published Friday, July 11th, 2014

5-at-10: Friday mailbag

Gang, another excellent week. Well played all around.

From a several of you in various forms

Looking to Press Row at SEC media days. How are you going to vote in the preseason poll?

Gang —

As we have detailed throughout the week, Paschall, Wells and the blockheaded TFP sports editor are headed to B-Ham for SEC media days. Good times.

We'll live coverage here at timesfreepress.com and we'll broadcast live from the hotel at the event next Monday-Thursday from 3-6 p.m. Better times.

As for our preseason ballot — and we'll get Paschall's later today and publish it — we'd go like this:

  • photo
    Alabama football coach Nick Saban sees the NCAA adjustment to governance as a step in the right direction. (AP File Photo/Rusty Costanza)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

West

1) Alabama

2) Auburn

3) LSU

4) Miss. State

5) Ole Miss

6) Texas A&M

7) Arkansas

  • photo
    Georgia starting quarterback Hutson Mason (14) warms-up under the watchful eye of coach Mark Richt 2013 file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

East

1) Georgia

2) South Carolina

3) Missouri

4) Tennessee

5) Florida

6) Kentucky

7) Vandy

We'll detail this a little more this afternoon. Deal? Deal.

From Stewwie

Is Hargis going to be doing the Mocs' football beat throughout the season? If so, looking forward to it. Dude is aces.

Stewwie —

We are planning on writing a column about the changes in gigs within the TFP sports realm. But we may as well get this thing started, right?

Yes, Stephen Hargis, who Thursday night received his award as the TSWA sports writer of the year, will be covering UTC football for us and you this fall. He has been an accomplished prep sports writer for more than two decades and wanted to try a college beat. We feel he certainly will be able to reach the lofty standards set by previous UTC scribes, most recently John Frierson.

Gene Henley will cover UTC basketball this year, taking over from the capable hands of David Uchiyama. Gene played college hoops and has his eyes on covering the sports from the inside out. Uch is still with us, and after more than a decade watching the Mocs dribble, pass and shoot, wanted a new challenge. He will focus on golf and project reporting while also picking up loose ends around the spectrum of local sports.

Among those loose ends would be the occasional Mocs women's basketball game, but that beat will primarily belong to Jim Tanner, our assistant sports editor who has become a Jim of trades whose range scales from office duty at night to editing stories to writing outdoor features for our magazines to now covering the artists formerly known as the Lady Mocs (in hoops and in softball).

We splintered the many beats at UTC athletic (in addition to the names mentioned above, Ward Gossett handles wrestling and Ron Bush knows all about all when it comes to the smaller sports) because we pride ourselves on giving UTC more coverage across the board than any school its size anywhere.

This also will mean Hargis and Henley will still have responsibilities in the high school sports arena too, but this is a chance for some fresh views and ideas on two of our most important beats. If you don't already, you can follow Hargis on Twitter at @StephenHargis and Gene at @genehenleytfp

Thanks for the question, and please feel free to ask anything about our sports section. We use the third person pronouns around these parts for effect most of the time, but when we talk about the TFP sports section, I firmly believe its OUR sports section. All of us that read and enjoy it. I am just the steward of the ship, and I am always open to input, ideas and discourse that could help make it better.

From Grateful Dog

I need a Rushmore ruling over here. Can big screen bowlers be considered sports movie villains? Would "The Jesus" from The Big Lebowski qualify as a sports movie villain? What about Big Ern from Kingpin?

GD —

Of course they count, especially Big Ern from Kingpin. That dude was nuts.

We started several Rushmores and have had a few on Press Row and we appreciate everyone playing along. Good times.

We wanted to address this one because we never settled on four, so let's do just that (in no specific order):

Side disclaimer: Ivan Drago has two of the greatest evil sports lines of all-time. "If he dies, he dies" is money and "I must break you" is also great. Still, we put Drago and Johnny Lawrence from Karate Kid in the same category that they were more pieces in an evil machine than a true villian. We're open to discussing this but that's where we are.

Clubber Lang — He was more villian than Drago for the reasons above. Plus, he propositioned Adrian and was in the scuffle that led to Mickey dying, ergo, he killed Mickey. Plus, he had a hand in getting Apollo and Rocky to train together, which led us to the most awkward hug in sports movie history; ergo villian.

Roy Turner — Manager of the Denny's Yankees in the Bad News Bears. All-around bad dude who also slapped his kid on the mound in the title game. Poorly played indeed.

The Nazis in Victory because, well, they are the Nazis.

Judge Smails — Ty, your father and I we built this club... Judge, my dad never liked you. Plus he sent boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it, but he felt he owed it to them. That's evil friends. E-V-I-L.

  • photo
    Miami Heat forward LeBron James shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) during their Game 2 of the NBA finals on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in San Antonio.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

From Rick on Press Row on ESPN 105.1 FM

Why is it that we expect LeBron and other superstars to take less money?

Rick —

We enjoyed the passion and the discussion Thursday, highlighted by this question. We paraphrased this question a bit because we thought it was an interesting discussion.

We're not sure anyone 'expects' LeBron to take less money. If the money is there, take it. The debate is on which is more valuable — more money or more chances to win titles. That's for each player to decide.

Yes, players like Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan who took less money so their team could have more cap room to add more talent are praised for that. It's a personal sacrifice for the good of the team, and that's almost always praised in team sports. The converse of that is true as well, considering Kobe Bryant got some heat for taking max money are hamstringing the Lakers' cap position. Does Kobe Bryant deserve max money? Of course he does, but the system is the system, and value — be it wealth or winning — is the debate.

Now, like Rick said on his call, it's true that the coaches nor the management are agreeing to take less in an effort to help the franchise.

From LB

Man, this is a slow time for sports. I enjoy listening to you and David and this week has been fun even if there's nothing much to talk about.

I heard today you mention something about having your own sports awards show like the ESPYs. That would be pretty cool.

What would you suggest for the categories?

Thanks and keep up the good work. My buddies and me listen every day.

LB —

Thanks so much for the kind words.

First and foremost now would be the time to say that the ESPYs are on our Rushmore of most worthless sporting events out there with the Pro Bowl, the World Cup consolation game and the NBA All-Star challenge.

Still, we were talking about having a sports award show and we'll kick it around some more. We were going to call the awards the Swells in honor of Wells Guthrie our ESPN producer.

We'll open the floor: What categories should we consider? 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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Buschleague said...

5- The NBA version of musical chairs is pretty fascinating so far. In sports business or life in general most of us want to deal with winners if possible. The Cavs owner is savvy in business for sure but as an owner not so much. (winning #1 pick twice is pure luck). The organization has to come in to consideration for Lebron right?Pat Riley won titles as player coach and executive and is highly respected league wide. Dan Gilbert..seems like a no brainer where James would sign. What's your guess?

July 11, 2014 at 10:33 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Good stuff, Jay. Thanks for the info. And thanks for the great coverage on the Mocs. Well done all around in the Sports section. Keep up the good work.

So now it's official...LeBron back to the Cavs. I'll admit that I'm excited as an NBA fan to see him pair with Irving. And now he's back where he should have been this whole time. That said, I never thought LeBron would go back after all that's happened. Kudos to Gilbert and others for being able to somehow pull this off.

July 11, 2014 at 2:19 p.m.
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