Q: What the hell ever happened to Ask Wessel? - Mike
I am sorry! The holidays got really busy behind the scenes at the station and this fell by the wayside. But I promise Ask Wessel is back for good* and will be better than ever**!!!
*Unless I get really busy again.
**Let’s be honest, it will continue to be slightly above average.
Q: Now that you are a Packers fan I am not asking you anything. Why don’t you go ask your Packers friends for questions? - Clarence
A lot of my friends (and co-hosts Ben and Giselle) are mad at me for jumping on the Packers bandwagon during the playoffs. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. My reasoning is simple. I have a lot of Packers fan friends and I like when they’re happy. Also, it’s funny seeing the hardest of the hardcore Vikings rubes squirm.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a Vikings fan, but I am over the petty anger and hatred towards our neighbors. Once the Purple are out, I like to see compelling stories. And right now, the Packers are a hell of a story.
Plus, the longer this streak continues, the funnier it will be when it all comes crumbling down. They won’t beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl so might as well root for the biggest crotch-kick possible for your sworn enemies.
But don’t think this newfound level of maturity and clarity applies to all sports. I would rather chug the bucket inside a State Fair port-a-potty than ever root for Mexico in the World Cup after the U.S. is eliminated.
Q: Are the peanuts they have while you wait for your burger at Five Guys really necessary? - Jake
I’ve often wondered this. It just seems odd. Do I really need to house a couple handfuls of peanuts before I go to town on 4,000 calories of beef, bacon, bun and fries? They should really be doing us double-bacon-burger kinda guys a favor and have celery or maybe have some kettlebells so we can do something positive with our lives before shame-eating a grease burger.
Q: A co-worker was giving me a hard time about going to concerts by myself. I've seen 6 shows without anyone else, is this abnormal? - Michael
Absolutely not. I am all for doing stuff solo. Movies, restaurants, concerts, whatever. I have no idea why there is such a stigma against it. Props to you for having the confidence to go out in public without the security blanket of a friend. A lot of people have a hard time doing that.
There is something peaceful about going solo. Especially movies and concerts. Those really aren’t social activities. Once the movie or music starts you don’t talk -- or at least you shouldn’t. Also, what if the movie or the band sucks and you want to bail? You’re at the mercy of your friends. On the flip side, if you are really excited about a particular movie or band, you don’t want to go with someone who is just tagging along for something to do. If I saw Springsteen or a Fast movie with someone who wasn’t enjoying themselves I would be furious. I’d much rather go solo and take it all in myself... and so my friends don’t think I am weird when I start crying.
Also, tell your co-worker we see right through their thinly-veiled “I have so many friends” humblebrag.
Q: Would you repeal and replace time zones? How would your ideal system work out with you as supreme leader? - Sharkman
I would just straight up repeal. Screw replacing them. Time zones are an antiquated concept. The world is clearly going to end soon so we should just go out with a bang. Everybody gets to decide what time they want it to be. Let’s live fast and burn bright these last few months before the entire world explodes in nuclear warfare.
Q: You called it on arcade games at bars. I see them everywhere now. Look into your crystal ball and tell us what the next big bar trend will be? - Molly
Hmmmm. That is a great question. Here are a few off the top of my head I would love to see.
- Cell phone chargers at every bar stool. I have been wanting this for a long time.
- The ability to connect via bluetooth to listen to the audio of games at sports bars. There are often many games going on, but the sound can only be on for one.
- Monitors that have the beer list on them. Bartenders are just as sick of rattling off the beer list. I am sick of listening to them race through them like speed readers. Put it up on a big TV monitor like they do at Up Down. Everyone wins.
- Speaking of TVs, would it be too much to ask to train bartenders how to change channels? You ask them to switch channels and they look at you like you asked them to dismantle an atomic bomb. You point the remote and click.
Q: Do you wish soccer was as big and dominant in the US as in the rest of the world? If Thanksgiving tradition included a big turkey dinner and then watching soccer instead of the NFL? Or do you prefer it being more of an acquired taste like in this country? - Phil
I definitely used to want it to be more popular. I was one of those annoying dudes trying to shove soccer down other people’s throats and convince them how great the beautiful game really is. My friends and family must have found me insufferable. For some dumb reason I thought I’d be validated if my favorite sport became more popular.
But I have calmed down the last few years. I am more than happy to help people get into soccer, but I no longer try to force it on people. I think we have struck a pretty good balance here with soccer in this country. It is popular enough that I have no shortage of friends who like to watch and no shortage of strangers at bars to banter with.
To be honest, I can’t stand being around about 7 out of 10 hardcore, meathead NFL fans. So if soccer being as popular as the NFL in this country meant I’d have to deal with your typical fantasy football mouth-breather every time I went out to watch a match, I think I’d pass.
I think we could all do better to just like the things we like and not care what other people think of them. I used to get really worked up when my favorite movie wasn’t nominated for an Oscar or Eminem didn’t win a Grammy. As I’ve gotten older I find it’s a lot less stressful to not care what other people say. If you like Nickelback, crank them all day. If you look up to Guy Fieri, buy his books and and put a poster on your wall. It’s your life. Live it on your terms. Screw what people on the internet say.
Q: Which 30 games have to be included on a potential SNES Classic? - Scott
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this ever since the NES Classic came out. So many options.
- Super Mario World - Duh.
- Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - The second-best Zelda game of all time.
- Super Metroid - The best Metroid game ever made.
- Chrono Trigger - One of the best RPGs ever and has near endless replay values with the number of different endings.
- Super Mario Kart - The multiplayer racer that changed the game and started a franchise.
- Super Mario RPG - Because Mario and Bowser teaming up was a game-changer.
- Donkey Kong Country - Innovative graphics that revived a franchise character. Still holds up.
- Donkey Kong Country II: Diddy Kong’s Quest - The second is every bit as good as the fist. Need them both.
- Earthbound - So people can play it without having to pay $200 for this very rare cart. Also, it’s an amazing game.
- Zombies Ate My Neighbors - Some of the best co-op gameplay ever in this era.
- Super Punch Out - No-brainer
- Secret of Mana - Chrono Trigger gets all the credit, but this Squaresoft RPG was just as good.
- F-Zero - Just a classic racer. Everyone has fond memories of this one.
- Star Fox - Doesn’t hold up as well as other SNES games but there is no denying its spot in the pantheon.
- Super Castlevania IV - A great 16-bit continuation of the classic NES series.
- Mega Man X - I am not the biggest Mega Man fan, but it has to be on the list.
- Mortal Kombat II - An absolute classic that is still fun all these years later.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time - Just as great as the arcade version.
- Tetris Attack - Gotta have a puzzle game in the 30.
- NBA Jam TE - No-brainer. This game has to be on the list.
- Sim City - There is something oddly calming out this game. I still fire it up every now and again.
- Contra III - Not as good as the original but I love me some runnin-and-gunnin.
- Ken Griffey Jr Winning Run - Griffey was the coolest baseball player of the 1990s and this was the best baseball game of the 1990s.
- Mario Paint - Might be tough to have it on the classic because of the mouse, but they should find a way. This game was quirky and fun as hell.
- Pilotwings - Launch title that I still play.
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo - Just as good of a fighter as Mortal Kombat II but didn’t get as much attention because you couldn’t rip your opponents head off.
- Super Mario World II: Yoshi's Island - Not as fun as the original, but how many games are? Still a classic.
- NHL ‘94 - The best hockey game on the SNES.
- Super Tennis - Simple, addictive and awesome. This game is the only reason I know how tennis scoring works.
- Tecmo Super Bowl - One of the big complaints about the NES Classic is they included the original Tecmo and not the sequel. Nintendo can fix that.
There you go. Pretty solid list, in my opinion. What would you add? Any I miss? And, as excited as I am for the SNES Classic, I feel like we might be waiting a while. Nintendo is going to be all about the Switch for the foreseeable future.
All right, that’ll do it for this week. Glad to be back writing these again. Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend! Spring will be here before we know it. Do your part to help keep the dream alive this weekend.