We are trying a mailbag feature for the first time here this week. Cam and I asked for submissions on Twitter earlier this week, because we're here to help you tackle the important stuff. (It occurs to me I should have, y'know, posted a request for submissions here on the blog. Oh well. Next time!) Below is a selection of the questions we received.
Steven: Stan, considering your current post as consigliere for America's most prominent third- or fourth-tier postseason collegiate event, I can think of no school more deserving of your fandom. This is who you are, and as long as you are comfortable with who that you is--and you strike me as a you who is content with his him--then I see no reason for any mistake-talk.
@akulawolf toilet paper over the top or no— Jameson (@the_Jameson) October 8, 2014
Cam: Ah, the great toilet paper orientation debate. It has been plaguing Americans for as long as we have had time to waste instead of solving meaningful conflicts, but I digress. Always, always, always use the over orientation. For starters, it’s much easier to rip off a square along those precisely perforated edges when the toilet paper is calmly draped over the top, as it’s propped up against the rest of the roll. If you can’t properly rip the paper, then it becomes mangled and unsettling.
Also, the under orientation simply goes against the grain. Many surveys have been conducted over the years regarding the hot topic and in every case, the over orientation has won. I know most would respond back with some conformist, anti-McCarthy toilet paper allegory, but the fact of the matter is that the over orientation is more widely accepted for its aesthetically pleasing and sensible nature.
@akulawolf is it better to watch nc state while drunk and naked or while high and naked???— Corey (@cmball10) October 8, 2014
Steven: You do you, Corey. I don't really see any difference between the two options. Unless when you say "high" you mean, like, high on acid or something. If that is what you mean, I'd say go that route since it significantly increases the odds that you hallucinate a string of positive developments in the game.
Or maybe that's worse because eventually you won't be high anymore and you'll have to come to terms with the brief lie you put yourself through. Maybe it's doubly depressing that way. I dunno. I will have to research the subject.
@akulawolf If state could be a year in year out top 25 school in basketball or football, which would you choose? Basketball for me.— Kirk (@KirkVaughn) October 8, 2014
Cam: I’d have to select football, based purely on economic reasons. There’s no denying that college football—or football in general—is the biggest cash cow for athletic departments across the country. When a school has a successful football team, it tends to translate into generating a large amount of revenue, which goes toward funding better facilities, better coaches, and better resources. Also, this increased amount of funds would go toward providing for other teams, improving the welfare of the athletic department as a whole. While I do enjoy basketball far greater than football, the fact remains that a successful football team will be more beneficial to the university, financially.
@akulawolf who would win in a hatin’ contest? Paul Johnson or Spurrier?— Will Thompson (@thrillis4) October 8, 2014
Steven: Paul Johnson is basically your grandpa. Hell, he runs an offense straight out 1952. There is no subtlety in his hate game because he either has no capacity for it or sees it as a waste of time. He is most likely to express his hate in a figurative hailstorm of curse words, usually with some forceful arm gestures to accent bulging neck veins, and he may be easily frustrated and/or discouraged by modern society. He's also the guy on the golf course tossing, in his words, "this brokedamned wedge" into a pond.
I can respect this style. Sometimes, you need a variety of hatin' that is closer to the rage end of the spectrum. It can be extra cathartic. The trouble with leaning on this style too much is that the area of the brain's hatesphere responsible for generating improvised snarkiness inevitably atrophies. For example, let's take a look at Johnson's response to a bunch of garbage David Cutcliffe shat out of his mouth early in the week:
"How many receivers have they put in the NFL?" Johnson asked after the Yellow Jackets’ Wednesday practice in preparation for Saturday’s game against Duke. "I can tell you. None. They’ve had one offensive player (drafted by) the NFL in his six years there. … He probably ought to worry about his own business."
"He probably ought to worry about his own business" is a familiar approach among coaches with one-dimensional hatin' abilities. A variation on this was used by Jimbo Fisher last month when Dave Doeren made some remarks about the Seminoles faking injuries: "He can coach N.C. State and we'll coach FSU."
The "he should worry about his own team" retort is a clear sign of a coach well out of his interpersonal-hate depth. With blind rage inappropriate for the circumstances, there is nothing else for somebody like Paul Johnson to give. The mental vault is just swears and football clichés all the way down, and thus a cliché in the vague shape of a jab is the only thing this category of coach can produce. He simply hasn't put in the work of a Steve Spurrier.
Spurrier does not trade in revealing emotional extremes, requiring little more than a smirk to indicate that he is ready to drop a few hatin'-ass dimes on some poor simpleton, often Dabo Swinney.
Spurrier's brand of hate is optimized perfectly for the press conference setting, honed through years and years of head coaching success. He's won so much that he's able to effectively twist the knife with a delivery that is both nonchalant and tinged with an air of superiority--the comment doesn't even have to sound all that insulting. It is effective because it's congruent with his accomplishments--his teams are better than his targets, which is partly why one simple cutting remark makes for so much irrefutable hatin'. And why rivals find it so dang grating.
He can jab at Swinney, or Tennessee, or the Big Ten, and it all works since he has them at a disadvantage. Spurrier deserves credit for his recognition of this, because there are plenty of lesser haters out there in the coaching ranks who have no clue how to leverage their positions as highly successful coaches. (I'm lookin' at you, Jimbo.)
Ultimately, Spurrier is a considerably more formidable hater than the Paul Johnsons of the world because of the depth and versatility in his game.