I started writing an online column at timesfreepress.com on Oct. 25, 2010, and "The 5-at-10" has been there every Monday-Friday since - 1,000 consecutive Monday-through-Fridays - as of this week.
Thanks to all those who have followed along and participated. Each week I answer questions from readers, and here's some of this week's version, with a thanks to everyone who has been a part of it.
May I be the first to say congrats on 1,000 consecutive 5-at-10s. That's pretty awesome. I have been around since the beginning and have even subscribed to the website in order to keep reading.
Since we all know you can be kinda "wordy," what's your best guess on the number of words you have used in your daily ramblings, and what's your Rushmore of Rushmores?
Thanks and thanks for all you do -- I listen to you and David Paschall every day on the way home on 105.1 FM, and you guys are really good.
JJ -- Thanks so much and thanks so much to everyone who has participated in this madness.
Before we get going, we have to say thanks to all the regulars. There are too many to name, but know that this is the funnest part of my job. I got into sports writing to write and have been amazingly fortunate to move up the ladder to a great gig like being the [blockheaded] sports editor of the TFP.
So we started this to make sure we did some writing every day, because it became too easy to just focus on the meetings and the planning and the rest.
And to all of you who participate on a regular basis -- you know who you are -- you have my thanks and my appreciation.
As for number of words, well, egad. If we averaged 1,500 words a column, that would not be a surprise. We'll lower it a touch and say 1,200 words an entry, so that puts us at 1.2 million "5-at-10" words since Oct. 25, 2010. Man, we do talk too much.
As for a Rushmore of Rushmore, we always love sports movies (and the many tangents that includes). We'll include nicknames and sports moments (two that we have asked more than once in the last four years). Finally, while we were tempted by sitcoms and comedians, we'll be a touch more specific and timely and say the Rushmore of SNL characters since that is more timely as SNL approaches its 40th season.
Will we see a 6,000-yard passing season with the new NFL rules this season?
B-Leaguer -- We completely believe a 6,000-yard season could be in the works. It just won't be this year.
In future years, when the defense has become accustomed to the new pass-happy rules that hurt defenders who use their hands and are aggressive in pass coverage, there will be an escalated showing in passing stats. And at the current numbers, if it adds just 10 percent to the totals -- a low estimation by our measure -- that would mean a 6,000-yard season is completely within reach.
This season, however, it actually could lower numbers a touch as more penalties are accepted, meaning there is simply less yardage for offenses to cover.
Still, the changes in rules and direction of the NFL give us pause for a couple of reasons.
First, it feels they are trying to uniform the style of the league. There is little chance to build around a defense in an NFL that has obviously embraced the joys of the pass-first, pass-always approach.
In fact, the sterilization of the league is yet another setback for those of us who actually enjoy watching the games more than playing fantasy football or playing parlay sheets or doubling down on Monday nights. The rule changes play more for the 30-second highlight on ESPN rather than a game that can surprise.
Second, it constructs an NFL where cornerbacks who can play in space without fouling are about to be the second most valuable player on your team. Yes, Deion Sanders just rolled over in his limousine.
From Tommy D
I heard you mention on "Press Row" that the 25th anniversary of Pete Rose being banned is this weekend. Man, it's hard to believe it has been that long.
Do you think he will ever get reinstated? I hope he does.
Thanks, and thanks for the 5@10.
Tommy D -- Thanks for reading along and listening.
Pete Rose signed and accepted baseball's lifetime ban 25 years ago Sunday, and it is hard to believe it has been that long.
Rose committed the ultimate sin, betting on baseball when he had a direct hand in the outcome of games. Is gambling the worst act possible or the worst crime imaginable? Of course not, but every profession has its red-letter sin.
In journalism, it's plagiarism. In politics it's very little -- heck, Scott DeJarlais has been elected and apparently re-elected. In the law, it's violating attorney-client privilege.
Those acts can be bad in any walk of life, but in those chosen professions they can be career enders.
And the mumbo-jumbo Rose is tossing about now that "he did not read the fine print" of the lifetime ban he signed is junk.
Do we believe Rose had a Hall of Fame career? Of course, and there are lots of pieces of Rose's record-setting time in Cooperstown.
Do we believe Rose deserves to be in the Hall? You bet -- in the very next election after his death. Dude signed a lifetime ban, and that ban should last his lifetime.
And that is something we'd bet on.