published Friday, May 4th, 2012

5 at 10: Friday mailbag on sports movies and superstar injuries (with special guest star Ulysses Everett McGill)

Ulysses Everett McGill is in the house, helping Jay out with the Friday mailbag.
Ulysses Everett McGill is in the house, helping Jay out with the Friday mailbag.
Photo by Associated Press.

From the "Talk too much Studios" here we go...

Hey 5@10,

It’s kind of a slow sports week with the NFL draft ending up and the NBA playoffs just beginning. I guess I have sort of a weird question for you this week. Growing up did the younger 5@10 ever have a no-name sports hero? Maybe someone you thought was cool that no one else would know about. For me my no-name sports hero was Jerome Walton of the Chicago Cubs. Walton played centerfield and went on to win the 1989 National League Rookie of the Year Award but faded into obscurity thereafter. I began following Walton in the summer of 1989 when the Cubs were in the heat of a playoff race. He had the weirdest open batting stance you had ever seen. I can remember as an 8 year old going to my first baseball practice that summer imitating Walton’s open stance. Walton also wore the flip down sunglasses that I still think are awesome. Who was your no-name sports hero?


  • photo
    In this 1986 file photo, the San Diego Padres' Steve Garvey isn't happy as he walks from the dugout after being ejected from the game for the first time in his career. Garvey was thrown out by umpire Charlie Williams after he disputed a call at homeplate which was the third out of a triple play by the Atlanta Braves. Garvey was not involved in the play.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

What a great question. And of course we did. So did Ulysses Everett McGill and he wanted to have a vote on which was better his list or mine ("Well Mr. Numeral-preposition-numeral, I figured it should be the one with the capacity for abstract thought. But if that ain't the consensus view, then hell, let's put it to a vote.... Delmar: OK, I'm with you fellas.)

We grew up loving the Dodgers, and it started with Steve Garvey. Tried to duplicate his statuesque batting style and the whole bit.

In fact, those late 70s early 80s Dodgers teams were filled with favorites. And we’d play whiffle ball and use the lineups of our favorites teams and had to bat like the players — lefty or right, closed or open stances, hunched or up-right.

The 1981 World Champions Dodgers were...

Davy Lopes (RH, kind of hunched)

Kenny Landreaux (LH, long swing)

Dusty Baker (RH, basic)

Garvey (RH, statue)

Ron Cey (RH, short stroke with abbreviated follow through)

Reggie Smith (switch-hitter) and/or Pedro Guerrero (RH, long aggressive swing)

Mike Scioscia (LH, basic) and/or Steve Yaeger (RH)

Bill Russell (RH, hunched and choked up on the bat)

After Garvey, our favorite player became the best Dodger. It became Pedro Guerrero (one Christmas, a young 5-at-10 informed the wise 5-at-10 Pop that we could get a game-worn Pedro Guerreo jersey for a mere $250; the wise 5-at-10 Pop responded that he wouldn’t pay $250 to watch Pedro Guerrero eat an entire bale of hay). Then it was Gibson and Hershiser and then it was Piazza.

A few others popped to my head, too.

There were a ton of guys that we liked because their baseball cards looked tough;

Liked Bake McBride because we thought his name was cool. Same with Roland Office (especially when he'd make a catch in center field at the old Fulton County Stadium and the megatron would flash "That's Roland's Office");

Loved Steve Bartkowski and William Andrews;

Loved Chris Mullin at St. John’s and into the NBA because he could flat shoot it;

(Side note: You're 100 percent correct — flip-down sunglasses were wicked cool. So is eye black — but it should be applied like a fine bourbon... two fingers worth and neat.)

  • photo
    Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire) and Seabiscuit in training from the movie "Seabiscuit."
    Francois Duhamel

Hey, 5@10.

First time writer. I like your column but have to say sometimes you write a whole lot. Where do you have the time?

Put me down for Dullahan to win and Trinneberg to finish last.

Is there a minor sport with less impact that has more watchable movies than horse racing? I mean there are more good horse racing movies than football movies.

Thanks and thanks for the contest.

Rolling Derby

Everett McGill here, and before we turn the can over to Mr. Chatterbox, who like me has been blessed with the gift of gab, know this: Never trust a female Delmar, remember that one simple precept and your time with me will not have been ill spent.

Thanks, Everett and Derby feel free to swing by anytime. As for the contest, here's the list of entries as of this morning (and as always if you don't see your name or see a mistake, just let us know):

StuckinKent — El Padrino/Liaison

McPell — Take the Charge Indy/Daddy Long Legs

BlueOval — Creative Cause/Trinniberg

Todd962 — I'll have another/Optimizer

WC777 — Creative Cause/Rousing Sermon

AddictedtoChalupa — Dullahan/Done talking

Dawg747 — Dullahan/El Padrino

OTWatcher — Bodemeister/Liaison

ThatIdoKnow — Dullahan/Liaison

5-at-10 — Union Rags/AE. My Adonis

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Gemologist/Done Talking

War Eagle — Hansen/Optimizer

Fred — Bodemeister/Trinniberg

Jefe — I'll have another/Sabercat

scole023 — Daddy Nose Best/Prospective

Rolling Derby — Dullahan to win/Trinneberg

TFP golf ace David Uchiyama (who stinks in these 5@10 games): Alpha/Done Talking

In regard to movies, there are a few horse racing classics, and as good as "Seabiscuit" was Laura Hildebrand's book was five-times better. (Side note: She also wrote "Unbroken" which is out-of-this-world. Wow. This will be a separate 5-at-10 item in the near future.) And yes, football struggles to be conveyed on film.

As far as you question, we think boxing is better than horse racing as far as the also-ran sports that produce top-notch movies. Each has a similar quality that it's an individual activity — so there are fewer characters. There also is a definite story arc to one summitt, so that makes the writing easier and the plot easy to follow.

OK, here is our Rushmore sports that produce the best movie (and we'd love to hear which ones we missed on):

1) Baseball (Best: The Natural; baseball is car and away No. 1 because the field is so deep)

2) Boxing (Best: Rocky; looking around there are more good boxing movies than most realize, including the Boxer, Raging Bull, all of the Rockys other than No. 5 and Cinderella Man)

3) Football (Best: Rudy. The sports has been blessed with some Hollywood-script type real life stories such as Rudy, We Are Marshall, Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights.)

4) Basketball (Best: Hoosiers. And if you have Hoosiers, do you really need anything else, much less the Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and Semi-Pro?)

  • photo
    In this Jan. 9, 2012, file photo, Alabama, right, prepares to snap the ball against LSU during the first half of the BCS National Championship college football game in New Orleans.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

With spring practice in the review mirror, what are we going to do this summer. And what issues around the SEC are still up in the air?


Hope all is well, and as Everett likes to say, "The old tactician has got a plan. For the transportation that is. I don't know how I'm gonna keep my coiffure in order."

As for the summer, well, here's our to-do list:

1) Re-introduce ourselves to the familia, after all we are the paterfamilias;

2) Spend sometime outside

3) Get to NYC for a Yankees-Red Sox game

4) Try to spend some days near various forms of bodies of water

5) As for sports: Watch old replays of college football games (even the spring games), play whiffle ball with the 5-at-10 tots, use my Southern birthright of complaining about the Braves, try to get my handicap back into single digits and sometime in the next couple of weeks star breaking down the SEC in earnest.

Speaking of which, here's five quick predictions for the SEC, which is starting to look an awful like Alabama, LSU and a collection of folks — a band maybe — that is filled with constant sorrow.

1) Alabama is going to be as tough as ever. Sure the Tide lost four first-round picks and had five players picked in the top 35, but there is so much talent in T-Town right now it's scary.

2) LSU's defense will be even better. As good as the Tigers were last year with first-round picks Morris Claiborne and Michael Brockers, there are at least three first-rounders — Tyrann Mathieu, Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo — in the 2013 draft on John Chavis' defense. If Zach Mettenberger is ready, the Tigers will be too.

3) Georgia is the team to beat in the East, and the Bulldogs better make the most of this shot. There is a lot of experienced talent in Athens, and there will be a lot of holes to fill after 2012. But this could be a magical season. The only question we see is how will they handle adversity?

4) How hot will the seats get in Gainesville and Knoxville? That's two fan bases that don't handle struggles well, and Florida is coming off a bad year and the Vols were even worse.

5) How can Arkansas — a team that was on a definite upswing — handle the debacle that was Bobby Petrino's Harley Harlot Hiccup?

  • photo
    This Jan. 24, 2010 file photo shows New Orleans Saints' Anthony Hargrove firing up his teammates before the NFC Championship NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in New Orleans. Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, is suspended for eight games this season, for participating in a pay-for-pain bounty system. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's ruling was announced Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The bounty stuff has kind of puzzled me from the start. Almost every former player on ESPN has said it's not that big of a deal.

Did you see what the commissioner did to the Saints players? That sure seems over the top to me.


While there are a lot of folks who believe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the devil himself. (Everett: Well, there are all sorts of lesser imps and demons, but the great satan hisself is red and scalely with a bifurcated tail and carries a hayfork. Robert: Naw, sir. He's white. White as you folk. With empty eyes and a big hollow voice and he travels with a mean ole hound.)

And the punishment the NFL has doled out in the Saints bounty scandal — year suspension for Sean Payton, indefinite suspension for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, various suspensions for front-office folks, a year suspension for Jonathan Vilma, half a season for Anthony Hargrove, four games for Will Smith and three for Scott Fukita — seems over the top. Here's saying it needed to be.

Whether this is part of the subculture of every locker room, the NFL was facing huge problems with this scandal going public on several levels.

First, there were the legal ramifications of potential lawsuits from former players about being purposefully hurt. Every player in the league knows their career could last only the next play, but for teams and coaches to be paying extra in an attempt to potentially end those careers is a whole other kettle of fish.

Second, there was issue of getting control of the league. Goodell and the NFL told the Saints to nip this in the bud. (Know what we'd do Andy? Nip it, nip it in the bud.) The Saints gave them lip service and went on doing it any way. Here's saying the level of penalties — plus the Saints losing second-round picks in the 2012 and 2013 drafts — has everyones attention.

Third, the league had a P.R. nightmare on its hands. Think of the two biggest issues on Goodell's plate since the labor unrest was settled. There's bounty-gate and there's the repercussions of player safety. And while he's trumpeting the league's efforts to fight concussion trauma and make the game safer, here comes public knowledge — and legal proof — about an NFL team, coaches and players polling money to knock opponents out of games.

Goodell was forced to drop the hammer — whether he has empty eyes and a hound or not is immaterial.

  • photo
    Injured Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose stands at center court while presenting the game ball before the start of game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs in Chicago, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Can you believe how many freak injuries have happened to superstars in the last week? Has this ever happened before. What is the cause of this, can it be fixed and why do you still talk too much?

PS — Sent my Derby picks in. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.


We'll yield the first graph to the honorable representative from the great state of Mississippi U. Everett McGill, and thank him for his time and service today. "Personal rancor reflecting that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment. But I would like to address your attitude of hopeless negativism. Consider the lillies of the field, or heck look at Delmar as your paradigm of hope."

AS for the injuries, wow, it has been a crazy run. Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose tears an ACL. Reigning NFL defensive player of the year Terrell Suggs blows out his Achilles'. Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera tears an ACL shagging flies during BP. Crazy stuff. We surely can't remember a run like this.

And for the Bulls and Yankees, the ACLs could be serious blows to teams that had championship dreams.

It's impossible to know if there's any trend or way to prevent these. Maybe it's bad luck. Maybe bad things do come in threes. Maybe it's because today's athletes are in too good of shape.

But of the three above injuries, here's hoping Rivera has a quick recovery and returns to the game next year. He's 42 — he'll turn 43 in November — and he's one of the few players in baseball history that is almost universally acclaimed as the best ever at his position. It would be a shame if the last image we have of his Hall of Fame career is lying on the warning track, twisting in pain.

No, here's hoping Rivera returns next year, and throws the game's singularly most dominating pitch. Think about it this way, even as great as all the other historic pitches — Nolan Ryan's, Randy Johnson's and Justin Verlander' fastball, Steve Carlton's slider, Phil Niekro's knuckler, Fernado's and Carl Hubbell's screwball, Jack Morris's splitter, Greg Maddux's change-up — were, those guys mixed it up and threw other pitches. Not Rivera, who faces the best in the world and just keeps pumping cutters. Here's hoping we see a few more soon.

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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chas9 said...

Jay--Thanks to Mr. 777 for yesterday's preview, and thanks to The 5@10 for today's O Brother hogwaller. You're the best. The photo of Ulysses is great. Can you figure out a way to let us listen to the great soundtrack while we read your stuff?

Can't argue your list of sports-based movies. It sure ain't golf. Horse racing deserves a mention, and don't forget Ricky Bobby. Several movies about young love have featured "getting to first base," "getting lucky" and "scoring." Is that a sport?

I'll take ol' Stewball to win and Beetlebaum to bring up the rear.

May 4, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.
Blueoval said...

The list of football movies you listed as you would say are "spot on" however you left out a great one in Brian's Song......have to add that one to the list.

May 4, 2012 at 10:42 a.m.
Livn4life said...

5at10, in the words of Delmar, "I never knew you wuzza pedafamilia." That seems like someone who examines his wife's and kid's feet. I liked the noone remembers him,Harmon Wages, blonde haired running back no. 5 for Atlanta not long after dinosaurs left the area. I always figured since he was blonde and I was blonde if he ever coached a team I was on it'd be the "Blonde leading the Blind(notliterally)." A big puzzle for me, a big Dodger's fan back then was how one got the pronunciation SAY from the word Cey. But then I have been hillbillistically linguisto-challenged pretty much all my life. Gonna be a big weekend with Talladega, the Derby and all plus Phil and Tigerville tied in the golf tourney after the first round. I hope my 50ing fast heart can take it all in. Finally, "I never thought this was a one-horse town til a man can't get a decent hair jelly." Delmar then says, "Want some gofer?"

May 4, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Thanks for the kind words, and yes, WC777 deserves a ton of credit for coming up with the idea. Well-played all around.

We wish we could pipe in the soundtrack. Hey, we don;t want to tell tales out of school, but there's a fella down there who will pay $10 to sing into his can.

As for the movies, there are a bunch of good ones and every genre has at least one clucker (even baseball, lest we forget "Ed" the movie that had Matt LeBlanc and a monkey playing third base and they weren't the same character). That said, want to know which sport has the best percentage of good movies in its genre? Answer at the end.

Oval —

Great call. Spot on. If you watch "Brian's Song" and not feel some "allergies" coming on, then you have no soul.

Livin(Large) —

Great call on pedafamilia. And we remember Harmon Wages as the sports anchor more than football player. Cey was a good one, and here's saying the Landreaux was probably the first Cajun word we knew.

It is going to be a fun weekend, and thanks for the gopher offer, "No thank you, Livin(Large). One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down."

— 5-at-10

PS — Sport with the best percentage of having good movies made in the genre... Dodgeball. It's 1-for-1.

May 4, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Saints organization as a whole, "Damn, we're in a tight spot."

Hockey has put out some pretty good movies as well. Miracle, Slapshot, Mighty Ducksss....errr well two good ones at least. Is Happy Gilmore a hockey movie? More Golf? Ok, well there are some good golf ones as well. Tin Cup?

May 4, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.

Show my age here. As a young lad I loved Horner for the braves, Haskel Stanback for the Falcons and Mercury Morris for the Dolphins. And golf may not have the quantity that makes you think of golf as a sport that produces great movies (honorable mention....Happy Gilmore) BUT golf owns the all time winner.....Caddyshack.

May 4, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Hey Jay. You may be too young to recall, but for football movies you might consider adding Brian's Song to your list. Can't go wrong with Da Bears, Billy D Williams, and James Caan.

Also, you ever read Dead Solid Perfect by Dan Jenkins? It's probably the funniest sports story I've ever read. The movie didn't live up to the book. Anything by Dan is a riot.

May 4, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.
chas9 said...

Caddyshack is a gimme, but after that it's mostly shanks into the woods.

May 4, 2012 at 12:28 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring,

I have to have, nay must have, Hoot Gibson on your legendary fastball list!

May 4, 2012 at 12:32 p.m.
chas9 said...

Breaking Away and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. And since you're all dumb as a bag of hammers, I'm talking strong bicycling movies. Yes, it's a sport. And since the big race is coming to Chattaboogie, Jay had better get one of his ace reporters on the cycling beat.

May 4, 2012 at 12:51 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Chas, you should not compare us to being dumb as a bag of hammers. You might offend the hammers. Its clear to see your father was killed by a golf movie so I can see why you're so off put by them. Clearly you need a hug, so lets bring it in for the real thing...come on.

Spot on with Pee-Wee's though. Very underrated cycling movie.

May 4, 2012 at 1:07 p.m.
wcole777 said...

The "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" theme was HEELARIOUS! Excellent 5@10 today and glad Everett could lend some gift of gab to the usual talk too much jam out! I think we found "a whole gopher village" of fine commentary.

This weekend's going to be some serious business in the sports world (okay, you got me, just golf and my picks on the derby)

I caught the headline this morning that Bubba withdrew from the tournament this weekend. I didn't know if he was in the field but I thought he was and that's a big shocker. Doesn't seem like Bubba.

Again, laughed all the way through today's read. MAY THE COMPETITION BEGIN!!! Till Monday everyone. Have a great weekend.

May 4, 2012 at 1:38 p.m.
deboman said...

Happy Friday! Since I about as much about horse racing as I do about great French leaders of the Middle Ages, I will go with SaberCat to win and Trinniberg to flop.

Will add a few curve balls to the movie discussion. How about the less heard from bowling genre which has produced two quality flicks in Kingpin and the Big Lebowski. Don't see 'em making too many serious movies about bowling. Nice call Todd on the hockey flicks. I would include Mystery Alaska to that as well, decent enough.

May 4, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

ATC - I haven't heard the name Haskell Stanback in years. 5/10 - in honor of the "O Brother" theme here is a portion of the best song in the movie... 'In the Big Rock Candy Mountains you never change your socks And the little streams of alcohol come a-tricklin' down the rocks The brakemen have to tip their hats and the railroad bulls are blind There's a lake of stew and of whiskey too You can paddle all around 'em in a big canoe In the Big Rock Candy Mountains "

May 4, 2012 at 1:50 p.m.
chas9 said...

I'm bonafied. I got it all figured out. Gemologist will find the treasure and Rousing Sermon will have to leave the state, pursuing opportunities in another venue. And Todd, I thought you was a toad, but thanks for the hug. I feel redeemed.

May 4, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Sweet butter churn of chat, we got ourselves a family... (Wait, that's Raising Arizona, wrong Coen Brothers classic... Crud.)

From the top...

Mr. 962 —

We had golf on the cusp of the list. But for all the good Caddyshack did, Caddyshack II undid it. Plus, Tin Cup would have been better if he had made a hole-out bogey (drive, second in, third out, fourth in, fifth out, sixth in the cup) rather than a 12 and fall behind Tubbs. Or Crockett. Or Nash Bridges. Or Mr. Melanie Griffth.

Hockey has some greatness, but sadly there is more than one Slapshot and there are about four too many Mighty Ducks and sweet circles of brat-pack badness, let's not forget Youngblood.

Addict —

Remember when the Braves-Padres went toe-to-toe in the mid-1980s (we think it was 1984) and Horner had a broken wrist. Well the fight is brewing on the field and Padres outfielder Champ Summers is looking for Paschal Perez, who is in the clubhouse, so Summers starts walking that way. Horner in street clothes comes to the top step and glares at Summers. It was MLB meet NGCW, and somewhere Ric Flair said, "Champ, you can't be first but you could be next." Whoa.

Sportsfan —

Great call on Jenkins' work. And the Dead Solid Perfect movie with then then-sane Randy Quaid was not terrible. Side story: Now that Furman and Jim Murray are gone, Jenkins is the pinnacle sports writer in the country. Every year at the Masters we call him sir and (Goodfellas rif coming) if we could we would carry his mothers groceries all the way homne. You wanna know why? It's out of respect.

9er —

Caddyshack is an all-timer, but great call on Breaking Away. In fact we'll say that's one of the most underrated sports movies ever.

And if you and Mr. 962 are saying PeeWee's Big Adventure is an underrated cycling movie, we'll see that one and raise you Lamar Latrelle's limp-wristed throwing style in the underrated track movie "Revenge of the Nerds."

FE to the C —

Noted and respected about Mr. Gibson's heater. True enough. It's like Gaylord Perry's spitter, Eddie Harris's snot ball and Bingo Long's vanishing pitch. And it deserves respect.

WC —

Take a bow sir, this was as much your idea as anyone's

And maybe Bubba hasn't completely sobered up from that magical April weekend on Washington Ave. Here's saying the 5-at-10 would have been at a few last calls and retold the hooking 152-yard wedge to win the Masters a few times.

Deboman —

Wow. Unless someone can come up with a bowling clunker, bowling may top Dodgeball in percentage. Don't mess with the Jesus.

McPell —

Hanskell Stanback, Bubba Bean, Lynn Cain. Heck bring the whole crew to Big Rock Candy Mountain.

May 4, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I once took a date to see The Legend of Bagger Vance. What was weird was sitting there and telling her, I've been there, there, there and there as we watched the movie. The movie wasn't all that wondermous. But at least my date looked great. Great girl. Don't worry, 5, that wound has long since healed up.

Winter Comes Early was my favorite hockey movie growing up, mostly because it had Derek Sanderson in it. Youngbloods with Rob Lowe also had its redeeming moments.

My sports hero as a lad, and even now, is No. 4, Bobby Orr, the greatest hockey player of all time (shut it, Gretzkyphiles), but for some unknown reason, I always pulled for some rather obscure Braves in those oh-my-God-is-this-team-awful era of the 70s and early 80s, such as Barry Bonnell and Larry Whisenton.

May 4, 2012 at 4:43 p.m.
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