published Monday, June 9th, 2014

5-at-10: Who won the sports weekend?

Morning folks. Hope this finds you well, as we embark on another day on the Florida coast.

Good times. Strike that — great times. Our itinerary today includes sand, sno-cones and mini golf.

But we do what we do and are what we are — yes, that's copyrighted by Popeye, so we'll gladly pay him Tuesday for some mantra manipulation today.

From the Gulf satellite office of the "Talks too much" studios, let's make the magic happen.

Five takeaway from the weekend

As we normally do in this space and on Monday's Press Row, we'll recap who won the weekend. Deal? Deal. And since we have an abbreviated 5-at-10, let's do it in a top-five list. Double deal?

1) LeBron. After suffering from cramps last Thursday night and missing most of the final eight minutes in a Game 1 loss, LeBron James was unstoppable Sunday night as the Heat evened the NBA Finals. James was unrelenting on each end — scoring 35 points and defending every Spur from point guard Tony Parker to power forward Timmy Duncan to the sand spur we removed from our heel this morning. Ouch-standing.

2) NBC. Overnight reports had Saturday's Belmont — where California Chrome lost a bid at the Triple Crown — was the most-watched sports event since the Sochi Olympics. Yes, the most-watched event since February, which tells us the state of college hoops that the Final Four could not beat a horse race and the Tiger-less PGA Tour, which had the worst Masters rating since 1994. Also, NBA is getting monster numbers for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, which has the two biggest markets in the country and has gone to overtime in each of the first two games.

  • photo
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) does a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Pocono 400 auto race, Sunday, June 8, 2014, in Long Pond, Pa. Brad Keselowski was second.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

3) Dale Jr. The only thing that could have made Sunday's win at Pocono any better would have been a shoutout to the Best of Preps banquet. Either way, we owe a huge thanks to Dale Earnhardt Jr. for a great banquet, and we're always smiling when good things happen to good people.

4) Oscar de la Hoya. The former champ was inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame this weekend. Deserved for sure, and it begs three interesting Rushmores: Who is on your Rushmore of Oscars and who/what is on your Rushmore of Hoyas? We'll start the Oscar Rushmore with the golden statue and Oscar Madison and the Hoya Rushmore with Patrick Ewing and the "Let's Go Hoyas... clap-clap...clap-clap-clap" cheer, which is money.

5) Rafy Nadal. He continued to dominate in France, winning his fifth straight French Open and his 14th career grand slam. He's tied for second all-time with Pete Sampras, three behind Roger Federer's record for career majors. You could make a hard argument that Nadal is the greatest specialist in all of sports — he has a record nine French Open titles on the clay — and it's an interesting discussion to where Nadal ranks all-time in men's tennis considering that he may never get as many majors as Federer, but Nadal has dominated him head-to-head.

Who won the weekend for you?

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 ...

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jomo11 said...

Jay- what do you think Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich enjoys more ? A) a root canal B) a cold water Enema C) being water boarded D) being interviewed DURING a playoff game . . . .?

June 9, 2014 at 10:18 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

We think you have Pop's proper order A-through-D.

Here's a side question: What can you think of that Popovich would actually rather do LESS than talk to a reporter during the NBA Finals?

June 9, 2014 at 12:23 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Golf did not win the weekend. The weekend before a major usually doesn't draw a lot of big names and then the weather absolutely upset the PGA's apple cart in Memphis this weekend.

Little E and Nadal were the big winners, and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals have been every bit as entertaining as last year's first two games, when it was Chicago and Boston (see NBA, the NHL knows how to maneuver to get its best TV markets into the finals. They learned their lesson).

But how much do you have to pay Don King or Bob Arum to get into the boxing hall of fame? And how soon before the entire sport itself is relegated to a museum?

Gotta have Oscar Gamble on the Oscar Rushmore, if only for the fro alone. Plus Oscar the golden statuette. He rules Hollywood. And Oscar Mayer. He rules the lunch meat section.

Enjoy the time off, 5.

June 9, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay- my answer as to what Popovich would actually rather do LESS than talk to reporter during the NBA Finals would be A ) Coach against LEBRON JAMES B) Wear make-up C) Agree with a referees call, ever D) Coach someone like Carmello Anthony

June 9, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Oscar The Grouch

June 9, 2014 at 2:09 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, thanks for the star treatment for Harrison and Nick on their commits to Mississippi State. All I can say is Harrison went to a bunch of schools, meet tons of coaches, academic staffs, and a more than a few players and recruits. He visited so many programs, so when he saw it; he knew it.

The only thing that makes me shudder is the SEC West schedule.

Now, I wouldn't characterize #1 as a "Quiet Kid," as one did. He's just knows to pick his spots.

You and your family enjoy a fun and restful vacation.

June 9, 2014 at 2:24 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Fun Game 2. LeBron ditched the leg warmers and took a yoga class in the morning of the game. It must have helped. And he made sure to keep himself hydrated well enough to stay on top of his game and avoid the cramps. LeBron played well, Wade flopped well, and Chalmers elbowed well. Stay classy, Miami.

And Chris Bosh is questionable for Game 3 as he is due to hatch a dinosaur egg any day now. Once a Raptor, always a raptor.

Rafa and Fed are the two best tennis players of all time, no question. The discussion for #1 between those two gets a bit more interesting with each additional slam won by Rafa. But when both of their careers are over, I think Rafa will be considered the greatest ever by the majority of tennis fans.

Rushmore of tennis players is Fed, Nadal, Borg, and either Laver or Sampras. Can't decide on the last one.

June 9, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.
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