Jay, I always read your A2 column and during the pandemic I started reading the 5-at-10. Thank you so so much for the daily entertainment and giving us something to do other than worrying and staring at the walls.
I have not written a mailbag question before but this week I felt I needed to. I laughed out loud at the idea of the Lifetime movie "Murder Hornets" ... Did you finish the rest of the cast.
Thanks for all your writings.
Thanks so much for the kind words and for playing along with the silliness. It means more than you know.
Yeah, I have chuckled at the idea of "Murder Hornets" all week, which sounds terrible I know, and we have received a slew of great suggestions.
Here's kind of what I've settled on with the narrator's soliloquy for the movie trailer to start followed by cast with some specific plot details:
"In a time when the unknown is the only thing we know, one man has to race time and travel to save the only thing that matters — love. From the makers of "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" and "Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life" as well as ACE-nominated for costume classic "KIller Hair" comes the story of a doctor obsessed with saving his wife and becoming the King of the Stingers. Flying across the country to fight these insects to protect his soul mate This is a whole new chapter of the birds and the bees. Don't miss "Murder Hornets" starring Jason Priestley and Jennifer Love Hewitt this Sunday on Lifetime.
Dr. Ted Thornton, the nation's foremost bee expert: Jason Priestley
Mrs. Jessica Thornton (Ted's wife and high school sweetheart who eventually found her way back to Ted after struggling through addiction because she never knew her father and the issues that come with that): Jennifer Love Hewitt
Mrs. Sarah Monroe (Jessica's single mom who is stung by a Killer Hornet and is teetering between life and death as Ted tries to race his best version of an anecdote back to Benton, Washington, a small town of 860 people about an hour West of Port Angeles): Jean Smart
Mrs. Ruth Monroe aka MawMaw (Jessica's wise-cracking grandmother who is trapped in the house directly in live with the swarm of Killer Hornets in a remote Washington state town has always believed Ted loves his work more than his wife): Betty White
Long-time lab assistant Monica Jackson (Ted's voluptuous assistant who he had an affair while split from Jessica before they were married and still carries a torch for Ted): Alyssa Milano
Dr. Alex Adams (the Washington state expert who has always been Ted's bitter rival and has been a secret admirer of Jessica while regulated into perpetual friend zone — he helped Jessica fight through addiction while Ted was around the world fighting deadly insects. Dr. Adams worked with some Asian experts to bring the Killer Hornets to Washington to create some get-rich-quick real estate deals as well as be the hero who saves the day while Ted is trying to get back home. Of course the Killer Hornets are too big for Dr. Adams to handle and he realizes he's been played by the back-stabbing real estate tycoon, before coming clean in a dramatic testimonial to Jessica and Ted before dying from a sting after refusing to take the anecdote because of guilt): Alfonso Riberio
Maury Milsaps, the aforementioned real-estate wheeler dealer: Fred Thompson, who of course gets found out in the end — and is Jessica Thornton's long-lost father, a fact that Dr. Adams unknowingly revealed with certain clues that Jessica put together during in his testimonial — and dies from a sting as Jessica decides not to give him the last version of the anecdote, dropping the vile onto the wooden floor of his fancy cabin, as it crashes with the life-saving liquid spilling everywhere in one of the final scenes of the movie before Jessica and Ted embrace.
Thanks again for the question and for the kind words Mary.
From several of you, who understandably asking a bunch of questions about The Corona
"Will we have college football?" "When will the sports calendar be normal?" There were a lot of these versions.
Most specifically was from Ted —
"Did you see what Scott Boras wrote in the New York Times? Do you agree?"
First as for the big-picture questions, I have no clue. No one does.
And that is the biggest hurdle for all of us in all directions, be it sports, business, health, you name it.
I believe all of the Power Five conferences are going to do everything in their collective power to have sort of football with even a fraction of fans in the stands.
Simply put: The money is too great and too critically important for the entire university systems as well as all the other athletic programs, when or if they ever fire back up.
It will be surreal considering the number of people needed to make a big-time college football program operate on a daily basis.
From there, the unknowns become compounded. Which players will not feel comfortable to come back? Will they have enough tests for all the Power Five schools to use? What happens when one player test positive in the preseason? What happens if they play three weeks and someone tests positive?
I know the motivation is great and the need for football is beyond just fans really wanting to have normalcy. It's the lifeblood of the entire system, from the SEC to the SoCon to Division III and every other outpost you can imagine. Because without big-time football and its reach within its own campus and the all across the sports all across the nation, COVID or no COVID, there will not be enough money for countless other sports to operate in the next school year whether we have an anecdote or not.
(Side note: Yes, the crossroad of fiscal safety and physical safety is a scary place for everyone. In fact, this may be the most direct story on that overlap I have seen from Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman. His numbers and his opening paragraph are stunning: "Relaxing business closures and stay-at-home rules could cost 13,000 lives in Texas and 12,000 lives in Georgia by September 1. But it will also preserve $3.4 billion in statewide income in Texas, and $1.7 billion in Georgia. New York's tougher restrictions will save 5,000 lives, but cost $2.4 billion in lost income." So there's that.)
As for Boras' op-ed in the NYT, well, it's here.
I understand his point, and even have made similar points through this conversation. His points of America turning to sports in general and baseball in particular in times of crisis is valid. (Beyond baseball, the photos of college football fans in the stands during games in the post-Spanish Flu America in 1918 are quite chilling. And foretelling.)
But, I feel this caveat must be added for perspective.
Boras makes tens of if not hundreds of millions of dollars as the agent of baseball players. He gets a percentage of their salary for his work in legal terms and representing them.
When they don't play, they don't get paid, ergo, he doesn't get paid.
I see, understand and in a lot of ways agree with his points in his Times viewpoint. But his deeply vested (and invested) interest in the players returning must be noted, too.
24/7 Sports has ranked the top 25 coaches in college football. No surprise in the top four: Saban, Swinney, Oregon, Smart. Mullen, Jimbo, and Gus are #8, #9, and #13.
The next three SEC HC mentions are where we'll get some argument. In the upset, Stoops is #15, Pruitt #21, and Leach #25.
For Friday's bag: how would you rearrange the aforementioned coaches? For what it's worth, I'm glad to see the overrated Muschamp isn't listed.
I did not see the list, but thanks for pointing me toward it. Here it is.
(Side note: While we are here on college football, you know the rules, mailbag or no, if TFP college football guru David Paschall writes college football, we read and link Paschall's views on college football. Here, Paschall completes his top five of all-time Alabama football players, and if you are arguing on this one, well, you are wrong. In fact, if we had a Rushmore of best single-season in college football history, the only two non-negotiable options are Barry Sanders' last year at Oklahoma State and this Tide player's final season in Tuscaloosa.)
As for the list, well, Orgeron and Smart do not belong ahead of Lincoln Riley, in my opinion, and if a natty carries that much weight, then why are Coach Grass Chewer and Jimbo not much higher?
The list is interesting. Pruitt is too high, and I think he will eventually be much higher than 25. But 25 right now is too high in my opinion.
My ranking of the SEC guys you have referenced would be different and has some side details that need to be discussed.
Saban is everyone's 1. We all agree on that.
I think Kirby is better than Coach O. I was wrong about Coach O; he's much better than I ever imagined, but while college head football coaches deserve a lot of credit for assembling staffs and recruiting talent, it will be interesting to see what A.J. — life After Joes, as in Brady and Burrows — looks like in Red Stick. Because if a natty means that much, where does Mean Gene Chizik rank all time? Is he better than Mark Richt?
I even think Dan Mullen is a better coach than Coach O to be honest, but I am a huge Dan Mullen fan. The wildcard on this list is Mike Leach, because I believe him to be a great play-caller and if he embraces getting the Jimmys and Joes to go with his Xs and Os, well look out.
The other interesting discord in this list is what to do with Jimbo, Gus and Stoops. (Side note: I think Muschamp is pretty doggone good, but that's a conversation for another day.)
Jimbo has a natty, Gus has more wins against Saban than the rest of the SEC coaches combined, and Stoops has done more at UK than most anyone could have imagined. Which is the more impressive description?
My list of the names above: Saban, Swinney(a few other names here), Smart narrowly over Mullen, Coach O, Jimbo, Gus, Stoops, Leach, and Pruitt.
From Joe Don
I hope you're still well-stocked on toilet paper and meat.
When sporting events resume, what sports or events will you look back and say: "You know, I did not really miss _______."
That is not meant to discredit any sport/event or the passion fans may have about it. But, I don't think I will really miss about three months of baseball. Season openers and that first few weeks are great, but then it's more fun at a yawning festival.
I won't really miss the MLB All-star game. I won't really miss the primadonna NBA'ers. I won't really miss MMA.
Joe Don —
Interesting way to look at it.
I desperately missed the Masters.
I missed the conversations about needs and strengths that spring football generated.
I miss the Lookouts, and the Braves and baseball and the Signal Mountain Tow Hall ballpark.
I miss LeBron.
Not sure what other parts of sports I specifically miss, but I do miss the tapestry and the talking points that sports offered. It's the background noise of daily life for so many. It's pop culture buffet that we get to pick and choose from when it's full and we're hungry.
I miss the idea and emotions and the passion of sports more than I miss any individual part od sports. (Well other than the Masters.)
I miss the chance to see something no expected or something no one would believe. To see the underdogs and the overrated, and to discuss those with those of you who have a similar desire to see our athletic heroes do things we hoped for but never really thought to be doable.
So to paraphrase, Joe Don, the classic ending from the classic movie "Almost Famous" if you are asking me what I miss about sports in general?
"To begin with everything."
I heard you talking about prequels on Press Row. Did you guys announce a Rushmore of those? I had to get out of the car. Thanks and love the show.
Thanks so much for listening, and in truth, it's been a long time since we had a full Rushmore on Press Row.
Sure we throw some mini-Rushmore around, but it's kind of become the natural progression.
We did have a discussion about prequels and how many of them stink. One of the things that makes Godfather II the best sequel of all-time is that it pulls off prequel and traditional sequel in the same movie.
If I had to list a top four of prequels, I'd go Rogue One, which is a prequel to the first Star Wars to be released (the fourth in the series). You could also say Solo is a prequel, but I didn't like Solo anywhere as much as I liked Rogue One. In fact, of all the Star Wars movies, Rogue One may be No. 2 behind the Empire Strikes Back.
Also on the Rushmore of prequels would be Monsters Inc. and Batman Begins. (Yes, Paschall really banged the drum for Aliens 2, and if you don't count Godfather II as a true prequel, then slide that Aliens 2 in there.)
Which brings us to this week's Rushmores
Rushmore of all-time sports news conference rants: Iverson's "We talking' bout practice, man," Gundy's "I'm a man, I'm 40," Coastal Carolina coach's "I need more dogs, and the Bobby Knight game face.
Rushmore of TV drunkards: Otis from Mayberry, Barney from The Simpsons, Norm from Cheers, and in the back-half of the series Tyrion Lannister in GoT.
Rushmore of 5: Jackson 5, High 5, Hawaii Five-O, Fab Five.
Rushmore of Star Wars characters not named Skywalker, related to a Skywalker or married to a Skywalker? Yoda, Chewie, R2-D2 and sadly, no matter how much I wanted to push him aside, C3PO.