We're still loaded with tasks and challenges. Hey, it's a busy time.
But... But... BARNICKE? He owes us money.
The Prep Tab has been shipped to film. Repeat. The 72-page beast has been slain. The Eagle has landed. John has a long mustache. The chair is against the wall.
Yep, down goes the 72-page Frazier. Joe, not Kiehl. Well, Kiehl, too.
And we realize that the 5-at-10 has suffered in our distracted, tab-crazed days. Thanks for sticking with us. Or as Maggie says, "TANKS for nuttin' Danny."
And yes, we feel back in the groove a little bit — or we're sleep-deprieved to the point of giddiness — since we have quoted Stripes, Red Dawn, Cosell and Caddyshack before the first legit item of today's 5-at-10.
From the "Talks too much" studios, to quote William Blake, who died on this day in 1827, the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
We have questions
How is Cole Hamels only 5-13? Dude has legit ace stuff and he's 5-and-13? How'd he ever win five? It's a miracle. Lollygaggers.
When did we move to Chatta-Portland? Seriously. Enough with the rain.
Wow, did you see that Danny Struggla's back down to .186 and is 2-for-37 in August? How'd he ever get two? It's a miracle.
What none of us have questions about now though is whether Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Football/Hangover/Merchandise and now Johnny Paycheck, took money for signing what has been reported to be more than 4,400 autographs for memorabilia brokers.
The NCAA hypocrisy is rich of course, and more on that in a minute.
But how are we so sure of Johnny Paycheck taking the money and signing? Well, in the weeks since this story has broken, there has been absolutely zero denial from Camp Paycheck. Yes, the vaunted A-Rod defense of, "Let's not talk about the past," or the "Let's focus on what they can prove" angles.
Hey, when your moral compass points to A-Rod, well, that's not good. Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're a tremendous slouch.
So there we have it. And we know the answer. Whether the NCAA has the proof remains to be seen. Whether the NCAA wants to find the proof and destroy the most-hyped regular-season college football game in 25 years remains to be seen.
What we all know to be true deep down in places we don't talk about at parties is whether it happened.
Money for everyone but the players
With the latest news that seems to prove even more evidence that Johnny Paycheck appears to have risked his teammates and his team's season on some cash-for-signature acts, the timing was almost poetic that the NCAA merchandising leaders were announced.
Texas made the most off of sold memorabilia, leading the nation's royalty rankings for the eighth straight year. The numbers were released by the Collegiate Licensing Company, which represents all of the major colleges and universities other than THE Ohio State, Michigna State, USC and Oregon. Granted, at least three of those would likely crack the top 10, but no one messes with Texas when it comes to sales.
The rest of the top 10 of the schools that made the most of the more than $4.6 billion in merchandise and gear sold from July 1 of last year to June 30, 2013:
3) Notre Dame
Texas A&M moved from No. 19 to No. 12 after it's record-setting football season. Hmmmmm, wonder how much of that move was because of No. 2 jerseys? Autographs for everyone.
Prep football everywhere
We are pretty well versed in the talent and the happenings of the high school football scene.
In fact we shot our first Prep Rewind/Fast Forward high school football video with preps ace Stephen Hargis. Check it here as we discuss this week's jamborees.
Here are three things we believe:
• The Baylor-McCallie game is going to be awesome. Baylor's QB-RB tandem of Nick Tiano and George Porter against the increased speed and play-making abilities of a Blue Tornado team that has improved talent is going to be fun.
• Despite the loss of leading rusher Logan Jackson, the East Hamilton Hurricanes are the area's best team. And with a schedule that features Signal Mountain and Ooltewah relatively early, we'll know whether that belief is fact pretty quickly.
• The two best bets for a deep playoff run are in expected locals of South Pittsburg, which again is likely the fastest 1A team in Tennessee, and Calhoun, Ga., where the Yellow Jackets simply reload with players who have been baptised in Gatorade of state championship expectations.
This and that
— Feel free to riff on any and all college football stuff. Here's the story that Paschall had in today's TFP that caught our eye: Auburn has dropped its four-man QB race to a three-man QB race by moving Kiehl Frazier to safety. Yes, Frazier, the former USA Today national offensive high school player of the year, is starting over with a new number and a new position. This assuredly will be a topic of discussion on the Press Row radio show today from 1-3 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM.
— Also, as Downtown Patrick Brown wrote about him today, we have formed the view that any wide receiver named Pig is a friend of ours.
— Austin Dillion, the Nationwide driver with a big-time name and a big-time family (Richard Childress' grandson) which allowed him to race a big-time number (he drove the 3 made famous by longtime Childress driver and friend Dale Earnhardt), will fill in for the injured Tony Stewart. Pay attention to this kid gang, he's carrying a lot of NASCAR's future in his passenger seat.
— War Mike Trout. Baseball's next super-duper-star says PED users should be banned for life. Hey, baseball, if you want to end steroids, there's the answer. Of course, if you are disingenuous and only showing faux outrage because you know the power numbers get people's attention, well, keep tippy-toeing the current path. Yahoos.
Is Aug. 12 the day our world changed? Consider that the IBM personal computer was released on this day 22 years ago? (Side question: The number 22 is arguably the coolest looking number around. Thoughts?)
Seriously, in 22 years — from the days of Joshua in "War Games" — to the fact that the 5-year-old Lil' 5-at-10 is quite comfortable operating an iPad, the world is a completely different place and on a completely new, computer-generated pace.
Think of the pace of progress before the computer age. In 22 years, TV went from black-and-white to color to a very crude remote control.
How much has TV changed since 1981? All the gadgets, the add-ons, the options. Dallas was an awesome show then... and it is now, too... wait a second.
OK, scratch the last one. So take a moment and celebrate the progress brought forth on this day 22 years ago.
And curse those same technological advances when your boss or whomever you're trying to duck to get nine holes in this afternoon can reach out to you with 12 forms of communication.
Progress, ain't she grand?
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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Gang, we apologize on the front end — we got wordy today. So it goes.
Remember Friday's mailbag and enjoy the final week of summer. Sigh.
Hope you enjoyed the weekend. We did.
We've got a slew of things in the air this week. Giddy up.