Gang, it's been a full week. Not sure if it was a true Jimmy V full week, where we laughed we cried and we thought, as he famously extolled us to do 20 years ago last Monday.
Still it was a full week.
For those of you that sent bubble questions about your team, well, we'll cover that first and expand on some primer stuff. And since we had a near-record number of questions this week, we're going to try to get to 10 with quicker answers.
From the "Talks too much" studios, six minutes, six minutes, six minutes Dougie Fresh and you're on...
From a slew of folks,
Are the Vols in the tournament? Thanks, and you are (cocky, hilarious, talkative, and fill in the blank with a slew of adjectives).
After bubble-straining losses for Kentucky and Virginia last night, the Vols look better.
We think, if the selection was today at lunch at Wally's on McCallie, we would be there. MA MEATLOAF! We also think UT would be in. We thought that before Thursday's upsets and we think it more strongly as of this moment.
That said, we believe UT must win Saturday against Missouri and must win at least one SEC tournament game (and winning two would make next Sunday even more relaxing).
A loss Saturday at home against Missouri would be painful. So too would be a couple to three upsets in the smaller conference tournaments that have already started. Case in point, if MTSU doesn't win the Sun Belt tournament, that's likely an at-large bid for the Blue Raiders that would have gone to a bigger bubble program.
Finally, thanks for the kind to comical to critical words you folks used to describe the 5-at-10. We're happy with where this little venture is and where it's headed, and the interest and the growing numbers of folks reading the 5-at-10 is flattering. Plus, the more folks sharing ideas, the better we'll be as a family-oriented, interweb-based sports column. We're a think tank of sorts based in sports and silliness and entertainment and exchanges. And hold that think tank idea, which brings us to...
From Steeler Fan
I've been studying Butch Jones' hair in photos in the TFP. Correct me if I'm wrong but it appears the new UT football coach has come up with a unique hairstyle - a modified burr cut that he (strangely) parts in the middle. I guess, for lack of a better term, you'd call it the Butch-burr-butt-cut. Do you think this will become a fad? Anyway, it got me thinking about bad hair in sports through the years. Using your keen observational skills, could you please instruct me on the worst 10 haircuts in sports through the years.
Also, on a related topic, do you think Chia Helmets would cut down on head injuries in the NFL. (I also got this idea from Butch Jones' head.)
Thanks, and we'll take the second part first. We're not sure whether Chia Helmets would cut down on head injuries. But if players are participating in a bounty system to see who gets to wear the Chia Helmet, Roger Goodell is going to waterboard some one. In fact, here's saying Goodell is so sick of hearing about "Bountys" he even changed paper towels and punches anyone he sees wearing red flannel.
And if Butch Jones wins consistently in the SEC, here's saying the Butch-Burr-Butt cut will be a hit across the state. (We said the same thing about orange pants three years ago too and we saw how that played out. Anyone want to buy some orange pants?)
As for the worst hair in sports, well, sweet bucks of Pert and hair product, did we waste too much time on this one or what? You know we did.
We're going to move quickly here and try to get to a complete 10.
Raiders owner Mark Davis - This would be an awful haircut without the obvious comparisons to Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber. With those comparisons, though, the hair choice is simply the dumbest.
Former baseball star Oscar Gamble - We're not sure whether to be in awe of Gamble's 'Fro, to fear the 'Fro or wonder if he has PB-J sammich up in there. Picture it. It's a slow game and Gamble's in the outfield and his stomach starts rumbling. He pulls out a Snickers, or a plate of hot wings or a 12-pack of Bud Light from the Fro and he's the envy of everyone.
Former Florida basketball star and NBA journeyman Dwayne Schintzius - This was more than a haircut. This was a decision and fashion statement. And neither of them was good.
Australian darts ace Simon Whitlock - There are rednecks across the 5-at-10 readership area who just said, "Sweet!"
Hockey Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr - That is a internationally renowned mullett.
Former Oklahoma All-American and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth - Dude gets special points as the Thomas Edison of the guys who cut things - words, designs, what have you - into their hair-do.
Tennis great Andre Agassi - he pulled off the rare double of going crazy-80s and then preemptive bald. He may be the Bo Jackson of this category.
Former Illinois coach Lou Henson - who had a section of followers known as Lou's 'Do. If your hair has a fan section, your hair has arrived. Stay thirsty my friends.
Basketball journeyman Drew Gooden's reverse soul patch - If the hair decision looks like an absent-minded barber just forgot about part of your hair, it's a mistake.
Soccer great Carlos Valderamma - the international soccer cartel of hair debacles could occupy our day and have its own top 10. Let's just pick Carlos - who has the look of one of those pencil cappers that the girls in high school used with the crazy hair when you spin them - and know like a true soccer ace, he did not use his hands when fixing his hair.
From several folks
If Dennis Rodman is doing international diplomacy, what's the Rushmore of worst sports stars to send to negotiate the United States' interests around the globe?
Such a good question. And is anyone surprised after Rodman's trip to North Korea, they are now talking about using nuclear weapons on the U.S.? Seriously, who thought The Worm could work this out? And before we go any further, gang, this isinternational diplomacy, not a real-life science experiment about sleeping in a Holiday Inn Express last night. Rodman, an ambassador? Puh-lease. Is T.O. going to perform brain surgery next? How about Roger Clemens arguing before Congress... Oh wait.
OK, let's pick up the pace.
Our negative Rushmore of bad choices for former athletes as diplomats:
Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champ with the boss face tat (It would be even worse if we sent Iron Mike to a certain country he famously marred with his great malaprop: "I'm going to knock him into Bolivia." Good times.)
Lance Armstrong, the international liar, especially to any country in Europe.
O.J. Simpson. Although there would a certain steely-ness to his words.
Ward Burton. The former NASCAR driver from Virginia who has the strangest hyrbid Boston/redneck accent ever. Heck, country folks can't understand his version of English, you think it's going to translate to the Chinese?
A bonus one - former Reds owner Marge Schott as an envoy to Israel. Schott of course, before dying in 2004, went on and on in an S.I. interview about the good things Hitler accomplished. OUCH-standing
Paul Bearer ranks right at the top of the list as Great Pro Wrestling managers...who do you have at the top of your list?
Good to have back one of the OGs of the 5-at-10. Holla.
That said, we're not much into the recent wrestling scene. In fact, we missed most of the wrestling action since the early 1990s. So, in some ways our answers are going to be skewed to what we know. (Not unlike the old guy that argues Johnny U. is better than Brady or Manning. It's his time and he loves his guys. So it goes.)
With special tip of the caps to Classy Freddie Blassie, Paul Bearer (R.I.P.) and several others, here's who we got:
From Mocs Guy
I have kind of a problem. I want the Mocs to win the SoCon tournament this week -- I always want them to win.
But let's say some thing magical happens and UTC runs the table in Asheville. It would be great, right?
Would John Shulman get an extension?
Wow, this is a dilemma, huh?
We see your situation. And let's lay out the facts:
If the Mocs win the Southern Conference tournament, which starts today, UTC would play in Dayton in a play-in game.
It would be a crazy and wild four days in Asheville to be sure.
It would also mean an almost certain extension for coach John Shulman. Despite the sagging attendance numbers - which we believe will be the decisive straw for the next AD when looking at John's body of work - any mid-major team would be tickled to have a guy who has three NCAA tournament trips in less than a decade. If you fire that guy, who is going to take this job with any type of good faith in regard to expectations and reality?
Now, where you and your UTC brethren would cheer against the Mocs in a potential SoCon title game to guard against a Shulman extension is another discussion entirely, and one that would likely strain some emotional bonds and the ethical boundaries of fandom.
We asked one of the guys whose UTC opinion we respect his point on this and without attribution, and he agreed with our assessment, adding "I'm not arguing about whether or not he'd deserve one, just the way the business side of things would almost have to work on this front."
Either way, this feels a lot like debating whether a dragon or a unicorn would be the most popular attraction at the Chattanooga Zoo.
Jay - a somewhat off the wall question for the Friday mailbag and SportTalk's Racing Hour next Wednesday with Ken from the Moparosa...after the crash during the Nationwide race at Daytona, I've been wondering if the "blame" (if that's the right word) could be placed on NASCAR? Seems to me that NASCAR requiring restrictor plates at places like Daytona and Dega, creates pack racing which in turn causes the big crashes, which impacted race fans dramatically two weeks ago. Driver's assume the risk when they get in the car and get on the track. Fans shouldn't be at risk. Would eliminating restrictor plates make it safer for the fans by spreading out the field on the track (reducing the potential for the "big one")? With the HANS device and the safety barriers on the track, the drivers are more protected now. Just wondering...
Would love to hear Ken Meredith and the SportTalk guys kick this around. For those that are interested - Ken Meredith joins Quake, Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) and Cowboy Joe for the NASCAR hour Wednesdays from 6-7 on 102.3. It's good stuff.
That's an interesting question, especially legally. Although we'd be remiss not to mention on the front end that on every ticket we've ever seen, there is a caveat emptor disclamor.
That said, you're right that fans shouldn't be at risk. But a chicken and the egg version of that is, if there is no governance of the rules of these cars, the big money teams will dominate, meaning there's only a handful of contenders. If the fields narrow, so do the crowds (ask Indy Car racing).
So while the fans should never be at risk, if the absence of rules means the absence of fans, can there be fan risk if there are no fans.
The last segment was brought to you by "Deep Thoughts" with Jack Handy. "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."
From Blue Raider
In the last week, you have talked about the Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey in the Bandit in either in your column on on Sports Talk. (By the way, you guys were hilarious on the radio this week. Good stuff.)
Any way. I have two questions -- How big a redneck are you? And who wins a race between The Bandit's Trans Am and the General Lee?
Thanks and the 5-at-10 is a regular part of my day.
Such a great week of questions. Gang, take a bow. And no we're not that big of a redneck since we quit dipping Copenhagen. (And yes, the 10-percent dip in Copenhagen's stock prices may be a direct result of our decision.)
Here's our top 10 after TV/movie qualifying (sorry, we're not up on the Fast and Furious series):
Just on the outside looking in: The car in Grease; Tom Slick's Thunderbolt Grease Slapper; The A-Team van; and the Porsche Joel Goodman drowned in Risky Business.
I am curious to your opinion on the minor although loud outrage in falconville over Matt Ryan's potential new contract?
Nothing to see here.
The Falcons will get this done. In fact, we can see Ryan taking a discount to keep good talent around him.
In fact, the Falcons should make this happen sooner rather than later. Think of it this way: If Ryan negotiates without a Super Bowl title, he's not in the best bargaining position. Plus, if he is without a Super Bowl ring, he'll be more motivated to take less to insure he has the most talent around him.
That said, the Falcons can't let him go. The NFL is a QB league and the dearth of QBs out there is striking.
From ATL fan
If you were Tommy D., what would be the Falcons biggest priorities when free agency starts next week?
IUf we were Tommy D., we'd have our head on a swivel after whacking Billy Batts.
As for the Falcons GM Tommy D., look for the Falcons to add a cornerback, and there are a lot of them on the market. In fact a guy like a Sean Smith from Miami will make good sense (and good cents) since the top end of the market is going to be flooded. It's a good time to shop for a corner because if there are five superstars out there, you can get a very good player at cut rate prices. (The reverse is the QB market, where the lack of real talent means mediocre players will get real talent money.)
Also, the Falcons will need to address the running back situation. Whether it's Stephen Jackson or even breaking the bank for Reggie Bush or hoping an Eddie Lacy or the best back available is there in the draft.
Of course, job No. 1 is talking Tony Gonzalez into coming back. And we believe that will happen.
Flacco has been underrated for a while and he picked a good time to win a Super Bowl. But does that mean he should get the most money? I guess only if the Ravens were willing to pay it. But is Flacco even a top-5 QB in the league right now? Possibly. Along with the Mannings, Rodgers, and Brees. (Sorry, Brady. You've been FlaccOwned 2 years in a row.) Jay, who is your top-5 QBs in the league right now?
Fair point about Joe Flacco being underrated.
Not a fair point about Brady not being in the top five because of losing to Flacco. (And since we have Brady on our Rushmore of all-time QBs, he's going to make our top 5).
Here's our top five - Brady, Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Eli Manning.
But it's amazing the rise in Flacco's reputation because Rahim Moore miss played a Hail Mary, because we wrestled with putting Flacco fifth and can see a hard argument for him as the top guy in the next group.
That said, and we're interested in everyone's view on this, if the NFL blew up every organization and redrafted everyone, here's how we think the top of the draft board would look considering age and future and all the rest:
1) Aaron Rodgers
2) Andrew Luck
5) Calvin Johnson
Gang, great questions, and please feel free to chime in on any and all of these topics. (We know OG is got something to say about the 'rassling managers.)