• Mailbag Friday: how Steph Curry once saved my marriage

    Really been enjoying the mailbag questions lately — you guys keep ‘em coming and I’ll keep trying to post it every Friday.

    Kyle, I am heading up to Columbus tomorrow morning for The Memorial. Never been to a golf event of any kind. What I should do to make the most of the experience? -Cole

    Rule No. 1 is don’t follow Tiger. Following Tiger is the worst experience you can have on a golf course. The crowds are monstrous, the mood is too intense, and the marshals are more uptight than Kendrick Perkins at a dribbling exhibition.

    My routine — post up your chair on a hole on the back nine and go find Bo Van Pelt or Charles Howell and just watch them until you feel like sitting down. Nobody really follows those guys but it’s just as good of an aesthetic experience when you’re there (maybe better if you’re an OSU fan) as watching Tiger or Rory or whoever.

    It’s so difficult to tell where the ball is going and where it lands in person that it’s not even worth it to follow one of the big dogs, you’re better off chasing the little guys and enjoying how good they are at professional golf.

    What do you think Jeremy Smith will do stat wise this year -@jamiedonwheat

    You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find an OSU running Back (Dantrell Savage) who didn’t have more than 1,000 yards in a year. Here are the last six years of OSU’s leading rusher total:

    2012 – 1,417
    2011 – 1,216
    2010 – 1,548
    2009 – 1,218
    2008 – 1,555
    2007 – 1,272

    So it’s pretty hard to see Smith not getting something like 1,300 and 15 TD if (and that’s a big if with Smith) he stays healthy.

    Who wins in a bar fight. Monken or Holgs? -@kade_g34

    I think we’ve talked about this before but it has to be Holgorsen.

    I can see Monken talking all kinds of trash after a few Bud heavies and he might be able to roll up that bro dude in his first post-college fight or that accountant nerd out for his bachelor party who had too many Hurricanes

    Holgs, on the other hand, is crazy.

    Holgorsen is the dude who just sits there and sips straight whiskey all night and doesn’t really say anything — maybe shoots some pool1 — then you turn around all of a sudden and he’s pulling a blade out of his sock after somebody walks off with the girl he had his eye on and you have to form tackle him to keep him from committing a felony.

    Holgy is in the Tyson Zone as is right now — there isn’t a story you could tell me about him I wouldn’t believe. Really, nothing.

    You have made some references from time to time, but what sports / practice squads were you apart of at OSU? -@wirevibebrian

    I was a walk-on for the baseball team (when Frank was there) for one semester before getting cut. The way that works is they take like 40-45 guys in the fall then cut that down to 35 in the spring. I pitched and I was easily the worst one out there thus the chopping block.

    So when people online are like “doooood, you have no idea what these college athletes are like, your a fat blogger in your parentz basement!” — I mean, I understand the stereotype, I think it’s an easy one to make. But I actually do appreciate and understand how ridiculous college athletes are because I lived the fact that I wasn’t good enough to be one of them. What I don’t fully appreciate or understand is how absurd pros are.

    After that experience I spent two years on the girls basketball scout team. Basically we would go run OU’s offense or Kansas’ defense against our girls team twice a week which was cool because we got to practice in GIA and got free shoes and gear and stuff.

    My best girls practice team story2 (and I think I’ve told this before) is this:

    We were playing as OU’s defense one day and Coach Budke came up to us and said “look, these girls are phenomenal, I want you guys to go as hard as you can. Nolan (my buddy and part-time contributor to the blog), you’re going to be Courtney Paris — she might be the best rebounder in the history of women’s college basketball so I want you to get after it.”

    First possession down one of the guards goes up for a layup and Nolan comes from the weak side — I swear to you this is true — and pins the ball against the square on the backboard.

    So Budke blows the whistle, stops practice, gets all the guys together and says “yeah….uh….Courtney Paris can’t do that.

    Coach Budke was the best.

    Who in our generation is the closest comparable actor to Robert Redford? -@thegools

    There was a great profile of Redford in Esquire last month — for some reason I forgot (or didn’t know) he started the Sundance Film Festival.

    He had a great line in there talking about how he loved doing small films — movies he could control and put his imprint on. This is what he said about his relationship with Warner Brothers and wanting to make one of his smaller movies called The Candidate:

    They’d say, “If you do this larger film, we’ll let you make [The Candidate].”

    He served the masses because it gave him the freedom (financially and otherwise) to honor his craft.

    As for somebody who’s like that now…probably has to be Leo, doesn’t it? It feels like he’s the guy who sinks into his work the way Redford used to (does). He makes the big-boy movies (Inception, Titanic, Departed, etc.) but some of his greatest film is from Revolutionary Road (watch it tonight if you haven’t) and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – neither of which was a big-boy movie.

    He’s probably not as indie as Redford was but remember Redford didn’t create Sundance until he was 42 (Leo is 38) so I’ll give that some time.

    Better shot at winning conference title, football or basketball -@jamesonreyonlds

    It has to be basketball, doesn’t it? I mean I get the Travis Ford effect and all that but football is too unpredictable — there are seven teams it seems like that could win the conference in football.

    I don’t think Tech, Iowa State, or Kansas is winning it but you could talk me into any of the other seven.

    In hoops it’s just OSU and Wiggins Kansas, right? So while the smart money in hoops might be on KU, the smarter OSU money will be on hoops.

    Favorite TV show right now? I’m stuck on Game of Thrones. -@cooper4391

    I haven’t gotten into GoT yet but I hear good things. The only two I’m watching currently are Mad Men and Breaking Bad. BB is probably more thrilling and intense but I love Mad Men. I usually judge a TV show based on how much it makes me think after having watched it and I catch myself thinking about Mad Men off and on throughout the week.

    I want to read and listen to every critical written and said about it. It’s all-time — the replacement for my Friday Night Lights void.

    If you had to pick a sleeper upset in our #pokes season who’d you pick to shatter our dreams and why? -@revchrismclain

    Has to be Baylor, right?3

    Mississippi State isn’t really a sleeper and if we lose to UTSA or Lamar then, my gosh, I don’t know what’s going to happen. They might have to shut down the comments section at NewsOK.com.

    Baylor’s going to be good again (much to my chagrin) and I could see us sitting at something like 8-2 heading to the Baylor-OU finale with the conference on the line and laying another egg while Bryce Petty drops 730 and five en route to a All-Big 12 first team nomination.

    Maybe I just have Baylor issues though.

    Chandler, Joey or Ross? -@scottdeanty


    Who is your all-time favorite non-OkState male and female athlete? Why? -@mttruelove

    Love this question and I’ll go ahead and assume you mean college athletes.

    The two male names that first popped in my head were KD and Steph Curry. I really felt like Durant was like one of those child prodigies at Texas who you knew was going to be famous one day. Watching him play was like watching this thing nobody else had discovered (NBA people etc.) and you wanted to just keep it a secret for the rest of time because you wanted it to keep being your thing. The Oden/Durant question from that draft was a joke to me because of how uniquely grand he was.

    His games were must-see TV for me that one year — I didn’t miss any of it. The first half he dropped in Allen Fieldhouse is probably the greatest 20 minutes of basketball I’ve ever witnessed. Bill Self was just giggling on the sideline — like he didn’t even care his team was getting smoked, he was just glad he was there in person for the show.

    One of my favorite Curry memories is driving back to Stillwater from Houston after spring break in 2008 and listening to John Thompson call the Davidson-Georgetown game when Curry just could not miss. The radio was cutting in and out depending on where I was so all I heard were these intermittent screams of bliss when Curry would rock another 26-footer. Should be noted that Thompson’s son was coaching for Georgetown and he still couldn’t hold back his glee.

    True Steph Curry story (you can ask @mattquade12) that I can’t believe I’m about to tell you because my wife will end my life when she finds out this is on the Internet, but whatever.

    Jen (my wife now) and I had been dating for a little while then broke up late in the summer of 2008 for a few months. Quade and I went to watch Davidson play OU in Norman that November and Curry had 44 while getting double-teamed the entire game. OU was playing a triangle and two and Curry was launching 30-footers like “meh, I’m good, gonna beat OU by myself tonight4.”

    I was so inspired by the performance (again, true story) that I got back together with Jen that night and we were engaged 13 months later.

    Oh, and favorite female athlete is…uh…does Missy Franklin count?

    What’s the best way to play golf during work hours? -@titleisteights

    It has to be this, no?

    Fantasy big 12 basketball team for this upcoming season. Starting five and 1st guy off bench and head coach. #PFmailbag -@sethkrug1

    PG: Marcus Smart — duh.
    SG: Markel Brown — [turns on Kansas film from last year, smiles].
    SF: Andrew Wiggins — though you could probably play him anywhere.
    PF: Melvin Ejim — led the conference in rebounding and on a squad full of scorers, that matters.
    C: Cory Jefferson — What he did to Smart in GIA last year should have a kids filter for online viewing.

    Bench: Brady Heslip — I can’t believe I’m doing this but I want somebody off my bench who can light it up from three and Heslip is the returning guy who had the best percentage and most threes made from last year. Three goggles for everybody!

    Coach: Self

    Enjoy your weekend.

    1. What are the odds Holgy is elite at pool? Probably like 3-2, right?
    2. Other than the one about the time Andrea Riley crossed me over and put my on my butt…
    3. I’m basically just completely ignoring the Iowa State game in Ames. Don’t even care about you, Cyclones. Not even going to talk about it.
    4. He almost did.
  • Mailbag Friday: why is BBQ so good?

    Why is barbecue sauce so good even though its not orange? -@jagrayum

    I’m actually glad it’s not orange. Between tangelos, cheese, carrots, and Gatorade, I already have enough orange in my dietary rotation. In fact, I sometimes feel weird eating orange food because everything the color reminds me of Cheetos.

    So even though I might be housing a super-healthy carrot-tangelo smoothie (this sounds horrendous) it still feels like I’m packing Cheetos into my love handles. Cheetos are the worst.

    But back to BBQ sauce. You know how some people are really haughty about their meat consumption? Well I never put any kind of sauce or spice on my meat because my meat comes from grass-fed cow-beasts off the coast of Kenya and it has all the flavor I need already cooked in! I only pay $68 a pound at Whole Foods!

    Yeah, those people are idiots.

    I put barbecue sauce on everything. Those BBQ pizzas at CiCi’s that everybody used to avoid like the plague? Loved them. Chicken on the grill? Drowning in it. Steak? Pass me a liter of the stuff. I would drink barbecue sauce if it wasn’t culturally unacceptable to do so.

    The hue is perfect too — I get a little squeamish when my food starts getting too colorful. A deep red with some pepper and other spices mixed in is close enough to being dull that it doesn’t remind me of anything else (Cheetos!) and the taste is magnificent1.

    So to answer your question (because I haven’t yet), I have no idea why barbecue sauce is so good (though I think it has to do with the amount of sugar companies put in it) — with stuff like that it’s sometimes better to not know.

    And thank God it’s not orange.

    OSU starting 5 for basketball made up of non basketball players? -@klucas45

    Phenomenal question.

    Off the top of my head here are my starting five (it’s going to be difficult to not go all-football):

    PG – Jarrett Higgins — His favorite athletes are Kobe, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Young. And he’s fast as hell.
    SG – Justin Gilbert — I’ve heard stories of him doing things at the Colvin that would make Kirby Gardner raise an eyebrow.
    SF – Tracy Moore — His dad played in the NBA.
    PF – Blake Jackson — He’d be a monster if he could catch an entry pass.
    C – Alan Gelogaev – Just because I can.

    There’s a decent chance this five (with Eddie coaching them) could have rolled with Ford’s pre-Smart teams for at least a half.

    Over/under on the number of headsets Holgy goes through this year? -@milestheking

    I’m assuming you want me to set this line which I will do at 7.5.

    And you will all take the over.

    Favorite woman on television? -@bigwillonthamic

    Ahh you mean the Tami Taylor memorial “best woman on television whom your wife doesn’t hate that you like” award? I’m not watching a ton of shows right now but of the ones I watch, I’m all in on Peggy from Mad Men.

    She’s gone from the timid secretary to the sneering, strutting copywriter who has the stones to roll Don Draper in a way that nobody else in the company (including the men) wo;;. She’s no Tami in the looks department but her gumption more than makes up for it.

    Honorable mention to Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) on The Americans2

    Who is the most clutch player in OSU sports history? -@kade_g34

    Such a great question to ponder. I think I’m going to go with Josh Fields here. He has 22% of OSU’s Bedlam wins since 1945. He slayed the Nebraska giant as well. I also considered Weeds, Lucas, Obi, Ventura, and Zac but I have to hand it to Fields.

    What percentage of plays will we see 2 QBs on field at same time? -@inherittheland

    Well given that a dude with two Xs in his name is third string and OSU’s recent history of QB injuries is not exactly spectacular, I’d say somewhere between 0% and .1%.

    Who are the best former (and even current) players to follow on twitter? -@thegools

    I don’t follow a lot of athletes on Twitter because most of them are all like “bro, threw some weight around today” and tweet incoherent things that only their teammates can understand. Or they’re pumping some sponsored product that I just don’t care about.

    Here are some of my awards though:

    Overall favorite: Weeden (@bweeden3) — Really one of the first OSU people who figured out social media
    Best unintentional comedy: Tony Allen (@aa000G9) — Literally anything is in play.
    Favorite former athlete: Andrew McGee (@Coach_McGee)
    Best Instagram: @realrickiefowler — It’s not even close.

    Which current OSU golfer is going to have the most accomplished career? -@ddennis265

    Great question. It depends on how we’re defining “most accomplished career” — how many regular tournaments equals one major for you? What do you do with European Tour events? What about international play? Olympics?

    I think we can throw out Wittenberg (meh), Verplank (age), Loar (done nothing on PGA Tour), and Martin (done nothing on PGA Tour). That leaves us with Fowler, Van Pelt, Mahan, Howell, Uihlein, and Hoffmann.

    Mahan is probably the leader in the clubhouse right now — he has five wins but one was in match play and he doesn’t have a top five at a major yet.

    Van Pelt and Howell are a little older than the other guys though a major would push either of them to the top of this list since they’ve both won multiple times before (Howell — two PGA Tour wins, Van Pelt — one PGA Tour, one European Tour, and one Asian Tour). It’s also pretty interesting to note that Howell is the 24th highest ranked golfer on the all-time money list with $25 million. Mahan is 27th and Van Pelt is 49th.

    I think the safe answer is probably Fowler though. I think he’ll be considered the best when all is said and done. He’s already been on a Ryder Cup team, has a win (Wells Fargo Championship), and a top five at a major (2011 British Open) — and he’s only 24.

    Uihlein’s career is going to be really intriguing too. He doesn’t shy away from the Adam Scott comparisons (in terms of starting on the European Tour) and he’s got (literally) an entire section of the golf world behind him. He could usurp Fowler shortly and, to be fair, Fowler is no lock to take the mantle from Mahan.

    I think it’s fair to say that a major win is worth 4-5 regular wins. I really believe Fowler is going to win a major at some point (I don’t think Mahan will). So that would immediately vault him to No. 1 on this list (as it would for Mahan, Van Pelt, and Howell as well) with everybody else chasing.

    Talk about “talk abouts.” -@kevindavis31

    It’s a borderline epidemic at this point. At some point — probably after a few Shiners — I almost changed my mind about this. I was willing to at least give the benefit of the doubt to reporters and journalists about slipping into this habit. “It’s a long season,” I said, and sometimes you just run out of questions.

    But in the last few weeks I’ve covered the Byron Nelson and Colonial golf tournaments for CBS and done a bunch of interviews and been in press conferences and…well…it’s just not that difficult.

    I am dying for an athlete, when asked “can you talk about what tonight was like for you?” to answer “yes, I can” and move on to the next question. That athlete would immediately become my favorite athlete ever.

    Here’s some breaking news for you: athletes (and coaches) will actually give you fairly interesting answers if you ask them interesting questions and don’t just bloviate about how great they are and punctuate with a weak non-question question.

    If you can’t tell, this is a hill I’ll die on.

    Other journalistic hills I will lose my life on: “sneaked” instead of “snuck” and misplaced apostrophes (when referencing home runs it’s “HRs” not “HR’s”).

    If OSU was not a Nike school and you had to choose between Under Armour or Adidas -@radkern

    I would choose to die.

    Not really, I would just choose another school.

    OK, seriously, I would choose Adidas. Under Armour is what 12-year-old boys think is cool. To be fair, I do have a few pieces of Under Armour gear but for the most part it’s just horrendous. I don’t mind the long sleeves or hoodies (of which I have both) but their design team seems to have been injected with whatever the Mad Men characters were injected with last week.

    I mean you’ve seen these, right?


    This is the work of a design team in a drunken stupor about three weeks before this game. Adidas at least does some relatively legitimate things. The colored “C” on the UCLA uniforms a few years ago denoting their 100th NCAA title was pretty amazing. And their soccer and golf stuff isn’t awful.

    I’m not trying to get Kansas’ monochromatic basketball uniforms or anything but with a gun to my head I’ll go stripes over UA.

    1. Stubbs is the only acceptable answer to “which kind do you buy?”
    2. I’ve only seen the first four episodes so she might be able to overtake Pegs once I get deeper into the show.