It's here. It's happening.
We are in search of your questions, be them on Press Row — call 648-1051 to talk during our radio show that airs 1-3 p.m. Monday-Friday on 105.1 FM and espnchattanooga.com — on The Twitter (@jgreesontfp) or in Friday's mailbag. It's the summer, but football is within sight.
From the "Talks too much" studios, if you had a red tuxedo, would you wear it frequently or just on special occasions?
SEC media daze homestretch
Day 2 is in the books. The third and final day is well on its way as we speak at the SEC media days.
Let's capsulize the info as best we can.
What happened yesterday: The TFP offered wall-to-wall coverage on the happenings in Hoover, providing stories on UT (three of them actually), Johnny Football and new Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. Fine showing from Team TFP.
As we talked about Wednesday on Press Row, the Johnny Manziel story dominated the storylines from Hoover. His offseason of discontent continued with his recent dismissal from the Manning Camp and the rumors that he was late because he was hungover. He strongly denied being hungover but did not want to discuss whether he went out the night before. He anchored a lot of his defense on being a 20-year-old college kid, and that's true. And fair, to a point. This is at least his fourth questionable decision that has become a social media lightning rod. Yes, handling the Heisman and the fame of being Johnny Football is tough for a 20-year-old, but if you are going to enjoy the good spoils of that success — getting a private jet trip to the ESPYs, having a sit down with LeBron, trading phone calls with Tebow — well, you can't have it both ways.
Who's up today: Today's finale includes LSU, Georgia, Alabama and Vandy. This works exceptionally well for Vandy coach James Franklin, considering this is the first time he has addressed the media since he announced the name of the four Commodores who were dismissed for alleged sex crimes. With Saban drawing the spotlight and the buzz and build-up of the preseason teams and predictions, Franklin will be in the shadows a little bit. Alabama has already been pegged to win the SEC; Georgia was picked to win the East, with Tennessee picked fifth in the division. On a good orange note, four of UT's five starting offensive linemen were picked on one of the three preseason All-SEC teams. Knoxville, where pancakes happen.
What's the over/under on times Nick Saban says "process" or the times Les Miles confuses us? We'll take 4 on each.
British Open excellence
OK, they're off and the conditions at the British Open seem rather tame and quite scorable for the early groups. Zach Johnson was 5 under through seven holes early and we even have had an appearance from Mark O'Meara and Todd Hamilton — no not Judge Reinhold's character from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." (Side note: Fast Times is supremely underrated and God bless Phoebe Cates. That is all.)
So what do we think happens? What do you think happens?
We believe that Phil Mickelson will be in the mix come Sunday morning. We believe Tiger Woods will too. We feel confident about Mickelson; we are hopeful about Tiger, because like him or loathe him, the game is more interesting with him involved.
Also, we're hopeful some native golfers are in the mix this weekend. Jazzed foreign sports crowds are cool.
Enjoy, and we're running late this morning because we watched too much of the Open. Stupid Open. Excellent Open.
Billy in Brainerd — Lefty, S Cink [USA]; D Clarke [N Ireland]; L Oosthuizen [S Africa]; and...drumroll please...Y(ing?) Yang [Korea]
5-at-10 — Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Ernie Els
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Phil, Graeme McDowell, Kuchar, Rory, Jason Day
War Eagle — Dufner, Donald, Scott, Tiger, Westwood
Fred — Tiger, Rickie Fowler, Rose, D. Johnson, Day
Spy — McDowell, Horschel, Kuchar, Day, Schwartzel
StuckinKent — Erne Els- South Africa, Matt Kuchar- USA, Graeme McDowell- Northern Ireland, Jason Day- Australia, Justin Rose- England
Dawg747 — Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson
MrSpud — Woods, Lefty, Rory, D.Clark, Day
McPell — Westwood (ENG), Fujita (JPN), Kuchar (USA), Oosthuizen (RSA) and Woods (USA)
TFP Golf writer David Uchiyama — Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Luke Donald, Nicolas Colsaerts, Henrik Stenson
TNBuck — Woods, Poulter, Schwartzel, Haas, Graham Delaet
ThatIDoKnow — Z. Johnson, A. Cabrera, Poulter, Mickelson, A.M. Jimenez
OTWatcher — Harris English, Phil Mickelson, McDowell, Westwood, Els
scole023 — Tiger, Z. Johnson, Day, Mickelson, Cabrera
Tiger — Tiger, Mickelson, Els, Scott, Donald
ScottS — Mickelson, Snedeker, D. Johnson, Rory, Donald
Tommy — Tiger, Z Johnson, Bubba, Westwood, Harrington
TwoTimes — Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Westwood, Kuchar, AScott
DCrotty22 — Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Louis Oosthuizen
Sportsfan — Phil, Adam Scott, Rory, Sergio, and Justin Rose
Buschleague — McDowell, Westwood, Poulter, Garcia, Lefty
If we missed you, speak now or forever hold your peace.
Wow. The end of an era for a lot of us at a certain age came Wednesday when it was announced that the NCAA will not renew its contract with EA Sports for video games, including the wildly popular NCAA Football game that became a late-summer staple for a lot of us.
The move was announced as the NCAA is fighting a class-action lawsuit file by former athletes who want a share in the licensing fees and royalties because the likenesses and characteristics of the players were used.
As anyone who played those games could tell you, the rankings and the realism were a genuine part of the game's greatness. You wanted to see how your favorite players were regarded to the rest of college football. Heck, I have personally asked at least 10 former college football players what it was like to be on a video game, and the answers were almost always something along the lines of, "It's pretty cool, but [my player on the game] should be faster."
The fact that the NCAA is pre-emptively backing away from the cash spigot that has been EA Sports means there is some worried folks in the college sports headquarters. In a statement, the NCAA said individual schools could negotiate deals with gaming companies, but it would have to be done individually.
EA Sports is planning on having a college football game next year, but for a lot of folks, the genius in those games was the realism and the images that matched the schools and conferences we follow.
It will be interesting to see where this leads.
This and that
— Johnny Taylor joined us on Press Row and he is super stoked about coming back to the Mocs basketball program. It's hard to see a negative with this move, you know? Well-played indeed.
— The ESPYs were last night and we missed them. We do know that LeBron won a slew of awards, including male athlete of the year. His red tuxedo was award-worthy too.
— Daunte Culpepper, the former quarterback who spent 11 years in the NFL and threw for more than 24,000 yards, lost his Florida home to foreclosure.
If college football and basketball video games are going to be changed forever, then so will sports video games. The college football franchise was one of the early hooks that caught this video game player from the very start. In fact, other than a wasted summer playing Contra, we have only played sports games, so we feel pretty comfortable discussing this topic.
Let's decide a Rushmore on sports video games, and yes, this list will vary some by person:
Mike Tyson's Punchout is on our list because it was the chicken liver that snared this catfish.
The EA Sports NCAA Football series is on there.
Madden is a no-doubter; in fact it's the Jordan of the category.
The last spot is open and could be filled with a ton of options. You could go old-school with Intelevision football or baseball games. You have the Tecmo Bowl franchise (and the sequel, Super Tecmo Bowl, is wicked underrated, like Fletch Lives). Baseball Stars was the forefather of sports games in which in-game players improved with success. You have RBI baseball, and NBA Jams, the real-live baseball simulations, the FIFA soccer games that we never played but no some folks who swear by and a slew of others.
What's your Rushmore of sports video games?
Discuss and remember to practice random acts of kindness.
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 ...