Miami Heat small forward LeBron James moves with the ball as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the first half at Game 1 of the NBA finals basketball series, Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
NAVARRE, FLA. -- The 5-at-10 woke up this morning and realized we were half right and 100 percent wrong about Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Then we realized we were at the beach and all is well.
We thought the Heat would sneak into OKC and steal Game 1 (a prediction that looked clairvoyant for two quarters) and Russell Westbrook would struggle (hard to remember a non-Mayan prediction more off base).
OK, here's what we know:
Neither team is going to be able to win without at least A-minus stuff, and that's an excellent thing for those of us watching this series;
The Heatles are average as a jump-shooting team and elite when LeBron and Dwyane attack the rim -- maybe sometime before these Finals are over Erik Estrada's less-talented step brother will realize it;
Kevin Durant is a freak. F-R-E-A-K. Watching him drill 25-footers and put the ball on the floor and get to the rim is awesome -- and even moreso when you realize he is taller than Bill Russell;
We stand by our pick of Heat in 6, but we are way, Way, WAY less sure about it this morning;
And, oh yeah, we're at the beach and all is well.
Other things to note:
Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for the second day his trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Sandusky faces 52 counts of child sex-abuse involving 10 boys over a 15-year span. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
-- It appears the evidence is in order against Jerry Sandusky. The first victim's testamony earlier this week sounded solid and now PSU assistant Mike McQueary has testififed and used some vivid descriptions. Plus, McQueary slammed the defense attorney's cross-examination about varying details in his grand jury statements and this week's testamony with the following sentence: "If (you) want to argue about 9, 10, 11, 12 ... the fact is he had sex with a minor, a boy."
-- Loved ace columnist Mark Wiedmer's report from Turner Field last night (even if we didn't love the outcome -- Yankees scored six times in the eighth to beat Atlanta 6-4 with the big blow coming on Alex Rodriguez' 23rd career grand slam). It's somehow wrong that A-Rod and Lou Gehrig are tied atop the grand slam spot now, isn't it? Are there any A-Rod fans out there? Anybody other than Yankees fans who cheer for him because he plays third base in the Bronx? We say no.
-- Looking back at last week's list of top 5 nominations (you guys and gals are pretty clever by the way) we realized there's no way to get to them all this week, but we'll continue the ride through the summer;
In this photo released Tuesday, June 12, 2012 by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Dept is a booking mug for Desmonte Leonard who is charged with three counts of murder and assault in a weekend shooting near Auburn University. Authorities say Leonard gave himself up in Montgomery Tuedsay evening. (AP Photo/Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)
-- Granted the summer is filled with bad news for most college football programs -- arrests, kids getting ruled ineligible, etc. -- but sour buckets of headline ink, the three lead stories on ESPN's college football ticker are two from the Sandusky trial and one about the triple homicide at Auburn. Sad times indeed.
Before we get to today's top five, two housecleaning notes. First, we need some mailbag questions (the sooner the better so we can knock those out when everyone here is asleep, and yes, we do not sleep all that much) and two remember about the U.S. Open contest (rules are simple: Submit five golfers, the low four count. Add up the finish for the four -- a missed cut is one more than the number of players that made the weeked -- and low score wins). You could win some tickets, and as Bluto says, "Grab a pick, don't cost nothin.'"
Today's top five:
Top five actors in sports movies. (Please note: This is not athletic/actor combos because that would mean John Wayne, who played football at USC, would be there. This is not a single outstanding turn in a great role like a DeNiro in Raging Bull. It's also not athletes who were doing some acting, we'll take Jim Brown. This is a list of guys that routinely play roles of athletes and not necessarily real ones. These are the Jim Thorpes and the Bo Jacksons of the casting agencies. Enjoy and let's hear yours.)
1) Wesley Snipes. Dude has done football (Wildcats), hoops (White Men Can't Jump) and baseball (The Fan and Major League). He's the Deion Sanders of the acting world.
2) Kevin Costner. A former college baseball player at Cal-State Fullerton, Costner's comfort-level in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and For Love of the Game are pretty understandable. Plus, unlike some better actors who tried the golf thing (yes, we're talking to you Matt Damon) Costner's golf swing in Tin Cup is legit. (Although how much ridicule would Roy McAvoy and Cheech get for taking a 12 on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open. Seriously, we hated the way that movie ended. Isn't that the definition of looking good and losing rather than playing smart and winning?)
3) Dennis Quaid. And he could be higher on the list considering he has three legit sports turns in four good-or-better movies: Breaking Away (cycling, and the "Cutters" is one of the great intramural team names ever), Everybody's All-American and Any Given Sunday (football), The Rookie (baseball).
4) Omar Epps. A four-sport star. He was a basketball player in Love and Basketball, a track star in Higher Learning and a football star in The Program. He also replaced Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes in Major League 2 (which for the record is on the top five list of sequels that are not as bad as people think but get disdain because the original is so beloved. That top five in no particular order is Major League II, Fletch 2, Alien III, Die Hard with a Venegence and The Exorcist III.)
5) Paul Newman. An off-the-board pick, and while he does not have the high-octane athletic scenes, his roles in Slapshot, The Color of Money, The Hustler and Cars are all top-notch.
Just missed: Sly Stallone (who had Victory and some turrrrrible racing movie along with a river of Rocky Balboa), Chelcie Ross (who is the dark hat villain of the group with his turn as rum-drinking Eddie Harris in Major League, a Rudy-hating Dan Devine and Coach Norman Dale's enemy early in Hoosiers -- "Leave the ball will you George?"), Denzel and DeNiro.
Discuss and enjoy. And remember the US Open contest and the mailbag.
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 ...