5-at-10: Spring games and Saban's greatness, NBA playoff takeaways, Rushmore of lightning, NFL draft contest to win stuff

5-at-10: Spring games and Saban's greatness, NBA playoff takeaways, Rushmore of lightning, NFL draft contest to win stuff

April 21st, 2017 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

KNOXVILLE, TN - APRIL 06, 2017 - offensive lineman Trey Smith #73 of the Tennessee Volunteers and defensive lineman Paul Bain #97 of the Tennessee Volunteers during Spring practice on the Indoor Field in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

Photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

From Ted

Why did you spin time even writing about these spring football games? No one cares any more.

Ted —

We think people still care about spring games, but the details are so closely guarded and the play so distorted.

The former is silly. And Kirby Smart has taken it to an all-time high by telling reporters what they can and can't report. What a joke.

And if coaches truly believe that reporting what QB A did in a controlled scrimmage is going to negatively impact them in September, well, there a team's of psychiatrists out there. The play being distorted is part of the process of achieving the No. 1 goal and that is to stay as healthy as possible, which is very difficult preparing for a game this violent.

That's balance of spring. And in truth, we can see a time with the need for more revenue streams that we could have teams actually scrimmaging other teams.

We see your point, but in truth, with the growing interest of college football, to say people don't care is not completely true. Do they care as much as they used to? Probably not, because the business has changed. But do they care? Absolutely.

Side note: Chris Low had a sit-down with Nick Saban and got this quote: "If you had asked me if that team makes it to the championship game in September, I would have said probably not because of the quarterback (Jalen Hurts) being a true freshman," Saban said. "But after we got there, I felt like if we had played to our strengths as a team, we would win. But we didn't play to our strengths, and that's my fault. That's the part that's hard to get over.

"I didn't do a good job, whether it was keeping the team focused, making sure the team took the ownership they needed to take in those games ... whatever. I don't know what it was. But I do know it's on me, and we'll go on and all learn from it."

Of all the things that Saban does better than anyone else, his ability to give quotes that connect to his fan base may be his most underrated skill. That above is filled with predictable answers in most ways, but he connected it in a way that is believable and exactly what Johnny Tide Fans crave.

Now imagine how Butch would have answered that.

Lightning runs through cloud over Blount Cultural Park in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, April 5, 2017, as a thunderstorm moves through southern Montgomery County. A powerful tornado toppled trees and downed power lines in rural Georgia and similar scenes played out in spots around Alabama and South Carolina amid drenching rain, high winds and scattered hail - some as big as baseballs. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

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Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

From Davis 

When will Press Row be back and since you got hit by lightning, does this make the Rushmore of lightning strikes?

Davis —

Thanks to everyone who asked about the show.

Yes, we had a lightning strike and it fried some critical equipment that the crew is working their tail off to fix. The plan is for us to get back at it today. (Fingers crossed, because we have a great list of guests scheduled including former major league pitcher Rick Ankiel, who has a great story to tell.)

The support and feedback has been excellent. Thanks for that, and you collection of big-brained listeners make this as much fun as it is. And to Scott, who cracked our code that "Lightning strike" translates to Happy Hour, well-played. (We're using code names.)

Rushmore of lightning strikes, hmmmm.

Well, Ben Franklin's kite is there. The lightning that struck the tree and allowed Roy Hobbs to make Wonder Boy is there. The Jerry Bruckheimer logo before his movies. And the lightning that generated the 1.21 gigawats to get Marty McFly Back to the Future. (Lightning as the word, we'll go Lightning McQueen, Greased Lightning, White Lightning and Thunder and Lightning.)

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2009, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson calls out a play to teammates in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Philadelphia. Nike is pulling back on plans for a shoe that sneakily honors Allen Iverson after the former NBA superstar demanded answers. Iverson says Nike used his identity, likeness and persona without permission for a sneaker out of the company's Zoom Flight ’96 collection. The ambiguously titled sneaker has the No. 3 _ Iverson’ number _ on each back heel and the red, white and blue colors of the Philadelphia 76ers. Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said in a statement Thursday that the version of the shoe Iverson protested won’t hit stores. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

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Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

For those who reminded me to come back to the week's Rushmores:

Rushmore of high fives: We will go most famous high fives, even if they were not exactly the most artistic. Rocky and Apollo on the beach in Rocky III; Tiger and Stevie mis-connecting after the chip on 16; the Washington Redskins wide receivers in the circle in the end zone as a group; and we'll take The Waterboy slap hands slap hands edging a stoned Michael Anthony Hall in Breakfast Club for the final spot. (Side note: Here are some great internet photos of high fives.)

Rushmore of Hollywood moms-daughters: We'll go Goldie and Kate, Janet Lee and Jamie Lee Curtis (scary category for sure), Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher and Diane Ladd and Laura Dern.

Rushmore of best NBA players 6-feet-and-under. Iverson, Archibald, Isiah Thomas (and eventually there could be two of them on this list), Chris Paul.

Rushmore of ducks. Donald, Daffy, the Rubber Duck and the AFLAC Duck, who edges Kris Kristofferson's character "Duck" in Convoy.

From scole023

Are you going to have a draft contest? I've heard you like the draft. Sort of. (I like to win stuff.)

Also, could you still share a few of the "On this day" tidbits. It makes me look smart at lunch.

My man —

You bet. And you bet.

We will have a "Dodging the Draft while Feeling the Draft and drinking a draft NFL Draft Contest." Here are the categories:

  • Number of SEC players picked in round 1:
  • First quarterback to be drafted:
  • Titans' first pick:
  • First team to trade its pick:
  • Falcons' first pick:

Each is worth a point, save the last one, which is worth 1.1 to help in tie-breaking scenarios. It also keeps you glued to the set though the entirety of round one. As for some clarifications. 

First, if a player once was at an SEC school but transferred, he does not count as an SEC player. Clear? Crystal. 

Second, you can answer not answer none to any of the questions. They are worded specifically, and if the Falcons trade out of round one, then their first pick will be made on Friday. If there is not a QB taken in round one — which will never happen — or if there's not a first-round pick traded — which is unlikely but could happen — then the contest rolls into Friday and the first QB and traded pick still stand.

For clarity on the traded pick, if the Titans look to trade down — which could very well happen — and say they trade No. 5 to Cleveland for No. 12 and other stuff, by the statement of these rules, the Titans are the first team to trade their pick, because their spot is higher. Clear? Crystal.

As for on this day, well, The Queen was born 91 years ago and Prince died on this day last year. Also, Mark Twain died on April 21 in 1910 and the renowned fighter pilot The Red Baron was shot down on this day in 1918. (The actual Red Baron, not the Snoopy version or the pizza-making facsimile.)

Ty Cobb made his baseball debut on this day in 1904, and more than likely made at least one person mad. Elvis had his first No. 1 hit on this day with a little tune called "Heartbreak Hotel." On this day in 1984, "Thriller" had its run atop the album chart ended by the soundtrack from "Footloose." "Thriller" was No. 1 for 37 consecutive weeks.

Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's fault on this day in 1986.

From Mike

Quick takeaways from the first week of the NBA playoffs?

Mike —

Quickly, and one for each day of the week: 

  • LeBron is a dude. 
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo is the future. 
  • Russell Westbrook is Russell Westbrook and will never be the lead player on an NBA champion.
  • The East is trash.
  • Memphis is gutsy.
  • Atlanta's spin cycle is set forever on 48-34ish and ceiling of a second-round playoff appearance.
  • Nobody has anything for Golden State.


From too many of you guys to name

What should (my team) do in the draft?

Gang —

We go so many of these, we did not get through all of them.

So we are going to work through the weekend and have a complete, team-by-team, best-case-scenario draft plan for every team in the league.

Deal? Deal.

Enjoy the weekend friends.

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