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BSD Mailbag 11.6.20

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It’s Maryland week, y’all!

Penn State v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Was it me, or was it really depressing watching the aerial view of a basically empty Beaver Stadium night game—LarzLion

For me, the depression actually started earlier - when the Game Day crew was in an empty Beaver Stadium doing their weekly show. They never would have been allowed to broadcast from inside the stadium if it was a normal year.

Help me out here, If you grab a QB by the shoulder and sack him, it’s a 15 yard facemask penalty…but if you grab a QB’s facemask and then rip his helmet off it’s totally legal? Do I have this correct?—vern05

See, here, I think the problem is you didn’t get specific enough. It’s clear that if Penn State grabs a QB and sacks him, it’s a 15 yard facemask; but if Ohio State rips a QB’s helmet off, it’s totally legal.

If OSU had sacked the QB by the shoulder, it’s not a penalty (just a really good defensive play). And if PSU had de-helmeted a quarterback, that’s absolutely a personal foul.

Going for it on 4th and two, nice aggression or desperation? Seen it argued both ways.

Do you kind of wish Micah Parsons would stop tweeting about PSU football this season? If the roles were reversed, while I would have agreed with Justin Fields for opting out, I sure would not be happy to have him commenting on this season. Next season, fine. This season? I think you opted out from the team, you opt out from talking about them.

Should ANY program let their coach go in, or after, this abbreviated season for poor performance? I understand if you have some kind of Woody Hayes type scandal (I know you know I’m not trolling, but wanted to be clear), but I see people ready to dump Harbaugh or Franklin, etc. I don’t think you can really get a true reading on a team during a season like this.

Most interesting Cari or Cari and family interactions with Maryland fans at Maryland games? I recall you have had some less than stellar experiences, including, I think, a stolen table. Trying to help you feel better about not being able to go to the game,even though I know this game is not at Maryland. Or at least I did before I wrote that last sentence when I decided I should check. Before that point, not so much.—Former_DC_Buck

  1. I’m happy with the decision to go for it on fourth and two (because it’s clear that aggression was needed, as evidenced by the beginning of the second half), but I’m very much unhappy with the play call on fourth and two. Night and day from the first fourth down of the season vs Indiana, which resulted in a nifty TD pass to Free Moose.
  2. No, I don’t care. He’ll always be a Penn Stater, so he’ll always have a stake in the program and its success (or failure). I don’t blame him one bit for the decision he made, make that paper, son!
  3. If it’s just because of poor performance this season, then absolutely not. But if it’s a series of seasons of underperformance, or questionable off-season activity, then I’d totally get it. This year would be a good pretext for dismissal.
  4. You remember correctly, about my table being stolen - but that was actually during an Iowa game at Maryland, not involving PSU. Generally Maryland fans like to talk a lot of shit and can’t back it up, at Penn State fans. I don’t really recall generally horrible treatment or interactions - but my most favorite recent memory of a PSU game versus Maryland (off the field, naturally) was in 2017, when there were opportunistic salespeople wandering through the tailgating lots selling Penn State t-shirts. On Maryland’s campus.

Last year, having UM cancel classes for all of Friday afternoon only to be embarrassed on national tv with the spotlight on them will never get old, though.

(side note: one of the results when googling “sad Maryland football fan 2019” was a photo of Micah Parsons lifting the Cotton Bowl trophy).

Which coach in the B1G has the most punchable face? I vote for Ryan Day. I am not a violent man, but I want to smack that smirk right off his face.—Tmbgiants_3

Tom Ryan (hey, you didn’t specify football!)

For football, it’s definitely Pat Fitzgerald, though..

Do you think we will win the rest of our games? Not that we are tearing things up at the moment, but everyone else on the schedule looks vulnerable.—wvlion

I think we definitely could win out, but I’m still banking on losing at Michigan. The rest are imminently winnable, though, and that’s my expectation (I was very pessimistic going into the Indiana game, though I did think we’d pull it out).

What would the comments look like if PSU is 0-3?—LarzLion

I don’t know, because I would not be online to see them.

Small item all things considered, but seems like we moved Brandon Smith to SLB since the WLB spot was Micah’s. At this point, do we move Smith back to WLB (IMO his ideal position), rotate him, Brooks and Luketa at the two inside spots and get Dixon and Jacobs some time/experience at SLB?—phillyfanisc

I think we should keep doing what we’re doing, & Brooks is the best option at MLB (he was groomed to take over the spot from Jan Johnson). I’m excited to see Smith continue to grow, but there’s no way we are going to make a decision about personnel solely to get young players time and/or experience on the field. Franklin and Pry want to win each game, and will be putting the players they agree will best allow us to do that, in the game, at the proper times.

How many fewer yards would that first run by OSU had if Micah was on the field?—JayMPSU

I really don’t think it would’ve been a first down, let alone over half the field.

Which player from last season do we miss the most (not including Micah or Journey)? I’m going with Garrett Taylor. My appreciation of him has grown the last two weeks (and I was a fan before).—Dbridi

Uhhhh how could you forget

How is it exactly, that Marygers ends up with the younger brother of the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft – a younger brother whose HS stats blew away his older brother’s? (I know, different high schools.)—Smee

Tagovailoa the younger was beat out at Alabama, and then followed his beloved former offensive coordinator north to Maryland. It’s truly not more complicated than that.

What is complicated is why the NCAA granted him immediate eligibility, but I’ve sorta given up trying to apply logic to decisions made by the NCAA.

Any chance that the Turdles find the endzone this year?—LarzLion

It’s 2020, and shit’s fucked up. So most definitely.

Was Marylands come back win more of their growth or a reflection of the opponent? I was pretty impressed they didn’t turtle up when down big to Minn.—JayMPSU

The expert opinion is that it’s a combination of both.

But I don’t even pretend to be an expert, so I’m going to say that Minnesota is not the team we thought they’d be so far this year, and Maryland’s success is most likely a paper tiger. Much like last year, and in other years where they’ve come into this matchup with any sort of momentum.

Which part of Maryland is quintessential Maryland?

So, for example, while I love both Happy Valley and Pittsburgh area, if I had to show a complete stranger what Pennsylvania was all about, I think I would take them around the 717. To me, that area just feels so uniquely Pennsylvanian.

Would it be Annapolis area? Maybe it’s my bias, since I adore Annapolis, but it seems to check a lot of boxes of stereotypical Maryland.—IronCityLion

Honestly, I think Maryland defies most attempts at boiling it down to one “quintessential” thing. There’s beautiful mountains and lakes to the west, and beaches to the east. There’s history in Baltimore and Annapolis, and modernity in the middle of the state. If you are looking for a certain type of vibe, when you’re in Maryland, all you have to do is go an hour or two in a different direction and you’ll find it.

Do you think, just one game a year, we should go full Oregon Duck style uniforms. I get it. We are proud of our no names, black shoes, basic blues uniforms. I totally support the tradition. However, I think we should go all out one game a year. During the White Out would be awesome. I would love to see flat blue helmet with a white stripe, a jersey with some sort of design, dark blue pants, and their names. Just one game a year, that’s all I ask.—EagleLionSly

Would you rather see the team struggle through a difficult season, or have had the season cancelled altogether? I’m not sure that we’re all on the same page.—48-14

I don’t know anyone that actually wanted the season cancelled - there’s a big difference between that sentiment, and thinking it would have been best that the season did get cancelled. I don’t think there’s any use in having that debate anymore, because the season’s already here and we’re getting to watch Penn State football in all its triumphs and heartbreaks. I love PSU football, so I’m always going to watch it if I have the chance.

Why is it that every year I get excited to give out candy for Halloween, and every year I end up hating the little bastards by the time I’m done? Will I ever learn my lesson and just keep the damn light off?—Succss With Honor Always

No. It is your suburban destiny to live that same scenario over and over, until you’re old man euler.

Sure, I’m a week late.....but what is the most underrated “fun size” candy bar as why is the 100 Grand.—MJBPSU

I’m gonna have to disagree with you here - I’m partial to Heath Bars, myself. I don’t like the full size Heath Bars, because the ratio of toffee to chocolate just doesn’t feel right; but the fun size are absolutely perfect (she says after eating one more from her stash).

What food item is your least favorite? It’s black olives for me and nothing else is close. If I was given the choice between eating one black olive and eating scrapple off the floor, I would eat the scrapple. Most folks here know how I feel about scrapple.—Gerry Dincher

I like to say that I’ll eat almost anything...and then list the few things I can’t stand. They include:

  • Pineapple
  • Coconut
  • Ranch dressing
  • Beets
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Blue drinks

Do softshell crabs really taste good, or are they a drunk’s meal? Organs & all?—ofboucke

Despite growing up in Maryland and returning after my years at Penn State, I’ve never been a big fan of soft shell crabs - typically, I don’t like my food to still look like what it was when it was alive when it was served to me (I prefer disembodied crabs legs, thank you very much). I did have one really great soft shell crab experience, though; a few years ago, it was PSU night at Camden Yards, and in addition to the blue and white Os hat I snagged, I had a really good soft shell crab sandwich and an Old Bay beer by Flying Dog. Combined, it was perfect.

What is your favorite National Park, and which National Park do you most want to visit?—Dbridi

I loved visiting Mesa Verde so much - it’s so unique, and when I was there I kept flashing back to seeing pictures of the cliff dwellings preserved there when I was a kid. Felt truly surreal.

I really, really want to get to Glacier National Park, while there’s still glaciers, though.

When you take a vacation day from work, what is an acceptable number of Fuck-Ups from your employees? And I’m not even going to get into it. But I’m PISSED!!—EagleLionSly

I don’t think you should be expecting any fuckups. We all deserve time off, and in my opinion one of the jobs of a good manager is putting the right people in a position to succeed, even when you’re not around to supervise them. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially with some corporate and union limits to hiring, firing, and disciplining underperforming employees. I’m wishing you the best of luck, and I hope the mess ups weren’t too much for you to fix when you got back to the office.

What is the best war/military movie ever made? Mine, We Were Soldiers—EagleLionSly

Hey, you didn’t say it had to be a *realistic* war/military movie, taking place on our plane of existence!

What is your favorite idiom? I am partial to “more than you can shake a stick as.” My favorite nonsensical idiom is, “he doesn’t know his ass from a can of paint.” I only ever heard it once. It was 22 years ago and when I think of it, it still makes me laugh.—Gerry Dincher

It wasn’t until gathering answers to your question that I realized...I speak in idioms all dang day. It’s a bit ridiculous, to be honest, so I wouldn’t be able to pick one as one that I use significantly. But for some reason, I always giggle when I hear someone called an eager beaver.

Cretins, control yourself, because I’m talking stores....but BJ’s or Costco?—Dbridi

Neither - I’ve only got a membership to Sam’s Club. It’s the only one that is both in State College and on the way up to PSU, which meets gasoline needs and tailgating needs all in one.

what male fashion statement is so outdated that you find yourself chuckling when you see it? Man bun, murse, highly manicured goatee, other—kingkub

Always a man bun. There’s a reason why I’ve asked my brother’s girlfriend to keep an eye out on his hair during the pandemic, and to text me a photo if he decides his growing hair needs to be tied up.

Why is BSD running a Redshirt Report, when there are no redshirts this season since nothing counts against eligibility?—Smee

It’s all about the page views, baby!

Just because all the players technically *can* play without jeopardizing their eligibility doesn’t mean they all *should* play, either because of physical limits due to age or inability to learn the speed of the college game in time to see significant time. And I think that’s more of what the focus should be.