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Mailbag 6/26

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We talked about the history of bowls!

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Atlanta United at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

What sports should GT add?

Ben: Soccer is my first thought here. We’ve already seen how popular soccer can be in Atlanta, and I think adding a competitive team at the college level could really be successful. I think it could also draw in folks who are predominantly soccer fans to be introduced to other sports.

Jake: Hi! Non-rev and club sports guy here! Title IX really nails us here. If we want more men’s sports, we need more women’s sports. Rumor has it that for all the itching and angling men’s lacrosse, a historically excellent program, has done to try and become a varsity sport (they function at a very high level, as it stands), women’s lacrosse doesn’t have nearly the same inclination. My own biases about the benefits of playing club sports aside, I don’t see WLAX budging, no matter how much MLAX may want to get bumped up. As it stands, Tech is the only school in Power Five athletics without a women’s soccer team, so that would be a good place to start. Investing in those facilities would make it easier to bring along the men. Speaking of, though, I’ve always thought our lack of a women’s golf program, especially with now having Noonan Golf up and running over on 14th Street for practicing, let alone Tech’s storied golf history, was a bit glaring. Similarly, we have the players for a new sport, women’s beach volleyball, and recently saw the Van Gunst twins head to Georgia State to exhaust their NCAA eligibility in that sport in grad school after four years of volleyball on the Flats. That’s wordy, but I’ll have more in a few weeks in my summer non-rev series.

Chris: Soccer feels like the obvious answer, and I think it’s something the student body would really get behind. Rugby would also be super cool, but it’s not actually a NCAA sport somehow.

Carter: Soccer (both men’s and women’s) seems like the perfect sport to add in Atlanta, the best soccer city in America. Did you know Georgia Tech is the only school in the ACC that doesn’t sponsor women’s soccer? Women’s golf and men’s lacrosse (a very, very good team on the club level) should follow shortly after.

With the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, what is your favorite Space movie?

Ben: While I agree with thebugman10 that Star Wars should not be considered “Space Movies,” I’m still going to pick them because they are my favorite film franchise of all time! Also, this gives me an excuse to share my highly controversial rankings of the Star Wars films, so get ready:

  1. The Last Jedi
  2. Rogue One
  3. Return of the Jedi
  4. Empire Strikes Back
  5. Revenge of the Sith
  6. A New Hope
  7. Solo
  8. The Force Awakens
  9. The Phantom Menace
  10. Attack of the Clones

I will also add that ESB, ROTS, and ANH are all pretty close and move around those three spots depending on how I feel on a given day, but that’s my list in a nutshell. And yes, I know you don’t agree with my rankings, but that’s okay, you’re allowed to be wrong.

Jake: The Martian. Really doesn’t drag, as “lost in space” movies tend to. Was pretty well done, and got me into a genre I’m not usually into. So yeah. Also, noting Ben’s comment: Star Wars is a vehicle to get a John Williams space opera into my earholes. But I’m a music guy.

Chris: Interstellar. Does it have a weird ending? yeah. Is it an amazing movie regardless? also yeah. 3/5 days a week I’m listening to the score at work.

Carter: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2. If you do not accept that as a space movie for some reason, 2009 saw the release of a little film called Moon (budget: $5m) that was very, very cool.

Are bowl games called bowl games because 1) Stadia are shaped like bowls (this is the personally unsatisfying Wikipedia answer), or 2) The trophies of (at least) the original bowl games were actual bowls, in much the same sense that other competitions are called “cups” for that same reason. Particularly thinking of the Orange Bowl here, which has an actual bowl for its trophy.

Ben: See, you’re completely off base here. A long time ago back before Al Gore discovered the Internet and football was created, the gods of football were coming together to discuss the creation of the great sport. The gods had determined that football should be broken up into segments, having a preseason, a regular season, and a postseason, as three is the number that represents perfection (i.e. the Trinity in Christianity). They put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into creating the rules that would become modern football. They made it to the postseason rules and decided that the game at the very end of the season should be made special, and thus have a special name. For millennia, the gods pondered. And then, one fateful day, John Hesiman, the future patron saint of the forward pass, walked in eating a bowl of cereal (that cereal belonging to whatever brand wants to sponsor this post). The gods turned to Hesiman and knew immediately that it was the perfect name: the Bowls!

Drew: Actually bowls are called bowls for a totally different reason. Waaaaay back in the day when the first postseason games were being played Yale ended up playing University of Illinois in Maryland for a postseason game. Yale’s then coach, Hank Pitts, was notoriously strict on his players insisting that they focus only on school, football, and religion and that’s it. Early in the season Hank had caught wind of the team taking a bowling trip. Outraged by the lack of commitment to either school or football he banned the team from bowling or any other leisure activity with the threat of kicking anyone caught disobeying off the team. Illinois had heard of the incident and taunted Yale’s team the entire game. Yale won on a late touchdown and to celebrate their final the seniors, led by quarterback Cornelius Archibald III, went on a bowling outing (duckpin bowling which was the most popular version in Maryland at the time) in defiance of their head coach. Pitts was incensed, but could not punish the seniors who were now off the team anyway. Instead he came up with a brilliant idea to offer to take all of the players bowling if they won their postseason game. The Elis started calling it their “bowl” game and the name stuck. And thus, Yale had it’s second greatest creation.

Chris: Back in the good ole days of college football (talkin’ 1800s folks), games could end in ties. When it came time to introduce post-season play however, the powers-that-be decided that ties just wouldn’t do, so they decreed that these post-season games could not end in ties. After 60 minutes of football in the very first game, the score was still 0-0 (because this was the 1800s and offenses sucked). So the game went on. After 60 more minutes, it was still 0-0. It. Just. Kept. Going. No one could score, and on it went. Now, being the 1800s, field technology was not quite what it is today, so as the players played, they began to wear down the grass and dirt. By the time one team finally kicked a field goal to win the game, the field was so torn up in the middle that it sloped inwards from the sides. You know, like a bowl.

Jake: Oh, well, in 1814 we took a little trip along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip. We took a little bacon and we took a little beans, and we caught the bloody British in a town in New Orleans. We fired our guns and the British kep a-comin,’ there wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago. We fired once more and they begin to runnin’ on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. We looked down a river and we see’d the British come and there must have been a hundred of’em beatin’ on the drums. They stepped so high and they made their bugles ring, we stood by our cotton bales and didn’t say a thing. We fired our guns and the British kep a-comin,’ there wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago. We fired once more and they begin to runnin,’ on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Old Hickory said we could take ‘em by surprise, if we didn’t fire our muskets ’till we looked ‘em in the eyes. We held our fire ’till we see’d their faces well, then we opened up our squirrel guns and really gave ‘em - well we fired our guns and the British kep a-comin,’ there wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago. We fired once more and they begin to runnin’ on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles, and they ran through the bushes where the rabbit couldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ‘em, on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. We fired our cannon ‘til the barrel melted down, so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round. We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind, and when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind. We fired our guns and the British kep a-comin,’ there wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago. We fired once more and they begin to runnin,’ on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles, and they ran through the bushes where the rabbit couldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ‘em, on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Hut-two-three-four, sound off, three-four, hut-two-three-four, sound off, three-four, hut-two-three-four, hut-two-three-four.

Oh, wait. That’s just the lyrics to The Battle of New Orleans. Which they should really play in the bottom of the ninth at the Rusty C, still, but that’s a different thing. Point is, bowls are from 1814. I think. That makes sense? Right? I should stick to the history column, perhaps...

Carter: If I can blame some combination of Yale and the Rose Bowl for it, awesome. And I can, so I totally am. (Also, the Rose Bowl trophy is, uh, decidedly not a bowl.)

How is this the 6/26 Mailbag when it’s only 6/24?? Or is this the 6th mailbag and you are expecting 26 questions?

Ben: Looks at calendar. Well, um...you get it yet?

Carter: Trade secret.

Which of the most recently drafted Jackets will make it to the majors first? Who will have the longest and/or best career?

Ben: At the rate he’s going, I think Kyle Wren is probably the safe bet. He’s currently at AAA, so he should be in the majors before too much longer. As for the longest/best career, I’ll say one of the trio of Joey Bart, Kyle McCann, and Tristin English.

Jake: I fought my roommate today about the future of Tristan English. I wish we saw more two-way players in baseball. The guy is really talented. I think he’ll go far.

OK, how about a food question...What is your go-to thing you make to impress?

Chris: Italian-breaded and pan-fried chicken with a parmesan cream sauce, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, all over linguine.

Drew: I make a mean stromboli with mortadella and salami which works great as an appetizer. After that I can go a lot of directions, but if you stick with the Italian theme then some pasta and a homemade sauce always gets rave reviews.

Carter: I can cook fine, but kitchen creativity isn’t really my thing. I’m happy to leave that to one of the many talented restaurateurs of Atlanta.

Scholarship and coaching limits in college baseball: The commentators at the CWS have been all over the absurdly low scholarship limits for D1 baseball – rightfully so. 11.7 divided by at most 27 players explains a lot about why good players bypass college altogether or leave after their junior year for little or no MLB bonus money. There is also the failed attempt (supported by GT) to allow for teams to pay another assistant instead of having guys like Dan Jaffe “volunteer” as an assistant. Long way of asking a question, but does this ever change or do the poorhouse colleges continue to set the rules?

Ben: Someone mentioned this in the comments, but I thought they nailed it on the head. College baseball doesn’t bring in enough money for more scholarships, so unless/until it does, teams are going to have to continue to be creative.

Jake: Just like more non-rev teams, it’s all about the money.