published Friday, April 27th, 2012

5 at 10: Monster Mailbag on the draft and Mount Rushmores

From the "Talks too much" Studios, here we go (and buckle up gang, this one gets long):

From Stewwie

Dr. Jay,

Possible question for tomorrow...what are your thoughts on the new Falcons' stadium plans? Good idea? Bad idea?

Stew,

If Arthur Blank can convince the city to do it, then good for him. We personally feel that no city should be in the stadium BID-ness, especially if you already have a team in town. And doubly especially if it's an NFL team, which is making money hand-over fist from the league's TV deal.

If you're the point man in L.A. trying to bring an NFL team to town, then you have to have a stadium on the front end.

We're not impressed with owners who try to hijack a city with the threat of moving for a new city. Dude, times are tough. The city of Atlanta's education system is in the toilet and the Falcons want 3/4 of a billion dollars for a new stadium?

Hey, Jerry Jones built his palace with his own check book. And the city can bend over backward with tax-breaks to help Blank and Co. out. Because let's be really honest — a new stadium in Atlanta right now with talks of BCS semifinals at neutral sites and Super Bowls and the events a new state-of-the-art dome could bring would be a tourism ATM for the city.

But Blank has little leverage right now because there is no way the NFL would let him move out of a top-10 TV market.

Stew, great question, and we should discuss the BID-ness of sports more. It's truly fascinating. We charge you Good Stew with bringing up at least one Sports BID-ness question each month. What say you sir, are you up to the task?

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  • photo
    Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright, right, poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected 20th overall by the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall, Thursday, April 26, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From sportsfan

Hey Jay. I understand you might love the draft. If so, who are the top 3 Brady Quinn candidates that may sit for an embarrassingly extended period during the draft this year?

SportsFan,

Thanks for the question, and while we discussed it some this week in the comments, we thought it would be fair to look at the names of the players that were reportedly attending the draft that were not first-round picks:

Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford — Not overly surprising since most projections had him at the very end of round one.

Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia — Big surprise.

Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech — Big surprise.

Rueben Randle, WR, LSU — Not overly surprising since most projections had him at the very end of round one.

Devon Still, DT, Penn State — Big surprise that he decided to attend; in fact the only time we saw Still's name linked to the first round was when we referenced players invited that had no chance of being first-round picks.

Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama — Huge surprise. Behind the Seattle Seahawks drafting Bruce Irvin — a guy that they could have drafted in Round 2 — and the obscene number of trades in the first 10 picks and how crazy small Dont'a Hightower's head is compared to his hulking build, the fact that Upshaw still is on the board may be the next biggest surprise.

Which leads us to....

————

From Jeffe

We hear you are fond of the draft? Do tell? With round one in the books, what's your take? Winners and losers and all that instant grading stuff that Al Gore created the internet for?

PS — Did you get my picks? War Eagle Kendall Wright.

Jeffe,

You're in, and yes you and Weena each had Kendall Wright going to the Titans, no matter how bad that turns out for the Titans.

Here's a We Love the Draft pick contest update:

• First SEC player picked — Trent Richardson

• First Titans pick — Kendall Wright

• First Steelers pick — David DeCastro

• First Falcons pick — (23rd pick of the second round right now)

• What team picks B.J. Coleman?

• Mr. Irrelevant?

Here are the standings (and if you see a discrepancy or don's see your picks, give us a shout):

Jeffe — 2 points — Allen/Packers/Walsh

Weena — 2 points — Massie/Chicago/B. Brown

5-at-10 — 1 point — Jeff Allen/Pittsburgh/Drew Butler

McPell — 1 point — Mitchell Schwartz/Denver/Jake Gdowski

LaughingBoy — 1 point — Bobbie Massie/Arizona/Randy Bullock

Deboman — 1 point — K. Zeitler/Packers/Emil Igwenagu

Mrs. 5-at-10 — 1 point — Osemele/Buffalo/Vontaze Burfict

scole023 — 1 point — Massie/Green Bay/Lennon Creer

OTWatcher — 1 point — Tennessee/Kellen Moore

SportTalk's Quake (who demanded that we include is "Defending Champ") — 1 point — Vinny Curry/Pittsburgh Steelers (heart pick)/Dale Moss

WarEagle — 1 point — Zeitler/Seattle/Neiko Thorpe

Believer — 1 point — TE from Clemson/St. Louis/Tim Benford

StuckinKent — 1 point — Dwayne Allen/Packers/Bryce Brown

Cobrakid8 — 1 point — Kelechi Osemele/Jacksonville Jaguars/Blair Walsh

Chas9 — 1 point — Kelechi Osemele/Green Bay/Blair Walsh.

BlueOval — 1 point — Osemele/Pittsburgh/Creer

33wannabe — 1 point — Martin/Cardinals/Vlachos

Fred — 0 points — Kelechi Osemele/Denver/Blair Walsh

ThatIDoKnow — 0 points — Joe Looney/Chicago/Brandon Moseley

CelticVol — 0 points — Harrison Smith/Tampa Bay Bucs/Janzen Jackson

TFP's golf ace David Uchiyama — 0 points — Devon Still/Buffalo/Blair Walsh

Norman — 0 points — Massie/Chicago/Kellen Moore

PDavi — 0 points — Jeff Allen/Pittsburgh/Drew Butler

As for the draft, well, here are the three biggest winners:

— New England added a top-flight pass-rusher in Chandler Jones and a stud-duck middle linebacker in Dont'a Hightower. (Hightower and Jarod Mayo instantly make the league's second best 3-4 middle linebacker duo behind Willis-Bowman in San Fran.) Plus the Pats have multiple picks in the second and third rounds.

— Have to love the value/need ratio San Diego, Detroit and Pittsburgh got. The Chargers needed a pass rusher and sprinted to the podium when DE Melvin Ingram, who was pegged as high as No. 7 overall 48 hours ago, fell to them at No. 18. Detroit needed a tackle to protect Matt Stafford, and Riley Reiff, the second-best tackle in the draft fell to No. 23. The Steelers needed an interior lineman and David DeCastro, the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, fell to No. 24. (Although we'd like to hear SteelerFan's view of his team's draft, and would have loved, Loved, LOVED to have been a fly on the wall inside the Steelers' War Room as the debate between DeCastro and Hightower was going on.)

— Minnesota. Got three extra picks to move back one spot and get the guy they were going to take anyway in Matt Kalil. Plus, the Vikings sent some of those extra picks to Baltimore to get back into the late part of the first round and take Harrison Smith, the second-best safety in the draft.

Here are our three biggest head-scratchers:

— Seattle used the 15th pick on Bruce Irvin, a guy that could have been had with the 15th pick of the second round. Maybe they should close down the open bar in the Seahawks' War Room.

— The Dolphins and Chiefs seemed to reach by taking Ryan Tannehill at No. 8 and defensive tackle Dontari Poe at No. 11. Hey, we get the draft has an element of the unknown and you have to try to gauge a player's potential, but wow. As we discussed last night during the draft — and thanks to those of you that participated in the 5-at-10 draft chat, we may have to try that again sometime — there comes a time when actual facts have to come into play. And neither Tannehill or Poe passed the appositive phrase test. Look at it this way, as all of the other players were being picked in the top 13, they came up on the screen like this:

PLAYER'S NAME

Fact about the player

So in the top 13 players were walking to put on the hat have a photo with the commissioner — who Mr. 962 said last night looks like the love child of Owen Wilson and Conan O'Brien; well-played indeed — here's some of what we had:

TRENT RICHARDSON

Heisman Finalist

JUSTIN BLACKMON

first-team All-American

LUKE KUECHLY

Led the country in tackles the last two years

All of those are pretty boss, right?

Well here's the appositive phrases for Tannehill and Poe

RYAN TANNEHILL

three-time all-Big 12 all-academic first-team

DONTARI POE

second-team Conference USA selection

Not exactly ringing endorsements for the No. 8 and No. 11 overall picks.

— We're all for moving down and stock-piling picks, but St. Louis now has formally passed on every player in this draft not named Andrew Luck, considering they moved down from No. 2 (getting three No. 1s from Washington) and No. 6 (getting a No. 1 and a No. 2 from Dallas). And yes, the Rams have a ton of needs, but they were not able to get either of the top two receivers and settled for Michael Brockers at 14. This leads us to...

The Rams have the first pick in the second round and there are some great storylines today. St. Louis has to take a receiver — be it Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle or even a Brian Quick — with that pick. That means the Colts, who have the second pick of round two, could reunite Andrew Luck and tight end Coby Fleener, and that's a great start to replacing the passing game voids left by Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark.

Plus, there has to be a number of teams looking longingly at some of the names still on the board. We're betting the Rams are fielding calls from teams looking to move up to take Courtney Upshaw or Janoris Jenkins or Bobbie Massie or Cordy Glenn or even a Jerel Worthy, each of whom was a first-rounder on most predraft lists.

————

From JordanRules

Whatever about the draft. It's kind of boring, especially with the announcers.

Remember when you said LeBron was having a historical season? Well, does that history mean finishing second in the East behind a Bulls team that did not have their best player for half of the season?

I'm sure you're going to make some smart-a comment about it but whatever. LeBron is the most overrated player ever.

JordanRules,

Thanks for bringing up the draft announcers. Chris Berman was better than normal and Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper Jr. were great. Although how about the hair disparity between Kiper and Gruden? Wow, total mismatch and it was impossible not to notice. Kiper had his perfect weather-man hair that never moved and Gruden had his "I don't give a darn" down the middle bullet cut that makes him look part like Chucky and part like the devilish kid that got you in trouble in Vacation Bible School when you were 11.

As for LeBron, well, we'll try like the Dickens not to be a smart a, but can we be a smart c-minus? How about a smart-T-pants, which is not be confused with a Buford-T-Justice? How about a Smarty, Smarty we like to party, we don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody? OK, no?

Anyhoo, LeBron James should walk with the MVP award after a year in which he was off the charts in every category. In fact, even though Kevin Durant won his third-consecutive scoring title, the only reason James won't be a unanimous pick is because some yahoo sports writer is looking for someone other than James to vote for. (Something that happened to MJ at least twice in his career.)

And since we're already approaching something like 10,000 words, we'll just leave it at that. But we will agree that this is a huge postseason for LeBron and the Heatles. H-U-G-E. (And there's no 'A' in there what so ever.)

Side note: If we had to come up with an all-time Rushmore of Overrated, it would be New Year's Eve, Madonna, Joe Namath and the Mona Lisa. Feel free to share yours.

————

From CelticVol

Hey 5@10,

You are always talking about a Mount Rushmore for sports greats. What about a Mount Rushmore for evil sports figures? Please tell me that Ron Artest AKA Metta World Peace is on there.

CelticVol,

OK, we thought about this and decided that there had to be two lists.

The first one is Jerry Sandusky, Rae Carruth, O.J. Simpson and Mike Danton. Call this Felony Peak of the Mount Rushmore of Evil. (The first three are obvious. Danton was a rising star in the NHL who is serving time for a murder-for-hire plan to try to kill his agent.)

Now we get into where we think your question was pointed. Evil in the game. Evil in terms of fan villains. Evil as viewed as thugs or jerks. And, whether we want to admit it or not, evil that brings us at least a small measure of pleasure because the games would not be nearly as fun without these villains.

We'll call this Thrill Hill of the Mount Rushmore of sports evil. Metta World Peace is there. Barry Bonds is there. We'll take Scott Boras third. And we'll use a wildcard pick on Art Modell.

Side category: In the visitor's center of the Mount Rushmore of sports evil, there's a special tribute to the evil figures of sports movies. That Rushmore is Clubber Lang, Corba Kai leader John Kreese, Rachel Phelps, Warden Hazen (from the Longest Yard, and let's face it, if you're the villain in a sports movie about convicted felons, then you have accomplished something).

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 ...

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chas9 said...

Jordan Rules--Consider a name change. MJ can add this to his superlatives list: His team is the losingest in NBA history. But #23's team did achieve a streak that matches his jersey number.

April 27, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[We charge you Good Stew with bringing up at least one Sports BID-ness question each month. What say you sir, are you up to the task?]

As you wish.

Great list on the Overrated Rushmore. Here's mine...

U2 Ashton Kutcher Charles Barkley Brent Musburger

Whatcha think?

Unless I missed it, what do you think about Cleveland's logic for trading away three picks to move up one spot? Was the Trentster really that worth it? If somebody else wanted him that bad, so be it. I think Kalil would have been a nice consolation pick for the Browns at #4 had they stayed there.

April 27, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Go easy on JordanRules, he means well. Although as a team executive MJ is Jair Jurrjens bad right now.

Capt. Stew-bing —

Great. We need more sports BID-ness.

And while we're huge fans of T-Rich and think he's going to be a Pro Bowl level player (that is if they ever have the Pro Bowl again), the Browns got fleeced. Three picks to move one spot is too much. Heck, Dallas moved eight and got an elite CB in Morris Claiborne for a second-rounder.

Nice overrated list, by the way. Although you know the 5-at-10 loves Chuck Barkley.

— 5-at-10

April 27, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
deboman said...

Draft was great, but really could have been done in about 2 hours. A lot of lollygagging going on between picks. Don’t know if New York has seen that much love passed around since Woodstock. Just don’t understand the need to walk around and hug and talk to the people you have been sharing a table with for the past 2-3 hours. You’d think Goodell hadn’t seen these players in eons. Also, glad to see the NFL team finally figured out the ‘Hot off the Press’ iron-on machine for the player’s jerseys. Nice idea, I was just waiting to see if one was going to come out misspelled. Gruden brought it last night and have to say that I will be very disappointed if he leaves the booth. Anytime you can hear him talk about someone that can ‘work through the briar patch’ or refer to the Seahawks pick as a one trick pony, that’s good stuff. He’s not afraid to disagree with Kiper either and has his barrels loaded with reasons to back it up.

I was thinking about the Thrill Hill the other day after the World Peace…uh…celebration I think he called it. Would have to go with Artest, Lawrence Phillips, Sean Avery, and either T.O or Bob Irsay.
For the Rushmore of evil, I would switch out Danton for Graham James. Dude is on the level of Sandusky, if not worse.

April 27, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Deboman —

Graham Jones is a great call. Well done.

And Gruden is so money right now. He and Kiper were so good that Berman was tolerable, which is about as good as he can be recently.

You bring up a great point about how Kiper and Gruden can disagree and each is loaded with ammo so it's respectful even if they agree to disagree. When Kiper and McShay go toe-to-toe, you get the feeling that Kiper will debate then looks at McShay and thinks, "Todd, go get your shine box."

Avery's a good call, too.

Didn't see much of the Game 7s last night. Good stuff? Want to give us a quick primer on the NHL playoff series as they hit the next round?

It's a free-for-all Friday folks.

— 5-at-10

April 27, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Great answer to my question about the Falcons' stadium situation. These guys are talking about spending more taxpayers' dollars like it's no big deal. And the Dome is only 20 years old and they just did some renovations inside.

If Arthur Blank wants a new stadium that badly, he needs to pony up the $$$ as Jerry Jones did in Big D (as you mentioned). Why do the Falcons want to play outdoors anyway? The Aug./Sept. GA heat is unbearable at times, even at night. Also, the South does not have many cold-weather faithfuls like people in Chicago, Green Bay, etc. That said, the Dome is a great venue for Falcons football and for the other events that it has during the year.

April 27, 2012 at 1:25 p.m.
chas9 said...

Overrated: Garth Brooks, Las Vegas, wedding cake, Tyler Perry movies.

April 27, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stew-tebaker —

The AJC reported today that a new stadium would run between $940 million-$1 billion. That's some serious coin.

Heck, they built the Georgia Dome 20 years ago for right at $200 million. And we're with you, the Dome is fine by us.

9er —

Love your list, especially the wedding cake (and wedding cake is the Andrew Luck/Anthony Davis of Overpriced Rushmore). Although we could contend that Tyler Perry's work is properly rated since we do not rate it.

(And while Garth Brooks deserves a lion's share of the blame for the disaster that is today's country music, we have kind of mellowed on our distain for Brooks' music.)

— 5-at-10

April 27, 2012 at 2:42 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

El 5,

Agree on your first three all-time overrated. Can't ever overrate Mona Lisa, though. Maybe Rodin's The Thinker or Van Gogh's Starry Night. But not the Mona Lisa. Next you'll say American Gothic is overrated.

Also, having seen U2 in concert, they are definitely not overrated. As for their albums/CDs, it's always been a case of half of it's great and the other half is huh?

Deboman, very good call on the loathsome and truly despicable Graham James.

Also in the pantheon of evil I submit the ref from the 1972 US-USSR Olympic gold medal basketball game. And how about Vince McMahon for the Montreal screw job on Bret "The Hitman" Hart?

And where does Bobby Petrino rank on this scale? Surely there must be room for him there. Now, you know how much I hate one Brian VanGorder. He gets a vote from me to put on the Pantheon of Sports Evil, though there are others who will bypass him.

April 27, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.
deboman said...

The game 7’s were good but not great. Granted, one did go to a second OT, but neither game really generated the energy of the previous night.

As for the eye test, the East has the better Made-for-TV teams and they will be shown on NBC on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but all the series should produce some quality games.

St. Louis is riding the momentum of an early season coaching change. They have a good mix of young, don’t-know-any-better, talent mixed with some grizzled, cup winning veterans. Not to mention a goalie, who appeared in this year’s all-star game, that started the 1st round as the back-up. LA have the top goalie left in the tourney and he has the ability to win games all by himself. Strong center play has cemented the Kings as a tough team to play against and this should be a low scoring series with moments of flash and dash.

Phoenix is also riding a hot goalie and they could be looked at as the uninvited guest to this party. They are not driven by star power, just consistent play from the entire roster. Nashville, well they have Pekka Rinne and he’s peaking at the right time. GM Poile has added a few pieces, including bringing back Radulov from Russian, and Trotz has them hitting on all cylinders. The Preds had the top power play during the regular season and that could propel them into the western conference final.

Caps vs the Rangers in the East. 3rd time in 4 seasons these teams meet (Caps won both previous meetings). Both teams have good goaltending. Washington is playing a new defense first system that helped them beat the defending Cup champs and could do the same to the Rangers who struggled to put pucks in the net in the first round, only scoring 14 goals in 7 games. If the Rangers forwards continue to struggle (d-men scored both game 7 goals) the Capitals have the firepower to make this a long series for NY.

Flyers vs Devils. Philly enters rested - only Eastern team not to play a 7 game series. The week off should help them sort out their defensive shortcomings. While they did do a lot of scoring in the first round, their goaltending was atrocious and will not hold up against a defense oriented opponent like the Devils. While Bryzgalov brings in a shaky .871 save % and outrageous 3.89 goals against avg., NJ’s perennial, postseason stud Brodeur has been his usual steady self with a .920 % and 2.06 GAA. If Philthy can shore up its defense, they should be able to produce enough scoring to take down their divisional nemesis.
I may watch too much hockey.

April 27, 2012 at 3:04 p.m.
chas9 said...

Spy--Great call on the evil Soviet basketball screw job. Which reminds me of the whole corrupt Olympics judging system in gymnastics and skating. Which reminds me of another entry in the overrated pantheon: that ribbon dancing gymnasticky thingie.

April 27, 2012 at 3:10 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Culture, smulture. It's a picture of a chick who's halfway smiling and she's not all that hot. Period. It's all well and good, but it's not "Dogs playing poker" or a velvet Elvis... Now that's art.

U2 was very good in concert, but when we saw them in the A-T-L they weren't better than their opening act. Granted, the opening act was Public Enemy at the height of Chuck D's powers and before Flava-Flav lost his mind (Boiiizzzzzzzz).

Petrino is a good call and the Russian ref — a real-life Dragoo — is better.

Deboman —

Well-played sir. Well-played indeed.

Gang... there's your NHL playoff primer. We encourage everyone to grab a seat on the Preds' bandwagon. There's still room.

War Preds.

— 5-at-10

April 27, 2012 at 3:11 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Is "ribbon dancing gymnasticky thingie" the official name and how do they get that on one of those little medals?

And to think "ribbon dancing gymnasticky thingie" is an Olympic sport and baseball — BASEBALL for cryin' out loud — is not.

Want to know an Olympic sport that's underrated... Curling. Curling is cool. Way better than the Mona Lisa. Take that art.

— 5-at-10

April 27, 2012 at 3:13 p.m.
deboman said...

Just out of curiosity is Trampoline still an Olympic sanctioned event??? There is another one that makes you wonder what the selection committee was thinking.

Curling rocks! And the Norwegian teams curling pants are second only to John Daly's.

Got to see PE back in the day, quality show fo sho! But I do have to say that I did see U2 on a rainy day and Bono slipped on the stage and separated his shoulder; kid threw his wing in a sling and kept goin' for another hour. That earned him some bonus points there. (He did lose some of those when he started getting all preachy though)

Overrated-- Rex Ryan, Sting, Imported Beer, and Notre Dame Football.

April 27, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Deboman —

That is an out-FLIPPIN-standing overrated Rushmore. Well-played indeed.

— 5-at-10

April 27, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.
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