From the "Talk too much studios," let's go.
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin chats with quarterback Eli Manning before an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Super Bowl breakdown, Part II
We're going to breakdown the Super Bowl daily until 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 York coach Tom Coughlin. Would this be the single biggest turnaround for a coach in history? After a dismal loss to Washington dropped the Giants to 7-7, Coughlin was reportedly on his way out of NYC. His team has not lost since. A win Sunday would Coughlin two Super Bowl titles — as many as former Giants legendary coach Bill Parcells — and put him position to never have to hear about the hot seat again.
Side note: There's nothing that says more about a coach's place in the locker room or his stature within a team than seeing how that team performs when said coach is on the "hot seat." When media yahoos like the TFP sports editor start writing that someone is on the "hot seat" how a team plays is all you need to know. Coughlin — not unlike Mark Richt — obviously has earned an earnest and dedicated effort from his team when the "hot seat" label was being tossed about. Raheem Morris — not unlike Houston Nutt — obviously had not earned that same effort or respect.
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:
We'll take "No" in the prop bet, "Will Kelly Clarkson show her belly during the national anthem?" Again, another even money pick — and one we can all root for. Agreed? Agreed.
Super Bowl best of list, part I: The best Super Bowl commerical... and the nominees are:
— Mean Joe Greene, a kid, a jersey and a Coke (and if you need more than that, you are now excused from the rest of today's exercise)
— Career Builder — Monkey business
— Budweiser frogs (although Budweiser — think about the donkey, the respect after 9/11, the "What's Up crew" — could have their own category; they're the Steelers of Super Bowl advertisers)
— VW Darth Vader
— Terry Tate, office linebacker
Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, left, introduces new football coach Derek Dooley Friday, Jan. 15, 2010 at Neyland Stadium. Derek Dooley was hired as the 22nd head football coach at UT after Lane Kiffin bolted to take Southern California job.Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Wednesday is national signing day. You more than likely know this.
There will be thousands of high school football players sign scholarships to hundreds of colleges that will make millions of fans emotional — Alabama fans will be giddy; Auburn fans not so much.
Here is a final guess at some of the top uncommitted players nationally:
WR Dorial Green-Beckham: Arkansas (although Missouri has made up a lot of ground — either way he'll be tormenting SEC secondaries next fall)
DT Eddie Goldman: FSU over Auburn
WR Stefon Diggs: Florida over Auburn
DE Darius Hamilton: Rutgers over Miami
DB Tracy Howard: Florida over Miami
ATH Nelson Agholor: USC over Florida
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons: Georgia over FSU and Florida
DT Leonard Williams: Auburn over Florida
That's just some of the big names out there. If you have a question, ask and we'll try to answer it best we can.
For UT fans, Wednesday will be as much about keeping who is committed as adding an 11th-hour surprise or two. According to a good friend of the 5-at-10, Otha Peters is strong toeard UT despite his late flirtations with Arkansas. Four-star safety LaDarrell McNeil, though, is getting the full-court press from Oklahoma State.
As we said Monday, Alabama's class is again solid gold. Did you see the story about Landon Collins? There were claims Monday that Collins, the five-star safety who picked Alabama over in-state LSU against the wishes of his momma, was improperly recruited by Alabama. Those claims came from Collins' momma, by the way, when she said that Nick Saban gave Collins' girlfriend a job in the athletic department (FYI — this is not an NCAA violation in football, only basketball, so the claims are moot).
Side note here: When Spurrier was dominating the SEC at Florida, he was doing it with guile and cunning and play-calling and a certain style that made him easily dislikable but somewhat lovable. The way Saban has grabbed the SEC by the throat with an unyielding will, a personality-less, machine-like efficiency and a dogged recruiting approach, you can't help but look at the way he has crafted that program with a begrudging respect and wonder why your program's coach is not working as hard as Saban.
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)
Danica already passing people
It's official, the 5-at-10 is going to avoid the rush and root against Danica Patrick from the start. This has nothing to do with the fact that she has two X chromosomes. Rather this has everything to do with the double standard on the horizon.
Yes, we know that Dale Jr. has a reserved seat at the favored table in NASCAR circles. We get it. His family helped to create the sport and his father put it on the ascent to new heights. We're OK with that. (That said, doesn't it feel like we're at a crossroad for Junior's career. A place where either he starts winning occasionally and competing for a points title or he continues to run laps and cash checks for another year or three and then joins the booth and becomes the biggest star in NASCAR.)
But now that Danica has jumped from Indy Car to NASCAR and joined the Stewart Haas Racing crew, we can feel the cosmic tumblers starting to click and NASCAR starting to open itself up for as much Danica-mania as possible. New leaked early this morning that SHR is looking to trade "technical and pit support" to Tommy Baldwin Racing for the top-35 spot TBR earned in last year's points race. And if you're asking, "So?" know that with that extra top-35 spot — and the guaranteed starting spot in the first five races, regardless of qualifying results — SHR is certain to have a spot for Danica in the Daytona 500.
Hey, this kind of wheeling-dealing has happened a few times in the past, but almost never for a newcomer. And we get it from the NASCAR point of view: NASCAR does well in the male demographics and there's a real chance to garner a lot of women fans.
But here's hoping NASCAR let's Danica earn that rather than stepping on the hammer and speeding her down the fan base's throat. (And consider us flat-out giddy for the first time she crosses Kurt Busch. That's right — giddy. Like a school girl even. How quickly would Ears put her into the wall? Another quick question: Who's the first driver to get a six-figure fine from NASCAR for saying something along the lines of "typical woman driver" this season? Thoughts?
This and that
— The Women's Professional Soccer league will not compete for the 2012 season because of a legal dispute with a former owner that was forced to leave the league. OK, to answer your first question, no, we didn't know there was a WPS either. To answer your second question, there will likely be tens of season ticket holders disappointed.
— OK, the TFP web team is charged with finding Blake Griffith's dunk last night and putting it here. Watch this... we'll wait for you. OK, that was something else, right? It's not the best in-game dunk ever, but it's in the top 10. And to answer you're question, the best in-game dunk ever was Jerome Lane breaking the backboard for Pitt in the 1980s (click here) complete with Bill Raferty's "Send it in Jerome," call. If this had happened during the social media age, the Twitter would have melted.
— Don't know about you, but we're at a dangerous point when even the public knows the handful of teams to which a superstar player would be willing to be traded. Take Dwight Howard for example. We know he'll go to a select few spots. We know the Orlando Magic need to explore every opportunity to a) sign him or b) get as much possible for him so that when he walks as a free agent next summer, they are not left with bupkis. So, now that Chicago is one of the landing spots, the Magic are still left begging from scraps from Longshanks table where only a select few sit. Tough spot indeed, and this only will further continue the caste system that is the NBA. So it goes.
— Programming note: The TFP sports editor will be on SportTalk with Quake, Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) and Cowboy Joe (AKA De-obe) this afternoon around 4:15ish.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in action during the second quarter of an NFL AFC wild card football playoff game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis on Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Reports from Yahoo.com have people close to Peyton Manning wondering if he'll ever play again. We're officially to the point that just short of "Manning to start cricket league in Dubai" we'll believe anything in this crazy story that has gone from draft intrigue (the 5-at-10 loves the draft, but you know this) to complete unknown.
We know what you're thinking... "C'mon 5-at-10, we know this." Granted, but here's where we need your help.
Complete this sentence: A year from now, Peyton Manning will be.......
There are no wrong answers. Whatcha' got?
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 ...