5-at-10: Sherman marches on, baseball business, Sports Movies Elite 8, Rushmore of comedians

5-at-10: Sherman marches on, baseball business, Sports Movies Elite 8, Rushmore of comedians

April 3rd, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sportscolumns

We have one word for you cats: Mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's share some knowledge.

College hoops

Now that the Cuonzo dance-off has slowed to a crawl, let's take a breath and look at the final four teams left in the NCAA tournament.

We have the preseason favorite in Kentucky, which has blended its talent with a late-season want to that only Les Miles could truly appreciate. This bunch is certainly good enough to blow through Dallas, especially since the cavernous Jerry World building is not particularly kind to shooters and UK has the athletes to score in a variety of ways.

We have the pretournament favorite in Florida, which was our pick to win the whole thing. (If the Gators finish the drill, the TFP sports editor will win the TFP office pool. Go Gators. For Entertainment Purposes Only.)

We have Wisconsin and UConn, teams peaking at the proper time.

Fun times to be sure. Who you got and why? Predictions anyone?

Talking smack and making sense

Richard Sherman has become the voice of his generation.

Like it or not, the dreadlocked, superstar cornerback made national news with his postgame rants after his Seattle Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl. He was called a thug and a punk and worse. Then the nation learned that this boisterous kid from Compton had a Stanford degree - which he got in three years while maintaining a 3.9 GPA - and some begane listening to his message instead of focusing on the volume.

Sherman is at it again.

On his regular column on the outstanding MMQB.com, Sherman posed several fair questions about DeSean Jackson's break-up with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been relatively quiet about the deal. There were media reports that Jackson had 'gang-ties' growing up near Sherman outside of L.A.

Sherman fairly asks why did the Eagles offer counseling to Riley Cooper after his famous 'I'll fight every [N-word] here' tirade at a concert last year and then resign Cooper, "who, if he's not a racist, at least has "ties" to racist activity" as Sherman wrote.

He went further. He asked why the media response for Jim Irsay, the Colts owner who was recently arrested for alleged DUI and charged with felony possession of a lot of prescription drugs. Here's Sherman's writing: "Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had "ties" to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote."

It was well-crafted and fair, and Sherman did it without playing the famous card and still had a race conversation.

And he yet again proved the ever-valid point that it's the message not the volume that carries the true weight.

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Atlanta Braves' Chris Johnson (23) gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a home run off Milwaukee Brewers' Matt Garza during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Milwaukee.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Baseball swings and misses

Your Atlanta Braves have won two in a row. They are on pace to finish 108-54, which would be pretty awesome.

Sadly, Danny Struggla is on pace to hit .182, which should be somewhat expected. So it goes.

With Wednesday's 1-0 win the spring concerns about the starting pitching were answered early with an impressive and emphatic "Shut Up" considering in three games, Braves starting pitchers have allowed have allowed three runs in 19.2 innings. And that's without potential No. 1 starter Ervin Santana taking the mound. Good times.

That said, the 'U' trio continues to struggle. Uggla (.182) and the brothers Upton (.091 and .083) have limed out of the gate. But winning is winning, no matter how it happens.

Around the diamond:

- Rick Honeycutt, the former area baseball legend and current L.A. Dodgers pitching coach, had some candid words about the MLB plan to open the season in Australia, even blaming some of the early injuries the Dodgers pitchers have suffered on the idea. Honeycutt said the entire plan was not very well though out and if it costs the Dodgers a month without Clayton Kershaw, who is on the DL with a bad back, well, Honeycutt is right.

- There were five walk-offs Wednesday. Five. Not surprisingly the Cubs have been walked-off on twice. Which leads us to two questions: One, is 'walked-off' the proper verb there? And, two, are the Cubs the sports version of the duck-billed platypus, nature's self-pleasing little joke of irony and downtroddeness?

- Big Papi is getting grief for a selfie he took with President Obama. Yes, David Ortiz had a promotional deal with Samsung, but c'mon gang. Let's lighten up a touch, huh? Side note: Big Papi may be the best teammate in all of professional sports.

- We are three games into the season and the early returns on replay are less than good. Delays are growing. One umpiring crew did not allow Padres manager Bud Black to ask for a review because of pace of play. Yes, it's early and we all should have expected kinks, but this is not a smooth start.

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This and that

Golfer Rheagan Hall

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

- Here are the Elite Eight matchups of the sports movie madness bracket we are doing on Press Row. We want you to vote on these too. Whatcha' got?

(1) Hoosiers vs. (2) Caddyshack

(1) Brian's Song vs. (2) The Natural

(1) Rocky vs. (3) Field of Dreams

(1) Bull Durham vs. (2) The Longest Yard

This will be a topic on the show today for sure. Input, as always, is welcomed.

- Fun story from TFP golf ace David Uchiyama about Cleveland middle schooler Rheagan Hall and her Augusta dreams. Loved here quote about her game plan: "My game plan is to kick butt."

- The San Antonio Spurs have won 19 in a row. In the free agent era is there a better run franchise/bigger dynasty than the Spurs? Yes, the Yankees had a decade-plus run of playoff trips but they money-whipped everyone. The Spurs have excellent pieces, arguably the best coach in all of pro sports and one of the most underrated Hall of Famers ever. And they keep right on moving on.

- The Miami Heat have a slight edge for home-court advantage in the East and kept pace with the Pacers on Wednesday with a cakewalk win over Milwaukee. And if you think homecourt is not important to Indiana, know they are 34-5 at home and 19-18 on the road.

- Another NBA note, Danny Ferry, the Atlanta Hawks GM said the final East playoff spot is not the team's goal. The Hawks are 7-21 since early February and are now in the draft lottery. The NBA has a tanking problem, and the biggest hurdle to stopping it is that tanking makes sense. If you are the Hawks, would you rather get the No. 8 seed, get steamrolled by the Heat and get the No. 15 pick in the draft? Or would you rather have a chance to put a ping-pong ball in the lottery and turn it into a potential franchise changer like Andrew Wiggins?

- Jadeveon Clowney showed out at his pro day. That is all. Dude showed he could cover receivers too. Next will be the drill in which he leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Well, that is if he's motivated or not.

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Today's question

Eddie Murphy turns 53 today, and for our money and our time frame, Murphy is on the Rushmore of funniest people ever, and his old-school stand-up - think Delirious and Raw - were over the top. Murphy parlayed that into a Hall of Fame movie career - dude had some duds for sure, but Beverly Hills Cop I and II, Trading Places, 48 Hours, Coming to America, the Shrek voices comprise a Hall of Fame catalog that has few rivals.

Who's your Rushmore of comedians?