Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 31, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The NBA Finals begin tonight in Miami between Dallas and the Heat.
- Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has resigned.
- Five-time French Open champ Rafael Nadal advances to the quarterfinals but says he's not playing well enough to win the tournament and tie Bjorn Borg's record of six French titles.
2. Buckeye Black Eye
Stunning news. Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigning. His players got illegal benefits, and he lied to the NCAA. It's stunning on two levels. Whoever heard of a coach paying the piper for his misdeeds? Normally if you're a winning coach, anything short of murder and you get to keep your job. But here's where Tressel really screwed up. He failed to get out of Dodge before the posse showed up. The NCAA is littered with coaches who have broken the rules, but they're smart enough to head to another school, get a huge contract, and leave their old school to clean up the mess. So Tressel is actually facing the music. Unheard of.
3. The Black Hats
If ever a team were wearing black hats, it's the Miami Heat. Outside of South Florida, America is rooting for Dallas. That's quite the opposite of football, where outside of Texas, the Cowboys are the bad guys. It's great to have villains in sports. There's the old line where you can fill in the blank. "Who do you root for in college football?" "I root for two teams. (My alma mater) and whoever is playing Notre Dame." The World Series has more appeal when most of the world is rooting against the Yankees. And what makes the Dallas Mavericks even more interesting, is that in the past, people didn't like them because of their outspoken owner Mark Cuban. But Cuban has suddenly gone quiet, and pretty much exited the stage. Good move. Let the focus stay on the players. Who would have thought that if you had to choose a person to hold the NBA championship trophy, and it's between LeBron James and Mark Cuban, Cuban would win? Play ball.
4. Gary Carter
The worst possible outcome, became reality. Gary Carter's brain tumors are almost certainly malignant and inoperable. It's been 25 years since Carter helped lead the Mets to their last championship. A quarter century later, it's time to root even harder for another big "win" for Gary.
5. The Holiday Recap
What a weekend for big events. Dan Wheldon won a wild finish at Indy, Kevin Harvick won the Coca Cola 600 when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ran out of gas, and Barcelona beat Manchester United in the big soccer game. But you may have missed the truly big stuff.
In New Zealand, Jed Mildon set the record. He did three back flips on his BMX bike. Check it out from helmet cam.
Then there was the inflatable doll race in Lithuania. Liudas Pestininkas walked, or swam away with the top prize.
But give credit, where credit is due. Pestininkas would be nothing without Vaida. Just as Wheldon couldn't win Indy without a great car, you can't win a swim race without a great inflatable sex toy. Teamwork is everything.
Happy Birthday: I guarantee it. Joe Namath is 68 today.
Bonus Birthday: Go ahead, make his day. Clint Eastwood is 81.
Today in Sports: Let's play two! The Giants and Mets play a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. They set a record for most innings played in one day, 32. The Giants swept, with the second game lasting 23 innings. Nine hours and 52 minutes worth of baseball. 1964.
Bonus Event: Now we know. It's revealed that Watergate figure Deep Throat is W. Mark Felt, a former F.B.I agent. 2005.
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