Thanks for swinging by last week during the holiday time. The mini 5-at-10s bring our Cal Ripken streak to 570 consecutive Mondays-through-Fridays. Yep, we're pretty proud of that.
From the "Talk too much" studios, let's do work.
We're a sucker for lists and year-end type stuff that has dominated the air waves as we put a bow on 2012.
In truth, this was a good year in sports, a pretty good year in movies, a great year for TV shows with a city in their name and a sad year for losing icons. Check the list — Whitney Houston, Dick Clark, Andy Griffith, Richard Dawson, Steve Sabol, Marvin Miller, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf — and we lost a lot of all-timers in their field.
Heck, you could have a pretty stout Mt. Rushmore of all-time TV personalities with Dick Clark, Andy Griffith, Larry Hagman and Sherman Hemsley, each of whom died in '12.
And we'll cover this more this week, but let's say our hopes for 2013 are tempered at best considering the ad nauseum talks of the fiscal cliff — the most annoying cliff since Clavin to be honest — and the trending news that Kim and Kanye are expecting.
Goodbye 2012, and take Honey Boo Boo with you.
Despite a rocky 2012 for the juggernaut that is the NFL — Bountygate, lawsuits and player safety, and the confounding new rules about challenges and illegal hits — we continue to be amazed by the week-in, week-out dazzling product the league produces.
These are indeed high times for the league. Consider the following:
The Colts' magical ride to the playoffs this year with a cancer-stricken head coach and a rookie quarterback;
The wonderful returns to all-time status of Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. Wow. Manning leads Denver to the No. 1 seed in the AFC in his first year back from multiple neck surgeries, and he's only even money on MVP and comeback player of the year because of Peterson, who went for 199 yards Sunday — on the one year anniversary of his surgery to repair his torn ACL — and finished 8 yards shy of the single-season rushing record of 2,105 set in 1984 by Eric Dickerson.
Youth has been well-served at QB this year, with six first- or second-year starting QBs making the playoffs, and that's not counting still-in-their-20-somethings Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers. The league is flush with young talent at its most important position.
That said, if you are not one of those teams with a certain future at quarterback — and yes, Titans, we're talking to you — then you quickly are falling way behind the upper-echelon teams in the league. Plus, there is not a headlining QB in this draft so the teams in the top 10 — Kansas City (1), Jacksonville (2), Oakland (3), Arizona (7), the Jets (9) and possibly Tennessee (10) — would have to reach to fill the most important position in sports.
Bowling for bowling success
Let's say the bowl season is like an NBA game; the first two quarters are relatively meaningless and the outcome is almost always decided in the latter stages of the fourth quarter. Well, the bowl season has just passed the intermission.
Let's look back at the results of the first half from our Bowling for Bowl Game Success Extra-ganza. There are two three-point games left to be played and all of the four-, five and 10-point games still on the board, which is a good thing since there are a few of us emulating Kent Dorfman's pledge GPA (fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son; and that's true, but it can be a fun sidetrack for a few months).
To the results, and in parenthesis are the number of points we have down for you on each wave (one-point games/two-point games/three-point games). And if you have something different, please send it along; we did like 50 of these Sunday morning, so we could have missed a game or six.
Tiger (3/4/3) 10
Roadrunner (1/4/3) 8
Mrs. 5-at-10 (5/0/3) 8
Deboman (1/8/-3) 6
Joe S. (3/0/3) 6
SportTalk's Quake (3/0/3) 6
ThatIDoKnow (3/0/3) 6
TennFlyer (-3/4/3) 4
Hookshot (-1/0/3) 2
Harold (-1/0/3) 2
June Jones (-1/0/3) 2
WarEagle (-1/0/3) 2
Weena (-1/0/3) 2
Jim T. (-1/0/3) 2
Dools (-1/0/3) 2
Skunk (-1/0/3) 2
Bluto (-1/0/3) 2
Player (3/-4/3) 2
OTWatcher (1/4/-3) 2
Addicted to Chalupa (1/4/-3) 2
Sportsfan (1/4/-3) 2
5-at-10 (3/0/-3) 0.0
StuckinKent (3/0/-3) 0
TommyT (3/0/-3) 0
FE to the C (-1/-2/3) 0
JVFan (-1/-2/3) 0
Green Acres (1/0/-3) -2
Jay K (1/0/-3) -2
Hustler (1/0/-3) -2
Junkman (1/0/-3) -2
Sir Drinks Alot (1/0/-3) -2 — great board name by the way
Onetimer (1/0/-3) -2
Orangeguy (3/4/-9) -2
Dawg747 (-1/0/-3) -4
BlueOval (-3/-4/3) -4
Jordan Rules (-1/0/-3) -4
Spy (1/-4/-3) -6
StrongWilly (1/-4/-3) -6
McPell (1/-4/-3) -6
DL560429 (-3/-4/-3) -10
Believer (-3/0/-9) -12
Again, please double check your scores and remember that first and last place will get something.
As for the first half of the bowl season, well, it was a little bit non-descript in truth. There were some fun moments — watching Syracuse and West Virginia in the snow and some of the late comebacks — that have been entertaining.
The show, however starts today with three games in which we have a vested interest.
As for our picks against the spread, we're 19-11, including a nice run on totals. That total should be 20-10, considering we had Duke and watched them implode in the final 44 seconds of a tie game. Cincy scored two touchdowns in the final minute — including a 50-plus-yard interception return — to cover the 9.5 in arguably the worst against the spread beat in recent memory.
This and that
— Want to know how crazy and strange 2012 was, here's the kicker: The L.A. Clippers finished December 16-0. The Clippers, who you could make a hard argument as the worst franchise of our lifetime, were perfect in the final month of 2012. There you go.
— There will be a flurry of NFL pink slips handed about today. Andy Reid is reportedly gone. Cleveland is starting anew. The folks in Arizona, Jacksonville, K.C. and elsewhere are likely answering the phone with a certain level of uneasiness. Plus, the intrigue will only grow with the rumblings and rumors of potential college guys coming to the league. More on this tomorrow.
— Congrats to the Mocs for winning the Dr Pepper Classic. And congrats to those who watched Louisville top rival Kentucky in college hoops on Saturday. We've been tough on college basketball, and that's because the product is no where near as enjoyable as it once was (and turn down that loud music as you get off our porch). But Louisville and UK was good action, good theater and well-played. It also shows us how far college hoops has fallen considering that used to be the norm rather than the exception.
— Congrats to Baylor's girls and McCallie for winning the Best of Preps hoops tournament, and many thanks to Jay Price and Kim Smith and the folks at Chattanooga State who were aces in our first year at their venue.
Two things are certain at the end of every year — the year-end stuff makes us retrospective and we remember that New Year's Eve is the most overrated night of the year.
So it goes.
So looking back at 2012, we know we were blessed more than we deserve.
We predicted Alabama to be in the BCS title game and for Georgia to be in the SEC title game playing for a spot in the championship. We also predicted the Braves to make the playoffs and the Heat to win it all — they did — and had Matt Barkley winning the Heisman and USC getting to the title game. Uh, not so much.
As for the 5-at-10, well, it feels like it has come into its own and that's in large part because of you folks. Thanks.
What were your personal favorite moments 2012? We know 9er's going to say the Uniblocker's run leading UK to the title. What were your personal least-favorite moments? We know Spy will say a tie between the hiring of Booby Valentine and Georgia Southern missing a litany of field goals in the semifinals.
For us, we'll play the what-if game, and want to hear your responses:
What if Auburn holds its fourth-quarter lead against Clemson in the opener?
What if Tennessee had showed up in the fourth quarter against Florida?
What if the umps hadn't called an infield fly in the eighth inning at Turner Field in the Braves-Cards play-in game?
Discuss. And Happy New Year — be careful out there.
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 ...