October 11, 2018 9:06:03 AM
When it comes to non-sports questions, I don't think we've ever had this much variance in topic. I advise you just ride the ride and prepare for weirdness.
- And we start with arguably the most important question the Mailbag has ever received. The Hail State Paint Up Squad, @HailPaint -- What should we spell for Texas A&M?
If you're not familiar, this is the group of students that lines the north end zone, bare chested with a message across their bodies. Last time they trolled Auburn with #WarChicken, which I thought was fantastic.
Here's the problem: the Aggies give you so much fodder. You can go with a joke about all that money they're throwing at Jimbo Fisher, you can never go wrong there. Another good troll would be to make sure the Aggies know that TEXAS IS BACK. They love talking about Texas. Love it. There are countless options with the whole Gig 'Em thing. Plus, the man's name is Jimbo (more like Jimdon't amirite?), there's plenty of material there.
I hope I've been able to inspire you. In any event, I'll make sure a picture of the final product gets on Twitter.
- Rock Gut Whiskey (@gut_rock) asks a question that is almost certainly to get me monitored by the government. What exactly is the MSU Mafia, who are they and what do they do?
Best I can tell, Rock Gut Whiskey, the MSU Mafia is a group of particularly Twitter active MSU fans who take it upon themselves to harass beat writers that upset the fan base at large. You could think of them as the MSU fan base's military, really: they execute force on behalf of the whole, even if a far less noble cause.
Who are they? lol yeah right. Can't have the mainstream media capturing identities of the MSU Mafia.
I must say, I have been lucky: I have no drawn the consistent ire of the MSU Mafia, maybe just an isolated incident or two. I was told when I first got this job that they meet at the Golden Corral in Hattiesburg, so with any luck I'll be in the same building as a meeting one of these days.
- Let's knock out the multi-part questions now and begin with @ReeceMonroe1226 -- 1) Who wins the Iron Throne? 2) Natalie Portman or Keira Knightley? 3) I lost in fantasy this weekend. I was down by roughly 10 points and had Kamara to play, but he finished with 6.9 points. Is that a win even though I lost in fantasy?
[Googles Iron Throne]
[realizes it's Game of Thrones thing]
[finds gambling odds on who wins it]
Bran Stark will win the Iron Throne.
2) Keira Knightley.
3) Make no mistake, Reece, you took an L. But #nice development allows you to keep some pep in your step. You must wear that L, but now it won't weigh you down.
- OG Mailbager Rob Montgomery (@10RobertWilliam) -- 1) What's the best thing about open dates for one's favorite team? 2) 4th quarters that Tua plays this year in the regular season, over/under 3. What say you?
1) You get to watch everyone else, my friends. It's a wide world of college football out there, and spending so much time invested in one game keeps you from a lot of it. You get to start your morning with Akron and Buffalo, Oklahoma State and Kansas State or Nebraska and Northwestern; your afternoon can feature a feast of Georgia and LSU with side dishes of Michigan State/Penn State, Baylor/Texas, UCF/Memphis and Washington/Oregon; you can make your night revolve around Michigan-Wisconsin with some help from West Virginia-Iowa State and Ole Miss-Arkansas. All to make no mention of Hawaii-BYU and Colorado-USC making the most of the late night shift.
You get to use the whole cow that is college football.
2) That line is scary good. I think there's a good chance he at least begins the fourth quarter against LSU, so now you're pretty much looking at Mississippi State and Auburn. I'm going to say it's a push, saying he starts the fourth quarter of both games but does not finish either of them, but man that's a tough line.
- @crawford_cam95 -- How many times will you be practicing taking out the trash this week?
DON'T NEED TO PRACTICE WHAT I ALREADY DO WELL, CAM, SO HOW ABOUT THAT?
(I've taken the trash out once this week, and will almost certainly do so again this weekend.)
- @Reed_Green7 -- What's your favorite college town that you have lived in or visited?
This is a good one, because there are few things I love more than a good college town. It's why I won't be leaving the college athletics beat for a while (among many other reasons).
To start this list, I'm going to automatically exclude cities that aren't truly college towns: Memphis, Nashville, San Diego, Atlanta, etc. All of those cities would be cool in their own way without the college. That being the case, let me start by making a quick list of the college town I enjoyed, no particular order, just as a starting point: Tuscaloosa, Starkville, Auburn, Lexington, Athens, Tallahassee, Oxford, Syracuse, Manhattan, New Haven (Yale), Baton Rouge, Omaha.
If I'm picking a college town I want to go back to, the short list would probably be Athens, Syracuse and New Haven. If I'm picking one I want to live in, the short list would probably be mostly Lexington and Athens.
College towns I really want to go to: Clemson, both Columbias (Missouri and South Carolina), Chapel Hill, Gainesville (been to The Swamp, didn't really experience Gainesville on that trip), Austin, Norman, Boulder, Ann Arbor and Morgantown, just to start. (I have lots of traveling. I should probably get a job that pays more that doesn't keep me busy on weekends.)
- @dalemo830 -- From the student section I never heard the screaming lady, but I will go back and watch the game. Can you help me prepare for the experience?
What a blessed life you're currently leading, Daniel. You got to enjoy your school winning an important football game by two touchdowns and didn't allow your ears to be assaulted in the process. I wish my viewing of the game from the press box came with the same luxury.
The only way I can prepare you for this is by telling you to not do it, my friend. You should absolutely rewatch the game if your heart desires so, but mute it. Find something else to listen to as you watch. Maybe some music you've been meaning to get around to. Maybe a podcast -- like the Straight Sippin' podcast that I do with Tom Eble and Courtney Robb. (Definitely that last one.)
While we're on this subject, I have a message for whoever that was doing the screaming. STOP. You're not accomplishing anything. You're not adding to crowd noise: you're distracting from it. The only thing you're accomplishing is annoying every person who can hear you. Just yell like a normal person, please.
- @Wesley_Johnson -- Is Batman a superhero?
I never imagined we would reference Encyclopedia Britannica on such a nonsensical publication like the Mailbag, but here we are.
You see, they have Batman listed as a superhero, but the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a superhero as, "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers." The "or" here is very important. One does not have to have superhuman powers to be a superhero; which is good for Batman, because he does not. All he has is superhuman money.
That being the case, Encyclopedia Britannica lists Batman on its list of superheroes. It's official: Batman is a superhero. Haters can deal with it.
- We end the Mailbag with two sandwich questions. First, from @lounge_dawg -- Should bologna be respected more as a respectable meat?
Unless the meat doesn't have the name of a very specific animal or animal product in it, it doesn't need to be considered for more respect. Bologna is what it is: it ain't turkey, it ain't ham, it ain't roast beef. Bologna is perfectly fine on the sandwich level it currently occupies: it's still better than UTEP's football team.
- Once again, the final Mailbag question has me triggered. @statefan5024 (who calls himself "the white denzel" on Twitter) asks: Is peanut butter and tomato the greatest sandwich ever?
I went out of my way to eradicate personal bias, yet I arrived to the same answer: this sandwich is trash.
I hate tomatoes. With a passion. So I wouldn't be eating a peanut butter and tomato sandwich under any circumstance, but even in theory this seem awful. You need something sweet with a peanut butter sandwich. You need jelly, you need banana, you need honey. What you don't need is whatever a tomato could bring to that sandwich. That sounds awful.
After that thought exercise, I tried my best to rid the process of bias by going to my wife -- who loves tomatoes. Her exact thoughts: "NO. That sounds disgusting." The jury is out. Peanut butter and tomato is a trash sandwich.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson