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Ten Foot Mailbag: When Should The Penn State Talk Cease?

Joe Paterno. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Joe Paterno. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Tim Baffoe - clean background Tim Baffoe
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa before earning his de...
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By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) This space is reserved for the weird and lighthearted of sports and life. For just a moment I’d like to deviate from that.

In case you’ve been in a cave today prior to reading this, thirteen people (as of the time of this posting) were killed in Colorado this morning while doing the normal, everyday pastime of going to movies. The alleged killer, 24-year-old James Holmes—we have to refer to him in print as “alleged” because everyone walking out of a movie theater holding firearms as bodies are strewn across the floor and panic has ensued is innocent until proven guilty—is in police custody.

I want to go off here. I want to rant about guns and capital punishment and failed parenting and how something like this just makes my heart sad and my bowels livid, but I won’t. That’s not what I’m in this spot for, and that wouldn’t be fair to you. The better angels of my nature would prefer to not even discuss Holmes himself because he’s subhuman, not worthy of acknowledging his existence with language.

You’ll read my response to a question below that shares a similar theme, and all I ask is to stop accepting that stuff like this “just happens.” This should never happen. Ever. But it does. And it will again for various reasons. At movie theaters. At malls. At work places. At schools.

You can’t understand how sad it makes me a few times every year when my school has to conduct a drill in case of an armed intruder in our building. But it must be done these days.

We can point fingers at a lot of people and factors. How often do we point at ourselves, though? How has my lack of action in the past, present, and future contributed to this? Because it has. Think about that.

Or watch more reality TV or local news that pretends it’s feeding you beneficial information and shake your head in a month when it all happens again.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled stupidity.

On to your questions. All e-mails and tweets are unedited.

#TFMB in your opinion.. if the White Sox are to get into the playoffs & make noise, what needs to “go right” or change?—@jason_schrock

Well, I can’t speak for the “make noise” part because making the playoffs in baseball is really what it’s all about. It’s a bit of a crap shoot once the foot is in the door. Any playoff team needs but also already likely has two horses at the top of its rotation. The Sox have Jake Peavy, who if healthy is a guy I’d be comfortable with pitching a Game 1, and Chris Sale has been lights out, so barring injury, no real worries there.

To get into the playoffs the White Sox first and foremost need the Detroit Tigers to stop playing baseball. Sorry, Sox fans, but the Tigers are the better team and just so happened to only decide to play well recently. They will also continue to play well, and they will add talent to their roster via trades. You must accept that. This weekend’s series is uber important as far as dictating how the second half will probably go. Lose two of three to the Tigers, you can’t feel good about the rest of the way.

Kenny Williams will make at least one more move, though maybe not as splashy as Kevin Youkilis, whose only knock so far is his exposed knob on Comcast Sports Net Wednesday night. Williams understands the Sox need bullpen help for sure. It’s the biggest worry for this team, and was very evident Thursday night as the White Sox tinkled victory down their collective legs.

Another starter could help, since the health and actual effectiveness of Philip Humber and John Danks is icky at best. You must consider, though, what do the Sox have to offer? Their farm system is fairly atrocious, and Kenny can’t just buy big names from other teams. The Youkilis thing was a perfect storm of a big name having a bad year but likely to turn it around who needed a change of scenery with his club willing to comply for cheap. You can’t expect that lightning to strike twice this season.

I’m not worried about the Sox offense, despite its futility of late. There are too many names that are too good on paper to continue to not score runs. Alexei Ramirez should have a much better second half, and having Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn with his head on straight is worrisome for any opponent.

I doubt the AL Wild Card is coming out of the Central Division with the Angels of J. California Cooper or whatever they’re called now being a great second banana in the West, what I expect to be the resurgence of the Red Sox (thank the White Sox for helping that along), the Baltimore Orioles maybe being able to hold on to this magic they have going, and the Tampa Bay Rays likely to improve via trade and eventually get Evan Longoria back. So it’s win the division or go home. Home seems likely, unfortunately.

Best way to cure a hangover? #TFMB–@marksutor

Ah, the question that could make a man the richest on earth if he could bottle the answer. Actually, a few guys sort of did if you count Gatorade (which helps, but doesn’t cure). An interesting and fairly humorous study was done in 1961 on this very subject, and the results are here if you’d like some really odd options.

In my vast experience with hangovers, the automatic is lots of fluids, particularly ones with electrolytes. Gatorade is good, but those drinks for little kids like Pedialyte are fantastic if you don’t mind stumbling blurry-eyed into a convenience store in the shirt, tie, and mesh shorts you slept in and getting uncomfortable looks from other customers and staff. Googling Pedialyte yields “pedialyte for hangovers” as the first suggested search as you type, in fact.

But if you don’t plan on shutting it down and staying sober for at least 24 hours after your hangover, “hair of the dog” is always a surefire help. For the non-degenerates or non-Irish (redundant?), “hair of the dog” is curing a hangover with alcohol itself, usually whatever specific poison brought on the morning demon in the first place. To many this sounds beyond doable, and many turn up their noses at someone who would dare drink to cure the repercussions of drinking. Fine by me—enjoy your suffering.

My personal favorite, though, if you have the means, is swimming. A natural body of water is best, but even a backyard pool or one at your park district or gym will do the trick. Spend at least fifteen minutes swimming—not floating, no matter how sore you are—and you’ll walk out 180 degrees better. And then grab a cocktail.

#TFMB Isn’t there a point of saturation in this Penn State story, where people just can’t take anymore and are ready to accept it & move on?—@JalenFrRosemont

No. Absolutely a thousand times no.

Accepting and moving on is the worst response one can have to issues of endangering children. It’s that very complicity that festers into apathy and willful ignorance—and saying “I don’t want kids to be raped, but I also don’t want to hear about it so much.” is exactly that when it comes to something so dire, and willful ignorance is right up there on the list of personality traits that make me want a person to be raped by a bus, because willful ignorance allows the very worst aspects of society to continue—racism, oppression, corruption, child rape, etc.

I agree with what my guy, Pete Gaines, has to say about this very topic (warning: language). Shutting up about it is burying our heads in the sand, hoping that ignoring the issue will make it go away (or at least just affect others—nobody would ever molest my child, right?). Predators like Jerry Sandusky can only operate when allowed to, and keeping quiet, looking the other way, or just not having the protection of children on the front burner at all frickin’ times, let alone active aiding and abetting as was done at Penn State, perpetuates such monstrosities.

I don’t enjoy discussing child rape. I’m not happy that Joe Paterno has given me perhaps infinite material for my writing here, even though I know there are people out there who think I only continue to rail on this stuff for my own benefit (kiss all of my ass, by the way, you sad, delusional people). It’s when we decide we’ve had enough of listening to and acknowledging the bad in the world that we become part of the problem. It’s the very reason I want the Paterno statue to remain as is.

The world is a crappy place a lot of the time. We have various daily opiates to deal with that, and that’s cool. If all we focused on was the bad, we’d all go insane. But screaming sunshine and lollipops at all times to try to drown out the vile stuff doesn’t make the vile stuff go away.

Everything about Penn State football was sunshine and lollipops for so many, and for some incredibly stupid people, it still is. Look how that turned out.

Your column Jay Paterno needs to shut up  is the best thing I have read all year. You said EXACTLY what myself and many others I know want to scream from the highest mountain. I want to say so much more but right now my hands are shaking. I am so angry at what has occurred and the people who have defended these actions. I sincerely thank you for writing what you did.—bpberry

You’re very welcome, and thank you, but you need to read more.

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.

Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to tenfootmailbag@gmail.com or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

tim baffoe small Ten Foot Mailbag: When Should The Penn State Talk Cease?

Tim Baffoe

Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at tenfootmailbag@gmail.com. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.