5-at-10: Friday mailbag with County Commission vs. Mayor thoughts, college hoops coaches, more

Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / County attorney Rheubin Taylor, left, listens as Mayor Weston Wamp speaks during the Hamilton County Commission meeting at the Hamilton County Courthouse on October 19, 2022.

Before we get started, happy Veterans Day, and to those who served and to those who sacrificed to help support those who served, thank you.

Our freedom is because of you.

Let’s handle our business.

Rushmore of professional multi-sport stars — Thorpe, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Deion and Bo Jackson. (Well called Bearddawg.) Side note that needs mentioning here, in that we made mention of professional — and women’s pro sports were sorely lacking in Babe’s time. But Jackie Robinson was quite possibly the best athlete ever, and you know how much I love Bo Jackson. But Robinson lettered in four sports at UCLA — including winning the 1940 NCAA track and field title in the long and leading the country in punt return average — and baseball was considered his worst sport of the four.

Rushmore of Freddie — Kruger, Freeman, Mercury and Fender.

Rushmore of TV shows centered on Black families — “Good Times,” “Blackish,” Sanford and Son” and while we can loathe the namesake, “The Cosby Show” has to be included. 

Rushmore of "I remember where I was" sports moments — Magic’s announcement, Dale’s death, the Kick 6 and Tyson losing to Buster Douglas.

You know the rules, and this is 100% in Stephen Hargis’ wheelhouse, and he delivered on South Pittsburg’s football team and community rallying around the offseason tragedy in this postseason run. 

Here’s Paschall on the Vols seniors wanting to finish in style at Neyland Stadium this weekend. (I know we did not include that one in our picks, but there’s a real chance if the weather is nice, UT puts a whippin’ on Missouri on Saturday, you know?)

To the bag.

From TT

Who would win in a no holds barred over the ring rope wrestling match between Wynonna, Elle, Kelly Clarkson and Miranda?? Pay per view.

TT — 

Yes, the pay-per-view would be a winner. What Miranda Lambert gives the others in size she makes up for with attitude, if you ask me.

I think Kelly Clarkson is the first to get tossed. Wynonna goes next because she’s considerably older than the rest of the field.

As for Elle King and Miranda, well, considering Elle King’s style and her willingness to wear leather britches with “The Killer” written across the tuchus, she’s gotta be the betting favorite.

Thanks, TT.

From Big Dawg

It seems you do better when you stay with your head and not your heart, i.e., UTC / Lamont Paris, etc. 

Big Dawg — 

Completely fair, and something that is certainly true. Side question: What’s the Rushmore of songs with "heart" in the title? Discuss. Elvis’ classic “Heartbreak Hotel” has to be there, right? “Achy Breaky Heart” — while awful — sold more than a few records, too. 

While we are here, there’s still time to sign up for the afternoon betting email with my Plays of the Day.

So we got up to plus-3 units with Tony Finau’s strong first-round showing, then gave back a couple on the seesaw swinging from success to struggles.

Speaking of golf, the Baylor School quartet is in the field at the Shell Open in Houston. Keith Mitchell is tied for fifth at 4 under, one back of four leaders at 5 under, including Finau.

Luke List and Harris English each shot 1 under Thursday and are in a large group tied for 38th. Stephan Jaeger is a shot back at even par and is in the group sharing 53rd.  

From Pete 

Heartless J

When it was suggested in the comments that your friend Weston was a weekend loser, you pushed back. In less than two days, BOTH SIDES of the Times Free Press editorial page agreed, almost verbatim, with your position. Good call.

Keep Writing. 

From Bicycle Bob

Jay, I'm tired of our county commissioners and their "ruffled feathers." Based on what I read in the TFP this morning, the county attorney did his private work on company time. And if the commissioners added a clause in his contract to allow him to do private work on the taxpayers' dime, then double-shame on them. When I was working, I was afraid to look at the internet on company time unless I was on lunch break. They need to let the mayor do his job.

Pete and BB — 

Thanks guys, and man, whether they are meaning to or not, the County Commission is doing everything in its power to galvanize the early days of Weston Wamp’s time as county mayor.

Not sure this is the best way, but with each passing conversation about it, the commission looks more and more whiny and more and more supportive of a back-room politics, this-is-the-way-it’s-always-been mentality.

It also has completely turned the narrative away from some staff issues and the stadium dealings that could have dominated the early part of Weston’s first term, you know?

From Ern 

True or False. Henceforth, you will recuse yourself from making predictions on UTC teams.

I sent you an epistle on Henry To'o To'o earlier. Do you think he has any second thoughts about bailing on UT?  

Have a good one, 5-10 still a jewel.

Ernie — 

True on UTC. Strike that, false. I will still pick UTC hoops. I think the Mocs are going to be good and I think Jake Stepehsn is the real deal.

As for ol’ Hank, I have not thought about that, but I doubt it.

That said, would UT be better with him? It’s not like they have missed all that much without him, you know?

From Chas 

For Friday's bag: A CBS Sports panel says the top four college roundball coaches are, in order, Self, Few, Drew and Cal. They have Pearl #8, Musselman #10 and Barnes #14. I'd swap #8 and #10. How about you? Who's too high, who's too low?

For the mailbag: Twitter chaos. Users have gotten the $8 blue checks for lots of bogus accounts, including Donald Trump, Super Mario, LeBron and Jesus Christ.

Several top privacy and security executives resigned from Twitter Thursday, citing fears over the risks from Elon Musk’s leadership, in a stunning exodus that prompted federal regulators to warn they might step in. Politics aside, I’m afraid the fundamentals for the company aren’t there.

Musk has said Twitter may not survive the coming downturn.

Jay, are you still thinking about buying more Tweety stock?

For Friday's bag: How much trouble is Dan Snyder in? How about the NFL?

Chas — 

Here’s the CBS list of the top 25 coaches (and 1), and there are a few different ways to view this.

Best game coach? Best recruiter? Best program builder? Because some of the other names on the list are interesting too.

Like Kelvin Sampson is too high at 5, and honestly, Rick Pitino is either too low or too high at 11.

Having Pitino outside of the top 2 or 3 is like voting for Roger Clemens to get into the Hall and not Barry Bonds. If you are going to include Pitino, he’s still a top-three coach — maybe across all levels of the game — when it comes to X’s and O’s.

Pitino redirected the modern style of basketball, whether we know it or not, in terms of style and pace. 

And, while he was as dirty as anyone pre-NIL, I’d rank Calipari higher than four. (Although the stat in the story that it’s been seven years since Cal and UK has made the Final Four was surprising to me.)

I think Self is really good. Same with Drew. Pearl is great at building a program, and is extremely underrated on inbound sets. (Seriously, watch Auburn out of timeouts and almost every single time they get a very good look under the basket or on sideline inbound plays.)

I’m a fan of Musselman, too, and what he’s assembling in Fayetteville is pretty special. SEC basketball is better when the trip to Arkansas is a major problem, you know? Kind of like SEC football is better when UT is relevant. 

As for stock, I am not buying any stock for the foreseeable future. That said, the transition has not been as smooth as anyone — especially Elon — expected. 

Personally, I had zero intentions to pay $20 to keep my blue check mark. Eight bucks is more palatable. Wonder if we can turn that in on our expenses at the TFP?

Snyder must be in way more trouble than we realize, because think of all the scandals he has dodged in previous years. And all of the scandals other owners from Robert Kraft to Jerry Jones have dodged too.

To push out an owner — and in my mind he was pushed out not for his terrible history of workplace environments or his treatment of women, but for betraying the trust and hinting at blackmailing other owners — is a huge deal in sports.

Still, the NFL is fine. Not sure there is a scandal out there that could make America give up its Sunday obsession with the (cue Ron Jaworski) THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

Have a great weekend friends.