Thursday, May 2, 2013

Season Finale Mailbag Part 2!

Greg M:

If you were to pick 1 Madison bar to 'rescue', what would you (or Taffer) choose and what would you (or he) do to rescue it?

Can we pretend that my internet uncle and I are tag-teaming this? You know, staying up late all night in our PJ's going over socioeconomic data, analyzing traffic patterns in the area, eating milk and cookies? Because I think this just became my dream scenario, my highest of highs (I bet Taffer wears a monogrammed robe). Let's run with that. Jon and I have been summoned to Madison to pull back the doors, bust open the books and turn The City from a money PIT into a money MAKER.

Here's the thing with The City: They have a prime location right on State Street, but being in a basement means there are no windows for pedestrians to see people inside having a good time. You walk by and you see a chalkboard with a few weak specials on it, a bouncer, and then a long, dark flight of stairs. Right off the bat, if I'm a girl, I'm gonna keep on walking. Just doesn't look very safe OR inviting.

For the recon mission, we're gonna send in 4 students to grab some food and a couple drinks. Hidden cameras have been installed watching the staff and bar, but we have ADDITIONAL cameras following them around that the bar owners will TOTALLY NOT NOTICE. If The City is the same as it was years ago, it will take way too long for the food to come out. THAT IS A PROBLEM. I can't even imagine how dirty the kitchen is, and I'm sure Jon will get in there and yell about grease drippings and unchanged oil in the deep fryer. TAFFER BEING TAFFER.

The next problem is the flow pattern. Too many VIP couches. TV's on the walls making everyone look away from the bar. Crappy stools that need to be replaced. COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.

We're gonna bring in chef Brian Duffy, since he's my favorite, to help get those ticket times under control. At the bar, we're going with certified mixologist and whiskey expert Michael Tipps. You know what's missing on the campus area? A nice whiskey bar (totally guessing, there's probably a new bar called Whiskey Jack's just down the street. IGNORE WHISKEY JACK'S). Jon will carefully explain to the owners and employees that this is a niche market. We don't have to sell the expensive stuff that students can't afford, but we can make some tasteful whiskey drinks that will be head and shoulders better than the over-poured drinks across the street.

By now, one cute bartender has walked out claiming 'she doesn't need to deal with this shit, you're [Taffer] an asshole!' Upon hearing her call my internet uncle an asshole, I tell her to goose-step her way back home to do her MATC homework. Burn notice, presented by Spike TV.

Once training is complete, it's time for Jon and I to bring in our crew and get to work. The main priority is creating interest at the door, so we're gonna call up our friends at B&G SIGNAGE INC to make us a sign that will really grab everyone's attention when they're walking by. There are countless bars for patrons to choose from - what are we gonna have here to make it really stand out? Inside, we're doing all new stools. We're removing the couches and putting in tables. Each seat at one of these tables? $20,000 a year in revenue without breaking a sweat.

When it's time for the reveal, we have all the employees and owners lined up outside facing the other way. Unfortunately, a drunk student starts yelling about what's behind them, totally ruining the surprise. In a totally not shocking twist of fate, he's in Sigma Chi. Anyway, they turn to see our fantastic new sign from our friends at B&G SIGNAGE INC and are blown away. The City is no more. Welcome... to The Sub. "You get it guys? The sub, because like a submarine, we are below deck? Hey, it's a limitation we can't change. And I embrace solutions, not excuses. So we're going to embrace our subterranean location." It's really incredible how clever Taffer is.

After entering The Sub, jaws are dropped at the re-designed bar. All new flow patterns encourage people to approach the bar and converse with others. We've got our best whiskeys up top with the lights on them, drawing you right in. Best item on the menu? The buffalo bites. So what'd Jon do? He boxed them, AUTOMATICALLY increasing sales 25%. We also added a new TURBOTAP system from Jon's people at TAP CITY WORKS LLC in Burbank, and put in an additional POS system from the guys at POS INDUSTRIES. "This is great, guys. Can you feel it? We've got a bar now that offers what no one else on this campus has. We've got our price points. We've got the TURBOTAP. Your sign hooks 'em in, and it's up to YOU [pointing emphatically with his head tilted at a 45 degree angle at the staff] to keep them coming back. Alright, you guys ready? We open in 10 minutes!"

Soon enough, the bar is flooded with people loving the new drinks and ordering nothing but buffalo bites BECAUSE HOLY SHIT THAT BOX AROUND IT ON THE MENU MEANS IT'S GOOD. Jon and I embrace the owners, walk up the stairs, look at each other, look up at the sign, smile, execute the hardest high-five in high-five history, and walk off into the moonlight.

3 weeks later, sales are up 25%, but the owners have changed the name back to The City. They did not burn the Sub sign in effigy, because they're not a bunch of ungrateful piratz.


PS - You haven't lived until you've told someone to goose-step their way outta here. Just be careful, because they may not react kindly.

Ron S:

When the Mike Rice Rutgers scandal surfaced, the AD and the university president were appropriately criticized for not taking early action against Rice. My feeling is that at the time, Rutgers was finalizing plans to join the Big 10, a financial windfall for the university, and didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that. I was surprised I never heard this theory floated in the media. What are your thoughts?

I certainly wouldn't rule it out. Start with the basic logic that once they knew video evidence of Rice being a jackass existed, they were forced to fire him. Even if they know that other coaches are out there doing similar things, you simply can't condone that kind of behavior in a society that is actively banning dodgeball and recess from schools. So if we assume they knew they had to fire him, what are the possible reasons to delay that decision?

  • They wanted to cover their asses and figure out how to spin it so they could keep their jobs. If there's one thing people in power care about, it's staying in power.
  • In their minds, 'innocent until proven guilty' is taken very seriously, and they wanted to do a thorough investigation interviewing Rice, assistant coaches, managers, and players before firing the guy.
  • They're just idiots.

I have a hard time buying the conspiracy theory you're floating mainly because I don't think something relatively minor like that (and in the grand scheme of things, it was pretty minor) would derail a huge, multi-million dollar mega-deal like Rutgers joining the Big Ten. WORST CASE, Rutgers replaces their President/AD/hoops coach and the beat goes on. Penn State just went through a situation a billion times worse than this, and it's not like Delaney ever considered kicking them out of the conference.

In my eyes, they're just a couple of jackasses that were more worried about how they were going to spin their knowledge of the situation to try to keep their jobs. Greed's one hell of a motivator, and it can lead you to either take action or hang tight depending on what you think is best for your own prosperity. Doing the right thing is rarely the most profitable 

Jeff W:

I've come to understand that you have a deep affinity for Pepperoni.  So deep, in fact, that you've considered quitting your job and starting your own Pepperoni themed restaurant. Perhaps you could go into detail on some of the highlights of this establishment?

You are quite obviously referring to Pepperoni Toni's, my fictional, hypothetical, pepperoni-themed restaurant and catering service enterprise. Our slogan? "More than just a topping!" Because it's true, and not enough people realize it. Pepperoni deserves so much more than being relegated to pizza topping status. On a scientific level, what is the difference between pepperoni and salami? LET US CONSULT THE EXPERTS:

  • I will concede that they are indeed spelled differently.
  • Fuck you for relegating pepperoni to pizza topping status.
  • I'm moderately depressed that I don't know any butchers to ask.
  • If pepperoni were actually a vegetable, I'd be the healthiest person you know and I would go hardcore vegetarian eating nothing but pepperoni all day every day.

I like that Betti actually snuck in the correct answer after trying to scare me into thinking pepperoni was a vegetable. The only difference is in the spices added to it. So that's why pepperoni can't be a lunch meat while salami gets to ham it up with the corned beefs of the world? BULLSHIT. You haven't lived until you've had one of Pepperoni Toni's famous Turkey & Pepperoni Glory Sandwiches.

UNRELATED: It's pretty awful when you go to a restaurant sober within a day or two of being there hammered. Example: I went to Devil Dawgs last Friday night when I was a little martini-drunk. I won't say blacked out, because I def have a very hazy memory of being there. Anyway, fast-forward to Monday, where after a miserable day I decided the only cure to my pains was a stop on the way home at DD's. I walk in and the woman there smiles and goes 'AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THATTTTT!'. IMMEDIATELY I was hit with drunken recall of yelling that Friday night. This was terrifying, because when you're drunk and surrounded by drunk people, you are pretty much invincible. Can yell all the nonsense you want. But when you're sober and reminded of how stupid you were, you feel like crawling into a hole. I think my face got Badger red and I sheepishly chuckled. UGH. Drunk-ja-vu is the WORST.

The only other place I used to experience this was the Qdoba on State Street. I'd go there and just run my mouth in Spanish with Henry, the iron-willed, burrito assembling, Mexican extraordinaire. And it was GREAT! My drunk-Spanish is borderline fluent. But then I'd come in there sober every once in a while and it's like the scene in The Hangover where they go back to the wedding chapel.

The eternal struggle between sober-Brandon and drunk-Brandon rages on.

Emily M-S:

If you were forced to dip your chicken in one type of sauce for the rest of your life, what sauce would you choose? 
Background: when I was a vegetarian I discovered just how much I really love sauce.  As versatile as tofu is, they don't make fried sticks of it that taste like chicken to dip in bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, honey mustard, ranch, etc.  Now that I'm back on the meat-wagon (you'll get hop-ons --> Arrested Development reference) I get to have all the sauce I want and just have to suffer through the boring-ness of the chicken associated.  (call me crazy, but I don't like chicken--just sauce).  Now, I am slightly familiar with your affinity for ranch, so I'm sure that will be a major player, however you also have so many other options (like bbq sauce, way better with chicken IMHO).  Perhaps you could do a top 3 or 5.

We're just gonna eliminate ranch right off the bat. It is the king of the castle, master of the domain, LORD OF THE MANOR of the sauce and condiment universe. So, TOP 5 NON-RANCH SAUCES:

1) Devil sauce from Devil Dawgs. My current obsession. We think it's a mayo/mustard base, but it's got great kick to it and awesome flavor. Goes great with literally ANY food. I've had it with burgers, dogs, fries, Cheesy Gordita Crunches (don't ask)... the possibilities are endless and DELICIOUS. If I were a teacher and you were my students, we'd have class outside any day that was nice, and your homework assignment would be to go to Devil Dawgs, order whatever you want, get a side of devil sauce, and dip everything you can into it. So good.

PS - We've been kicking the tires on obtaining a bucket of devil sauce from Devil Dawgs, going to Bird's Nest, and asking them to sauce an order of their wings in that sauce. The mere thought shoots me straight from six to midnight.

2) Buffalo sauce from just about anywhere. It's hard to pick out a specific buffalo sauce, since all of them are basically just Frank's Red Hot with a few tweaks. And that's fine, because if that's your base, then you can't really go wrong. The Sub in Madison (formerly known as The City) has ELITE buffalo sauce. That buffalo sauce and ranch go together like spaghetti and meatball is merely a sign from above that they were meant for each other. Buffalo chicken tenders dipped in ranch is honestly peak life. PEAK.

3) Plaza sauce. I know it's some kind of ranch/mayo base to begin with, but whatever they do to it after the fact makes it worth seeking out. Already comes on the burger there, but make sure you get a side of it for the fries. Or the little cheddar muncher things they have that are essentially potato, cheese, and crack.

4) Marinara sauce. By far the best way to serve a tomato. Breadsticks, calzones, strombolis... anything you can buy at Pizza di Roma goes fantastic with some marinara. I'll even dunk some pizza in there, just to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomato. NOTE: Hate ketchup, repulsed by giant, whole tomatoes. Deal with it.

5) BBQ sauce. I have to put it on here just for the abundance of BBQ food that I love that is cornered into using BBQ sauce. In general, I'm not that high on the sauce itself. I'll occasionally get it with a dippable chicken item just to mix it up a little, but on its own I'm not too crazy about BBQ sauce. Even so, you can't deny its integral role in the enjoyment of ribs, pork, and chicken. All Americans are required by law to love BBQ food (even vegetarians like you!), so might as well learn to love the sauce, too.

Honorable Mentions: Wendy's Buffalo-Ranch hybrid, BW3's Parmesan Garlic, Bird's Nest's Teriyaki.

Katie G:

Do juice cleanses work? Like, do they really work?

Fortunately for you, I have EXTENSIVE knowledge of juice cleanses. You see, the key to any successful juice cleanse is to tell as many people as possible that you are, in fact, doing a juice cleanse. Take a picture of juice #1 and put that green shit on Instagram. #HASHTAGJUICELIFE. Tweet 4 hours into the juice cleanse that you're feeling kinda skinny but would murder a puppy for a donut, hehe, no but seriously you would. Ask your Facebook friends if day 2 of drinking kale, spinach, quinoa and dandelions is easier than day 3. When your BFF asks you at 9:00 PM of day 2 if you wanna get froyo, calmly ask her if she'd like your fist in her eye. By the time day 3 comes along, you turn into this woman at the sight of your co-worker's Lean Cuisine.

But hey, at least you dropped 3 pounds of water weight that totally won't find its way back into your butt within 8 hours of finishing your cleanse.

PS -

PPS - Juice cleanses are right up there with running marathons on the list of things people like telling everyone else they're doing more than actually doing the thing itself.

TRIPLE PS - If you're doing it to like flush out toxins from your body, I'm pretty sure your kidneys and livers and Taco Bell are all over that shit for you.

Daniel P:

Why hasn't there been a sequel to Blue Streak?  That masterpiece has "franchise" written all over it!  Imagine Miles in Mexico, teaming back up with Dave Chappelle and being chased by the federales.  Who wouldn't want to see that?  TBS would dedicate an entire network to it.

A FINE question given that Blue Streak is one of the more hilariously underrated masterpieces of cinematic history. POTENTIAL PLOTS FOR BLUE STREAK 2: EL PARTE DOS:

  • Miles learns the location of a secret Aztec gemstone worth $50 million, but in order to steal it, he has to take on the identity of a world renowned archaeologist. Things are going great until he accidentally gets caught on a Univision broadcast, which is then syndicated worldwide due to the significance and value of the gemstone. Carlson, now a regional director in the FBI, spots Miles on TV and takes off to Mexico in hopes of swaying his old friend from continuing his life of crime. Carlson goes in disguise as an assistant archaeologist, secretly following Miles out to the dig site in the middle of the night. As Carlson is about to intervene, Dave Chappelle appears out of nowhere, yells 'ándale muchacho!' and begins to take Carlson into his custody. Unfortunately for Chappelle, he's high as hell and is easily outsmarted by Carlson, who uses the notorious gut and eyes move on Chappelle. Carlson swoops in to prevent Miles from stealing the gemstone, extradites him to America and locks him up. Blue Streak 3 is all about Miles breaking out of prison to steal a Picasso painting.
  • Buying into the 'when in Rome...' mentality, Miles begins a weed farm in Mexico with intentions of selling it back to his friends in the States. Dave Chappelle is back as Miles' security guard, patrolling the dope fields with his trusty uzi. Miles sits back with his feet up, drinking a fruity drink with an umbrella in it watching 'his little babies grow'. Everything is going just swell until the Federalis catch wind of the giant dope farm. Sensing his impending arrest, Miles enlists El Tio Lou to falsify Fedralihood for himself. Miles convinces the Federalis to do a sting on a rival dope farm, citing a strong suspicion of human trafficking. As the Federalis are taking stock of all the seized shrubbery, Miles arranges for his stash to be harvested and flown back to America. While he's securing the load, his Federali pareja Luis Cordonza confronts him. Turns out, Luis spent some time in America tracking down a well-known Mexican drug lord, and he finally realized where he recognized Miles from. Miles puts his hands out to be cuffed, but Luis doesn't flinch. Luis dice que ellos están hermanos, y nunca trata a su hermano como enemigo. Luis da un abrazo a Miles, y ellos salen. El fin.

Not gonna lie, typing two sentences in Spanish absolutely EXHAUSTED me. I'm saving the rest of my Blue Streak 2: EL PARTE DOS ideas for myself.

Jon K:

What's your opinion on the new B1G alignment?     Do you think its better or worse for Wisconsin?

Anyone who thinks the new B1G divisions are worse for Wisconsin is an idiot. There isn't even a way to sugarcoat it. But FINE, let's do pros and cons:

  • Geographic rivals (Iowa/Minnesota/Northwestern) are now on the schedule every year.
  • Yearly games against Nebraska are shaping up to be one of the better developing rivalries in college football.
  • Much better for fans to travel to away games.
  • Easier path to the B1G Championship Game.
  • Our division has an easy name to remember.
  • Most importantly, our division FINALLY has a theme song.
  • We don't play OSU every year.
  • Our budding rivalry with MSU will have a few years of silence.
  • They changed names before I could ever figure out if we were a Leader or a Legend.
  • Seriously, this is a GREAT development for UW.

Under the old set-up, it was clear that Wisconsin got hosed. Barry may have fought valiantly for us, but at the end of the day all he could do was get us Nebraska's first B1G game as a consolation, 'sorry we fucked you over' prize. This time around? Complete opposite. I think it's perfectly reasonable to predict that we'll appear in 4-5 of the next 10 B1G Championship Games, and this should make it much more probable that we'll find our way into the newfangled playoff system that is replacing the BCS in the coming years. More often than not, we'll still have at least one of Mich/MSU/OSU/PSU on our schedule. Combine that with Nebraska and increasingly difficult non-conference schedules and UW will hold up just fine.

And finally...

Kylie Z:

Who's the whitest person you know?

I see we're going heavy on the racial questions these days. WHY THEY GOTTA BE WHITE? But I can't name the whitest people I know, because the names would be meaningless to most people here. Instead, let's find the 5 whitest GIF's on the internet. We're talking GIF's that just scream out 'WE'RE WHITE AND SERIOUSLY LOOK HOW WHITE WE CAN BE'. THE LIST, IN REVERSE ORDER FOR DRAMATIC PURPOSES:

5) Rich Old White Dudes At A Cricket Match Executing A Flawless High-Five Whiff

I really just need to know what the guy on the left is thinking with his post high-five abomination fist-pump. I don't care if your favorite cricketeers just won the Union League Cup of Great Britain - whatever you were celebrating when you went for that fateful high-five was immediately canceled out by the extremity of the whiff. Your team may as well have lost. Go home and cry and think about not what you did, but what you failed to do.

4) Oh Shit, He's Going For A Bro-Shake, I Thought We Were Doing A Hug, Maybe If I Play It Off Cool No One Will Notice

John, you get credit for the cover-up effort. You almost played it off cool. Almost. Damn that cursed whiteness!

3) The Prototypical Golfer-to-Caddy High-Five Whiff With Wristy Follow-Through

I'm sure there are doctorate theses out there on how golf is inherently a RACIST sport due to its exclusive country club nature. Watching these two attempt a standard David Puddy High-Five, and you start to think that the theses may hold water. Personally, I'm blaming the caddy. Just like in baseball, the key to a good high-five is keeping your eye on the prize. The second the caddy starts pulling his head away, the high-five was doomed. His lack of follow-through shows a serious mechanical issue as well. Clean it up.

2) There Are Too Many White People To High-Five, So Let's All Just Look At Each Other With Our Hands Up

Put your coaching shoes on and let's head to the film room:
  • Beige coat guy. Dude. She wants you to give her that first high-five. You have to go out there and take what's yours. You just gonna spend the rest of your life waiting for the smokeshow down the row to give you a high-five? Come on man. Grab some alpha and GET THAT HIGH-FIVE.
  • Capitals jersey guy on the right. Here's a piece of advice: Either participate in a high-five, or keep your fucking hands at your sides. This whole T-Rex thing you're doing with your hands hovering in front of your chest was never a good look. Not even in the 80's. It's like running to catch a ball with your arms out the entire time. No bueno. Get to the spot. Make the play. Act cool.
  • And then there's Curly on the bottom. Poor, poor Curly. Your team just scored a goal to ice the game away, and all you wanna do is find someone to reciprocate your happiness. You think, 'Hey, if there were ever a time to approach the cutie behind me, this is it!' You turn around, eyes glazed over, huge smile on your face, arm locked into high-five ready mode. The stadium goes quiet. You see nothing other than the blonde beauty in front of you. "Is this real life? Is this happening?" In what seems like a twist of fate, she ignores her dude and focuses on you. Your eyes lock. This is it. You rev up the engine, pop the clutch, and off you go to High-Five Town. Population? You and Cynthia. Oh fuck. You stalled. The window of opportunity was open, but before you could climb through it, she snapped it shut. The smile runs away from your face as fast as the blood that's rushing towards it. As you swipe the lone, curly bang off your forehead, your mind wanders. Was she the one? Will you ever find true love after this? Maybe she'll be back for the next game in the same seats! Wishful thinking, at best. And you know it. Life will go on. There will be more high-five opportunities. The question is: Will you learn from your mistake? Will you make that high-five happen next time? Will it be her hand, or your heart that stings? The choice is yours.
1) Possibly Canadian Hockey Coaches Execute The Rare 'Double Reverse High Five-A-Fist Pound Bro-Shake' Combo

CRINGE. This would probably be #1 even if they weren't potentially Canadian. The Canadianicity of it is really the icing (hockey pun!) on the awkward vanilla cake (WHITE PEOPLE CAKE PUN?). I put 90% of the blame on the guy on the left. He clearly looks down and sees Glasses Man going for some kind of Canadian open handed shake of sorts. And his initial reaction is to come flying in knucks-up? Awful. Glasses Man tries to salvage by tapping the pound with his karate chop hand, and it SHOULD have ended there. But nope! Now they completely and perfectly reverse course! And even after THAT, just when you think it can't end any better, they sail off into the Nova Scotian wilderness in a locked and loaded bro-shake. I've watched this MINIMUM 500 times.

Thanks again to those of you who submitted questions. Might circle back for a mid-Summer mailbag, but if not, see ya next season!


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