Gang, we're back in the 4-2-3 and we appreciate your patience and participation late last week as we ventured North. We're going to be here as normal throughout August but know that Tennessee high school football practice starts today. That means our high school and college football preview sections are on the horizon. Basically, we're dealing with a lot of stuff.
Happily back and from the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...
New York review
NYC was amazing. Seriously, it was awesome front to back. From the tourist stuff (the amazing sights — check the two pictures here that the Mrs. 5-at-10 took — to the food to the Broadway Shows to Times Square) to the cool stuff it was out of sight.
That said, we're happy to be home. We're not NYC steady. We need our car. We need to know where we are and how to get where we're going. We need to know we're not going to need a second job to order dinner.
We needed to be back in Chatta-Vegas.
Here were the five highlights/tips if you go from the 5-at-10's first (and possibly last) trip to the NYC:
1) The Statue of Liberty is cooler than we expected, and we were expecting a lot. Like 10-times cooler. And take a boat tour around the island rather than a bus tour, and you get the full view of the Mrs. Liberty.
2) The Lion King was so great, Great, GREAT. And before you make fun of the 5-at-10 for singing show tunes and such, well, "Can you feel the love tonight?" If not, "Hakuna Matata."
3) Yankee Stadium was awesome. We cheer for the Yankees, but we're not a Yankee fan per se. That said, the history of the franchise and the passion of the fan base — especially considering they were playing Boston on Saturday — was the closest thing baseball will ever get to SEC football.
4) Sweet buckets of safety and speed, NYC cab drivers take no prisoners, be them passengers or pedestrians.
5) Sinatra was right. That's a city that never sleeps. At 2 a.m. Saturday morning, we were among no fewer than 10,000 folks on Times Square. Seriously.
(Bonus tip: If you take the subway, keep your head on a swivel. And we mean it.)
OK, we get that this is Ryan Lochte's moment in the sun. He spent his life underwater and now he gets to be in the spotlight as the fastest swimmer in the world.
It's a cool reward for a lifetime of hard work, and he deserves it.
But someone needs to shake this kid before he makes an even bigger tuckus out of himself.
Lochte and Michael Phelps get into a feud before these Olympic Games because Lochte is now what Phelps was in 2008 and Phelps wants to be what Phelps was in 2008.
Lochte then smokes Phelps in the 400m medley, almost breaking Phelps' world record. The upset here was the class with which Phelps handled the move. Alas, Lochte, who was told he could not accept the gold medal on the stand with his red-white-and-blue jeweled grill in his mouth, sent shout outs to "LochteNation" on twitter, the same device that got an European triple-jumper sent home and allowed Hope Solo to create another hubbub.
Hey gang, here's an idea: Show some class in the social media world, huh? You've spent your life working to get into the spotlight, and when you do you act the fool.
For all US Olympic athletes, copy-and-paste the following and use this as your baseline tweet: "We're happy to be here and represent our country and you our fans in these Olympics. Working to bring home Gold. U-S-A. U-S-A.
College football on the cusp
We're close to the start of practice, and since we've been off galavanting in the Big Apple, we've missed a bunch. Here's what we got:
— Jesse Williams, the Alabama nose guard, benched 600 pounds. Read that again. Yes, Alabama's defensive front seven is going to be anchored by a guy that bench presses the supernatural Twinkie that Egon describes in "Ghostbusters." (Hugely underrated movie by the way.)
— Mike Dyer was dismissed from the Arkansas State football team. You have to be some type of bade seed to have 1,000-plus-yard seasons in the SEC as a freshman and a sophomore to get asked to leave two different schools.
— As of this morning Tyler Bray has not committed any random acts of violence and/or vandalism. So smile CelticVol, today is getting better by the minute. (Of course to borrow the classic Curly line from "City Slickers" — "Day ain't over yet.")
— Before anyone starts bellyaching too righteously about Penn State players being poached by other programs, Yahoo Sports has an interesting report that Penn State recruited SMU players in 1987 when the Mustangs got hit with the death penalty.
This and that
— Huge sweep for the Braves. Simply huge on every level for a team that needed to have some good things happen. We'll be the first to say it: Stick it Ryan Dempster, here's hoping no one trades for you and the best offer you get next year is Kansas City.
— Jimmie Johnson has the look right now. "You know he's got that look." Dude has three wins and he appears more focus and more efficient than he did when he won a record-setting five consecutive points titles. Side note: To be fair, congrats on Dale Jr. leading the points. We have been hard on Junior recently — primarily because we believe he is underachieving and there's nothing more tragic than wasted potential — so now that he is atop the points standings, we feel obligated to mention it.
— Loved ace columnist Mark Wiedmer's story on loca-kid-made-great Tony Brown http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jul/29/brown-wants-to-leave-nfl-his-way/ in Sunday's paper.
— It happens a couple of times every year; a high-profile football recruit trying his hand at professional football. Well, here's saying that University of Washington incoming safety prospect Shaq Thompson has had his fill of baseball forever. Thompson, who is the top-ranked incoming player in the Huskies class and a Boston Red Sox draft pick, spent a few weeks in the Gulf Coast league. Thompson finished 0-for-39 with 37 streikouts before trading in his batting helmet. Wide choice.
We're sure we've missed some things since we have been pretty much out of pocket for the last few days.
But here's our question: Is there a more loved athlete in his town than Derek Jeter?
We say no (and we don't think it's that close), and, considering all the superstars that changed addresses lately (Peyton, Ichiro, Pujols, LeBron, etc.) we'll throw this Rushmore of city-and-star athlete love affairs out there:
Thoughts? (And it's good to be back.)
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 ...