5-at-10: Friday mailbag on TV thoughts, from Game of Thrones predictions and odds to TV comedy sidekicks, Rushmores and much more

5-at-10: Friday mailbag on TV thoughts, from Game of Thrones predictions and odds to TV comedy sidekicks, Rushmores and much more

May 17th, 2019 by Jay Greeson in Breaking News

From Steve:

Seinfeld is one of those shows that I can watch episodes that I've already seen 10 times and still be entertained. The Office is another. Seinfeld was able to keep the entire crew together for all those years though, unlike The Office, which wasn't the same when Michael left, or Andy Griffith without Barney. Is Barney the greatest supporting actor of all time? I would argue yes.

***

Steve,

Such a great question, with multiple possibilities.

First, Seinfeld, The Office, Modern Family and Cheers are the four comedies on my list that if nothing else is on and I have already seen that specific episode, I am still watching. 

Second, Barney is in a category all by himself.

And major props to Andy in that too, because dude — not unlike how Steph allowed KD to do his thing while still being the steady presence and likable leader — played the straight man as well as anyone ever. 

If we had to cast a Rushmore of best sidekicks in a TV comedy, which rules out some of the ensemble comedies like Friends and The Simpsons and in some ways The Office and Seinfeld, because after those shows started rolling, the star was clear, but the side characters and side stories had every bit the start power of the star, if that makes sense. 

For the sidekicks, we'll start with Barney, and I think Edith Bunker is a no-doubter too. The other two are not as easy. 

Thoughts gang?

___

From Sportsfan:

Does anyone remember that Ray Lewis reached a plea deal related to his alleged involvement in the murders of 2 men in the ATL? Not a Rushmore candidate for me for that reason. Two families forever impacted trumps anything he may have done on the field.

***

Sportsfan,

Completely fair and reasonable opinion.

Can you imagine the reaction and the back and forth if that happened now instead of almost two decades ago?

I don't think he stabbed those folks. I do think he knows way more than he ever let on. 

And it's amazing to think all the hand-wringing (and a lot of it warranted) about today's players and their off-the-field sins.

Lewis was there when two dudes were murderer. And it's barely a footnote on his career.

Crazy. 

___

That brings us to this week's Rushmores:

Rushmore of best rookie seasons in pro sports: Oscar Robertson (30.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 9.7 apg as a rookie in 1960-61); Wilt (37.6 ppg, 27.0 rpg, RoY and MVP in 1959-60); Eric Dickerson (1,808 rushing yards, 2,212 yards of offense and 20 TDs in 1983); Ted Williams (.327/.436/.609, 31 homer, 145 RBIs, 44 doubles and 11 triples and 131 runs). 

Rushmore of former sports stars who were the worst commentators: Emmitt, Magic, Witten and Ray Lewis

Rushmore of best Super Bowl era linebackers: LT, Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert and Derrick Thomas. Toughest omission for me was Derrick Brooks. (Butkus started pre-Super Bowl era.)

Rushmore of TV spinoff characters: Saul (Better Call Saul from Breaking Bad), George Jefferson (Jeffersons from All in the Family), Laverne (Laverne & Shirley from Happy Days) Frasier Crane (Frasier from Cheers).

___

From Wes:

Man, are you not going to offer your predictions for the conclusion to GoT? What's up with that?

***

Wes,

Fair question, and in truth, I have purposefully not read any of the guesstimates or prediction theories because I want to be surprised.

Yes, we have debated the arc of the final season, which has now includes a preposterous collection of disgruntled and spoiled jackhammers who have started a petition for a re-do of the final season. Said petition is heading toward 1 million signatures. Dear Lord. https://www.vox.com/2019/5/16/18627915/game-of-thrones-petition-to-redo-season-8 

I think Ayra gets Dany, completing her awesome revenge list. I think this happens after Dany tries to burn Jon, but because of his lineage he is fireproof, which shows everyone who has the true line to the Iron Throne.

But I think Jon is true to his word and does not want it and heads North of the Wall to find his friends and his wolf. Jon turns the crown over to Sansa, who hooks up with Tyrion to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

The wildcard in all of this in my mind is off course, creepy-as-bleep Bran, who could be anything from the first dude killed Sunday night or the last guy standing er sitting when the smoke clears.

Right now, according to Covers.com, Bran is 1-to-1 as the favorite to be the ruler of Westeros. Jon is 2-1, Sansa is 5-2, Dany is 4-1 and Tyrion is 6-1.

More odds: First to get got Sunday night starts with the Mother of Dragons at 1-to-4 (bet $400 to win $100), followed by Grey Worm at 5-2 and Tyrion at 5-1.

You can also bet on how Jon Snow dies (Survives is a 2-to-5 favorite) and how Dany dies (sword/dagger is a 1-to-2 favorite).

Good times

___

From Steven:

You guys have had some great guests on Press Row and I really enjoyed Coach Dooley.

Did you guys talk about what current coaches will have the field named for them?

***

Steven,

Thanks for listening, and yes, we have had some high-quality guests this week. That continues today when Honors Course head professional Henrik Simonsen joins us to talk a whole lot of golf.

Coach Dooley was aces on earlier this week. (You can listen to all our past interviews at espnchattanooga.com and read Press Row cohost David Paschall's excellent work in the TFP here.) 

We discussed this a little bit after we had Coach Dooley. (And yes, all of these come with the caveat of let's make sure the person is as good as the coach, like Coach Dooley and not like JoePa.)

Saban will get something. Heck, I wonder if Johnny Bama Fans would be OK with Bryant-Denny-Saban Stadium.

Dabo Swinney will get something at Clemson for sure. Field. Stadium. Something. From there, it gets pretty dicey.

Could Pat Fitzgerald get something at Northwestern, his alma mater? Maybe.

The rest seem pretty wide open or long shots.

Mark Dantonio at Michigan State maybe. Gary Patterson at TCU seems like the next best bet.

___

From Todd:

For the mailbag - name 5 things (not players) you like about these Braves. Name what you don't like. The front office needs to fix the bullpen it's not getting better by itself.

and

From Jules:

I was starting to think you weren't going to mention Folty. For which way Wednesday, do you send him down and put Newcomb back into the rotation or do you give him another chance?

***

Gang,

The fact that we are vested in the Braves is such a good sign. 

Angry, joy, fiery frustration or powerfully pleased, all of them are better than the apathy this franchise generated before 2018.

That's a positive.

It also makes everything more frustrating by the inactivity from Liberty Jackwagons because the opportunity is here. And now.

And with injuries or free agency or slumps or what have you, when the contending window is open, you have to do everything you can to climb through it.

Five things: 

I will count the 2-through-5 of this order as one thing. Interchangeable pieces. Power, which is expected these days, but with patience and contact, which is rare in these days of swing hard, homer occasionally, strike out often.

I love watching Max Fried pitch. Yes, Mike Soroka is having a much better run, and that's cool. But when Fried is pumping 94-74 splits between fastball and curve, he consistently makes the best in the game look like they are guessing. And if dude develops a third plus pitch, holy buckets. He could conceivably be a hybrid of Smoltz (mid-90s heater), Glavine (lefty who flummoxes right-handed hitters with some soft-serve specials) and Maddux (multiple plus-pitches and plus control). Think about that.

Charlie Culberson. Dude is the definition of a professional hitter. Whether it's a spot start, as a defensive replacement or a pinch-hitter Culberson hits everything on the barrel. Amazing.

Ronald Acuna is one of the three must-see at-bats in the game right now, with Trout and maybe Bellinger.

I was going to put watching Freddie Freeman play first or Ozzie Albies running from first to third when he hits one in the gap. But with the way Austin Riley has started, how as fans can we not be enthralled with that young dude?

Jules, I think we all agree that it's too early to give up on Foltystinkicz. But there needs to be steps that a) gives the team the best chance to compete, and b) gives Folty the best chance to work through this. Dude was awful in his awfulness earlier this week against the Cards.

With the M&M boys and Teheran, who was good last night, and is an affordable and reliable 3 or 4 starter (just overmatched when he's pencilled in as your 1) one or two more starters — Folty, Newcomb, Wright, et al. — becomes paramount.

And yes, TC, I am holding out hope that when the draft is in the rearview early next month, the Braves are going to make it rain on Craig Kimbrel.

___

From Stewwie:

For the bag, Morey said a few days ago that Harden is already on the list of best players without a ring. Who is on that Rushmore? Has Harden made it there?

***

Stewwie,

I don't think so. Even with the MVP and multiple scoring titles, Harden certainly has not cracked the holy triangle of Barkley, Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Three all-timers who collectively have three fewer rings than LeBron.

Then you start slicing some of the Hall of Famers still left standing.

Is Harden better than Reggie Miller? More accomplished (more scoring titles and 1-0 MVP edge) but is he a better player than Miller? Maybe but not a slam dunk.

Is he better than Steve Nash, who somehow won two MVPs (he was amazing in Mike D'Antoni's point-guard crafted system) but not an all-timer really?

Is he better — again better not more accomplished — than current players like a Westbrook or Anthony Davis or Giannis.

Is he better than Gary Payton, who is one of the more underrated superstars of that generation, Patrick Ewing, Vince Carter or even Allen Iverson? Again maybe, but I don't think so.

I think the best comparison in a lot of ways is Dominique Wilkins.

Following along:

Both have/had an amazing offensive skill; Harden shooting, Wilkins playing above everyone.

Both have/had amazing usage rates, which means they score a ton of points.

Both have/had a traffic jam of super talented players and teams in front of them, blocking their path to a ring.

And, both have/had a flawed system which was/looks impossible to land a title because it is built around a flawed superstar (and both were superstars).

Enjoy the weekend friends.  

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