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Mailbag 7/25

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Georgia Tech v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Is the AJC out to get Pastner?

Ben: Speaking as someone with a Big J Journalism degree, I’d say no. It might seem like it, but truthfully, it seems like they’re just reporting on the information they have. Truth be told, looking from an outside perspective, it’s a super interesting story and I’m sure that’s why those stories keep getting green lit. It sucks, but that’s just the way it is.

Carter: Speaking as someone without such a degree, it sure feels like it sometimes, don’t it? I don’t really think so, but whether they are or not, Pastner hasn’t exactly made it easy for himself.

Jake: I really want to like the guy - the whole this is ACC elite men’s basketball thing after the Syracuse “Airball” game is one of my favorite things I’ve seen in a long time - but honestly if the AJC is reporting facts, then how can you say they’re out to get him?

What are your thoughts about the ACC media picking Tech to end in last place in the Coastal?

Ben: Anyone that is surprised by this is either delusional or is setting themselves up for disappointment. Is there talent on this team? Sure, but this team also has some major holes, specifically on the offensive and defensive lines. Is there a chance a fired up Tech team takes advantage of a down Coastal division? Sure, but from the outside looking in, predicting anything more than four or five wins this year seems like a bad idea.

Andrew: Not really surprised. I don’t have high hopes for this season and fully expect no more than 4 wins. I think a bowl game would be an incredibly successful season.

Akshay: Expected. There’s too much churn in the program to accurately predict how the Jackets will do this season.

Jake P.: I like how one person picked Tech to finish first in the Coastal. But other than that, as Akshay said, fully expected.

Carter: Last feels a bit harsh, but even taking into account the general state of the Coastal right now it’s hard to see a lot of wins at the moment. I’m hoping not, but I’m still expecting to be closer to there than to first.

Jake: This staff is all about GriT and Relentless EffortTM and whatnot, so, hey, maybe this adds some fuel, and, no matter what, it makes them put their money where their mouth is. Bring it on. Prove them wrong.

If Paul Johnson says don’t sleep on the Jackets in response to the last place in the Coastal prediction, do you believe in him?

Ben: If Paul Johnson was still the coach, I’d feel pretty good about calling for six or seven wins this season. He’s not, though, and quite honestly, I don’t really know what to expect.

Jake P.: I do agree with his assurances that most of the players didn’t play the triple option in high school, so they can play in other offenses. I don’t agree with the notion that everyone can change with a snap of the fingers, so I would say I kind of believe in his claim.

Carter: He’s gonna back the school that paid his bills for the past eleven years and put his offense on some of the biggest stages of all. How much of that is based in reality, though, has yet to be seen.

Jake: I love that we live in a Paul Johnson-runs-his-own-Twitter-account world now. I think he’s right to say that; we’ve been sold a bit short. But not that short. Regardless of what happens, I hope he sticks around the Flats.

Something doesn’t seem right regarding Pastner and this Bell character. It keeps popping back up which makes me feel Pastner is in deep waters. Hypothetically if things are true, Pastner will likely be canned. With that in mind and the dire situation Tech is in financially, where does the men’s basketball team go from here? Who would even want to come coach at a Tech after all this? Especially with a likely low ball contract offer.

Ben: At this point, they would need to just run with an interim for this season and then go get some young up-and-comer that probably isn’t quite ready for the show.

Andrew: I want Wes Miller from UNC: Greensboro, but I doubt we could pay him enough to come.

Jake: Hypothetical terrible idea: player-coaches like the Big 3. No? Okay, well I don’t think this ever truly goes away while he’s on the Flats. At the very least, there will always be undertones of “remember the whole Bell thing.” With Tech having investigated and cleared him, though, that makes any potential separation or termination much muddier.

What are your thoughts on the new Lion King movie? Is it made for an adult or kid? The realism of the animation makes me want to watch it and not so certain my three year old daughter would be into it. My five year old daughter might like it since she loves animals.

Ben: So, I went and saw this earlier this week, and I had really mixed opinions about it. It wasn’t nearly as good as the original, but it certainly had its moments. I thought it looked really good, and I thought it sounded really good, but there was something weird that happened when you put the look and sound together, and it doesn’t quite work for me.

Jake P.: I’ve never seen the first Lion King, so I probably won’t be seeing the second even though everyone likes to put it on their Snapchat stories.

Jake: ^^ This poor man, the first Lion King movie is one of Disney’s best, for sure. Seems like a good enough follow up to it. Haven’t had time to go out and watch it.

Carter: If Disney could stop with the live-actioning of everything they did in the 90s that brought them back to prominence, that’d be great. (Except Mulan, that one looks good.)

Upon posting an article to the site, do our canny writers:

1. Check hourly to see any comments? Wait a day, then look? Have some app that tells them when someone’s commented?

Ben: I wish there was an app, but the dot com folk haven’t gotten that figured out. For me, it depends on how controversial the article is. If it’s something that I feel is pretty big, I’ll check it pretty constantly, but if it’s something that isn’t too crazy, I won’t check it as often.

Andrew: I usually have mine finished a day or so before and often forget when an article I wrote is published.

Jake P.: I usually check the comments one or two times the day it’s published to make sure I don’t have any errors and to see what the people think in response to my writing.

Carter: Hourly or so on the first day, then once a day for the next couple of days. I crave your validation.

Jake: I’ll always get at least one or two on Rearview, shoutout my history buffs, you all give me so much insight that I wouldn’t get otherwise, correct my occasional spelling mistake, and spawn ideas for new columns. I’ll look at those three or four times a day, because it’s fun to be able to follow up, ask my own questions, or fill in extra details. Usually not many people really comment on the non-revenue stuff, though, which is a bummer. The secret sauce to getting people to comment lots of things on something historical, though? Randomly suggest Tech should play Auburn more. Never fails.

2. What do you most want to see within the Comments:

A. Universal acclimation of the writing and style, to wit: “You win the Interzwebz for the duration of the next Barves Homestand….”

B. Reasoned and fact based counter argument, to wit: “The sense of the House is that the Right, Honorable Gentleman is a twit and a dwag ….”

C. A Baylor Skankfight breaks out, to wit: “Jane you ignorant slut, they bought their tickets, I say; ‘let ‘em crash’….”

Ben: I’ve seen variations of all three of these in the comments of articles I’ve written. To be quite honest, I’m not sure which one I prefer.

Jake P.: I like B, I’m always up for a good debate.

Carter: Expect B and especially C, am surprised when I receive A.

Jake: I am always surprised and flattered when A happens. I don’t think I get B, per se. But if you do disagree, please let me know. Especially on history, I am only as good as my source material. And that’s what terrifies me about the column getting into living memory territory now. Usually I get a bonus D option:
D. Here’s historical insight from back (x number) years ago you wouldn’t really know because you are still a college kid and we remember it and it was cool/memorable/something y’all should know.
and that’s my favorite.

Luke Waddell next Derek Dietrich? Luke is the first Jacket to play for Team USA since Derek, finishing at .320 while playing unfamiliar third base with no errors. Dietrich has a strong MLB career going. Good things in Waddell’s future?

Andrew: I hope so, I was reading he played a lot of 3rd base this summer. It will be interesting to see the lineup next season. We don’t really lose a lot, but we have the #4 ranked class in the country coming in, so there are some talented freshman.

Jake: Really glad Luke is coming back. Hard to predict MLB success right from college, but clearly he’s making waves out there, which is great. Hopefully he can fill some of the veteran void we lost to the draft.

What is your favorite Tarantino film?

Ben: I’ll go with Pulp Fiction.

Akshay: Inglorious Basterds — that movie is an instant classic.

Carter: Second Pulp Fiction. Bring me my wallet!

If I’m Todd Stansbury, the only reason I’m not firing Pastner, at this point, is that I’m clawing to make budget this year (we were in the red after the Collins change) and I don’t want to hold up revenue by spending it on another coaching change, as opposed to the proposed Edge Jr. Center (a far superior long term investment). How true a statement is that? (0-10 scale)

Ben: At this point, I think Pastner is more trouble than he’s worth right now with this whole mess. It’s just annoying because there really isn’t a better option right now because there isn’t money to bring anyone else in.

Andrew: I’ve not completely jumped off the Pastner bandwagon, but I have to see progress and he cannot have the same abysmal class we have this year. He has to recruit better. I also think we have at least 2 more years regardless because of the financial issues.

Akshay: 6.5 - It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the men’s basketball is our worst-performing program right now (patiently waits for Jake Grant fact-check), and less patient ADs may have already pulled the trigger.

Carter: I’d give it a 7. Pastner built up a lot of goodwill in his first season and torched it all so quick it’s almost impressive. The results aren’t there on or off the court. If you’re gonna cheat, at least have it pay off, ya know?

Jake: Akshay, I see your worst program moniker and, though they’ve never lost to Gardner-Webb, I think there’s a certain program that lives in the back of the CRC that gives them a run for their money. Unlike them, men’s basketball doesn’t have the other half of the program to hide behind, though. But we can save that program’s breakdown (and men’s cross country) for the next few weeks of the summer non-rev preview series.

If we fire a hoops coach for cause, and therefore have no buyout, how much would a search cost? Would we give a coach a small sum—basically pay to go away and avoid a drawn-out, pricey lawyer-enriching exercise?

Ben: Still a lot more than Georgia Tech currently has. There’s a lot of money that goes into a coaching search outside of the contract itself.

Jake P.: I would think that Stansbury would not use a search firm, he didn’t use one for Collins, so that should bring down the cost of a search significantly.

Jake: Could’ve sworn Todd and Co. used a search firm for Collins...but, either way, if you want a good coach and good program, you have to be able to afford the cost of getting that. And right now, we’re already outside our means.

Favorite TV Comedies of All Time?

Ben: I’m a big fan of Friends and How I Met Your Mother (despite the ending). Also, forget Robin and Barney, Barney should have ended up with Quinn. Those two were freaking perfect for each other!

Akshay: +1 for HIMYM. The ending was garbage, but if you entirely ignore the last season, it was great.

Jake P.: The Office and Parks and Rec. If you’re into older shows Cheers is also very good.

Carter: No episode of 30 Rock has ever failed to make me laugh out loud. Also enjoyed the heck out of M*A*S*H reruns in middle/high school.

Jake: Wow, another 30 Rock fan? Being my father’s son, I have every episode on DVD. Watching The Good Place right after Cheers was weird, because I guess I just assumed Ted Danson was still like 30 today or something, but that’s Michael Schur’s latest work - think The Office, Parks and Rec, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Master of None, all great shows - and it’s thoughtful, funny, and entertaining. But other than 30 Rock, Psych is the greatest television comedy show of all time. Wholesome, hilarious, charming, and on Amazon Prime. Also, off the beaten path, but if you’re a terrible person who likes watching terrible people be terrible at fantasy football, it’s time for you to watch The League. I could keep going on rec’s but those three should

The Georgia Tech Marching Band’s halftime show is Atlanta-themed this year. This season we will be presenting #404Things: a compilation of music from Atlanta-based artists. Any particular selections you guys want to hear us play?

Akshay: Oh man. There’s a lot of great choices, but thinking about more recently popular artists, give me songs from OutKast, T.I., Childish Gambino, Waka Flocka, and Gucci Mane. My preferred picks: Mrs. Jackson (or Hey Ya!; Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik; and So Fresh, So Clean...really anything from them is good) 3005, No Hands, and Lemonade, respectively.

Carter: You might be too young to remember this, but a long time ago we shared a halftime performance with none other than Big Boi himself. The playlist for that performance consisted of Morris Brown, The Way You Move, and Walk It Out. Per the Seven Year Rule, this performance can now be reenacted in its entirety, so let’s see what he’s up to this fall, and ask Chris Moore if that sheet music is still hanging around.

Jake: Just play the basketball shootaround music, that’s fun and fast. If Welcome to Atlanta, a song Tech’s band already plays a lot, at least in basketball, isn’t the opener, that’s a serious missed opportunity. No need to be the Cavaliers or Carolina Crown or Phantom Regiment - people like to hear stuff they know, at least in my high school experience in a band that no one really took seriously because we played original artistic shows or the Firebird Suite or whatnot.