published Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

5-at-10: Kevin Costner spin on the Braves, UT-UGA

Remember Friday's mailbag, and buckle up.

OK, we been communicating like this every Monday through Friday for more almost two years. There are a few things you know about us: We love our family, we love the draft (you know this) and list shows and we're predisposed to put everything into top 4s and call them Mount Rushmores of (fill in the blank).

So it goes.

Here's another one: We love theme 5-at-10s. Maybe it's the challenge of linking it all together in the 90 minutes we have in the morning as our son drinks chocolate milk and watches Disney Junior. Who knows?

Today, we offer some much needed tribute to fun baseball, a big college football game that used to be great and Kevin Costner.

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman, center, is doused with champagne by Tommy Hanson, right, and others in the clubhouse after the Braves defeated the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Freeman's two-run home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Braves and Chipper

Wow, what a Braves' win Tuesday night. It had everything. Atlanta won 4-3 on Freddie Freeman's walk-off homer to secure a spot in the NL playoffs. It was fun — and the Braves players openly shared their joy with everyone watching as Freeman rounded the bases — and Atlanta won its 22nd consecutive game started by Kris Medlen, who we like to call the Flat-Bill Platypus since he simply defines logic.

We also realized that it extends the season for Chipper Jones, the future Hall of Famer that announced at the beginning of the season that this was his final run in the sun.

Watching the Braves and flipping back and forth to "Open Range" last night, we realized Chipper is modern day baseball's Kevin Costner, who has posted a strong career despite some short comings and hiccups. Let's review:

Less than great beginnings: Chipper was THE hot prospect in 1994 before blowing out his knee in a spring training game against the Yankees. Costner's big break was playing Alex, the dude that committed suicide in "The Big Chill" but all of Costner's scenes ended up on cutting-room floor.

Fast and impressive starts once they got going: Chipper deserved the Rookie of the Year in 1995 as the Braves won the World Series and had a stout run from 1998 to 2002 in which he hit .310 or higher with 25-plus homers and more than 100 RBIs in each year. He won the 1999 MVP. After getting frost bitten by The Big Chill, Costner went on a rampage from 1985 to 1990. Dude was in Fandango (underrated), Silverado (way underrated) in 1985, The Untouchables and No Way Out in '87, Bull Durham in '88, Field of Dream in '89 and Dances with Wolves in 1990. He won some trophies for the Dance with Wolves, and if you're like the 5-at-10, you still call buffalos "Tatonka." Costner's run was sneaky, Hall of Fame-type strong. And like Jones's career numbers, much stronger than we may have realized.

Each had a career albatross: Jones couldn't stay healthy in the latter stages of his career; Costner took himself too seriously and thought he should try being the next Bobby Deniro, which didn't work. (We almost said, "Costner made Waterworld," but in truth, if the worst thing you did is make a movie that is so bad it's hilarious, well, Keanu Reeves, the dude that played Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's and entire cast of Roadhouse object.)

When you view each career as a whole, it's surprising. Chipper has 2,700-plus hits, a .304 career average and 468 career homers. Costner had the glory run from 1985-90 and has a slew of surprisingly rewatchable movies on his resume like JFK, Tin Cup, Thirteen Days, Open Range, For Love of the Game and Wyatt Earp. (Side note: Wyatt Earp was a a quality movie that had two minor flaws; one it was 30 minutes too long; two it was 30 days too late. Costner's Earp came out a month or so after "Tombstone" and fell flat in the shadow cast by Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer's Doc Holiday.)

Plus, each has a pretty cool career claim: Jones is one of the three greatest switch-hitters ever; With Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game and Tin Cup, Costner is the best sports movie star of all time.


UT-UGA, T-minus 3 days

We could draw the parallels between Ebby Calvin "Nuke" Laloosh and Tyler Bray here, but we won't.

We could say the Vols have a chance to help coach Derek Dooley and even "ease his pain," but we won't.

There are a slew of Costner movie moments and quotes that could be aligned with Saturday's UT visit to Georgia, but we're going to go off the board a little bit.

Let's go to the great scene in the train station of "The Untouchables" when Eliot Ness (Costner) and his sharpshooter (Andy Garcia) are trying to get Al Capone's book keeper. One of Capone's goons is using the book keeper as a shield and threatening to shoot him. Laying on the floor holding a baby carriage with one hand and his gun with the other, Garcia has his sights set on the goon.

Ness asks simply, "You got him?"

Garcia: "Yep. I got him"

Ness: "Take him."

It all happened in two seconds, and it's going to take one of those moments for the Vols to win Saturday. A moment where someone — Dooley, Bray, A.J. Johnson, someone — looks into the eyes of another Vol and says, "You got him?"

Now that moment may never arise and Georgia may cruise from the start. That moment may happen too late, and the outcome may already have been decided.

But for UT to make Saturday interesting there will be a moment — a fourth-down call, a big third-and-9 moment for Bray and the offense, a 3-and-2 moment at the Tennessee 45 for the defense — and that moment will be memorable, good or bad, subtle or overt.

There will be a moment Saturday, and we all would like to know if UT has the ability to take it.


More Braves

We know these Braves are in the playoffs. That's a good thing.

We know these Braves are great in the bullpen and above average in every other phase. That's a good thing.

We know these Braves, for the first time in two decades, would have to be called inexperienced when it comes to the postseason. That's not a good thing.

That said, here are the three Costner films and how they relate to the Braves' return to the postseason:

Silverado: As we mentioned before, an underrated Western with a stellar cast of solid actors. Costner, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and Kevin Kline are the good guys. This is the Braves in a nut shell. No overwhelming aces (although Flat-Bill Platypus is closing in on that status) but a lot of solid scenes and enjoyable performances.

A Perfect World: A flawed premise — Other than Ed and H.I. McDunnough it's tough to make a kidnapper a sympathetic character — but a movie that included Clint Eastwood, an in-his-prime Costner and a much younger Elijah Wood. Look at this Braves team — there's Chipper and the older crew; there's the middle folks like McCann and Uggla and those guys; and then there's the youngsters like Freeman, Heyward and Kimbrel. This is there time to shine and it will be enjoyable to see how they handle the moment. (Side note: Freeman and Heyward need to be together in Atlanta for the next decade. Yes, we know these Braves are not the free-spending Braves of Ted Turner, but this needs to happen. A lineup with Heyward and Freeman in the middle of it will be good for the long haul.)

JFK: OK, we know what you're thinking, "How in the world can JFK and these Braves be linked?" Here's a couple of ways: First, these Braves have been remarkably watchable this summer, just like JFK, which, as the Mrs. 5-at-10 will attest, somehow draws us in more than any movie this side of Hooisers and The Natural. Second, we can somehow see a late July/early August visit from Bobby Cox to Fredi G, not unlike the bench scene with Donald Sutherland telling Costner's Jim Garrison about all the conspiracies. Finally — and sadly — we all have a sneaky suspicion on how this going to end, don't we?

But we'll wait for that, and right now enjoy the fact that we know we get at least one extra day of summer with these Braves. It's like finding Field of Dreams on the cable dial and not having anything to do — or any one around — for the next hour. (Side note: If it does not get dusty in your house when Costner has a catch with his old man at the end of Field of Dreams, well, we don't know what to tell you other than you need to get your soul right.)


This and that

— Notre Dame stopped its rivalry with Michigan. Tough break, but for all of the folks starving for a playoff, you had to know this was a by-product of that. Sure, the Irish are dropping Michigan in large part because they joined the ACC, but Notre Dame joining the ACC was also about the future college football playoffs and the expansion of those playoffs.

— OK, think back two decades ago and the height of then-Snoop Dogg (now known as Snoop Lion) and Dr. Dre and Death Row Records and the L.A. rap scene. Snoop Lion is the pitch man for a soccer video game. Ice-T is an actor. Ice Cube is an industry exec and sitcom star that is more license to Bill (Cosby) than license to 'ill. Hey, we're going to end the 5-at-10 early today, because we need to go write the rap version of Hank Jr.'s "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settle Down."

— Wednesday night is now karoake night at the 5-at-10 compound and our 5-year-old son just said, "Tonight, I'm going to sing all my greatest hits." He gets his over-flowing confidence from his mother.


Today's question

Tuesday we bemoaned the lack of regular NFL referees.

Today, we learn that there is a global shortage of bacon on the horizon.

As Crash told pitching coach Larry Hockett, "We're dealing with a lot of stuff here."

What's the subtle daily thing you would be hit the hardest by a global shortage of? A side turn to today's question, no repeat answers.

We'll start with a shortage on coffee beans. (There was a time in our life that a shortage of Copenhagen would have caused us to go on a hoarding spree like Elaine on Seinfield, but we've kicked that can.)


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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jomo11 said...

Kevin Costner sporting a bad Jon Gruden haircut ?

September 26, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Good to see the reference to Dances With Wolves...its one a very very few where the star of the film was also the director...and which it received both the best picture and best director academy for Chipper, what a way to go out...just very happy the world wide leader is not sending him out like they did Ripken...Granted Cal had the consecutive game streak but he can't even be considered in the top SS of all time...there is an argument that Jones could be, although the HR total will fall behind Schmidt..It is good for Freddie, lets hope he can manage in the post season better than Cox did...for all the talent the Bravos had, to only walk away with only one ring during the Boobie era is indeed sad...Keep our fingers crossed that Conzalez is better in October...My question for the day, will Medlin get any Cy Young consideration...

September 26, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

Silverado, one of the best unknown movies.

At one time I would have agreed with you on the coffee beans, but now it would probably be diet coke. I'd have to come up with something to keep mrs mcpell glued together.

Nice to see the braves clench a spot early. Can the braves beat the cards in a one game playoff?

September 26, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Although I don't follow the Bravos due to current regional bias. BTW, thanks for the shout-out to Hamilton (outfielder...power hitter....Red Bull power drinker....former trustie of modern chemistry [my morning Roadhouse reference]).

That said, while highly unlikely, I would love to see a Bravos-Rangers WS but right now we're in the final stretch with back to back series with Oakland and LAA. Sadly, I've dropped off the Ranger radar for more pressing issues. The car decision has been finalized-I just need to work on price and a lead on a credit union loan.

I'd have more love for Chipper Jones if not for the fact my rookie card of him is only worth $22.00.

With the Costner talk, I knew a Waterworld reference would be tossed in there. However, his role wasn't as bad as Dennis Hopper (Who would later star as a human version of Bowser from Super Mario Brothers. His "trademark role" :P)

FYI, that movie is actually in rotation at the Inwood Theater's Midnight retro Cinema.

Just for fun, Can anybody tell me who are the only two actors to play Mario in live action?

Not really in a pigskin mood this week.

September 26, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

Costner's role of "Devil" in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys stands up there with any of his film credits. If ever there was a beer shortage, heaven help us.

September 26, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

Heck, not even Artis Gilmore has hair as bad as Gruden. Oscar Gamble from the Yankees in the 1970s looks at Gruden and says, "Dude, that's a bad cut."

OG —

Saw Dances with Wolves in the theater. Great film. Here's hoping the Braves are better in the postseason, but that's just a hope. As for Medlen, we'd say not much. Heck, if we had a vote and had to vote for a Braves pitcher, we'd pick Kimbrel before Medlen every time.

McPell —

Know a lot of folks that would go The Postman on people without Diet Coke.

We say yes against the Cards if for no other reason than the Braves are starting to look like they can beat the '27 Yankees with Medlen on the mound.

Run JMC —

What kind of car are you getting?

For our next ride, the 5-at-10's eyeing a mid-to-late 1980s full sized Ford Bronco that the top comes off of. That puppy gets about 6 miles to the gallon and it's boss. Yes, the 5-at-10 has the carbon footprint of Sasquatch and we're dang proud of it.

TennFlyer —

Great call and we're kicking ourselves for not including that. Especially when you consider how great Chipper has been in this final season, too.

Well-played indeed.

— 5-at-10

September 26, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

"Postman" - I like what you did. Go for the bronco - we have a late 80's F150 that may get 8 mpg. I guess our carbon footprint is only wilt chamberlin sized

September 26, 2012 at 12:05 p.m.
chas9 said...

Nuke Bray is good, and you gotta love a column with a platypus in it.

Which is better, Costner's Robin Hood or Men in Tights?

Dances with Wolves was good, but over-rated. Not a knock on KC's acting, but it seriously over-romanticized the noble savages. But I thought The Postman was better than the critics thought.

Yes, Kevin's had the greatest sports movie roles, by far.

A shortage of toilet paper would be messy.

September 26, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Wow, 5, you really put a lot of thought into this one. I don't know whether to be amazed or terrified.

Love how you left out "The Postman" but you are dead on on how underrated "Fandango" is. And "No Way Out" had Costner and Gene Hackman, one of my all-time favorite and greatly underrated actors, along with one Fred Dalton Thompson.

What global shortage would cause me the most consternation? Other than free beer, I'd have to say french fries. Or the catfish.

September 26, 2012 at 12:25 p.m.
jgreeson said...

McPell —

Sounds like a good work truck. You have our approval. War Emissions.

9er —

Medlen is our second favorite platypus behind Perry the Platypus (aka Agent P) of Phineus and Ferb fame.

We'll actually go Men in Tights because we were UNDER-whelmed with Robin of Locksley considering it had Costner in his prime, Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman (who actually made the movie watchable).

And yes, a shortage of Charmin would be a stinky situation.

Spy —

You know we didn't put that much effort into this. We just wing it and let the chips fall where they may.

Hackman's a hoss, no doubt. Likely a Rushmore member from his generation.

And french fries is strong call; the French, not so much.

And atop our son's list would certainly be cheese pizza.

— 5-at-10

September 26, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
chas9 said...

A tip of the tophat to the smooth Andy Williams. Spy's old enough to remember him.

September 26, 2012 at 12:48 p.m.
Stewwie said...

I finally got around to watching the end of the GB/SEA game. Definitely a bizarre ending, but what was the Green Bay DB doing trying to catch the ball in the first place? What's the last thing a DC tells his D before a Hail Mary play? Swat the ball away!! If Jennings had done that, Green Bay would have won and there'd be no game-ending controversy.

For worse or worser, I think the replacements aren't going anywhere anytime soon. What the regular zebras want in $$$ is pretty ridiculous. Not sure who will budge first...the NFL if the replacements don't get progressively better, or the regulars if they get tired of not collecting a paycheck. Even worse than all of this would be if the NFL brings back the regulars right before the playoffs. Not really a good time to make a change, though some might argue that it'd still be worth it.

Jay, who has a better chance of winning this weekend...the Mocs or Vols?

I'll take Georgia 31-14.

September 26, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Kia Rio EX edition but will probably go LX (Test drive was like "butta"). In UTC Moc dark blue like my current ride. Going 2013 but will definitely get 2012 if they locate me one and the price is right. I love my PT and has been through a lot with it (Including in Dallas' two biggest snow superstorms and the snow/ice storm that slammed here Super Bowl week). However, those cars have a very short shelf life and unfortunately, mine isn't worth the cost of maintenence.

September 26, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Spy's old enough to remember Andy Williams' old man. Heck, Spy's probably playing one of Andy's 8-tracks in tribute.

Stew —

We think the Vols had a TALLLLLL hurdle this week. Georgia has four legit first-rounders on that defense and Aaron Murray. And Bray is not exactly at his best when he's forced to make plays on the run/roll out.

Mocs have every bit as much talent if not more than El Cid. Whether they are tough enough to handle the challenge is the question.

So we'll say the Mocs have the better chance of coming back to Tennessee with a 'W' this weekend.

— 5-at-10

September 26, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
chas9 said...

Does butt chugging lead to a moon river? Sorry. No mas!

September 26, 2012 at 1:43 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

We had something written about that early and decided against it. So thanks for filling the void. Wait that didn't come out right.

Anyhoo when we were discussing possible beers for the Knoxville fraternity binge stinkers, the Mrs. 5-at-10 said we should have suggested a nice Blue Moon. Of course adding the orange for flaor could be tough.


September 26, 2012 at 1:53 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Oh Penn Station Italian Sandwich, you've only been in my life two weeks but its unfathomable to imagine living without you. I loathe the days you evaded my grasp, and am filled with trepidation that you may leave me one day. I am nearly crushed trying to cross the six lanes of 153 traffic to be with you but its totally worth it to partake in the sweet joys of mastication with you....mmmmm.....tasty toasted Italian goodness.... in another two weeks I will likely have moved on but today I cant go on without you.

^^^^ That was kind of weird ^^^^

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Chipper and the boys celebrate last night post game, it wasnt as good as what I had for lunch, but it was good. I laughed out loud to hear the ole ball player squeal like a little leaguer when the cold champagne shower unexpectedly hit the back of his neck mid-interview. Lets hope there are a few more scenes like that left in his career.

And I dont know if someone's character can be based on the suspicions of others but I received more than a couple phone calls and questions yesterday regarding what fraternity I was in and if I had ever butt-chugged. You just have to laugh to think that the actions of a couple dozen idiots reflected upon hundreds of thousands of "greeks" nationwide. "No, grandma. I didnt spend my time in college getting 'butt drunk' and yes I got your five dollar check in my birthday card this year. Thank you."

September 26, 2012 at 2:33 p.m.
Livn4life said...

First off, let me say,"I'm hurt" at the Disney Junior jab. My son is in that show at Disneyworld.

Happy Happy Happy for Chipper and the Braves. I hope they keep on the winning ways and make noise in the playoffs.

UT/UGA...I think unless, unless mind you...the Dogs come out flat as UGA?'s face and the Vols come out swinging and don't stop the whole time, it could be UGALEE! Now I am a JohnnyVols Homer(no Simpson)but with all things =, these Dogs are as good as we have seen in awhile and no one knows exactly who the Vols are. So I am thinking if it goes down early for Tennessee, it goes down bad and stays down. But I still have some hope.

I'm done with life if there's a shortage of Ginger Ale. But think of all the little ginger plants that would be spared.

September 26, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

8-track? That newfangled technology scares me.

I've got all my old 78s ready to go. Punk.

September 26, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Does Tom Cruise-The Color of Money, All the Right Moves, Jerry Maguire, Days of Thunder-rank second on the list or maybe even push for first? Paul Newman-The Color of Money, Slapshot, The Hustler, Winning-would be up there too.

September 26, 2012 at 11:29 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Also Woody Harrelson-Wildcats, White Men Can't Jump, Kingpin, Play it to the Bone, Semi-Pro. You could make a case for the Hunger Games being a sport movie, too, televised gladiatorial games.

September 26, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.
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