It's a Friday. Let's get to business
We'll start with today's A2 column on the sad state of the flags on the Veterans Bridge. And in the coincidence/squeaky wheel gets the grease, I emailed the city Thursday morning and asked them about it and that I was writing about, and by Thursday evening, half of the flags had been replaced. And here's betting by the end of business today, all of them will be new.
You know the rules. Here's Paschall on the best SEC cat fight among football coaches since Spurrier was gainfully employed in Gainesville.
Now for some Rushmores.
Rushmore of iconic cool cars in movies, and wow, there are some awesome ones left on the cutting room floor: Bandit's Trans Am, the Batmobile, Bond's Aston Martin, McQueen's Mustang in "Bullitt." And think of the ones left off that list beyond just the casual super rich dude ride? The Griswold's Family Truckster, Jake and Elwood Blues' converted cop car, the Men in Black Ford, Thelma dan Louise's ride, Dr. Brown's time machine, Mad Max's super-charged vehicle. I could go on. (Side question: "Road Warrior" is often ignored in the conversations about great sequels, you know?)
Rushmore of father-son athletes who played different sports: Yannick and Joakim Noah, Pat and Patrick Mahomes, Ken and Ken Norton Jr., Calvin and Grant Hill.
Rushmore of 'streets' which turned into another tougher task than expected: There's the actual streets of Main, Bourbon, Sesame and Wall. There's the proverbial streets of main street USA, easy street, the mean streets and three streets to the wind. OK, that's not one but street smarts is. There are the movie options of "Miracle on 34th Street," "Wall Street," "Nightmare on Elm Street," and "21 Jump Street." Song category — "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Baker Street," "Streets of Philadelphia," and "Taking it to the Streets." And that's not including Judy Street, Picabo Street, "Friday Night Lights" quarterback Jason Street and the oft-mispronounced Meryl Street. Whew.
Rushmore of military flying movies, and again another one that has a slew of options, and "Pearl Harbor" is assuredly not one of them (In fact, there's a Rushmore of truly awful military flying movies too, with "Pearl Harbor," "Air America," "Iron Eagle III" and ": "Memphis Belle," "Top Gun," "Twelve O'Clock High," "Right Stuff."
To the bag.
From a slew of you
So what do you make of the SEC coaching spat?
So many sidelines and story lines here. Let's try to break them down, even though I know I'll miss at least a few.
First, if you are unaware, Alabama coach Nick Saban — the unquestioned GOAT — said at a Birmingham even that Texas A&M "bought" its top-ranked recruiting class with huge NIL deals. Saban also said that Jackson State — coached by fellow Aflac pitchman and all-time NFL corner Deion Sanders — paid $1 million to land the nation's top-ranked recruit to the FCS and HBCU program.
This sent Deion to Twitter and Jimbo Fisher to the podium. Coach Prime slyly tweeted about his 'people' making race part of this.
Jimbo was not sly or subtle and blasted Saban with everything he could think of, including multiple references about 'asking the people that work for" Saban.
That's the background, and it's undeniably juicy, and would be a huge stalking point in the middle of October, but in May around this region where college football is royalty, it's really all anyone can talk about.
OK, the ripples. I think Coach Prime may have had the most level-headed rationale on why Saban uncharacteristically picked this fight.
Sanders' point is that Saban is talking to his boosters with this message, which is one of Saban's go-to tricks — speaking to his players or his fans through various tirades in the media.
That assertion makes sense in the following ways. Alabama fans are incredibly spoiled at this point, and the expectation of winning it all every year understandably will do that. But Fisher and his deep-pocketed NIL support system just lured what many analysts believe is the best recruiting class ever.
And that is something that Saban has been doing annually by pitching "playing for titles," "player development, and "if you get on the field here, you will get on a field on Sundays." Those were the best pitches to have until it became A-OK to hand over bags of cash under the NIL umbrella.
And, if that's what happened, Jimbo's right, A&M did nothing wrong.
So, Sanders believes, Saban was telling his boosters we need to pony up. Granted he did it with some over-the-top assertions, and maybe as Vader noted this week, Saban is still more than a little ticked that Jimbo's Aggies beat him last year.
Next, the assertions Fisher made about how Saban has built winners at every stop were anything but veiled in his scorched Earth monologue Thursday.
"Some people think they are God," Fisher said of Saban. "Go dig into how God did his deal and you may find out a lot about a lot of things you don't want to know. We build him up to be this czar of football, go dig into his past."
And remember, Fisher is one of the 47,302 head coaches in college football who worked for Saban at one point, so he has a really good idea of Saban's practices and procedures.
Which also brings us to coaches actually putting allegations out there about recruiting. Saban never said A&M cheated — hence Sanders interesting point — just that they used NIL to buy this class.
Fisher on the other hand is clearly saying the 'czar' has a lot of bodies buried and violations committed in his past.
Of course the SEC has issued fines because the last thing the league wants is its dirty laundry aired this way.
There will be apologies and there will be behind-the-scene conference calls that will detail how no one has to kiss and make up, but everyone better be on better behavior at the SEC media events in the coming months.
And here are my questions:
Will anyone dig into Saban's past — there were always whispers about everything from Dodges to suits to you name it in Tuscaloosa — and see what they can find?
Will it actually matter, in terms of NCAA or Saban's history?
Will Saban be more buttoned-up or is this the start of the double-middle-finger farewell tour for the GOAT?
How much longer will Sanders stay in Jackson, and if you school had an opening, would you want Coach Prime to fill it? (I would love to have him at Auburn, but if that happens I'll have to figure out a way to get back in his good graces so he'd unblock me on Twitter.)
Way back in 1965 Jim Ryun became the first high schooler to run a mile under four minutes.
His mark stood until Monday when Pennsylvania ute Gary Martin ran a 3:57:98, besting Ryun by less than a second.
Jay, for Friday's bag, what's your best mile time? And have you lost a step since high school?
CBS Sports says the SEC's top coaches, in order, are Nick, Kirby, Jimbo, Brian, and Mark. Any argument?
Second part first, I'm good with that list and that order. I think in terms of actual in game coaching, I think Brian Kelly is as good as anyone.
But the in-game part is down the list of the ideal traits for the CEOs of these nine-figure operations. In fact, that Kelly has won and won big at every level and at a variety of profiles is impressive.
You can be just good and have a great career at Georgia, if that makes sense. In that regard, Mark Stoops' extended run in Lexington is even more impressive.
As for my fastest mile, my high school basketball coach — David Boyd, who won six state titles and 641 games at four different schools in a 30-year career and somehow is not in the GACA Hall of Fame — had a rule that you had to crack a 6-minute mile to even try out. My sophomore year, I was painfully close.
In fact, I had not beat the mark heading into the final conditioning session. So, two laps in and I am on a good pace but I start fading, when I start the fourth lap, I'm dragging and can remember thinking, "Well, a year on JV will not be the worst thing in the world."
Lung Lim, a kid who was practicing with the soccer team who was in my Chemistry class, saw me struggling, he sprinted over to me and said, "I'll pace you, keep up." And he pulled me around that final lap and I finished at 5:59.
As for my fastest, in much better shape a couple of years later, I ran a 5:15 before the start of basketball season my senior year.
But I'll never forget what Lung Lim did for me that day. Made the varsity. Scored 13 off the bench at Sprayberry in the season-opener and started every other game of my high school basketball career.
Hey fat-face, I'll tell you the Braves biggest strength - they kicked your Dodgers' (bleep) last year didn't they?
You are such a blowhard bag of hot air.
Uh, that's not a current strength as much as a past accomplishment.
I could explain it further, but it likely would violate the space-time continuum and we'd need 1.21 gigawatts and it would likely give you a migraine.
Enjoy the weekend friends. (You too Chopper.)