The off-season Twitter Mailbag is back, and even though the NHL and NBA Playoffs are in full swing, it does feel more like the off-season this week with the NFL Draft behind us and the NBA Draft months away. Still, you guys always have questions whether we’re “in season” or not, and when you have questions, I have answers. So let’s get to it!
Whew, this will be a workout! But I’m happy to answer your entire family’s questions. In the future, my preference would be that all of your family members tweet them at me from different Twitter accounts, but hey. Beggars, choosers, etc. Also, while I know what you mean by water cooler, for some reason it is cracking me up imagining the family gathering around a water cooler. Even though families are probably more likely to gather around said water cooler than actual office mates today. Anyway, let’s take these one at a time!
1. I know that NC State people are concerned. But I think we could all agree that Kevin Keatts’ teams have been a lot of things so far, but unwatchable has been the exception rather than the rule. I think we could all also agree that for a significant portion of last year, this team gave absolutely everything it had. Besides, there’s been quite a bit of roster shakeup (we’ll get to that shortly) and shakeup on staff. Keatts understands what this year represents for him. Do I think that this team will be amazing? no. Do I think that it will be WATCHABLE? yes.
2. Basketball, I think it’s either Miami or Virginia. Obviously, most of the ACC focus is going to be on Duke and North Carolina. I did see that Miami and Virginia have both squeaked into some too-early top-25s, which are all useless beyond showing the respect level those teams have earned. So maybe it’s not fair to say no one is talking about either team. But I do feel like most years we’re having some sort of referendum on Tony Bennett and Virginia’s style of play regardless of context, and I haven’t heard much of that this year. That’s probably a good thing since it’s silly, but it’s also weird. Miami is just a team no one talks about anyway, even in Miami. Jim Larranaga did a great job last year and is going to continue to have Miami poised to be a threat.
Football, it’s not so much teams for me but quarterbacks. We’ve all heard about Miami this off-season, NC State, even Pitt with the whole Jordan Addison kerfuffle. UNC we’ve talked plenty about and frankly, they don’t warrant a whole lot of discussion right now either. But there are two quarterbacks coming back that I honestly had forgotten were coming back: Sam Hartman and Brennan Armstrong. I’m not saying that Devin Leary hasn’t earned off-season hype — he has! And what a nice and well-earned change for NC State to get some attention for a change. But I have been surprised that more people aren’t talking about sort of the multiple-QB race for top QB this year the way we did last year. It was a legit thing! And I think it could be again. I mean, Armstrong averaged over 400 yards a game passing last year! Hartman threw for 39 touchdowns! Leary threw for 35 and just five interceptions, of course, and his ability to avoid those does set him apart from the other two. I just heard so little hype from the other two that I legit forgot both were coming back, so that was mildly surprising.
3. I wish I had taken actual monetary bets on when Jim Boeheim would retire because while I am certain of few things, I was 100% certain that health notwithstanding, Jim Boeheim would coach longer than both Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. That has already happened. Boeheim is 77, he is going to coach next season and says he has a retirement plan but will not reveal it. He said he wanted to coach his sons, which he has. Neither are coming back next year. But the problem is that everyone is now TELLING Jim Boeheim to retire. I am half joking when I say Boeheim keeps coaching out of spite. But it feels that way sometimes! I think he’s got at least two more spite years left in him. We shall see.
I thought I’d use this question as an excuse to delve into NC State’s new additions!
-Jack Clark, La Salle. The 6-8 junior is an interesting player, averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds last year for the Explorers. He shot just 38.4%, but did average 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals. He’s had some high-scoring games but he wo n’t be asked to do as much for NC State as he was for the Explorers.
—Jarke Joiner, Ole Miss. The 6-1 guard was at Cal State Bakersfield his first two years and Ole Miss the last two, averaging 13.2 points and 2.3 assists last year. He shot 34% from 3 and 46% from 2. He ranked 21st in the nation in lowest turnover rate, though, which is great for a guard.
-Dusan Mahoric, Utah. Any time you can get a 6-10, 220-pounder, it’s probably a good thing. Although the concern is, as your question indicated, the fact that he was kicked out of the program. I’ll be honest with you: I’ve seen a violation of team rules mean a lot of different things over the years.
Mahorcic was a transfer to Utah from Illinois State, where he had success. But it was hurt early in his Utah career and then the suspension happened and he only played in a handful of games last year, averaging 5.5 points (he averaged 9.1 the season before). Who knows how that one will work out, but when you lose a guy like Manny Bates, you have to try.
This question speaks to me. It’s not every day, of course, but some days I find my stomach rumbling and will glance at the clock and be like wow, it’s only 10:15. I have a real issue letting myself eat lunch before 11:00am unless:
1. I ate breakfast before 7am, or
2. I am eating an early dinner.
I do not know why that arbitrary clock distinction between 10:59am and 11:00 matters so much to me, but it does. Now, have I broken and eaten before 11 in spite of those aforementioned rules? yes. I have hanger management issues. But I sometimes will compromise with myself and eat just a snack instead of lunch and then let myself have another snack at like, 3pm.
My bigger issue lately has been getting hungry for DINNER too early. You see the issue here, of course. If I’m eating lunch regularly by 11, I’m going to be getting hungry again by 4 or 5. By 5pm, I’m usually starving.
So lately I’ve been trying to shift my entire schedule by doing these things:
1. Waiting as late as I can to eat breakfast (usually 8:30 or 9),
2. Eating one early snack and one later snack in lieu of lunch.
Is it effective? Depends on the day. But one day this week, I literally decided not to eat dinner so that I could eat more snacks. So I’m not exactly a model of nutrition here.
I decided to listen to both from beginning to end just to refresh myself. So, Family Madrigal. It takes a little bit to get going. And the music is good! But it’s not nearly as dramatic as the Bruno music. It just isn’t. The Family Madrigal song is GREAT. It’s cute, lyrically punchy, gets a lot accomplished. If you want to argue it does more expositionally and lyrically, I will absolutely hear that! But I’m sorry. The drama, the sizzle, the sheer SEXINESS — yeah, I said it! — of Bruno makes me want to put on a dress with a high leg slit and fan myself dramatically.
I like Lin Manuel Miranda fine. Hamilton is lovely. I don’t love him the way some of you do (and that’s fine, by the way!) but when I do like him, it’s when he combines the lyrics and music perfectly. I feel like Bruno STARTS OUT strong: he gets right into it. And I’m sorry but I will BELT that song out in my car. I do not belt Madrigal. Sorry, Jason.
I have eaten a corndog at Cook-Out since the time I ate the infamous Quad Dog at Cook-Out for a Drive-Thru Hot Takes video with Joe Ovies a few years ago. But it took me YEARS to be ready. I was depressed about something dumb the Panthers had done and I do love Cook-Out’s corndogs, so I decided to go with four corndogs on that particular day. It was, suffice it to say, a mistake. We ate those dogs at around noon on, like, a Monday. Dear reader, let me tell you I did not eat again until 8pm and even then, it was like, a piece of toast. It was the absolute worst kind of upset stomach because I could not even throw up to get rid of it. You know those pictures of snakes that eat something pretty big and it’s sitting in their stomach still in its actual size while it’s being digested? That’s what I felt like.
My go-to for fast food depends on what I’m in the mood for, really. If I have my choice of everything at a typical highway stop, though, I’m probably going to Wendy’s. I’ll get the junior burger, junior fries and a drink and it gives me the exact amount of all of those things that I want for not very much money. I don’t like Wendy’s fries as much as some places but I do like their burgers and the service is usually pretty quick.