published Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

5-at-10: LeBron's stinker, Saban's speaker, Open open contest and comedy stars draft board

Too much to get to today to waste time with small talk and introductions.

From the "Talks too much" studio, you realize if we played by the rules we'd be in gym right now?

Game 3

Wow, that was disappointing, huh? We were stoked about Game 3 of the NBA Finals. By early into the third quarter, we had long since lost interest — we were not as indifferent or lethargic as the Heat and LeBron James, but we were close.

The Spurs throttled the Heat with a record 16 3-pointers and cruised to a 113-77 win that was not as close as the 36-point spread conveys. It was a major league tail-whipping, that was embarrassing and full and on par with those that your big brother gave you when you were acting like a world-class punk when you were 9.

And as great as Spurs role players Danny Green, Gary Neal and Kawhi Leonard — the Spurs' next three who combined for 65 points — were, this game fell in the lap of LeBron James.

Hey, we have banged James' drum for a while now. We think he is the best player in the game (he still is) and has a chance to be among the best — if not the best — ever.

We also think he has been amazingly mediocre in the first three games of this series. And for Shane Battier or Mike Miller, his numbers are fine — he's averaging 16.3 points, 12 boards and seven assists in the series — but he's LeBron James. And he's playing like Rick James.

And he's playing his smallest when it matters most, and that is rarely a description for those who want to be included in the team photo of the best ever.

Tuesday, James was lost at times on the floor. He was indecisive with ball in his hands. He looked confused by the Spurs defense. Lost and indecisive and confused — not exactly the words we are used to hearing or using when the topic is LeBron or the elite of any sport.

And his struggles are both empirical and emphatic. For the numbers: He shot 57 percent from the field during the regular season, 51 percent in the conference finals and is shooting a woeful 39 percent in three Finals games. For the emphasis: He was so listless and unaggressive, James did not attempt a free throw on Tuesday — the first time that has happened in four years.

And now, we're left to wonder if this series will return to Miami?

Was this a performance that was telling or temporary? Was it an apparition or the apparent future? Is this just one game (yes), but is it cause for worry (yes)? We know LeBron has responded in almost every similar dire situation of the last two postseasons, but can he do it against a Spurs team that looks composed and comfortable in their plan against him and the Heatles?

It's hard to know, and whether you are ticked or tickled by LeBron's struggles, if we get more of the same in Game 4 Thursday, we need to make other TV plans.

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  • photo
    Alabama football coach Nick Saban speaks during the annual Athens Area Chamber of Commerce fundraiser in Athens, Tenn., on Tuesday.
    Photo by Patrick Smith.
    enlarge photo

Saban in Athens

As our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer shared here, Alabama coach Nick Saban delivered speech 1 from his go-to playbook of talks for a sold-out crowd at an event for the Athens Chamber of Commerce.

Good times. Or bad times. Or whatever. (We're just glad that there was no incident.)

We do know this about Saban — where ever he goes and whatever he is doing, dude is supremely well-prepared. In fact, part of his speech was about how the Tide have to guard against complacency. (Side note: As an Auburn grad that writes for a newspaper that serves a large contingent of Johnny Vols Fans, how great would it be to have to worry about complacency? Cue Springsteen... "Glory Days.")

We also know this: As long as Saban is coaching the Tide, Alabama — like them or loathe them — is the team to beat.

Period.

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US Open

There are a ton of storylines at the US Open this weekend.

We love major golf championships for a lot of reasons. Mainly, we enjoy watching the best in the world at their craft deal with the toughest conditions and the grand stage and intense, life-changing pressure of winning majors and fulfilling life-long dreams.

  • photo
    Steven Fox hits out of the sand on the 18th hole during the first round of the Colonial golf tournament in Forth Worth, Texas, in May.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

We know this is another chapter in the prologue of Steve Fox's golf career, as TFP golf ace David Uchiyama tells us here.

It also is another chance for Tiger Woods to get back into the winner's circle at a major. Woods — like LeBron — will be defined by the total number of rings he collects, and in golf, the rings are major championships. It's been five years to the event since Tiger won a major. His game is elite again, and he's ranked No. 1 in the world. We're never going to say "he's back" because no one will ever get to the dominating point Woods was in the early-2000s.

But he's still the best in the world and the clear favorite this weekend. (His Vegas line is 9-2; the next best odds are Mickelson, Adam Scott, Kuchar and Graeme McDowell at 20-to-1.)

We think Tiger contends this week. At least we hope he does. Tiger at a golf tournament has become like your old college buddy who drinks way, Way, WAY too much in that...

A) The lady in your life does not even pretend to like him any more;

B) You have no idea what's going to happen when he's around;

C) Everything is more entertaining and exciting when he's involved.

So, yes, we hope Tiger is in the mix. The game's great stages are even more entertaining when the biggest stars step on them.

Also, we have the Opening act, Open-and-Closed Open Contest. Pick the first-round leader and the overall winner and win some stuff. Don't cost nothin' (and right now we're trying to squeeze out a couple of Best of Preps tickets as the prize if you're interested; for those that are out of the 423, we'll come up with something else).

We'll post the entries we have so far around lunch.

Whatcha' got?

————

This and that

— Jared Fogle has been with Subway for 15 years and is worth more than $15 million. Saw that this morning and thought it was interesting. Dude had a plan, marketed it and made a lifetime of coin. Good for Jared.

— Jeronne Maymon passed the eye test at clinic in Cleveland, as TFP all-around ace Gene Henley tells us here.

— EA Sports' College Football 2014 is on the horizon — it normally gets released in late July. But here are the top-15 players as viewed by the game creators, and yes, Jadeveon Clowney is rated as a 99 and Johnny Football is close behind at 97.

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Today's question

There's a slew of stuff to discuss today, so knock yourself silly. And remember Friday's mailbag and the US Open contest.

But, if you need another talking point, let's go here:

We love the draft. You know this. We also enjoy quoting great-to-awful movies (especially comedies) throughout our daily ramblings.

Let's blend the two. We saw this morning that Jim Carrey's struggling career has hit another major snag since Warner Brothers has passed on his offer to make "Dumb and Dumber To." In the age unoriginality in Hollywood, and when every movie that makes a smidge over budget is kicked around about possible sequels, the decision to pass on a what seems like a sure-fire money maker with Carrey, Jeff Daniels and the Farrelly brothers on board seems telling. So, they are not even saying there's a chance.

  • photo
    Actor Will Ferrell, who is receiving the nation's top humor prize, gives a comedic thumbs down to the audience at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

So it goes.

As for blending the two, let's have your comedy movie actors' draft board. Here's our starting point, and we need to complete the lottery (top 15 or so) before the day ends:

1) Mid-to-late 1980s Eddie Murphy — the Michael Jordan of the time (48 Hours to Trading Places to Beverly Hills Cop to Raw to Coming to America... Big time stuff);

2) Jim Carrey in the late 80s-early 90s (Ace to Dumb and Dumber, two big-timers);

3) Early-to-mid 80s Chevy Chase (Caddyshack, Vacation and Fletch);

4) Mid 2000s Will Ferrell (You know this list as well as we do);

5) Early-to-mid 1980s Bill Murray (May be a little low, considering he had Caddyshack, Stripes and Ghostbusters in a stretch that is better than we remembered);

Discuss.

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 ...

17
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.
TNBuck said...

Vince Vaughn should be considered for the top 10. He's so money in Swingers and Wedding Crashers is not too shabby.

Speaking of not too shabby, Sandler is top 10 as well, possibly sneaking into the top 5, although I don't know exactly where. Billy, Deeds, Gilmore, et al.

"Stop staring at me swann."

June 12, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
chas9 said...

Downtown's story on UT's APR is an eye-popper. I wonder if the orange-clad sourpusses who couldn't stomach Nick Saban coming into enemy territory think for a moment one of his teams would be allowed to post such weak numbers.

The chosen one gets no free throw attempts while San Antonio's unchosen ones Green and Neal combine for 51. I love to see the underdog claw up.

Speaking of which…

In the Rivals rating of top football recruiting classes of 2014, Mark Stoops' team has zoomed up to #5, while Bob Stoops' team languishes at #25. Kentucky is still behind Texas A&M at #1 and The Fighting Butches at #2, but they're ahead of Bama, LSU, Gawga, Florida State, Florida, and Malzahn's mighty minions. UK has a hot coach who can recruit. Actually, two.

And the Rick James line deserves a rimshot. Speaking of rimshots, did you see LBJ's?

June 12, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring

How about Richard Pryor's amazing run in the '70's to early 80's, which reminds of his collaboration with Eddie Murphy in Harlem Nights, a movie I thoroughly enjoy?

For the US Open, McIlroy in the first, and the Return of the Tiger to finish.

June 12, 2013 at 11:18 a.m.
Todd962 said...

A top 15...this is hard cause are you wanting lead guys or can they be in a supporting role? Some of the cameos are the best parts of movies. Maybe Chris Farley. Definitely Mel Brooks. The Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Judd Apatow group have put out some pretty funny stuff. Mike Myers. All the older SNL folk were turning out movies back in the day. And I love Hot Rod, if you haven't seen it, you should check it out, so Andy Samberg. His Lonely Island work should get him in the musical comedy category too.

Good stuff today. Your embarrassing tail whipping reference took me back to when I was a 9 year old world class punk and my brother sat on my chest, arms pinned under his knees, and ignored my pleas as he let a sloooowwww long dripping loogie cascade down onto my face. I don't think the Heat took that kind of punishment last night, but it was close. That reminds me, I need to kill my brother.

I couldn't figure out in the Tigers Woods analogy if I had more college buddies that were that guy or if I was that guy to more college buddies. Exhibit A is a prime example of Lady Todd with a few of the boys.

June 12, 2013 at 11:41 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

First round leader: Nicholas Colsaerts.

Winner: ... wow ... toughie there ... in an upset, Luke Donald.

Something I looked up this morning because, well, just because. When the Yankees won 114 games in 1998, scoring 965 runs and batting .288 as a team, belting 200-plus home runs, they had two players with at least 100 strikeouts. That's all. Just two. And one of them was some kid named Jeter. Whatever happened to him?

June 12, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

I find it sheer irony that LaBron had one of his worst games of his career last night. Sheer irony on the account that last night yours truly received his first "confirmed" kill set over at the Dallas Comedy House (Tuesdays is Open Mic) with my bits Cam(girl) and Real Fear. Local established comic Ross Day happened to be there (and went up right after me) so I have I creditable eyewitness.

Interesting how chase is concerned with the Clorox Orange's APR numbers. Did you check out the ones over at 615 McCallie Avenue? Smoooke'n*

*Excluding Men's BB.

Interesting draft and one right up my alley.

Phil Hartman in the late 80s early 90s. Not much of a movie career but I always considered him the Kobe/LeBron of SNL sketch comedy for those of us too young to remember the original Not Ready For Prime Time cast. Fun fact: was actually recruited to SNL straight out of the Groundlings by John Loviz who I never really understood.

John Candy throughout the 80s and some in the 90s (Armed and Dangerous, Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, The Great Outdoors).

June 12, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.
jgreeson said...

TNBuck —

Plus, he had Old School and Dodgeball on that list. Plus, he's a scene stealer in Be Cool.

Sandler is likely in that 6-8 range if for no other reason than the success of his vehicles.

9er —

No doubt about the 909 troubles. Tis eye-popping.

And how many recruits are in M. Stoops' haul?

FE to the C —

Pryor is a strong addition.

Todd —

Our grandfather taught us how to play poker early on, and the two poker rules we know are:

A) Never play cards with someone nicknamed after a city (Teen Wolf)

B) If you don't know who the sucker at the table is, it's you (PawPaw)

Hope that helps. And we were once that guy too, until the Mrs. 5-at-10 straightened us up.

As much as we loved Tommy Boy — one of the most underrated comedies ever — Farley was always Farley.

Paul Rudd has put together a nice collection of films, but he's more of a collection guy. (Side note: Role Models was fun. Not a family movie mind you, but laughter-worthy nonetheless.)

Spy —

You love Colsaerts as much as we hate cole slaw.

As great a player Jeter is, he may be an even better playa. Dude has put together an A-list resume of talented significant others that few can match.

JMC —

Good for you guy. Congrats.

As much as we loved Hartman on SNL — he's one of Rushmore SNL stars — this list is about comedy movie stars. Case in point: Sandler has a place on the list; Hartman not so much.

That said, Candy's resume makes a push for sure. We love, Love, LOVE Uncle Buck.

Going to the track to make some DOOOOUGH.

June 12, 2013 at 12:27 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Late 60s-early 70s Gene Wilder.

To wit: The Producers. Young Frankenstein (that's frank-un-steen). Blazing Saddles. Silver Streak. Stir Crazy.

1990s Mike Myers. Wayne's World. So I Married an Axe Murderer (underrated, in my opinion). Austin Powers, Austin Powers, Austin Powers.

JMC, great call on John Candy, and don't forget Splash and his pivotal role in Stripes (another great Bill Murray vehicle, 5).

June 12, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Wilder has to be in there with that run, and Myers is too. Have to add Shrek, too, although amazingly, they wanted Farley and he was going to do it before he died.

Here's a revised board:

1) Mid-to-late 1980s Eddie Murphy

2) Jim Carrey in the late 80s-early 90s

3) Early-to-mid 80s Chevy Chase

4) Mid 2000s Will Ferrell

5) Early-to-mid 1980s Bill Murray

6) Adam Sandler

7) Gene Wilder

8) John Candy

9) Vince Vaughn

10) Richard Pryor

(Mel Brooks' deserves a spot somewhere but his was more as a director/writer, no?)

June 12, 2013 at 12:46 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Ten Ring-

Thank you. Yeah, but can I keep it up with other material?..Yeeeaaahh Of course I can! :D

My apologizes for the misread regarding the movie clause. Although with Eddie Murphy (who deserves to be on the list no question), I would personally not include RAW in the mix as that was simply a theatrical showing of him doing stand-up. Not what I would call an "actual" movie. Same with Richard Pryor (The Toy, yes. Live at the Sunset Strip, no).

Again, just an opinion.

Since it's movies, I'll throw in one of the "rookies": Zach Galpmonoecnsdeefegogidfmssopgs (seriously, no one knows how to pronounce or even spell his last name) 2007-present. Hangover Trilogy, that movie he did with Tony Stark as his co-star. The fact I actually remember seeing him when he had just the one Comedy Central special.

"People say I look like a young Santa Claus...or a fat Jesus" (his words)

June 12, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
MocTastic said...

If you want to combine comedians and sports...you can't forget to ask....Who's on First! Abbott and Costello.

June 12, 2013 at 1 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Shoot! I can't believe no one has done this one (AND Jim Carrey was his very last padowin [Jedi apprentice])

Rodney Dangerfield (the entire 1980s): Caddyshack, Back To School.

June 12, 2013 at 1 p.m.
TNBuck said...

Mr. 10 Ring - I have a US Open Entry for HardCopy who is having technical difficulties with the login. Round 1 - Oosthuizen Round 4 - McDowell

Lots of great input on the actors. Love the Prior/Wilder combo. See No Evil, Hear No Evil is one of my all time favorites.

June 12, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, don't forget Paul Rudd in Clueless.

June 12, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

You've really got to check out Philip Cofer's 'do. He's working on an Oscar Gamble lite 'fro. It's awesome and even more awesome in person. ("He's 6-6, 6-10 with the afro" to quote the late, great Chick Hearn).

June 12, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Jay, I heard your thoughts on the USA-Panama soccer game yesterday on SportTalk. Luckily we won and we wont have to fold up the program as you suggested if we had lost to a country the size of south Jersey. And despite the 2-0 victory, they also said we cant have the canal back either. Selfish Panamanians. However, what I found interesting in the game was the vocal support of "Uncle Sam's Army", as the loyal US Hooligans like to call themselves. I don't think I have ever heard such sustained cheering for any sporting event in the States ever, and this was a measly qualifier. The whole stands sang "When the saints go marching in" for like 10 minutes in the second half, which I found strange, but it sounded cool. And if any of the people that got upset over our boy CeeLo's tirade, they would not have liked the return chorus to one chant that could be clearly heard for the dozen times they screamed it. "USA ain't nothin to F with". Obscenities being shared by 20,000 people in unison is a special thing.

June 12, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Going way back, Peter Sellers and also Mel Brooks, a hall of famer in front of and behind the camera.

I was tickled by last night's turn of events, especially after some things starting going Lebron's way early-no call on a charge after passing under the basket, falling down and getting a foul called, scraping Duncan in the eye and not getting called. Once they got the threes going the Heat wilted on both ends of the court and Duncan got some good rest even before the lead became huge.

June 12, 2013 at 4:06 p.m.
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