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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Rutgers at Penn State
let’s see more of the Canadian sophomore this week!
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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BSD Mailbag 11.18.22

all our answers to the community’s questions on this chilly Friday in November!

How many rutgers fans will show up to this game and how many will still be there by the 3rd quarter? Is Schiano really going to make a difference?—PhillyLion

Well, the game is apparently sold out:

I think it’s going to be predominantly Penn State fans, but I’ve been wrong before. Regardless, it should be a more white-clad ratio come halftime; Saturday will be cool (around 40 degrees at kickoff) but not freezing, and no threat of precipitation as of now. That’ll play into our strengths, though of course the NIttany Lions have had resounding wins the last two weeks in less than ideal weather conditions.

In the long run, Schiano should make a difference (they did win their first Big Ten game in forever earlier this year) but a bigger difference for Rutgers will be the abolition of divisions within the conference. Not having to play Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State every year will undoubtedly improve their records and bowl attendance aspirations; under Greg Schiano, they should consistently have good (at worst) defenses, and in most years in the Big Ten there are years in which you can get 3-4 wins off that alone. Just not in the current alignment of the Big Ten East!

What is a “Rutgers?” Wrong answers only, please.—Liongame

When I was a teenager and in my early 20s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my favorite tv show; it was funny and allegorical, witty in a way I could only aspire to. Every year, being a supernatural pseudo horror show, they had a dedicated Halloween episode; in season four, the season where Buffy and (most of) her friends were freshmen in college, the Halloween episode was called “Fear, Itself” and it saw the scoobie gang being trapped inside a haunted house where all of the haunted house displays and tricks became all too real because of a fear demon unwittingly summoned when the house was being decorated..

Well, the twist at the end was decidedly not as scary as the entire episode:

Rutgers is Gachnar, Gachnar is Rutgers.

A very simple question. Rutgers...........Why?—EagleLionSly

They’re a very good academic institution! And they won their first ever Big Ten title when mens soccer beat Indiana last weekend!

Every conference has their Rutgers, and they’re an essential part of these conferences. There’s a lot of humor around their joining of the Big Ten (and of course, I’m not immune from cracking jokes myself - see above response) but any time we can add great actual university with sometimes good athletics, I think that’s a win for the conference.

So i read a scathing article about MSU sideline behavior during and obviously after the Michigan game. Does this mean Mel Tucker is a bad man or is he just upholding the tradition that Mark D(ickhead) started?—PhillyLion

I don’t dislike Mel Tucker, and since there were two altercations within that tunnel two weeks in a row (though ours just included throwing pb&js, not fists), I have to think that the common denominator here is a Michigan team that was likely talking shit and being arrogant dickheads. Obviously, culture is built and maintained not by just not starting that shit talk - but also by not responding in a manner that is unbecoming of the team and university you represent. And violence is never the answer to me.

The biggest test, to me, is how Tucker responds when the DA comes back and does or doesn’t recommend charges against the MSU players - with some cynical Michigan State fans expecting the news, and the pro-UM slant a lot of coverage has, to break next week, just in time to distract their team from their game against Penn State. Just because charges may not be filed doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be discipline, for the reasons I laid out in the first paragraph, but I’m not so sure everyone else in college football agrees. We’ll see more when the news hits.

2019 LSU vs 2021 UGA, who wins?

That LSU team with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Clyde Edwards Helaire was maybe the best offense I’ve ever seen. They scored at least 35 points in all but one of their games, and averaged 48ppg. The 2021 Georgia defense was equally dominant, only allowing 10ppg and loaded with all sorts of NFL talent.—vern05

It may be recency bias, but give me the 2021 Dawgs. I think when you line up with strength against strength, dominance and talent against eleven guys with similar attributes, coaching wins out - and I do think that Kirby Smart is a far better coach than Ed Orgeron was.

And I also think Will Muschamp, as a former SEC head coach, as defensive coordinator was a better coordinator than Steve Ensminger was (and I’m not sure how much of that LSU offense we can attribute to him or Joe Brady, whose two Carolina offenses were in the bottom ten of the NFL, and decidedly impacted Ruhle’s tenure there).

Local State College media is reporting that Canyon Pizza was closed down today for health code violations. Rate your surprise on a scale of 1 (totally obvious) to 10 (completely shocked). Advance warning: if it’s a 10, I don’t believe you.—NittanyPUMA

Probably a two or a three, and mostly because it feels like it should’ve been shut down a few years ago. The pizza was still pretty good this year! But yeah, the list of violations isn’t the worst I’ve seen, but are decidedly not what you’d like to see in a restaurant you want to frequent.

If anyone is going to be in Vegas over Thanksgiving, the PSU women’s Icers are playing on Friday and Saturday. 25 bucks nets you 2 games in beautiful Henderson, NV. Brand new arena for the Silver Knights (AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights). The arena is across the street from a casino (Green Valley Ranch) for pre and post-game fun.—LarzLion

I have friends who were early season ticket holders for the Silver Knights (before the arena even broke ground) and it’s an exciting time to be a sports fan in the Vegas area! I always think that everyone should go to Vegas at least once in their lives, and my last trip pre-pandemic was a business trip to Vegas that just happened to coincide with when the Capitals were playing at T-Mobile arena for the first time since winning the cup there in 2018 (cough cough). It’s a true spectacle, one I wasn’t expecting (for the Stanley Cup finals, yes - but they do the Medieval Times pregame at every home game) that I definitely recommend. The best thing about Vegas is that there’s always very decently priced lodging in town, because the options are so abundant, and you can always find things to do and fun to be had at any time of the day.

I’d go back for sports (would love to take in a Raiders game there, or baseball when they finally get a team) and not much else, but if you haven’t been, definitely take up Larz’s suggestion!

What is your attitude/policy on stopping mildly famous people when they’re minding their own business?

This morning on my walk into work, I passed by Thomas Gilman coming out of a coffee shop. I thought about stopping him and saying hello, but just didn’t.—CaptBombs

I think it definitely has to do with the person’s body language and general demeanor at that time - and when in doubt, do not stop or say hi to them.

I also think if you do end up stopping them to say something, don’t expect much of a reaction or a long conversation - famous people are above all else still PEOPLE and as such, some are really talkative extroverts who love to chat with everyone, and others are shy introverts who, while they appreciate accolades as much as the rest of us, just want to smile and move on.

If they are wearing sunglasses or have headphones on, or seem to be with their families and/or loved ones or in deep conversation, that’s also a no for me, dawg. But if they’re alone, seemingly attentive and looking around, open for conversation (as many folks of all walks of life often are)? It doesn’t hurt to say hi, and break the ice with some positive reinforcement - in the case of Gilman, complimenting him on his Olympic performance last year or Worlds’ performance this year, and expressing excitement he made the move to the NLWC, would break any ice - and I’d expect to say that, and then continue on your way.

Earlier this year, when I was in the Atlanta airport waiting for my flight back after the Auburn game, I met a US Senator who was walking alone, pulling their own luggage and looking around at the airport, not a soul near them with a half grin on their face. I briefly stopped them, expecting solely to thank them for their service to our nation and have us both continue on our respective ways, but they actually stopped and engaged me in further conversation - resulting in me actually cracking jokes and making them laugh (they’re a politician, so of course they likely were just being polite). But in that instance, if they weren’t receptive to any further conversation I would’ve been totally fine with that. But because their body language was open and engaging, it’s a memory for me I’ll always remember.

I’m never a fan of stopping or interrupting anyone just to say that you dislike them or think they suck, or anything negative. It takes more effort to be a dick than to keep your mouth shut.

Which state has the best spring water?—Smee

It’s gotta be a state in the northern great plains, right? The Rockies seem like they’d consistently churn out good water, coupled with colder, snowier winters.

I know Deer Park is probably the most famous US branded spring water (at least in these parts) and it’s fine but I’m sure there’s better, more consistent brands out there…honestly, my favorite water brand now (if I had to pick one) is definitely Liquid Death. When I run out of it, I always start thinking about it immediately and wishing I had some.

Is there one word that really isn’t all that difficult to spell but you always get it wrong at first when you start typing it? For some reason, whenever I type the word “relevant”, I always mix up the e and a.—LTFT

I’m generally a pretty good speller but I always type really fast, which results in typos and “switched” letters. The most common one for me is the - I’ll type so fast that it most often comes out as “teh”. And this makes me giggle, especially if I’m not able to catch the typo before I hit send on the message.

I also have a tendency to spell certain words in a British way, like “calibre” or “flavour” and inevitably those get autocorrected and frustrate me. I’ll never get behind aluminium, though.

Why do people wear flip flops with no socks in cold weather? Like they put on a winter coat, thick pants, beanie hat, yet you can’t be bothered to put on some actual socks and shoes???

If any of you savages do this, I hate you. Stop it.—swift_retribution

I guess some people just don’t get cold feet?

I’m someone who, for like 8 months out of the year, absolutely refuses to wear socks if I can help it. As soon as I get home, not only do the shoes come off, but so do the socks - first thing (and same in hotel rooms, to my sister [and frequent travel partner]’s chagrin). But for those other four months, I put on a pair of cozy socks first thing in the morning (still can only rarely sleep with socks on) and they last me all day, regardless of the shoes I wear. As I type this, I’m wearing a pair of Christmas-themed Star Wars socks because why not?

Anyway, everybody is different and if some folks want to risk frostbite to show off their tootsies, who am I to deny them?

Do you have big plans for the Thanksgiving weekend? Beaver stadium visit for Sparty destruction? Eating copious amounts of turkey (or impossible turkey)?—LarzLion

I’ll definitely be in State College, since there is a home game that weekend. We should be having a light T-day dinner on Wednesday, and a more non-traditional meal with more folks on actual Thanksgiving. I’m not sure fully what each meal will entail but I’m sure it’ll all be delicious!

With Thanksgiving coming up, is it okay if I say, I love all the usual turkey and trimmings, but I can’t stand pumpkin pie?—Big Maple

It’s always ok to say your food boundaries out loud! And it’s always ok for me to tell you how wrong you are and that pumpkin pie is delicious!

Preferred way of cooking a turkey? Roasted? Fried? Smoked?

I just came across a recipe for fried smoked Nashville hot turkey that I’m going to try. Most of my family doesn’t like anything spicy so I’m just going to make a breast that I’ll hopefully enjoy the leftovers of.—Succss With Honor Always

I’m sorry, did you say FRIED SMOKED NASHVILLE HOT TURKEY?? That sounds freaking amazing and I’d like you to report back after t-day on the success of such a recipe.

Best thing on the Thanksgiving table minus turkey? Worst thing on the table? (Can include dessert)

Me: sausage stuffing best, green beans worst.—RWReese

I’m actually more of a stuffing purist - I like your stereotypical, non-cubed Stove Top stuffing. I’m not a fan of cornbread stuffing, but basically any stuffing or dressing of any kind besides that will likely be my favorite dish on the table, and I’m not sure it will be close.

My least favorite varies year to year, which I know is weird. Sometimes it’s the green beans (or green bean casserole) if I’m just not feeling it. Other years it’s the turkey itself, or the mashed potatoes that I’ve inevitably made. I’m by nature a very feels-based eater, and what I particularly enjoy or not enjoy will very much depend on my mood.

Is the Fansville schtick for Dr. Pepper getting old?—PSU_Lions_84

Not to me! There’s a plethora of options within sports fandoms for them to parody, so as long as they keep the same creative team behind it, I have a feeling they’ll continue to get laughs (at least out of me) for years to come.

This year, I particularly liked the one with the teens around the bonfire. That was different and still funny - though now that I’m typing it out, I’m not sure it still classifies as “Fansville”. My favorite clip from recent years is still the baby who roots for the rival of the parents, and the mother’s look on her face.

What is the best thing you ever won? Mine is Penguins playoff tickets when the won the Stanley Cup. Second is a 112 piece Craftsman tool set at a tool bash for Fire Department. My daughter is much luckier than me. She won a 2022 Audi Q3 on Grand Bash ticket. Nice car but still not free. After taxes she got the car for about $14K. The organizer told my daughter most people take cash option (usually $5-8K less than value of car) because they can’t afford to pay taxes.—bva-psu

I honestly don’t remember winning anything super fun or different! I never win 50/50 raffles, or any sort of raffle for items I bid on. Generally I’m not a lucky person in that regard. I’ve been told I won things as a kid, but I don’t remember those sorts of things.

Is there something that you acknowledge as being good, or heck, even very good, yet overrated at the same time? This comes up because yesterday afternoon, I had to pick up some friends at the airport that are visiting from back in PA (I’m in Las Vegas), and pretty much the second I picked them up, they were all like “take us to In-N-Out, NOW!!!”. Don’t get me wrong, In-N-Out makes a fine burger, but my god, they all sounded like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally as they were eating. I guess part of it is that living in the West they’re all over the place, but there aren’t any back East but still, I have one within walking distance of my house and I couldn’t tell you the last time i was there.—LTFT

I mean, you all know of my love for Taylor Swift - I think she’s an icon and a genius, but also a little overrated.

In terms of food, it’s probably Chick-fil-a. It’s fine, especially for fast food, but it’s not worth a twenty car line that blocks main thruways.

If you live in the average ‘Murican house with the average ‘Murican garage, you have two choices: Drive into the garage and back out, or back into the garage and drive out. Which do you do?—Smee

I always like to back in so that leaving is a lot easier - inevitably, I have more time to situate myself when I’m arriving back to the house than when I’m leaving (I’m one of those who budget my time so that I leave with enough time to be exactly where I need to be, at the time I need to be there). The only time I won’t back in is if there’s inclement weather or some other mitigating factor when I’m arriving that makes me want or need to park and get out of the car much quicker than I’d prefer.

Have you ever lived in a planned community with some obscure guideline that you have never seen anywhere else you lived? I mentioned in a comment above that my current homeowner’s association has a rule about garages being for vehicles only. One rule for an apartment that I lived in had any dog owner had to have their dog’s DNA tested upon move in (paid for by the resident) so that they could identify the culprit if doggie doo doo were found in the neighborhood by the staff. Now I do not own a dog and never had, but this was a first for me at least. There were strong penalties from what I remember for even the first offense.—LarzLion

I haven’t lived in such a community and this is all very weird. It’s so strange to me because we live in a world that has many folks more vocal about the definition of various freedoms and how much any one person or family is willing to give up for comfort or societal protection - but this to me seems like vast overkill no matter how you define individual liberty. How about you actually treat the adults in the community like they are actual adults, rather than children who need to be, alternatingly, disciplined or coddled? Of course, if egregious continued violations are committed by the same person, that’s one thing - but what happened to having a little trust and faith in your community? What some folks will do for even a little modicum of power over others these days makes me really sad, in particular when the actions being moderated have little or zero impact on anyone but the individual community member making the decision for themselves.

If you could only recommend one YouTube channel, what would it be?—Liongame

I don’t actually watch a lot of youtube, and when I do it’s normally clips or entire rewatches of sporting events that I loved or missed parts of. If I’m feeling like I want a bit of youtube, I’ll watch clips from WatchMojo or Miss Mojo because that way I can watch multiple clips on a topic I love (or want to know more about) and I also can yell at the video on what they got wrong and how.


Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

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