published Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

5-at-10: Christmas movie madness, Falcons stink, Dirk's better than we thought

It's a holiday. We media slubs are working; the rest of you big-money folks are kicked back lighting cigars with $50 bills.

Ah, the good life.

And we wouldn't trade for all the Mr. T in China or all the Rodman in North Korea, or something like that.

So you know the drill — we've been doing this 5-at-10 song and dance (five items at 10 a.m., hence the name 5-at-10, pretty clever, huh?) every Monday-Friday since Oct. 26, 2010. And a player on a streak has to respect the streak.


From the "Talks too much" studios, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

  • photo
    James Stewart, left, Thomas Mitchell, right, and Donna Reed appear in the 1946 movie "It's A Wonderful Life." After 50 years, ``It's a Wonderful Life'' has yet to outstay its holiday welcome. As sure as egg nog and overspending, the Frank Capra film is woven into America's yuletide experience. (AP Photo/Files)

Christmas movie tournament

Normally on holidays we would do a top-five list and call it a day. This year, we're doing more. Eleven more in fact. It's Christmas movie madness with a 16-movie bracket seeded in two divisions: Sweet and funny (we were going to go with Legends and Leaders but a) we realized it was taken and b) we're not a dorky Big Ten goof).

Here are the brackets


1) It's a Wonderful Life

2) Miracle on 34th Street

3) White Christmas

4) Grinch that stole Christmas

5) Charlie Brown Christmas

6) The Santa Clause

7) A Christmas Carol

8) Polar Express


1) Christmas Vacation

2) Home Alone

3) Die Hard

4) A Christmas Story

5) Scrooged

6) Elf

7) Bad Santa

8) Love Actually

The people's champion is Christmas Vacation, which collected an eye-popping 70 percent of the national vote in a recent poll conducted by Parade magazine.

And it's fair to say that A Christmas Story is the Duke of the draw. We know it's good, but its continuous loop on TNT on Christmas Day gives it kind of the Dickie V "overexposed" treatment of the "Dukies, BAY-beeee."

So here's the breakdown


1) It's a Wonderful Life over 8) Polar Express, although it's a closer match-up than most may have expected

2) Miracle on 34th Street over 7) A Christmas Carol and this matchup was decidedly more one-sided than we may have thought. Miracle on 34th Street has that nasty mid-major feel in that we don't see it every Christmas but when we pay attention we remember it's pretty doggone good. It's Butler. Or Xavier.

6) The Santa Clause over 3) White Christmas. Sure White Christmas has a money song. A big-time money song. But The Santa Claus sneaks by with the upset. Tim Allen turned one good stand-up into a nine-figure money career.

5) Charlie Brown Christmas over 4) Grinch that stole Christmas. Maybe it's because our son loves the Peanuts crew, and let's face it, when your 6-year-old is quoting lines like "My own dog... gone commercial... Oh brother." Well, winner-winner-chicken dinner.

1) It's a Wonderful Life over 5) Charlie Brown Christmas. The cream starts rising.

2) Miracle on 34th Street over 6) The Santa Clause. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.


1) It's a Wonderful Life over 2) Miracle on 34th Street. Two giants in the field, but it's a rare movie that creates a script that almost every show duplicates at some point, and It's a Wonderful Life is among them. So is Bad News Bears for that matter.


1) Christmas Vacation over 8) Love Actually. Two movies that have gained steam in recent years, but Clark and the Gang are the Fab Five of the genre. In fact, Cousin Eddie has become such a generic term (like Coke or Xerox or Kleenex) that it applies to 'That' member of all of our families.

2) Home Alone over 7) Bad Santa. Bad Santa has some fall down moments, but it crosses the family line a little too often. Think of a very athletic team that can't make free throws.

3) Die Hard over 6) Elf. The biggest mismatch in round 1. Think we need some more FBI guys.

5) Scrooged over 4) A Christmas Story. The surprise factor carries Francis Xavier Cross (Bill Murray) over Ralphie and the gang.

1) Christmas Vacation over 5) Scrooged. Merry Christmas, crapper's full. (Yes, that has been paraphrased to protect the F-O-I-B status.)

3) Die Hard over Home Alone. Two giants across all movie platforms, that hold up amazingly well.


3) Die Hard over 1) Christmas Vacation. The two most quotable Christmas movies of all time, and two all-time movie franchises. But come on, Clark Griswold or John McClane. Yippee-Kai-Yay.


1) It's a Wonderful Life over 3) Die Hard. It's a Christmas classic. Period.


  • photo
    San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) intercepts a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas (83), before making an 89-yard touchdown run in the second half of an NFL football game in San Francisco.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Falcons stink

Hey, that loss was so typical Falcons. Driving for a potential game-winning score and a pick-six that seals the deal for the 49ers.

At least the Falcons continued their arc toward a top-five pick in the draft.

If you are the Atlanta front office types, do you go O-line or pass rusher? Remember Jadeveon Clowney could be on the board when the Falcons pick.


Wow, how'd that happen

Dirk Nowitzki is now No. 13 all-time in scoring in NBA history.

Dirk Nowitzki.

Here's the 12 in front of Dirk:

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 38387

  2. Karl Malone* 36928

  3. Michael Jordan* 32292

  4. Kobe Bryant 31700

  5. Wilt Chamberlain* 31419

  6. Shaquille O'Neal 28596

  7. Moses Malone* 27409

  8. Elvin Hayes* 27313

  9. Hakeem Olajuwon* 26946

  10. Oscar Robertson* 26710

  11. Dominique Wilkins* 26668

  12. John Havlicek* 26395

  13. Dirk Nowitzki 25629

Want to know something else crazy? Kevin Garnett is 15th on the list. Crazy.


This and that

— Tony Romo is reportedly out for Sunday's win or turn in the gear showdown with the Eagles. If Dallas loses, coach Jason Garrett is likely cooked. Interesting times ahead.

— Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was named AP coach of the year. We may be a touch biased, but we believe Malzahn should get the overall, all-sports, coach of the year award, if there is one. If there's not, we'll start it here. The 5-at-10 Coaching Grand Poobah and Illustrious Potentate Award (presented by Wally's Restaurant and Platinum Financial Funding) goes to Gus Malzahn.

— Georgia has suspended Josh Harvey-Clemens for the bowl game. That's all we got on that.


Today's question

Free flow folks. If you have something say, let it fire.

If you don't, may we be one of many to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas — the fun part of the 5-at-10 is the interaction with you folks. Thank you for that.

(P.S. Remember the cookies for Santa and Friday's mailbag. Fire away.)

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
chas9 said...

OK, Christmas is great and all, but soon as it's out of the way, we can look forward to Christmas 2. That's right, Saturday CBS Santa will deliver to us 'Cuse-'Nova followed by Kentucky Louisville.

Leg healed now, UL's Ware says it's boring. "We really don't care that Kentucky exists." Wrong, Kevin. Another answer like that and we're gonna leave you Home Alone.

It's big because UK needs it to get closer to their expected juggernaut status and a top tourney seed. The Cards need it because their best win is over Southern Miss and their schedule is weak, very weak. Today The Cuonz is asking "Who were those guys and what did you do with my team" after The Vols got 20 assists last evening. It's more blessed to give up the ball. Derek Reese made a strong bid for more PT with 12 points, 10 boards, 4 blocks in 19 minutes. He's listed as a guard, but he's as tall as Maymon and Stokes. (Humbug notes: Barton only had two of the 20. When Morehead is your measuring stick, you're not very tall.)

The 23,706 fans who filled Rupp for Duke-UK was the fifth-largest crowd in the history of women's college basketball and the largest crowd ever for a game that did not include Tennessee or Connecticut.

The FBI warned that It's a Wonderful Life was Communist propaganda. What dirks, er, dorks! Buon Natale to you, too.

December 24, 2013 at 10:16 a.m.
MocTastic said...

I have the two finalists using your brackets to be Its a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story...calling it a draw in the finale....

Die Hard is just not a Christmas movie in my book. It happens at Christmas but.... I would take it out and put Fred Claus in instead. Also, just say no to Bad Santa.

Which version of A Christmas Carol you putting in the brackets? I suggest the 1938 version over the other versions.

A final Christmas video to warm your cockles:

December 24, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring,

The Raiders also own a spot at 4-11. The Pirate Ship is dead in the water and listing. Even so, I doubt Reggie will bring Clowny to Oaktown. They done dealing with talented head cases no matter the upside.


Thanks, never before did I know Communist agitators like the crooner above celebrated Christmas.

December 24, 2013 at 1:34 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, did it take more time to wrap presents to come up with/go through the Christmas movie bracket?

Merry Christmas to you, your wonderful folks, your wonderful wife and the 5 at 10 tots.

December 24, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.
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