Posted: Wednesday August 23, 2006 12:14PM; Updated: Wednesday August 23, 2006 2:16PM
Despite what she told Esquire, Jenna Fischer remains the author's celebrity crush.
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Well, as many of you know, I recently joined the ever-growing MySpace community -- and it just so happens that Jenna is one of the most avid celebrity MySpacers out there. So, I e-mailed her through her page. I informed her about her reigning Mailbag Crush stature, how I chose her over more popular reader nominee Elizabeth Banks -- the book-store girl in The 40-Year-Old Virgin -- and let her know, as politely as possible, that in light of her questioning the sexuality of practically my entire readership, I was going to have to rescind her title unless she offered some sort of explanation.
And lo and behold, less than 48 hours later, I received this response:
Ha! Yes, someone forwarded me your quote from before. In fact, many people. Your [column] is very popular. It was cool.
I took some creative license with that quote in Esquire. Just a way for me to cope with the black hole that all the men around me fall into come football season. The addition of fantasy football doesn't help. So, you have to give a gal a break. In truth, I love the game. Probably more than my husband. My hometown team, the [St. Louis] Rams, kick ass.
But, I think it's only fair that I pass my crown to Elizabeth Banks. She's the coolest woman on the planet. She loves football ... AND she's starring in the football movie Invincible with Mark Wahlberg. Oh yeah, and she's really hot.
So, just to recap: 1) Jenna Fischer already knew of the Mailbag's existence and considers it "cool"; 2) she is very much a football fan (albeit of the vastly inferior NFL variety); 3) she is apparently tight with Elizabeth Banks; and 4) MySpace is the greatest invention ever.
Suffice it to say, Jenna will not be relinquishing her crown. If anything, she just moved up to some sort of supreme, untouchable Crush status. But, due to her own endorsement -- and the fact that The 40-Year-Old Virgin has been on HBO about 800 times over the past month -- Elizabeth is also being installed as the first-ever Mailbag Celebrity co-Crush. There's plenty of room for both of you in this 'Bag, ladies.
(It should be noted that I'm operating under the assumption that Jenna's husband is an extremely understanding man. If not ... my apologies, sir.)
Now then ... where were we?
After seeing both Oklahoma and Texas practice this fall, which team do you think is going to have the better year, and what's your early prediction for the Red River Rivalry game? -- Isaiah Bowers, San Diego
You know, one of the main observations I took away from last week's trip was how eerily similar both squads are. Both are going to have phenomenal running games. Both have an overabundance of veteran pass-rushers. Both have extremely fast linebackers. Both have big-time playmakers in the secondary. And both have gigantic question marks at quarterback.
So I hate to cop out, but I don't really see where one has any significant edge over the other. The 'Horns obviously have more proven commodities coming back -- they did win the national championship -- but the Sooners are every bit as talented. I don't know who will win the Red River game, but you can expect both teams to blitz the tar out of each other and for the final score to be something like 13-10.
When is the last time a team came completely out of left field to win a national championship? I'm not talking about a respected sleeper here. I'm talking about a team like UCF. -- Sam Hill, Pensacola, Fla.
As strange as this sounds now, Miami. Yes, the 'Canes had been playing football for more than 50 years by the time Howard Schnellenberger took over in 1979, but they weren't particularly good at it, and in fact the school came very close to dropping the sport. So when Schnellenberger's team, led by QB Bernie Kosar (take note, Texas fans, he was a freshman), suddenly went 11-1 in '83 and upset the Turner Gill-Mike Rozier Nebraska juggernaut in the Orange Bowl, it was about as out of left field as it gets. Was it UCF-level shocking? Not exactly, but I'm not sure you can really draw that analogy, because back then there was no BCS/non-BCS distinction.
Some of you probably thought I was going to say BYU in '84, but the Cougars had built up a pretty strong national reputation by then. It would actually be more shocking to see them win a national title now than 20 years ago, because the system works so heavily against them.
Last year you broke down the order in which the BCS bowls got to pick who played where. Could you do that again this season? Thanks. -- Daniel Hopkins, Lancaster, Ky.
Sure. First of all, unless it qualifies for the national title game (which is now a separate event from the other four bowls) the ACC's champion automatically goes to the Orange Bowl, the SEC's to the Sugar, the Big 12's to the Fiesta and the Big Ten's and Pac-10's to the Rose. (The Big East no longer has an anchor bowl.) Any bowl that loses its "host" conference to the title game gets first choice of replacement (with the bowl that loses the No. 1 team picking ahead of the bowl that loses the No. 2 team). The bowls are not obligated to select a team from the same conference, but you can expect if there's an eligible Big Ten or Pac-10 team, the Rose will snatch it up.
After the five conference winners have been placed and both national title teams have been replaced, the bowls then take turns selecting either the Big East champion or an at-large team. This year's order, which rotates annually, is 1) Sugar, 2) Orange, 3) Fiesta. A more elaborate explanation can be found here.