published Monday, February 6th, 2012

5 at 10: Eli Manning, Super bowl commercials and the football off-season begins

The New York Giants and the New England Patriots play during the second half of the NFL Super  Bowl XLVI football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The New York Giants and the New England Patriots play during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

We're going to need a few minutes to collect our thoughts this morning. It dawned on us that football is officially done. We'll have to make due with everything else until the end of August when the college season kicks off. Sigh.

OK, we're back, let's get moving.

From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.

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    New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) reacts after sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Giants won 21-17. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Super Bowl in name primarily

What do we make of a Super Bowl that was won by a reluctant TD that was allowed on purpose by a defense that played over its head? What do we make of a game that swung drastically when the game's best possession receiver dropped an off-target pass from the best QB of his generation? What do we make of a Super Bowl that had a halftime show featuring Madonna that included an obscene gesture and Madonna was not involved in said obscene gesture? What do we make of a world where Eli Manning fans have a legit argument that the youngest Manning brother is better than his more celebrated older sibling and now owns Tom Brady?

Obviously, the New York Giants' 21-17 Super Bowl win over New England left a lot of unanswered questions. The game was entertaining, albeit lower scoring than almost everyone other than the 5-at-10 expected. (We did miss on the Pats, but we hit on the over... well, there's more gambling recap below.)

The Giants were the more complete team — punter Steve Weatherford should have been a serious contender for in the MVP discussion — but they certainly benefitted from an untimely Wes Welker drop and an even more painful Aaron Hernandez drop. The Giants gameplan was better — short passes rocked New England all night — and that plan was better executed — Turnover tote board: New England 3, New York bagel.

So does this change the perspective of the Giants' Manning or coach Tom Coughlin? Sure it does. Does it negatively alter the legacies of Brady and Pats coach Bill Bellichick? Maybe a little (but getting to the Super Bowl and losing is way, Way, WAY better than never getting to the Super Bowl, no matter how much the Buffalo Bills get heckled).

It's hardly surprising that there are more questions than answers today. The Giants won the game, but what will be the lasting memory from this Super Bowl? Ahmad Bradshaw apologetically falling into the end zone in the final minute for a game-winning TD that the Patriots allowed to happen? The Pats' missed chances? Mario Manningham's brilliant catch down the sideline on the game-winning drive?

For us, it's probably Manningham's great catch and Welker's great missed chance. Making the most of the moment, that's the definition of most Super Bowls, really, and these Giants did just that.

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    Kelly Clarkson sings the national anthem before the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Super Bowl this and that

— Here are some of the gambling highlights from the busiest gambling day in the history of mankind (apparently, there was more than $10 billion — yes, billion with a 'B' — wagered Sunday worldwide; that's some serious cabbage — as always thanks to friend of the show RJ Bell from for some of the numbers):

Over/under for Kelly Clarkson's national anthem was set at 1:34: It went over at 1:34.5. Seriously. And if you think the gambling guys no more than you do, re-read this entry.

You could have gotten 100-to-1 odds on the first points being a Giants safety. Nice.

The Pats snapped the 14-year streak of the NFC winning the coin toss. Heads increased its all-time Super Bowl edge to 24-22 over Tails.

The Gatorade bath for Coughlin was purple, which was not a color on the board. Sigh.

— The Super Bowl was entertaining but we felt somewhat underwhelmed. And the commercials probably had a big hand in that. The commercials for the most part were rather flat — which is somewhat surprising considering 30 seconds of air time was $3.5 million. Here were our favorites in order: M&Ms, Clint Eastwood, VW dog, Camaro graduation.

Special mention for the John Stamos ad because any time John Stamos gets head-butted that deserves a "Well-played indeed," and a quick question for the group: Jerry Seinfeld looked kind of strange, huh?

— Odds for next year (so much for the Giants grabbing respect — they are listed as an equal pick with the Cowboys and Falcons for crying out loud):

1) Packers: 5 to 1

2) Saints: 6 to 1

3) Patriots: 8 to 1

t-4) Steelers: 12 to 1

t-4) Eagles: 12 to 1

t-4) Ravens: 12 to 1

t-7) Texans: 15 to 1

t-7) Chargers 15 to 1

t-9) Giants: 20 to 1

t-9) 49ers: 20 to 1

t-9) Cowboys: 20 to 1

t-9) Jets: 20 to 1

t-9) Falcons: 20 to 1

t-9) Lions: 20 to 1

— Take a look at this Recruit-niks: If you are still bemoaning your team's lackluster signing day showing or still thumping your chest after another top-10 class, you need to know this. According to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, 36 players on the Patriots roster were part of the internet recruiting generation and 18 were ranked as two-star players or lower.

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    Missouri's Marcus Denmon, center, walks off the court with the ball after Missouri defeated Kansas 74-71 in an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 74-71. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

College hoops

When did we get to the point that college basketball referees think the crowd and the TV audience is watching the game to see them make a call? Seriously, it's out of control. And we're to the point that any time a defensive player falls, the refs call a charge — especially if a player from the home team takes a dive — and does so with such antics that it's a combination of Mr. Miyagi "Sand a deck," part breakdancing with a twist of gymnastics where they stick the landing.

A perfect example was Saturday night in Missouri's stunning late rally to beat Kansas. Missouri scored the last 11 points in a 74-71 win. It was pretty sweet. Crowd going nuts and some dude name Marcus Denmon went Reggie Miller on the Jayhawks. Denmon hit back-to-back 3s after an old-fashioned three-point play in the span of four possessions. He scored nine of the Tigers' final 11.

But Denmon's heroics likely would not have been enough without the blown charge call on Kansas star Thomas Robinson, who drove the middle, made a spin move to avoid the Tigers defender and dropped in a bucket. (Side note: T-Robinson is a MAN. That is all.) Notice we said "avoid the defender," well, the Missouri kid fell and the ref acted liked some one shot his dog — sprinting to mid-court, hopping on one leg and waving his arms to the point that a Cessna 172 almost landed inside the arena. This ref rewarded a flop — what is this soccer? — and by doing it he followed a sad trend in college hoops and took the game from Kansas and T-Robinson.

On to the Elite 8:

1) Kentucky. Ho-hum. Another week, another couple of chances of enjoying the Cats, who are quickly becoming must-see TV even for us non-Big Blue bleeders. This team is so talented it may be the most entertaining college team since the UNLV bunch of the early 1990s.

2) Syracuse. Welcome back Fab Melo. A Syracuse-UK title game would be boss. This needs to happen

3) UNC. Still as talented as anyone and playing better. Such size.

4) Ohio State. Nice win at Wisconsin, and the Buckeyes can guard as well as anyone in the country. That said, are they going to be able to run with any of the other teams on this list?

5) Kansas. Take away the blown charge call, and the we're talking about how Kansas landed a huge road win in a hostile environment. That said, the Jayhawks are going to wreck brackets one way or the other.

6) Missouri. When you can score like these Tigers can score, you are a tough draw. That said, they are not deep enough and not big enough.

7) Baylor. Perry Jones will be the No. 2 overall NBA pick behind Anthony Davis, but point guard Pierre Jackson is the Bear that gives Baylor a chance in the tournament.

8) Michigan State. Wow, a 42-41 win over Illinois? Congrats, Spartans and thanks for allowing TV viewers everywhere a perfect nap opportunity. That said, if Draymond Green's knee injury is serious, so are MSU's worries.

  • photo
    Pro Bowl fans hang signs asking to Pro Bowl to remain in Hawaii before the start of the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Aloha Stadium, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

This and that

— We'd like to wish a good luck to Chas9, and his Top Tenn today. There's not a lot of good men's college hoops in Tennessee right now.

— Roger Goodell says eliminating the Pro Bowl is an option. And while we're stunned that we're in support of LESS football, we agree. Bag the Pro Bowl, and let's have the players picked for the Pro Bowl go through a skills test/NFL combine-type competition. Hey, we love the draft — you know this — so we'd love to see how the stars of today would do compared to the draft picks of today (and even compared to themselves when they were entering the league). And if you're thinking, "How much fun would watching a combine be?" Or "How competitive would they be?" Well, it would certainly be more competitive and entertaining than last week's Pro Bowl. Gah-Ross.

— The NFL handed out its hardware this weekend, and Drew Brees was the offensive player of the year (deserved), Aaron Rodgers was the MVP (we're OK with that) and Cam Newton was the offensive rookie of the year (you betcha'). Wonder what SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) will have to say about Newton winning the award after setting a slew of records, including most passing yards for a rookie (more than 4,000) and the most rushing TDs for any QB in NFL history (14)?

— Major-league props to Kyle Stanley, who erased an eight-shot lead Sunday to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Stanley earned more than $1 million for his first PGA Tour win, and earned a lifetime of respect for completely bouncing back from a complete and total collapse in the course of a week. A tearful Stanley imploded eight days ago, blowing a seven-shot lead that was capped by a triple-bogey 8 on the 72nd hole before losing in a playoff. He was crying again yesterday after carding a bogey-free 65 that was good enough for the win after watching as Spencer Levin endured a shot-hemorrhaging meltdown. Maybe Levin, who finished with a 75 and squandered a seven-shot lead, could follow Stanley's lead next week, too?

— Some guy who won one of the Tour de Frances was stripped of his title because of steroids. Wait, that's not news. Let's move along.

  • photo
    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks during a news conference after NFL football's Super Bowl XLVI Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Today's question

We're going to re-introduce a longtime 5-at-10 favorite: The Monday freestyle.

That's right, it's open-mic morning here at the 5-at-10. It's reader's choice after a crazy weekend of sports.

Give us your Super Bowl thoughts, your college hoops view, your post-signing day grades (and lest we need to mention that Auburn added another big-time OL prospect this weekend) and any and all topics in between. If you're struggling with a topic, here's a starting point brought to you by Linda Richman and Coffee Talk: This Super Bowl was neither Super or played in a bowl. Discuss.

Bring it, and we'll be back around lunch to check in.

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 ...

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.

No mention of the MOCS men's basketball losing and wrestling winning streaks?

February 6, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

To quote the late, great Lewis Grizzard...

Frankly, I don't want to talk about it.

Got any scotch? I'm all out. And I don't mean no scotch tape, neither, smarty pants.

February 6, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
Redlegs11 said...

Wholeheartedly agree Super Bowl was anything but Super. In fact, it might well have pitted the worst two TEs in the history of the game! Seriously the Giants were 7-7 at one point with 2 losses to the Redskins and don't even make the playoffs without a serious Cowboys choke but at least the G-men played a tough schedule even if they had the worst running game in the league. The Pats, despite a gaudy record had the second worst defense in the league and beat only 3 teams all year that finished above .500.

It was nice to see Bellicheck lose though. Anyone who wonders where Nick Saban learmed how to be the classless egomaniac he has become need look no further than the hooded one. Nice to see bad things happen to bad people.

February 6, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.
grandmastaj said...

Redlegs getting his feelings hurt that Aubie wasn't so good this year?

February 6, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.
chas9 said...

Top Tenn Rankings, week 13:

Jay's right about how ugly our fair state is today. With top-ranked Vandy losing two, no state team will be seeded in the NCAA's top 16. And the pre-season 'Dores looked so promising. But they were SEC road losses, so they stay atop our rankings.

It's looking like any other Tennessee teams in the dance will have to be automatic qualifiers. MTSU blew another chance to help itself, losing by 15 at Denver. Decimation by Kentucky only makes The Vols like most other mere mortal college basketball teams.

With a loss to Southern Miss, Memphis continues to disappoint. Guess they miss Coach Cal after all. Nobody else in our Top Tenn deserves mention. Sorry, BTG. They're not worth mentioning.

1) Vandy


3) The Vols

4) Memphis

5) Belmont


7) Lipscomb

8) TN State

9) TN Tech

10) Peay

February 6, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...


No mention directly — there was more than a few things going on this weekend. That said, the Mocs basketball skid has reached seven games. That's not good.

As for the wrestling streak, well, ASU's 21-17 win over UTC Sunday was an interesting study in team wrestling, and how getting an major decision instead of a decision or a pin instead of a major decision can be huge.

Spy —

How about a Fresca? Hmmm? World needs ditch-diggers, too.

I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.

Redlegs —

Zinger. Fare point about the resumes of the two teams. But that's the beauty of the playoffs (and tell us again why the BCS is so cracked).

As for Belichick, well, we're sure his momma loves him.

G-mastaj Flash —

Zinger, part deux. Congrats on the big-time signing class.

And for everyone out there wondering whether anything can be turned into an Alabama vs. Auburn debate, the answer of course, is... Yes. Yes it can.

— 5-at-10

February 6, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
Redlegs11 said...

Would take losing with class than winning with the devil every day and twice on Saturday whether it was Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee or anyone. No wonder Bama fans poison trees and assault passed out fans when you have that kind of example at the top. Nothing like promising a kid a scholarship only to take it away on signing day. Or telling former players you are not welcome to attend Bama practices anymore as Saban has done. Wonderful example of a human being you got there. It will eventually all come out in the wash though.

February 6, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
chas9 said...

5@10--Most SEC coaches think calling fewer charges would be a conspiracy to help Kentucky dominate. Yes, Kansas wrecks brackets. (One way or another. Saw what you did there.) Never bet on the rock chalk guys. Good line about the Cats being as entertaining as any team since UNLV. Could be a couple of close games this week, though. Anybody wanna recommend your favorite Scotch?

February 6, 2012 at 1:09 p.m.
Livn4life said...

So we are to believe(inlisteningtomediasportsmoguls)that Welker's drop was THE deciding factor of the Super Bowl? Was there no chance to stop the Giants on that last....oops, they didn't stop them. Is that Welky's fault? He did man up and admit he let the team down on that drop. But it was both a Team WIN and a Team Loss. As for the Manning bros. all you need to say is "Eli owns Brady...." no more please. Finally, all the whiners about who was in the Super Bowl, both teams played their way there unlike the politicized BCS nonsense of a beauty contest to put you in the big game. I find it refreshing that a 9-7 regular season team could have the intestinal fortitude to gut it out and win THE PRIZE and am no staunch NYG fan. Let the Saints(who were very good) and the Pack(who at times looked unbeatable until KC)come on back when they get it all together. Anyone who could watch that game go to the very last play and say it was uninteresting just might watch a hurricane and call it a small storm.

February 6, 2012 at 1:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Top Tenn may become the Top Tenn Team, and we'll just ask you to pick one team and call it a day. State of Tennessee college basketball, where ugh happens.

Could be a couple of tight games for your Cats, and we excited to see the atmosphere in Memorial on Saturday with GameDay in the house and everything. Should be fun.

As for the scotch, well, not really our choice of beverage. More of a bourbon kind of family-friendly, Interweb-based sports column. We'll stand with Gentleman Jack any time, and have had the chance to taste the ultimate smoothness that is Crown XR (although it's quite pricey).

Livin(Large) —

Welker's drop was not THE deciding factor — is there ever a single deciding factor in any game? — but it was pretty doggone big. Sure, the defense could have stopped the Giants' last drive, but if Welker makes that catch then the Patriots keep driving — that play would have been good for at least 25 yards and moved the chains.

True, the Giants and the Patriots played their way into the Super Bowl. But to compare it to the rest of the major team sport champions in the last year (pro and college).

Super Bowl 46 — Giants (9-7), and no one mentioned them among the best teams in the NFC never mind the league Super Bowl 45 — Packers, the No. 6 seed and final team in the playoffs NBA — Dallas Mavs, the No. 3 seed in the West World Series — St. Louis, NL wildcard team that was luck to get in the playoffs March Madness — UConn, which was the No. 9 team... in the BIG EAST.

At least in college football, the title game was between what was viewed as the two best teams. All of the aforementioned champions pulled off upsets and turned a hot streak late in the season into rings.

Now that's not to take anything away from these teams. But are they the best team in their sport this year or the hottest team in their sport at the end of the year?

— 5-at-10

February 6, 2012 at 2:27 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Super Bowl Celebrity File...

Tom Brady's wife, super model Gisele Bundchen, nails down Ms. Congeniality by ripping on the ageing quarterback's receivers. It should be said that Brady's safety on his first offensive play was the difference between going a touchdown to win or a long field goal to tie. Her's must be the angst of the Soccer wife.

Yeah, everybody loves Clint Eastwood. His ad for Chrysler with the tag line "Tt's halftime in America" by all accounts went over well. "It's Morning in America" must have been taken.

Two problems: Chrysler did not fully repay it's gubment loan to the tune of $1.3 billion, second, Fiat owns Chrysler group. Maybe Clint decided to pay back Italy for the fame he won doing Spaghetti Westerns.

Last on this subject, Michael Douglas has done well for Ford with lending his voice to Dearborn's truck line. With Eastwood, Fiat is playing catch up.

Finally, Sunday was a great day in the life of Kyle Stanley, who fired a 65, as the leaders disintegrated behind him.

February 6, 2012 at 2:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C

Yes, that Mrs. Gisele Brady Bunchofheadache decided to lay into the Pats receivers. That's going to make the offseason meetings a little uncomfortable.

Tom: "Hey guys"

WRs: (Silence)

Tom: "Yeah, I know the Mrs. said some things she probably shouldn't have."

WRs: (Silence)

The Eastwood commercial was good, but you bring up a fair point.

And the more we think about it, the more that Kyle Stanley's win a week after completely imploding is the sports story of the year so far in 2012. Nevermind overcoming the personal demons... Stanley got a bid into the Masters for crying out loud.

— 5-at-10

February 6, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Brady's married to a Victoria's Secret model.

Welker is engaged to a former Miss Hooters.

Gronk's been hanging out with "adult" film actresses.

While it apparently pays to be a Patriot, time to get focused again, gentlemen. The offseason is no time to take off.

February 6, 2012 at 3:20 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Please, no more Signal Mountain High School sports drama at the top of your front page (signing day article). The one-sidedness was embarrassing to read.

Peyton > Eli

February 6, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Membership has its privileges.

LaughingBoy —

We don't follow. One-sidedness in which direction? If you think we're pro-Signal, well, we're pretty sure that there a lot of folks that would take the opposite view.

And while you're never going to please all of the people all of the time, we've found that if some of the folks think you're pro-something and a similar number of them think you're anti-something, well, maybe the truth is in the middle.

Frankly, the TFP sports editor wants the sports page to avoid being pro/anti anything. Well, that's not entirely true — we're pro-antiperspirant. Stupid B.O.

— 5-at-10

February 6, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

If you're going to allow opinion that the player wouldn't have received such help elsewhere, there should have been follow-up-either previously or something new-on special education programs at Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe. I understand this school is outstanding academically regardless of whether their football team is good or not. And the football ball team improved greatly this season despite losing the player to Signal Mountain and another to Marion County. This topic was dead and buried then made the front page of the whole paper, again. And then I fell for it and added it to these posts. Most of the news stories on this issue last fall should have been labeled commentary. Hargis's articles were not anti-Signal as he just stated facts.

-My own follow up: This was not as bad as what made it into the paper last fall but this should not have been front page. The situation was already covered again and again and another shot was taken at Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe indirectly.

February 6, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

LB —

Fair enough, and you bring up a fair point about the LFO angle.

The reason we thought it was a big story was because it was the newest item of interest in advance of a big day — national signing day — for our area.

And please know that any time you have a question — good or bad —about anything we do in the Sports Department, please shoot us an e-mail at

We're always happy to discuss why we do the things we do and we'd much rather hear the questions and answer them as best we can.

LB, point made and heard.

— 5-at-10

February 6, 2012 at 6:19 p.m.
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February 6, 2012 at 7:22 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Redlegs, don't forget that the Bear was known to be a real jerk at times and tough on his players, and he's a legend. "Heros come and go, kid, but legends never die." And like it or not Saban is a winner on the field, and that is the name of the game.

P.s. there are stupid fans of every team.

5er, do you know if Brady is the first QB to throw a TD pass and safety in one half of the superbowl? And I still maintain the belief that Peyton is the king of reading and adjusting to defensive strategy.

February 6, 2012 at 8:20 p.m.
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