published Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

5-at-10: UT contest, Tuscaloosa rumors, Yankees on the brink

Remember the Friday mailbag, and, hey, do something nice today. Bring a co-worker a cup of coffee, speak to a stranger, buy a newspaper. It's well worth the investment.

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

"A contest of course"

We know Friday is mailbag day, but we felt the need to include this e-mail from our dear friend — and UT alum — scole203 as soon as possible:

Dude, it's the Third Sunday in October. I am not overly confident in much about the game other than I won't be watching it at your house.

(Side note from the 5-at-10: The only two times scole023, who lives in the midstate, has watched UT play at the 5-at-10 compound was the 2009 Alabama game and the 2010 LSU game. Yes, the T-Cody blocked field goal and the 75 Vols on the field at the end. He won't be back in the 423 for a Vols game any time soon. Back to the email.)

The one thing that could make this thing tolerable is a 5-at-10 contest. You know how I like to win stuff.

My score: Alabama 24, UT 12

C'mon 5-at-10, you're our only hope.

— Johnny Vols Fan No. 023

OK, we're 100 percent behind this idea. You know the basics: Pick the score of Saturday's UT-Alabama game. Whoever hits or is closest to the point difference (Price is Right rules are in play of course) wins. If there is a tie, the closest in total points wins.

Any questions?

Thanks scole023, and thanks for the old-school Star Wars reference at the end.


  • photo
    This Aug. 3, 2012 file photo shows Jimmy Haslam III during a news conference in Berea, Ohio. The sale of the Cleveland Browns to Haslam III was unanimously approved by NFL owners Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, and team President Mike Holmgren will be leaving the Browns at the end of the season. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Conspiracy theorists unite

As soon as Jimmy Haslam was officially introduced as the new owner of the Cleveland Browns, the official 5-at-10 Hotline started buzzing with texts among a group of of our friends with SEC alliances.

"Hey, Haslam's going to hire Fulmer... Ha-Ha-Ha."

"Who cares about the Browns... But his brother looks like Dana Carvey from the SNL days."

"Hey dude — what if he hired Saban? That would be awesome."


"Shut-up — NO WAY. Shut-up." (Yes, this was the Johnny Tide Fan in the group.)

And on and on it went. It only increased in fever and pitch when Browns GM Mike Holmgren announced he was resigning at season's end.

While we don't believe Saban is going anywhere in the immediate future, look at the positives for Haslam in hiring Saban:

— He'd be helping the team he owns (forget Saban's time in Miami, we believe he's as good a talent evaluator as there is anywhere and that makes all the difference in the NFL);

— He'd be helping his beloved UT Vols (and the SEC, because let's face it, as long as Saban is in T-Town, the SEC title goes through the Capstone);

— The move would be so popular in the state it almost assuredly would secure his brother's re-election as governor (and yes, Bill Haslam looks like Dana Carvey — a lot; so much so that if Billy Haslam ever runs for president, it actually could revive Carvey's career — and that's saying something)

— And if the coffers are getting a little cash-strapped after paying a billion bucks for the Browns, if they pull off luring Saban to the NFL, the Haslams could open Pilot stations in Auburn, Baton Rouge, Fayetteville, Athens, et al., and recoup the funds in one football season from grateful fans across the league.

C'mon Jimmy, you're our only hope.


  • photo
    Detroit Tigers' Omar Infante dives back into second as New York Yankees' Robinson Cano reaches to tag him in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League championship series Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in New York. Infante was called safe on the play by umpire Jeff Nelson.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Yankees staring at 3-bagel hole

The Detroit Tigers are good. And they seem like a likable bunch.

But if it's the Tigers-San Francisco Giants in the World Series, well, that won't be appointment TV for us. So it goes.

Well, other than the games that Justin Verlander pitches that is.

Verlander was awesome in a 2-1 win Tuesday as the Tigers took a 3-0 lead over the struggling New York Yankees. And watching the overpowering right-hander dominate even when he doesn't have his plus-stuff is good times.

As for the Yankees, the makeshift offense has become so broken that three runs would be considered a bonanza and five would be considered Shoney's breakfast bar.

At the core of the Yankees' offensive meltdown is Alex Rodriguez, one of the game's highest paid stars who has struggled so much that he became a spectator in Tuesday's must-win ALCS game.

That's right, A-Rod and his $30 million salary were on the bench.

Debate the move all you want — A-Rod is a brutal 3-of-23 (.130) with three singles and 12 strikeouts in the playoffs but is .333 career against Verlander — but this move certainly goes beyond the physical and to the mental.

Case in point: The Yankees have runners on first and second and two outs. Lefty closer Phil Coke is on the mound for Detroit and with the season in the balance, Joe Girardi stays with left-handed Raul Ibanez with A-Rod on the bench. Granted Raul Ibanez has been hot in the playoffs, but still. And fellow mental marshmallow and struggler Nick Swisher was waiting in the on-deck circle to pinch hit. Not A-Rod.

That's $30 million well spent.

And this may carry over since this is far more about A-Rod's fragile mental state.

In fact, Kobe Bryant reached out to A-Rod and tried to offer some advise, telling ESPN that A-Rod has to remember he's one of the best to ever play the game.

"We're different," Bryant told the worldwide leader. "But you're talking about, 'He's one of the best to ever play.' I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he's the best. ... Where, I don't."

C'mon, Kobe, you're A-Rod's only hope. (Well that or the never-before-attempted confidence transplant. This is occasionally referred to as a "Marbles" move for those familiar with Major League II.)


This and that

— Wow, that's hardly shocking. Word came down Tuesday that Penn State had decided not to renew the contract of Penn State AD Tim Curley. Wonder why? Has anything happened at Penn State recently that would reflect negatively on the leadership in the athletic department? In fact, why was dude allowed to finish his contract at all? They ask Paterno to leave but allow Curley to finish out his contract? How is that fair and what type of evidence does Curley have hidden?

— The Fab 4 picks (plus 1) are on deck for Thursday, and we have to tell you, we're wrestling with some of them this week. Badly. We feel like Rowdy Roddy Piper in the early Wrestlemania days. Minus the kilt of course.

— OK, check out the photo to the right of the dude that forgot to apply the bronzing cream to his melon. This is so outstanding. And for those of you who think his mistake was not applying it to his head, we'll counter that using bronzing cream to begin with was the mistake. Heck, all those hours in the gym and everyone who looks at this picture thinks it was a photoshop job. Heck if Luis was here, we can picture the 5-at-10's pale mug up there. Wait. What the...


Today's question

We have more than a few littered throughout today?

Let's recap:

What's your UT-Alabama predicted score?

What's more important for pro athletes, talent or confidence? Or better yet, which is easier to overcome a temporary lack of confidence or a temporary lack of talent?

Why did Spy forget to use the bronzing gel on his head?

Discuss, and bring it. It's the Third Saturday of October this week, and you're our only hope.

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...

Hey Big Head--Your photo after spilling the shoe polish all over yourself reminds me that Jimmy Breslin says sportswriters "used to go to the bar and listen to the old-timers tell stories, but now they all go to health clubs and then go home. They're in fantastic health, but they wish they were in the bar, and their wives wish they were in the bar, too."

True, or a vicious smear?

October 17, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

Alabama 35 -- Tennessee 10 Talent is more importatnt, lack of confidence can be overcome. Talent comes from the guy upstairs (not the editor), it is brought out by work ethic and coaching. Bronze dude looks like a evil doer from some B-grade movie.

October 17, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Score prediction...Alabama 42 Tennessee 3...the difference in talent and coaching is without question...It could be worse but Saban will show compassion toward his former for your question, talent and confidence go hand in hand...however confidence can overcome a temporary slip in talent...well played mention of the great Roddy Toombs

October 17, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
Stewwie said...

The Tide will roll 38-21.

Ditto to TennFlyer's answer on the talent/confidence question.

Jay, do any of you have a vote in any college football polls this year?

October 17, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Okay, so today I'm going to cook-up some Dallanooga stew.

UNT- Since I was practically the only person not following the debates (Already decided on Obama and anybody else with a "D" next to their name. Don't care), I opted to watch UNT/UL-Lyf. I was not able to go to the game as intended because all I have is $60.00 to my name until Friday and apparently they don't charge UTC ticket prices no matter how badly The Mean Green suck.

That said, I didn't realize how painful watching UNT playing can be (Think Rodney Allison era only on a bigger stage). There were times I was screaming "Good Lord, Gunner Miller would have already buried that quarterback in the time its taken him to scramble and throw the ball".

I didn't watch the whole game so I was unaware of the upset until this morning. But yeah, I can see why the DNM here in the 972 don't hardly ever cover them.

Speaking of Gunner and the boys...

Saw where TN/AL gets a 7:00PM kickoff. So I predict the attendence will be 100 and all over 60 years old. It will make the Furman attendance look like a Saturday in Ann Arbor. -.-

Regardless, I'm still loyal and will have my jersey on Saturday and tuned into Will monitor the other Tennessee game on ESPN (my computer is next to a small 20").

My prediction is Mocs 35 Samford 13. My other prediction is Vols 10 Alabama 46

Loved the email regarding friend of the show scole023. Unlike him, I am happy to say I'll be back in the 423 for the Georgia Southern game + nine days of other fun stuff that has nothing to do with Texas. This will be my first UTC game in over five years. I'm also going to the away game at Western.

October 17, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Not a smear, but not entirely true.

We picked up many bad habits in bars. And we spent many valuable hours talking about journalism in those bars.

The days of hanging with the players is long gone, for better or worse.

That said, it's been more than a decade since we've seen the inside of a health club — no matter what the picture above may show. And we're pretty sure the Mrs. 5-at-10 likes having us around.

TennFlyer —

Agree, but there are plenty of examples of guys with talent that have imploded early because of mental implosions. Wohlers, Rocker, who was the closer for the Phillies/Astros a few years ago, David Duvall, Nick Anderson, Ryan Leaf, et al.

OG —

The difference between Alabama and everyone right now in coaching and talent is tangible.

And Roddy was aces with us.

Stew —

As for the votes, have not had one in a couple of years — don't cover enough actual games any more to qualify. Stupid meetings and planning and budgets. Stupid responsibilities.

Paschall votes in the Harris Poll and he and Weeds have Heisman ballots, though.

Run JMC —

You're in the contest and you were not alone in watching the North Texas game. We'll forward along StuckinKent's email shortly.

— 5-at-10

October 17, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.
chas9 said...

Two games in, I brashly declared Driskel a better QB than Bray. I'd still choose the Gator to build a team around, but I'm less clear on the difference. As of now, the Vol has a higher QB rating, 145.2 to 140.0.

We've seen enough football now to begin ranking SEC signal callers. Who's the best? Where does the golf ball chucker rank in the SEC?

According to QB ratings (minimum 25 completions), the order is McCarron (AL), Thompson (SC), Manziel (A&M), Shaw (SC), Murray (GA), Wilson (ARK), Bray (TN), Russell (MS ST), Driskell (FL).

But Bray leads the conference in completions (131) and TD passes. Still, he's only 7th best in both completion rate and yards per completion.

Surely, Manziel deserves a huge consideration as top dog for leading the league (all players, not just QBs) in rushing yards (676) and averaging a whopping 7.4 per carry. Way better than Rajion, who averages 4.5. (Sidenote: far and away the best yards per carry is Cordarrelle at an eye-popping 19.5, but he has too few carries.)

And Driskel averages a solid 5.7 yards per carry, better than The Vols' best running back.

As Mark Twain observed, statistics can be worse than damn lies, so just use the eye test. As you see it, what's the order of SEC quarterbacks at midseason?

October 17, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.
fechancellor said...

"On Saturday, the Alabama Pachyderms will invade a Neyland Stadium guarded by Tennessee Riflemen early in the evening. These Red Elephants are too big, too fast, too strong and too smart for the Volunteer Army to stop. Coach Saban will soon know these Riflemen have bent sights. It will take every ounce of effort Coach Dooley can muster just to save Smokey from from the clutches of Saban's stompers. No strain on the 'Little Smart Pill Machine' to devine the truth in this matchup."

Ergo, Alabama 35 Tennessee 17

October 17, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
chas9 said...

Leonard Post Toasties rides again.

October 17, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Great question.

Want it in the mailbag or as part of tomorrow's 5-at-10 or in today's comments?

Little tease:

Best: Tyler Wilson

Underrated: Tyler Russell

Overated: Everyone at Auburn

FE to the C —

We loved, Loved, LOVED Leonard's Losers when we were at Auburn. Excellent stuff.

October 17, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.
Blueoval said...

Tide 42 Vols 17

My thought is most pros can let their talent take over when they may be lacking in confidence which can inturn help them gain confidence.....

October 17, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BlueOval —

We can see that.

But can you be truly elite without being supremely confident?

Kobe believes it every night that's he the best on the floor. Is he? Not when Durant or LeBron are in the gym, but that doesn't stop Kobe from believing it.

The best believe they are bullet proof, and they believe it with such strength that it becomes mostly true.

— 5-at-10

October 17, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Because the bronzing gel gets in the way of the Rogaine, that's why! (Actually, no Rogaine. No point at this point. I prefer a more natural look.)

But I do think Verlander-Cain would be appointment television. Especially if Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were abducted by aliens before the telecast and somebody else (anybody ... at all ... except for Berman ... and Gus Johnson ... and this chair)

Umm ... Abalama 37-10.

And 5, I will send you details of my next television appearance. You're gonna love this (not that you'll get to see it, but you'll love it nonetheless).

October 17, 2012 at 12:55 p.m.
chas9 said...

Friday bag for the QB question, please. And if you can't make the gym, try Suzanne's Thighmaster.

October 17, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.
fechancellor said...

chas9, I sure miss the simple pleasure of sitting down to lunch at certain resturants to read Leonard's Losers.

October 17, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Got it and responded.

And yes, Cain-Verlander would be awesome. So would Verlander-Lincecum (old-school version).

Can someone not make a call and get Vin Sculley on the air? It's the World Series for crying out loud.

And for all you folks saying talent is more important than confidence — and that's true — then what happened to Tiger Woods?

Hhhmmmmmmmm? How about a Fresca?

— 5-at-10

October 17, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

I'm thinking it's gonna be Alabama, 38-17. RTR!

October 17, 2012 at 1:17 p.m.
Blueoval said...

I agree with you Jay. David Duval was once Elite....he still has worlds of talent but it appears the confidence is gone. That would be a good Rushmore.... Elite Athletes who lost thier edge, ability, skills, etc...

October 17, 2012 at 1:22 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

Put me down for Bama 41 UTK 16. "Get me out of here Percy"

October 17, 2012 at 1:33 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I'm thinking "bronzer" is the least of the bad things about what bodybuilders do in order to do what they do.

October 17, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Headline Reads: "Jimmy Haslam to PILOT Cleveland Browns!"

Ala 42 UT 6

As for the talent/confidence debate; I have seen a lot of professional athletes with loads of confidence even after they did not get the job done over and over again. The ones with talent usually had confidence. At times it has come with a lot of arrogance too but not always thankfully!

October 17, 2012 at 2:55 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Musicman —

Where you been? Good to see you back around.

McPell —

Hey where's Perry? ("That's a Phineas and Ferb reference and gang the TV benefit of having little tots is the ability to reconnect with cartoons. And P&F is a very good one — a kid-friendly cartoon that is adult funny. Well-played indeed.)

Spy —

Oh the voo doo they do-do so well.

Livn(Large) —

Ouch! The game's going to be that one-sided? Wow. And if Lil' Jim Haslam hires Saban tell us you wouldn't buy gas at Pilot and Pilot only for the next year-plus.

— 5-at-10

October 17, 2012 at 3:31 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - I'll go against the crowd and take the Vols 27 - Tide 24 in an upset.

October 17, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.
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