5 at 10: Friday mailbag

5 at 10: Friday mailbag

March 9th, 2012 by Jay Greeson in Sports

From the "Talk Too Much studios," let's go.

UTC head basketball coach John Shulman watches from the sidelines during Saturday's game against UNC Greensboro at McKenzie Arena.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

From StuckInKent

I'm a big Mocs and Vols fan, and even a UK fan sometimes (my wife and her family are huge UK fans, I live in the Lexington area due to my current job, and went back to UK to get my MBA, so all those things forced me into some sort of allegiance to UK).

I want to thank you for writing. I really do read the 5 at 10 every day. I appreciate you doing it. It's one of the highlights of my work day.

Here's my question: If the Mocs do indeed get rid of Shulman, who are some people on your short list to replace him? If that's too tough, what sort of candidate would you be looking for? A D-2 coach who had had success? A big six conference assistant? A flameout from a big six conference as a head coach? (Possibly Horn at South Carolina?) An assistant off of a Butler, VCU, or Murray State?

Thanks!

StuckinKent,

Thanks for the kind words and for reading the 5-at-10. It's a lot of fun, especially when the give-and-take later in the days gets going.

Before we answer your question we have to notice that's an interesting blend of fan backgrounds you have there.

We're not going to talk specifics in regard to UTC men's basketball coach John Shulman, because we believe he'll be back next year if he wants to be. (Shulman may decide he's had enough and look for other opportunities, but unless something has drastically changed in the UTC financial office - a big donation, finding six-figures between the sofa cushions in the lounge, a winning Tennessee Lottery ticket, et al. - firing Shulman appears to be fiscal impossibility.)

That said, if the discussions to fire a coach are happening, among the first questions that need to be asked and answered is, "Who are we going to hire to replace him?"

Here's a few items on our check list:

- For a situation like UTC's, the first qualification should be someone who has had success at a mid-major level at some point. If you went and threw a lot of coin at someone who has his spent almost his entire career on a bench in the SEC or as a Duke assistant, you are ignoring the problem-solving facet of the job. When big programs have problems and issues, they throw money at it. Johnny Point Guard is struggling in class, let's hire an extra tutor. Jimmy Small Forward is skipping class, let's hire someone to walk him to the door. We need an influx of talent, let's expand the recruiting budget. UTC is not afforded that luxury.

- Preferably someone with some head-coaching experience.

- Don't be afraid to hire someone that may leave in two years or someone looking for a second chance. If it's a Mr. Hot Shot on the way up, and you give him his big break, well, so be it. Even if he does leave for greener pastures, at worst, Johnny Mocs Fan gets two-three years of high-quality hoops and a possible home game against whichever future big-conference foe hires Mr. Hot Shot.

- Be creative, and don't leave any name un-approached (and yes, we'd see if Bruce Pearl was interested).

Thanks for the question, and thanks again for reading.

Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli (3) goes in for a basket as Tennessee forward Dwight Miller (25) and guard Cameron Tatum (23) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Photo by (AP Photo by Adam Brimer/Knoxville News Sentinel)

From CelticVol

Hey 5@10,

What a week for the Tennessee Vols. The basketball Vols finish 2nd in the league, the Lady Vols win the SEC tournament, and the baseball Vols beat the other UT. My question for you this week involves the ability of one to play well despite being sick. This question came to me after watching Jarnell Stokes play on Saturday. Stokes stated that he had a 106 or 107 fever in the early morning hours on Saturday which in and of itself is a question probably reserved for Dr. B. (since he is a doctor after all, right?) Is that really possible to have a fever that high and not be taken to a hospital? Stokes performance was great but what sick performances do you think are the greatest?

P.S. Have you seen the new Gatorade commercial featuring Michael Jordan's 1997 Game 5 Flu Game? How many cases of Gatorade do you think JordanRules bought after seeing that commercial?

CelticVol

It was an excellent week for Johnny Vols Fans everywhere. (There's no way to overstate the job Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin has done. Simply outstanding. That was a nice run through Nashville for Pat Summitt and Co., and here's saying that UT baseball is ready for big things with Dave "Don't call me Pedro" Serrano.)

As for the flu question, the MJ game was the first one to come to mind. If Memory serves Sampras played through being seriously ill in the U.S. Open one year, maybe 1996.

As for playing hurt/ill, here's a top five in 10 words or less - yes the ever-popular 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10:

1) Jack Youngblood with tough blood: Rams DE played two playoff games with broken leg

2) Kirk Gibson's '88 homer to sink the A's: Two bad knees and a stomach bug... didn't matter

3) Emmitt Smith's separated shoulder vs. New York: Smith ran for 170, had 10 catches with one arm

4) Byron Leftwich needs a lift at Marshall: Carried to the line by teammates because of a broken tibia

5) Tiger being Tiger at 2008 U.S. Open: He walked 90 holes on a shredded knee and won

As for you hilarious point about JordanRules - our resident regular who feels Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever (and he is) and is quite defensive about it, yes we think JordanRules may have needed one of the Gatorade trucks to deliver the order. In fact here's a quick top three "commercialed" moments in recent sports memory that happened live and were better than any commercial could have been:

1) Jordan drinking Gatorade battling the flu and dropping 38 on the Jazz in a two-point win.

2) Tiger chipping in on No. 16 in the 2006 Masters, and his Nike ball pausing for two everlasting seconds with the Swoosh high and proud before falling in the cup.

3) Dee Brown stopping and "pumping" his Reebok Pumps before winning the 1991 dunk contest. (Although this likely was the beginning of the end for the dunk contest, so there you go.)

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Rod Beck pumps his fist after earning a save following the final out with bases loaded against the Toronto Blue Jays, Thursday July 26, 2001, at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-3. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From Eljefe

What would you say is your All Sport's Bucket List? We can have an attainable and unattainable (but still cool) category.

Here are mine respectively: Disclaimer: Huge Boston Fan. Insert your own team as applicable

1. Attend every Red Sox game for a single season.

2. Own a Sport's Bar (Like a Buffalo Wild Wings with all those gadgets)

3. Sit in the Booth with Jerry Remy

4. Play water polo with the national team. The sport is just hardcore. No speedos though

5. Shoot around with Ray Allen. Heck I'll just feed him the ball. Heck, I'll clean the gym when he is done.

6. Watch a blood relative play in the Little League World Series.

7. Play in the Manning Thanksgiving Day family football game. Seriously, I'll take Momma Manning and the investment banker.

8. Drop some line with the "Mad Fisherman" Charlie Moore

9. Walk all 18 at Augusta with Palmer and Nicklaus. I really mean just walk and let them talk.

10. Hunt with Bo Jackson. Again, just hang out for the day.

11. Hold the Heavy Bag for Tyson. I was going to say spar but that would likely get uglier than his singing at the end of Hangover 2.

12. Surf the North Shore of Hawaii. Admittedly not a sport but it just looks real fun.

13. Take BP against Nolan. Oh yeah, he pitches me inside I'm charging the mound.

14. A little game of horse with Bird and Jordan. We'll play for Mickey D's French fries

15. Golf foursome including: Barkley, Bill Murray, Fred Couples. "Skin's Game rules."

16. Dodge ball with the Big Unit, pre-steroids Clemens, and the Eck

17. Home Run Derby at Fenway: One off the "Pole" made famous by Mr. Johnny Pesky and one over the Monster

18. Penalty Kicks at the All England Club

19. Drag Racing "Funny" Cars

20. Have some beverages with Junior and work the conversation around to "Tell me about yer daddy."

Happy Fathers' Day and Stay thirsty my friend

ElJefe,

Outstanding list. Simply outstanding.

You list is almost too good to top. We've been blessed as far as the sports bucket list. We've played Augusta, we've been to the Derby, saw the 1996 Dream Team win the golf in Atlanta, been to a Super Bowl, the Final Four, every SEC football stadium save Arkansas, watched a game at South Bend, been to Omaha and the College World Series and spent a spring break trailing through Florida for 14 spring training games in eight days. Rode shotgun going 180 in one of those Richard Petty NASCAR doo-dads at Atlanta Motor Speedway and rode a bull.

So it goes when you have a sports-related job and a few years of "less-tha-inspired" studying at centrally-located SEC school like Auburn.

As for our bucket list of things we want to witness as a fan:

1) Duke-UNC from the Duke student section in Cameron

2) Tiger in the hunt at St. Andrew's in the British Open

3) A game in Lambeau that it's so cold, you have to drink beer to warm up

Those are specific venues as much as anything, but the common thread to special sport events is the electricity the setting and the surrounding generate. There's a different buzz there, and you can feel it. When Tiger makes a run at Augusta, you can feel it in the roars through those Georgia pines. When the Cameron Crazies start going nuts and the camera starts shaking, you can feel it through the TV screen. Sometimes those events happen at high school football games or at the World Series, but when they happen - and you're there - you know it.

From the list of talks, experiences, et al.

1) A round-table discussion with Saban, Bowden, Dye, Fulmer and fill the blank college football coach where everyone was sworn to tell the truth. Wow, what kind of answers would that provide.

2) Buy Vin Scully a beer and start the conversation - not unlike the end of "Almost Famous" which is a SERIOUSLY underrated movie - with "Sooooo, tell us what you love about baseball."

3) We're stealing your foursome idea with Barkley, Murray and we'd sub out David Feherty rather than Couples, who can be kind or persnickety when the mood hits him.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, right, listens as quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Manning's record-breaking run as quarterback of the Colts ended Wednesday, when Irsay announced the team would release its best player.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

From Chas9

Peyton, we hardly knew ye.

Is it like Ruth and Boston? Aaron and Atlanta? What's the Mt. Rushmore of legends being let go while still winning?

From an emotional standpoint - something that hurt the fan base, but everyone could see it was the right thing at the right time - Peyton Manning and the Colts parting ways this week reminded us about the press conference the Braves had when they traded Dale Murphy to the Phillies. Everyone knew he was going to be dealt - and he wanted to make one more run at the World Series and the Braves were facing a youth movement.

We'll give 9er two Mt. Rushmores:

Players who were excellent, changed team and became legends - Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, LeBron James

And here's the four players we're most happy we didn't have to see in another uniform - Cal Ripken, Walter Payton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson.

Comedian Chris Farley, new cast member of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" is shown on Sept. 18, 1990. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

From scole023

I know there's a Final Four contest, right? Right? C'mon, you know I like to win stuff.

OK, my question is your question. You asked us what was the best SNL character, but you didn't tell us what your answer was. Tell us.

(And the NCAA tournament contest better be cool.)

scole023,

Thanks as always for the kind words, and yes there will be a NCAA tournament contest. In fact, we're thinking of a couple.

Last year we had the "Overrated/Underrated Invitational" in which folks picked the first No. 1 seed to lose and the last double-digit seed remaining in the draw. It ended in a tie, so our tie-breaker was which two players would score the most over the Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend, and if memory serves, scole023 won it by edging Bigbearzz, who developed a kindred spirit with Kemba Walker during the entire process.

This year, we're thinking of blending the two in some way or form. We'll announce it Monday, and as always, if you have any ideas shoot them along.

As for our favorite SNL character, well, since it is March Madness, let's go to the bracket. For time constraints, this will be a 16-team field, and yes, the Gap Girls, Gumby, the Coneheads and Opera Man and some of the others ranked between 17-20 may complain but so be it. We'll be back with our answers after lunch, but feel free to breakdown our bracket below. Enjoy:

1. Church Lady

16. Loungesingers

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8. Samurai Futaba

9. Bill Sweski's Superfans

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5. Unfrozen Caveman Lawayer

12. Pat

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13. The Continental

4. Linda Richman

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3. Matt Foley

14. Ed Grimley

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6. Mr. Robinson's neighborhood

11. Spartan Cheerleaders

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7. Blues Brothers

10. Fernando from Fernando's Hideaway

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15. Tommy Flanagan

2. Wayne Campbell