The Trash Bag

Doing a mailbag seems almost trite at this point or even overdone, but I need a way to express opinions about a myriad of topics that I don’t have a place for in my traditional blog. Whether it be Clay Travis or Bill Simmons there are so many other places to get your mail bag action from. I’ll actually come up with a different name for it at a later point, at this point I settle for the Trash Bag. Basically everything in here is just well…garbage, refuse. You get the point.

Since I don’t get actual questions that would actually necessitate a mailbag, I am going to make up questions because well it’s fun. Maybe there becomes a point where there might be a pressing need for a bag  of mail to be answered.

Question: If Harambe was alive, what would his thoughts be on his stardom, the break up of Brad and Angelina, and the targeting rule?

First as we know Harambe is alive in spirit. In fact Harambe will accomplish more dead than if he were alive. Brady Gustafson believes this as he was donning a Harambe shirt prior to the Cal Poly game. Harambe isn’t a protector or a savior, judging by the loss at Cal Poly this is known to be true, but a guiding spirit to bring on the best (a moral guide if you will) in humanity.

As for the eventual breakup of Bragalina, Harambe recognizes that his own spiritual guide wasn’t enough to save their marriage. But frankly Harambe isn’t a marriage counselor. There are a lot of things that Harambe doesn’t play. Don’t ask him about the Syrian Crisis, where Allepo is, and how to fix the problems with the Bobcats.

I think Harambes response to the targeting penalty would be rather predictable. Judging intent by a third party without considering all the factors is absurd. The fact the NCAA has mandated that officials call the penalty on the field, rather than have conference officials levy the penalty after the fact is absurd. Harambe would definitely sympathize with Justin Strong this week. Harambes advice is don’t judge a book by its cover.

Question: What is the realest fake rivalry in sports?

Jeff Choate’s fake rivalry with the press is pretty good one. In fact the sheer rapidity that Choate played the bunker mentality, us v. Them card is stunning. The lack of context or developing narrative made his media speech odd theatre to watch. Coaches are already a paranoid lot, but Choate’s response appears to be more tin foil hat than he would probably like but it might be an look into the mind of Choate. Reminds me a bit of Oklahoma States Jeff Gundy’s “I’m a man” speech.

I fully expected the Dennis Green “They are who we thought they were” speech after the Sacramento State loss. Choate knows the Bobcats issues are going to take more than a speech to fix, but players do know that Choate has their back. Maybe that was his purpose. He doesn’t pull punches in player evaluations, but he’d rather do it behind close doors than in the paper. He has a track record of being a players coach at his several coaching stops over the years. So while the response seems odd about the offense, it seems more appropriate when you start to understand how Choate works.

Question: Is Rod Spear delusional or an evil genius?

Evil genius. If you aren’t familiar, Spear is the athletic director at Idaho. There are parts of the Vandal football experience that play out more as a delusions of grandeur even after a decade adrift in football purgatory.

After a decade in southern Idaho, there are many Vandal fans that have a very real assessment and understanding of Vanadal football. Yet there is a vocal minority that can’t get the chip off their shoulder. A person would think nearly a two decades of putrid football would remove any said presence as to where Vandal football should be.

Spear I think is trying to play both sides of the street. There is a hope and one that had been bantered around in circles for a few years now about the prospect of a super big sky group separating and creating its own FBS conference. From a Montana perspective, this is a logical outcome of hoarding all the FCS schools in the west in the Big Sky, but from a Vandal perspective it really reeks of desperation.

A move down, only to move back up? Is it to reset the Vandal football perspective at a more real and rational level? Maybe. Idaho by any move back up (maybe 2025 to be safe) would effectively remove it from Boise States rather large shadow. Maybe that is the point.

Doesn’t remove the structural problems that Moscow faces and rather doubles down on their delusion on being a FBS caliber program and taking their rightful place among their peers (BSU, USU, CSU, Nevada, FSU). That doesn’t make them a good conference member if they aren’t going to commit to long term to the Big Sky. Not sure what forced the Lewiston paper to go down the road of exposing Spear’s plan. But it does create for some uncomfortable conversations in a few athletic departments. I think the UM is one. The move up conversation is one that if I were in the athletic department in Missoula would be tired of having.

There is no satisfying either camp, as Idaho is proving at this moment, because there is no middle ground. This is no different than a Clinton supporter trying to talk sense into a Trump supporter. While great fodder for message boards, this is a conversation that causes more undue stress for Haslam, Spear and so forth.

Idaho helps the Big Sky in reality more than the Big Sky helps Idaho perceptively.  They are an above class athletic institution than the vast majority of Big Sky conference programs. You just can’t remove the feeling from some Idaho fans that they are slumming.

So Spear by pushing an FBS agenda to the upper levels of the Big Sky helps Idaho more  than it has the best interest of the conference in mind. It helps him stave off the wolves at the door and push Idaho into a more stable geographic alignment.

Question: If you haven’t played the game, does it make you a pedestrian fan?

Maybe only Haramabe truly knows the answer that question. My impression that it is a penis measuring contest with the person in the mirror.

Question: Is Brady Gustafson elite?

If we can’t settle the answer on Eli Manning or Joe Flacco, how can we begin to debate Gustafson’s elite-ness. Moreover, I might be too pedestrian to answer that question.

I do know that any quarterback that Beau Baldwin finds, including a 40 year old in the crowd would be elite.

I also know that Reese Phillips joins Makena Simis, Jon Edwards, Brandon Neill, and a bevy of other Montana reserve quarterbacks as ‘elite.’

Question: Is MVSU the worst team to play in Washington-Grizzly stadium ever?

I don’t think it matters. Sort of like asking if Joe Flacco is elite. Hard not to overlook teams like MVSU and it it might not matter anyway.

Good message board fodder. I’d personally be careful of having preconceived notions as to how games like this should go on Saturday. MVSU is bound to play better than their stats suggest, and any deviation from the norm only seeks to create more ulcers for the dedicated Grizs fan whose desire is to keep it real.

The game is successful if coaches are capable of getting to their way points as a result of the game. Point margin is irrelevant as is total yardage. If the team takes this as any other game, rather than a body bag game, the game is a success and positives can be garnered.

Finally, the pedestrian observation of the week or conversely evidence that I didn’t play the game:

I get a lot of parents and community members every year engaging in conversations about playing time, coaching philosophy. Mostly unsolicited. Heard a lot of it again surrounding the criticism of Stitt’s offense and secondarily Choate’s terse response to about his offense.

Coaches at least perspectively don’t take criticism from outside sources very well. There are reasons why that frustration exists.

A friend of mine told me this recently. He was at church and sitting in the pew and had a fellow parishioner drop off in his lap a dozen or so hand drawn plays, with the note “These plays will help you win a couple more games and save your job.”

Coaches get hate mail all the times. Really some awful stuff about their families and so forth. Invariably coaches will get a for sale sign put in their front yard. Some of it is done in jest, not all of it though. I am really surprised that a coach hasn’t snapped and went postal on someone. Takes an incredible amount of restraint no to.

My advice, don’t engage coaches about personnel and X’s and O’s. First it is offensive and secondarily you are just asking for trouble.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.