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.
Q: How dare you disrespect Space Jam so much? – Danny
It just isn’t a good movie. At all. I even thought it was pretty stupid when I saw it in the theaters at like age 10. It isn’t even that it doesn’t hold up. It wasn’t good to begin with. Nobody can accuse me of being someone who hates kids sports movies from the 1990s, either. I have written probably 100,000 words on this site about The Mighty Ducks. I still cry every single time I watch The Sandlot. I can even be talked into putting off afternoon plans if Rookie of the Year is on TBS.
I know this irks some people, but Space Jam is in the lower echelon of 1990s kids sports flicks. There are a couple reasons. The first being that The Looney Tunes just aren’t that funny. They are actually kind of annoying. Second, and most importantly, Michael Jordan (and all the other NBA cameos) would lose to a flaming bag of dog crap in an acting contest. I love MJ, but the dude has zero charisma in this movie. It’s like he saw the amount he was getting paid, said yes, then just showed up and was like, “Wait, what I am doing? What is this?” That’s why I’d welcome a LeBron reboot. The dude is actually funny and appealing on camera. He was amazing in Trainwreck.
But just to throw a bone to you Space Jam fanatics, I will give you this: the soundtrack is straight fire. I have a lot of good memories of trampoline dunks on the driveway with that being pumped out of a boombox. It’s also an underrated TouchTunes pick.
Q: Eating breakfast in a hotel lobby makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like it. I don’t like being a part of it. – Clarence
100% agree. It’s so uncomfortable. I will never sit down and eat in the those things. There are people everywhere. People checking in, people checking out, kids screaming, hungover people everywhere. It just sucks.
If anything, I do the move where I make a quick dash through the continental with the goal of not making eye contact with anyone before retreating to my room to eat in peace. I have even been suckered into doing the move where I hang my breakfast order on the little door-hanger the night before. I’d rather pay $15 for scrambled eggs and toast then go wade through the continental breakfast warzone.
Q: Is it ever OK to grab someone’s phone from them when they are trying to show you something? – Amanda
Absolutely not. Everyone who does the ‘grab the phone out of someone’s hand’ move should be put on an island and not allowed to get off until they’ve proven they can function like a civilized human.
Here is how these situations should be handed. A person holds their phone out and the other person glances at said phone. The phone should never switch hands. There is no reason. The other person might have grubby hands. They might drop it. No need to risk anything.
It isn’t like there is anything on my phone I don’t want people to see. It’s all pretty tame. Probably the most embarrassing thing someone would find on my phone are the emails I swap with other classic Nintendo hunters/collectors. I just hate people touching my stuff. I am one of those people. Everybody just hang onto your own phones.
Q: Thoughts on The Nature Boy [Ric Flair] 30 for 30 [ESPN documentary]? – Ben
Ah, I was conflicted. It was really good but really depressing. I am a bit of a wrestling nerd, especially when it comes to Flair, so I knew everything that was in the doc. There wasn’t anything new or surprising, but a lot of it hit me pretty hard. The guy has led a pretty complex life and it is pretty sad how deep he got into the character of The Nature Boy. It’s a miracle he has lived as long as he had, especially when you look at the ages a lot of his peers have checked out at.
The older I get the more professional wrestling kinda bums me out. It is such a hard life for the wrestlers. So many of these guys have died young, broke and alone, all chasing the dragon that is an arena full of people cheering for them. Think about that: these people live on the road, away from their families, beating themselves up and, in the process, many getting addicted to substances to manage the pain and loneliness. They do it all just to make the fans happy. For every John Cena, Rock, and Steve Austin there are countless Brian Pillman’s, British Bulldogs and Ultimate Warriors.
I think that when I was younger, I was able to kinda block that aspect of wrestling out a little bit more than I can now. It’s depressing flipping on an old WWE pay-per-view on WWE Network and needing more than one hand to count the amount of dead wrestlers on the card.
Q: Does anybody actually like the powdered coffee creamer? Am I weird for bringing in my own liquid coffee creamer when I actually go into the office?? Will I appear too needy if I request that work orders some legit, super tasty, flavored liquid creamer?!? I’m sorry to burden you with a such a toughy. Enlighten me, if you will. Thanks! – Kevin
Wrong guy to ask when it comes to specifics with coffee. I only drink coffee once a week. We have meetings with our boss on Wednesday after the show and his office is quite warm. I get an iced coffee to keep me from dozing off. Never a good look falling asleep in front of the boss.
As far as asking for stuff, you could go the total passive aggressive route on this one. Put a note on the desk of whoever orders the office supplies asking for the fancy creamer….and sign it with a coworker’s name. Preferably one you don’t really like.
Q: What sort of tips do you have for waking up before dawn and getting to work by 6am? – Andi
The key for me is routine. I was a major night owl/insomniac my entire life until I started doing morning radio. It was a huge adjustment. My alarm started going off at the time I was used to going to bed. The first few months were rough. I was a total zombie. I even started sleepwalking on the weekends for a while. My wife would find me trying to get dressed at like 4am in my sleep on a Saturday. It was equal parts hilarious and kinda scary.
So it took a few weeks but once I started my routine and sticking to it, I have found it a lot easier. I have my bag packed and clothes laid out. I get in bed the same time. I resist the urge to do too much socializing on the weekdays. I have completely stopped any sort of weeknight happy hours or drinking. Sure, it takes discipline and can be a bit of a bummer waking up to Snaps from your friends at some awesome Tuesday night concert, but it helped me finally develop healthy sleeping habits for the first time in my life.
Q: I’m in the process of recovering from USMNT heartbreak and would like to enjoy next summer. How should one pick which country or countries to support in the 2018 World Cup? – Ryan
I am in the same process, Ryan. What stage are you in? Last Saturday night I found myself in the ‘watching old US Soccer highlight videos on YouTube with a beer going while my wife wondered if it is too late for an annulment or if she will have to go the straight divorce route’ stage.
I plan on just rooting for upsets. Rooting against the typical favorites. Screw Germany, Spain and Brazil. Go Iceland. Oh, and watching England embarrass themselves in the World Cup is always fun, too.
Q: Better Late than Never Movie Review: The Wizard – Scott
I love The Wizard! For those who have never heard of it, or can’t seem to place it, The Wizard was the movie from the 1980s where Fred Savage, his video game savant younger brother*, and a random girl they meet all hitchhike to California for the national video game tournaments.
*Played by Luke Edwards, who every Minnesotan knows as Billy Heywood from Little Big League.
The whole thing is basically a 90-minute advertisement for Nintendo. The way they shoehorn different games and peripherals in is borderline comical. Everybody remembers the infamous Powerglove scene…
Plus, if nothing else, this movie should be fondly remembered for the introduction to one of the greatest video games of all time Super Mario Bros. 3. This was obviously pre-internet so imagine the surprise people got when their first look at one of the most anticipated video games ever came as a plot point in a movie?? Man, 1980s/90s Nintendo was just the best, man.
And yes, before anybody asks, The Wizard is a much better movie than Space Jam
Alright, that’ll do it for this week! Everybody raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend! Next week is a tight turnaround with Thanksgiving and all so no promises an Ask Wessel gets written. You will all probably be too full and drunk to read it anyway. But as always, you can hit me up whenever at all the links below.