RebelGrove - The Mailbag, pres. by Whitney McNutt/Tommy Morgan Inc Realtors: Edition 129
{{ timeAgo('2021-04-07 11:01:30 -0500') }} football Edit

The Mailbag, pres. by Whitney McNutt/Tommy Morgan Inc Realtors: Edition 129

It's time for The Mailbag, presented by Whitney McNutt of Tommy Morgan Inc., Realtors, Edition 129.

I asked for your questions. You delivered. So here we go...

From RebelCommodore: Worst two beers you’ve ever tried one cheap and one more pricey

Ok, first, I've grown to really love the state of Texas over the past 13 months or so, but my God, I feel like Ted Lasso in England when he asks the locals about the tea. Do you Texans really like Shiner Bock or is it some sort of inside joke? It's just horrible. Also, the people who drink Michelob Ultra... well, I just can't. As for pricey beers, really, it's just about preference. I like IPAs, ales, lagers, stouts and most everything in between. There are a lot of really good craft beers readily available today. It just depends on your preference and, for me, time of year. But I don't understand how one can stand at the beer fridge at the local grocery store, see a widespread selection of beers and choose Bud Light. I don't judge, but I do wonder why.

From Colonel3491: Virtue signaling is a term that really didn’t come onto the scene until the pandemic. I had rarely if ever seen you use it before as well as on this board by other posters in general. My question is do you believe people can do good things out of the goodness of their heart and want to help others or will it now always be seen as virtue signaling? Shouldn’t there be some sort of gray line that smart people like you can use instead of always jumping to the virtue signaling term? I personally like to give people the benefit of the doubt that when they help others or are keeping them in mind it’s because they have a genuine care to help them.

Look, if anyone argues that the last 13 months hasn't changed them, I'm skeptical. It's completely changed my outlook on a number of things. It has changed the way I view many different people. It has led to a reprioritizing of my life. I highly doubt I'm alone in that sentiment.

Of course, people can and should do things out of the goodness of their hearts. The lasting legacy of Kobe Bryant, for example, are some of the stories of him going out of his way to reach out to sick young people -- on the condition no cameras be present.

However, I sensed -- and you confirmed -- this was about masks, at least in part. You're wondering, I believe, why people can't just wear their masks for a bit longer without complaining? After all, masks make some people feel more comfortable, so it's not a big deal to just put mine on for a bit longer, right?

So I'm on the record here. I don't think masks work against an aerosolized virus. Maybe to some minimal degree, but I don't believe they make any significant difference. I believe, if I'm being honest, masks have become badges. They've become the uniform, if you will, of the people who have embraced a fear of COVID.

By the time you read this, it will have been two weeks since I got the second Pfizer shot. I still have antibodies from a COVID infection. Vaccines are readily available in the town and state in which I live. There's no scientific reason for me to wear a mask. My 14-year-old son is wearing a mask from 8 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. every day. He admits he pulls it under his nose at every chance he gets. Young people aren't getting sick from COVID and, again, every teacher in his school has had weeks to get vaccinated. It's theatre. It's acquiescing to the vocal left, the crazy moms who are convinced Little Johnny or Little Sally is going to bring COVID home and kill Ma-Maw, despite the fact that Ma-Maw has likely been vaccinated for weeks now.

Masks have become a silent way for people to communicate. "Hey, we're in this together." They say to one another without saying a word, "You're one of us." The mask signals that, inherently implying that those who don't wear a mask are an enemy of sorts. In fairness, there are now people who actively seek out ways to show off their anti-mask rebellion. They walk into stores that require a mask, hoping for conflict. Both sides are dangerously close, in my opinion, to cult status.

As for me, I've made this clear. If your store wants to require masks, that's fine. Require two masks. Require eight masks. Require a HAZMAT suit. I support you. However, if I don't frequent that establishment because of the mask regulation, that doesn't make me a bad guy. It means I'm exercising my right to choose.

I do wonder where it ends. I mean, this weekend, 12,000-plus fans are going to cram into Swayze Field. Precious few will wear masks, and the Mask People will stay anonymous in that setting because they'll be so severely outnumbered. The Karens will scream on Twitter about the Neanderthals in Mississippi, but two weeks from now, there won't be a COVID spike.

There are restaurants in town -- book this, by the way, for it's sourced -- that are doing the mask charade right now because they fear they'll lose regulars and staff if they don't enforce mask mandates. At some point late this summer, however, money is going to win out. Those establishments are going to open up because limiting capacity and turning away customers is bad for the bottom line and they can't justify it any longer. The science will not have changed.

Right now, masks -- or the lack of a mask -- are absolutely a signal. I'm a rule follower by nature. So if I want to go into Sneed's to get charcoal or something for my Big Green Egg, I put my mask on and follow their rules. However, if I'm honest, I find myself getting more things online and going to Sneed's less than I normally would. Normally, I'd stop at Chicory Market to get a few things. But they limit occupancy to four people and require masks. Hell, they might still require hand sanitizer or gloves. I've stopped going. It's their right, but I find it to be theatre.

I don't want to wear a mask just to make people feel safer. I am not a threat to their safety, and frankly, if they're that scared and they're not vaccinated yet, that's on them.

I think, in the end, that's the bottom line for me. After 13 months of this insanity, I don't care enough about people's feelings to wear a mask just out of the goodness of my heart. I'm not a crazy, though, so I just avoid places that require masks if at all possible.

From North Tampa Rebel: How do you expect AD's and coaches to handle social justice protests with their teams this year? I think we are seeing with Texas what can happen when you have donors going against players. Do donors have as much sway as they used to with the SEC money?

I haven't gotten that far. I'm watching this Chauvin trial in Minneapolis with rapt interest. I'm watching reaction to different things that have happened so far, knowing there's a real chance Chauvin is acquitted on the most serious charges and there's an even more real chance the jury can't reach a verdict.

If that happens, I fear cities are going to burn and riots are going to ensue. And frankly, I worry the reaction to those riots won't be as peaceful this summer.

As for your question, it's a good one. I don't know the answer. If donors truly put their money where their mouths are -- something they rarely do -- the result would be impactful. My guess is schools are gambling that donors won't actually withdraw their money.

From walnutreb: Favorite movies from these genres:Horror/ThrillerRomanceComedyDramaWarDocumentary/Docudrama

I'm not a big movie guy, Walnut. I literally can't name a movie in all those genres that I would call my "favorite." I am a very, very boring person. I think "Pretty Woman" was a really good romance film. I love the "Hangover" movies. I loved "Spotlight." I am a big fan of all the Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan films. You'll laugh, but I loved "March of the Penguins." I find penguins fascinating.

From walnutreb: What's your go to cheat meal after a few weeks or so of being strict on your diet?One thing that's in Oxford and one thing just in general.

I don't really have one. I gain weight so easily that a cheat meal derails a week of exercise and diet. I just really try not to think about food like that.

From Raylon: Pitching: Ole Miss is at the top of the league in strike outs yet near the bottom in strike outs looking. Is that intentional? Is that a positive or a negative? Could it be we don't throw the breaking ball for strikes when we are ahead in the count?

In general, I would say that's a good thing. It reflects an aggressive approach, which I think is advisable when you have good arms on your roster -- something Ole Miss absolutely has.

From roxierebel: Neal, can you tell me who actually makes the decision on which uniforms the football team will wear each week?

I can't, but my educated guess is it's Lane Kiffin, with a level of input from his players.

From dreb2018: How different is the current NBA if Adam Silver lets the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade go through?

I'm not sure I understand the question. David Stern flagged that deal, correct? Also, there would be a real butterfly effect to that deal. The Lakers would've won more titles. We'd view Paul differently. The Lob City era with the Clippers likely wouldn't have happened. The Thunder probably would've been delayed a bit, which likely would've been a good thing for that organization. You could go on and on.

From Bidge12: Your take on these rules for the game of baseball and football? 1. Passed Ball for strike three batter can run to first.2. Fumble out of the back of the end zone touchback ball goes to the defense.

1. I actually like that one, as it impacts strategy with pitch selection.

2. I hate it. It just feels like a lucky break for the defense more than anything.

From FlaReb69: A) Do you still think the 2020 election was stolen?B) Why hasn’t Biden locked down the country, as you claimed for months he would?

A. Stolen? No, probably not. I believe Biden got more votes than Trump and got past the 270 electoral votes to be president. Do I think there was significant tampering in several states? I do. Do I believe Biden got more than 81 million legitimate votes? Probably not. But I do believe he won the election and do not question the legitimacy of his presidency. So far, I'm enjoying it. He's sprinting to the left. I hope he sprints even harder. History says that will result in a correction in midterm elections. At this point, a gridlocked Congress is likely in all of our best interests.

B. He hasn't locked the country down because he can't. He has been very critical of states that opened up fully, calling them "Neanderthals." He was critical of the Texas Rangers baseball team for opening its stadium fully this week. Let's not pretend the Biden administration is in a hurry to return to normalcy.

Ours is a very divided country. Look no further than the 60 Minutes story on Gov. DeSantis on Sunday. I know the reporter in that story. I have met her family, stayed at their home, etc. The fact that that reporter would allow her name to be put on a story that was so terribly edited and so easily torn apart proves to me just how much pressure there is to adopt an agenda in my field these days. I hope I'm wrong, but I think she did real damage to her career with that story.

You like to portray me as a right-wing nut. That's cool. You and others like to compare me to Clay Travis as if that's an insult. I only know Travis casually but I admire his success and his willing to think for himself and outside the bounds of mainstream media. However, if I were trying to go the Travis route, I wouldn't spend my time covering Ole Miss athletics or doing a daily podcast that is Ole Miss-centric.

I realize I don't think like your typical media member. Frankly, that core belief system has likely hurt my career advancement. I'm certainly never going to win a media popularity contest. However, that belief system has fed an entrepreneur spirit that has led to my doing quite well at a time when many in my field are losing their jobs and their livelihoods. So, I certainly won't claim to be a victim. In fact, I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished.

However, let the record show that I don't censor. I don't ban. I very, very, very rarely use the delete tool (only when I feel it's clear a subscriber is trolling) and I only use the move thread function because subscribers have asked that I do so.

From DeuceMccluster22: I often find myself rolling my eyes at how ridiculous it is baseball managers/ coaches have to wear full uniform during a game.if football coaches had to do same, pads included during their games..... what three SEC football coaches would look good in their teams uniform and what 3 SEC coaches would look awful in one?

Haha. That's a good one. First, I think the baseball uniform is a good idea. If that doesn't force a coach to stay fit, nothing would.

As for your question, I'd think Ed Orgeron would look quite intimidating in full pads, wouldn't you? Hell, I'm scared of him without pads. Now, we're just talking fitness, right?So I guess we're talking Kiffin, Mullen and perhaps Saban. Saban is old, so I'm not sure how good he'd look in pads. The rest of the league's coaches are pretty chunky guys (not sure about the Vanderbilt coach, honestly), so I guess I'd go Orgeron, Kiffin and Mullen.

From Levi275: In light of Baylor’s likely national title win (up big with 3:15 left), what does that mean for schools that are historically mediocre rising to the ranks of the elite? Baylor’s all time program win % is just over 50%. Which program could you see doing something similar in the near future?

There's a lot here.

Scott Drew has now been at Baylor for 18 years. He's established his culture. He has had a lot of trial and error. He's proven to be a very good evaluator. He's got strong AAU connections.

There are likely conclusions that can be drawn from Baylor's success, but this team won because it was very talented, it played with remarkable chemistry and it played tenacious defense.

It should be encouraging for a program like Ole Miss, but make no mistake, college programs win with talent. Baylor is an immensely talented team, a roster that included two (and maybe three, depending on your source) top-100 players.

From SipRebCard: I was wondering when and how your Cubs fandom started? I know you hate the Cardinals but my father who is now deceased bought me a glove and a bat in 1998 when I started playing at 5 years old with Mark McGwire on it which obviously was the reason why I am a Avid Cardinal fan to this day. Just wondered what your story was with the Cubs?

For a lot of reasons, I was drawn to the Cubs at a young age. I liked their uniform. I liked teams that had bears as their mascots. I really liked Bill Buckner and Ivan DeJesus. I don't know why. Then WGN came to town. Suddenly, I could watch this team from this far-off city play every day. Bump Wills led off the 1982 season with a home run. I just liked them. And then 1984 happened. I was 14. I loved that season. It was amazing. The Sandberg game. Rick Sutcliffe. The Sarge. Jody Davis. Keith Moreland. Ron Cey. Lee Smith. I fell in love with a team and then had my heart broken that October. I was hooked from there.

From walnutreb: Are you a bit surprised at the MLB getting more involved in politics? I know that they've been involved with BLM, equality issues, but at face value those are more social than political issues that most people can either get behind or ignore. Now they're trying to be involved in state voting legislation, as someone who differs alot from your politics on some issues, this seems like a major over reach.It also really shocks me that they aren't going with their pocket book. The demographics of their fans and where their money come from is probably not on their political side. What do you think their endgame is?I've always assumed the MLB will be gone before my life is over, do you think this speeds that up?

On one hand, I'm surprised. On the other, I'm not. The pressure in society today to be, for lack of a better term, civically active, is immense. I think they made a mistake here, punishing innocent people and turning off a segment of their most loyal customer base. What is the end game? I simply don't know. MLB is a microcosm of our society in a way. If we don't cool it a bit, things are going to get ugly. How many people are going to stop watching MLB, stop buying gear, stop going to games, etc.? I don't know.

From $WithARebelYell$: Who do you think is the next most likely commit (FB)?

That'd be a pure guess. I'll go with Khaumari Rogers.