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Mailbag 4/22

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We talk Georgia music and European beer.

Mike Mills And Michael Stipe On Stage Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

How much crap is Jake Grant going to get for putting CPJ ahead of GOL in the bracket?

Ben: I think it’s a fair decision. Johnson was here a lot longer than O’Leary was and didn’t leave on quite as bad of terms.

Carter: Zero, as this placement is correct, and any complaints can be submitted in written form here: [points to trash can]

Chris: Probably some, but agreed with Ben and Carter, it’s a good call.

Levi: None, I’m a CPJ supporter, he’s a fixer like Winston Wolf. He just ruined a program with his recruiting aloofness. He didn’t care what anyone thought about him and that just didn’t keep up with social media. We had some victories we otherwise wouldn’t have sniffed at without him. Sorry.

Akshay: More than he probably deserves, considering the seeding is entirely justifiable: CPJ is 4th in all-time wins at Tech behind Dodd, Alexander, and Heisman (in that order).

Jeff: I'll play a little devil's advocate here. I think George has Paul beat in legacy. CPJ clearly had the longer tenure, but O'Leary had just as many ranked finishes with three in just five years. He probably would have had multiple ACC titles if it wasn’t for some school named FSU in the late 90s. Oh, he also coached some QB named Hamilton who should have won the Heisman. Beat uga three times in a row as well...

Jake: Wow, I got here late and hardly have to say anything! I’ll justify any pick and seeding in that bracket (goodness knows I’ve had enough friends text me asking similar questions) based on merit and matchups. Breaking down the seedings for the coaches we’ve got:

  1. Heisman - duh, a pioneer, also coached baseball to a couple conference crowns, as well as starting the basketball program and being the AD.
  2. Dodd - also duh, the stadium is named after him.
  3. Shelton - alumnus, winning a natty (plus two ITA indoor titles and coaching to an individual) puts you ahead of coaches that didn’t win nattys
  4. Alexander - alumnus, duh as well
  5. Heppler - best sustained success of any Tech coach, should have a title. Very likely could have won this year.
  6. Ross - 1990
  7. Hall - 3 CWS appearances, Tech’s winningest coach, longest tenured Tech coach in any of the major sports (football/ men’s and women’s basketball/baseball/softball/volleyball) and probably of any sport.
  8. Cremins - 1990 Final Four, winningest basketball coach, nine straight tournament appearances, coach during all of Tech’s ACC titles.
  9. Morris - 9 straight NCAA appearances (team of his recruits also were runners-up in the CWS the year after he left), 3 time ACC coach of the year, 4 straight ACC titles.
  10. Luck - alumnus, winningest baseball coach at the time of his untimely death.
  11. Hyder - alumnus, made Tech basketball respectable, Elite Eight appearance
  12. Johnson - ACC title, Orange Bowl win, Gator Bowl win, 3 Coastal 1st place finishes, 3 ranked finishes, 4th most all-time wins
  13. McAuley - alumnus, 23 year head coach, individual SEC champion, 40 years on coaching staff, so indispensable that the program shuttered for a year following his retirement
  14. Curry - alumnus, probably should be ranked below O’Leary, but I think Shelton deserved at least one win and I don’t know how well people would look past the name, so I gave him a softer matchup in Curry
  15. O’Leary - Gator Bowl win, 3 ranked finishes, ACC title, ineligibility scandal/sketchy exit drops him a bit
  16. Shymansky/Perkins - the two other most notable best-of-their-sport went to a play-in

Just missed: Hewitt (MBB), Mundorff (baseball and basketball), Lanue (swimming), Harmon (WTEN), Clay (baseball)

Jake P.: I agree with most of Jake’s rankings, but Paul Hewitt made a final four so I feel like there should’ve been a place for him somewhere in the bracket.

Georgia bands/musical acts; which are your Favs? (From Georgia, Thought of as Georgia, Record company based in Georgia)

Ben: That’s a tough one. I’m personally a big fan of R.E.M.

Chris: Zac Brown is probably at the top for me, but I also enjoy the Allman Brothers.

Levi: Luda, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Childish Gambino, 2 Chainz, etc. (I know you wanted class, I ain’t got none)

Carter: OutKast is right there and none of y’all have said it yet?

Jeff: Alan Jackson is pretty good on the country side, but you have to go with one-hit wonder Georgia Satellites.

Jake: Zac Brown is just a real emotional kick in the cajones sometimes, man.

Jake P.: I’ll have to go with Chris on the Allman Brothers, R.E.M is great as well.

Does GT homecoming still bring in a musical act?

Chris: As of a few years ago yes, but only barely. The last two I remember hearing about were 3OH!3 and Jesse McCartney.

Akshay: Yes, but they’ve been mediocre to bad since 2015, which featured noted flat-earther B.o.B. However, one year did feature Lil Dicky, which I am told was an experience.

Jake: Jesse McCartney was this year, in fact. It used to be in the Burger Bowl, then was Tech Green, then 2018 was part of the basketball uniform reveal with Rae Sremmurd in McCamish. I’ve only been to the 2018 one, and was really only there for the uni reveal, but it was fun, I guess.

Best concert you have ever been to?

Ben: I don’t go to many concerts, but I saw Ed Sheeran in concert at Mercedes-Benz stadium, and he puts on a helluva concert. Behind that, I would say seeing Rumors (Fleetwood Mac cover band) at the Georgia Theater.

Chris: Bleachers at an easy number one. Probably a three-way tie behind that between the Lumineers, the Killers, and Zac Brown.

Carter: I mentioned last week I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails six times, so it’s probably not surprising they were my favorite concert; specifically, when I saw them at the Gwinnett Arena in August 2008.

Levi: I’m not a concert goer really, but we got free tickets to Katy Perry a couple years ago. It was surprisingly awesome.

Jeff: The concerts I go to are the ones my wife wants to see. Kenny Chesney is a yearly must and he is really good at putting on a show. Last year I took her to see Backstreet Boys in Dallas and that show actually wasn’t bad.

Jake: I spend all my time and money on sports, except for the occasional musical or symphony, except one: I saw NeedToBreathe at the Roswell Amphitheater which was absolutely incredible. There’s not a lot of groups that I like enough, and know enough of their portfolio, that I could justify actually spending the time and money to see them, but that was incredible. Easily my favorite band, and even more poignant with the news literally today that Bo is leaving the band, so I’m glad I saw them live. For the record, “Brother” is my favorite song in the world (yes, more than “Go Cubs Go” or the Alma Mater @Akshay. And more than Space Chords).

Chau: Just gonna say there's some recency bias here. Also wanna say these aren't necessarily my favorite artists but rather who I thought put on the best shows.

MY TOP 6

In no particular order

1) Widespread Panic

2) Elton John

3) Rolling Stones (specifically in Bobby Dodd)

4) Childish Gambino

5) Eminem

6) Foo Fighters

Jake P.: I hope all of the readers #RespectYourDecision, Chau. To answer the question, I’ve never been to a concert other than bands local to my area.

With the news that Munich has cancelled Oktoberfest for the first time since WWII, what is your favorite European beer?

Carter: I’ll nominate a favorite brewery, because they rotate their beers far too often: Manchester, England is the home of Cloudwater Brewing, one of the best breweries out there. If you mean a beer you can actually get here in America, it’s probably Chimay Doree, which used to be much rarer than its Red, White, and Blue bretheren, but is much easier to find now.

Chris: I don’t know of any smaller places so I’ll be lame and say Guinness.

Levi: I don’t know if they still have the Weihenstephan special at Ormsby’s but that was the best bang for your buck. You get a LITER of beer in a branded glass.

Jake: YES LEVI. That is my Ormsby’s go-to. Okay this is the question I was truly made for, please don’t think I’m an alcoholic, I just studied abroad and have a good memory. I have several opinions. Because I am a little bit basic but was raised off of the Rosemont, Illinois (sidenote: Rosemont is the weirdest place in the world, but we can talk about that another time) ripoff Haufbrauhaus as my German exposure, I’m a little biased toward Haufbrau out of sentimental reasons (when I was at Georgia Tech Lorraine and I made my mandatory pilgrimage to the real one, I matched a picture of my parents under the arches from decades ago, I promise it was adorable) and their original, hefeweizen, maibock, and fest beer are all good options, as is the urbraü. If you’re in Atlanta, Mac’s usually has the year-round (hefeweizen, original, dunkel) offerings, the former is my go-to. I am one to enhance/ruin a good weiss by making it a radler, and, for that, I think Hoegaarden is your best bet. It’s all over the place in the low countries, just one of your commonplace beers, but back in Atlanta, Mac’s has that too, as do many Publixes, and Fado has it on tap. It’s a fine Belgian white and is good without the ruining/enhancement, too, but served with a lemon wedge is the way to go. For Austrian stuff, do Steigl Radlers count? That stuff is beer-adjacent, at least, and it is incredible. For actual beer, Ottakringer - just their Helles is some of best - and I wound up at a Gösser hole in the wall pub somewhere past Westbanhof and that was solid, too. Ironically not much Vienna lager in Vienna. Lech from Poland is something we always had in my house since Chicago is pretty darn Polish, but that’s like the most colorless beer I’ve ever seen, so your mileage may vary. If you like it, more power to you. Can’t go wrong with a classic Pilsner Urquell from the Czechia, since they invented pilsner. Oh, and had a nice Bofferding in Luxembourg.

I got sentimental and went looking for this picture...
Jake Grant

Chau: Hoegaarden is what got me into craft beers (I know it's ironically basically a Blue Moon in Europe) and off Bud/Natty Lites. So maybe that. But Guinness Stout is probably my favorite right now since there's a Costco pack sitting in the beer fridge right now.

What’s your go-to Shelter In Place (SIP) guilty pleasure?

Ben: I don’t know that I have been doing anything that is a guilty pleasure. I’ve mostly just been watching a lot more TV than anything else.

Carter: Staving off cabin fever on a daily basis.

Chris: My grocery store sells bread from a local bakery called When Pigs Fly and every week I’ve bought a loaf of raisin bread.

Levi: Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Jeff: I’ve never really had Nutella until we got locked down and now I am eating it out of the jar.

Jake: I’m at home, and home means a full pantry of snacks, because I sure don’t do that at school. So that.

Chau: These extra 30 minutes of sleep I've gotten every morning.

Jake P.: I’ve been able to play a good amount of golf and eat too many jelly beans. However, yesterday my family made Masters-style peach ice cream sandwiches and those were INCREDIBLE. Unfortunately, even though they were INCREDIBLE, they weren’t close to the real thing.

What do you think will be your most pleasant memory of SIP 30 years from now?

Ben: I’ll say the support that small local businesses have gotten. There are a lot that are still struggling, but the support they have gotten has been cool to see.

Chris: I’ve had a lot of wholesome moments with people; notably I’ll often hop on a google meet with people from work at the end of the day to have a beer. Makes me feel mostly normal.

Carter: “Pleasant” is extremely relative here, because right now I’m thinking of all the things I’ve done/seen online that I should have been able to do/see in person. That said, celebrating a friend’s birthday over a Zoom meeting is easily the most fun I’ve had since all this began.

Levi: I’m in a pretty fresh relationship. I’d say getting closer over this time and not being at each others throats is nice. I have been sheltering here until I need my laundry. If we make it, that’ll be a nice memory I guess.

Jeff: Depending on how long this runs it will most likely be my second daughter being born in a few months.

Chau: *humble brags* I broke 80 twice in week. Also a ton of Animal Crossing which I never would have bought if the whole pandemic thing didn't happen. And a few Zoom rooms where we're all trying to keep each other sane.

Jake: This is probably the last time I’ll live with all of my immediate family in the same place (plus my cousins are down the block), if not Chicago in general, ever, so it’s been good to have the time with them, for sure, even if I can’t see my friends, go to my home church, eat at my favorite restaurants, or go to Cubs games. It’s something good, at least.

Jake P.: It has been nice being able to spend a lot more time with my family, in normal times one of us is doing things in the evening each day so I’ve really enjoyed seeing them a lot more. Quarantine takeout is also fun.