published Friday, June 1st, 2012

5-at-10: Super special mailbag featuring Patches

Before we get going, always remember to feel free about commenting on any of the below questions. Also, do you think we'll see a Triple Crown tomorrow? Great group of questions, and as always, we wrote too much. but that should not surprise anyone

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

From CelticVol

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Hey 5@10,

It’s getting close. The beginning of the SEC meetings in Destin means it getting closer. Yep, football season is less than 100 days away. I would like to hear your reaction to the job Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart is doing right now. It seems to me like this guy has come in and told the whole athletic department that there’s a new sheriff in town and things are going be done his way or hit the highway.

Last week Hart gave the boot to Debby Jennings, a former Pat Summitt aide, and ignited a hailstorm of he said she said between Hart and Jennings’ lawyer. Rumors are that Hart is not done cleaning house. I listened to Hart speak at the Big Orange Caravan last week and it seems like he has a plan to get the Vols back to prominence. Do you think Hart is making the right calls at this early point in his tenure at the University of Tennessee?

C-Vol —

It's impossible to know whether his calls are correct or not right now, and we're sure yahoos like the TFP sports editor will spend a ton of time dissecting them in hindsight. All we can gauge at this point is the process and we think Dave Hart has handled his time there as well as anyone could have.

We think Hart has been above board through a tough time in UT athletics. Dude was given a first-class mess and he has embraced it and handled it about the only way possible — head on. If we were in Hart's spot, we'd definitely find who was on board and who needed to be pushed off the plank. Period.

Look what he's had to deal with so far: UT football in a near-historic mess; Bruce Pearl fall out; Pat Summitt's illness; the mess with the swimming coach. He's dealing with a lot of stuff (and yes, candlesticks make a nice gift... let's get two).

The deal with Mrs. Jennings is unfortunate, but the fact that UT was the last major athletic department in the country that joined the men's and the women's branches of the department has as much to do with the public feud as anything.

Here's what we believe: Dave Hart knows what he's doing. Any one who assumes a position of leadership will ruffle some feathers along the way as he/she grabs control. And with the position UT was in when Hart arrived, job No. 1 was make sure everyone knows who is in charge. We believe that has happened.

Hart has done that and will continue to do that. And if this fall is not better, Hart will continue to exert his power within the UT athletic offices.

———

From Chas9

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    Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) drives past Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) in the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series on Friday, May 18, 2012, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 92-83. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

OK. The Uniblocker may become the best player out of UK ever, or since Dan Issel, it's too early to tell. But what about Raging Rondo? Rajon would be the best pro out of The Bluegrass since who?

9er —

Anthony Davis will be the No. 1 overall pick and if we had to guess will be the best UK NBA alum ever. Strike that: He'll be the best former UK player.

Rajon Rondo is a special athlete and is playing out of his mind right now and there could be a few — John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, MKG, etc. — that could be as special. (We think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is going to be OUT-standing for what it's worth.)

As for the best pro out of the Bluegrass, No. 1 is Wes Unseld. And yes we know he went to Louisville, but that is still in the Bluegrass, no?

As for the best UK player this side of Issel, we'd go with Jamal Mashburn, who was a hoss for multiple years. Either Mashburn or maybe Richie Farmer. Thoughts?

Side note: Here's our list of best NBA players from each SEC school:

Alabama — Antonio McDyess

Arkansas — Sidney Moncrief

Auburn — Chuck Barkley

Florida — Al Horford

Georgia — Dominique Wilkins

UK — Issel

LSU — Shaq

Ole Miss — Not applicable (if Johnny Neumann is the best you have, then you get a N/A)

Mississippi State — Jeff Malone

South Carolina — Alex English

UT — Dale Ellis (would have been King if not for the injuries)

Vandy — Will Perdue maybe; there's not a lot of distinguished Vandy products in the NBA. Now if we had a list of MBA greats, here's saying Vandy would lead the SEC.

————

From Deboman

Have to say that, while sitting through this scintillating webinar meeting, I started to wonder about the other side of the (worst players to join a team) Rushmore coin. Which managers would a player really be upset about having to play for? The first ones that came to mind were Ozzie Guillen, Rex Ryan(really any of the Ryans), Bill Parcells, and Mike Keenan.

Deboman —

Excellent question. And here's our view on this. First, it has to be pro sports. Second, it's not so much bad coaches as it would be the coaches that if we were an NBA/NFL/MLB player that we'd look at the hiring and say, "What? We have to play for that yahoo. This is not going to work." Second, there are probably a slew of hockey and soccer nut jobs out there, but we're not well-versed enough to discuss them intelligently. (And we can remember hearing Keenan was a goof.)

We'll do a Rushmore (or is this a Rushless?) of current and one of all-time coaches.

Current (or modern day)

— Bobby Valentine. He puts the Bob in bobble head.

— Lou Pinella. Enjoy the first few months because the worm will turn.

— Rex Ryan. We all know why, and talk about the apple not falling far from the tree... remember when his old man took a swing at Kevin Gilbride on the sideline?

— Isaiah Thomas. Seriously?

All-time

— Mike Ditka. You know this is true.

— Bobby Knight. That tough-guy schtick would have worked for about 32 seconds in the NBA — or about as long as it takes to say "Latrell Spreewell choke hold."

— Bobby Valentine. The combo of the disguise in the dugout to calling out Youklis a month into his time in Boston has elevated Booby to extreme heights.

— Bobby Petrino. Can you see anyway this guy could address an NFL locker room?

————

From Bigbearzzz

I'm still wiping the tear from my eye at the love that has been shown...the thought of the band being back together....gasp. OK here ya go Cinco...see if ya still got it. Top 5 Patches O'Houlihan motivational lines of all time! Oh yeah.....i just went there.

Oso —

It's good to see you around and the "Norm from 'Cheers'" response you received Thursday was top-notch.

OK, let's get serious, and as promised here are the top five pearls of inspirational wisdom and which famous coach likely would have used them (side note — these are the top five that are safe for a family-oriented, interweb-based sports column; Patches used some language that could be described as salty):

5) If you're going to become true dodgeballers, then you've got to learn the five d's of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge! — This could have been a classic line from Yogi Berra, the former Yankees Hall of Fame catcher and manager who uttered some of the most nonsensically wise one-liners in history. Some of Berra' renowned quotes: "Even Napoleon had his Watergate." "I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question." And

"I never said most of the things I said."

4) If you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball. — This has to be Bobby Knight. And so would the scene in "Dodgeball" where Patches says, "If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball" and hits the dude in the skull with a wrench.

3) Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? No, but I do it anyway because it's sterile and I like the taste. — Rex Ryan. And we didn't have to think too long about this one.

2) Son, you're about as useful as a poopy-flavored lollipop! — Nick Saban, right about the time he processed a high four-star linebacker to make room for a five-star kid from Florida. The recruiting Honey Badger takes who he wants.

1) This is Patches O'Houlihan saying "Take care of your balls, and they'll take care of you." — John Wooden. This is the perfect, insightful type of wisdom that translates to sports and life that Wooden was known for. Amen and pass the biscuits.

From Jonathan Cook (in the 5-at-10 Dallas satellite office)

This past Monday, May 28th, Mark Wiedmer wrote an interesting piece regarding Georgia State's near supernova rise to I-A and the some of the pros and cons that come with it. My personal favorite was the quote from the GS booster asking "when do we go to I-A so we can beat them Dawgs (Georgia)".

Now just think for one minute what would happen if one of the Luptons or someone from the Mocs Club were to say that to coach Huesman on the day he took over the (Mocs) program? When are we going to I-A? When are we gonna beat them Vols? He or she would have been tarred, feathered, egged, and laughed out of town before Quake and Dr. B crack open their mics for the day.

The article of course dealt with the ever changing re-allignment and fans-and-tradition-be-damned mindset of most universities who honestly believe their program is the next TCU or Boise State (more on that later).

Eventually, this topic will have to come up much closer to home given the current status of UTC football. So let's put this out. Let's say after two or three years during Silk's tenure we get a couple of Southern Conference Championships and the big prize in Frisco. Maybe even an upset against Mother Knoxville in the 2014 game. Whose to say that type of talk wouldn't generate at home? My only problem with this is the superfan pipedream complex of believing your team will magically become Alabama or LSU once they make the jump. One needs to look no further than neighboring UAB and their "zero" fanbase for football.

At the same time, if UTC does not consider such a move, what are the odds that it and a lot of other programs will cease to exist within the next 5 to 10 years? It's almost damn if you do, damn if you don't.

(Side note: Real quickly. New rule for playoff system. Any non-SEC team who makes it in the top five and publicly whines about not getting a shot at the National Championship must forefeit three conference games next year and replace them with Alabama, Auburn, and LSU. Starting with Smurf U. in Idaho and the University of Texas wannabe in Fort Worth.)

JC —

Hope all is well at the branch office in the greater Dallas-Forth Worth area. And don't forget your TPS reports.

Your point is spot on — the challenges facing UTC and the rest of the FCS programs is a danged-if-you-do, danged-if-you-don't situation.

All of the moves and machinations of the last 18 months in college football are about money in general and TV money in particular. And while the big-boy conferences view the big-letter networks as ATMs, there is only so much TV money out there and the smaller guys are going to be faced with a difficult decision.

We believe every AD has to examine making the move if for no other reason than the potential upside. If/when the new playoff expands, could the rewards and revenues be spread throughout all those programs in FBS not unlike the NCAA basketball tournament? Maybe. (Side note: They are going to have to change the letter designation of the different levels of Division I football now that the FBS boys are going to have a playoff.)

As for whether programs will cease to exist or not, well, we don't think that will happen, but the divide between the haves and the have nots is going to continue to grow. And there will be those that make the jump that if they are left in the middle without some sort of revenue sharing from the top down that will be as isolated and in peril as those in the FCS. (And while we know the levels of greed of the power conferences in college football, it is going to be in their best interest to make sure some of the mid-level teams are still around. Take UT for instance: The Vols can't play eight SEC games and then four non-conference games against other BCS schools. UT needs at least three home games a year — home dates that generate seven figures for the school and eight figures for the town every Saturday — and to do that without home-and-home agreements, you need little guys.)

The football scenario you described is what happened to App State a few years ago, even up to beating Michigan. But there's not a great deal from the bigger conferences because Boone is not exactly a big media market — nor is it easy to get to.

UTC is an interesting possibility for movement on several fronts, especially if the super optimistic football improvements you laid out come to fruition. Chattanooga is a top 100 TV market and relatively easy to get to.

As for the superfan stuff, well, that's going to happen no matter where you are. We're all superfans in some way or another.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Todd962 said...

Niiiiicccee. Its too bad Patches has to be censored for the sake of family oriented interweb-based sports columns, but certainly understandable. The man had no filter. His quote referencing the abuse of door knobs is supposedly based off a Herb Brook's quote that describes monkeys misusing footballs.

Loved JC's sidenote about any whiners having to forfeit three conference games. Genious. Its not hard to go undefeated when you are playing the Nebraska Girl Scouts or Northwestern School for the Blind.

Was Dale Ellis that much better than Allan Houston?

June 1, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Awwww...I like Patches almost as much as i loved pretend Al...i miss Al...ok since it's friday i really dont have a question...would just like to be the first of your followers to point out this smaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall typo....And if its any reflection of who am i....so be it.

Bobby Valentine. The combo of the disguise in the dugout to calling out Youklis a month into his time in Boston has elevated Booby to extreme heights.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?? Nuttin but Bro Luv for ya!

June 1, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
Todd962 said...

I am not entirely sure that was a typo as much as a desriptive way to reference Valentine. The guys a whackjob.

June 1, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Very true Todd....I did not look at it as such. And I normally would not have pointed out said "Typo" except this time, and in the reference in which the "Typo" was used....i believed it was essential to point it out.

June 1, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
Todd962 said...

I see. I must admit I offered a childish chuckle at the meer mention of the word this morning and pointed at my monitor..."ha...he said Booby"

June 1, 2012 at 11:51 a.m.
chas9 said...

If you think finding an Ol' Miss worthy was hard, wait 'til next year when you have to find somebody--anybody who scratches--from Missouri and A&M.

And Bernard is definitely da King. More pro points, rebounds and assists than Ellis. Allan Houston? Really? That's weak. Get outta here with that trash.

I knew I was leaving the door open when I said Bluegrass player, and I love, LOVE Unseld. Thanks for the memories. But if you count ABA (and I think you have to), Issel retired trailing only Kareem, Wilt and Dr. J in total ponts. Unseld's career double-double average is outstanding, and he played great defense. But Issel had almost as many rebounds, almost as many assists, and scored more than TWICE the points Unseld did. I suggest a sister-kissing tie between Issel and Unseld, at best.

AS for best pro from UK this side of Issel, I think it's Mashburn by a nose over Rondo. Definitely not Farmer.

What you been smoking? I'm depending on you, son.

June 1, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr. 962 —

Thanks for the kind words. Had great questions this week.

As for Dale Ellis, well, he's from Marietta and we can remember watching him play in high school as a wee fella. Houston averaged more, but Ellis gets a slight nod because of longevity — he scored almost 5,000 more career points than Allan Houston. It was close though — but may we loved watching Bernard King play and he's on the Len Bias All-Stars — the guys that we wished we could have seen healthy for an entire career and seen what they could have done.

We liked JC's idea about subbing out a few cupcakes for Bama, LSU and Auburn, too.

Oso —

We miss pretend Al, too. Sigh. And while today's entry may not have been the best example of the family-oriented part of this interweb-based sports column — and goodness knows we can have some typos slip in (that's what happens when you write first thing in the morning with no editors, other than when the Mrs. 5-at-10 has a spare few second to give it a glance) — Booby was not a ytpo.

Enjoy, and will we see a Triple Crown winner Saturday?

— 5-at-10

June 1, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Did not realize King had those kinds of numbers. Never mind the fact he played Hustler in "Fast Break" with Gabe Kaplin, too. We're sold.

Issel's numbers were stronger than we remembered. We're OK with calling the Bluegrass debate a push.

— 5-at-10

June 1, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Ha. So the answer to my question of whether Ellis was that much better than Houston is an emphatic yes. I'll chalk that up to me not watching a lot of basketball in the 80's as I spent half of the decade trying to be born. And upon further research I will have to agree with you fellas. But he does have twice as many all star appearences as Ellis (two over one) and one more gold medal (from when pros were allowed to play). Ok, you were right...

June 1, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Vegas has I'll Have Another at 13/10 for the Belmont with the next closest being 5/1. Those guys typically dont enjoy losing very much so I have to think they may be on to something. It will be exciting either way. There hasnt been a winner in 34 years and you never know if it will be another 34 til it almost happens again, so you have to watch, just for the historical significance.

June 1, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr. 962 —

Oh yes, we're all in. We want "I'll Have Another" on that wall; we need "I'll Have Another" on that wall.

In fact, we're so all-in for "I'll Have Another," we're going to say it over and over and over again this weekend.

Mulligans... "I'll Have Another."

Hamburgers... "I'll Have Another."

Pieces of cake... "I'll Have Another."

Bud Lights... "I'll Have Another."

And yes Vegas is not in the BID-ness of losing. Have you seen those casinos? They are not made by losing bets.

— 5-at-10

June 1, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
chas9 said...

True story: In December 1979 I went down to Catlanta to see KY and GA play in the Omni, because I wanted to see the mucho ballyhooed Cats recruit Sam Bowie. I left the game amazed, not by Big Sam, but by a player who did things nobody else could do on a basketball court. Also making his SEC debut that game was the freak Dominique, who went on to make a career that got him listed by the 5@10, surely the player on Jay's list nobody could argue about.

Mr. 962--In fairness, Houston was a heckuva player. Second best SEC son to play for his father.

June 1, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Nique and Chuck are the absolute, no doubters. Moncrief, too, if you're talking about pro careers.

Who was better than Allan and Wade... Oh yeah, you're talking about Saul and Tubby Smith aren't you? (With the Maravichs third we suppose.)

And gang.... this just in from the crack staff in the TFP sports department... the Belmont is next weekend. REPEAT. The Belmont is Saturday, June 9. Stand down folks. Stand down.

June 1, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.
Todd962 said...

This is about the third weekend in a row I have thought it was the next day. Gotta lay off the bottle...

June 1, 2012 at 4:19 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Seeing as how Petrino left goodbye notes in the locker room and didn't even bother to address the team in person to tell them he was leaving (which quite frankly, I'm sure would have been met with cheers bythe Falcons), no, I don't see him addressing the players with either a before/after rousing postgame speech. Or lessons in motorcycle riding. Or marital fidelity.

June 1, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Gang,

And while the Belmont is still 8 days and hour or so away, this allows all of us a chance to practice the "I'll have another" approach this weekend in advance of the big event.

Stay thirsty dear friends.

5-at-10

June 1, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.
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