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Mailbag 12/29

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What are you doing to bring good luck and success in the new year?

A close-up of a tray of food from La Vase Fine Foods. Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Your favored outcome for 1/10/22 National Championship? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: Let me see Cincinnati beat Michigan. I don’t particularly care how either team gets there, but I would love to see that happen.

Chris: Yeah, it would be neat to see Cincinnati win. I’d also be super down for Michigan.

Logan: My preferred winners are (in this order) 1) Cincy 2) Michigan 3) Bama 4) The collapse of college football as an institution.

Jake: Cincinnati vs. Michigan, with Cincinnati taking the win.

Carter:

Sammy: What I hope happens: Cincinnati shocks the world. What I think happens: Bama beats georgia.

Favorite 2021 sports moment(s)? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: The Braves winning their first World Series since 95 was definitely a lot of fun!

Chris: Daniil Medvedev winning his first Grand Slam.

Logan: Braves takes the cake for me, its just hard to beat having your home city win a championship. But some other highlights on the year include (with numbers but in no particular order):

  1. Trae taking a bow after closing out the series in MSG
  2. Messi finally winning Copa America.
  3. Max Verstappen winning the F1 championship (granted that may have been more on the judges/refs but you gotta love how crazy the whole thing was)
  4. Giannis winning a championship and then ordering 50 piece chicken nugget meal at Chick-fil-A
  5. The Jalen Suggs bank in shot against UCLA in the Final Four of March Madness

Sammy: Absolutely, the Braves winning the World Series. Next, probably the Braves winning the NLCS against the stinky Dodgers. After that, well, you get the picture...

Jake: Is no one going to say the Tech ACC men’s basketball championship? Watching Moses and Jose play was so much fun, and Coach Josh Pastner achieved his Final Form of inspiringly quotable face mask man.

Sammy (again): I kinda forgot that was 2021, Jake. This year has lasted for like three years. You’re right though. Moses and Jose winning ACCPOY and ACCDPOY = unbelievable. Jose was good in HS, but Moses was a tennis player. To watch them develop over their career at Tech was not only incredible for them, but showed other players that you can come to Tech and develop into an NBA-caliber player.

Carter: [sighs] I was gonna say Tech winning the ACC MBB championship....

Favorite Winter Olympic Sports/Events? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: I’m a big fan of curling. No particular reason, I just am.

Chris: I’ll sit and watch just about any of them. The one where they both ski cross country and shoot is kinda neat.

Logan: yeah, I kind of have a special place in my heart for all of them. Above one Chris discussed called Biathlon. I like speed skating, I don’t watch it at any other time but the effort they put in out there just draws me in during the Olympics.

Sammy: I have to go with the Alpine Skiing, partially because it’s the only one I’ve tried (if you want to call it that, I was on a much less difficult course). I thought I was flying. The fact that Olympic skiers are going ~50mph is insane. Bobsled is awesome, as well.

Jake: I’ve always like bobsled and luge.

Carter: Snowboarding, because hah, we have X-games sports in the stodgy ol’ Olympics. But I’ll watch anything that’s on.

Next year’s schedule will be harder than this year. Agree or Disagree? - YankeeJacket

Ben: I think it has the potential to be more difficult. At least on the surface, Ole Miss and UCF seems like tough games, but they (along with a large chunk of ACC teams) are replacing their QBs next season. If Tech can show some improvement (especially on defense), I don’t think six wins is unattainable.

Chris: Agree. The OOC schedule is BRUTAL.

Logan: It’ll be more difficult for different reasons. I think the teams we faced OOC this year were much better on defense, whereas next year they will be better on offense. So if we can’t stop the opposing offenses, then expect some more blow out losses.

Sammy: Agree. Open the season with Clemson, then play two difficult OOC teams in the following three weeks. A very possible 1-3 start could potentially send the season into a tailspin before we’re out of September.

Jake: Agree. Trading Notre Dame and Northern Illinois (playoff contender and conference champion/almost ten win team) for Ole Miss and UCF is going to be a thrashing.

Carter: Agree. I think a lot of folks thought UCF might be an easier out but, well, you saw what they did this year. As for Ole Miss, that light you see at the end of the tunnel is just the Lane Train coming your way.

Is this the dumpster fire I was told about? Yep it sure is. - Kyle L. DeSmith

Ben: Welcome to Georgia Tech sports, buddy.

Chris: DONT PANIC

Logan: Normally I’d be like “At least we’re staying warm in the winter”, but its 70 degrees outside in Georgia right now so a fire just makes everything worse.

Sammy: More like an oil spill... extremely harmful and dangerous, yet slightly more difficult to see. Somehow, a lot of non-Tech fans that I talk to still think CGC is doing a stellar job.

Jake: I sigh.

Carter: It looks like you already answered your own question.

Women’s basketball seems to be having a great season so far, yet there is very little coverage of them on this page. Just curious as to why we don’t hear more about them? - GT Guy

Ben: Logan already touched on this in his reply, but he pretty much nailed it. We all do this on the side, and we’re all more inclined to write about the sports that we are more knowledgeable about and have more interest in. That’s why I’m very grateful for Jake Grant. he does an incredible job bringing coverage to those teams that don’t get as much coverage. On the application page, there’s a section where you can put what sport you’re interested in writing about, and nine times out of ten, people put football. That’s why you see such a big discrepancy in the amount of coverage. If you’re a good writer who wants to come blog about women’s basketball, you can always submit an app.

Jake: As the guy actually doing the coverage of women’s basketball here, I feel most inclined to give you an answer to your question. With respect to your comment, I would like to direct you to my weekly column about Olympic sports called Yellow Jacket Roundup. Most weeks, it goes out in excess of 2,000 words long, and sometimes close to 3,000 words. This takes me quite a few hours to do every weekend, as it touches on all Tech sports outside of football and men’s basketball, with baseball sometimes included and sometimes not, depending on whether we have folks able to cover that sport or not. Oftentimes, women’s basketball is the brunt of that column. The reason it can’t be more is because, well, From the Rumble Seat is not a full time job, it is a hobby - and it is for every single person writing content on this page - and I am gainfully employed elsewhere the majority of my waking hours in a week. This is why I spend all of my Sunday afternoon every week on the column, as well as every week creating a podcast with Akshay (Scions of the Southland on all your major podcast platforms) where we regularly spend an outsized portion of our airtime talking volleyball and women’s basketball considering the proportion of views/comments/interactions basically every other sport gets versus that of football. The past few weeks, volleyball has definitely eclipsed women’s basketball a bit in coverage amount relative to each other/normal, but they were in the middle of their best season in history, so, well, had to make some choices there. In order to cover and publicize these sports, it also requires watching these sports, which I love, but also takes up a very large portion of time, as well.

This isn’t a situation where we don’t want to cover [insert x sport here] more. It’s a situation where I physically cannot do any more than the amount you are seeing without making sacrifices that I, frankly, cannot make. I have other hobbies and would like to have time to work out and go to church and be social, but it is worth pointing out that I essentially accept having a one day weekend (sometimes one and a half on light sports weeks) every week in order to produce what already exists, and it makes for long, tiring weeks. As much as I would love to have individual previews and recaps of every single game, it just isn’t practical, and even if I did attempt to do them, it would be formulaic and short, rather being able to take the time to have the narrative flow that having one long column every that publishes Monday morning allows. I bristle both at your question (and I’m sorry for that) and the suggestion in the replies that there is no interest. Volleyball had like 15 sellouts this year, and 5,000 people showed up for a women’s basketball game two weeks ago. I chafe at Logan’s reply that there isn’t the knowledge, either. It’s women’s basketball, not Calvinball.

The thing is that most of the writers here give freely of a large portion of their spare time to produce (dare I say) some pretty darn high quality work that touches on far more aspects of Tech sports (be it my own column, or the football advanced stats review, or whatever that may be) than you can get anywhere else on the internet. They don’t have the bandwidth to just pick up a women’s basketball recap, or whatnot, either. We do our best with the time and resources we have. At the very least, I personally promise (and have for the last five years) that you will get some level of recap of the week’s events in every Tech sport by 8:00 AM the next Monday.

This isn’t a full time job, it’s a hobby.

Logan: I’m just gonna post what I already said earlier. I will say real quick, if someone is interested in writing about the subject we will post it; this is not a “we don’t focus on it because there isn’t an audience” situation. Only reason I bring that up is because many people have said how there isn’t an audience for it. It’s only my opinion, I don’t know how the rest of the staff feels, but I believe if we had someone available who was ready and willing to write articles about women’s basketball we would be posting them. It’s a GT sport regardless of how many people watch it... Anyway here’s what I said earlier:

Generally our writers get to pick the topics they write about, and they will typically choose topics they have more experience with. We have many writers who have spent years analyzing football so that is the top one, but we also have experience with baseball and men’s basketball.

Despite also being basketball, women’s basketball uses different formations and strategies from men’s basketball. So even though a lot of the writers on staff are pumped about how well the women’s team is doing (and they are very excited about it) they may not be as comfortable doing a full article discussing the in game details of a game they don’t fully understand. I would also use women’s volleyball as a comparison. We were very excited with the run the volleyball team made; but not many of us played volleyball outside of recreational sports so providing insight on the players, positions, and plays is more difficult for us. So while we might cover the wins on the surface, we struggle to provide more depth on the subject.

Coverage is also a problem. It is simply much easier for people, no matter where they are in the country, to find vods and coverage of mens sports. Women’s sports do have coverage but searching for videos or live coverage of the games can be more complicated depending on what cable/internet service you have or where you are in the country. This is another limitation in our knowledge, because depending on who is available the only thing that may be available to them is box scores. Without context, those box scores can be misleading. Since we want to provide more insightful reports, we don’t necessarily want to write a detailed article if we can’t see what happened on the court with our own eyes… But that’s just my opinion.

I can’t speak for what we will do in the future. While it is possible we will get an additional writer in the future or do additional research into the womens version of basketball, it’s not something we can force on our writers since our writers are all volunteers who write out of their love for GT. We are excited about women’s BB though, and I’m wishing the best for them. I would like to say we will try our best to write more articles about them, but I also don’t want to make promises in a mailbag without discussing with the rest of the writing staff.

If anything, what are you eating/doing to bring good luck and success for the new year to come? - gtbadcarma

Ben: I’m always one to eat black eyed peas and greens on New Years. Give me all the good luck and money I can get.

Chris: ^^^^^^^

Logan: I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this. The things Ben said, I also add cornbread and ham for gold and prosperity... I’m not sure the difference between gold and money but I just like how cornbread tastes so I lean that way more.

Sammy: What do I have to eat to get some bitcoin?

Jake: This is a thing? That’s news to me. My northerner must be showing, or something.

Carter: As with the last few years, my plan is to eat better. Which, to be clear, does not always mean simply eating less. It’s worked out for me so far.

What would be your thoughts “if” a playoff bowl team has too many positive covid cases? Do you think they attempt to postpone the game or straight cancel? Could chaos give us the Michigan – Cincinnati game that clearly the world wants? - YellowJacketHeritage

Ben: I think the right move would be to postpone a week and try again, but I could see the NCAA straight up cancelling and pissing everyone off.

Sammy: There would be lots of “political” commentary if that were to happen. Tinfoil hats and such. As for me, I’m pulling for anything that knocks the team from Athens out of the playoff, so long as no one dies or gets maimed/seriously injured.

Hello,

Hope y’all are doing well. With the year coming to an end I hope you all had positive things to enjoy over the past 2021. My question(s) this week are what was the highlight of the past year for you, and what is your GT related New Years Resolution?

I’ll have more energy to come up with something funny after the new year I swear. Have a good one until then.

Brain in a Jar (submitted via email)

Ben: The absolute highlight of this year has been asking the woman of my dreams to marry me. We’re both incredibly excited to see what the future holds for us, and I can’t wait to be married to her. As far as GT-related New Years Resolution, I’m going to try and make it up for a game or two in person and I would also like to see them make a bowl game this year.

Chris: My highlight was getting married. My GT resolution will also be to try to make a game, ideally a bowl.

Logan: Highlight was my new girlfriend. I’m not just saying that because she is probably reading this, she has made my life so much happier. GT related... I’m gonna have to go to a GT volleyball game after how they performed last year. I’ll have to see who they play in my area (Raleigh).

Carter: My highlight this year was also getting married. As for GT resolutions, I plan on going to an away game at a stadium I haven’t visited yet.

Sammy: Highlight - South Bend. If being up there and watching us lose 55-0 was cool, I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch a good football game there. 10/10 would go back. GT resolution... oof... I’ve talked about this in another mailbag, in a way, but I am going to work on finding a better balance between my fandom and my expectations. Doctor said my blood pressure is starting to rise, and now that I’m in my thirties, I have to pay attention to her. We’ll see how it goes...

Jake: My highlight was graduating with my master’s in mechanical engineering, and my GT-related resolution is to not let sports control my emotions so much. That would definitely be a productive change.