published Friday, October 12th, 2012

5-at-10: Mailbag with good-bye to Luis, a Mohawk tribute and UT's big Saturday

Before we get to the mailbag, we wanted to offer our thanks and best wishes to Luis from the web team. Luis and his bride are leaving the TFP to seek their fame and fortune elsewhere. We wish them the best and thank Luis for his excellent contributions. Luis was the Photoshop wizard that offered some of the done up pictures of the 5-at-10 on various folks from Webster to Swayze to The Jerk (zip it Spy). Good luck gang, and feel free to swing by the 5-at-10 down the road. It don't cost nothing.

From the "Talks too much studios," let's get to the mailbag...

From CelticVol

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Jose Constanza scores on a base hit by Martin Prado in the third inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Hey 5@10,

What do you think the chances are that the Braves re-sign Michael Bourn? If not, do you think Jose Constanza could do the job on a daily basis? The 2 things that Constanza has going for him is his hair and his last name, right?

The Braves have to resign Bourn. Have to. Or at least they have to make every effort, and if Bourn wants a $100-million deal, then you cut bait.

Look at where the Braves are: They are close to the top in a competitive division. They are losing one outfielder already (left fielder Martin Prado will move to third to replace Chipper Jones). They have some coin to spend with Jones coming off the payroll and the corpse of a contract that was Derek Lowe coming off the books. They have the pieces for a strong lineup, but Bourn at the top is of paramount importance, especially in the post-steroid-testing era when homers are down and creating runs are magnified.

As for Constanza, we believe he could be a fall back answer to replace Prado in left, but it's a stretch for him to be the everyday center fielder and lead-off hitter.

As for Constanza's last name, is there any way his nickname is not T-Bone. And how may Seinfeld lines does this dude from Santo Domingo get. It has to be off the charts right?

We also believe he has excellent hair. There are only a select few who can pull off the Mohawk. Mr. T is the modern day John Wayne of Mohawks. Shute from Vision Quest had a boss Mohawk. (One most underrated sports movies out there with a world-class smack talk line: Shute the state's reigning bad dude asks Mattie Modine if he's going to make weight to wrestle.

Shute: Think you'll make the weight?

Loudon Swain: Don't know. I hope so.

(Long pause)

Shute: I hope so too.

We may need a 5-at-10 with a Mohawk. Luis, whatcha got.

From wannabe33

  • photo
    In this photo taken in 2001 and provided by ESPN, college football commentator Carroll "Beano" Cook is shown. Cook died in his sleep Thursday, Oct. 10, 2012, the University of Pittsburgh announced. The 81 year-old commentator had worked for the sports network since 1986 and was the sports information director at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, from 1956 to 1966.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Been a while 5, hope everything is good in your world. (Sorry about the Tigers. They stink.)

I have two questions for you: I saw that Beano Cook died and wanted to know what Pretend Les Miles would have to say about Beano's great career.

I also was watching TV and saw one of those Progressive insurance commercials and started to wonder if that creepy lady has become the Julia Roberts of commercial actress. What do you think?

Thanks, and how do you think the boys will do against Mississippi?

Thanks for the condolences, and yes, they stink.

We had a lot of respect for Beano Cook. Dude help create a true piece of modern sports entertainment — the college football pregame show. That's a strong legacy.

Granted at the end, he became as known for his jowels and his missed picks as he did his long ago insight, but know there was a time when dude was a legit college football expert.

As for the exchange, well, we'll do the best we can:

Beano: Coach, you have built a tremendous program that has the parallels and feel of some of those great 1980s Oklahoma teams — great defense, great energy, a quarterback who couldn't throw a fit in diapers. Your thoughts?

Pretend Les Miles: Well, Beano, thanks. I think. I certainly enjoy the fact that in any regard the finish is there. Beano. We want all comparisons and compare all of them with the want of the former and latter. And that want is wanting.

Beano: Do you speak English?

Pretend Les Miles: Of course. But not all discussions in footballese can have a lot of different meanings, but the goal is always the same. And if that trophy foes away from you it means a lot more to you whether it be a boot, a shoe or a toothpick.

Beano: That's interesting. I think. In some ways it's like college football in general. And in the college football TV world ESPN is like your family, it’s always there. The networks are like your mother-in-law. They are there on the weekends.

Pretend Les Miles: Well I can certainly say that wanting the presence of an individual relative is relative with the wanting of that individual's presence. And presents don't hurt either.

Beano: No doubt, Les, no doubt. In fact gifts may be up there with some of the best things in life. Remember though, you only have to bat a thousand in two things — flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go four for five.

Pretend Les Miles: Four of five? Ha. You've been away from the game too long. Four of five means you're falling behind the Sabans and the rest of the world. This a dog-eat-dog BID-ness now, Beans, and I have every intention of being the dog.

Beano: Amen.

As for the commercial part, absolutely, Flo has become Flo forever. If she went on to win an Oscar, it would have to be as Flo in the Progressive Insurance Commercial: A Love Story.

Here's our Rushmore of unforgettable but unknown actors that will forever be that "commercial person" Mikey from Life cereal; Flo; the Wendy's "Where's the Beef" lady and the "Time to make the doughnuts" guy from Dunkin' Donuts.

PS — We think Auburn plays well Saturday. But we're the eternal Auburn optimist. So it goes, but you knew that.

From Firsttimer

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    Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander hugs catcher Alex Avila after the Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 6-0 in Game 5 of an American League division baseball series in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

This is not my first question, but I didn't want to sign in again.

I wanted to tell you that I enjoy your column. It's a good way to waste time but you really do talk too much.

As for my question, well, it's been such a crazy week, I was kind of hoping you could give us a winners/losers recap of playoff baseball, college football, TV and wildcard? Is that a fair question.

PS — When did college football become so stressful? Wow.

We've fallen behind schedule and we're running late, so here's a quick winners/losers:

Playoff baseball winner: Fans. Wow how great have the games been and how much drama has been laid out there. Fun times all around. (Side winner to Justin Verlander who dotted the exclamation point on, "This is what an ACE does!" with Thursday's great showing against the A's.)

Playoff baseball loser: Cincinnati in general, and manager Dusty Baker in particular. So it goes.

College football winner: South Carolina. No 3 in the polls and carrying a panache unforeseen in those parts. Want to know how to build a winning program: Find a great coach and pay through the nose to get him.

College football loser: The Big Ten. First the new logo — B1G stinks — and is confusing. The legends and leaders are the divisions. And the only team in the national title conversation is THE Ohio State, and the Buckeyes, by self-inflicted measures, are ineligible.

TV winner: Watched "Nashville" last night. We're in. We don't have a whole lot of extra time for extra shows, but we're going to give this one a shot.

TV loser: Wow, there was a time when "The Office" was must-see TV. Now it's a car wreck. You can't take your eyes off it because it's that bad, and worse still, it's like a car wreck where you know the people involved and hope they get out unscathed. Sad really.

Wildcard winner: We want some suggestions here.

Wildcard loser: We want some suggestions here, too.

From Stewwie

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    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Mike Martin (93) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Question for the mailbag: We constantly hear/read about the pass-happy NFL and inflated stats in today's pro game. People mainly attribute the awesome passing stats to the rules changes to benefit QBs a few years back. However, is it more due to the rules changes, or should more credit be given to the current crop of QBs and receivers?

Excellent question. And the answer is yes.

The pinball scores that pass for passing stats in today's NFL can be attributed to a slew of reasons. Let's examine:

1) The rules encourage coaches to throw the ball. This is by design because the league office and TV networks like offense. Know what a Sunday afternoon with 3-0 is? That's the AL Central. Nope, the NFL and its TV partners want 35-31 with a quarterback with the ball in the last two minutes. So the rules — defensive backs can't sneeze on receivers after 5 yards, holding is by-and-large ignored, and if you do much more than tickle a star QB, it's 15 yards — are in place to maximize a passing offense.

2) The offenses are excellent. The quarterbacks are getting world-class — and year-round — coaching from high school on up. The receivers are amazing athletes. The coaches are crafting better and more confusing sets and schemes that make playing defense in the NFL the athletic equivalent of advanced calculus and doing differential equations.

3) The excellent athletes that are playing defense have helped push the league into its pass-happy state. It's next to impossible to run the football in the NFL with any consistency because there are 270-pound linebackers who run sub-4.7s.

The worm will eventually turn, though. It always does because football is a copycat league that is predicated on practice habits. And if you follow the path, a new offensive idea comes up, it takes the league by storm because it's new and teams can't prepare for it. Then the other teams in the league start doing it, and defenses start practicing against it and drafting players to fit a scheme to stop it. So when defenses become completely comfortable with five DBs and speedy linebackers to match-up with athletic tight ends, some bright whipper-snapper with a bright visor will say, "Hey, they have a bunch of speed on defense, let's get a 250-pound running back and go right at them off left tackle. Who's with us?"

From BlueOval

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    Tennessee Volunteers head coach Derek Dooley during warm ups before an NCAA college football game between Akron and Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


I never imagined I would ever think that playing Miss St would be a big game but this year it is. With Dooley coaching from the box this Sat night, if TN wins do you think we might hear some Vol folks (and I'm a one of them) say with Dooley off the sidelines we finally beat a ranked team? For the record I hope he does well in Knoxville and it gets turned around.

We are right there with you, in each regard. In fact, we believe this game is off-the-charts big and we believe the Vols know it. (How often can you hear, "Dooley's 0-12 against ranked teams" before it starts to wear on you?)

We also believe that there are moments in sports that carry more weight and radiate even before they happen. Moments in a possession, a game and a season. This is one of those moments. This is one of the moments that you know the outcome of Saturday will lead to more. Will it be more good or more bad? More frustration or more excitement? More angst or more hope?
This is one of those moments, a fork in the road for these Vols and potentially the Vols of tomorrow if you believe this is the game Dooley needs to win to get off the hot seat. A split in the path that carries two separate directions and two distinct results. There is no competing and standing toe-to-toe this week. This is the core of team sports meritocracy — it's win or lose, there's no close.

Be it a missed call, a tough break or bad luck, a loss is a loss Saturday, and it will hurt.

And if success is reached Saturday, there will be a few folks who say, "Well, without Dooley on the sideline, we finally beat a ranked team." And that's their right, but more than likely nothing short of beating Alabama will convert those to the pro-Orange Slacks camp.

Saturday is paramount for the undecided Johnny Vols Fans out there. And we can see the weight of these stakes since everyone — coaches, players, et al. — know the stakes.

Whether they deliver will be a testament — good or bad — about how much loyalty and respect Dooley has within the walls of the program. Will they produce knowing Dooley needs it Saturday more than ever?

We'll see, and whether he's on the field or in the press box, Saturday will tell us plenty about UT football and its coach.

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.
sportsfan said...

Jay - Wilcard winner would be London Olympics for me. Overall, compelling and enjoyable. Wildcard loser would have to be Lance Armstrong. Oh how the mighty have fallen...

October 12, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.
lcarrasco said...

Thanks, Jay. We'll miss the 5-at-10, too.

October 12, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Luis, for that next job, you could do worst to emulate Ten Ring by obtaining five pairs of khakis (no Dockers) and ten 60/40 blue oxford button down shirts for your new opportunity.

10 Ring, have no idea what will happen in K-Town on Saturday or how a UT loss will affect Dooley. One thing's for sure, if the Vols lose, Coach can always say we were beaten by a ranked opponent.

Doubt this will be much solace to UT fans looking at this game as the hump game defining Dooley and his team for the rest of the season.

October 12, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.
chas9 said...

What about the unknown actor who played the creepy Burger King king? The mayhem guy, the Bartles & James old coots, the caveman, the rubber band man.

Sorry to learn of Jay's wardrobe. I'd of thought he wore orange slacks and 110% cotton oxford cloth shirts.

Since tonight is Midnight Madness in The Bluegrass, it's time to gloat a bit. The Vols are excited to have a five star recruit (class of 2013) to make them competitive. Trouble is KY has three five star guys ranked higher than Tennessee's, and Florida has two. Hard to catch up in the SEC. Besides UK and The Gators, Missouri will be better than Cuonzo's boys this year.

October 12, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

Hey Jayster:

You missed at least part of your calling, comedy writing as well as sports scribe.

The Beano-Pretend Les Miles bit is hilarious! Even the Mrs was laughing and her understanding of football and its personalities is, how can we say this tactfully, "limited." We both just thought the dialogue was really funny.

Ever thought of knocking out some stuff like this and submitting it somewhere? Hey, don't laugh. That's essentially how Jeff Foxworthy and Dilbert got started.

October 12, 2012 at 12:24 p.m.
chas9 said...

Actually, Jay IS the unknown actor who plays Dilbert.

October 12, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Sportsfan —

The Summer Olympics were enjoyable.

And Lance is the winner, winner chicken dinner on the wildcard loser of the week.

Luis —

Well-played sir. God's speed.

FE to the C —

Not sure what's going to happen in K-town either, but if the Vols lose in Stark-Vegas on Saturday night/Sunday morn, there will be some chugging butts somewhere in the 865.

And yes, if UT does come up short, they can say, "We lost to a ranked team.... AGAIN."

9er —

No one in costumes. Bartles and Jaymes is good. And in fact, the Hey Vern guy parlayed his commercial gig into five movies, so he should probably be on the list. The mayhem guy for All-State is great, but he was a star on the HBO series "Oz" so everytime we see him, that's the image we get. Not unlike Pedro Cerano pitching All-State insurance.

And yes, college hoops is at the door, and yes, making waves in the SEC will take more than a five-star kid now. Thanks UK, hope your happy.

JProctor —

Thanks for the kind words. Don't know if we could make it writing comedy or not, but thanks. Ironically, a friend of the family worked in Foxworth's office in downtown A-T-L before he hit it big.

And we've been called a lot of things around the office — some of them even were nice — but we do not draw a lot of Dilbert parallels. Maybe it's our never-ending run of khaki pants and light blue shirts.

— 5-at-10

October 12, 2012 at 1:22 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"Here's our Rushmore of unforgettable but unknown actors that will forever be that "commercial person" Mikey from Life cereal; Flo; the Wendy's "Where's the Beef" lady and the "Time to make the doughnuts" guy from Dunkin' Donuts."

Fun fact: The lady who did "Where's the Beef" was Clara Peller for those who forgot. While she was iconic with that character, she ended up get fired by Wendy's after doing a spot for Ragu pasta sauce. I only saw that spot one time when I was a kid and two days later I'm watching some show on ABC (I think) and they did a national news brief and announced she was fired for making that spot under their nose.

I had to work last night and missed the Titans/Steelers game. Glad they won though.

October 12, 2012 at 2:21 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Being a comedy writer would an entertaining job to have while you starved to death. Now the newspaper business, thats where the big bucks are at, right? It cant be cheap to have a closet full of pressed khakis and starched oxfords. That is unless you wear the same clothes everyday. You must be a wizard at wearing bibs at lunch and know you're way around a bottle of wrinkle releaser.

The funny stories of Beano that were being passed around on the radio yesterday were pretty good. The two I liked the best were the President offering the hostages season tickets to a MLB team and Beano chiming in that "hadnt they suffered enough?" The other was the woman calling in during the preseason while he was at Pitt demanding the starting lineup despite the fact that they hadnt even started making cuts, after asking her why she wanted it she told him that she planned to sleep with every player on the team, he then began with "well then I'd be glad to help you ma'am, starting at guard, Cook..."

October 12, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Run JMC —

The "Where's the Beef" lady had a hand in presidential politics for crying out loud. How can Dave and Wendy give her the ax?

Mr. 962 —

Yes, HUGE money. In fact our first newspaper gig in the late 1990s was so lucrative that we got a second job for kicks and giggles to stay afloat. Full-time with a college degree (well an Auburn degree which is the next best thing) we were taking down a cool 15K a year. That's pre-tax dollars mind you.

Ah the good-ole days.

The Beano stories were smile-worthy; and the great part about the pretend chat with Beano and Les is there's a chunk of that that was actually said.

— 5-at-10

October 12, 2012 at 2:42 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Yeah, when the guidance counselor tells you to find something you love to do and you'll never feel like you've worked a day in your life, they neglected to mention you might be hungry and broke some of those days as a result of your choice.

We heard the flying and heart transplant bit. Good stuff as well. hoops is coming. I will have to dust off my Basketball Jones vinyl for Midnight Madness.

What is with the late start time for the Tennessee game? Did they turn to the tv execs and say "ok, what time do we have to wait until you are willing to put our game on tv?" I guess it makes sense with the game being played so far out west.... in Starkville.... Mississippi.... that city east of Memphis.... A game that starts that late makes my second half memory fuzzy due to all the adult soda pops.

October 12, 2012 at 3:16 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Given Luis' swan song photo job of you, 5, did you get fed after midnight again?

October 12, 2012 at 5:28 p.m.
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