NAVARRE, FLA. -- OK, there are two things beyond family that are relatively certain in the modest world of the 5-at-10. The beach rocks and sports slow down in the summertime. The first of those was spot-on Monday, with the rain moving out and the clouds providing nice cover. And if we could bottle the joy a 4-year-old sees in the sand and the surf, well, we'd be doing the 5-at-10 as a hobby rather than a profession. Sports slowing in the summer, though, appears to have taken a hiatus this week. (Hiatus sounds like one of those words that could really be an insult or slang for something inappropriate, right?) Here are five quick storylines of the day:
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, prepares to drive against Boston Celtics forward Mickael Pietrus, right, during the first quarter in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
No. 1 -- The NBA Finals start tonight and we'll review Game 1 tomorrow. Two quick questions: Who wins (team) and who wins (Durant or BronBron)? We're early-90s-Tyson-fight excited about this by the way. And is there any way that this is now the fork in the road of Lebron James' career?
No. 2 -- Yankees top Braves. Got to tell you, we're at the beach so we didn't watch a pitch of Monday's game. But knowing sports allows us to make the following conclusion. The AL is way, Way, WAY superior to the NL. Consider the following. Ivan Nova, the Yankees starting pitcher Monday night, had a plus-5 ERA entering the game but was 7-2. That's an offense that delivers. And to make matters worse, that less-than-super Nova with the plus-5 ERA shut out the Braves.
No. 3 -- Congrats to the L.A. Kings fans. It's a sweet moment to win a title, especially when you never know if your team would ever win one or when they could get back to the finals again. As an Auburn grad, we can speak at length about this.
No. 4 -- Our friends at pregame.com sent out a bunch of college football betting lines last night. Some interesting stuff in there, including there are four teams -- USC, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma -- that are favored in every game. Alabama is a 2-point underdog at LSU and that's the first time since 2009 that the Tide are not favored. Georgia is a 13-and-a-half point pick over UT (which we're sure that will but Dr. B in the bed, to which we'd prescribe bed rest, but we're not a doctor after all). We'll be back with more on this around lunch. Crazy stuff indeed.
No. 5 -- Here's saying the boxing controversy with the rigged Pacquiao-Bradley result was an inside job by boxing bigwigs. Think of it this way, when was the last time you heard this much about boxing? The sport was on life support and needed an old-school Dr. Greene from ER "PADDLES.... CLEAR" jolt. Now, a rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley gives the sport a fight beyond Pacquiao-Mayweather that people would be intrigued by. (And no we're not normally the "Area 51 conspiracy types, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and the boxing of today is nothing if not desperate.)
OK, today's top-five will have a tall order to match the mayhem of yesterday. Well done all around gang. We decided to bounce back and forth between silly-and-sports. Monday was surely silly, so today, let's do sports. Let's give this a shot -- top five storylines at this week's U.S. Open:
5) Will the 5-at-10 have a contest? Hard to gauge at this point? Any takers?
4) Is Rory on the Ian Baker Finch track of self-destruction? We've watched this year as Rory as ascended to the No. 1 spot in the world but in the last six weeks, it's been a grab bag of meldtowns and missed cuts. Is there any way you see him contending this weekend with a swing as fragile as a rusty gate?
3) Andy Zhang got into the field, and if you don't know Andy Zhang, well, you will. Zhang is 14. Read that again. FOUR-teen. And teeing it up in a major. What were you doing at 14, and does it compare with playing a practice round with Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley, which is what Zhang is doing today? Zhang, that's good. (Bonus points today for any and all Zhang puns. We'll start... We're so excited to see this US Open, we're Zhanging on pins and needles. Or, if he plays well, does it mean he's "Zhanging it." And if Freddie Couples is Boom Boom, can this kid be Bhang Bhang?")
2) Who you got? Who's the winner this week? Forget it, who are we kidding, we're having a contest. We'll do a little twist on our normal rules -- Pick five golfers and we'll count the top four (that way if a player misses the cut, you're still not out of it). Add the places of your best four finishers and the low total wins. (The fifth golfer will be the first tie-breaker.) We'll have some Braves tickets for the winner.
1) What's Tiger going to do? We all know that WC777 thinks he'll win by 72 shots, but what's possible? What's impossible?
Discuss, and remember about Friday's mailbag.
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 ...