Happy Halloween. We love the draft (you know this), and right behind that we love a good theme show. So we could talk about the opening night of the NBA — cramping LeBron and the Heat were fun to watch and the fact that Game 1 of the season was filled with drama and energy speaks volumes — or the fact that Derek Dooley is on the hot seat, but we'll have plenty of time to cover that stuff.
Remember our Friday mailbag — we've got a couple of open spots — and buckle up for our Halloween 5-at-10. And remember Spy, they're not trying to scare you, they are saying, "Boooooooooo," when you walk in as a sign of love.
From the "Talks too much" studios, let's do the mash, let's do the Monster Mash...
Scariest sights in sports
We're going to have fun with a bunch of lists today, so there won't be any "O.J. Simpson at the door with the gardening shears" or "Jerry Sandusky. Period." references. Deal? Deal.
So what are the scariest things in sports today? Here's a top-5 in 10 words or less (yes, the soon-to-be-patented 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10):
1) Coming to the Nick Saban's sideline after making a mental mistake: Alabama's depth demands perfection, and Saban is perfection's protector.
2) San Francisco closer Brian Wilson's attire: Painted nails, beard from Hades, dude, there are kids watching.
3) LeBron in the open floor: James will posterize anyone; at full speed he's just different.
4) Needing a big-time play and seeing Gene Chizik on the sideline looking for Gus or Cam: Name a more confused major college coach than Mean Gene.
(Side note: We know a lot of Johnny Vols Fans who would have "Seeing Derek Dooley on the UT sidelines in 2013" on this list. A lot of them.)
5) Realizing that the playoff baseball game you want to watch is on Fox and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be doing the broadcast: No more explanation needed.
(Side note: If Billy Packer, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Andre Ware and Chris Berman were left on a deserted island, who's the last mouth left talking? We got Berman as the 1 seed followed by McCarver, Packer, Morgan and Andre. Sorry, Andre, you're bad, but not ready for that level of competition.)
Scariest sights in sports (all-time)
The above are current — more or less: What about all-time?
1) Stepping into the ring with Mike Tyson: Everyone had a plan until they get punched.
2) Being isolated on the wing with MJ in a tight game: Even if you stopped him, the refs called a foul.
3) Batting lefty against Randy Johnson: Ask John Kruk about this one.
4) Being Lance Armstrong's teammate: Dude took his shot and was a stick-ler for unity.
5) Stepping into the hole, one-on-one, and trying to tackle Christian Okoye, Barry Sanders or Walter Payton: Okoye trucks you, Sanders embarrasses you, Sweetness did both.
Best sports Halloween costumes
Need a last minute suggestion? We're here to help.
We've done the 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10, so let's make this a Mt. Rushmore:
— We know a few folks who are going as Bobby Petrino this year (red face paint, neck brace and red shirt and hat, easy peasy, lemon squeezie);
— You could be a replacement ref, just get the stripped shirt, a cane and the dark glasses that your Granny wears.
— Go as Anthony Davis: You have our permission to buy his UK jersey — or even his Hornets jersey — for this occasion. And don't forget the black-taped unibrow — this is a must.
— And there are two of our all-time favorite fall-backs: Troy Polamalu with the wig and Bill Swerski's superfans from the Da Bears skits.
Side note: One of our best Halloween costume ever was going as the Denorex Shampoo guy. We built a table around our waste and secured a Denorex bottle and a Head and Shoulders bottle to it. We put shaving cream on one side of our head and soap on the other, and walked around telling everyone, "This side tingles; this side nothing. And the tingle tells you it's working."
It was not unlike the photo here.
This and That (real sports version)
— Talk about an opener? Wowser. The Heat beat the Celtics 120-107 in a game that featured Rajon Rondo getting physical with Dwyane Wade, who called Rondo's theatrics "a punk play." It also featured Kevin Garnett ignoring former teammate and current Heat guard Ray Allen's handshake. It's in the books, Heat-Celtics are now must-see TV.
— We have not spent a lot of time talking about this, but Will Muschamp needs to get a hold of his emotions. Hey, we're all for intensity. And we understand there will be some foul language on the sidelines of big-boy sporting events. But Florida's Coach Boom needs to reel it in more than a little bit. His blue tongue and vein-popping reactions on Saturday were over the top.
— The NCAA announced a new punishment system for rule-breakers. The governing body of college sports vows swifter punishments (they couldn't be more slow) and harsher penalties that could include seven-to-eight-figure fines and direct penalties on head coaches of rogue programs. The better news from the announcement includes that the two-tier penalty structure of major and secondary violations — which was as dated as rabbit-eared TVs and rotary telephones — has been replaced by four levels of penalties of severe breach of conduct, significant breach of conduct, breach of conduct and incidental issues. Is this a good thing? Hopefully, but as with all things NCAA, we'll see.
— The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this. So we're going to be in for an added treat Saturday when Alabama and LSU play, because as our SEC ace David Paschall tells us here, there will be a ton of first-round talent on the field. Literally it could be a ton, as in roughly 2,000 pounds of first-round guys.
What's the best scary movie ever?
Here's our Rushmore, and remember that when you watched it — and the looming, creepy memory of that movie can be more scary that the actual movie — carries a lot of weight. In fact, scary movies from our childhood grow in stature through the years not unlike the fish we caught with our PawPaw or the creek we used to jump or the first ball field we hit an over-the-fence home run.
So the first real scary movie we saw — you know the one — becomes a memory combination the size Moby Dick, the Mississippi River and Dodger Stadium. So it goes. (Another reason there are a slew of dated movies on this list is that the Mrs. 5-at-10 hates, Hates, HATES scary movies, so it's been at least 10 years since we've seen one in the theater.)
Our Rushmore of scary movies: Exorcist, Jaws, Shining, Poltergeist.
Discuss, and Happy Halloween.
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 ...