Welcome back to the AE Mailbag! We’re going to try to do these once a week between now and (at least) August, so feel free to keep firing your questions in to the email inbox — firstname.lastname@example.org — or hit us up on Twitter — @AnonymousEagle — if you’ve got something that’s nagging at you. Marquette sports, college sports, movies, TV, favorite foods, whatever you’ve got, we’ll be happy to try to answer it.
Here we go!
From @CharlieWeber45: Top three Nintendo Entertainment System games in your opinion?
The old school original NES is a major weakness in my video game history. I really don’t have a wide ranging depth of experience in playing those games, largely because I never owned a video game system of my own until the PlayStation 2. True story!
So... I’m going to say Super Mario Brothers 3, DuckTales, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. Those are really the only games I remember playing when I was a kid. I’ve taken some runs at the Zelda and Metroid games as an adult and they’re just way too difficult (relative to their modern-day counterparts, at least) for me to get any enjoyment out of, sad to say.
From @JoeMcCann3: If Golden Eagles TBT returns, which players that we have not yet seen in TBT would you like to join the squad (assuming no current NBA players, of course)?
Joe sent in this question on Tuesday, May 15, nearly a week after the official Twitter account for the Marquette alumni squad in The Basketball Tournament teased announcements coming soon. It’s important to point this out because there haven’t been any announcements yet, and the voting period closes on June 1. There’s still time to get this done if the announcements come quickly, as the team earned over 1,200 votes last year and they would need just 503 votes to swipe up the ninth and final spot earned by voting in the Midwest right now.
To actually answer the question, the first two obvious answers that come to mind are Andrew Rowsey and Katin Reinhardt. The team is in need of some young blood, and adding either or both of these sharpshooters would help add an element to the TBT roster that wasn’t there in the past two seasons. Next up on the list is Jajuan Johnson, as his slashing style and fast break attitude would come in handy in the TBT setting. I think Duane Wilson should be welcomed in with open arms, although after his season ending injury for Texas A&M, I presume that he’s unavailable this summer. If Steve Taylor wants to join up, I’m cool with that, too, and the same goes for Matt Carlino and Jake Thomas, too. I’m not trying to ignore Luke Fischer here, but I don’t know if the run & gun playground type of hoops in TBT really plays to Fischer’s strengths. With that said, Davante Gardner tore it up in past tournaments, so odds are that there’s not going to be anyone who can defend Fischer all that well in the post, thus increasing his value.
I would like to jump on the Scrambled Eggs podcast bandwagon and throw my support behind Dwyane Wade taking a retirement victory lap by playing with MU’s TBT team. The NBA superstar hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but it has been 15 seasons, and he is 36 years old. If he wants to hang it up, then I think it would be amazing for TBT to see him put on one last burst to win the $2 million prize. Think about the story possibilities: Wade, taking one last run at glory, in the title game, trying to end Overseas Elite’s run of dominance in TBT? That would be fantastic television. If not this year, maybe next year? I’m just saying I’m in favor of it happening at some point.
From our own @bensnider94: Do you think the Angels can continue to challenge the Astros in the AL West?
As of this writing on Thursday morning, the Houston Astros (28-17) have a two game lead on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (25-18) in the West division of the American League. Fangraphs projects the Astros to finish with 100 wins, but the Angels are projected at only 87 wins. Thus, the answer from a clinical assessment point of view is no.
I suppose your faith in the Angels has to be centered on whether or not Shohei Ohtani can continue to play like he has through his first 82 plate appearances and first six starts in the majors. His .325/.366/.597 slash line is pretty remarkable, and if he can continue to do that as the season progresses, the Angels will remain competitive. The issue I have with trusting that is that Ohtani has just 82 plate appearances through the Angels’ first 43 games. For comparison’s sake, Justin Upton and Mike Trout lead the team with 191. This can go two ways. As teams get more video of his at-bats, he becomes easier to figure out as a batter. It’s possible that there’s a critical mass where someone unlocks a weakness and things go sideways on him. Conversely, if Ohtani can keep that up as his PAs increase, then the Angels would be greatly benefitted by getting him to the plate more often.
In terms of his pitching... well.... Remember in early April when he was dealing against the A’s, striking out 12 while allowing just one hit in seven innings? Everyone lost their mind about “OMG OHTANI HAS FIGURED IT OUT?”
Yeah, well, he lasted just two innings in his next start, giving up three runs quickly to the Red Sox. The start after that? Five and a third innings, six hits, four runs, and a season high five walks against...... you guessed it, the Astros.
I’m not trying to say that he’s never going to be great or anything. He’s not even 24 years old yet. But the question was about the Angels contending this season, and I think the odds are against it.
From @lessthannick11: You have to give up one of these for the rest of your life, what do you pick: Pizza or Tacos?
I’m giving up pizza, hands down, no question, not even debating it in my head.
There’s two main thrusts to my decision. First, breakfast tacos are superior in every way to breakfast pizza, and giving up breakfast tacos is just ridiculous. Second, tacos are much more versatile than pizza. Presuming that pizza has to stay inside some sort of crust/sauce/cheese matrix, there’s a lot more explorative area in tacos, and giving up that value is silly.
From @Cohete009: When can I bet on Marquette games at Potawatomi?
Well, for right now, the answer is “the 32nd of never.”
The recent landmark Supreme Court case didn’t legalize sports gambling everywhere in the United States. It merely struck down the federal ban on states authorizing sports gambling as unconstitutional. As it stands right now, Wisconsin has no laws on the books to authorize, monitor, or of course tax sports wagering, so for right now, there’s no way to lay down $10 on the Golden Eagles, and there won’t be for the foreseeable future. However, it seems like a no-brainer way to raise a bit of tax money without actually taxing the populace here and there, so I would expect it to happen eventually.
The biggest question, from what I understand the NBA would like to do in regards to the change in the legality, is when you’re going to be able to wager on Marquette games while at a Marquette game at the Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports complex. While you might be able to bet on Marquette games at Potawatomi, or some other local establishment, I don’t know how excited the NCAA is going to be about the in-arena possibilities that the NBA is excited about already.
From @Bi11BQ: When you first get your driver’s license, every driver is given an emergency siren that will make all other cars yield to you. You can only use it one time in your life. How old are you when you use yours?
Let’s presume that for the sake of this discussion, the siren literally forces the yield. Not like where you’re supposed to pull over for fire trucks coming up from behind you and so forth, when you hit your button, the siren automatically forces all other vehicles to get out of your way by way of Wi-Fi, or whatever.
I’m coming up on a quarter-century of driving right now, and I can legitimately say that I can’t think of a circumstance where I would have used the siren to this point. Now, that just means that I’ve never been driving anywhere in an emergency. I’ve taken my fair share of drives through Chicago in rush hour and other similar situations, so I definitely would have been tempted to pull the trigger. I was never really on a deadline while making those drives, though, so that might have stopped me from activating it.
I would wager the average age of activation would be 27.
From @ericgebby: Who’s leading the NL Central right now?
In fairness to Eric, he asked this question on Tuesday evening, and this is being published on Thursday.
That means I have to answer in this manner: When Eric asked the question, the first place team in the National League’s Central division was the Milwaukee Brewers with a record of 25-17.
As this publishes on Thursday, the answer is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have a winning percentage of .595, which is better than the Brewers’ winning percentage of .591.
Fly the Jolly Roger, etc.
From @mooof23: Do you think we might be on the road to a content problem, as in too much? Between real world experiences, TV shows, movies, and live sports, where will we have time for all this content being pushed out? This is especially true as content from 5, 10, 15 years ago is available to revisit or found as new. When will we just have too much?
Phil with the deep thinking question here.
I think he’s kind of onto something here.
For example, I like Marvel’s Netflix series. I am currently two episodes into Defenders (released August 2017), and I have not watched any of Punisher (released November 2017) nor Jessica Jones Season 2 (released March 2018). Now, part of this is that I watch these series with my wife (or at least I will watch Defenders & Jessica Jones with her, she has no interest in Punisher), and we both have non-traditional work schedules, not to mention our two children that are age-inappropriate for these series. Our time to actually watch these shows is somewhat limited, and thus, we fall behind. Even for shows that we watch with our kids — The CW’s Arrow-verse, for example — we’re horribly behind on those.
That doesn’t even get into movies. Between having a 14 year old kid as my oldest and the mismatched work schedules with my spouse, I’ve only seen 11 movies nominated for Best Picture from 2010 onwards. Seven of them — King’s Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, and True Grit — are from 2010 alone.
There’s just no time.
Part of that is by choice, of course. As you can tell if you’re reading this website, I spend A LOT of time attending Marquette sporting events in person. Most of those are with my entire family, and the remainder is with at least one of my kids in tow. In addition to that, my wife and I go out of our way to spend our common off days — again, non-traditional schedules mean those are 1) randomly placed and 2) sometimes rare — with our kids doing something interesting outside of the house. That trims down on the TV and/or movie time, too. That kind of thing counts as content in Phil’s question too, even if it’s just a trip to Sprecher to go on the brewery tour, or driving up to Manitowoc to tour the USS Cobia.
If you want to think of it another way, think about this: The content providers, network television producers specifically, don’t have new things to show you, anyway. Roseanne is back on ABC after 20 years. CBS just recently announced that they’re putting Murphy Brown back on the air with the same cast after being gone for 20 years, and they’re also reimagining Magnum, PI. (Related: it looks horrible.) This, from the people who are already giving you Hawaii Five-Oh, 3 iterations of NCIS, and SWAT, which is a remake of a 1970s TV show, not to mention the Young Sheldon spin-off of Big Bang Theory, and Elementary, which is just a reimagining of Sherlock Holmes. There’s a reason why Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are having such success making in-roads with new original content instead of streaming stuff created elsewhere: THEY’RE ACTUALLY CREATING SOMETHING NEW.
From Editor Emeritus @Rubie_Q: Making Thor an Avenger in the Marvel movies: bad decision, or worst decision ever?
Alrighty, this is the last question in the mailbag, and we’re going to talk about Infinity War openly here, so if you still haven’t seen it (Phil, I’m looking at you) and don’t want to be spoiled, then close your browser window now or click the back button or click this link to go back to the AE home page. You’ve been warned.
Oh, it’s clearly a bad decision based on his absurdly high power and ability level, and if you look at the movies, Marvel essentially admitted that to be the case.
Avengers — The only time he’s even slowed down in the entire movie is when Loki traps him in the containment unit before ejecting him from the Helicarrier. He’s nigh-invulnerable everywhere else in the flick.
Avengers: Age of Ultron — Thor participates in the raid on Strucker’s base which the Avengers win easily. He wanders off after being affected by Scarlet Witch, but returns in time to use his ridiculous power level to 1) bring Vision to life and 2) help Iron Man prevent Sokovia from destroying the earth. He then effs off to Asgard which takes him off the table for Civil War and leads us directly to.....
Thor: Ragnarok — .... where Mjolnir is destroyed, resulting in a de-powering of Thor. However, he eventually learns that being the Norse god of thunder is his birthright, not magic imparted to him by the hammer, thus allowing him to control his lightning oriented powers again. However, those are useless against...
Infinity War — Thanos, when the Titan attacks the Asgardian refugee ship, seemingly killing everyone on board, except for Thor, who is rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy. He heads off to acquire Stormbreaker, and returns to Earth for the first time in years, where his appearance immediately turns the tide of the battle in Wakanda. Thor and Stormbreaker are so goddamned powerful, it leads the Last King Of Asgard to be able to drive through a blast from Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet to plant the axe directly into Thanos’ chest, nearly killing him and saving the day. Almost.
In other words, Thor, as he is in the movies, is just way too powerful of a character to be in The Avengers, and to that end, the writers have pretty much removed him from The Avengers the whole time that The Avengers has been a thing. So yeah, putting him in The Avengers was a pretty bad idea, at least from a creative idea. You could even make the case that it was a bad idea in storyline for Nick Fury/Steve Rogers/Tony Stark to put him on the team, as he’s never really been part of the team at all anyway.
Worst decision ever, though? Nah. There’s worse real world decisions out there than “hey, should we write this classic Avengers character into the Avengers movie.” In terms of the in storyline decisions, the entire movie franchise is essentially nestled within the context of Tony Stark making one decision that goes horribly awry after another, so “put Thor on team” would barely crack the top 10.