5-at-10: Johnny Finger, College football lookaround, Braves and chance to win tickets

5-at-10: Johnny Finger, College football lookaround, Braves and chance to win tickets

August 19th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Remember the mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's make the magic happen.

Johnny Finger

So that happened.

Johnny Manziel - aka Johnny Football; aka Johnny Melonhead, aka Bieber's Buddy - got a lot of the reps on a national stage Monday night as he tried to take the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback job.

The lasting image of course was not his subpar accuracy or his erratic play or even the fact that his chief competitor - Bobby Hoyer - was even worse for a Cleveland offense that was offensive to even the causal viewer.

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

No, the lasting image was Johnny Finger giving the Washington Redskins a one-finger salute after yet another bad throw and another round of heckling.

Is this a big deal in the grand scheme of things? Of course not. But it's another addition to the grocery list of doof-tastic moments for Johnny Bonehead.

And we're not even talking Vegas or all the rest of the sidetracks that are completely understandable for a 21-year-old dude with a seven-figure income.

Just think about these two statements, and wonder if this is a guy ready to be the guy:

• Owner says to every media outlet everywhere, "We want Johnny to come in and act like a back-up." Translation: Keep your head down and work hard. Johnny Finger's response: A slew of photo opts in Vegas or with the Beebs or partying in a Vegas bathroom with a rolled up $20 bill that is commonly used for some less-than-acceptable habits.

• Johnny Responsible says he's focusing on being a better quarterback and makes strides to the point that Monday was a preseason game that had some interest. (Sorry, Spy.) And while his play was blah-tastic, how many legit NFL starting QBs would you expect to flip the bird to a heckler?

As for the quarterback play, having watched way more of the Redskins' 24-23 preseason win over Cleveland than we should, Connor Show looked like the best quarterback option for the Browns.


College football quick scan

Where do we start? For the rest of the preseason - which is this week and next - we'll offer a college football scan. Yes, it's a modern version of the old-school 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10.

Here are five Yogi Berra college football items of interest:

1) "The future ain't what it used to be." Call us crazy, but we're starting to believe the Vols offensive line will be better than most expect. Here's TFP ace Downtown Patrick Brown's look at the freshman moving into the right tackle role.

2) "I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question." TFP SEC ace and Press Row cohost David Paschall has been all over this from the start, but is there any way any of us believe that Jake Coker will NOT be the Alabama quarterback come game time? Of course not. We know it. Nick knows it. Heck the QBs know it. Lane Kiffin? Eh, we're not sure what he knows.

Nick Marshall

Nick Marshall

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

3) "You can observe a lot by just watching." Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall - he of the offseason pot run-in that will mean he'll miss at least the start of the season opener against Arkansas - got a ringing endorsement Monday from his back-up. Jeremy Johnson says he's certain that the passing-improved Marshall will win the Heisman. Wow.

4) "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Interesting story from UTC football ace Stephen Hargis about UTC working on crazy late-game situations. Here's betting that after how last year's Iron Bowl ended, the Mocs are in the majority of teams working on unusual game-ending scenarios.

5) "It ain't the heat, it's the humility." We believe Ohio State has a pretty clear path to the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten (plus a few) is not overly tough and the Buckeyes defense is salty. That said, if the reports out of Columbus that Braxton Miller's right shoulder is seriously injured, well, tough break Urban. The Buck Bus is busted without Braxton.


Big Braves' roll

Atlanta scored six in the first to beat Pittsburgh 7-3.

Atlanta Braves' Andrelton Simmons is greeted by on deck batter Freddie Freeman after hitting a solo home run in the first inning of the baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Pittsburgh.

Atlanta Braves' Andrelton Simmons is greeted by on...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.


Still, the Braves can't make up ground on Washington, which won its seventh straight and leads the NL East by six games.

The good: Jason Heyward, despite hitting South of .270, is an MVP candidate. Seriously. Dude is the best defensive outfielder in the NL and affects the game in several ways. Stunning for a guy that was Uggla-esque for the first six weeks.

The bad: Not much. The Pirates' three runs came on solo homers off starter Erwin Santana, and the bullpen was very solid.

The Uggla: No word if he's landed a new gig. Also, Stinky Upton took a day off Monday. He's 4-for-28 in his last 10 games and is hitting a less-than-stellar .207 on the season. As a side note, if you take away his free-world-leading 153 strikeouts in 444 at-bats, he's actually 92-for-291, which is hitting .316 on balls he's actually hit. So there's that.


This and that

- One more college football item: Oklahoma suspended running back Joe Mixon for the entire year for punching a woman in the face. Ah, Roger Goodell, when the University of Oklahoma - or any major college football monster for that matter - has tougher discipline on their players than you do, then you need to re-evaluate my man. Oklahoma = tough on violence against women; Goodell & NFL = indifference about violence against women. Shame on you Roger. Hey, let's discuss the length of the extra point.

Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic

Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic

Illustration by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

- Another NFL item: While we readily admit watching NFL preseason games is the definition of boredom (unless you have a friendly, entertainment-only wager on the outcome, and that is the definition of a problem), the river of penalty flags that have dominated the first two weeks of the preseason is a problem. If that continues into the regular season, the rallying cry for this year will be: "Illegal contact, No. 23 defense. Five yards and automatic first down."

- Yesterday's tandem winner was Butch and Sundance. BiB, there are two tickets for the Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic at the front desk of the TFP with your name on them. Congrats.

- To answer yesterday's query about putting stock in the preseason poll, we don't. It's just another list that people like. It's worthless to the point that its value can be measured in Confederate bills.


Today's question

The AD at the University of Hawaii says the school may have to drop football. His reason in large part centers on the power brokers in the sport getting more power.

Here's a story from CBSsports.com.

Hawaii will not be the last middle-tier program to debate this decision.

In truth, we believe the schools in the middle - who certainly will not be invited to the cool kids' Power 5 table - will be crippled by this more than the schools at UTC's level.

Still, we're looking for the best fill in the blank for the following sentence (the best will get two tickets to the Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic):

In 10 years, the best way to describe college football is ?