5-at-10: Mailbag on rooting for your team or your wager, Ja Morant, is Derrick Henry Canton-bound?

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, right, drives against Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 3, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Let's handle our business.

Rushmore of Bobby -- Fictional is Bobby Boucher, Ricky Bobby, Bobby Ewing (marrying Pam as Bearddawg noted is a lifetime home run) and Bobbi McGee; sports is Bowden, Jones, Cox, and Orr.

Rushmore of movies with a city in their title (and this one was tough as nails) -- "Casablanca," "L.A. Confidential," "Bull Durham" and "Beverly Hills Cop."

Rushmore of Sundays -- "Sunday Morning Coming Down," Super Bowl Sunday, Sunday-best, and the glorious and true statement that "The Masters is always won on the back nine on Sunday."

Rushmore of SEC centers (man the SEC has had some great players but few low-post traditional centers in my lifetime) -- Shaq, Corliss Williamson, Bob Pettit, Dan Issel.

For your reading pleasure, here is a good story in Golf Digest with some pointed comments from the 'rank-and-file' Tour players who are less than thrilled with the schedule changes and how the process played out.

There also is an interesting story about the ethical decisions in the NIL process, centering on Olivia Dunn, the LSU gymnast who is reportedly the highest-compensated athlete in NIL social media deals.

From J-Mac


Looking good so far tonight, squeezed out Charlotte and Arkansas. Being a longtime Auburn student, what were you thinking the last possession of the game? Rooting for the money or your alma mater?

You mentioning Greg Maddox (Thursday) made me think of a Dale Jr Download when he interviewed Chipper Jones. Chipper said that "Greg Maddox was the Grossest human being he had ever met in his life." Do you have a nomination during your playing time or reporting on sports? It was pretty nasty if you want to google the download.

Good job this week.


Thanks J-Mac.

As for the Auburn-Arkansas game, AU getting points is always a dicey place for me.

First, I wanted them to win. Now, there's no telling how much of the SEC tournament I will watch.

But as tight as that game was, the only thing that I truly feared was the Hogs winning by two and then Auburn losing and my pick not covering.

And this brings us to a timely reminder for the sports bettors out there that proved especially pertinent last night in our Plays of the Day projections: Always shop for the best lines you can find. We won two games by the half-point last night as Arkansas covered 2.5 -- that was the BetMGM line; it was 3.5 in other spots -- and Charlotte lost by 1 as a 1.5 underdog.

As for nasty, well, I was never on a professional beat in my reporting years. As a player, we had a kid who was a year older than me in high school who went on to play offensive tackle in the ACC.

Dude was a monster, and a very nice guy. A very good football player who was a very forgettable basketball player. In fact, his main role on the team was to physically punish me every day in practice. And he did that well.

But the kicker was, he sweated more than any person I have ever seen. One turn through the lay-up line and he was covered head to toe in sweat. He made that scene in "Along Came Polly" look as dry as $100 Zinfandel and as clean as Hazel's pantry.

That said, the gross-out stories about Maddux -- who reportedly habitually wiped boogers on anyone at any time -- are well-known and legendary.

From GF


Hope you are right about Dan Earl but I have serious doubts.

The worst defense I have ever seen. Started 4 seniors, should have been much better.

Worry about his ability to go get good players from the portal.

Poppie, on the other hand, was great. Hope he doesn't get another job for a few years.

Really enjoy your stuff.


Thanks for the kind words, and I think Earl is going to succeed here. But your question is a fair one, and the 2023-24 season will be an interesting one for sure.

As for Shawn Poppie, a couple more runs like this past season with the UTC women, and his name will be on a lot of short lists.

Side question: Would you rather your basketball coach be a wizard with Xs and Os or be an ace talent acquirer? Discuss.

From Ernie

Titans need a QB, how can they get a pick this year that makes sense? Is that the real reason why Henry is being shopped?


I don't think dealing Henry is a play for a QB per se, I think it's the realization that the roster is older and flawed. That said, I could see the Titans discussing the most important position on the roster very soon.

It also feels like the window in Nashville seems to be closing rather quickly. And the window in Jacksonville is opening wider by the day.

Plus, Mike Vrabel cut his teeth learning the Patriots way, which is to cut or deal players a year too soon rather than a year too late.

And considering the extreme miles on Derrick Henry, who knows what's left in his tank?

Side question: If Henry retired today, would he make it to Canton and the Hall of Fame? Discuss.

From Mark

What is the big deal with Ja Morant flashing a gun on his personal Instagram account? He's 23 and plays for a team in Tennessee, a state where guns are legal in parks, on college campuses and where anyone 18 and over can carry them without a permit. People in TN carry guns to the grocery store. And as Tennesseans, we are told to be proud of that. So why should we be at all concerned that Ja Morant flashed a gun on social media? He is representing what we are told is the best of Tennessee values. Maybe the questions should be why isn't Ja Morant the spokesperson for gunmakers?


Interesting counterpoint Mark. To be clear though the gun flashing happened in Colorado, and the authorities there looked into it and no charges were filed.

Although it's quite interesting that flashing a gun on social media was investigated in Colorado but if Ja was smoking a joint in that state, no big deal.

That said, Ja's suspension is something of a mini-career achievement award at this point considering it's like the third negative headline to hit the newscycle this season.

There was his posse getting into a confrontation with Pacers personnel. There was the teenager that is suing Ja alleging he physically assaulted him. And then this.

Moreover if you are a Grizzlies fan, it has to be troubling that the night of the gun-waving video was mere hours after the team called a meeting to discuss off-court antics, and by all accounts this was done specifically for Morant.

As for the league, no American sports association is as image aware -- especially in matters such as these -- as the NBA, which almost went belly-up in the 1970s because of widespread drug abuse and struggled in the 1990s with an image problem that forced David Stern to enact a dress code among other efforts.

There are rights, there is what's right and then there's the NBA view being right with the public so the greenbacks keep flowing.

From Scott

No way you can go until Easter without throwing out your bull(bleep) political takes and lamestream media bias!


Watch me. (And thanks for reading.)

Have a great weekend friends.