Each week on The B&B Show (a radio show I co-host on Bulldog Sports Radio; you can listen to today’s full show here) we have a segment we call ABC, which you’ve seen me mention if you follow on Twitter.
It stands for Ask Bob Carskadon and is, basically, a radio mailbag of some serious and many non-serious questions sometimes but not always relating to Mississippi State sports.
Every Tuesday, we ask for questions on Twitter (tweet them to @bobcarskadon) and now, every Wednesday, I’ll pick some good ones to answer here on the HailState Beat. (PSA on those tweets: if a twitter profile is locked, people who don’t follow it can’t see its tweets, even if they are mentioned in the tweet.)
Keep in mind, as always, opinions and views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of MSU, though sometimes they very well may.
Rob Hataway @vhdawg: Do you think a larger target on the back of the baseball team is contributing to these early season losses?
Bob: The quick answer to the question is no. I don’t think so, anyway. But on that point, yes, I do think MSU will have that target on its back this year, particularly when SEC play starts, and they’ll have to learn how to handle it. Opponents gunning for you and expectations from fans and media are two things which can be difficult to handle, but successful teams and programs have to find a way to manage it. And I think John Cohen and MSU will.
Andy Atkinson @n8chaboy508: This week’s list of artists for most popular/favorite songs: The Doors, Van Halen, Bob Dylan.
Bob: I thoroughly enjoyed this one last week and it led to my suggestion of a Led Zeppelin Day during a midweek baseball game where each player has a different Zeppelin song for their walkout music. But to the point…
For The Doors, I think Light My Fire has to be their most popular, though they’ve got plenty to choose from. My favorite is probably Touch Me, but Break On Through and Hello, I Love You are great, too.
Van Halen: Jump is likely the most popular, right? My personal pick I think is Runnin’ With the Devil and Panama coming in a close second.
Lastly, I’ll admit to not being a huge Bob Dylan fan. Like him, don’t love him. Though I did read a cool story the other day. Legendary journalist and writer Hunter S. Thompson had his body cremated and the ashes shot into the air with fireworks over his Colorado ranch at his funeral. The song he had playing during the sendoff he requested was Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man. Afterward, Thompson’s estate sent Dylan the typewriter on which he typed so many words inspired by the singer.
Anyway, I suppose Like A Rolling Stone would be the most popular Dylan hit.
DawgatAuburn @DawgatAuburn: Aside from winning more games, what is one change you would make to improve the atmosphere in The Hump?
Bob: I do think the main cure is winning. Does anyone remember marketing promotions making the atmosphere at basketball games so great in seasons when MSU made the NCAA Tournament? No. Place was rockin’ because the Bulldogs were winning. That equation applies to all sports, in my opinion.
That said, I did want to mention something Scott Stricklin talked about in his chat today: MSU will be getting a new video board in The Hump this offseason. Cool.
Don Collins @dhcollins3: Toasted or plain bun?
Bob: Toasted, without question. And buttered, if possible.
Tyler Jones @TheRealBigJones: Importance of the Combine percentage-wise?
Bob: Eh, 20 percent? It’s certainly situational, but you have to be particularly terrible or unexpectedly phenomenal for it to have a huge impact. Darius Slay was the fastest corner at the NFL Combine last year while Johnthan Banks was on the slower end. They were drafted within a few picks of each other at the top of the second round and both started as rookies.
More than anything, scouts want to confirm what they think about players and have a chance to talk to them.
Don Collins @dhcollins: Family Guy or South Park?
Bob: South Park is a little more hit-or-miss and you pretty much always know what you’re getting with Family Guy, but when South Park is on, it’s really on. I’ll take the kids from Colorado pretty easily.
Caleb Glover @C_glov95: What are your top five songs about baseball?
Bob: Oof, that’s though to rank. But five that are in the mix for me: Cheap Seats by Alabama, Centerfield by John Fogerty, Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen, Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs and Small Town by John Mellencamp. Might not make direct sense, but for whatever reason, pretty much every Mellencamp hit has that nostalgic baseball feel to it and is something I’d expect to hear at the park.
Hump4Hoops @Hump4Hoops: What is the quality of softball’s early season opponents? Vanntastics are not only undefeated, but obliterating teams.
Bob: Like any sport, the non-conference portion of the season is easier than the SEC slate. There have certainly been some teams which don’t boost the ol’ RPI, but Maryland, Iowa and Central Arkansas are all good programs who lost to MSU. This weekend will be a big test for the Bulldogs in Gulfport, playing six games in three days against some good teams.
Ryan Nelson @ryannel76: Why do people like their own facebook post? Aren’t you saying that you like it when you type it?
Bob: Well said, Ryan. I once had a friend who had 99 likes on a post and he liked his own status so it would hit 100. I made fun of him, but that’s about the only situation I see fit.
Ryan Nelson @ryannel76: Who would be your ultimate guests if Starkville had a Comic-con and you couldn’t select Harry Potter characters?
Bob: Paula Deen and Ian McKellen. The most powerful woman in food and the most powerful man in wizardry.
That Guy @thatguy1878: No pizza, no coffee or no chocolate for the rest of your life, you have to pick one. Which is it?
Bob: This one is actually easy for me. I’d hate to lose chocolate, but that’s the easy one to drop of three. I drink coffee at least twice a day and I love pizza because I’m a normal person. Pineapple and bacon pizza is my favorite.
That Guy @thatguy1878: Did you think in 1990 that by 2014 there’d be flying cars, space travel and other Back to the Future kind of stuff?
Bob: I honestly did. Maybe not in 1990, because I was three and was just proud of myself when I went to the bathroom by myself without a mess, but eventually yes. I mean, the concept of hovercraft has been around at least since Star Wars came out, yet it seems like we have made relatively little advancement in transportation over the years. The only difference in travel between now and 75 years ago is that we don’t use blimps anymore and you can’t smoke on planes.
Although, I did read an article a couple years ago about Google creating a self-driving car. They built and programmed a normal-looking SUV that drove itself up the entire coast of California, through traffic lights, stop signs, interstate lanes and exits. Seems like self-guided automobiles are the next step in travel.
Blake Thompson @StateDOG: If you could make your own Mt. Rushmore for each of the big three MSU sports, what four would you put in each mountain?
Bob: A question like this could merit a few individual blog posts this summer, but quick answers on each with absolutely no research:
Basketball: Bailey Howell, Jeff Malone, Babe McCarthy, Jarvis Varnado.
Baseball: Rafael Palmeiro, Will Clark, Ron Polk, Boo Ferriss.
Football: Johnie Cooks, D.D. Lewis, Jackie Sherrill, Jackie Parker.
Blake Thompson @StateDOG: What is the tallest building in Starkvile that’s not a part of MSU?
Bob: Very interesting question once you start thinking about it. I figure the answer must be one of the hotels, but there are almost no tall buildings in town, which I kind of like. Outside of hotels, you’re probably looking at something downtown. Maybe the steeple of First Baptist Church, something like that? I don’t have an actual answer, just found it to be a good question.
Will Gilmer @gilmerdairy: Do you see anyone doing enough to become our “every day” catcher or shortstop, or should we expect a season-long platoon?
Bob: Cohen said Tuesday night that they are getting closer to deciding on regular starters at every position and hope to have it mostly set by the time SEC play starts. However, I don’t think there will be a time at any point this season when we don’t see a certain level of rotation throughout the lineup. That’s the upside to the depth Cohen has built.
Will Gilmer @gilmerdairy: What’s the most “country” thing you’ve ever done?
Bob: A few moments come to mind, but probably the top one involved shooting rats with a B.B. gun to get them out of a storage shed on someone’s land.
Will Gilmer @gilmerdairy: What are Keanu Reeves’ five best movies?
Bob: For my money – 1. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure 2. The Replacements 3. Point Break 4. Speed 5. The Matrix. Honorable mention to Hardball.
Matt Saracen @MattSaracen: How much of an impact do you expect Victoria Vivians to make on women’s hoops at MSU next year?
Bob: The easy answer: a lot. MSU’s famed signee is one of the best players in a long time at any level. Recently, she scored the first 58 points for her team in a game, ultimately scoring 64 of their 76 total. The Mississippi Sports hall of Fame is already planning a display of Vivians’ high school accomplishments to put up after her season. My favorite story as heard on today’s show: in practices they play 5 vs 9, with Vivians being guard by four people at a time so she can get used to what it’s like in games.
Pair her with Gillom Trophy winner Martha Alwal and the rest of the team Vic Schaefer has built, and the Bulldogs ought to be quite the show next year.
Freakhog @freakhog: If you were given a nice budget to write a book about an interesting MSU item, what would make a great story to tell?
Bob: Kyle Veazey has already written about the Game of Change, but two other topics come to mind. One would be on the rise of Mississippi State baseball, starting with that first College World Series team and running through the ‘80s and the legends like Palmeiro, Clark, Jeff Brantley and Buck Showalter, including a look back at Ferriss, who got it started.
I also think it would be cool to write about the football teams in the early 1940s. By record, they were some of the most successful in MSU history, and in the middle of it they had to miss an entire season because over half the team was off serving in the war.
Corey Pilkenton @cpilkenton: Fight card – east seeds: 1. Gandalf 2. Darth Vader 3. Wolverine 4. Dumbledore.
West seeds: 1. Yoda 2. Superman 3. Hulk 4. Voldemort
Bob: Thank you, Corey, for our requisite nerd question of the week. Listen to the show if you want to hear us go much more in-depth and argue about this bracket, but my quick thoughts:
Gandalf over Dumbledore; both were killed in their books, only Gandalf came back from it. Vader over Wolverine; Wolverine is mentally weak, making him more susceptible to The Force, a lightsaber ought to be able to cut through adamantium, and Wolverine’s weapons are useless against a weapon made of light instead of a solid.
Gandalf over Vader; magic > The Force.
Voldemort over Yoda; You-Know-Who is an accomplished Legilimens, unsusceptible to The Force and can kill from a distance, unlike Yoda who needs to be in lighstaber reach. Superman over Hulk; easiest pick of the bracket.
Voldemort over Superman; he’d just conjure some kryptonite and hit him with a killing curse.
And in the championship of wizards, Gandalf vs Voldemort: good triumphs over evil and Gandalf emerges as the most unbeatable man in fiction.
See you next week.