published Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

5-at-10: Thursday weirdness, UT questions, Olympic coins

Gang, sorry we didn't get back to the conversation Wednesday — we were meeting-rific and covered up with our TPS reports. So it goes, but there were some excellent responses to the Olympic Rushmore talk, and we liked McPell's idea for a winter and summer split.

We have a couple of open spots for Friday's mailbag and we just finished discussions on the "Can You Beat Jay" SEC football picks contest done on this web site. We are going to do it again this year and we hope everyone will play.

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

Strange start to the day

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    Former NBA player Dennis Rodman gives a news conference to announce his tour and charity work in Panama City, Tuesday, July, 31, 2012. Rodman is in Panama to promote a tour with other NBA players during which they will play an exhibition basketball game with local Panamanian players and contribute to charities.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Thursday started with news that made us wonder if it was going to be one of those "everything that is up is down" crazy flip-flop days.

First we noticed that Eminem is the most liked living person on the FaceSpace, or whatever it's called. Eminem, the street-tough rapper who uses curses more frequently than Spy uses four-syllabel words, is a lot of things — talented, trend-setting, rough, edgy, etc. — but likable would not have been high on our list.

Then we learn that Dennis Rodman is writing a book. And if that's not surprising enough, please know that Rodman, the cross-dressing eccentric, is writing a children's book. Let's just say, if Rodman writes "Goodnight Moon" there's a real chance someone's tuckus is going to be on the cover.

Well, we're prepared for anything at this point. Maybe John Rocker is going to be an ACLU spokesman or NOW will honor Tiger Woods with their husband of the decade award.

Buckle up gang, something leads us to believe Thursday is going to be nuts.

Vols report

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    Quarterback Tyler Bray, No. 8, looks for an open receiver while playing in the Orange and White game on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown is about to get busy. Really busy. The football Vols report this week and Brown's name will be a fixture in your TFP for the foreseeable future. He listed five key questions for the Vols as they start fall practice.

We agree that the Vols have a slew of question marks; they also have a slew of strengths. That's one of the reasons that we believe this Tennessee could win five games, it could win 10 games or it could win anywhere in between. It's hard to remember a team that realistically has that big a window.

Downtown Patty Brown's questions — who will be the RB, can the corners deliver, will the defensive front be better, will the kicking game not implode and is the offense ready to be excellent — are measured and well-reasoned. We can seem them all, and we believe finding a running back is Job Numero 1 during the preseason. As good-to-potentially great as the pieces in the UT passing game are, without some presence of a running game, UT's offense will not be elite.

Questions aside, the two biggest issues in the 5-at-10's view for Johnny Vols Fans everywhere are a) whether Tyler Bray is ready to lead this bunch and b) can the linebackers stay healthy.

Will Bray show the first-round talent he has displayed or will he be the emotional basket case that has ranged from crying on the sideline during a game, being a statue during a historically bad loss to Kentucky (which was using a WR at quarterback — copyrighted by Chas9) and throwing beer bottles and golf balls at parked cars?

As for the Vols linebackers, here's saying that if the four projected starters — AJ Johnson, Curt Maggitt, Herman Lathers and Jacques Smith — can grasp Sal Sunseri's 3-4 and stay healthy, the group could super-exceed expectations. That said, there is next to no depth behind that quartet, and a 3-4 defense short on linebackers almost always comes out on the short end of the stick.

NFL camping

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    New Orleans Saints linebacker Kadarron Anderson (46)runs through drills during training camp at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

While the hot NFL scuttlebutt of the Saints being upset about being punished too harshly and the fact that Tim Tebow took his shirt off may appease the masses, there are a few other NFL story lines out there that deserve our attention.

— The Falcons and Titans are going to practice at Coahulla Creek High School on Monday. Coahulla Creek is just north of Dalton, near the Prater's Mill community. There will be no charge for admission, and look in Sunday's TFP for complete details about the event if you're interested in going.

— Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette he has a "little bit" of a rotator cuff tear. "I'm good. It's OK, just sore," he told the newspaper. "I have a little torn rotator cuff. That doesn't heal. We just have to hope it doesn't tear the rest of the way." Let's just say that if we're a Steelers fan, that does not make us smile this morning.

— Looking for a sneaky Super Bowl dark horse? How about the Bears? Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte are a nice collection at the skilled positions, and the Bears defense is still salty. The cyclical nature of the NFL is consistent in dispersing its inconsistency. Who expected three of the six best NFC teams — Lions, Packers, Bears, oh my — to be from the NFC North?

— Steaming into the season, the biggest hurdle facing Roger Goodell is not the Saints and how they are handling their Bounty timeout. No, the NFL is fully prepared to use replacement referees. Well, they are full prepared to use them right now when there are no games in sight. After two weeks of replacement refs and the possibility of a river of missed calls shaping the season, here's saying the NFL will get super tired of answering questions about the officiating.

This and that

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    United States' Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal for the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— Did you see the number of the IRS bill for American medal winners. When an American medals, the United States Olympic Committee pays each athlete a bonus — gold gets $25K, silver gets $15K and bronze gets $10K. According to The Weekly Standard, a conservative news magazine, the taxes on those bonuses comes to $8,986 for gold, $5,385 for silver and $3,500 for bronze. U-S-A. U-S-A.

— The U.S. is dominating in the pool and that's cool. But we're ready for the track and field events to start.

— Our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer has a fun look at the Mocs men's basketball schedule. Talk about going from one extreme to the other: The Mocs open the season against Tennessee Temple and Kansas in back-to-back games.

— We are planning on being on 1370 AM today around 2 p.m. with Chris Goforth and his crew.

— Cool story of the day: Clemson walk-on receiver Daniel Rodriguez was cleared by the NCAA to participate and will practice Friday with the Tigers. Granted, the presence of a 5-foot-8 non-scholarship receiver is hardly Earth-shattering, but hold on. Rodriguez is an honorably discharged staff sergeant who received the Bronze Star Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart for his heroic efforts in the war in Afghanistan. Wait, there's more. Rodriguez promised one of his dying brothers in arms — Pfc. Kevin Thompson — that if Rodriguez ever got back home he'd try to fulfill his dream of playing college football. Upon returning to the states, Rodriguez, who graduated high school in 2007 before enlisting to get away from personal troubles, started training six hours a day to get into football shape. A video of his training went viral and caught the eye of dozens of college programs. Clemson was the lucky one to land him. Here's Rodriguez's quote to the AP: "I'm not this high-scouted athlete expected to change this program. I'm just a cog on the wheel that's going to play my role and better the team from an individual standpoint and give insight from what I've been through as a person. If I can help mold some of these guys in the locker room to have the same perspective on life I have, that's a benefit." U-S-A. U-S-A.

Today's question(s)

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Cruising by USA Today this morning, and we could not help but notice two things:

First, apparently they are not only making a Red Dawn redo, they are already finished with it and prepared to release it this November. We're not sure if we're pumped or bummed about this.

Second, the USA Today coaches poll will be released today. We are excited about this.

Of course, polls that matter should not be release until October, but it's always fun to have a gauge for the teams heading into the year.

We asked a few months ago about remade movies — and Red Dawn drew a lot of support. Is this a good thing or bad thing?

Who you got in the top 5? We'll go with USC, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and FSU in that order.

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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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.
chas9 said...

Jay must be takin' care of bidness, 'cause The 5@10 is listed in the business section today.

And in other Knoxville-related news, Jamal Lewis is the latest in a long list of classless big time athletes.

Enjoyed Spy's mention yesterday of DeLisha Milton. I really liked her play when the SEC women's tournament was in Chattaboogie.

The Olympians have booted eight badminton players (the game's hotter than you think) for losing on purpose. When I heard the headline, I assumed it was a gambling thing, but turns out they were trying for a more favorable matchup in the next round. Seems to me it's a broken system if you can get a better matchup by losing. So if a team tries its hardest to win the big prize, it has to lose. How is that wrong?

Yesterday fec mentioned Katarina Witt and Nadia Comaneci for his Olympics Rushmore, so I had to wonder if he was influenced by their good looks. If so, he has a good eye. So here's a question for tomorrow's bag: Who's on your Mt. Rushmore of Olympic medalists who deserve gold for being easy on the eyes as well as tough competitors? For the female division I nominate Katarina, Nadia, FloJo, and Sonja Henie. I don't think Gabrielle Reece medaled. The male division could start with Greg Louganis. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Another entry in the sports all-name contest: Kromowidjojo.

August 2, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Jamal Lewis has always been a peach.

Your question will make the mailbag for sure — not that there's anything wrong with that.

And did you folks notice our talented web crew super-imposing the 5-at-10's melon over Patrick Swayze's face in the Red Dawn poster. Well-played indeed Luis.

— 5-at-10

August 2, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Roger Goodell better get his heart right before Ed Hochuli rips a phone book in half and beats him to death with it. Do they do PED testing for all employees of the NFL, because I am pretty sure 60 year old men arent supposed to look like that. Dudes jacked.

Its good to see Rodman is making a conscious effort to deal with his debt, in whatever means necessary. Cant see this thing making it very far on the best sellers list, and it will likely be bought more for gag gift and curiousity than its intended purpose. He seems to be addressing an audience that his mental capabilities line up with best, which is that of a child. So good for him. (Head pat for Dennis.) Cant wait for your cookbook Wormie.

And on to the weird...Bradley Wiggins has won the Tour de France and a gold in the cycling time trials in the same year, good show Wiggy, however he gets a F in "Appropriate Sideburn Length for People Outside of Bands." Why not just keep those things going all the way around so you have a built in cushion for your helmets chin strap. Youre a gold medalist Brad, have a little respect for your country's image and trim those mutton chops.

And your photoshop department over there must be top notch. I thought you were Patrick Swayze for a tic. I hope there is a full size poster of that image in your office by the end of the week.

August 2, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

Fair point about Rodman trying to fulfill his debts. Maybe the Worm has turned (See what we did there?)

And who has done more with less fanfare than Brad "The Wig" Wiggins? Seriously, he won the only bike race 99 percent of the world can name and an Olympic gold in about a three-week stretch and we wouldn't know the dude if he walked in here and said hello. (As for the sideburn length, anything over a smidge better be full length or belong to a relief pitcher or a boy-band singer.)

And that poster is great right? How about that Lego hair on the Swayze 5-at-10. Heck fire, we may have to answer a couple of mailbag questions as the Swayze 5-at-10.

— 5-at-10

August 2, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Wait, you mean to tell me thats not your hair? Mind-blown. I was debating whether the chiseled jaw line was yours or the Swayzmeister's but I thought to myself "I'd recognize Greeson's teased bangs anywhere."

Funny also that if you walked into my office right now I would probably have no idea who you were either. Your 1"x1" photo doesnt do much for facial recognition in the real world.

August 2, 2012 at 12:04 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, the Vols move to the 3-4 does not fill me with much confidence. At the pro level, Oakland's move to th 3-4 doesn't inspire me either.

My fear is this group of Vol linebackers will be beat down and out of gas by the 4th quarter, and I'm being charitable here as the Vol defense began to cave just after halftime last year. Herman Lathers may be the best of this bunch, but he's returning from a blown out knee.

Can the Vol offense stay on the field, let alone score, to keep the defense in the game this year? Will we see more futile fourth downs from the 35 due to yet another year of kicking inadequacy?

Don't see much but rocks and shoals on the road or in K-Town, but a win over Florida could go far to disipate my anxieties.

August 2, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
patrickd said...

Jay,

You may know that Auburn has started practicing. What can I expect from Kiehl Frazier this season?

August 2, 2012 at 12:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

No the teased bangs have been retired. Although we did use "Sun-In" once — ONCE — during the summer between our sophomore and junior years of high school. Used it right before spending a full day by the pool the day before a week-long basketball camp. Needless to say, the glowing orange tint to our hair inspired many a clown joke.

FE to the C —

Great point about the Vols' depth defensively and fourth-quarter struggles — especially since UT is going to throw it first, last and always.

NC State is a monster game; Florida is almost as big right now and would be bigger if the Vols beat the Wolfpack.

P-Davi —

Longtime no talk. Hope all is well in the P-Davi compound. We'll address our expectations of Mr. Frazier in the mailbag. But since Zeke Pike is no longer with the program, the Tigers are down to Fraizer, Clint Moseley and some 11th-hour signee who has had exactly one college practice.

— 5-at-10

August 2, 2012 at 1:43 p.m.
jgreeson said...

We have a poll.

The USA Today coaches' poll:

1) LSU

2) Alabama

3) USC

4) Oklahoma

5) Oregon

6) Georgia

7) FSU

8) Michigan

9) South Carolina

10) Arkansas

So yes, if you're scoring at home — or if you're by yourself — that's five SEC teams in the preseason top 10.

August 2, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.
Todd962 said...

All is right in the world again. The United States is back atop the medal count and tied for first in gold. Does anyone else consider the entire Olympics a disappointment if we dont lead those two things at the end of the fortnight? And yes, Beijing was tough to swallow when China killed us in gold count.

Jay, we did sun-in. It just made our swoopy bangs look too cool to pass up. We also attempted to dye our hair blonde one night due to the sound advice of a close friend. We just figured we would shave it afterwards if it looked stupid, which it did, Eight Mile bad. Well we werent fully committed enough to bic it clean, so when the brown hair grew back in with the stubbly blonde it appeared green for about two weeks. We didnt have the luxury of attempting something this stupid in the summer and we werent allowed to wear hats at school so the ridicule was tremendous from teammates and friends alike. Our harshest hair critic was a teacher who hit us with the sound life advice of "You are too damn smart to do something that damn stupid."

August 2, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.
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