown. And as sports fans, as the games are played we want nothing more than to win—and providing criticism (constructive or not) is our way of trying to make us feel that we matter to the team, that our fandom makes a difference. And it definitely does, just maybe not in the way we think.

And also, I think we’re all at least a little bit selfish, the sun in our own universes, so there’s a cognitive disconnect when things don’t go the way we expect them to.

Does anything change if we had beaten Indiana?—Dbridi

Definitely. I think we’re no worse than 2-2 right now if we had beaten IU in week one.

Penn State Football has never had an 0-5 start (unlike other PSU sports)

James Franklin is taking heat from fans, including myself, to the same degree of 2016 Halftime vs. Minnesota. We all know what happened since then, but now PSU finds itself outside of more than just the CFP discussion, but a /division/conf. title, potential recruits, and the APTop25. Does 0-5 happen? And if it does, why?

Where/What is the “event horizon” in this Era of PSU Football? Is it a few consecutive loses more this season? (0-6?) Is it a winless season? Does it need to stem from national recruiting rankings? Does it even come from potential Opt-Outs this year or transfer portal decisions for next year? What occurs before a change is deemed necessary, and does this occurrence come with a “too late” or “irreversible” property for years? In other words, if something isn’t fixed now, is PSU looking at 4-6 years of a complete rebuild? Is it still possible Franklin pops smoke?—PeteZockyU

Simply put: it doesn’t matter if we are 0-5. It truly doesn’t.

Does anyone think we would be 0-fer if we had had OOC games to start the season? If you do, then I think we have larger disagreements. CJF had a good response about that in his weekly presser, and about the lack of parity during this season as opposed to other seasons. Regardless of how you feel about Franklin (and we all know I like him), this absolutely DOES make a difference. If our COVID response is to limit in person contact, don’t have spring ball in order to institute a new offense, and our opponents don’t feel the need to do the same thing, how is that not a discrepancy?

I’d much rather not have to cancel any of our games because of outbreaks in our locker room because we went above and beyond in caring for our student athletes and all staff. From what we can tell, Penn State didn’t cut corners, and didn’t take risks with the health of players just to field a good football team this year (Journey Brown’s retirement is a good indicator of this). I’d rather take an 0-8 year than have players have potential lifelong health issues because of contracting this disease, which we still know so little about because it’s only been around a year.

What would the comment section look like if this week ends and PSU is 0-5?—LarzLion

Once again, third week in a row, I won’t be around to find out.

Ok. It’s August 2020 and you meet Nostradamus. He tells all the PSU/ Steeler fans that on November 17, 2020 one team will be undefeated and the other will be winless. Do you bet the farm on PSU or the Steelers? I can 100% say I would be farm less.—bva-psu

I really know so little about the Steelers that I can’t tell you what the expectations for them were preseason, but yeah, no one realistically thought we’d be 0-4 right now. But a year ago, few thought we would be living through the biggest pandemic in a hundred years, either.

Is Sandy coasting into retirement?—jiminore


Since it’s abundantly clear that CJF uses a red Sharpie to make notes, the question is: Fine point, or Ultra Fine point?—Smee

I hate ultra fine point sharpies, so let’s hope it’s the former.

What 10 songs of Bon Jovi would you put in a playlist to describe this year.

My Playlist

1. Shot Through The Heart

2. God Bless This Mess

3. Damned

4. Come Back

5. Something To Believe In

6. Something For The Pain

7. Everybody’s Broken

8. Love Hurts

9. Hey God

10. Maybe Someday

Link To List Of Bon Jovi SongsEagleLionSly

I have seen Bon Jovi in concert a number of times, and I’m not sure I could put together a list of ten songs that I could name by them without looking it up. So kudos to you for pulling this together! Though how you could leave off “Livin’ on a Prayer” with how wonky 2020 has been, I don’t know.

A late question: Is Isaac Hayes “Theme From Shaft” the best every instrumental intro to a song?—EagleLionSly

I dunno. Maybe because I have mid-00s Penn State football connotations with it, but I think Welcome to the Jungle has a more memorable intro. Or maybe Crazy Train, for the same reasons.

What is your MTO order at Sheetz? Or your order at Wawa? I love Sheetz because the possibilities are endless as far as MTOs. Here is what I usually get. It’s a sausage and egg Shmuffin with pepper jack cheese, mustard, diced onions, and green peppers.

What did you get at Sheetz when you went there after the bars closed? I always got Middleswarth BBQ chips or Spicy Nacho Doritos and a giant bottle of the Blue Gatorade.

Lastly, what is the best Gatorade flavor? Now I go with the blue, but the best was Lemon Ice. I think they last made it when Gatorade still came in a glass bottle.—Gerry Dincher

My favorite thing at Sheetz (and I always prefer Sheetz) is a toasted croissant with cream cheese and bacon. And I never really went after the bars closed…

In terms of Gatorade, you would think that blue is my favorite but you’d be wrong! I actually can’t stand blue drinks (I blame café 210 and pitchers of dyed blue teas when I was a senior) so I’d probably go orange here.

Which? Gaiter or ear-loops?—Smee

While I think the gaiter is more aesthetically pleasing, unless you’re doubling or tripling up on them, wearing a gaiter seems to be not as effective as a mask. And while a lot of studies and pieces like this are still speculative at best do to the unknowns we still have about the virus, I’d rather err on the side of caution than the side of trying to look cute. No one looks cute while hooked up to a respirator.

Pick a movie, TV series and musician/group that you think are underrated but that people should check out. For me it’s:

Movie – The Legend of 1900

TV Series – Petticoat Junction

Musician – Gregory Alan Isakov (especially his album with the Colorado Symphony)—Succss With Honor Always

Let’s go with:

Movie: Notorious (the Hitchcock one…it’s his best, if you ask me, but oft overlooked)

TV Series: Legend of the Seeker (if you like fantasy)

Musician: Rilo Kiley

What was the worst movie you paid to see? Mine was “The Apple”, a movie from 1980 that was absolutely horrible. I think I went on dollar night with the hopes of sneaking into something R rated but the ushers were watching the exits and blocked any relocation effort. It looks like there is a bit of campiness to it now but I remember it being a robbery of my dollar. The Applekingkub

Aw, man! Generally I am pretty steadfast in only seeing movies I know I’ll like. The ones I’m unsure of, I don’t really pay. Do rentals from blockbuster, years ago, count? Because then I’d say Sleepwalkers.

What flavor gum do you chew to keep your mask smelling fresh?—Smee

I have TMJ, so none!

Do you have a brush with greatness? Someone that you met pumping gas, at the airport, out to dinner, etc. I remember seeing Doug Flutie in Disney Springs at dinner a few years ago. Dude sat in a circular booth surrounded by friends and family for the 2 hours and never got up to use the restroom. At the All Star game in Baltimore back in 1993, I ran into Tom Selleck who was there for the home run derby.—kingkub

I truly have not had any real brushes with greatness! I guess the closest is probably when I was volunteering at the Star Wars exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in high school and French figure skater Philippe Candeloro came by. I was super into watching figure skating at the time and he was a jerk. open a Mailbag with 271 comments and think, “Great! A lot of cool questions to respond to!” Only to find out ~95 (one-third) are responses and tangents to one question. Do you haz a sad?—Smee

More relieved, since that means less effort on my part.

Cari, do you ever just shake your head and say to yourself, “What the hell is wrong with these people?” —Dbridi

Only every day I exist on the internet. I still love you guys, though.