From the "Rhinestone Cowboy studios," let's go.
Huge night of hoops
Two games of local interest — Tennessee at home against Arkansas and UTC at App State — are not all that meaningful on a national scale tonight.
That said, they have huge meaning for the Vols and the Mocs.
For the Vols, a win tonight would equal a season-high four game winning streak. It would push the Vols to 14-12 overall and 6-5 in the league. It would make an NIT bid a distinct possibility. All of those are tangible things that are very impressive.
On an intangible level, a win tonight will only happen if the Vols protect the basketball, something that has not exactly been a strength.
For the Mocs, who have been eliminated from getting a first-round bye in the Southern Conference tournament, almost all of the value of tonight is on an intangible level. A win tonight could go a long way to easing some nerves. A win would help re-build some confidence for a team that has too much talent to be in last place in the SoCon North.
And know this, these Mocs are talented enough to make a run in the SoCon tournament. Does that start tonight? On an emotional level, it quite possibly could.
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin reacts after hitting a basket during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New Jersey Nets, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lin led all scorers with 25 points as the Knicks defeated the Nets 99-92. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
NBA storylines — Good, bad and ugly
Three items of NBA interest from Tuesday:
— There are times that the media takes a story and runs with it. It happens in a 24/7 media-cycle world. Sometimes those stories flash out quickly (Tony Romo). Sometimes the backlash turns normal thinking folks against the subject (think Tim Tebow). And sometimes the ride can keep building to the point that everyone is starting to notice.
That's where we are with Jeremy Lin and Lin-sanity. After setting a record for the most points scored in a player's first five NBA starts, Lin's last-second, game-winning 3-pointer lifted the Knicks over Toronto on Tuesday night. Lin, the undrafted point guard from Harvard who was twice released, continues to make the most of every opportunity. Buckle up, because the Lin-wheel is just starting to turn. In fact, we had this conversation with the 5-at-10's mom yesterday.
5-at-10 mom: "Hey, how about that Lin kid, huh?"
5-at-10: "What? Are you watching the NBA now?"
5-at-10 mom: "Of course not, but that's a great story huh? You should have gone to Harvard."
5-at-10: "Uhhh, yeah... Wait. You know Jeremy Lin went Harvard?"
5-at-10 mom: "Duh... as Charlie Sheen would say, 'Lin-nning.'"
And with that she hung up the phone. Yep it was a walk-off one-liner and if your mom knows that much about Jeremy Lin, well, it's becoming a national story
— Sweet buckets of irony bordering on hypocrisy, but Shaquille O'Neal said Tuesday that it would be a "travesty" for Dwight Howard to leave Orlando. Yes, that Shaq, who left Orlando for L.A. in 1996. Yes, to that Dwight Howard, who is looking to make a move to an organization that is better positioned for a title run. Shaq says he left for a better offer, and that's different because the Magic can offer Howard more money than any other team. OK, Shaq, you left for more money, but in truth, that's just semantics. You left for a better situation, albeit a better financial one. Howard's looking for a better situation, too, albeit one that is more designed for winning titles. Dial it back a little Shaq, especially considering Howard's next contract will make him enough money for three lifetimes. Unless...
— Add Allen Iverson to the tale of financial caution for every first-round draft pick in every sport. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Iverson can't pay his bill to a Georgia jewelry store. Granted that bill is almost $900,000, but still. Iverson made more than $154 million in his NBA career, and that's not counting endorsements. Wow, that's a lot of cabbage. What's the over/under before A.I. ends up in jail? If we gave you 18 months, you taking the over or the under? That's some bad financial practices. (Practice? You talkin' about practice. Practice!).
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) runs for 27 yards against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. The Colts won 31-26. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Turn the page
OK, it has happened. We have become tired of the "Will he stay or go" storyline about Peyton Manning and the Colts.
Actually, we have become tired of listening to Jim Irsay hedge his bets and play this out in the media. Here's what ESPN's John Clayton quoted Irsay saying: "We want this to be his decision. We want him back if he wants to come back. We can work out the contract if he wants to work it out. It's going to be Peyton's call."
Puh-lease. Irsay's latest statement is an obvious between-the-lines volley.
"We can work out the contract" means there's no way we're paying him the $28 million roster bonus when we're going to draft Andrew Luck in April.
"It's going to be Peyton's call," translates into "Hey, Colts fans, please don;t blame me for this even though I deserve a bunch of the blame. I'm trying to spin this because I refused to act like a man at the beginning and say, 'Hey we don't know if Peyton's ever going to be able to play again, and we have to take Luck. We have to. So we're going to give Peyton the option of coming back at a reduced rate or exploring his other options. We could never fully repay Peyton for what he's meant to the Colts, but with the salary cap, we can cripple the franchise at the most important position in sports with a giant unknown like a neck injury.' Would that have been so hard?
Cut bait Peyton. For all you did for Irsay, you at least deserved to hear the truth. Here's hoping Manning goes to a team on the Colts' schedule next year.
This and that
— UTC added a running back coach as our Mocs football ace John Frierson tells everyone here (UTC hires ex-UGA running back Thomas Brown). As for our limited interaction with Thomas Brown — and with our UGA ace David Paschall's extended experiences with Brown during his playing days with the Bulldogs — we consider this a very, Very, VERY strong addition. Brown routinely one of Georgia's hardest workers, on the field and in the weight room. Plus, he was well-reviewed by his coaches. And as a hidden bonus, Brown prepped at Tucker High School in the recruiting-rich metro-Atlanta area.
— Speaking of UTC football, receivers coach Will Healy was on with the guys at SportTalk on Tuesday afternoon, and the excitement from Healy was evident. Something may be brewing at Finley Stadium this year.
— West Virginia has been freed from the Big East and will play in the Big 12 next year. It only cost the Mountaineers $20 million to get out of the threat of legal action from the Big East. (And yes, the 'only' was quite sarcastic.) That said, the Big 12 did fork over $9 million to the Mountaineers to help with the transaction. We may not be the smartest 5-at-10 at the lunch table, but our Pop frequently noted that if someone is paying you to come to the party, you're not really invited. Plus, as the 5-at-10's Pop's Pop would note, "if you look around the poker table and don't know who the sucker is, it's you."
— If you're anything like the 5-at-10, you are so tired of steroids stories that they make your eyes go glossy. Well, it's obviously a bigger problem than we may know. Accoridn got this story (Goat fails drug test, is disqualified from state fair competition) a goat was disqualified from the Colorado state fair because it tested positive for an illegal substance. Sweet buckets of Lance Armstrong's urine sample, if we can't have a stately and fair competition at the livestock state fair, then the terrorists have won.
Comedian Chris Farley, new cast member of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" is shown on Sept. 18, 1990. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Chris Farley was born on this 48 years ago. Farley, the comedy star of SNL and "Tommy Boy," died in late 1997 of a drug overdose.
There are far too many people that die before their time, even those that are self-induced, whether directly or indirectly.
Whitney Houston died last weekend and now her greatest hits are dominating album sales and iTune downloads.
Farley, not unlike heavy comedy heavyweights John Candy and John Belushi before him, had become a bankable star despite battling drug problems. In fact, after one good movie — "Tommy Boy" — and a slew of bad ones, Farley was cast in a role that would have catapulted him back to stardom before his death. Farley was going to do the voice of "Shrek," a role and a project that has become a nine-figure enterprise. There was also talk that
As for the question, well, know that "Tommy Boy" ranks really high on the 5-at-10's list of rewatchable comedies, and it's fair to say we've seen in more than 10 times — "Does this suit make me look fat?"... "No, your face does." — and it's a member of the must-stop movie stall of fame (meaning that if it's on when we're roaming channels, we're stopping, even to the chagrin of the Mrs. 5-at-10).
What's your most rewatchable comedy (you can have a top five — and believe us that this is way, Way, WAY tougher than you think)?
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 ...