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Monday Random Questions with Mark Strotman and Senator Giggity

Random questions is back. I don't have a good name for the series outside of random questions. If you have an idea, please let me know and I'll put it to good use. If you aren't aware, this series is me asking people a handful of random questions that I think of at the time. That's pretty much it. Some are sports related. Most are not.

This week I'm joined by Mark Strotman from the Marquette blog Paint Touches and Comcast SportsNet and the one and only Senator Giggity. That is actually his real name. He doesn't write anywhere, but he is one of the funnier people on twitter. He should write someone.

I asked these men about a wide number of topics such as tattoos, Jason Collins coverage, how much Napoleon Dynamite sucked, the playoffs and being drunk. Good times were had by all. Questions are in bold. Senator Giggity is SG, Mark is PT and my answers are BB. Enjoy.

The big news in the sports world was Jason Collins coming out. Since we all probably have the same thoughts about how it's great for him, my question is what were the best and the worst parts of the media coverage to you?

SG: People comparing him to Jackie Robinson is a bit ridiculous. Coming out is one of the most difficult things a person can do and that can only be magnified by his status as a professional athlete. However, JR faced legitimate death threats for playing a game while being a different color, Collins absolutely faces adversity being the first openly gay male athlete but nowhere near what Robinson faced.

PT: Don't get the wrong idea with this response, but I thought Chris Broussard's bravery to go on ESPN and speak on his religious beliefs was the best part of the coverage. Not because I agree with any of what he said (and I'm a devout Catholic), but because it brought an angle to the discussion that no one other than him would touch. People called Collins brave for coming out, and he is, but in reality he had everyone in his corner coming out; Broussard took a stance that shed him in an incredibly negative light. I thought it was brave of ESPN, too, to allow Broussard to come on and speak so freely. They're Disney-owned, a strong supporter of the LGBT community. The best coverage tells both side of the story, and ESPN did this better than any other outlet. I can't really think of a "worst part" to the coverage. It was such a unique situation that everything written was really solid. But I include Broussard in that, too, and have a new-found respect for him…whether I agree with him or not.

BB: My biggest complaint with how the Collins story was covered has to do with the reaction of people who said "I don't care." That's almost more ignorant to me than if that person said something anti-gay. I understand where the religious people are coming from. I understand where the supportive people are coming from. I don't understand where the "I don't care" people are coming from because how could you not care? If you have ever watched true life or any mtv show that involved someone coming out to their family, friends and the world, it is extremely hard for the person. If it were an easy thing, it wouldn't have taken until 2013 to get the first gay male athlete. I don't exactly think that gays in sports is going to be a high priority issue because there are openly gay players in the WNBA and no one gives a shit. Like Senator Giggity, I think the Jackie Robinson stuff is a lot much. Everyone has their own heroes and your definition is your definition.

There were 2 smaller things that bothered me. 1 was that someone tweeted "Tim Tebow is told to shut up about his being Christian so why is this celebrated" or something along those lines. It angered me so, so much for a simple reason. Religion is something that you choose. If you couldn't choose your religion, no new religions would have been founded because everyone would have stayed with the one they were born with. Being gay isn't a life choice. The Tebow comment might as well have been "Tim Tebow went to Florida, people don't want to talk about that. Jason Collins is gay and blah blah blah." Tim Tebow isn't the first religious athlete even. In fact, Tim Tebow shouldn't be mentioned for any reason.

The second thing that bothered me are the jackasses on twitter. It is so much easier to read someone's tweet, think to yourself "I disagree with this opinion," and move on. It takes effort to reply "Your opinion is very stupid and you are wrong." If you think their opinion is wrong, make a rational point, unfollow or say whatever dumb thing you are thinking about writing out loud. When you realize what a dick you sound like, you probably won't type it and send it to another person.

Rick Pitino got a tattoo to celebrate Louisville winning the national title. Is there a scenario where you would get a tattoo because your team won the title? Or are buying t-shirts and Sport Illustrated's enough?

SG: If I was a key player on the team, sure. Otherwise I'm taking credit for someone else's accomplishments. I bought season tickets, I didn't get on the field. Also: Stop wearing jerseys. You're an adult for Christ's sake.

PT: The most recent championship I had as a fan was the Packers over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. My memorabilia splurge consisted of the Sports Illustrated issue, a key chain and t-shirt. Don't get me wrong, I love touting that gear around and flipping through the SI from time-to-time, but it dated itself as soon as Super Bowl XLVI came around. More important to me–here comes the trip down memory lane–is the memory of watching that game with my entire family in my basement. I came home from Marquette for the weekend, my mom had a different appetizer/meat on the coffee table the entire four hours and we were all decked out in Packers jerseys. My dad and I watched NFL Network/ESPN until 2 a.m. after the game. That's what I'll remember most. That's enough for me. Speaking of my dad and tattoos, the rule is, "All piercings will be ripped out; all tattoos will be carved out." So, yeah, no ink for me. The memories (and key chain) will last a lifetime.
BB: I think buying a shirt and the commemorative SI are enough. I suppose if you are the type to get tattoos a championship tattoo would be cool. If I ever got a tattoo I'm pretty sure it would be a logo. It would not be a Bengals tattoo because why on earth would you want that ugly B on your body. I say that as a Bengals fan. I would go with the Reds C. It's a class tattoo. It isn't a class tattoo.

Since they are both happening right now, what are the better playoffs: NBA or the NHL?

SG: I know these words but that sentence makes no sense.

PT: I've been LeBron James' biggest fan since I first saw him play as a high school junior on ESPN, so the last year-and-a-half of playoff basketball have been incredibly fun. I'm also covering the Bulls for Comcast SportsNet this postseason, so that has me glued to the TV or the United Center pressbox just about every night (how did they win Game 7, by the way?). That being said, there is nothing in sports quite like sudden-death overtime in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I can't get into regular season games because I don't have a horse in the race, and while the Blackhawks air on CSN and helps ratings, whether they win or lose isn't a huge deal to me. But as soon as the puck drops in overtime, I'm glued to the TV and on the edge of my seat more so than the last two minutes of a close NBA playoff game. It's such an incredible rush, and I can only imagine what fans of teams go through while it's happening. Give me the NBA Playoffs 9 times out of 10, with the 10th time being a sudden death overtime affair.

BB: I love the NHL playoffs despite the fact I don't know who's good, who the players are outside of Sidney Crosby. I have really gotten into the NBA playoffs this year and that's my pick. It takes them a little while to get going because the first round lasts 17 years before we get to the every other day portion, but once we hit that it's gold. Just because everyone cares very deeply, I'm rooting for Golden State to win because Steph Curry. Hashtag bandwagon.

I have seen Napoleon Dynamite 3 times. I have hated that movie more and more each viewing. Viewing 3 wasn't my choice by the way. It seems everyone that I know or come across loves that movie. It boggles my mind. What almost universally loved movie, or tv show if that resonates more, draws your hate?

SG: I just recently watched Napoleon Dynamite for the first time. I was amazed that was the movie people had been raving about for over  decade, what a piece of shit. I can't stand reality TV shows like The Bachelor and Jersey Shore. If you say something like GTL around me and don't get punched in the throat, I must really, really like you.

PT: First of all, you're nuts for not liking Napoleon Dynamite. The scene where he gathers eggs all morning and is given egg sandwiches and eggs in a pitcher to drink is one of the funnier clips in comedy movie history. But for this one I'm going to go with The Blind Side. Outside of the inaccuracies of Oher's life and the annoying little brother, I couldn't stand the plot jumping around so much, and the NCAA violations just came out of nowhere. The cameos of actual college coaches had no place and I didn't even think Sandra Bullock was all that great (she sure looked good, though). I wish it had been more of a serious movie that showed Oher's struggles, rather than it being more about the family. I think it's a widely considered great movie, and Bullock won an Academy Award, but I couldn't stand it. Terrible movie.

BB: Seriously, watch Napoleon Dynamite again and tell me it's not shitty. When I saw this movie the first time, I was the only person in the place. It was not a huge hit when it came out. The fact all the actors can't find work now says a lot about how much that movie really sucked.

The Kentucky Derby is/was this weekend. Have you ever been to the track? It could be any track, not only Churchill. If so, any good stories?

SG: Nope. I fear I wouldn't survive.

PT: I unfortunately have never been to the track, a really sad admission considering I live 30 minutes from Arlington Park in Illinois. I do have a solid story from the Derby, though. A friend of a friend was at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby three years ago and is a big-time drinker. He does it responsibly, but he toes the line most of the time. Anyways, I texted him early in the afternoon that I wanted to place a bet. I told him I was good for the money and he was cool with it. The horse I wanted to toss my $10 on? Animal Kingdom. I just wanted a horse in the race (literally) and liked the name (real insider pick, I know).

So I'm back in Milwaukee watching the race, and who woulda thunk it, Animal Kingdom goes and wins the race. We're all going nuts watching, and I text my friend in Kentucky as part of the celebration. No response. Whatever, no big deal, right? He's probably out enjoying post-race festivities. So we go out that night and I buy the first couple rounds of drinks thanks to my $250 winnings and we have a great night. Well, I wake up Sunday morning to a text from my friend in Kentucky: he passed out before the race even began. Never made the bet. Never even saw the race. My winnings? $0. True story.

BB: I have been to Churchill Downs once. I don't have any cool stories. The first horse I bet on won. I was excited. By the end of the day I was out of money because I bet on horses that lost. It wasn't like I bet it all on one and fell to my knees when it came in 4th. It was a gradual thing. It is very cathartic to rip up the losing ticket and throw it to the ground. Also, I did get my picture taken in front of the twin spires like a tourist.

Bonus question, is Derby weekend/Cinco de Mayo weekend the best drunk weekend of the year?

SG: Absogoddamnlutely. St. Patrick's day is for assholes.

PT: Yes. Hands down. My last three years at Marquette–another trip down memory lane coming–we made it an annual event to day-drink as early as we could for the Derby. More than it just being the Derby/Cinco de Mayo, it was always the last weekend before Finals week and the NBA and NHL Playoffs had day games. Basically, sports on the TV all day and beer pong/flippy cup in our apartment. Outside of Marquette games those three weekends are probably my fondest memories of college. *Sigh.*

BB: I say yes, which is why I asked the question. The Derby is an excuse to drink at 6. Cinco de Mayo is fun to say when you are drinking. Hell, it's fun to say when you are sober. Plus, there is a major boxing event every Derby day and that's another excuse for more drinks.