Thanks for another great week.
From the "Talks too much" studios, did you ever see a Cajun when he really got mad, then he really got trouble like a daughter gone bad.
From a slew of you,
What happens to the Southern Conference/UTC now that Elon has left?
OK, this question, in various forms has been bounced back and forth in the last 36 or so hours since news started to swirl about Elon leaving the SoCon.
Let's look at all of the pieces in the most recent decision that dealt another major body blow to the Southern Conference:
First, let's cover Elon. Really, Elon? They say they are leaving for academic reasons. We say hogwash. And get over yourself. You're Elon for crying out loud, and unless you are moving to the Ivy League, then suck it up. We're sure you're a fine school with good academics, but who in a million years connects academic priorities and athletic conference affliation? And if your reasons are truly academic, then drop down to D-III (non-athletic scholarships) and focus on your studies.
The point for UTC, Furman and Wofford is that if a middle-of-the-road SoCon athletic program like Elon is on the move, then everyone has to be looking. It's conference musical chairs, and if you don't have a seat when the music stops, then you're in for a fall. That said, the Mocs were not in a position to move in this cycle with no AD and no chancellor. That may actually be a good thing. We'll get to that in a moment.
As for the Southern Conference, well, it's not good. In fact, the league that not that long ago looked like the SEC of the FCS has the feel of the Big East right now, and that's not a compliment. Is this a death blow? Most likely, because regardless of what life-preserver invitations it slings into the sea of mediocrity that is ETSU, VMI or Mercer, the dominos have started. You have to believe Furman is looking. And possibly Wofford too. The toothpaste is out of the tube.
Which leaves us with SoCon commissioner John Iamarino. Wow, somewhere former Big East commissioner John Marinatto is fist pumping because now he's not alone in the team picture of guys who stood atop the crumbling mountain of a conference as it imploded from within. Hey, Nero, do you know "Devil went down to Georgia" or any other CDB tunes?
As for UTC's future, well, we're pretty optimistic about AD David Blackburn's skills and think that he knows the future will be filled with change. That is not for just UTC, of course. In fact, the new football playoff will be a game-changer for all of college sports, and getting in position to share — directly or indirectly — from that geyser-sized spigot of cash is going to be paramount for the financial stability of athletic programs for the next generation. In that measure, why rush a move to the CAA or the OVC, when in truth, their five-to-10 year future is in almost as much uncertainty as the SoCon's because of the unknown entity that is the college football playoff. Why rush into a different conference just to be in a different conference?
So another two or three high-quality years in the shell that is known as the SoCon — and if the Mocs can capitalize on the football improvements and the basketball energy with the recent hires and win a few rings in the coming seasons — and generate some momentum, maybe UTC would be more attractive to a league better than a CAA. Of course, if they have Elon already, then hoi polloi, pass the Grey Poupon. (Where did you come from a Scotch ad?)
When are you going to be back on the radio?
Thanks for the interest, and we are pretty certain we'll be back on the radio sometime this summer with David Paschall from 1-3 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM.
We have been asked a bunch about this — and we greatly appreciate all the support — and enjoyed our time doing it last month. It was a lot of fun and we got a lot of good feedback.
We'll let you know when it becomes official.
I don't have any rejected water park names to add to your list, but Mrs Sportsfan just told me that there are weight restrictions at the new Soakya water park and they won't let me wear my jeans shorts with metal rivets. What am I gonna do til football season starts? That can be for the mailbag.
Can't help you with the weight restrictions, but we can relay a side, weight-restrictions story.
Back in college a few us went bungee jumping. Did it in Heflin, Ala., and from a crane. In retrospect, not the brightest plan, but hey, we were young. And dumb.
Anyhoo, the dreadlocked-and-unshowered dude with the bloodshot eyes looked at us and asked, "How much do you weigh?"
We answered, "about 225, why?"
He said, "Because we have one bungee for dudes under 230 and one for dudes over 230."
I said, "Well give me the fat-guy bungee please." Way we see it, why risk being a smudge on the rocks of east-central Alabama because of an extra sausage biscuits, you know?
As for your summer as we get ready for college football — we're 97 days from that opening Thursday night, but who's counting — well here's a top five for you.
1) Spend time with the Mrs./significant other/kids et al. Trust us on this one. This is the football fanatic's chance to pay it forward.
2) Get outside. Seriously. We live in the South and there is glorious surroundings everywhere, and with those benefits we must take advantage of the outdoors. We may be consistently in the bottom five in education, health and a few other select categories, but we're No. 1 in outdoor stuff, pretty women and college football. We think we got the better end of that stick.
3) Get away. Be it the beach, the lake or a stay-cation. (We did one of these a few years ago, and it was AWE-some. The stay-cation may be on the Rushmore of all-time underrated. Hey that would be an excellent Rushmore... all-time underrated. Off the cuff, we'll go stay-cations, Stan Musial, Family Ties and Phil Hartman. Thoughts?)
4) Knock back a few Co-Colas. You can not expect your body to be in prime college football drinking shape without some summer preparations. Hey, we expect the players and coaches to put in the time in June and July, we have to be committed too. As Nick Saban says, it's all about the process... Open, lift, swill, repeat.
5) Attack your bucket list. Hey the sands are falling. Be it float a creek or go to Wrigley or try out for community theater (Spy) or what have you, take a swing at it.
From David Paschall
OK, this was not submitted directly to the mailbag, but this was a topic that we were kicking around the office and he brought it up and we wanted to share. In truth, this is one of the reasons doing the talk radio show was so much fun. Anyhoo...
"What is the top five brand-name products that you can't ever imagine using a replacement for?"
This generated some interesting discussion, and we're interested in what some of you have to say. Here's our top five list of brand's that really can't be replaced:
1) Heinz Ketchup — we'll skip the ketchup rather than use Hunt's
2) Coke — we don't know many people who drink Pepsi, and that's fine by us
3) Copenhagen — this was back in the day before we quit dipping, but there is nothing close
4) Titleist — we're kind of a golf equipment snob, and our clubs are better than our swing. Hey, if you dress well and keep your head down, they'll think you're having a bad day.
5) Kraft cheese — Seems like we're forgetting one, here, huh?
Of course we prefer Bud Light given the preference, but we never turn down a piece offering.
What's the man crush you have LeBron? Seriously, the guy is good, but you make it out like he's the best ever.
Not sure man crush is the right phrase (especially when that Dwyane Wade is pretty dreamy), but we have a huge respect for James' gifts and talents and the way he plays the game.
The NBA has searched for "the next Jordan" for a generation. Well, forget the next Jordan, we're enjoying the current James. Dude shares the basketball and tries to inspire teammates.
No one in basketball — maybe in all of sports — had the competitive fire and will to win Jordan had. James is not the next Jordan (if you had to make comparisons, he's more of a super-souped up version of Magic, actually).
Plus, we also appreciate true greatness, and like him or loathe him (or man-crush him), James is great. We feel that way about athletes of all genres. Tiger, James, Tyson, Jordan... these were guys that were all-timers in our time, and we appreciated them for their gifts and sharing them with us.
As for James, he appears to have handled that greatness way better than the rest of those names, too, which is a credit to him.
Man crush? Not so much. Much respect? Absolutely.
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 ...