published Monday, December 12th, 2011

5 at 10: Heisman trophy, Vols hoops and the legend of Tebow continues

In this photo provided by the Heisman Trophy Trust, Robert Griffin III, center, of Baylor, accepts the Heisman Trophy award, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Heisman Trophy Trust, Kelly Kline)
In this photo provided by the Heisman Trophy Trust, Robert Griffin III, center, of Baylor, accepts the Heisman Trophy award, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Heisman Trophy Trust, Kelly Kline)

From the "Mama McNabb stage here at the Al Davis Studio," here we go...

College football Monday morning quarterback

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    In this photo provided by the Heisman Trophy Trust, Robert Griffin III, of Baylor University, holds the Heisman Trophy award after being named the winner, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Heisman Trophy Trust, Kelly Kline)

Here are the five things you need to know about this morning:

— RG III won the Heisman. We got no beef with that. And the highlight of the ceremony may have been Les Miles telling the Alabama fan outside the ceremony "Nice hat." That Les Miles, he's some kind of awesome. If you get hat heckled by the guy known as "The Mad Hatter" and as "The Hat," well that's some haberdashery right there.

— Auburn has suspended leading-rusher Mike Dyer. There were no specifics given on the reasons and Auburn coach Gene Chizik will meet with the media today. After a unexpected odyssey ended with the 2010 national title, this has been a really strange year on the Plains. There seems to be some internal turmoil that goes beyond the fact that the Tigers struggled because of youth and allergic reactions to tackling.

— Now that Kevin Sumlin has landed at Texas A&M, the biggest jobs other than Penn State have been filled. We still believe that the UNC-Larry Fedora pairing appears to be the best right now, edging Rich Rodriguez and Arizona. There are still some mid-level jobs open, such as the openings left by Sumlin at Houston and Fedora at Southern Miss.

— The UT Vols lost another coach when special teams coach Eric Russell left to join Mike Leach's staff at Washington State. Sure, Eric Russell is from the area and has ties with the Pirate, but when assistants are jumping ship for lesser jobs, it's not a good thing PR-wise. That is, unless of course this move was not unlike Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof finding a new gig before the pink slips were handed out. Who knows, but after adding former Vols star Jay Graham as the replacement for "retired" receivers coach Charlie Baggett last week, UT head coach Derek Dooley now has another opening to fill.

— The 5-at-10 bowl challenge will be announced Wednesday morning, so if you have any last minute suggestions, you best send them in shortly.

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    Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow runs during an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears in Denver, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Tebow, the legend continues

The legendary status of Tim Tebow has charged past Paul Bunyon and is approaching the hallowed ground of the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch. If someone told you that he threw a silver dollar across the Potomac or jumped his motorcycle over the Grand Canyon, you'd believe it.

During his historic college football career at Florida, Tebow joined Chuck Norris in the internet joke Hall of Fame (There are hundreds of them. Two of our favorites: Chuck Norris doesn't lick stamps, he stares at them until they wet themselves; Ghosts sit around the camp fire and tell Tim Tebow stories.)

Now, after being much-maligned for his mechanics and his accuracy, Tebow has embraced the most simple and fundamental stat in all of sports. He wins. Period. He's 7-1 as a starter this year and has led the Broncos to six consecutive wins. The Broncos, who were 4-12 last year, are now 8-5 after Sunday's 13-10 overtime win over Chicago. Tebow and Co. trailed 10-0 with less than two minutes to go, but rallied to tie the game before forcing a fumble in OT and winning on a 51-yard field goal.

Tebow's stats are pedestrian, but he wins and he has managed to rise to a place that two special things have happened. First, you now expect Tebow to pull off the miraculous. A late drive with no timeouts and down eight, no sweat, he did that two weeks ago. Needing two scores in less than two minutes, that's doable. When you are expecting the unthinkable, then anything is possible.

Second, Tebow's last name has multiple meanings. This is rarified air. Occasionally legendary players have had their last names take on a suffix and be used as an adjective. That move was Jordan-esque; that drive was Montana-like, etc.

Tebow the word has moved into "smurf" territory. Explainer for the youngsters: The Smurfs were a cartoon clan of little blue people who were known as Papa Smurf, Grumpy Smurf, Happy Smurf, etc. The central word of their language was "smurf" and it could be used in all manners — as a verb, a noun, as anything really. "Tebow" is now in a similar class.

Look at these options: The Bears got Tebow-ed Sunday. He pulled a Tebow. Wow, that was simply Tebow. And, as he continues to pull out stunning victories highlighted by late-game heroics, fourth-quarter highlights and stat lines that make quarterback purists spit up, the usage of the word Tebow — like the usage of the quarterback Tebow and the size of the legend of Tebow — continues to grow.

Putting the NBA in the penalty box

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    Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, right, and LeBron James speak during the last minutes of the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks defeated the Heat 95-93. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Since we're not discussing the NBA until mid-January (after the labor stalemate lasted 27 days into the regular season, the 5-at-10 has put the NBA in a 54-day timeout), we're not at liberty to discuss any of the weekend's deals and debacles.

We will say this, though: If the Chris Paul trade and subsequent veto that became a world-class fiasco had happened in your fantasy league, someone would have gotten a face full of knuckles. Seriously, this was a legit three-team deal that puts one team (the Lakers, who would have acquired Paul) in a spot to make a run this year, gives a bad team (the Hornets, who would have acquired three players from the Rockets and Lamar Odom and a pick) better pieces and a first-round pick, and gives the third team (the Rockets, who would have received Pau Gasol) a chance to deal good players for a great player. And the league denied it.

And it — a disgruntled player getting dealt to the Lakers in a move that actually benefitted the teams but perpetuated the feeling that the power franchises collect stars like Tebow collects scalps so the smaller market clubs (led by Cavs owner and charter member with JordanRules in the "He Man LeBron Hater" fan club) complained and the deal was denied by the NBA — actually happened. Yes, the NBA owns Paul's current team, and that makes this even worse.

Now Odum has been dealt for pennies on the dollar to the Mavs and Chris Paul may be sent to the Clippers. This is not good, and Dan Gilbert can bemoan the plight of small market clubs all he wants, but strong arming star players into less than marquee locales is awful for the league. Simply put, the NBA needs the Lakers, the Celtics, the Knicks and the Bulls to be good. Period. The random Dallas surge or the fact the Oklahoma City has a great young base is great, but no matter how much talent is spread around the league, for the NBA to be fantastic, at least three of the Big 4 need to be among the elite.

What was all the labor stress for if this is now possible? Remember, this is weeks into the new labor deal, and we're already to a contentious point between players and management. One thing is for sure, this never would have happened if David Stern was still alive. Wait, he's still the commish... Really?

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    Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin signals to his team as they take on Louisiana-Monroe in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 85-62 over Louisiana-Monroe.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

This and that

— It will be interesting to see how Chas9's Top Ten college hoops ranking of the schools in Tennessee turns out today after Memphis lost to Murray State, UT lost to Austin Peay and UTC lost to Mercer. Yes, Mercer. (Quick, how many nicknames can you name among the power trio that is Murray State, Austin Peay and Mercer?) Right now college hoops in this state looks like Vandy and a bunch of NIT hopefuls. This is completely 9er's poll, but here's saying that Jay Price and Chatt State could make a move on this group.

— What a crazy weekend in college hoops. Great games — Kansas beating Ohio State; Indiana pulling off a crazy upset over Kentucky — were common place. So were the images from the stomach-turning brawl between Cincinnati and Xaiver. Wow, it was worse than bad. And the limited suspensions that were handed out were less than impressive. Missing a few games — especially when those games are the throwaway, holiday tournament kind — is hardly enough of a reprimand for the street fight that ended Saturday's game early.

— The NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape. We'll get to the upper-crust of the league in Tuesday's power poll, but the Texans are in and the Falcons and New York Giants really saved their seasons Sunday with Tebow-esque comebacks. The Falcons were down 23-7 at halftime before steam-rolling Carolina on the way to a 31-23 win. The Giants were down 12 in the final four minutes Sunday night and rallied to beat Dallas 37-34. All-in-all, it was a great Sunday of NFL football (other than having no other option than watching the afternoon thumping the Packers handed the Raiders while Tebow was being Tebow on another network). Here's an idea, if the NFL Network wants to really take off, they should have a trump card rule in which five times a year, they can go live and show whatever amazing game is happening. Heck we can call it TebowTV.

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    Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
    UF Communications

Today's question

The 5-at-10 loves, Loves, LOVES Christmas. Always has and always will. Now you know this.

So we're going to go Christmas questions all week (and maybe the rest of the year).

Today's opportunity is right up the alley for some of you witty folks. Write the most back-handed Christmas card message between sports people from 2011 (remember to keep it clean, this is a family-oriented, Interweb-based sports column).

Here's a starter:

Dear Charlie,

Hope the move to Kansas helps you lose those 100 pounds you've always talked about so you can get down to just obese. Good luck and thanks for all your efforts, even if they didn't translate to yards or points this fall.

Go Gators,

Will Muschamp

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
jharvey1984 said...

Dear Lane, Merry Christmas and F^#k you! Still laughing about you naming your kid Knox, Johhny Vols Fan

December 12, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
Redlegs11 said...

FYi...Broncos were 4-12 last year and are now 8-5 this year. One more win and they will guarantee their first winning season since 2006 (9-7). Don't you hate putting little x marks and then forgetting to go back and fill them I do it all the time at work!

December 12, 2011 at 10:13 a.m.
Redlegs11 said...

To my old running mate Trent Richardson,

Hey...sorry about the Heisman thing. I guess if they hadn't felt sorry for our prestigious program NEVER having won the little bronze guy and giving it so undeservedly to me, then maybe you would have had a chance to win it this year. Then again, maybe that ugly scarf you had on had something to do with it as well. I'm thinking also that my old man being in prison played out a little better for me than you having all those illegimate kids running around Birmingham did for you. Funny how that's kinda acceptable in the NBA but not in college football, huh?

Hate that you are going to get screwed too in the draft. I mean wow...I was just good enough to get drafted in the first round, but not good enough to go high enough to where a bad team got me. This gig in New Orleans is pretty sweet. We have a good team and they don't expect much out of me at all. Heck, if I can nurse this turf toe for a few more weeks I might be really fresh in the playoffs and actually play some when all the other backs are worn down getting there.

Good luck in the title game. Holler at me when you get to town and maybe we can go out since I'm sure I'll still be limping around with the toe thing. Tell the babies mommas I say hello!

Your pal, Mark Ingram

December 12, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
patrickd said...

Classy stuff, Redlegs.

December 12, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.
chas9 said...

Top Tenn Rankings, week 5:

At this juncture, we find out which lightly-regarded but undefeated teams are pretenders, and which are contenders. Contender Indiana (9-0) edged Kentucky on a buzzer beater, and contender Murray State (10-0) took down the Memphis Tigers. Mid-major Murray's had some roundball success in past years. See Gary Parrish's column on the Racers at

Sadly, Tennessee's big-time programs are losing to mid-majors. MTSU's 9-1 looks good, but their SOS is weak, and they lost to Belmont, so they stay at #4. Once again, Memphis and Vandy swap at the top.

Last week we called the Fighting Governors "Stinky Peay," but after they surprised The Vols, it's MISTER Peay from now on. Peay rises one spot, and Tennessee falls one. And in the category of damning with faint praise, at least the Small Orange played Mr. Peay close. That's 1-9 Mr. Peay.

Mocs? Mama said if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.

1) Vandy

2) Memphis

3) Belmont



6) The Vols

7) Tennessee State

8) Lipscomb

9) Mr. Peay

10) TN Tech

December 12, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
BIspy4 said...


Gotta fix the xs you left in the Tebow graph, pardner.

Ain't going to El Paso. Ain't going to Fargo. Too much malfeasance up there for one thing.

December 12, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.
tigerdawg said...

Watching Tim Tebow play is like watching Angels in the Endzone every Sunday.... but I would still rather see Christopher Lloyd dressed up as an angel than Tebow dressed up as a Bronco any day.

December 12, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
chas9 said...

With a coach named Freeze, will the Rebellious Black Bears be required to call timeouts before their opponents attempt field goals next season?

December 12, 2011 at 11:17 a.m.
compspeed said...

"Here's an idea, if the NFL Network wants to really take off, they should have a trump card rule in which five times a year, they can go live and show whatever amazing game is happening...."

G, They do. It's NFL RedZone. It's as addictive as, well, pick your poison an it's as addictive as that. Trust me. I'm hooked. Rolled back in after watching the Titans at LP and was still in time to watch "Timmy T Time". Ask Santa to put the RedZone in your stocking.

December 12, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.
Cjoyner said...

Hey, Jay, did you see that Tebow Eli Manning totally pull a Tebow and Tebow the Cowboys last night? Tebow Tebow! Merry Tebow.

December 12, 2011 at 11:47 a.m.
eljefe said...

Dear Nick Fairley,

We were all a little short on cash this year so we bought a group card.

  1. Thank you for allowing me to put Defensive Coordinator on National Championship Winning Team on my resume. I am certain to destroy programs for at least the next 5 years riding that wave. I'm going to Disney World! Your pal, Ted Roof.

  2. Nicky, missed you at the game this year. I wanted to thank you for slamming me on the turf and inspiring me to thrash your alma mater with 45 points. There are some things you cannot put a price tag on. Love, Aaron Murray.

  3. In retrospect maybe you should thank us for all the money you don't really have to play that often to receive. Happy Holidays from all of us here with The Detroit Lions.

And from all of us O-lineman in the SEC thank you for going pro!

Merry Christmas

December 12, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...


Great stuff early. First a mea culpa — the x-x thing is embarrassing. So it goes.

As for the cards, keep them coming.

Sorry for the absence today — had more than my fair share of meetings.

We'll be back after lunch with a few backhanded Christmas cards.

December 12, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Coach Davis,

How is your vertical game working for you now?

Hottest personal regards,

Jon Gruden

December 12, 2011 at 1:08 p.m.
Redlegs11 said...


Didn't mean to ruffle your Tide feathers. You should be proud of the program's first Heisman...especially since for the only time in the awards history it was given to a program and not an individual. That says a lot about Bama and the respect the program warrants.

As for the letters, I didn't think they were supposed to be an exercise in class. Oh well....can't please everyone. If you want, I can write an un-classy letter to Cam Newton for you or whatever team you might dislike if that will make you feel better.


December 12, 2011 at 1:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

OK, we're back. From the top:

JHarvey —

Speaking for an entire Vols Nation.

Redlegs —

Thanks for catching the x-x. And wow. ZINGER. No harm, no foul.

9er —

Somewhere John Shulman is appreciative of your "Can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" view of the Mocs.

We're on-record that Cuonzo and Co. has surpassed expectations so far. Losing to Peay is not a good way to build on that.

As for Freeze, yes he's required to call timeouts before field goals — as long as the Dallas Cowboys are not involved, however.

Spy —

Here's Spy's backhanded Christmas card:

Hey Brian Van Gorder,

Hope you drown in Sandy Springs. Go Eagles,


Compspeed —

Thanks for the tip. If you made the trup to LP, what's your early review on Jake Locker? Future star or future back-up or something in between?

CJ —

We watched the whole Cowboys-Giants game. Entertaining as Tebow. When it ended, we looked at Mrs. 5-at-10 and said, "They have to be Tebowing us? No Tebow way that happened."

Jefe —

Here's another one:


Thanks so much for taking the "Dirty" label out of the realm of possibility when people watch me play. You are a true mentor.


Nick Fairley

FE to the C —

Moment of silence for Al. He is missed.

— 5-at-10

December 12, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.
chas9 said...

5-10--Gotta love them meetings.

Three weeks ago, The Vols were 3-2, with respectable losses only to highly ranked Duke and Memphis, and most were ready to coronate King Cuonzo. We were going to celebrate his upstart success with a December holiday named for him (though spelled with a K because K's are kool).

Stop the celebrations. Put away the kazoos and confetti.

My first impulse after the Peay result was to swap the two teams in this week's Top Tenn rankings, putting The Vols at #10. But in fairness to my orange-clad fans, I looked at both teams' body of work and couldn't do that.

The Vols are 3-5, while the Governors are only 1-10. Peay's schedule is weak, with no quality wins. (See what I did there?)

And the middle of the Top Tenn rankings is too soft to drop The Vols lower than #6. Their December 23 showdown with #5 ETSU's Buccaneers looks like a toss-up. Arrrgh!

Tennessee's defense against points scored is now 143rd in Division I. Johnny Volsfans may resort to the old "At least we've hit bottom" line that they trotted out after their pointy ball team lost to a receiver playing QB. (I just like saying that.)

December 12, 2011 at 1:46 p.m.
memphisexile said...

One wonders if the loss of the Special Teams coach at UT is such a bad thing....a few plays from the Arkansas game come to mind....

December 12, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
patrickd said...

No harm no foul here, Redlegs11, just wondering if you'd refer to Trent's two little girls as "all those illegimate kids running around Birmingham" A) in front of their Father (CLICK HERE) or B) in front of their mother who just so happens to be the daughter of this guy (CLICK HERE).

Here's betting these 2 little girls are gonna be talented athletes in their own right one day. They certainly have good genes.

December 12, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.
compspeed said...

G, Locker is the REAL DEAL, fo' sho'. His leap to score the 1st TD had the post game show hosts on the local Titans affiliate saying he reminded them of McNair. This was coming from a couple of guys that had played with McNair, so it wasn't just lip service. Lots of really, really good young talent. Tough loss but hard to feel bad watching the way they played.

December 12, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

As for the rock bottom line (and yes we know you like saying that the Vols lost to UK with a WR playing QB; in fact you like saying that and the 5-at-10 loves the draft — we know these things), it would have been awesome in Peay had put a point guard at center and ran the offense through the low post. Then you could say that the Vols got the Peay beat out of them with a WR at QB and a point in the pivot.

Long year ahead for the Martin's crew. In fact, here's a backhanded card:


Thanks for taking all of those talented kids that may have been tough for an inexperienced coach like myself to handle. It could have been tough make room for a lottery-pick talent like Tobias Harris, but you handled that by rushing him off to the NBA.

Thanks again. Happy Holidays,


Exile —

Don't forget the kicking awesomeness that was Palardy and the punting debacle from the start.

PDavi —

Here's saying the Richardson girls are not going to be harassed.

Speed —

Concur for the most part. Will be interesting see how he develops.

— 5-at-10

December 12, 2011 at 2:21 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring,

Raider fans knew Mr. Davis as well as anyone. We suffered through the botched first round draft picks (Hayward Bay recent, Todd Marinovich past). Mr. Davis always searched and signed the fastest and most chiseled athletes available. The strategy often backfired as these heavenly bodies blessed with speed could not understand or play the game.

Mr. Davis penchant to pick up down and out former number ones was iffy. For every Jim Plunkett there is an Andre Bruce. The there was Larry Brown, who Al saw intercepting Steeler lolly pops in the Superbowl for Dallas. This was enough for Al to sign Brown soon there after, by forgetting the Raiders play man not the zone Brown played in Dallas.

Another more recent field and financial bust was the trade for Dangelo Hall. Same deal with Brown, Hall could not play zone. During Hall's short time with the Raiders I christened him "Christmas Tree."

Thia yet another tale of chasing talent with gobs of money for no result.

Yet, the biggest draft flop of all time to this point, JaMarcus "Purple Drank" Russell, was not Al's fault. The coaches across the entire league wanted this guy out of LSU.

After years of 4-12 deep freezes, the Raiders last year finally stepped up it to an 8-8 season. With Mr. Davis passing the scene, Hue Jackson and Amy Trask finally obtained the quarterback, Carson Palmer, the total package for two number ones Coach Davis might just well have frittered away.

In short 10 Ring, a Raider fan's relationship with the Raiders was a relationship with man himself. Many times the old man had magical in a bottle, like spending a 7th round pick on Bo Jackson.

Is it too early to spoof our leader for so many decades? Nope, we were doing much the same when Mr. Davis ran the Raiders in his image.

December 12, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Now you know I'd never a deliver a Christmas card like that backhanded, Oh Great 5.

That one would be delivered through a set of clenched knuckles to his porn stache face. You about to make me use a whole bunch of bad words that I don't ever use.

December 12, 2011 at 3:06 p.m.
Bdub13 said...

Dear CJ and DeAngelo Williams,

Thanks for putting up astounding numbers after getting such huge paydays. We're sure that will go a long way towards quelling the notion that RBs are a dime a dozen, and that there is no need to invest a large portion of a team's salary cap in one.

Thanks, All Future NFL Running Backs

Hasselbeck has been the leader that the Titans have needed for a while now, but you could see a certain energy in the team in the Atlanta game and in the game yesterday when Locker came onto the field. He still has some stuff to learn, but watching him play makes it hard not to be excited about the coming years for the Titans.

December 12, 2011 at 3:15 p.m.
chas9 said...

Bruce Almighty sez thanks for the card from C.

Some younger fans late to the show may not know that "Peay" is pronounced "pee." In their finest hour, a super-quick freshman named "Fly" Williams led them to a Sweet Sixteen high-scoring OT loss to Kentucky (1973). The fans chanted the best cheer of all times: "Fly's open. Let's go Peay"!

December 12, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.

Dear TFP sports department,

Without fear or favor.

Peace on Earth,


December 12, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.
compspeed said...

G, Please let be clear that I was comparing Locker to McNair. Just saying he looked a lot like him on that one play. But the kid is good,,,real good.

December 12, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.
compspeed said...

NOT should have read NOT...I'm going back for my meds....

December 12, 2011 at 4:51 p.m.
Redlegs11 said...

Would agree....Richardson's little girls not only will never be harrassed but will grow accustomed to living a lifestyle few of us are familiar with....and I'd say the University of Alabama is making sure they are being taken care of as we speak!

December 13, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
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