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In this image released by AMC, Bob Odenkirk portrays lawyer Jimmy McGill, before taking on the pseudonym Saul Goodman, in a scene from "Better Call Saul." Odenkirk reprises his role from "Breaking Bad," in "Better Call Saul,"airing Mondays at 10 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote)

Morning friends.

Let's handle our business.

Rushmores first.

Rushmore of 5 — High five, Jackson 5, starting five and take 5. (As for numbers, Joe DiMaggio is far left, followed by Bench, Brett and Brooks Robinson.)

Rushmore of most hated Star Wars characters — Jar-Jar, and if there ever was a Rushmore of one, this would be s serious contender. C3PO. Jabba's little rat thing, and Rose.

Rushmore of 'bing' — Bing Crosby, Chandler Bing, Bada-Bing and Bing-O (was his name-O).

Rushmore of 'Rock' — Dwayne Johnson, Rock-n-Roll, Rock of Ages and Rock-paper-scissors. (Sorry Chris Rock, you were close, but I was worried if you made it, Will Smith would slap me.)

Also, here's today's A2 column from some round-faced fella. (Thanks for regular reader UTCMocs for the head's up on this cool story about UTC's global outreach program's efforts to aid Ukraine.)

We have an overflowing mailbag, but there are a couple of headlines that we must discuss too.

Like the reports that Phil Mickelson had $40 million in gambling debts from 2010 to 2014. Like Sergio Garcia burning his bridges before heading to the LIV Tour. Like Shohei Ohtani getting two hits and striking out 11 at Fenway. Like the Phillies blowing a six-run ninth-inning lead. (According to Elias, the Mets' rally ended a string of 857 consecutive losses for teams that trailed by six runs on more in the ninth inning.)

Wow. To the bag.
 

From Junior

Is your money still Hoof-Hearted this weekend?

Junior —

And everyone else, my utmost apologies for not hosting the Kentucky Derby contest this week.

That's completely on me, and my money is always on Hoof-Hearted Junior.

Always.

And here's the clip of the famous call that led everyone to ponder Hoof-Hearted into the winners circle.

 

From Jeffery

So the Braves front office job is to make sure Jay Greeson's likes the Braves?

Jeffery 

No, I guess not.

But keeping popular players — especially ones that are on Hall of Fame career arcs — seems like a novel idea, especially when the franchise had a record-setting 2021 financially.

But I get it. Not paying free agents to be in their early 30s as a rule makes sense, but losing someone like Freddie Freeman, who was the guts to the franchise, is not an easy fix.

And yes, I think Matt Olson will be fine, and as you noted on Twitter, the Braves started in a similar fashion last year. But last year there was not a Mets bunch looking like they were going to run away and hide.

I hope the Braves figure it out because the summer is always more fun when the Braves are entertaining and in the mix.

But frankly, without Freddie, I do not care as much as I did last year.

Maybe that will change when Ronald Acuña is back playing full-time, but that's how I feel. And here's betting I'm not alone.
 

From Jordy

I think you're getting soft.

Jordy 

In general, in my views or around the midsection?

And no those do not have to be mutually exclusive.

 

From Chas (parts 1, 2 and 3)

Quarterbacks were not the focus of this year's draft, but will likely be next year. ESPN's senior NFL writer Todd McShay released his first 2023 mock this morning and he has UK's Will Levis going eighth (to the New York Giants where he'll again team up with Wan'Dale).

Here's where Levis stands in the early mock drafts: The Athletic's Dane Brugler: No. 5 (Falcons); Fox Sports' Jason McIntyre: No. 2 (Falcons); CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson: No. 5; Bleacher Report: No. 6; Pro Football Focus: No. 8; The Draft Network: No. 6. C.J. Stroud is the top QB on everybody's list, but Levis is right there close behind.

Bama's Young is ahead of the Wildcat on some lists, behind on others, but they are close on all the lists. Is it premature for BBN to get giddy?

And

I agree with your dismay expressed today about how the perp got the gun-knife into the Chappelle event.

But is it possible you got out over your skis a bit in your remarks Wednesday?

You said Chappelle had "been adamant in his beliefs of free speech in his comedy act" and "has been called transphobic for his jokes about transgender people." Not sure either of those comments are relevant. Perhaps they are more a projection of your oft-expressed political world concern about what cultural warriors derisively call "wokeness."

It looks like the attacker suffers from mental illness. He appears to have been no more attacking conservatism or free speech than if he'd rushed onto a baseball field and attacked a random right fielder.

For what it's worth, I appreciate your support of "freedom of speech, art and expression."

And

Why wouldn't Malachi Smith and UK be a good match?

Chas 

It's never too early to get giddy for college football, especially when you have a first-round QB.

That said, UK has a lot of holes to fill, especially across the lines of scrimmage. But Levis is going to be a dude.

In fact, the QB play across the SEC next year will be pretty awesome, considering the experience and talent returning in places like Fayetteville, Knoxville, Lexington, T-town, and Athens. Then add in the transfers in Columbia and elsewhere.

As for No. 3, I think Malachi Smith is a good fit anywhere. Dude truly made his game and his physique better before last year and made himself a baller.

I believe Smith could play on any team in the country. Will that translate to the NBA? I don't know, but seeing how much he's improved, I'm not betting against him.

As for Chappelle, I did not see the report that his attacker suffered from mental illness. The first report I saw referenced that the attacker was transgender.

Why would those comments about Chappelle be relevant? In fact I recently spoke with the local fellow who owns the Comedy Catch here in town and he said he thinks a lot of Chappelle's jokes are in a lot of ways an effort to push the boundaries of free speech.

And he has been called transphobic by a slew of folks, including the Netflix employees who staged a walk-out in protest of Netflix working with the comedian.

I try not to use the word 'woke' or reference wokeness to be honest. I think it's a convenient catch-all used far too often.

And I certainly don't think it applies in a situation as scary as comedians being attacked on stage for whatever reasons.

But to think that Chappelle was being attacked for his jokes and views about transgender people is assuredly not far-fetched considering there were several comedians at that show and Chappelle was the one attacked.

Granted, until someone asks his assailant, we won't know for sure, but it's not an Evil Knievel, Snake Canyon leap by any measure in my mind.
 

From Intern Scott

Thinking sports jerseys – wouldn't it be tough to beat Jackie Robinson's Dodgers jersey from his first game when he broke the color barrier?  What about Gehrig's jersey when he gave the "Luckiest Man Alive" speech?  Or that famous Chamberlain strappy tank top jersey when he scored 100 and held up the sign?
 
Related – does a green jacket count?
 
Personally, I'd love Eruzione's Miracle on Ice jersey.  Nothing would be cooler.

Scott –

Eurizone is a great call. And those 1980 US Olympic hockey sweaters were awesome to begin with, but that would be awesome.

And yes, I think Jackie Robinson's jersey (or jerseys) from 1947 would be pretty awesome. And expensive.

Another one would by Jesse Owens tank top when he shoved it in Hitler's face at the Berlin Games in '36.

I think my two as a fan would be Cam's national title jersey or Kirk Gibson's Dodgers jersey from Game 1 of the '88 Series.

And for this exercise, no Green Jackets are not eligible. But if they were, which one would draw the higher price, Jack's in '86 or Tiger's in '97?


From Jody

Hey Jay,

You are the only reason that I pay for the TFP. 

That being said, am I missing your commentary on Better Call Saul?

And from HHH

So Nacho had to get got because his character had reached a dead end and had no options for a happy ending. They also had to end that storyline with so much else to wrap up right?  I would have rather them wrapped up the Howard storyline than Nacho so quickly. 

I feel like we won't see much of Lalo until the season four part two comes out later this year.

Will the Cousins be back?

You have to think the food at Los Pollos Hermanos is pretty good right?

Gang –

First, thanks for the kind words and for being loyal readers and writers through the years. Especially with the frustration about the missing comments. (Which of course is why Chas got multiple entries today.)

Wow, can't believe I missed it but just wondering, I looked it up.

We've done a 5-at-10 for 3,010 consecutive Monday thru Fridays.

Man, that's a bunch. Where were we?

That's right "Better Call Saul."

OK, first, this show is an all-timer, right there with "Breaking Bad" as the best shows not on premium cable.

Ever.

And how well written is this show that every actor feels like they deserve an award for this performance.

Nacho. Lalo. Chicken man. Lalo's uncle with that stupid bell. (Side note: That episode of BB with that uncle and that bell was amazing. A-MAY-zing.)

And that's not even getting to Mike, Saul or Kim.(Side note, part II: If Vince Gilligan and crew spin any of these characters off, I'm in. We all are. They have earned our trust. But dang, Kim Wexler's transformation — or better yet realization — to the dark side has been magnificent story-telling.)

(Side note, part III: The actor that plays the Chicken Man is awesome. He'll randomly appear on some "Law&Order" episodes, and he's great in those too. "There's knowing. And there's proving.")

Before we get too deep, man the interweaving of BB characters — hey, it's Wendy — is a weekly treat for me.

First, the depths to which Jimmy and Kim are going to get Howard are devilishly fun. Even after seeing the sad human side of Howard at his therapists office.

(Side note, part IV: How great is Ed Begley Jr.? When you can go from being a hilarious straight man in "Best in Show" to being straight-laced dupe Cliff in BCS, well, you are an accomplished artist my man.)

HHH, all I can say, I will miss Nacho too. But the suddenness of his end was fitting for this conflicting world of compromise and criminality.

As for the chicken, well, here's betting some would say it's addictive.

War Saul Goodman.

And finally


From P

I thought you were going to post your stupid Trae Young takes and how we told you how stupid you are? Your just chicken (bleep) media!!!!

P and the legions of Trae Young supporters —

First, Trae is great at basketball. Better at basketball than I am anything else.

But not even Trae's momma can convince me that a) he can be the A1 superstar on a title team and b) the Hawks will not regret dealing Luka Doncic for Young and Cam Reddish.

Young could be a great Robin, and he will be a perennial all-star because during the regular season — when teams are only giving 70% effort — Young will average 28 and 10. But in the playoffs, dude will have trouble getting off shots against bigger defenders who are focused on every possession. Add in the fact that Young is a defensive liability, and, well, that's a recipe for being the best player on a 47-win team that gets bounced in the first or second round every spring.And I'm not sure how anyone could say Young is better than Doncic, but hey, there you go. One will be a multi-time all-star, the other will be a multi-time MVP. You choose.

As for the hate mail I got over the course of the Young discussion on social media, well, here you go. And you may want to wash that mouth out P.

"How are u verified"

"Don't talk NBA"

"Shut your (bleep) (bleep) up!"

"Jay Greeson is the most overrated columnist in the history of columnists."

"This is an obsurd tweet btw."

"What's it like to have brain damage"

"Fire this man ASAP"

"You're stupid sir"

"I knew it was a white person that made this dumb(bleep) post. SMGDH"

Enjoy the weekend friends.

some text
Jay Greeson
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