All That and a Bag of Mail: Arkansas Grandma Ain't Dropping That Cooler

All That and a Bag of Mail: Arkansas Grandma Ain't Dropping That Cooler

Published Feb. 21, 2014 12:00 a.m. ET

It's Friday and the mailbag is here once more.

This Saturday and Sunday I'll be at Nashville's SportsFest where we have a great collection of speakers coming to town -- Butch Jones, Derek Mason, Bruce Pearl, Tracy Wolfson, Preds players, Titans players, it should be a fun event. What's the only thing that can make the event better? I'll be signing books and we'll have Outkick apparel for you guys.

So if you're in Nashville come by and say hi this weekend. Here's the schedule, from 10-5 on Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is this tailgating Arkansas grandma, who is holding tight to the cooler from a wheelchair. We may need to break this out further into an awkward fan photo, but thanks to our anonymous tipster we know the story behind the picture at least. 


Anonymous writes:

"My buddy snapped this attached picture at the Arkansas-Samford game at War Memorial Stadium this past year.

If you have never been to an Arkansas football game at War Memorial you truly don't understand the level of Bama-like activity that goes on. I like to think all Arkansas fans are not as dumb as you claim them to be, but pictures like this make your point pretty clear.

Woo pig sooie!

Feel free to use the picture, but not my name/e-mail. Love OKTC, keep the entertainment coming.

On to the mailbag:

"Lots of you on Twitter and email, what about Bret Bielema talking about a Cal player dying as evidence for the danger of spread offenses?"

Bret Bielema needs to just stop talking to the media in the off-season. 

Last season he said he had a better Big Ten record than Nick Saban -- and then followed up that bon mot with a winless SEC record. 

I understand if you occasionally say the wrong thing when you get a question you don't expect, but Bielema knew he was going to be asked about the proposed ten-second substitution rule in college football. How was his planned answer in any way including the phrase, "death certificates," a reference to the recent death of a Cal football player?

If I was a parent or family member of the deceased player, I'd see red here. If I was a Cal player, coach, or fan I'd be furious at the connection between an off-season conditioning death and substitution rules. It trivializes a young man's death and draws a false equivalency. Increasingly, Bielema looks like a total disaster of a hire. He's yet to win an SEC game, his recruiting was by far the worst of any of the first-year SEC coaches -- Butch Jones, Gus Malzahn, and Mark Stoops destroyed him on the trail -- and he just seems like a loutish buffoon.

Plus, while you might be able to argue that more snaps leads to more injuries, can't you also argue that the spread offense actually encourages smaller, quicker players, meaning that the body collisions on these plays are less violent? And if you simply want to argue that more snaps leads to more injuries, it's a slippery slope, why not shorten the games, shorten the season? Football's a violent sport, you can't change that fact with substitution rules.  

How bad has Bielema been so far?

I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Arkansas fans.

Sure, Bobby Petrino screwed a hot blonde employee and lied about, but at least he didn't screw the entire state.  

Badi writes:

"The writer for True Detective said that the second season will have a similar feel where two detectives solve a case. We know it won't be Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, so who would be your dream team for the second season? What two actors would you want to see next year? I'll hang up and listen."

Great question. 

If you aren't watching True Detective, you need to dive all in with a marathon. So far there have only been five episodes and the entire season will only be eight episodes long so it doesn't even take up that much of your schedule. Make it happen. 

Having said that, my ideal duo for season two would be: Leonardo Dicaprio and Johnny Depp. 

I want extraordinary actors who would have an interesting chemistry between them. Granted these two guys are unlikely to be willing to do the show given the relatively small paychecks, but that would be my duo. What other duos would I love to see in season two of True Detective?

Brad Pitt and Don Cheadle. 

Matt Damon and Jeff Daniels. 

George Clooney and Jeff Bridges.

Clint Eastwood and Joaquin Phoenix.

Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe.

I could go on with more lists, but all of twelve of these guys would be pretty outstanding. Maybe it's just me, but I see the show as needing two male detectives to work really well. It just has that feel. If you wanted to make one of the detectives a woman, I'd go with Jodie Foster, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, Angelina Jolie, or, and this may be a shocker, the very underrated Charlize Theron. You need someone who can pull off a drug-addled beaten down, grizzled cop with demons. But, again, I see this as two men.

Ashley C. writes:

"If "True Detective" was centered around SEC football, how do we think this would play out? I think Les Miles would be great as Woody Harrelson's role. And Saban could totally pull of McConaughey's character. Regardless of the plot, Steve Spurrier would ultimately turn out to be the lynchpin for everything, don't you think?

Reading "Dixieland Delight" right now. Love your stuff!"

And Bret Bielema would definitely be the killer, right?

Kevin S. writes:

"My wife and I recently welcomed our firstborn into this world. We thought we would fly by the seat of our pants and raise her without any help from baby books. After the first week at home, we figured out we have no clue what we are doing. It seems so repetitive - eat, sleep, poop. I knew it would be hard getting used, but this lack of sleep is taking its toll. I go back to work soon and need a few pointers on how to maximize sleep. Any help?"

First, newborns are hell. Second, congrats.   

But back to the first, it's a total disaster. There is no way to prepare for the hell that is having a newborn baby. No way at all. (If you're one of those couples that gets a dog to "prepare for having kids." Yeah, stop telling people that. It just makes you look incredibly dumb. Comparing a dog to a newborn is like comparing a billionaire's bank account to your average 13 year old's. There is no comparison between your new puppy -- that you leave alone at home all day with a bowl of food and play with for two hours a day, at most -- with a newborn who spends hours a day connected to your nipple and refuses to ever sleep when you want to sleep. Oh, and YOU CAN NEVER REALLY LEAVE THE BABY ALONE AT HOME FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS. So stop with your stupid puppy comparison to people that have children. It just makes us want to strangle you to death with our Baby Bjorns). 

The first order of business is get the kid to sleep through the night. Once you can accomplish this feat, it will become the most tremendous accomplishment of your life. I'm not kidding. Because sleep can make everything about having a new baby better. But without sleep you're truly being driven insane by the newborn. I would encourage you to experiment with the baby's sleep habits. Despite what the parenting books tell you, every child is different. People seem to believe that what worked for them will definitely work for you. It won't. With our firstborn we eventually discovered that he would sleep longer in his carseat than his crib. So we'd carry him inside in the carseat and let him sleep at night in his carseat. Then we realized that he'd sleep all night if we put him in his baby jungle swing and left it going all night. (There is no telling how many times we changed the batteries on the swing). 

People love to be judgmental about babies, but here's the deal, if you're college educated and living in America today, your baby is already spoiled rotten and has more advantages than 99.9% of all babies ever born. Think about all the babies throughout history who turned out fine born in an African cave in the midst of a war between villages and a man-eating lion rampage. 

As for work, my wife was willing to let me move into a new room and sleep. She was home with the baby so she took the full combat duty. I'm still amazed she could pull it off. I'd suggest you let your wife sleep for several hours in the early evening when you get back from work and take over for a bit. (And by "take over for a bit," I mean do everything wrong). If you can pull off four or five hours of consistent baby work here, your wife can probably pump a few bottles and get some sleep. Or go shopping. Or do whatever she needs to do to remain sane. Then you go to bed and she takes the night shift.

If her mom, your mom or sisters are options, I'd also fly them in and pay all their expenses for a week of help at a time. If you can fly in a younger sister for longer than that, do it. 

Good luck.   

Anthony G. writes:

"Hey Clay,

How far do you think Juan Pablo has gone with each contestant so far in The Bachelor? ABC only shows him make out with each girl except for his swim with Clare that inferred much more happened. Given how bad each girl wants to win and how crazy you already have to be to go on the Bachelor, do you think they try to one-up each other and have already done some crazy sex things with Juan Pablo or do they really all wait until the final night?"

Good question. 

I tend to think crazy sex things happen for four reasons: 1. all Bachelor women are a little bit crazy 2. abundant alcohol is readily available at all times 3. the women who go on these shows aren't exactly virgins or likely to be easily shamed 4. competition makes women sluttier

Think about "The Bachelor," in a normal context, if you were deciding who to propose to and you told four women, okay, I'm going to propose to one of you, but first we're going to check into a hotel and I'll have sex with each of you on four consecutive nights. Then I'll weigh our sexual chemistry in relation to other important factors -- such as how you look in a bikini and whether you're willing to bungie jump -- and then I'll decide who to propose to after all that.

You'd get slapped, right?

Or have we men done this all wrong? Do women want to get engaged so badly that if they all knew they had a one in four chance of getting a ring in four months, they wouldn't even care if you were sleeping with three other women the same week?

I'm intrigued.  

Reed writes:

"Let's imagine LeBron James, for whatever reason, was allowed to play a year of college basketball this year. LeBron, for whatever reason, decides to play for a middle of the pack SEC team.... let's say Vanderbilt. Considering that LeBron averages over 26 points a game in the NBA, is it reasonable to believe he'd be able to average 40 points a game over the course of an average SEC season? What about 50? He'd never be stopped one-on-one, so teams would double and triple team him... or just hack him constantly. He'd obviously be dominant in every game (or get a thousand assists because of the triple teams he'd get), but imagine the obscene performances he'd have this year against Austin Peay, Northeastern, and Lipscomb. Could he score 60 with ease? 70? Furthermore, what impact would this have on Vanderbilt's record? Clearly they'd instantly be SEC Champion contenders. Would just having LeBron make them Final Four contenders? What are the chances they'd go undefeated? Essentially the question is... could a veteran, top 5 NBA superstar instantly make a .500 college basketball team a national champion?"

I would love to see this for a season.

He'd average forty easy, but the rebounding and assist numbers might be even more unbelievable.

My best guess is LeBron would average 41 points a game, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists per game. (He's averaging 26.9 points a game, 7 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game this NBA season).. 

He'd basically be able to score at will, but given LeBron's game, I think it's more likely he'd be an all around assassin at the collegiate level. 

There's no doubt that LeBron definitely makes the average major college team a Final Four and national title contender. So far we've focused on the offensive impact -- and it would be unlike anything we've ever seen before -- but just think about what LeBron could pull off defensively as well. He could shut down at least two players by himself with his length, size, and ability to guard anyone on the court. He averages nearly two steals a game in the NBA, you have to figure that number would go to five or six in college. Then think about blocks. Good lord, he could destroy so many college shots. Three or four a game, easy. Plus, remember that college games are eight minutes less than NBA games and that you only play twice a week. He'd never come out of the game -- unless his team was so far ahead it didn't matter -- and he'd be able to play with maximum intensity for every minute of every college game all season long.

Rebounding might be his most impressive skill too. He'd be the greatest rebounder in the college game. He'd get an astounding percentage of the rebounds, both offensive and defensive.   

I'm not even sure how you'd defend him if you were an opposing college coach. Sure, you could theoretically say you'd just play him man to man with your best defender and let LeBron get his fifty and worry about stopping everyone else. But I think LeBron could score or get fouled at least 70% of the time. (He shoots 57 percent in the NBA! At guard.) In other words, if you just played him man to man he might score seventy just by himself without passing the ball at all. He actually might not need anyone else to score on his team to win games. And that scoring percentage in a one on one setting might be low. Remember, NBA players shoot turnaround college threes. LeBron isn't even a great outside shooter -- he shot 40% last year from three and is at 37% so far this season, but that's from the NBA line -- but he'd be deadly from the college three point line, at least 50%, probably higher considering everyone would give him this shot without defending him. If you double team him, he's the greatest passer in the game. My inclination would be you'd have to double or triple team LeBron and make him give the ball up to outside shooters and hope they miss. Which is, ultimately, what would probably keep LeBron from winning a college title. College teams don't really have that many deadeye shooters. Now if your average college team had two guys who never missed but couldn't create their own shots? You'd never lose with LeBron. They'd get wide open threes all game long. 

But my guess is that eventually he'd run into a better team and his own team would wilt under the pressure in the Final Four. There's still a decent chance that wilting never happens in a game that truly matters and LeBron's team wins a title.    


By the way, I asked the only former SEC basketball player who I follow on Twitter, Steven Pearl, what he thought LeBron would average on an average SEC team. 

Pearl's answer:

"57ppg, 16rpg, 7apg, 11spg, 7bpg in 40 minutes. His season high in points would be somewhere around 90 points."

Raising this question, wouldn't you rather LeBron take a year off the NBA and play for an average college team?

I'd watch every one of those games.