The Bag Man: Mascot Fantasies, Georgia Hype and Messing with Exes

Greg asks:

This is easy: Albert the Gator.

First of all – built-in hook-up with Alberta, the female Gator. How many other mascots can say that? Not to mention the fact that I could say I was part of maybe the best Sportscenter commercial of all time.

So, so good. Also, can’t forget there’s no state income tax in Florida. Gotta factor that in.

Ross asks:

Outside of Hokie Nation, which college football fans have you most enjoyed interacting with over the years (either in person or on twitter.com)?
For me, it’s Nebraska. When they came to Blacksburg in 2009, their fans were a blast to hang out with before the game, and they were still pleasant after Tyrod broke their hearts… They even played along when I asked whether Eric Crouch or Tommie Frazier was getting the start that day. 

Follow-up question, do you think any o-lines in the B1G will be able to handle Ndamukong Suh this year?

All the Hokie fans reading this are going to hate me, but I have to say the Virginia fan base as a whole has been really great to me. You’ll never meet a nicer guy.

Also, Suh’s going to wreak HAVOC on the Big Ten this year.  The X-factor for Nebraska will be Jamaal Lord, though. If he can ever put it all together…well folks, you better watch out.

Robbie asks:

I’ll have my full predictions coming out in a couple weeks, but I think Georgia isn’t THAT far from being ready to challenge Alabama. The Bulldogs were a handful of plays away from an 11-2 season in Smart’s first year. Now that he and Jacob Eason each have a year under their belts, you can expect Georgia to be able to close out games better than they did a year ago. On the flip side, they did squeak past the likes of Missouri and Nicholls. I’m still betting on an improved Georgia team this year.

Outside of Eason, they have a breakout star in tight end Isaac Nauta. I watched that guy dominate the Nike Opening Finals a few years ago. At 6-4, 246 lbs., he is a prototype NFL tight end. Terry Godwin needs to emerge as a true No. 1 threat on the outside, but I trust Eason to help bring an unproven receiving corps along this year. I think Georgia goes into South Bend in week two and takes care of Notre Dame easily. As a matter of fact, I have the Bulldogs at 7-0 heading into the Florida game on Halloween weekend.

I’m predicting Georgia to win the SEC East this season and put up a real fight against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. I’m tempted to pick the Bulldogs to shock the world and win the league. Check back in a few weeks to see if I decide to pull the trigger. Regardless, if I had to buy stock in any SEC team to challenge Alabama over the next five years, it’s Georgia.

Missy asks:

Love grab bags on sports sites mostly because I like sports and don’t love them so I like when there’s pop culture/current events/meaningless discussion mixed in. That being said, who do you think is more successful, Ben Affleck or Matt Damon?

Also not sure why I’m calling it a grab bag and not mail bag?!?

I love the effort Missy. I don’t care what you call it as long as you guys keep coming back to read and ask questions.

Damon and Affleck go back to the early 1990’s when they worked together on one of the greatest films of all-time, co-writing Good Will Hunting. It sort of has a 2003 LSU Tigers feel to it. That year, Jimbo Fisher and Will Muschamp might have formed the greatest offensive-defensive coordinator duo of all time en route to the national title. But even with two young wunderkinds putting their brains together, you need a brilliant leader to finish off the masterpiece. Fisher/Muschamp had Saban; Damon/Affleck had Robin Williams.

When I’m comparing athletes I often like to ask two questions: how high is your ceiling and how low is your floor? Tiger Woods was the most dominant golfer of all time not because of how high his ceiling was, but how high his floor was. Sure, he’s put together some of the most unbelievable performances in golf history, but the guy also never missed a cut for nearly a decade.

Ben Affleck’s floor is easy to find. The 2003-2005 window – the J-Lo years – were rock bottom. Meanwhile, Damon was making the Bourne movies and starring in the Ocean’s movies too. Damon has never really gone through a sustained lull in his career. Just two years ago he won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for The Martian. While Affleck’s had a nice Third Act to his career (especially as a director), I have to say Damon’s put together the most impressive career.

Zach asks:

This is football related.  Big group from college picked the Clemson/VT game to attend.  I’m the only one who still has a place in town.  Anyways, my buddies ex has asked to stay at my place, along with several other of our mutual friends in the group.  We all are still pretty tight.  The friend group survived the individual breakup, though they don’t really care for each other.  No funny business going on here.  Question is should I tell my buddy before, or just let him know when he shows up that she’ll be around? He’s always been loyal to me and I want to be to him too, but don’t feel like I have to pick a friend in this situation. So what’s the right play here?

First of all, I love that Zach has to try and assure himself this is a football question. More people should steal that logic any time they need relationship advice from now on.

“Hey guys, quick football-related question…the girl I’m hooking up with wants me to delete my Tinder before we date. What do you guys think?”

Just messing, Zach.

If there’s no funny business going on, why not just tell your friend beforehand? It’s not like you invited her yourself. If she asked to stay with you, that’s not your fault. Look at it this way: if you don’t tell your friend that his ex stayed with you, and he finds out afterwards…EVEN IF nothing happened, that looks WAY more suspicious, doesn’t it? Just tell him what’s up now, you still have six weeks to figure it out if he’s not cool with it. Which, if he’s not, he’s got his own problems.

Speaking as a guy who’s seen friends hook up with his exes before, it’s way better to just know what’s up going into the situation than to find out after the fact. If there’s no hooking up going on anyway, then there’s definitely no harm in just being honest from the jump here.

Thanks for the questions this week, that’s it for The Bag Man. Until next Thursday. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. The second episode, featuring Justin Fuente, dropped this morning. Next Tuesday, Sports Illustrated writer/author Bruce Feldman will join me for Episode 3.

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