published Friday, June 22nd, 2012

5-at-10: Friday Mailbag stamped from LeBron to Dooley to new allegations against Sandusky

Great week gang, and keep your eyes peeled Monday for an NBA draft contest.

From the "Talks Too Much" Studios, here we go...

From Fred,

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    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and shooting guard Dwyane Wade react in the final moments during the second half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 121-106 to become the 2012 NBA Champions.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Now that LBJ has won a ring, where does he rank all time? (If Miami does not clinch it Thursday, I want to know if you think the Heat are in trouble heading back to OKC.)

Thanks, I'll press send and listen.


We think LeBron James is on his way to being one of the top two or three players ever. Period. And he may be the best ever when he hangs up his Nikes.

As for winning the title — and it was nice how LBJ did it in style, wrapping up an MVP-worthy performance by messing around and getting a triple double (Copyright Ice Cube) — the best comparison we can come up with is Peyton Manning winning the Super Bowl. Remember how Manning was hammered with claim after claim about how he couldn't win the big one? Well after winning the Super Bowl, Manning was mentioned among the best quarterbacks of all time. He was still the same player he just added a piece of jewelry not available at Rick Davis' Gold and Diamonds.

LBJ is the same player he was, only now he's bona fide. (He's a suitor — Copyright Ulyesses McGill's daughters.) In fact, James was vilified for not embracing the moment before hoisting the NBA title and looking to pass rather than shoot in crucial situations. He's still the same player with the same distributor mentality, only this time the shots fell and the scoreboard turned out in his favor.

But that's sports. Heck, that's life. Winners write history, and the fact that Shane Battier and Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers took turns whipping the Thunder reserves makes all the difference.

James will finish his career with multiple titles and while he may never catch MJ in some folks eyes, James will be in the team picture of the best ever. And if he becomes addicted to this winning thing, look out. Plus, this is James' ninth year, and his game is starting to evolve. He has become an efficient back-to-the-basket player in the post and his decision-making off the dribble in these Finals was top-shelf. Plus, he accepted the responsibility of guarding Durant.

If you're being honest about his talents, James will be a fixture on everyone's All-time NBA team.

And for those of you who think we're over the top in our James praise, who other than LeBron could match arguably the most complete season ever and match Oscar Robertson's triple-double average for an entire season? Who blends size and skills better and has more plus-plus qualities? And he's only 27. TWENTY-SEVEN.

Buckle up gang.

From McPell


I have this question on the back burner since baseball started...what in the name of Roseanne is with all this WHIP, WAR, and other misc alphabets when writers discuss pro players? Have actuaries taken over the world of baseball? ERA is confounding enough when a guy pitches 2/3 of an inning every other night. Does the alphabet soup really matter to the average fan or am I getting old?


In short, yes, you need a CPA to calculate an PERA or a VORP. It's some crazy stuff that is simultaneously eye-opening and tear-worthy.

We can remember being a small 5-at-10, more like a 3-at-6 and being so proud of ourself for figuring our batting averages in our head. Now you'd need an abacus and a team of MIT students to shuffle through the stats.

The romance with the river of stats is part of the long-term smooch-fest between baseball lovers and the game above all other sports. The numbers are constant and ever-changing at the same time.

So how they are viewed and gauged and digested are in some ways constant and ever-changing as well.

Bill James developed the basis of the unfamiliar alphabet collection of stats in the 1970s. He was the main guy behind the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) and its work became known as sabermetrics. All of this was documented in Michael Lewis' best-seller MoneyBall, which became a box office hit movie with Brad Pitt playing Oakland A's GM Billy Beane. (Side note: How great a day would it be for them to make a movie about your life, and word comes down that Pitt is playing you? It would be difficult to control the ego for a while after that, no? On the reverse end, what would be the worst news you could receive in that situation? Hey, we're making a movie about you and Chaz Bono is going to play the lead. Great huh?)

And for the average fan, no you don't need to know whether a 8 WAR is MVP worthy or sit-the-bench worthy. In fact three of the leading alphabet gangs — Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, and Baseball Reference — all calculate WAR with their own formulas so there's only so much that can be gleaned from a stat different folks figure differently.

That said, we're all getting old. Stupid kids with their loud music and shiny stats. Get off our lawn. (Side note: WHIP — or walks and hits per innings pitched — and OPS — on-base percentage plus slugging — are great stats.)


From chas9

First question: Is there any position in any sport more likely to produce Difficult Player Disorder than wide receiver?

Second question: Who was hotter, Donna Douglass or Barbara Eden? (hint, it's not close).


Because you're such a valued regular, we let you have two this week.

No, wide receiver is the home planet for Prima Donna Disorder and there's not a real close second. There are some serious whack jobs that are baseball closers, but nothing compares to the off-the-charts attention hounds and headaches from certain wide receivers. And having spent some time playing quarterback, we have never met a receiver worth his salt who did not come back to the huddle saying how open they were. Period. In fact, want to know when a receiver thinks he is open? When he puts on his helmet by Golly. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if some problem-children pee-wee players are pushed to the WR spot because they match the profile. Call it the mental equivalent of the husky kids (we preferred to be called big-boned thank you very much) wearing numbers that started with a 6 and playing on the line.

As for the hotter question, our answer as always is the Mrs. 5-at-10 is far-and-away the hottest, and there's no close second. What's that? She was not a choice in this question? OK.

As for the choices given, we take Jeannie. To be fair, though, she had the best uniform this side of Daisy Duke. And you're right, it's not close between Jeannie and Ellie May. Just like Mary Anne over Ginger is not close and Chrissie Snow over Janet and all of her "Three's Company" replacements was nowhere close. Just like then-Kirtsie Alley over Shelley Long is not close.

In fact, there were only a few debates between TV show starlettes that we would consider being close. We could see the Blaire-Jo debate on "Facts of Life." We could see the Kelly-Jessie debate on "Saved by the Bell." We could see the Kate Jackson-Farrah debate on "Charlie's Angels." And there are a slew of soap operas dotted with pretty faces, including the 1990s classics "90210" and "Melrose Place."

And the winner on all counts is the Mrs. 5-at-10.


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    UT Vols Coach Derek Dooley
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
    enlarge photo

From sportsfan

Jay - SEC football is right around the corner, so for the Friday mailbag...If Dooley goes 6-6 (or worse), can you give me 5 good reasons that Hart would keep him at least one more season?


Simply put, no we can't come up with five good reasons why a 6-6 season would spare Dooley the pink slip. We can come up with five bad ones to explain why a 6-6 (or worse) season gets Dooley another season:

1) Dave Hart is actually still working for Alabama as a double agent, and he was sent by the REC to infiltrate the UT athletic department.

2) It's all part of a master plan to get so bad that everyone would clamor to bring Phillip Fulmer back.

3) Nude pictures. Lots and lots of nude pictures.

4) Football is just not that important in the SEC. We're more worried about academics and the APR... What? We're last among SEC football programs in that too? Crud.

5) Kirby Smart needs one more year at Alabama.

That said, we firmly believe anything under eight wins this year will be a disappointment for these Vols. The schedule is there and the offense has the pieces to score in bunches.

And anything under eight wins will mean some difficult decisions for Hart and the UT administration.


From Tiger


First, I wanted to tell you I like the 5@10. I don't ask many questions but I read almost everyday.

I have been following every step of the Sandusky trial. It is awful and horrible I know but I am hooked.

Jay, there's no way he Sandusky gets away with this is there?


No matter how much ground the defense was able to cover and how much smoke Sandusky was able to deflect, we don't think there's any way he gets cleared on all 48 counts. No way.

That said, the revelations that there are new allegations of abuse by new victims — including Michael Sandusky, Jerry's adopted son — there is talk that the prosecution is prepared to file new charges if Sandusky is cleared.

Admittedly, we have not been following this as closely as you have Tiger, but it's hard to see Sandusky walking out of the court house not guilty on all 48 counts. In fact, we're not prepared to even think about that.

about Jay Greeson...

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Livn4life said...

So James has one one, just one so? Gotta give him his due. I am just no Heat nor James fan. As for Dooley/Vols, there are easily eight wins but it does not yet appear what the full chemistry of this team will be especially the needed running game and changing defensive scheme. Love the 5 things you laid out. There are a number of RockyToppers who would like to see a PhilRevival. I, while appreciating what he did as a player and as head coach, am not in that part of the stands. Sandusky: whatever else comes out about this guy, better not be "kidding", knowwhutuhmeen?

June 22, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.
jgreeson said...


We can respect not being an LBJ fan.

Great call on the Vols' uncertain chemistry and sweet buckets of General Neyland's Maxims UT needs to find a reliable running back. (We concur about celebrating Phil's great run, but the run is finished. Can't go forward by going back, in our opinion.)

Got a funny feeling Sandusky will get plenty of "kidding" chances in prison. And plenty of chances to teach folks how to shower and he may even come across a tickle monster or two.

— 5-at-10

June 22, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

I've got one way that Dooley keeps his job at 6-6.

Let's say the Vols lose to NCSU, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgia, and South Carolina. (That's probably the six toughest games on the schedule.) They lose all of them by 6 or less, and win the other six games by 30+ points.

Or, they beat Alabama or Florida (by any amount) but lose to Missouri or Vanderbilt (by less than six).

On the contrary, if the Vols go 8-4, but lose to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina by 30+ points, while winning the other eight games all closer than they should have been, I can see Dooley getting canned.

It's hard to see a 9-3 record getting Dooley canned, even if the Vols lose to Florida, Alabama, and Georgia by a combined 150 points.

It's all about the vibe around the program after the year. Close losses may keep him in a job if they are impressive in the other games. Big losses may lose him his job no matter how many of them there are.

June 22, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Stuck —

Like the thought — and the optimism.

Biggest problem I see with the 6-6 thought is if these Vols lose to NC State, even if it’s by 2 in the fifth OT, the fan base is so volatile and shaky it would cause an earthquake-type split in the Vol Nation and maybe within the locker room. And even if they blow out the other folks on the schedule, that’s six wins against three nobodies, UK, Vandy and Missouri.

A win over Bama and 6-6 might could get it done. Maybe.

And I should have mentioned injuries. If Bray gets hurt in Week 2 and misses two months and they go 6-6, then all bets are off.

— 5-at-10

June 22, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
Todd962 said...

When is Fulmer coming back? Good question. I strongly advise Vol fans and haters alike to take three minutes to visit YouTube and search for "Things Vol Fans Say Often." The haters will get a laugh at UT's expense and the fans will have to chuckle because it likely hits too close to home for things you have had come out of your mouth as well. Good stuff.

And haters gonna hate. Aint never gonna change. The FB wall this morning was full with very little Lebron/Heat praise and an abundance of hate.

"Hope all you people who became Heat fans in 2010 are happy for waiting SOOO long for a title."

"Worst part about the Heat's title tonight? The thousands of Rachel Nichols reports we'll have to endure about it on ESPN in the next month."

My favorite was someones comparison of Norris Cole from the Heat to Waldo Geraldo Faldo from Family Matters. People are crazy.

June 22, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - I concur with your assessment. As a fan of the Vols since the age of 6, I wasn't happy with the last few years under Fulmer and was ready for a change. The administration could have handled the transition more appropriately in my opinion. I questioned the Kiffin pick when Al Davis said he was a nut job. What are you supposed to think when a nut calls someone else a nut? I was glad to see Kiffin go, but the wake of destruction he left was huge. I think Dooley can turn the program around, but if he's close with no cigar this year, he probably won't get the chance. When watching Dooley, I sometimes get the feeling that I'm seeing Ray Goff or Mike Shula, and that's not good. He's got to get it done this year. I will say this, if he stays, I do enjoy the fact that the Dawg Nation has to put up with his mom rooting for the Big Orange...

June 22, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
chas9 said...

Easily 8 wins? I'll take the under on that one. Seriously.

As for the Charlie's Angels contest, that's a three way. You left out my favorite.

Why I'm smarter and dumber than I look: On the front end I predicted OKC over The Heat and LBJ over KD. I think King James edged Durant. Discussion?

And thanks for the excellent essay on wide receiver disorder.

June 22, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

No doubt Haters gonna hate. Let 'em hate as LBJ celebrates. (Although there is some truth to the "enduring" Rachel Nichols line.)

You brought up something we mean to discuss during these NBA playoffs: When did Urkel become the primary fashion pattern for NBA stars. Thick horned-rim glasses, awkward clothes.

Heck, Wade had on a pair of thick black glasses with no lenses.

Sportsfan —

Fulmer had a Hall of Fame career, and you're spot on that the administration could have handled it better.

When Kiffin was hired we thought it was a great move, if for no other reason than Hamilton had to do something drastic. He couldn't can Fulmer — a UT grad who had won 75 percent of his games with an aw-shucks-block-and-tackle-study-film-and-work-like-heck football coach. He needed to find the next Spurrier. And in a lot of ways he did, but UT was Kiffin's Duke and he returned to USC and left devastation in his wake in Knoxville.

We don't Dooley is Goff-level bad, but we the Shula stuff is fair. And your phrase "Dooley can turn the program around, but if he's close with no cigar this year, he probably won't get the chance" is exactly how we feel.

9er —

We have not set the over/under on UT wins. If we had to set one it would be 7.5 or 8, and there is not a team in recent years that has had this big of preseason parameters. A bad break or two and UT could go 5-7; a good break or two and UT could go 10-2. That's a five-game swing.

If you are smarter and dumber than you look, wouldn't you be as smart as you look? Or as dumb as you look? Somehow we now believe we are sounding dumber than we are.

— 5-at-10

June 22, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
Stewwie said...

You and me both, Chas. Games 2, 3, and 4 were one or two plays away from ending differently. That said, the entire series felt like 5 Game 7s...which was great. LeBron has now proven that he can stay focused for an entire series so maybe he's turned over the new leaf for good. Just for the record, Durant had the higher ppg...30.6 to 28.6 for James, but James was better all around.

Heat/Thunder is looking like it's going to be a new-school Magic/Bird, Lakers/Celtics-type rivalry minus the bitter blood and clothesline takedowns. LeBron will get multiple titles (maybe not eight like he predicted) but Durant will get his share too. It's going to be a fun next few years in the NBA with these guys at their best.

Saw an over/under recently on Vols' wins this year at 6.5.

June 22, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stew —

Agree that if the Heat and Thunder stay together, there could be some serious "See you guys next year in June" type of potential there. The Bulls will have something to say about that too.

We would have to take over 6.5 but would struggle to know what to do on an over/under of 8. How about you?

June 22, 2012 at 2:13 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Yes. What passes as fashion these days amongst athletes is quite humorous. They are going with the poindexter look which is only topped by Steven Tyler's "I'm so rich I choose to dress like a homeless person" look. Its all the rage under most urban bridges these days. Rock stars always have to be the one uppers.

June 22, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
deboman said...

Did take notice of the Urkel ware and had to laugh, but then again, those guys are bazillionaires and I Don’t know Jack about fashion, so who knows, it may be the next big thing. But being some one that requires optical enhancement devices, I have to say wearing lensless glasses may just qualify you for a spot in the Dumb and Dummer column. At least put some fakies in there. And Todd, I do believe that is Tyler sporting Mugatu’s new Derelict line.

Going back to a point made about the Finals game layout, the NBA should really re-think their approach. If anything, they should be consistent from round to round, but I think that Miami proved that the 2-3-2 format favors the lower seed. Even if both teams held serve, the Thunder would still have been returning home facing elimination. In my opinion, at no point in the series should the lower seed have played more home games than the team that actually earned home court/field advantage. Don’t think it would have made too much difference in the outcome here, but as closely contested as these games were, anything could have swayed the momentum. Who knows what a 5th game in OKC would have brought.

June 22, 2012 at 2:27 p.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

Two crazy things about the uber-rich and famous:

1) More time than not they dress like trash and it then becomes fashion. Tyler is a fine example, but this will be known as the Lady Gaga rule. She shows up with a potted plant on her head and it's trendy. If Alice from accounting did it, we'd have her committed.

2) The richer they are the less they have to pay for stuff, which makes ZERO sense. When do you think was the last time Jordan picked up a check at a restaurant or at the pro shop. Been at least 25 years, right? Does it matter that he could sneeze 12 grand? Of course not, but goof balls like us have to give blood to afford to play Pebble Beach.

Debo —

Sent you an e-mail about your tickets. Congrats again.

And yes, the format needs to be changed, and while the Heat would have likely won it in Game 6 back in Miami, it still would have added an extra splash of drama to a series already marinated in it.

— 5-at-10

June 22, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Well duh Jay, Alice from accounting shouldnt be wearing clothes as formal as potting plants to work anyway. Who does she think she is the queen? Oh, she does believe shes the queen? Well then yes, straight to the bend for her.

And giving blood for profit is awesome. Donated a lot of plasma in college. Two benefits. One. Money. Two. You can take said money and buy a six pack of beer afterwards that will have the effect of a handle of whiskey. Which to a poor college kid who liked to get a little wild was gold.

June 22, 2012 at 3:25 p.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

That is the definition of win-win. Plus, don't forget the cookie.

We got to the point at Auburn that when we showed at the Blood Donation Station, they wanted to know what was going on at the local watering hole.

Good times indeed.

Enjoy the weekend gang, and we'll revisit the over/under win stuff next week.

— 5-at-10

June 22, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Jay, tough line of 8 for Vols' wins. Looking at their schedule, I think they'll definitely lose to Georgia, Bama, and SC. One other loss to either Miss. St. or Missouri. That puts them at exactly 8 wins. That said, I'd take the under on 8.5 and the over on 7.5. Of course this all assumes that Tyler Bray will stay healthy, otherwise it could be another long season.

Right on Deboman about the NBA needing to change the Finals format to a 2-2-1-1-1. Not sure why they changed it back in the 80s...maybe to help prevent some of the jet lag especially when teams on the coasts (i.e. Boston/L.A.) have to play each other? Interestingly though, the home team hadn't won those 3 middle games until Detroit did it in '04. Now it's been done 3 or 4 times.

June 22, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

So how will ESPN fill 17 hours of SportsCenter each day with no "LeBron hasn't won a title yet" talk? Will Stephen A. Smith's and Skip Bayless' heads now explode (please? please? please?)?

Another way to look at it is ... LeBron's already 27. That's nine years, OK, 8 2/3 this season, of NBA play at a very, very high level on him. I predict LeBron breaks down physically after he turns 32. I think his window for winning is shrinking rapidly. And I think he knows it.

June 22, 2012 at 4:41 p.m.
jgreeson said...

You're Stewed Butt-wad —

The above is a great line from the under-quoted "Weird Science."

Great call on the balance of eight being the Vols over/under. It's almost too exact in the since that, as you pointed out, if you buy the half either way you feel pretty good about it.

Spy —

There are a lot of miles on LeBron (but no college miles) and the International competition is another slew of miles. But dude is a specimen. And he's a year younger than Jordan was when he won his first title.

He'll have to develop a mid-range game. (Jordan became the All-Timer because of his ability to adapt his game. He went from Air Jordan to Care Jordan to Rare Jordan and no one added more weapons from the midway point of their career as MJ did. Garnett re-tooled his game too, but not to the MJ level.)

But the Heat are about to get some cap relief and may add some quality pieces.

Here's an interesting question that we wish we had asked before 5 p.m. on Friday: If LeBron and Durant had switched teams, who wins these Finals?

— 5-at-10

June 22, 2012 at 4:59 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

True, 5, but I don't think the league is nearly as watered down now as it was during the Jordan era. Plus, LeBron's defensive prowess means he burns up even more energy on that end of the floor. I can see LeBron taking a cue from Michael in the next couple of years - more layups, less dunks. Plus, he may throw groundballs. They're more democratic.

And happy birthday to Kris Kristofferson, author of one of the truly great outlaw country songs of all time.

June 22, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.
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