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Mailbag 5/12

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What superhero show is on your list?

Amazon Prime Video - “The Boys” Season 2 Drive-In Premiere & Fan Screening: Night 2 Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Amazon Studios

I have always thought the end of the semester causes a big positive effect on the baseball and other the teams still playing. Being able to concentrate entirely on the sport until the fall, or even having graduated must really take a weight away. Do you agree? - Bill Brockman

Ben: I tend to think it’s easier to do something when you don’t have to also worry about other things.

Carter: I would think so, though I’ve not seen empirical evidence to either support or disprove it.

Andrew: I really hope so, Baseball needs to get sorted out.

Jake: I would think so. I was trying to think if the same thing applies to, like, winter break basketball, but then a memory of the men losing to Wright State a few years back popped into my mind so I got busy trying to re-repress that. I mean, at least with baseball, Clemson was the first post-finals series and that went pretty well, so that’s a great start. Also, women’s tennis put together an awesome run in 2018 after finals, so there’s some points in favor of the theory.

How long is wima13’s lifetime ban from this site?

Because if we die a little each time sports hurts us surely he has died a thousand times over

For the record I am not him and he not me for I am notwima13 - notwima13

Ben: How long is a lifetime ban? What is a ban if not love persevering?

Carter:

I’m sure this question has been asked before but why does Tech kind of lag behind with the number of D1 sports for men and women? I would think that with the introduction of Atlanta United, things like Soccer men and women would be popular. Is it just that we don’t have the money compared to other schools? Lack of interest? Were there D1 sports originally that lost funding? - NCYellowJacket

Ben:

Andrew: $$$$$.

Akshay: Jake has done some good work on talking about varsity sports losing their funding (and in some cases regaining it) here, so I’ll defer to him on that part of the question (paywall, but I promise it’s worth it). The interest is there, even for more niche sports: for example, the state of Georgia, and especially the northern Atlanta suburbs, has a rich soccer and lacrosse talent pool that professional clubs and college programs harvest from every year, and the Tech club soccer and lacrosse teams are very good. It comes down to money (like most things do); Tech is notoriously cash-poor and currently saddled with early-00s construction debt. The financial solvency of the athletic program is the first problem to solve — once the ship steadies in those waters, we can sail on to more expansive seas.

Jake: Well, the ratio is a little to blame too, to give a more recent answer than “in the 1930s, athletics almost went away completely because the economy died” or “in the 1970s, the administration wanted to push us to DIII,” since Title IX meant that Tech could get away with having, fewer women’s sports than men’s sports, and it was less critical to Add All The Sports™, so things like soccer, lacrosse, etc. that were more expensive and land-intensive were discarded in favor of basketball and volleyball (already had a gym), tennis (already had courts), track (already had a track), softball (short field dimensions and not many teams in the conference), and later swimming (Olympic pool that GTAA doesn’t hardly even need to pay for). As long as Tech was compliant with the NCAA rules for the minimum men’s sports, there was no need to add something like soccer, which Tech never had, or lacrosse, which only existed as a pet project of the athletic director/modern languages professor and was just absolutely waxed by Northeastern teams wanting a warm vacation. Tech went through a few spells of boxing and rifle (1920s), gymnastics, and wrestling (like 1960s/1970s), but those are not land intensive and have small teams.

Quite frankly, looking at the logic that got us the women’s teams we have, I would be shocked if women’s golf wasn’t one of if not the next sport added. We have the practice facility from having the men’s team, it is a small team numbers-wise, and there’s quite a history of golf at Tech. We are without almost certainly the most successful golf school to have never won the men’s title. Sure, maybe beach volleyball since we already have a volleyball program, but until I see some backhoes tearing up the parking lot outside of O’Keefe to put in some sand courts (and not for the Midtown Connector project, which I have...a lot more thoughts on...) I will remain skeptical.

I think the lack of land for a soccer and lacrosse practice facility is perhaps one of the biggest impediments as it stands, if money was no object. Obviously, money plays a big part of it nowadays, especially as having, say, ACC Network properties (and investing in a studio) would be more worthwhile if we joined the ACC’s (very excellent) soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey leagues. I was hoping that ditching sod for turf in Bobby Dodd would help on stuff like this, which is another thing we could go way down the rabbit hole on, though graduation being outside is a good start on better usage rates for the stadium, but unless they start to stripe a soccer pitch in the infield of the track, or heaven forbid football learn to share some resources (they have three-ish fields of space including the indoor, outdoor, and Bobby Dodd surfaces), there’s really nowhere to practice, either. With the Roe Stamps Fields by the CRC already completely booked by intramurals, club sports, the marching band, and general athletics, that isn’t an option either.

So, the short answer is money. The slightly longer answer is space. If you look at the insane effort Tech Men’s Lacrosse puts in to being what they are, Tech not having isn’t from lack of general interest in the concept of Georgia Tech Lacrosse.

Honestly, I could keep rambling forever. Hopefully this gives you some jumping off points. Would be more than happy to talk follow-ups for this next week.

Baseball had a pretty good weekend, how are we feeling about their postseason chances? - SullyGT

Ben: Well, last I saw, Tech was leading the Coastal, so the postseason seems like a given at this point. How will they do? Well, that’s the million dollar question. I tend to think the team has underperformed this season, so I don’t expect to see Tech at super regionals.

Andrew: Make a regional and lose, the Danny Hall special.

Akshay: D1Baseball has us as a two-seed in the Knoxville regional, with an RPI rank of 43 and a SOS rank of 33. Despite my prior misgivings, they will probably make the tournament (although winning the last few series and making some noise in the ACC tournament would help their overall seeding in said tournament, for sure). This season has just been weird — not just for Tech, but for the ACC as a whole. I really don’t know what to expect.

Jake: I went from doom and gloom to calculating the odds we win the Coastal in about three days. So the pendulum is on the upswing. For now.

What Georgia Tech sports figure (player, coach, student ticket sales auto-text programmer, etc) is Jamie Foxx playing in the movie that he’s currently filming in Atlanta that led to him using the Tech gym facilities? (Clearly any other rumors of the role/movie are a Blue Harvest-esque cover story.) - SullyGT

Ben: Obviously he’s coming back to play a coach. Now which coach could it be other than legendary Georgia Tech head coach John Heisman.

Carter: It seemed pretty clear to me he’s portraying legendary former walk-on kicker Andrew Chau.

Akshay: Excellent guess, Carter, but I’m more of the opinion he’s gearing up to play the Monday? Morning? Backup Punter himself, Stephen Murphey.

Jake: Sounds like he just needed to get a workout in and knew a former player, based on what I heard on the Toddcast. I like the Toddcast. 10/10 recommend. Also, I learned from it that Sir Elton John uses the Byers Tennis Courts. What a world.

Just caught up on Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so which superhero show should I watch next? - SullyGT

Ben: Carter mentioned The Boys below, which is great. Also on Amazon Prime is another TV show: Invincible. Explicit content advisory for that one too, but it is incredible. I’ve also heard some pretty good things about the new Netflix show, Jupiter Legacy, though I have heard it’s a slow burn if that isn’t your speed.

Carter: The Boys. Obligatory explicit content advisory.

Andrew: Not so much a superhero show, but I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone.

Jake: Ah, yes, Andrew beat me to it, but my girlfriend is a giant fan of the books of the show and I am not usually a big fan of, well, fiction TV that isn’t like half hour comedy (think early 2010s NBC lineup - 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, The Office, etc.) but I thought that was definitely some decent content. Would recommend as a good change of pace from the Marvel stuff.

What other sports sites are on your (maybe) daily look in rotation? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: Mostly Twitter, but I’m also signed up for the free version of Extra Points with Matt Brown which is a good read.

Andrew: Various teams subreddits, The Athletic.

Akshay: The Athletic, an unhealthy addiction to sports Twitter, and an even-unhealthier addiction to sports subreddits keep me plugged into the Matrix.

Jake: I’m more of a newsletters guy: Extra Points with Matt Brown (a MUST READ for college sports folks), the Midway Minute with Kevin Kaduk (Chicago sports), and Throwbacks by Michael Weinreb (sports history and semi-roasts of Akshay’s College Football Coach app) are my main sports ones. I try to stay up on all the stuff that comes across ramblinwreck.com, and I spent too much time being directly tuned in to links on Twitter from the likes of Spencer Hall, Matt Brown (again), Ken Suguira, etc. Also, I’ve become a podcast guy. The Compound with Ian Happ is my Cubs go-to, which, well, ain’t a better source than the center fielder for team news, Going for Two with Matt Brown (again again), and the Moon Crew podcasts are my top three there.

Hello,

I’m tired this week, so nothing fancy. Georgia Tech burned me out on school when I went for undergrad so I have no desire to go back. If you wanted to go into a graduate program what would you choose (or recommend) and what school would you go to? Would going to that school affect your fandom for Georgia Tech?

All I got,

Some Creative Name (submitted via email)

Ben: I think a lot of it depends on what you want to do. Sure, you could go back and get an MBA or an advanced engineering degree (I don’t know what your background is), but if you want to go back to school, I would recommend doing something that really interests you.

Carter: Hi Tired, I’m dad. I know if I had ever gone back to get a postgrad degree it would have been in human-computer interaction. Georgia Tech has one, but I never did enough research to see if I wanted to do that or go elsewhere. A friend of mine went to the program at Old Dominion; people will be calling her “Doctor” soon.

Andrew: I would probably get an MBA or some level of Data Analytics masters. I think a sports management grad degree would be pretty cool too.

Jake: HA! Hitting close to home this week, eh?
So I wasn’t ready to be done with the whole “Georgia Tech” thing, and I explicitly didn’t want to go to school anywhere else, so I decided to go back for my master’s in mechanical engineering because the BS/MS was a nice easy way to basically roll right into the fifth year. Just got out last week. Hardest year of my life. Was not a lot of fun, and was definitely a lot of work. Being a TA was different and an exciting challenge, but man, did I work a lot. I think it was interesting, because a lot of the grad students I interacted with were explicitly not sports fans, so I would think that being a sports fan invested grad student at a new school would have been hard. But Tech is my place, I write about dang non rev sports. I can’t spare, and don’t want to spare, the bandwidth to love any place like I do this one. Sounds exhausting. And ditching Tech ain’t an option.