5-at-10: Friday mailbag with NCAA future, best HBO shows and the NBA's best

5-at-10: Friday mailbag with NCAA future, best HBO shows and the NBA's best

April 25th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

From TJ

Future of college athletics seem as unknown as ever. The Northwestern thing and then the release from the NCAA you and David talked about today on Press Row. Crazy.

It's impossible to know but what do you think college sports will look like in 10 years? Will they be paying players and will the NCAA even exist?

Thanks and man you and and Paschall have a great radio show. It's a lot of fun.

TJ -

Thanks for listening and the feedback.

Yes, the future of the NCAA is cloudy and the spectrum ranges from dead to overhauled to who knows.

The one thing we believe to be certain is that change is coming. What format that change assumes is unknown.

This morning the Northwestern football players are voting whether or not to form a union. The votes will be stored until the school's appeals are heard.

Whatever you think about unions is up to you, but we believe if one of the Northwestern players asked our opinion, we'd tell him to vote no for the following reasons:

1) This issue will not be decided for months or maybe even years, and a lot of these guys would be making decisions for other players not knowing what the future situations may hold. And a big reason we are in this mess is because we had way too many NCAA bigwigs making way too many decisions on the behalf of others.

2) Once you invite a union in, it is difficult to go back, and considering the unknowns of the moment and the possible reform on the horizon, if you are going to err, the error on the no vote is far less permanent.

The outcome of the union vote is crucial, even though it only affects Northwestern at the moment and private schools in general.

And we're not sure how to react after the NCAA actually made a forward-thinking gesture by suggesting the power five conferences having more autonomy - hello, full cost of attendance.

Whether you believe in 'paying players' or not - and we have forever been against it because players are paid with scholarships and the opportunities and advantages that come with them - the NCAA had to allow the big five more chances to address concerns that pertain to them or risk the big five leaving on their own.

And we have to believe the NCAA is fully aware that without the big five, the NCAA's future looks even bleaker.


LeBron James

LeBron James

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

From Stewwie

Aldridge as a top 4 player in the league? Just curious, who is your other guy in that bunch besides Durant and LeBron? I would put Aldridge in the top 15 for sure, and a good case can be made for top 10. But not top 4 right now.

Le5-at-10 sounds great. Side question: Your son's real name is LeeBron, right? Lee for short?

Stewwie -

Excellent question.

There's a clear top two - in LeBron and KD. And we still believe that's the proper order even if we have no problem with Durant winning the MVP this year.

From there, determining the best player in the league is difficult. There are guys who score buckets who can't guard (Hi, Carmelo). There are guys who can seriously stroke but are limited in other areas (Steph Curry, who is pretty close to the list).

It's an interesting debate, but if we had to pick top four, we'd have Kevin Love and Chris Paul with LeBron and KD. Curry, Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Joakim Noah, Anthony Davis and maybe Russell Westbrook in the top. There are a few other youngsters like Kyrie Irving and John Wall that are close. And who knows what to make of Derrick Rose, you know?


From FEChancellor

NFL Schedule??? When's the Draft??? Did I miss it?

FE to the C -

Do you think we'd let you miss the draft? Of course not.

In fact, we will have another draft contest this year Where we put a few draft questions out there and whomever gets the most right wins. Deal? Deal.

That said - and everyone knows how much we love the draft - how did we get to the point that the NFL schedule is a prime time event? And to make the theatrics of Wednesday night worse, we already knew which teams would play whom. This was just the dance card order, and it still draws big ratings.

And all of it to see who plays on Thanksgiving and when Brady and Manning will face off.

Still the draft is less than two weeks away, and we're wondering how this much ballyhooed quarterback bunch will be picked. It's funny that we are 10 years from the only draft that produced more than one quarterback who went on two win multiple Super Bowl titles.


From James

I started reading the 5-at-10 after listening to your radio show. Thanks for giving me something to do at work before lunch.

A friend of mine and I were talking about this the other day, and I wanted to get your take. I heard you talking about binge watching Game of Thrones right? Well, here's my question, what is your top five of HBO shows? I say Game of Thrones is the best ever and my friend says there is no way it is better than the Sopranos.

What do you say? And keep up the good work on Press Row -- you guys are killing it.

James -

Thanks for the kind words and for listening and reading along. The radio has been a fun adventure so the feedback is nice.

A top five of HBO shows, huh. Here's our list - and these are shows rather than made by HBO movies:

1) The Wire - on our Rushmore of all-time TV shows

2) Game of Thrones - another great season or two and it could move to No. 1

3) Sopranos - Too much of a roller coaster; there were some incredible episodes, but there were some sleeper seasons, too.

4) Entourage - Faded in the end, but when it was in its stride, it was appointment TV.

5) Oz - Haunting and so unforgettable that the actors that were in Oz, when you see them now, you think, "Oh that was so-and-so in Oz." Seriously.

Toughest omission - The Larry Sanders Show, which was great.

Side note: We never watched Curb Your Enthusiasm or Eastbound and Down, and we missed the mini-season of True Detective earlier this year.


Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

From Bubba

Is Tiger Woods ever going to be Tiger Woods again? Man I miss having him to root against if that makes sense.

Bubba -

It makes perfect sense. We all miss Woods - not a huge secret considering the huge drop in ratings at Augusta this year without Tiger in the mix.

But Tiger returning to the course does not equate to Tiger returning to being Tiger. We're not sure it will ever happen, to be honest. We're hopeful, but the injuries on top of his now-stripped away air of being bulletproof, and it's hard to see it.

Sure he could win some more tournaments and even a major or two - not unlike Jordan dropping 35 for the Wizards - but being the Tiger Woods of circa 2001 is never going to happen, and that is as much about how great Tiger 2001 was as anything else. Who knows if we ever see someone get to that point of dominance in golf ever again.

It brings up an interesting question: Was the stretch of 1996-98 the greatest congregation of sports stars of all time? Consider the following:

Hoops: Jordan was on top and starting to wind down

Baseball: Coming out of the strike, McGwire and Sosa went homer crazy.

Golf: A young Tiger Woods was emerging on the scene

Football: Manning was drafted in 1997, starting a record-setting run of excellence as the NFL zoomed to the top of the sports realm.

NASCAR: a young Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt were going toe-to-toe.

Boxing: Mike Tyson was a circus show, but he also was the last relevant heavyweight

Man, that's a lot of star power.