We have vowed to use the word "Twitch" frequently after UT football coach Derek Dooley praised Jordan Williams' "twitch" earlier this week. Before we get started, we felt the need to briefly discuss Bobby Petrino, the recently fired Arkansas football coach.
Petrino, who had a career-ending affair with a 25-year-old former volleyball player, told Arkansas AD Jeff Long during Long's investigation into Petrino's lies and the ensuing cover-up, that the affair started with a kiss. With all apologies to Bill Raferty, don't all romantic relationships start with a kiss?
This is as surprising as the in-depth ESPN investigative report that some of the Oregon football players smoke pot. Began with a kiss... Duh. And it ended with a "Kiss my..." on to the mailbag.
From the "Talks Too Much Studios" here we go.
It's almost NBA playoff time and I can't wait. The Celtics look like they are peaking, the Heat can't win on the road, the Thunder are limping to the finish, the Lakers are playing better without Kobe, the Magic look terrible without Howard, and the Bulls look great without Rose. This shortened, condensed season has made rest a premium especially for an older team like the Celtics. Who are your favorites to win it all and do you think the Celtics have a shot to win championship #18?
Oh and Jay, one more thing, did you see that Warren Sapp filed bankruptcy last week? In his filing he listed as part of his assets 240 pairs of Air Jordan's. First of all, I'm 31 years old and have never owned 240 pairs of shoes my whole life. Secondly, what do you do with 240 pairs of Jordan's? Do you wear a different pair every day? Do you sleep in them? Right now I'm picturing Sapp during a show on the NFL Network looking all nice and neat wearing a tie and sport coat. Then once the show cuts to commercial he gets up and has on athletic shorts and a pair of Jordan's.
We're excited about the NBA playoffs, too. And you're right, your Celtics are peaking at the right time. With all the things the C's have going for them - playoff experienced, defensively tough, three strong crunch-time options (especially if Garnett keeps knocking down 18-footers like he has been the last three weeks) - there is a critical flaw. Rondo can't make free throws, which makes him a liability on the floor late in playoff games. Not good. Plus, how will the recent story about how Ray Allen was traded away but the deal fell through play in the locker room.
As for the favorites, we think Miami and Chicago will be in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Spurs and the Thunder will be in the Western Conference Finals. The wildcard for us is the Lakers. Andrew Bynum's playing like a young Moses Malone, Kobe Bryant is still the best big-moment player in the league and if Pau Gasol is your No. 3 option, well, you've got good options.
One more thing we're excited about in these playoffs - meaningful basketball in Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are currently the No. 7 seed in the East, which means they could face the Heat in round one. And the way Carmelo Anthony's playing, anything is possible.
As for Warren Sapp, well, we got nothing. How any grown man loves shoes that much is beyond us. We're in the same spot as you C-Vol in that we don't think we've had 240 pairs of shoes in our life. In fact, motivated by this we counted our kicks at the 5-at-10 compound. Here's the inventory:
• Chuch black shoes
• Church brown shoes
• Work black shoes
• Work brown shoes
• 3 pairs of tennis shoes
• 2 pairs of golf shoes
• Cowboy boots
• Work boots
That's 12. And no we do not have any flip-flops/sandals. There may be a few other pairs around that we have forgotten about or have misplaced, but that's our go-to shoes.
Having 240 pairs of Air Jordans is mind-boggling. And you know some of them are worth thousands of dollars.
Was just here going through the new National Football League schedule released this week. (I just find it amazing that the National Football League now seems to be able to turn anything it has into an hour long special with instant analysis and hoopla.) Anyhew, one thing that jumped out at me, and would like to get your thoughts on, is the movement by the National Football League to have games every Thursday night. The four-letter network had done a pretty decent job of creating some good prime-time conference rivalry matchups for Thursdays and will now have to compete with big brother. Surprised the National Football League wouldn't choose Friday night. But hey, the more football the better.
Great question. And this is going to be something that happens in every sport - and eventually in every major college conference - in the years to come. It figures the NFL is on the cutting edge of it, since the league is out-front on all technological and digital advances.
The NFL is creating a complete Thursday night schedule to provide the NFL network with a staple show. And if they can make Thursday night football the new Monday night football, then cable systems will be forced to come calling.
Right now, the NFL Network gets to roughly 60 million homes, which is fewer than the MLB Network, which started after the NFL Network. The MLB Network, though, has an expanded schedule of games from all parts of the country.
So the solution for the NFL is to create a new platform/time slot that does not compete with its current TV deals with other networks but gives the NFL Network some live action. Hello Thursday night football.
And don't think the Big Ten Network and the Longhorn Network and every other brand specific network is not paying close attention.
And don't think that the Friday night idea has not been discussed, but Friday night is a terrible TV night. Terrible. Not since the days of J.R. and the Ewings has there been a successful Friday night series. (Side note: If you think the 5-at-10 is stoked about the new/old "Dallas" hitting TNT this summer, well, you'd be 100 percent spot on.)
If the NFL dropped everyone and was re-forming as a league, this time with just 20 teams (thus making the player pool deeper), what players would you be targeting early in the draft? You can include players in this year's draft if you want to. I think the NFL is the toughest one to figure out of any professional sport. In basketball, you just get the best player. In baseball, you have to make a decision between pitching and hitting, but in football, you have to make decisions about whether or not an offensive lineman is the most important to keep your quarterback upright and your running back running through holes, or if a quarterback is the most important player. Do you go with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady even though they are a little older? Or do you take a flyer on Andrew Luck (who is totally unproven at the professional level) early? Or do you go with the defensive side of the ball? If so, what do you target on the defensive side, a big bull-rushing lineman? A linebacker than can fly around? A safety to make big plays? A lockdown corner? To me, the possibilities are endless, and Fantasy Football does not even come close to simulating this most of the time, since you are drafting team defenses in most leagues, and I don't know of any that actually draft offensive linemen. In baseball, Fantasy Baseball can kind of simulate this because of how statistically oriented baseball is anyway and you draft every position, though obviously that too has its imperfections. This should get your draft twitches going real good.....
Sweet buckets of internal debate we loved, Loved, LOVED this question. It gave us a twitch.
Have we mentioned we love the draft? Did you know this? Well, now the chance to redraft the drafted... sensory overload.
OK, the first thing we have to get out there is that the first 10 picks would be QBs, and may be more than that. There is no position in sports that's more important, especially with the rule changes and the premium on the passing games.
So let's get this out of the way and the first round would be all QBs and we'd go in this order (and this is not saying Cam Newton is better than Tom Brady or Andrew Luck is better than Peyton Manning, but we'd rather have 12 years of Newton than five of Brady or 15 years of Luck than three of Manning):
1) Aaron Rodgers
2) Andrew Luck
3) Eli Manning
4) Cam Newton
5) Tom Brady
6) Drew Brees
7) Matt Stafford
8) Phillip Rivers
9) Peyton Manning
10) Ben Roethlisberger
11) Tony Romo
12) Robert Griffin III
13) Matt Schaub
14) Matt Ryan
15) Mike Vick
16) Jay Cutler
17) Andy Dalton
18) Sam Bradford
19) Josh Freeman
20) Joe Flacco
(Side note: If we could draft Matt Barkley, he'd likely be in the top 10.)
From there, we'd look for players that commanded double teams or special awareness on every snap. They would also have to be related to the passing game - pass protectors, pass catchers, pass rushers or cover guys - since the league is so pass-oriented.
We'd likely go the next 20 with:
1) Calvin Johnson
2) Larry Fitzgerald
3) DeMarcus Ware
4) Jason Pierre-Paul
5) Darrelle Revis
6) Joe Thomas
7) Jake Long
8) Patrick Peterson
9) Terrell Suggs
10) Jared Allen
11) Joe Staley
12) Duane Brown
13) Victor Cruz
14) Vernon Davis
15) Rob Gronkowski
16) LeSean McCoy
17) Trent Richardson
18) Von Miller
19) Jimmy Graham
20) Earl Thomas
(Side note: We'd love to have Charles Woodson, Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu on any of our teams, but since each is getting long-in-the-tooth, it's tough to justify spending a non-QB first-rounder on any of the three.)
And yes, this would be the question we spent entirely too much time on this week.
OK, I get it, you have an unhealthy attraction to the draft. Great.
You obviously know a lot about the draft and that's super, but what's the draft contest? I like to win stuff.
You still talk too much.
Thanks for the reality check. We know folks like to win stuff - you especially. And we have to respect your contest authority, since you have three career wins, which ranks first all-time in 5-at-10 contest history. (Side note: For what it's worth, we probably wouldn't list "career wins leader in 5-at-10 contest history" on a resume. Trust us on this.)
We're still tweaking the draft contest, but here's our rough draft (see what we did there? Nice, huh?):
• First SEC player picked.
• First Titans pick (No. 20 overall)
• First Steelers pick (No. 24 overall)
• First Falcons pick (23rd pick of the second round)
• Where does B.J. Coleman end up?
One point for each with the following tie-breaker: Who is Mr. Irrelevant, the title reserved for the final pick of the draft? (If you get this right, you'll get a special prize, but if there's a tie between entries, the pick closest to last will break the tie.)
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts, questions and concerns.
(Side note: We love the draft. You know this. It makes us twitchy.)
Hello 5 at 10,
Only twice in its history has the NFL draft taken 5 players from the same team in the first round. Once in the 90's and once in the 70's. Alabama is likely to become the third team to do it later this month when the draft is held on the 26th.
Talk for a moment about how awesome Alabama is. I'll hang up and listen.
Nick Saban has Alabama in a place of rotating talent that is comparable to those late 1990s and early 2000s Miami teams that were overpowering.
In fact, we're not sure which teams you're referencing in the 1970s and '90s, but the collection of talent in Miami in the early 2000s was the best ever. The Hurricanes had five first-rounders in 2003 and six - Sean Taylor at 5, Kellen Winslow at 6, Jonathan Vilma at 12, D.J. Williams at 17, Vernon Carey at 19 and Vince Wilfork at 21 - the following year. That's some bona fide twitch, there's no doubt.
If Barrett Jones had declared for this draft, Alabama could have challenged that number this year. We know that Mark Barron, Dont'a Hightower, Trent Richardson and Dre Kirkpatrick are solid first-rounders and Courtney Upshaw is projected as late first round or early second. (Side note: We'd draft Upshaw simply because of Saban's description of him. When asked if Upshaw was the best player Saban had ever coached, the Tide boss said he couldn't name the best, but Upshaw was likely the meanest. Wow.)
It may be time to give Saban's 2008 recruiting class the proper props. See if any of these names ring a first-round bell: Mark Barron, Marcel Dareus, Dont'a Hightower, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, and Courtney Upshaw were either picked in the first round or could be next week. Terrence Cody was a second-round pick and Robert Lester and Tyler Love could be first-rounders next year.
That's nine first- or second-round picks in one recruiting class. Forget star rankings, Saban is landing future stars. Everyone knows how great a recruiter Saban is, but dude is an elite talent evaluator, too.
And, to paraphrase the prince of twitch and former Alabama football star Forrest Gump, that is all we can say nice about that.