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.
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?
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 ...