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Battle Red Bag 2015, Episode 4: Futbol Time in Houston

Youth soccer, the solar system, HODOR, and other assorted ridiculousness. It's the Battle Red Bag!

BFD's boy.
BFD's boy.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


I am supposed to be traveling to Nashville in a couple of weeks for a wedding, before you ask no I would never make friends with someone from Nashville but my girlfriend who clearly has questionable taste did and is in the wedding. Anyways my question to you is how should I approach dealing with all the BESF that reside in said city? Also if you've ever been to Nashville are there any places to seek sanctuary (read drinking holes) while I am there?

Despite the questionable backstory of their football teams, and the jokes we make about their fans and bloggers in general, Nashville is actually a pretty solid little city for a visit. My time there has been limited to bars in the immediate vicinity of Bud Adams Palace of Buggery with a little time spent in Midtown, but, if that is any indication, finding good places to drink will NOT be a problem, regardless of where you are in Nashville. If you are in the vicinity of Midtown, you could certainly do worse than the Broadway Brewhouse. If you cross the Cumberland and are near LP, Gerst Haus is the kind of German beer hall that more cities need to have.

Beyond that, I'll leave it to Tim to throw out some additional ideas.

As for dealing with BESF fans, I suggest either knocking them down and pretending to take a selfie or making Sahel Kazemi jokes. But, then again, I don't try to interact with them in a positive manner.


My question has three parts:
a) In the Game of Thrones, why do you think the giant Hodor can only verbalize by repeating his name?
b) Have you ever noticed he looks a lot like Merlin Olsen?
c) How great would it be if Hodor was real and could play defensive line? He'd could mess up offensive snap counts yelling "Hodor-Hodo-Hodor!!!"

a) I always assumed that he had severe expressive aphasia. (In fact, if you do a Google image search for "expressive aphasia," you'll actually get a few pictures of Hodor.) The medical care in Westeros is not exactly high-tech, so I could totally see Hodor having suffered a stroke years ago and his repetitive name being an exaggerated symptom of the lack of immediate medical care.

b) I hadn't until you said that, but now I can't unsee it.

c) Plus, he would immediately be smarter than Travis Johnson. And likely more productive, since Hodor would realize that his job was to get the QB and not to just be a worthless lump of flesh that occasionally gives QBs concussions and taunts them. Basically...Hodor would be a stronger Jared Crick. I'm on board with that.


After promising myself I would never do it, I have agreed to coach my four-year old son's soccer team. This seems like it's sure to end poorly, as I am a rather competitive person who probably shouldn't be in charge of a team where the goal is for all the kids to just have fun, everyone plays the same amount of time, and throwing objects at referees or other coaches who look at you askew is strictly prohibited. Any insight as to how I can avoid getting arrested and/or shaming my family? And don't say booze, because that's both (1) not allowed and (2) the easy way out.

Hold on. I'm going to need a minute.

/laughs uncontrollably for 4 minutes

OK, I'm back. Wait...nope....

/laughs uncontrollably for 3 more minutes.

OK. Now I'm really back. Let me preface this with saying that I once got two technical fouls (and, thus, and ejection) while coaching a 2nd-grade basketball game. So, I might not be the best source of information, and you should certainly clear any advice I give with your wife, priest, and doctor.

THAT SAID...I found the best approach was to give each kid a role (whether real or imagined) and convince them that their role is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM AND THE SAFETY OF THE UNIVERSE. For instance, I had a kid (who may have been my own) whose job was specifically to foul the other team when I gave a signal. I had a kid whose job was to score more or less every time, since the rest of them couldn't. I had a kid who was supposed to "keep [his] defender as far from the lane as possible." Etc.

Granted, this is easier to do with a basketball team of 8 kids. With a soccer team, some of the kids' roles might have to be "your job is to not fall down between midfield and the end line." I feel for you. If push comes to shove, I say make your kid a defensive midfielder and tell him his job is to make sure no one with the ball crosses midfield without a bruise. Knowing his genetics, he'll love that job and will do it with aplomb, which will make your gamedays that much more satisfying.

I do question your assertion that booze is not allowed. Apparently, you've never considered a camelback for purposes of "constant hydration."


Mid-Bag Randomness

I snapped this picture in the Kroger check-out line a few days ago:


Lol, no.

I am madly in love with the absurdity of this thing. Somewhere, an ad exec decided, "hey, selfies are a thing! We should get people to buy our prepaid cell phones so they can take part in this 'selfie' craze!" Said ad exec, and everyone working for him/her, then proceeded to show that they have no idea how cell phones or selfies actually work.

Just look at the people in that picture! Both of them holding the phone, neither with a finger on the button that would actually take a picture, one of them probably covering the forward-facing camera. It's like you gave two dogs opposable thumbs and asked them to take a selfie. That's just glorious.



1) Can we crowd-fund an MDC Monday Corporation so that you can cut your day job back to 4 days per week to resurrect 2DH?

2) For non-slow smoked cooking, gas or charcoal grill? Weber or other brand?

1) Sure! I have no objection to that at all. I'd love to tell people, "Sorry, I don't work Mondays because of a commitment to my readers."

2) At the risk of wanting to punch myself in the nads, I'll say it depends. If your ONLY goal is to get the food cooked and to the table as quickly as possible, gas is impossible to beat in this competition. If, however, the actual flavor of the finished product matters to you, and you want people to enjoy the taste of proper grilling, lump charcoal is the only answer. Mainly, though, never use briquettes or lighter fluid and you've beaten half the competition.


My question(s), I heard way back in elementary school, is: Is dilution the solution to pollution??
Is pollution the solution to dilution??
Is this just a bunch of effin' words that rhyme??

I'm going with the last one.

I mean, technically, I guess both the first and second are correct, and the first one at least makes sense in a way that people would prefer things to go. But, either way, I think both are just about the rhymes with minimal care for the meaning.


Because I am both at work and too lazy to send an email, my question is below. If you answer it, great! If you don’t, I will be sad. Today is my birthday – please don’t make me sad.

I thought one of the twitter comments I read yesterday was insightful – it said something to the effect of: BoB’s "safe and consistent" choice in Hoyer didn’t turn out to be either in the first game. Kudos to him for rolling with Mallett, considered to have much more upside.

I don’t think there’s anything that better rationalizes the decision to go with Mallett. Following this logic, you’d think Mallett would have a much longer leash. To that point, he’d have to perform much worse than Hoyer to risk losing the job. The question is, if he puts together a similar game to Hoyer (i.e. some scores, a couple of turnovers, and a one-possession loss), do you think he’s still the QB week three?

First off, I would like to point out that you are a witch who should be burned at the stake. Way to predict more or less exactly what would happen, Satan.

That gut feeling is that he's the guy for now, regardless of the outcome of Carolina. For one, even if many of his throws were off-target 400 MPH stone rockets, he still had more pocket presence and less overall suckishness than Brian Hoyer did in his one game.  Additionally, when O'Brien made the switch to Mallett, he was more or less saying, "Hoyer was the wrong call -- this is my guy." If we switch back now, neither QB has any job security, and I honestly believe you hamstring both of them with such a move.


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If you can find something better than a scale representation of the solar system that uses a marble for earth and uses seven miles of desert for the scale, I'll give you a full refund for this Bag.

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