Great week gang. Hope the weekend is as good as you make it.
From the "Talks too much" studios, let's try to stay gold Pony Boy.
Like you I watched way too much of the NFL combine. Not sure if the Mrs. 5-at-10 heckled you about it, but I heard about 'watching guys in their underwear' more than once.
I also agree that LeBron James would destroy the combine and that made me think who would be the best combine guys of all time. Thoughts?
Thanks and keep up the good work.
Thoughts? Thoughts, you say? About a dream combine? We have a river of thoughts and as always are happy to share.
Let's take LeBron off the table. We know he's a monster. Let's also pay special homage to Deion Sanders/Leon Sandcastle (those commercials are excellent) who is arguably the fastest football player ever. Whatever his 40 time was, it was not fastest enough and here's why: Deion was not just fast, he was as fast as he needed to be. If that meant out-running Darrell Green on a kick return, fine. If that meant tracking down a headed-for-the-house wide receiver from across the field, OK. Deion could likely run a legit 4.2 if motivated. And if he needed to out-run or chase down someone, we think he could have posted the unthinkable. That said, our dream combine would be:
• Bo Jackson — He came out of Auburn before the days of the structured form of the combine as we know it. He would have cracked every speed/size metric every new-age scout could muster.
• Wilt Chamberlain — Dude was such a freak. Seriously. Do you know why the rule that the free throw shooter can't cross the foul line until the ball touches the rim was adopted? Because Wilt would take a couple of steps and jump 15 feet and lay it in. Plus, if "having a way with the ladies" was a combine measurable, well, Wilt was money.
• Jim Brown — Want to talk about ahead of his time? Wow.
• Allen Iverson — He would drop a low 4.3 even a time possibly in the 4.2s in the 40 and test off the charts on the "quick" drills.
• David Thompson — We'd love to see what Thompson would have checked in the vertical before his injuries/problems. He was the father of the urban legends of guys jumping and taking a quarter off the top of the backboard. At 6-foot-4.
One more to grow on: Shaq. Just because he's Shaq.
From Sue B.
Do you like the draft more than the actual games? And if you are such a fan of the draft what do you think is best draft ever?
Thanks and a friend of mine told me about your column -- thanks, you are funny some of the time and I like that there's no cussing.
Have a nice day.
Sue B. —
Thanks for swinging by and feel free to stop by anytime — don't cost nothing.
No, we do not like the draft more than the actual games; it's a different sort of appreciation that is based in the similar need to see how things play out. One thing that the draft always has, especially in the early rounds, that you are not assured of in the games is drama. Games can be boring or blowouts or what have you. The draft is filled with intrigue. So it goes. (Side note: Back in the day before we had tots and discovered what busy really is, we played a lot of Madden on the XBox. We got to the point that thumping the computer on the highest levels was not that difficult, so the offseason stuff provided more enjoyment. So it goes.)
Great question about the best draft. Let's break it down in several avenues since this is your first question and we want to make sure you get your money's worth:
Best single team draft: The 1974 Steelers got four future Hall of Famers in one draft (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster). Thank you, good night.
Best first round — NFL: The 1983 draft had six Hall of Famers in the first round with John Elway (1), Eric Dickerson (2), Bruce Matthews (9), Jim Kelly (14), Dan Mario (27) and Darrell Green (28). There were only 28 teams then so roughly a quarter of the first round was a Hall of Famer. And in an effort to explain the eternal struggles of your Atlanta Falcons, they drafted Mike Pitts No. 16 overall. Alas.
Side note: The 2007 draft is the modern version of this with the league's top receiver (Calvin Johnson), corner (Darrelle Revis), tackles (Joe Thomas and Joe Staley), guard (Marshal Yanda), kicker returner (Jacoby Jones), running back (Adrian Peterson) and arguably the best inside linebacker (Patrick Willis). Wow. Of course none of those went No. 1 — that was JaMarcus Russell, the Oaklans Raiders fans' version of Sal Sunseri.
Best first round — non-NFL: We'll take the 1984 NBA draft. There were four all-timers in the first 16 picks. And if you were going to put together a team, the 2007 NFL draft offered great balance, but try out the picks that went to the NBA teams in 1984: point guard John Stockton, 2-guard Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley at one forward and Kevin Willis at the other and Hakeem Olajuwon in the middle. Nice.
Did you watch the Oscars? Didn't that used to be fun and entertaining and hosted by big shots?
If they offered you the chance, would you host it and what would you do different?
Thanks and War Eagle...
Love all the new faces offering up questions today. Good times.
We missed the Oscars this year, and have for the last several years. We enjoyed watching the Oscars back when we went to movies and had favorites to pull for; now, unless they have "Best Disney variation of a good Disney movie designed to get you to buy something... and the nominees are" Category, well, we're not vested. As an example, we saw exactly one of the movies — Argo — that was a key player in the awards and we rented that one the Friday night before the Oscars. (Side note: Want to know one thing we would most definitely change? If the date of the Oscars is say, Feb. 20, every picture that has a nomination in one of the big categories, we would make sure it was available to rent on the DVR/OnDemand no later than Ground Hog's Day. We'd watch the Oscars if we had skin in the game. No skin, no interest — it's like Jeff Spicoli taught us... No shoes, No shirt, No dice.)
As for hosting, well, heck yeah we'd give it a shot. We've always been, shall we say, a touch on the over-confident side, so yeah, we think we could pull that off. That said, that is arguably the toughest gig in Hollywood.
First off, being funny is hard. Being funny on call is harder. (Writing funny is the hardest in our view because there is no sense of timing, tone or gesture. If you can write funny, well done sir. It's tough.)
Being funny in front of an auditorium of stars would be intimidating on the highest scale. You add to the fact that the audience of stars wants you to be funny about the things they care about but none of them wants you to be about them.
Hats off to anyone who gives it a swing.
The one thing we would change is let's do away with the all the musical numbers. But that's the easy way out to try to do comedy in song rather than deliver jokes. Look at it this way, there are a ton of supremely funny folks that have come up doing silly — Ferrell, Sandler, Jim Carrey Mike Myers, Tina Fey, et al. — and they came up doing the sketch comedies of SNL and other shows. How many of them did stand-up?
Want to bring funny back to the Oscars, have Seinfeld or Eddie Murphy — for our money the two funniest guys of our lifetime — do it.
If the Vols and "The Conz" Martin win out, we're in right?
Tell me we're in. After the Dooley disaster and firing Pearl... I need some good news.
Thanks and thanks for the 5-at-10, it's actually a nice sports discussion without the trolls and the folks saying stuff just to get a rise out of people. Keep it up.
J.V. Fan —
Thanks for the kind words.
If the Vols win out through the regular season, we think they go to the SEC tournament on the inside of the bubble.
And we're going to type this knowing that if Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin reads this, he'll cringe to the point of convulsions, but, what the hay... OK, if the Vols win out that would be 20-10 with a nine-game winning streak and being the talk of the league. It also would mean the Vols got pay back for the awful loss against Georgia and won an elimination game against Missouri.
In fact, if the Vols win out, here's hoping that when he's asked about the NCAA tournament, "The Conz" says something along the lines of, "Our tournament started in early February and we just embraced 'the win and keep playing' mentality. Well, we kept winning so we should get to keep playing."
That said, if the Vols win out (which we like the chances of that with Florida in the rear-view), they must win at least one game in the SEC tournament. Two would be better, but one is a must.
And yes, Johnny Vols Fans everywhere are starving for some good news. Here's a bit of it if you're interested — our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown details quarterback Riley Ferguson, one of the Vols signees last month here, and to tell you the truth, we like the cut of this kid's jib.
From New here,
This is my first letter and while I haven't been reading long, I'm starting to catch on. Let me ask you a few questions to make sure.... What's the best Ralph Macchio movie? Song you like but are embarrassed to admit? Best football player ever? Best athlete ever? Favorite TV show? Mary Ann or Ginger? Best book you've read in the last few years?
Thanks and hope you get these right.
Wow. OK, kind of feels like a job interview and it's been a while since I've been on one of those. But we're game... it's a mailbag right?
What's the best Ralph Macchio movie? We'll go "My Cousin Vinny" then "Karate Kid" and "The Outsiders." Each produced at least one sure-fire quote that most everyone should be able to play along with: "The two Utes... What's a ute(youth)?" and "Sweep the leg" (there are a ton we use around the office from Karate Kid) and "Stay gold Pony Boy."
Song you like but are embarrassed you like? Total Eclipse of the Heat, Bonnie Tyler (but to be fair, we never really get embarrassed)
Best football player ever? This one's tough, but we'll take Lawrence Taylor.
Best athlete ever? This one's not that tough — Bo Jackson
Favorite TV show? Wow, so many. Pressed, we'd have to say "The Wire" but "The Simpsons" and "Cheers" are supremely great.
Marianne or Ginger? The Mrs. 5-at-10.
Best book you've read in the last few years? "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, the same genius who wrote "Seabiscuit." Was happy to hear the Coen Brothers are working on a script for "Unbroken" and was less than thrilled to learn Angelina Jolie was directing said project.
Well, hope we passed. Sort of.
What's the thing you're going to be watching most during spring football practice in the SEC?
Thanks and thanks for the 5-at-10.
Our SEC ace David Paschall will have a quick look around the SEC and the questions/issues for spring in Sunday's paper.
The 5-at-10 is supremely interested in the transitions of the new staffs in Auburn and in Knoxville.
How the coaches embrace the challenge, how the players embrace the coaches. That's a lot of of important embracing.
Here's hoping each of them can hug it out.
Feel free to discuss any of the above, from draft questions to the Vols tourney chances to our job interview.
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 ...