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MSU Mailbag: How to make a PB&J, Iowa punts, smooth jazz, basketball and more




We have a question of the utmost importance to start the Mailbag, so frankly, I have to get to this immediately. No wasting my limited wit on this introduction. 


- Here we go, @Wesley_Johnson -- How do you make a PB&J? Crunchy or smooth? Grape, apple or strawberry? Ingredients get their own slice of bread or mix them up, spread the PB and the jelly on one slice? 


Let me answer these questions before I get to my serious take. 


I used to be a smooth peanut butter only kind of guy, but as I grew older I came to enjoy the texture the crunchy peanut butter provides. Tastes refine in age, and this is an example. 


When it comes to jelly: the more options, the better. I've done grape, I've done strawberry, I've done apple. Some of my in-laws even make their own jelly and do it with some off-the-wall things such as pears and pineapples, so I've done that, too. For me, the jelly is mostly there for sweetness, not the exact flavor of the fruit involved. 


Each ingredient gets its own piece of bread. Come on now, let's not devolve into savages. If I'm having trouble getting a good jelly spread, I might throw a few small dabs on the peanut bitter piece of bread just to get the right amount of jelly, but that's an emergency situation only. 


And now, my take. This is one of my favorite kind of takes, in that I genuinely have no idea if this is a hot take or a cold take or what. Here it is: Grilled PB&J. 


Hear me out. Lightly grilled, not a serious crunch from the bread like you go for in a grilled cheese. The peanut butter gets really gooey and delicious. Give it a shot. 


- While I'm delving in takes, let's get through a couple more. First, @dalemo830 asks one of my favorite questions of the season: Does Iowa finish the Outback Bowl with more points or punts? 


I love this question because it shoots one of the most valiant shots I've ever seen. This is shooting a shot at Pam in Season 8 of The Office, this is shooting a shot at Leslie Knope at the end of Parks and Rec or at Audrey in Rules of Engagement. 


What I'm saying here is Kirk Ferentz is married to punts. And I also don't think Iowa's going to score much in this game, so I'm incredibly tempted to take the punts. 


- And one more on #takes, from personal friend @RobbyDonoho -- Is smooth jazz really smooth? 


....how is it not? 


Also, can we add smooth jazz to the list of oxymorons we turn to when we give an example of one? I'm tired of jumbo shrimp being victimized. Jumbo shrimp are delicious. It's time to take our oxymoron examples elsewhere, and I think smooth jazz is a good place to start. 


Jazz is smooth. That's what differentiates it from most other genres of music: it's the smoothest one. Sure, there's West Coast rap that is just as smooth as jazz from a rhythm standpoint, but let's be real: we know jazz for being smooth. Smooth jazz, although delightful -- and yes, I understand slightly different from other jazz -- can be considered an oxymoron. 


- Alright, let's hit two basketball-related queries before we end with some nonsense. @DawgAtAuburn has two -- 1) MSU (Michigan State) is currently blowing out Iowa (in basketball). Is this a good sign for us? 2) What's up with (Espinoza-)Hunter's minutes? Barely saw her in Austin. 


1) Duh. Look y'all, this bowl game is still a long way away, y'all find hope however you can get it. 


2) Yes, that was strange. I imagine that'll become a significant story if it continues -- she played 4 minutes, having never played fewer than 14 before it -- but that was also a game where State clearly didn't need a shooter on the floor to win convincingly. That should absolutely be monitored going forward. 


- Speaking of that team, the first of Rob Montgomery's (@10RobertWilliam) questions is on that subject. 1) Am I crazy for thinking State's women are being overlooked by still being ranked 6th? 2) Anything strange or cool to know about the University of Iowa or its football team? 


1) You could absolutely make that argument. Having Mississippi State under UConn and Notre Dame, even Baylor, that's not a huge deal to me. One could argue somewhat easily that MSU has done more than Oregon and Louisville at Nos. 3 and 5, but they get to prove that on the court when MSU travels to Oregon later this month. 


The important part is, in a sport where the tiers are more pronounced and divided from one another than most other sports, MSU is in the tier that can go for it all. 


2) I have two for you. First: that helmet logo that we've come to know Iowa by was commissioned by the legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry. The story goes, when he took over an awful program he thought the program needed a new, distinct image, asked for help in designing a new helmet decal and this is what he got. 


Second, best I can tell, Iowa's uniform goes all the way down to the socks. Every single Hawkeye wears black tights under their yellow pants covering their shins and white socks above them, coming up from the shoe but not covering the entire shin. Not often you see a uniform take on literally the entire body, but it really looks like that is the case for the Hawkeyes. 


- Shouts to the homie @cristilmethod -- What's it going to take to get Bob Carskadon in that Bloomin' Onion suit? 


Providing him a suit. And maybe a drink. 


Folks, let's not pretend our friend Bob is a tough safe to crack. Bob would do this in a heartbeat. I'm sure of it. 


And for that reason, we need it to happen. The Outback Bowl is experienced in allowing specialty bloomin' onion mascots for this game. Bob has received no greater honor in his life than this one. 


- And finally, from @JohnRoberts__ (That's two underscores, much like my Instagram handle, brett__hudson, hit me up) -- If you could be any animal what would you be? 


I would be my cat, Cooper, because my wife treats him like a king. That cat is living the dream, y'all, you don't understand. 


This cat is not discouraged from doing anything (by her). He can lay down on top of her, even when it's inconvenient for her, and he gets to do it. This cat gets a little chicken whenever she cooks it or whenever we bring it home from somewhere else. This cat gets treats multiple times per day, every day, for little to no reason. 


This cat is treated like a God, and I find it hard to believe any life is better than his. Shouts to Cooper. 


But if we're going with the usual Animal In The Wild objective of this question, I know what I want to be: a bald eagle. 


First of all, I'm an absolute unit. A majestic creature. Second, I'm incredibly protected. Almost guaranteed that nothing bad is going to happen to me. Furthermore, flight is absolutely the greatest power to have based on my human experience, because every time I need to go somewhere, my travel experience is dependent on the actions of humans around me and I hate it. 


Need to get to the grocery store for one item real quick? Too bad, got two people going 10 miles per hour under the speed limit right next to each other. Want to get lunch at a drive thru before a meeting? Nope, the idiot two cars in front of me inexplicably can't understand Zaxby's menu. Need to go to the bathroom? You better hold it well, because the foot traffic in front of you doesn't know what it's doing. 


Self-propelled, individual flight. I want to know what that's like. 


Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson



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