We're going to move especially quickly today — zip it Spy, we really are — because everyone has a cookout to get to. So here's three sports things we have an eye on, and a list or two. Enjoy, and for all the veterans out there, thank you. Happy Memorial Day.
From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...
The Braves are scuffling
Losers of seven straight, the Atlanta Braves look spent. They have played every day since May 4 — they are 11-12 during the last 23 days — and Thursday's off day can't get here quickly enough. They have a litany of bumps and bruises and are in fourth place in the NL East at 26-23. Still, we like the cut of this team's jib.
Racing, racing everywhere and not spot to think
If Kasey Kahne starts winning races — like he did Sunday night in Charlotte — who is going to have anything for Rick Hendricks? And, how did we get to a point where Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the dead weight of a four-driver race team when it comes to win? We were glad to see Dario Franchitti win the Indy 500 — and of course that meant Jefe took an early lead in the Trifecta contest (complete standings Tuesday). And if you have not seen the ESPN tribute to Dan Wheldon, the Indy Car driver and 2011 Indy 500 winner who died in a wreck during the Las Vegas race last October, you have our permission to go find it now. We'll wait... So how's your mom and 'em. OK, welcome back. And did you notice that the three drivers interviewed for that piece — Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves — finished 1-2-3 Sunday? Yeah, neither did we.
The Spurs are going to be a tough out. San Antonio imposed its will and turned a nine-point deficit to start the fourth quarter into a three-point Game 1 win over OKC by shooting 75 percent. The Spurs, who have won 19 consecutive games, look great. And we're greatly looking forward to the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and the Heatles. Game 1 is tonight, and we think this one is going the full seven. (We also think at some point someone in green is going to plant Dwyane Wade and shrug their shoulders about it. You think the C's have forgotten about last year's playoff series and Wade dragging down Rajon Rondo, who dislocated his elbow in the fall? Yeah, neither did we.)
Around a busy sports dial
— The French Open started this weekend. Andy Roddick has already been sent packing. Yeah.
— Our L.A. Dodgers keep winning with a lineup that looks more Lookouts than Los Angeles. Maybe it's in the Dodgers' blood — half of their eight position players Sunday were sons of former big leaguers. Dee Gordon, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston Jr. and Scott Van Slyke were all in the lineup as the Dodgers improved to 32-15 overall and a staggering 21-5 at home.
— Did you remember that Memorial Day 2011 was when the Tressel hit the fan at THE Ohio State University? Wow, talk about 12 months that changed our view on NCAA violations. Think of it this way: Three years ago we made a big deal — too big in fact — about Lane Kiffin's eight or nine secondary violations. After the last 12 months, which were filled with scandal and cover-up and lies and payouts and allegations of child molestation and motorcycles and mistresses, THE Ohio State just reported something like 80-plus secondary violations and we didn't bat an eye.
The TFP Sports Editor celebrated 10 years in Chattanooga on Sunday, which was also our daughter's second birthday. (Want to guess which one was a bigger deal?)
Anyhoo, here's a quick top-five work-related memories from 10 years in Chatta-Vegas.
1) Met the Mrs. 5-at-10 at the TFP.
2) Have worked with too many quality folks to name and so many people who have made us better.
3) Got to interview and talk with Pat Summitt, one of the all-time all-timers.
4) Proudly have been a small piece in the process that has made the Best of Preps an awesome brand. And the basketball tournament will always have a special spot in our heart.
5) Covering the Masters, which in turn allowed us to play Augusta National... twice.
Enjoy the day and thank a veteran and their family.
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 ...