published Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

5-at-10: Alabama's unprecedented roll, sports tattoos and a college hoops lament

Don't forget the Friday mailbag.

From the "Could be 4 down territory" wing of the "Talks too much" studios, let's do work.

Alabama's unprecedented Roll

Nick Saban and Alabama have put together a modern-day college football dynasty that may be the best in the history of the sport.

And yes, we know there are longer stretches of unbeaten runs or teams that won more titles in more extended spans. However, this Alabama run is in the toughest division of the toughest conference in the history of the sport, which also has way more potential champions today than ever before.

We have said before that Saban's genius and greatness comes from the two simple facts that he demands perfection and he recruits enough nuclear talent to be able to be perfection's guardian.

In fact, Saban's ungodly ability to stockpile pieces — he and Alabama likely are on their way to their fifth recruiting national title in six years — has even done the unthinkable and made a Derek Dooley football quote insightful. "They draft, we recruit," Dooley said last year about Alabama, "and they get the first 25 picks."

Among those picks was Reuben Foster, the five-star inside linebacker who switched back to Alabama after decommitting from Auburn, which he picked after decommitting from Alabama. Confused yet? Well buckle up. Foster's roller coaster will be a text book case of why people loathe recruiting, a realm in which Trojan Horse promises and empty pledges are common and the mood swings and emotions of fans and the future of multi-million athletic programs can hinge on the decisions of teenagers.

But beyond Foster's trail to committing to Alabama on Monday — he committed to Alabama, decommitted and moved to Auburn, committed to Auburn by reading a letter that was almost verbatim to the letter T.J. Yeldon read from when he flipped from Auburn to Alabama before signing day 2012, got a massive AU tattoo on his right arm and decommitted after Trooper Taylor and the previous staff were dismissed, and there are even some who think Foster still may go to Auburn — his words sounded a clear and foreboding message to the rest of college football. Saban is the Honey Badger in recruiting — he takes what he wants.

Foster said, "It was a business decision," and looking back on the talent Alabama is pumping into the NFL right now, who can argue that. Heck, Saban is doing the unthinkable and getting five-star kids to come and wait their turn. Look at Foster. If he had picked Auburn, physically he would be the most talented linebacker on Auburn's roster. If he could pick up the Tigers' defensive schemes, he likely would be starting this fall. At Alabama, Foster will be lucky to be third team considering C.J. Mosley and Tana Patrick are back at the "Will" spot and super-recruits Trey DePriest and Reggie Ragland — five-star guys like Foster in previous recruiting cycles — are penciled in at the "Mike" position.

Heck, the same holds true for Vonn Bell, the five-star safety from Ridgeland that is down to Tennessee, Alabama and possibly Ohio State. Of his SEC options, if Bell picks UT, he's the second-most polished defensive back on the roster behind Brian Randolph. If he picks Alabama, he'll cover kicks this fall.

So it goes and to the recruiting victors go the autumn spoils of victory. And in recruiting, Nick Saban is the biggest victor since Victor French.

———

About that tattoo

Getting ink is uber-popular nowadays. We got no beef with it actually. If someone wants to get a tattoo, fire that needle up.

But the cautionary warning of Foster and a few others are worth repeating: Tattoos are permanent, barring some expensive and potentially scarring procedures.

That said, let's look at some of sports more infamous tattoos. Enjoy. War Ink.

Reuben Foster's AU — He said he's going to keep the tattoo in honor of his cousin Ladarious Phillips, a former Auburn player who was shot and killed last summer. Sure that will fly over swimmingly in the Alabama locker room this summer during workouts, huh?

Former Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler's "Live Life to it's Fullest" — Yes, rule No. 1 of tattoo writing is everyone needs an editor, and it shouldn't be the biker waiting in the lobby to get another dragon on his back. Osweiler's tat translates to "Live Life to it is Fullest," and while we all make grammatical mistakes, mistakes on a family-oriented, interweb-based sports column are by comparison the lightest of No. 2 pencils. Mistakes in tats are Sharpies.

Packers tight end Andrew Quarless "Gods Gift" — Take your pick here. Gods Gift... maybe Osweiler stole his apostrophe. And dude, if you're going to get something as boisterous, well, it's tough to be a special-team contributor with Gods Gift on your arms.

DeShawn Stevenson's No. 2 on his back and the Abe Lincoln on his neck — OK, the No. 2 on Stevenson's back is a little awkward in the locker room because he's now wearing 92. As for the Abe Lincoln neck tat, well, kudos to his flair for history. That said, he had every intention of getting MLK Jr. but former teammate Gilbert Arenas beat him to the tat chair and landed a boss MLK Jr. tat so he settled for the $5 tribute.

Marquis Daniels' "Only the Strong Survive" — All we got here is wow.

With honorable mentions to Mike Tyson, who single-handedly stopped tens of thousands of folks from getting a face tattoo, and Terrelle Pryor, who has the most damaging tattoos considering his free ink derailed the Ohio State program and indirectly allowed the SEC streak to continue, which continued the Tide's roll, which lured Reuben Foster and his AU tat to Alabama. Wow, that Terrelle Pryor tat is all-powerful. It's like the Yoda of ink — "There is no try, only tat or tat not."

If you were going to pick up and get a tattoo this afternoon, what are you going with? Discuss.

————

College hoops lament

As we move beyond the football world to games where the ball bounces properly, has there been a more disappointing college basketball season among the teams in our region.

The UT Vols? Barring a miracle SEC run, they are at best NIT-bound and even that may be a stretch considering their turnover struggles (as Downtown Patrick Brown details here).

The Georgia Bulldogs? SEC ace David Paschall shares the intel that a Bulldogs basketball game is a cacophony of snores and sneaker squeaks.

The UTC Mocs? Well, the apathy and frustration around the stagnation of that program is well-defined and well-known. Is there a fan base anywhere that feels as helpless as Mocs basketball fans, considering there is no solution in sight?

Even the normal casual options of a Vandy run or a Georgia Tech surge are nearly impossible.

Heck, we were even in the office talking about how there's an outside chance that UNC and UK could miss the tournament in the same year since 1974. (And to let you know how different that NCAA tournament was, when only conference champs made the field, UNC entered the NIT that season 22-5 with all five losses coming to Maryland or N.C. State — the top two teams in the country.)

Sigh, so it goes that we're looking to you Michigan and you Oregon for entertaining hoops and NCAA potential.

————

This and that

— Speaking of recruiting, the story of this recruiting class so far has to be the work done by Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss. According to the 247sports.com rankings, there's a real chance Ole Miss could land the top three players in the country tomorrow. Wow.

— As great as the NFL's MVP race between Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning was, we've got another doozy setting up in the NBA. Kevin Durant and his throwback transcendentalism against the bulldozer ballet that is LeBron James. We'll get into this more as we speed toward spring training, but these two have the chance to be on the Magic-Bird level of elite rivaling contemporaries in their prime.

— FYI, LeBron went for 31 points, eight boards and eight assists on 13-of-14 shooting in Monday's win for the Heatles. His one miss was a 4-footer.

— Pitchers and catchers report next week. Giddy-up.

— Derek Dooley may be the single luckiest guy around. OK, let's set this up. Dude signs an eight-figure deal to coach Tennessee football, stinks on a historic level and gets paid to go away. Where does he land? In Dallas, working for America's Team as a wide receivers coach for a six-figure salary while still getting UT checks. Odds the Cowboys draft any of the former Vols receiving standouts of the catching firm of Patterson, Rogers and Hunter? We'll say pretty good. Odds the Cowboys draft Tyler Bray? We'll say less than zero.

————

Today's question

Feel free to chime in on the tattoo question. And feel free to offer a possible tattoo idea for the 5-at-10 (easy Spy, and remember the family-oriented nature of our platform).

If you'd like another topic, well, we're on the cusp of National Signing Day, and we follow recruiting. Hey, we love the draft — you know this — and recruiting is close to the draft only different.

Any predictions for Wednesday? Have any questions about your team? And remember, we're taking a 5-at-10-like feel into the recruiting realm tomorrow and will be posting all day on our running recruiting updates.

Discuss.

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.
jomo11 said...

Jay- so the Vols football recruiting currently ranked # 42 in Scout.com and # 25 in rivals, and #12 in the SEC . . . but if the Vols get Vonn Bell they could move to #10 in the SEC. . . . Im sure we can hear the chants now We're #10 !. . .We're #10 !. . . We're #10 ! . ... . got to be a disappointment when you are trying to compete with the big boys. . . but Hey, the Vols just flipped a running back from East "freakin" Carolina ! . . .thats big

February 5, 2013 at 10:44 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

The funniest part of the Dooley hire is that some folks are actually thinking he will be Garrett's replacement...The Cowboys are bad already...Heck yes, give the job to Derek and they become the laughing stock of the NFL (not that they already aren't)...Tomorrow could prove to be an interesting day, I am more interested in what the Mocs accomplish...So far the class looks good...but there are a couple of needs to be addressed

February 5, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
Todd962 said...

There are entire websites devoted to regrettable tattoos. They can provide great hours of entertainment/wasted time. I saw a picture of a guy's tattoo that had one female leg running up his arm and the other female leg running down his rib cage and when he raised his arm it gave the appearance that his armpit hair was her uhh.....I didn't catch that Heat game, you say Lebron went 13-14, hmm, impressive.

My attention span only allows me to read words that are six letters or less, after that point I skim and assume. After some quick research, transcendentalism is in fact a word, and means what I suspected, but I had to be sure that there weren't crossdressing people out there practicing dentistry. In hindsight my context clues should have ruled out that you weren't comparing Kevin Durant to an old school gender bender doctor, but you can never be too sure around here....

Funny twitterism of the day: "I bet Jim Harbaugh used to unplug the Nintendo when his brother was winning."

February 5, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.
chas9 said...

Remember, Jay, when you choose your tat to plan for shrinkage. Or expansion. Skin is an elastic organ.

Alabama is advising Mr. Reuben Sandwich to expand his "AU" to "Please don't AUdit my recruiting," but if the U is kinda squared off at the bottom he can modify the U to look like an L and the upstroke of the A that follows in his new ALA. Or ALABAMA when he flexes.

Mock drafts have Manti going to The Ravens. Which would scream out for a creative new version of Edgar Allen Poe's classic poem. Or one of Jay's classic virtual conversations:

 Quoth Manti: When can I see you?
 Quoth the Imaginary lover: Nevermore.

The Buckeyes have a must-watch schedule this week, at Michigan tonight and at home vs. Indiana Saturday. We'll see what the almost-Tennessee point guard is made of. A 1-1 split would be a good showing. Of course if you watch tonight, you'll want the second TV on the KY-SC game. Wait, that's not a game, that's a bloodletting. The Cocks have no spurs this year.

February 5, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

You bring up an excellent point. If the Vols close with a couple of big-time surprises, it may mean they crack the top 10 in the SEC and top 20 nationally. Tough making up ground in the SEC right now.

And while stealing one away from Coach Mac's Pirates may not look like much, we know two things: 1) At least the Vols now have a running back in the class and 2) There have been a slew of late signing day additions from smaller schools that delivered the goods.

OG —

Like the cut of the UTC class's jib for sure.

And that would be the ultimate Jerry Jones "Look how much money I got and I can do anything I want move" to promote the Doolander. Wonder if he compare the NFC East to WWII generals or trot out the shower shoe etiquette to the Dallas players.

962 —

No doubt about the tattoos. We got side track this morning doing some research and you can spend some time. And we saw the one you referenced. And several more, including... yes LeBron was on fire last night.

That's good twitter right there.

9er —

While we believe Craft to be good at his craft, are you sold on Matta's Buckeyes? We think they are missing something. You're right, we'll see this week for sure.

Manti at the combine will be a circus. That much we know for sure.

— 5-at-10

February 5, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Slow, slow morning at the Five at Ten compound. I'm guessing calm before the storm before signing day. Or it could be the townsfolk about to storm the castle on E. 11th Street due to a) the rise in subscriptions costs (Boo-Hoo! DMN cost a dollar a paper and $3.50 for Sundays)and b)Drew Johnson run out of town (Hey look Drew! A Windmill! Go chase it buddy! Go! Go!) Tattoos as the topic? We are grasping at straws. ^^()

Anyway, mailed a small envelope of DMN clippings including a full page listing of all local and state recruits here in D-town. Other than A&M, no SEC commitments. And this is suppose to be the epicenter of HS recruitment. Hmmmmmm.

OG- Garrett has already been neutered with him no longer officially allowed to call plays. Hadn't heard any local ramblings as his replacement. Then again, I've been out of the loop due to other commitments.

Tyler Bray as the QB? The sports writers basically concluded Tony is here to stay for a long time and that Jerry needs to bulk-up the O-line to give him better protection.

February 5, 2013 at 12:05 p.m.
chas9 said...

Since Lynyrd Skynyrd's coming to town, are there any lyrics from their songs that might apply to our sports scene? (Besides the obvious "Does your conscience bother you, sweet home, Alabama?")

Do the math for me. On a monthly basis, which one of DD's checks is bigger? Will he be pawning a title on Rossville Blvd. any time soon? Does he even have any titles?

February 5, 2013 at 12:34 p.m.
chas9 said...

Patrick's story on UT turnovers features a photo of Cam Newton. Is he back with the team? Or is that just wishful thinking?

February 5, 2013 at 12:54 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

The Spy is a patron of the fine arts and has visited many great museums. However, skin art is not one of the Spy's fortes, though his favorite girl has a couple of small, out of the way, tastefully done tattoos and I should probably stop ... right ... there....

But the neck tat ... boy howdy. As I tell one of my law enforcement friends, the sure sign of a bad guy is the neck tat.

February 5, 2013 at 1:53 p.m.
Stewwie said...

If Vonn Bell wants to see the field early and often, he needs to pick the Vols. If Bell wants the best chance at a championship(s), he needs to choose the Tide. If it were me, I'd put on the orange hat tomorrow. I'd want to be playing. And who's to say that TN won't be one of the top dogs 3-4 years from now anyway?

Which tat would I get? The Power C of course. But I don't do tats.

Where do the Mocs rank in attendance compared to other b-ball schools in the conference? Seems like it's down everywhere. And I think the season starts way too early. I think the season should start after fall finals so that football's regular season is already finished. It doesn't really feel like b-ball season until then anyway.

JMC, if Drew Johnson gets run out of town, the only people who will be complaining are the liberals. Filling Lee Anderson's shoes is no small task for anyone, but Johnson was a bad hire from the start for the right side of the editorials.

February 5, 2013 at 1:55 p.m.
jomo11 said...

intersting article on "why football recruiting rankings mean MORE than you think" http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130204/recruiting-rankings-predictive-accuracy/?sct=uk_t11_a5

February 5, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"The Spy is a patron of the fine arts and has visited many great museums."

100% No shocker given Savannah's arts culture. Of course (hopefully he'll get the reference) they also have the number 1 comic book university as well*.

*All my male and female co-horts who think they are the next Stan Lee or Jack Kurby consider said school their Harvard. ^^()

February 5, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

Nothing wrong with a good tat show. C'mon.

And everyone views their school as the (blank version) of Harvard. Auburn is surely the Harvard of Lee County.

Jomo —

Saw that article and it has some merits. Plus, with technology and the better staffs at these sites, the rankings now are way more accurate than the rankings when they started 10-12 years ago.

9er —

Skynyrd's addition is a big coup for the Riverbend folks. The crowd will be H-U-G-E. That friends is knowing your market.

DD's UT checks are quite sizable, and no, here's saying he won't be on Gov't Cheese any time soon.

And Cam Newton???? Or Cam Tatum???? Or even Tatum O'Neal???? Here's saying any of the three would help the Vols right about now.

Stew —

Concur in regard to Bell. Landon Collins, the 12-star safety from Louisiana last year, was on special teams this fall. And he's in line in front of Vonn.

Yes, college hoops attendance is down everywhere, but the numbers UTC turns in as "attendance" and the number of folks in the stands are as disjointed as Joe Theisman's post-LT leg. Seriously, the UTC folks should start the announcement like the old-school fish stories with, "We once had a crowd THISSSSS big."

Spy —

Good point on neck tats. Something you're never going to hear at church... "Hey, Vern, nice neck tat. See you at Mt. Vernon."

February 5, 2013 at 2:37 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Stewwie said...

"If Vonn Bell wants to see the field early and often, he needs to pick the Vols. If Bell wants the best chance at a championship(s), he needs to choose the Tide. If it were me, I'd put on the orange hat tomorrow. I'd want to be playing. And who's to say that TN won't be one of the top dogs 3-4 years from now anyway?"

Let us keep one thing in mind...there is a third school in the mix, and if they had not been on probation...alabama would not have played for a national championship...Ohio State is definately in the mix and has worked harder than any school to land Bell

February 5, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
jomo11 said...

If Vonn Bell wants to be a big fish in a Small Pond he goes to UTK. . . .if he wants a chance to win a National Championship he will choose Bama or Ohio St. . . . .

February 5, 2013 at 2:48 p.m.
jomo11 said...

also Vonn Bell may only be a 3 year guy, NO WAY UTK is in National Championship hunt within 3 years, not when your recruiting class is not even ranked in the top 10 of your own confernce, at best by Bell's 3rd and probably final year UTK MIGHT be a Citrus bowl type team, but not one of the 4 playoff teams, no way.

February 5, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Dude, you're spot on about how hard THE Ohio State has worked for Vonn's signature. Meyer has worked it like crazy, and if Columbus wasn't 10 hours away, it would be over.

Jomo —

We agree it would be magic for UT to be in the BCS mix in three years. But the big fish, small pond seems a little much. There's nothing wrong with wanting to go somewhere you can get on the field ASAP.

February 5, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"Skynyrd's addition is a big coup for the Riverbend folks. The crowd will be H-U-G-E. That friends is knowing your market."

When I first heard the news this morning, I could go this is sooo many different directions: none of them nice. Unfortunately, big city living can spoil a man. I was never really bitten by the Skinner bug. The only reason I am literally biting my tongue is because thanks to both Track 29 and the lift of the booze ban at Tivoli and Memorial, we're getting "better" more "modern" acts that two years ago would never play here. Period. Obviously Chattanooga's "Little Monsters" (you either get the reference or not) is still going to be heart broken that the Mother Monster will not play here. But getting Deathcylk to play T-29? Rock on!

February 5, 2013 at 3:18 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Jay,

I was surprised that you didn't address the story on the websites main feed this morning regarding the two LA teens that lost fingers during a tug of war event at school. The article claimed to be unaware of how the event took place, but if you have ever been in a tug of war you know exactly what happened. Sure, it seems like a good idea to wrap the rope around your arm for added grip, that is until the event begins and the rope either slowly burns completely through your arm or the force just snaps it clean off. They need to make a PSA about these kind of things. "Getting delimbed by a rope wont help you get anywhere in life, but especially not in tug of war. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Thanks G.I. Joe!"

The Spy has many leather bound books and the Spy Estate smells of rich mahogany. Girls with colorful tattoos at 20 is hot, unfortunately the same girl at 45 looks like she melted a box of crayons down her side. Luckily most of the girls with these tattoos aren't going to be the ones you lock down for life and you seek them for the same reason Chris Rock talks about with tongue rings.

I saw another lovely photograph the other day of a young lady's back tattoo. Just above her bottom read "My name is Kelly." and just below her neckline was "My name is Kelly", only inverted. Oh Kelly, sweetie, I don't care how funny that was at spring break sophomore year, you are going to be regretting that very soon...

February 5, 2013 at 3:21 p.m.
Todd962 said...

JMC,

Give it 20 years, Lady Gaga could be at Riverbend headlining with Justin Bieber. By then we might call that kind of stuff Classic Rock. What? You dont see KZ106 blasting "baby, baby, baby?"

February 5, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

Just let us enjoy our PBR and Sweet Home Alabama... "BIG wheels keep on turnin..."

962 —

Tug o War, Bottle rocket tag, BB gun wars... looking back on the CUH-razy stuff we did as a kid, maybe the video-game generation is not completely terrible. Sure the kids may be pasty and heavy, but they got both eyes and all their fingers and toes.

...."Carry us home to see our kin."

— 5-at-10

February 5, 2013 at 3:27 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Well I hope Neil Young will remember ...

You know, 5, as much as I look forward to Dec. 26 to get away from Christmas commercials and bad Christmas music, I'm beginning to get that way about the Thursday after the first Wednesday of February.

Poor Double D. First Danica is back off the market quickly. And now the Niners lose a Super Bowl that they could have (should have) won.

And to quote Patterson Hood, from his brilliant "Ronnie and Neil":

So he wrote Powderfinger

For Skynyrd to record

But old Ronnie ended up singing

Sweet Home Alabama to the Lord

February 5, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"Give it 20 years, Lady Gaga could be at Riverbend.."

By that time she'll be easily mistaken for an authentic Chattanooga prostitute. D:

February 5, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

JMC,

Lady Gaga is already mistaken for one. And my museum stops have been in great places like Chicago and Philadelphia (in the words of the great James J. Dillon - Chicago tonight! Philly tomorrow!). Even Milwaukee has a very good pre-Columbian collection. I avoid downtown Savannah as much as possible. I don't enjoy the likelihood of being shot.

February 5, 2013 at 4:08 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

You never know what will happen with music stars. Who'd have thought 20 years ago Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson would be gone by now, and Ice Cube would be making kids movies. And on top of that, Digital Underground tunes would be used in candy commercials.

Track 29 has been a blessing for the city.

Anything new on the report the Sun Belt is interested in the Mocs?

February 5, 2013 at 4:08 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Spy-

LOL on my comments. Aside from the Hunter back home, I have been to the High in Atlanta and the DFW Art Museum. The Kimbell in Fort Worth is where all the "cool" exhibits are and I still have yet to visit. Last night going to an open mic to perform was only my fourth time in the Stockyards..and I locked my keys in my car.

LB-

I remember reading a issue of "MAD" when I was still in my mid-teens and they had this "piece" called "You know you're too old for Rock and Roll if.."

One image showed a carature of Mick Jagger with his hand over his head watching a cartoon dancing apple on a TV set. The caption read quote: "The song that once got you banned in 20 cities is now used to sell fruit juice drinks".

I can't hear Steve Miller's "Double Vision" without thinking of Burger King.

Mocs have no interest in the Sun belt at this time.

February 5, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[also Vonn Bell may only be a 3 year guy, NO WAY UTK is in National Championship hunt within 3 years, not when your recruiting class is not even ranked in the top 10 of your own confernce, at best by Bell's 3rd and probably final year UTK MIGHT be a Citrus bowl type team, but not one of the 4 playoff teams, no way.]

Winning the East is not out of the picture in 3-4 years with a Butch Jones-led team. Win the East and you're one step away from the playoffs or another big game. It was only 3 years ago that Georgia went 6-7 and they were in the hunt this year for all the marbles.

February 5, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

You know she's got that look.

Spy —

Chicken.

Laughter —

Great point. Along the Ice Cube vibe, old-school indie rockers They Might Be Giants are doing a lot of work for... wait for it... The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Stew —

Three years would hinge on next year's signing class being top 3 in the country. And that is not a knock on Butch.

Dooley built for an improved team in 12 and the hope of making a run in 13, when that vanished the departures left the cupboard empty — and the best players still on the roster will likely head to the league sooner rather than later.

— 5-at-10

February 5, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
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