So, we are again going to move quickly. It's the day after Thanksgiving, and we still have family in the 423.
Jay, I really enjoy your column and your style. I wondered this week if you would ask for a Rushmore of Thanksgiving movies, but then I started to try to think of what would be on that Rushmore and got stuck at 2.
Is there a Rushmore of Thanksgiving movies?
Excellent question and the easy answer is not really. I think that is a shame, and part of the expanding commercialization of Christmas which starts rolling in early November, after the Halloween hype that started in August fades.
You have to start with the "Christmas Vacation"/"It's a Wonderful Life" combination that is the MJ of Thanksgiving movies known as "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." Yes, Steve Martin at the rental car counter makes it less of a family movie than some of the others, but it's the GOAT and it's not close.
I would add "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" to the list, and a sneaky suggestion of "The Miracle on 34th Street" which is a Christmas movie but some of the key moments come during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
From there, pickings are slim, so we will reach and go with "Best in Show," the genius dog show spoof with Eugene Levy and his crew of happy misfits. There is no turkey or big feast, and football dominates most TVs during the Thanksgiving nap zone. But the dog show after the parade is the canine Super Bowl in terms of visibility and eyeballs.
I know we watched and realized Buck Laughlin was so right when he mentioned that he would hate to go on a date with judge Edie Franklin.
Let's do the rest of the Rushmores.
Rushmore of best announcing tandems. Madden and Summerall, and I saw someone post on social media the key to their genius was the one who sober sounded drunk and the one that was drunk sounded sober. So there's that. Keith Jackson and Darrel Royal. Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth. (Yes, Romo is better than Collinsworth, but Michaels is >>>>> than Nantz. Although last night, Tirico and Brees did a nice job for their first prime time effort in the Bills' beatdown of the Saints.) Cotton and Pepper from Dodgeball. (It's a documentary Spy, of course, it counts.)
Rushmore of famous people with an intergalactic name: This one turned out to be way more difficult than I expected, and don't even waste time trying to be under the radar with Star Jones, Soleil Moon Fry, World B Free, Bill "Spaceman" Lee or even Eartha Kitt. We started with Freddie Mercury, and I think he makes it. (Side note: Has anyone gotten more of a lifetime rewrite after a movie biopic than Mercury did with the Queen flick a few years ago? Thoughts?) Venus Williams is there. Bruno Mars makes it, but Mars Blackman does not. ("Gotta be the shoes, money.") There was a lot of email support for Pluto, Mickey's mutt, but sorry. No can do. So the last spot could be Keith or his twin brother Warren Moon.
Rushmore of sibling comedians. Marx Brothers. Wayans brothers. The Coen brothers, who are not performers but brought us "Raising Arizona" and "O Brother Where Art Thou" which certainly count as comedic genius. The last one is tough too, and I know some of the older regulars will bemoan the omission of The Smothers Brothers, but who has more bona fide hits, the Smotherses or Luke and Owen Wilson.
Rushmore of Pixar films. "Toy Story" and "Cars" are the 1 and 1A for me. Just perfection. (We will not spin into any more of the Toy Story realm, which developed into a tear-jerker of a series. Egads, "Toy Story 3" and No. 4 are like Steel Magnolias meets "Beaches." Shut it Spy.) As for the others, with all apologies to "Finding Nemo," which I enjoyed, the last two spots go to franchises who had sequels/prequels that were simply outstanding. That's "Monsters Inc." (and the excellent "Monsters University") and "The Incredibles."
As for the rest of our business. Here's Paschall on the final weekend of the college football regular season. And here's Hargis on a South Pitt brother tandem that is bashing the competition.
To the rest of the bag.
For the Black Friday mailbag
First of all, I hope you had a GREAT THANKSGIVING and Happy Shopping today, JG!
What will Jon Scheyer have in common with Ray Perkins, Bill Guthridge, Gene Bartow and Holly Warlick?
Answer he will probably coach Duke basketball for a few years and fade into obscurity.
You never want to be the man (or woman) to follow THE MAN (or THE WOMAN) who had won multiple NCAA Nattys. Perkins lasted four years as the hand-picked successor to Bear Bryant. Guthridge coached three seasons following Dean Smith. Bartow only made it two seasons after John Wooden. Warlick had seven seasons at Tennessee following Pat Summit.
Do you think recreating a true legend's glory days under a new regime is the most difficult job in sports? Anything short of multiple national championships just won't do.
And, realistically, how long do you think Coach Scheyer will last in Durham?
Not sure I can add much more JD because this is very true, and very accurate.
I think Scheyer has a better chance to succeed than most because of the investments so many others have in Duke basketball being elite. (But, truth be told, there were some of the same investments in some of the programs you mentioned.)
To the specifics of your questions, I think Scheyer is a dead coach walking. Over/under at 3.5 seasons, and if you side on the over, would you go over 4.5 seasons?
It's hard to see how Scheyer makes this work. And in truth, I think it's the reason a lot of the other bigger names with better resumés pulled out of the running.
Because there will be no shortage of former Coach K star guards who want to be the guy to replace THE GUY who replaced Coach K.
This excellent question leads to a couple of other rhetorical and almost-impossible-to-answer questions:
— Will Coach K — who is not the saint Dickie V and others suggest — actually want Scheyer to succeed? I think yes, to a degree. But I also believe Coach K's ego would be A-OK to watch his successor struggle and wonder in private to Mickey "See, I was the key."
— Who is the best coach to replace the legend?
This one is layered depending on who you think is a legend and the degrees of success.
Jay, who would you have on this baseball hall of fame ballot?
Thanks and hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
I appreciate that, and hope you and yours did too. We are blessed friends.
Caveat: Luke asked this earlier this week, so I've been sitting on this for a few days. Hence, its absence in the interweb-space.
Next caveat: Regular Intern Scott, who like a bunch of other regulars communicates through my email rather than the comments — which is fine by me — said it best earlier this fall when discussing the Hall of Fame and inclusion. I forget who we were debating, but his rationale — and it's a good one, and one I share — is that when a player's name is mentioned in the "Is he a Hall of Famer?" question, if the answer is not a quick yes, then the answer should be a hard no.
The only exception I would give to that — and I would change a bunch about the voting process — is I think there should be first-ballot HoFers (I think it matters) and second-ballot Hall of Famers.
And that's where the ballot should end. Not 10 years — what a joke — because it's not like anyone adds anything to their career in that decade after they first get on the ballot, right?
But this will be an amazingly interesting HoF ballot because of that very unique timing aspect.
First-time additions Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz have PED-checkered pasts.
So do Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, all of whom are on the ballot for the 10th and final time.
And it is impossible for me to see how you can vote for A-Rod or even Big Papi — no matter how likable and charming he was — and not vote for the pariah three of Bonds, Clemens and Sosa.
I would vote for all of them to be honest and I would do it in this order: Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, Sosa and Ortiz. My reasoning: The last two were tradable/cutable and very much forgettable players before the PED stuff, which should matter. Bonds, Clemens and A-Rod were destined for the Hall before they entered the majors.
And I would not vote for Schilling — not because of his viewpoints (and if people leave him off their ballot because they do not like his politics, then they should have their ballots yanked, and let's start reviewing all the folks in there) — but because of Intern Scott's assessment.
If it's not a quick yes, it's a hard no.
From Matt H
God, Jay you have one decent week and you want a parade.
You are a joke.
Matt H —
Maybe. And here's hoping I'll laugh all the way to the bank.
About our $100 wager on whether my picks get north of 50%, some side wrinkles. First, do you want that to include bowl games? I am fine either way. Second, let's donate the $100 to charity, if you're good with that. Deal?
(Side note: Speaking of picks, we are waiting on one of our final five in the Eliminator Pool. And we lost a Cowboys pick and advanced a Bills pick last night. So there's that. We also have a Ravens pick and a Pats pick.)
Got a few from several of you wondering about the holiday traditions at the 5-at-10 compound
We have the crew here for Thanksgiving. We do chili dogs on the Wednesday night before Turkey Day. (Phrase "Turkey Day," friend or foe? I say friend.) We also all write down something we are thankful for and read them around the fire pit, weather permitting.
We have the traditional food offerings. As to Jason's question, no this is not a real big drinking holiday. Wednesday night there are some CoColas passed around, but Thanksgiving, not so much. We save those calories for other outlets.
There will be zero Black Friday visits from me. In fact, Black Friday is on the "Jerseys on dudes over 14, emojis, hummus, fru-fru coffee and pumpkin-spiced anything" list in my view.
And we will decorate our tree as Alabama is spanking Auburn Saturday afternoon.
Have a great weekend friends.