published Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

5 at 10: Jim Tressel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the NBA finals

Here’s hoping you had a great Memorial Day. Let’s get to it. From the “7-Up Stinks Studios” here we go.



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    Jim Tressel, right, watches Wednesday, May 25, 2005 as Anthony Schlegel, John Conroy and Robbie Smith talk to the members of the media about recent legal and disciplinary problems involving other members of the team, during a discussion in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

What’s next in Columbus

THE Ohio State will have an interim football coach this fall after Jim Tressel resigned amid controversy. Tressel was sacked for violating the NCAA’s Golden Rule. In the rulebook it is NCAA rule 10.2.1 and called “the unethical conduct” rule; in real life it’s called “Don’t lie to the NCAA and expect to keep your coaching job, you moron” rule.

The scandal of OSU players selling for cash and trading for tattoos Buckeyes gear appears to be getting worse — there are reports that it started as far back as 2002 during Tressel’s second season with Ohio State. Plus, the NCAA and the school have launched investigations into the actions of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has been suspended for the first five games of this season and has reportedly gotten some “wink, wink,” pretty good deals “smile, smile, nod, nod,” at some Columbus-area car dealerships.

In short, the future is uncertain at best for THE Ohio State University. This will leave a lasting mark on THE program that take years from which to recover. The penalties will be at least at the USC level, which lost 30 scholarships over a three-period, had two years of bowl bans and was hampered by the NCAA allowing upperclassmen to transfer without sitting out.

Here are five quick predictions (yes, it’s a 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10, but we’re still waiting on the copyright paperwork) about the future for THE Ohio State University football program:

— Pryor is done: Quarterback likely has played his final game for OSU

— Luke Fickell will make a run: The interim coach has pieces for better-than-expected 2011

— NCAA date in August looks bleak: OSU should expect sanctions at least at USC level

— Who’s next: Meyer has been hot name, but watch for Bo Pelini

— Tressel’s career legacy reshaped: He was known as the Senator; he exited like Nixon



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    Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Germany makes an off-balanced shot over Oklahoma City Thunder's Nick Collison, right, in the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball series Monday, May 23, 2011, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NBA FInals: Who you got?

Well. we’re finally here. The NBA FInals.

After six months of the regular season and what seems like six years of of the postseason — seriously, the last two series felt like playoff game-two off days-travel day-playoff game — we’re at the FInals. Finally.

OK, who you got in the rematch between Dallas and Miami?

Give us the Heat in six and we can see it playing out like this:

LeBron, who has been a monster in these playoffs, will guard Dirk Nowitzki at crunch time. Yes, Dirk will be able to shoot over LeBron. But James is quick enough and strong enough to challenge Dirk physically. Plus — and this is huge — one of the big keys of having superstars guard superstars is it really limits the referee bailout. When Dirk was in trouble against the Thunder or even the Grizzlies, the refs had zero problem calling fouls on Serge Ibaka or Zach Randolph or whomever those team sent at Dirk. Dirk’s a superstar, and superstars get those calls in the playoffs.

They don’t get those calls against other superstars, though.

And if Dirk can’t get to the line — where he is 130-of-140 (93 percent) in these playoffs — then that’s big trouble for the Mavs.



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    Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) during Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals basketball series against the Chicago Bulls in Miami, Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

NBA Finals: The difference

Dallas has Shawn Marion, who athletically can at least challenge LeBron. Dallas has Dirk, who can outscore his power forward counterpart Chris Bosh. If center is a push — neither team expects too much from the guys in the middle — that leave the backcourt.

Unless the Mavs get 50 a night from their bench — which is a possibility — the series largely will be decided by who has more success, D-Wade or the Mavs trying to stop D-Wade.



One final Finals tidbit: The difference between approaches — Dallas building a team that is 10-deep (remember Caron Butler will be in street clothes after wrecking his knee earlier this season) with one big-time star; Miami building a team that is 3.5-deep with three big-time stars — between these finalists could shape how franchises are built in the years to come.

That said, this has the chance to be a great series. And the Heat’s presence means it has the attention of casual fans. Giddy-up.



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    Dale Earnhardt jr (88) leads Jeff Gordon (24) in Turn 4 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Coca-Cola 600 auto race in Concord, N.C., Sunday, May 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Motorsports moment in the spotlight

From JR Hildebrand’s rookie miscue on the final turn on the final lap of the Indy 500 to Dale Jr. running out of gas on the final lap of the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, it was an awesome Sunday of racing.

Wow.

Hildebrand made one of those all-time gaffes that will go on the list with the likes of Van de Velde and Norman and Novotna of players who made career-defining mistakes at the all-time great venues of their sport. Here’s hoping this is not the last we’ve heard of Hildebrand.

As for the more famous racing JR., his showing at Charlotte ended like each of his previous 104 starts — without a win. But this one seemed different, you know?

From his driving to his post-race interviews, this one seemed more like Jr. was unlucky not to win rather than lucky to be in contention — which has been the case more times than not in his current winless streak.

Something tells us that for the first time in a longtime, Dale Jr. is back to being a contender week-in, week-out in NASCAR.

He had control — of his car and his emotions — and it was obvious he made a calculated decision to race for the win and missed it by half a lap rather than go to the pit and finish 13th. Now tell us, that sounds exactly like what his daddy would’ve done.



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    Atlanta Thrashers fan Derborah Petersen shows her opposition to the possible sale and move of the NHL hockey team, during a rally in a parking lot in front of Philips Arena, where the team plays, Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

This and That

— Bye-bye Thrashers. There is a noon news conference scheduled to announce the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to a group that appears intent on moving the team to Winnipeg. That’s in Canada.

— Dwight Howard told the Orlando Sentinel that he plans to stay with the Magic: "I want to start my own path and I want people to follow my path and not just follow somebody else's path.” Somebody get this guy some help. And if they do, can we call them the “Wolf Path?”

— Raise your hand if you thought the Braves’ offense would be better than this. Like by a pretty sizable margin. Or as longtime Braves fan and friend of the show JT said recently, “I thought I was supposed to like Dan Uggla now that he was a Brave.” Ouch.

— Wow, did you see Bartolo Colon — at the tender-age of 38 — return and throw a shutout this weekend? Great story for a guy that battled injuries and that was out of baseball for the last handful of years. Side note: What size hat does that guy wear? Buckets, what a melon. His hat size has to be at least 8 1/2, easy.

Until tomorrow.

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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Eustice_Chase said...

Bill Simmons tweeted..that "something is fishy" when it comes to the way Bartolo Colon has been pitching lately...they guy has always always been a stud...throwing mid 90s in the 8th and 9th innings but he is doing things better as he gets older...(COUGH PEDs COUGH)....the dudes head is bigger than a NBA basketball....Someone tell Steve LeTarte its the Coca Cola 600...not the Coca Cola 599 (perhaps he forgot to carry the one)...Dale Jr is definately a contender week in and week out...good try for the 88 team...Harvick wins again...how does this guy find the checkered flag...its almost like he goes out every week and drives fast,hard and trips over the finish line...insane!

Seen Hangover 2 this weekend...and lets just say that..its Laugh out Loud funny...I know because i had to sit behind the loudest laugher in the history of stadium seating....also caught some Thor in 3D...awesome movie..and Natalie Portman..you rock my world!!!

Awesome Dwight Howard wants to make his own path.(Someone get Blake Griffin on the phone with Dr. Buss)..he will go down as the greatest Big Man in Orlando Magic History....with 0 Championships.....I just cant see many other big names going to an Eastern Conf. team....If your asking me I like my odds playing with or against an aging Kobe Bryant in the Western Conference

May 31, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

If an NBA playoff game tips off at 9, do I just tune in at 11:30 to catch the 20 minutes it takes to play the final two minutes? Next time, Junior, give the pump handle an extra squeeze or two to top it off. Harry Hogge can teach you how to get an extra gallon of gas in your fuel lines.

May 31, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

But Junior, please for the love of Mello Yellow and Hardess biscuits dont bring up Buddy Bretherton !!

May 31, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
eljefe said...

D-Ho, if he is telling the truth (which is a rarity these days), just became my new favorite non-Celtic player. I'm not even upset he is not my new favorite Celtic if he wants to stay in Orlando.

I also saw Hangover 2 this past weekend. I spent all weekend on boats making everyone address me as "Captain." In the theater, Kool aid man sat behind Bartolo Colon and was overheard saying "I can't see around this dude's giant head." Just sayin'

May 31, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

So the NHL did all this man-oovering to get ice hockey where ice melts in January. Phoenix, Raleigh (Greensboro first, then Raleigh), Nashvegas, Tampa Bay, My-yammy and Hotlanta. And the capital of the South, with more transplants than Dr. Christian Barnaard and Steve Austin can shake a stick at, is about to be bagel for 2 in keeping a NHL team. At least there's the ... hmm ... let's see ... Braves can't score ... Hawks are still the Hawks ... Falcons ... well, they'd be good ... if we knew they were gonna play again. How soon before toe meets leather again?

May 31, 2011 at 11:17 a.m.
jgreeson said...

That's absolutely great news on Hangover 2. The 5-at-10 could not be more excited. Wolf Pack!

EC —

Simmons has a legit point that something smells fishy. And coming from a guy that has a monster melon, wow, Colon's noggin' is rockin' — big time.

If Howard spends his career in Orlando with Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick and Co., well he'll be the most beloved, most physically impressive player without a title of all time.

BIspy —

We all knew hockey was not going to survive in the ATL. It belongs in Canada. AS for the toe meeting leather (RIP Al and the young left-hander) what are we at 96 days?

And, excuse me sir, but Harry Hogge can teach calculus to cows — the man is that kind of sage, folks.

Jefe —

Trust you and yours had a nice Memorial Day. And love that Kool-Aid line. "Hey Kool-Aid."

— 5-at-10

May 31, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

I did watch the Red Sox-Tigers game Sunday night and Justin Verlander, on pitch No. 132 of the game, hit 100 mph. Now's a good time time to cup your hands over your mouth and do your best James Earl Jones as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader voice and say, "Most impressive." Canada's greatest export seems to be doing OK in Nashville. I mean, all their guys keep marrying country music's hot pants brigade.

May 31, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

"did we stop doing desert? I must have missed that memo"

The Tigers have them an Ace in Verlander...lets just hope they keep him away from Cabrera....That train does not need to be de-railed due to consumption of adult beverages...

Classic Stu.....

Can someone tell me if Converse All-Stars are considered business casual???

May 31, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BIspy —

Verlander is a young Smoltz (too bad the Braves could not have sent Doyle Alexander, part II to Detroit). Awesome stuff — maybe the best in the game.

But Cheese and Rice, we're still flabbergasted at Colon's melon. That thing had two moons and a satellite.

EC —

With all the changes to the sports drink series and all the levels available, we're hearing that Cabrera is going to be the next spokesman for Gatorade: Summer Wheat Pilsner.

As far you're questions go, we will never stop doing desert and no Converse All-Stars do not count as business casual. We asked Baxter, who is so wise. He's like a mini-Buddha covered in hair.

— 5-at-10

May 31, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Summer Pilsner Wheat Gatorade...Nice! 2xNice!

I am in a glass case of emotion ....now that the approval for Converse All stars in the office was denied....the bad man punted Baxter!

When you do get a chance to see Hangover Part II...keep an eye out for the Macho Man Randy Savage poster...not that it has any significance in the movie other than its cool !

"Guys if an impromtu Car Wash doesnt make us the $50,000 we're short, I guess its just not in the cards for us...I for one think we should turn on the Thong Song and tear the place apart!"

May 31, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to say hey. Hope everybdoy had a great weekend! Ok, real quick: Trussel, adios mi amigos. As far as replacmemnts, did you say Finkle? Ray Finkle?! Like "Laces always out, Dan!" Ray Finkle?!?! i'll take the Heat in 5 thank you. I pretty much wear a straight up 8 in hats...but Colon's head is rediculous, like it has its own gravitational pull. And in my humble opinion...if women can wear sneakers with dresses now to walk in, then by golly, then let the Converse All Stars have their place too in todays office attire. Thank you.

May 31, 2011 at 3:59 p.m.
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