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Mailbag 12/2

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What’s your favorite holiday beverage?

Miracle on Queen Street Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Pastner’s lack of 5v5 scrimaging: bad idea or terrible idea? - majorQ9

Ben: Well, it’s not great!

Robert: Reminds me of CGC’s idea not to practice kicking live. And we all know how that has gone...

Akshay: I mentioned this on the podcast this week actually — Pastner’s dedication to COVID protocols is admirable and something I wish more coaches across both major revenue sports did, but at the same time, it absolutely blows from a sporting perspective.

Jake: I think Pastner had to do what he had to do, and I’d much rather see Tech be proactive with respect to COVID than reactive, but, man, how much explaining away can you do to the committee March? I wouldn’t think much.

Jeff: Some person once said you play the way you practice.

Carter: Sorry, am I supposed to know who that is?

Jake P.: If the losses to Georgia State and Mercer weren’t enough of an example of the non-5 v. 5, I don’t know what one could be. While safe, this decision could cost him his job.

SBNation Reacts polls? What is the check in on the state of the programs from SBNation Reacts polls? The polls are being sent, but we haven’t seen them in a season?

Ben: I’m just bad at posting the results haha. They always get sent to me while I’m at my real job. Here’s the fan confidence graph over the course of the season thus far (excluding Duke):

Overall, it’s been on a decline, but things are evening out a bit. I also imagine the win over Duke bumped things up a bit. We’ve also got 80 percent of people who are confident in GTMBB right now, which I’m not sure if that takes into account the games against Georgia State and Mercer, but I don’t think they do. I’ll try to do a little better about getting these up.

Nishant: I’m very alarmed by the stat Ben just quoted for GTMBB.

Jake: Expectations are a heck of a drug, Nishant.

Jeff: I am a guilty party of the MBB confidence before the season. I have amended from the last poll.

What is your go to exclamation for when you see Gibbs break a long run or you get excited?

Ben: I’m a big “There we go!” kind of guy.

Robert: “See ya!” as soon as he gets in the open field.

Akshay: It’s more of a “raise my hands in celebration” thing than something I say.

Jake: My go-to sporting reaction is usually me shouting “no, no, no, no” when things aren’t looking up, and you can tell when the playing gets good on a listen back when the nos turn to gos.

Jeff: You know I've never really paid attention that much. I think I use "C'mon, Let's Go" a lot.

Jake P.: Usually it’s “Go! Go! Go!”

Any word on the Gibbs injury?

Ben: Like any coaching staff, we won’t hear anything concrete from them. But from the way he was barely using the crutches he was on when he came back out of the tunnel Saturday night, I don’t think he’ll be out long. If he misses more than a game, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s only as a precaution.

Robert: I’ve seen speculation on both extremes, and there’s nothing official. We likely won’t know until the first offensive snap.

Jake: Ditto what Robert said.

Some pre-planning here...

  1. Your grievances to be aired?
  2. What’s your feat of strength for 2020, and chances of pinning Notwima?
  3. What non-routine event would qualify as a Festivus Miracle for you this year?
  4. Ideal strength: weight ratio for your Festivus pole?

Ben: I don’t know that I really have any grievances to air. Feat of strength is that we freaking made it to the end of 2020. Festivus miracle: Like I mentioned last week, these last few weeks have been really good for me. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by the last question.

Akshay:

  • Grievances? [gestures widely at Atlanta sports]
  • Feat of strength? Like Ben said, surviving the emotional and mental turmoil of 2020
  • Non-routine event for a Festivus miracle? The Hawks starting out their season well would be cool.

Jake:

  1. I have a grievance with myself, both for coming back for grad school and not appreciating that I’m still here in grad school. And with COVID for making it hard to lock down my post-May plans, which look different than they did this time last year. And with Sinclair for pulling Fox Sports South from everything. And with Square on Fifth for having, like, half a functioning TV package and taking two months to fix an elevator.
  2. Feat of Strength: I par-ed a hole on a real golf course. I am a Champion of Life™. Given that I don’t know notwima, that’s tough, but I’ve sprinted a mile in a far-too-hot pool, I can outlast anyone anywhere.
  3. Tech Basketball making the Big Dance, based on the past decade and the past week.
  4. No one else that’s answered yet is an engineer. Akshay just hits the beep boop machine all day and makes V2MOMs. Give me a pole with a 5.22 kN*m/kg specific strength, because blood may be thicker than water, but concrete is thicker than blood. I stole that last part from the Director of Morale. Cubs in 4.

Akshay (again): Can I change my grievance to being friends with Jake?

How bad was the hit to our NCAA tourney resume?

Ben: As I said earlier, “Well, it’s not great!”

Robert: Bad. Mercer was ~185 in KenPom at the time of the game. And it’s two wins that aren’t banked.

Akshay: Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. (I strongly debated adding 185 “a”s for Mercer’s KenPom rank).

Jake: See Robert’s banking wins comment. It was hard enough for the 2016-17 team to even play onto the bubble area, and their bad loss was to Ohio. That team, you may remember, also didn’t make the tournament. This team already an Ohio-esque L. And one that’s twice as bad.

Nishant: lol

Jeff: Well there are a few teams in Georgia that can make the tournament. Georgia Tech is not currently among them.

Jake P.: There aren’t many ways to spell bad, but it’s really bad.

What does the spread/line have to be before you bet real money on Tech over Kentucky?

Ben: In football or basketball? Regardless, it would need to be a pretty hefty spread for me to pick Tech to cover, but a smaller one in football than basketball.

Akshay: Never, ever bet on your own team.

Jake: What is real money?

Jeff: I only bet on sports that I know very little about. I have a great track record betting hockey and soccer.

Should we play Duke for Thanksgiving every year?

Ben: Well, I’m one of those guys who doesn’t think Tech should play Georgia every season, so I would be down for that being the Duke game every year.

Robert: A lot less stressful than COFH!

Jake: I wouldn’t hate it. I think a three year rotation of u[sic]ga, Auburn, and Tennessee should replace the COFH annual game though, so maybe I’m crazy. You could even make it four and add Vanderbilt, I’d be okay with that, too.

Jeff: Look, I get not wanting the misery of losing to uga around the holidays every year and having to deal with your family full of Georgia fans. But oh is it fun to be so obnoxious every so often at Christmas and they are stuck with you at the dinner table.

Carter: I don’t hate the idea.

Without any hindsight, how much did Cutcliffe’s halftime “we’re about to play our best half” comment worry you, and in hindsight, how much longer does he have at Duke?

Ben: Any coach is going to make a comment like that. I don’t think it says anything to how much time he has left in coaching. I think his record says more than anything, and Duke hasn’t exactly been great these last few years. I could see him pulling a CPJ and stepping away this season.

Robert: Zero. Zero. I think he retires this offseason.

Akshay: I didn’t hear that soundbite until after the game, so I wasn’t worried about it at all. I’m with Ben — the statement itself doesn’t say anything about the job he’s done at Duke (he’s made a former dumpster fire of a program into something decently respectable during his tenure), but I would not be surprised if there was someone new at the helm in ~18 months.

Jake: I honestly didn’t even know that happened, because I was at the stadium. I don’t fear that guy, though. Feels like the league is passing his team by again.

Jeff: Cutcliffe has earned his time but he will probably hang it up soon. And as for playing their best ball? I'm not sure either team could have played worse than the first half.

Carter: Cutcliffe is the best coach Duke has had in the modern era other than maybe Steve Spurrier himself. He’ll get to leave on his own terms.

Why didn’t Harvin punt?

Ben: He dressed, so I would imagine they probably had him ready to go if they absolutely needed him but he might have tweaked something during the week and didn’t want to risk further injury if it wasn’t necessary. Austin Kent did a fine job filling in.

Robert: Apparently, he has a lower body injury that allowed him to warm-up but kept him from being cleared to punt. I would imagine it’s a week to week thing, and he will punt this week if there is no re-aggravation.

Was Florida State-Duke cancelled because of covid or because no one could bear to watch it?

Ben: Yes.

Akshay: lmao

Jake: I’ve heard it both ways.

Jeff: I think they ruined an evenly matched game.

Carter: I don’t know. Has anyone asked Dabo Swinney what he thinks?

I want to ask how many people in the GT football program have had or have covid but it seems that information is not public. Isn’t that strange?

Ben: I think it just means that Georgia Tech hasn’t had a massive outbreak like some other schools. I don’t think it’s necessarily strange though.

Akshay: The information about the athletics program isn’t public, but I bet you could use the campus infection rates to pretty safely project what the team’s rate would be. Spoiler alert: it’s been fairly low (we’re talking <1% low) for most of the semester — Tech has done a great job so far in curbing the spread of COVID (more recent increases in positive rate notwithstanding).

Jake: There has to be some (very reasonable) HIPAA stuff blocking them from sharing that one.

Jeff: HIPAA laws aside, Collins wouldn't announce if his below the line water boy had a hang nail.

Outside of u(sic)GA, is there one team that we play on a regular basis for whom you hold an unnatural hatred?

Ben: Honestly, I hate Miami more than I hate Georgia. As y’all know, I went to and graduated from Georgia. When Tech doesn’t play Georgia, I couldn’t care less what they do. Miami, on the other hand, can go die in a fire every week as far as I’m concerned.

Robert: After going to Hard Rock Stadium in 2013 and being at BDS several times with their fans, it’s definitely Miami. They carry an arrogance paired with a lack of deep football knowledge that drives me nuts.

Akshay: There is only enough hate in my heart for one program and one program only.

Jake: I hate Miami because they’re, well, Miami. I hate Notre Dame because I know far too many people that went there and think they’e the bee’s knees and we see them too much in basketball to not. If we’re talking basketball, I hate Syracuse. Probably from that Airball game. And this game isn’t annual/regular/should never be on the schedule again, but I’ll always hold a little hate in my heart for South Florida. Worst stadium experience of my life.

Jake again: I realized I really want to hear what you all have to say about this. So I added a poll, tell us below:

Poll

Unnatural Hatred Team

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Miami
    (43 votes)
  • 9%
    Duke
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    Pittsburgh
    (1 vote)
  • 13%
    UNC-Chapel Hill
    (10 votes)
  • 5%
    VPISU
    (4 votes)
  • 8%
    Clemson
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Virginia
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Someone Else (Comment Below)
    (3 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now

Jeff: It's going to be Miami for me as well. It is the only Coastal team I have never seen live but I am surrounded by hordes of Canes fans where I work and they match the above descriptions. If Uga and Miami played each other I'd root for a sinkhole. But to end on a positive note, Ole Miss fans are pretty dang cool.

Carter: I take outsized pleasure at the failings of the Miami Hurricanes.

Jake P.: Mine has to be Notre Dame, my Dad has passed down his distaste of the school to me.

Hello guys,

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. It went pretty well for me, spent time with family, had some good food, watched some cheesy holiday films; you know the standard holiday stuff. Still, fun times. Georgia Tech had a roller coaster though. I was looking forward to the basketball season starting... still waiting on that to happen. Football pulled a surprise in how they played and showed some fight despite the early chaos. Not sure if that football game really built confidence for me in GT athletics, but at least it gave me some optimism that playing our remaining games won’t be a total waste of time.

My question this week, coming off the recent holiday, what is your favorite holiday drink? It can be alcoholic, non-alcoholic, beer, wine, mixed, tea, soda, or whatever. What is your favorite drink to have when celebrating the holidays, I suppose we’ll specifically say the Thanksgiving through New Years holidays to simplify things. I don’t usually have a barrel of rum, 3000 lbs of sugar, and a college bell to put it in... so I guess I’ll go with Highlands Brewing Oatmeal Porter. That’s just a consistently good holiday beer in my opinion. I also like a white russian for desert every now and then. Have a good rest of your week.

From,

Patches O’Houlihan (submitted via email)

Ben: I’m a big fan of egg nog, though I actually prefer it sans alcohol. I love the creaminess and the richness of it. It’s just really good! I’ve tried it with alcohol, and I just couldn’t get into it.

Akshay: I am a sucker for peppermint hot chocolate. If you think it tastes like toothpaste, you just don’t know good holiday drinkin’ liquids.

Jake: The Grants are big on starting a holiday gathering - Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas, Fourth of July - with a Bloody Mary with far too many fixings in it. It’s a great lunch/brunch/snacks complement, appeals to all the savory tastes, and then everyone can branch out to their drink of choice after, which, for my dad and I has got to be the New Glarus Spotted Cow (a delightfully smooth farmhouse ale) if any of us has been anywhere close enough to the Wisconsin state line with any recency to pick some up. Speaking of holiday movies, Spotted Cow pairs well with Christmas Vacation, though if you fancy yourself a Cousin Eddie, you might want to trade down to an Old Style. Speaking of random Chicago beers and holiday exclusives, has anyone here ever heard of Green River soda? That was always the first sign of spring back home when it came out around St. Patrick’s Day. Same color as Chicago style relish, tasted like limes? That just me? I’ll show myself out.

Jeff: I'm with Ben on the egg nog. As soon as I see it hit the shelves I keep it stocked till New Years. I also like those bottles of sparkling grape juice they sell around the holidays.

Carter: Egg nog is great. Just don’t look at the calorie count.

Jake P.: I love some Welch’s Sparkling Cider. You can tell I’m a riot at parties.