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From Ernie

Jay, I believe the Ravens loss to the Titans may be the largest upset in the Super Bowl era after the New York Jets victory. Baltimore had been considered almost a done deal to win it all when there were 12 teams standing. And the Titans were number 12 of the 12. Then by beating Kansas City this week, if they do, they will become the most surprising finalist in the Super Bowl era. What say ye?

Rushmore (of nothing): Seinfeld, Atlanta pro franchises,
Zero, Belichick's post-game comments

Thanks for your work.  A2 was right on!

 

And From Morris

It is not fun watching a one-handed catch in the end zone, the defense flying around making interceptions, or Derrick Henry stiff arming someone square in the back, Tannehill throwing a deep bomb in the end zone?...etc...just admit you hate the titans.

 

Guys -

Welcome to NFL Conference Championship Sunday. Good times. Side note: Rushmore entries — and Ernie's was an excellent nominee for Rushmore of nothing — will be in the comments around noon.

Kansas City minus-7 over the Titans and over 51. If you want to hedge — make multiple bets so that you increase your odds of hitting at least one — well, you'd go Chiefs and under or Titans and the over. Because if the Titans are going to make the dream continue, the plan appears simple. Slow the pace, limit Patrick Mahomes' possessions, and give the ball to Derrick Henry 30-plus times. For the Titans to stay in this and potentially pull off the upset the score will need to be 23-20. So if you want to have action on this and minimize your risk, that's the hedge play.

We do not hedge. Not in the yard, on the golf course or in our entertainment hunting. Push your chips in and play your cards. Pickers gotta pick, right, Joe Don? (Speaking of pickers, this morning we are headed back to Bakersfield with Dwight Yoakam and the legendary Buck Owens. It's a personal favorite.)

We know King Henry is going to be a handful and that's cool and legit. And quite profitable for the former Alabama Heisman winner, considering he's going to be an unrestricted free agent in a few months.  

The biggest challenge for the Titans will be who do you double, Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce? You simply can't double both; the math won't work. That's the challenge. And it's a daunting one.

Chiefs 34, Titans 23.

As for Ernie's question, I'm having a hard time coming up with a team that would be a bigger shock to make the Super Bowl than these Titans.

Consider: No team has ever reached the Super Bowl after a 2-4 start, which is where the Titans resided before the QB change to Ryan Tannehill; When the Titans played the Chiefs in Week 10, the Titans had a 0.4 percent chance of reaching the AFC Title game according to ESPN's power index; If the Dolphins do not beat the Patriots in the last week of the season, the Titans would have faced the Chiefs in Kansas City in the wildcard round and who knows how that would have turned out; and if the Texans had not already clinched the AFC South and sat their starters, including QB DeShaun Watson, in Week 17, it's hard to know whether the Titans would have even made the playoffs.

As for the other, no, I don't hate the Titans. I severely underestimated them — especially the force of nature that has been Derrick Henry — but for the most part, I'm indifferent to the Titans. Sure that doesn't fit your "blame the stupid biased media" narrative, but so it goes.

Speaking of the Titans, had some local Titans fans who started a Chattanooga Titans Club email me that anyone wanting to be part of a local watch party can go to Parkway Pourhouse this Sunday. Here's more info on their Facebook page. Not sure if I'm going to make it, but it sounds like a good time. (And if you are going to put on a Chiefs T-shirt, you may want to find another speakeasy.)  

Green Bay plus-7.5 over San Francisco and over 46. This may be a heart pick because I so desperately want Aaron Rodgers back in the Super Bowl. And, truth be told, unless your team is one of the last four standing, aren't we all rooting for a Mahomes-Rodgers Super Shootout? (I know TV has to be. Big time.)

The last time these teams met, the 49ers absolutely killed the Packers. There were clubbed baby seals who had to turn away and couldn't watch that 37-8 drubbing in which the Packers scored late to avoid the blanking.  

Pickers gotta pick, right 'Dro? (Speaking of pickers, here's a guy trying to save new country. Luke Coombs, with his poetic "Ice Cold Beer Never Broke My Heart.")

I'm in, Aaron. You had me at "Hello." Deliver, my man.

Packers 27, 49ers 24.

NFL picks: 60-40-4 (60 percent) against the number, but a dreadful 2-7-1 in the playoffs

(Side note on picks: We will have a pick or three on hoops a little later, too. Our NBA picks went 0-1-1 last night, losing on the Pelicans-Jazz and pushing on Nuggets-Warriors.)


From Spy

Ex Giants coach Shurmur to OC for somebody else. Jags fired OC to be somebody else's QB coach. Jason Garrett as Giants OC. And Bobby Petrino as the new head coach at Missouri State. (Would you have known there was a Missouri State or that it had football had they not hired Bobby "Paragon of Virtue" Petrino?)
So my question is, who does more recycling, the NFL, college football or Greta Thunberg?

 

Spy -

The spin cycle is crazy, right? And how many of those dudes are white? (Hint: All of them.)

Speaking of recycling, why has Paul Johnson not resurfaced? That's a guy that could bring a system to a team that struggles with recruiting and keep them competitive.

As for Petrino, well, wow, how far has that dude fallen, because there was a time I believe he was one of the five-best college coaches, especially on Game Days.

Now he's leading the Bears — yes, we had to look it up — for Missouri State, which opens with Oklahoma next fall. Giddy-up.

 

From Mike R.

Hey Idiot — Baseball players and teams have been stealing signs and finding ways to get an edge forever. Media types like you complaining about this are just making it worse. Let it go and find something else to rant and rave about because you are terrible at this.  

There is no way that the Astros are the only team that cheated, and taking away that Series title makes no sense anyway because we all know who won it all in '17.

I bet your Dodgers cheat too you are such a joke.

 

Mike R. -

Not sure if you are responding to my joke-ness around here or on the radio. If you recently relocated from Houston, welcome to our fine city.

Pretty clear you are an Astros fan, and that's fine.

And one thing we agree on is that this far from an isolated incident with the Astros or the Red Sox.

But I think MLB has stopped short in terms of justice and fairness, and if Jose Altuve actually was wearing electronic devices to get direct intel on pitches, well, hold onto to your Enos Cabell jersey, Mike.

Jose has to be banned from baseball. Period.

MLB wants this to go away for obvious reasons, and that screams to there being way more folks and teams being involved than we may suspect.  

And if you need to see some hard numbers, how's this stat from the 2017 postseason: Jose Altuve hit .472 at home and .143 on the road.

 

From Jules

How is stealing signs (with the human eye) different from decoding the QB's cadence when he starts a play? Tony Romo seems to know which play is coming most of the time.

 

And from Larry

Is the Astros mess the biggest cheating scandal ever in sports?

 

Jules -

The biggest difference here is the use of technology and tactics that take it to the extreme levels of cheating in the history of sports.

Not unlike SpyGate with the Patriots, using cameras moves this past trying to find another team's signs.

The best way I know to describe it is, if you are playing cards and you notice someone's tells you are completely welcome to use that bankrupt them. In fact you would be foolish not to use them.

But if you are using hidden cameras to see the other players' cards, well, that may get you shot, or at the very least it will get all the bones in your dealing hand broken.

 

Larry -

Interesting question.

The biggest has to be the SMU scandal, right? They got the death penalty.

There's the Rosie Ruiz woman who took a cab for the majority of the Boston Marathon, which is pretty awful in its awfulness.

There have been point-shaving and game-fixing scandals too, from the Black Sox to Boston College. (Led by Henry Hill of "Goodfellas" fame "One day, some of the neighborhood kids carried my mother's groceries all the way home. It was outta respect.")

 

From Steve

Heard a caller on Press Row (Thursday) asking about the XFL. Curious if you had the XFL commissioner's ear what would you try to make the league work?

Thanks and love the show.

 

Steve -

I hope the XFL succeeds, truly.

Not sure it can, but it is extremely well financed, and I believe wrestling magnate Vince McMahon knows that the first couple of years are going to be hugely expensive.

The first thing I would do if I had Oliver Luck's ear is call Trevor Lawrence and ask him what it would take for him to skip his senior year. If it's one year and $25 million, then I write the check.

Seriously.

Then I call Baton Rouge and seen what it takes to get Derek Stingley Jr. to forego his final two years at LSU.

This does two things. One, it delivers immediate star power for a league that absolutely is starving for it.

Second, it gives the XFL a bargaining chip with the NFL.

The NFL certainly does not want to a) damage its free feeder system that is major college football and the draft rules that are in place, and b) return to the days of the bidding wars like the USFL offered.

And that bargaining chip could allow the XFL to negotiate its way into a partnership with the league that would allow the NFL to send its young players and practice squad players to the XFL as a feeder system.

I am intrigued by the XFL rule changes and experimentation, but without names we know, I'm not sure how long this can last — regardless how deep Vince's pockets may be.  

 

From Jimmy

Why don't you syndicate the 5@10?

 

Jimmy -

Thanks for reading and the kind words. Are we related?

Not sure how you would syndicate something like this or if we could.

I just know I appreciate all you regulars and even the newcomers who make this as much as it is.

As for those with the opposite view of Jimmy

Now a message from the non-fan club

"You Trump-loving (bleeps) are ruining this country!"

That's a start.

"Of course you hate diversity — you're racist piece of (bleep)! I hope they fire you!"

Now we're cooking.

"When the Democrats take back the White House, the spoiled, selfish (bleep)holes like you and your conservative goose steppers will suffer. And I can't wait for it to happen."

Hmmmm — goose-steppers —points for originality there.

"You surly agree that trump killed the guy to take the heat off his impeachment. Is trump someone you want your children to admire? Is he someone you would want to work with?  I worked for TVA 32 years and I worked with my share of (bleep)holes, but none the size of trump. A major (bleep)hole.  hink about it."

Not exactly pointed at me, per se, but part of the discourse.

"Ugh, (your) column makes me sick. Ricky Gervais was right to have called out the Hollywood "elite". And you're wrong to make excuses for George Lopez."

 

Getting close...

"I want be reading your articles again I believe everyone is entitled to freedom of speech but in my opinion your article is ridiculous you pointed out 2 times that Lopez is a comedian so I guess it's ok and funny to talk about murder and killing where is the humor in that? Nothing funny at all. Thank about this would you find it funny if someone talked about putting a bounty on someone you knew and someone made a joke about it?"

 

And...

"God I pray every day Tuesday and Thursday that I'm going to pick up the Times and not see your fat racist face on A2. And every Tuesday and Thursday, there you are. I will celebrate the day they fire your worthless (bleep)!"

Enjoy the weekend, friends.

some text
Jay Greeson
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