5-at-10: Weekend winners (Kentucky hoops) and losers (NFL bone-headed coaches) and Brady’s possible farewell

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) points during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Atlanta. The Atlanta Falcons won 30-17. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Weekend winners

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day friends. For my money the best public speaker our nation has seen over the last 100 years, and maybe ever. His contributions were great. (Side question: He has more streets named for him than any other person, right?) I have always been OK with an MLK Day. Heck, the more holidays the better I always say. In truth, I'd be OK with adding another. I think MLB Opening Day should be on a Monday and it should be a holiday. Call it Jackie Robinson Day. (Side thought: If we are talking about the biggest impacts on the fight for racial equality in America, I think Jackie's silent strength against racism > MLK's public prose and peaceful protests. Both were hugely impactful and meaningful and society changing, but Jackie's journey was amazing.))

Kentucky basketball. Sure, this could be about UT's vanishing offense, which seems to short circuit at some of the most inopportune times under Rick Barnes. It could even be about the worst possible outcome for Kentucky native and former UT star and cancer survivor Chris Lofton, who had his jersey retirement ceremony spoiled by the outcome. But more than either of those, this was a statement game for Coach Cal and his program. Listed as an underdog by as many as 14 points in some places before tip off Saturday, Kentucky answered the bell and was tougher and more determined than a UT bunch that had looked tougher and more determined than almost every other team in the country before Saturday.

Trevor Lawrence and Brock Purdy. One was the highest ranked draft prospect since Andrew Luck. The latter is the first Mr. Irrelevant -- the last official pick in each year's NFL draft -- to throw a TD pass in the NFL. Both are now 1-0 in the playoffs and have seven postseason TD passes between them. That'll do.

NFL playoff action this weekend. Yes, there were some boneheaded plays -- and boneheaded bets -- that we will get to in a moment, but wow, what a weekend of drama. And arguably the best match-up in this first weekend of the NFL postseason is tonight when Dallas visits Tampa.

Brendan Fraser. It was a good weekend for Fraser, who is a guy who has played everything from Encino Man to the lead singer in "Airheads" (better than most people realize, actually) and David Greene, the Jewish QB who fights naked in the shower with evil Matt Damon. (Side note: Been in a lot of locker rooms. Showered in lots of locker rooms. Been in a couple of fights in locker rooms. Never have the two overlapped, at least in my experience. Hey, the saying that no one wins in a fight is true way more often than not, but for Gosh sake's T'Boo put you pants on before taking a swing at someone.) Fraser won one of the those award shows last night for his role in "The Whale." Good for that guy. (Side note, part II: Fraser also is in "The Scout," which is one of the worst sports movies ever made. Truly, and I say that as someone who likely has seen more sports movies than anyone you know.)

LeBron James. When you get to a basketball list that is you and Kareem, well, that's winning the weekend. There are two NBA players ever to score 38,000 or more points, and they are James and the 7-foot-2 guy who was jobbed out of a best supporting actor nomination from the comedy classic "Airplane!" That's it.

Weekend losers

NFL coaches who look like your StateFarm agent. Hey, that's not a slight, but if we're being honest, Brandon Staley and Mike McDaniel look as much like an NFL head coach as my French bulldog CoCo. But Staley and McDaniel -- two analytics-forged "new" thinkers -- looked like old-school stinkers with their teams in winnable games. Staley went so conservative Lou Holtz was begging for different play-calling as his Chargers turned a 27-0 lead into a 31-30 loss. To be fair, McDaniel had the Dolphins in an inexplicable spot of having a chance to win against a Bills team that was a 14-point favorite and with Skylar Thompson at QB. But on fourth-and-1 at the Bills 48, Miami's brain trust froze and -- despite having the extra time of an injured player -- could not get the play in on time and took a delay of game. Miami's next play was an incomplete pass on fourth-and-6 and the Bills ran out the clock from there for a 34-31 win.

Kirk Cousins. Wow, Cousins gonna Cousins, huh? So Cousins played pretty well if you look at the box score. A 31-of-39 with two TDs and no picks is fine. But Cousins has consistently been that guy who is just good enough to get you beat in the first round of the playoffs. Because with the game on the line on fourth-and-8, Cousins threw a 3-yard pass. And one better, on the final drive, Justin Jefferson did not get a target. Unless they have four dudes on the best receiver in the league -- and if they did have four dudes on Jefferson, why were we throwing a 3-yard pass on fourth-and-8 -- you have to find ways to get that guy the ball.

The DraftKings bettor who dropped $1.4 million on the Chargers to win outright when Los Angeles took its 27-0 lead. He placed the monster loser at minus-12,500 odds, which means if the Chargers had held on, he would have pocketed a $11,200 profit. Now he has some splainin' to do to someone.

The Duke faculty member who published the article with the thesis that Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest and near-death incident two weeks ago "Highlights the Violence Black Men Experience in Football." Wow, attention seek much Ms. Canada?

The awful headlines from Alabama, where a basketball player has been charged with murder, and at Georgia, where a football recruiter and a UGA player were killed in car accidents. Man. (Here's Paschall on the Georgia situation.)

Final swing?

So is this it? Is tonight the final Tom Brady football game?

The question should be asked, because dude is 45. In NFL years, that's Methuselah-like old.

At home Brady and Tampa Bay are a 2.5-point underdog. So the season for the underachieving Bucs could easily end tonight against Dallas.

Of course Brady could win. He's Tom Bleepin' Brady and has more postseason wins than any player to ever buckle a chin strap. (Although if Stetson had one more year, he'd give him a run for the money.)

It could be Brady's last game in Tampa but not his last game, too.

Heck, with the QB play at a lot of Sunday locales, Brady's 2022 -- while below his standards and expectations -- was still a top-half-of-the-league season for a modern QB.

Look at the teams that played this weekend.

As good as Brock Purdy was, don't you think the 49ers are the Super Bowl favorites right now with Brady behind center?

Or the Ravens, who had Tyler Huntley prominently involved as injured QB Lamar Jackson -- who has an interesting off season in front of him too -- decided not to travel with his mates to Cincy. (Side note: If I own an NFL team and my injured QB1 who wants a quarter of a billion dollars guaranteed decides not to travel with his team -- and you know, lead -- for a playoff game, I let him walk. Thoughts?)

Heck, there are reports that Brady may be on the move to Nashville, where the Titans call home and a) have QB quandaries of their own and b) narrowly missed on signing Brady when he left New England a few years ago.

This and that

-- So the Friday "Plays" email kept the hot streak alive. Our best bet was under 133 for Nebraska-Purdue on Friday and that hit. We had a slew of NFL playoff picks, hitting the 49ers, the Bengals minus-6.5, the Jags plus-2 and over 40.5 rushing yards for Daniel Jones. We missed on the Bills minus-13.5 and Austin Ekeler over 31 receiving yards. The 5-2 weekend mark capped 16-4-1 week and moved us north of plus-20 units over the last three months. That's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as Pop would say.

-- In the grand scheme of things, doesn't Skylar Thompson sound more like someone who is playing forward and coming into the game for instant offense for the U.S. Women's National Soccer team than someone playing QB in the NFL playoffs?

-- Wow, how about the turning tides of NIL deals. There was the five-star Florida commit who was reportedly going to get millions before the NIL deal fell through. Now there are reports out of Columbus that CJ Stroud may get a $10 million NIL deal to return for one more year at THE Ohio State. And it's fair to ask, since CJ Stroud returning would make THE Buckeyes THE favorites next year, a natty is worth well more than $10 million.

Today's questions

Weekend winners and losers. Go.

As for today, let's review.

Susan Sontag would have been 90 today. Crash still thinks her stuff is self-indlugent, overrated crap.

Horror movie kingpin John Carpenter is 75 today.

If we did a 20th century Rushmore of civil rights leaders and difference makers, who makes it?

Go, and enjoy the day.