From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. The Patriots won 49-21 to clinch the number one seed in the AFC. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
We're going to breakdown the Super Bowl daily between now and Thursday. We've decided to follow a formula to help Weena understand our points and to make it easier for conversation. (Hey, as Linda Richman would say, "Give us a comment, we'll talk, no big whoop.)
Spotlight: New England coach Bill Belichick. OK, take away his obvious abyss of people skills, his distain for the media and his less-than-keen fashion sense and what do you have? We say the best coach in NFL history. And if the Pats win Sunday and hand Coach Hoodie his fourth Lombardi Trophy, who's going to dispute that claim? Other than Tom Brady, name a sure-fire Hall of Famer that was a key part (as in three-plus years) of the Patriots' success? Logan Mankins maybe. Maybe Richard Seymore.
Now, think about which coach pops into your mind when we say best NFL coach ever? Lombardi? Sure he was great, but the Packers were flushed with talent. Walsh? Give us Montana, Rice, Lott, Young, et al., and we like our chances too. Noll? Please? With as much talent as those 1970s Steelers had, we could make the argument that winning four Super Bowls in six years was underachieving. Plus, all of those coaches got to handle rosters in the age of no free agency.
Prop bet of the day: This is where we discuss some of the amazing things you can bet on during the Super Bowl. Of course, you can bet on the coin flip, the first person to score, the outcome, the total number of points scored (in the game, in each half or in each quarter), whether Kelly Clarkson will mess up the national anthem and on and on.
The list is crazy (seriously), and we love looking at the wild proposition bets that are out there. Here's our pick of the day:
Wes Welker receptions over LeBron James assists. This is an even money bet, and with Rob Gronkowski's status uncertain because of a high ankle sprain, we like Welker getting at least 10 catches.
Super Bowl best of list, part I: The best Super Bowl surprise as an individual... and the nominees are:
— Phil Simms going 22-of-25 in Giants' Super Bowl XXI blowout of Denver
— Larry Brown getting two interceptions of Neil O'Donnell in a 27-17 Dallas win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX
— Desmond Howard, who was the Super Bowl MVP as a kick returner (obviously there were no points deducted because of his awful TV commentary on ESPN GameDay because at that time we did not know he was an awful TV commentator)
— Chuck Howley, a veteran linebacker who accounted for three turnovers in the Cowboys' loss to Baltimore in Super Bowl V (yes, a middle linebacker from the losing team being an MVP is somewhat startling)
(We almost went with the return of Ferris Bueller, which has been rumored to happen at this weekend's game. In honor of that rumor, we'll be quoting Ferris and Co. from here on out.)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban gestures to the fans as he leaves the field after defeating Georgia 41-30 in an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Recruiting this and that
"He'll keep calling me, he'll keep calling me until I come over. He'll make me feel guilty. This is uh... This is ridiculous, OK I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go. What - I'LL GO." — the memorable lament by Cameron Fry is so perfect for college football recruiting. It's a rough-and-tumble arena in which there are a slew of broken promises and in turn broken hearts.
With that in mind, here's list of five predictions as we head into the final 48 hours of recruiting:
1) Alabama will win the recruiting national championship, print T-shirts and thump their chest about it. This will happen even after Landon Collins decides at the 11th hour to go to LSU.
2) In need for speed in the final hours? That would be Auburn, which has all of 15 commitments in this class and rank 20th national. The Tigers need a productive final two days, and they are in the mix on some of the biggest uncommitted names out there.
3) In the need for stability in the final hours? As out UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown tells us here (Vols lose Santos to Longhorns), Tennessee lost Dalton Santos to Texas over the weekend. Santos was the top-ranked inside linebacker in the country according to at least one recruiting service. Normally, we feel that any kid who wants to go somewhere else, then your program is better off without a player that doesn't really want to be there. This is not one of those times. Santos was a physically imposing player, and as UT looks at the possibilities of switching to a 3-4, there is an obvious glut of inside linebackers on the Vols roster.
4) This may very well be the best class in UTC history. The Mocs already have 15 commitments after landing former Arizona State pledge Al Thompson (read our UTC football ace John Frierson's account of it here (Brentwwod's Thompson picks UTC)).
5) Special Ferris quote: "In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before?" — that of course is from Ben Stein, who plays the economics teacher at Ferris' high school. There are too many questions out there to answer them all, and we'll cover some of the biggest uncommitted players Tuesday. That said, we believe the nation's top prospect — monster receiver Dorial Green-Beckham — is heading to Arkansas and will be a star from day 1.
Kentucky guard Darius Miller, left, and forward Anthony Davis, far right, seek to gain control of the ball against Tennessee guards Josh Richardson (1) and Cameron Tatum (23)during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. Kentucky won 65-62. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Brimer)
"If anyone needs a day off, it's Cameron. He has a lot of things to sort out before he graduates. Can't be wound up this tight and go to college, his roommate will kill him." — Ferris on his buddy Cameron.
Here's our top eight of teams that could win the whole thing. (And know this, we're like five weeks from conference tournaments. Yes, five weeks. Crazy huh?)
1) Kentucky. We've had them No. 1 all year, and we still have not seen anything to change our mind.
2) Ohio State. Backcourt is improving and if Jared Sullinger stays healthy, they are a complete team.
3) Syracuse. The Orange must have Fab Melo in the middle to have a shot, but that's a deep group.
4) Kansas. Yes, they lost at Iowa State over the weekend (an Iowa State team that is better than you think), but this group is very good. And we still feel pretty sure Kansas will wreck our bracket — one way or another. In fact, we'll do two sheets, and one will have Kansas in the title game and one will have Kansas losing in Round 2.
5) UNC. Harrison Barnes, coming to an NBA All-Star game near you.
6) Missouri. Teams that can score like this are so, So, SO much fun to watch. No team in the country will be sweating the match-ups and potential match-ups of the NCAA tournament than Missouri, which is short on height and depth.
7) Baylor. Great balance, from Perry Jones inside to Pierre Jackson at the point to Brady Heslip from 3-point range.
8) Michigan State. The Spartans may be the nation's most complete team.
This and that
— "You're Abe Froman? The sausage king of Chicago?" — the snotty Maitre' D. Let's give this one to Tiger Woods, who played in the final group Sunday with some dude named Robert Rock and finished two shots behind this Rock fellow, who is not related to Chris Rock, played Sunday's round without a hat and has 24 career top 10 finishes. By comparison, Woods has 14 major championships. Pre-wreck Tiger would have wrecked this dude — in six holes. Pre-wreck Tiger would have made Robert Rock into a TV by-stander, you know those relative unknowns that are in the last group but card an 83 and are ignored by the cameras. Tiger could get all the way back to his previous levels of golfing excellence, but it will not equate to old-form Tiger dominance because he does not carry the intimidation factor that he once did.
— "What do you mean nothing good? We've seen everything good. We've seen the whole city! We went to a museum, we saw priceless works of art! We ate pancreas!" — Ferris' retort to Cameron saying he has not seen anything good today. Sweet buckets of sweat bands and tennis balls, the men's final of the Australian Open lasted a hair short of six hours. It felt like six weeks. Hey, if tennis blows your skirt up, knock your self silly. But six hours? Heck a baseball game that last 3:30 is treated like an insurance seminar.
— "Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies... — they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude." God bless Grace in this film, right? She's so money. This goes to LeBron James, who is flat-out bringing it night in, night out. We were all hacked off by "The Decision" and James paid the price. We were stunned by his long absences in the NBA Finals. But how has he answered? He's busted it, and he's flipped the switch past "great" all the way over to "dominate." He's fun to watch right now.
— "Oh, Ed. You just sounded like Dirty Harry just then." — Grace again, and this time it makes us think of bad, Bad, BAD dudes. You want to know who is a bad dude? Rashad Evans, who thumped Phil Davis this weekend in an impressive unanimous decision in a UFC bout this weekend. Is Evans bad enough to topple Jon Jones? We'll leave that to the experts (EC to the red courtesy phone, EC to the red phone, please), but we'll be watching.
— "You're still here? It's over. Go home. Go." — Ferris at the end of the movie. Did you see the Pro Bowl last night? Wow, if you had under 99, you LOST. The AFC won 59-41. There were 14 TDs scored and zero penalties. There was almost a flag thrown for someone trying to make a tackle, but after reviewing it, there was in fact NO defense played at all.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." — Ferris on his view of life in general.
It's hard to pick and describe sports icons — it's not unlike grace or obscenity, it's hard to define but we know it when we see it. And right now we're really without a face of sports.
Tiger Woods melted down against some guy named Robert Rock. Roger Federer is now a sure-fire bet to finish third at most majors. Peyton Manning is about to be released — or worse yet, we may be forced to live in a world that has a headline "Manning traded to Seattle for third-round pick."
The sports world needs some new stars to emerge. Like now. Heck, forget now, like yesterday.
Is this about to be LeBron's time? Are we going to have some new Luck (as in Andrew)? Who's the next face of sports excellence?
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 ...