published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

5-at-10: Sherman marches on, baseball business, Sports Movies Elite 8, Rushmore of comedians

We have one word for you cats: Mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's share some knowledge.

College hoops

Now that the Cuonzo dance-off has slowed to a crawl, let's take a breath and look at the final four teams left in the NCAA tournament.

We have the preseason favorite in Kentucky, which has blended its talent with a late-season want to that only Les Miles could truly appreciate. This bunch is certainly good enough to blow through Dallas, especially since the cavernous Jerry World building is not particularly kind to shooters and UK has the athletes to score in a variety of ways.

We have the pretournament favorite in Florida, which was our pick to win the whole thing. (If the Gators finish the drill, the TFP sports editor will win the TFP office pool. Go Gators. For Entertainment Purposes Only.)

We have Wisconsin and UConn, teams peaking at the proper time.

Fun times to be sure. Who you got and why? Predictions anyone?

Talking smack and making sense

Richard Sherman has become the voice of his generation.

Like it or not, the dreadlocked, superstar cornerback made national news with his postgame rants after his Seattle Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl. He was called a thug and a punk and worse. Then the nation learned that this boisterous kid from Compton had a Stanford degree — which he got in three years while maintaining a 3.9 GPA — and some begane listening to his message instead of focusing on the volume.

Sherman is at it again.

On his regular column on the outstanding MMQB.com, Sherman posed several fair questions about DeSean Jackson's break-up with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been relatively quiet about the deal. There were media reports that Jackson had 'gang-ties' growing up near Sherman outside of L.A.

Sherman fairly asks why did the Eagles offer counseling to Riley Cooper after his famous 'I'll fight every [N-word] here' tirade at a concert last year and then resign Cooper, "who, if he's not a racist, at least has "ties" to racist activity" as Sherman wrote.

He went further. He asked why the media response for Jim Irsay, the Colts owner who was recently arrested for alleged DUI and charged with felony possession of a lot of prescription drugs. Here's Sherman's writing: "Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had "ties" to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote."

It was well-crafted and fair, and Sherman did it without playing the famous card and still had a race conversation.

And he yet again proved the ever-valid point that it's the message not the volume that carries the true weight.

———

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson (23) gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a home run off Milwaukee Brewers' Matt Garza during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Milwaukee.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Baseball swings and misses

Your Atlanta Braves have won two in a row. They are on pace to finish 108-54, which would be pretty awesome.

Sadly, Danny Struggla is on pace to hit .182, which should be somewhat expected. So it goes.

With Wednesday's 1-0 win the spring concerns about the starting pitching were answered early with an impressive and emphatic "Shut Up" considering in three games, Braves starting pitchers have allowed have allowed three runs in 19.2 innings. And that's without potential No. 1 starter Ervin Santana taking the mound. Good times.

That said, the 'U' trio continues to struggle. Uggla (.182) and the brothers Upton (.091 and .083) have limed out of the gate. But winning is winning, no matter how it happens.

Around the diamond:

— Rick Honeycutt, the former area baseball legend and current L.A. Dodgers pitching coach, had some candid words about the MLB plan to open the season in Australia, even blaming some of the early injuries the Dodgers pitchers have suffered on the idea. Honeycutt said the entire plan was not very well though out and if it costs the Dodgers a month without Clayton Kershaw, who is on the DL with a bad back, well, Honeycutt is right.

— There were five walk-offs Wednesday. Five. Not surprisingly the Cubs have been walked-off on twice. Which leads us to two questions: One, is 'walked-off' the proper verb there? And, two, are the Cubs the sports version of the duck-billed platypus, nature's self-pleasing little joke of irony and downtroddeness?

— Big Papi is getting grief for a selfie he took with President Obama. Yes, David Ortiz had a promotional deal with Samsung, but c'mon gang. Let's lighten up a touch, huh? Side note: Big Papi may be the best teammate in all of professional sports.

— We are three games into the season and the early returns on replay are less than good. Delays are growing. One umpiring crew did not allow Padres manager Bud Black to ask for a review because of pace of play. Yes, it's early and we all should have expected kinks, but this is not a smooth start.

———

This and that

  • photo
    Golfer Rheagan Hall
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
    enlarge photo

— Here are the Elite Eight matchups of the sports movie madness bracket we are doing on Press Row. We want you to vote on these too. Whatcha' got?

(1) Hoosiers vs. (2) Caddyshack

(1) Brian's Song vs. (2) The Natural

(1) Rocky vs. (3) Field of Dreams

(1) Bull Durham vs. (2) The Longest Yard

This will be a topic on the show today for sure. Input, as always, is welcomed.

Fun story from TFP golf ace David Uchiyama about Cleveland middle schooler Rheagan Hall and her Augusta dreams. Loved here quote about her game plan: "My game plan is to kick butt."

— The San Antonio Spurs have won 19 in a row. In the free agent era is there a better run franchise/bigger dynasty than the Spurs? Yes, the Yankees had a decade-plus run of playoff trips but they money-whipped everyone. The Spurs have excellent pieces, arguably the best coach in all of pro sports and one of the most underrated Hall of Famers ever. And they keep right on moving on.

— The Miami Heat have a slight edge for home-court advantage in the East and kept pace with the Pacers on Wednesday with a cakewalk win over Milwaukee. And if you think homecourt is not important to Indiana, know they are 34-5 at home and 19-18 on the road.

— Another NBA note, Danny Ferry, the Atlanta Hawks GM said the final East playoff spot is not the team's goal. The Hawks are 7-21 since early February and are now in the draft lottery. The NBA has a tanking problem, and the biggest hurdle to stopping it is that tanking makes sense. If you are the Hawks, would you rather get the No. 8 seed, get steamrolled by the Heat and get the No. 15 pick in the draft? Or would you rather have a chance to put a ping-pong ball in the lottery and turn it into a potential franchise changer like Andrew Wiggins?

— Jadeveon Clowney showed out at his pro day. That is all. Dude showed he could cover receivers too. Next will be the drill in which he leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Well, that is if he's motivated or not.

————

Today's question

Eddie Murphy turns 53 today, and for our money and our time frame, Murphy is on the Rushmore of funniest people ever, and his old-school stand-up — think Delirious and Raw — were over the top. Murphy parlayed that into a Hall of Fame movie career — dude had some duds for sure, but Beverly Hills Cop I and II, Trading Places, 48 Hours, Coming to America, the Shrek voices comprise a Hall of Fame catalog that has few rivals.

Who's your Rushmore of comedians?

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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chas9 said...

Fiver opens today's show with a word for us "Cats." Are we all UK fans going into the final weekend? Does it help that Kentucky starts three Texans for the games in Texas?

GD--Saw your post yesterday too late to respond. Yes, the Stoops Maker's Mark bottle is cool, but what I want to know is whether it hurts the value of your collectible if you drink its contents.

Since Louisville has a contract with the Yum Center, KFC may put the kibosh on the Petrino Red Lobster deal. But if you get aholt of one of those bibs before they confiscate 'em, I'd like to have one.

This I do know: Saturday's late game pairs up the state that drinks the most beer with the state that makes the best bourbon. I tried beer aged in bourbon barrels and cannot recommend it.

LL Cool J and I pick UK to win it all. And the ladies love Cool J and me.

News is Willie's armadillo came back on the same day BWill8 showed up on the 5@10. Coincidence?

Former great dad Boomer has stepped in it, saying if a player's wife is due around opening day, she should schedule a C-section so her husband doesn't have to miss his opening day game. Question for Friday: What would be the conversation between Jay and Mrs. Jay if he suggested such a thing?

Enjoyed Weeds' tribute to good guy Ron Bishop in todays's paper.

Jerry Palm asks "What if we let a computer select the NCAA Tournament field?"

KenPom's computer would've seeded Tennessee a mind-blowing #3, but UT victim #6 UMass would not have made the dance. KenPom and RPI would have had Kentucky a #5 seed.

Sagarin also leaves out UMass, puts UK a #5, and has UT a #7.

My nephew grew up near Sherman, Texas, without any gang ties, that I know of. Walking the fine line of this discussion is tricky. My compliments to Richard and Jay.

When Santana takes the mound, will the baseball park organist play Evil Ways or Black Magic Woman?

April 3, 2014 at 10:23 a.m.
MocTastic said...

As JoMo11 was telling me, with the Univ of Houston hiring Kelvin " Five Years Show Cause" Sampson maybe Houston and Auburn should schedule an annual Show Cause Classic.

JG, with respect to Uggla and the Uptons for that matter, three games means nothing as I know you know. As a matter of fact, Uggla was hitting well over .200 going into tomorrow. Given there were only a total of five hits in the game by both teams and there was a double no-no into the seventh innning, nobody was hitting yesterday.

Chas9, how about Smooth?

April 3, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.
jomo11 said...

For your Friday mailbag - Jadevon Clowney is that rare breed that goes from being the #1 High School prospect to being the #1 NFL prospect. What other athletes can you put in that category ? Bryce Harper comes to mind, but so do so many other top High Schoolers who FAIL to be the best in the big-leagues, after high school hype i.e. UTK's Bryce Brown, Ohio State's Gerg Oden, Miss St. Renardo Sidney was a #1 High School b-baller. . . .give us some others on both ends of the spectrum

April 3, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Well-played sir. Golf claps for everyone.

Ron Bishop is aces with us and Weeds did right by him.

We had some great 11th hour posts Wednesday from GD and a new comer. Stewwie also was excellent and we'll use that in the mailbag.

MT —

Love the Show-Cause Classic. We could play it in Indy so Sampson and Pearl can swing by NCAA HQ and check in with their probation officers.

And yes, three games means nothing. And everything. It's all ball bearings nowadays.

We're charting the stinkiness that is Struggla from start to finish — and we've set the over/under at .210.

Jomo —

You're in. Thanks.

April 3, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Phillies almost had a sweep last night. Then my friend Jeff (not Styles) posted a Facebook Message of the come-from-behind at the bottom of the ninth.

Anyway, picked up a DMN and the front page has an expose looking into the ramafacations of the one and done rule. Interesting read. I'll have that mailed out to you sometime tomorrow or Saturday.

April 3, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

(1) Hoosiers vs. (2) Caddyshack - Touch choice but have to defer to the American Film Institute...Caddyshack is ranked #7 sports movie and Hoosiers #4....HOOSIERS

(1) Brian's Song vs. (2) The Natural - Sonny Corleone vs Robert Redford????...BRIAN'S SONG

(1) Rocky vs. (3) Field of Dreams - NO BRAINER!!!! ROCKY

(1) Bull Durham vs. (2) The Longest Yard - The nod goes to AFI's #5 sports movie of all time...BULL DURHAM

As a stand up Eddie Murphy was good, but no Richard Pryor...but not in the rushmore of comedians

Comedy Rushmore...Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Don Knotts, and drumroll please Jackie Gleason...Stand up Comedy Rushmore is Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin

April 3, 2014 at 10:57 a.m.
BWill8 said...

Chas -- Mrs BWill8 and I have a new baby. Sleep deprivation is a bizarre state. With that said, I can neither confirm nor deny any involvement in the armadillo shenanigans. However, Mrs BWill8 is from the Great State and a proud UTx grad with a thing for Willie. I'll investigate further on this...

April 3, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, the Spurs run is impressive, however, playing the Lakers for 19 straight games diminishes it a bit.

"Entertainment Purposes Only" (EPO not to be confused with EVO)? Once upon a time at a mountain top Rock and Country Club, the difference of opinion concerning a sporting event or an attempt to discover the better card player was expressed in "units." How many "units" of EPO you got on riding on the Gators, 10 Ring?

Mount Rushmore of Comedians...

Eddie Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison, Jack Benny

April 3, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

Looking forward to the next dispatch from the Dallas-satellite branch of the 5-at-10.

OG —

Thanks for the vote, and the seeding committee appreciates the support.

As much as we loved Barney, that's HIGH praise for Mr. Knotts. Wow.

BWill8 —

Much congrats, and yes there is nothing in any of the handbooks about the lack of sleep that cute babies bring to their parents.

Current parent: "It will change your life." Translation — you will not sleep through the night for a decade and then you won't sleep at all for another decade.

Expectant parent: "I know, everyone says that. We're ready." Translation — I know nothing and have ignored what everyone is saying because I believe I'm ready when in fact I have no idea what's about to happen to my world.

Sound about right. At least that's how it happened for us seven years ago this September.

And the Mrs. BWill8 is welcome around these parts anytime — we speak Willie fluently.

FE to the C —

Nice.

Let's just say if the Gators finish the drill we'd turn a 5 entertainment investment into 155 entertainments, which would be a nice start for souvenir shopping at Augusta National next week.

Nice Rushmore — Kinison was great.

April 3, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.
chas9 said...

Smooth is, well, smooth.

BWill--Are your exes from Texas, too? And did you ask your Mrs. to have a C-section for your convenience?

OG knows his comedians, and I will not argue, but Murphy was great on the screen (which is a different thing).

I'll go Caddyshack, The Natural, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham.

Looks like an all-SEC championship, what the chicken AU coach said he'd like. Wisconsin has a weak bench, and weak transition game, both of which work to UK's advantage. The Badger strengths, big man Kaminsky and their three point shooting, UK has shown it can handle.

April 3, 2014 at 12:56 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - Mrs. Sportsfan and I have been watching clips of old Tonight Show interviews with Johnny Carson on TCM on Monday evenings. It's a great show hosted by Conan O'Brien. I just saw that David Letterman, Johnny's original heir apparent, is retiring next year. For the mailbag, what's your Rushmore of late night talk show hosts and guests. Still can't get my schedule to match your show on 105.1 but I understand it's great. Maybe I'll call in sick next week and listen in or even call in and ask a silly question. I can't collect any more points in my bracket. I got no one left in the final four. Stupid bracket contest...

April 3, 2014 at 8:07 p.m.
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