Gang, outstanding week. Dude, where did September go?
From the "Talks too much" studio, you may say we are a dreamer, but we're not the only ones.
Mrs. Sportsfan and I stopped in a local chain restaurant (that rhymes with Packer Harrell) for dinner last Friday before the Ooltewah/East Hamilton game. I was shocked to see at least two Christmas trees on display and assorted holiday wares for sale inside the store. Is September 20 (a full 3 months and 5 days before Christmas) too early for merchants to display Christmas items? BTW the game was awesome in its awesomeness. EH had a chance to win at the end, but it wasn't meant to be...
Great question and how head-scratching is it that Christmas stuff is already making its way to the shelves. we have not even started getting ready for Halloween and the Christmas stuff is on display. Egads.
That said, we understand it. Hey, it's the world in which we live. Everyone looking to make a buck and do it as quickly and often as possible. And if you think the stuff on display is quick, the 5-at-10 tots spent part of last weekend on their rough drafts of their Christmas list. Seriously.
The sprint to Christmas also all-but washes away Thanksgiving, which is arguably the most underrated holiday.
We can all agree Christmas is aces — the toppest of top-shelf even. So let's do our Rushmore of underrated holidays: Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Easter and National Potato week. Discuss.
And on Sport Talk yesterday a caller wanted to know who UT can get to replace Butch Jones. Question for Friday's bag: Are callers to sports talk radio shows getting more stupider?
No we don't think callers are getting dumber — you could say the IQ of sports talk radio hosts is going down since the TFP Sports Editor is now part of that fray.
That's a direct result of the "Gotta have it now" mentality that has consumed us in almost all walks of life,
The overwhelming "Win Now" culture is everywhere.
That said, unless Nick Saban calls Dave Hart and says, "Yeah, I'd like to coach UT," the Vols have, Have, HAVE to give Butch some room and adopt some patience. The volatility of three coaches in a 14 month stretch — and three years of Dooley and 12 months of Sunseri (SAAALLLLL!!!) — have left the Vols in difficult circumstances.
Rebuilding in the cut-throat realm that is the SEC is a monster chore. But erasing the board and restarting the process every 36 months makes it almost impossible.
Mariano Rivera's farewell tour has been pretty awesome.
It made me wonder if a) is Rivera a Hall of Famer and b) how many rally 'best evers' in baseball have we watched?
Thanks and thanks for the 5@10, it's pretty funny most of the time.
Last night was one of the coolest baseball moments in a long time. It was awesome seeing Rivera breakdown on the mound when Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter came to the mound. Good times. Wait, scratch that. Great times.
Oh yes, Rivera is a Hall of Famer and will open the door for more closers — before him and after.
As for the 'best evers' in our lifetime, that's a great question, and surprisingly we have seen more than a few come along. Here's our all-time baseball team position by position:
SP — Koufax
Closer — Rivera
C — Ivan Rodriguez
1B — Gehrig (although Pujols could get there)
2B — Robby Alomar Jr.
SS — Derek Jeter
3B — Mike Schmidt
OF — Ruth
OF — Williams
OF — Bonds
Watching the Braves this week it dawned on me -- whatever happened to Jeff Francuoer? Dude was a can't-miss.
What's your Rushmore of 'Can't-miss' prospects that missed?
Enjoy the 5-at-10 and love you and Paschall on the radio.
Great call on Francoeur, a kid we watched in high school and again in the minors when he came through Chattanooga. (Dude made a serious throw from right field at AT&T.)
We thought Francoeur was headed to the Hall of Fame. Seriously.
Maybe the expectations were too great or too high or whatever, but most of his nine-year big league career has been forgettable. He is finishing out the season with San Francisco after being released by Kansas City earlier this year. (Side note: As underwhelming as his career has been, Francoeur has made more than $25 million in his career. Wow.)
As for the Rushmore of 'Can't miss' that missed, wow, great question and here's hoping the gang weighs in on that one.
We'll start with Todd Van Poppel, Ron Pawlus, Lindsey Lohan and the kid form Jerry McGuire. Thoughts?
From a bunch of you nuts
Why don't you pick NFL games? Help our entertainment accounts on Sunday, too.
The rationale is pretty simple: In our view we are picking college games; NFL games are much more of a guess. In truth, to pick NFL games, you have to ride trends and tendencies more than match-ups and observations.
Here are some facts and figures from pregame.com on NFL games:
Atlanta has covered the spread in 21 of the last 24 games following a Falcons loss. Atlanta plays the Patriots on Sunday night, will that streak continue?
Jacksonville is 3-1 vs Indy and 2-21 vs. the rest of the league in its last 27 games. Also, home underdogs of 8 or more are 23-2 against the spread in the last 25 occurrences. So do you trust Jacksonville +8.5 at home again an Indy team that punched San Fran in the face last week?
You have to be willing to go with the number crunchers and avoid the big mistake. We'll make five NFL picks and see how this works:
We already hit on San Fran, so if you were listening to Press Row yesterday, you got a bonus. Here are the others:
Cincy minus-4 over Cleveland
Arizona plus-1 over Tampa Bay
New England plus-1.5 over Atlanta
Chicago plus-3 over Detroit
Take them for what it is, guys, and remember for entertainment purposes only.
Jay, does your entertainment broker have a hypothetical line on Broncos-Seahawks on a neutral field? I'm interested to see who would be favored and by how much.
This is a great question, and it led us to the view of a Vegas top 10 in college football — a poll in which it is ranked simply by which team would be favored against all others and flowing on down.
First, the Seattle-Denver break down.
On a neutral field, we'd put Denver as a 6-point favorite for the following reasons:
• No team benefits from home-field more than Seattle, which escaped Carolina on the road and crushed San Fran and Jacksonville at home;
• Vegas would weigh the public's love of Peyton Manning greatly. In fact 6 may be a point or two low.
• The lines, especially in the NFL, are set to encourage equal wagering on each side. Denver has national support, so the line would have to start a little higher than most would think.
As for the Vegas power poll, let's count down the biggest favorites in college football. The hierarchy is simple, No. 1 would be favored against everyone on a neutral field. No. 2 would be favored against everyone but No. 1. No. 3 would be favored against everyone other than the top 2, and so forth on down.
Let's go with the easy ones.
3) LSU and Georgia — considering Georgia is a 3-point favorite over LSU at home and home field is normally worth 3 points, lets assume Vegas views them rather equally.
5) Florida State
8) Ohio State
9) Texas A&M
10) Notre Dame — Overrated? You betcha, and you likely could have made a fortune through the years fading the Irish because the betting public rides the Irish all year.
Discuss and enjoy the weekend.
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 ...