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MSU Mailbag, Hot Take Edition: Takes on food, fashion, recruiting and more




I'm going to start off this Mailbag by doing something I don't think I've ever done in the Mailbag: I'm going to break my own rule. 


This Mailbag is supposed to be about your hot takes -- and it will be, I promise. But, one person didn't really give a hot take as much as a suggestion (we'll work on that with him), and in doing so he unlocked a hot take of mine. So let me get my hot take out of the way before I make this all about your hot takes. 


- An anonymous Mailbag participant: How about the NCAA making a rule preventing commits from being further recruited by a coach who just left said committed school for another school? 


It's clear what's going on here: Jason is upset that Dan Mullen is going after the guys that he got committed to MSU and wants them to go to Florida. This is obviously tough for a fan base, as the world of recruiting coverage these days gets entire fan bases excited for guys a good year and a half before they ever suit up for their favorite college. It's hard to see someone come in and poach those guys in a matter of days when you've been building up to him for a year. 


Now, listen up. We -- all of us, regular humans who haven't invested our lives into the lives of these young men from the time they were children to now -- we don't get to tell them crap. They should be treated like every other teenager in America: if they can get accepted into the university, by God they should be able to go there, and there shouldn't be some stupid rule that keeps them from it. No one asks the average high school student why they change their mind in the second semester of their senior year to go from one school to another; they just do it, because there isn't completed paperwork yet and this is one of very few times in their life where they get that freedom of choice. Why is it fair to treat a football player by such a drastically different standard? 


Don't we all choose schools for different reasons? I chose to go to Alabama for what was at the time the No. 2 journalism school in America; I met others while I was there that came from places as far as New York and Alaska strictly for the football team. If a football player wants to play for a certain football coach, he should be able to choose his school based on that; let's not pretend that many decisions made by young men aren't made on far more questionable grounds all the time. 


- Y'all had lots of takes about food, so let's make this the food section of the Hot Take Mailbag. Here's a take from Drew Newell (@msugeek) -- Krispy Kreme donuts are the most overrated thing in the history of things. 


It felt bad just to type his statement to respond to it in this Mailbag. It kinda gave me a headache. Hold on, I'm gonna go lie down before I finish this. 


Drew, we're cool and all, but this is a bad, bad take. Krispy Kreme is everything you want in a donut: soft, sweet, good with milk and without it, and all variations of said donut are good. Either you're a big fan of Krispy Kreme or you don't like donuts. 


- And now I have to dive into the internet's biggest food controversy: pineapple on pizza. Nick Griffin (@MacGrifferous) offers two takes: Pineapples do not belong on pizza and sugar does not go in grits. 


I'm ill-qualified for a pineapple pizza take as I'm not a big pineapple person in the first place -- I went to Hawaii with my family in childhood and didn't eat much pineapple while there. That being said, you don't need sweetness on your pizza, guys. This is not an item like a chicken wing or a pork chop that can use being cut with a dash of sweetness: load that bad boy up with savory and get your sweetness elsewhere. 


Now, as for this whole sugar in grits thing. WHAT? I have not heard of this until I moved to Mississippi. What is the matter with you folks? What makes grits excellent is that it's simple vessel that's easily made delicious with the following and only the following: salt, pepper, butter, cheese and a breakfast meat of some sort. That's it. Sugar in grits is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. (And I say that with several hot takes to go in this Mailbag.) 


- Scott Nabors (@Coach18Nabors) -- Little Dooey's is not that good. 


Let me do this in a way that won't anger the local institution. (Which is a hint where I stand on this take, isn't it?) I gave restaurant recommendations to a BYU beat writer to pass along to his readers when the Cougars came to town. What I said then was: if you've never been to the Southeast and you simply need to experience the classic, no-frills BBQ plate, you go to Little Dooey's; if you want some outstanding BBQ for any level of experience with the craft, you go to Two Brothers. 


I am known to get the craving for that Little Dooey plate on occasion: sometimes I just need some pulled pork to douse in BBQ sauce, throw a few sides on the plate and go to town. More times than not, though, I need that next-level BBQ, which Little Dooey's doesn't offer. It's not their thing and you know what, that's OK. 


- Chandler Roberts (chantheman97) -- Donuts at Fresh Foods on breakfast night are low-key the crown jewel of MSU dining. 


I did not attend Mississippi State University, so I'm going to trust your judgment, Chandler. I will say this, though: after my college experience, late night breakfast selections at dining halls will always hold a special place in my heart. 


- Hello to an old friend Will Springstead (@WSpringsteadPSV) -- he lives up North, but he has a deep admiration for Southern food, so he's OK, guys. His take actually has something to do with Southern food: pulled pork is the best mix-in for macaroni and cheese. 


This is a take I absolutely would've agreed with before I moved to Starkville. 


Pulled pork gives you everything in this situation, right? The BBQ seasoning involved adds another dimension to the mac and cheese that's just delightful, and Will knows me as a man with a deep appreciation for meat, so that passes the test, too. 


But Will, there's a place here called The Camphouse. It specializes in mac and cheese, and it introduced me to something I hadn't had in my mac and cheese before: Andouille sausage. 


Man oh man Will, it's the greatest. It gives you all the different seasoning and meaty goodness in your mac and cheese but adds this crunch that's outstanding. The mac and cheese I get there has shrimp, the sausage and a bit of green bell pepper and let me tell you, it's tough to beat. 


- We're going to end the food hot takes section with three takes from Friends of the Mailbag. First, @Justin_M_Strawn: Chinese food is trash. 


As someone that loves Chinese food, I'm going to have to modify this take: Chinese food is a niche food. 


Even I will recognize Chinese food isn't the kind of food an American could eat every day for two weeks and be happy with it. Basically, I look at Chinese food like fast food: it's not actually good in a vacuum, but we all know those times come when it tastes like the greatest thing in the world. Just last week I had Panda Express that tasted like heaven on Earth. 


- Next, from @CalebGarnerMSU -- Chipotle is alright. Nothing to write home about. 


Caleb. How dare you. Don't make me call your parents. 


Of the Mexican places around the world that are just OK and nothing to call home about, that'd be Moe's: in everything except the queso, obviously. Chipotle -- now that they've figured out how to not give you diseases through their food -- is so much more than alright. Throw the corn in your burrito and we're talking paradise, my friend. 


- And finally, from Daniel Montgomery (@dalemo830) -- Raising Cane's, Zaxby's and Abner's are all essentially the same and are below average. 


Daniel, dude....I don't even know where to begin. 


Let's start with this whole Abner's being equal to Zaxby's and Cane's thing. This is undeniably false, you see, because Zaxby's and Cane's do this thing that Abner's does not: they season their breading, then do the same with the chicken, so it actually tastes good on its own. You know how corn dogs are awful by themselves but fine with a sauce of some sort, meanwhile a steakhouse ribeye is excellent without sauce? That's the difference between Abner's and Cane's/Zaxby's. 


The idea of Cane's being below average has me stunned silent. I believe in you though, Daniel. I believe you can see the light of day. 


- This one takes some unpacking. @jcdickinson32 unloads all his takes in one place: Sandlot is an overrated movie, Tom Cruise isn't a good actor outside of Top Gun, Robby Donoho could beat you in NCAA and so could I, State will have more wins next season than this season. 


Take Nos. 1 and 2 -- accurate. Confirmed good takes. Hang something on your wall for this accomplishment. 


Now, let's address this whole Robby beating me in NCAA thing. Yes, Robby could beat me in NCAA -- in the same way that Northern Illinois could beat the Steelers. Technically speaking, there's nothing about it that makes it mathematically impossible, but come on, let's be real here. When these things happen, they're flukes. 


The case for MSU to have more wins next year than this year is one that's been widely agreed upon going back to the most recent offseason. This is based on the fact that MSU only has something like 12 seniors this year, but the schedule helps, too: Georgia comes off the schedule (the rotational East game is at home against Florida) and Auburn comes to Davis-Wade, plus new coaches at Texas A&M and Arkansas coming to Starkville. Going to Kansas State and to LSU will not be easy tasks, sure, and going to Alabama is borderline impossible, but beyond that, you've got a much more experienced roster with a comparable schedule. All the ingredients are there. 


- A quick Rapid Fire Mailbag session before I end this by giving props to a friend. @gridirondawg -- MSU men's basketball will finish top 7 in the SEC. 


Well we can start this by assuming MSU will finish below Texas A&M, Florida and Kentucky, all of which have been awesome thus far. Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas are part of a somewhat clear second tier, a tier that could include teams such as Auburn and Missouri. I also think Vanderbilt is going to get this thing turned around once they stop playing top 25 caliber teams every single night. 


This seems unlikely @gridirondawg. Top 10, probably. Top 7 feels like a stretch to me, just because a ton will have to go right and this team isn't quite veteran enough to earn those breaks -- it should be next year, though. 


- Colby Williams (@ColbyW1411) -- MSU wins the next 4 Egg Bowls and Ole Miss recruiting tanks in sanctions and players start to transfer out. 


Welp, by all things I've seen on Twitter, the Ole Miss sanctions were disappointing for MSU fans, so there goes that. As for MSU winning four-straight Egg Bowls, I'm going to bet against something that hasn't happened since 1983-86 -- which I'm guessing is longer than Colby's current lifespan. 


(Also, can we stop for a second and imagine what would happen to Joe Moorhead if he won 4 straight Egg Bowls? BREAKING: MSU, Moorhead agree to a lifetime contract worth $19 million per year until his death, at which point that $19 million per year will be divided up among his children for the first 10 years after his death.) 


- @A_Swinson -- Will Ferrell's best movie is not Step Brothers or Talladega Nights. 


Little do you know, my friend, you've stepped into my secondary realm of expertise. 


Allow me to give you my Will Ferrell movie power rankings -- for the record, I'm only considering movies in which he was the star, so bit roles in movies such as Wedding Crashers will not be considered: Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Anchorman, Elf, Talladega Nights. I have to disagree with your take, my friend.  


- We wrap this up with Friend of the Mailbag, Abby Hunt (@abstractabs) -- Christmas sweaters are fashionable.  


Abby changed my mind on this subject and she didn't even know it. Allow me to explain. 


You see, when I think Christmas sweater, I only think of the awful ones. The ones that when the cashier sees you buy it, they have to bite their tongue to not ask you when the awful Christmas sweater party is, just on the off chance you're buying it because you like it. 


Then I saw Abby at the men's basketball game against Dayton last night. I'm not a particularly attentive person, so I didn't really notice that the sweater Abby had on had any Christmas-related things, until someone (whose name escapes me at the moment and I apologize) pointed it out and they talked about it for a second. That's when I realized -- wait, she's wearing a Christmas sweater and I didn't immediately launch into a roasting session, which is exactly what I would've done if she were wearing the kind of Christmas sweater that automatically pops into my head. 


Thus, I confirm this take. Christmas sweaters are passable. Adjust your wardrobes accordingly.



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