published Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

5 at 10: Mike Tyson, Harvard hoops and the end of the Peyton era in Indy

From the "Talk Too Much studios," let's go.



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    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy beside coach Tony Dungy following the Super Bowl XLI football game against the Chicago Bears at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Good Manning easier to find

We knew it was coming, but that does not make it easier to take.

We knew it was coming, but it still hurts to see Hall-of-Famers dismissed.

We knew it was coming, but the drawn out silence that fanned the tiniest glimmers of hope ended and crushed them silently.

We knew the Colts were going to release Peyton Manning, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

It stinks, of course. Manning spent 14 years in Indy, turning a broken franchise into one of the NFL's perennial favorites. He became a football "Rain Man" (and "He's an excellent driver,") and staked his claim as one of the five best quarterbacks ever. He quite possibly ranks with Michael Jordan as the only athlete in today's sports realm that could be elected Governor in two states, and we think Manning could be elected to office in three (Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana). He is an icon, and in a good way, in a sports world starving for them.

And now he's out of work (granted, there are far worse things than being a 36-year-old with no job and a nine-figure bank account, but still). There still is empathy, though if for no other reason than this was not how we wanted the story to end.

But, because of the nature of the salary-capped NFL, it's impossible to blame Colts for the move. (We can blame them for all the behind closed doors shenanigans and the lack of honesty and direct talk, but cutting Manning was the only move. You can't mortgage your future and a huge portion of your franchise's salary cap with a $28 million bonus to a 36-year-old quarterback with an unknown future who missed last year because he had at least four neck surgeries.)

It stinks for everyone involved (even Andrew Luck, who now has to come in with the stink of this hanging over him).

But as Hyman Roth says, this is the business they've chosen.



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    Harvard players look on from the bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Fordham on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in New York. Fordham defeated Harvard 60-54. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Bubble watch

As we look around for teams that are in similar bubble boats as your UT Vols, we must pause and lift a glass of aged-scotch to the Crimson of Harvard who won the Ivy League title — and the league's NCAA tournament bid — when Penn lost Tuesday. With the rise of alum Jeremy Lin and now its first NCAA tournament trip since the Eisenhower administration — read that again, and know that when the Crimson last went Dancing, there were eight teams in the tournament, now there are 68 — Harvard hoops is at all-time high. Bully for you old chap.

As for the Vols, here is today's guide of three Big East tournament games to keep an eye on and how it affects UT's flickering tournament chances (times are approximate since tournament games always run long):

— South Florida vs. Villanova (9 p.m., ESPN): You know how highly the 5-at-10 views Joe Lunardi (the ESPN bracket expert ranks right behind draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., and we all KNOW how the 5-at-10 feels about the draft). Well, Lunardi currently has UT ranked 70th (including automatic bids) which means the Vols are two spots out of the tournament. One of the at-large teams in front of UT is South Florida. A South Florida loss likely would drop the Bulls from the land of the somewhat safe and move UT one step closer.

— Seton Hall vs. Lousiville (7 p.m., ESPN): This one is big. Seton Hall could all-but-stamp its ticket with an upset over the Cardinals, who are surely in whether they lose tonight or win the Big East tournament. Seton Hall, according to Lunardi, is just three spots ahead of UT in the at-large pecking order.

— UConn vs. West Virginia (noon, ESPN): Each of these teams is ranked ahead of UT, according to Lunardi, and this for all intents and purposes is an NCAA tournament game — win and you're in, lose and there will be a lot of sleepless nights between now and Sunday. UT fans actually need UConn here, after all the Vols beat the Huskies earlier this year, and if the Huskies are in, don't the Vols belong, too?



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    Heavyweight contender Mike Tyson flexes his muscles in Las Vegas, Friday, Sept. 5,. 1986 as he weighs in for a Saturday bout with Alfonzo Ratliff. Tyson is from New York, Ratliff from Chicago. Tyson weighed 221¼, with Ratliff at 201. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)

Iron Mike Sinatra?

Mike Tyson has been booked to do a one-man show in Las Vegas. Read that again, now pick your glasses up and take three deep breaths.

Yes, Mike Tyson — face tattoo and all — will be doing a one-man show in Vegas, and promoters expect it to sell-out the 740-seat theater at $100-plus a pop.

Is this a guy making the most of his second chance or the Elephant Man in the 21st Century?

Apparently, it will be a multi-media presentation of Tyson's life, which is definitely intriguing.

But please, Mike, for the love of ear drums everywhere, let's not bust into show tunes, huh? (As the boys in "Coming to America" say about good ole Randy Watson, "That boy is good"... "Yeah good and terrible.")



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    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss (84) hands the football to a fan along the sidelines after catching a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Randall Cunningham during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 22, 1998, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)

This and that

— As this NFL bounty stuff continues to swirl, the Twitter-verse on Tuesday offered some of the possible clauses: If a player took out a Tom Brady or an Aaron Rodgers, you got a bonus; knock out a Mark Sanchez or a Rex Grossman and you got fined.

— Randy Moss reportedly looked good during his workout with the Saints on Tuesday. Face it gang, you can be the world's biggest prima dona and if you can run a sub-4.4 and get open, there is someone who is willing to give you a chance. Wide receivers are like obnoxious hot girls — no matter how bad they act, there's some one out there that's willing to put up with their act. And more times than not, it ends up blowing up in the team's/dude's face.

— Alabama will hold spring football practice without running back Eddie Lacy and offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, Tide coach Nick Saban announced Tuesday. Alabama is loaded across the offensive line — seriously, it may be the nation's best group of O-Linemen — but Lacy, Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon are the leaders to replace NFL-bound stud Trent Richardson.



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    Quarterback Peyton Manning, of Tennissee, holds holds up an Indianapolis Colts jersey as he is flanked by Colts owner Jim Irsay, left, and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Saturday, April 18, 1998, in New York after being chosen by the Colts as the No. 1 pick in the in draft Saturday. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel)

Today's question

Let's go old-school. ("We're... We're going streaking! We're going up the quad and to the gymnasium... Honey, you think the KFC is still open?") That's right, a throw-back "fill in the blank" question.

Finish this sentence: Peyton Manning will be...

It can be where he'll be next, as in "Peyton Manning will be a Houston Texan next year and the Texans will be Super Bowl favorites."

It can be where he'll be in five years, as in "Peyton Manning will be a great commentator on the NFL Network in less than two years."

It can be how he's remembered, as in "Peyton Manning will be viewed no worse than the third-best quarterback of all time."

Or if you're Spy or Jefe or some of the other folk that believe Manning is very good and still overrated, it can be, "Peyton Manning will be forever remembered as McEnroe to Brady's Borg or Staubach to Brady's Bradshaw. He's a great player, but c'mon, he won one Super Bowl and that was against Rex Grossman."

Discuss — and release the hounds.

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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Livn4life said...

What next for Iron Mike? Does he buy up some land and proclaim a new version of Tyson Farms? He's no chicken, that's for sure. If his one-man show sells out, we are in a lot of trouble in this nation. That is a fact no matter who is elected or re-elected President this November. COME ON MAN! BUBBLE-watch-Listen I chew my gum, blow and burst my bubbles, although the 50-plus year old teeth do not always cooperate. I would love to see the Vols become a Bubble burster for someone else. In order to do that they need two more wins. Otherwise, they have already accomplished more this season than many gave them a snowball's chance(yeah there's snow somewhere)in...well...you know.An NIT bid would not be the worst for them. Bounties in the NFL-Good grief I thought Bounty Hunting was for DOG on cable tv or a throwback to the old west. The bounty hunter in The Outlaw Josey Wells did not end up very well. He just had to give it a shot and took one from JW's gun instead. There is no place for that kind of behavior. Yes, the defenses have every right to knock the snot out of opponents when done cleanly. That leads to injury at times. But to intentionally pay people to try and hurt someone else, I don't care what Butkus, Nitschke and co. did, this is the 21st century for crying; "I sprained my ankle jumping a bush coach." Manning-I love the guy and have been a Colts fan back to Unitas days in Baltimore. But it just had to be this way. I hate it and Indy will initially regret it. Heck, Luck may feel his(luck)will be low as Peyton goes toward higher ground. But it is what it is. We move on, Peyton moves on and KAY SUHRAH(Iknowthatismisspelled). PEYTON MANNING WILL BE...on a football field somewhere for the next couple of years and will initially make a difference for another NFL team. His days of Championships are behind him but he will make some more exciting plays.(Hope I'm wrong about the Championships)

March 7, 2012 at 10:28 a.m.
chas9 said...

Peyton, we hardly knew ye.

Is it like Ruth and Boston? Aaron and Atlanta? What's the Mt. Rushmore of legends being let go while still winning?

And what time does Judge Wapner come on?

March 7, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.
chas9 said...

Matt Damon was The Rainmaker. Dustin Hoffman was The Rainman (who liked to listen to and imitate his brother's girlfriend). Which is or was Peyton more like? Discuss.

March 7, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Peyton Manning will be...

Playing for a Super Bowl contender in 2012.

March 7, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Livin(Large) —

No doubt, an NIT bid would be a nice accomplishment for the Vols. But strangely, an NIT bid (something that would have seemed like a pipe dream three months ago) will now feel somewhat disappointing because UT has gotten so close to an NCAA bid (which seemed impossible three months ago).

And you're right, it had to end this way for Manning in the current situation. (And we're leaning toward your view that his championship-level days are behind him, but we're not going to bet against him.)

9er —

Wow, the Rushmore of being let go while still winning? Are you asking for being let go young and then becoming an all-timer (Ruth) or an all-timer allowed to walk for a final few years (Aaron, Montana, etc.)?

And it's five minutes to Wapner.

— 5-at-10

March 7, 2012 at 11:34 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Lots of each. Manning was a Rainmaker for the Colts (he almost single-handedly built their new stadium) and the city of Indy (they don't get a Super Bowl with the new stadium). He made the city and the franchise 10 figures. Each.

But that said, as a player, he was a football savant, counting DBs and cards and toothpicks and changing plays and underwear (K-Mart sucks).

Capt. Stew-bing —

Can certainly see that, and really like the thought of the Texans pushing all their chips in the middle for a run at the Super Bowl.

According to friend of the show RJ Bell at pregame.com, here are some interesting odds:

Peyton Manning odds (next season’s team):

Cardinals: 19% ($100 wins $250)

Dolphins: 16.5% ($100 wins $300)

Redskins: 13% ($100 wins $400)

Jets: 9.5% ($100 wins $600)

Chiefs: 7.5% ($100 wins $800)

Retire: 6% ($100 wins $1,000)

Seahawks: 6% ($100 wins $1,000)

Texans: 4% ($100 wins $1,500)

49ers: 3% ($100 wins $2,000)

Broncos: 3% ($100 wins $2,000)

Titans: 1.5% ($100 wins $4,000)

Team Not Listed: 11% ($100 wins $500)

— 5-at-10

March 7, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
chas9 said...

5 baller--A toast! A toast! Glenfiddich for The Crimson and corn from a jar for The Orange team.

Coming to America's a classic. Akeem's a dream:

Akeem: (To McDowell) "Sir, I was wondering, did you happen to catch the professional football contest on television last night?"

McDowell: "No, I didn't".

Akeem: "Oh, it was most exhilarating! The Giants of New York took on the Packers of Green Bay, and in the end, the Giants triumphed by kicking an oblong ball made of pigskin through a big H! It was a most gripping victory!"

March 7, 2012 at 11:46 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jay-

Vols helped some last night by Harvard and South Dakota State getting in. South Dakota State probably would not have gotten a bid to the Dance anyway, but they are ahead of the Vols in RPI. Why risk it? Harvard was a true bubble team that may have gotten in if they had not won the Ivy- plenty of people thought they belonged, and I was scared that some committee members may be Jeremy Lin fans and want to reward his university (or something like that). So, I was rooting for those two just to clear a little bit of the bubble traffic.

Based on my count, I've got 36 teams for 23 spots. (I'm much slower to declare teams as definitely in or out than some- which helps explain why VCU was on my radar on Selection Sunday as a possible candidate last year. Actually, they were my first team out last year. I really thought they committee would try to get them in, even though no one else seemed to think that.)

Here's my list.

Saint Louis Xavier St. Joseph's Dayton Virginia North Carolina State Miami, FL Kansas State Texas South Florida Cincinnati West Virginia Seton Hall Connecticut Purdue Northwestern Long Beach State Drexel Southern Miss Memphis UCF Iona Colorado State California Washington Arizona Oregon Mississippi State Alabama Tennessee Oral Roberts Middle Tennessee Nevada BYU

Obviously, Memphis, Southern Miss, Long Beach State, and Nevada are expected to take three automatic spots between them. That cuts it down to 33 for 23 spots. Lunardi still has Marshall and Ole Miss on his list. I'll add them if they start winning in their tournaments- I don't think they deserve consideration yet. I can change my mind a lot in four days.

March 7, 2012 at 11:47 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

To which Mr. McDowell answered: "Son, we're only going to tell you this once. If you want to work here, stay off the drugs."

Good times. (See what we did there? We like it.)

As for the 5-at-10, we'll take the jar over the snifter every day of the week. Or some of our PawPaw's South Georgia peach 'wine' if you please. (That stuff would start your blood pumping. Heck, that stuff probably could have started your car.)

— 5-at-10

March 7, 2012 at 11:51 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Well, I would like to see Peyton come to the Titans but I think he'll stay in the NFL as an owner/part-owner...if he does step on the field again as a player then I will pray very hard for him each and every time.

I really wish he'd come back to UTK as a coach where he won't get hurt...can you imagine the recruiting he'd do? They couldn't build dorms fast enough to hold 'em...

(Peyton has set a really high standard wherever he's played and now, we (Tennessee and Indy) are very spoiled and expect this level all the time)

And lastly, I wish I knew what Archie is advising him to do...

March 7, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
chas9 said...

In coverage of the SEC awards, Patrick says:"Despite the Vols' second-place finish, Maymon and all-freshman-team selection Jarnell Stokes were their only players honored by the league." I'm not sure if he would have picked a team other than the all-SEC team announced, but I think they got it right. I don't think anybody has a gripe, unless it's Bama. Stokes might have been mentioned somewhere other than the freshman team if he'd played all season.

And what are the odds that four teams have two players each on the eight-player first team? That'll never happen again. But it's hard to argue with any of them. Strange year.

March 7, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring,

I know I'm off subject, but I felt like an old man on Sunday for the first time in my life watching a 22 year old Rory Macilroy become World #1.

March 7, 2012 at 12:56 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Interesting odds, Jay.

I think he'd make a great fit for either the Jets or the Broncos if those teams are willing to make a play for him. Do you think either of them will make a serious push to get him?

Someone like the 49ers may be a good contender to play for, but do you think he'd mind playing for a hardball coach like Harbaugh? Or would he desire the more laid-back type who will trust Manning to lead the offense as he's used to doing?

If Manning would rather stay indoors, the Cards or the Texans look like an ideal destination.

March 7, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

ER8 —

We don't see a way Manning will be a college coach. If he coaches, it would be on the NFL level, but after football, here's saying he's the next John Madden-level of announcing heavyweight.

As far as Archie goes, there's no telling, but he'd be wise to listen to his old man (two Super Bowl MVPs later, Archie's advise to Eli has turned out pretty strong).

9er —

Golden probably had a little bit of a beef, but all-in-all the team looks right. And your right about the even split.

FE to the C —

The top-ranked golfer in the world being 22 makes us feel old, too. But so does the fact that LeBron is like 26, and stories about how Jeter and Rivera are on their last legs.

Sigh.

Stew-co-ca-chew —

The Broncos may make a move. If the Jets do, we see Peyton quashing that rather quickly. (Don't think Rex Ryan's hijinx would play well with Peyton.)

The 49ers are really interesting, and they would become the NFC favorites as soon as he signs.

The idea of the Texans is SUPER intriguing. Great defense, great running back, and Andre Johnson would be the best wideout Manning's ever thrown too. Add Manning and the Texans are the Super Bowl favorites.

— 5-at-10

March 7, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
Livn4life said...

As for the 22 year old making you all feel old(I'm more than double that myself), I'll take the old over the alternative, you know like dying young? I'm living, I'm loving, I'm launching as long as my ship can get off the ground(sounds like the makin' of a country song)! :)

March 7, 2012 at 3:04 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

Thanks 5-at-10....you're probably right on all accounts.

March 7, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.
wyldmon said...

I lived next door to Ali in Berrien Springs. While he is a kind and generous man, Tyson would have chewed him up and spit him out...one bee at a time. Peyton Manning was done 2 years ago, great break up press conference...now it's time to get lucky.

March 7, 2012 at 7:56 p.m.
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