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Not so Smart
So I think Kirby Smart is no worse than 1B when it comes to college football coaches earning a check these days.
And that's more about my all-time affinity for Nick Saban than it is any type of negative critique on the Georgia football coach, who has won two nattys in the last 16 months and made Georgia the 'It' spot on the college football landscape.
He recruits as well as Lord Saban, which means he's doing that better than everyone else. He develops that talent as well as anyone too.
He galvanizes, empowers and motivates.
But it's clear Kirby has a problem amid his program as far too many of his players think they are part of the casting call for the next "Fast and Furious" installment.
After Georgia's national title celebration in January, there was a tragic accident that resulted in the death of two people in Kirby's program. We later learned that future NFL superdude Jalen Carter was involved in the street-racing that was the cause of the fatal wreck.
We also learned after that accident that an Athens-area law enforcement officer had previously stopped and warned a Georgia player of such street-racing antics. It even caused Kirby and Co. to address it in a team meeting according to reports.
Well, since the latest details of the January tragedy, two more Georgia football players have been pulled over and arrested for vehicle violations that sound mighty dangerous and an awful lot like street racing.
The latest was Tuesday afternoon, when receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (that's an awesome name by the way) was charged with reckless driving and speeding-maximum limits.
Almost assuredly there are more instances, infractions and misconduct in almost every large fraternity at Georgia, Auburn, UT or any other big-time school than there are within the halls of the football program.
I know. I lived it. And to quote all-time philosopher Eric "Otter" Straton, well, "you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!"
Still, the actions of the Betas or Bluto and the guys at Delta House are not a nine-figure operation like Kirby's football program.
And simply put, Smart has a problem that must be addressed. Now.
Once, is well, a mistake. Twice, even with the tragic results of January, is unfortunate.
The numbers now are stacking up to a place that the Smart decision has to be addressing this and redirecting it ASAP.
Why is it that everyone knows the name Lia Thomas but none of us know the name Olivia Pichardo?
And to be fair, I am more at fault than you.
We all know Thomas is the transgender swimmer at Penn who went from second-team all-Ivy League as a male athlete to national champion swimmer competing as a female.
It has made a few of the papers and garnered a headline or three, even turning former UK swimmer Riley Gaines, who lost to Thomas at nationals, into a spokeswoman on the issue.
And that issue is important. There are real concerns — even federal legal concerns in terms of Title IX — about the fairness of transgender females competing in women's sports.
To deny the advantages a born male has against females is a fool's errand. It's simply nonsensical.
But we know that narrative, so let's tip the visor this morning to Pichardo, who this season became the first woman to play Division I baseball when she played for Brown.
She grounded out in her lone pinch-hitting appearance. Here's her story.
So ESPN does a lot of things, in my view, to generate chatter. That's part of the medium these days as content creators must, by definition, create content.
Some of these things are outlandish of course. Like Kendrick Perkins saying several weeks ago that NBA MVP voters who supported Nikola Jokic over Joel Embiid were doing so because they were racially biased. Yeah, that take has not held up well during these playoffs.
There is the jazz hands-version of content creation like the "should Pete Rose be in the Hall" or "expansion is a great thing for the college basketball tournament" talking points.
Then there is the "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" version of it, like this cockamamie list ESPN dropped of the top 10 college QBs since 2000.
Here's their list, and in truth that it is this egregious that we are even discussing it accomplishes their goal in a lot of ways, but dang this is atrocious.
1 Baker Mayfield
2 Cam Newton
3 Vince Young
4 Tim Tebow
5 Joe Burrow
6 DeShaun Watson
7 Kyler Murray
8 Lamar Jackson
9 Marcus Mariota
Buckets, man. Buckets.
First, where in the world is Jameis Winston on this list. Second, how Tebow is not 1 — it clearly is only on college success since, a) no Mahomes and b) there's a Mariota sighting — is anyone's guess.
Should Baker even be on this list, nevermind atop this list? Think of the names omitted here:
Trevor Lawrence, Johnny Football, Jameis, Stetson Bennett, any of the former Alabama QBs, Colt McCoy, Colt Brennan, Andrew Luck, Matt Leinart, any of THE OSU QBs.
Man, what a dreadful excuse for a ranking that in truth demeans the brand and whomever crafted it in my mind.
This and that
— So if we are going to crow about our successes in Jay's Plays, we must own our bagels. Tuesday was a big, fat, Matt Olson-like 0-for-3 with multiple Ks. We had the Heat winning (they got blown out), the Braves winning (they got blown out) and Nolan Arenado hitting a homer (yeah, no). But hey, Monday was awesome, right?
— Speaking of cashing in, I thought this story was fascinating. A card collector has put a bounty on the 1-of-1 Bowman card of Druw Jones, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft and the son of former Braves star Andruw Jones. The price for the card right now is $250,000. The price for the card if the person holds on to it and Druw Jones makes the Hall of Fame goes to $1 million. You sell that card right now for $250K right?
— Braves played. Braves lost. It happens, but man, the Braves have been exceedingly mediocre against good competition this season, no?
— I like Todd Gardenhire, the Tennessee state senator from our area. I think he's a good dude. His stance and his gobbledygook about keeping emotion out of the very real and very needed gun control issues facing our state and our country are nonsensical however. And in this story in the TFP, Todd sounds very much like he already has his mind made up. Two more thoughts: First, if he says both sides will get equal time during the discussion at his town hall, well, that's a noble intention, but predetermined balance for balance's sake is almost assuredly unbalanced no? Second, Todd, why hold those meetings in Nashville rather than right here for your constituents in the 423?
— So Tiger Woods has pulled out of the U.S. Open. I made need to copy the first part of that sentence and make "So Tiger Woods has pulled out of the..." a quick key for future needs.
— So Target is removing certain items from its shelves because of threats that have made employees feel unsafe. Among these items is a "tuck friendly" women's swimsuit that allows trans-women who have not had certain surgical procedures to conceal certain parts. Yeah, I'm gonna stop typing about this now.
Which way Wednesday starts this way:
Which is more egregious on that ESPN College QB list, that Baker is 1 or that Jameis (or someone else, and specify) was left off?
Which will be Kirby's biggest problem in Athens, complacency or off-the-field issues?
Which is the best way to describe your concern for the Braves' play of late: Not concerned at all, mildly concerned, AA better make a deal soon before the wheels fall off?
As for today, May 24, let's review.
Bob Dylan is 82 today. John C. Reilly is 58. That's a sneaky great Rushmore Mr. Reilly has assembled with a nice variety of options from musicals ("Chicago") to dramas ("Gangs of New York") to blockbusters (Guardians of the Galaxy 1) to his slew of comedy choices.
It's also the last day of school in Hamilton County. Good times.
Rushmore of movies with 'school' in the title. Go, and remember the mailbag.