published Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

5 at 10: Atlanta Braves, bad press conferences and the most dishonest people in sports

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -- We've reached out to some of our area sports radio big shots to see if they want in on this week's contest. (Quick recap: Submit five golfers, and we'll give points for each place finish. If you send in Steve Stricker and he wins that's 1 point. Whoever finishes 15th will be worth 15 points, etc. If one of your guys misses the cut, it's 100 points. The winner will have the lowest score. Questions? Interested? Winner gets four Braves tickets. We'll update later today/tomorrow the list of entries and you have until tomorrow morning to enter.)

We're on vacation so here's the structure — we're going to have one or two comments and then a top three or four list and call it a day. From our satellite studios here along the Gulf, here we go.

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    Atlanta Braves' Dan Uggla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Redneck Riviera is not Braves country

Now that TBS has made the full-time switch to comedy let's just say that the Braves are not easily findable on the cable dial here at the Redneck Riviera. That's not funny. Think what the Braves got out of being the South's team — and yes, Florida does not count as the South, but you know what we're saying.

So it goes, we guess, but the fact that the Braves have been AWOW (absent without watching) for the 5-at-10 has been surreal. And maybe that's how Dan Uggla hit a homer. His struggles were the 5-at-10's fault all along. And Chuck Barkley was right, we can blame the media for everything.

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    Tiger Woods makes a statement at the Sawgrass Players Club, Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper, Pool)

Clearing the air

The "BAD" news conferences have become something of an art form. And the after-the-fact grading of a myriad of factors is highly entertaining to the 5-at-10.

Take Tiger Woods' 30-minute dissertation in the weeks after the scandals in his personal life became known. As we wrote then — and believe still — Woods did not owe the 5-at-10 an apology. He owed his sincere apologies to his family and those in is life that he hurt.

Now if the corporate sponsors and image-setters forced him out in front of the entire free world (if memory serves it was a Friday, Woods' news conference was like at noon and it was broadcasted live). Fine. Maybe it sold a couple of extra Nike pitching wedges. Who knows?

That said, if you're going to hop out there and apologize or explain or clarify or whatever, be prepared for the grading to come quickly. And harshly.

Tiger was blasted for being robotic and emotion-less (uh, hello, that's a couple of the reasons why he used to be the best golfer on the planet). Coaches Jim Tressel and Bruce Pearl were less than honest (shocking, right?) in their post-scandal news conferences when they met with the media — and gang, lying to a collection of reporters is almost never a good idea.

There are hundreds of them that range from emotional to angry to being over-the-top to being not sincere. So it goes.

Point being, there were two interviews/news conferences in recent days that were pretty strong.

Say what you will about Terrelle Pryor's role in THE scandals that are growing at THE Ohio State University, but his apology Tuesday was direct and heartfelt. You can't criticize Tiger's for being scripted and then heckle Pryor's for being flippant, can you? He seemed remorseful and his words seemed to be his. Grade: B+.

And Plaxico Burress's talk about his time in prison and his plans for the future was excellent. He nailed it all the way around, from speaking directly to using real words and real-life images. We started this by saying those invovled rarely owe us an apology, but Plaxico's felt like more than that. He may very well end up back in the joint (and if he does, he and Titans wideout/trouble maker/awful, Awful, AWFUL driver Kenny Britt would be a potent receiver tandem on the Mean Machine, part 3.0), but as of this morning, we'd give Plax another shot.

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    Former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose talks with guests before speaking at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center's inagural gala at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

Today's list

Today's list was inspired by a question from friend of the show Weena: "If there was a Hall of Shame who would have on your Wall of Dishonesty beside Tressel?"

Strong question. Here's our list:

1) Pete Rose — He lied about committing the ultimate sin in sports. And carried that lie like a badge of honor for more than a decade, until then you know, well, maybe he bet on baseball, but only ON the Reds. Uh, sure Pete. Sure.

2) Tiger Woods — The depths of the scandal was hard to fathom. Lies that lasted years, and while the number of women that have claimed to have been with Tiger is in the high teens-to-mid 20s depending on who you believe, there's no telling how many there were. Heck, Tiger may not even know. Tiger blood, indeed.

3) Rafael Palmero — He would be the face of every other steroid user, and the pose — the one with his index finger extended at Congress saying he did not use steroids about six weeks before being busted for steroids. This will change of course if hard evidence develops on Lance Armstrong. Let's move along.

4) Rosie Ruiz — She was the women that tried to win the 1980 Boston Marathon by running a few miles and then taking a cab to the finish line. File this one along with Ron Burgandy's dog Baxter, who "ate the whole... wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad, that's amazing. How about we get you in your PJ's, and we hit the hay."

5) Bruce Pearl — College coaches across the country stretch the truth, be it recruiting or telling boosters this is the year or what have you. Very few (and there will be even fewer in coming years) lie to the NCAA. Only one that we know of has called a 17-year-old involved in the recruiting mess and tried to get the teenager to lie for him.

Until tomorrow.

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.
bigbearzzz said...

How does the NBA ref that betted on games he reffed in (Cant remember his name, Donovan maybe?) make the list? Do we put Barry Bonds on the list just in spite cause even though he wont admit it we all know he did it? How about O.J. Simspson, there's an athelete that got away with murder and isnt on the list. Just thinking out loud. Still got nuttin on the contest....waiting for calculations from all the IS nerds here at work....

June 15, 2011 at 11:42 a.m.
patrickd said...

I'm going with Lance. I know that's yet to be determined but if it goes like it could I'd think he'd have to be near the upper part of the list.

June 15, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.
moonpie said...

Jay, you are very entertaining. Love your columns.

June 15, 2011 at 9:50 p.m.
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