Gang, remember Friday's mailbag — we need a couple more — and feel free to swing by Press Row today at 1 p.m. on 105.1 FM. We'll need some calls because co-host David Paschall will be checking in from media day in Athens, Ga. Give us a shout at 423-648-1051 and we'll kick around the topics of the day.
Today, we're going to assume an omnipotent position atop the universal sports platform. Today, the 5-at-10 is going to fix a few things that need to be handled.
From the "Talks too much" studio, as our boy Waylon told us, "We don't look the way average cowboy singers look; We admit we've taken of things we never should of took; You can read a different story in a lot of different books; Even then you won't really know, how it was a long time ago."
As the universal sports ruler this morning, and as the powers that be in baseball are looking to find a way to boot Alex Rodriguez from the sport for as long as possible, here's our plan.
There is no amount of suspension that will seem fair or warranted for the perpetual cheater and the modern face of baseball PEDs that has become A-Rod.
There also is no way that his rep could be damaged any more.
That said, baseball has to keep its eye on the bigger picture that is the fight against PEDs rather than just punishing A-Rod.
Negotiate a deal with A-Rod, be it 100 games or the same 65 games that Ryan Braun got, and continue to use the growing momentum within the players and the players' association to fight the bigger problem that is steroids. Also, make A-Rod admit to his misgivings and acts, a process that will be humiliating for a glass tiger like A-Rod, the king of the three-run homer in a 10-2 game.
If baseball overreaches and tries to boot A-Rod from the game for good, the players' union has not choice but to fight that. A measured response — with an agreement of an almost weekly drug test when A-Rod returns — continues the momentum of trying to clean up the sport, which should be the ultimate goal.
Hey Riley Cooper...
The NFL story that has swept our attention in the last 24 hours was Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper being caught on video using the queen mother of all racial slurs.
Cooper responded with a sincere apology. The Eagles acted quickly, fining Cooper a "substantial amount."
The story will develop more today as the reporters talk to Eagles teammates, but this is not going away anytime soon.
Hey, we've all said things we regret. Cooper's rant of wanting to "fight all the" N-words at a Kenny Chesney concert is more than that, however. It's about the grouping and the aggression.
So, as Sports Supreme Supervisor, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper would be easy during his two-game suspension. Hey, if players are going to be punished for contact He also would have to write an apology letter to the security guard toward whom he directed the slur.
Side note: Michael Vick handled the questions about Cooper's mistake like a true pro. Well-played Mike. Marcus Vick, Mike's punk brother, however, put a bounty on Cooper on Twitter before deleting it. You stay classy, Marcus.
Hey college football fans...
We're all excited. All of our teams are unbeaten right now and practice has started. Here's a gift for each of the local fan bases form the Sports Supreme Supervisor:
For Johnny Vols Fan, we give you a freshman quarterback who is up to the challenge. Be it Riley Ferguson or Josh Dobbs, we will grant one of them the power to compete right away and generate the type of excitement only a talented freshman quarterback can. Enjoy.
For Johnny Bulldogs Fan, we give you a fast start. If Georgia can get through the September gauntlet that includes Clemson, South Carolina and LSU, the Bulldogs will be in the national-title picture.
For Johnny Tide Fan, we give you a healthy season for McCarron and Yeldon. The rest will take care of itself.
For Johnny Tigers Fan, we give you enough gas in the Gus Bus to be competitive with the big boys in the league. After the whippings Auburn took against the upper-crust of the league last year, being in every game would be a welcomed sight this fall.
For Johnny Mocs Fan, we give you a year of Keon Williams delivering on the expectations we all had when he signed with the Mocs out of Red Bank. Williams and James Stovall are going to be real difference makers for UTC.
This and that
— OK, we know that the college football season opens on Thursday, Aug. 29. The Mocs play that night and there is an interesting doubleheader with South Carolina-North Carolina followed by Vandy-Ole Miss on the ESPN family of networks. The Mothership of sports monoliths released its weeknight college football schedule and arguably the biggest non-SEC game in the chase for the national title is on a Thursday night. Yep, Oregon-Stanford play at Stanford on Thursday, Nov. 7. Wow.
— Hey we love the draft as much as anyone. OK, we love the draft more than anyone this side of Mel Kiper. And even we are tepid at the idea of the Pro Bowl roster being drafted by captains and reshuffled regardless of leagues. Maybe this will be more fun when the time comes, but it seems like a Hail Mary attempt to save a Pro Bowl game that seems to have run its course.
— The Braves and Pirates are killing folks right now. How awesome would an Atlanta-Pittsburgh playoff series be? And if that happens, Sid Bream best throw out the first pitch at the Ted. Giddy-up.
We're going to talk about this on Press Row, and we thank Spy for attaching this clip to the 5-at-10 yesterday. If you missed the photo gallery of the new Oregon football complex, check it here. Seriously, we'll wait.
OK, it's pretty fan-tabulous, right? The barber shop, the cafeteria, the whole nine yards is amazing.
It's roughly $60 million and looks like they got their money's worth.
You know what else it is? It's a metaphorical Gomorrah of the excess of big-time college sports. And with every building like this one — which likely has already generated new plans at a slew of other college football powerhouses — it becomes harder and harder for those of us who believe college athletics can't afford to pay the players.
Hey, we believe a scholarship should be enough. But with every one of these metroplexes of overindulgence, the thought that "they can't afford" to pay athletes is harder and harder to believe.
The question: Should college athletes be paid? Our answer is still no, but buildings like this make us re-examine.
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 ...