published Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

5-at-10: Election day stuff, Power Poll and how Dooley's musical tastes could mean an extension

A ton to get to, so from the "Talks too much" studios, giddy-up...

Dooley's musical tastes, musical chairs

OK, you've probably heard by now that our UT football coach Derek Dooley went old-school 1980s pop with a Bruce Hornsby and the Range reference to the atrocious Tennessee defense.

"Like Bruce Hornsby and the Range, that's just the way it is," Dooley said in describing the criticism heaped on first-year defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri in his weekly news conference Monday.

Coach? Bruce Hornsby? Really? OK. We can't help but get the feeling that if Dooley wasn't coaching the Vols to their worst stretch in, oh, ever, he'd be a really good guy to hang out with. Seriously.

In fact, since Dooley started it, what's the best throwback song to describe this UT defense? And since today's election day, for today and today only, our traditional Mount Rushmore answers will be a ballot from which you can pick one (or have a write in answer):

— "Shout" by Tears for Fears with the possible tweak of the lyrics, "Shout, Shout, let it all out, tackling is a thing we can do without."

— "Hello, Goodbye," by the Beatles since that appears to be the reaction by the UT defenders to an opposing ball carrier. Hello... Goodbye.

— "Smokey Mountain Rain" of points by Ronnie Milsap

— Or maybe simply "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger, and it's time to simply turn the page on Sunseri's time as a big-time defensive coordinator.

Thoughts...

———

  • photo
    Seinfeld and Newman

More UT stuff

It seems like the "hot seat" talk and the Jon Gruden wants to coach at Tennessee because his wife was a cheerleader there rumor mills and whisper factories have come to a halt for the time being.

  • photo
    James T. Kirk says "Khaaaaannnn!!"

That's likely a good thing for the Tennessee football program in the here and now.

  • photo
    Johnny Carson

That said, let's play a little game of "It's your move" a fun follow-the-leader game we just made up because the coffee is not ready yet. Ma, MEATLOAF!

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    Homer and Bart Simpson

OK, it's your move, Derek Dooley — After a historically bad UT defense has stripped an explosive offense with no fewer than six NFL players the chance of big things, you have said you are attending every defensive meeting this week, and that you should have done it long ago. Are you going to fire Sal Sunseri?

The answer: Of course, right?

OK, it's your move, potential new UT defensive coordinator candidate — Intrigued by the chance to coach a defense that will return every meaningful starter other than Herman Lathers and the ability to use the power, finances and brand of UT and the SEC, your only drawback is the future. So you ask Dooley during the interview process, "What's your status?"

The answer: "Unknown," and "It depends on you and your ability to fix this Sunseri." (Side note: Do you think pulling a Sunseri is a) a missed tackle; b) a missed assignment; c) a bad angle in pursuit or d) any of the above, and kind of defensive miscue version of "Smurf" in that it covers all forms.)

OK, it's your move Dave Hart: Knowing that the status quo on this football staff is not going to be acceptable to even the most staunch Dooley supporter — heck, even Barbara Dooley knows some changes have to be made — and knowing that if 2013 is going to be anything more than counting down the clock, do you not have to contemplate an extension for Dooley so he can go hire a defensive staff?

The answer: Who flippin' knows. And if no one knows, that means we have just somehow come up with a somewhat believable scenario in which Derek Dooley needs an extension and CelticVol, Dr. B — he's a doctor after all — and Brad Shepard just fainted.

Election question: In the heart of Johnny Vols Fans everywhere, the word "Sunseri" is going to be like...

— How Jerry Seinfeld says Newman.

— How James T. Kirk says "Khaaaaannnn."

— How Homer J. Simpson says, "BART!"

— How Johnny Carson used to say "(Sunseri) did not KNOW that."

————

NFL Power Poll

We head into the back half of the NFL season riding the entertainment of last weekend. In fact, most everyone who makes picks — for entertainment value only of course — greatly enjoyed the NFL machinations this weekend. With the Monday Night whipping the Saints put on Mike Vick and the Eagles, the 10 teams that were favored by 4-points-or-more went a sterling 10-0. OUCH-Standing for those guys that make books. (What are they call again? Librarians? Publishers? Book Makers?)

At least three Vegas insiders have said it was the worst weekend for the house in NFL history, in large part because most regular players like the favorites and more and more players are picking parlay sheets — bets that pay higher odds for getting all of the entries correct.

And one of the weekend's few upsets was Pittsburgh over the New York Giants, but Pittsburgh is a popular pick week-in, week-out for regular players. So it goes. Some times you're the windshield, some times you're the Sunseri.

On to the Power Poll...

  • photo
    Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel (22) reacts after the Falcons defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 30-17 in an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

1) Atlanta: Somewhere Al Davis is putting on his heavenly sweatsuit and smiling at these Falcons. "Just win, Baby," was Davis' mantra that made his Oakland Raiders a popular lightning rod. Well, through their history, the Falcons have been more light weight than lightning and more plod than rod. Now, though, this bunch is 8-0 and has a four-game lead in the NFC South.

2) Chicago: Even when the Bears defense was not that good, doesn't it seem like their defense was pretty good? Maybe it's the uniforms. Maybe it's the memories. Either way, this bunch is as good as any in the league and as opportunistic as any in history. The Bears have scored seven defensive touchdowns, including an interception return for a score in the 51-20 drubbing Sunday at Tennessee.

3) Houston: The Texans have the league's second-best point differential at plus-100. And they have the best scoring defense in the AFC.

4) San Francisco: Quarterback Alex Smith still holds the key to this bunch considering the 49ers' have the NFL's best scoring defense, allowing just 12.9 points per game. How important is scoring defense? The top four teams on this power poll are in the top five in scoring defense. Atlanta is No. 5 at 17.9 points per game, Houston is fourth at 17.1 and Chicago is second at 15.0.

5) Green Bay: Winners of four straight, the Packers get the edge over a number of teams muddled in the upper echelon of the league because they have the league's best player in Aaron Rodgers. Discount Double Check indeed.

————

This and that, election edition

— The odds are out on today's big race: Obama is going off at -400 and Romney is at +350. Unlike point spreads for football, these numbers are the odds and they are generated off $100 bets. For Obama, -400 means you'd have to bet $400 to clear $100; for Romney, if you bet $100 you'd clear $350.

— More presidential betting eye-poppers: As of this morning, Obama's over/under on the popular vote is 50.5 percent. Which means there's a real likelihood that Obama — a 4-to-1 favorite to win the election — won't get a majority of the votes. Side note: The over/under on electoral college votes for Obama is 302.5 (270 is needed to win).

— If you had to name a Rushmore of slam-dunk Hall of Famers across the three major sports of active players as of this morning, we'd nominate Kobe, Duncan, Jeter, Manning. What delegates do you suggest?

— How good is Alabama? Well, Nick Saban is having to tell his team to move on after wins. Wow. Just wow. That leads us to...

————

Today's question

We hope you vote today — or did earlier. In fact, while we do not have any interest in debating politics here, we believe this fundamental truth across all political colors, platforms and policies — if you do not vote, you can not complain about the results or the actions of those elected because you had a say and kept quiet.

So go vote.

That said, what current sports figure would make the best President?

Is it Saban? What about Jeter? Mark Cuban? We're open for all suggestions and reasons why.

Discuss.

And go vote (unless you're voting for the other guy that is... kidding... mostly... Ma, MEATLOAF).

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 ...

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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.
chas9 said...

DD is running and running and running against the wind (B. Seegar), Fillup Fullmore sings "Glory Days" and Volniacs think Gruden's song is "Hold on. I'm Coming."

Sir Charles for President, 'cause he's quotable and funny. And you know The Round Mound of Rebound would use his elbows to block out his opponents.

Tomorrow Cal and The Cats will do a phoneathon to raise money for Haiti's Sandy victims, as the did following the big quake. Big John says this event is ore important than Fiday's tussle with The Terps and he's right. Question: Is Cal good hearted, or is this a pre-emptive PR [ploy to build up good citizen points against the day the NCAA accuses him of cheating again?

Rename the TN Titans the TN Timidity. Or The Tremulous. Or The Trepidation.

November 6, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
Salsa said...

The words "Dooley" and "extension" do not belong in the same sentence.

November 6, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

TheTitans rename will be Wednesday's question — the election took priority.

Coach Cal is not building up brownie points with the NCAA. He's banking recruiting goodwill for when the next Haitian sensation sprouts and he can (Nike) swoosh in and sign him.

Hey, Chuck's high on our list of favs, but that gambling thing would hurt in the polls. The country's in too big a financial hole for Chuck to be doubling down on a soft 17 against the dealer's 6 — even if it may be the right play.

— 5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Salsa —

We agree.

But what are the options:

a) Fire him

b) Let him dangle on the vine, which in that case is there any hope that 2013 is anything different than what we have — and if it's different, it's likely worse

c) Extend his contract and hope this is all Sunseri's fault...

SUNSERI!

— 5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 10:41 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Few things about your High School Football Rewind, one, Hargis is stepping up his game in the wardrobe department. If he had been rocking suade patches on his elbows, your heckles would have been warranted, without, he was looking quite suave compared to his normal attire. Two, I dont know which was funnier, his shot at Oneida or the fact that you think they have internet there. They are still piping in sunshine to that place.

While I agree that voting is important, educated voting is what we need. I would rather have people stay home than head to the poles to vote based off internet memes with big bird and binders of women. If you dont think it happens, borrow a 18-24 year olds facebook today and look at whats being put out there. It may be too late for this election, but you've got 1460 days to encourage people to make thought out and soundly reasoned votes while performing their civic duty.

That being said, if I am getting a President out of the sports world, I nominate Meta World Pea .... wait no ... Tebow .... no ..... Peyton .... too much forehead ..... I nominate Jay Bilas. I already nominated him as President of the NCAA or something, why not the good ole US of A.

November 6, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.
jgreeson said...

962 —

Oneida doesn't have the Interwebs? Are you sure? Gore invented the dang thing after all, he's got to get to all his home state, right? Oh well.

Bilas is most definitely on the ballot. He and Dooley are two of the smarter guys in the sports world.

Nice call.

—5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.
sportsfan said...

Chuck Norris for president. Martial arts is a sport, right? Chuck never dials the wrong number, people just answer the wrong phone...

November 6, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[More presidential betting eye-poppers: As of this morning, Obama's over/under on the popular vote is 50.5 percent. Which means there's a real likelihood that Obama — a 4-to-1 favorite to win the election — won't get a majority of the votes. Side note: The over/under on electoral college votes for Obama is 302.5 (270 is needed to win).]

I would take the under on Obama's popular vote %. I think Mitt will get 50%, Obama 49%, and the other nobodies 1%.

The 302.5 O/U on Obama's electoral votes is a tough line. We know pretty well which way 42 of the states are going to vote today. The other 8 will decide the election. If Romney picks up FL and NC and Obama gets the other toss-ups of CO, WI, IA, OH, VA, and NH, then Obama gets exactly 303. I think Mitt will pick up at least one of those other 6 though (most likely VA) so I'd take the under 302.5.

The Panthers beat the Redskins on Sunday so that predicts (very scientifically of course) that Romney will win. Romney has a realistic shot, but he will need to win Ohio for sure to give him the best shot at getting to 270.

November 6, 2012 at 12:50 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Best athlete for president? Peyton Manning. Has command in the huddle. Shows happy feet but makes quick decisions. Able to win over new teammates to his side quickly. Makes everyone feel a part of the offense.

Brady can be the exact same way. Not afraid of a challenge. Demands a high level of performance from those around him. But it's the Uggs that kill me. Come on Tom. Ditch the Uggs. Look presidential.

November 6, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.
CardVol said...

Hey Hey we're the Monkees. We're too busy singin to put anybody down.

November 6, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
chas9 said...

Jimmy Stewie's right that the lines are tough, but I'll go with BO under on popular and over on electoral, using Stew's numbers. Using The Monkee's soundtrack, Mitt has caught his last train to Clarksville. And The Gambler, he broke even.

November 6, 2012 at 1:10 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Sportsfan —

Norris could work. In fact, our country is a trillion dollars in debt, but debt is a trillion dollars in Chuck Norris, so he could just make it all go away.

Plus, if Norris won, then you'd have "Bedtime for Bonzo" and "Dodgeball" as two Academy Award-worthy movies starring future presidents.

Stew-gots —

Concur on both counts; under on the popular vote and over the electoral vote, although our man Cam did his best.

Spy —

We're good with Manning. Not good with Brady. Too handsome to be president. And let's pretend the Ugg boots never happened; what sorority was he in at Michigan again?

CardVol —

That is a great UT defense song choice. Well-played indeed.

— 5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring, if the Falcons were in the AFC West, believe for sure Mr. Davis' countenance would be in a far different place.

Sports figure for politics...simple...Curt Schilling so out spoken on steroids abuse that he called for MLB to seek the return of Roger Clemmons' Cy Young Awards. The man with the bloody sock has stumped for McCain and Scott Brown, and will not rule out a run for office in the future.

Load me up with some Romney and 305 Electoral College Votes. Great odds betting into overly skewed (cooked,baked) polling favoring the incumbent. For example Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won his recall by 7 when the polls had it even on election day.

As an aside, I detest early voting. Those folks working the polls are good people tabulating hard for their $75.00. Even more important to me are the people who can be see holding the signs at polling places. Generally, there's at least one or more friends among the throng.

November 6, 2012 at 1:25 p.m.
sportsfan said...

How about Bubba Watson for President? We haven't had a real golfer in the White House since Eisenhower. BTW when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he had a voice mail message from Chuck Norris.

November 6, 2012 at 1:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

Schilling's current financial hardships would be difficult to overcome to pursue possible political positions.

Sportsfan —

Bubba would play well among the religious right and in the South. Foreign policy with a commander and chief named "Bubba" may be tough to clear.

And when the boogie man goes to bed, he checks the closet for Chuck Norris.

— 5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 1:45 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show CelticVol

Jay,

By the way, I just read today’s column. At the moment, I have cold towels on my head from fainting. It would be utter chaos if Dooley was to get an extension. People would burn couches and turn over TV vans if that happens.

November 6, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

For the Vols D, he definitely should have gone with "Dazed and Confused" by Zeppelin.

Sunseri, from the mouths of Vols fans, "Khaaaaan" for sure.

You know it's a Cowboys game when Rob Ryan gets more camera time than the Cowboys head coach. What's up with that, as Seinfeld would ask?

November 6, 2012 at 2:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

CelticVol —

It assuredly be chaos. Can you image the news conference...

Let's go live:

Grimacing Dave Hart: "We've decide to give Derek Dooley an extension. (Ducking from the shoe thrown by a big UT fan with a Boston Celtics hat on).

Crowd: Grumble, grumble, grumble... WHY?!?!?!?.... grumble, grumble.

DH: "All things considered, we believe the offense and Dooley had some strides this year. It's been the defense...

Everyone in the Room: "SUNSERI!!!!!"

Flash forward to next spring, and with Bray, Hunter and Patterson working out for the draft, there are 12,000 at the Orange-and-White game.

Laughter —

This side of Wendy from the fast food chain, who has made more on the backs of their daddy than the Ryan Brothers. Sweet buckets of long-hair, foul-language and overweight, overexposed and over-rated goodness.

— 5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 2:42 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

In the words of the immortal Khan describing UT's D to a T; "to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee" buuuuuuuuuuut alas he fails and dies in the end like UT's D. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!! I vote for David Palmer (best TV president ever!)

November 6, 2012 at 2:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Great Khan call.

Palmer > Jed Bartlett?

Palmer > Dr. Jack Ryan?

— 5-at-10

November 6, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
droolyvolfan said...

hmmm...the best golden oldie for my beloved Volunteers and as only George Jones could do it... Bring on the Clowns (not the players but the entire defensive coaching staff)!!

Jerry Jones for president..he could trade Barney Frank to Minnesota for Jesse Ventura and 500 pounds of brats.

November 6, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

this could be one for the debates.....hummmm....must research.

November 6, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Drooly —

Ahhhh, the Opossum.

And if Dooley doesn't can Sunseri — SUNSERI — soon, a spin on the Jones' classic, "They Stopped Loving Him Today" could also work.

Here's our Rushmore of fictional presidents:

Bartlett, Harrison Ford's president in Air Force One, David Palmer, and...

Close one here and we definitely could be convinced otherwise, but we'll take Bill Paxton in Independence Day — dude shot down aliens in a fighter jet.

Right there on his heels are Andrew Shepard, Donald Plescence in Escape from New York, Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks and some others

November 6, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
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