Programming note: OK, friends we all are starting to get a little stir crazy, right? Heck, I'm pretty sure the glorious weather this weekend actually made my longing for normalcy even more tangible, considering this would have been a wall-to-wall weekend at the ballpark.
I pledge to keep pumping these puppies out even without a lot of sports to actually discuss, and please share and comment and enjoy. If you have questions pass them along, be they daily back-and-forths or deep-thinking mailbag options.
We flipped the order a bit today, and we're still going to have our regular weekend winners and losers, and we're going to offer a few more winners this week because we all need some good news right about now.
How about some corona observations? I say yes.
> The Mrs. 5-at-10's making the most of her extra time in the yard with her camera in her mitts. Wow, her Sunday bird photo was especially awesome.
> Tiger King has swept the nation, and of course they are looking for ways to add new episodes. But how crazy is the crazy element in Tiger King? Well, it's so crazy that one of the characters has been accused of killing her spouse, and those allegations are everywhere. And have been supported by none other than O.J. Simpson, who may be our nation's biggest expert on getting away with killing a significant other.
> Everyone in my neighborhood appears to be preparing for a Better Home and Gardens shoot. Man, he's made so many trips to my part of the county, I'm on a first-name basis with The Barn delivery truck driver.
> As manicured as most lawns will be around Chattanooga, our hair is about to get gnarly. Like 1970s Sweathogs-meet-the-Bee Gees bad. Truly. If this thing extends well into May, I'm gonna have a Joe Dirt look going on.
> The inspiring stories, be it Tre Herndon getting 10,000 meals for needy folks in Florida or the day-to-day efforts of educators all around (like Katie Gibbs, who I mentioned in my A2 column over the weekend) make me realize how great a nation we are and can be.
> We will have numbers on this later this week, but how much has The Corona completely put the sports world on its ear? The most popular sports events on TV since the shutdown likely will be a Wrestlemania and country-and-computer marriage of NASCAR iRacing at Bristol over the weekend.
Hayley Wickenheiser. The former Hockey Hall of Famer and six-time Canadian Olympian took to the Twitter and offered this: "After desperate pleas from my front line friends in Toronto, I have decided to put an ask out. These items are not for my use at all. I'm not seeking cash, rather these items: 1350 N95 (68 boxes) 13,500 surgical masks (135 boxes) 13,500 gloves (135 boxes) 1,350 chemo gowns. If you are a business or person in Toronto and you can help, I will personally pick up these items myself w/ proper distancing and PPE. I don't have much to offer in return, maybe a signed jersey, a smile and guaranteed good Karma. If you can help email: email@example.com." Grand gesture for sure, and the start of a movement that fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds has also joined. (Ryan Reynolds seems like a really good dude, for what's that worth.)
Bill Gates. Speaking of good dudes. Yes, it's easy to be magnanimous when you have more money than most countries, but did you see Gates' plan of attack on the corona? He is setting up factories to manufacture the seven leading candidates to be effective vaccines. One vaccine for each factory, and the six that do not work will be thrown out. It could shave months off the race to find a medicinal solution.
Matt Barrie. OK, there are a lot of "sports brackets" out there to try to fill the void of March Madness. Yeah good luck with that. One of the best was a bracket of ESPN anchors set up by Jason Barrett on Twitter. The Final Four was this weekend with three 1 seeds — SVP, Stuart Scott, and Dan Patrick — and a 16-seed in Barrie. The results were done by Twitter votes and among the bigger names Barrie beat — Barrie is very good and quite funny ,in my opinion — were 1-seed Keith Olbermann and 2-seed Chris Berman. And to top off his run, Barrie gave a faux post Final Four loss news conference and it was pretty spot on. Well done.
Who does love the "Dad embarrassment" stories? Here's a great one with a local TV news person on camera and her shirtless dad entering the frame. Good times, and yes, I am so going to be the dad that looks for every embarrassment chance I get. Makes me think of my best friend's dad. My best friend, Brent Rhodes, was a huge, Huge, HUGE Michael Jordan. Over the moon, to be honest. His older sister in the mid-1980s was a flight attendant and one of her good friends knew MJ well. So, the plan was to have MJ swing by one Saturday afternoon when he was in the ATL. So Brent's dad — his name was Dusty Rhodes, seriously — put on his old high school gym sports, high white socks, a too-tight-T-shirt and his high school letter jacket from the late 1950s as well as a headband and some Kareem-like goggles and came out into the driveway power dribbling a basketball. "Where's this whippersnapper," Dusty kept yelling. "I wanna teach him my patented shot." Brent was mortified, and ultimately MJ cancelled. Next time I talk to Brent I need to ask him if he was more disappointed about not getting to meet MJ or more relieved that his dad never got to meet MJ.
Conversations and the realization of the importance of sports. Yes, staying safe and health is paramount. No one is arguing that. But I appreciated President Trump's conference call with the leadership of all the major sports over the weekend. I have said it for a while now, that the needs of normalcy are way more impactful than the actual games themselves, and I still believe that. Especially with the details of suicide concerns growing almost daily.
Creative parents. I guess I'm somewhat creative, but around the 5-at-10 compound we have taken to a slew of outside-the-box ideas. We have wiffle ball home-run derby. We play swing-set kickball. We had a marathon water balloon relay Sunday that became a full-blown water fight (with today's second Mrs. 5-at-10 photo above — you can follow her Instagram account at @kathleengreesonphoto if you are interested). We had a movie lottery (pick the slip from the hat, in reverse order) that led us to "The Mighty Ducks" last night. If you have any questions about any of those or any ideas of how you and yours are passing the time, feel free to share. We also have a text chain of about 12 or so family members and I ask a daily question (sometimes more than one) for the group with no repeat responses. Give an answer and pass it to the next person.
Southern sports fans. Look outside and think what this weekend would have triggered. Braves home opener last Friday. Loads of spring football and the Final Four Saturday. Title game tonight. Masters week starting. Lookouts home opener Thursday. Sigh.
Everyone who continues to politicize this pandemic. For shame. For real. And the recent rumblings that local leaders are turning this into a ideological issue rather than a medical or economic one is downright disgusting.
And while we are here, here's a weekend loss for Mayor Berke for closing the golf courses locally. Say what you want about the cavalcade of events from our national leadership in the early days of this, but as I said, I believe President Trump realizing how vital sports are/can be for our society right now was insightful and accurate.
Those impacted by domestic violence, which appears to be on the rise locally and nationally because of the quarantine.
This and that
— Enjoyed these social distancing images here as a pro beach volleyballer plays with his dog. Enjoy the video.
— NFL draft still moving forward, and Peter King reported that the league is also going to turn the broadcast into a telethon to raise money to help the fight against the corona. Cool story.
— The pessimism is circling the NBA with reports over the weekend that the players and owners are now discussing the financial hits of not having a season as much as they are discussing getting back on the floor, according to NBA insider Brian Windhorst.
Who would be playing for the title tonight, in your opinion? I'll start. (I'd have Chas on the edge of his seat with a Kansas-UK title game set after a glorious Final Four weekend with Kansas beating Gonzaga and UK getting an emotional win over FSU.)
Curious about your thoughts on closing the local golf courses. Yes, this may be a pro-sports-leaning talking portal, but I'm still interested.
As for today, April 6, well, let's review.
Paul Rudd is 51 today. Dude has fashioned a pretty outstanding comedy catalog.
On this day in 1917, the U.S. entered World War I.
Billy Dee Williams is 83 today. Merle Haggard would have been 83, too. Merle died on this day four years ago.
Rushmore of Merle Haggard songs. Go.