published Friday, September 27th, 2013

5-at-10: Friday mailbag

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.

From sportsfan

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...

Sportsfan —

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.

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  • photo
    Tennessee head coach Butch Jones watches his team warm up before playing Western Kentucky.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From Chas9

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?

9er —

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.

————

From Ted

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.

Ted —

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

Discuss.

————

From JJ

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.

JJ —

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.

Nuts —

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.

  • photo
    Atlanta Falcons fullback Jason Snelling (44) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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.

————

From Stewwie

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.

Stewwie —

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.

1) Alabama

2) Oregon

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

6) Clemson

7) Stanford

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.

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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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.
Walden said...

Speaking of sports talk radio, I heard Doctor B try to make the case yesterday that Baylor decided to play it's home games against McCallie at Baylor instead of Finley "for the kids." Puhlease, Doc. Baylor made that change towards the end of McCallie's historic 11-year win streak, and they made the change for one reason, and one reason only: to give themselves a better chance of ending their embarrassing skid! Go Blue!

September 27, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"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"

While not exactly a national or even a "state" Holiday, the three-week Tex-fest that is the Texas State Fair is aces as far as holiday events are concerned. Another is the ever popular Talk like a Pirate day. Why they do it in September is ridiculous. They need to do it in January in coordination with Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival (Haven't been but it's on the bucket list). My other favorite underrated holiday is the ever popular "Third Saturday in October" ;)

BTW, Sportsfan, how was the Packer Harrell? I'm sure it was four-star quality compared to what happened to me this past Tuesday.

I was at the local chain restaurant "La Hacienda" up in Frisco which is a casual dining establishment (a la Chili's or Applebee's). However, the clientale took "casual" to a whole new level. I'm wearing my best Mocs golf shirt, clean blue jeans, and clean sneakers. My date, let's call her Ford F-350 Texas Edition because that's how big she was (it was a date from Zoosk.com and I only had a "head shot" to go on), was wearing a nice conservative summer dress and flats.

Everybody else dressed like extras in the first 20 minutes of Road House when Dalton first arrived at the Double Duece (I KID YOU NOT!).

And no one knew how to use their inside voice. Which made it hard to listen to my date talk about her cats she rescued from an animal shelter being tested positive for herpes (Yes, this really happened)

Yes, chase I will be talking about this on stage tonight. A friend of mine is hosting a comedy show and needed a couple of slots to fill.

September 27, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
chas9 said...

Great point that the hamster cage of UT coaches must stop. Was The Lane Train a "can't miss that did"? Wanna buy some sexy pics of Layla Kiffin and Amanda Marcum Enfield? A Trojans coaches' wives calendar could be a strong fundraiser.

Three SEC QB's who couldn't miss but did are Couch, Bray and Tebow.

Solid all-time baseball list. You'll get lots of argument about the pitcher, but Koufax is my heart pick, too. An all-time Braves team would be fun, too.

Speaking of baseball, if this writer thing don't work out, Jay, would you consider the commish's job which will be open in a coupla years, reportedly.

Walden--The Doc's not really a gynecologist. He's really a used car salesman.

September 27, 2013 at 10:47 a.m.
MocTastic said...

My all time baseball team that I have seen play in person:

SP Greg Maddux RP Trevor Hoffman C Johnny Bench 1B Willie McCovey (just over Willie Stargell) 2B Joe Morgan SS Cal Ripken Jr 3B Mike Schmidt OF Willie Mays OF Hank Aaron OF Roberto Clemente UTL: Pete Rose

JG, can't believe you have Pudge Rodriguez ahead of Johnny Bench and Alomar ahead of Ryne Sandberg and Joe Morgan. Also, if just going all time, the OF should be Ruth, Mays and Aaron. I also take a young Cal Ripken Jr over a young Derek Jeter. We are obviously ignoring players such as Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and the like.

Note: my list is as I said, players I saw play in person. I never got to see Koufax pitch, nor Ryne Sandburg play, nor Mo Riveria.

September 27, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

5-at-10, has there ever been consideration for putting together a high school basketball preview, similar to but not as extensive as the high school football preview? Each district could get a couple of pages, with rosters, returning leaders, and the like. It would take 25-30 pages.

September 27, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

LB —

We have had some discussions, but they die quickly because of a lack of general fan interest/advertising interest. Same with a potential college basketball preview section.

MT —

I will listen about Joe Morgan vs. Alomar, but while Robby may be a punk, dude's numbers are scary.

He and Pudge are the best defensive players ever at their position and here are the splits:

Morgan — .271 average, .392 OBP, 689 SB, 268 HR, 1,133 RBIs, 1650 Runs, 5 GGloves

Alomar — .300 average, .371 OBP, 210 HR, 1,134 RBIs, 474 SB, 1,508 Runs, 10 GGloves

Bench — .267 average, .342 OBP, .476 slugging, 389 HR, 1,376 RBIs, 10 Gold Gloves

Pudge — .296 average, .334 OBP, .464 slugging, 311 HR, 1,332 RBIs, 13 GGloves

September 27, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay,

Just an alternative possibility (regarding LB's idea). While the Mocs still generate an interest in 423, I don't see why during the start of the actual season the TFP doesn't do a 4-5 pages "expanded" sports section given the changes in both programs and at the Roundhouse. It could be done on a Sunday next to the normal sports section. Again, just a thought.

September 27, 2013 at 2 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Lane could be classified as a can't miss that missed, for sure.

We can work on an all-time Braves team.

JMC —

LB was discussing a prep basketball preview section, not college. Still, not sure there would be enough broad interest in either.

September 27, 2013 at 2:44 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Thursday=triple disappointment. Played miserably at Hawks Ridge(course was great and our forecaddy was from Metter of all places), Georgia Tech soiled the bassinette, and then my girl was not ... at work (never mind where she works. War Eagle).

Ok, 5, you know I despise the Yankees. But having pettitte and jeter come get mo was beyond cool. That's right out of the I didn't see that coming but how can you argue with it realm.

September 27, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay, no biggie. Just an idea was all.

September 27, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay-Thanks for the response. Been out of town most of the week(which is why I submitted the question on Sunday). Home tonight...resting. Underrated holidays? New years day because it's college football on steroids, St Patty's day and Cinco de Mayo (for obvious reasons related to adult beverages), and the day after Thanksgiving (not for shopping, but for football). Have a great weekend. Signal vs ND next weekend?

September 27, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.
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