Morning, we open today's festivities with a word from 5-at-10 political corespondent Snoop Lion. (You remember Snoop Dogg, right? Well, he changed his name and his persona from the gangsta rappin' Snopp D-O-double G to the reggae, laid-back Snoop Lion. We feel so good about this we may or may not go the rest of the afternoon by 5-Lion. Yes, we in fact will go 5-Lion for the rest of the day. It's in the books. Peace.)
Anyhoo, Snoop Lion offers his political endorsement to Obama because, and this is the quote folks, "We need to give Obama four more years. Bush bleeped it up for eight years, so you gotta at least give him eight years."
We're going to let that one sit there for a minute, emanating goodness for all to enjoy.
There you have it, the inverse advise to the "If it's not broke don't fix it" plan. Is this an equal-opportunity bleeping it up, and if that's the case where in the Bill of Rights are we guaranteed the chance to bleep it up, and if we are granted that right, do we get that right for eight years? We need to know these things, so we can plan our future bleeping it up. You dig?
This is 5-Lion saying enjoy the day and may your future be better than your current — and hey if it's not, just keep bleeping it up for the next four years, no problem.
From the "Talks too much" studios, let's get to the bleeping mailbag...
From Mr. Davis
Dear Five Lion (5-at-10),
I read John Frierson's article this morning about UTC officials trying to get more people in the stands and how they're discussing selling beer as a possible motivating factor for this. The solution is simple and I'm puzzled why UTC hasn't figured this out. Schedule "all" of your home games either on Thursday night or noon on Saturday. If they do this, I promise I'll attend. However, if they continue to schedule their home games late Saturday afternoon or evening, I promise I won't attend. I will be at home watching Div. 1 college football from 3:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. like everybody else. They can't stick their head in the sand and go up against Div. 1 football in this area. It's just that simple.
UTC has chosen to kick off against Samford in the 6:00pm time slot on the Third Saturday of October. I'll be watching the Vols take on the Tide on that day, and I made that decision never having even thought about whether or not I could buy a beer at Finley. This is laughable.
Thanks for your question and for joining the show. We always welcome new company. Come on in and stay a spell. (That said, we had a record week here at the 5-at-10, er... 5-Lion, so we appreciate everyone being on their good behavior. Well everyone other than Spy.)
We think selling beer at Finley would help attendance some and help concessions a great deal.
We also agree with Mr. Davis that the Mocs should recognize and embrace the schedule of their SEC counterparts rather than confront it. On any given Saturday, there will be SEC conflicts because the league televises everything, but the noon option seems to be the most compelling. Juggling the schedule to avoid UT, Georgia or Alabama is always going to be tough for UTC since TV decides the SEC times. For example, we don't know what time the UT-UGA game will start 15 days from this one. So it goes.
We also agree that UTC should schedule at least one Thursday night game a season, and if possible more. The main reason for this would be trying to get more students to the game. UTC needs more fans — heck we all need more fans, even the 5-Lion — but UTC needs student involvement just as badly as it needs more fannies in the stands. When the students show, the energy level and the excitement rise. When the energy level and excitement rise, the enjoyment for all rise. This is especially true in hoops, but that's a discussion for another time.
There are a couple of hurdles with too many Thursday night games, though. First, it's a school night, and we heard of at least two folks say they were skipping last night's 35-0 pasting of Glenville State for that reason, and these are folks that likely would have taken their kids to a game tomorrow. The other is 7 p.m. kickoffs for most of the aging Mocs season-ticket holders is two hours after the early bird special at Mt. Vernon, half-past "Murder She Wrote" and getting real close to bed time. G'Night John Boy.
That said, we fully embrace as many Thursday night games as possible and think the standing noon kickoff is a pretty sound idea. Heck, approach T-Bones about some promotional deal like maybe the first beer is free with a UTC ticket stub for the 3:30 SEC kickoff. Win-win-win.
As our man Todd962 said earlier this week, "Hooray Beer."
We're the 5-Lion and we approved this message.
I’m dizzy from all the Tennessee/Florida hype. I’m following Derek Dooley’s advice in not getting caught up in all of it. I’m staying away from all media outlets (except of course the 5@10). In order to get my mind off of it for a few seconds, I’ve got to ask you a question about the Braves pitching rotation. IF and that is a big IF, the Braves can manage to hold onto the wild card spot, who does Fredi Gonzalez throw in the wild card playoff game? Then let’s say the Braves win that game, what kind of rotation does Gonzalez use in the playoff series?
We also are dizzy from the UT-Florida spin cycle that has been set on over the top. So it goes.
And like you, we too have followed Derek Dooley's advise and have been wearing our orange pants all week and sit here typing with our hair perfectly parted to the side. Hey, the 5-Lion has had the same bleeping hair cut for 20 years, let's do it for 20 bleeping more.
(Side note: Here's what Dooley told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi about his wardrobe selections for a story that will air Saturday during GameDay: “Well, I’m no fashion guru but you better make your outfit about the pants because if you’re loud everywhere else, you’re really going to look funny. So you got to tone it down everywhere else, not a lot of colors are going to be matching it, so white, gray, maybe a little soft brown…
“I called our equipment manager Fraz – he’s been around a long time – and said, I need some orange pants and I need them to MATCH the jersey, the right orange. I told him I wanted some good quality pants because I didn’t want the old polyester pants that Johnny Majors wore on occasion. So he found somebody who made them and they fit great... So we ran with it.” There you go.)
OK, where were we? Oh, the Braves. We believe you can relax a little bit about the wildcard, since the Braves would have to completely implode to miss the playoffs.
That's the good news about the two wildcard spots. The bad news is the Braves likely will see St. Louis in a one-game, win-or-go-home game, and since the Braves have a well-rounded staff that is better for the long haul and the Cardinals have potentially dominating Adam Wainwright and a slew of mediocre arms, that's a huge edge for the Cards.
Here are our three ideas about who to hand the ball to for the one-game wildcard playoff. And this is assuming the Braves do not blow their wildcard lead (Atlanta is five clear of the Cards and seven up on the Dodgers) and can set their rotation accordingly.
Start Kris Medlen, who has been the teams best pitcher for the last seven weeks. The Braves have won each of his eight starts since he was put into the rotation on July 31.
Start Tim Hudson, who is the most accomplished and playoff-tested pitcher on the staff. Hudson has had a good year — he's 14-6 with a 3.66 ERA — but has been the definition of hit-or-miss since the beginning of August. Here's Hudson's every-other-game's-a-gem stat line since Aug. 3:
8/3 7.1 innings — 0 earned runs
8/8 4.1 innings — 6 earned
8/14 6.1 innings — 0 earned
8/20 6 innings — 4 earned
8/26 7 innings — 1 earned
9/1 5 innings — 5 earned
9/6 7 innings — 0 earned
9/11 6.2 innings — 4 earned
That's some back and forth, huh? Or as Snoop Lion may say, "Dude has done it before, let's let him do it again."
Of course Hudson has been victimized in the first inning as much as any pitcher in baseball this side of Tim Lincecum. So how about this off-the-wall scenario...
Start Jonny Venters. Let him pitch the first while Hudson continues his warmups. Put Hudson in for the second inning and role the dice.
In truth we'd likely give the ball to Hudson since asking Medlen to be this great in his first career postseason start would be a tall order. Although the Venters-to-Hudson bridge is starting to sound sweet.
Like a little reggae... "We shot the sheriff... but we did not shoot the deputy..."
(This is a follow up to my comments on the lack of coverage for SEC baseball.) I just re-upped my subscription to the paper (new address) and realized I did it for the humor... Do you all need subscibers so desparately you need to suck up to Vol fans? UT is NOT the 4th best team in SEC- maybe 4th best in the East. Entertaining at best — serious analysis not so. Say hello to Paschall and 'Weeds for me and open the budget up for the CWS!!
Another newcomer around these parts. Welcome.
Thanks for the note and for re-upping your subscription. (Or as our 5-year-old calls it "Your prescription to the paper.") Not sure if we're ever going to have the budget to cover college baseball as much as we once did, but we did make an effort to have more SEC baseball in the paper last spring. Hope you noticed it. As for UT being the fourth best team in the SEC or the East, well, you could very well be right at the end of the year, but as of Week 2, who has looked better than UT? South Carolina has questions about its quarterback's health and looked less than good against Vandy. Florida struggled in week 1 against Bowling Green. Granted, we'll learn a bunch more this weekend about the Gators and the Vols, but right now we're happy with them there. And if you think we "suck up to UT fans" well, where can we send the dozens of emails from angry UT fans, who are especially fond of reminding the sports editor what state Chattanooga is in. Yes it's in Tennessee not Alabama or Georgia. (You know, geography was never his strong suit.) And I'm sure Weeds has a slew more he could share. Oh yeah, that reminds me — hello Paschall and Weeds. Thanks for reading and feel free to swing back by any time.
From The Big Shew
Black unis and helmets?
Geez, I hope not. Haven't blackouts, whiteouts and, in the case of the New Orleans Saints, intentional knockouts been done and done and done?
The football entre of choice has to be ham, to go with all that corn.
Big Shew (great name by the way)
Another newcomer. Sweet buckets of hellos and how are yous, we may need name tags soon. Reminds us of a grand scene from Animal House:
Otter: Nice tie. Is that a clip on? Boone, come check this out.
Boone: Ninety percent rayon. Very nice. Did your mother buy that.
Kent Dorfman: Yes
Ah good times.
Well, Mr. Really Big Shew, we concur that new-fangled duds and flashy helmets have been done. And they will continue to be done for two reasons.
Recruits seem to dig them. Ask Oregon, which has so many outlandish uniform combinations they go from the Oregon Ducks to the Fightin' Hi-Liters to the Oregon Lady GaGas.
But occasionally they strike gold — and those bowl uniforms from last January were sweet.
And that generates attention and you know who likes attention and shiny things? Those 18-year-old boys who also are big-time recruits. Comes with the territory. And as our prep ace Stephen Hargis tells us here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/sep/14/bell-one-of-vols-visitors/, there will be a slew of big-name recruits in Neyland this weekend.
Know who else loves it? The finance department at these schools, because once they start tinkering, when they do hit a home run, there are seven-figures worth of jersey sales to be had.
Look at it this way, if the Vols come out in all black uniforms Saturday evening — and that is a huge 'if' because it would be very anti-Dooley — and the Vols thump the Gators, they won't be able to stitch black Nos. 8 or 11 fast enough.
That said, here's hoping Auburn never touches their uniforms, because as bad as the Tigers have played the first two weeks of the season, they still have the best unis in the country.
Denver's visit to the ATL will be a cool QB matchup, established star against the future. Who's your money on?
Thanks for holding up the baton for the regulars. Well-played indeed.
The Monday Night Football quarterback showdown in the Georgia Dome between the Falcons' Matt Ryan and Denver's Peyton Manning is super-interesting on several levels.
First, Manning's comeback is even more entertaining than we thought. Dude missed more than 600 days of NFL action and returns on the game's big stage and shreds the Steelers. Color the 5-Lion impressed.
Secondly, there is a very sound argument to be made that Ryan is at the same point in his career that Manning was a decade ago. Ryan, like a young Manning, has started from the get-go with his team. Ryan, like a young Manning, enjoyed some eye-popping regular-season success. Ryan, like a young Manning, has been consistently reminded about his shortcomings in the postseason. Color the 5-Lion nostalgic.
Third, while Ryan will doubtfully ever get to Manning's numbers, that's hardly a knock on Ryan. Manning earned his chops with big-time stats and a Super Bowl ring. Ryan is among the culture club of current quarterbacks who are walking the line between good and potentially great, and they will never get there without extended postseason success. We're looking at you Jay Cutler, and you Matt Stafford, and you Phillip Rivers, and you Tony Romo. Color the 5-Lion optimistic.
Fourth, we're actually pretty curious what quarterback guru Jon Gruden will trot out this Monday night on the ESPN broadcast. Color the 5-Lion excited.
Fifth, and this is not quarterback related, but two of the game's best big-play wide receivers — Atlanta's Julio Jones and Denver's Demaryius Thomas — will be on the perimeter. Color the 5-Lion giddy.
In short — which is 100 percent not our style — our money is on the Falcons, but it's not because of the quarterbacks. Our excitement level for this game, however, is off the charts and that has a lot to do with the quarterbacks.
This is 5-Lion saying peace be unto to you and have a chilled day.
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 ...