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Mailbag 5/27

We talk about a world where no questions are asked for a mailbag

Polish Government Force Presiental Election by Mail, Gdansk Photo by Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If a mailbag gets posted without any questions is it still a mailbag?

Ben: So I actually thought about this yesterday before anyone posted a question. What I was planning to do was just get people from the staff to ask their own questions and then the commenters answer them.

Jake P.: I was trying to come up with a funny, witty answer to this question but just can’t think of anything.

Jeff: Yes, it is an empty mailbag but still a mailbag.

Jake: At the very least, it’s a bag!

Carter: Ooh, very Zen of you.

Levi: Congratulations, you’ve found a loophole in the universe. Now Time will collapse. * bing bong *

Will I lose my sports/man card if I confess that I haven’t missed sports ads during sporting events? The sweaty, hardbody, techno music, “bro do you even lift?”, athleisure, lunk head advertisements. Saw a bunch during the Sunday rain slog Golf Bro’s Match. Ick.

Ben: Not at all. Don’t let what others think of you influence you. Live your life and don’t be ashamed of it.

Jake P.: The ads are the worst part of any media, I think a lot of us would lose our sports/man cards if we actually did miss them.

Jeff: If it’s ESPN then it’s probably just bad commercials altogether.

Andrew: I prefer sports without ads.

Chris: I’ve been watching a lot of Hulu lately, and there’s an eHarmony ad that plays like every 10 minutes that starts with a super attractive dude catching a football from offscreen and saying “I like sports, but i’m tired of dating games”. All ads are bad.

Jake: Short story time: the paper equivalent of this is shadowy dudes in too-big basketball shorts advertising Gatorade. For some reason, my junior high typing teacher had an absurd amount of these and would give them to the fastest typer in the class, the “Tall Sweaty Men” poster. Unsurprisingly if you’ve ever seen my poor keyboard (I aggressively use my pointers and pinkies - my enter and A are destroyed), I never won one. Is this super relevant? Not terribly. But I definitely do not like the genre.

Carter: I will take all of those back over being subjected to this ad again whilst trying to watch Killing Eve.

Levi: Nice lunk reference. Ads are awful, find yourself a sports bar that plays music during ads, like my Chicago Falcons bar. or the LSU bar I went to that has a live band! They even play Neck.

Which sports are most appropriate for no crowds, and which suffer the most from no crowds?

Ben: I kinda like baseball with no crowds, like those Orioles games a few years ago. Basketball would be a little weird without a crowd, especially if it was in stadium.

Jake P.: Golf is definitely the most appropriate for no crowds, while football will be extremely weird without any crowds.

Jeff: I’d say Cross Country because can you really watch that live? I don’t follow Hockey but I am sure that would be absolutely bizarre being played without fans.

Chris: Agreed with Jake P. I think tennis would be okay at the lower levels, but a Grand Slam with no crowd would be super weird.

Akshay: Team sporting events without crowds are going to feel weird — fans are an integral part of the sporting experience and atmosphere and there’s an emptiness that you can feel without them in the arena, even through video. But lemme tell ya: soccer is incredibly weird to watch without crowds, possibly even more than (hypothetically) college football or basketball. For the uninitiated, soccer supporters — especially those at some European clubs, like Dortmund — contribute immensely to the atmosphere at matches, and sitting in front of a stream and seeing those stands empty is just unsettling. The Falconsian piped-in crowd noise on the world feed has been a nice change-of-pace to hearing only the players’ communications, and it really helps make the viewing experience seem “normal”. However, the immersive effect of that background audio shatters right when the video feed cuts to a shot of a completely empty part of the arena. Golf, Track/Field, and Cross Country all probably work just as well with or without crowds in attendance.

Jake: I don’t like baseball without crowds. Even the paltry Tuesday night Pirates games or whatever. I have a hard time watching it. Plus, I think the relationship between all sports and people is their most important and resonant aspect. I’d rather watch a volleyball game with a crowd than see the Cubs play a game I can’t get into. Sports are a socializing experience at heart. To take that away is just...wrong? But yeah, no one goes to cross country (track is better) so that wouldn’t be too unusual.

Carter: I bet you Tiger Woods didn’t miss having a crowd this weekend. Meanwhile, the crowd is, like, half of any X-games sport.

Levi: Baseball is far and away the least affected. The crowd doesn’t even cheer until the ball has left the bat. Football has to feel it. There is something about crowd noise that makes you forget the pain, run faster, jump higher. You ever notice a guy kick the next gear when the crowd goes nuts because he’s beaten the last defender?

What’s the latest thought from Greensboro on what kind of season we’ll have this year? Specifically, will we be playing a full schedule or only conference games?

Ben: I haven’t heard anything, but with things starting to open back up, I would anticipate that the season happen mostly as planned.

Jeff: If the majority of ACC schools are having voluntary practices by June there will be a big push to kickoff on time.

Akshay: Clemson’s opening back up for athletes on June 8 with a bevy of rules in place, so there’s your first move of this chess match. Given that the announcement of TV start times has also been pushed back from its scheduled June 1 deadline, I don’t think even the conference commissioners know what the schedule will look like.

Jake: I believe they pushed back the announcement of start times if I’m not mistaken...

Levi: That was the networks asking for an extension. They have very strict guidelines on reserving game times. Man, I really think some conferences might go rogue. Smaller schools probably can’t afford to run a season without fans. They might show up to the pay-to-play games. But I can totally see the east coast conferences playing without the PAC-12 and smaller conferences.

If a second Rona wave this fall forces all football games to be played virtually on an updated version of NCAA Football 14 by an SB Nation writer for each school, who from FTRS gets to represent Tech, and how do you like our chances?

Ben: Certainly not me. I play on Varsity but make the sliders a little easier so I don’t throw interceptions on every single pass.

Jake P.: If you’re comfortable with the QB throwing nine interceptions per game, I’m your man.

Jeff: Well that means we are going back to the triple option this year. I can work some magic with that offense. I can say we would finish ranked higher than an actual season.

Chris: Agreed with Jeff - we’re running the triple and we’re bulldozing teams.

Jake: I pick Akshay, but they gotta play his College Football Coach game. If he starts to lose, he can pull the ultimate rage quit and rewrite the code.

Akshay: Disclaimer — I did not pay Jake for this advertisement.

Carter: I have never touched this or any sports game and solemnly vow never to do so, so don’t look at me. Maybe Stephen.

Levi: I’m new to the site, but I hang 50 on Alabama on Heisman with the extra difficult sliders. We could still do a tournament and post the results. Any interest in that?

How do we do if games are played by each school’s head coach?

Ben: I feel like Geoff Collins would be weirdly over-competitive about it while David Cutcliffe would be trying to figure out what the [RELENTLESS EFFORT] a play station is.

Jake P.: All I’ll say is that I would love to watch a livestream of Mark Stoops and Paul Johnson playing against each other on XBOX Live.

Jake: Picture this - Paul Johnson playing Fortnite against some rambunctious twelve year olds. He’s a fish out of water. Hilarity ensues.

Jeff: Somehow Lewis Caralla would have a summer conditioning program to fine tune Collins’ finger reflexes. It would be the most positive chat ever held over gaming headsets as well.

Chris: CGC would absolutely crush people at NCAA14.

Akshay: Lawd — please give me Mike Leach versus Paul Johnson on NCAA 14 using the air raid and option respectively, and please give both of them microphones so they can trash talk the whole time.

Carter: Paul Johnson would dig deep into his well of western North Carolina vernacular and utter a series of curses the likes of which none of his opponents has ever heard. On the opposite end, I’d expect Bama to be much closer to the Anti-Bama.

Levi: NCAA is all about reaction time, doesn’t seem to be much football knowledge required. I read somewhere that Geoff Collins is just a marketing exec. It’s a hilarious description. I feel he would look like a CEO awkwardly trying to reach kids if you put a controller in his hand’s. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley is 35. That’s just young enough to bet that he plays video games regularly. That’s my pick.

Who’s the next four-star to commit?

Ben: I mean, your guess is probably as good as mine. Looking at Rivals’ list of four-star recruits, the two names that stand out to me are Jordan Dingle and Ga’Quincy McKinstry. I have no idea how likely either of them is to come to Georgia Tech, but I know there is some connection there.

Levi: Do we do speculation around here? Recruiting is an inexact science. We only have a couple 4-stars interested and their info doesn’t indicate a commitment forthcoming soon. Our best bet is actually a shuffling of the rankings. Lots of guys get upgraded as the year goes on. None of them have played their senior season of football. Recent commit Chayden Peery threw 18 TD’s with only 1 INT last year, over 3000 yards. He could carry momentum. Any of the receivers could go off. Time will tell.

Carter: I have some good news for you, reader, for the next four-star to commit to Georgia Tech is.... you!