published Friday, January 17th, 2014

5-at-10: Friday mailbag on Manning-Brady, best TV sitcom characters, Mocs hoops and NCAA changes

Gang, we are running super late this morning as the Lil' 5-at-10 had an event at his school.

Thanks for your patience and for a great run of questions. Good times.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's start this three-hour tour.

From sportsfan —

  • photo
    This Oct. 2, 1978 file photo shows Russell Johnson, as the professor, posing during filming of a two-hour reunion show, "The Return from Gilligan's Island," in Los Angeles.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Jay - just heard the professor from Gilligan's Island passed away. Reminded me of all those old sitcoms from the 60's and 70's. I'm older than I look. Gilligan, Partridge Family, Beverly Hillbillies, Hogan's Heroes, etc. What's your Rushmore of early sitcom characters?

Sportsfan —

Dude (or dudette), you know how to speak to our heart. Well-played indeed.

And for those of you have not heard, The Professor from Gilligan's Island and Rueben from The Patridge Family went to the big rerun in the sky on Thursday. Let's observe a moment of silence. That'll do.

OK, sitcom characters from the early days of TV. Wow, we love this question. In fact, if we could work the draft into this, it would be a Hall of Famer. OK, since the question asked for a Rushmore of 60s and 70s, we're going to break it down in two categories, but not by decade. We're going to go with black-and-white and color as long as a majority of the run happened before 1980. Deal? Deal.

Black and White division

1) Barney Fife. No brainer for us. Dude was a magician and made everyone on that show better. He was the star of the show by being the butt of the jokes. Genius.

2) Lucy. Sure, she was playing herself, but she was so funny that it didn't really matter. If Elvis is the King, Lucy is the Queen of Comedy.

3) Ralph Kramden. Jackie Gleason was so good and so money as the star of "The Honeymooners." That show holds up surprisingly well if you get the chance to catch it, and not unlike everyone in this category, Gleason was hilarious without saying a word.

4) Rob Petry. Want underrated, try Dick Van Dyke, who could do it all. This one may not make all your lists, but as the lead character in his self-titled show, he was able to balance slapstick and straight humor better than almost anyone. He also introduced us to a young Mary Tyler Moore, so there are bonus points for that.

Color (To be fair, we withheld the sketch shows like Laugh-In, Carol Burnett and SNL because those were more about collaboration and skits ad being live than the characters in the moment.

1) Archie Bunker. This is a no-brainer.

2) Louie DePalma. Danny DeVito was awesome as the antagonist in Taxi .

3) Frank Burns. While a slew of the early M*ASH characters could be included here, when Burns left, Alan Alda turned one of the great comedies of all-time into a social platform for statements and moral lessons that arguably is the single worst trend in the modern sitcom world. Is there anything worse than a 30-minute comedy trying to tackle a real-world issue or take a stand. We all have Hawkeye Pierce to blame for that, and it all happened after Burns left.

4) Ted Baxter. The Mary Tyler Moore show may be one of the most underrated shows of our modern era because it was not a big syndicated hit like a slew of the ones above. It didn't need to be since it was the foundation of Murphy Brown in a lot of ways. (The MTM show was thef irst creation of legendary Hollywood mind James L. Brooks.) And since the question was about great characters, there are few better than the Ted Knight-played Ted Baxter, who was one of the all-time great scene-stealers in a cast full of them.

And this is leaving off a slew of stud ducks, including Jed Clampett, who deserves some residuals from the Duck Dynasty craze, The Fonz, Laverne and Shirley, Fred Sanford, JJ Evans and several more.

Great question.

————

From AReader

  • photo
    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning calls an audible at the line of scrimmage against the San Diego Chargers in the second quarter of an NFL divisional playoff football game in Denver.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Man, did I hear you on the radio saying Brady is better than Peyton? Just when I thought you were not a typical crazy whack job newspaper liberal.

How can you pick some yankee pretty boy over Manning. Peyton is the best quarterback to ever play the game -- college or pro. He is awesome and you know and you are just a hater.

I will never listen to your stupid radio show ever again and this is the last email you will see from me. You suck.

AReader —

We did not use your name or your email, but thanks for formerly listening and formerly reading.

We do pick Brady over Manning. Dude has done more on the grand scale.

It's a team game of course, and the fact that each QB has allowed us front-row seat to one of the all-time individual duals in sports has been a treat — for us and for them. Whether they know it or not the need each other and feed off each other.

This is bigger than Bird-Magic because it is (Cue Jaws) THE NATIONAL Football League. The NBA in the 1980s was fine and Bird-Magic gets bonus points for saving the league.

But Brady-Manning in a lot of ways lifted the NFL from the most popular sport in America to the juggernaut monolith that it has become. Did you know that regularly three of the top 10 shows on a weekly basis this fall were NFL wrap up shows?

Manning and Brady have been the lightning poles for that growth.

And we'll side with Brady — in the historic perspective and this weekend — because of the way he has delivered in the biggest of moments.

Think of it this way, Manning does his best work before the play starts; Brady does his best work when the stuff hits the fan.

Manning is one of the best of all-time, but you can't be the best of all-time if you are not the best of your generation, and Brady has edge in Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl trips and head-to-head.

It was either renowned philosopher Nietzsche or Ric Flair who said, "If you wanna be the man you gotta beat the man."

And the Brady is the man who has delivered the most beatings.

————

From UTC Fan

  • photo
    Will Wade
    Photo by Maura Friedman.
    enlarge photo

You said from the very beginning that you liked Will Wade. After his 4-0 start (Note: Mocs are now 5-0, this e-mail was sent Tuesday), I think we all like him now.

What impresses you the most about the Mocs new coach and the great start in the SoCon?

Thanks and thanks for the 5-at-10 -- I started reading after you spoke at the QB Club and have really enjoyed it.

UTC Fan —

We were impressed by two things from the very start from Mr. Wade.

The first was his passion. Dude is going to work at this. And that was such a coveted commodity after the way the run under John Shulman ended.

Second was Wade's commitment and devotion to his system and his skills. Wade knows the game. And to spin forward from this, we are even more impressed that he has flexed his system and morphed it to fit the Mocs current talent.

His energy is infectious and his knowledge is power. Dude is a big-timer, and that would not change if he was 5-0 or 0-5 in the league right now. Sure it buys him way more street cred and generates more confidence and enthusiasm with that success but it does not change Mr. Wade's skills, good or bad.

Here is UTC Hoops ace David Uchiyama's report from the road last night. And here is Uch's road blog.

————

From RustyVol

5-at-10:

With all the talk, studies, increased awareness about concussions in football and the damage concussions and head injuries can do to a person, how do you and the Mrs. feel about the lil' 5-at-10 wanting to play one day? I love the game just as much as the next guy and believe that grown men know the risk they are taking when playing. I'm not sure how I will feel if my little guy decides he wants to play one day and just wanted the opinion of a fellow father and sports fan. Keep up the good work.

RustyVol —

We have already started this conversation.

The Lil' 5-at-10 just turned 6 and did not play last fall.

Personally, we know we got so much from sports that we want our tots to be involved them. Above all, athletics teach you to deal with success and failure and hammer home the fundamental truth that you if you work at something you can get better and the more you work the better you will be.

As for football, we have a full believe that you can't live your life worrying about the bad things that 'could' happen. But this is not about us... it's about our kids and that choice is infinitely more taxing.

In short, we are leaning toward letting him playing next fall — he loves to play football in the yard — and if we asked the Mrs. 5-at-10, she's likely leaning the other way.

In short, we have no answer. What was the question again.

————

From Dick Grayson

Holy Snikees Bat 5@10, are you really saying the NCAA is not going to fix the problem and try and make it all go away by giving penauts to the players? Say it ain't so Joe.

OK, all-mighty, all-knowing 5@10, you get a handful of NCAA changes, what do you do and where do you start?

Thanks and as much as I love the 5@10 -- it's the reason I subscribe to the website -- you and Paschall are great on the radio. Seriously.

Young Robin —

Great name by the way. And Holy buckets of pomp and circumcision, let's do this Batman.

1) Penalties for NCAA violations would be levied against those that commit them. Coaches that cheat — or turn a blind eye to cheating would get the brunt of the punishment. Players that cheat are out. Booster that cheat are out, and the schools and programs are responsible for the boosters. Schools have hundreds of millions for facility expansions, they can afford hundreds of thousands for added compliance.

2) Completely overhaul the investigation and enforcement arms of the NCAA. This should be an active group that is accountable to the membership and the public. There also should be a statue of limitations on all activities. Once the investigation starts, the clock is ticking. If you find nothing in a year, then so be it. No more 28-month inquiry with unknown conclusions. The classifications of penalties need to be expanded too. Secondary and Major infractions as the only two options is dumb. Have at least four, and make it so the most egregious means the NCAA hires a third-party firm to investigate and suggest punishment according to previous standard. (The most recent NCAA basketball tournament TV deal was in the billions of dollars. The NCAA can afford it.)

3) Structure Division I college football looking toward the future and planning for an eight-team playoff. Want radical, try this line of thinking?

• The playoff field would be champions from the top six conferences. The strength of the conferences would be determined by an agreed-on computer generated ranking. Add in two at-large teams and viola.

• There are eight conferences eligible to play for the College Football Playoff championship each year, of which the above teams are picked. At the end of each year, the bottom two conferences according to above computer-generated rankings is dropped into the lower division of conferences and the top two computer-ranked conferences are promoted to be eligible for the Playoff. This system is similar to what they do in the pro soccer league across the pond.

• The big-boy money is staggered among the eight conferences eligible for the CFP. The lower division could still play for a spot in the title game at Frisco, as long as they get that turf fixed.

How about that Joker?

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.
sportsfan said...

For the record it's dude. Excellent response for a last minute query. Concur with your assessment of MASH. Didn't think about MTM until you mentioned Ted Baxter. Great call.

January 17, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.
chas9 said...

Which one of The Brady Bunch was Tom? Don't remember him.

Peyton's sly explanation of "Omaha" makes me think he has a future in stand-up if his neck tests come back negative. Using "Ooltewah" raises the thorny dilemma of do you pronounce the L. Even the residents of that fine community are split on the question. Maybe with the L is a run play, no L is a pass…

I really wish I was excited about the KY-TN game tomorrow, but it's not like the old days.

It's a crying shame they don't play home and home every year, but this year the one game is at Rupp, and the margin will be double digits. Martin's teams have disrupted Kentucky's transition game lately, so The Wildcats will not look like a well-oiled machine.

But UK will dominate the paint and frustrate the so-called Tennessee half-court game, resulting in Cuonzo's cagers relying too much on the long shot. If they're hot, it could be a game. If not, the margin will approach 20.

Both teams' bigs may develop foul trouble, but The Cats are deeper, so Stokes and/or Maymon could miss crucial minutes, and Kentucky will hope to improve on its heretofore paltry free throw percentage.

The Vols could make hay if Stokes and Maymon kick it out to deadeye McRae. UK's unproven freshman wings will have taken a big step if they can limit his damage.

January 17, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[...and Brady has edge in Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl trips and head-to-head.]

But he has played for one coach, one system, with better Ds, and with better special teams overall. And Spygate taints a lot of what the Pats accomplished through 2007. Maybe more so for Belicheat, but still. I believe Goodell did them a huge favor by destroying those tapes and not letting the public see what was in them.

The sad thing about Spygate is that Belicheat is good enough as a coach that he shouldn't have had to resort to that kind of cheating to try to gain an extra edge. If Peyton and Brady had switched teams for their whole careers, there's no doubt in my mind that Peyton would finish with at least 5 Super Bowl wins. He is clearly the better QB than Brady.

Will Wade has done as well with this group as I had hoped thus far this season. This team wasn't lacking talent, but they did lack consistent effort and results. Wade runs a tighter ship than Shulman did and that has helped with this younger group of guys who are still trying to find their way. The schedule is about to get a little tougher with games against the top 3 in the conference coming up. And Wofford won't be easy tomorrow; they played very tentative against us last week for the first 35 minutes or so. I think they'll be a little more crisp against us tomorrow at their place.

January 17, 2014 at 11:33 a.m.
Buschleague said...

5- Safe to say Brady and Manning will be considered 2 of GOAT. Personally I can't imagine either being all that consumed with 'legacy' the way we as fans are, not now anyway. Sunday should be great theatre all the way around. As my old wrestling coach used to tell us "Watch the games, respect the opponents and may the best man win today".

P.S. On Brady's HOF plaque do you think they will put a little prop with Adam Vinitiari's picture on it? Assuming he doesn't get in on his own.

January 17, 2014 at noon
jgreeson said...

Mr. Sportsfan —

Thanks, and thanks for the great question.

9er —

We did not get to the UK-UT match-up, but we concur with your double-digit pick.

And we prefer the 'L' in Ooltewah.

Stewwie —

One coach yes, but far from one system. In fact, as far as system goes, Manning had more stability in Indy with Tom Moore than Brady did with the slew of OCs that ran through New England.

And yes, the Pats had a better D, but that's because Indy had a better O with Edge James, Harrison, Wayne, Clark, et al. over the long haul.

There is no debating that Brady has delivered the good more often and more consistently in big moments, and that's why he gets the edge from us.

Concur that the Mocs' test is about to get more challenging, but we're still up front on WadeWagon.

Buschleaguer —

Completely concur, but here's saying each Brady and Manning are more aware and focused on their respective legacies than they may let on. Those dudes are supremely competitive — comes with the territory — and we think they are aware.

But they for sure in the discussion of GOAT.

And we meant to include this earlier, but we have had a couple left-leaning folks in the TFP office come by and say AReader's assessment of us as 'liberal' is insulting to liberals.

Amen and pass the ammo.

January 17, 2014 at 12:23 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Yeah, they'll tuck Brady somewhere in the Hall.

January 17, 2014 at 12:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

We see what you did there and we like it.

You (tuck) Rule.

January 17, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Give Coach Wade a couple or three years and we will be making an impact in basketball that will be known nationwide. The wagon has room, you are welcome to board.

January 17, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[And we meant to include this earlier, but we have had a couple left-leaning folks in the TFP office come by and say AReader's assessment of us as 'liberal' is insulting to liberals.]

So Jay is liberal simply because he ranks Brady ahead of Peyton?? That's funny. In that case, I guess that Cook, Sohn, and Bennett are definitely cheering for Brady!

January 17, 2014 at 1:36 p.m.
golfgal said...

Being that he's from Cali and went to school at Michigan not sure Brady is a Yankee, he is pretty tho..

January 17, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.
Buschleague said...

Jay If PFM wins his next 2 games becoming the only player ever to bring Lombardi home to 2 separate franchises and at the same time bring his 5head-to-head playoff record to 2-2 with Brady, does that tip the scales in his favor as GOAT? Others have won 3 Super Bowls before..

It's OK to wish a little harm on you rival isn't it?

--Tonya Harding

January 17, 2014 at 2:24 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Brady > Manning? I always knew you were smart, 5, and you displayed it again.

MAS*H had its moments during the Larry Linville/McLean Stevenson years of delivering messages, but they were far more subtle in those days and less overt than they were during the Mike Farrell/David Ogden Stiers era.

But your black and white/color sitcom Rushmores are pretty good. Can't argue much with those, even if I lean toward Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes. Werner Klemperer, who played Col. Klink, and his family actually fled from the Nazis to make it to America. Robert Clary, the last surviving cast member, who played LeBeau, was in a Nazi camp during the war.

January 17, 2014 at 3:40 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Sad about Th Professor dying from Gilligan's Island. . . . and people always ask " Ginger or Mary Ann ? " . . . but if you are on a desert island, why do you have to choose ?. . . i know this is a G-rated forum, but why not choose Lovey ? She is rich and you could still cheat on her with Ginger and Mary Ann . . .

January 17, 2014 at 3:44 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, please, please, please tell me whoever is doing desk Sunday night won't be using a "Rocky Mountain High" headline for Monday's paper? Or a "Blount's smokin'"?

January 17, 2014 at 5:16 p.m.
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