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Tennessee hoops. Wow, what a monster performance in Rupp. Cue DD hating on the defense in 3, 2, 1. Here's the thing that posting triple digits and running with arguably the best and most efficient offense in college hoops tells me about Rick Barnes' boys and how this is UT's best chance to get to the Final Four: UT's complete. Want to run with them? Fine, they can win 102-93 in Rupp. Want to bang with them? Doubly fine, because the Vols are elite defensively and deep. Want to play in the half-court? Cool, Dalton Knecht may be the most difficult man-to-man stop in college hoops not named Zach Edey.
Washington Commanders. Yeah, crazy, right? But the Commanders have assembled a coaching staff that has a lot of experience, and the weekend addition of Kliff Kinsbury, who was projected No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams' OC at USC, allows a lot of off-season projections and pondering for those of us who love the draft. (I love the draft. You know this.) What if Williams pulls and Eli Manning and tells the Bears, who have the 1, he will not play for them and could return to USC and make millions more in NIL money? If they were forced to deal the 1 to D.C. for the 2 and more, well, the Commanders go from lost franchise to a gang with a plan. And a QB1.
The Grammys. I have to admit I watched way more of the Grammys than I expected. And Trevor Noah, who I normally find as humorous as a root canal, was tremendous, because he was funny and kind. Of course, I listen to more pop now than I have since before I went to Auburn — country music over-playing Luke Bryan and his crew of whiny wannabes and having teenagers in my truck makes that a certainty — so I was more connected to most of the nominees than in decades. Still, the appeal to folks my age was evident. Tracy Chapman sang. So did Annie Lennox. Heck, Billy Joel closed the show for Pete Townshend's sake. And of course, Taylor Swift stole the show by becoming the first artist to ever win four "Album of the Year" Grammys. Less controversy, more fun. What a bleeping concept, huh?
The Grammys' memorandum moments. How Sinead O'Connor got a magnificent tribute from Annie Lennox and Gordon Lightfoot and Jimmy Buffett got the comps to the ESPN highlights paid to NASCAR is puzzling at best and conspiracy-laden at worst.
The Mahomes clan. As Travis Kelce's globally famous squeeze was moving into the teen numbers on career Grammys, Kelce's teammate Patrick Mahomes was dealing with the opposite end of the family emotional circle. Pat Mahomes Sr., a longtime MLB pitcher, was charged for what would be his third DWI.
PGA golf. Yikes, what a nightmare the weather has been for all of California, and the struggles of real-life folks are more pressing than the final round of the AT&T being called. But I gotta tell, I pulled up a cushion to watch a whole big chunk of that event and when I saw it was a replay of round 3, I thought, man, Jay Monahan and the PGA leadership must have crossed the paths of five black cats, walked under four ladders, broke three mirrors cussed at two nuns and killed a partridge in a pear tree.
Super Bowl prop options
Of course we are going to have our Super Bowl props contests.
It's what we do. We like to give away stuff. You guys and gals like to win stuff.
And it's a easy betting entry for any and all.
The lines for these 10 props may change in terms of what you see on line, but these numbers are final for our purposes since we want as many people to enter all week as possible.
Send your entry to my email — email@example.com — and of course your friends and family are invited.
Here are the 10, and some will look familiar and some will be strangely unique:
1. Coin toss — heads or tails.
2. Length of the anthem by Reba McEntyre over/under 87 seconds.
3. San Francisco minus-2.
4. Total, over/under 47.5.
5. Jersey number of the first player to score a TD, over/under 22.5.
6. Who will be the MVP?
7. Color of the Gatorade bath for the winning coach?
8. Usher's first halftime song?
9. Longest made FG over/under 50.5 yards.
10. Who has more total yards, George Kittle or Travis Kelce.
We always are intrigued by the prop bets and our annual Super Bowl contest above. And the multi-sport prop bets are not out yet.
So there's that.
But there are a multitude of other story lines in terms of legacy and place. I plan one daily starting tomorrow, but sometime this week, I think it is completely fair to draw the comps between two of seven-(or-)best TEs in NFL history being on the field Sunday.
I believe Mr. Taylor Swift has already penciled his name among the all-timers. Heck, he's used a Sharpie.
George Kittle is a bit younger but on a similar production arc and is an infinitely better (and more devoted) blocker than Kelce, Gonzalez or even Gates among the TE/slot WR hybrids.
This and that
— Got an email from an old colleague that watched in awe as I did when Darin Hancock entered the gym at Griffin High back in the day. He rightly reminded me that his entrance was not what I referenced Friday, but rather, "Who Rocks... Hancock." And he would dunk on you. A 6-foot-6 Zion, three decades before Zion.
— Gotta say, I am a sucker for contests like, where the Chattanooga Zoo is offering a contest to name the newest Prickles family member as a boy porcupine was recently born. Can only imagine some of the gutter-minded Prickles suggestions that will be entered, and I have to believe Spike will be the most popular opinion. Do we know the lad's religion? Kosher Prickles could work. We're in the South: Fried Prickles anyone? Thoughts?
— Speaking of the Vols, here's Paschall with a well-crafted follow from the UT W in Rupp and some high praise from John Calipari.
Weekend winners and losers. Go. And yes, Spy, I know you watched none of the Grammys.
Which leads us to our multiple choice Monday. In fact we have two today playing of the above conversations:
Speaking of TV, how much of the Pro Bowl did you watch:
— A majority — it's football, fat face.
— Very little.
— When is the Pro Bowl?
Also, if you could draft one NFL TE in his prime for your favorite team, who you picking?
— Travis Kelce.
— Kellen Winslow.
— Tony Gonzalaez.
— Other and specify.
As for today, Feb. 5, well, let's review.
Hank Aaron would have been 90 today. Rest easy, Hammer.
On this day in 1981, the world's largest Jell-O mold was made. It was 9,200-plus gallons of watermelon-flavored Jell-O.
Which got me thinking. Yes, Spy, dangerous precedent, I know. We've made it this far with me doing as little thinking as possible.
Rushmore of desserts with a specific fruit in the name. Go. And enjoy the Super Bowl Props contest.