I am not entirely sure what to call the series in which I ask people whatever questions are on my mind, but The Questions seems like a pretty good title. So far this summer, there have been two previous editions, edition 1 and edition 2.
First, a little bit about each of the 3 men that have graciously agreed to answer my questions. Mark Strotman is part of the great Marquette blog Paint Touches. Even though UC and Marquette will no longer meet every season, that's still a site to support because it's great. Senator Giggity is a USF alum that has written a piece or two for the USF blog Voodoo 5. Mainly, he's just a funny sumbitch. Last and certainly not least is Norman from Rumble in the Garden. He has most famously said that the lovely, lovely Autumn Reesor was not as attractive as 4 day old pumpkin. I could be exaggerating.
If you insist, Jennifer Lawrence. My questions are in bold. Mark is down at PT, Senator is down as SG and Norman is down as N.
The big sports news of the week was the biogenesis story. 3 questions.
1) do you care about performance enhancing drugs in pro sports? 2) does it seem like baseball is doing a witch hunt because they can't catch 'names' in their actual testing? 3) is it hard to pick a side here because MLB is relying on a criminal and the players named seem like massive d-bags?
PT: I honestly do not care. If it were up to me everything would be legal. You want to fuck up your body for the rest of your life just to hit a few more homers? Go ahead. But it's apparent there is no fool-proof system, so why try and fight it? I realize that's an awful theory, but it's to the point where I don't even care anymore. If you can't catch them all, don't bother trying to catch a few. I'm skeptical of everyone, and Nelson Cruz or Ryan Braun sitting 100 games isn't going to make me feel better/like the game is pure again. Two, this is absolutely a witch hunt. Braun's team of lawyers, who I can only imagine are paid well and really, really good at what they do, will fight the hell out of that. It's really not hard to pick a side, but I guess I'd take the MLB's side because, at the end of the day, these guys are still technically cheaters (Did I just completely reverse my argument?)
SG: I personally don't care about PEDs. Anyone who says things like "Purity of the game" is also the kind of person that is uncomfortable with minorities in their home. On the other hand: Jose Canseco.
N: I should care about performance enhancing drugs. I should. But the history of athletics includes athletes looking for any way to differentiate themselves from the competition. It now includes a lot of money at stake if a player can't get on the field to perform. It includes long training, long seasons, and demands to be fit.
There is pressure for perfection, and I think it's hard for me to care about the fairly arbitrary rules on what a player can and cannot put into their bodies.
Baseball is witch hunting. But Law and Order teaches me that's what you do when you have a dime and you are pretty sure who did it but you have no evidence. I'm less bothered by the character of the players.
What's the worst video game you have ever played and why?
PT: Unfortunately it was the last college basketball game to come out (with Kevin Love on the cover). That game was so bad. Complete arcade style gameplay and the flight of the ball on jumpers/3-pointers was either pure and arching (and it went in) or a line drive (a miss). So essentially, you knew when every shot was going in or not. Aside from that, the graphics were terrible, recruiting wasn't fun (an ESSENTIAL for college games) and was way too confusing. It was then I understood why they didn't make another one. The worst. (ED: this led to multiple emails of me complaining about this game being bullshit to Mark. This game was horrid.)
SG: I'm not huge into video games, but I'm going to have to say Ghostbusters for NES. GOD that game was horrible. Halo gets honorable mention because people take that game way, way too seriously.
N: I thought every Final Fantasy sucked. Because I was just bored AND I couldn't figure it out. (Ok, I only played III. I think)
What do you think is the most annoying thing about twitter?
PT: Aside from Rovell, it's Sulia. Look, Twitter is what Twitter is. The 140 characters are there for a reason. Just as tweets that go on to a second tweet or have the "TMI" URL with it, stop fucking doing that. If it doesn't fit in 140 characters it A) can be shortened to do just that or B) doesn't belong on Twitter. Sulia is the worst. The posts are so long that it could be a blog, and it has no purpose. I have unfollowed people because of Sulia. (Sidenote, I know I just did it, but it's really annoying when people announce they're unfollowing someone.) But yeah, Sulia sucks.
SG: 2 things: The internet tough guy mentality that is spawned from relative anonymity and spoilers for movies and films.
N: It's a it of an echo chamber, and sometimes it'd be nice if more people brought some smarts and research instead of just jokes. I'm very, very, very guilty of all of the echo clambering and the jokes.
I attended a surprise party this weekend. Are you pro or con about surprise parties?
PT: I've never been the recipient of one, but I think it'd be awesome. We threw my dad one for his 40th and it went perfectly, so I'd definitely say I am pro-surprise party. As I/we get older (post-21) birthdays just don't have the same flare. Seems like making it a surprise party could do that.
SG: I knew a guy once who's wife organized a secret, elaborate surprise party at their home. She had her husband convinced she was out of the state with family. He came home with his boyfriend. Surprise! I've always wanted a surprise party but it's kind of hard to convey that and then not look for the signs.
N: Con. I hate being surprised, and I hate throwing/ organizing them. I'm not that sentimental or excited, I guess.
That said, my friends threw a surprise party/ trip to a low-level basketball game for me because I went to both of the schools involved. They made t-shirts! They brought the whole crew together! And they made iron-on stickers of my face! That was weird but cool!
Since these questions seemed mostly negative, what's the best sporting event you have attended?
PT: Man, that's tough. As a die-hard Packers fan (from Chicago) one of the most fun games I went to was when the Packers clinched the NFC North on the Cardinals' last-second TD against the Vikings in 2004. Word started spreading around the stadium right after it happened--people in the boxes were going nuts watching it on the TVs and people with radios in the stands were relaying it to everyone. But the best sporting event I've been to would have to be Marquette-Murray State in Louisville two years ago. I've seen Packers playoff wins, Bulls playoff games, etc., but you have to go back and watch that game to appreciate just how close it was and how well the two teams matched up. It was ugly, scrappy and both teams were so damn good defensively. It was my kind of game, and it helped that Marquette won. If you remember the game, it was like a football game the way both teams pounded it inside, hard fouls, great coaching adjustments. An absolute pleasure to be at, odd as it is to make that the best I've ever attended.
SG: Best sporting event I've ever been to would probably be the 2006 BCS NCG. My family have been Gator Boosters for years and I basically grew up in Ben Hill. Ohio State ran the opening kickoff back and you could hear a collective "Oh Shit..." from the Florida fans. We had club seats and access to a full bar that we made liberal use of. Florida absolutely throttled Ohio State the entire rest of the game. I made everyone stop at In & Out Burger afterwards.
N: The Mets vs Houston Astros in 1999, regular season - the Mets, coming off of years and years of frustration, come from behind in let's say the sixth inning with a Todd Pratt home run. I had awesome seats with a friend and her boyfriend who was a Houston native; from back in 1986, Houston had become the baseball boogeyman (even though the Mets beat them to get to the World Series back then - they were always scary).
I don't have a great "sporting event" story, I suppose!
Thanks again to Mark, Norman and the Senator. They are great, great people to follow on twitter and they are very nice people as well. And they are all willing to answer the questions in a pinch, which is great. I can't thank them enough. I also can't thank you enough for supporting the site. I must be bad a thanking.