All That and a Bag of Mail: Cat Recruiting

Yes, cat recruiting.

It's mailbag time so y'all can stop pretending you're working and hang out for the next twenty minutes or so here in the mailbag. 

Thanks to reader Brooks H. who sends along this photo of the 85% at the Player's Championship. You really aren't safe from Bama fans anywhere. 

Our beaver pelt trader of the week goes to Rice football, who pulled out all of the stops to recruit a quarterback. Including a letter to the family cat, really. 

"According to John Granato, the father of Kinkaid quarterback J.T. Granato, the Owls sent a recruiting letter addressed to Kitty Granato ... the family cat.

The letter, from co-offensive coordinator Billy Lynch, said:
"As you know we're trying to convince J.T. Rice is the place for him. I know you'd like to keep him close so he can feed you and change the litter box. Please help us to get him to choose us. Paw me if you have any questions."

Amazing. 

Now let's dive into the mailbag. 

Anonymous writes:

"So I'm in my best friend's wedding over Memorial Day weekend and we have the bachelor party the Wednesday before. I'm not his best man so I had no say in planning the party. The best man doesn't drink, which is totally fine with me, but everyone else does. This is where it gets bad...

We receive an email from the best man about the itinerary of the party. I start reading and get to "Since (the groom) played baseball growing up." I get to this part and expect to be going to an MLB game. I'm thinking "Ok, this isn't too bad. I can work with this." Oh boy was I wrong. I keep reading to find out the best man wants to organize a game of baseball. Yes, a bunch of low to middle 20 year olds will be starting a bachelor party by playing baseball... Are you kidding me?

The email then gets to the next event on the night. What could it be next? It is a cook out at the best mans house. The email also talks about byob, IF you want to drink, and bring our own meat. And yes, the best man made a meat joke.

So the bachelor party is going to be a baseball game then a cookout. Couldn't I do this any night of the week? I mean come on. This is my first bachelor party I'm attending and I was expecting to get destroyed and have a crazy night. Do I find some of the other guys I know and branch out on another late night party? I need more suggestions what I can do?

I suppose my biggest question for you, is there anything worse than having a guy that doesn't drink plan a bachelor party?"

I actually think the meat joke is by far the best part of this email. 

A baseball game?! Are there 18 of you and are you all nine years old? So you have to bring your own glove and cleats to a bachelor party? This sounds awful. You need to stage a rebellion and at least make this a wiffle ball game. Is there anybody reading this right now who wouldn't rather play wiffle ball over actual baseball?

If it's an actual baseball game, I'm filled with questions: Who pitches? Do you really want to stand in the batter's box with some out of shape dude who hasn't pitched in six years humming fast balls in your direction? Do you have helmets? This is just an awful decision in every respect. Even actual major league players think this is absurd. What if the groom gets drilled with a line drive in the game? Or misfields a grounder? He could be screwed for the wedding with a huge black eye or a broken nose.

What if, god forbid, the pitcher loses one and hits him in his head.  

Switch this to drinking wiffle ball right now. 

J. writes:

"My brother and I have a situation to resolve and figured you could help seeing as you're a connoisseur of these kind of things. We have recently purchased a game day house in College Station and cannot be more excited. We are both A&M grads and tailgate/have season tickets with the same group. The problem is that there are two bedrooms in the house on the second floor, a larger one in the back, and a smaller one that overlooks the front, has much better view, bigger closet, etc. It is still being built and neither of us can decide which room is better. Instead of the "i'm older" argument or have more money invested etc, we decided to make a fun competition for room choice pick. Any suggestions? We're both in our late 20s, golf a lot, not married, have similar preferences in beer, and lifestyle in general. Thanks for the help."

This is a genius way to spend your money. 

Right now there are a ton of married guys reading this thinking, if I hadn't gotten married I could have bought a place back in college with my buddies for weekend football games. You know who is always going to be trying to spend the night on the couch with you? Your married friends.  

Maybe I'm an idiot, but why can't you just rotate the bedrooms on a weekly basis? You already said you don't really have a preference. I mean, you're not living there and I'm guessing your home decorating will consist of A&M cups and assorted schedule posters on the walls. So it's not like the bedrooms are going to be that much different. I'd just rotate them until one of you decides he really likes one room more than the other. Or until, as will inevitably happen, you notice that A&M wins games based on your bedroom decisions. 

Tons of you on Twitter and email:

"Why does Deadspin hate you so much that they wrote an awful article attacking something you didn't even say?"

Deadspin doesn't hate me, it hates popular things because that's what hipsters in Brooklyn do, they lash out at anything that the masses like as evidence of how wrong the masses are. Deadspin also believes that the masses are racist and homophobic even when the masses aren't. It makes them feel better about themselves. There's a peculiar subset of white people whose favorite thing to do in the world is call other white people racist and homophobic. It's fascinating. Which is how several thousand words that I wrote on actions vs. words -- among the easiest concepts to grasp on Earth -- could somehow turn into several thousand words from Deadspin about how I was defending Donald Sterling. 

Uh, miss the point at all?

Deadspin got roasted by you guys on Twitter. I mean totally crushed. So much so that I didn't even feel the need to respond because you guys destroyed them so much yourselves. Thanks for that. More than anything I take it as a sign that Outkick has gotten really big, which we have, thanks to you guys. We're going to do two million unique readers in the month of May. By the time football season is here we might well be doing four million unique readers. Or more. That's pretty massive for a site that doesn't even publish that many articles. You don't get that popular without provoking a backlash from the gatekeepers for a particular kind of liberal east coast mindset, which is what Deadspin is now.

It's sad because the site used to be much better. Back when Will Leitch ran Deadspin it was a whimsical hang-out that didn't take itself too seriously. The site's feud with ESPN was entertaining, a tiny flea provoking a giant elephant. AJ was more of an ass than Will -- and so am I -- but the tone still carried through with us there. It was more fun than serious, the kind of place you stopped by to hang out when you should be working. Drew Magary still hits this tone perfectly, he's fantastic. It's probably no coincidence that he's been there the longest either. Otherwise, most of what I see on Deadspin I've seen on Twitter hours before. The rest of it is mostly curse wors to look cool and psychobabble designed to reinforce a Brooklyn hipsters sports worldview.  

If I was advising them, I'd tell them to write much less and make it much better. 

Also, leave the preaching behind and hire people other than white guys living in Brooklyn.

As for you guys, Outkick will come in for more and more attacks as we grow. I love that you guys were so quick to defend the site. It's gratifying. Thank you.  

Cory H. writes:

"I wanted to get your input on "Old-Man Strength."€ When do you think it kicks in? Or is it acquired over time? I have a theory that old-man strength as we know it is going to be all but extinct over the next 20-30 years. With more and more people working desk jobs, plus the automation of much of the manual labor jobs that existed before and directly after WWII, doesn't it make sense that men are not constantly building up their strength by working 10-12 hours a day pushing and pulling heavy objects around and slinging sledge hammers? Please tell me I'€™m not going to miss out on being that super strong old guy!"

You're probably going to miss out on being that super strong old guy because we're all becoming wusses these days. Having said that, I'm 35 and stronger now than I've ever been before in my life. I'm not quite an old man, but I can see it on the horizon. It's possible my old man strength gene has just kicked in and will carry me to around fifty or so. I'm not sure why I'm stronger now -- I mean I definitely work out less than I did when I was younger and had more time. Is it carrying kids around? Is it just kids themselves, once you have them you buckle down and grind more than you did before making you stronger? (Having kids definitely makes you much less of a pussy because you can't sit around moping and obsessing about your own life that much. You don't have the time). Is it just the cumulative impact of decades of physical movement. 

Right now I make a living typing on a computer, talking into a microphone, and staring into a TV camera. These are not jobs that make you stronger. 

So I think there's something in us biologically that kicks in, the old man strength gene is real. We're probably just not as strong as old men were in the past.   

The other day I was thinking it would be great to have a battle over the centuries of average guys to find out when the average male strength/bad assedness peaked. Because I think we're definitely post-peak now. But which decade would win? When did our collective male strength peak on average? I mean, by the way, the average guy, not the roided up GNC dude of modern day. Or Goliath. Just average guys.  

I'm thinking the 1940's is probably the winner. Those guys were badasses and they'd pretty much reached optimal human size and health. That is, they weren't runts suffering from malnutrition like the average guys were throughout much of human history.

Is there any doubt that the average guy from the 1940's would kick the crap out of the average guy from modern day America? Again, we're talking average guys, not some MMA athlete putting a Brazilian jujitsu foot chokehold on. 

If Hitler was advancing across Germany now we'd either deploy our technology to crush him without actually doing anything or we'd all be speaking German. Do you feel optimistic about the millennials storming the beaches of France? They'd be taking selfies from the boat as they advance on the beaches and be all pissed off because the wifi isn't working on the landing boats, "Are you kidding me the wifi is down! Somebody fix the f'ing wifi! I'm trying to post on Facebook about the beach storming!"

I'm the crusty old Lieutenant in charge of the millennials and I'm on my iphone Tweeting away too, "Bullets, lots of bullets, bombs, lots of bombs."

We'd get slaughtered. 

So I'm going 1940's. 

Which decade would y'all take?

JD writes:

"Clay,

I am the best man in my longtime friend's wedding in mid-June. The bachelor party has yet to be planned and time is running out. Among the list of participants to be included, are his father and the 20-something year old brother of the bride. Of course in throwing around ideas the standard trip to a gentleman's club was mentioned. The groom strongly objected to this on the grounds his dad "couldn't handle it." 

Couldn't handle it could mean more than one thing, but I love the idea of the groom's dad just losing it in the strip club. He disappears for five hours and the next time you see him his shirt is unbuttoned to his midriff, he's got a handle of jumbo Champagne in his right hand -- which he's somehow holding up with his old man strength and no one else can understand how he's strong enough to do this -- and his left hand is around Savannah, the stripper who he's just hired to work at the front desk of his real estate investment trust.

"She's a great girl, guyssss, just ssssso sssssmart." 

He's leaned over at the counter where they take you to pay with your credit card when you've maxed out your cash withdrawals at the ATM that charges you a $20 service fee. (This has obviously never happened to anyone that I know. I'm speaking entirely in hypotheticals here).

The groom walks up, sees the bill, and he's like, "Dad, did you just spend four grand upstairs?"

So, yeah, this needs to happen. 

As for the brother of the bride, he's fine, bring him along. 

Leland writes:

"Clay,

Could the best team in the NBA, I guess the Heat, play with a average middle aged (25-40 years old) white guy getting 35-45 minutes a game?

Could they beat the worst team in the league?

Would they ever win a 7 games series?"

No, no, and no. 

First, no average guy could make it up and down the court for 35 minutes without a ton of physical training. This has nothing to do with his actual basketball skill, just the physical ability to get up and down the court is nearly impossible to pull off. Second, he couldn't defend anyone. You'd probably have to put him at shooting guard -- point guard would just be a disaster and size would be destructive inside -- and play zone throughout the entire game. 

NBA players can't defend the pick and roll, can you imagine an average rec league basketball player trying?

As good as Lebron, Wade, Bosh, and whoever they wanted to play at point guard alongside our awful shooting guard would be, no chance they win a seven game series. And I don't think they'd beat the worst team in the league either.

(Caveat: what if our man fouls out early? That's clearly the best strategy here. He burns his six fouls as rapidly as he can. Then the best team in the NBA wins on all counts). 

Alex H. writes:

"Clay,

My girlfriend is running her first (and probably last) marathon in Denver this Sunday. She has already completed a few half marathons and several 5K runs (I even ran a 5k back in April to be the good boyfriend...terrible idea by the way). She has been seriously training for this marathon for the past 6 months at least and the furthest she has run during training is 20 miles, which is still mind blowing to me.

So my question is this: Do you think there is any professional athlete that could go out right now and run a full 26.2 mile marathon without any training besides playing their respective sport? If so, who would you put your money on? What sport has the most well conditioned athletes? My best guess would be a soccer player may have a shot because of their serious conditioning but still don't think it would happen."

I think soccer, tennis, and basketball players would be your most likely athletes to be able to do it. Baseball, golfers, and most football players would be much less likely to be able and pull this off.  

Would it shock you if Landon Donovan, for instance, could run 26.2 miles at an 11 minute pace? It wouldn't shock me at all. What about non-big men in the NBA? Could Derek Fisher run a marathon right now? I think so. So could some NFL skill position players, I think. But anyone over like 220 pounds is too big for running this long.

As for tennis, I think quite a few could as well. The biggest issue is that they'd be bored. But I don't think the cardio would be that grueling for them. The obvious counter-example to all of these beliefs is Lance Armstrong, but he broke three hours when he ran his marathon. That's a really fast pace. I'm talking about these guys doing it in 11 minute miles, which is closer to what the average marathoner would run. I think tons of athletes could do that.    

Todd K. writes:

"You tweeted last night that you would have gladly paid a $5,000 bar tab if the Titans drafted JFF got me thinking....what dollar amount would you put on other sports achievements? Let's try to keep this in terms of monthly income so that parties of all pay grade can relate.

Some examples:

1. Your team wins the Superbowl
2. Your college wins a national championship in football or basketball
3. Nick Saban leave Alabama for another school and publicly states it is because of the 85%"

Let's just say that everybody makes $50k because the math is easy then.

I think it's nearly impossible for anyone to pay more than $10k for any of these things, as much joy as they could possibly bring you, is it worth being homeless or carless or without insurance. (All of Alabama's fans are like, "We don't have any of these things right now! Roll Tide!) That's 20% of your income. I wouldn't pay 20% of my income for any of these things to happen. Now, given what I do, I might be able to make back the money if one of these great stories happens, but I'm taking my current profession out of the mix. There's no way I'm paying $10k for these things to happen.  

Would y'all?