Who’s conflicted about sports? Giancarlo Stanton theme-and-variation edition

I didn’t expect the opportunity to write another post about an ESPN SportsNation poll to arise so soon after the last one, but rumors of a $300 million contract for Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton have ESPN asking its totally equipped to answer this question audience whether they think the potential contract is a good idea.

Here’s how the responses look:

stanstentiaWhile we could discuss angsty West Virginia’s inability to make up its mind on this question, the interesting twist, for our purposes, is that Montana and Vermont have entirely declined to weigh in. Their silence leaves us with a void into which we are left to impute existential meaning (or, in Vermont’s case, ice cream). Are Montanans and Vermonsters so disgusted by the very asking of the question that they refuse to dignify it with any response? Or, in an act of humility, have they recognized their own shortcomings with respect to the ability to analyze the relative merits of a long-term arrangement fraught with numerous physical, financial, and psychological components, a task that escapes mastery by even the leading minds in the field, and decided to refrain from acting beyond the scope of their limited, though completely normal, faculties? Or, to consider yet a third alternative, are they already out skiing and/or loaded up on Heady Topper and thus too busy to be bothered to respond?

Based on my hypothetical polling of my actual friend, a Vermont native who lived in Montana, I suspect these two electorates simply may not have an opinion on the matter. As we now have seen, such a posture so confounds ESPN/SportsNation’s “embrace debate” mentality that their reaction is to wipe you off the map.

UPDATE: Montana and Vermont have broken their silences, unanimously agreeing that this contract is a really bad idea! As always, click the map above to see the latest results.

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Jam the Bountygate Shuffle

We do a lot here with sports and music, so an opportunity to combine the two is pretty irresistible. Such an opportunity comes today in the form of a positive externality of the NFL’s crackdown on the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program, which we’ve been covering here on a derivative level. Back in March, the league suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for a year because of the bounties. As a Deadspin reader reports, Payton seems to be handling his time off just fine.

At least nominally, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have been on my radar since college, when they started getting some pub and a friend got into them, but I never listened to them, and I figured my friend’s allegiance to Grace Potter was based mostly on them both being female Vermontsters. When I saw today’s Jam for the first time, though, I realized my assumptions about Potter’s sound were inaccurate, and while I still am mulling her drunk-girl-in-a-late-night-diner look, she, Warren Haynes, and Sean Payton are welcome to rock ZZ Top anytime: