Crews work to remove toilet paper from the two poisoned oak trees before spraying the leaves with a coating at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, Ala., on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr. has been charged for poisoning the landmark live oak trees on the Auburn University campus. (AP Photo/ The Birmingham News, Michelle Campbell)
It's mailbag No. 2, and in honor of this weekend's Daytona 500, the 5-at-10 will answer each question and then offer how a NASCAR driver may answer the same querry. Here we go...
From Kevin A. Craig:
What's your take on the tree assassin? Do you think Auburn fans will retaliate?
There were a flurry of e-mails Thursday dealing with the unfortunate poisoning of the oak trees at Toomer's Corner at Auburn Univeristy. This question is a compilation of a several e-mails, but my man Kevin gets the shoutout because he's a longtime friend of the show.
It's a sad, Sad, SAD deal for everyone involved, including that nutbar Al from Dadeville. How is this guy going to get a fair trial? He has made every Auburn fan in the state irate by what he did and he made every Alabama fan in the state mad by making them look bad. So if you've made every Auburn fan and every Alabama fan in the state mad, well, maybe the five UAB fans, the three Troy fans and the two Tennessee transplant fans will be in the jury pool. And that's not even mentioning what awaits him when he gets behind bars. The lesson as always kids is think twice before killing anything. And don't do drugs.
The 5-at-10 can certainly see several groups of Auburn supporters and/or fraternity brothers coming up with payback plans. That said, here's hoping it ends here. Let this be the lowpoint and let's work on rebuilding the image of the SEC football fans back to the level of SEC football in general. Hopefully, this type of national-level of embarrassment in regard to fan shenanigans dies with this act.
That said, the 5-at-10 expects the security around some Tuscaloosa landmarks to be heightened for the foreseeable future. Alas.
Possible NASCAR Driver: "It's just one of those racin' deals, you know. You get out there, and things happen, but I gotta tell you, this Spike 80DF tree poison team really has worked hard."
From SteelerFan :
Hey Nickel Bag: Did you seriously call me a “Jackwagon” in your Monday column? You might want to think about apologizing. If not, I’ve got a soon-to-be-out-of-work friend — James Harrison — who owes me a favor, and might just be paying you a visit. Oh, and before you start calling Cam Newton a new, improved version of Big Ben you might let him win a game or two in big-boy ball.
Oh yeah, what in the world is "disingenuous condescension?" Is that the the moisture that collects on the inside of your windshield?
I did call SteelerFan a “Jackwagon,” and I did contemplate apologizing for calling SteelerFan a “Jackwagon.” In fact, Mrs. 5-at-10 even asked if I wanted to include the term “Jackwagon,” it being a friendly, family-oriented web-base rambling and all. But now there will be no apology, and there will be no second thoughts about it either, you Jackwagon. And do you want to know why, because the 5-at-10 refuses to be pushed around by a bully, sir. That’s right, your blind Steeler loyalty has produced an undeniable bully presence, sir. And it won’t be tolerated. As for James Harrison, well, bring him on down. He doesn't scare the 5-at-10, in fact, tell him we’re located at 400 East 11th Street in downtown Chattanooga and have him ask for Mark Wiedmer.
As for Cam Newton, well, maybe you have not noticed the pressure and the money and the stakes of the SEC. Maybe it's not full blown big boy ball, but it's dang close. Heck, the 5-at-10 wonders which was better last year, the SEC West or the NFC West. At this point, you're right, Big Ben is 2-1 in Super Bowls (yes, we had to throw that 1 in there... Sooooooooo Sorry), so that makes him the easy choice right now over Newton — unless of course you're looking for someone to be the guardian at a teenage sleepover.
P.S. The Webster definition of "disingenuous condescension" may be open for interpertation. If the moisture inside the your windshield has a bit of an attitude, then it can qualify. The 5-at-10 believes the best example of disingenuous condescension is when Pittsburgh fans talk about the late 1970s Steelers with undue reverence. Seriously, that may be the most overrated group of all-time and could not stay within 30 of the 1990s Cowboys and the 2000s Patriots. How's that for disingenuous condescension?
Possible NASCAR driver answer: "Well, not real sure what happened there. SteelerFan was just asking a question, just racin', and then things got out of hand. It's just one of those racin' deals."
From NFL junkie:
I don't know if this is mailbag worthy but how about a parody of your interpretation of part of the upcoming hearings from the new unfair labor practice charge against the players' union? "The chair recognizes Chad J-uh; oh, excuse me, Chad Oh-, once again my apologies. Chaah- (whispered to a clerk, "What is his name today?") You may deduct points from my request for not actually asking a question.
No points shall be deducted, and the 5-at-10 is not sure it can match the mental image of some D.C. professional committee member trying to get the inside slant from Chad Johnson, who used to be Chad Ochocinco after he changed his name from Chad Johnson.
But here goes, and let's take it a step further since the players and the owners have agreed to mediation. (That mediation is non-binding, though.):
Mediator: OK, guys, thanks for agreeing to sit down and have this meeting. Before we get started, Peyton, can I get an autograph? My kids are huge fans.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: What? How is that legal? This is biased? How can we expect a fair shake? Where are the cameras? Are you getting my good side?
Roger Goodell: Jerry, please stop talking.
Mediator: Sorry, let's get back to it. OK, owners, you have the most popular game going. TV deals pay a large chunk of your operating costs, and you want to lock the players out?
Jerry Jones and the rest of the owners in the room in unison: That's right.
Mediator: OK, Players, you are getting paid millions for playing a kids game. But you still want more and somehow you feel like you should be the only workers in the country that have the right to look at your employers' personal finances?
Players in unison: That's right.
Peyton Manning, realizing things are taking a turn: Blue 80, Blue 80, watch the blitzing lawyer, Blue 80...
Roger Goodell: Peyton, please stop audibling.
Mediator: OK, this is ridiculous. There are a lot of smart people in...
Jerry Jones: Thank you.
Mediator: Not you, you plastic comic book character. Shut up and fix the seats for the Super Bowl. Anyhoo, where was I, oh yes, there are a lot of smart people in this room. Fix this before you really break the best sport going in America. Fix it or you'll be sorry. Ask baseball about 1994 and how they had to sell their soul to the Steroid Devil and they're still paying for the Strike in 1994. Fix this.
Possible NASCAR Driver: "This thing could really help NASCAR. Think about it, if football gets too big for its britches, think how much we'll dominate Sundays in the fall and think how much mojo we can get playing the everyman card and the "We don't go on strike, we go to the track" commercials with DW and those guys. Come to think of it, I think Jerry Jones said Peyton is funny looking and his SNL hosting stints were garbage."
From D.C. Transplant:
Is Stephen Strasburg going to be ready when the season begins? Will he be as dominate this year as he looked last year? Let’s cover the second part first: The 5-at-10 certainly hopes Stephen Strasburg returns as dominant as he was before injuring his arm. Let’s face it, unless you’re a diehard Braves guy or Yankees fan or a Red Sox fan or a fan of another big market team, it's tough to get interested in July baseball. The season is just too long.
And the great thing about Strasburg is he was must-see-TV, and that's saying something for baseball. Plus, it's not unlike when Barry Bonds was chasing home-run records. Those were must-see at-bats. Strasburg has the ball in his hands the whole time, so you want to see every pitch.
As for his recovery, here's an update that was in today's Washington Post: The Nationals have no precise timetable for Strasburg's major league return. Tommy John surgery takes 12 to 18 months to recover from. Without rushing himself, Strasburg could feasibly pitch in the majors this year. He had his Tommy John surgery on Sept. 3 last fall, so if Strasburg is a fast healer - as Jordan Zimmermann was last season - then he could take the mound at Nationals Park in 2011.
Possbile NASCAR Driver: "The driver is just the guy in the helmet. There's so much to racin', and we're all a team that comes to the track looking for the checkers, you know. It's about working hard and going fast, and beer."
What's all this hoopla with UT basketball? They have lost 10 games? They play in a weak conference. This team is barely .500 in the Big East, and there's no way they get in the NCAA tournament.
Plus, who is this Dr. B joker you keep talking about?
OK, it's obvious we have a West Virginia fan on our hands here, and we must tread carefully and use small words. First, take a step away from the Bob Huggins poster and relax. (Side note on Huggins — the man is banking seven figures and wears sweatsuits to work everyday. How awesome is that? I mean, that puts Huggy Bear in a select group with Tony Soprano and Goldmember and maybe a couple of guys that hit it big in the stock market. Awesome.)
The Vols have played the nation's toughest schedule and have an RPI of 24. Yes, they're 16-10 overall and yes, the SEC is a bit down (but to call it weak is wrong). Are they on the bubble, yes. But if they get to 18 regular-season wins, the Vols should get in the dance.
As for Dr. B, he's a longtime Chattanooga-area sports talk radio guru. And you should know that the B stands for basketball, and he may not be making seven-figures but he's cool enough to pull off wearing sweatsuits to work everyday if he so desired. So there.
Possible NASCAR driver: "It's all about the tires, really. We had some good pit stops, and the Times Free Press Sports Department No. 22 Chevy was really in sync out there. It's a racin' deal."
Enjoy the weekend. Until Monday.
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 ...