5-at-10: Friday Mailbag

5-at-10: Friday Mailbag

June 20th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Great week, and loved the nickname back and forth on Thursday that got the comments into the 30s. Good stuff.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we're running short on time and long on headaches.

From Jomo

Jay- you never addressed my question ? what if you took the Seattle Seahawks, for example, their DB's , WR's and RB's and a 6-5 athletic TE for a gaolie, trained them for 6 months, I think they could beat the USA soccer team. Your thoughts ? . . . AND i agree that what kind of sport that plays to 0-0 tie for 2 hours and people say that is exciting ?

Jomo -

We touched on this briefly earlier this week.

The answer is no. No way.

Colombian players celebrate after the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Ivory Coast at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, on Thursday, June 19, 2014. Colombia won the match 2-1.

Colombian players celebrate after the group C World...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The footwork needed to play and control and excel at the level at which these World Cuppers are is acquired through a lifetime of work and practice.

Are the NFL guys better athletes, sure. But the added level of using only your feet provides such a filter that it would be a duck out of water for most of the NFL guys. Are the NFL guys better athletes than most hockey players? Yes, but their skills would not translate to the ice either. Granted the ice is a lifetime of transition, but the parallels are similar.

That said, if we could cherry pick athletes from the last 20 or so years and have, say, five years, then maybe you're getting closer. And in truth, we'd pick as many basketball players as we would football guys.

LeBron, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose, John Wall. Then blend in a Julio Jones or Reggie Bush.

It's an interesting proposition for sure, and while we agree with your take that the money is not in it for the best U.S. athletes to focus on soccer, we contend that Title IX's death blows to male college soccer hurts every bit as much.


LeBron James

LeBron James

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

From Jordan Rules

Well, it's been a while Mr. LeBron Lover. Man that was fun to watch.

So what's your explanation for why the Miami LeBrons lost and better yet, where will James tuck tail and run to next year so he can have a better chance to win?

Keep up the good work on the radio and you and Paschall are really good.

Jordan Rules -

Answer to come. We got behind this morning. Big time.


From Sportsfan

Jay - I was out and about this afternoon and had a chance to listen in on Press Row. Good stuff Got a little tired of the I hate/I love soccer but you, David, and Wells handled it well. As for me, I'll watch any sport where they keep score or win a head to head race. I don't consider events with judges a sport worth my time (diving, ice skating, gymnastics, etc.). For the mailbag, and feel free to ask Wells and David to provide answers as well...what got you interested in sports (as opposed to something else)? While I played organized sports as a kid, for me, I think it was my dad taking me to sporting events as a very young lad.

Sportsfan -

We have a very similar view of the definition of sports - if you can explain the winner or the loser to us and our 6-year-old in less than a paragraph and the word judge is not used as a primary deciding factor, then we're good. We've soften our stance on judges a little because when we first shared this view because boxing uses judges if neither fighter gets the best of the other, and we're good with boxing being a sport.

This is not to say that gymnasts are not amazing athletes, but there's too much left to interpretation.

We'll get their views to your question later today, but we're 100 percent certain that our dad was the reason we got interested in sports.

Whether we were following him around to softball parks or serving as the TV remote control ("Go see what's on channel 8, boy") as we watched whatever sports we could find and later playing whatever sport was in season, it was Pop that got us hooked.

And then in our pre-teen and into high school years, sports video games kept us hooked believe it or not. We believe the FIFA EA sports soccer game helps the soccer pursuit in this country in a lot of similar ways today.

Great question and hope all is well with the Sportsfan Clan.


From JMC

I have never heard of the Lindy's and Athlon's FCS ranking (nor do I think anyone else has). I know the folks at ESPN or various talk radio hosts across the country could really care less because it's not the Big 5 or something they sell on Walgreen's magazine rack but are those the top ranking systems in the nation regarding FCS schools?


Answer to come. We got behind this morning. Big time.


From Grateful Dawg

Does anybody else get the feeling that Johnny Football is more likely to become a reality show star than ever becoming a high caliber NFL quarterback?

GD -

That's a completely and fair question. Dude is living the high life like Matt Leinart did early in his career and that ultimately led the former USC Heisman winner out of the game.

Hey, he's Johnny Football on the field and makes crazy plays and unbelievable things happen because he's Johnny Football. That follows him off the field too, and whether that's going to play in the NFL will be an interesting series of events.

We do know this, however, and this applied in some ways to Tebow for different reasons, and that's when your teammates get tired of answering questions about the back-up quarterback, and it starts to become a pain, then you start to lose those guys. And if a coach or a quarterback loses the locker room, they have ZERO chance to win. Period and end of discussion, we don't care how many hotties you are hanging with at the pool villa in Vegas.

Poll question: In five years, Johnny Football will be...

a) Cleveland's starting quarterback

b) Trying to make his way for a third team since being drafted

c) Out of football, hanging in Vegas, popping up on TMZ and sitting ringside at UFC 232 and taking a turn on Dancing with the Stars 24

d) Subject to an award-winning 30-for-30 special


From Tim

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) finds a hole for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Redskins defeated the Buccaneers 24-22 in an NFL game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in Tampa, Fla.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) finds...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Man, you guys have been awesome this week on the radio -- it was hilarious hearing you guys on the Redskins (you actually said that if they just went by The Skins and used a four receiver set it would be...). Thanks for what you do.

Not sure if I got this to you in time for the mailbag, but may be you guys can talk about it on the radio too -- where do you see the NCAA in 10 years?

Thanks and love the 5-at-10.

Tim -

We definitely will get into that today. Here's our view, and the window change is much smaller than five years in our view. It could even be five weeks, considering the Big Five conferences will be looking in August to make some rule changes under the NCAA's promise of more autonomy to the big schools. On that list will be an early signing period and the first passes at a true cost of attendance package that is the catch phrase for paying players.

From there the spinning starts and how quickly the NCAA catches up will be paramount if stays a part of the equation of goes the way of Blockbuster or Turtles Records and Tapes.

The issues that are atop the mind right now - the Ed O'Bannon case and whether players should share in the money generated by their likenesses and jersey sales and what not - will be the first shot at the NCAA since president Mark Emmert and the rest of those buffoons have royal stepped on their tongues at every pass in this court case. Emmert tried to hold the NCAA line that if players are compensated the sports will lose popularity because it will turn fans off.

What? Whose idea was that?

Heck, would it surprise anyone that when Emmert was looking for legal advice he went to Perry the Mason, his neighborhood brick guy rather than Perry Mason. We asked this on the radio yesterday and will share it here: Is Mark Emmert the dumbest head of a billion-dollar enterprise out there? Discuss.

We'll get more into this on the radio Tim, but the NCAA will be unrecognizable in 10 years. And that's if it's lucky enough to still be a round.


From GolfGal

JG- So no love for the ladies this week at #2? I have played it twice and must say its probably the hardest course I have played to date. Hopefully Local gal Brooke P has a good showing. The hubs told me you were spotted at The Honors this week, just curious what did you shoot and where would you rank your experience there? (It's in my top 5).

GG -

We shot somewhere around 80 using the community drive and then play your own ball in that would have been several shots worse of course (had one terrible tee shot and used some teammates' shots on par 3s). But we hit it really good and putted pretty decent especially how fast the greens were playing. Made three birdies and no doubles, so there's that. Plus, it's a round at the Honors, which is such an amazing place and kind of incredible to think a national top-20 course is just past Steve Ray's Midnight Oil and next to the auto parts store off Exit 11 in Ooltewah.

And there is much love and respect for the women at Pinehurst. In fact we have an eye peeled on Brooke and the preteen. Will be interesting to see how they handle the set-up - and color us much shades of jealous about playing PH No. 2. That is cool. Plus, the buzz Lucy Li has generated is good for the women's game, and here's hoping she makes the cut.

As for our top five, well, we've been forever lucky about golf experiences - and that's true in a lot of areas in our life:

Phil Mickelson and his caddie Jim Mackay walk behind Tiger Woods after Woods missed a birdie putt on the 12th green during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Phil Mickelson and his caddie Jim Mackay walk...

1) Augusta National the second time in 2011 - Got to play it a second time and got to use the champion's locker room (our stuff was in the locker shared by Angel Cabrera and Art Wall). Made birdie on No. 7 (Perfect drive for us, lob wedge that almost went in, tap in for a 3) and played the 13-18 1 over to shoot 82. Amazing.

2) Augusta National the first time in 2003 - Was more nervous standing on one tee than any sports moment not involving our son we can remember. Took a 10 on No. 2 and shot 94.

3) East Lake late 1990s/early 2000s - It was right before the Atlanta-club hosted the U.S. Amateur and we played it with a god friend and a player from our coverage area that had qualified. Hardest course we've ever seen - certain we did not break 100.

4) TPC Sawgrass 1992 - Played with a fraternity brother who lived there. Played terribly - much harder course than it looks, which is crazy because Augusta from the members' tees seemed much more manageable (and our game is significantly better now than then - we were still playing a lot of slow-pitch softball back then). Did not break 100 but made par on the island green on 17.

5) (And in some ways this is also No. 1) Last summer at Signal, our then-5-year-old son made his first real par on No. 4. The forward tees were at the top of the hill, so his driver rolled like the village of Santa Poco's sews, another driver and a chip and a one-putt and easy-squeezy-lemon peezy, par 4.


From Billy in Brainerd

Jay-G: for the mailbag...is Satan [oops] the best recruiter ever or has he assembled a staff of the best of the best recruiters?

BiB -

Saban is the Jordan of recruiting. And to make matters worse, he's the Jack Nickaus of talent evaluators.

The recruiting services have gotten tons better in the last decade in regard to accuracy on the rankings of players. Yes, there are still going to be a lot of four stars and the occasional five star who could not play dead in a Western.

Derek Dooley

Derek Dooley

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

But the services have gotten better because of the camps and the videos and the overflow of information. In fact, back in the day, it was not uncommon for a player to a be a two-star kid and then he'd get a huge bump when the big schools started offering him. It was a self-circular proposition that meant the same big-name teams were getting all the big stars in the recruiting services' eyes because when the big-name schools would get a kid, that kid became better in the services' eyes. And we promise that sentence made sense when we started typing it.

With Saban, that respect is totally due and completely fair. If your school gets a kid that Bama offered, celebrate. Period.

Saban is playing at a different level than everyone else in the recruiting BID-ness, and his ability to land the best high school players in the country year-in and year-out actually is so stunning that it actually made Derek Dooley sound football savvy when Dooley said, "Everyone else in the country recruits, Saban drafts."

And it's less about staff - the Tide have a very high turnover rate compared to the other elite SEC and national programs - and more about Saban and what he's built in Tuscaloosa.

Pick the best of any generation at almost anything sports related - Tiger in the early 2000s, Jordan in the mid-1990s, Tyson in the late 1980s - and Saban as a recruiter is every bit as dominant as any of them.

Question for the group: Looking for a fun Rushmore for today's Press Row. Who's got one?