And we're off with another mailbag. By the 5-at-10's calculations, this is a new record 12th consecutive day with a 5-at-10, and yes, we're running on fumes. Thanks for your patience and for your participation, which is big part of the fun around here.
Nice to see a mix of new and familiar names in the mailbag, and here we go...
I have to say that I'm super SUPER jealous of you playing Augusta National. Playing Augusta is one of the items on my bucket list. Did you ever catch yourself thinking, "Man this is where Jones, Sarazen, Arnie, and Jack played." Can you comment on how hilly the course is? I've always heard that watching it on TV doesn't do the terrain justice. Also, were the pin placements the same as Sunday?
It was an awesome day, there was no denying it. This was actually our second time to play Augusta National. In our first trip to cover the Masters in 2003, they pulled our name out of the hat of the more than 500 working media members there. Once you get picked you have to wait seven full years to be eligible again, and this was our first year being back in the drawing and they pulled our name again. Crazy, huh?
It absolutely is a bucket list-type thing, along the lines of running with bulls or climbing a famous mountain or whatever floats your boat. It's definitely an attention getter at parties when you start a story, "When I played Augusta National..."
As for your question, absolutely you look around in awe of the cathedral in which you're standing. In some ways it would be like playing a practice game at the Old Yankee Stadium, especially with monuments in the outfield. At Augusta National, they do such a great job of highlighting the history. There are plaques and monuments on the course and in the clubhouse. It's so familiar like the azaleas on No. 13 or Rae's Creek that everyone sees every year. It's also so personal like where were you when Tiger chipped in on No. 16 or when Phil won his first major. And it's all there close enough to touch.
Let's do a quick, 10-word-or-less, top-five list on the chill-bump moments from Monday:
As for the grounds, well, let's just say the assistant greens keepers are "studying a lot of this stuff so they know it ya know, like Chinch bugs, ya know... Manganese... a lot of people don't even know what that is." (Because the 5-at-10 can not remember a round of golf where "Caddyshack" was not quoted at least once.)
The course is hilly - one of the caddies said the green at No. 18 was roughly 300 feet higher elevation than the tee box. The reverse is true on No. 10, which is a huge drop, unless of course you hit it in the cabins. There are a lot of mounds and subtle hills throughout, too. It's an amazing piece of landscape architecture, there's no doubt. And yes, the pins were in the same spot as they were on Sunday.
From Falcon Follower
Rumor has it the 5@10 likes the draft. Who's going No. 1 and who do you think the Falcons should be looking at?
The rumor is true, the 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.
The debate is picking up steam about the top pick, and there has to be a clear distinction of the question: Is it "Who is going No. 1?" or "Who should go No. 1?"
Most of the gurus have started to signal that the Carolina Panthers are going to take Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick. The 5-at-10 believes the signals. We also believe that in five years, former LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson will be the best player from this draft.
As for the Falcons, the mock drafts have them looking at a pass-rusher such as Adrian Clayborn of Iowa with the 27th pick of the first round. It's tough to project who will still be there that late in the first round, but that's not a bad projection. A name like Kyle Rudolph, the mega-talented former Notre Dame tight end, has started to pick up steam, too. (Hey, Tony Gonzalez is not going to play forever.)
Here are three quick thoughts about the Falcons draft:
One, for the first time in a long while the Falcons do not have an overwhelmingly glaring need, which means they can draft from a position of strength.
Second, the Falcons' second-round pick could be a high impact guy - there's a lot of talent in this draft that is falling for one reason or another, and let's say the powers that be in Falconland would love big-upside receiver like a Leonard Hankerson, a Titus Young or even a Randall Cobb to be there to late in round 2.
Third, and this is just the 5-at-10 spit-ballin' here, it would be awesome if the Falcons made a big-time shake-it-up-move. Let's say Patrick Peterson's still on the board, and the Falcons offered their first, second and fourth round picks to Cleveland for the No. 6 pick overall. The Browns have a load of needs to address, so they're willing to talk. Pull the string Falcons, and make the move. (Don't know if you can tell or not, but the 5-at-10 believes Patrick Peterson is going to be a star.)
From Al C.
A couple of months ago, you wrote about the best sports movies. You had the Natural and Hoosiers and a couple of others (wondered why there was no Slapshot, but that's a personal choice I guess). My question is what are the worst sports movies? Is there anything worse than CaddyShack 2?
Ding, ding, ding. Here's the weekly winner of the question that the 5-at-10 spent entirely too much time on. But, so it goes.
There are so many great sports movies, but in turn there are so many awful sports movies. Each distinction can be put into a dozen classifications - best stories, best acting, best real-life and the worst of each, too.
Let's roll out the red carpet and do this reverse Academy Award-style:
The Worst Sports Movie screenplay
"Ed" - whomever was sitting at the keyboard and developed the idea that, "Hey, we'll get a monkey to play third base, put him with one of the dudes from 'Friends' and call it a day," is now looking for gainful employment outside the movie industry. How do you pitch this idea to producers, "OK, remember the Disney classic, 'Gus, the Field Goal Kicking Mule' that had a silly animal and a TV sitcom star (Don Knotts), well, let's do it again except with baseball, a monkey and Matt LeBlanc."
The Worst Sports Movie acting
Kevin Bacon in "The Air Up There" - Bacon, who has a litany of big-time movie credits on his resume was cast as a former college hoops All-American/turned assistant after a knee injury. Bacon had a tough time dribbling with his left hand for Pistol Pete's Sake. If you can't believe the lead has some athletic chops, the movie is doomed.
The Worst Sports Movie picture, sequel division
Nominees are: "Caddyshack 2", "Rocky V", "Major League III: Back in Minors", "Bad News Bears Go to Japan", "Slapshot 2."
"Caddyshack 2" - Each of these was bad in its own way, and they're made worse because the original of each series was so good. There are only a few sequels that are comparable to the originals ("The Godfather" and "The Godfather II," "Star Wars" and "Empire Strikes Back," are a couple of the most notable), but there has never been a bigger divide between original and sequel than the "Caddyshack" clan. And that has every bit as much to do with "Caddyshack 2" being as awful as "Caddyshack" being awesome.
The Worst Sports Movie picture
"Ed", "The Fan", "Amazing Grace and Chuck", "Slugger's Wife", "Air Bud"
Gotta go with "Ed" here - and it's not that close. Want to know what was hard? Cutting the list to five, there are some really bad sports movies out there - seriously, there was no room for some of these stinkers such as "Summer Catch," or "Mr. 3000," or "Juwanna Mann," or "The Sixth Man."
When's your next contest and what can I win? I like the free stuff.
Thanks for your support. Not sure what the next one will be, but we made a commitment to come up with something for the Kentucky Derby, so maybe there. That said, we'll see and if we come up with something, you'll be the first to know, unsigned.
From Mark D.
NBA playoffs, who you got? If you ask me, the Celtics are done, the Bulls are young and the Heat is ready. Miami's going to win the East, but can they beat the Lakers? What do you think?
Maybe because of where college basketball is right now (it's just not that much fun to watch lately), the 5-at-10 is pretty excited about the NBA playoffs.
The 5-at-10 thinks you have your finger on the pulse of the East. The Celtics look cooked right now, and the fallout from the Kendrick Perkins trade has been somewhat stunning. The Bulls-Heat would be strong, the only way either one of those two can win it all, though, is for someone to down the Lakers before L.A. can get out of the West. The Lakers have too much size for any of the Eastern Conference teams other than the Magic, which won't get out of the East because their best player (Dwight Howard) can't shoot free throws and their point guard (Jameer Nelson) is 5-foot-7. So it goes.
Here we go with the quick 5-at-10 NBA playoff picks:
Bulls over Pacers
Heat over Sixers
Celtics over Knicks (but it goes the full 5 games)
Hawks over Magic
Bulls over Hawks
Heat over Celtics
Heat over Bulls
Spurs over Grizz (closer than most may expect)
Lakers over Hornets
Blazers over Mavs
Thunder over Nuggets
Thunder over Spurs
Lakers over Blazers
Lakers over Thunder (in the full seven)
Lakers over Heat (and David Stern gets exactly what he wanted)
- That is unless Whoopi Goldberg comes out of the crowd to coach the Knicks (like she did in "Eddie" - another really bad sports movie), then all bets are off.