published Thursday, February 9th, 2012

5 at 10 - Peyton Manning, College hoops rewind and New UT assistants

From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.

  • photo
    In this Dec. 2, 2011, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks to reporters in the locker room at the NFL football team's practice facility in Indianapolis. The Super Bowl is getting upstaged by the greatest spectacle in football. Manning is making headlines without playing a down, dominating conversations without saying a word and superseding the two conference champions from the sideline.
    Photo by (AP File Photo by Michael Conroy)

Peyton Manning

The meeting between Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay was scheduled for sometime this week. You know we pitched the idea of showing that thing on pay-per-view and raising money for charity.

As far as we know that meeting may have already happened. It may be today. It may have been postponed. You know the background: Manning's a stud who has battled a neck injury that has left his future uncertain; without Manning, the Colts went 2-14 and have the No. 1 pick in the draft, which features Andrew Luck, the best QB prospect to come out of college since, well, Peyton Manning; the Colts have to make a move soon since Manning is owed a $28 million roster bonus the first week in March.

Let's role play, and picture a possible exchange between Manning and Irsay, as the two guys decide how the Hall-of-Fame chapter in Indy will end for one of the game's best QBs ever.

Jim Irsay: "Thanks for joining me Peyton. Let's get through this."

Peyton Manning: "Did you bring the $28 million check?

JI: "No."

PM: "Did you bring the $28 million in cash?"

JI: "No."

PM: "Then what do we have to talk about?"

JI: "You know Peyton we had some laughs, right?"

PM: "What?"

JI: "There were some good times. The Super Bowls. The rivalry with the Pats?"

PM: "Dude, what are you talking about."

JI: "Peyton, as much as you've meant to us... as much as you've meant to me... wow this is tougher than I thought... Peyton, it's not you, it's me."

PM: "Say what?"

JI: "It's not you, big guy, it's me. We're the ones that failed here."

PM: "Are you giving me the "It's not you, it's me," speech? Seriously? Do you know who I am? You have twitter followers. I host SNL. You beg for the spotlight. I have to avoid it. 'It's not you, it's me,' huh? You're dang right it's you. And know this, I'm coming back and every time I see that stupid horseshoe, I'm going to nuke you guys."

(He gets up from the table...)

JI: "Peyton... Peyton..."

PM: "Buckle up pal."

(Manning storms off, calls Archie on his cell phone, and slams the door.)

JI: "Get Luck's agent on the horn, ASAP. The chair is against the wall. The chair is against the wall."

That said, if Manning does come back, and if he does play against the Colts, sweet buckets it won't be pretty. It will be like that girl your buddy broke up with because she wore sweatpants all the time and kind of nagged him too much, but then she took the break-up to heart, lost 25 pounds, started following sports and starts dressing way better.

And then every time your buddy sees her, she's having a great time and he thinks, "What did I do."

Yes, whenever Manning sees the Colts in the future, he will be that woman scorned. And we mean that as a compliment.

———

  • photo
    Duke's Austin Rivers, left, tries to dribble past Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Duke 85-63. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

College hoops rewind

We have had our doubts about Duke. Wednesday night, Duke answered at least some of those questions.

Freshman point guard Austin Rivers drilled a game-winning 3-pointer as the horn sounded in a 85-84 road win over rival UNC. While Duke's impressive showing on the road may have answered some questions about the Devils ˜ Rivers is a true play-maker, the Devils have enough length to compete with anyone this side of UK and Ohio State, this team may be short on athleticism but its long on guts ˜ there still are concerns. Duke shot 36 3s, making 14, and relying on long-range success is always a dicey proposition.

The Duke win also raises some questions about UNC, which ranks with Kentucky as the nation's most talented teams. These Tarheels were thumped by FSU earlier this year, and they could not put away a Duke team that was down 10 with less than three minutes left. No matter how much talent UNC has, if they can't get a stop, that will stop any chance they have to make a deep run.

Elsewhere in college hoops...

— The Vols handled their BID-ness against the worst team in the SEC, using the marksmanship of Skylar McBee and his mustache in a 69-57 win over South Carolina. Here's our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown's report http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/09/skylar-mcbee-win-vols-south-carolina/. These Vols are not going to the NCAA tournament and they'll likely be lucky to win more than one SEC tournament game. That said, they play hard and they play pretty smart, and that's a credit to Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin. You know what else, they beat the teams they're supposed to beat, and that's and underrated trait in sports.

— Jim Boeheim has won more games at one school than any coach in men's major college basketball. Syracuse's 64-61 overtime win over Georgetown moved Jimmy B past Dean Smith with 904 career wins. That's a lot.

— While Duke's rally over UNC raised more questions than it answered, the Kansas Jayhawks continue to improve. After a disappointing road loss Saturday at Missouri — that was at least aided by a rotten charge call that really hurt Kansas — the Jayhawks delivered a knockout punch to No. 6-ranked Baylor last night. As if they needed it, the Jayhawks found another weapon — 7-footer Jeff Withey had 25 points despite taking just 10 shot attempts — in a 68-54 win over the Bears.

— The Mocs look to end their seven-game losing streak tonight against Elon. We have discussed the current state of the Mocs here and in the TFP over the last couple of days. We have been told that the UTC administration is backing coach John Shulman. We have heard from more than a few Mocs fans in the last 24 hours ˜ they are almost uniform in a view that is completely opposite that of the UTC administration. We may need to swing by McKenzie tonight to see how many folks are in the seats.

———

New UT assistants

The UT Vols introduced their six new assistants Wednesday. Our aces Downtown Patrick Brown (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/09/vols-make-changes-new-coaches-set-to-revamp-vols/) and ace columnist Mark Wiedmer (Weeds http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/09/the-ut-brand-still-impressive-for-vols-new-coaches/) were there.

The big newsmaker in attendance of course was new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri. Got to say, we like the look of the guy and the sound of his message.

The only fundamental mistake a new coordinator can make is saying, "We run this, and we'll run it until we get it right." That's a fine philosophy if a coach has been somewhere a few years and can recruit to fill that philosophy.

Right now the Vols are short on 3-4 defensive parts. (Name a 3-4 defensive end on this roster, and in a 3-4, you need two stud middle linebackers, and even if stud duck A.J. Johnson makes a smooth transition to the middle, the Vols are one short of the needed pair.)

So Sunseri is preaching the value of multiplicity. (Although, we think "Multiplicity" is among the worst of Michael Keaton's work, which is more underrated than you think, especially the early stuff and the comedies: the first Batman, Gung Ho, Mr. Mom, Night Shift, Johnny Dangerously, The Dream Team, are all very rewatchable.)

Jokes aside, and we were skeptical about Sunseri's hiring because hiring a Nick Saban defensive assistant could very well be like hiring Picasso's paint mixer and expecting a masterpiece. But, if we were a Johnny Vols Fan, we would have been pleased with what was said Wednesday.

————

This and that

— What's with all the bellyaching about tweets from athletes? These guys are paid seven- and eight-figure salaries to perform in public. The latest is Kendric Perkins saying LeBron's tweets about Perkins getting dunked on. Perkins said, "If you're an elite player, plays like that don't excite you." Hogwash. Blake Griffin's dunk was awesome in its awesomeness. Here's an idea, if you don't want to see the tweets, don't get dunked on.

Will Ferrell introduces Chicago Bulls - New Orleans Hornets

— OK, if you have not seen Will Ferrell's intros for the Hornets-Bulls game last night, well, here you go. And you're welcome. "Starting at guard... his favorite movie is still "The Notebook,"... Derrick Rose." Good times. Quick question: If you had unlimited funds, and could have anyone introduce you at a shindig or entering the office, who you got? Ferrell was pretty outstanding, but we'll take Sam Elliot and his booming, "Now here's the 5-at-10" with some added in drama.

— SEC commissioner Mike Slive says changes to the BCS are at least a couple years away. Well, duh. The TV deal still has a couple of years left, but here's saying there will be an extra game or two to sell when the new TV deal comes up for re-negotiation. (And if you think this is about finding a better way to determine a champ, you're kidding yourself.)

— A slew of Braves will be at Taco Mac today. The TFP will be there, and the 5-at-10 is trying to get free to swing by if for no other reason than to see how big Jason Heyward is.

————

Today's question

It's A.F. (after football) Day 4.

5-at-10: Hi, we're the 5-at-10, and we're addicted to football. We have a problem.

Group: Hi, 5-at-10, pull up a seat.

Since we're all trying to move forward through the post-football haze, last night's Duke-UNC game got us thinking.

Duke-UNC is one of the handful, non-football rivalries that has ascended to must-see status, even for those with no skin in the game.

So today we ask what are the best non-football rivalries.

Discuss.

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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BIspy4 said...

Best non football rivalries, you mean aside from Sox-Yankees and Cubs-Cardinals, because those would have to be at the top of the list? Giants-Dodgers, too, mind you (makes me long for the days of Braves-Reds and Braves-Dodgers rivalry. The Spy will now shed one tear for each. Moving on...)

Celtics-Lakers probably isn't what it used to be, and they're on tonight. US and Europe in the Ryder Cup, though that's been awfully one-sided of late.

Nadal-Federer is still interesting, even if Djokovic is winning all the tournaments.

Canadiens-Maple Leafs doesn't move the needle like it once did. But Bruins-Canadiens is still a good time.

February 9, 2012 at 10:16 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Strong list out of teh box.

Glad you were able to tear away from AMC this morning and start your day.

"Wolverines!"

— 5-at-10

February 9, 2012 at 10:23 a.m.

Riverside vs. Howard at Memorial Auditorium or Big Mac. Bradley County girls vs. Shelbyville in the 3 on 3 half court game. East Ridge vs. Notre Dame in wrestling. Signal Mountain vs. Cumberland in swimming.

February 9, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
jharvey1984 said...

earnhardt v wallace (i miss the good ole days of nascar)

February 9, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
chas9 said...

5er--Enjoyed your take on Duke-Carolina. Guess the Baby Blues respect Kentucky's home win streak a bit now. More on that later. Told you two weeks ago you had Duke too low.

Weeds can sure write a sentence. Loved this one from today's column: "The rest of the Big Orange Nation may darkly assume that the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse will strike Neyland Stadium first after enduring three losing seasons in the last four years and a stunning defeat to Kentucky for the first time in 27 Novembers -- that loss made more shocking by the woeful Wildcats playing a string bean of a wide receiver who couldn't throw the ball at quarterback." Cub reporters, take note and emulate.

February 9, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Well, got a busy morning. A meeting at 3 today with corporate HR. My staff - now down to one - turned in her notice yesterday, with a couple of hooge deadlines looming.

That bottle of Johnny Walker Blue in my office is looking better all tht time...

February 9, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.
jgreeson said...

BTG —

You are not the first to mention the old Howard-Riverside showdowns.

And even growing up in the Atlanta area, we heard about the juggernaut that was Shelbyville girls hoops.

JHarvey —

Individual rivalries would be a great list.

Earnhardt vs. everyone

Nadal vs. Federer

Borg vs. McEnroe

Watson vs. Nicklaus

Ali-Frazier-Foreman

Foreman Grill vs. Gas Grill

Leather Tuscadero vs. Mary Beth

Mary Ann vs. Ginger

Cheers with Diane vs. Cheers with Rebecca

Growing Pains vs. Family Ties

We could go on and on. Trust us.

9er —

Weeds can deliver a sentence.

We'll tip the cap that maybe we did have Duke a touch undervalued, but was last night Duke proving its worth or UNC showing its flaws?

Spy —

Let's go to 5-at-10 emotional correspondents Eric Stratton and Otter:

Eric Stratton: "My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."

Otter: "Better listen to him Flounder — he's in pre-med."

— 5-at-10

February 9, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Who doesn't love Weeds?

February 9, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
chas9 said...

Spy-- Not that kind of weeds. Good call on Nadal-Federer.

February 9, 2012 at 11:52 a.m.
chas9 said...

%@10--Big, big back-to-back games last evening. First, The Hoyas and The 'Cuse. Got tired of General Robert's commentary. He knows the game, but he's too low key. Boring. Somewhere between Dicky V and Bobby K there's a happy medium. And did you hear The Chair Chucker say Georgetown's freshmen are as good as anybody's? What the ___ is he thinking? Three words: Kentucky and Duke.

I much preferred the second game to the first. Maybe it's regional pride, or maybe scoring's more fun than defense. But my conclusion is that either Duke and/or NC would beat either Syracuse and/or Georgetown. What do you think? And KY would be the favorite against any of the bunch. The Big Blue's slashers could penetrate that zone.

As for individual matchups, I think Davis' footwork, agility, quickness, length and savvy would beat The Fabulous Marsh-Melo. Davis-Zeller would be closer. That running the court pairing would be fun. When you match up KY vs. NC position by position, it's hard to see who has the edge. Is Marshall a better PG than Teague? I think KY beats Roy's boys on intangibles.

Seeing Rivers shine (and boy, did he) confirms that he and Davis were, as the experts said, one-two in this year's freshman class. I'm not sure who's better, but I know Davis will be drafted higher.

A Cats fan isn't supposed to say it, but Duke-Carolina is #1. Easily ahead of KY vs. Louisville, Tennessee, or Florida. Yankees-Red Sox is #2. Elephants-War Eagles is #3, or is that just football?

And let's not us get all neck-huggy over The Vols' mighty win yesterday. SC is the weakest SEC team. But UT does have a good upside.

February 9, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Most of the Johnny Vols Fans out there are less than enamored with our man Weeds. That said, we know Jeff Spicoli loves him some weeds. Oh wait... nevermind.

9er —

Got to say, we have enjoyed this college hoops season way more than in recent memory, and there's a very similar question to your point on announcers in tomorrow's mailbag, so we'll combine the two.

UK is favored against everyone they face right now. They are cruising. As for your matchup game of the other four, we'd seed them:

1) Syracuse

2) UNC

3) Duke

4) Georgetown

And we'd readily admit that we'd pick the following

1 beats 2

3 beats 1

1 and 4 are even

2 and 3 are even

2 beats 4

4 beats 3

and UK beats them all. Does that make sense? We'll call it the anti-transitive property of current-day college hoops. Deal? Deal.

Yes, the Elephants' and the War Eagles' passionate rivalry extends beyond football. There's football recruiting, too. (Kidding.... mostly.) But if you take football out of the equation, the Alabama-Auburn grudge match drops from top 2 or 3 into just a rivalry.

Nice assessment on Rivers and Davis, and yes, Davis will go higher than Rivers in the draft. Davis will go higher than anyone in the draft.

That said, we think Davis would have a tougher time with Melo than Zellner if for no other reason than Melo is a bigger body and would bang on A-Davis. Plus, Syracuse does not count on 12-plus points from Melo.

— 5-at-10

February 9, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
chas9 said...

Agree on Melo's big body and hammering. But I think Davis could handle it. He seems tough for a skinny guy. And poised. The banging hasn't slowed him yet, but Melo may be harder. I expect the tussle would involve the game's other bigs, too. Banging on Davis may be a strategy other teams try, too.

Your 1 vs. 2, 3, 4 makes my head spin. Were you an algebra whiz kid? I'll ponder your numerology. And is anti-transitive like anti-matter? Isn't that science fiction?

February 9, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Best non-football rivalries, College Basketball Division ...

U of L v. Kentucky

Memphis v. UT

Kentucky v. UT

Kentucky v. Indiana

PGA Tour:

Jack v. Trevino, Palmer, Casper, Watson, Miller at one time or another.

Tiger v. Mickelson

The "Hawk" Ben Hogan v. any golf course.

Update: #1,#44 or #45 dependent upon what color jersey is worn that night was just offered an invite to attend Arkansas' Football Camp.

February 9, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

chas9,

Big 5er knows exactly what I mean when I talk about my big baby Weeds. Good man, good writer.

February 9, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

We did have some math skills back in the day. Scored an 800 on the SAT in math... how we ended up in words is anyone's guess. 247 toothpicks, definitely 247 toothpicks.

And yes, Davis could handle Melo... he is tougher than his frame lets on. But we believe he would silence Zellner, who would finish something like 1-of-8, 4 boards and 4 fouls against A-Davis.

FE to the C —

Strong list.

Are we the only folks that feel Tiger-Mickelson should have been more than a rivalry than it was. Kind of Tyson-Holyfield without the ear-biting.

Tell the 1-44-45 to keep working hard, and if Bobby Petrino sees something in a receiver/tight end, well, that's a good thing. A real good thing.

Spy —

Weeds is pretty cuddly now that you mention it.

— 5-at-10

February 9, 2012 at 1:19 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

You got an 800 on the Math on the SAT, 5er? Do you watch Big Bang Theory and go "Simpletons"? I'm the one with the nerd degree and I didn't get an 800.

Of course, it was harder in my day, too. Having to walk 10 miles uphill in the snow while I was at it, as well.

February 9, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.
chas9 said...

800? No way, dude. And I go back to the old school days when it was harder, too. I was proud of my 714. Course I copied off of Otter.

February 9, 2012 at 2:35 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy,

You do have the nerd degree, there's no debating that.

Yep. 800. Who knew huh? We filed it under the blind squirrel finding a nut — and the two years of AP calculus we took in high school helped too.

9er —

Better copying off of Otter than Chris Washburn. Even if the guys at Delta House stole the wrong exam.

— 5-at-10

February 9, 2012 at 2:41 p.m.
chas9 said...

And then Sean Sutton and Eric Manuel copied off me.

February 9, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
Livn4life said...

One more scenario of the Yousay Irsay verses he duh MANning; as he leaves the room Peyton bends the Colt horse shoe and not in a positive way. I could also see his final quip being "Good LUCK, sucker!" He will surely play at least one more year somewhere.

Best non-football rivalries: Ron Wright versus Jimmy Golden in Knoxville Wrestling(70s version). They came to my high school in Loudon and it was electric. Yes we had electricity then. Godzilla verses the Tokyo Police force--okay okay it's questionable if that was sports but it was fun to watch. Finally, Will Ferrell might introduce the next plague-Now that would not be funny but his antics at the NBA game definitely was.

February 9, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
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