published Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

5 at 10: Valentine's Day Edition

OK, you know what the 5-at-10 loves, right? It's the draft, and you know this.

You know what else the 5-at-10 loves? You betcha, theme shows. Giddy up.

From the "Rhinestone Cowboy studios," let's go.

  • photo
    Danica Patrick walks out of a drivers meeting following the shortened IndyCar Series' Las Vegas Indy 300 auto race Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 in Las Vegas. Dan Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, died following a crash in the event. Marco Andretti is behind Patrick at left. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

Our Valentines

Here's a quick, non-football, sports-related list of things we love about February. In fact, let's do a top 5 in 10 words or less, the always-loved and soon-to-be patented 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10:

1) Clutch scorers: Players that want the last shot — and deserve it — rule.

2) Pitchers and catchers report: The four words that signify spring quicker than new leaves

3) Highlight machines: LeBron in transition; a team-first point guard; Blake Griffin.

4) Daytona: Gentlemen, start your engines. (Danica, that's the clutch, girl).

5) Postseason prep sports: Wrestling or hoops, the drama and finality magnify the emotion.

Secret crush

We're clicking through SportsCenter, and up pop Mel Kiper and Todd McShay to discuss the draft. So we drop everything — and it was a good thing we were not holding our 2-year-old, because we literally dropped everything. We love the draft. You know this.

Anyhoo, McShay and Kiper were discussing the upcoming class of QBs. We all know Andrew Luck is No. 1 and Robert Griffin III is No. 2. From there it's a collection of Brock Osweiler, Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill.

But then, as they close the segment, McShay and Kiper discuss their sleepers in this QB class. McShay picks Osweiler, the 6-foot-8 former Arizona State QB and Gonzaga hoops recruit. Kiper picks B.J. Coleman. Yes, that B.J. Coleman from McCallie and UTC.

Here's the thing about Kiper and McShay, we'd rate them No. 2 and No. 5 across all platforms at ESPN in flat-out knowing their stuff. And that's of everyone cashing a check at the Worldwide Leader of Sports. So if either one calls your name, that's something. And if Kiper likes your draftability, well, that's a world-class Valentine's Day gift — better than a dozen roses or a dozen Pro V1s, whichever floats your boat.

(Side note: Here's our top 5 ESPN folk in regard to knowledge, insight and credibility):

1) Jay Bilas, college hoops

2) Kiper, NFL draft

3) Buster Olney, baseball

4) Brad Edwards, College football polls and computer rankings/BCS stat geek

5) TIED: McShay, draft and college football, and Kirk Herbstreit, college football

  • photo
    Kansas City Kings Scott Wedman and Philadelphia 76ers Julius Erving watch in November 1979 as Kings Bill Robinzine, left, and Sixer Darryl Dawkins run for cover after Dawkins shattered the glass backboard at Municipal Auditorium. No One was injured. (AP Photo)

A little V-Day word association

As we try to answer our critics that claim we talk too much, we're introducing a new feature — the 5 or 10 word association game. We're going to take 5 or 10 words from a specific topic and answer what's the first thing that comes to mind when we think of them. As always, we appreciate any and all feed back — after all this is all of OUR's daily family-oriented, Interweb-based sports column/chat, we just get the conversation started.

OK, 5 or 10 word association game — Valentine Day's edition

1) Chocolate: as in Thunder as in Darryl Dawkins breaking backboards and telling you about it. (Here are two great quotes from Dawkins: “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam-Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.” His name of the backboard-breaking dunk in 1979. And, “I didn't mean to destroy it. It was the power, the Chocolate Thunder. I could feel it surging through my body, fighting to get out. I had no control over it.” That was on another backboard-breaking dunk later that season.

2) Hearts: As in the 1980 US hockey team. Sweet biscuits of buttery patriotism, go curl up with someone special tonight and watch "Miracle" and if it doesn't get dusty when Eruzione shouts, "My name is Mike Eruzione and I play for the United State of America," well, then we have nothing to talk about.

3) Flowers: My wife loves them and that's the name of the skunk in "Bambi" (and yes, the 5-at-10 tots, ages 4 and 21 months have hit the Disney phase).

4) Love: First it's family. But beyond the emotion, let's discuss Minnesota forward Kevin Love for just a second. Dude is a flat-out stud, and is putting together one of the best power forward runs since the day that Tim Duncan was in the NBA. (What, Tim Duncan is still in the NBA? Really? OK, if you say so.) Love is a double-double machine — he's averaging 25 points and a whisker under 14 rebounds a night. Read that again.

5) Valentine's Day: Two quick thoughts: First, the massacre because, well, we've always been kind of a mob movie nut. Capone was a bad dude. Second thought on V-Day is that it's the single greatest idea that was ever circulated through the halls of Hallmark. Seriously, it is a created and crafted "holiday" to sell cards and candy. Hey, we like to tell the people we love that we love them as often as possible, and the fact that Hallmark and Hershey and and the rest of the folks have created a Billion-dollar day (and yes, that's BILLION with a B) of love that does not include Bret Michaels or Flavor Flav is aces with us. It's fake, but it's genius nonetheless.

This and that, matters of the heart edition

— Had a discussion with our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown about how much Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin is getting from a UT basketball team that is playing much better than its parts. Is there a better compliment for a coach of any team that they are playing much better than their talent level? UT is 5-5 in the SEC, and which team in the league would trade rosters with the Vols? South Carolina would but after that it's debatable.

— Huge win for the Lady Vols. And despite all the hand-wringing and discussions about Pat, the biggest head-scratcher so far is that these Lady Vols have struggled despite being supremely talented. That said, if the pieces fall into place and the cosmic tumblers click and show UT what's possible, these Lady Vols could make a deep run into the postseason.

— Randy Moss is returning to the NFL. Always supremely talented, there was no report of whether Moss had a figurative heart transplant. (Although, how great would it have been for one of Moss's previous teams to put him on the injury report instead of suspending him like this: Out—Randy Moss, heart. Opportunity missed.)

— More love to go around: Mountain West and Conference USA have joined forces and will be one conference starting in 2013-14. Holy Frequent Flyers Bonanza, that league will cover one side of the country to the other. It will go from East Carolina (and friend of the show Coach Mack McCarthy) to Hawaii across the nation and from Wyoming to Southern Miss (friend of the show Cjoyner's alma mater).

— Love lines: The North Dakota Board of Higher Education is going to court in an effort to get the University of North Dakota to change its nickname from the Fighting Sioux. So yes, if you're scoring at home, that means the board is suing to fight the Fighting Sioux. That dear friends is the legal definition of awesome in its awesomeness.

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    The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team members celebrate after their upset victory over the heavily favored Soviet team by 4-3 score in the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. (AP Photo)

Today's question

Hey, we told you we loved theme shows at the very beginning.

And this is where we are. So Fighting Sioux us if you must. So it goes.

Let's end with a rosy finish and deliver something everyone will love.

Which team or athlete do you believe had the most heart? There's no right or wrong answer, just your favorite underdog.

The Hickory Huskers and Rocky Balboa — while fine and deserving choices — are ineligible today. Yes, Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday, but we're dealing with real life sports-related heart.


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.
Livn4life said...

Valentine's Day--"Where do I begin(from Love Story)to tell the story of how great these sports can be, the true love story which hampered the dee ur wife and me..." Oh well you should know the rest of that love story. For NASCAR-The V-Day theme is "Life in the Fast Lane" For Peyton and the Colts-"What Are We Doing in Love?" For the UT mens' and womens' wins--"Smiling Faces" As for your love story the draft, I can see the headline now if he makes a rookie splash "Osweiler, DOGS the defenses and chews them up." As for underdogs, I'd have to go with...Texas El Paso/Texas Western or whatever they were then when Rupp-ammutitized Kentucky took them as a give me game only to see them win it all. Finally, would the North Dakota BOHE be satisfied if the UofNDakota went with the Fighting(to)Sue as a nickname? Happy V-DAY Sportsfans Everywhere

February 14, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.
chas9 said...

5er--Those were some odd looking unis the Lady Vols wore for Valentine's Eve, but they musta worked. The Lady Cats still aren't sure what hit 'em.

Most heart, team division: Kentucky's Unforgetables.

Hearty individual: Dave Dravecky, Wilma Rudolph, Babe Didrickson Zaharis.

February 14, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.

Secretariant and his autopsy had revealed it to be nearly 3 times a normal Thoroughbred heart size. It was a whopping 22 lbs!

February 14, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Athlete with the most heart?

Besides Secretariat, I'd go with Rocky Bleier. Dude was wounded in Vietnam, went on to be part of Steelers' Super Bowl teams. Not a Steelers fan by any stretch, but you've got to recognize.

February 14, 2012 at 11:09 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Livin(Large) —

Wow, wished we had thought of the love songs and the sports tie in.

As for the Fighting (to) Sue nickname, Sweet Buckets of Sweet Nicknames, if we had a law school intramural team, we'd so be the Fighting Sue. (Side story: One year some buddies at Auburn had an intramural hoops team and named it Bye. So in the first round of the playoffs, the bracket looked like this:



So our buddies advanced through the first round when the other team didn't show. The second round the AU Intramural folks (who were not amused by our buddies' cleverness) made sure the bracket looked like this:


A team named Bye

So it goes.

9er —

That score was eye-popping last night. And yes, the unis were strange looking. They were for a great cause of course but the color scheme seemed surreal. Side note: Did you notice that none of the players had names on the backs? Interesting, huh?)

Loved the Unforgetables. And great list of individuals.

Our official ballot is

Team: 1980 Hockey team

Animal: Secretariat

Individual: Jackie Robinson. Dude handled way, Way, WAY more junk with dignity and grace than we could ever imagine.


Wow, now that's a heart. That's about the size of the 5-at-10's head. Seriously, we have a huge melon — literally and figuratively.

Spy —

Rocky is a strong choice. And a strong name. Our official list of Rocky's with heart is:





The Squirrel

The Mountains

Horror Picture Show

— 5-at-10

February 14, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

My dad shared an elevator with Rocky Marciano one day. He was a huge Marciano fan but once the champ got on the elevator, my dad's only thought was ...

"He's the heavyweight champ? He's not any bigger than me."

February 14, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
chas9 said...

Love the riff on Rocky. Secretariat's strong, but what about Seabiscuit? And Beetlebaum?

February 14, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
chas9 said...

OK, Patrick and Cuonzo, you don't need to hugging each other's necks, yet. A guy's gotta dream, I guess. But the new, fortified and aggrandized Volunteers, hearty story that it is, ain't Going to The Big Dance, and they ain't winning out. They'll take two more losses in regular season, and surely you don't include the SEC tourney in your "winning out" scenario. Shurely.

February 14, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Crazy stuff when you think someone is much bigger than they actually are in person. It's equally as crazy the other way too.

Case in point, standing next to Chuck Barkley and you think, "There's no way this is a former NBA MVP or an NBA rebounding champion. No Way."

The reverse — Peyton Manning is a really big guy. Just a big dude.

9er —

Seabiscuit is a great call. Great. And Laura Hillenbrand's Horse-ography/docubook on Seabiscuit was OUT-standing. And "Unbroken" was amazing. A-MAZ-ING. (Spy, if you have not read Unbroken, you need to. You'll thank us later.)

And relax 9er, no one's saying anything about the Vols running the table or winning the SEC. But The Conz is doing work in KnoxVegas. UT was picked 11th in the league and with a couple of nice effort this week, they could be 7-5 and in position for an NIT shot.

In fact, your boy Coach Cal will probably be SEC coach of the year, but we can make a strong argument that The Conz has had a better year. Who this side of Murray State has done more with less than The Conz?

— 5-at-10

February 14, 2012 at 12:56 p.m.
chas9 said...

Yes, Coach Cuonzo (CC) has worked a near miracle. Deserves votes for COY. Maybe I misread it, but here's what Patrick wrote:

Martin didn't shy away from discussing their NCAA tournament chances Monday...

The Vols' final six regular-season games are winnable, and Martin believes winning out would warrant a spot in the field of 65.

"I don't think there's any question," he said.

February 14, 2012 at 1:02 p.m.
fechancellor said...

I've always been fascinated by the anthropology of Darryl Dawkins, otherwise known as Chocolate Thunder. Dawkin's unique position as ambassador of "interplanetary funkmanship" represented his home planet, Lovetron, with alacrity on and off the NBA hardwood.

Chocolate Thunder practiced dignity and tolerance to all men balanced by a corresponding contempt for all basketball goals.

February 14, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

OK, we misunderstood. We thought you were referencing something in the 5-at-10. Sorry, our bad.

However, what would you have "The Conz" say? And to play devil's advocate — and we say this having admitted from the start that this is not a UT team that deserves an NCAA tourney bid — if they did win out (which would be shocker) that puts them at 19-12, and winners of nine straight. Even a 5-1 finish (18-13) and a couple of SEC tourney wins would make things interesting.

FE to the C —

Chocolate Thunder is a different bird. A lovable Dennis Rodman if you will. A charismatic Carl Everett.

— 5-at-10

February 14, 2012 at 1:45 p.m.
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February 15, 2012 at 9:11 p.m.
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