From the "Talks too much" Studios, here we go...
What were thoughts on Derek Dooley’s speech during SEC Media Days this week?
The tension and the magnitude of everything involving Dooley and the Vols made Thursday's appearance hugely important.
We thought he delivered a 600-foot homer. It was a smash. It's what he needed to say and it's what Johnny Vols Fans everywhere needed to hear.
In fact, behind commissioner Mike Slive's powerful opening statements about the place of programs and powerful people that were obviously directed at Penn State, Dooley's "You're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore," was the second-best sentence this week. (And when Les Miles is involved, that's saying something.)
Now Dooley and Co. have to back it up. But that was the case whether Dooley took the podium and went old-school, "Block and tackle... watch the film... play like you practice," or whether he came out swinging.
Well-played, Derek, well-played indeed.
Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides in the pack during the 15th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 158.5 kilometers (98.5 miles) with start in Samatan and finish in Pau, France, Monday July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
For the Friday mailbag...Why is there no love shown for the Tour de France by the 5 at 10? I understand that it's alleged that some TDF participants may be spiking their systems with all sorts of performance enhancing substances. However, during the mid-summer sports lull, watching these guys climb mountains on bikes is mildly compelling, and for anyone who has ridden a bike, it is amazing (even under enhanced, allegedly, circumstances). Plus, it beats reality tv everytime in my book.
Fair question, and we're not sure we have a good answer for you. We'll start by saying those cats are amazing and what they are doing is mind-bending. Riding that terrain for that many days and that many miles is CUH-razy hard.
Plus, these guys are arguably the best in the world in the single activity that is most common among every human. Think about that: not everyone has hit a golf ball or a baseball or shot a basketball or thrown a football; but everyone has ridden a bike. So these guys are the top layer of talent of one of the biggest activity pools on the planet; well these guys, speed walkers and competitive eaters. (That said, the biking uniforms need work.)
As for our lack of TDF, well here are our three mea culpas.
First, we know very little about cycling — something that will change in the next year since the US championships are coming to town next May.
Second, other than Lance Armstrong, we're not sure we can name a single rider. Is Greg Lemond still riding? What Floyd "The Barber" Landis? (We're kidding. Mostly.)
Finally, the mid-summer sports lull never materialized this year. We're four weeks from the start of high school football for crying out loud, and looking in the rearview, there were not a lot of days that we can recall wanting for stuff.
That said, we should have done more. Brit Bradley Wiggins appears to have this thing wrapped.
From Mark A.
All you media folks threw out your SEC picks this week. What's the 5@10 think?
Thanks, and thanks for the 5@10.
We think the SEC is stocked. As we said earlier this week, Arkansas would be the preseason favorite in every other conference in the country with the possible exception of the Pac-12, and the Razorbacks are a distant third in the SEC West. Cuh-razy.
OK, here are our picks, and we're going to give each category some analysis as only Les Miles could.
SEC champ: Alabama — Yes, they have to go to Baton Rouge, but the Tide are crazy talented, despite losing eight first-rounders in the last two years. They have the best offensive line in the country, a good senior quarterback and the best coach.
From pretend Les: "That's a team that has a great coach and a quarterback, and every team has to have those and the want to be a team that can be coached and quarterbacked at an extremely high level."
SEC East winner: Georgia — We like Aaron Murray a lot. We like Georgia's defense even more. Well, we like Georgia's defense with all of its suspended players back.
From pretend Les: "Games are not won on Twitter pages or in bars during the summer. They can be lost there, however."
SEC player of the year: Tyler Wilson, Arkansas — The Razorbacks are going to post pinball numbers; they had Wilson, running back Knile Davis and receiver Cobi Hamilton on the preseason All-SEC first team and their tight end was a second-team pick. This was a tough call, though, because Wilson, Murray, Tyler Bray and even Marcus Lattimore are going to get a chance to post some big-time numbers this fall.
From pretend Les: "When you have pieces and those pieces fit, the puzzle can be worked. And Wilson is the type of kid that can figure out those pieces. He's their Puzzler."
From Mr. Burns
I have just started reading the 5-at-10. It's pretty good.
That said, can you please find something else to talk about than Joe Paterno? Turn the page already and all this blah blah blah does nothing.
There has to be more out there.
First off, thanks for reading and welcome to the show. Secondly, if your name is really Mr. Burns, OK. If it's a tribute to "The Simpsons," exxxccellent choice.
Yes, there are a slew of things to discuss, and maybe we have spent a few too many words on the Penn State tragedy, but this is the single worst sports scandal ever. And not talking about it — especially when someone makes bone-headed statements like Missouri coach Gary Pinkel defending Paterno and saying, "you can't take away the greatness of this man" — is not an option either.
Plus, while we know we talk too much, is there a person on the planet that needs to avoid a platform, camera and microphone more than Jay Paterno right now. Every time he speaks it revives the story and gets jabber-jaws like us riled up again.
And to be fair, all this blah, blah, blah as you described it may do nothing, but saying and doing nothing as Paterno and the powers that be at Penn State did is far, Far, FAR worse.
(Side note: There were two other Paterno-related developments this week. Nick Saban suggested taxing Penn State tickets and giving that money to organizations that look out for children. We love this idea. Big Ten chairman Jim Delany is trying to come up with a way that allows commissioners to discipline schools and programs and could even fire coaches. We hate this idea.)
From First Timer
Hey, this is the first letter I have sent but have been reading a while. This week you mentioned Pete Rose's new reality show. I hate to admit it but I watch a lot of reality TV and think Pete 's show could be great.
What sports stars would you like to see on a reality TV show?
Tahnks and you do talk a bunch.
Wow, we had a lot of newcomers this week, which is awesome. And we had a lot of newcomers this week bring great questions, which is awesome in its awesomeness.
The key to quality reality TV — and yes, we realize the oxymoronic nature of the phrase "quality reality TV" — is mixing personalities. If you had five folks who were the same, that's not going to work.
So let's say we're going to take eight sports stars, have them live together and if they make it a year, they get something huge.
OK, since Rose is already off the board, we'll start with Terrell Owens, who is an Andrew Luck-level solid-gold, blue-chipper. We'll take Jose Canseco with our other pick of crazy. So that's T.O. and Canseco, two dudes that will be highly motivated because they are broke.
We'll add Roger Clemens to mix, and the chemistry between he and Canseco will be off the charts.
The next two will surprise you: Derek Jeter and Tim Tebow. Jeter is a notoriously private dude and renown lady's man; Tebow is Tebow. Trust us on this.
The next two are ladies: Lolo Jones and Lindsey Vonn.
That leaves one final pick and there are so many choices. Lawrence Taylor, Vick, Iverson, Rodman, Metta World Peace. What about Les Miles? This is tough, but if we get more than eight we run the risk of too many.
Wait. Of course, with our eighth and final pick, we take Mike Tyson and feel like we have just landed Tom Brady in the sixth round.
So the cast is T.O., Canseco, Clemens, Jeter, Tebow, Lolo, Lindsey and Tyson. Yes, we feel good about this.
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 ...