Gang, thanks for another great week and for playing along.
From the "Talks too much" studios, believe in yourself and prove that belief to be well-invested. Or, as Dr. Kasem/Shaggy told us, "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."
From Red Rider
Now that the win streak is over and Davidson thumped your golden boy, will you please stop acting like Will Wade is John Wooden.
It's the same for a lot of new coaches -- a new face and approach help and the new guy gets credit even though he took over a program that had been to two NCAA tournaments in recent years and obviously had some talent on the roster.
To go on and on and on on how coach Wade is some kind of miracle worker shows how little you know about building a college basketball program.
I'm sure you won't print this in your little mailbag for all your loving fans to read, but it's time to move on.
Red Rider —
Thanks for the letter and the feedback. We are always willing to interact in debate, and more times than not, the most entertaining and informative discussions are those that have opposite points and passions.
In fact, the governmental fall-out in this country in a lot of ways can be traced to the loss of heated debate. Today, sadly, our leaders far too often yell without listening and dismiss without understanding, striking an argument or idea not on its merit but from the color of the party from which it generated.
Good idea or bad idea does not matter as much as red idea or blue idea. And that's sad.
So we are happy to have this discussion, and we will have it praising the merits of Coach Wade without discussing the previous regime because there is no need to make comparisons.
We have been on the Wade Wagon from the start because of the way Coach Wade discusses the game. His knowledge about the game in general and what he wants to accomplish in particular is evident and impressive. It was also apparent from the first time we spoke with him.
As for Wade the coach, well, he is young but the shortcomings of that have been more than met and compensated by his energy. And that energy has been infectious — to the team, the program and the community. Maybe that would have happened in some measure because of the new coach, regardless of whom UTC hired, but we believe the level to which the energy has crested and the quickness with which it has risen is because of Wade the coach and Wade the person.
And remember this, he has maximized the talent that was left and has meshed it into a SoCon-leading group despite not having the pieces to run his desired sets. That friends is coaching at a graduate level.
Anyone can have success in perfect conditions. Winning in an ideal setting could be described as being good, or it could simply be good fortune. Having success in random scenarios is the mark of skill and having high-level success in what can be viewed as unknown and less-than-desireable circumstances is talent. Period.
Davidson spanked the hot-shot Mocs. It was bound to happen at some point, considering so many things went right for a glorious month that when they turned, they were going to roll downhill quickly. It happens and you move on.
In truth, this is another chance to witness and watch Wade as the leader of the program, because as we discussed earlier, having success in easy settings is fine. Having success amid adversity is finding talent.
In that regard, how Wade manages this moment — his demeanor, his focus on the next step rather than the previous misstep while still learning from the stumble that was the Davidson debacle — will be telling. And we expect him to clear this hurdle as easily as the previous ones put before him.
Think back to the high-water days of Coach Mac when the Mocs were rolling. Coach Mac was great in the moment and over the long haul. He managed the game and knew each game was only a brief stop on the season-long journey of improvement.
We see that in Coach Wade, his pursuit of playing well is not measured by scores in January or a collapse in Charlotte.
You're right, the 5-at-10 knows very little about building a college basketball program. But we do know something about recognizing someone who has the skills to craft a successful college basketball program, and we see it almost every way in Will Wade.
Again, thanks for the question and for reading the 5-at-10. Did you want to submit an entry for the prop bet contest Red Rider? (Love your B.B. guns by the way.)
From Big Sid
Jay -- I started reading your column after listening to you and David on Press Row. You guys have a great radio show by the way. I listen everday, keep up the good work.
I am going to send you my entry for your contest, but I was wondering who you like in the Super Bowl?
Thanks and thanks for all you do.
Big Sid —
Thanks for the kind words and for reading and listening. We are still learning at the radio stuff — and at the writing stuff for that matter — but it's a lot of fun and we owe a lot of thanks to David Paschall and Wells Guthrie and all the callers for making it as much fun as it is. Good times.
As for the Super Bowl, well, we started the week liking the Seahawks for a variety of reasons, and most notably because their defense is like better version of the Chargers group that flummoxed the Broncos in December.
But the closer we get to the game, the more we believe there is no way Peyton Manning is going to let this moment escape. We'll go Denver 24-20.
And here is the reminder of the Super Bowl contest —
Here are the Prop Bets for the unofficial Eugene Robinson Super Bowl Proposition Bets contest:
Guide — If it's an over/under that means you have to pick whether you think the final number will be above or below (over/under) the number Vegas set:
• Peyton Manning over/under passing yards at 289 yards.
• Renee Fleming, the opera lady singing the national anthem, has an over/under of 2 minutes and 25 seconds to sing the pregame song.
• The over/under on the longest touchdown in the game is 44 yards.
• LeBron James' total points (Saturday vs. the Knicks) is minus-5.5 over Seahawks total points
• Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during the performance?
• Player who scores the first touchdown will have a jersey number above or below 79.5?
• Denver minus-3 over Seattle
TIE-BREAKER: Total points scored in the game (with Price is Right rules in effect so do not go over)
I'm a Colorado girl so like any Bronco fanatic this week is crazy! Just curious, when your not covering/working an event what is your favorite place in Chattanooga to take in a big game?
Also what's your favorite Super Bowl moment?
Thanks for the question and for reading the 5-at-10.
We used to spend more than a fair share of time — and a fair share of our paycheck — at CBC downtown. Good times.
We also can recommend any of the wing places because after all that's what they are designed for, and we'd find ourselves at Taco Mac more times than not. Two in the metro-Atlanta area we had fond memories of are T.J.'s in Roswell and Doc's in Smyrna. Moment of silence. That will do.
As for our Rushmore of favorite Super Bowl moments, great question. Here we go (in no particular order):
1) Drew Brees holding his son amid the confetti after the Saints won a few years ago. Could help but think, "Wow, now that's a moment you'll never forget."
2) David Tyree's catch and that final Giants drive to beat the Pats. Amazing.
3) U2 signing "Streets With No Name" at halftime of the 2002 Super Bowl as the names of the 9/11 victims were scrolled on the screen. Powerful.
4) The wardrobe malfunction.
And yes, two of those are halftime shows, which is a testament to how big the Super Bowl has become.
What basketball coaches make your final four in talking, and who are your four most snooze-worthy?
We appreciate guys that answer good questions with thought and and purpose. Phil Mickelson is one of the best in all of sports at this. Seriously.
As for basketball coaches, well, more times than not they are about delivering a message rather than answering a question. Some of the younger or lower-profile guys are much better interviews than big-time guys for that reason.
Final Four of guys that are/seem to be good interviews (we have to make assumptions on a couple of these by what we see and hear)
— Jim Boeheim
— Tony Ingle (coached at Kennesaw State and may be at Dalton now, but is a great guy)
— Billy Donovan
— Coach Mac in his day
Side note: We really like speaking with Will Wade as well and every time we saw Bobby Cremins away from the basketball court we had a blast.
The other Final Four
— John Calipari
— Nolan Richardson back in the day
— Jim Harrick
— Buzz Peterson
And Cuonzo Martin is a cliche machine but one of the five nicest, classiest guys in college hoops.
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 ...