5 at 10: Friday Mailbag

5 at 10: Friday Mailbag

May 27th, 2011 by Jay Greeson in Sports

From the "7-Up Stinks Studios" here we go...

Former University of Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton.

From BiggerOrange

Enjoy the 5-at-10. Quick question, and if you have covered this, sorry. Why has (UT athletic director Mike) Hamilton been able to survive this much coaching turnover?

BiggerOrange

The primary answer is two simple words -- fund raising. Or one word -- fundraiser. Or one hyphenated word -- fund-raiserizernationalism. (OK, we may have made up that last one.)

In a down economy, Mike Hamilton has been a rain-maker. UT's facilities are second-to-none, and the Vols are one of fewer 20 programs that that turn a profit as an athletic department as a whole.

The growing consternation about Hamilton among Johnny Vols Fans everywhere has been on the rise because of the coaching turnover, and that's a reasonable concern, BiggerOrange. Especially when you consider the almost $10 million the Vols will pay to former coaches not to coach current Vols. (Granted, Hamilton has raised the money to cover that.)

Now that's not to explain or to dismiss the turmoil brought on by the coaching turnover of the last 15 months in Knoxville. Some of it is warranted; some of it's overblown (Was the Todd Raleigh era in UT baseball an unmitigated disaster? Of course, but to call out baseball -- which is argubly the biggest of the small men's sports or the world's tallest midget if you will -- is not exactly fair if you don't praise the dramatic improvements in tennis and swimming and other smaller programs.)

Hamilton is the last man standing from some unforeseeable and unfortunate happenings. Does Hamilton share in the blame in that? Of course he does. Is it all his fault? No way.

That said, with the Old Testament hardships and angst that has been generated by Fulmer begatting Kiffin begatting Dooley and Peterson begatting Pearl begatting Martin, the 5-at-10 believes there will more than likely be an A.D. search in Knoxville before there's another search for a head football coach or a head men's basketball coach. If Dooley and Martin take off, that could be many moons from now. If not, well, the turnover won't slow down any time soon.


Tiger Woods reacts to a missed birdie putt on the 13th green during the final round of the 91st PGA Championship at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

From CelticVol

Hello 5@10,

All the news in the golf world the last couple of weeks has been surrounding Tiger Woods, his injury, and his future. I'm still trying to figure out if his injury or shooting a 42 on the front caused him to withdraw at The Players. What is your opinion on the current state of Tiger Woods and do you think he will break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships?

Interesting question, C-Vol. As for as Tiger's WD at the Players, we're going to just assume the injuries caused him to pull out. Because if he's become a quitter -- a guy that's going to head to the snack shop after a triple-bogey -- well, the end is truly closer than anyone could have feared. If Tiger's lost his will to compete, he'll be hanging out with Charlie Sheen at a Tiki Bar with "actresses" with names like Tiffany Breakfast and Sally Sparxxxx or he'll be hearing a lot of phrases like, "I'll take Tiger Woods in the center square for the block."

No it had to be the injury.

As for the current state of Tiger's game, well, we're puzzled. The 5-at-10 has been wrong many, Many, MANY times -- just ask the Mrs. 5-at-10 -- but it's hard to remember a time we were more wrong about a sports topic than Woods' recent showings. We believed that Woods was going to go nuclear on the golf world after all his secrets were revealed and with the fate of his marriage final decided. His game has been consistently inconsistent, and as SportsTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all, and a pretty doggone good golfer to boot) has pointed out, Tiger's putting has become pedestrian. For all the hype and bluster about Tiger's length off the tee and even his penchant for making breath-taking shots, Woods was golf's best player because he intimidated the field and he was the best clutch putter of all time. In fact, in his 10-year stretch from 1999-2008, Woods won 30 percent of the time. In the best 10-year stretch of his career, Jack won 15 percent of the time. And Tiger was dominating because he never, Never, NEVER missed from inside 5 feet and rarely missed a putt that matter inside 10 feet.

As little as two years ago, C-Vol, we would have said Woods was going to win 20-plus majors. Now, we think it's a very long shot for him to catch Jack, and in truth, who knows when he'll win any tournament again. We do know this, the Chattanooga Metro is next month, and Woods would certainly be among the favorites if he wanted to play.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts as Miami wins Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, May 26, 2011, in Chicago. Miami won 83-80. At left is Chicago's Derrick Rose. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

From PDavi

Sometimes you talk way to much. You know that, right? OK, let's try to move quickly on this one.

We have enjoyed the NBA playoffs more than expected. Playoff winners and losers. Go.

PDavi,

Fair point; we have a tendency to get a little wordy. That said, thanks for the late-addition question because we needed to discuss LeBron James delivering down the stretch last night as the Miami Heat downed the Bulls to advance to the NBA Finals. Miami will face Dallas for the NBA title and James was money in the fourth quarter as the Heat used an 18-3 run in the final minutes for an 83-80 win over Chicago on Thursday.

As for the question, this seems like a perfect time to mix in the soon-to-be-copyrighted 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10:

--Winners

LeBron: From heartless to short list of all-timers in one postseason

Dirk: Added super to his star by being postseason's top closer

Kevin Durant: Future looks amazingly bright in OKC

The Grizzlies: Surprise team of the postseason

Pat Riley: Dream result for Heat GM who assembled Heatles

--Losers

Orlando: Magic lose in round 1; Dwight's days appeared numbered

Boston: Celtics looked old in loss to Heat

Every Bulls player not named Derrick Rose: Rose now knows how LeBron felt in Cleveland

Lakers fans: Mike Brown replaced Phil; roster is rigid because of payroll

Seattle basketball fans: Watching the Thunder (aka former Sonics) grow must be hard

Elderly Bulgarian women sing as they hold a rooster dressed with pants and wreath in the village of Krivini, some 380 kilometers (235 miles) east of the capital Sofia, Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, during a Rooster's day, when people sacrifice a rooster. The feast is mainly celebrated in the eastern part of Bulgaria for the good health of the young boys. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)

From SteelerFan

Hey 5@10:

I saw where some Tennessee lawmaker last week actually argued that cock-fighting is important to economic development in this part of the state because fans of the "sport" travel, eat out and stay in motels. I was thinking, he's got a point. It's not so much that we don't want animals actually participating in athletics, we just don't want them killing each other.

My question to you, oh wise one, is this: Can these fiesty birds be trained to do other sports? For example, could we have Rooster golf, or something? I'm thinking we could teach chickens to wear boxing gloves and kick ping-pong balls into Dixie cups and call it some form of cock-fighting-soccer. If we're quick about it we might even make Chattanooga the "Cock-Fighting-Soccer Capital of the World." What do you think? Kind of has a ring to it, doesn't it?

SteelerFan

OK, wow, where do we start? Alright. First, great question.

Remember everyone, this is a family-orienated-Intertube-web-based sports column, and this answer is with that in mind. Yes. And no. And, yeah, kind of.

OK, quickly -- and as politely as we can, all things considered -- this idea has promise if for no other reason than maybe the cock-fighting crowd can blend in some of the principles of mixed martial arts. That way the birds could have the option to "wing" out and maybe the little pads on their feet and beaks would make the bouts a little safer.

And who knows the possibilities if that takes off. We could find that water-skiing squirrel and see if he and his family wouldn't do shows down on the Riverfront. We could find some talented gophers and teach them to play hoops. Heck, the Chipmunks could perform at Riverbend every year.

Somebody get Littlefield's office on the horn. Chattanooga, where crazy performing rodents and cock-fighting-soccer happen.

New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey looses his helmet when he collides with Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Omar Gaither during the second quarter of the NFL wild card football game in Philadelphia Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

From EC

Greeson, Jay...aka The wordsmith behind the 5@10....The NFL said Tuesday that it will begin fining teams whose players collect a significant number of disciplinary actions for illegal hits, a move designed to encourage franchises to emphasize that tacklers must avoid hits to opponents' heads.

My question is how long before owners have a permanent seat next to the defensive coordinator? And how long before the NFL turns into 7 on 7 pass drills ???

Keep up the good work!

EC

EC,

Great question. We believe this is the NFL's attempt to appear it also has the players' interest in mind when it comes to fines. This is a complete shadow-boxing type of move, especially in light of the labor discord in the NFL right now.

If they want to make a real statement about illegal hits, suspend players. That's all it would take. It's not about the money for most of these guys, it's about the action. And the winning.

And you can't get either from the sideline. If they want to try to curb the "illegal" hits, start by costing the big-name players games, that's what will really hurt. In fact, if it was about the money, then why are the NFL Films (and the NFL Network) people still doing about 1,000 highlight videos a year -- and those videos are not filled with form blocks and proper ways for the holder to put the ball down on PATs. No, until the NFL stops the hypocritical approach of "fines," then the rest of this is just a smoke screen.

But you touched on the bigger issue, EC, the sissification of sports. No one wants anyone to get injured, and we need to take precaution when possible, but c'mon. Some baseball people were even talking about ways to protect the catcher on collisions at the plate after Buster Posey was injured this week. The catchers are the one with the equipment on, right?

We're about three more "safer" rules away from all-but playing virtual football with headsets and those fancy glasses.

Here's an idea, maybe we can teach chickens to play football and then no one will get hurt and then we can really cash in. Chattanooga, the "Cock-Fighting-Football/Soccer/UFC and Water-Skiing Squirrel Capital of the World."

Until Monday.