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Mailbag 5/29

We talked about breakfast food again

Hurricane Florence Slams Into Coast Of Carolinas Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Thoughts on this year’s schedule including 2 bye weeks?

Ben: Personally, I like it if for no other reason than that it makes the season feel like it lasts that much longer.

Jake P.: I like it because it gives us more rest and recovery, CPJ is probably happy he retired last year so that every team didn’t get an extra week to recuperate from the cut-blocking.

Stephen: Gimme all the weeks of football I can have. But honestly, spreading it out more will mean I can go see a couple of games not on The Flats and not feel as guilty about it. (I’m saving y’all from my season tickets are overpriced musings).

Akshay: I will never complain about more football and more time to enjoy more football.

Carter: I liked it at first, then I looked a second time and realized four of seven home games in November. The good news is I finally invested in a pair of ski pants this year, but for those of you who haven’t, bundle up!

Say, uh, Cousin Tank, I suppose it’d be the acme of foolishness to inquire if you had an explanation for the earpiece the catcher wears?

Ben: I’m not gonna lie, I actually didn’t know this was a thing. Bill touched on this in the comments saying that it’s used to help speed up the game. Being a slow game is a large reason I don’t watch as much baseball as I used to on TV, so anything that can be done to speed it up, I’m on board.

Akshay: If I remember the explanation from the ACC tournament broadcasts correctly, the earpiece helps relay signs from the pitching coach to the catcher.

Coach Danny Hall’s job is pretty safe after getting named ACC coach of the year, right? Or will early struggles next year immediately bring back (realistic) calls for Tech to move on? Does he “need” to make it to Omaha this year?

Ben: Given his past, I don’t see Danny Hall being fired anytime remotely soon. Winning Coach of the Year also gives another reason for him not to be fired. More likely to happen, at least in my opinion, is that he could very well retire in the next couple seasons (after his sons are done on the Flats).

Akshay: I think Coach Hall has done more than enough this year to get off the hot seat — in my mind, it was NCAA tournament or bust this season, and he’s more than exceeded that goal. Like Ben mentioned, I expect him to retire on his own terms in the next few years after his sons graduate. That being said...a trip to Omaha would be really nice.

What does Coach Josh Pastner need to do next year to avoid getting fired? NCAA tourney or bust? Will just an appearance even be enough? Or do financial considerations pretty much mean he’ll see year 5 without a complete meltdown?

Ben: I don’t know that Tech can afford to move on at this point, especially after hiring a new football coach. I think his is certainly warm, but I can’t imagine him going anywhere until after AI2020 is done. As for what he needs to do this season to ease some of that pressure, I think an NIT appearance would go a long way to help that.

Jake P.: I think that one of the main things Pastner needs to do is land some recruits. He can only play the transfer game for so long. But for this upcoming season, all he needs to do is avoid scandals and get to double-digit wins.

Akshay: I’m going to meld Jake and Ben’s answers: a postseason appearance plus landing a few high-level recruits will fan the flames under Pastner’s seat. I just don’t think GTAA has the money right now to search for another revenue-sport head coach in consecutive years.

Stephen: don’t look now, but there’s an awful uga-ly measuring stick being planted in between the cheeks of the ButtSmear building out East that makes our guy not look like he’s doing so hot. Not to talk about another man’s job, but I think his goose has been bbq’d.

Carter: The last two years have pretty much nullified the good will Pastner built in year one, and now he’s losing high profile recruiting battles vs. Tom Crean. (As opposed to before, when he just lost all his recruiting battles.) Athletics is going to deal with two more years of this shambling corpse, but only because putting it down is too costly until then.

What is the Kool-Aid-free guess on how FB will do this year? I’m not going to be as pessimistic as S/P+ where the only game we’ll be favored in is The Citadel, but what would be the realistic worst, best, and average-case scenarios for us next year? Especially considering that the ACCC is a hot mess?

Ben: We’ll be touching on this a little later in our 100 Days to Kickoff preview, so I won’t give a record prediction. Instead I will say this: I think there is a situation where the cards will fall into place and Tech could win the coastal, but I think a lot has to go right.

Carter: The Sunny D guess is that 4-5 wins feels about right.

What kind of sideline/off-the-field changes will we see during games under CGC? For example, what kinds of things might we see CGC bringing from Missy State and particularly Temple that show up during the game to get the fans (and the sideline) amped up? Stuff that doesn’t pertain to playcalling, coaching, etc. I’ve seen bits and pieces (like the whole “Money Down” thing), but haven’t seen a comprehensive list of his “trademarks”. He’s taken on the task of changing the culture—what will this look like to the fans?

Ben: A lot of this we probably won’t really see until the season starts. I know for sure he’s planning to bring the Money Down. I think we’ve also started to see how he has embraced the City of Atlanta. I don’t have a lot of the specifics, but what he’s done has already brought a lot of excitement to the program, and I think Collins has a plan to get fans to stay engaged.

Stephen: Look for a piece at some point this offseason from @38Godfrey over at the mothership. He visited campus prior to the spring game, and will most likely be doing a full write-up on what he saw that will extrapolate more on the off-field stuff behind CGC’s arrival in Atlanta.

Has there already been a thread/ discussion on the data breach? Generally, does anyone feel that Tech has not taken care of your personal interest or mishandled the situation? Any advice or personal experience with how to protect your own future interests?

Ben: As I’m not and have never been a student or employed at Tech, this didn’t affect me, so I’m probably not the best to offer insight. A quick Google search does bring up something that Tech is doing in response, though.

Given that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, I can understand why people are upset.

Akshay: I have a lot of thoughts re: data breaches at Tech, but TL;DR: it’s very ironic (and consequently, very frustrating) that an institution that prides itself on being technologically proficient and advanced has poor data security.

Stephen: Side note - that’s a TON of people... our total enrollment was 27k in 2016. That’s (does math) only 2% of the total number of people affected by the breach. Yikes.

What is the best entree at cookout?

Ben: Honestly, my order depends on what kind of mood I’m in, but if I had to pick one, I’ll take the big double burger with cheese, bacon, ketchup and mayo.

Akshay: Never tried this, but friends of mine have ordered 2 corndogs as an entree and then tack on a corn dog for each of the sides in a tray. Allegedly, this is allowed and celebrated.

Jake P.: My version of Akshay’s friends’ order is two quesadillas, with two more quesadillas, and an orange push-up milkshake. I always ask for a surprise ratio of chicken to beef quesadillas.

Stephen: I’m going to side with Ben here. Big Double Burger, do it however you like to decorate your processed meats. Then go fries, chicken wrap, and pull a Wendy’s frosty move and dip the fries in the milkshake.

Carter: Big double burger with cheese, lettuce, onion, and mayo. Chicken quesadilla and hush puppies on the side. Get whatever shake you prefer, it’s hard to go wrong. Cheerwine is for chumps.

Which is better: White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen?

Ben: I have seen one of these movies. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t tell you which one it was.

Akshay: Yes.

Stephen: Unrelated politically charged movie that’s sure to piss off both sides of the aisle for different reasons and left me a nervous wreck for its entire run time: 13 Hours with Jim from The Office.

More likely to win ACC COY next year: CJP or CGC?

Ben: I don’t think either one does, but I think Collins has a better chance. Mostly, I think he would have a better chance because the football team is more likely to surprise people this year.

Akshay: Collins by far. The volatility of the Coastal in football provides Collins with ample opportunity to exceed expectations, while the path to doing well in ACC basketball is...well, not easy.

Stephen: hahahaha y’all think someone other than Dabo can win this thing. Seriously, I didn’t even know he won it in 2018. It doesn’t make sense to give the driver of the only actual car in a race the Best Driver trophy. Give it to the guy in the far reaches of NY that drives a folding table the trophy for once. He did the best with what he had and still won 10 games!

Carter: Collins could pull a CPJ and do it. I seriously cannot fathom how Pastner could manage it.

Best military/combat movie?

Ben: Looking at my Top 10 Movies of All Time, I don’t really have any military/combat movies on there since normally they aren’t my favorite. If I had to pick one, though, I’ll go with Saving Private Ryan. Fun fact: I saw that movie twice when I was in high school for classes even though we were not supposed to be watching it.

Akshay: Not necessarily military action, but The Hunt for Red October is one of my favorites (and the book is even better).

Jake P.: My two favorite war movies were made 44 years apart. If you like Japanese subtitles, Tora! Tora! Tora! is the way to go. If you just like a straightforward war movie, Fury is a fun one.

Stephen: To elaborate on my previous point, I did not enjoy 13 Hours as I do not like being on edge. Let’s go with The Patriot.

Carter: I’m sorry, but you are all incorrect. The correct answer is Tropic Thunder.

Rolling Stones or The Who?

Ben: Behind Blue Eyes is one of my favorite songs, so The Who.

Stephen: Stones baby. Gimme Shelter is an all-timer. Even Saban loves it.

Carter: This matchup feels a bit arbitrary, but between the two it’s The Who, no question.

Are Miami fans the biggest whiners? Or is it just their baseball fans in comment sections about the tournament seeding?

Ben: Yes.

Akshay: Counterpoint - dwag fans after the CFP Selection Show and Playoff in December.

Stephen: Counter-counter-point - the Miami pre-game prayer snafu truthers from Miami that said they definitely weren’t trying to taunt our student section while running through the RRC before kickoff. They’re the worst.

Carter: I don’t have a counter-counter-counter-point. There is no fanbase that needs to put a sock in it more than Miami’s, and there is no fanbase that refuses to put a sock in it like Miami’s.

What is the best WaHo meal to get to go on the way to a Tech game? Of course, the drink is a cherry Coke in a go-cup. But what to have with it? Answers please for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Criteria include portability, ease of eating in to-go packaging, and of course flavor. Nutrition is not a criterion.

Ben: For breakfast, I’m perfectly content with hash browns, all the way. Any other time of day, I like the Texas Toast Bacon Egg and Cheese sandwich with a side of hash browns and a cup of coffee. I also like to have a piece of chocolate pie for dessert.

Jake P.: I am an advocate of having the All-Star special breakfast at all times of the day. It’s not the most portable, but it is the most rewarding if you can pull it off.

Akshay: My gameday breakfast is always hash browns (covered), a chocolate chip waffle, and chocolate milk or coffee. Easy to eat out of to-go packaging; potatoes, more carbs, and dairy fulfill all of the food groups you’d expect at any given meal time; and you have a variety of flavor profiles to experience between the savory grease of the hash browns to the sweet softness of the chocolate chip waffle. 10/10, would buy again.

Stephen: Taken from the advice of a long-time UPSer, portability be dammed, you sit down and eat this in the restaurant (it seems weird to call it a restaurant, store seems more fitting):

Double order of hashbrowns, scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, capped, country, with 2 eggs over easy on top. Raisin Toast on the side.

If you can finish it, you’ll probably hate yourself, and your doctor will plead with you to never eat that again. That means something about it is just right.

Carter: My WaHo consumption has taken a nosedive since my days at Tech, but I feel like you can never go wrong with a chocolate chip pecan waffle. Hash browns should always be smothered and covered at a bare minimum.