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Every Day Should Be Saturday



Updated: 2017-06-26T12:40:54-04:00

 



REAL MASCOT SECRETS: FOREVER YOUNG

2017-06-26T12:40:54-04:00

ANOTHER HORRIFYING MASCOT BACKSTORY “Are you lost, young man?” I sigh. I know what people think of me. I understand why they want to help. But they can’t possibly understand my struggle. You see, I was once a real person. An adult, with dreams. A job. I was a wildlife biologist. That’s right! You wouldn’t ever guess it to look at me now, but I’m a trained scientist. “Where’s your mother, little boy?” I worked tirelessly throughout my career to preserve natural habitats, to track and catalogue endangered species. It was good work, and I loved it. There’s never enough time, though. For a scientist, you live gripped with the realization that your work can, by nature, never be truly done. It will outlive you. You will have to pass it on to others. “Hey, look, it’s Ness from Super Smash Bros., the character who I could never remember what game he was originally from.” I couldn’t bear that thought. I’d spent my entire life on this work, and I didn’t think that anyone would be able to carry it on with the passion and dedication that I did. It was around that time, while tracking a green sea turtle through a deep part of the Everglades, that I stumbled upon it. Shimmering light through a dense thicket of mangrove trees drew me closer. The air smelled sweet, cool, and fresh. Music from an unknown source lilted in the air. I waded out of my boat, brushing aside branches and weeds, into the source. “Hey, get a load of this Dennis the Menace lookin’ kid over here!” Legend holds that the explorer Ponce de Leon discovered present-day Florida while searching fruitlessly for the Fountain of Youth. As a scientist - and in a way, an explorer myself - I never believed in such a thing existing. I assumed that de Leon was, like most people who go to Florida, simply searching for new drugs. I believed that until I found the Fountain of Youth. The water looked like liquid gold, yet was also crystal-clear. I dipped a single hand into it, felt its warmth. In moments, the rheumatism that had begun to snarl my hands disappeared. Drawing the hand back, my skin was fresh and soft, like a baby’s. I cupped both hands and drank deeply of the water. I filled jugs and loaded them into my boat, lifting heavy loads with an ease I hadn’t felt in decades. “What kind of parent dresses their kid in overalls like that these days?” Upon my return to the field office, colleagues were amazed. “You look terrific!”, they beamed. “What’s your secret?”, they asked. “Did you get new glasses?” said Dan, who was kind of a dumbass like that. At home, my family was even more stunned. My wife was too shocked to speak at first, seeing the man she’d married 40 years prior standing at the threshold. At first, she cried. Then she embraced me. We shared a night like we hadn’t had in ages. The next morning, I developed concerns over what I had done. The roguish stubble I’d worn the night before was gone, and my face was bare - but not smooth, as fresh acne stippled across it. I called out to my wife, and my voice cracked. Oh no. What have I done? I went to my doctor. Calmly, coolly, she ran diagnostics. Bloodwork. EKG. EEG. MRI. When she came back into the exam room, her face bore the pall of someone about to deliver a terminal diagnosis. “Irreversible Acute De-Aging”, she stated, like that was a thing. “You know, the Benjamin Button stuff.” “I thought that was just a literary device,” I stammered. “You also thought the Fountain of Youth was a myth,” she said, which was a good point, but still not terribly medically rigorous. “What’s going to happen to me?”, I pleaded. “You were a young man of 17 when you came in here today. Right now, you’re running backward through puberty. By tomorrow morning, you’ll be a child. In a week? Dead.” “No! No, it can’t be. This was supposed to give me more time, not steal away what I had left! Is there anything I can do, doctor, anything at all?” She crossed her arms, scowled. A person of science, like me. It’s hard to accept tha[...]



SHUTDOWN FULLCAST 7.10: EIGHTY STATELY MINUTES ON THE BIG TEN WEST

2017-06-22T15:15:12-04:00

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A NOBLE, DIGNIFIED STAY AT THE WIMP INN

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Our march to Week 1 continues with a look at the Big Ten's Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State-less division, the West! Points of discussion include:

  • Wisconsin's return to easy mode scheduling after a year contending with anything but
  • Why Iowa-Iowa State must be respected
  • Unless Iowa just loses to Wyoming to start the season
  • Nebraska and death by balloon
  • How P.J. Fleck winds up in Knoxville thanks to Minnesota
  • Purdue's possible return to master of the "oh shit what's happening now" channel change
  • Why Spencer just wants Illinois to be quiet
  • Ryan gets fed up with Pat Fitzgerald; is summarily mocked by his cohosts

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ED ORGERON MAKES A HURRICANE PREP AD

2017-06-20T16:05:47-04:00

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IT’S GOOD BUT DAMN IS HE LOUD

  1. Notice that Coach O nails his lines, and does so from a spot about a foot back from where the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, stands. This is how loud Ed Orgeron’s voice is: Even with sound editing and filters, professionals have to stand him a full foot further back from a guy who went to West Point. He probably has two volume settings: “talking to infants and puppies,” and “EVERYWHERE AND EVERYONE ELSE.”
  2. Also notice that when it comes to the boring “blah blah please download our app” stuff they give it to the governor, but when it comes to the messaging that they really want the viewer to hear they give it to Coach O because he’s startling, and startling gets people listening. COACH O WANTS YOU TO FINALIZE YOUR EMERGENCY PLANNING. HE WANTS YOU TO HAVE THREE DAYS AH SUPPLIES AND OTHA ESSENCHAHLS. Everyone paid attention to that part, because Ed Orgeron is very loud and his voice hits the ears like a sledgehammer even in a throwaway PSA.
  3. The emergency supplies included the fancy instant coffee. OOOH, CAFE PILON ESPRESSO BLEND. Louisiana ain’t facing eight feet of water on the street without premium caffeine, nor should they have to.
  4. Ed’s not joking around, by the way. He’s from Houma, a fishing and sugarcane town in Terrebonne Parish that’s been hit by nearly every single major hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana. He was eight when Hurricane Camille hit. If you don’t know about Hurricane Camille, read up—she was a complete asshole.
  5. Coach O looking leathery only increases his Cajun-powers.
  6. SAVE THIS FOR LATER, IT’S PART OF YOUR PREPAREDNESS PACKAGE FOR THE 2017 SEASON AND IT IS ESSENCHAHL
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SURELY THIS WON’T COME IN HANDY LATER
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REAL MASCOT SECRETS: THE HAMMER AND THE DAMAGE DONE

2017-06-20T10:26:45-04:00

WE’RE DOIN’ BACKSTORIES Previously, Spencer’s stated goal of giving backstories to college football mascots gave us this illuminating tale of Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton, the very real inspiration behind Oklahoma State’s gunslinging mascot. This next mascot backstory may not be as true. Or maybe it is, I don’t know, what is this, the New Yorker? —— You’ve probably heard the story of John Henry, right? You know the one. The steel-drivin’ man who went toe-to-toe with the machine. Battled a steam-powered hammer to see who was faster. Beat the machine, and died right there, hammer in hand. It’s a classic. They don’t tell you the rest of the story. He struck a blow for humanity, they’d have you believe. The machines were coming, but they weren’t going to replace humans. Not yet. He showed that machine. They don’t tell you about the man behind that machine. I built that machine. I was a young engineer, full of hope and ambition and possibility. I was proud of my work, and especially so this machine. James Watt had designed the first steam hammer, but we were working all the time to improve it. This one was clean, powerful, efficient. Safe. That’s what sickened me the most. I was going to save lives in that tunnel. They act like we were coming for their jobs, the steel men - but we weren’t. We were going to make their jobs so much safer. It was hard, nasty, dangerous work - didn’t he prove that that day? Shouldn’t a man dropping dead on the spot tell you that there’s something wrong, that this steam hammer wasn’t the enemy? He embarrassed me, and he embarrassed my company. The owner, he blamed me personally. “A curse on our name”, he called it. “We’ll be the loser in folk songs for generations, just because your machine couldn’t hack it.” I begged for my job. Pleaded. Please, I told him. I have a family. Kids. I’ll lose everything. “You’ve already lost,” he said, “now get out.” He turned his back on me. My blood boiled, like the steam in my machine. My machine that worked, fabulously. My clean, powerful machine that never failed, never needed rest, never complained - never dropped dead after a day’s work. Not like these unreliable men, or this brutish old hammer. The hammer. Henry’s hammer, pulled from his still-warm hands as he lay there. It lay on the table in the baron’s office. His back was still turned. Maybe he saw the shadow as I raised it. Maybe he didn’t. He had no time to make any more noise as I lowered it, straight on his head. It’s said that when Oppenheimer saw the first Trinity test, he recited the Bhagavad Gita, saying “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.” But Oppenheimer only saw a flash across the distant desert sands. He never felt the sickening crunch of a sledgehammer on a skull, the feeling of becoming death with your own hands. He never became death. He never liked it. I went on the run, with a new purpose. The machines weren’t here to save humanity. They were here to correct the error of humanity. From that moment on, I worked toward that future. In the shadows, working tirelessly, I engineered death wherever I could. Do you ever hear of a train accident that kills people? A machine that mangles its ‘operator’? A ‘design flaw’ that results in another feeble, frail, fallible human being removed from the equation? Did you ever consider that this was the design, and not the flaw? Machines don’t make mistakes. They’re cold, logical, forever moving toward their purpose. If humanity collides with that purpose and bleeds, it’s humanity that has a flawed design. Asimov declared that a fundamental law of robotics was that a human could not be injured. He was a coward, afraid that he would be replaced. When I designed the first purpose-made killing machine, and turned it on, it faced me down. It looked me cold in the eye and it saw that, I, too, was human. I, too, was obsolete. As it closed its metal hands and squeeze[...]



WE FIX YOUR APPAREL PROBLEM, GEORGIA TECH

2017-06-19T12:11:01-04:00

GEORGIA TECH NEEDS NEW GEAR. BOLD GEAR Georgia Tech is a rarity among FBS football programs for a few reasons. They run an offense you cannot identify, because the act of giving it a name enrages their coach. Call it a flexbone, and Paul Johnson will get cranky; Call it a triple-option, and he gets even crankier. It’s safest not to even discuss it as an offense, really. Just say Georgia Tech has special teams, a defense, and [pantomimes handing off the ball and running frantically while passing only rarely.] They also have a gear deal with...Russell Athletic. Not Nike, not Adidas, not even Under Armour, but Russell Athletic, a company whose only remaining FBS client as of this week was Georgia Tech. Their deal with Tech is up in 2018, the negotiations for a new deal are underway, and the three candidates for the contract are the usual, boring suspects: Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. That is disappointing. Tech has always been dedicatedly weird, and now risks being just one of another vassal states in world divided between three monolithic brands. Tech is creative, something not even Georgia fans would dispute. (Georgia fans: Consult your handy chart of “Tech cheatin’” and at least admit this part.) There are other brands that could do the job, and do it in a way that reflects Tech’s unique history of football innovation and independence. For instance: BIG DOGS They don’t make athletic apparel, but the audacity of being an insect mascot team and aligning with Big Dogs in a state where their primary rival is repped by a dog is unquestionable. Also it’s right there on the shirt: If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. The big ol’ dogbees, right there on that porch. IT’S A LAW, LOOK IT UP A Big Dogs shirt is admissible in court in the state of Georgia as a criminal defense of almost any felony. Wear the right one and holler “BUT I’M A BIG DOG, YOUR HONOR” and the judge has to let you go. LULULEMON They’d be comfortable and durable and more expensive than Georgia’s gear. That is very much on brand for Georgia Tech: That in the end, we can afford nicer stuff than you can, because we can do math and you cannot. Lululemon is also kind of cult-ish, which suits the small but rabid Tech fanbase well, too. (Downside: Ayn Randian beliefs not ideal for executing coordinated blocking schemes.) YETI They don’t make clothes BUT consider that if they did, they’d be waterproof, maintain a steady temperature until the near heat death of the universe, ridiculously expensive (See: “we have nicer stuff than you”) and admittedly overengineered. Would steal a mainline affiliation brand from UGA fans, too, who would be forced to find another aspirational cooler brand. They’ll act like they’re not bad about this, which would be just another delicious layer here for the Jackets. AH NEEDED A COOLER THAT HAD A HOLSTER FOR MAH GUN. A REAL AMERICAN COOLER, NOT THIS TECH YETI ISIS SHIT. TECH IS ISIS. DID I SAY THAT? THEY’RE ISIS, IN THE FLESH, BECAUSE THEY BOTH CUT BLOCK AND HATE AMERICA. REEBOK That’s the joke! Your cleats would be the puffiest in the land, Tech. STARTER Huge, huge jerseys only available on eBay. The ‘92 Charlotte Hornets throwbacks you wear in week eight might seem weird, but isn’t confusion just another word for strategy? LARRY JOHNSON HANDS OFF TO KENDALL GILL, GILL GETS THREE ON THE CARRY. SOME HUGE CHINESE SPORTSWEAR COMPANY WITH SUPERB COPYRIGHT ATTORNEYS Get whatever designs you want for way less, and let the vagaries of international IP law do the rest for you. SUPREME THIS POST COST $900 JUST BECAUSE OF THE SUPREME LOGO Don’t lose any of them: You only get 27 of them made, and they cost $1,820.85 each. [...]



REAL MASCOT SECRETS: OKLAHOMA STATE EDITION

2017-06-16T12:06:47-04:00

PETE’S MUSTACHE WAS REAL, Y’ALL We joked about dark mascot backstories on the Fullcast this week during a review of the Big 12, singling out Pistol Pete from Oklahoma State in particular because...well, just look at him. Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images HE’S SEEN SOME SHIT How could he not have a dark backstory with that thousand yard stare, those coal-black eyes that have seen the dark rider of death itself galloping over vast flatlands of the prairie? What evil furnace of human experience leaves a man with a gaze that haunted? What infernal, unceasing wind chaps the skin to that shade of red? What series of events carves a scowl on a man’s face so permanent he becomes a statue bearing witness to unseen but real cruelties forever? Turns out, the answer to all of those questions is: Because he’s based on a real and terrifying person. Frank Eaton was the real Pistol Pete, and this is the fourth sentence of his Wikipedia bio. In 1868, Mose Beaman, his father's friend, said to Frank, "My boy, may an old man's curse rest upon you, if you do not try to avenge your father" Frank was eight when he was told this. He was also eight when he learned to handle a gun. Eaton learned to shoot so well with both hands that he could shoot the head off a snake with either hand. Historical note: “Shooting the heads off snakes” seemed to be the entirety of coursework in 19th century marksmanship training. Frank Eaton got a job working as a marshal in the Indian Territories—like, actual True Grit territory—when he was 17. Did he get a lucky crucifix from a beautiful lady? Of course he did. Did the cross catch a bullet that would have surely killed him? You bet it did. Did Frank return to find the girl had died of pneumonia, because this is a cowboy story and someone needs to die tragically of a possibly treatable disease? Yes. Eaton eventually found five of the six men who killed his father, killing all five himself. The history bleeds into myth very, very quickly here, but Eaton might have even been the source for Rooster Cogburn’s quote “Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!”, yelled during one part of his epic rampage. After someone else shot the sixth man for dealing cards off the bottom of the deck during a card game, Eaton attended his funeral just to make sure he was dead. Eaton has missed the opportunity to shoot the man himself by just one day. Eaton wasn’t even 20 when he “escaped the curse of an old man” by avenging his father. At the age of 29, Eaton sort of began settling down by landrushing his way into a farm in Perkins, Oklahoma, just south of Stillwater. In Perkins, he worked as a constable, blacksmith, and also had a side hustle digging wells. Sometimes, while digging wells, Eaton hit layers of rock, and had to blast his way through with dynamite. Did he waste time with fuses, detonators, or timers? Allow the quasi-historical record to answer that. Secured at the end of a rope, Frank would descend into the dark abyss, place the dynamite in a strategic location, light the fuse, and then quickly begin his ascent to escape the coming blast. “My father asked Frank if the dynamite had ever exploded before he made it all the way up,” Luster said. “Frank replied, ‘Ho! Ho! Ho! Ah God, yes!’” Luster’s father asked, “Really, Frank? What happened then?” “Ah God!” Eaton said, “I got muh damned backside filled with sand rock!” So: no, Frank Eaton did not mess with anything like safety equipment, and just Wile E. Coyote’d the shit out of the situation. Frank Eaton also accidentally rebranded Oklahoma State. Until 1923, the school liked to call itself “The Princeton of the Prairie,” which explains the orange and black colors. It also sort of explains why there was a tiger in Stillwater, though not really “why or how the hell they got a tiger in Stillwater, Oklahoma.” The tiger died, and[...]



A SERIOUS DISCUSSION OF AMATEUR ATHLETICS

2017-06-15T13:00:08-04:00

NAH I’M JUST YANKIN’ YA, IT’S A SHITPOST This week, the International Olympic Committee announced that, along with a handful of other new events, 3-on-3 basketball would be included in the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Well, hey, that’s a fun new wrinkle. Traditional 5-on-5 basketball at the Olympic level has gotten rather stale, with the foregone drama of “which group of second-tier American stars will cruise to gold over various Gasols”. Bringing in the playground variant of the game, and playing in unique venues, a la beach volleyball, has the potential to really liven up the sport’s international competition. But, you know, the top-flight NBA players aren’t likely to play in it. Many already eschew international play, given the demands of their professional season - and those who do play will likely stick to the traditional game. “Well, they’ll probably use college players,” you say, interrupting me rudely as I write. Yeah. Sure. That’s probably true. But you know what? I don’t know anything about college basketball right now. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, smack between two of the most passionate and hate-filled fanbases in the sport. I tune it out. It’s like two raccoons fighting in my trash cans. Just gotta hope they get their fill and leave by morning. Besides, the college players who might be available in 2020 are like, 15 years old now. I don’t know who’s going to be any good. No, my premise here is simple: If you were constructing 3-on-3 Olympic basketball teams using only mascots from one FBS conference, what would they be? It’s June and this website is free to visit, I remind you. Let’s begin. The Atlantic Coast Conference Great, we’ll start simple, this is a basketball conference with mostly humanoid mascots. Plenty of good options. I’ll go with: The Louisville Cardinal The Duke Blue Devil Rameses, the North Carolina Tarheel It’s a Team of Rivals! Lincoln would be so proud if he saw this. He’s dead, though. Shot in the head. Very sad. I know what you’re saying, “but what about Syracuse??” (that’s the official motto of Syracuse University, by the by: Quae Circa Syracusas). Sure, they’ve got the basketball pedigree, but look at Otto. He’s all ass. He’s a low-post player, and I don’t think he’d keep up with the pace of the half-court game. The Big 12 The Texas Tech Red Raider Oklahoma State’s Pistol Pete The West Virginia Mountaineer I know what you’re thinking. A league with a pre-eminent basketball power like Kansas, and you’re picking these three schools? Hear me out: I watched that 30 For 30 on the 1980s Celtics last night, and think we’ve forgotten the basketball potential of “a bunch of skeevy white guys who might strip the copper piping out of the locker room at halftime.” “PAROLE OFFICER DIDN’T SAY NOTHIN’ ‘BOUT NO PISS TEST FOR THE HORSE” SEC Smokey, the blue tick hound from Tennessee Please note that I firmly believe Air Bud is real and dogs can play basketball, and if you want to prove me wrong, then you stage a basketball game with dogs in it and I will happily attend. Seriously, you should do that. Moving on. War Eagle, Auburn If dogs can play basketball, why can’t an eagle? Would he pop the ball, and get his talons stuck, and then flop around on the floor until he’d need to be sedated and given fluids? Maybe. Would that be any worse than a normal SEC basketball game? The Kentucky Wildcat Look, I didn’t want to include him either. But if you mention Louisville and not them, they’ll burn your house down. PAC-12 Ralphie the Buffalo, Colorado Look, I said 3-on-3 doesn’t favor post-up players, but you should see her drive the lane. Sparky the Sun Devil, Arizona State Per Wikipedia, “Sparky is officially known as a ‘mischievous imp’, [...]



SHUTDOWN FULLCAST! THE BIG 12 PREVIEW

2017-06-15T10:19:25-04:00

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ALSO THE ONE WHERE SPENCER PULLS A MACK BROWN

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There’s HUGE COACHING NEWS which we don't even get to until over halfway through this episode. That's the kind of pure professionalism you can expect from the Shutdown Fullcast and our preview of the Big 12, which includes:

  • Recruiting powerhouse Kansas
  • A selection of streaks Iowa State could, in theory, end
  • Oklahoma State's real strange road trip plans
  • Continued expectations for Texas that they can't possibly reach
  • Oh right the Oklahoma thing
  • Spencer pulls a Mack Brown
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