Remember that Friday is the mailbag, and there are still a few open spots available. OK, show-regular Bigbearzzz issued the "80's hip hop rap song quote day" challenge Tuesday. And, well, if you know anything about the 5-at-10, it's that we love a good challenge. (After completing this, the 5-at-10 can't believe we did not include some of the slam dunks of the 1980s, and we're embarrassed that Whodini is not included. So it goes. Great idea, Osograndeee, simply great.)
Here we go...
"They're plaaaaayyyyiiinnnnn, Bas-ket-ball" — Kurtis Blow
The Sweet 16 is complete for the men's and the women's NCAA tournaments.
There are four athletic programs that have teams in both: Ohio State, Duke, North Carolina and UConn.
Consider the 5-at-10 impressed.
Now let's go a step further and include football success, and it's easy to see that Ohio State may have the most successful and balanced athletic program around.
And please save that "Stanford has won the all-sports trophy in six of the last eight years," or whatever the numbers are. The NCAA all-sports trophy (it used to be the Sears Trophy) is a combined number of points for success in each sport, and Stanford and its Pac-10 brethren have like 245 sports.
In the high-profile sports, the power rankings start with Ohio State — that is until the NCAA gets their hands on Jim Tressel for his antics of the last 10-12 months. And if the NCAA doesn't turn its focus to Columbus pretty quickly now that the Bruce Pearl stuff has been settled, there will be a lot of folks in East Tennessee who will want some answers.
Rap song reference: As a youngster the 5-at-10 loved, Loved, LOVED the Kurtis Blow classic, and at that time "Basketball was my favorite sport, I liked the way they dribbled up and down the court."
"It takes two to make it outta sight" — Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
Carmelo and A'mare are struggling together in New York (The 5-at-10 almost picked, Sir Mix-A-Lot's "My Posse's on Broadway," but alas).
LeBron and D-Wade are plodding along, and the Heat have made progress and have not cried in the locker room in roughly a month.
It looks doubtful that either of those super-duos will be ready to hoist the title this spring and summer. As for the best duo in the NBA, sorry folks, but it's still in L.A., where Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol helped the Lakers survive three OTs last night in a win against Phoenix.
There may be better overall teams in San Antonio and/or Boston, but the best duo still is Bryant and Gasol — amazingly between the two they have been traded by the then-Charlotte Hornets, the Atlanta Hawks and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rap song reference: This may be rap's all-time one-hit wonder. This song was through-the-roof popular, but the 5-at-10 asks if anyone knows another Rob Base and DJ Rock song? Yeah, us neither.
"Fight the power; fight the powers that be" — Public Enemy
Did you see the NFL rules committee changed the kickoff rule, allowing teams to kick off from the 35 and increasing the likelihood of touchbacks by a multiple of at least 2.
The rules committee said the change was done in an effort to increase player safety.
The 5-at-10 says "Hogwash."
If this was a move to improve player safety, then why was a move to improve the language about rules to clarify hits on "defenseless players," — a matter of real safety that happens throughout the game — tabled until an unannounced date.
If player safety is a concern, then why is there a labor stoppage that one of the big hang-ups is adding two games — a stipulation that will add more physical stress to every player, not just those on the kickoff teams.
Plus, the new kickoff rules may increase the number of high, lofted kickoffs that allow the coverage team to swarm the returners, which could create more dangerous situations for the returners.
No, the 5-at-10 believes the kickoff rule was a hidden move about rosters and expenses. The days of a third kicker as a kickoff specialist are now done. The days of paying a kickoff return specialist like Devin Hester, who now may get one kickoff return a game, are coming to an end.
Rap song reference: Saw Public Enemy in the Georgia Dome — they opened for U2 and it was an awesome, Awesome, AWESOME show, and PE was better than U2 that night. Chuck D was the man and that was before Flav-a-Flav became a reality TV cartoon character. As for the NFL labor dispute, there is no winner. And the great PE line, "Plymouth Rock landed on us," goes out to the NFL fans, who are wondering when football will return, and when it does now it will have fewer kickoff returns — which at times can rank among the most entertaining plays in game. Alas.
"The Fat Boys are back, and you know they can never be wack" — The Fat Boys
(Also known as Braves update, Volume 2, Chapter 3)
What has happened to the barrel-chested Atlanta Braves reliever? No Charlie Kerfield. No Terry Forster (that wonderful "fat tub of goo," as David Letterman called him.) No Juan Berenguer. In some ways that's sad.
Other than heft and maybe experience, though, this Braves bullpen looks pretty respectable and could be pretty special.
"Everyday" Johnny Venters has yet to allow a run this spring. You know what you're going to get from Peter Moylan, five or seven strong outings in a row and then one game that will be along the lines of: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 ER. Craig Kimbrel is going to be a star. The Scotties — Linebrink and Proctor — and George Sherrill may be the best middle relief options this club has had in a generation. This is a strong collection.
They just don't have a fat guy. Maybe reserve outfielder/first baseman Eric Hinske can pitch an inning or three — that wonderful fat tub of goo.
Rap song reference: How about those Fat Boys, huh? They had the huge, neon shoelaces. They had maybe the best human beatbox of all-time. They had a couple of huge albums. They even starred in the single worst movie of all-time — "The Disorderlies" — and this is not open for debate. Let's just keep going.
"L.L. I'm bad, and all the rappers know; when I enter the center, they say yo, yo there he goes," — L.L. Cool J from "I'm Bad"
(Also know as This and That)
— Derek Rose gets the "L.L., I'm bad" shout-out. (Side note: The 5-at-10 went through at least three cassettes of L.L.'s classic "Bigger and Deffer.") The 5-at-10 expected Rose, the former Memphis point guard, would be a star in the NBA, but dude is the best player on the planet right now. Wow. He went 30 points-10 assists in the Bulls' destruction of the Hawks last night. He's averaging 24-plus points, almost five rebounds and almost eight assists, plus his efficiency (a stat that calculates how your team does when you're on the court) is a staggering plus-22.69. For what it's worth, if Rose had stayed, he'd be a senior at Memphis this year.
— Eazy E said, "The boys in the 'hood are always hard." Barry Bonds' lawyer said he did not know he was taking steroids. Those are close to similar. Or not.
— Run-DMC supported "Myyyyy AAAAA-didas, walking on the hardwood floors." So does the University of Tennessee, which started spring practice Tuesday. (The 5-at-10 will start the Vols' position breakdown Thursday.)
— There are too many to name from the Beastie Boys' album of "License to Ill," which ranks with GnR's "Appetite for Destruction" atop the 5-at-10's top debut albums of all-time. So how about the NFL pro days? (A stretch, yes, but the 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.) A.J. Green showed out at Georgia's pro-day on Tuesday. Former Calhoun High star and Georgia receiver Kris Durham may have opened some eyes with a time in the 4.4s in the 40-year dash. (Side note: SportTalk's Dr. B — he is a doctor and all — and the 5-at-10 are in complete agreement that Patrick Peterson is the best player in this draft. Will he go first? Not likely. In three years, will we be asking, why did the Panthers pass on Patrick Peterson? You bectha.)
— We can't leave this morning without a tip of cap to "Rapper's Delight," the Sugarhill Gang classic that may have started it all. So here, we'll announce the tie-breaker for the Underrated/Overrated Bracket challenge. After much consideration, each of the teams tied for first needs to submit three players that combined score the most points in the next two rounds. In an effort to limit duplicate entries, you can select either Jimmer Fredette or Kimba Walker, but not both. And if there are duplicate entries, the first one received will get the tiebreaker edge, so either be quick or be creative.
Here are the people we need players from, and we have to have them by 5 p.m. Thursday. If anybody else wants to play, you're always welcome, it's a "Rapper's Delight," after all:
scole023 — Pitt/Tennessee
EC — Pitt/Georgia
Bigbearzzz — Pitt/Georgia
Pretend Al Davis — Pitt/Oakland
5-at-10 — Pitt/Wofford
BIspy4 — Pitt/Utah State
OTWatcher — Pitt/Old Dominion
ThatIdoKnow — Pitt/Missouri
Charlie S. — Pitt/Princeton
Chris Goforth from "The Show" on Fox 1310AM — Pitt/Belmont
Quake from SportTalk on 102.3 FM — Pitt/Belmont
Dr. B (He's a doctor after all) from SportTalk on 102.3 FM — Pitt/Utah State
Darrell Patterson, Channel 9 sports anchor — Pitt/Utah State
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 ...