5-at-10: Friday mailbag with college hoops debate, all-time stand-up routines, next great Bama QB

Morning friends. Stay warm out there.

Let’s handle our business.

First, a mighty visor tip to Baylor School for winning its first state football championship in 49 years. Here’s more from Hargis, because rules are rules, especially when a local school rules the state in football.

And as Hargis noted above, man, the decision by the powers that are at Baylor School to go in a different direction with Erik Kimrey as the football coach certainly paid off in a huge way this season. 

Second, because rules are rules, here’s Paschall on Georgia’s desire for better offense down the stretch. 

And as we noted Thursday, it appears official that the expansion of the playoff will happen in 2024. Sigh. Let’s at least know that we will be able to fondly recall when the college football regular season was filled with must-have Saturdays and the games of September still mattered. R.I.P. best regular season in sports. You were loved.

Let’s do the Rushmores.

Rushmore of magazines, in no specific order — Time, National Geographic, Playboy and Sports Illustrated. 

Rushmore of albums. This is borderline impossible, so fire away with your criticisms and they likely are fair, but we’ll go in no specific order and start with Thriller, which had nine songs — including collaborations with McCartney and Eddie Van Halen — and seven top-10 hits as well as the most famous video of all-time and birthed a dance (Moonwalk) that influenced pop culture for a decade. Dark Side of the Moon, Abbey Road and Purple Rain are my final three. So fire away because there’s no Stones here or the greatness of Rumours or Born to Run or Appetite for Destruction or rap or country. Maybe the hardest Rushmore imaginable.

Rushmore of Freeze — Freeze tag, Brain freeze, “Freeze Frame” and of course Hugh Freeze. War Eagle, coach.

Rushmore of Grand — Grandparents, Grand Ol’ Opry, Baby Grand Piano, Grandmaster Flash and the old-school rap greats. 

To the bag.  

From Mark S

Jay, been too long. How have you been? I miss talking basketball with you. I thought about our talks this week when I saw what Jay Bilas put on Twitter. Did you see his ACC vs. Big Ten all-time teams?

I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

Take care and hope to see you during the holidays.

Mark — 

Great to hear from you my man, and I too miss our basketball talks. Stupid COVID.

I did see the Bilas Tweet — it’s here — and I will preface this with two caveats.  

First, Bilas is one of if not my favorite ESPN personalities. Matt Barrie’s on that list. So is Louis Riddick.

Second, I have forever been an advocate of whatever team you are selecting of being as position-specific as possible. Be it the Best of Preps teams — seriously, you could pick 12 fastpitch softball pitchers from the area and put them across the field and be stacked — or all-time teams, I think you should have a first baseman, a second baseman, a shortstop and a third baseman and not just four ‘infielders.’

So to that end, I would quibble with Bilas’ list a touch. He breaks it down sort of — each team has two guards and three bigs, which is close. 

But with canvases as deep and rich to choose from as all-time ACC and Big Ten teams, shouldn’t we go point guard, 2s, 3s, power forwards and centers? I say yes.

Bilas’ ACC teams was MJ, David Thompson, Christian Laettner, Tim Duncan and Ralph Sampson. Three of those are total no-brainers, and while David Thompson was amazing, he was not a point guard, was he? My five would be Chris Paul, MJ, Lenny Bias, Laettner and Sampson.

Bilas’ Big Ten team was Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Glen Rice, Jerry Lucas and Kevin McHale. Like having two 2s on the ACC team, he has two point guards on the Big Ten team. And two power forwards. Magic has to be there, and personally I love the Glen Rice inclusion. Bobby Knight had some dudes in the 1980s. Guys like Calbert Chaney come to mind. Steve Alford too. 

I also like Jerry Lucas as one of the bigs, but I think McHale’s inclusion is more for professional success than college accomplishment. 

And man the Big Ten list is more difficult than the ACC in my mind.

What do you do with Purdue sharpshooter Rick Mount, who averaged more than 32 a game for his career? What about Big Dog Robinson, who was NCAA player of the year? Or the Indiana players mentioned above or any of the stars on the last undefeated title team (Hoosiers, ‘77)?

What about dominant perimeter stars like Steve Smith or Jim Jackson?

My Big Ten five is Magic at the 1, Mount at the 2, Rice at the 3 with Chris Webber and Lucas on the blocks.


From SteelerFan

Thanks for your recent commentary on comics. For the record, I got Pryor as my No. 1 all-timer over Murphy — which may be generational. Also one plug. Saw a fascinating 2016 documentary last week called "Dying Laughing” where some of he top comics in the world talk about what it’s like to bomb on stage: Chris Rock tells why it’s actually healthy to get booed and Kevin Hart explains how a talent scout once told him that he had zero potential as a stand-up. Here’s the link.  

Since the Steelers are having a lost season, I’ve got a little time on my hands. Feels like a Bubby Brister Christmas.

SteelerFan — 

As an Auburn grad and a lifelong Falcons supporter, well, I share your emotional fall this fall. Sigh.

Thanks for the link and for the documentary. I will definitely check it out. I told my mother once that I thought I could be a stand up comedian. I will never forget her response:

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

So hello newspapers.

Like I said earlier this week, if you have Richard Pryor as the GOAT of stand-up, I’m not going to argue much about it. In fact, his career may have been better on stage that Murphy’s.

But Eddie’s “Raw” was the funniest two hours I’ve ever watched. And in truth, his “Delirious” is also a top-five comedy routine as well. Maybe top three.

We’ve had some great suggestions this week. Folks have mentioned Eddie and Richard and have rightly raised praise for Robin Williams, George Carlin, Rock and a slew of others.

The one that is still doing it today and who has been underrepresented in my mind is Dave Chappelle, who I would have top five all time to be honest.

Here’s hoping your Bubby Brister Christmas does not become a Mark Malone New Year’s.

From Triple H

Yellowstone has about lost me. Taylor Sheridan writes every line like he wants it to be the most memorable line ever. Can anybody have casual conversations in that show?

Also Beth...my goodness. Becoming (more) unbearable.


Are you still watching?

and one football topic...

Has any GM ever gotten more undeserved praise than Les Snead? When ownership gives the green light to hand out draft picks like candy in exchange for top players, couldn't any GM have assembled that roster last year? Now look where they are... I know there is more to his job but Snead has been riding the "F them picks" tagline/attention all the way home, when in fact that brings even less credibility to his role.

HHH — 

Completely concur my man about “Yellowstone.” Heck, I’m still watching now because of habit and long-term commitment. 

Also, one other complaint: Just because this show is on Paramount and the characters can cuss does not mean they need to cuss in every single exchange. C’mon writers do we need a profane reference to female anatomy in every single episode?

The Snead dynamic with the Rams is an interesting one, because there were a lot of philosophical discussions around this Rams’ franchise over the last half-decade.

First, there’s the extravagant spending on a coaching staff and whether you can truly develop an edge by having the best football minds on the sideline.

I think Sean McVay is good at his job, and I think he delivers an edge. I think Bill Belichick is an all-timer at his job and delivers a bigger edge, especially in terms of defensive preparation.

But who are the best coaches currently working on Sundays? Those two, and maybe Andy Reid and Pete Carroll and John Harbaugh? 

Notice that without talent, great coaches are no longer playoff coaches? Hmmmmmm.

There also is the “All-in” discussion, because the Rams are staring it right in the eye, and here’s thinking the reaction to the future is going to be holding their nose and saying “Ewe.” (You liked that one, didn’t you Spy?)

With cap flexibility and a small but clear championship window, the Rams swung for the fence and connected with a Super Bowl. Los Angeles is in last place in the West. They are projected to have negative-1.6 million in salary cap space next year, and that’s before the Matt Stafford escalation to his deal.

So the Rams will have to cut players to have enough space just to sign their 2023 draft class.

(Side questions: Want to know who has the most projected cap space for 2023? It’s the Bears with more than nine figures of projected dollars to spend. Want to know who’s second? The Falcons with more than $66 million available.) 

Then there is your fair lament about the lack of value the Rams have put on draft picks.

Hey, I love the draft. You know this. And the Rams went overboard, a fact they will dispute with the fact that they won the Super Bowl.

But in some ways, I understand the “Bleep the picks” ideology from these angles:

— First, if you are not a very good drafting team, why not deal said picks? (Side question: Do you know the last Rams’ first-round selection? It’s Jared Goff, who went 1 overall in 2016. It will remain that way for the foreseeable future since currently the Rams do not have a 2023 first-rounder either.)   

— Second, what gets GMs fired the quickest? Failed first-round picks. If you don’t have first-rounders, you can’t miss on first-rounders.

— Third, other teams are currently putting too much value on picks, especially first-rounders.

— Finally, if you deal and deliver with a title, you buy at least four years of ownership good will right?

And Snead and the Rams can use all the good will they can muster right about now?

From Jack

It’s just like Auburn to go hire a scumbag like Hugh Freeze! Auburn is a cesspool that will never be anything in football again.

Your done! HAHAHAHAHA! Enjoy being a basketball school!

Jack — 

Merry Christmas. And thanks for reading.

That said, and I was going to include this up top with the visor tip to Baylor School’s state title win Thursday night, but dear buckets of Bradshaw meet Brady, did you see the kid who was MVP of the 7A Alabama state title game?

Trent Seaborn replaced injured QB Zach Sims midway through the season and Thompson High did not miss a beat. Seaborn finished the season with 1,181 yards passing, 14 TDs and a 71.8 completion percentage.

Great numbers right? Well, he was 12-of-14 for five TDs in Thompson’s 49-24 win over Auburn High for Thompson’s fourth straight state title.

Yeah, don’t pick against Thompson moving forward.

Because Seaborn is a 14-year-old eighth grader. Yes, eighth grader. That kid will make a killing in NIL before he can legally buy a cold beer.

And what are the odds that kid ends up slinging it for the Tide?

Enjoy the weekend friends.