5-at-10: Friday mailbag with UF fans feedback, great MNF moments, best personal season in ATL sports

Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour," Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Let's get to some business.

Like the daily reminder of how this is Taylor Swift's world and we just all live in it. (Side note: The Pat McAfee Show is excellent. A more-sportsy version of the cast and crew that gave Le Batard some true characters and appeal. The connection there was McAfee had Travis Kelce on the show Thursday, and he reportedly is Ms. Swift's squeeze. It came up and the clip is HIGH-larious.)

As for Taylor, well she just linked the site to have people sign up to vote, and 35,000 of her followers did. Of course she has 272 million social media followers, and wow, that feels like a lot.

As for the rules, well, here's Paschall with a look at UT wideout Dont'e Thornton.

As for the Rushmores, let's do a little something like this.

Rushmore of iconic batting stances — Pete Rose, Joe Morgan's spastic back elbow, Rod Carew's flat bat, and with all apologies to so many — Julio Franco, Yaz, Rickey Henderson, Pops Stargell's big circles, Manny and Sheffield — Gary "The Sarge" Matthews gets the final spot. Also, if you have 20 minutes to kill on YouTube you can look up "The Batting Stance" guy and watch his impressions of almost any famous big league hitter. Here's his version of Matthews.

Rushmore of female TV/movie attorneys — Kim Wexler ("Better Call Saul"), Ally McBeal, Christine Sullivan ("Night Court"), Elle Woods ("Legally Blonde"). JoAnne Galloway was a contender, but she was kind of a cruddy lawyer right?

But if we had a Rushmore of all-time moments for women's sports — Billie Jean over Bobby Riggs, Jackie Mitchell right in Chattanooga proper, Brandi Chastain, the day Pat Summitt was born.

Rushmore of most memorable Monday Night Football moments, and this one touched a nerve with more than a few of you, which is cool. My picks are Cosell telling America about John Lennon's murder, Cosell ending arguably the most celebrated sports broadcasting career in American sports by saying "run you little monkey" to a Washington receiver who was Black, Joe Theismann's leg injury and Damar Hamlin almost dying on the field last year.

Which leads us right into the mailbag, and you folks telling me how many others should have been considered (and know this, even as much as I love Bo Jackson, who captured America's attention and destroyed Brian Bosworth on MFL, not having Dandy Don Meredith on there is tough. Heck, was Daryl Stingley's paralysis on MNF in the preseason?)

From Ted

Two things stood out to me as a kid (about MNF). The intro music and highlights when it began. Duh duh da da de duh.

And Howard Cosell doing the halftime highlights of Sunday's games. You didn't get to see the games and highlights back in the day. I remember wanting to stay up to see those before going to bed with school the next day. Sometimes I could and sometimes I couldn't.

From Pat

Any Monday Night Football Rushmore that does not include Cosell breaking news on Lennon's death is null and void.

Bo running out of the dome in Seattle. Or running over Bosworth.

Earl Campell and the torn jersey.

Marino and the Dolphins beating the '85 Bears.

Hate to say it, but LT's hit on Theismann. Still ugly. And LT's reaction shows he knows he hurt Joe bad. He was the first to start waving the trainers on the field.

That's leaving off Dorsett going 99 yards. And I think it was a Monday night when Steve Bono of the Chiefs and Stan Humphries of the Chargers just went off in one of the great "wait, those guys were that good for one night?" games. I think they both threw for 350 plus and just made big throw after big throw on third and an Uber ride. Entertaining as hell.

From Pete

Joe Theisman injury.....ouch LT; Damar Hamlin injury; Dandy Don singing "turn out the lights; John Lennon has been shot."

From Joe Don

Lawrence Taylor breaks Joe Theissmann's leg (I still cringe). Howard Cosell announces John Lennon's death. Tony Dorsett's 99-yard TD run. Dandy Don Meredith singing "Turn out the lights, the party's over ..."

And I'm leaving out things like T.O. with his Sharpie and the Saints' first game in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.

Let me ask you, good sir:

Who was the worst epic fail in the MNF booth? Dennis Miller or Tony Kornheiser?


Great list and wow some of the ones left on the cutting room floor.

I think Miller to be honest, but I'm a big Korhnheiser fan, and I think if he had been given the opportunity 15 years prior, he would have been fine if not fabulous.

By the time he got that seat in the MNF booth, he was already spread so thin and starting to show fatigue. Of course a fair retort to that is he never would have gotten a sniff at a seat that prime if he had not become such a ubiquitous sports media star.

I liked Miller on SNL. He's smart and funny.

But you have to know football too — at least a little — and his style was his style and kudos for not changing it. But that style can work doing faux news reports or scripted talk shows.

When you are doing live action, sports you almost always check one of two boxes — uniformed or pandering on the verge of insulting those who do know what is happening — and neither is good.

Speaking of touching a nerve.

From everyone with a Tebow image or Gator logo in their social media profile picture

Jay, you suck.


Yeah, well, suffice it to say the feedback from the Florida faithful after I predicted a Tennessee stomping in The Swamp was quite loud. And passionate.

A lot of it is not fit for print here, and that's OK. I called UT 42, Florida 10, and only missed the aggregate spread by what, 45 points in the wrong direction.

I think the bigger question is about an offense that has looked rather ragged the last two times out.

It also reminds me of a conversation I had with a buddy who is a huge Michigan fan. And he told me last year that this is who Joe Milton is; not the guy that housed Vandy and Clemson in relief duty last year.

So who knows, but it's rather amazing to me the changing fortunes one big Saturday in the SEC can generate.

Hand-wringing abounds and whispered questions now hover over Josh Heupel and his program. While everyone in Gainesville has completely forgotten about Utah, is looking forward and talking about how great a recruiting class Billy Napier is putting together.

From John

Who had the best single season in Atlanta sports history?


My actual answer is either Herschel in 1980 or the Bulldogs last year, and while Athens is 70-or-so miles northwestish from the A-T-L, make no mistake what is the biggest fan base in the monolith that is Atlanta.

Now and for the foreseeable future.

And before I get to the best season — and keeping with teams with the word Atlanta in their official team moniker — the biggest star in Atlanta sports in my lifetime has been Mike Vick.

And I'm not so sure there is a close second.

Speaking of that, at the height of his powers, Deion Sanders had Atlanta on his key chain, too. I think Georgia Tech — which is playing better than many expected to be fair — will forever not giving Deion the keys. Because even if he's at your school for a short time, what a fun ride that would be.

As for your question John, let's put it to a vote from the group:


Ronald Acuña this summer has to be on this list. He's got a real chance to be baseball's first-ever 40 homer-70-steal guy in the same season. He leads baseball in steals, total bases, on-base percentage, hits and runs. He's second in average and position-player WAR, and top five in homers, slugging and OPS. He has 100 RBIs batting lead-off. He has as many homers as Mookie Betts, the media darling who has inexplicably closed the MVP gap.

Matt Ryan was NFL MVP in 2016 and led the Falcons to the Super Bowl. Anyone who watched that offense is assuredly not surprised that Kyle Shanahan — the OC with that great Falcons team — is doing amazing things with an irrelevant QB and shiny pieces like McCaffrey, Kittle and Samuel.

My final nomination is Greg Maddux in 1995. I'm pretty sure — with the exception of Tiger Woods in the early 2000s and MJ at the height of his powers in mid-1990s dynasties — Greg Maddux was the closest thing to sports perfection over a season I can recall. Maddux led the NL in wins (19), percentage (.905 winning %), ERA (1.63), complete games (10 out of 28 starts mind you), shutouts (3), and innings pitched (209.2), as well as almost every modern metric that has fancy abbreviations that we're still not sure what they stand for. How about this amazing number? In those 209.2 innings, Maddux walked 23 hitters, and three of those were intentional.

Other nominations? Great question, John.

Have a great weekend, friends.