published Friday, September 28th, 2012

5-at-10: Mailbag of UT pregame speech, Ryder Cup and pretend Les Miles

Gang, great week. Well-played all around, and who knew when we started on Monday that we'd be well-informed about butt-chugging come the end of BID-ness on Friday. You live, you learn.

From the "Talks too much" studios, to the bag of mail.

From CelticVol

Hey Coach 5@10,

We all know this Saturday’s game between Tennessee and Georgia is very important. Let’s say you’re the head coach of the Vols. What kind of pregame speech would you give the team?

Excellent question. Excellent.

And for all the question marks about Derek Dooley — and the glaring stat that he's 0-11 against ranked foes as UT's coach — we bet Dooley gives an awesome pregame speech. We bet Nick Saban does too, but Saban's is likely a sentence or two and filled with intimidation and the threat of dark days. Something along the lines of, "You boys better win. Or you know what happens Monday." With a shot of the Gimp from "Pulp Fiction" standing in the corner of the locker room.

We can see Dooley's pregame speech being thoughtful and well-rehearsed and motivating.

Here's what we'd try:

Why do you play this game? Why? For moments like this and the chance to be better than one of the best in the country with the nation watching.

Why do you work so hard, A.J.? Why? To be ready to shut Todd Gurley down and shut everyone up.

Why did you throw 500 balls a day through the summer, Tyler? Why? So when the CBS cameras come on and they talk about Heisman candidate Aaron Murray they have to say he's the second-best passer on the field today.

Why did you nearly kill yourself rehabbing Justin? Why? Because you know it's a heck of lot easier to be on the field in tough spots than standing on the sideline knowing you could help your brother if your body would let you. You worked to get back to have a stage like this.

Why do you lift every morning, Tiny? Why, no matter whether you're tired or hurt or indifferent do you come in and move weight? Why? Because when you get the chance, you can stand toe-to-toe with lil' Johnnie Jenkins and not budge. That when that moment comes and you're tired, you're still strong.

I want each of you to ask yourself why? Why are we here, right now, in this moment, with these 100 Tennessee men waiting on a chance to be great or be gutted. Why?

(Dramatic pause)

I know why I'm here. I Volunteered for this because these are the moments you work for, the moments you prepare for on those early mornings or 100-degree afternoons. I Volunteered for this because I want to leave this stadium in silence and come back in three hours and know why we do what we do.

I know why we're here. We're here to kick their butt.

And if we know why, I now ask you.... why not? Why not us? Why not this moment? Why not take this chance and turn it into our biggest moment?

(Dramatic pause)

Men, we live for moments like this. Those moments that you know you'll never forget. You only get a few of them. Today's going to be one. I know it. You know it. And you know what, they know it. They know what we can do. You know what we can do.

Let's go show everyone else what we can do.

Why not?


  • photo
    Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (10) waves to the crowd before batting in the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From Hardball

I know it is football season and where we are makes it clear that college football is king.

But there is a great baseball season wrapping up. What do you think the story of this season is and who would be your MVPs, Cy Youngs, etc.?

Thanks and I enjoy your column.

Thanks for the kind words and for reading. And feel free to drop in anytime.

Completely fair point about baseball wrapping it up in the next few days. Here's a quick top-five list in 10 words or less (yes, the famed 5-in-10 from the 5-at-10) on the storylines from this season:

1) So long Larry: Chipper Jones leaves as sure-fire Hall of Famer.

2) L.A. salary story: Despite huge investments, Dodgers, Angels likely to miss playoffs.

3) Washington revival: Nationals one of baseball's best.

4) Our bloody Valentine: Booby V turns Red Sox into a dumpster fire.

5) AL confusion: With six games left, no AL team has clinched.

As for the first one, and we'll write more on Chipper Jones next week, if you have a few minutes, here's an excellent story from our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer on Chipper.

As for the award race:

NL manager of the year: Davey Johnson, Washington. He led the Nats to the best record in the NL without his highest-paid player (Jayson Werth) for most of the year and his best pitcher (Stephen Strasburg).

NL MVP: Buster Posey, San Francisco. Dude has rallied the Giants after NL batting leader Melky Cabrera was suspended for steroid use.

NL Cy Young: It likely will be R.A. Dickey or Gio Gonzalez, but if we had a vote, we'd vote for Craig Kimbrel. The Braves closer is money.

AL manager of the year: Joe Giradi, Yankees. No team has had more injuries than the Yankees, who remember lost the best closer ever in April. (Of course Buck Showalter of Baltimore likely will win.)

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit. Mike Trout is a stud duck, no doubt, but Cabrera is close to winning the triple crown for crying out loud. Cabrera is hitting .326 (first by three points) with 42 homers (second, one homer back of Josh Hamilton) and 133 RBIs (first by eight).

AL Cy Young: David Price, Rays. Dude is a modern day Steve Carlton. His stuff is that good.


  • photo
    Europe's Rory McIlroy, left, and Graeme McDowell look over a putt on the third hole during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From Off the Cuff

The Ryder Cup is this week -- just wanted to remind you. It is one of my favorite sporting events. What are your predictions?

Welcome to the show and feel free to swing by anytime.

As with all golf events, we predict there will be some bad outfits (wow, those U.S. suits earlier this week were straight from the Fredo Corleone collection of style and sour taste). We'll predict that the Jim Furyk aging process is in full effect. (You know someone has the Jim Furyk when they suddenly age 15 years by taking their hat off. Wow, Furyk looks 30 years old for 18 holes and then he removes his lid to shake hands and he looks 50.)

As we discussed briefly, we believe the U.S. of A. will grab the Cup, but it won't be easy. The Americans are so deep, captain Davis Love III left major champions Mr. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson on the sideline for this morning's session. (Schedule below;)

Match 1: 8:20 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell (Europe) vs. Jim Furyk/Brandt Snedeker (USA)

Match 2: 8:35 a.m. -- Luke Donald/Sergio Garcia (Europe) vs. Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (USA)

Match 3: 8:50 a.m. -- Lee Westwood/Francesco Molinari (Europe) vs. Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson (USA)

Match 4: 9:05 a.m. -- Ian Poulter/Justin Rose (Europe) vs. Steve Stricker/Tiger Woods (USA)

O-t-C, we really enjoy the Ryder Cup, too if for no other reason than you're talking about the best in the game playing for nothing but pride and circumstance. And that pressure can be every bit as great as the coin at stake during their day jobs.

So, we're excited to see if Rory will be the intimidator we believe he can be. We're excited to see if Phil brings his magic wand — we say yes, and of those morning matches the Donald/Sergio vs. Phil/Bradley match is mighty appealing — and how our boy Jason Dufner does in his first Ryder Cup experience.

And of course we're eager to see how Eldrick plays. Will he be a Tiger? If he struggles, will Davis sit him?

And most of all, we're stoked to see golf with a college football backdrop. The crowds and the energy at a Ryder Cup are unlike anything else in golf. And we're stoked for it.


  • photo
    Auburn defensive back Joshua Holsey (15) breaks up a pass intended for LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard (10) in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. LSU beat Auburn 12-10.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From McPell

No doubt the two point loss to LSU was a win in Auburn eyes, but was it a loss in LSU eyes?

We say no way. In fact, we think it's on the short list of the best things that could have happened to LSU. They get their mulligan and still get a win in what will be their second toughest road test of the year. This is still the same team that beat Washington by almost 40, yes, the same Washington team that beat No. 8 Stanford last night.

Think of it this way: Les Miles now has a bona-fide attention getter. In fact, let's call in pretend Les Miles for his thoughts:

Pretend Les Miles: You guys think we have the want to of a supernatural team? We go to a hostile venue that has hostility and we come away with a win. That's want to. Or is it want two?

5-at-10: Coach, but Auburn only beat Louisiana Monroe by a field goal in the same hostile venue... with hostility? Does that mean you're only five points better than La-Monroe?

Pretend Les: I think have the want to and the need to prepare to be five points better than any opponent is where this team starts to separate itself from previous teams here and future opponents that we may or may not play.

5-at-10: Wow. OK. What did you tell quarterback Zach Mettenberger after his first road start that included two costly fumbles.

Pretend Les: We just told him to remember how it felt and forget what happened.

5-at-10: What?

Pretend Les: That's right. Oh yeah, and we told him that whatever Jordan Jefferson did last year, do something different.

5-at-10: What? Les, you're a mad scientist aren't you? Are you way smarter than everyone thinks or way dumber than we can believe?

Pretend Les: That's a good question that I think has the makings of a fine answer. Somewhere in between is the solution that we all are looking for, and I think the excitement of big games and big moments that we're irrespective of the outward view and those people are watching. Think about that.


  • photo
    Georgia's Aaron Murray, left, and UT's Tyler Bray face off this weekend in a key conference game.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From StuckinKent

By the way, CBS used to not be able to miss with their 3:30 game. Every week it was classic it seemed like. So far this year? The favorite has won by a total of 83-10 through two games. And the one touchdown by the underdog was with 18 seconds left. Ouch. It wouldn't take much for this to be the best game of the year on CBS to date. I guess that's what I'm hoping for. Is that too much to ask?

No that's not too much to ask, and we're hoping that Saturday is one of those big-time moments. Maybe the pregame speech above was self-reflective a little bit in hopes of having a big-time football game.

In fact, this rivalry in the last 11 years has produced some of the most watchable, intriguing games for an outside college football fan to watch. There was the amazing Verron Haynes game in 2001. The Erik Ainge upset game in 2004 that you referenced in your email. The big plays that turned close games into runaways.

Plus, with Auburn off this weekend, the 5-at-10 compound gets an angst-free weekend.

As much as college football fans enjoy the football season, how great is it when your team has a bye week? The pressure's off and you can look around and take a deep breath. Heck, you even have a chance to introduce yourself to the wife and kids without triple planning what time you have to be in your lucky spot for kickoff. War Family Time.

That said, looking at the weekend's viewing schedule, some of the most interesting games have our attention because we want to see how the dumpster fire plays out. Call it the Brent Musberger version of the college football scheduling — not unlike listening to Brent to see what stupid, sap-ified diatribe he's got coming next, we're watching some of these games to see how the players and the coaches respond to rough situations. And remember gang, a bad day of pressure-free college football is a better than a great Saturday in July.

So, yes, we need the UT-UGA game to deliver the goods.

C'mon Verne, we need at least five "Oh myyyyy gooooooddddneesssss" moments for UT for the Vols to make this a game.

Why not indeed.

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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JonathanMCook said...

Well, its nice that today is Friday and before comment on any letters, I figured I have some some with the "breakdown list" from yesterday. I'll start first with a "Dallanooga" favorite: The Texas State Fair (which does start today) and the Hamilton County Fair (which also starts today).

Iconic Mascot

TSF: Big Tex

HCF: Dalton Roberts

Edge: Dalton Roberts. Sure, Big Tex has that iconic "Howwwwdy Folks" baratone voice but who hasn't gotten the earworm from "Come to the County Fair". :D Grant you I find it a more "appealing" earworm vs. the JoAnn Favors "theme song" (which stays in there for HOURS...worst then dogs barking jingle bells)

Dance Team act during opening ceremonies

TSF: The Kilgore Rangerettes

HCF: Some school of dance out in Flinstone, GA or wherever with lukewarm coordinated 12 year olds doing hip-hop and clogging.

Edge: Really? Are you serious?

Transportation:

TSF: DART Rail Green Line

HCF: A 20 year old bus you have to catch at Northgate Mall

Edge: DART. Yeah, you have to pay $4 going on $5 for an all-day pass but you can catch the rail from anywhere in the city. The bus at least is free. And we all know how much Chattanoogans love free.

Location:

TSF: Fair Park

HCF: Chester Frost Park

Edge: Chester Frost. The fair is small enough you can do everything in less than a day. With the TSF, you're gonna need at least three days and a REALLY GOOD GPS tracker.

Events:

TSF: A Midway that looks like Lake Winnie on steriods, Up and Coming artists performing on the Chevy Stage, Arts and Crafts

HCF: How to milk a cow (Not to be confused with how to train your dragon), local acts you hear a Soddy-Daisy bar every Friday Night.

Edge: TSF

People Watching:

TSF: Honey Boo-Boo wannabes (wearing Cowboy and Longhorn attire)

HCF: Honey Boo-Boo wannabes (wearing Titan and Volunteer attire)

Edge: Tie

Food:

TSF: You name it, we fry it

HCF: Chicken on a Stick (which is really more a Riverbend staple than anything)

Edge: TSF. Seriously, when I think last years concoctions cannot be topped...They get topped. This years offerings include fried jumbalia, fried tres leches cake, and friend Girl Scout Cookies. Along with my staple favorites fried cookie dough, friend PB+J. P90X diet be damned.

Anyone else who has attended both and would like to contribute, have fun.

So I'm wearing my Power C polo shirt as I do every Friday even though UT-UGA is overshadowing everything.

Hate the Mocs all you want (talking to the Chattanooga community in general), but at least when Moc fans drink, we do it right and in the right orafus.

We don't like to do it "Big Mike at the Silverdale Workhouse" style!

September 28, 2012 at 10:23 a.m.
CVOL said...

I think I could run thru a brick wall after reading your pregame speech. Love the picture too.

September 28, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring, sparkling byplay in the first stanza, please allow me to add a line...

George S. Patton, Jr.: ...and when your grandchildren ask you what you did during the great UT campaign of 2012, at least you can say, 'I didn't shovel scat on the AG campus.'

On Tiger, put aside the three PGA Tour Wins, Eldrick has struggled mightily to string together four straight rounds of outstanding golf. When his brilliance shines through early in the week, he generally wastes shots on Saturday and Sunday.

That said, the Ryder Format may be a tonic. It's one round of golf and move on to the next. It's up to Woods to make these rounds Fridays or Sundays.

September 28, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
chas9 said...

On the theme of Washington revival, this could be a Damn Yankees finish, minus Old Scratch. If the Gnats get past the Bravos.

We are still shaking our heads over basketball players committing way early, and now we have a 10th grade softball player committing. What a world.

Lots of TFP ink for KY today, with the softball commit, the Signal Mtn. QB update, and Jay comparing the Cats' offense to a possum. But if they can get their starting QB and starting RBs in the same game, they'll be pretty good. Not SC good, but competitive.

But as far as I can tell, you missed the story that UK has banned alcohol from tailgating venues. Not just butt chiggers, but all alcohol. Can that work? Aren't Cats fans in need of some mind numbing relief? And if you didn't think the TFP is an edgy paper, note that butt chuggin made the big time editorial page. Lee Andoerson was too much a gentleman to go there. You know this.

JMC--How did the fortunes of SMU and TCU diverge so much?

Thanks to Weeds for the Chipper story, but what are we supposed to do with the 8x10 glossy headshot? We're too old to pin it up in our bedroom.

September 28, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
chas9 said...

Fiver--Very impressive speech for Dooley. What movie did you lift it from?

I don't believe anybody named Xander. Do you?

September 28, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Its takes a special kind of writer to be able to start a column with references to butt chugging, send the readers further images of sodomy with the gimp, and still not have them turn away shaking their heads. Touche Mr. Greeson, touche indeed.

Between your speech and the "headset shot" the webteam chalked up, I thought you was Double D for a tic. Few more historical references that barely tie in and you're there. The hairs not as good as Jay Swayze, but its a close second.

Enjoyed Weeds column about Larry today. We will be in attendance for tomorrow night's game and I am looking forward to seeing him at home for one of the last times. Chipper has been a Brave a majority of my life, it'll be strange to see him not standing at 3rd next season. Hopefully they will present us with a few more opportunities to see him by continuing to win throughout the playoffs. Any chance he's going to go Favre on us and unretire for the next couple years?

I think I'd rather have Brent than Mr.Turkey Neck Lundquist anyday.

September 28, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

chas9 wrote-

"JMC--How did the fortunes of SMU and TCU diverge so much?"

Couldn't tell you. Thats like asking me why has La-Monroe all of a sudden developed an ability to COMPETE in the SEC? In the event Vandy ever gets replaced, The Skyhawks would be at the top of my short list.

If I decide to go to the game tomorrow, I'll be happy to provide some analyisis.

September 28, 2012 at 12:02 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Run JMC —

Well-played indeed sir. "Big Mike and the Silverdale Workhouse," are they playing at T-Bones on Saturday night?

And fried Girl Scout cookies sound awesome in their awesomeness.

C-Vol —

Great question and mad props to the web team for the Head Sports Coach photoshop.

FE to the C —

Great call about the Ryder format helping the current state of Tiger's game. He can forget a bad hole and not have it wreck 36 holes of solid work.

9er —

Thought the same thing about the softball commit, and that girl is a big-Big-BIG-time hitter.

And no booze at a tailgate. First no prayer before the game now no booze in the parking lot? Is nothing sacred.

And that was all 5-at-10, sir. We may over-rely on movie quotes, but that was all us.

962 —

Thanks, we think.

And could not agree more about the headset shot. Well-played web team.

Brent vs. Grampa Verne???? Both get the diabetes award for over-the-top sappiness. Both have analysts that far surpass their skills.

We'll actually agree here, because Verne does more games that we watch. So, as George tells Coach Dale, "Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with."

Thanks gang.

September 28, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Playboy awarded Top Party School.

Tennessee was not at the top. Obviously, the story about chugging in the wrong end was not taken into account.

Or perhaps it was, and that knocked Tennessee down a few spots.

— and —

I believe if Maxwell Smith is healthy, UK's offense is actually pretty decent. Their defense- now that's another story. They have not looked good yet- unless you count Kent State (the team that runs the wrong way, and trips over their own feet in the endzone to help UK get a safety).

I think UK makes one of these next two games very interesting. I dislike South Carolina more than Mississippi State, but I'm currently planning on going and taking in the UK-Miss State game, so I'm rooting for that one to be the close one. Both at home? Both ranked and thinking they are infinitely better than UK? Mississippi State has actually looked pretty average the last two weeks. I think UK keeps that one very respectable, and may spring an upset. This week- look for a four touchdown loss.

With your update on UK from Lexington, signing out.....

September 28, 2012 at 12:08 p.m.
chas9 said...

Jay--Is the wide-eyed look on account of your orange slacks are a tad tight in the crotchetal area?

Stuck--If Maxwell can keep his shoulder together, you're exactly right. Betting on the Cats against the Cowbell Dawgs is a great investment. Take all your winnings from the Georgia walkover and lay the chips on Kentucky against the Starksville upstarts. Any word on a strategy to get around the tailgating police?

September 28, 2012 at 1:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

9er-

I haven't heard anything yet about how they are going to get around it. I think that many people are going to get around it the same way they got around the WKU-UK game- by simply not showing up. It is really dark and rainy today in Lexington. If it is this weather tomorrow AND the new tailgating measures AND playing South Carolina as a massive underdog, there may not be 40,000 in the stands. I've lived in Lexington since 2006 (and married into a diehard UK family in 2004), and I've gotten used to really depressed UK football fans who vastly underestimate their team (which is tough to do at times). This year is the worst I've ever heard it around here. By far. Not even close. People are more depressed about this than they were about Billy G during his last year here, when I kept on hearing people talk about how UK was going to win the SEC Tournament, get into the NCAA Tournament and then make a run to the Final Four. I really don't know what team those people were watching. If the Cats had beaten WKU, I'm not sure how much more confident people would have been, but I think the local sport talk guys would be a little bit more positive. Even they (who have supported Joker fairly strongly heading into the year) have almost stopped talking about football, and are basically living under the assumption that Joker is gone. I think Joker is a pretty good coach. I said when the Vols hired Dooley that I rather have Joker. It's not looking good for Joker right now though. He desperately needs to get to at least five wins. That's four more wins, with just Samford left that looks like a sure win. Where do the other three come? Mississippi State at home? Vanderbilt at home? Then at Missouri? At Tennessee? Ouch. That's pulling a minimum of two fairly significant upsets. I think they can get one. But two?

September 28, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.
chas9 said...

Stuck--Thanks for the analysis. If the frosh gel and everybody stays healthy and The Vols tank, five is possible.

If the Cards go undefeated, Charlie Strong could be in the SEC next year, but don't know if Lexington could go down that road.

September 28, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

9er-

I wouldn't count on Charlie Strong being UK's coach next year. My Facebook page (featuring many UK alum and some current students) all say the same thing (and this was actually written twice on Facebook, word for word, by two different people), "If UK's coach next year isn't name Jim Tressel, Bobby Petrino, or Mike Leach, it's time to just fold the football program."

No mention of Charlie Strong, even though he's a great coach.

My personal choice to wind up at either UK or UT or if they are looking for a coach this offseason- Kirby Smart. That dude is bound to be a great head coach somewhere. Might as well be either in the city I live (and that my wife supports hard core, so I support some) or the team I support the most in football.

September 28, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

How Georgia Southern has escaped top 10 party school ranking is beyond me. Have mercy.

I did work with a couple of kids who went to a not top 10 party school, University of Chicago. Very bright and very smart. But that'll happen if you go to University of Chicago.

September 28, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Bispy4 wrote-

"How Georgia Southern has escaped top 10 party school ranking is beyond me. Have mercy"

Because Playboy only acknowledges the bigass universities as the ones to follow. NOBODY knows where Statesboro is other than football players who couldn't cut it in either Athens or Gainesville*

*With apologizes to Lott who despite the Mocs "butt-chugging" AND "butt-dragging" in offense, has DEFINITELY pulled his weight with the Defense.

September 28, 2012 at 9:10 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Dooley prgame speech before UGA game " Ok gentlemen did you remember to pick out your caskets? "

September 28, 2012 at 10:28 p.m.
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