5 at 10: Friday mailbag

5 at 10: Friday mailbag

November 4th, 2011 by Jay Greeson in Sports

Trent Richardson (3) runs through the line during of an NCAA college football game against the Alabama Crimson TideSaturday, Oct, 22 2011 in Tuscaloosa Ala. (AP Photo/John Bazmore)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

From the "Al Davis Studios," here we go...

From McPell

I would have written "...It's bigger than Morganna's bra and more intimidating than... well, Morganna's ...," But then again that's why I'm in construction and not at the TFP.

As for the big game, give me Bama by 1. As an auburn fan - can they both lose?

McPell,

You bring up a fair point about word and reference choice. In fact, the line to which you are referring can the 5-at-10 pause because we thought the "It's bigger than Roseanne Barr's tuckus and more intimidating than... well, Roseanne Barr's tuckus," could have been better because it was dated. Seriously, when was the last time Roseanne was relevant, if ever?

So in honor of McPell's fair diction question and improved wording, let's list the best moments in sports writing, at least in our mind (to be clear, these are single lines or turns of a phrase; the best all-time stories and such will be a topic for another day:

5) "Outlined against a blue-gray October sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden" - Grantland Rice describing the Notre Dame backfield. This lead is arguably the most famous.

4) Jim Murray starts a column from the Indy 500 with, "Gentleman, start your coffins."

3) "He is a credit to his race - the human race," Jimmy Cannon on Joe Louis.

2) Murray again, and yes, the guy was an all-timer, "Man has never been closer to perfection than 90 feet between the bases."

1) "I don't want to talk about it." This sentence was the complete version of a Lewis Grizzard column in the AJC after Georgia Tech thumped his beloved Georgia Bulldogs one year. Grizzard spent the entire game week bagging on and making fun of Tech and its fans. When the Jackets whipped Georgia on that fall Saturday, Grizzard penned those seven words and the rest of the entire left column of the sports front was white space. It was gutsy and clever and true and pure. It was genius and it can never be duplicated.

As for being an Auburn fan and asking if both LSU and Bama could each lose, sorry, it's impossible. What is good news for Auburn fans is that the Tigers are off this week, meaning there are no distractions (or even worse, no overlap viewing) for the LSU-Alabama showdown. The 5-at-10 is super excited for the LSU-Alabama tilt for a lot of reasons, among them is that we don;t have a dog in this fight.

In this Nov. 8, 2008, photo, Alabama coach Nick Saban, left, and LSU coach Les Miles talk after Alabama defeated LSU 27-21 in Baton Rouge, La. No. 3 Alabama faces No. 9 LSU on today. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

From BigAl

You've been blabbing all week about Alabama-LSU.

But all you have put out there is a bunch of jokes that aren't that funny and some attempts to be clever.

This is a huge football game that will decide the national championships. How about some actual football talk, huh?

BigAl

Welcome to the show and thanks for the question. We've had some football talk this week, and we think our jokes are pretty funny (at least the Mrs. 5-at-10 thinks so, and so does our mom, and our employees).

Here's some more football breakdown for the big game:

LSU wins if...: The Tigers handle the moment and the magnitude inside Bryant-Denny Stadium and make anyone not named Trent Richardson beat them. Richardson is a beast, and he has the ability to dominate the ball, the clock and the game. If he gets 30 carries, the Tide will be fine. If LSU forces Richardson into a secondary role or to become a receiver, the Tide offense will have a tough night. As for the madhouse that will be Bryant-Denny, LSU must survive the early emotions from the crowd, especially considering the Alabama defense has been impossibly tough after the first quarter. A quick start for LSU would be huge.

Alabama wins if...: The Tide can make LSU one-dimensional. Jarrett Lee has been better than expected this season and has become a solid-to-good SEC quarterback. But Lee, who was turnover prone early in his LSU career, has been given the great gift of a dominant running game that has been given the gift of going against seven-man fronts because of LSU's supreme talent at wide receiver. The Tide have supreme talent at cornerback. The matchups are so even across the board that here's saying a rockin' Bryant-Denny forces Lee into a costly turnover that changes the game.

Prediction: Alabama 20, LSU 10

And here's the updated contest list, which you're welcome to join BigAl:

5-at-10 - Bama by 10

Mrs. 5-at-10 - Bama by 3

BIspy - Bama by 5

SMMOM - LSU by 11

Blueoval - Bama by 4

TFP ace UT beat writer Patrick Brown - LSU by 2

TFP SEC ace David Paschall - Alabama by 3

TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer - LSU by 3

WarEagle - LSU by 8

McPell - Bama by 1

JordanRules - LSU by 7

scole023 - LSU by 6

Chris Goforth - LSU by 3

jharvey1984 - Bama by 12

Musicman375 - Bama by 7

addictedtochalupa - Bama by 3

FE to the C - LSU by 2

Oso - LSU by 7

Memphis Exile - LSU by 3

OTWatcher - Bama by 1

Redlegs11 - LSU by 14

Rossboro - LSU by 4

ThatIDoKnow - LSU by 4

Hammered - LSU by 10

TideTilDie - Alabama by 17

Rollin' - Bama by 11

Thanks again BigAl for stopping by, and here's hoping both teams play well because each of these fan bases are invested and believe their team is going to win. The emotions are starting to grow to DefCon 2 levels, and it's only Friday morning, some 30 hours before kickoff.

From Irish Friend

Let's see you work this in the 5-at-10, Mr. Clever.

Irish Friend,

Another newcomer who is obviously impressed with the 5-at-10's Clever-a-bility-ness. Yeah, that's a word, and we're sticking with it.

OK, this may be the wildest story that got little to no play around these parts because, well, a) it's soccer; b) it's Iranian soccer; and c) it's not Alabama-LSU related.

But in short, this is two guys who had a "strange" celebration after scoring a soccer goal and now they have been suspended and could be facing prison time and the possibility of being lashed on the very soccer pitch on which they did this "unspeakable" celebration.

First off, let's not make too much fun of those folks culture, because sports emotions can bring out the worst in all cultures. From riots in the streets to soccer houligans to tree assassins, it's a global problem.

That said here are the five worst sports celebrations according to the 5-at-10 (and amazingly, there were no Ochocinco or TO sightings):

5) The Epic Ping Pong Dance can be seen here. And while the guy is not a bad dancer, we have to remember that a) it's flipping ping pong and b) dude is getting pounded 10-1 and he drops like a 50-second dance move.

4) Jonathan Papelbon's Riverdancing after the 2007 Red Sox World Series win. (No BIspy, there's no defending this one.)

3) B.J. Penn celebrated a MMA win over some dude in 2008 by licking his opponent's blood off of his gloves. Yes, you read that right. Gross and far from sanitary.

2) Bill Gramatica celebrating a made field goal by jumping around so violently that he tore his ACL. Seriously.

1) Gus Frerotte did not run for a lot of touchdowns. But there will be no forgetting one of his TDs. Frerotte ran into the end zone against the New York Giants and celebrated by banging his head into the back wall at the Meadowlands. A sprained neck and possible concussion later, Frerotte proved a rule that we errantly thought everyone was well-aware of: Never celebrate by slamming your head into stuff.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe walks off the field after giving up two runs to the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

From AJ

The Braves have dealt Derek Lowe for a bag of balls, a middle reliever that may help Mississippi, and some payroll relief. I think I speak for all of the Braves fan base and say, "Great trade."

Seriously, that the Braves were able to make the Lowe move this quickly and now can move on to the next thing on their to-do list is a real plus in that deal. That and the $5 million they save on payroll.

But now that the Lowe situation has been handled, what's next for the Braves this offseason?

AJ,

Thanks for the question, and you're spot on about the Lowe deal being one of those things that on paper looks like, "Wow, the Braves gave him away," but in reality, that was a move that had to happen. And that it happened sooner rather than later is a good thing for Johnny Braves Fan.

Plus, that extra $5 million only adds to the pot for possible free agent moves.

The Braves have a lot of strengths - a lot of good (if not great) starting pitchers, arguably the best bullpen in baseball (as long as Fredi G does not burn them out by August 8 again next year) and some reliable bats.

Here's three things that we'd like to see the Braves try to accomplish:

1) Upgrade shortstop: No one expects the Braves to offer up the nine-figure deal it's going to take to get Jose Reyes, but shortstop is the one everyday position that can be significantly improved. (Granted, production from right field can be GREATLY improved but that will come with exorcising Jason Heyward's demands, not exercising anyone's contract.)

2) Lock up Michael Bourn for the foreseeable future. He's 28 and he's a .300-hitter than can run and play excellent center field. This actually may be goal No. 1.

3) Listen to every trade and be willing to deal two goods for a great. The Braves have a lot of good players but very few great ones (Chipper was great, but he's no longer on that level; McCann is very good, but he wears down every year; Freeman could be great, but one year does not make great, unless you're Fred Lynn, but that's another story). Package a Jair Jurrjens and a Martin Prado or something else to add a significant piece that is a marked upgrade in either the rotation or the outfield.

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley, right, hands the ball off to tailback Marlin Lane against Alabama.

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

From CelticVol,

Hey 5@10,

In my 24 years of watching UT football I believe last Saturday night was the absolute rock bottom for the program. Like the old saying goes, "When you hit rock bottom there's no where to go but up." I'm holding onto that quote. Since I hate sports this week and we're now in November I would like for you to veer off course and discuss a topic that I've always been fascinated with. What is your theory behind the JFK assassination?

CelticVol,

How many times have you watched the JFK assassination special on the History Channel? More than 10? Yes, we have too, even to the point that if "Hoosiers," pro wrestling, bad college baseball or the JFK special were the only things on, the Mrs. 5-at-10 would say loud and proud, "Anything but the JFK special for the 1,000th time. He's dead. They don't know what happened or they won't tell us what happened and it's not going to change."

That said, we fancy ourselves somewhat a JFK aficionado (and any time you can get "aficionado" into a 5-at-10 it's a good day; now all we need are gubernatorial and mustachioed into the fray and we've covered three of the best words around). The 5-at-10 believes there was no way Lee Harvey Oswald pulled this off by himself. No way. (Side note: Great moment in "Stripes" when the soldiers are introducing themselves and Bill Murray starts talking, he references a fellow soldier, "Lee Harvey, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it. I'm gonna go out on a limb here. I'm gonna volunteer my leadership to this platoon. An army without leaders is like a foot without a big toe. And Sergeant Hulka isn't always gonna be here to be that big toe for us. I think that we owe a big round of applause to our newest, bestest buddy, and big toe... Sergeant Hulka.")

Will we ever know what really happened on that November day in Dallas in 1963? It's doubtful, and that fact means there's a real possibility of government involvement. It's been 50 years, and there's been no meaningful new stories or evidence revealed, and we're living in the greatest information age ever. Plus as the parties involved continue to die off, bits and pieces of the story will be lost forever.

That said, let's assume that your assessment is right, that this is rock bottom for the Vols. What's the future hold? What's the time frame for making the move back into the SEC contenders? How far down the road is the corner the Vols need to turn, and are you confident that Dooley can steer this ship to that point and around the bend.

Yes, it's not really fair to answer a question with a question (never mind several questions), but these are puzzles and conundrums and we're trying to figure this out.

Enjoy the weekend, and feel free to comment along (and add your Alabama-LSU predictions).