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It’s been a rough week for feel-good stories so the mailbag is here to make everything better.
First, a mea culpa, I was deluged by emails from farmers, really, ridiculing my premise that a man could choke a cow to death. (In last week’s mailbag I suggested that the largest animal a human could kill with its bare hands was a cow.)
Jim H. summed up the outrage:
“You’ve written and said a ton of dumb stuff over the years, but suggesting that an average man could strangle a cow to death is by far the dumbest. Cows have some of the strongest neck muscles in the animal kingdom. There is no way any man could choke one to death. You wouldn’t even get close to shutting off the windpipe. Your an idiot. (The your was on purpose).”
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is the Maryland sorority girl who uncorked this amazing email yesterday.
Hot, crazy, and mean?
She’s going to make someone a wonderfully wild wife. She’s also tougher than just about every Maryland football player. Somewhere Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany read this email, pumped his fist, and said, “By God, I knew Maryland had the spunk the Big Ten needs.”
Because I know you would expect nothing less, OKTC has emailed the Maryland sorority girl, offered her an opportunity to write for the site, and I’ve also requested that she be a guest on my Saturday NBC Radio Show. We’ll see if she responds.
I just hope she doesn’t cunt punt any of y’all in the meantime.
On to the mailbag.
Matt F. writes:
This is why reading emails from you guys never gets old.
Amazing point. This would have been completely unbelievable. (So would Saul’s turn from the Princess Bride to the baddest ass CIA leader ever). I can’t even think of a more unexpected career turn. This would be like Nick Saban giving up coaching Alabama to take over a peewee squad.
You have to be watching both of these shows.
Absolutely have to be.
In fact, I’ll even go this far, if you are reading the mailbag and not watching “Homeland” and “The Americans,” you are wasting your life.
How about the evolution of female characters on TV, by the way? Carrie on “Homeland” and Elizabeth on “The Americans,” are complete and total badasses, complex and riveting characters who are expanding the range of women actors everywhere.
And they’re so damn good at their roles.
I am completely in love with Keri Russell’s character.
(The Americans minor spoiler alert coming.)
“What’s a four letter slang word that completes the sentence, “Do you want to —-?”
I love her.
Also, did you ever think you’d care about a Russian KGB agent’s marriage? I’m rooting so hard for the Jennings family to stay together that I was literally standing up yelling at Phillip when Elizabeth showed up with beer at his hotel room in this week’s episode.
“Get back together, get back together!”
Anyway, maybe that was just me.
Adam R. writes:
Jeff. W. Tweets:
“Who do you think would win in a fight between the Maryland sorority girl emailer or Nick Saban’s daughter?”
I think you have to go Saban’s daughter here.
1. Saban’s daughter has already put another girl in the hospital in a catfight.
What percentage of women have ever done this? Less than one percent by far. But how far below one percent? Hell, this is even rare for men. My guess is only one woman in five thousand has ever put another woman in the hospital after a fight.
So Saban’s daughter has a crazy catfight history.
She’s basically 1-0 all-time.
2. On the other hand, we don’t know if Maryland sorority girl is a fighter.
Again, odds are she isn’t. Most women aren’t.
If given the option between an angry emailer or a catfight winner, you have to take the catfight winner.
“Law office server & internet are down, and the billable hour is largely on hold. So I write.
Shouldn’t the Wonderlic be less-controversial? Shouldn’t it be viewed simply as a helpful differentiator / predictor of how two players with similar measurables will process information on their feet – and, from that, how useful the player will be to a franchise? Doesn’t it involve the same principal as Vanderbilt Law School’s decision to generally not admit 140 LSATs?
I know you were on Dan Patrick this morning and people say the Wonderlic has nothing to do with football, etc… But isn’t its value a helpful indicator of a player’s ability to process information in a time-sensitive manner? And wouldn’t a GM want to know that – even if it’s not dispositive.
Remember the LSAT? People complained that it had nothing to do with the practice of law, but in my experience a lot of those people complaining that scored a 145. Are there good lawyers who didn’t score well on the LSAT? Yes. Are there terrible lawyers who scored really well? Yes. But, do good schools need a helpful predictor to preserve the quality and reputation of its alumni? Yes. Same goes in the NFL; smart people want as much information as they can get their hands on before making important decisions.
Teams are putting millions of dollars on the line at the NFL Draft. They want to research their investment from every angle possible. The Wonderlic should not be as controversial and divisive as it has become.”
I agree completely with all of this.
The Wonderlic is a standardized test that everyone hoping to play in the NFL takes. In that respect it’s just like the SAT or the ACT or the AP exams or the LSAT or the GRE. Everyone reading this has taken at least one of these and lots of y’all — myself included — has taken all five. The reason these tests exist is because everyone’s academic background is different and we need a standardized metric to compare individuals. How do you compare two people from completely different backgrounds otherwise? The reason the forty exists is for the same reason, let’s see how fast these guys really are in a completely standardized setting. Honestly, it’s the reason for all these NFL combine tests.
It’s interesting because initially standardized tests were designed to open up the top colleges to kids who weren’t legacies. The idea behind standardized tests is to make society fairer.
When I took standardized tests for college back in 1996-97, test prep wasn’t a big business yet. At least not for public school kids in the South. What we’ve seen since then is that kids can be coached on the tests and the richer your family is the better you score. So you have to use that as a gauge.
But the Wonderlic isn’t time-consuming — it takes 12 minutes — and it’s much less complicated than all the other tests I just listed. It’s actually the least complex way the NFL could test intelligence. It takes much less time than any other drill at the NFL Combine.
I mean, come on, 12 minutes?
I don’t feel sorry for the kids who have to take these tests.
The Wonderlic score doesn’t guarantee success or failure any more than any standardized test that large numbers of people take guarantees success or failure. But wouldn’t you want to weigh this information if your draft decision on your multi-million dollar quarterback came down to one who scored a 35 vs. one who scored a 12?
And if everything else is equal wouldn’t you want to take the smarter player?
Again, I would.
The NFL gives the Wonderlic test because it’s a useful tool to glean more information about prospects. It’s a tool just like the other timed drills that players complete. The “controversy” here is that every year we find out that some players are really dumb. And that their high schools and colleges have been cheating their asses off to keep them eligible.
But that’s not the Wonderlic’s fault.
Blaming the Wonderlic because some players post low scores is like blaming umbrellas for the rain, it’s a symptom of something larger, not the cause.
Steve S. writes:
“Why do you think is was okay for the news to show thousands of replays of the Boston explosions but not the Kevin Ware injury?”
The Boston explosions video and photos replayed endlessly this week on television at all hours of the day and night, was much more graphic than the Kevin Ware injury, and actually involved death and dismemberment. What’s more, Ware was fine. He didn’t die. He didn’t lose his leg. He suffered a sports injury that will require a few months to recover from. To see the sports media cover Ware’s injury and laud him with praise you would have thought he died while killing bin Laden.
I blamed Twitter’s fauxrage for creating an artificial “classy” barrier between the news and the injury.
Now you’re asking a question that I’ve gotten a ton on Twitter and email, why is it okay to show these terror incidents that ended in death and dismemberment?
I suspect that ESPN would argue that they showed the bombing videos over and over because it’s a “bigger story” than the Ware injury. So they’re justifying the graphic imagery based on the importance of the story. But has ESPN really covered the Boston bombings more than it covered Ware’s injury?
I’m not so sure about that.
Also, does seeing the explosion really aid in the story? Or is it just a powerful visual that helps drive interest and maintain viewers? Once you’ve seen the explosion once, do you really need to see it fifty times over and over again?
Plus, the real reason the Ware injury wasn’t shown seemed to be an amorphous “respect” standard. Lots of people said, “Think of Ware’s family. Do you want them seeing this injury over and over?”
Don’t those who died and their families deserve the same “respect?”
The point is, it’s really hard to justify why people dying and losing their legs is shown on television again and again and a guy hurting his leg isn’t.
And I don’t think you can justify any distinction for the disparate treatment. If anything, Ware should have been shown over and over and the explosion just once. Or never.
My personal position is that both are fair game to show because they are both news stories. The fact that Ware wasn’t shown and the explosions leading to death and dismemberment are shown over and over, to me, offers pretty clear evidence that the editorial decision not to show the Ware injury was the wrong one.
Darryn H. writes:
“Is there any job in the world you can possibly think of that is better than your current job? I mean honestly when you aren’t writing articles about sports you are sitting in a radio studio with two other guys talking about sports and insulting idiotic people who call into the show. You are living every man in America’s dream. Is there anyway your job could be any cooler?”
I have one of the best jobs in America.
I absolutely love what I do.
Are there better jobs?
Are there better jobs for me?
I think about this every day when I wake up, how fortunate I am to do what I love for a living.
Michael S. writes:
“A friend and I debated a few weeks ago about what crazy changes could be made to soccer to spur more American interest. I suggested changing the scoring to mirror football, so one goal is now worth either six or perhaps seven points. My argument was Americans are easily swayed by perceived value. When a soccer team scores, I think a lot of Americans shrug their shoulders and say “all of that work for just one point?” In a country where a cup of coffee is deemed inferior unless it costs at least $3, one point for a soccer goal comes across as wasted effort. If Team USA beat Brazil 28-14 instead of 4-2, I think just the increased point value resonates better with Americans. Imagine if Alabama had beaten Notre Dame 6-2 in the BCS title game instead of 42-14. Neither of us was suggesting soccer would ever supplant any of the major sports, but do you feel Americans could be tricked by this change?”
I’ve made this argument before too.
If soccer goals were worth seven points in America, the sport would be much more popular. It’s not just the value either, it’s the gap the score establishes. 2-0 sounds like there wasn’t much difference between teams. 14-0 sounds like a beating.
Your example is a great one. Bama beating Notre Dame 6-2 doesn’t even sound that bad.
But I think the best thing soccer could do to expand the popularity in America would be substantially widening the goal so scoring goals was easier. Imagine if you added like three feet on either side of the goalie. Goals would increase pretty substantially. It’s awfully hard to score a goal in soccer. If scoring goals was easier, the sport would be more popular in America. It would also help if we had a badass goal scorer here in America. We need a Messi.
Mike W. writes:
“If the Boston and Federal law enforcement officials can track down the two marathon bombing suspects within 48 hours, why can’t those guys on TV find Bigfoot?”
I watch Finding Bigfoot with my five year old for the same reason we watch Ghost Hunter, on the off chance that something is actually discovered on the show. But every time I watch these shows I’m thinking, do you really believe that if they found Bigfoot or a ghost they’d air the show normally? Like you’re sitting on your couch with no prior warning of what’s to come and suddenly bigfoot shows up at the end of the show clear as day on camera? Can you imagine how crazy this would be?
What would this show do if they actually found bigfoot?
The news would leak way in advance, right? Immediately, the video would hit the Internet and be the lead story on every nightly newscast. My point is, you would never find out that bigfoot or ghosts existed from watching the shows about trying to find bigfoot or ghosts.
Yet these shows are still wildly popular.
I have no idea. I can’t spend any more time on this question, a Finding Bigfoot marathon is about to start and I have to make sure they didn’t find bigfoot.
But, first, can you imagine if Barack Obama called a national security meeting and he said, “Guys, I just have to know if bigfoot is real. I’m putting all our drones and national security apparatus to work on the question this week.”
Could we find bigfoot with our drones?
If he exists, I think so.
“Has anyone ever pointed out to you that Zach Randolph looks like a ninja turtle? He’s got the headband, and his back is wide and kinda rounded like a shell.”
Nope, you just became the first person to ever compare an NBA power forward to a Ninja Turtle.