published Thursday, January 24th, 2013

5-at-10: Miami Rocks, odds on Beyonce showing Super Bowl cleavage and celebrity triple threats

OK gang, been a rocking week. Let's finish the drill and remember Friday's mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's mess around and get a triple-double.

Big day in Miami

OK, unless Don Johnson and the black guy strike up a "Miami Vice" rerun or Dan Marino decides to give it one more go, it's hard to see the folks in South Florida having a better day than Wednesday. Let's review:

— As the college football world waited for the 400-pound hammer of NCAA violations to drop on the Hurricanes football program for a laundry list of violations that ranged from improper contact to allegedly hooking players up with cash and ladies and what not, the worm completely turned. The NCAA admitted to several mistakes in collecting the information, even possibly damaging the legal process against Nevin Shapiro by using his attorney to ask NCAA-specific questions in depositions.

And while no one is debating whether Miami did a lot of the stuff claimed, here's what NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a conference call Wednesday: "We have no interest in pursuing a case based on information garnered through inappropriate behavior. That's not what we stand for. ...We have a great amount of evidence compiled and only some a portion of it is a result of this conduct.''

That may be true, and we still expect the Hurricanes to be hit with some penalties, but those sanctions will be delayed after signing day in two weeks and likely will not be as harsh as they would have been.

— The Hurricanes basketball team must have been energized by the NCAA reprieve. Miami dropped a 90-63 Biblical whipping on top-ranked Duke that was not as close as the final score may indicate. Miami led 42-19 at halftime and thoroughly enjoyed its first win over a No. 1-ranked opponent. Check out these numbers: Duke shot 29.7 percent; Miami shot 57. Duke made 4-of-23 3s; Miami was 9-of-19. Miami is now 14-3 and 5-0 in the ACC with a two-game lead in the loss column over the rest of the conference.

— Across town, the Miami Heatles rallied from 15 down to win in overtime behind LeBron James' 34th career triple-double.

As the Fresh Prince said,

"Bouncing in the club where the heat is on

All night on the beach till the break of dawn

I'm going to Miami

Welcome to Miami."

————

NFL Safety Debate

The NFL issued two fines from the conference title games. The league fined Tom Brady $10K for his controversial slide with spikes high that clipped Ravens safety Ed Reed. We saw the play and thought a fine was warranted. The league also announced a fine for 49ers running back for violating the league's dress code. Yep, the NFL fined Gore $10,500 for having his socks too low.

OK, a move that was at best dirty and at worst made with the intent to injure an opposing player gets a lower fine than a sock malfunction? And we're suppose to take the league seriously about it's new-found focus on player safety? Sure we are.

On a slight safety tangent, while the league appears silly and even disingenuous about the fines, we don't believe the family of Junior Seau should be able to sue the NFL — dude was a football player, it was his choice and he likely would have done it for a fraction of the millions he made. And in truth, if he had decided not to play, there would have been a line of volunteers waiting to take his spot. His health issues and death merit sympathy and discussions about how to make the game and league safer, but how is this a legal matter? It's football — a violent and physical game that extracts an extreme and costly price on the human body — and Junior knew the risks. He embraced the risks, being as physical as anyone in this physical sport.

Seau's family is one of hundreds in the legal chase against the NFL, claiming the league did not do enough to protect its players and ignored the results and impacts of concussions. If the league hid information, that's one thing. But everyone who knows a kicking tee from a cup of tea, knows football is a ballet of car wrecks and carnage that makes its mark by leaving marks. Plus what is frequently ignored is that the players also dismissed those concussion signs or flat-out ignored them and even lied about them.

Issues and complaints like these have originated some positive debate about head injuries and about player safety. The league has adjusted the rules (some would say even too much) and has looked at steps involving concussions about when players can return and when they need to sit.

And in almost every one of those cases those discussions are good and productive. They just don't need to be in a courtroom in our opinion.

Plus, if the NFL safety movement is going to continue, the next name to pay attention to is Alex Smith. Because as many steps and safeguards as the NFL could possibly invoke, it has been and will continue to be about players raising their hands and admitting concussions. Smith did, sitting out a game with the lingering effects of a concussion. Enter Colin Kaepernick, who plays great, takes Smith's job and now have the 49ers 60 minutes from the Super Bowl title. Smith? He's left looking for a new team and the headache of wondering what would have been if he had kept quiet about his headache.

————

Super Bowl prop bets

We have tried to share the craziness of the sports betting that comes with the Super Bowl. Here's a recap: We told you to get on the Ravens at plus-4.5 at the beginning of the week (and since the line has already dropped to San Fran minus-3, if you are on the Ravens plus-4.5, you could cover that with a San Fran minus-2.5 after buying the half and feel real good about possibly collecting twice and not losing anything but the juice — and remember, all of this is for entertainment purposes only of course); We have the first score coming before the 7:30 mark of the first quarter; we have Vernon Davis at 25-to-1 and Ray Lewis at 10-to-1 as MVPs.

Then, we opened our early morning email from friend of the show R.J. Bell, gambling's best marketed and connected odd's maker.

Check out R.J.'s numbers:

• More than half the adults in America will have some action on the Super Bowl, whether it's board squares, pools or old-fashioned bets. Apparently, there is $10 billion in entertainment units expected to be risked, and roughly 1 percent ($100 million) will be wagered in Vegas. Read that again.

• There are now odds on what Beyonce's first halftime song will be ("Crazy in Love" and "Love on Top" are the favorites) and whether she will show cleavage (yes is a 4-to-1 favorite and somewhere Bill Clinton just made this face.

• Will both Harbaughs wear hats? Yes is a 9-to-1 favorite.

• The over/under on the longest touchdown play is over/under 45.5 yards.

• Before the season, the odds on the 49ers winning it all were 17-to-1 and the Ravens went off at 14-to-1.

Enjoy round one of the crazy prop bets, and to continue our string of picks, we'll go with yes on Beyonce's cleavage, we'll say yes on the hats and lay the odds and we'll take the over 45.5 yards on the longest touchdown play.

More to come of course, but wow. You can risk entertainment on anything. (Side note: Have you seen the reports that the Mercedes Benz commercial with Kate Upton is being criticized for being "too sexy" and is getting backlash?)

————

This and that

— We've tried to stay away from the Manti Te'o story, but as our man Humpty might say sometimes, this gets ridiculous. OK, the catfish/dupe theory now has us banking on the fact that Te'o was completely duped by a man pretending to be his girlfriend? Is this the first sports scandal that melds two classic Seinfelds, with the "Not that there's anything wrong with that" story line and the "This is Dan" high-talker. If we can find a way to get Te'o to drape himself in velvet, get former Irish QB Jimmy Clausen involved and calling himself "Jimmy" thoughout every episode, get a contest of abstinence started and possibly even work in some soup, Chinese takeout and non-fat yogurt, we're ready to roll. (Seriously, fooled by a man?)

— Nice win for the Lady Mocs at Samford. We were talking about them in the office yesterday before the road game and wondered how high a seed they could get if they win the SoCon tournament. Let's say they go the rest of the regular season and lose only one more game. That makes them 28-4 with a win over powerhouse Tennessee and a conference title. Right now they are 56th in RPI. Could that be worth a 10 or an 11 seed?

— We believe the Vols are facing a must-win tonight if an NCAA at-large tournament spot is a possibility.

— We're planning on swinging by SportTalk this afternoon around 4:30ish. Feel free to give it a listen — don't cost nothing.

—Speaking of SportTalk, had a little Twitter exchange (@jgreesontfp) with Cowboy Joe after he played some Dwight Yoakam (one of our favorites) leading into a segment Wednesday. It got us thinking that, a) we've never seen Yoakam in concert and b) he'd definitely be on our personal Rushmore of folks we haven't seen that we need to see — with Bruce, Bon Jovi and Garth in Vegas.

—————

Today's question

Let's flip it and reverse it.

Hit us with your questions today and we'll either answer them here or put them in Friday's mailbag.

Whatcha' got?

OK, if you need a topic, let's go here:

What's your Rushmore of triple-threat possiblities as in celebs who have had success in music, TV and film? We'll go Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Dwight Yoakam (who we know was great in music, great in Sling Blade and great as a voiceover in King of the Hill).

Who you like?

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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Astropig said...

Jay,

Re: Miami This is like getting stopped for DUI,blowing a .15 and the cops losing the evidence. If half of what that scumbag Shapiro says is 30% true,the U should do some hard time in the NCAA jug.(Continuing the metaphor, let's give the 'Canes credit for time served by turning down a bowl invite last year and the ACC championship game this go-round).But if what happened down there on Biscayne Boulevard is not "lack of institutional control" of the pointy ball team,then such a thing doesn't exist.

January 24, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
chas9 said...

I grovel at the feet of the great Swami Jay. He warned us just Tuesday that Duke was vulnerable.Yes, they are. Miami whipped the Dookies by the third largest margin ever over a #1 team. (Worst ever whupping was UK over #1 St. John's by 41.) The 'Canes went on a 36-5 run at one point.

Coach K's down-in-the-mouth face is one of the most pitiful sights ever. Don't think his team will be among my final four guesses. How come Miami put no rebounders into position (or only one) when they shot free throws?

College football columnist Bruce Feldman says LS&U was the team hardest hit by early departures, and its not close. Tennessee is second, then Florida and Texas A&M. The fifth hardest hit team is not from the SEC, but Gawga and Florida are #6 and #7. I guess dominating this list is a measure of how strong the league is. He doesn't say that these teams won't be good again next season.

I agree with Patrick that Reese has the potential to help UT. Moore does, too. But The Rebellious Bears will maulSmokey, The Vols, and the horse they rode in on.

Weeds' column on Seau is brilliantly well said. Well played, Mark.

Does Manti have to worry about shrinkage?

January 24, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
orangeguy said...

Justin Upton, come on down! Rosenthal & Heymam saying done deal. Braves giving up Prado, Delgado, & 2 prospects. Hate losing Prado but apparently he's going to be more expensive in free agency than Braves wanted to give in '14 anyway. Braves also getting 3B Chris Johnson whose offensive numbers weren't far off from Prado's last year. Maybe a mailbag question, but is this the best Braves lineup since 02-03 with Jones boys, Sheffield, Lopez, etc?

January 24, 2013 at 10:41 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Miami, place where it all happens, now the NCAA is admitting...anything? Where does this leave the former penalties? Who, like Tim Curry in Home Alone II, "made the discovery" of the NCAA indiscretions? How do future violators keep the public eye on the way the NCAA enforcers do the downlow? It just sounds fishy but it is near the ocean; at least nearer than my N.GA home. Will be interesting to see it unfold. NFL fines: I smell smokescreen. Since Brady gets all those poopy-penalties when a d-lineman, backer, or blitzing secondarian looks ugily at him, this is the reprieval so the NFL can say, "We penalized old TomBoy too." What a joke, it once was Football! The Seau "deal" is sadly typical of our society. That he had so many head injuries is horrible; that he took his own life is beyond tragic; that getting money from it brings him back or even "makes up for" what he endured, reflects a society that sees getting money and financially penalizing "those" people, whomever they may be as noble, I guess. As for the thousands of others suing and the ones who will also come onboard that boat, who made you play in the first place? Was it momma, or daddy, maybe that high school coach? The decision to play professional football is made by the individual. That he can be hurt so devastatingly is sad but part of the package. What next, will there be a paper everyone in the NFL has to sign saying, "I unequivocally will not sue, nor will my family, friends etc. if I incur head injuries which impact me negatively." Of course the other area injuries need to be in there as well. I am sorry we will see this plastered all over everywhere until it ends...oh say in 10-15 years. Betting on the Super Bowl...like so much else of the ridiculous hype, this takes from the game. I hate the commercials, the bands, the costume malfunctions(I was in the can when that happened), and all else except what's played on the field. I get it, I'm old school but I ain't changing anytime soon. So let's bring it on and see what happens. My question is where is the most likely place Alex Smith may end up?

January 24, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

Seau & Co. - Interesting counterpoints which is a complete 180 to what Weeds wrote this morning. I believe Junior's suicide escalated this issue but it is nothing new. Back in 2007 (my first year in Dallas), the DMN did an in-depth story on the 1977 Cowboys, the culture of the game, and the long term health issues it generated. The NFL turned a blind eye to it then, it will now.

Super Bowl Halftime - Thank you "In Living Color". Your one-time stunt still has the lingering effect even after being off the air for close to 20 years. Seriously NFL? All the performances are easily forgettable because "Musician X" plays either edited versions of their hits or worse music from their new album "Beer Run" (David Spade's material-not mine).

January 24, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Lady Mocs - If everything falls into play as predicted, I imagine slightly higher seed given this year's non-conference strength of schedule. Realistically, they would receive a ten seed, best case scenerio, an eight seed.

Rushmore:

(Dark Horse) Steve Martin: TV (Saturday Night Live), Movies (Take Your Pick*), Music (The Steep Canyon Rangers). "Jubilation Day" is an awesome song.

*Excludes his current run of super-drippy family flicks. This is "definitely" not open for debate.

January 24, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

If Manti's wearing a puffy shirt during his interview with Katie, then the game is up.

Bucket list of those to see live? It's really just down to Metallica. Seen Bruce. Seen Merle Haggard. Seen Neil Young. Seen the Drive By Truckers (that reminds me ... need to see My Morning Jacket). Seen the Isley Brothers, BB King and Ray Charles. Not all at once.

Triple threats, you say ... OK, 5, you might think sum'in's wrong with me, but what about ...

Justin Timberlake.

January 24, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Prado and prospects for brother Upton?

I think the 5 at 10 is about to take a drastic turn today.

January 24, 2013 at 11:18 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Rushmore (cont.)

Mark Walburg: Music (Marky-Mark), Movies (Ted and those other films), TV (Blue Bloods*).

I could be mistaken for his brother.

Another Dark Horse (post-humorous). Sam Kinason: Movies (Back To School), Music (modern day covers of "Wild Thing" and "Under My Thumb"), TV (Show on Fox I cannot remember at this time)

January 24, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

JMC,

That's Donnie Wahlberg on Blue Bloods.

January 24, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Astro —

Perfect analogy. Or a crook getting off because the warrant was improperly filled out — have they not watched the Law&Order reruns. Jack McCoy would be furious about this.

And in truth, as you say, if just a fraction of the Yahoo!Sports stuff was accurate, this was going to be as bad a hit as Penn State.

9er —

Thanks for the kind words. Duke has always had trouble with athletic teams that can get to the rim. So it is written.

We agree that the Rebel Black Bears are going to have some fun at the Vols expense tonight.

And, we so should have added shrinkage to the list.

Orange —

Wow. Saw this morning that the Braves were in heated talks about the other Upton.

Big news if they add it and yes, likely the best lineup — and outfield — since the early 2000s when the Braves went from left to right with Chipper, Andruw and Sheffield.

Good for you Frank Wren.

Livn(Large) —

Completely agree that the litigious nature of our society has been one huge rock dropped into the social pond and the ripples are far-reaching and painful. Insurance rates, medical costs, you name it, there are a slew ways that the "Sue at all Costs" has reached all of us.

JMC —

We can see Weeds' point — and that's one thing we try not to do is tell our folks what to write — and he said it very well. But we think a huge part of this is on the players. They elect to play a violent game for big coin. There are consequences.

And Steve Martin is an interesting call because he was never an SNL Cast member (was the all-time leader in hosts for a while before Alec Baldwin and his Schweddy balls passed him) so not sure if he ever was a cast member in a TV show.

An eight seed seems a touch high.

Spy —

Please let Manti wear a puffy shirt. Or have the Couric interview over a bowl of Soup and Mindy's. It's the Best, Spy, the BEST.

Timberlake is a winner. Better than expected in movies and didn't he debut on the Mickey Mouse Club.

And we're super remiss that we did not include Eddie Murphy.

And this turn makes us ponder...

Is this the most complete Braves team since the 1990s?

It's official, we're excited.

Bring it.

January 24, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

I saw a great show in the early '90s at The Omni. Tim McGraw [before Faith] OPENED for D.Y. I think it is safe to say their careers [and lives] went different directions from that point; although, 'Sling-blade' remains a classic. The Mocs need another conference road win tonight. Go Blue [I hope they are not wearing those gosh-awful black unis tonight]. - Billy in Brainerd

January 24, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

You are correct he was not a cast member. But I figured given the man-hours he clocked in and the classic characters he generated, it would qualify.

Also, I was not trying to say "Mark was wrong and you were right" or anything like that. Just was acknowledging the counterpoint was all. ;)

Spy- Thanks for the correction and sorry for the surname misspell. Darn Bostonians and their funny spelling surnames!

January 24, 2013 at noon
ordinaryguy said...

Actually pretty funny to see all the youngsters chime in on just how talented some of today's so-called triple threats are...I will allow Will Smith with his performance in Ali, Lame Prince, and his kiddie friendly rap...however the real triple threats are from a long gone era long before autotune and that great american karaoke show...Sinatra is the king of the triple threats...oscar winner, sold a bazillion records, and his tv show was one of the best of its time...sad that all the youngsters (those under 40)are pretty clueless about how good he was...the rest of the rushmore would have to enclude Dino, Cash, and perhaps Travolta...

January 24, 2013 at 12:04 p.m.
orangeguy said...

On the Rushmore, does Dolly Parton's guest roles as Hannah Montana's grandmother and/or Reba's prospective realtor boss qualify her in the TV category?

January 24, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
chas9 said...

Spy--How much would you pay to catch Sir Elton in Chattanooga?

Warning: If you bought your Elton John tickets on Manti's website, they're fake and you're an idiot. But if you bought a puffy shirt there, you'll probably be satisfied.

In my book, the Seau suits are less about money than about raising awareness and changing some bad practices.

It's a commentary on our politically correct times that the tame Mercedes ad is causing conflict. But maybe it'll be better when I see the hole thing. Best ever carwash scene was in Cool Hand Luke. Shakin' 'em up here, boss.

January 24, 2013 at 12:26 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Chas,

I didn't fork over any dough to go see him in Savannah, the nearest big town to where I live, though my attorney and his wife saw him in Vegas. If you're hoping to hear Elton sing "Bennie and the Jets," it ain't happenin. Those are notes Sir Elton can no longer reach. Heard it's still a good show, though. Hope he does "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" or "A Bullet in the Gun of Robert Ford."

Didn't Jessica Simpson have a car wash scene in the "The Dukes of Hazzard" movie? Or was I confusing that with "Bikini Car Wash Company"?

JMC, my cousins grew up with the Wahlbergs in the same neighborhood.

Don't know if this is the deepest Braves team. Still not sure about the starting staff. If Beachy were healthy, yes. And there's still a gaping hole at second base.

January 24, 2013 at 12:34 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I'll give Mr. Te'o this - his name does have cachet. And he does have hand.

January 24, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.
chas9 said...

OG is correct that olden times had more triple threats.

Some fun ones to ponder: Dick Van Dyke, Jim Nabors, Andy Griffith, Lorne Greene, William Shatner. If you haven't heard the musical stylings of the last two, consider yourself fortunate.

January 24, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
Livn4life said...

I just saw that Derek Dooley and Gene Chizik will be guest analyts/commentators on ESPNU's National Signing Day coverage. Is that one/two for the ages?

January 24, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BillytheKid —

Sounds like a good show. And McGraw has way, Way, WAY more songs that you know that you don't know are him.

And McGraw was good in his two movies — Friday Night Lights and Blindside.

JMC —

Fair point.

OG —

Wow, great calls. Sinatra's an all-timer. Travolta deserves a mention too.

As for us kids, well, we're going to turn our Rock-n-Roll down and stay off your lawn.

Let's re-assess: Will Smith is there. Sinatra's there. Travolta likely.

But don't kid yourself, in his prime Eddie Murphy was among the most talented cats maybe of all-time.

Orange —

Dolly certainly deserves mention when describing mountains.

9er —

Maybe about the Seau's case being about awareness more than money, but if that's so why sue NFL Films too?

Andy Griffith is a good call, too.

And Spy has an entire collection of puffy shirts from concerts all over — Liberace, Lady Gaga, and several others — not that there's anything wrong with that.

Spy —

Yes, Jessica Simpson's video from the Dukes of Hazards movies was eye-popping.

And there's not a hole at second base; that's where Uggla stands. If you wanted to say there was a strikeout at second base, well, go right ahead.

And Te'o better not pull the cyber stop short — that's Mr. Costanza's internet move.

Livn(Large) —

Are they going to have Jerry Glanville and Romeo Crennel anchor their Super Bowl show too.

The only way that works if if Pepper Brooks and Cotton McKnight from ESPN the Ocho's coverage of Dodgeball are also involved.

— 5-at-10

January 24, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Is anybody else concerned about the rabbit hole this Te'o scandal is going down? So the girl on the phone was actually a dude? Its beginning to reach towards the first Ace Ventura. Next story will be that Manti and the girl actually met, he just thought she had the worst case of hemorrhoids ever. Say hello to Mister Winky.

January 24, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

Laces out Manti. LACES OUT!

— 5-at-10

January 24, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

re: Upton trade - the AJC is calling the outfield Up, Up and a Hey.

I am ready for some baseball. What's this basketball stuff again?

January 24, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.
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