From the soon to be named studios, let's go.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson (3) runs against an LSU defense during the second half of the BCS National Championship college football game Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
I've heard you're a man that appreciates the NFL draft. I like that. I'm a fan of the NFL Draft's twin brother (fraternal, not identical), the NFL Combine. Let's here your picks on the following:
-- Weight-room phenom Trent Richardson takes it to the bench press? Over/Under: 40 reps
-- Which CB will have the more impressive combine, Morris Claiborne or Dre Kirkpatrick?
-- How many first-rounders did we watch in the National Championship game between Alabama and LSU? Over/Under: 4
-- Who will be the unknown player that ends up being this year's Combine Warrior?
Why yes, the 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.
And we offer nothing but our blessing on your budding romance with the NFL combine. Congrats.
We'll go in order on your questions (and as we start this, accept our admiration for your "over/under" abilities since each of those numbers are spot-on):
— We'll take the under 40 on how many times Trent Richardson benches 225 pounds, but it will be close. Real close, like 38 close. Great over/under. And Richardson's extreme physical gifts will be magnified at the combine. If there was no Luck in this draft, the combine would have been Richardson's springboard for the "Can you take a running back No. 1 overall in today's NFL?" The answer is doubtful, but Richardson will certainly be a top-10 pick and may wiggle into the top five.
— When you submitted this question on Monday, we thought instantly that it would be Kirkpatrick, who is going to wow scouts with his physical tools to be a 6-foot-3 corner. But that was before Kirkpatrick was busted for pot possession, which has emerged as the front runner for the combine story that really builds steam. Hey, you know what they say, where there is smoke, there's... forget it. This answer is starting to get dis-jointed. Hmmm, let's move along and leave on a high note.
— We'll take the over and start figuring out ways to spend our money now. Richardson, Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower for the Tide and Claibourne and Michael Brockers for the Tigers. And unless BamaNation buys an NFL team and wants to honor him for his final contributions to the Tide's national title, we don't see LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson getting picked.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis smiles as he introduces Reggie McKenzie as the team's new general manager during an NFL football news conference in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. The Raiders fired coach Hue Jackson after one season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
I’ve got a smorgasbord of questions and comments for you this week.
1. First off, since we can now talk about the NBA, is it time to tear down the Celtics and rebuild?
2. How did your fantasy football season go?
3. Another week, another assistant leaves Derek Dooley’s staff at UT. Ho hum.
4. Since we’re all big Al Davis fans, I thought I would ask you about the future of the Raiders under the leadership of Al’s son, Mark, and his haircut.
Another multi-part question. Boss.
Again in order as they were pitched:
— Absolutely. And to be fair, C-Vol submitted this question early in the week, long before Boston GM Danny Ainge came out and said the same thing. The Celtics are old and slow, and getting old and slow as a team is magnified more in the NBA because your core of stars is so much slower. That said, the next four years of mediocrity and the next 18 months of pouting Kevin Garnett — dude is owed more than $20 million this year and next, and that contract will be impossible to move — is a fair trade for the C's winning it all and becoming relevant again. Plus, not unlike Bruce Sutter and the split-finger or Bill Walsh and the West Coast offense, Danny Ainge is the architect of the modern NBA team — assemble three superstars and roll the dice to win the whole thing.
— Retired from fantasy sports. When we had tots, we hung up our stats calculator and prorated salary adjuster and called it a career. So it goes. But we'll make this prediction — 75 percent of the teams that won "decent to competitive" leagues had either Rob Gronkowski or Michael Turner on them. It's a personal theory that we need to investigate.
— We had lunch Thursday at Wally's and Gary the manager there is a big UT fan. A BIG UT fan. We asked him if UT had lost an assistant today, and he said not in the last 45 minutes. We share that story because it speaks volumes when SEC fans know there is trouble. That said, another BIG Vols fan we know has said from the start, "I don't care how many assistants leave as long as Jim Chaney gets the heck out of town." Since Chaney, the Vols' OC, is still in the 865 area code, our friend is not best pleased. (And there may be argument to be made that any of the assistants that stayed — all three of them — had nowhere else to go.)
— Let's answer the part about Mark Davis' haircut first. Brutal. Absolutely brutal. It looks a lot like Lloyd Christmas but only worse since Davis' cut covers his ears, too. But we also had to pull out this Harry quote: "Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself!" The fact that Mark Davis was willing to go hire a GM and go get someone as respected as Reggie McKenzie speaks volumes. The Raiders will be back. That said, we'd contribute some coin to have Mark look into the camera and say, "Excuse me, Flo?" in a news conference or open up a free agent negotiation with, "So you're saying there's a chance... YES."
Alabama head coach Nick Saban celebrates with Dont'a Hightower after the BCS National Championship college football game against LSU Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in New Orleans. Alabama won 21-0. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
It seems the University of Tennessee football team hopes to emulate Alabama’s success by hiring away many of the Crimson Tide’s coaches. My question: Wouldn’t it have been more cost-effective simply to have hired their players out of high school?
Our first impulse was to say, that Alabama pays too well, but we chose to be above that type of juvenile insult. (Or maybe not.)
Seriously, football more than any sport is a success-breeds-success BID-ness, and right now no one is doing it better than Alabama. So it makes some sense to try to emulate that model and the easiest way to emulate a group's success is to hire away members of said group.
That said, we have warned from the get-go about hiring away people from the Nick Saban Machine, because so much of that organization's success is from the man himself. It's not unlike hiring away one of Bill Belichick's assistants — sure, those guys have an idea of what success looks like (an underrated quality by the way) and have witnessed the process and techniques up close and personal. But none of those guys are the engine that drives the machine. That's Saban and Belichick. (And having the best high school players in the country going to Alabama and having the best quarterback of all time certainly help Saban and Belichick, too.)
Miami Heat's LeBron James throws chalk in the air prior to the NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
You need to stop talking about basketball, because you really don't know anything about it. Every time you say something it's either a not funny joke or something that is so off base it should be a joke.
I know you try to get a rise out of me with the "Lebron" stuff and just so you know it doesn't work at all. Lebron James will never be as good as Kobe is never mind as good as MJ was.
But now you are talking about how good this Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis is. Come on, he's a skinny kid who is taller than everyone else. Did you go nuts for Manute Bol?
Please just stick to football and some baseball in the summer.
It has been a while since we've heard from you, so welcome back. How's the wife and kids, Jordan, Jeffery, Nike and Bull? (Kidding of course.)
Let's put a positive spin on Mr. Negativity's letter, huh? First, thanks for admitting our overall expertise in all matters football and baseball. Second, we appreciate acknowledging the fact that we occasionally make jokes — sometimes we wonder if some of our readers, especially those with handles that rhyme with "GordanDrools."
As for the hoops talk, well, we'll politely agree to disagree. We're comfortable in our hoops skin — almost as comfortable as if our skin was a Hanes circle neck T-shirt. Alas.
And we'll close with this the gap between Lebron and MJ is a fraction of a needle compared to the gap between A-Davis and Manute Bol. Sweet buckets of talent and skill sets, A-Davis is some weight on that frame from being a MON-ster. Freakish skills. In fact, if we were the Washington Wizards, we'd start tanking right now for the chance to draft A-Davis and put him with John Wall. That's two building blocks for long-term success (plus, you draw an extra 5,000 Big Blue fans every game).
Been reading this since last year. Got to tell you two things, first you talk too much and second, love the pop culture ramblings...especially the Godfather stuff with the Mannings this week.
What TV/movie comparison would you make on these:
The New York Yankees
college football recruiting
Thanks for the kind words, and one of the things that makes this place fun is the commenters, and with the recent return of EC to the comment train, we've got a crack squad of folks that chime in and add to the discussion.
The pop culture stuff is more of a off the top of our head kind of thing from a guy that quotes too many movies, knows too much useless trivia and tries to find some way to use those "skills" in a productive way. Glad you enjoyed them.
As for the references on demand, let's give it a go (and we did this with this caveat, all of these had to be off the top of our head; sit write and move on, that way we tried to prevent over-thinking them):
The Yankees — this one was arguably the easiest of the group. We'll take the old-school "Dallas" with Steinbrenner as J.R., Torre as Bobby and fill in the pieces accordingly. And feel free to make A-Rod whichever of the ladies on the show that was the biggest diva. (Side note: Sweet buckets of excitement and eagerness, did you see that TNT is launching a "Dallas: the Next Generation" or "Back to Dallas" or whatever it's called this summer. This is HUGE news at the 5-at-10 compound. We may not have been this excited about a TV series since we learned about "Friday Night Lights," or may be as far back as "Saved By the Bell: The College Years.")
UT football — We'll go with "Happy Days" and here's why. It was a huge success, much bigger than we realized while it was happening, in fact, a lot like UT football in the 1990s. Think about how good the Vols were in the 1990s, and now think about how good "Happy Days" was at its peak. Plus, like "Happy Days" UT football had a very strong cast — Fulmer, Cutcliffe, Chavis, Garner, et al. And like UT football, when things turned on "Happy Days," — the now infamous episode where Fonzie actually jumps a shark on water skis in a jacket has become "Jumping the Shark" which has become slang for when something passes its point of relevance— they turned really bad really quickly. (Question for the group, who from the old UT football staff plays whom off the old "Happy Days" show? Discuss.)
College football recruiting — We'll go with "American Idol." There are three judges that decide who's good on the front end, which compares to the three major recruiting services that decide which players are "star-worthy." The fans get to see snippets of these young kids perform and we think we know who will be the next big thing. But over the course of the season, we see who has talent and who doesn't and who was overrated or underrated from the start.
Tiger — This was the toughest. We drew blank after blank after blank. There has to be an obvious one we're missing right? It's such a soap opera-type story that there has to be a direct mirror image. We'll go with Charlie Sheen. Let's go to the Tale of the Tape:
Each aimed to please their old man in a predetermined profession from an early age. Check.
Each had HUGE success from the very start. Check.
Each hit the height of their success right before their fall. Check.
Each seemed to be "happy and content with the family life," before the curtain was pulled back and a whole mess of shady stuff was revealed. Check.
Each had very public feuds with former co-workers (the cast and crew of "Two and a Half Men" and Stevie Williams). Check.
Each will have a library of books about them (and the start for Woods is the new Hank Haney snoozer). Check.
Each face is a complete unknown about the future. Each could bounce back and be as big as ever or each could have a decade of hearing, "I'll take Charlie Sheen/Tiger Woods to block," as the star of "Hollywood Squares 3.0" in the years ahead. Check.
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 ...