published Friday, May 2nd, 2014

5-at-10: Friday mailbag or athletic success, Sterling, Winston and draft

Great week gang — as usual. Great questions today — as usual. Great answers? Well, you be the judge.

From the "Talks too much" studios, if you believe in Magic do you hate Bird?

From T.S.

Jay -- I had to buy a paper to get your email, but I had to write to you about Press Row. I just moved here from Atlanta in the last six months I missed the sports talk radio from down there. Then I started listening to Press Row, and you guys are awesome. I sat in my car for the last three segments yesterday to see if you could make all the way through with a crab leg joke. And I'm not sure why I was surprised you made it but I was.

The show is great. Here's my question: Where do you guys come up with the Rushmore -- movie theme songs was a lot of fun to listen to -- andwhat are you guys got in the plans down the road?

Thanks and keep up the good work.

TS —

Thanks for the kind words and for listening along.

It has been a ton of fun, and we know we speak for Paschall, that the reason this has been as much as it has been is the interaction with the callers.

As for the three-hour heckle fish about Jameis Winston's five-claw discount and how shellfish an act it was, well, thanks for listening in, and remember, buttering people up will always serve you well.

The Rushmores actually started here at the 5-at-10 and have crossed over to the radio show. We're sure some people have been doing similar things before, but it felt like fun and it has been.

We try to tie them into something that is topical du jour (that sounds good, we'll have that) and Thursday was Ray Parker Jr's birthday so we went with movie theme songs since RP Jr. did Ghostbusters. It was a laugh-filled hour that felt like a lot of fun.

As for down the road, well, we're going to cross over next week with our draft contest. We are kicking around some summer fun stuff and we'll make a promise that if this thing is still rolling along, that football season will be awesome in its awesomeness.

Deal? Deal.

———

From sportsfan

Jay - for the mailbag. I'm getting a little nostalgic. Please bare with me on the query. Sportsfan Jr is off at the University and Little Miss Sportsfan is graduating high school in a few weeks and headed to the University. Both are much better athletes than Sportsfan and Mrs. Sportsfan. In the case of elite athletes (Tiger, MJ, Peyton, many others) is it natural talent, hovering parents, coaching, fear of losing, or something else that gives the athlete that "step on their necks drive" to be the best? We never pushed our kids to excel in athletics. We wanted them to enjoy themselves, but still they worked hard, did well, and experienced success along with disappointment. Neither will continue their athletic career at the University, and we're ok with that. I don't see the next Tiger on tour, yet. The guys I thought might be the next Tiger don't seem to have the same drive to win, or ability to maintain their game at the highest level. Is it in an athlete's genes, coaching, parents, fear, big money for winning, or something else that drives a kid to excel at the highest level in athletics? Enjoy the 5 at 10.

Sportsfan —

We are at the other end of the sports spectrum, and enjoying every minute of our son's 6-year-old baseball team and his teammates and our almost nightly trips to the ball park. Good times, and we know we'll blink and we'll be where you are today.

Still, enjoy and treasure the good times.

As for preparation and purpose — and we shared you letter with co-worker Barry Courter, who writes a youth sports column with the block-headed TFP sports editor — we do not believe it to be universal. In fact, we believe there to be a high-level mix of the qualities that you mentioned.

We believe the hovering parents element you mentioned almost never plays into athletic success over the long-term (Tiger is the outlier here because his father was over the top, and he made it, but he's one of the few that was pushed/forced from an early age, and that success is more because of the God-given gifts Tiger has than anything Earl did).

It has to start with an extreme level of talent. There are hundreds of thousands of good athletes out there. The divide between pro athletes and college athletes is every bit as pronounced and as extreme as the divide between high school athletes and college athletes. The chasm is enormous.

But, in addition to a next-level athletic ability, the defining talent is, not unlike Curly's approach to life in 'City Slickers,' "just one thing." You have to be elite at one area. If that one area is a unique athletic skill — you could be extremely fast or an extremely good shooter or throwing 90-plus you can make a living playing a game.

Of the all-timers you mentioned, their athletic gifts are mutlipled. Jordan was a freak athlete, yet his 'just one thing' was that he was the most competitive person of his generation. Woods had unworldly hand-eye-coordination — his Nike commercial here is simply unbelieveable — but his 'just one thing' was belief and confidence in his ability to win that overwhelmed his foe.

In some ways Peyton is the outlier in this. Sure, he is physically gifted, but no more so than a lot of his contemporaries. He is the actual one who made it by working harder than everyone else. Manning's 'just one thing' is being more prepared than everyone else and being mentally a step ahead of every thing.

There's a combination of things that can help great athletes reach their potential. That potential may be being a good middle school player or being Kevin Durant. We feel sure that the lil' sportsfans greatly enjoyed their athletic careers and owe you and the Mrs. Sportsfan a bunch for all the support and the car rides and the sacrifices you made.

Take a bow sir.

———

From JMC

Also, one for the mailbag: How do the politics of money games actually work? The reason I am asking is because while most people see them as more of a necessity then a typical game, there are those sparks of enjoyment that comes with the ultrarare David vs. Golith upset that no Hollywood script can memic. That being said, I would much rather see Alabama play North Dakota State then obviously Western Carolina for the money game this year. And with three FCS titles, I would say WHY HOT? You don't think Fargo wouldn't travel down to Tuscaloosa for that? I guarantee you it would be THREE to FIVE times the number of people coming down from Culhullowee/Sparta.

JMC —

This was touched on earlier this week, but we wanted to answer this.

There is no reward for Alabama to schedule North Dakota State. The nation looks at every FCS team the same. So if the nation views ND State the same as Alabama State, why mess around.

The random ASU upset over Michigan or the Georgia Southern win over Florida is the cautionary tale.

Yes, North Dakota State would bring as many as five times as many folks, but Alabama does not need help in the turnstiles. They are paying mid-six-figures for a guaranteed win and risking that formula.

And we can assure you that Goliath does not give two rips about the enjoyment of the Davids of the world in pulling a shocker.

Not the Mighty Bears of South Bend Central. Not Michigan. Not the USSR hockey team.

———

From A Free Thinking Reader

You and the rest of the liberal, biased Obama-lover medie need to shut up and get out of D. Sterling's private business. He was taped in a heated conversation in the privacy of his own home. If it was up to you none would have a job and all would be on food stamps.

And now Sterling is being forced to sell his personal property because of something he said. You would like that some one who works for a liberal newspaper would support free speech, wouldn't you?

So what do you say? Would you want your private conversations blasted across the 6 o'clock news?

It's people like you that have caused this country to be doomed.

AFTR —

Well, you write us an email and want us to shut up. OK, this feels a little bit like the scene in Raising Arizona when Gale and Evelle are robbing the bank and Gale tells the patrons to freeze and to get on the ground and the ol' Hayseed says, "Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if'n I freeze, I can't rightly drop. And if'n I drop, I'm a-gonna be in motion. You see..."

So you believe in privacy and free speech? Are you privately allowed to speak freely or freely allowed to speak privately?

This issue has nothing to do with free speech. The first amendment guarantees us the right to speak openly against the government without fear of imprisonment. No one is going to lock Donald Sterling up for being a rotten human being who is a racist adulterer.

And as we discuss with Stewwie — in a more adult and civil way than your crass and rude email — on Thursday, there are particular matters in singular businesses that weigh more heavily than others. For Adam Silver and the NBA — a league that has to have the participation and support of black America — the racism or even the appearance of racism is akin to gambling by players/managers or plagiarism by journalists.

As for the taped conversation, well, first, Sterling reportedly had most of his conversations taped so he could remember what he said. But how is this any different than any of the other revelations that become public knowledge? If some guy is molesting collies in his basement and we find out about it, should we then say, well, no big deal it's his alone time?

Hey, we've said time and again that we are happy to debate ideas and share opinions and listen and retort. That's what makes this joint fun, and that interaction is enjoyable and hopefully transfers to the radio show on occasion.

Here's the thing we loathe, though. The yahoos like you who can not see a dissenting opinion and offer a different view without slinging insults. It's that line of thinking that has gridlocked our country. It's that like of thinking that has stopped the discourse and escalated the anger in this country. It's that line of thinking that has left a generation disenfranchised with the greatest country on the planet.

So not unlike as Otter said to Greg, we put it to you AFTR, isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

————

From Jomo

  • photo
    In this Dec. 8, 2012, file photo, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel gestures as he talks to reporters after winning the Heisman Trophy in New York.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Could Famous Jameis become the next Vince Young ? . . . .some scary parallels here . .

Jomo —

That's an interesting parallel.

We think the hilarious part of this is the whole Winston saying "I don't want to catch the Manziel disease" last year. His act is decidedly more curious and criminal than anything Johnny Football has done.

It will be very interesting to watch how WInston approaches the next season and the next year. Heck, we even heard Mel Kiper say last week that Winston should stay in school as long as it takes to mature.

————

So here is a dumb question. [I know you guys are saying "If it's from Billy, of course it's a dumb question."] Is it possible that Magic Johnson gets w/ this V. Whats-her-name chick and they set-up Donald Bozo? So Magic + his group can get ownership of the Clips...stranger things have happened...

Billy-In-Brainerd —

It's not always a dumb question if it's from Billy. (Side question: Who came up with the "There's no such thing as a dumb question. Having been in thousands of interviews, there are countless examples of dumb questions.)

That scenario is hard to fathom.

But to be safe, the NBA can't let Magic be part of the ownership deal just out of principle. He's too close to this thing, and not to get all WWE, but he's a lifelong Laker, and to own a cross-town rival in particular and any NBA team in general would not be a good idea.

The biggest side-character question is what did V. Whosherpants have to gain by ending the Sterling gravy train ride? Wow.

So it goes, and remember gang, fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. (Although it can be kind of fun on the weekends.)

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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BIspy4 said...

Don't know why anyone would miss the dolts and yahoos and boobs that populate Atlanta sports talk radio, but to each his own, I guess. The callers make Press Row. Well, the hosts, too, but they have some very informed participants. (am I typing out loud again?)

The problem with Mr. Sterling's private conversation being made public isn't the fact it was taped. But, if it was a taped phone call and taped without his express permission, that could be an illegal act. But it does not in the least take away from what he said. What if had let something like slip at a dinner party or in his car in the parking lot with the windows rolled down? He said something truly reprehensible, something no one who owns a team in a league whose star employees are minorities and has a fan base that stretches across demographic, social and cultural lines should utter aloud. He can think it all he wants; just make the verbal governor be in effect first.

As for the money games, because North Dakota State sells out every home game, perhaps they are not as stretched for cash as other programs. Plus, I am going to bet they have as many sponsorships as they can pull in the North Dakota area. As successful as Georgia Southern has been in the last 28 years (Spy will now stop and hang his head over the thought that no more championship flags may ever be added to the flagpole in Paulson. By the way, we don't put up conference flags. The Celtics don't up division or conference titles in the rafters, and the Eagles don't fly anything but national championship flags underneath Old Glory), those money games with Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Auburn (leading late in the first half and Rodney Oglesby drops a sure pick 6. Ugh.) have helped Southern's bottom line. GSU's athletics have long been one of the lowest-funded in the SoCon. GSU's athletic budget is $16 million. Michigan's travel budget - just travel for its athletic teams - is north of $9 million.

May 2, 2014 at 10:49 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

"Here's the thing we loathe, though. The yahoos like you who can not see a dissenting opinion and offer a different view without slinging insults. It's that line of thinking that has gridlocked our country. It's that like of thinking that has stopped the discourse and escalated the anger in this country. It's that line of thinking that has left a generation disenfranchised with the greatest country on the planet."

AMEN, Master Jay, a thousand amens and hosannas! Leave it to a sports scribe to figure out a simple concept that our political leaders seemingly cannot grasp.

May 2, 2014 at 11:41 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[But how is this any different than any of the other revelations that become public knowledge? If some guy is molesting collies in his basement and we find out about it, should we then say, well, no big deal it's his alone time?]

This is way different simply because Sterling was not committing a crime. If someone is committing a crime in private, then yes, please notify the authorities.

Yes, the NBA is a private business that can set and enforce its own rules. But that's the thing...do the NBA's own rules permit the owners to kick a guy out for this reason? If so, why would someone want to invest a lot of time and money into something that could lead him to getting kicked out with one slip-up? (Remember, Sterling's punishment is related to only this one incident).

Plus, the NBA, along with all other private businesses, have to adhere to our nation's antitrust laws. Collusion and other non-competitive acts are part of that. Maybe that's why Silver has said that's he's currently not considering letting the Clippers become free agents at the end of the year.

I don't think Sterling will end up selling. There are huge tax implications for keeping the team while he's still alive. Now there are rumors that he might file for divorce to help slow the process even more in court. I think he will die before this thing gets settled. Then Mrs. Sterling will get the team (assuming the divorce never goes through), and she may or may not sell. She's not in the NBA's doghouse, so why would they force her out? She may sell simply due to not wanting to run the franchise herself.

May 2, 2014 at 12:35 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Yep.

JP —

Thanks.

Stewwie —

OK, even it wasn't something illegal — be it burning flags or porn or whatever you can think of that has a negative imrpessive and could affect your repuation/business/employer — when it comes out it comes out.

That's the definition of a secret. It is until it isn't and never the twain shall meet.

We do agree that this process will be a slow roll, no matter how much the NBA wants to settle and how quickly they want it to happen.

Have not thought about the tax implications, but considering the Clips went from $12 million to roughly more than $1 billion in 33 years, well, that should cover some of the tax nut.

Although that could explain why President Obama wrote in here yesterday to support Adam Silver — selling the franchise will be a nice tax check for someone.

Enjoy

May 2, 2014 at 1:29 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Spy: if GA Southern's athletic budget is 1 of the lowest in the SoCon, here is guessing it will be 1 of the lowest in the SunBelt also. That sounds like a tough row to hoe. BTW, you are great when you post here + when you call in on the radio.

UTCs athletic budget is less than GSUs. [$12-14million?] On that note, please allow me to remind all you UTC fans out there that it is time to renew your Mocs Club membership. Renew now to ensure you receive all the benefits of membership [seating priority, parking, hospitality, etc]. Thanks for your support; we need it so David Blackburn + staff can take this thing up a notch or 3.

Billy-In-Brainerd

May 2, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.
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