It's here. It's all happening.
The SEC media days are on us, and we're on it. TFP aces David Paschall and Downtown Patrick Brown are on the way to Hoover. We'll spend a good chunk of Press Row — our afternoon radio show from 1-3 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 — talking about it.
In regard to a previous request, here is our Twitter handle — @jgreesontfp. Feel free to follow along; don't cost nothin'.
From the "Talks too much" studios, hey whatever happened to Ratt — 'Out of the Cellar' was a great album then nothing? Round and round.
SEC media days
Let's capsulize the info as best we can.
What happened yesterday: Johnny Football reportedly apologized to the Texas A&M staff. Dude is a college kid forced into the glaring mega-bright spotlight that is being the hottest name in the SEC. Still, he has been the spoils of success are pretty sweet, too. Also Vandy released the names of the four players that were dismissed from the program in the offseason because of alleged sex crimes.
Who's up today: South Carolina, Florida, Missouri and Ole Miss take the stage after SEC commissioner Mike Slive gives his state of the conference address.
What we expect today: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will gig someone. It's officially not an SEC media event until Spurrier delivers a zinger. In fact, as long as he is involved in the SEC, he should take the stage immediately after Slive. Slive will be asked about his retirment plans. Each of the four quarterbacks in Hoover today likely will be asked about social media and the pressures on and off the field of being QB1 at a football crazy campus. Someone you may not heard of before will say something we are talking about tomorrow.
Yes, we're having an Open contest. Pick five and the top four count, but with the spinning twist that at three countries have to be represented.
The winner will get a prize pack that could include anything from a hat — looks good on you, though — to some TFP gear to even some Mocs football tickets. Who knows, right?
Before we get to the super early birds, let's talk a little about what winning this thing would mean for a few of the big names.
For Tiger, and we'll discuss this more later this week, it would restart his majors march. A win for Tiger becomes the biggest story in sports — well unless Johnny Football starts dating Lindsay Lohan, which would melt the interweb and cause alcohol stock dividends to triple.
For Phil, it would be major No. 5 and put him tied for 14th overall with the likes of Lord Byron and Seve and a few others. Plus, the clock is ticking and while he's playing great right now, other than baseball and cycling where the training regime includes the fountain of PED youth, not many people improve athletically after turning 40.
For Rory, it would be a storybook ending to a miserable professional year. It also would likely be a fairy tale since the world's No. 2-ranked player has given us little reason to believe he can contend.
We'll discuss sleepers and the rest tomorrow, but here are the early picks and we'll see if some of the other media folks in town are interested in playing.
Billy in Brainerd — Lefty, S Cink [USA]; D Clarke [N Ireland]; L Oosthuizen [S Africa]; and...drumroll please...Y(ing?) Yang [Korea]
5-at-10 — Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Ernie Els
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Phil, Graeme McDowell, Kuchar, Rory, Jason Day
War Eagle — Dufner, Donald, Scott, Tiger, Westwood
Fred — Tiger, Rickie Fowler, Rose, Johnson, Day
More to come...
UTC goes back to the future
Will Wade continues to impress.
Former UTC standout Johnny Taylor will be a graduate assistant for the Mocs next season.
The new Mocs basketball coach reached back into the program's once-rich history and added former star forward Johnny Taylor to the coaching staff.
Taylor, who is still working to finish his UTC degree, will be a student assistant that provides a local connection — he went to Howard before a junior college detour and going to UTC — and can offer the experience of a 15-year professional career that has covered the globe.
We have zero idea what kind of coach Johnny Taylor is or could be. As a student assistant, though, he has some pretty stellar qualifications.
But this is as much about Taylor the coach as it is about re-engaging the fan base. Since we've been here, we've heard about how great UTC hoops was and how much fun the games were. Well, Wade and Co.'s first battle is not on the court — it's a war against apathy within the family.
Taylor is a winning move in that war in our view.
This and that
— Hey the home run derby just ended with a Cuban player for a California team who is not in the game winning the title. No, not Puig, the other one.
— OK, watching Yoenis Cespedes hit bomb after bomb was kind of cool. Just not cool enough to make up for Berman being Berman and not cool enough to keep our attention for three hours. That said, the wrestling-style championship belt he won was a nice touch.
— Metta World Peace has decided to play for the Knicks. Which city war will be better next basketball season: the battle for L.A. or the brawl in the Big Apple? We think the latter.
Remember the contest and the Friday mailbag.
Let's move quickly:
We discussed this on the radio show some Monday, and feel like it could come up today, but what former athlete would have been the most fun to follow on Twitter? Discuss, and feel free to include a possible Twitter handle. Paschall mentioned former USC QB Steve Tannehill, who would have been a hoot and we think his handle could have been @mullett18.
If you had a Mount Rushmore of modern-day SEC football coaches (let's say since the advent of media days in the mid-1980s) who makes it? Spurrier and Saban are dunks of course. Who else you got?
Will you watch the All-Star Game? Why or why not?
Is there an action movie that holds up better than Die Hard, which turned 25 on Monday? It's still very watchable today.
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 ...