5-at-10: Friday Mailbag of Rushmores and Best of Preps

5-at-10: Friday Mailbag of Rushmores and Best of Preps

May 30th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, great week.

We're looking forward to the weekend and a few 'Co-Colas' if you know what we mean. Wink-wink.

From the "Talks too much"studios, his hobbies are fast cars and fast women, that's why the guys in his car club call him 'Cruiser.'

From OneTime

The Best of Preps logo.

The Best of Preps logo.

It's been a while since I've asked a mailbag question but the Best of Preps banquet made me wonder who you think the best athlete from this area is?

Thanks for the 5-at-10. I read it everyday.

One Time -

Reggie White is the quick and first answer, but that was before our time in the greater-423.

Let us think more about this and get back to you this afternoon. There have been quite a few to come through here that deserve consideration and there likely were a couple there last night that would make the list in the recent era.

We'll be back with our answer but would like to hear from you folks about this topic. Go.


From LT

My buddies and I read your F-O-I-B sports column almost everyday. In fact, now when we are discussing stuff, we almost put everything in Rushmore form.

And we have you to thank for that.

We were wondering what do you think would be the toughest Rushmore? We think hottest S.I. swimsuit models may be as tough as any of them but wanted your opinion.

Thanks for the column and keep up the good work.

LT -

Thanks for reading. It's the loyal folks like you that make this fun.

Not sure if we've ever come up with a toughest Rushmore and we're wondering what some folks would think would be the toughest.

Rushmore of TV shows was tough because of the great ones left off. Same goes for Comedy Movies. The broader the topic the more difficult.

Here's one that would be staggeringly tough to limit to four - Rushmore of Country Musicians (King George, Willie, Waylon and Cash is where we'd start and then have to consider some of the names left off - wow).

LT, great question, and trust us - you are not alone in phrasing a lot of things in the "Rushmore of ."

From Stewwie

Jay, which comment is crazier: Mark Jackson saying Dwayne Wade is the 3rd best shooting guard of all time or Van Gundy saying Bosh is a future hall of famer? Who is on your Rushmore of all-time shooting guards? Who are the future hall-of-famers on these 4 remaining teams in the playoffs?

Stewwie -

Before we get to the answer, we need to address something you wrote earlier in the week. We are so annoyed with the Sprint Framily Plan that we terminated our deal with Sprint this week. How about them apples. (Side story: The NBA Playoffs latch on to an ad or two and a song or two and BEAT THEM TO DEATH. A couple of years ago, the TNT ads for 'The Closer' never ended. This year it's the Framily Plan. This year's song is that popular mix of Elton John's "Your Song" and it is infectious. So, in the car, we're singing the part "You can tell everybody, you can tell everybody, you can tell everybody..." and from the backseat the 6-year-old 5-at-10 Jr. blurts "I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man." Good times.)

As for your question, we'll say Jackson is a touch more out there because there's no way Dwyane Wade can ever crack the top three among shooting guards, and in truth will have a hard time being more than fifth on our list. That said, we believe saying Chris Bosh is a no-doubt Hall of Famer is a crazy as well, but he could get there with a another good six years and a few more titles - heck the Robert Parrish was a Hall of Famer because of the success the Celtics; if the Chief played in Milwaukee he's not making the Hall.

Our Rushmore of shooting guards is Jordan (far, Far, FAR left), Kobe, Jerry West and Reggie Miller. We have Ray Allen, D-Wade and George Gervin right there next. In truth, we could make an argument about a slew of other guards that may be viewed as point guards - guys like Oscar and Iverson among others - but played more like shooting guards. Also, there's a fair argument that Kevin Durant is a shooting guard even though he's announced as a forward.

There are more than a few Hall of Famers in the Final Four of these playoffs. San Antonio - Popovich, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili (and the later two will get in as much for their international connections as their NBA triumphs); OKC - Durant, Westbrook (on that path); Indiana - None right now; Miami - LeBron, D-Wade, Allen, Spoelstra and Bosh has a chance.


From Sportsfan

Jay - a rare moment during the day, but about to head to another meeting. For the record, you're a gem, but that's not why I'm posting. For the mailbag, what's your best and worst takeaways from your time hosting/managing/prepping for/and attending the BOP's over the years?

Sportsfan -

Thanks for the kind words and for always playing along.

The Best of Preps banquet has always been a great thing, but when the TFP and Jason Taylor put this thing on steroids it has become a real event.

Let's do a Rushmore of our favorite moments of the TFP banquet:

LaQuisha Jackson

LaQuisha Jackson

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

• Getting a special-needs swimmer with his Special Olympics medals around his next back-stage to meet Michael Phelps and the look on that kid's face. We'll never forget it.

• Knowing how much this means to the winners and those named for the awards. What to know how much it means? LaQuisha Jackson, the former Howard sprinting star who is the namesake for outstanding achievement in girls' track, flew back from San Diego on her own dime last night to present the award.

• Rewarding and honoring excellence, which does not happen enough in our "everyone gets a trophy" society.

Michael Phelps (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Michael Phelps (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

• Being able to continue and grow a unique and awesome brand that is the Best of Preps. When we became the sports editor in 2003, this banquet was an excellent tradition and a modest enterprise. With the help and support of the folks atop the TFP food chain and the growth of the TFP marketing department - there was a time that the sports department and Beth Blansit did most of the lifting on this thing, now there is a marketing team at the TFP that handles the dozen or so events we do - the banquet makes money. While the money making part seems greedy, here's what it means: The banquet was a money loser until Phelps came to town and blew the ceiling off of it. And there's no telling how long this event would have continued in today's climate as a five-figure money pit. Making this thing bigger and better than ever - and adding the Best of Preps basketball tournament and next year a Kickoff Classic - and solidified its place. That's a great thing, and selfishly, we did not want to be the guy running the sports ship when the banquet ended, you know?

As for the bad, well those are more generalized, and Nos. 1-through-413 are any delays in the arrival of the featured speaker. Last night Dale Jr.'s flight was delayed because of weather, and those extra minutes of unknown are really the only nervous part. A few years ago, Drew Brees thought Chattanooga was on Central time so he was a full hour late. And if something happens and the speaker doesn't show, well, the go-to catch phrase is that folks have paid $50 clams for the comedy stylings of the TFP sports editor. "Knock, Knock..."

We've had our fair share of complaining parents or upset coaches, but those don't really register because we know it's out of passion for their kids and respect and desire for being a Best of Preps Award winner. If people did not get emotional, then it would not mean as much as it does, and we remember than when folks call us a chowder head for picking this kid over their's. It's all good.

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., answers questions from the audience at the 2014 Best of Preps Banquet on Thursday at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Earnhardt was the guest speaker at the annual event which honors the area's best prep athletes.

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., answers questions from...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.


From PDavi

The Best of Preps banquet was awesome. Thanks for everything the folks at the paper do to make it such a great event.

What's your Rushmore of Best of Preps speakers in your time there? Thanks and love you and Paschall on the radio.

PDavi -

It was great to see you last night and thanks for the kind words and for listening to Press Row.

Since we started here in 2002, we believe the speakers have been (not necessarily in this order) Steve Sloan, Jeff Lebo, Keith Jackson, Phil Fulmer, David Cutcliffe, Steve Spurrier, Bill Curry, Michael Phelps, Venus and Serena Williams, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Chipper Jones and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Since it became a bigger evet, we have gone to a moderated question-and-answer session the last six years, and that format has been an overwhelming success, and delivered some of the most entertaining talks.

If we had to do a Rushmore of the best speakers, we'd go Bill Curry far left (his speech was awesome in its awesomeness), Chipper, Dale Jr., and Keith Jackson.

Thanks again for the kind words.