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BSD Mailbag 11.27.20

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Happy Thanksgiving, you filthy animals!

NCAA Football: Iowa at Penn State
this was the first thanksgiving in a few years that I wasn’t in State College, and I am sad.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

If we win only one game this season, but that win is over Michigan, does that take away a lot of the sting?—PSU Mudder

I told my sister weeks ago that it would be hilarious if we had one win this year, and it would be against Michigan. Only more recently have I expanded that to have it implied that this would be the loss that would be the nail in the coffin of the Jim Harbaugh era in Ann Arbor, and that would be even more hilarious.

Why all the hate for Michigan?

I understand they have had douchebag coaches and all. But we bought a cabin in the upstate. The people are friendly and don’t harass me about all the Penn State stuff on my vehicles. It is a lot like rural PA where I grew up, except for no mountains. I live and teach in WV and get more shit from people here about being a Penn State person.—wvlion

I don’t dislike the state of Michigan, really. For me, the reason why I have a “Make Michigan our bitch again” shirt is more because of large swaths of their fanbase, and the undue favor they curry within the conference and college football on the whole.

I know every fanbase has their share of douchebag fans (and I do know and like some very awesome Michigan fans/alums in IRL), but not all of these douchebag fans are as self righteous as the vaunted Michigan Men stereotype that exists for a reason. This mentality actually bleeds into how Michigan is seen by the college football landscape as a whole. Michigan hasn’t been a major player in the national title picture in over a decade (some might say I’m being generous, but as the nation’s #2 team playing #1 the last game of the season in 2006, they were very much in the picture). They haven’t won the conference since 2004 (PSU has won it three times in that span). And since the divisions came into Big Ten football in 2011, perhaps the most Michigan thing about that exists on their webpage:

That is the only division title it lists, because they don’t have any division titles. And I’d like to note, you can’t be a divisional winner if you’ve lost the tiebreaker. You simply can’t, that’s not how this works.

And yet...every year, preseason, even in the Rich Rodriguez years, national media predict that that year will be the year that Michigan is back, can compete with Ohio State, and make “the game” mean something again. This year was no different, and as the games have gone on, it’s clear that Michigan is at least attempting to race Penn State to the bottom.

And don’t even get me started on this guy and the two seconds:

Does every game this year remind you of the THUNDERSTRUCK scene from Varsity Blues, put on loop?—EagleLionSly

I hadn’t thought about it in these terms before, but this feels so apt. Except for the coaching, which seems like a big difference.

Do you feel the team is still trying? Outside of the MD game anyway. It seems like each week we’d be winning if not for the turnovers. Full disclosure, I’ve been pretty drunk by the end of the last few games. So my viewpoint may be a bit blurry. Will you (have you) continue to watch all the games to the end? I assume I’m not the only one.—JayMPSU

I actually couldn’t agree more. There are a lot of folks who are posting about how the team has no heart this year, and I very much disagree. If we do end up with no wins, we’ll get a bit of a moral victory (small consolation, I know) —we’ll have some of the best stats of any no-win team. It truly has been the turnovers that have made the difference, and with even one fewer turnover in each game we would likely have won both the Indiana and Nebraska games.

Think about this: how many years do we have opposing defenses score against us? And how many years have we had that happen *three games in a row*?

But, listen, the turnover battle isn’t just on the offense. The defense that many were talking about pre-season just hasn’t materialized, and no stat shows that more than the LACK of turnovers our defense has caused. We are in the bottom third of NCAA teams in fumbles lost and interceptions thrown, as well as fumbles recovered and passes intercepted. Basically, it’s all bad in terms of turnovers! Welcome to 2020!

As of this week, does the East beat the West on Championship Day? Right now it would be:

OSU vs. jNW

Indy vs. Wisc

Maryland vs Iowa

Michigan vs Purdue

MSU vs Minn

Rutgers vs Illinois

PSU vs Nebraska

I’m not sure how the replay or no replay rules would work. I recall hearing about them, but not sure how they apply. So the last two could be Rutgers vs Nebraska and PSU vs Illinois. If you know better, feel free to fix the matchups. I’m thinking the West might pull it off.

Finally, is this something they should try to get approved for normal seasons going forward? In a world where only Football exists, the loser of 7vs7 gets relegated to the MAC, and the MAC champ takes their place for the following season.

But even without this, might this help get either a second team in the playoff or the best team in?

Imagine a season where PSU is undefeated but for a 1 pt late game loss in Columbus, with apologies to Mr. Lennon, it isn’t hard if you try. :) But OSU has a non-conf loss. OSU loses to a two loss jNW who won the tiebreaker over a two loss Wisconsin. And PSU wins convincingly in their game against Wisconsin. Might PSU get the playoff invite over the conference champion?—Former_DC_Buck

Out of that schedule, I’d see wins for the east for OSU and Indiana, with MSU, Rutgers, and Penn State being true tossups. But anything can happen in these last few weeks, so who the hell knows? I think the only given is that Ohio State is winning the conference, after beating Indiana. And not allowing replays is stupid, they’ve gotten rid of all these random rules so why stick to that ridiculous mandate?

And no, I don’t think this is something they should try to approve, and I’m not sure if you’re serious here (mostly because NCAA athletic conferences cover dozens of sports, so one’s membership shouldn’t be predicated on only football).

For your last hypothetical, we already had a similar instance in 2016 - and in that real-world scenario, Penn State was left out of the playoff in favor of an Ohio State team it beat, who sat at home on championship Saturday.

Now, given this, logic would dictate that in your hypothetical example, Penn State would go to the playoff. But we all know that that’s not how our world works, right? So OSU would still get in, and PSU would be playing the Rose again (probably against an USC squad with a quarterback that we’ll make look like an NFL pro-bowler, and he’ll make millions off that one Rose Bowl performance in terms of draft bonuses).

Can we have two different threads for each article posted? One for the Spongebob Squarepants (things will work out) & one for the Schleprocks (the world is ending).

EagleLionSly

If only we could...though I do take slight umbrage with the implication that those who think everything will work out also think that everything is sunshine and rainbows (which is how I interpret the gif), because I think everything will be ok (next year) but that this year sucks and is not happy times.

What do you think the comment section would be if by next week PSU is 0-6?—LarzLion

You ask this every week and I’ve answered the same every week, but one of the replies to this in the fanpost makes me think that it’s not going to get any worse than after we got thumped by Maryland. That was rock bottom, and most folks wrote off the season when that happened.

you have a pound of ground beef. do you make:

Sloppy Joe

Tacos

Spaghetti

Burgers

Chili—kingkub

I originally was going to say burgers, but the more I thought about it, it’s gonna be chili. Because chili is so versatile, and I can freeze it in individual servings to reheat later (cooking for one means eating the leftovers for days). Chili it is!

What’s your take on cranberry sauce? Yay or nay? Personally, I love it. I even like that gelatinous mass you can dump out of the can for 99-cents.—NittanyLifer

I love it as well! And while I prefer fresh made (my sister makes it every year and insists it’s super easy but it seems so intimidating), I’ll take good old ocean spray or store brand cranberry sauce if that’s all there is. It just complements the turkey in such a great, Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving leftover!) sort of way.

What games did you play while you were riding in the car when you were a kid? I don’t mean video games. I mean games where you had to look out the window and find things or notice things.My favorite was the cow game which could be altered into the Amish game if you wished. Anybody familiar with the cow game?—Gerry Dincher

The one we played most often was Pedidle (my favorite was calling eldidep, which might have been a house-rules sort of enhancement). Eye spy happened as well, but my competitiveness mostly pushed for a more direct competition.

Can any old person get a real name sig on sbnation? Or is that limited to contributors. How long does it last? Give me the deets!—PhillyLion

When you set up your account, you can make your name anything that hasn’t been taken in the past - so you could probably set up an account with the name James Franklin, if you wanted. Each site is different, too, with some allowing their contributors to continue to write under pseudonyms - this is something that BSD did for a bit, but did away with when Penn State blog voltron was created almost a decade ago.

Also, it used to be that, on SBNation, once you set your screen name you were locked into it - the only way to get it changed would be if the mods intervened with TPTB on your behalf. A few years ago, though, SBNation made a change and every community member can change their name, albeit only one time per account. So make sure you take your change of name seriously!

Heard from any of these folks lately? ReadingRambler, WorldBFat, Artiefufkin10, letsgopsu, kijana’s acl, jman07, rahpsu92, Junny, Willie Green, swiggy04, psuphysicist, Ben16, Aurabass.—Smee

I talk to letsgo often on twitter (and occasionally facebook, if I’m on). Junny is similar, but less—and Artie and jman even less. Rambler I’ve met in person once and have emailed a few times, but it’s been years. Since I haven’t had much time to peruse the boards as much as I used to, I haven’t seen the others’ names pop up nor heard from them.

And lol to Aurabass and WG.

Why can I only LISTEN to certain articles....I pressed the LISTEN button for your stats article and that dude put me to sleep reading all of those numbers out loud….I almost forgot that we are winless!—kingkub

I didn’t even know this was a thing! That’s freaking awesome.

WaWa vs Sheetz? does this tip the scales? (video NSFW) WaWa fight in Floridakingkub

It doesn’t tip the scales for me; however, it does make me more confident in my long held conviction that Sheetz is far superior.

What is the dumbest thing you ever did that resulted in an injury?

I could probably write a novel on this topic but it was probably trying to flip over the railing and landed on my head at the bottom of the steps in college during late night drinking. Resulted in 35 stitches, a broken nose and two missing teeth and a night in the ER. I have a good friend that was a genius in stupid injuries. In high school he tried to steal a road sign and the sign snapped back and knocked him out resulting in a concussion and stitches along with a black eye. Another time we were painting his cement pool and he was trying to remove the lid on a five gallon bucket of paint. He had a screw driver under the lid and pointed up while trying to pry the lid off. His alcoholic mom told him to be careful and the next thing I remember is the screw driver getting buried in his nose. He pulled it out only to be covered in blood as his mom laughed her ass off. I thought he was dead but everything was fine after about a 20 minute nose bleed.—bva-psu

I feel like this question has been asked a few times - likely because the lot of you know what a walking clumsy disaster I can be. My stories are much more mild than yours, though— I know I’ve told the story of being sober in a bar but spraining my ankle anyway, which is probably the funniest. I always walk into things and trip over nothing, so run of the mill bruises and cuts are nothing - but earlier on in the pandemic, I was leaving my mother’s house and didn’t see an amazon box thrown haphazardly on the stoop, stepped on it and fell - spraining my same ankle, yet again. It’s now got the moniker of being my bad ankle.

What’s your favorite conspiracy theory that has yet to be proven?—Succss With Honor Always

Most want to be true, or funniest because it’s so ridiculous? I really, really want all of the Area 51 rumors to be true - not the least because it would prove what logic tells us is true, that’s it’s simply arrogant to believe we are the only planet that could ever have evolved to sustain intelligent life.

I really think the JFK Jr still being alive one floating around right now is absolutely ridiculously hilarious.

How many of these things did you have?

I feel like these are very specific to those of us born between 1982 and 1985—CaptBombs

Aw, man...I wanted these so bad for my entire childhood. I think I ended up getting one when I was nearing preteen years and they were waning in popularity and I picked it up at like Ross’s, or something. I don’t even remember what the theme was.

Have you seen the new season of Animaniacs on Hulu? Thoughts? I wouldn’t mind a little less Pinky and the Brain and maybe bring in some of the old cast like Buttons and Mindy or Slappy. Though the segment where they addressed where most of them were had a nice twist/gag.

Any old cartoon you would like to see brought back? I wouldn’t mind seeing them either redo or continue Gargoyles.—Former_DC_Buck

How did I not know this was a thing?? I LOVED the Animaniacs growing up, and thought their intro was absolutely the funniest thing. Also, in replying to this question, I finally realized that my adulthood recollection that this video was Animaniacs was incorrect and my world is changed:

I still love it, so much, though—it was well into adulthood before I realized that this They Might Be Giants song was actually a real thing and not something cooked up for the cartoon. Too bad I don’t have Hulu anymore :(

What’s the best part of Thanksgiving? And why is it the turkey soup that I make with the leftovers?—IronCityLion

You didn’t say the best food part (for me it’s still stuffing), so I’m going to say just hanging out with my family whom I adore with no preconceived activities besides being with each other.

What is your stance on Christmas Music.....and why is the correct stance to only start playing it after Thanksgiving. Also, why do the freaks who start playing it in early November STOP playing it on December 26, when in fact the “12 Days of Christmas” — ya know, from the song you started playing on November 1 — actually only begin on Christmas Day and go thru the Epiphany.—MJBPSU

Wow, I don’t even know where to start with this one.

I’ve been playing Christmas Carols for weeks, and will occasionally bust out in song all throughout the year. And as one of those “freaks”, as you call them, I inherently reject your baseless assertion that those who start playing holiday music in November stop on December 26. I continue to play Christmas music through all of the twelve days, and leave my Christmas decorations up at least that long.

Suffice it to say, there’s only one stance on this issue that is correct, and it is not the one you detailed in your question to me.