Here we go...
Get up, buck up and shut up
As the NFL labor talks continue to be mired in ego-laced muck, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's public pleas have already become tiresome. At best they are pandering, at worse they smack of disingenuous condescension.
The commissioner said in an op-ed piece on the league's website: "The hard work to secure the next NFL season must now accelerate in earnest... [and] cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching [an] agreement by [the deadline of March 3]."
Stop writing about it for the fans — get in the negotiation rooms and get it done for the fans.
There has been enough posturing — for each side.
The fans don't care about the details and the squabbles between millionaires and billionaires. They want a secure feeling that there will be football in September and fantasy drafts before that and offseason games before that and free agency and trades before that.
And for any of that to happen, the owners and the players need to talk more — and the commissioner needs to write less.
College hoops primer, Vol. 4, Chapter 3
The 5-at-10 does not believe the UT Vols can overstate the importance of tonight's game against South Carolina.
No matter the rationale, a loss to the Gamecocks tonight would be bad. Easily as bad as any of those pre-conference losses to teams such as Oakland, Charlotte and College of Charleston or any of the other programs that you can't name the mascot. Maybe worse, because there is no explanation and there is no doubting how much the Vols need this one.
In addition to handling this one (which the Vols should, by the way), here are some teams of interest to follow along the ESPN ticker, Johnny Vols Fan.
Losses to any of the following teams helps secure UT's spot: West Virginia (16-9, RPI 22), Minnesota (17-8, RPI 34), Kansas State (17-9, RPI 27) and Georgia (17-7, RPI 37).
If Selection Sunday was today, the Vols are in the dance, but there's a lot of work to be done before Selection Sunday.
The 5-at-10 still is in agreement with SportTalk's Dr. B (say it with me, "He's a doctor after all,"), that the Vols have to get to 18 regular-season wins. And looking at the final six games, the Vols have to have tonight. Period.
Albert's Fat Contract
Today is the deadline Albert Pujols set for getting an extension done.
He's the best player in the game — the best right-handed hitter since Aaron — and he's asking for more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
It's difficult to picture Pujols in any other uniform, but if a seven-year, $210 million deal is not enough, well, then best of luck to you.
Unless your team rhymes with Dew Fork Tankees, can you ever commit that much coin to one baseball player? To a guy that takes mathematically all of 11 percent of the at-bats in any given game?
OK, he's the best in the game. That just means the structure's cracked — and for that the owner's deserve a huge amount of the blame.
Let's just move on.
Titans head toward an iceberg?
The power structure of the Tennessee Titans coaching staff is set. Consider the 5-at-10 less than inspired by the addition of DC Jerry Gray and OC Chris Palmer (you can read our view here).
In truth, though, players not coaches should be the Titans' major concern right now.
Going into the draft with a top-10 pick, the Titans have an abundance of top-10 needs — chief among them is the hole at quarterback.
Here's a piece of advice as the Titans add a series of former coaches to next year's staff: Loyalty to this roster must be loose. Anyone on the roster — yes, you, too Chris Johnson — has to be movable.
Some times, you have to tear it down to build it back.
This and that
— Remember the 5-at-10's mailbag runs Friday and all questions are welcomed. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or respond through the website.
— The 5-at-10 has been a longtime NASCAR fan, and the last few years have been tough to stomach. The sport has regressed from a competition standpoint and from an enjoyment standpoint. That said, the 5-at-10 is overwhelmingly optimistic to watch Sunday's race on the new surface at Daytona.
— Lance Armstrong has retired. Again. There's no doubt Armstrong is the world's most famous cyclist, but isn't that like being the world's most famous pan flutist. There's Zamfir, then everybody else. Here's hoping that Armstrong can find peace away from sports, and as an outlet for his competitive spirit, maybe he can settle into a shuffleboard game that does not test for HGH.
—Hickory, a Scottish deerhound, won the best in show title as America's best dog at the Westminster Kennel Club. The two things that pop to mind are the movie "Best in Show" and wondering whether the fans of the barely big enough for three syllables Hick-or-ee walked into the arena and shouted "Hick-Or-y" into the rafters so they could bask in the echoes. I love you guys.
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 ...