published Friday, March 16th, 2012

5 at 10: Friday Mailbag

From OTWatcher,

Did you ever post the entries for the Overrated/Underrated challenge? And what happens if there's a tie?

Thanks and enjoy the 5@10.


Thanks for playing and no we had not posted the Overrated/Underrated challenge entries. Between the start of the dance, and office pools and bracket odds and, well, everyone's busy so there's no excuses. The 5-at-10 dropped the ball and those should have been posted Thursday. So it goes and to make it up to everyone, we'll give them double their entry fees back. Heck, let's make it triple.

Seriously, so for the delay, and the entries are below. (And if you sent one in and we missed it, please let us know.)

As for the tie, it would double the stakes to next week's Kemba Walker Memorial Shootout. If we have a clear winner in the Overrated/Underrated Challenge, then the Kemba Walker Memorial Shootout — a contest where you pick the two players that will score the most points in the second weekend of the tournament — will be a contest for everyone. If there's a tie in the Overrated/Underrated Challenge, then the Kemba Walker Memorial Shootout will be a contest for everyone and a tie-breaker for those deadlocked.

dawg747 — Syracuse/VCU

Blueoval — Syracuse/Long Beach St

chas9 — Syracuse/NC State

Redlegs11 — Kentucky/Long Beach State.

Bdub13 — Michigan St/Belmont

BiSpy — Michigan St/Xavier

Pridemo — Syracuse/Ohio

CelticVol — Syracuse/Purdue

Fred — Syracuse/Texas

BigBlue — Syracuse/Ohio

Follower — Syracuse/NC State

StuckinKent — Syracuse/NCSU

McPell — Syracuse/NCSU

Tiger — Syracuse/Virginia

JordanRules — Kentucky/Purdue

Ware — Michigan State/NC State

WarEagle — Michigan State/South Florida

Downtown Patrick Brown — Michigan State/Long Beach

OTWatcher — Syracuse/Colorado

ThatIDoKnow — Michigan State/NC State

scole023 — Syracuse/Belmont

5-at-10 — Syracuse/Xavier

Mrs. 5-at-10 — Syracuse/VCU


From CelticVol

Hey 5@10,

I can’t seem to focus this week. I’m trying to fill out my bracket. Before last week I knew for sure that I would have Kentucky winning it all. Now I just don’t know. I don’t know if they can beat Baylor. I wonder if I’m crazy for thinking Vanderbilt can make it to the Elite 8. It’s stressful getting everybody to turn in their bracket for the office pool. I know I won’t be able to get any work done on Thursday and Friday. Help! I need Bracketological counseling. What are some days out of the year that the 5@10 would consider excused absences to lay out of work?


This was a tricky question for us. In almost a decade at the TFP, the sports editor has called in sick once — and that was to have mouth surgery two years ago. We don't do sick very well.

Anyhoo, you have a fair point — and one that we can't relate to since there's a TV over our desk and we watch the Thursday and Friday games and if anyone asks, we're actually "working" in some regard. Hey, some times it's really good to be the sports editor.

But your question has merit, and deserves fair consideration. But instead of sick days, let's try to organize a national sports fan holiday. Hey, people all the time talk about sports as a religion, and they get holidays. Heck, the folks at East Ridge city government are getting their birthdays as a holiday for crying out loud.

OK, here's the pitch: You get two Sportsianity holdidays and you get to pick for the following list:

The Thursday of the NCAA tournament

The Friday of the NCAA tournament

The Thursday of the Masters

The Friday of the Masters

The Monday following the Super Bowl

Opening Day

Friday of the start of college football season — which this year is GameDay for the Vols

We'd probably pick the Thursday/Friday of the tournament with the Masters and even the Opening Day (if we had tickets) close behind.


  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones (10) follows through before reaching first on an error by Florida Marlins second baseman Omar Infante to score Antoan Richardson in the seventh inning during a baseball game in Miami, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The Marlins defeated the Braves 6-5. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From ChopTalker

Mr. 10:

Chipper has had his ups: World Series, Batting Title, MVP, narrowly losing the ROY to Hideo Nomo (how'd that one turn out?) — and his downs: Hootersgate, postseason failures, injuries.

As a kid in Atlanta in the 1990s, I can remember Chipper writing a diary in the AJC during the 20+ game road trip during the 1996 Olympics. For the record, March 29 is the 15 year anniversary of the Chipper Candy Bar:

I see him as the National League's Derek Jeter. He's my number two favorite Brave of all time behind Maddux. How is he seen nationally?

Take a look into the 5@10 Crystal Ball and take a guess. How do you see this playing out? Does he pull a Mike Schmidt and get mad in May and just leave? Does he hang it up this spring? Does he embarrass himself like Ken Griffey Junior?

Also, what would his sudden departure do to the Braves? Do they make a knee jerk trade for an outfield bat?

Mr. Talker,

Welcome to the show, you'll fit right in — we like to talk a bunch around these parts.

To cover the bulk of your questions:

— Nomo over Jones was bad then and laughable now. Another one, Jones going first in the draft in 1990 when everyone had Todd Van Poppel as the next Nolan Ryan may have been the best draft pick in the history of the city of Atlanta. Granted, Van Poppel said he had ZERO intentions of signing with the Braves, who had filled most of the 1970s and 80s with really bad baseball. Grand totals: Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Van Poppel, who went 14th to Oakland and signed with the A's, finished his big-league career 40-52 with a 5.58 ERA.

— Nationally, Jones probably has a better rep than he does around the South. We've become used to Chipper and may even take him for granted. Braves fans watch a lot of baseball in the summer, and when you're around family that much, some times that much familiarity breeds contempt. As we said earlier, Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and will be the lone Braves player who can say that and say they spent their entire career in Atlanta.

— There are two ways we can see this playing out: He stays healthy and contributes to one more run this summer and announces sometime before the All-Star break that this is it. He'll get added to the NL All-Star roster and have the farewell tour. (This is how we see it playing out and of course would be the best for all involved.) The other option is that Jones struggles — be it with injuries or catching up to fastballs — and as his career average comes dangerously close to the.300-mark announces that he's done with a tearful press conference at Turner Field. We can't see him leaving in a huff ala Schmidt if for no other reason than there's no one in the clubhouse with the juice to doing anything that would make him mad. The Griffey comparison has merit, but Junior was chasing 700 homers, we believe Jones is protecting a .300 career average and that's a safeguard in and of itself.

— A sudden departure would cause the Braves to go into panic mode for an outfield bat. Martin Prado would move to third, and while the Braves have been shopping Jair Jurrjens all spring, they have had the luxury of being picky. If Chipper was out of the picture, that would make them desperate and we could see Atlanta shipping a starting pitcher for a middle of the road outfielder.

Good to have some baseball talk AJ, thanks.


From Deadhead

Everyone knows how you feel about the draft. I feel that way about the NCAA tournament. What's you favorite NCAA tournament moment? I think the N.C. State win over Houston was the best.

Thanks, and thanks for the 5-at-10.



Feel free to swing by more often. You're not the first person this week to let us know that you feel the same way about the NCAA tournament as the 5-at-10 does about the draft. (StuckinKent said something similar, too.)

We've written before that in the grand scheme of things that really matter, the N.C. State moment was the most meaningful in the history of sports. If Lorenzo Charles doesn't dunk that airball at the buzzer, Jim Valvano is an entertaining coach rather than an NCAA champion. Entertaining coaches come and go, NCAA champions get a pulpit. From that pulpit — and stricken with cancer — Valvano made the most of his moment. All told, the Jimmy V foundation has raised more than $100 million for cancer research. There is no other sports moment that has made that much of a difference (Cam Newton coming to Auburn and leading them to the BCS title included).

That said, our favorite moments of the tournament are as follows:

1) Laettner over UK 20 years ago this month

2) Danny Manning leading Kansas through the bracket in 1988 (side note — that was the first tournament pool we ever won and we had Kansas winning the whole thing as a No. 6 seed)

3) Bo Kimble shooting his free throws left-handed in honor of Hank Gathers 22 years ago

4) Villanova over Georgetown in 1985

5) Bird vs. Magic in 1979

(The N.C. State moment in 1983 did not make the list because the young 5-at-10 at that time LOVED that Houston team with Clyde Drexler, Akeem Olajuwan, Michael Young, Larry Micheaux, et al.)


  • photo
    Quarterback Peyton Manning, who will be released by the Indianapolis Colts, speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 7, 2012.
    Photo by (AP Photo by Michael Conroy)

From Football Guy

Sorry, but I can't get into the NCAA tournament. I've really tried but college basketball doesn't do it for me. Tell me what you think about Washington dealing three first-round picks for the chance to draft RGIII, where Peyton ends up and how Moss will do in San Fran.

Thanks and the 5at10 is a good way to waste 30 minutes.

Football Guy,

Thanks for the kind words, and we may have to put that into the promotional campaign — "The 5-at-10, a good way to waste 30 minutes." Awesome.

More times than not recently, we'd agree with you about the NCAA tournament. The stars being one-and-done have hurt the tournament's level of excellence. (And before you call us a football-snob, answer this question: If you did not have a bracket sheet, how many of these games before the Final Four would you watch? Is that number more or less than a decade ago?)

And Holy Buckets of Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair gel, you know we're always willing to talk football. Here we go in order:

— The Redskins gave up a ton for the RGIII, especially considering that next year's pick — Washington will have a rookie QB and a bad offense and likely be replacing its coach — could be a top-five pick again. That said, the Redskins were not going to do anything by standing pat and picking at No. 6 and taking a very good DE or a very good tackle. You can't win in today's NFL without good quarterback play. And after parting ways with Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman, the two QBs on the Redskins roster are John Beck and Jon Crompton. Ouch-standing. Hey, the Redskins pushed their chips in the middle to land what they hope will be a franchise QB. If it works, they paid the going rate. If it doesn't, well, they'll be as bad as they currently are for much longer.

— We think Manning is trying to decide between Tennessee and Denver, and we think the Titans are going to find a way to get this done. (And the reports Friday from David Cutcliffe that Manning's accuracy and arm strength are solid is great news for Peyton's recovery.)

— Hard to know about Randy Moss, especially if the 49ers resign Alex Smith at quarterback. Put us done as thinking Moss will be well-behaved — Harbaugh can handle his players — and contribute. He won't put up huge numbers, but he's going to be a deep threat on physical gifts alone. And anything that allows the 49ers to unclog the box for Frank Gore or causes safeties to look on the outside to open up the middle for Vernon Davis will be a positive contribution.

Thanks for the question — now go watch the tournament.

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.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, NC State over UCLA in the '74 NCAA finals. This game marked the end of Wooden era. Walton and company fought until the time rain out.

Norm Sloan gets the Title from Marquette.

March 16, 2012 at 12:49 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

In a roundabout way I agree with Football Guy, I just can't get excited about March Madness this season as John "The Vacator" leads the best team money can buy to the Final Four.

Titan fans must start to ask after the Rams sign Courtland Finnegan, just how many other of Jeff Fisher's former players end up wearing the blue and gold of St. Louis?

The Rams deal with the Skins, will have people remembering the Vikes and Cowboys Herschel Walker deal. Jerry Jones should give Walker Super Bowls rings, that deal gave the Pokes all those Lombardi Trophies. I see the same thing happening with the Rams in as little as three seasons.

March 16, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

BTW...the state legislature has a resolution asking Manning to pick the Titans and Shoney's is offering him free pancakes to come to we here in Tennessee look like goobs or what LOL

March 16, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Little before our time, although we have heard enough stories about the ACC final that year — NC State beating Maryland in double OT — and how great it was because only the conference champs go into the dance.

OG —

It's definitely a fair point. Tough to get too jazzed about the March Madness — especially when it's this nice outside.

I guess if we're going to sweeten the deal for Manning, the state house can roll out the red carpet, Shoney's will give him all he can eat and maybe Dolly will offer him passes her joint too.

Crazy thing about being that big of a star. You have enough money to buy anything but people are lining up to give you stuff. Here's saying MJ hasn't paid for a round of golf in years.

— 5-at-10

March 16, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.

Great mail bag answers today! Growing up in Augusta, where everyone but the waitresses and the bellhops take the week off, I was naive enough to believe that the rest of the world felt the same way. So now I have to use my vacation to be in Augusta for the week. I'll take par 3 Wednesday as one of the most enjoyable non tournament days in all of the golfing world. But Thursday/Friday would have to be the hardest two days to try to work while the most spiritually moving sports event is taking place. Those two days are without a doubt the greatest days in all of sports, where the heroes of the game are celebrated for way they played their sport. I love to see Crenshaw, Kite and Watson (Tom, not Bubba) get the same well-deserved respect and attention that Mickelson, Woods and Mcilroy get. And you have to be there on Thursday and Friday to see them, and pray they put together a round that gets them into the weekend. The lump in my throat never diminishes in size when a retiring legend that doesn't make the cut walks up 18 for the last time on Friday. That is a must experience to understand moment.

March 16, 2012 at 2:19 p.m.
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