published Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

5-at-10: God Bless America, home of the Braves — and Tom Cruise

Speeding into the holiday weekend, we have a spot or two open in the mailbag. Whatcha got?

From the "Talks too much" studios,

U-S-A! U-S-A!

In the post-World Cup soccer breakdown, we think the USMNT has a chance to be big stars in our national's public eye. Now there's bellyaching and turmoil and Landon Donovan taking verbal jabs at Jurgen, Jurgen, Jurgen. Bitter much, Landon.

  • photo
    A crowd watches from Miller Plaza as Belgium defeats the United States in their World Cup soccer match in overtime Tuesday.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
    enlarge photo

That said, this renewed Patriotic view comes at perfect time. Tomorrow is July 4th, the day we celebrate our independence. Tomorrow we'll have the mailbag, so we'll get to this today.

Thanks to everyone who has served our nation. We owe you and those that sacrificed with you our freedom.

Thanks to everyone who reads the paper and these F-O-I-B ramblings. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are backbones of this nation.

Thanks to everyone who offers different views and is willing to exchange different opinions. The lost art of polite discourse and listening and debating make all of us more informed and enlightened.

We have much to be thankful for in this great land.

What's your Rushmore of 'Murica — be it sports, hot dogs, whatever?



Braves blistering

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) and teammate B.J. Upton celebrate after a baseball game against the New York Mets in Atlanta on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Johnson drove in three runs to help Atlanta to a 3-1 victory.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Your Atlanta Braves have a season-best seven-game winning streak. Very good times. Let's review.

The Good: Julio Teheran is a legit ace. Dude has been money all year, save two road starts. We said on Press Row in the lastw eek or so that Teheran was having an All-Star year even if he likely was not going to make the All-Star team. We were 100 percent wrong. If Teheran doesn't make the NL All-Stars, then someone needs to have their head examined. Dude, is 8-5 (meaningless stat for a pitcher) with a 2.29 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHiP. He has made 18 starts, 16 of which were designated as quality starts (six or more innings, three earned runs or fewer), and allowed more than a third of the total earned runs he's allowed all year in those two outliers (one of which was at the homerdome known as Coors Field). Dude is an ace.

The bad: Other than one big swing by Chris Johnson, Teheran could have again suffered a tough-luck beating. Johnson's three-run, two-out double in the first was all the offense the Braves mustered in a 3-1 win.

The Uggla: Dan Uggla did not play and remains at .163 for the season. Since April 22 — Happy Earth Day — Uggla has five singles in 57 at-bats and 21 Ks. Wow. You want a different ugly, how about this team's fundamentals. Needing a sacrifice, the Braves called Jordan Schafer pinch-hit for Teheran in the seventh and failed to advance the runner. Man, this team struggles to manufacture runs.


This slow

The sports world is this slow right now: Other than any NBA free agency news, the top story on the ticker this morning was a ruling that a Saints player was a tight end.

Read that again, and as long as you patronize our sponsors, feel free to unplug from the sports world for a while.


  • photo
    New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) prepares to stop Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud (28) during the second half of an NFL football game.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

And then after reading this, we got interested. Follow along.

Third-party arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled that for franchise-tag purposes New Orleans tight end Jimm Graham was a tight end. Unable to agree on an extension, the Saints put the franchise tag on Graham, who then would receive a one-year deal worth the averge salay of the three highest-paid players at his position.

The average top three at tight end is about $5 million less than the average of the top three wide outs.

So naturally Graham, who lined up out wide or in the slot in almost 2/3s of his plays last year wants to be viewed a wide out. Burbank viewed otherwise, and looking into Mr. Burbank's credentials, well, he's smarter than most. Dude graduated first in his class at Harvard law and clerked for several recognizable names this side of Judge Wapner.

He has written three books — including the un-Clancy-like Rule 11 in Transition: The Report of the Third Circuit Task Force on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 (not exactly a page-turner with intrigue and cock-eyed optimism) — and has taught law at Penn, Harvard and Michigan and in Italy and Germany.

Interesting, no? (Yes, it's still a really slow time in sports.)


This and that

  • photo
    Chattanoogan Ryan Martin, right, boxes Devon Adams, left, from Larose, La., during the USA Regional Boxing Championship at the First Tennessee Pavilion in Chattanooga.
    Photo by Staff File Photo.
    enlarge photo

— Much congrats to Ryan Martin, the former Chattanooga kid known as Blue Chip, who moved to 7-0 in his pro boxing career with a win Wednesday night. Well done sir.

— The NCAA v. O'Bannon case is in the final stages before the judge starts deliberating as each side is making post-trial filings. Here's an update, and know this: The attorneys for O'Bannon et al. made an entire part of their 25-page report to the judge about how much Mark Emmert and Jim Delany among others stated their case when they testified for the NCAA.


Today's question

  • photo
    This film publicity image released by Universal Pictures shows Tom Cruise, left, and Morgan Freeman in a scene from "Oblivion."
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

As always feel free to offer a view on any of the above. And we're doing the mailbag this evening, so send them in as soon as possible.

We have been big into birthdays and days of particular interest lately, especially this week considering Thomas Jefferson fittingly died on the Fourth of July. (EDITTED Thanks to Stewwie. War Stewwie.)

Today — July 3 — offers us at least two interersting Rushmores.

Today, Tom Cruise turns 52. He's pretty famous. You know this. What's our Rushmore of Tom?

Today, Yeardley Smith is 50 today. She's famous, but not the household name that Cruise is. Smith is the voice of Lisa Simpson. What is the Rushmore of cartoon characters? And yes, that's a tough one.

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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MocTastic said...

I see that JoMo11 can now come out of retirement and showcase his McCallie kickball skills he has bragged on here. While not having the talent to play soccer, we hear that JoMo11 ruled the kickball court while growing up.

July 3, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Thomas Jefferson was not born on July 4. He died on a July 4 though (in 1826). John Adams also died that exact same day.

Last month, you said, "...we're not sold on whether Kaepernick will ever be a top-10 QB in this league." My response then to that is below. Can you answer this in the mailbag?

[Kaep is getting a deal much higher than what I think he's worth. But I do think he's a top 10 QB right now. Who are your top 10 and where does Kaep fall? Top 15 at least?

My top 10 (in no order) are Peyton, Eli, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Kaep, Wilson, Big Ben, Luck, and Flacco. Next 5 are Newton, Stafford, Romo, Rivers, and Ryan.]

Thanks and have a great 4th.

July 3, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Yeah, but how good is Graham with Napoleonic Code? My summer reading last year turned into a fall and winter endeavor with "Rule 11 in Transition: The Report of the Third Circuit Task Force on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure." Had to take that toom over sand and anywhere else in a borrowed ATV.

Cartoon Characters all from Warner's: Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote.

Did anyone happen to catch National Lampoon the case of Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius v. the Acme Corporation back in '81? Hilarious.

July 3, 2014 at 11:27 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Concerning that guy who made the Graham, Burbank, ruling, you wrote: "and has taught law at Penn, Harvard and Michigan and in Italy and Germany." Given all those jobs sounds like he is incompetent given he can't seem to keep a job for long.

July 3, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Tom "sofajumper" Cruise is not close on the rushmore of famous Tom's

Tom of Tom and Jerry, Tom Poston, Tom Jones, and Tom Petty

Cartoon characters

Homer Simpson, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, and Fred Flintstone

July 3, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Solid list of cartoon characters. We'd go Homer for sure. Hard to keep Bugs and Mickey off there. Love Fred. Scooby too. Tough Rushmore.

As for Toms, while we love the Tom (of Jerry fame) and Poston, we'll start with Tom Hanks, Tom Brady, Tom Selleck's mustache and one more.

MT —

Dude has had some gigs for sure.

Foghorn is money. And we love Droopy Dog too.

And we had to get that kickball story out there before we were scooped by Obscure Sports Quarterly or it was picked up by The Ocho.

Stewwie —

Thanks for the tip. TKJ's info has been updated and credit has been bestowed.

July 3, 2014 at 12:45 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Ryan Martin looked good last night. He picked his spots and was a sharpshooter with his shots. He is technically sound for a young guy. His performance left Teddy Atlas singing his praises and that bodes well for more television appearances in the future. And as a source of local pride, Ryan Martin will always list his hometown as Chattanooga regardless of where he is currently training. Martin has a bright future ahead of him.

As for the Rushmore of America on this holiday week...Where to start? Beautiful women. College football. A diversity of people, places, and cultures like no other country in the world. Thousands of miles of backroads where a fella can crank up some good music and just drive until he gets his head straight. A legal foundation that was written in such a way that it protects the smallest of minorities, the minority of one. A spirit of individuality and non-conformity that is ingrained into our national character. And on, and on. For all of the problems we have in this country, this is a great time to celebrate all that is right with the good ol' U.S. of A.

I hope you all have a great Fourth of July.

July 3, 2014 at 2:46 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay-left the office at 5:15 to start the holiday weekend. Heard the last 45 mins of Press Row but had to deal with a couple final calls on the way to the hacienda. I can't believe Risky Business didn't make the Rushmore list. For your consideration: All the Right Moves was made by Lea Thompson (not Cruise) A Few Good Men was made by Nicholson Rainman was made by Hoffman Top gun was made by Kelly McGillis

So, I submit that Tom Cruise is a decent supporting actor. Not necessarily deserving of a Rushmore That's about it.

July 3, 2014 at 7:38 p.m.
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