published Friday, February 21st, 2014

5-at-10: Friday mailbag with binge watching, hurry-up offenses and a chat with Kanye and Elton

Thursday got crazy. So it goes in the march to March Madness that is filled with stuff and stuffed with filling.

Before we get too far along, to GratefulDawg, it was Quiet Riot; and Coach Richt was great on Press Row. And sir, you most definitely brought your A game on your boxing soliloquy. Well-played indeed.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we hear this place is restricted Wang so don't tell 'em you're Jewish. OK. Fine.

From Hoops Lover —

Some one recently suggested your blog to me and I like the way you interact with everyone. I'll be back.

I have noticed that you know your hoops even if you spend more time talking about college football.

So I'll ask you a basketball question that me and my friends have been kicking around this season — could Durant-James be a rivalry for the next decade like Bird-Magic or is James going to be like Jordan and have a series of rivals every couple of years?

Thanks and thanks for the 5-at-10.

Hoops —

We certainly hope Durant-James will be Bird-Magic for the next six-eight years. That would be awesome in its awesomeness.

  • photo
    United States basketball player Kevin Durant arrives to watch a women's beach volleyball match between USA and Austria.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

And we believe that model is more likely than the Jordan vs. the league because of the elite level at which Durant and James are operating and because, like the Celtics and Lakers — and even the Sixers, Rockets and Pistons — of the 1980s, elite players are going to be the top dog on elite teams. Durant and James are already there and that figures to continue in an NBA where stars align with other stars, and the AAU-ificiation of the league means there will be eight teams with a legit chance and everyone else will be the Hawks.

But, for the James-Durant rivalry to take the next step, Durant needs to win one. And soon. If Durant continues to put up monster numbers — he's the best shooting forward since Larry Legend and has a legit chance to go 50-40-90 in the shooting percentage categories and lead the league in scoring — without a title, he'll be more Gervin than Bird and fill the role of Alex English in the next generation rather than transcendental figure.

Pressed, we'd say yes, that James-Durant will be a great rivalry, but the next step belongs to the Servant, who along with his Thunder teammates got a first-hand look at King James last night. And for those of you scoring at home — or even if you are by yourself — James is now 31-of-45 for 75 points in his last two games. We said James was about to make a statement. Well, here it comes.

And for there to be a rivalry, when one great player makes a statement, the other answers. Durant dominated the first half of the season; James appears ready to answer.

Game on.

———

From Billy T.

Man, I have been reading the 5-at-10 for a while now and I have enjoyed it. I got to tell you that your radio show with Paschall is awesome. Seriously.

I heard you talking the other day about binge watching, and I am so in to it. I am caught up on Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. What was the other one you mentioned on the show and what would be the top 5 5-at-10 binge watching series out there.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Billy T —

Great question. Binge watching is great because in some ways it's like TV becomes a good book with chapters that unfold in front of you. And there are no commercials. Good times.

We did Breaking Bad over the summer — and the summer is the best time to binge watch — and we are midway through Game of Thrones now. Great stuff. Both of those would be on our overall list, but since you are asking and we know you have already watched those, we'll give you five more to watch.

1) The Wire. HBO did this five-part series and it's awesome. Period. This was the other one I mentioned on air.

2) Friday Night Lights. You can speed through the murder/cover-up stuff with Landry in season two — and know that Coach Taylor's team is going to win a lot of games on miraculous plays in the final seconds. But this series is more about life than football, which is kind of surprising to those of us who believe life is pretty much all about football.

3) Homeland. This one made us miss our bed time a few times.

4) Band of Brothers. Amazing stuff. in fact, we may re-binge this one this summer.

5) The Sopranos. You knew this would be here.

And this leaves off some of the shows we like on a weekly basis such as Southland, the new Dallas and The Blacklist. We DVR them on our time rather than binge watch.

Five we have heard great things about but can not vouch for (yet) — House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Lost (we may be the only TV fan out there that did not watch this), Justified and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

———

From JMC

What would be the over-under for how much of the entire population of Chattanooga (approx. 500,000) will be wanting tickets and if so how many will actually be wearing blue and gold and rooting for the Mocs? The other question being how much of an effect will this schedule will have on the opportunity to move into the post season?

JMC —

Great question, and let's take an all-too-early view of the Mocs football schedule for 2014.

We think the Mocs will be favored or a slight underdog in every game except the trips to Central Michigan and Tennessee, and we think Central Michigan is beatable.

So let's say they stumble one time we're not expecting, that looks to be 9-3 and a for sure postseason trip. Considering the following strengths — a big-boy defensive line returns with the reigning SoCon defensive player of the year; the quarterback is a year better and is the reigning SoCon offensive player of the year; schedule is easier — which seem solid regardless of the spring issues or preseason practice concerns.

Barring injury, the Mocs will be a playoff team in 2014, and we believe postseason football will return to Finley this fall. How's that for an all-too-early over-hyped prediction.

As for the Mocs trip to UT, well, the number of area folks looking for tickets would have been quite a bit larger last year, since this likely would have been the Vols' pay-per-view game. But with the arrival of the SEC Network and the change that all of the SEC teams' games will be on the tube, there will be that. Still, we'd set the number at 20,000 folks from the 423 will be Neyland for Mocs' Oct. 11 trip up I-75. We believe 5,000 of those will be cheering hard for the Mocs. We believe 5,000 of those will be cheering for the Vols. We believe the other half will have some shared loyalties with each, meaning they normally attend and pull for UT but also follow the Mocs with more than light interest.

Excellent question.

———

From Buschleague

Jay- I recently saw where Kevin Durant wants to drop the 'Slim Reaper' moniker and the more docile 'KD' and now be know as 'The Servant'.

Is it ok to come up with your own nickname and what's a Rushmore of sporting tags look like?

I always liked 'Donny Baseball' and 'The Shark', 'Tiger' surely (don't all me Shirley) belongs. What say you?

B-Leaguer —

Wow, great questions this week, and we'll open this up to the rest of the group.

We have done one of these before and there are a slew of categories and subsets that we could use. We strike those that rhyme — too easy. We strike those that are duplicated — if it's been done, it's been done, sorry King. We add value to universal acceptance and social relevance. Here's our Rushmore:

The Babe — Babe Ruth was the best and his nickname landed a candy bar and was part of the a great nickname for one of the best ballparks ever — the House that Ruth Built

Air Jordan — That's great on so many levels, like he was great on so many levels. It did not hurt that Nike exploded because of him and his nickname.

Sweetness — Walter Payton's nickname is so money. Money.

We are going to leave the last open. These are the iconic ones. Granted there are personal favorites like The Galloping Ghost or Cadillac or The Iron Horse or the Human Highlight Reel... man there are so many.

Thoughts?

———

From Old Guy

I listened to your radio show the other day and you guys were talking about the Swimsuit Issue.

There are a lot of things that have been toppled by technological advances, and I never knew how much the Swimsuit Issue is so part of that, you know? Man, I can remember being stoked that it was coming and making sure I got it first.

Now it does not even register. It's kind of sad you know? What is your Rushmore of things that technology has forever changed?

Thanks, and the radio show is outstanding -- Paschall knows the SEC front to back and I never know what you are going to say. It really works. Congrats.

Old Guy —

Thanks kind sir for reading, listening and for the kind words. This column and the radio show work because of the readers and listeners, we're just kind of the comical steward of such madness. And we're happy to drive.

Four things that technology has trumped, and yes, with skin readily available at every technological turn, the swimsuit issue has lost a lot of its pinnache.

A quick four — Movie rental places, records and tapes, maps and pay phones.

Books, magazines and newspapers have had to make monstrous adjustments and those steps and changes are still happening.

Thanks.

———

Chas9 (from a collection of Thursday's flurry)

If the Braves lineup card looks like this:

Heyward, J. Upton, Freeman, Gattis, Johnson, Simmons, Uggla, B.J. Upton

which are the weak links?

Is it time to let the ladies play with the big boy ball? How would the men's game be different if they used the small ball? If Sir Elton and Kanye meet up at Bonnaroo, what'll they say to each other. Jay, can you channel that conversation?

From the top.

That Braves lineup is OK, but 'U' know where the weak links are. When three guys of eight — each with a last name beginning with the last vowel — are likely going to combine for 600 strikeouts, well, that's a deal. It's a not a deal-breaker mind you, but it is a cause for pause for the cause.

No, the ladies ball is theirs, and they can keep it — in both directions. In fact, switching to a smaller ball would make the men's game much worse since shooting would be negatively affected for years. (One of the reasons Shaq was such a dreadful free-throw shooter was his hands were so big, which meant he was shooting a soccer ball, or even a softball.)

As for the conversation, well, as always, we're game.

Scene — Bonaroo announcements have just wrapped and (pretend) Sir Elton John and (pretend) Kanye West are leaving the news conference at the same time.

(pretend) Sir Elton John: So what exactly is it that you do Mr. West?

(pretend) Kanye West: I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice.'

(pretend) Sir Elton John: So you're a screamer?

(pretend) Kanye West: Dude. I'm the best. I'm the voice of my generation. I am a magician and a star and a creative genius.

(pretend) Sir Elton John: So you're like David Cooperfield? I love his work. But creative... that's an interesting term to describe magic. That's OK, I adore creativity.

(pretend) Kanye West: 'One of the problems with being a bubbling source of creativity - it's like I'm bubbling in a laboratory, and if you don't put a cap on it, at one point it will, like, break the glass. If I can hone that… then I have, like, nuclear power, like a superhero, like Cyclops when he puts his glasses on.'

(pretend) Sir Elton John: Do what? You have nuclear power... and when did Cyclops where glasses? Are you sure you are OK man good man? Do you need to take a break, maybe read a good novel.

(pretend) Kanye West: "Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.'

(pretend) Sir Elton John: Dear Lord. Do we need to call security? Are you a fan or one of those internet crazies?

(pretend) Kanye West: 'I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay Z was allowed to become Jay Z.'

(pretend) Sir Elton John: Oh my. Your seeing a whole team of therapists aren't you?

(pretend) Kanye West: I am a star. I am the chosen one.

(pretend) Sir Elton John: Great. I thought that. And remember when stars collide like you and I, no shadow blocks the sun.

(pretend) Kanye West: I am Kanye "M F West.

(pretend) Sir Elton John: Well Goodbye Kanye West

From the young man in the 22nd row

Who sees you as something more than nonsensical

More than just another male megalomaniac”

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...

Wow! Awesome conversation. Loved Mr. John's aplomb. I have an Atlanta friend who has seen the benighted one out and about and apparently he doesn't wear the outrageous glittery glasses when he dashes into the Kangaroo store for jerky and tic-tacs.

Tarheels are surging.

CBS's Eye on College Basketball today lists 15 coaches on the hottest. Among them are Travis Ford and Chocolate Thunder. (An awesome nickname, along with The Rifleman, Pillsbury Throwboy, and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.)

SEC coaches listed are Barbee, Fox, Grant and Martin. I can't agree with Fox. They predict Cuonzo and Grant will survive. Sorry, Volsfan. Do the math: Pearl to The Loveliest Village on The Plain?

How can Jerry Palm's brackets have both Tennessee and Mizzou 11 seeds when the RPI has The Vols #51 and The Tigers #37? Stupid RPI. I think the two teams are about even, with UT a slight favorite.

The balls question is just a thought exercise. Seems to me we'd see more passing with a small ball, which could be fun, but I don't want to change. But I am curious whether the XX game could use a slightly bigger sphere.

February 21, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.
chas9 said...

The combine says Johnny Paycheck is under six feet tall. I thought so, but he'd been listed as six-foot-two. But he has a big heart, biggest hands in camp, and size 15 feet. How would the NFL change if they used a nerf ball?

February 21, 2014 at 10:51 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.]

This made me laugh out loud. Kind of reminds me of Chris Rock's suggestion on where to hide your spare cash and why.

With the extra money game on the football schedule, plus playing 2 good OVC teams, I'm not sure the schedule this year is easier than the one last year. I would say it's about the same or tougher overall. The offense will be good, but the D has some holes to fill. Overall, I don't think we'll be much better this year than last year. I'm hoping for more wins though and fewer excuses from Mr. Huesman.

February 21, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, I'm of the opinion across the board sports nicknames these days are few and have no where near the impact such monikers had in the past.

On the PGA Tour, there were "The Hawk," Ben Hogan; "Slammin' Sammy Snead" "The Golden Bear;" "The Black Knight," Gary Player; "The Merry Mex," Lee Travino to name a few. "Tiger" is the strongest brand running today. Are there any other present day worth noting?

What stronger moniker was there ever than "The Intimidator?"

February 21, 2014 at 11:56 a.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Jay, I was able to catch Coach Richt's interview on Press Row yesterday. Good job by both you and Paschall. Richt is tailor made for family friendly radio. G.A.T.A. now stands for get after them aggressively. That's not how Erk told it, but it works.

And if Claude Felton is the "Claudefather", what moniker would have been befitting of Dan Magill? Perhaps something like Supreme Allied Commander of The Bulldog Nation.

February 21, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

what was that last night from the Mocs? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Eagles won. But if you're the Mocs, don't have you to beat a team like Southern? At home?

February 21, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
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