5-at-10: Friday mailbag on quitting, worst cartoon character, The Joker and my college football title pick

In this Jan. 2 file photo, USC quarterback Caleb Williams warms up before the Cotton Bowl against Tulane in Arlington, Texas. (The Associated Press)

Let's handle our business.

Rushmore of mounts — Mount Rushmore (of course), Rick Mount, Mount Cody and Mount Everest.

Rushmore of football players with names that could also be the name of your best friend's mom growing up — Gale Sayers, Lynn Swann, Fran Tarkenton, Rosie Greir with a visor tip to former linebacker Kim Bokamper as well as defensive tackle Leslie O'Neil.

Rushmore of sheriffs — Peyton Manning, Andy Taylor, Buford T. Justice and Roscoe P. Coltrane, with all apologies to all the real-life sheriffs we left off — thanks for your service — as well as the inspired nomination of Omar Sharif, as well as former Wheeler High and Hawks star Shareef Abdur Rahim, who is now the president of the NBA development league, as well as former Auburn point guard Sharife Cooper, who also played his prep ball in Cobb County.

Rushmore of Clint Eastwood non-Westerns — "Kelly's Heroes," "Gran Torino," "In the Line of Fire," "Magnum Force." But his best two in my book will always be "Unforgiven" and "Josey Wales."

To the mailbag.

From TJ

Dude, there's no way the white dude from Denver is the best player in the NBA.


You are full of it.


Uh, OK, I may be full of it, but are you even watching the NBA playoffs? Nikola Jokic went for 27-10-14 last night on all of 12 shots.

Twelve. Dude is a matchup issue for everyone right now. And let's remember, while he looks like a bizarro Greg Oestertag, the Joker was amazing last night.

Still, the team picture of folks who think I am full of it is quite full.

From LT

So you are a betting guy and if you had to pick a college team to win it all who is your pick?

Also you kinda suck.


Thanks for the question. Kind of.

I think USC with quarterback Caleb Williams is the best single bet to make the playoffs. The Pac-12 is soft. Williams is a dude. Lincoln Riley can call ball plays. That's an 11-1 team at worst.

I'm not sure there's a Big 12 team that's a contender. The ACC may look familiar as FSU is going to be the team to beat there, but the whole league could be shook on Labor Day weekend when the Seminoles face LSU.

The winner of Michigan-THE Ohio State will likely get an invite to the four-team playoff, too.

Which leaves the league that means more.

I think Alabama will take a step back offensively — how can they not — without Bryce Young. Dude made so many plays for them last year.

Which leaves me — and us — where we ended last year.

Is Brock Bowers the best player in the country? You know Kirby Smart is going to reload a defense that has been recruiting nothing but future NFL dudes for years now.

We're still a super long way away and who knows what could happen between now and then, but if I had to pick one team to place a significant wager on this morning to win the whole thing, I'd pick the Georgia Bulldogs.

First, the talent is off the charts deep. Second, Kirby is as good as anyone this side of Saban of making sure his dudes stay hungry.

Finally, that schedule is Charmin soft. Really, the only game Georgia could conceivably lose is in Knoxville, and coming off back-to-back titles, if the Bulldogs get to the finish line with just one loss — be it 11-1 or even 12-1 in the SEC title game — they are getting to the dance.

And once they start dancing, who has more talent?

From JoeDon


Happy Decoration Day (the actual precursor to Memorial Day)! Here's something to chew on this week — think of some, put it away, come back and add more — and perhaps a Mailbag item.

The current mantra for ESPN and NBA: "The Two Best Words in Sports — Game Seven"

Are those REALLY the best two best words in sports? I could argue these: Masters Week, March Madness and Braves Win!,

Whatcha got?

Joe Don,

So, such an interesting question that had me pondering for most of the week.

"Game Seven" is a pretty stout two-word combo, because it draws our attention on a grand scale.

Your first two are pretty strong too, especially March Madness.

In reverse order, here are my top four.

— Grand Slam. Think of the variations of this, be it the traditional baseball context — although I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say four-run homer before — as well as career achievements in tennis or golf. Plus, how many non-sports uses does Grand Slam now describe, even breakfast orders.

— World Record. Yes, "Game Seven" attracts attention, but not more than "World Record," right? If it was Game Seven of the world lacrosse league, yeah, no thanks. But if SportsCenter teased a world-record in anything — cole slaw eating contest — I'm watching through the commercial break.

— Gold Medal. This one is strong for obvious reasons. In fact this one may be one, but I'm still leaning here.

— Super Bowl. Think of all the other sports and endeavors that have the "Super Bowl of (blank)." That's high praise for the two best words in sports.

From Jason

Jay, long time no talk. It's Jason and I just started reading your column. Good stuff. We always knew you'd do something in sports.

But did I read it right that you quit drinking beer? No wonder Bud Light stock is in the (bleeper)!


Keep up the good work, bro.


Great to hear from you my man. Hope to see you soon.

Yep. Been a couple of years now, so don't try to blame the Bud Light collapse on me.

In fact, my old-school Smyrna ways have changed more than a little.

Heck, I'm a full blown quitter these days. Quit drinking. Quit dipping. Quit gambling — save what I do in the afternoon. Quit working 60-plus hours a week.

Heck, at this pace, I may become an adult in the next few years.

But don't hold your breath.

From David

So I saw this question on social media and wanted your answer, too.

What is the worst kids cartoon character of all time?


Thanks for the question and for reading.

This is a hill on which I will fight and on which I am prepared to die.

It's not Scrappy Doo, who was bad and all-but ruined a great cartoon. It's not Kazoo, the space alien that found Bedrock and hung out with Fred Flintstone.

It's Calliou. Trust me. It's Calliou by miles.

If you are wondering "What's a Calliou," consider yourself lucky and just move along.

If you have seen even five minutes of Calliou, you are nodding in agreement.