5-at-10: Friday mailbag with Rushmores, NFL picks, Saban's replacement, sticking to sports

Greeson thumbnail for lead photo only

Let's handle our business first.

This week's Rushmores:

Rushmore of Howard - As a first name, Stern, Johnson, Cunningham and Hughes. As a last name, Ron (and his whole crew), Terrence, Oliver Otis Howard (Civil War hero and founder of Howard University) and Moe (over Curly and Schemp) Howard of Three Stooges fame.

Rushmore of Smart - People version is Maxwell Smart (of "Get Smart" fame), Shaka Smart, Kirby Smart and Amy Smart. Non-people version is "That smarts," "Book smarts," Smart phone and smart-alec (and the adult version of that one too).

Rushmore of of "Shots" - Shot heard 'round the world (all of them), Take a Shot, Jump Shot and "Slap Shot" with Paul Newman, which is funnier than "Hot Shots" with Charlie Sheen.

Rushmore of common - Ground, denominator, knowledge and the Culture Club hit, "Common, Common, Common Chameleon"

Here's today's A2 offering on a local bus driver working through COVID obstacles.

Here's Paschall on the first NFL shoes to drop for Alabama's talented underclassmen.

And one more: The world's most infectious earworm song of all time - "Baby Shark" - has now become the first YouTube video to reach 10 billion views. Yes, billion with a 'b.'

To the bag, and we were kind of light this week.

From Eddie

Jay, are you going to pick NFL games this year? Thanks and love your column.

Eddie -

Thanks for the kind words.

We haven't picked NFL games this year, but there's no time like the present right?

So let's see.

I'll lay the 5.5 with and take the Bengals. (Check to make sure Joe Burrow is playing for Cincinnati, friends.)

I'll side with the Bills (minus-4) and like the under 44 in a blustery and windy Buffalo against New England.

I think the good Matt Stafford shows up and the Rams walk the Cardinals.

The other three games, I'll take the points with Philly (plus-8.5) covering against Tampa, Pittsburgh (plus-12.5) covering against Kansas City and San Fran (plus-3.5) scaring the bedevil out of Dallas.

Good luck.

From RTR19

Jay, thanks for the bowl contest and for adding a prize for last. I wish we would have won but this helps a little I guess.

Here's my address (removed).

I have a question for you if you have the time. How long do you think Saban will be in T-Town? Of course, I hope he never leaves but he has to at some point right and when he does who will we get?

RTR19 -

Congrats and thanks to everyone who played along in the bowl contest. Your gift card is en route.

To be honest, I thought Saban would have already been gone. I thought he would have been in Tuscaloosa a decade tops and then went back to the NFL or just retired.

But I now see that I think Saban is one of those dudes that will never be able to retire. He'll never be able to just do nothing beyond golf or lake time or what have you.

He's just wired that way, and it's a driving force in his sustained excellence, an excellence that makes him right at the top of the short list of best college coaches across all sports to ever do this.

At some point, he'll leave. We all leave at some point.

And Alabama is going to have to seriously money whip someone to try to be the guy that follows that all-time legacy.

Sure the names like Dabo or whomever will be whispered because of ties to the school, and there's no doubt that it's a boss sauce job and that Saban will leave the cupboard stocked with NFL dudes.

But who in their right mind truly, deep down believes they can follow Saban and Alabama not take a step backward?

Great question, and I don't even know if the Alabama brain trust has any inkling to what the answer is P.S. (post Saban).

And also know this: The rest of the SEC is giddy at the thought of Saban hanging 'em up.

This is how dominant Saban is, and I truly believe this. Every SEC school not named Alabama would be wise to put $1 million in a fund and offer Saban $13 million not to coach. Pay him that every year until he dies, and there's not a better way for Auburn or Tennessee or LSU or the rest of the league to spend seven figures in an effort to win at football than paying Saban to go away.

(Of course, Alabama would then offer him $14 million, and he'd be worth every penny.)

From Mike

Of course, you and all your biased, Saban-loving media hacks are saying Alabama will win it next year.

Wake up Homer - Georgia is the top DAWG now.

Mike -

Congrats on a big week boss. I'm happy for all my Georgia friends who have been waiting a hot minute to no longer have to hear about 1980.

That said, well, I'm not sure which makes me chuckle more - when complaints label me an Alabama homer or a member of liberal media.

We'll call it a tie.

And why would anyone not pick 'Bama as a preseason No. 1 heading into 2022? I know Paschall has an article we previously linked on a couple of Tiders headed to the draft, but Alabama will have the preseason offensive player of the year (QB Bryce Young, who only won the Heisman) and defensive player of the year (Will Anderson) suiting up.

And oh yeah, their coach is pretty good at restocking the shelves and motivating that bunch after falling short of a title.

From A reader

Hey, shut up about the vaccine and stick to sports ... !!!!

You don't know anything anyway, that's why ESPN fired you.

A reader -

Thanks for reading.

And the Hawks made a trade - sending Cam Reddish somewhere. Sporty enough for you?

And friends, remember to be safe out there and get vaccinated so we can make every effort to move past Omicron or whatever next variant is out there.

Side note: Man, I'm glad they went with Greek letters for the follow-up waves of COVID. Sure, it has been tough for an airline (sorry, Delta) and any business with omicron in the name.

But what if they had followed the hurricane model and used people's names. Man, if you're a Chuck, and then the Chuck variant hits the world hard, well, that would stink.

Have a nice weekend friends.

photo Jay Greeson