published Thursday, June 12th, 2014

5-at-10: Monster June sports day

Wow. It's June 12 — a day after Jomo's 29th birthday — and we have the start of the U.S. Open, the World Cup and a crucial Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

So basically we're dealing with a lot of stuff — candlesticks make a nice gift, maybe find out where they're registered and get a place setting. Let's get two.

From the satellite office of the "Talks too much" studios, let's get to five quick things — the sand is calling — and we could use a mailbag letter or three.

  • photo
    Phil Mickelson watches a shot on the practice tee before a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The tournament starts Thursday.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• Phil Mickelson overhauled his putting stroke heading into arguably the biggest tournament of his career. If Mickelson could find a way to win this U.S. Open, we agree with Buschleaguer from yesterday that Philly Mick would vault into the top 10 all-time among professional golfers — it would be his sixth major and complete the career grand slam. And to get ready for it, dude picks up a new putting style heading into an event that demands near-perfection with the putter, especially from 5-to-7 feet. Only Mickelson, who is the closest thing to a golfing pirate since Gary Player was going full tilt.

• As for the rest of the field, we were fully prepared to pick Luke Donald or Jason Dufner or even a Brandt Snedeker for this U.S. Open, and we would not be surprised if someone completely off the board was in the mix come Sunday afternoon. We would not be upset to see DCrotty's pick of Lee Westwood pan out. That said, we are now rooting for Rickie Fowler, who unveiled a Payne Stewart tribute outfit that is cool and classy and honorable. Well played, young Mr. Fowler, well-played indeed.

• Jurgen Klinsmann — and yes, every time we say Jurgen Klinsmann, we think of the chef from the Muppets — is the coach of the U.S. men's soccer team. Heading into the World Cup, Klinsmann said it's 'unrealistic' to expect his team to win the Cup. Thanks. This is a little more optimistic than his rant in December, when he told the New York Times the U.S. 'cannot win the World Cup, because we are not at that level.' Dude, we had your back about cutting Landon Donovan — do what you have to do when it comes to your roster and your locker room. But c'mon man — you want the everyday American sports fan to be interested in soccer and the U.S. soccer coach all but says we're sponsored by Chico's Bail Bonds and we have no chance unless Kelly Leak signs on and Amanda Whoseherpants starts throwing sliders. No one is saying he's not 100 percent right, but c'mon Jurgen, didn't your momma teach you not to tell everything you know?

  • photo
    Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) aims for the basket as San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) defends, during their Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals on June 10, 2014, in Miami. The Spurs defeated the Heat 111-92.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• Must have for LeBron and the Heatles tonight. Simply a got-to-win moment. Side question: If the Heatles lose this series, how much do we blame LeBron, who then would have two rings in five trips to the Finals? This is a big moment for James, arguably the biggest since winning that first title two years ago. The difference between being a three-peat champ and falling to 2-3 in the Finals is huge.

• Today's Rushmore: Jim Nabors is 83 today. Shazam. What's your Rushmore of comedy casts in a series? We'll take Saturday Night Live and Carol Burnett and the other sketch shows off the board because that's a different animal all together. We'll go Andy Griffith Show, Mary Tyler Moore, Cheers and Seinfeld, and be very remiss that the first few seasons of M*ASH were left off.

• Bonus Rushmore: With so much of the sports world being decided in court right now, we could not help but giggle at the thought of Judge Wapner drawing the Donald Sterling case and that bozo interviewing Sterling as Rusty the Bailiff walked Mrs. Sterling out of the court room. That would be so cool. What's our Rushmore of Judges? Judge Smails is far left, then Judge Wapner and/or Judge Judy. Who else?

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...

went to Riverbend last night, home late, to work late, havent watched any sports news . . . .Did any SEC football players get arrested last night ?

June 12, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Lefty Phil has used the claw at times in the past, so it is not a completely new style of putting to him.

Andy Griffith is first on the ballot and should be a 100% of voters. Memorable characters from Andy to Barney to Floyd to Opie to Otis to Ernest T Bass and more.

...and Jomo11 is not 29, he is 62 if he is a day!

June 12, 2014 at 10:25 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Jay, your favorite ref, Mr. Joey Crawford, will be on the court tonight as one of the officials.

Leonard is probably the most underrated player in the NBA. On a small-market team highlighted by Parker/Duncan/Ginobili, Leonard easily flies under the radar. He does so many things well for that team though. And he stepped up big offensively in Game 3. He was in foul trouble in Game 2 (most of them bogus calls), and that helped LeBron and Co. make their push. So if Leonard can stay on the floor in Game 4 to contain LeBron, the rest of the Heat will need to find their spots and knock down shots early and often. Oh, and play better D too.

June 12, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.
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