5-at-10: Friday mailbag on time for Holly to go, TV sports predictions, Karaoke advice, Playoff props, Bracketology, movie idea, Braves and Jason Batem

5-at-10: Friday mailbag on time for Holly to go, TV sports predictions, Karaoke advice, Playoff props, Bracketology, movie idea, Braves and Jason Batem

January 18th, 2019 by Jay Greeson in Breaking News

Kentucky guard Jaida Roper dribbles around Tennessee guard Zaay Green during Thursday night's game in Knoxville as Tennessee coach Holly Warlick looks on. The 16th-ranked Wildcats never trailed as they beat the host No. 13 Lady Vols 73-71.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

From Big Orange Bill

I normally dismiss your anti-UT bias because I know from your days in sports you have always been a Georgia fan. I am used to just ignoring your bias ranting against UT coaches.

As much as I hate to admit it — after (Thursday) night's game — you are actually right for once. Holly has to go.

GBO!

BO Bill —

Thanks for reading or listening. Not sure where you have gleaned my Georgia allegiance. I grew up there yes. I have an English bulldog that looks more like Uga than I can describe. My wife graduated from UGA.

But as most will quickly attest — and it's not really a secret — I'm an Auburn fan. In fact, don't tell the Mrs., but I connect with UT more than I do UGA. (It's not unlike how Alabama and Georgia fans have a kindred connection since they share some of their biggest rivals.)

Anyhoo, Holly has driven the Cadillac of college sports programs into a ravine of irrelevancy. She inherited what at one time was arguably the biggest brand in college basketball — men's or women's — and it has become just another team at just another school.

Her misguidance makes Ray Perkins look like Bill Walsh and the litany of post-Wooden stiffs in Westwood look like the Coach K coaching tree.

Thursday night, the Lady Vols lost at Alabama.

Let's review some key details here friends, and please know that by every measure Holly is a fine person who is genuine and kind and loves UT. (That said, we know a lot of folks that fit that description and they also are unworthy to coach a program this beloved and with this much history.)

UT has lost four in a row for the first time since 1970. (Pat Summitt took over in 1974, by the way.)

Alabama has beaten UT five consecutive times. That comes after losing the previous 42 games against the Lady Vols.

The Lady Vols had never lost three SEC games before this downturn, and Thursday, UT got whipped.

The final — against a very mediocre Alabama (the Tide was 9-8 entering the game) — was 86-65, and that may not be the worst stat. Try this one: UT has two leads — 10-9 in the first quarter and 32-31 in the second. 

So it falls on AD Phillip Fulmer, who assuredly appreciates Holly's love for the university and commitment to the program. To be fair, she has devoted her professional life to Lady Vols basketball.

But that devotion has not equaled the success that UT fans or leadership should demand.

And if they are content with mediocrity — because let's face it, the description of UT women's basketball under Warlick is at best pretty good to good and very occasionally very good — then they will not make a move.

But considering the legacy and the brand and the foundation left by Pat Summitt, the greatest female coach of all-time in any sport, that should be unacceptable to everyone who cares about UT in particular and sports greatness in general. 

From Matt H.

I started reading the 5-at-10 because I love you guys on Press Row.

I appreciate the way you write and really enjoy when you discuss the TV side of sports. If I asked you what the future changes of live TV sports would look like, what would be as you like to say, your Rushmore of innovations?

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Matt H. —

Thanks for reading and for listening and putting up with the general silliness. (As for the radio, well, I appreciate Paschall and Wells carrying me for three hours each weekday from 3-6 on ESPN 105.1 the Zone. If you are outside the market, you can listen online at espnchattanooga.com.)

Great question.

Where do we start.

OK, we think golf will experiment greatly with graphics and technology that makes the shot-tracer seem as commonplace as the yellow first-down line. (Crazy info here. Did you know that the first-down line was invented in 1978, but Roone Arledge — only the Jordan of TV sports executives — said TV was not ready for it. ESPN revived the idea in 1998. So yes, that lovable yellow line that so many of us have become directly connected to, has been in our lives for two decades.) Golf tracing technology of putts and as well as graphical previews of what players will try to make the ball do. 

As for in the booth, we think that the traditional two man set and sideline reporter is fine. But there will be weeks, because for every Tony Romo, there's a half dozen Dan Fouts or Daryl Johnstons. We think there will be an expansion of the 'expert' role. Follow along. Currently there is a former ref for replay analysis on the biggest games. We think networks will centralize that and have a rules expert, a special teams expert, an offensive lineman and a defensive player, all back in NYC or LA watching every game and ready to parachute in and offer expertise as needed on replays for Jim and Tony or Joe and Troy or whomever else. The knowledge of football fans these days is greater than ever.

Speaking of that, get ready for hugely expanded talk of gambling. Experts breaking down scenarios before, during and after games in accordance to point spreads and possibilities. This will be across all sports, and we expect golf will also be a big part of this. (Golf is more popular in Europe for a lot of reasons, betting on the game is certainly one of them.) And know this: Leagues are racing to find ways to open sports books inside arenas as soon as possible.

Finally, we think networks will look for ways to connect to viewers, be it casual viewing options like ESPN explored during the big bowls and the NFL playoff game. Think about if someone offered this as a possibility 10 or 20 years ago. Yes, that's a story in which NBA refs will interact with fans. That's cool. It will enter the booth and the coverage sooner rather than later, in my view. 

Great question Matt.   

From Jesse S.

OK, I need some advice, and you seem like a pretty cool guy. 

I agreed to go with a group to Karaoke and I need some song suggestions. Got any tips?

Thanks and love the 5@10.

Jesse —

You have come to the right place, and while I don't know if I'm pretty cool or not, I know that acting the part is 90 percent of the deal.

It's the same with Karaoke. And we believe that because, while I have a few skills, singing is no where close to one of them. But everyone stinks. Everyone.

No matter how many American Idol seasons they watched or the number of shower concerts they perform. If they did not stink, they would be somewhere else.

Sure there will be some local pros, and be respectful, but do not be intimidated. Seriously, if you are a Karaoke regular, well, God bless, and "Yes ma'am that was the best "I Will Always Love You" rendition since Whitney covered Dolly's classic."

Couple of preliminary tips:

Stay away from songs with an extended musical run. That will leave you standing around for an extended period. Hey, if you can cut a rug, then play to your strength, but if your nervous about getting up there, you may want to save the dancing moves until the night grows long and the drinks have had a chance to flow.

Second, go first in your group. Attack the moment, because unless you have a karaoke pro in your group, everyone is going to be a bit nervous. This also allows you to set the bar as oppose to having a buddy go who may be better than anyone thought and kills "Every Rose Has Its Thorns" and then you are going to have to follow that.

Next, start small. Forget the truly talented vocals. You may know every word of every Journey song ever. Heck you may have a Prince tattoo, but save "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Purple Rain" for someone else.

Also, pick something that will play well with the crowd. Not knowing where you may be going, if the place has a country feel, there's no better starting point than "You Never Even Called Me by My Name." Also, some of the Hank Jr. anthems would work. 

If you are not into country, well, find a song that fits into the lack of supreme folks and one that you know a majority of the words too without having to follow along on the screen. A Billy Joel song maybe.  

Finally, something that folks can sing along with — Lean on Me, Buffett, you get the idea — will ease the angst for you and the rest.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.   

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) slips away from Los Angeles Chargers free safety Derwin James (33) during the first half of Sunday's AFC divisional-round playoff game in Foxborough, Mass. Michel scored three touchdowns to help the Patriots win 41-28.

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26)...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

From Elliott

What was your Sony Michel prediction last week? 250 and 3 touchdowns?

Elliott —

That was close to what we suggested for the Patriots rookie from Georgia against the Chargers. And his start was electric on his way to 129 yards and three scores.

Side note: Michel is going to be a dude, and in three years, we're going to look at that Georgia backfield — Michel, Nick Chubb and DeAndre Swift — and their NFL numbers and go, "Dang, that group was amazing."

So, to expound on our picks (you can find them here) https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2019/jan/17/5--10-fab-4-nfl-picks/486841/ let's look at some of the great prop bets for the NFL conference championship

NFC

Shortest TD play, over/under 1.5. Under. The review situations here help.

Michael Thomas over/under 98.5 yards. Under. Yes, dude is a beast, but we think he will be the Rams' No. 1 take away.

Alvin Kamara over/under 39.5 receiving yards. Over. We think the Saints are going to need to score at least 35.

Saints over/under 15.5 points in the first half. Over. New Orleans averaged more than 18 points per game in the first two quarters at home.

 AFC

Shortest TD play, over/under 1.5. Under. As we said before, the review situations here help.

Sammy Watkins over/under 55.5 receiving yards. Over. We know that Bill Belichick tries to take away your No. 1 option. That sets up chances for secondary and tertiary options. Hello, Sammy.

James White over/under 46.5 receiving yards. Over. Dude is a Brady favorite, and against the Chiefs pass rush, this one is a no-brainer.

Gronk over/under 51.5 receiving yards. The Polar Bear was not needed in last week's drumming of the Chargers. He will be needed Sunday.

Enjoy. 

From Chas

Jerry Palm's Bracketology has The Vols a 1 seed. Good. But he has these 4 seeds: UK, UofL, Maryland, Ole Miss. I say Kentucky is better than the other 4's. He has Auburn a 7 seed. I say both The Cats and The War Eagles should be higher. Am I stoopid? Is Palm stoopid?

Write the script for a movie starring Betty White, Jim Carrey, James Earl Jones and Steve Harvey.

Chas —

Auburn as a 7 has to be a mistake or an oversight. Because if that's where Palm has them, then either he believes they are going to fold and lose eight games between now and selection Sunday, or he's stoopid enough to spell stoopid like that.

I think UK is better than a 4, too. A lot better.

But the seeding discussions and moving and shaking will be quite interesting. If we had to pick the 1s right now, we'd go Kansas out, Tennessee in the South, Michigan in the Midwest and Virginia in the East. (Those are the same 1s as Palm, just with different locales.)

If that does play out, where Duke lands as a super scary 2 seed will be very intriguing.

As for the movie script, well, I love the thought. If we could afford it.

Let's start with Betty White and James Earl Jones are neighbors and widowers.

Their sons — Carrey and Harvey — just recently divorced and are forced to move back home. Mix in a couple of kids, and some history — say Carrey and Harvey either contended for the same girl or hated each other in high school.

One twist, we learn that White and Jones have been romantically involved for many years, they just have not shared that with their sons.

That will allow us to get a scene in there when Carrey's character — his name is Luke — gets into a screaming match when they learn that White and Jones have been married for a few years.

Jones: "Luke, I am your step father"

That's off the top of my head anyway.  

From Jules 

Jason Bateman-takes me down memory lane to "Silver Spoons." Friend or Foe? Maybe acquaintance.

So are any of those free agents Ace Pitchers and are the Braves going to get one? They have to, what are they waiting on?

Jules —

Love Jason Bateman. Indifferent on Silver Spoons.

He was a side kick on Silver Spoons, which led to a starring role as a teenager in "It's Your Move" which was great but short-lived.

He was great on Arrested Development too. Have not watched Ozark but have heard great things, and his movie library is way better than most may remember. (Yes, Teen Wolf 2 was dreck, but everyone deserves a mulligan right?)

As for the Braves, well, I hope they are going to make a deal for a frontline starting pitcher. The market is not overly stocked, but the Braves have pieces to deal.

Here's a a spot for rumors about the Braves and possible moves. 

I'm with you, I hope they are going to add and making a push because the Mets and Phillies have made big moves and you have to expect the Nationals to play better than they did last year.

The East will be tougher this year.

Enjoy the weekend friends.

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