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Mailbag 5/27

Where were you the last time the Cicada Brood X appeared?

Brood X Cicadas Emerge After 17 Years Underground Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Would you sacrifice Power5 CFB and striving for ACC and National Championships if GT could be always in the mix of Olympic Sports? Like Kansas, KY, Dook, Indiana and Chapel Hill for hoops or like ______ (Arizona?) for baseball? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: Yeah, probably, but only for like a few years.

Jake: Yes. Absolutely. But I’m the non-rev guy, so I’m not sure you’d get anyone else to agree. The weird thing is, this is exactly what Texas has (swimming and women’s tennis nationals titles this year, plus more success in other sports though not quite NCAA champs level, made NCAA in men’s basketball like every year but 3 over their last two coaches) and they’re straight miserable. I’d take the life of a Longhorn (like, the sports stuff, not the toxic boosters and racist fight song stuff) any day.

I saw and spoke to both head basketball coaches at Tech baseball games last week. I told both I really think it’s great to see such crossover support and both seemed genuinely to be enjoying the wins. Do you suppose the AD actively encourages coaches and student athletes to support other sports, or does this just come naturally? A bit of both I suppose. - Bill Brockman

Ben: There is definitely both. They are all part of the Athletic Association, so they have that in common. But I feel like Todd and the AA do encourage the inter-sport support.

Jake: I would think there’s a bit of both, for sure. I know there has been allusions to how strong of a culture of athletes supporting athletes was in the early 1990s (maybe by ADTS, or perhaps I heard that back when I listened to A Player’s Perspective every week for a bit) but I presume the want to cultivate that would continue to coaches. However, I also think a rising tide, so to speak, lifts all ships. Like how fans are more drawn to a good team, it’s probably somewhat similar to that, drawing in interest and spending some of their limited free time going to other games. The exception to that, I’d add, is that these folks have the benefit of being ostensibly coworkers, and, the longer they get to know one another, I presume the better friends/acquaintances they become. So, say, after five years, if Pastner and Hall are better pals than they were in 2017, I think this would add to his desire to go to the game.

What were you doing 17 years ago when Cicada Brood X last appeared? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: I was in fourth grade, so uhhhh...I was probably learning about fractions or whatever it is they taught in fourth grade. I certainly wasn’t thinking about cicadas!

Jake: To be honest, we didn’t get Brook X up in northern Illinois back in 2004. I guess in ‘04, I was enjoying checks notes kindergarten, the Cubs having a disappointing campaign following the 2003 implosion, and joining my first swim team. However, the brood we get is Brood XIII, and that came in 2007. To quote Wikipedia, “the Northern Illinois brood, which will emerge in late May 2024, has a reputation for the largest emergence of cicadas known anywhere.” That summer was loud and there were just so many dead cicadas everywhere. Our music teacher fried some and brought them into class as a snack. This three year gap is why I’ve had people that look at me crazy for insisting that the cicadas aren’t due for another three years. In ‘07, I remember the Cubs surprising everyone and making the playoffs, winning our town little league division, and visiting the Mall of America after a trip to the Metrodome.

Andrew: I was getting prepared to start my first year at Tech.

Hey guys,

I hope it’s not too late to write in. I’ve been super busy this week so apologies for not writing in earlier.

Since I’m short on time I’ll get right to it. Question this week is which college sports championship, outside the big 3 (football, basketball, baseball), which one would you visit. I’m fond of both tennis and the swim and dive team. I feel like those could be fun visits to attend. Also Tech has been relatively successful in those competitions recently so I might see some of our students competing, which is always a plus.

Have a nice week,

Guy who is too busy to make up a name. (submitted via email)

Ben: Ahh, no worries, I forgot to get this set up too. Swim meets are a lot of fun to attend! When I was in J school, I got to help cover the Swimming and Diving national championship (in 2017 I think). It’s a pretty fast-paced environment, and you always get to learn about a ton of different things. I would also recommend checking out track and field. There’s a lot of random stuff that goes on there that is a lot of fun to watch.

Jake: Hmmm, this might be a betrayal of my swimming roots, but I think at least for the novelty, I’d like to see a volleyball national championship. That’s a fun, growing sport, and even if you don’t particularly care about the teams involved, there’s a lot of action on every point. Plus, the big Midwestern powerhouses really pack the place, so I’m sure the environment would be electric.