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June 23rd Hustle Bag: Summer’s here and it’s awful

Solich replacements, best MAC gameday, hottest MAC undergrads, destination wedding advice

Each week during the summer, we open up the HustleBag for all your questions and queries regarding sports, life, and general advice. Come for the MAC sports love, but stay for the life guidance. It’s the least we could do.

Apparently summer is now here, officially, as if the humidity and afternoon thunderstorms couldn’t tell you that or you haven’t been outside in the last few weeks. It’s hot. Damn hot. Arizona hit like 120 degrees this week. Roads were buckling and people were literally dropping dead. What a great season we have entered!

Without question, summer is the worst. It’s hot, it’s uncomfortable, your electric bill skyrockets because of the sun and the heat and the AC you have to have. Your kids (if you have them) are out of school and need to be entertained, and if you are lucky enough to not have them then everywhere you go are someone else’s kids that are out of school and need to be entertained.

You can always travel, but that idea is shared by about a billion other people, so good luck finding a non-crowded spot on a beach somewhere or not having to fight every poor schmuck on Earth who is traveling to the same destination in traffic jam after traffic jam.

Of course, with all this global warming, I’m assuming it won’t be long before every day will just be summer until we all eventually combust from the heat and UV rays. That’ll be fun. Probably less kids, though, so not all bad.

On to the HustleBag....

From Adam in IN...
Which are the best places for gameday atmosphere in the MAC? If you were taking a person around to wow them, where would you go?

If I needed to wow someone, I wouldn’t take them to the MAC. It’s a hard reality that people that follow this conference need to understand and get ok with. I hear people (myself included, sometimes) bemoan the lack of a true gameday atmosphere and a sort of lackadaisical approach by most fanbases, but is it wrong? Is there really a gameday atmosphere in the MAC that’s worth getting your bloomers in a pinch for? Not likely.

That comes with a sizable caveat though. If a team is really winning, then crowds show up and gamedays are fun as hell. Look at WMU last year toward the end of the season with a Cotton Bowl berth in the balance. I was at Ball State in 2008 when they beat WMU to go 12-0. Packed and electric and it was awesome. Those are the outliers. On the whole, I’d temper expectations and create my own awesome at the tailgate.


From Mark in NJ....
When OU’s Frank Solich retires, will the Bobcat’s look to their current coaching staff or go outside the current organization i.e. Greg Schiano? for a replacement?

I think it’s first worth noting that Frank Solich may outlive each and every one of us. It would not shock me in the slightest if retirement is a word that does not exist in his lexicon and he may in fact be a superhuman incapable of trivial things like death or fatigue.

Having said that, I’d like to think that there are better options than internal hires or Greg Schiano. If that’s the binary that OU will face, then I’d think it is best if we start looking at other sports for the Bobcats to excel at.

I’ve always been a big believer that MAC schools need to go risk-reward for their coaching vacancies. Take a chance. Hire a gimmick. Get someone young. Throw caution to the wind. Of course, administrators won’t do that because that would make too much sense and because change is bad and they would rather hire internal for things like “continuity” and “culture” which I’m almost certain an internal hire doesn’t guarantee. I can point to the Hoke/Parrish transition at BSU to demonstrate success isn’t a promise either.


From Ryan in Toledo...
Friend of mine is getting married in the fall on a Saturday. Destination wedding in North Carolina. I’m not in the wedding. My wife is not in the wedding. Rehearsal dinner is Friday night. Am I really obligated to do the whole thing or can I make up some excuse so I don’t have to give up a football weekend?

First of all, your friend is an asshole. There are roughly 16 Saturdays that have football on them. You’re telling me your friend can’t find one of the other 36 to get hitched on?

Weddings on the whole are crap, unless it’s family or close friends. Fall weddings are bigger crap not only for the difficult sports calendar, but also because the weather is hit or miss which makes it hard to dress for. Could be hot. Could be snow. Good luck with your carry on. Throw in that it’s a destination wedding and you’re friend is a real POS.

“Come celebrate with us by spending a bunch of money on hotels, airfare, excursions, and the like. I guess you don’t have to bring a gift, but you probably will anyway because you don’t want to come off as a cheap ass.” WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING? If you go, which you shouldn’t, don’t bring a gift. And drink only top shelf from the open bar.

And if you have kids? Enjoy the logistics of that. Bring them and it’s a disaster traveling with little ones and forget the top shelf paybacks. Or leave them at home and have to find a sitter and all that garbage. It’s like a Sophie’s Choice of suck.

If it’s just a casual acquaintance or work pal then find an excuse. Get them a cool gift like a waffle iron. Mail it to them early so they don’t talk a bunch of garbage about you to your mutual friends. Enjoy your football Saturday.


From Carlo (location witheld)
Which MAC program has the hottest female students?

I’d like to think I’m a little old to be trolling for undergrads, so I’m afraid I wouldn’t be a ton of help. However, a good rule of thumb is you have to find the sweet spot between smarts, looks, and family stability. In my mind, that leaves Miami. Southern-most school in the conference (and just look around the SEC for the correlation between southern locales and beauty), strong academic program, and a pretty high socio-economic status for those that go there. Can’t go wrong with that. I’m sure the comments may have other ideas.


HustleBag runs Friday afternoons here at Hustle Belt. You can submit questions via Twitter (@HustleBelt) or via email at HustleBeltBlog (at) gmail.com.