5-at-10: Friday mailbag with questions on NFL draft, Dilbert, Luka and hate mail

Happy Friday, friends. Stay safe out there with this weather.

And hope the kids enjoy the free day here in Hamilton County.

Let's handle our business.

Rushmore of Mel -- Mel Brooks, Mel Sharples (owner of Mel's Diner and Alice's boss), Mel Gibson and Mel-low Mushroom (overpriced and slow, but mighty fine pizza pie).

Rushmore of March -- March Madness, Ides of March, March of Dimes, Sherman's March to the Sea, and I agree with Bearddawg -- he was a war criminal.

Rushmore of TV military characters -- M*A*S*H version -- Henry Blake, Frank Burns, Hawkeye Pierce and Hot Lips Houlihan. Side question: Could M*A*S*H have the Max Klinger story line in today's world since he was cross-dressing to convince Col. Potter he was crazy? Non-M*A*S*H version: Col. Hogan from "Hogan's Heroes," Gomer Pyle, Nicholas Brody ("Homeland") and James T. Kirk.

Rushmore of mister -- Mister Rogers, old-school DQ classic Mister Misty (and the float with soft-serve ice cream was the bee's knees, folks), Mr. Baseball, the one and only Bob Uecker ("Just a bit outside, tried for the corner and missed") and we'll conclude with Mr. Ed, who was a horse of course. (Sorry, Mister Mr. does not make the grade if for no other reason than Paschall would never let me hear the end of it. Everyone knows TFP ace David Paschall is an SEC savant, but not many know that DP knows music -- especially 1980s music -- as well as just about anyone I've ever known. Trust me on this.)

OK, before we get to a jammed-packed mailbag with a slew of great queries this tidbit needs to be shared.

Detroit Mercy star Antoine Davis -- who is the son of DMU coach and longtime college basketball name Mike Davis -- missed setting the NCAA scoring mark last night. He finished with 22 points and is three shy of tying Pete Maravich. Here's more.

Davis finished 7-of-26 from the floor and 4-of-16 from 3. Whether they play in the CBI -- which would count even if the school had to pay $50,000 to enter the tournament -- is anyone's guess.

Also of note here, Detroit Mercy lost games in 2020 by being held out of the Horizon League tournament for a rotten APR score. Got to figure Davis would have scored a bucket or three in one more game right?

So, did the modern NCAA rules of APR save Maravich's mark -- which is significantly lower because of ineligibility of freshmen in Pistol's day -- in the end?

To the bag.

From Doug

If you, Jay, were the GM of the Colts, or if you were able to make Irsay do what you tell him (hard in and of itself), what would you do on first round of the draft? Trade up? Trade down? What QB would you take or other position? Chanel your inner Kevin Costner on "Draft Day."


While I would love to make a slew of trades and bend that poor Seattle GM over my knee because he needs Bo Callahan, I would not trade up whatsoever for any of these QBs in this draft class.

Here's what I would tell Mr. Irsay:

"Sir, last year was a disaster. We bought stock in Matt Ryan thinking it was a B-level investment when it became quite clear it was a penny stock. But that's last year.

"Let's focus on the now, because I believe two things: One, we are closer to contending in a terrible division than anyone realizes. I believe that as much as I believe in Crash's speech and that the sun will rise in the East. I also believe that ultimately H.I. McDunnough was a good father after all was said and done.

"Second, I believe that none of these 2023 QBs are worth the draft capital and players it would take to move up.

"So, let's do this:

"First, I will call Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers in Indy makes all the sense in the world. We are playoff ready -- whether the pundits believe it or not -- with early additions of an O-lineman and a pass rusher in the draft. And Rodgers gives us clout when the free agency cycle comes around. We have almost $12 million in cap space so it's workable.

"If that's a no-go, in addition to not wanting to trade up for the long shot that could be Bryce Young (or, God help us, Will Levis), we can not overspend for Derek Carr or worse yet, the cap-killer that would be Lamar Jackson. Trust me on this.

"So, our QB answers are 1) Aaron Rodgers if we can swing it, and then 2) Hendon Hooker in round 2. I'm not sure if you are familiar with David Paschall, but this says a great deal about Hooker's value and upside.

"If neither of those are doable, then we can tell Jonathan Taylor to take the year off and rest and we'll push all our chips into the Crash for Caleb (Williams) in the 2024 draft.

"Thanks for your time, and enjoy your day."

From Ernie


Long time no writing. I have been traveling and busy, so a good excuse!

I really believe Henry To'oTo'o would have been a first rounder had he stayed at UT.

That is barring injury. Our defense would have been a notch better and perhaps the stink around the SC game would not have happened.

Anyway, perhaps a lesson for portal players.

I don't know what his NIL was at Bama, but it could have been robust at UT also.

It appears he will be second or third round. He may go in first, and if so, I will stand corrected.

He would have had a real shot as a hero on the UT defense, and a very good first-round opportunity.


I'm not sure how Hank will grade at the combine, and that's the measure whether he shows up with a Bama degree or a UT sheepskin.

(Side question: Henry To'oTo'o has to be Dickie Vitale's favorite college football player, right? "I need a T-O, T-O BAY-bee!")

Still, Henry would have had a much greater college legacy though, especially sticking through the bad times and being a dude among duds for the first part of his career.

Still, that's hindsight, and this time a year ago, who would not have left a UT or an Auburn or almost any school not named Georgia or THE Ohio State to go to Alabama with Bryce Young and Will Anderson coming back, you know?

Speaking of the combine, Holy Buckets of Bundles of Benjamins, Nolan Smith, the Georgia edge rusher made himself a ton of cash at the combine. A pass-rushing LB, Smith ran a 4.39 40 at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. Oh my.

From Patrick

First, on Mr. Adams. Yeah, if he had said "white people are a hate group" it would have drawn a big yawn. Saying that about Blacks, though, well, was just dumb, even if it was in reaction to a poll where a lot of Blacks weren't OK with people being white.

Now, is his work, his comic strip, that out of bounds?

Yet how many artists have said ridiculous things or held reprehensible beliefs but none of that was reflected in their art?

Still, newspapers have the right to run, or not run, Dilbert. I wonder, though, how many readers of papers, already barely hanging on for a reason to continue to subscribe, will just throw in the towel. A few? A handful?


Well said, my man.

I don't have the answer to that one exactly, but I do know that all of us in the creative field have to be overly careful not to step over the ever-growing line of controversy, be it in our work or on social media.

I also wonder about the divide and the haphazard use of words like equity, because the penalties for perceived aggression or angst toward the Black community are far more discussed and become far more controversial than those toward almost every other minority group, be it racial or religious, you know?

From Mark

How much credit do you give Jerry Stackhouse for how he managed the final 40 seconds in Vandy's win over UK? Most coaches would have used at least one and likely both timeouts -- one after tying and the other after gaining the final possession. Stackhouse let it play out and seemed to have UK on the ropes.


I give Jerry Stackhouse a ton of credit.

He managed the final moments of Wednesday's win at Rupp over Kentucky perfectly. And I hope others see the benefits of your great point of letting players play.

Calling timeouts late like that allow a team like Kentucky -- favored, feeling pressure at home, tense -- to catch their breath and readjust.

Plus, the trust he showed in his guys certainly was felt in the moment and after the fact.

Excellent question, and Stack has done wonders with this team.

To JTC's question, no I don't think Vandy wins the SEC tournament, but I truly hope Auburn does not see them in the first round.

From Mike


I know you often bring up the fact that the Hawks erred by trading Luka Doncic for Trae Young plus a couple of other players/draft picks during that year's draft. Since these were I believe the fourth and fifth picks, what about the other three teams that passed on Luka that year? Did they make better selections or do they deserve the same criticism that you direct the Hawks way? By the way I have been a long time Mavs fan but am considering changing loyalties after they brought in team destroyer Kyrie. Maybe the Hawks (or Grizzlies).


Completely fair question, and makes me recall an email this week from Spy asking if the Hawks had kept Luka would they be shopping Luka at the trading deadline.

Side question: Which franchise in the big-three professional sports is the least likely to win a title? I think the Atlanta Hawks are in that conversation. Discuss.)

OK, if you reshuffle the 2018 NBA Draft -- I love the draft, you know this -- Luka of course goes No. 1 overall.

And since the Suns picked DeAndre Ayton with that pick, imagine the Big 4 currently in Phoenix being KD-Devin Booker-CP3 and Luka. Oh my.

So yeah the Suns (Ayton at 1) and especially the Kings (Marvin Bagley at 2) deserve as much heat if not more than the Hawks, because at least Atlanta got an All-Star in the swap.

But man, Luka is so bleepin' good. And I know it makes Spy's head hurt when I say this, but Luka's better than Larry Bird.

That said if we were redrafting the 2018 selection process, the question is not Luka or anyone else, because that answer is Luka.

The question is who goes 2 after Luka.

Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Ayton?

But you're correct, everyone who had the chance to take Luka in 2018 and didn't will regret it for the next generation of NBA action.

And from the not-exactly-Jay-fans part of our crew:

"Of course you want Alabama to sit Miller so your (B@#$%) Pearl and the crying War Tiger Eagle Plains(bleep) could have a chance against the best team in the U.S. You are (bleep) as a writer and that's why they fired you on the radio, too. You suck."


"Biased media who went to Auburn writes negatives about Alabama. Shocker! You probably hate Trump, too. Your probably a closet liberal who feels like apologising to everyone for being white. I'll never read your (bleep) again. (Bleep) off!"

So there you go.

Have a great weekend, friends.