OK, you know what the 5-at-10 loves, right? It's the draft, and you know this.
You know what else the 5-at-10 loves? You betcha, theme shows. Giddy up.
From the "Rhinestone Cowboy studios," let's go.
Danica Patrick walks out of a drivers meeting following the shortened IndyCar Series' Las Vegas Indy 300 auto race Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 in Las Vegas. Dan Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, died following a crash in the event. Marco Andretti is behind Patrick at left. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
Here's a quick, non-football, sports-related list of things we love about February. In fact, let's do a top 5 in 10 words or less, the always-loved and soon-to-be patented 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10:
1) Clutch scorers: Players that want the last shot — and deserve it — rule.
2) Pitchers and catchers report: The four words that signify spring quicker than new leaves
3) Highlight machines: LeBron in transition; a team-first point guard; Blake Griffin.
4) Daytona: Gentlemen, start your engines. (Danica, that's the clutch, girl).
5) Postseason prep sports: Wrestling or hoops, the drama and finality magnify the emotion.
We're clicking through SportsCenter, and up pop Mel Kiper and Todd McShay to discuss the draft. So we drop everything — and it was a good thing we were not holding our 2-year-old, because we literally dropped everything. We love the draft. You know this.
Anyhoo, McShay and Kiper were discussing the upcoming class of QBs. We all know Andrew Luck is No. 1 and Robert Griffin III is No. 2. From there it's a collection of Brock Osweiler, Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill.
But then, as they close the segment, McShay and Kiper discuss their sleepers in this QB class. McShay picks Osweiler, the 6-foot-8 former Arizona State QB and Gonzaga hoops recruit. Kiper picks B.J. Coleman. Yes, that B.J. Coleman from McCallie and UTC.
Here's the thing about Kiper and McShay, we'd rate them No. 2 and No. 5 across all platforms at ESPN in flat-out knowing their stuff. And that's of everyone cashing a check at the Worldwide Leader of Sports. So if either one calls your name, that's something. And if Kiper likes your draftability, well, that's a world-class Valentine's Day gift — better than a dozen roses or a dozen Pro V1s, whichever floats your boat.
(Side note: Here's our top 5 ESPN folk in regard to knowledge, insight and credibility):
1) Jay Bilas, college hoops
2) Kiper, NFL draft
3) Buster Olney, baseball
4) Brad Edwards, College football polls and computer rankings/BCS stat geek
5) TIED: McShay, draft and college football, and Kirk Herbstreit, college football
Kansas City Kings Scott Wedman and Philadelphia 76ers Julius Erving watch in November 1979 as Kings Bill Robinzine, left, and Sixer Darryl Dawkins run for cover after Dawkins shattered the glass backboard at Municipal Auditorium. No One was injured. (AP Photo)
A little V-Day word association
As we try to answer our critics that claim we talk too much, we're introducing a new feature — the 5 or 10 word association game. We're going to take 5 or 10 words from a specific topic and answer what's the first thing that comes to mind when we think of them. As always, we appreciate any and all feed back — after all this is all of OUR's daily family-oriented, Interweb-based sports column/chat, we just get the conversation started.
OK, 5 or 10 word association game — Valentine Day's edition
1) Chocolate: as in Thunder as in Darryl Dawkins breaking backboards and telling you about it. (Here are two great quotes from Dawkins: “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam-Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.” His name of the backboard-breaking dunk in 1979. And, “I didn't mean to destroy it. It was the power, the Chocolate Thunder. I could feel it surging through my body, fighting to get out. I had no control over it.” That was on another backboard-breaking dunk later that season.
2) Hearts: As in the 1980 US hockey team. Sweet biscuits of buttery patriotism, go curl up with someone special tonight and watch "Miracle" and if it doesn't get dusty when Eruzione shouts, "My name is Mike Eruzione and I play for the United State of America," well, then we have nothing to talk about.
3) Flowers: My wife loves them and that's the name of the skunk in "Bambi" (and yes, the 5-at-10 tots, ages 4 and 21 months have hit the Disney phase).
4) Love: First it's family. But beyond the emotion, let's discuss Minnesota forward Kevin Love for just a second. Dude is a flat-out stud, and is putting together one of the best power forward runs since the day that Tim Duncan was in the NBA. (What, Tim Duncan is still in the NBA? Really? OK, if you say so.) Love is a double-double machine — he's averaging 25 points and a whisker under 14 rebounds a night. Read that again.
5) Valentine's Day: Two quick thoughts: First, the massacre because, well, we've always been kind of a mob movie nut. Capone was a bad dude. Second thought on V-Day is that it's the single greatest idea that was ever circulated through the halls of Hallmark. Seriously, it is a created and crafted "holiday" to sell cards and candy. Hey, we like to tell the people we love that we love them as often as possible, and the fact that Hallmark and Hershey and 1-800-Flowers.com and the rest of the folks have created a Billion-dollar day (and yes, that's BILLION with a B) of love that does not include Bret Michaels or Flavor Flav is aces with us. It's fake, but it's genius nonetheless.
This and that, matters of the heart edition
— Had a discussion with our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown about how much Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin is getting from a UT basketball team that is playing much better than its parts. Is there a better compliment for a coach of any team that they are playing much better than their talent level? UT is 5-5 in the SEC, and which team in the league would trade rosters with the Vols? South Carolina would but after that it's debatable.
— Huge win for the Lady Vols. And despite all the hand-wringing and discussions about Pat, the biggest head-scratcher so far is that these Lady Vols have struggled despite being supremely talented. That said, if the pieces fall into place and the cosmic tumblers click and show UT what's possible, these Lady Vols could make a deep run into the postseason.
— Randy Moss is returning to the NFL. Always supremely talented, there was no report of whether Moss had a figurative heart transplant. (Although, how great would it have been for one of Moss's previous teams to put him on the injury report instead of suspending him like this: Out—Randy Moss, heart. Opportunity missed.)
— More love to go around: Mountain West and Conference USA have joined forces and will be one conference starting in 2013-14. Holy Frequent Flyers Bonanza, that league will cover one side of the country to the other. It will go from East Carolina (and friend of the show Coach Mack McCarthy) to Hawaii across the nation and from Wyoming to Southern Miss (friend of the show Cjoyner's alma mater).
— Love lines: The North Dakota Board of Higher Education is going to court in an effort to get the University of North Dakota to change its nickname from the Fighting Sioux. So yes, if you're scoring at home, that means the board is suing to fight the Fighting Sioux. That dear friends is the legal definition of awesome in its awesomeness.
The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team members celebrate after their upset victory over the heavily favored Soviet team by 4-3 score in the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1980. (AP Photo)
Hey, we told you we loved theme shows at the very beginning.
And this is where we are. So Fighting Sioux us if you must. So it goes.
Let's end with a rosy finish and deliver something everyone will love.
Which team or athlete do you believe had the most heart? There's no right or wrong answer, just your favorite underdog.
The Hickory Huskers and Rocky Balboa — while fine and deserving choices — are ineligible today. Yes, Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday, but we're dealing with real life sports-related heart.
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 ...