Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bye Week Mailbag Part 1!

Sid K:

What are our chances with Danny O'Brien at QB?

Well they're certainly not good. Look, I don't wanna write DOB off just yet - there's no fun in that, and I simply do not believe he is this bad. So I'm going to give him ONE more game before I make up my mind. I think with 2 weeks to prepare for Indiana, Canada can come up with a gameplan that's tailored to DOB's strengths and weaknesses. It was pretty damn obvious that they weren't really sure what to do with him when he came in for Stave last week. And it certainly didn't help that the offensive line looked miserable - DOB had people in his face a half second after every snap. But I'll promise you this: If he can't hold on to the ball or avoid terrible sacks, we're going to see Curt Phillips at some point before the year is over. And once that happens, you can officially transition into hoops mode.

Wait, that doesn't really answer your question. Ceiling? Losing in the B1G Championship Game. Floor? Have we locked up bowl eligibility yet? Can't believe I just had to type that question.

Ajit I:

Should I participate in No-Shave November?


Here's my rule of thumb (QUESTIONABLY SEXIST) for Movember: If you CAN grow a mustache, you are morally and legally OBLIGATED to grow a mustache. It's that simple. For 85% of the guys and 99% of the women in the world, mustaches look ridiculous. We left them in the 70's for multiple reasons. But in Movember you don't look like a fool... you look like a handsome bro raising money for a good cause. Anyone who gives you shit about how you look is most definitely PRO-CANCER. I would absolutely be participating if I could actually grow a mustache. All I get is this barely noticeable smattering of white/blond/copper/red/brown hair that looks more like something you could wipe off with a towel than actual 'stache. Although, I've never let it grow out for more than a week or so... maybe it's time to find out what kinda 'stache man I am. ON THE FENCE.

Laura S:

What are the top three things you would do during a hurricane in which school/work was canceled, but you are also trapped in your apartment? Bonus points for good options of things you can do once the power goes out.

I mean, it's ALL about the power, right? It's not like I'm gonna recommend reading a book by candlelight when you could be watching TV of playing Xbox. So let's just assume that you have no electricity.
  1. This is without question the most ideal time to try and COMPLETE an entire game of Risk. Assuming you can get 4 people together (ideal number for a game) without too much difficulty, you'll have zero distractions as you try to conquer the world. I love Risk, but it is unquestionably a difficult task to take on when you have other things you could be doing. Games take hours, people get distracted by whatever's on TV, some will just lose interest and look to do something else. But if you have NOTHING else you can do because it's a wasteland outside and you have no power? Well, you might as well see how long you can hole up in Australia (I really don't like the people that park in Australia and let everyone else battle it out for the first few hours). OBLIGATORY RELEVANT SEINFELD CLIP
  2. As I struggle to come up with things to do, it's abundantly clear that I would not survive long in a world without electricity. I've been watching The Men Who Built America on the History Channel recently and I was baffled to learn that electricity came before cars. Shouldn't making an engine run on gasoline be much easier than the sorcery involved in electricity? I was thinking about it, is anything scarier than something extremely powerful and deadly that you can't see? Electricity, wind... how do you battle these things? I completely understand why people were skeeved out by electricity when Edison and Tesla were battling. It was so much more than science: It was legitimate witchcraft that could not be explained. No wonder JP Morgan's dad was all pissed at his son for investing so heavily in Edison. Oh yeah, terrible call JP Morgan's dad, electricity is kinda a big deal now.
  3. Well, ya know, maybe, IDK...

Who could say 'no' to a Hurricane Handy?

Kygirl Z:

So lets just say it's 2004 and UW-Madison faces a run-of-the-mill natural disaster like Little Miss Hurricane Sandy... The entire campus is gone, no mas. If you had to go to another school in the Big 10, which would it be and why? 

What you just described is the single most depressing scenario in the history of the world. Worse than 'what if the Germans won the war'. Worse than 'what if the Blazers took Jordan'. WORSE THAN EVERYTHING.

But I love playing the hypothetical game! So UW-Madison ceases existing all of the sudden and I have to go to another Big 10 school? Fine. PROCESS OF ELIMINATION:
  • Definitely not Michigan. You said UW-Madison was destroyed by a natural disaster, but you did NOT say my soul was ripped from me and thrown into a celestial wood chipper. As a decent person of HIGH MORAL STANDING, I would never be proud to call myself a Michigan Wolverine. Also, I can't prove this, but I'm pretty sure the British really wanted to send all their criminals and crazies to Michigan first, but it didn't exist yet so they had to settle on Australia. Just like Columbus being kinda a dick, they don't teach you that in history class. THE MORE YOU KNOW
  • Obviously not Ohio State. There are two things I don't do in life: Cheat* and meth. Since both of those are REQUIREMENTS at OSU, there's no way I could comfortably go to school there.
  • I'd burn Michigan State to the ground inch by inch before I'd enroll there. Boom.
  • Do you wanna know why I wouldn't go to Northwestern? This is why I wouldn't go to Northwestern:

  • Purdue? Do I strike you as a vanilla, boring, second-class citizen?
  • I think I've said too many bad things about Minnesota to ever show my face there. Plus, they'd be a safety school even IF UW didn't exist. EXISTENTIAL SAFETY SCHOOL
  • Doesn't really make sense to me that Penn State is in the Big Ten. Their campus seems as far away as China. See? I didn't even have to mention Sandusky to explain why I wouldn't wanna go to Penn State. The only thing that school has going for them is that I look good in navy blue.
  • If you replace the word 'Delaware' with 'Nebraska', it will all make sense.
And then there were three: Iowa, Indiana and Illinois. I think I would've THRIVED at each of these schools, but for the sake of coming to a final conclusion, I'm gonna rank them. In reverse order:

3. Iowa. Fun school, cool pedestrian mall area, intriguing colors, solid sports programs. But Iowa doesn't sound very cool.
2. Illinois. My dad went there, their hoops team has a high ceiling, and I would know a lot of people. WHAT UP OJIBWA
1. Indiana. They know how to rage, it's a pretty awesome campus, I thoroughly enjoy their fight song AND alma mater, and their hoops program has promise.

There ya go. If the great state University of Wisconsin did not exist, I'd be one of those obnoxious Hoosier fans nutting all over the place about their preseason #1 ranking. It'd be repulsive... for you.

PS - Before I go to bed tonight I'm gonna hug my UW diploma for a good 8-10 minutes and reassure myself that UW is real and that I still went to the best school in the history of the fucking world. ON WISCONSIN

*I can tell you specifically the last two times I cheated:
  1. About a year or so ago we were playing guys vs. girls Battleship at Blue Line and we TOTALLY moved our ships around during the game so we wouldn't lose. This makes me the most awful person ever but shit I'm not losing in Battleship. Also, anyone who plays Battleship but doesn't make the sound effects while playing is even worse than a cheater. Double also, this is the first and only time I've ever done that in Battleship and I swear I'll never do it again. So if I challenge you to a game of Battleship, accept with an open mind.
  2. Psych 202, freshman year. Because seriously, fuck that class and that department for thinking they were cool using that Bell Curve bullshit. #noregrets #stillsuckedatthatclass

Katie G:

I'm confused. Is it still OK to wear white pants? I was under the impression that it was NOT OK but I keep seeing people wearing them...

Never understood the whole white pants rule. I assumed it was some Catholic thing that was outside of my sphere of knowledge. Wanna know what I think? I think you should wear whatever the hell you want. Mind you, this is coming from a guy that has no problem rocking navy blue and black outfits. But still, the white pants rule makes zero sense to me. Once it's nice enough out for you to consider wearing white, why would you not? Because some arbitrary rule that no one has ever questioned SAYS you can't? Nope, I'm not buying that. If I were the type of guy to wear white pants - I'm not - I'd wear them whenever the hell I pleased. Just own it and don't look back. It's not like guys don't enjoy a girl in white pants.

Rachel S:

On a scale of 1-"Michigan State and Ohio State put together", how bad is the last Twilight movie going to be?

What's the rule on when Rachel is spelled Rachael? That happens sometimes right? My middle name is Michael and I STILL get confused when I'm writing it out. AE? EA? Throw a Y in there just for fun?

Regardless, that's a brutal scale. Like, painfully brutal. But I don't think the last Twilight movie will really be that bad. At this point, I think it's pretty obvious what's gonna happen...

We know by now that Bella is a little crazy. She never struck me as the kinda gal that shacks up with just ONE vampire. You know the whole time she's been banging Jacob she's ALSO been texting Edward on the side. All those late nights she told Jacob that she was 'studying', well, I think after 3 movies we're all aware that she was doing anything BUT studying. So yeah, Jacob proposing to her to end the 3rd movie was a pretty riveting cliffhanger, but there's simply no way she's gonna go through with it. Kinda like how in How I Met Your Mother no one really knows who's gonna marry who, a 'yes' from Bella will be simply for show. I'm betting she'll leave Jacob at the altar and run into Edward's claws (vampires have claws, not arms), at which point they'll start passionately making out until Edward decides 'fuck this' and starts eating the shit out of her neck. Bella turns into a demon vampire, leaves Edward, Jacob kills Edward for stealing his girl and then eating her face, and Bella begins her new life in love with a werewolf from Hufflepuff. The end.

Oops, probably shoulda added some *SPOILERS* warnings to that. My bad.

David W:

1.  What is the craziest Sandy destruction photo you've found so far?  The ones that come to mind right now for me are the shots of Seaside Heights from the Jersey Shore.  The entire city is a giant sand pile right now and was entirely flooded yesterday.  I think it's that one because of how much I've watched the Jersey Shore on MTV so I sort of know what it's supposed to look like.  Close 2nd, tie between any shot of normal streets with like 6 feet of water up to the doors of houses and shots of cars tossed every which way all on top of each other.  I cannot imagine being in any of those scenarios.

I've got my finger on the digital pulse well enough to say that these are the best pics from last couple days:

1. Imagine trying to catch a cab when all the mass transit is down. Yikes.
2. It's a boat. On train tracks.
3. Extremely creepy seeing massive sections of NYC blacked out.
4. Easily the most devastating: A fire burned over 100 homes in Breezy Point.
5. A bunch of cabs underwater. FUN

I still think the boat on the train tracks is my favorite because I imagine it was out boozing with some friends and this was the result:

PS - They're too big to embed here, but the GIF's of the sign language people at NYC press conferences are fucking AMAZING. GIF #1 leads me to believe that we're going to need to shoot Sandy in the neck with a bow and arrow and then... give a double handjob? Signer #2 kills me when she does what MUST be the sign for 'marathon'. NOTE: Not fluent in sign language.

2.  I've seen some people say on twitter that they wanted to be in NYC/NJ for the storm to experience it themselves, like it was what the cool kids are doing or something.  Is that shit crazy or are you one of those idiots?

OK, this is touchy because I think people can very easily and quickly be misunderstood. No one is saying they want their community to be destroyed so they can get off work for a few days and party through a hurricane. That's actually insane. But the thing that makes me kinda want to be 'on the scene' is that we all have the capabilities now to record history like this as it's unfolding. I no longer rely on CNN or MSNBC during 'events' like Sandy - I'm glued to Twitter, where normal people are out there taking video and Instagramming things that TV networks could NEVER be on the spot for. And I think that aspect of something like a hurricane can be very appealing to certain people.

Listen, I have almost 4,000 pictures and videos on my phone - I LOVE taking pictures of crazy shit. It makes you feel like you're a tiny piece of that historical occurrence. Maybe you get that once in a lifetime picture of an airplane that landed on a freaking RIVER. You could wake up in the middle of the night and accidentally live-tweet the mission that killed Bin Laden. Perhaps you go for a walk and encounter a fucking BOAT on the train tracks. I don't think there's anything at ALL crazy about being interested in something like that.

It should go without saying, no one is rooting for disasters like hurricanes to happen just so they can say they were there or get more followers on their various social networks. But these things happen, and when they're as historical as a large hurricane ravaging New York and New Jersey, they're going to be remembered one way or another. We just happen to live in a time when you don't need a camera crew or photo credentials to help document something so cataclysmic.

Andrew H-U:

Given the opportunity, would you rather own a) a six flags/similar theme park or b) the hottest bar in the city?  Which one offers better bragging rights?

Is it me or is this a no-brainer? You for sure wanna own the bar. Bars are open year round (keep in mind we live in Chicago, Six Flags ain't so fresh in January) and you basically get to party for free for a living. That's the coolest job in the world. Not only that, but your good friends get to party for free (just not for a living). The problem with that is that I'm pretty sure owning a bar is a lot less cool and harder than it looks. Now, remember that I'm basing ALL of my bar ownership knowledge on two seasons of Bar Rescue and countless years of Jon Taffer experience. But it seems like even if your bar is killing it for 10 years, things can change pretty fast if you do not adapt. ADAPT OR DIE.

With those concerns considered, I'm still taking the bar. Owning a theme park involves billion dollar insurance policies in case people fly off roller coasters, hundreds of employees to worry about, and you gotta drive out to some bumblefuck location since you can't just go Roller Coaster Tycoon in Lincoln Park. Do amusement parks sell booze? Jesus, that's really something I should know but I honestly have no clue. If amusement parks sell booze then this gets a little closer. Either way, I'm owning the hottest bar in Chicago and I'm just gonna live like a rock star until I bottom out and have to call Jon Taffer to save my livelihood. But at the same time... that means I get to become BFF with Jon Taffer. WIN WIN.

Jessica S:

Is Bielema on the hot seat? 3 timeouts left by the end of the game?!?! If not, what will it take?

No. Bielema is most assuredly NOT on the hot seat. We're talking about a coach who wins 70% of his games in a power conference. A coach who WON that conference the previous two years. A coach who just saw a 21 game home winning streak snapped. A coach who is bringing in more talent than anything we've really ever seen here before. And people wanna fire him? Absolute insanity. I know he has his weaknesses - I'm not about to start defending his clock management because it's been questionable at best. But EVERY coach outside the elite elite ELITE has weaknesses. Bielema's positives far outweigh his negatives.

You wanna know what it will take to put him on the hot seat? Back to back losing seasons. Or 5 years of winning 6-8 games. Anything like that and yeah, Barry will have to make a serious decision about the future of our football program. But as much as we want to be like Alabama or USC, we're not. That doesn't happen overnight. We're GOING to have a few 6-8 win seasons sprinkled in with the 10+ win seasons. That's just how it is. Barry had down years just like BB is having.

And don't discount the effects of losing 6 members of his staff and the greatest quarterback this school's ever seen. I was naive enough to think that we wouldn't skip a beat, but it's obvious now after the Markuson firing and watching Canada figure out his offense that it's gonna take at least a year for the program to find its rhythm again. The future is so bright that I really wish people would stop freaking out and let the man do his job. He hasn't earned a Bo Ryan level of respect yet, but he's won enough games to give him a year to essentially re-build his coaching staff.

(Why didn't we use the timeouts? They didn't have confidence DOB could actually lead a long scoring drive. No reason to give MSU the ball back after they just marched down the field on our tired D the previous possession. God that game sucked so hard.)

Greg M:

Your top 10 emojis. Go.


The Thumbs Up is borderline perfect. You can use it for all sorts of moods: congratulatory, approving, agreement, you name it, the thumbs up takes care of it. Beermoji and the USA flag explain themselves: I fucking love America (I VOTED) and beer.

That brings us to an old friend of mine: The Poopmonster. A man of few words but many abilities, the Poopmonster is an emoji I employ DAILY. Put a burro in front of him for bullshit. Say you're stuck in Poopmonster to explain the harrowing situation you find yourself in. A friend suggests something absolutely terrible like going to an Indiana bar during a Badger game? Throw that Poopmonster right in his grill!

Knucks is another in a long line of 'yea buddy' approvalmojis. Also nice because it works in tandem with whomever you're texting since they can pound you right back.

Number 6 on the list are the ol' shifty eyes. If you get out of the literal 'eyes' meaning, I enjoy dropping them on someone in place of the standard 'oooooooooo'. Example: Someone texts you saying, 'You'll never guess whose bed I woke up in'. I wouldn't even hesitate to respond with the shifty eyes. And if it's a GOOD bed they woke up in? APPLAUSE EMOJI. You see how this game is played?

After applause, we arrive at the flame. No, it doesn't mean that you're cold and you wanna light a fire. In my eyes, the flame means, quite simply, BURN. Ideally used in group texts when someone says something stupid and gets called out for it, all the next person in the chain has to do is plop a burnmoji down and it's game over.

I'm gonna call the silly ghost a real wildcard emoji. He has nothing to do with Halloween - he's just a fucking silly ass ghost. Aren't ghosts supposed to be scary? This guy clowns around in ghost mode all day and I LOVE it. Bonus Points: If you don't like what your texting partner is saying, smoke a goofy ghost in their eye instead of a far more boring 'boooo'.

Lastly, I wanna shock the world by going with the poof of air. Doubly important if you live in Chicago and it's windy as fuck every day, but the poofter also can be used FLAWLESSLY in emoji trains. EXAMPLE:

ELEPHANT FARTS. The defense rests.

Honorable Mentions: I'm a cut you, MONEYBAGS, long overdue pizzamoji, COOL, a fucking turtle because turtles are simultaneously adorable and awesome.

PS - Recently I've been looking into what's necessary to create your OWN emoji, since it's obvious that the Japanese behind the current emoji are CLUELESS. I asked an iPhone/iOS dev on a scale of 1-10 how difficult it would be to make an app that lets you create your own emoji:

I have no idea, that's outside of the realm of a iOS developer you want an iOS hacker and it WOULD require a jailbreak and only you and the other user with the hack would be able to use it. No one else would see it. It's basically a font. 
So I'd say a 10 on difficulty and usability.

PPS - Top 5 emoji we need ASAP:

  1. Motion W. No doubt.
  2. Red cup. Flip cup? Beer pong? Keg Party? RED CUP KNOWS NO BOUNDS.
  3. A face depicting 'Shhhhhh'. Because NO ONE likes getting shushed, and therefore this would piss a lot of people off.  FUN TIMES.
  5. A hungover person. This could be a tough one to design, but I'm tired of EXPLAINING how I feel at 9 am the day after drinking 78 beers at Will's. I need an emoji to sing that sad song on my behalf. Do Japanese people even understand hangovers? I've gone Sake bombing before and the morning after SUCKED. What's their secret?

Part 2 early next week. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the bye. My suggestion would be to not rest and drink anyway because we went to Wisconsin and we have a reputation to maintain.


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