published Monday, December 19th, 2011

5 at 10: College hoops, NFL craziness and Twitter 101

From the "Mama McNabb stage at the Al Davis studio," here we go:



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    UTC coach John Shulman, right, talks to Chris Early during the game against Warren Wilson Monday at McKenzie Arena.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Early bird tweets

Now that was a strange weekend for the UTC basketball team. Quick recap: Mocs leave for Lexington, Ky., on Friday for what's expected to be a whipping (and a $90,000 pay day); the program learns of senior starter Chris Early's mid-November Twitter attack on UTC coach John Shulman (and dude was throwing major-league Twitter bombs, stuff way worse than "Up your nose with a rubber hose"); Early is suspended indefinitely; Mocs lose by 25 to Kentucky, which is better than it sounds since UTC was down 18-2 inside the first few minutes of the game.

OK, everyone up to speed? Good, and here's our TFP UTC hoops ace David Uchiyama's story on the Early suspension (UTC’s Chris Early suspended for anti-coach tweets).

Social media and sports make cross companions at times. Early is certainly not the first athlete or coach or sports personnel to get egg on his face by putting his emotions and feelings into the written word, that almost always gets out. He won't be the last either.

Here are a couple things about this situation:

1) The 5-at-10 commends UTC for having a social media policy that allows players to participate in social media. And sure, it may sound Draconian and anti-American, but there are several college programs that forbid Twitter and the like. In our view, that's the easy way out. If part of college athletics, especially at the mid-major basketball level, is preparing kids for life after college, then this is part of that. Here's saying that Chris Early — and more than likely any of the other Mocs — will commit the ultimate social media faux pas. And later in life it could cost one of those guys a job or who knows what else.

2) That said, the comments about Early's online comments have been surprising. There has been more feedback that would be filed under the categories "He's right," and "Shulman is trouble," than "Stupid kid made a mistake" or "Early was not any good any way." There's obviously more than a touch of unrest among the fan base.

3) Here's saying this moment is the crossroad for this season. There's a real chance an event like this can galvanize a team — and at least the front-court tandem of the UTZ MocZ of Z. Mason and Drazen Zlovaric was obviously inspired against UK. There's also a chance that this makes things worse. And worse than 3-7 does not seem like a lot of fun.



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    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is helped up by a teammate after he was sacked during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won the game 19-14. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NFL craziness

Our TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer had a good column today (strong weekend by Weeds, by the way) on the NFL madness that was highlighted by the Packers first loss of the season and the Colts first win.

According to RJ Bell of pregame.com, if you had wagered $100 on a two-team parlay without point spreads for the Chiefs to beat Green Bay and the Colts to beat Tennessee, the pay out would have been $2,240. If you had added the Redskins, who thumped NFC East-leading New York, the pay out would have jumped to $7,850. Cha-Christmas.

The wildness of the scoreboard watching Sunday showed us three things:

1) In no other league is there more parity than the NFL. Period and end of discussion.

2) We're of the mind that losing to Kansas City helped the Packers in their effort to win a second consecutive Super Bowl. The Packers need just one more win or one more 49ers loss to secure home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. When that happens, the Pack can proceed to rest its starters and not worry about answering 16-0 questions or the surrounding drama.

3) Don't look now, but the Colts' seemingly insurmountable lead in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes is down to one game. After beating the Titans — and handing Tennessee's playoff chances a major blow — the Colts are 1-13; Minnesota and St. Louis are 2-12. The intrigue that could come with next April's NFL draft could be off the charts. (P.S. The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.)



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    Tennessee guard Trae Golden (11) shoots over Austin Peay guard Jerome Clyburn (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Brimer)

College hoops power poll

Our man Chas9 does a weekly college hoops Top Tenn of teams from the Volunteer State. It's tougher than it may seem since the state of the state is not all that impressive in men's college hoops.

We're committing to making Monday our college hoops power poll day. We'll do a Top 8 (in reference to teams that look worthy of a No. 1 or No. 2 seed).

Here's the first edition:

1) Kentucky — Yes, they have a loss, but this team is deeper than any other and as talented as anyone.

2) UNC — The Heels, not unlike the Wildcats, have multiple lottery picks on their roster. Seems UK has a little more depth, though.

3) Syracuse — You may not know all of their players, but their match-up zone defense is arguably the biggest difference-maker in the game.

4) Louisville — Another team that will guard you from one end of the floor to the other.

5) Baylor — When did we wake up and Baylor has a Heisman winner and a top-five college hoops team? How did this happen?

6) UConn — The Huskies will get better as the year progresses. Plus, UConn has the best Mr. Drummond since Arnold and Willis moved in.

7) Ohio State — Would rank higher if Jared Sullinger could stay healthy, but Jared Sullinger can't stay healthy.

8) Florida — Biggest wildcard on the list — and yes we have them ahead of Duke because the Gators are more athletic. Plus, Florida has a wealth of backcourt options.



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    Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press Corey Gearrin, left, gives David Frailey his hat back after signing it Tuesday at Academy Sports. Gearrin and other Atlanta Braves players stopped by Chattanooga as a part of the Atlanta Braves Caravan.

This and that

— Schedule news: The TFP Sports Editor will be off the rest of this week, meaning there will be mini-holiday 5-at-10s after today and through Christmas.

— Schedule update, part II: The 5-at-10 will swing by SportTalk 102.3 today to visit with friends of the show Quake, Cowboy Joe and Dr. B (he's a doctor after all).

— Schedule update, part III: Remember to send in your bowl picks. We received a slew of them already, but they are due Wednesday. We'll try to get a host of the local media folks to play along, as well. The rules and the list of games is in last week's mail bag (Click here for rules).

— Schedule update, part IV: The Braves caravan will be in Chattanooga on Feb. 9 at a neighborhood Academy Sports + Outdoors location. That's all we know right now, but as we learn more (who's coming, etc.) we'll share.

— Wow, it's still roughly a month before we can discuss the NBA outright, but let's say this: If there were some highlights of NBA preseason on SportsCenter over the weekend, it's obvious that most of the NBA players did not spend the extra down time on fundamentals. Wow. If the league was making a commercial from the early preseason clips, the slogan could be, "The NBA... where turnovers happen." Gross. (That is of course if we were talking about the NBA.)



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    Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic leader, has died. He was 69.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Today's question

The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.

But, let's say they have teams of evil in Hades. Or maybe not even teams but social circles or clubs.

The devil's the commissioner, of course, and there could be several captains that divide up the new arrivals.

In true draft mode, at the end of the 2011 year, who's the No. 1 pick in Hell — Kim Jong II, Moammar Gadhafi or Osama Bin Laden?

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

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 ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
John_Proctor said...

Mr. Commissioner. The Pitchforkers, led by Captain Beelzebub, select OBL as our Number One pick.”

Analysis: Not since Adolph Hitler, has a single demented mind destroyed so many innocent lives. The others are crazy and brutalized their own people but OBL is Hell’s leading draft pick for 2011 due to the sheer number of innocent deaths caused by his insanity.

December 19, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
Bdub13 said...

When a team has a shot at an undefeated season, that first loss is always tough, but I have to imagine that the fact it was to the Chiefs, considering how bad they have been, makes it even tougher.

Being a Titans fan, any loss to the Colts is taken hard, but the Titans also being the ones to give the Colts their first win of the year just adds some salt into that wound.

I'd have to go with Kim Jong Il for the number one overall Hell pick. Osama was a major terrorist and a personal target for many Americans, but he never managed to run his own country. Gadhafi had his own country, but it was Libya. Now Kim Jong Il not only managed to run his own country while he was out of his gourd crazy, but he also managed to place enough fear in the major powers of the world to keep them at bay while he did whatever he wanted to.

December 19, 2011 at 10:49 a.m.
chas9 said...

5er--Glad to see we both think KY's the best. Two words: Anthony Davis. Even if you're not a Wildcat, you gotta see this freak. I hope Terrence Jones isn't a Chris Early.

Speakin' of the Mocs, it was a closer game than most anybody expected. I thought it'd be 50. I like the Mocs' fight. And though their record stinks, they've only been blown out by KY and Indiana (10-0). They'll get it together.

December 19, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
chas9 said...

Top Tenn Rankings, week 6:

Couple of weeks ago we were "unimpressed" by Tennessee roundball, but at least we had likely tournament teams Vandy, Memphis and Belmont at the top. Now we're "depressed" by Tennessee basketball.

Vandy, Memphis, The Vols, and Lipscomb were all oh for the week, and Belmont was 1-2. Vandy fell to a Bird-less Indiana State and Memphis lost to Murray State. Murray's good, and the Tigers' other loss was to Louisville, but clearly no Tennessee team deserves national ranking at present. National spanking, yes.

MTSU and Mr. Peay are on relative rolls, so they move up.

Mocs fans could play the comparative score game and point out they lost to Charleston by only 2 in overtime, while The Vols lost by 6 this week. And the Mocs lost by "only" 25 at Rupp, half the margin we expected, so they look to be gaining ground, but don't quite break into this week's rankings.

1) Vandy

2) Memphis

3) MTSU

4) Belmont

5) ETSU

6) Mr. Peay

7) Tennessee State

8) The Vols

9) TN Tech

10) Lipscomb

December 19, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
jgreeson said...

JP —

We were leaning with OBL, too. But Kim Jong did it over such a long period of time. It's not unlike the comparison between a player who was dominant for 8-10 years or the one that was consistently good for 16-20 years.

PS — Pitchforkers is so one of the team names down there. Great call. So is the Heat, the Demons and every shade of Devils. Well-played indeed.

Bdub —

We were completely ready to go with OBL, but then you made a very compelling argument. Now we're torn again.

Tough loss for your Titans, no doubt.

9er —

UK is stacked. Davis is a stud. And the Kidd-Gilchrist kid plays so hard (and we've always said that when one of your stars is your hardest worker, special things can happen).

As for Tenn hoops, well said about going from impressed to stressed to depressed.

Not good at all. In fact, we keep falling at this rate, we're going to need a Top Tenn with five men's teams and five women's.

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2011 at 11:13 a.m.

I miss attending local college basketball games. And like me, Chattanooga sports fans deserve a better basketball program than the one we currently have at UTC. Tho', I am confident Rick Hart will do what is necessary, soon enough.

Too bad the Lexington/UK press had to break the story... where was the TFP?

December 19, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.
jgreeson said...

BTG —

We concur that Rick Hart has complete control of the matter.

As for the Kentucky radio station that had the tweets first, well, good for them. You can't win them all. And while we did not have it first, we did have it best and with fresh quotes from Shulman after it happened.

Question for you BTG: Did you used to go to Mocs games and stopped because of their recent struggles? Are you not going by choice as a protest? We're seriously curious. Although, if you don't go — and you may have a really good reason not to... physically unable, live out of town, etc. — it's hard to say you "deserve" better. It's like not voting and complaining about your elected officials.

Also, where are your bowl picks?

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.
eljefe said...

For the sake of this discussion I am assuming that "evil" is not the only attribute. also, since it's the draft we have to cut away to Mel Kiper (who is also a resident of Hades):

Folks, I gotta go KJI.

  1. Actual sport's ability I'm going KGI. He is Korean. They tend to have strong showings in many Olympic activities. Well, at the least the ones that do not require height or driving skills. When was the last time the Saudis had any competitive athletes?

  2. KJI is a much better marketing brand than OBL. He has crossover appeal. From wigs to action figures he just has more options. Sure, you might by the OBL doll but who is going the buy the downtown pakistan "dream house" or "the cave?" Heck, he only has one outfit. What's he going to wear for road games?

  3. Somebody may have already covered this but while OBL was hiding in a cave or getting iced in his vacation home, KJI is standing on the balcony giving the business to the whole world with his crazy hair and "What's up now homeys?" attitude. He was the type of crazy that made truly insane people say, "I'm not messing with that dude." This is not even close.

  4. Finally, the key to evil is the look. Whether it's to scare the willies out of your enemies or just get your kids to "STOP fighting in the back seat of the bleepin' car!" a good evil look is essential. Think back to the news clips. OBL looks cold and tired. Nothing he said had passion or for that matter, inflection. KJI had a "you will never guess where I slept last night look" coupled with a language made for yelling at people. Heck, his actual facial features are 3 times smaller than his face. That's creepy to the infinite power.

That's why KJI is at the top of my Big Board.

December 19, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Bdub13:

Yes, Mr. Kim was all you said, but he owed his sinecure as the "Dear Leader" to the wants of the Chinese.

OBL is number #1. He built his own network adaptable to local conditions and stayed a top of it for decades even while on the run. His minions fought the US to a standstill in Iraq before going over the line with the locals. The Saudis had their own chronic problems with homegrown attacks by al-Qaida terrorists.

In these pursuits, killing anyone of any age or creed is of no concern.

Otherwise, 10 Ring, I'm still stunned at the last five minutes of the Raider game.

December 19, 2011 at 12:43 p.m.
patrickd said...

5 at 10 said:

It's not unlike the comparison between a player who was dominant for 8-10 years or the one that was consistently good for 16-20 years.

Might we call this the Ron Santo argument?

December 19, 2011 at 1:04 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Eljefe —

It's official, Jefe is the Todd McShay of the Evil Draft pool. All we needed was a mention of upside and athleticism, and it was game, set, match.

FE to the C —

Being a Raiders fan must be tough. And it has been for years.

That said, Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson is going to be a formidable combo for years to come.

PDavi —

No, no it can not because Ron Santo was a .277 hitter, and .277 hitters that were not pitchers, catchers or did not have more than 500 homers do not belong in the Hall of Fame.

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
Bdub13 said...

fechancellor:

Saying OBL is #1 because of Al-Qaida is like saying Mathieu should go #1 overall next year because of LSU. Al-Qaida is still running without OBL, but I guarantee you some countries around the world breathed a sigh of relief this weekend. Crazy is to evil what passion and will is to football. If you are looking at two equally talented players, you'll take the one with more passion. Heck, you'd likely even take the guy with little less talent but a lot more passion and will.

OBL was predictable to a point. With Kim there was telling what he was going to do at any given moment and there is nothing an evil team would like more than a chaos bringer. Kim could even be seen as the Andrew Luck of the Hades draft.

December 19, 2011 at 1:25 p.m.
Bdub13 said...

Oh, and a side note, even when it comes to fudging about one's golf score, Kim was a master. According to his biography, he shot a 38-under par in a round that included no fewer than 11 holes in one and this was the first time he had ever picked up a golf club. He then declared his retirement from the sport.

December 19, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Bdub13:

Elegantly written reply.

When Mr. Kim sinks a South Korean patrol boat or fires artillery that kills civilians one of Seoul's islands, the US sends the USS George Washington around East Asia then visits new ally Vietnam.

When OBL and company bombed the WTC, the US and NATO went to war in Afghanistan.

Now, I’m not saying Mr. Kim is a piker in comparison, especially in his ghastly treatment of his own people. Pyongyang did accelerate the US Missile Defense Program that has clearly backfired on the Chinese.

If passion is the measure, then OBL is the winner.

It was his inspiration and his teachings which made his disciples worldwide with no personal contact to die willingly for the cause. Also of import, OBL built this worldwide network under the nose of every intelligence organization on the planet until he judged it time to go viral. No mean feat.

December 19, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.
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