published Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

5-at-10: UTC's big moment, Tiger tees it up, more Sherman

Gang, we have a mailbag spot or two open so fire away.

From the "Talks too much" studios, apparently love won't keep them together after all.

UTC hoops tonight

After winning eight in a row and rolling up a 6-0 start in the Southern Conference, UTC basketball has our attention.

Now, we ask, what will they do with it?

XY Mocs coach Will Wade asked for 5,000 fans tonight. We don't think there will be that many, but we believe there will be more than 4K. Let's set the over/under at 4,250.

  • photo
    UTC men's head basketball coach Will Wade.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter.
    enlarge photo

But moments like this in the past — times when the momentum started to build and the current reasons for optimism that were embraced despite being far outweighed by rational evidence of recent history — UTC has struggled.

So what do we expect tonight?

We expect Elon to start inside and work out — the Phoenix are efficiently built are a 6-10 center and have surrounded him with accurate 3-point shooters. Four Elon players average double-figures. We expect UTC to be tough defensively — the XY Mocs play with fire, which is far different that the play Fire — and we expect Z Mason to continue to do Z Mason-type things.

This will be a stern test, and it is one that in the last decade or so UTC would have flunked.

But this is not the UTC of the recent past. This is a bunch that has energy and discipline, a seldom-seen combination that once seemed as volatile as kerosene and a spark before Wade arrived. The pre- Wade XY Mocs were either too-buttoned down or too uncontrollable, and those drastic team mood swings were puzzling and unpredictable.

Though the players' faces are the same, this is not that bunch. Not by a long shot. We expect a tight game — Elon is experienced and likely has the edge of being without expectation of playing on the road and we all know how everyone embraces the 'underdog' role — that could go either.

More importantly though, we expect this to be the first of many "important" SoCon games for Wade and the Mocs, something that never materialized until March in years past.

And that's a monster UTC win regardless of tonight's score.

————

Tiger tees it up

The man, the myth, the legend, Tiger Woods tees it up today to start his 2014 golf campaign at Torrey Pines.

We want Tiger to be back in the mix of every major. It makes golf more fun.

Last year, Woods was right there in the Masters and the British Open. In fact if his approach on No. 15 in the second round had not hit the flagstick and gone into the water which resulted in the drop heard round the world and introduced the planet to Brandel Chamblee, he likely would have won the Masters.

So he was close some and not-so-close some. After finishing way back in the other two majors (tied for 32nd at the The US Open and tied for 40th at the PGA), there is an equal ebb-and-flow about whether Tiger will or won't end his majorless streak in '14.

It's been since the 2008 US Open since he won a major, and before that, to even mention that Woods would go almost six years without a major would be as crazy as suggesting that a Stanford grad with a 3.9 GPA was a thug. Wait a minute. Is that Richard Sherman's intro music...

————

More Sherman

  • photo
    Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman celebrates after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers in Seattle. The Seahawks won 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

We're on board. We are a Richard Sherman fan.

Unless you live under a frozen rock somewhere near Alpha Base near the North Pole (say hi to Santa), Richard Sherman is the NFL's best cornerback and most talked about player this pre-pre-week of the Super Bowl after his passionate interview with Erin Andrews. Sherman had hard words and made some questionable gestures toward the 49res in general and receiver Michael Crabtree in particular.

Sherman apologized for taking the focus off the performance of his team. He has made his peace with it, even though he very little to make peace with considering he and Crabtree had a volatile relationship from previous run-ins.

All of this is in the rearview, and whether you are a Sherman fan as we are or believe Sherman to be the face of poor sportsmanship, that's up to you. But the more we learn about Sherman the more impressed we are.

Dude grew up in Compton in arguably the toughest neighborhood in the country and graduated second in his high school class. He had a 3.9 at Stanford and graduated in three years with a degree in communication and is pursuing his Masters. He was the 24th corner drafted in 2011 draft, going in the fifth round, and by working at his craft and on his skills has become arguably the best defensive player in the NFL.

And through all this controversy he continues to take as many polished and near-perfect steps as Tom Hanks playing the piano in Big.

The audio from the game showed Sherman said, "Hell of a game. Hell of a game," when he approached Crabtree afterward, and while it was likely a questionable decision to approach a foe — especially one with whom you have a history — right after the game, the only thing that he did following the biggest play in the history of his franchise with which seems overly egregious was the 'choke' he did toward Colin Kaepernick.

To cap this circus, Sherman aced Wednesday's press conference, becoming one of the only NFL players we can ever recall to use oxymoron correctly in a sentence before offering up this gem.

Compared to guys who are much worse but are publicly embraced for whatever reason — guys like Deion or Ray Lewis or Cris Carter or Jim McMahon or whomever — Sherman is getting an avalanche of criticism. So it goes.

And he appears to be able to take it, because as famous and fellow Compton poet Eazy E told us many years ago, "the Boyz in the hood are always hard."

————

This and that

— The Oakland Raiders are being sued by their cheerleaders. Somewhere Al Davis is rolling over in his sweatsuit.

— The New York Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka $155 million over seven years. Add in the $20 million the bottomless-pocketed Yankees had to pay just to negotiate with Tanaka, and that's the second-most a team has ever spent to sign a pitcher. Wow. By all reports he has very-good-to-great stuff, but dude has pitched to the same number of big league hitters as you and Spy. (And Spy would sign with the Yankees — yes even the Yankees — for far less than $175 million.)

  • photo
    Jordan McRae
    AP Photo/The Athens Banner-Herald, AJ Reynolds

— Big win for the Vols last night, which proved two things: 1) Jordan McRae is going to have to make a serious push at SEC player of the year for the Vols to win 12 conference games; 2) Home-cooking tastes especially good when you are at home. Case in point — After UT did not get a close call in Rupp, the Vols shot 38 free throws to Arlansas' 17 Wednesday and the quid pro call of officiating karma swung back in The Conz's favor with the "flagrant foul" against Arkansas that became a five-point play capped by a McRae 3 that completely swung the momentum in UT's 81-74 win over the Hogs. McRae finished with 34 points.

— In today's celebrity news: Justin Bieber was arrested from drag racing and suspicion of DUI in Miami, and there is talk that Captain & Tennille are splitting after 39 years of marriage. Tear.

————

Today's question(s)

Gang, grab the mic and start your flow.

If you need talking points, OK here are a couple:

What jazz hands, rope-a-dope move will Roger Goodell try next? After wasting time on "PAT: Friend or foe" Good-sell is now floating the world-moving debate of NFL playoffs on Friday night. Great. It's all a smoke screen to deflect attention from a) his outdoor Super Bowl is going to be a pain in the neck and b) the real issues from correction replay to concussions to the flag-football-esque rules that are on the horizon. What's next? Pro Bowl overtime concerns?

What do you expect from the Mocs tonight?

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.
MocTastic said...

Mocs will play hard to the wire in a close game. Not sure who wins in points, but the fans of Chattanooga win as we now have a team that will fight as a team, not a group of individuals, to the end every night. Be there.

January 23, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.
chas9 said...

OK, Mr. Communications Major Smarty Pants, Brady says he "could care less" about the Super Bowl. Doesn't he mean he couldn't care less?

Schizophrenic Arkansas is scrappy, but just pretty good, so beating them in K-town won't help the Vols' Chance to Dance much, and UK's loss in Fayetteville won't hurt them much. Still, UT can loosen their sphincters now, 'cause it could've easily gone the other way. Clearly, Tennessee doesn't have great shooters. Hitting 40.7% won't win a lot of games. Even McRae (34) only hit half his shots.

Their paint game is their strength. The Vols got 10 blocks. Lately, they're better than Kentucky, who's known for great shot blocking.

The Hogs' karma balance was also influenced by the shameful home cooking vs. The Wildcats in Bud Walton Arena.

<p>Cbssports.com is running its all-time single season teams by position and Tuesday they covered the Senators/Twins. Among others, they chose Walter "Big Train" Johnson's 1913 season, Killebrew's 1967 and one of fat Kirby Puckett's years. Because of the Lookouts connection, I knew the Senators changed cities and names, but how many fans view those two as the same team?

The Dodgers and Giants kept their names, so that's easier. The Colt .45's changed names but not cities. That's easy, too, but things can get confusing.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings moved to Boston in 1870 and kept their name, but later became the Boston Redcaps, who became the Beaneaters, who became the Doves, who became the Rustlers, who became the Braves, who moved to Milwaukee and then to ATL. I guess that's all one team, not to be confused with the Red Sox.

And do you lump the Kansas City Athletics with the Oakland Athletics team or the Kansas City Royals?

Do the Seattle Pilots go with the Milwaukee Brewers or the Seattle Mariners?

See you this evening.

January 23, 2014 at 10:21 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Vegas has Elon as a 2 point favorite. . . Even if the Mocs go 1-1 this weekend, they are in great shape for a bye in the SoCon tourney. ill take the over on 4,250. . . and if you have looked at college basketball attendence nationwide, thats a damn good crowd

Big win for UTK, they should now be in position for that 4th SEC team in NCAA tourney. . . .not necessarily a good thing for Johnny Vol fans, as that would buy Counzo another 2-3 years

January 23, 2014 at 10:29 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Chas9 Pilots go with Brewers, same franchise, different city and name. Same with KC Athletics, they go with Oakland.

Interesting trivia, name the only player to play for both versions of the Senators (the ones that became the Twins and the ones that became the Rangers). ALso, who was the first player to play in the all star game in the Brewers franchise history?

My understanding on the the Cincy to Boston thing is a bit different. From my memory or reading the history, the Cincy team which is credited with being the first professional team went defunct as a professional team for several years, but continued under amateur status. A large majority of the players and the manager moved to Boston rather than returning to the amateur world where they became the team that became the Braves later on. However, it was not officially the team/franchise moving out of Cincy, but just a large group of the team. I can argue either side of this. If you take your side, which I do, then in reality the Atlanta Braves are the oldest continuously operating professional baseball team, not the Cincy Reds.

January 23, 2014 at 10:33 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

I too imagine the over on tonight's attendence. However, give the cold snap that has hit the 423, it may end up going in the under mark. I know here in the 972, It started at 41 (not counting wind chill) and is scheduled to "drop" as the day progresses. Love-ly u_u

I love the fact this morning the minute TFP broke the story regarding Berbergate, there was already 100+ comments on FB basically accusing them of being the new TMZ. I agree, we don't care.

January 23, 2014 at 10:57 a.m.
Stewwie said...

I guess she won't be telling the Captain to "do that to me one more time" anymore.

The Mocs have delivered in a big game before...let's remember their outstanding performance against this same Elon team in the home finale last year. Elon was the division leader and we were still fighting for a chance to get a bye in the tourney. The guys were coming off a horrendous home loss and stepped it up for a big win. If they could do it last year, surely they can do it this year.

Jay, if you want for the mailbag, can you do an assessment of Goodell's tenure at the helm of the NFL? What has he done right or well and what has he done wrong or poorly? Also, what rating out of 10 would you give his job performance?

An early look on how things might be on Feb. 2?

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/metlife-stadium-buried-snow-winter-storm-janus-gallery-1.1587746

January 23, 2014 at 11:31 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

Concur. The Mocs will play hard. And that's a good thing.

Will it be enough? Don't know. Will it be light years better than before? You bet your Scrappy it will be.

9er —

You've said it all along — when you have bad-to-mediocre point guard play, the offense is always a concern. The Vols won with McRae scoring 34 and outscoring Arkansas by 19 at the foul line. They needed that because they had 13 assists and 15 turnovers. That's not good.

And that's a fact that The Conz definitely could care more about. Yes, the appropriate term above is "couldn't care less." To care less would mean you actually do care at least a little bit.

JMC —

Beebs getting busted is news for everyone. Dude is a pop star. You may not care but some do.

If Superman No. 1 was sold, the TFP sports editor couldn't care less, but it would be big news to you no?

Jomo —

Interesting point about the Vols getting three more years of The Conz with the one-and-done tournament trip. We may need to explore this more in coming days.

January 23, 2014 at 11:32 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Stew-man: Classic. What happened to "Love Will Keep Us Together"? So no more "Muskrat Love"? Say it ain't so Musky...

Billy-In-Brainerd

January 23, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.
chas9 said...

Stew--Why was once never enough? Was The Captain too quick?

MT--Do you still have one of the buggy whips you used in 1870? I thought fec and BiB were the oldest 5@10 stringers. Don't know the Senators' trivia, but it's a good one. I concur on the Braves being the oldest franchise. What really gripes me is when a team takes with it a nickname inappropriate to its new environs. There's no jazz in Utah worth the name. Of course, Pelicans is a cool replacement name.

jomo--It's looking like The Rebellious Black Bears may bump Mizzou as the 3rd team (use Vandy results as a measuring stick), and that may be all the SEC gets. Tough call whether UT or Missouri would be the fourth in line.

January 23, 2014 at 12:09 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Chas9 The answer to both of my questions was the same, Huntsville AL native and former Southern League President Don Mincher. A bit of a trick question in that he was the first All Star to play for the Brewers franchise but did it with the Seattle Pilots, same franchise, different name.

If I was the Commissioner of all sports, that would be a rule, team's nicknames stay in the city. NFL finally got it right when they made the Browns drop the name when they moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens. I mean, what if the Lookouts moved here to Huntsville in 2015? That would make no sense, the Huntsville Lookouts. The Dodgers name should have stayed in Brooklyn in case they ever got a team again, afterall, it came from "dodging" trolley cars in Brooklyn. Don't see many trolley cars in LA.

Recently met BiB at Jefferson's. He walked up to me and asked if I was "MocTastic"...geesh..can't hide anywhere!

See yall at the Roundhouse tonight!

January 23, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

MT: what about...Bert Blyleven (born Rik Aalbert Blijleven, April 6, 1951)...but I guess he never played for the Senators...but he did play for the Twinkies + the Strangers...

C-Niner: showin' my age again...

Jay-G: UTC will announce at least 4,251, just to "sho ya"...

Billy-In-Brainerd

January 23, 2014 at 12:23 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

I'm going over 4250 as well. Mocs get it done tonight- that's my pick.

It's easy to forget that on January 17, 2011 (I looked it up) the Mocs took on College of Charleston in McKenzie and were 6-0 in SoCon play. They beat Charleston that night 91-88 to go 7-0 in SoCon play. They followed that up with two thirty point losses at Wofford and at Furman. The team was never the same after beating the Cougars, going 5-8 after that game, including a first round loss to Furman in the SoCon Tournament. They did make it to 10-2 in SoCon play that year, before winning just one of their next five and needing to beat Samford on the final day of the regular season in overtime just to claim a share of the division title. But that day was a bit like this one- a chance to get to 7-0 against one of the SoCon favorites at home. The Mocs passed that test that night.

That night they got to 11-8 on the season, and 9-8 against D1 opponents. Right now, the Mocs are 12-8 and 9-8 against D1 opponents. They eventually got to 14-10 overall, four games over .500. That was the last time the Mocs were four games over .500. They were two games over .500 against D1 foes. That was the last time the Mocs were two games over .500 against D1 foes. A Mocs win tonight would put them two games over. 500 against D1 teams and five games over .500 overall for the first time since the season ended in 2007-08 at 18-13.

Yep. It's a big night. Can't wait.

Watched the Vols last night. They're a pretty good team, not a great one. The loss to Texas A&M is a real blow. I know that UK's loss was on the road so it's different, but still, Arkansas has won exactly one SEC game...and that was against UK. That's not a good thing. Plus, Baylor and North Carolina can't stop losing right now. That's not a good thing. Still, UK is comfortably in the big dance. Their trips to LSU and Missouri next week will tell a lot about this Kentucky team. Tennessee traditionally does very well against Florida regardless of location. Hard to imagine the Vols beating the Gators this year, but if they find a way to do it in Gainesville, then the Vols will be in really good shape.

January 23, 2014 at 12:25 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Maybe the Captain and Tennille just need to go on a reunion tour.

I could care less if the Yankees paid me far under 175 mill. I also will hit as many homers as A Rod will this year. So I'm a bargain.

Just think - Jordan McRae and Rion Brown of Miami were high school teammates. They got to the Georgia state semis.

January 23, 2014 at 12:38 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay, to answer your question, no. The point was if TMZ or HLN wants to cover Bebergate, have at it. Respectable mid-sized and major newspapers, not really so much. Same goes for someone a little more respectable like Beyonce or even someone whose a legand like Fogerty. While I appreciate the coverage the TFP offers the local Sci-Fi, Comic, Literature conventions (Chattacon, ConNooga, etc.) anything like what you give as an example I'm just as happy reading about it in Capetown on EW.com and being passed over by the TFP to more pressing news coverage. Just me though.

January 23, 2014 at 12:45 p.m.
chas9 said...

Moon pie moonshine? Whatever happened to doing one thing well? And if the local bakery was going to team with a whisky maker, they should've gotten with Chattanooga Whisky. Support your local team.

MT--Though I only remember the L.A. version (Koufax and Drysdale were my boyhood idols), I agree about leaving the Dodger name in Brooklyn. There's a Lookout Mtn. in Colorado, so if they move there they can keep the moniker. Who's the greatest slugger ever to wear a Braves uniform? The Babe. (No disrespect to Hank.)

The just-announced Team USA pool has been revealed. Only SEC grads are DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Brad Beal.

Ole Miss at Tennessee is a big game next week.

January 23, 2014 at 12:59 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Jeffersons ( in location of the old Brass Register in Fountain Sq), just tweeted that they have free tickets for tonights game, just go by to get them!

January 23, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.
Stewwie said...

JMC,

I see your point, but in regard to the big-name entertainers and athletes, I think it's fair for even the respectable news sources to break news on big things like arrests. But if the TFP ran a headline saying something like "Justin Bieber was caught picking his boogers and eating them!", then I'd start to wonder what BID-ness the TFP is really trying to be in.

Stuck,

Interesting parallels between this year's squad thus far and the one from 3 years ago. The 2011 team enjoyed early success, then fell into the trap of complacency and selfishness. Despite being expected to figure things out the following year with the senior-laden group, the same problems persisted. Even if this year's squad were to drop the next couple of games or 3 out of 4, I don't see them completely crumbling like the other team did. Plus, this year's team doesn't have anyone like Wattad and Early and that's a good thing.

January 23, 2014 at 1:34 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring:

Thanks for catching me up with the Raiders' "Football's Fabulous Females." Year to year, they're a damn good looking crew.

http://www.raiders.com/raiderettes/appearances.html

Payment

The total appearance fee must be paid in full at the event. Please make checks payable to each individual Oakland Raiderette Cheerleader appearing at your event. An Appearance Invoice will include the appropriate names and information to complete each check.

January 23, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

This year's XY Mocs have: 1) good assistant coaches + 2) chemistry. The 4 previous teams had neither, the 2008-09 team being the last that had both.

Billy-In-Brainerd

January 23, 2014 at 2:41 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Mocs may have secured another big time football commitment..and more may be announced very shortly.

January 23, 2014 at 2:54 p.m.
golfgal said...

JG-- We haven't been to the 'Roundhouse' since it was known as the roundhouse (3 young golf tots will do this). Just curious, will the Mckenzie naming rights last forever?

GG

January 23, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.
MocTastic said...

JMCOOK, being the beebs fan you are, just found this photo of him being arrested

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/t1/1509150_10152192406490540_1432689807_n.jpg

January 23, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Jay, I didn't get around to reading yesterday's 5@10 until late yesterday. I've been busier than, uh, the Pope in the woods or a bear reading Mad Magazine or...something like that. Anyway, on the topic of Chattanooga as a sports city...I would be interested to get the take of the Scenic City's Sports Editor concerning Chattanooga's future as a sports town. Can the city become one that embraces and promotes traditional sports (football, baseball, basketball) beyond the high school level locally? Or is the best course of action for Chattanooga to go all in on outdoor sports (kayaking, climbing, running, biking) and the events that pop-up around those sports like The Head of the Hooch, RiverRocks, Iron Man, Triple Crown Bouldering, Stump Jump, etc., etc. Chattanooga is a city that can differentiate itself as a destination spot for outdoor sports and activities.

In summary, and for mailbag consideration: Can Chattanooga become a city that supports local traditional team sports or should the lion's share of attention be spent promoting individual outdoors sports?

January 23, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Stewwie- Point taken. Was even shocked when of all outlets the BBC was covering this. To me, it's more to do with the saturation of "celebrity bad behavior" getting as much hype coverage as if the president came to town (just an example mind you). And sometimes depending on the popularity, the bigger the coverage. I remember when whats-his-face on Burn Notice (not Bruce Campbell but the cool lead guy) got a DUI in Santa Monica a while back. That was barely a blimp on the radar.

MT- HaHa very funny. I wouldn't listen to him if he did a powerful cover of "Misty Mountain" and a violin solo of the music from Legand of Zelda. I did see the mug shot though. ::Screams bend-over::

January 23, 2014 at 3:19 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Gang —

Great stuff and great questions.

And welcome to golfgal, who has been a regular here for the last few days. Golfgal, welcome and pull up a chair.

GG — We will double check about the length of the naming rights deal but we think it is forever.

We're on PressRow right now on 105.1 FM and elsewhere on this site.

Enjoy and great stuff.

January 23, 2014 at 4:15 p.m.
golfgal said...

JG--

From the car seat next to me 'Mushu' (the dragon in Mulan).

GG

January 23, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...

GG —

Mushu is nice call and we'll put it on the list.

JG

January 23, 2014 at 5:22 p.m.
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