Gang, we have a couple of open spots in Friday's mailbag and remember our contest this week (more on that below).
From the "Talks too much" Studios, here we go...
Florida coach Will Muschamp talks with reporters during Southeastern Conference Football Media Days in Birmingham, Ala., Wednesday, July 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
SEC media day review
The opening day of the SEC media event outside Birmingham was filled with a river of quotes that you will read online and see again in preview sections across the South. Trust us.
Here's a Day 1 recap, with a shout out to Ron Burgandy:
Why don't you stop talking for a while there Champ: Here's Missouri coach Gary Pinkel to a group of media members that cover his team — "Joe Paterno’s a friend that I got to know professionally, and you can’t take away the greatness of this man. He was a great man. However you analyze this, you can’t erase all that this guy’s done. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that. I think when you come out of such a tragic situation, certainly involving children and the magnitude of this in our country from a media standpoint, I anticipated really what happened. I anticipated that they would do this. You’re not going to sit back there and say, ‘Well, just things happen.’ You’re not going to do that. They’re going to be firing, and people, they’re going to make statements and they’re going to point fingers, and that’s what I anticipated a little bit. But he was a great man, a good man. I’m sure he would, maybe if he” could “do it over again he would have followed up a few things. But don’t take away all this guy did, and to sit there and blame him for all this, I think is wrong." Hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But if Pinkel wants to defend Paterno, that's fine. Just remember that Paterno had more than a decade to follow up on "a few things" like child rape and torture.
Why don't you stop talking for a while there Champ, part II: What is it with the new guys? Pinkel says covering up child rape does not affect your legacy and Kevin Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin gets on the mic and starts cussing. C'mon coach, be better than that. Sumlin was impressive and we think Texas A&M is going to be better than most people expect, but c'mon coach, let TVA be in charge of the dams.
I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal: Steve Spurrier is on the Rushmore of all-time SEC coaches. But he is the King of the preseason news conference. Dude is Tiger/Tyson/MJ/Federer all rolled into one when the microphones light up in July.
It's science: Vandy quarterback Jordan Rodgers is the younger brother of NFL stud duck Aaron Rodgers, and we believe Jordan will have a big year. The New York Times reported last year that Rodgers said he has a TD dance called "ninja bandana," which is the head version of his brother Aaron's famous move that has been transformed into the StateFarm "Discount Double Check" move. (Those StateFarm "Discount Double Check" commercials are strong.)
You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha: Mike Slive is so money.
Great story. Compelling and rich: Vandy was the surprise story in the league last year, and they come out with a chip on their shoulder from the start. We like that. And Zac Stacy may be the best player no one knows. (Side note: The Mrs. 5-at-10 recently looked at the 5-at-10 for some foolishness we did and said, "That's sooo rich." Well, the soon-to-be-5-year-old 5-at-10 son was standing there and since one of his TV shows has a cast of characters that includes a dude named Rich, the 5-at-10 tot concurred with his mother and said, "That's sooo Rich. That's sooo Scott. That's sooo Dave," and the rest of the show's crew.)
SEC media day preview
OK, Let's get to the questions for each coach you won't be hearing today:
Mississippi State — "Coach Mullen, please discuss the cultural influences and affects Starkville has had on society. Yes, you can begin with the cowbell."
LSU — "Coach Miles, if two trains left New Orleans at the same time and going in opposite directions going at the same rate of speed, which train would have the want to get to the SEC title game first?" Knowing our coach-crush on the oft-nonsensical and never-canned Miles, here's saying he'd deliver an aces answer to that one too.
Florida — "Coach Muschamp, have you contacted Ron Zook about how you transition after flopping at Florida?"
Kentucky — "Joker, is Coach Calipari going to be here later, and if not, when is Midnight Madness?"
Auburn — "Coach Chizik, which was a cooler development this offseason: Seeing Rueben Foster switch his commitment from Alabama to Auburn or watching Brian VanGorder's mustache in action this spring? Seriously, that's one awesome lip lid, no?"
Arkansas — "Coach Smith, got any investment tips you want to share?"
Tee it up
The British Open starts in a matter of hours, and we have not uttered much about the Claret Jug and Tiger Woods and pot bunkers and the like.
Truth be told, the 5-at-10 loves the British Open. It's not the Masters — what is? — but it's a lot closer than many would believe.
Look at what it has in its bag:
Great trophy — The Claret Jug is not Lord Stanley's Cup, but it's uber-close. (Quick Rushmore of coolest trophies: Stanley Cup, Claret Jug, Heisman and Olympic Gold.)
Great tradition — There is no denying this; it's the best, even for those of us that love the Masters more.
Great storylines — Whether it's Tom Watson or someone on the brink of contending that's a shock or a no-name that comes from nowhere or even the historic meltdowns, there is always a great sports storyline at the Open.
Great scenes — Without tricking up the golf courses, the British Open is always a stern test. A lot of it has to do with the weather, which generates images of bent flags in a earth-shaking wind or even Bishop Bickering and Carl Spackler dredging through Bushwood in a driving rain storm.
Great timeframe — Unlike most of the folks we know, the 5-at-10 is a wicked early riser. So we'll pop up and watch a bunch of the tournament when it's still dark outside here in Chattanooga. Good times
We are stoked.
That said, remember our Openly Open Championship Championship. The rules are simple: Pick five golfers. The finishing spots for the best four of your group will be added together and the low score wins. One twist this time is that if you want to pick Tiger Woods, you only get to pick four. Let us know if you have any questions and the winner will get some tickets to some sporting event in the coming days.
Here's what we have so far (we'll update later today and if you have entered and don't see your picks below send them again please):
5-at-10 — Dufner, McDowell, Paddy Harrington, Woods
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Zach Johnson, Dufner, Westwood, Donald, Rory
Fred — Oosthuizen, Westwood, Molinari, Els, Poulter
TFP golf ace David Uchiyama — Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose
BlueOval — Mickleson, D Johnson, Z Johnson and Woods
StuckinKent — Lee Westwood, Ricky Fowler, Padraig Harrington, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer
Spy — Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell
sportsfan — Furyk, Sergio, Paul Lawrie, Lee Westwood, and Ernie Els
McPell — Jason Dufner, Mickelson, Luke Donald, McIlroy, & Matt Kutchar
This and that
— Talk about going out with a bang. Yahoo reported here http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/utah-man-confessional-obituary-owns-life-pranks-180934687.html that Val Patterson told the secrets of his life in his obit. Among them was the fact that he never graduated from college despite the University of Utah confusing the paper work and sending him a PhD. He also told Disney World and Sea World to close their "banned for life" files on him.
— We promise at some point we're going to stop writing about Penn State (although our column in today's TFP was on that subject). That said, does anyone need to avoid a microphone right now more than Jay Paterno? Everyone understands you want to defend your dad, but there is no upside to vow publicly to take down the Freeh report. First, you just continue the controversy. Second, if you find something it's going to be questioned because the Paterno family has such a strong motivation. Finally if you find nothing — if the Paterno family finds nothing or very little of consequence in the 237-page document that covered more than 3 million emails and 400 interviews — it certifies the Freeh report as gold plated.
— As we have written before, the death penalty for Penn State is a real possibility. Whether that happens or not, we love the suggestion of Yahoo!Sports writer Dan Wetzel that all current Penn State players should be able to transfer without penalty.
— OK, we get that NFL players get into trouble. But Dez Bryant was picked up for assault Tuesday. That's a normal day in the life of professional sports. It happens, right? Well, not exactly. Bryant was picked up for allegedly assaulting his mom. Yes, his MOM. Wow.
— The Knicks did not match the offer to point guard Jeremy Lin and let the ATM that was Lin-sanity head to Houston. Truth be told, it was probably the right move basketball-wise.
We are 10 days from the Olympics. That's a good thing.
This past Monday was Will Ferrell's 45th birthday and we missed it. That's a bad thing.
Combine those facts with the Todd962's outstanding reference to Mark Spitz on Tuesday and today's question writes itself.
What's your Mount Rushmore of best mustaches? We'll take Spitz, Rob Burgandy, Rollie Fingers and Magnum P.I. Discuss.
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 ...