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Jay Greeson

Friday mailbag: 


From LJ

I read what you wrote about Will Cain. I like him too. Who is the best ESPN personality in your opinion? Thanks and I love the 5-at-10.

LJ —

Thanks for reading.

Hmmmmm. The categories here are important.

Best analysts are one thing, since most are sports-specific experts (Bilas, Herbstreit or my personal favorite Louis Riddick). Granted, Bilas is smart enough to cover all of the NCAA, so that's bonus points for him.

Best play-by-play guys are another.

But for personalities, then the answers point toward the show and radio stars.

I think Will Cain is excellent. But he'd barely crack the top five at ESPN.

Scott Van Pelt is a clear 1 for me. Dude has been aces on TV, hosting SportsCenter, his radio show was excellent, and as a golf host at Augusta, he's really good.

I'd go Mike Greenberg 2 and Stephen A. Smith 3. I do not get as much Greenie as I used to when he was running point on "Mike and Mike," but every time I see/hear him, I am reminded about his lofty skill set.

Stephen A. is polarizing for sure, but dude is amazing at his craft.

Then I'd have Dan LeBatard, and if he wrote more, I'd probably have him higher. (Seriously, go back and read some of LeBatard's columns for either ESPN.com or the Miami Herald. He's generationally good.)

Thanks for the question, LJ.

 

Lunch Bunch

Mr. 5-at-10, we spent all of the week at lunch discussing the Rushmore of living actors, and we could not settle on a top 10 never mind a 4.

As readers of your column we consent to your final calls on Rushmores, but our lunch gathering has so many nominations and some strong feelings that we wanted some clarification and details on the thought process on this if you would.

Thank you.

Lunch Bunch —

It's been a while since I've heard from you guys.

I did not tabulate the Rushmores last week. That's on me.

I got a few questions about this one, and there are going to be a slew of varying opinions.

As for the clarifications on my thought process, well, here are a few when determining the greatest living actor. (And yes, the category was slimmed by one earlier this week when Kirk Douglas died.)

First, what kind of range do you have? For example, Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey have been truly great playing Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey, for the most part. Sure there are a couple of outliers, but you get the idea.

There are great sidekicks, too, and guys who always make the pictures they are in better, but this has to be the guys you know can carry your film to a title. So Buscemi or others who are consistently great can be wing guys but not the alpha.

Then, you have to get props for your catalog, because that is your résumé.

The best has to be Bobby DeNiro. Period. Check the range, because yes, the thought tends toward the gangster-type cast, but that's a complete misnomer.

How's this for range? "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," "Cape Fear" and then comedies like the first "Meet the Parents" or "Analyze This." That's serious range and a big-time résumé, and that's before we get to "Godfather 2," "Goodfellas" and "Casino."

Bobby Duvall's body of work is pretty amazing too, but it's all pretty serious, no? But dang that catalog — think of trying to pick which Duvall role is the best — Tom Hagen, Gus McCrae from "Lonesome Dove," "The Apostle," Bull Meechum, Boo Radley, the original Frank Burns, et al. — of his career.  

From there I lean Hackman over Hanks, but slightly.
The one that falls the farthest by this measure is Pacino, who came out of the gate like a ball of fire, but the Pujols-like end of his career keeps him from the rarified air of the best of the best.

 

From Sportsfan

What does Bruce Pearl do with his sweat-soaked suits after a game?  Dry cleaners?  Seems unlikely. Laundromat? Probably ruins the suit. Goodwill? Not sure I'd pay $5 for one of his after-game suits. Thoughts? 

Sportsfan

It's a fair question, and one they asked him when GameDay went to Auburn.

He was kidded by Seth Greenberg, who asked him if he was going to buy a new suit after the Ole Miss rally. (A game in which Bruce lost a good 12 pounds in sweat.)

Bruce simply said he's got a great dry cleaner.

Which begs the question, "How much do you think Bruce spends at the dry cleaner?" It's hundreds, if not thousands a month in season, right?

(And yes, Pearl is making $3.8 million, so he can afford it. And new suits, too, for that matter.)  

 

From JoeDon

JG
 
1. As a lifelong Cowboys fan who can still name names from the Glory Days – like Tom Landry, Bob Lilly, Leroy Jordan, Calvin Hill, Walt Garrison, Bob Hayes and Roger Staubach – I've been intrigued (perplexed?) by the Dak saga.
 
Today's 5-at-10 musing got me wondering. Could Dallas be purposely playing the waiting game with Dak hoping a top-flight QB is still available at Pick # 17? Perhaps Jacob Eason. Then you take all that Dak money and sign Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Robert Quinn, Byron Jones and Jeff Heath.
 
As noted this morning on "Golic and (no) Wingo," Jerry and Stephen Jones thrive on this game of NFL economics.
 
 
2. Except for Tua, the top QB's on the board are: Joe, Justin, Jordan, Jacob, Jalen and Jake. Do ya think there was a run on J-names in the late 1990's?
 
3. Speaking of QB's, can we officially call him Jake, Fromm State Farm?
 
4. Biopics. Does "Forrest Gump count?" Bahahahahaha.

JoeDon

In reverse order, no, "Forrest Gump" does not count. (That said, we saw "Forrest Gump" in the theater in Auburn, Ala., and every time he wore the Crimson or they showed the Bear Bryant character, the entire theater booed. Good times.)

If Jake Fromm takes off as a starter, he has to be the third QB with Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes in the State Farm stable, right?

And what's wrong with J-names?

As for the Cowboys, who knows what they are thinking at this point, considering that they handled the running back, a couple of O-Linemen and others before handling the QB.

I personally agree with the sentiment because I believe Dak Prescott is closer to the middle than the top of the QB scale and making him the highest-paid guy in the NFL will gut a very-well-assembled roster.

There was even talk this morning on "Golic or Wingo" (it was Cain and Mike Golic Jr.) about could they let Dak walk — or sign him and trade him — and go after Brady at half the price for the next two years and draft a young guy to be the next guy.

Who knows? But we can guarantee two things on this:

A. It will be closely followed because it's the Dallas Cowboys.

B. Whatever happens it will be Jerry Jones' decision.  

This week's Rushmores

Rushmore of golf shots by non-professionals: Alan Shepard on the moon, Tiger Woods at the tender age of 2 on "The Mike Douglas Show," Judge Smails making that putt with the ol' Billy Baroo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJPg1Fivmqg and Tin Cup holing out on 18 for a 12.
Rushmore of hammers: Hank Aaron, Thor's Hammer, MC Hammer, Arm & Hammer.

Rushmore of biopics: "Patton," "Gandhi," "Schindler's List," "Amadeus."
Rushmore of "Caddyshack" quotes: This one was insanely hard. Truly. In fact, we had to use the best ones in terms of the movie and the ones we have used the most often. Most used: "Noonan!" "You'll get nothing and like it." "Long, the Llama. Big hitter." "Gambling's illegal at Bushwood, and I never slice." Comedy lines: "Where'd you come from, a Scotch ad?" "That must be the tea." "I sentence boys younger than you to the gas chamber. I didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them." And the entire scene in the bar when they make the bet, from "My dad never liked you" to "My name is Fred There is no God." (And we could have had an entirely different category of just Al Czervik zingers. "It's a parking lot, Wang, enough with the pictures." "I think this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish. OK fine." "We just bought property behind the Great Wall. On the good side." "Give me half a dozen of the Vulcan D-tens and set my friend up with the whole schmear. You know, clubs, bags, shoes, gloves, shirt, pants. Hey, orange balls! I'll have a box of those and give me a box of those naked-lady tees, gimme two of those, gimme six of those — Oh, this is the worst lookin' hat I ever saw — Huh you buy a hat like that you get a free bowl of soup, huh? Looks good on you though." Bonus pick: "My arm. It's broken.")  

 

From Ernie

I love this segue from your column "The slop slides quickly from there" followed by comments on the Braves!  Beautiful typo, or was it?

Great comments and thoughts today!  Don't know how you do it!

I remember a Boston sports writer replying to a question about Fred Lynn early in his career. The question was, "is Lynn the next Williams?" The response was, let's wait until Lynn hits Williams' lifetime BA for one season before we go there.

Ernie

Thanks for the kind words and always playing along. I included your email because of the great Fred Lynn story. And yes, Williams is revered and, in truth, not unlike the Hank Aaron comment earlier this week, Williams likely does not get the credit he deserves, considering if he had not served in two wars as a fighter pilot, he would have made a hard push to 650-to-700 homers.

As for the typo or not, well, I'll never tell.

But hey, blind squirrel, acorn, film at 11.

Have a good weekend, friends, and here's a great way to get it going. This is TFP college football guru David Paschall looking at the social media habits of SEC coaches, and how Nick Saban does not need Twitter to be the best recruiter anywhere.

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