Let's tend to some business.
Rushmore of Tennesseans. This one got fun. And with your permission, we did sports and non-sports (and rest easy DD, it's Peyton-less). Sports -- Reggie White, Bill Belichick, Pat Summitt.
Costner's Rushmore -- "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams" are 1 and 1A. From there, I think he has more stinkers than strikers. (Side note: If you have not gone back and watched "Airplane!" in a few years, do it. You're welcome.) Believe it or not, I will go "Untouchables" and "No Way Out" for the other two, which means Costner's best four came in his first seven or eight, and in a 40-year career, that's amazing. More on this in a moment.
Rushmore of A-list movie actors who transitioned to TV stardom -- Costner ("Yellowstone"), (Side question: Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren going to "1923" deserves discussion here, but that's far from extended TV run, you know?), Michael J. Fox, who went TV ("Family Ties") to movie A-lister back to TV ("Spin City"), Julia Roberts and the entire cast of HBO's "Big Little Lies."
James Earl Jones Rushmore (and roles matter) -- Darth Vader, Mufasa in "Lion King," "Coming to America" and "Field of Dreams." Visor tip to Vader who nailed this one in like 17 minutes. That said, Jones' résumé is strikingly better than I remember. His recurring role as Admiral Greer in the Jack Ryan movies like "Hunt for Red October" was grand. He would make an old-school "Law & Order" appearance as a defense attorney against Jack McCoy back in the day. Plus, he has two sneaky lovable baseball movies on his ledger with "The Sandlot" and "Bingo Long's Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings." And if you are unfamiliar with Bingo Long -- a Satchell Paige-esque character played by Billy Dee Williams and his Motor Kings, like Jones and Richard Pryor, who is a Black ballplayer trying to pretend he's Hispanic so he can break into the then-racially exclusive Major Leagues, well, I enjoyed it.
20th century Rushmore of civil rights leaders and difference makers -- MLK, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and while I really admire John Lewis and know the impact Medgar Evers had, I think my final one would be Jesse Owens. (And J-Mac was right, there are too many for one Rushmore and LBJ almost assuredly sacrificing a second-term to get the Civil Rights Act passed in '63 had a huge impact, too.)
You know the rules. Here's Paschall on another UT football transfer.
Meant to include this Thursday, but needs a spot today. The LIV has inked a TV deal with The CW, which means Feherty and Co. will have golf shows in between reruns of "Gilmore Girls" and some teenage supernatural show of some sort. True or false on a Friday, you can name one original CW TV franchise. Prove it.
Let's get to the bag.
What team is next years TCU?
Fair question and one we could kind of reshape into which teams (yes, teams) could be considered next year's TCU.
I personally think LSU is going to make the playoff next year, but it won 10 games in 2022, so while that may be a surprise, it's not a TCU-like surprise.
Yes, LSU. If the Tigers gets by an improving FSU in the opener, the Tigers will be favored in every other game with the exception of going to Bryant Denny the first week of November.
Plus, know that I have already put a taste on LSU dual-threat QB Jayden Daniels for the Heisman.
Nationally, here are three for a TCU kind of turnaround.
No. 1 is Wisconsin, which made the best hire in the offseason in my mind with Luke Fickell of Cincinnati. Fickell then made as good of coordinator hire this offseason by going to get UNC's OC and landing former five-star recruit and Oklahoma QB Tanner Mordecai to pull the trigger.
Yes, it's tough sledding in the Big Ten, but Fickell is really, really, REALLY good at his job, and here's betting those cheese-eaters are all-in from Day 1.
No. 2 is Oklahoma. The Sooners were very un-Oklahoma-like in Brent Venables' first season in Norman. OK, it happens. It happens again, and Venables' desk chair becomes the hottest seat in America. But know this: OU was 0-5 in one-score games and three of those losses were on late field goals. Yes, Texas baptized them, but the Sooners are too talented in a middling Big 12 not to win 10 games. (Unless Venables really is that bad, of course.)
No. 3, hey, why not Auburn, which was bowless and finished with a losing record last season -- like TCU did in 2021 before sprinting to the title game? AU has a new coach who is offensive minded, like TCU did before last season's memorable march. If Auburn had landed Grayson McCall from Coastal Carolina, well, not only would the Tigers be 1 on this list, I'd already have my season tickets purchased.
Here's the final thing working for Hugh Freeze as he heads to the Plains. As an AU grad, I am well aware of the litany of agendas within that football program as well as the number bigwigs pulling in a multitude of directions because getting the credit has been more important than getting the results at Auburn for a while now.
But sometimes the best attribute any leader can have is the chance to follow in the footsteps of a predecessor who was terrible at their job. And there are so many folks who were so nauseated by the way all of 2022 unfolded, I think Freeze will get a much more unified support structure than what Auburn normally offers.
For at least a year or two any way.
For the Friday bag: Does the GOP have a candidate problem that's DT's fault?
I think America has a candidate problem, if we are being honest about it.
Hillary Clinton being the other choice on the ballot is as blame-worthy for the failed Donald Trump experience as much as anyone not named Trump in a lot of ways.
Be it the noise-making initialized folks like MTG or AOC or the silent career politicians who do very little and just keep their incumbent jobs (looking at you Chuckie Fleischmann) I don't think either side is trotting out a bevy of young, inspirational go-getters these days, you know?
I saw this stat on social media and thought it was worth sharing:
Anthony Fauci is 84; Klaus Schwab is 84; George Soros is 94; Nancy Pelosi is 82; McConnell is 80; Joe Biden is 80; Trump is 76. Donald Trump is the spring chicken of that crew. Egad, and those are 76 unkind, hard-living years, if I had to guess.
Now, the same social media post offered this juxtaposition. Ladies and gentlemen, our founding fathers when America was being born: James Monroe was 18; Aaron Burr was 20; Alexander Hamilton was 21; James Madison was 25: Thomas Jefferson was 33: John Adams was 40; George Washington was 44.
Yes, I know it's not an apples-to-apples number because of age acceleration. Heck, Washington's 44 may have been today's 70 when you scan the charts and conversions.
But in a time when public service is looked upon as a nuance, and the truly gifted are finding seven-figure occupations or low-five-figure gigs like writing morning internet columns and afternoon sports gambling picks, yes, we have a candidate issue across both sides.
As for Trump's connection to the GOP's candidate issue, it does not help.
He's nasty against all who oppose him -- as is apparent by his overt threats to Ron DeSantis -- and is the running candidate that is the proverbial smiling animal, in that when you wrestle with a pig, you both get muddy, but the pig likes it.
The bigger negative impact Trump has had in my mind is siphoning off so much of the hard-right support that for a long while, no GOP candidate could win anything bigger than local elections without his blessing. That was dangerous, and moreover, cost the GOP some good folks who potentially could have done some good things.
That feels like it changed some last November when the "Red Wave" was more like a Red Sharpie Line and Trump's political promises turned out to be like Trump's presidential pledges to "drain the swamp" -- a whole lot of foul-smelling hot air.
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The easiest and best way to get on the Plays of the Day afternoon sports betting tip sheet from the TFP and yours truly is to go here.
The best two week-run in the Plays' short time ended last night with our first losing evening since early January. We went bagel-and-3. It happens, and we'll do everything to be as transparent as possible in the high times and the low.
We are 20-7-3 since last Sunday, and the daily best bet dipped to 44-24 and we are still north of plus-20 units to date. So there's that.
Jay, I knew you would have a Kevin Costner birthday shootout this week. I love "Yellowstone" too.
You asked for his Rushmore. What about his Rushmore of sports movies? Is it the best of anyone's?
Who makes the Rushmore of best sports movie actors?
And when are you putting your NFL picks out?
Thanks and keep up the good work.
NFL picks will hit the email offerings at 5. That said, I like Joey Franchise's chances for points and success in Buffalo. I think Philly is gonna roll, too. But we'll have a slew of picks for Saturday's and Sunday's games this afternoon.
I have enjoyed Costner's work long before he turned into John Dutton, and if I offered a personal aside, if I had to nail down my personal Rushmore of movies I can quote most easily -- and accurately -- it likely would start with "Bull Durham." (The others would likely be "Fletch," "Caddyshack," and "Raising Arizona." But that's with all apologies and great admiration for the folks from "Almost Famous," "Animal House" and "The Godfather," too.)
Costner's Rushmore is above, but your question gave me pause.
Costner certainly is there on the Rushmore of catalog of sports movies since he has Crash Davis, Ray Kinsella, the coach in McFarland, Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy, Billy Chapel, who loved the game, the GM from the criminally underappreciated "Draft Day" to name but six.
Who joins him? Well, Wesley Snipes has a pretty impressive array with outfield turns in "Major League" and "The Fan" as well as the hoops lead in "White Men Can't Jump" and a football role in "Wildcats." That's a well-rounded approach, especially since reports stated that Snipes threw a baseball so poorly that he would not do it on camera.
Dennis Quaid also a heavy sports pedigree. He was Dick Vermiel in the recent stinker "American Underdog," which was the story of Kurt Warner. He was the coach in "The Express," the lead in "Everybody's All-American" as well as the pitcher in "The Rookie," which is four prominent turns in real-life sports movie scripts. Add in his QB skills in "Any Given Sunday" as well as being the enforcer of the Cutters in "Breaking Away" and that's strong, too.
The final spot goes to Chelcie Ross, and if you are wondering "who is Chelcie Ross?" Well, that's OK. Chelcie Ross was the previous coach of the Hickory Huskers before Norman Dale came to town. He was the actor who played the villainized Dan Devine in "Rudy." He was a scout in the tragically bad "Trouble with the Curve." He was a U.S. senator in "Last Boy Scout," which kind of is a sports movie (as well as a senator in "The Godfather," which is not). He also was a coach in "The Express," and maybe most recognizably, he was Eddie Harris in "Major League."
And no, no one is trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit the curveball.
Have a great weekend, friends.