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Mailbag 5/6

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We talk Star Wars and recruiting!

Comic Con Liverpool 2020 Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage

Will the current uncertainty about when or if NCAA sports will occur in the 2020-21 year affect recruitment?

Ben: I think you’ll see a lot of schools try and get around the current restrictions, but put a heavier focus on local guys. Also a lot more stuff on social media.

Jake P.: I think the current uncertainty will make a lot of recruits play closer to home. There will be a lot of confusion and fear after sports are able to be played, and most recruits (and probably most importantly their parents) will want to stay close to home as a result.

Akshay: Like Jake the Younger, I too expect a shift towards talent staying close to home or in the same region. However, at the same time, just like commerce can be (and has been) conducted virtually nowadays, it’s entirely possible that virtual recruiting can work and will be just as successful in convincing talent to come to programs across the country from them. I think the pull-and-pull of both of those factors is going to be really interesting to watch over the next few months.

Jeff: I think it’s going to limit a lot of schools on how they recruit too with all the budget cuts. Will the big money schools keep an entire department dedicated to recruiting? You can’t wine and dine the recruits on visits as much now either. Perhaps coaches are going to have to sell the actual school/program now.

What delayed/cancelled Spring sporting event do you miss the most?

Ben: I’m not a huge spring/summer sports fan, so I’ll say spring football. It’s always a nice break from everything, even if it isn’t the highest quality of football.

Akshay: All of them, but especially MLS and baseball (both Tech and the Braves). If we want to stretch our window of consideration to summer events, I was really looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020, but alas...

Jake P.: The Masters. Akshay’s answer is acceptable as well.

Drew: March Madness is the best event in sports. I miss it so bad.

Chris: Wimbledon and the French Open. I love the French (grew up on clay courts, am obsessed with Nadal, the tradition is super cool, it all comes together), and it sucks that it’s delayed until at least September. We only have so much Nadal and Federer time left, and cancelling/delaying slams isn’t great for that.

Jeff: I love the spring college tournaments and really miss Tech baseball.

Chau: The Masters and March Madness

Jake: Tech event? Easily Sunday baseball games. Sitting in the sun at the Rusty C? Unbeatable. I’m really sad to miss my nationals meet, too. Biggest meet in the country besides...US Olympic Trials, which were also supposed to be this summer. Dang.

When did you first fall in love with Star Wars, if never, why not?

Ben: Between watching Return of the Jedi practically every Saturday morning growing up and having The Phantom Menace being the first movie I ever saw in theaters, I don’t think there was a time I didn’t love Star Wars.

Jake P.: I really, really enjoyed Star Wars from the ages of 4-7. Then, I saw the episode where Anakin turns into Darth Vader and got scared [EFFORT]less. I didn’t get back into Star Wars until the new movies started to come out a few years ago, and I honestly haven’t watched Rogue One or the Last Jedi. I’m pretty far behind.

Chris: I wouldn’t say I’m in love with Star Wars, although I do think it’s a very good (well above average) franchise movie-wise. I like them and will typically go see them in theaters, but it’s not at a love-level for me. I will say that watching this Rogue One scene in IMAX was absolutely the most breathtaking movie experience I’ve ever had though.

Jeff: I’ve seen episodes 1-6 and most of them are good to decent, but have never been a big follower. I have yet to see any of the new ones and don’t really care too.

Jake: I wouldn’t say I ever really fell for them, but I love the scores and John Williams is a treasure, so that’s what I’m usually in for. The plot and movie is a nice bonus.

What did you think of Rise of Skywalker?

Ben: Don’t even get me started. It’s late, and I don’t want to be angry right now.

Akshay: Lol. See below.

Jake P.: The action was good, the plot was awful.

Drew: I liked it, but it felt really disconnected from the previous movie. It was kind of jarring.

Chris: I’m waiting for it to come out on Disney+ because I heard it wasn’t good.

Jake: It looked really nice but, man, a lot of the cues they had in the final cut hacked away some of the most critical motifs Williams spent eight other movies building and that is disappointing. The FYC score was much better.

Best and worst movie of the franchise?

Ben: For me, my favorite is The Last Jedi, least favorite is Rise of Skywalker.

Akshay: It really depends on how you define best, and I really think it depends on when you watched each set of movies relative to when they came out. As a youth, I would say Empire and Revenge of the Sith are at the top — Empire at #1 for the Darth Vader reveal and RotS at a close-ish #2 for how it brought everything in the series full circle. However, Rise of Skywalker is undoubtedly the worst one of the lot — the amount of retconning and thematic surgery of the sequels’ narrative threads stuffed into three hours left me pretty frustrated, even if the film was visually stunning.

Chris: I absolutely hated The Last Jedi. The plot is riddled with inconsistencies and dumb [STRENGTHINNUMBERS]. It’s pandering, eye-rolling, contrived, and overall just awful. Right now I’d probably say Rogue One is the one I’d consider to be the best. Tight plot that makes sense, really good pacing, solid action, and didn’t feel as forced as the other recent ones have been. Overall a movie that I’ve enjoyed watching multiple times.

Jake: Rogue One has gotta be up there. I’m also just a sucker for A New Hope. It was straightforward, not convoluted, and there wasn’t anything for people to, well, get all mad about. Seems fitting that these are two of the films best able to stand on their own, too. As for the worst, well, I grew up disliking Attack of the Clones so that’s basically a tradition by now. I hate sand, etc.

Which one do you think is most likely to happen? Other than the obvious one, which do you prefer?

Akshay: I have a feeling Option #3 is the most likely and the one I would most prefer — at that point, most states should (hopefully) be in the back half of their phased reopenings, but lengthy travel may still be discouraged. Playing a conference-only schedule makes Tech’s schedule somewhat easier, depending on what other cross-divisional opponents are added to fill out the slate. The idea of spring college football is...not appealing to me; I have other sports to stress me out then (well, usually). Obviously, if games are played in the spring (if they have to be because COVID), I’ll still watch/support/etc., but it would just be very strange (granted, things are generally strange right now, but still).

What do you want to hear the Band play this year?

Jake P.: Space chords. The non-band music on “Money Down” has got to go.

Akshay: Given that it’s been [checks notes] almost two full months without sports, I will take anything at this point. However, under normal circumstances, “Put On (For My City)” by Young Jeezy would be at the top of the list.

Drew: Soul Survivor by Young Jeezy

Chris: Mo Bamba. It fell off in popularity after being super over-played, but I think it has really good marching band potential. In general though, I think the band should become known for playing songs by Atlanta rappers. I think that would be a really cool niche thing that only we could do and would help us with our quest to be #404TheCulture.

Jake: YES LIL’ JAKE PREACH. Hot take: the band should play the Alma Mater at volleyball/basketball/lacrosse/besides football games because for some reason, they just don’t. It’s the most unique of the Tech school music and I think the whole shouting the last two lines is cool. As for popular music, Chris Moore dropped an arrangement of Tom Sawyer that bumped during basketball season, so hopefully that sticks around.

Jeff: For something new, Blinding Lights by The Weekend could be a good one to start doing.

Chau: https://youtu.be/pQWB_IzhzEs (but seriously Up With the White and Gold