On Tuesday afternoon, Wisconsin Badgers senior offensive lineman Josh Seltzner announced on Twitter that Mission BBQ was going to be the official barbecue of the Wisconsin offensive line.
He also posted a picture that nearly short circuited my brain because of how good it is.
So here are some of my thoughts on the matter. Attempting to be succinct and clear.
- MEAT! MEAT! TURKEY! GUINEA FOWL! TURKEY!
- The truck holding these fellas up is not quite the real MVP. The rankings will probably be below. But come on. There are seven plus-300 pound dudes and QB Graham Mertz on the side — already wearing one of his branded shirts. Those tires must be listing a little bit, or this is God’s favorite truck bed and if so please drop the brand name. I gotta move soon and I need some good hauling abilities.
- So after an exhaustive investigation to fact check who all is in the picture — well, exhaustive before I realized I should just look at someone’s Insta pic and see who they tagged #journalism — for clarity’s sake, I’m going to list them from left to right. Kayden Lyles, Josh Seltzner, Logan Bruss, Tyler Beach, Blake Smithback, Jack Nelson, Joe Tippman (in the cowboy hat!!! We’ll get back to it don’t worry) and of course Graham Mertz, who I guess gets the lineman for a day card from the hogs up front.
- Speaking of hogs, barbecue and offensive linemen together might be the perfect combination. However, it being Wisconsin, it is surprising that no dairy company reached out already. Maybe that is in the works, but I can’t think of anything better than selling your milk to kids by saying “drink this milk and you’ll grow to be big and strong like these absolute UNITS.” Though I guess I shouldn’t be giving out all my ideas.
- Ok but wait, there’s so many easy companies that could sponsor a unit. The defensive backfield and pest control/burglar control: “nothing gets past these guys.” Wide receivers and internet companies/telecommunication stuff: “making sure your reception is right.” The list goes on. Again, I am available to consult you for a reasonable price we can negotiate.
- Kayden Lyles’ beard is as majestic and flowy as ever but Seltzner’s beard is looking at the perfect condition for that length. Drop the skincare/shaving routine bud. And also drop the Bears shirt, maybe the only L in this photo.
- Joe Tippmann’s cowboy hat. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
- Though now I’m curious for what reason they gave Joe the cowboy hat. Tippmann is an Indiana-native. There aren’t any Texans on this team — the most obvious person to give the ole ten-gallon hat to — but why Joe.
- Unless it’s Joe Tippmann’s own cowboy hat which makes it even cooler and who even cares.
- In case I haven’t made it clear enough: MEAT.
- I appreciate the camaraderie shown by Jack Nelson and Blake Smithback putting the arms around the shoulders. It’s a clear sign of the team’s spirit and everything. But it’s less fun given the fact that the whole of the left side is putting on the gun show. Lyles’ arm looks great but Tyler Beach in the middle’s arm is looking absolutely massive.
- Gary Brown needs to retweet this picture right now to talk about the factory. Because these boys look like they were made in the lab for being an offensive line.
- There’s only two ways this thing goes: all the pork and brisket and assorted sides that are absolutely baked and coated with pig fat and loaded with bacon bits (but hey, they’re vegetables) give the offensive line even more mass up front to push aside every single defensive line in the country, create the largest holes that Jalen Berger and the rest of the Badgers’ backfield has ever seen and run the table to win the Big Ten title and reach the College Football Playoff. OR, that associated grease slows them down and makes them less good. I just can’t see things going the second way because LOOK AT JOE TIPPMANN’S COWBOY HAT.
- Graham Mertz is just so happy to be there with his boys. Good for him.
- But also — and really this should be number one — all the hilarity aside, the best thing about this photo is the fact that the players who work as hard as they do and sacrifice many things to play a sport they love can now do so and also get more monetary benefits that just a scholarship. The NIL stuff is so far very fun and good to see and fantasize about (like thinking of when Culver’s also gives these meaty men a bag drop, and not just filled with cheese curds), but the real story here is not the fun picture. It’s the fact that those players are getting paid a little more fairly than they were before.
- Editor’s note: it should also be brought up that Mission BBQ has also sponsored the Notre Dame offensive line. A REAL conflict of interests for this season if you ask me.