From JMC —
As everyone knows, you like soccer about as much as you like moltan lava poured on your junk (what you use for conception), but you have to give credit where credit is due. For a city that does not have a NFL, NBA, or MLB team, having the city rally around Chattanooga FC for a home game playoff is something special. Especially with the Liberty Tower is light sky blue and word the Aquarium lights will follow through. Will Finley sell out for this? No. But the fact we're giving this sports team the hometown support it seems to have earned sure cause for a certain sports editor to say "Okay, I may have been wrong a little". Also, you never did answer my question (and kept pushing it back) as to why those publications I mentioned earlier regarding the Mocs rankings were so important. Please answer that. Thank you.
The Chattanooga FC has enjoyed a great year and has a strong following of loyal supporters. The TFP has noticed this — they have been routinely on the cover of the sports section when they play — and has acted accordingly.
We did the same thing for the World Cup in regard to coverage, especially when the U.S. was in action.
So as a sports editor, we are well aware that people care about soccer, and that number may be growing.
In turn, the TFP sports page is not our personal picks of favorite sports — if that were the case, there'd be way, more Auburn football (American-version) in your sports page on a daily basis — so we're not sure how you want us to admit being wrong. Is there growing interest? We think so. There are more people who know more about the game for a slew of reasons we have discussed ad nauseam. (Side note: We believe the crowds at the FC are there for the event as much as the soccer. It's Chattanooga. If there's a crowd — and beer — and the weather's nice, a few thousand will show up. Plus, the winning helps.)
But OG made an interesting point earlier this week about the Lookouts regularly drawing crowds roughly the same as Chattanooga FC and we talk about baseball is dying and soccer is ready to explode. Is there more interest in soccer? Yes. But we believe it is a far, Far, FAR cry from "exploding" as a spectator sport in this country.
Sorry for the other omission — thought we addressed that earlier this summer. In short, preseason rankings, especially in FCS where there is a playoff, mean very little in the grand scheme of things. For UTC, a team trying to build an established program, a preseason ranking is a nice carrot and way to get the name and brand out there.
But in overall importance, preseason rankings — be them from the magazines or from the voting at the conference media events — are a fun summer-time snack, like chilled watermelon.
From Buschleaguer —
5- Enjoyed the British this weekend. Early broadcasts are a beautiful thing. Any comparison of Rory to Tiger/Jack is grossly premature however. Right now he's a lot closer to Phil; big wins big losses. If he gets the Masters in the next year or two though he is on a whole new level. 5 yesterday I heard you say the Opens were a tie with the Masters way out in front. Taking emotion out of it how can the Masters with all the amateurs and past champs (no chance) be in front? Mailbag: Should Tom Watson reinstate the player/captain role and name Phil, Tiger and himself to the Ryder Cup team?
Amen on the early broadcasts are a beautiful thing. Love Wimbledon on July 4 weekend for a very similar reason.
Agree on Rory — the Tiger comparisons are at least four more majors away, but the thing that can't be ignored is Rory has started quickly and has our attention at least for the next couple of years in terms of a very clear and definitive question that means you have arrived. It's not if or when for Rory; it's "How many?" And that adds drama and interest — two things golf sorely needs since Tiger became human and Phil caught the stinky.
As for the Masters, yes, it's the one we'd want to win, and it's a lot of things. Your contention that the field is the weakest is valid, but that's part of the charm. You could be Mike Weir and you get to come back every year. You get the pomp and circumstance of the champion's dinner. Yes, winning either Open is a more impressive golf accomplishment, but winning the Masters is next level in our view. In fact, if we had a Rushmore of trophies we'd want to win, the Green Jacket and an Olympic Gold medal are neck-and-neck for being far left.
Love the way Watson has emerged and continues to play well, and considering the limited depth on the U.S. team this year — there are 11 Americans in the world golf rankings top-20, and three of those (Woods, Mickelson and Stricker) are not among the Ryder Cup qualifiers right now — why not Watson. Dude beat Tiger on Sunday at the British after all.
In all seriousness, the Euros would be what, a three-point Ryder Cup favorite right now considering it's over there and the top-four ranked players in the event — Rory, Stenson, Rose and Sergio — will be playing for them. (And that's not counting Martin Kaymer, who went all Blitzkrieg on everyone at the U.S. Open. It could be a blood bath.
I have started reading the 5-at-10 after hearing you and Paschall on Press Row. Love the radio show. You guys are funny and seriously know your stuff -- way more than anyone else around.
I heard you yesterday throw a rushmore of impressions after you played the thing F. Caliendo did with LeBron's letter. That got me thinking... who would be on that Rushmore?
Thanks and keep up the great work here and on the air.
Thanks for the kind words and for listening. Welcome to our little end of the interweb. Pull up chair and stay a while.
As far as a Rushmore of impersonators, we'll give you two:
Overall best impersonators: Rich Little, Frank Caliendo, Eddie Murphy, Jimmy Fallon (seriously underrated)
As for the Rushmore of single and renowned impersonations: Rich Little doing Carson, Dana Carvey doing George Bush I, Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin, Caliendo doing Gruden
Jay-on the gulf coast confirming your theory about co-colas. So far I concur but I need a few more days to be sure. Sergio was one bad round by Rory away from a major championship. 6 under in the final round made Rory hear footsteps. I still believe he's got a major in him. Ready for football. High school, college, and nfl. For the mailbag. What are 5 things i need to watch for this fall?
We stand by our theory that Co-Colas taste better and go down smoother at the beach than anywhere else. But we re-iterate that this is just a theory and needs to be tested and re-tested by everyone as many times as possible. It's science people; sometimes we have to sacrifice for science.
We hope Sergio has a major in him. He certainly has received the scars to be battle-tested. That said, if it had ever gotten actually tied with a hole or three to play, we're pretty sure Sergio would have three-putted. Dude's charge at this Open was not unlike the three-run homer in an 8-1 game. It's nice and looks good in the box score, but would it have happened when the chips were on the table?
Football is still more than a month off, so we'll give you five things to watch on the immediate horizon:
1) All-around TFP ace Stephen Hargis' annual prep high school football tour will be Monday when practice starts in Tennessee. This is a labor of love for Mr. Hargis, who will be covering UTC football this fall in addition to some high school football on Friday nights.
2) We are super-stoked by the Best of Preps high school football kickoff presented by Madaris at Finley Stadium. McCallie against Cleveland on Thursday, Aug. 21. Should be a monster crowd for two of the best teams in the area.
3) Keep an eye on the QB battles in Knoxville. We believe it will be Josh Dobbs' job when it's all said and done because of the promise of the future. Brick-by-brick and all.
4) Look for Jacob Coker to get the nod in Tuscaloosa sooner rather than later.
5) We're curious to hear what Auburn announces as Nick Marshall's punishment. We do not expect him to miss any game time, but that possibility still exists.
That's just the horizon stuff. It's here. It's happening.
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 ...