Every Friday on GoMN.com Dana Wessel answers your questions. Music, sports, pop culture, whatever you want. Have a question? You can tweet them to @DanaWessel or email him at Dana@GoMN.com. You can read the Ask Wessel archives here.

Happy New Year! Can you believe that we have now embarked upon the fourth year of Ask Wessel? Yes, I am as shocked as you are that they still let me do these. Thanks for reading and for submitting all these wonderful questions, this thing is a two-way street. Thanks for having fun with me every week!

Q: Are the Vikings going to win the Super Bowl? – Sam

Yeah! Why not us? Why not now? I am all-in.

Quick story. The soccer team I love was making a run towards an unlikely championship in 2012. This team had a history of failing in spectacular fashion, much like our beloved Purple and Gold. There is a song called “Land of Hope and Dreams” by Bruce Springsteen that I made as my own personal anthem that year during their run. There was one lyric in particular that I would repeat in my head before matches, after matches, the days leading up to matches when I was daydreaming, whenever. I kept singing it in my head even as they lifted the trophy for the first time ever that year.

“On this train, dreams will not be thwarted. This train, faith will be rewarded.”

It’s cheesy and a bit silly, of course, but that’s the fun of sports. Just get on the train and enjoy. Seasons like this don’t come around very often. Don’t fear potential heartbreak because of the past. Go all-in. Faith will be rewarded, someday. Why not this year? Buy the ticket, take the ride, Vikings fans.

Q: Make a really bold prediction for 2018 about something totally random based on nothing at all – Chris

Taylor Swift gets busted by the feds for treason.

Q: You end up backstage at concerts because of your job. Is it as cool as it is in the movies? – Jake

Oh god no. Not at all. At least in my experiences it is actually pretty boring, to be honest. There are a bunch of roadies walking around, carrying cords and rolling boxes around. Typically a food spread somewhere to feed the crew. The artist or band is typically just sitting in a back room on a couch looking at their phone or talking to their agent/entourage.

Now granted, I am never back there long. Usually just doing a quick interview or escorting winners for a meet-and-greet/photo op. So maybe they are really good about hiding the donkeys, strippers and copious amounts of drugs? But I highly doubt it. It is all very business-like. This is work, more or less, for these people. The sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll era of backstage shenanigans appear to be over in 2018, at least for stations that play modern alternative music. If I end up on an oldies station that plays Guns N’ Roses and I see some weird sh*t, I will report back.

Q: Do we really need a remake of The Office? – Sarah

Well, no. Of course not. But the same could be said about every reboot, rehash, relaunch, rejive, rejuvenation or relight in every realm of pop culture. But they are going to happen, no matter how much we complain on social media. We’ve already voted with our wallets and declared that we will gleefully accept having the same sh*t spooned down our throats, over-and-over again. There is no stopping that train now.

All that being said, I have no problem with things like The Office being revived. If all we are going to get are reboots, might as well reboot some cool stuff that was actually good at one time. Also, Greg Daniels, the dude who created the American version of The Office, is back at the helm of this thing. It isn’t like he is going to cast Dane Cook and Louis CK. I think we are going to be OK here. Let’s let creative people do creative stuff.

Will it be as good as The Office season 2-4 heyday? Of course not. In fact, there is a good chance that it will be pretty bad. But I have no problem with them trying. Why not? I think an Office reboot has a bit more upside than the show about the pilot that flies from LA to Vegas. Plus, with every reboot, you aren’t obliged to watch. Leave the memories alone if you want. It isn’t like Rainn Wilson is coming to your house to burn your old Office DVDs and force you to watch the new ones at gunpoint.

Q: What would be the hardest sport to be a pro ref? I say football but [my friend] says hockey because of the skating. – Mitch

I guess you would have to define what you mean by hardest. Physically? Hockey, basketball or soccer. That is a lot of moving, especially soccer, where there is only one ref on the field and two linesmen. Hockey get some bonus points, like you said, skating and stuff.

But the most mentally difficult has to be football. That rulebook has gotten so hilariously complicated over the years that the people who write the rules don’t even understand them. I feel bad for football refs. They are just basically hung out there to dry by the rulebook. Then get destroyed by fans for not applying complex and cumbersome rules accurately in the blink of an eye.

Q: What is the worst food to eat on a first or second date? – Becca

I subscribe to the notion that you shouldn’t hold back at dinner on a first date. Let them know what they are getting themselves into if they decide to dive into a relationship with you. People try to be way too proper on first dates. “Oh, I’ll just have a salad.” Screw that. If you are a big messy burger person, get the big messy burger. Just go for it. That’s what I say.

But here are a few that are less than flattering to eat in front of someone you are trying to impress.

  • Pho – One of my favorite foods, but it is impossible to look sexy slurping broth and noodles out of a bowl with a spoon and chopsticks. Pretty soon there is excess slurpage all over the table, your date, her purse, etc.
  • Meat on bone – Wings, ribs, whatever, can get sloppy, especially if they are heavily sauced. It can kinda kill the mood when your hands are coated in sauce and your asking your date to open a wet nap for you.
  • Garlicy food – Nobody wants to give a goodnight kiss to someone who smells like they just doublefisted garlic loves.
  • Anything you’ve never eaten before – Don’t get cocky. Order something you know. You don’t want a dish to show up only for you to have to debate whether you eat it with your hands or a fork.

Q: Why do you hate the Whole 30 so much? – Megan

I don’t hate the Whole 30, necessarily. It’s fine, it’s whatever. I would never do it, but if you think it will better your life, than go crazy. OD on flaxseed until your heart’s content.

What drives me crazy is the people who NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT doing the Whole 30. I would be so impressed if somebody could do the Whole 30 without telling a single person. Again, very happy you are doing something you think will bring health and joy to your life. I hope all your dreams come true. We just don’t need to hear all about the Whole 30-approved turkey bacon you got at Whole Foods, nor do we care that it works great in a sweet potato hash, or even that your friend Tommy couldn’t tell that you used turkey bacon and not regular bacon. Please don’t ask us to try it, either.

Alright! That’ll do it for this week. Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend! Hope 2018 has started well for everybody. Talk more next week.

Keep your questions coming to @DanaWessel on Twitter, in the comments section below or email them to Dana@GoMN.com

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