We have some open spaces in Friday's mailbag, so let us hear it.
From the "Shapiro Stinks Studios," here we go...
Janzen Jackson of the University Tennessee football team poses for a photograph during media day in Knoxville in this file photo.
Buckle up Tennessee
Holy head-spinning news day. How crazy was Wednesday? Glad you asked.
At 1:35 p.m. Wednesday, the top six stories on the ESPN headlines were either UT-related or involved Tennessee Titans.
The order after lunch was Peyton Manning's uncertain status, Pat Summitt's health, Titans' Kenny Britt meeting with the NFL, Titans talking with Chris Johnson, Janzen Jackson being dismissed and Bruce Pearl getting punished.
Wow. All of these are big stories and could dominate the 5-at-10. But let's group these together and agree that Wednesday was a super busy day. Here's a quick trip around the craziest sports day in this state in at least a decade:
— Manning: His health has left a lot of talking heads wringing their scripts and saying "What now?" Signing Kerry Collins is more insurance than substitute; you know this. Something tells us that Manning will be in the lineup come Sept. 11. With Manning, the Colts are a fringe contender for the Super Bowl; without Manning; the Colts are a fringe contender for the No. 1 overall pick.
— Pat Summit: Sad story from the start — and if you have a few minutes read Sally Jenkins story HERE; it's amazing — but if anyone can tackle these challenges it's Summitt.
— Kenny Britt: Punk. Can he ever be counted on as No. 1 receiver? We think he may not be qualified to be counted on as a No. 11 receiver.
— Chris Johnson: Things appear to be going nowhere. Fast. (See what we did there — Johnson's a really fast guy, and we... nevermind, let's move along.)
— Janzen Jackson: Didn't we all think this was how this was going to turn out? Here's our column in today's paper.
— Bruce Pearl: We knew this was coming too, but three years seems a little high. That said, the NCAA has sent a clear message that lying will not be tolerated. OK, message received, but let's see what the NCAA does with Jim Tressel. If Pearl got three years, doesn't Tressel, who's lies were deeper, longer and covered violations that were more egregious.
Uh, Mr. Jefferson may be movin' on out
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson has been at the center of the controversy in the last week following news that he was questioned by the police about his possible role in a bar brawl. (Or a Pier 6er as some call it).
Anyhoo, police searched Jefferson's apartment and either Jefferson is a great take-out chef and provided meals for all of the Baton Rouge Police Department or there may be trouble on the horizon because the BRPD took a lot of bags out of Jefferson's apartment. Here's the video. Hold on folks, this seems like it may get deeper in the bayou.
It's just the latest intrigue/injury involving a big-time star in the SEC. Check it out:
— Jackson was UT's top player athletically, and he's gone. Sidenote: Raise your hand if you think Jackson will be at North Alabama before the week's out. Yeah, we do too.
— Jefferson by all accounts is the Tigers' top leader.
— Arkansas running back Knile Davis, who powered his way to more than 1,000 yards last year and was going to be the running balance for what looked to be the league's best offense, will miss the year with a knee injury.
— Ole Miss athlete/quarterback Randall Mackey, who reportedly had been the most impressive playmaker in Rebels preseason practice, lost out on the starting QB race because he was arrested Tuesday morning.
Yep, nothing good happens in the preseason
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, right, and LeBron James speak during the last minutes of the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks defeated the Heat 95-93. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Shhhh, they're still thinking
When was the last time you thought about the NBA? Yeah, crazy, huh?
Yes, after the best NBA postseason since Michael Jordan was in Chicago, the NBA continues to grind out a labor negotiation that appears at best painful. Wow, what a waste.
The only NBA news out there right now is that Kobe Bryant is irritated about something, Kevin Durant is torching summer leagues around the country and Dwyane Wade and some other stars are looking at playing overseas.
The NBA is making a huge mistake by letting this drag on. Gang, the silence is deafening and it will only get worse when football actually starts.
David Stern is a super smart dude, and he has been a great commissioner. But he better get something done quickly or this may get really ugly.
Sidenote: Who here thinks LeBron is better than Jordan at this point in their careers? (Hee-hee-hee.)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) runs for 27 yards against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. The Colts won 31-26. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
This and that
— We mentioned Peyton Manning's ever-growing uncertain status for the season opener following offseason neck surgery. Did you know the last time Manning did not start was in September 1994 during his freshman year at UT. Manning was on the sideline as current Colorado first baseman Todd Helton started for the Vols. Wow. In '94, the top movie then was "Time Cop" with Jean Claude Van Damme (who would be walloped by Steven Seagal, according to EC), the top TV show was "Home Improvement," and the No. 1 song was "I'll make love to you" by Boyz ii Men. (Sidenote: What a great, Great, GREAT trend that 'z' instead of an 's' was. Wonder if we should explore changing the business cards to read "Jay Greezon — Zportz Editor?" Thoughts.
— The Braves lost 3-2 to Chicago on Wednesday night. It was one of those nights. But here's a crazy thing about how impressive Atlanta has been — we were almost shocked that the Braves lost. And that's saying something.
— Former AL Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan died Wednesday. He was 59. When we heard the news, we thought back to our youth and collecting baseball cards. And if memory serves, one of the random facts on the back of Flanagan's card was he once earned a win without throwing a pitch. (He entered a tied game as a reliever with two outs and picked a guy off first. His team scored in the next half inning and he was relieved. It's amazing the things we remember.)
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier looks on as quarterbacks Stephen Garcia calls to others as they organized for a group photo during media day Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
There will be college football a week from today. One week. Excellent.
All of questions for the next week will likely be on college football (unless something huge happens in another spot).
Who is the most overrated college football team in country? Who is the most overrated team in the SEC? (And if you want, those teams can be one and the same... uh....LSU...cough....Tigers.)
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...