published Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

5-at-10 Day 3 at the beach: NBA Finals, news and athletic actors

  • photo
    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)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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:

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    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)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

-- 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."

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    New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts after hitting a grand slam to tie the game 4-4 in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in Atlanta. New York won 6-4.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

-- 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;

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    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.

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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Todd962 said...

Fiveski, 60% percent of the time, youre right everytime. I think you may have made an accurate prediction if I hadnt turned the game on. I checked the score on my phone in the 3rd quarter to see the Heat were up by nearly double digits and thought to myself "oh hells yeah, i needs to be watching this." As I get to a tv, the Thunder hit the basket to tie it and make the foul shot for the lead. I surely jinxed them. And as you know, the damage had been done, even if I had turned the tv off and thrown it out the window my actions were irreversible. But thats sports. Im going to miss that tv though...

And I understand lawyers are necessary and make a load of cash for what they do, but is there an amount of money that would buy a bed comfortable enough to allow you to sleep at night if youre Amendola and you get a not guilty verdict. That whole thing is too disturbing for news.

June 13, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
chas9 said...

Strong list. Burt Reynolds gets an honorary mention, and if gunslinging is a sport (and it is), Chuck Connors goes to the top of the list. I know, Jay thought The Rifleman was an Auburn U. basketball sharpshooter.

And anybody who puts Rosie on their list can play the puck in the next Slapshot remake.

June 13, 2012 at 10:41 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr 962

It's science. Here's hoping BronBron has a, "now this is happening broseph," moment in game 2.

Takes a special breed to be in the same room with Sandusky and not start going all Dalton on him, never mind sitting next to him and fighting for his freedom. Maybe if he goes free the judge should force Amendola to have Sandusky over to babysit?

9er

Crazy you mentioned Chuck Connors. The original Rifleman also played for the Dodgers and the Celtics before becoming an actor. You could make an argument he is the most athletic actor of all time. Or the best acting former athlete.

Rosie has no place here.

June 13, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
John_Proctor said...

Based on his present residence, Wesley Snipes can do an authentic remake of the remake of the Longest Yard. That would enhance his #1 ranking on the list.

June 13, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.
Todd962 said...

I have enjoyed Woody Harrelson's body of work in the sports related field. You've got White Men Cant Jump, Kingpin (battles The Big Lebowski for greatest bowling movie ever?), Wildcats, and Semi-Pro. At least a front runner for comedic purposes.

I wish Vince Vaughn had more sports movies in his resume but Rudy and Dodgeball just dont get him up there. What about James Caan, Brian's Song, Rollerball, The Program?

June 13, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.
chas9 said...

CC's real life credentials is why I mentioned him. Otherwise, as a gunslinging actor, I'd take both James Arness (a real-life rifleman) and Steve McQueen over Connors.

Mr. 962, good call on Harrelson, who also knows his way around Wesley Snipes' current residence.

June 13, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
deboman said...

Strong list and may have to think long and hard for any potentials for that one.

Game one and LeBron and Co. fell off a bit. For their sake I hope it was travel and residuals from the tough 7 gamer against the Celtics that slowed them down the stretch. Either way, should provide for a great series that’ll put a national spotlight on an OKC team that deserves more attention than it gets.

And really Floyd Mayweather, conditions in jail are bad. That’s why its called Jail! Sorry, but claiming your ‘Career could be in jeopardy’ if you stay behind bars doesn’t really fly. Pretty sure there have been plenty of cases in the past where someone’s lively hood may have been derailed by a stint in the pokey. Maybe someone could grab him a copy of the Sarah Conner Solitary Confinement workout and that could help him. For a tough guy, he barely lasted longer than Lindsey Lohan in the clink. No wonder he keeps coming up with excuses for not fighting Pacquiou.

June 13, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Hilarious story in the paper today about the guy who pretended to be a former Braves player and crashed the team's alumni celebration this past weekend.

Question for the mailbag: In regard to Mr. Hargis' article yesterday, what are your thoughts on how to change/improve the TSSAA classification system and should the multiplier be continued as is, changed, or scrapped?

About 15 years ago, as you know, the TSSAA split the schools that give financial aid to varsity athletes from the ones that don't. This was a fair split. Then a few years ago, some public high schools began complaining that D1 private schools were winning too many state championships. The multiplier was put in to "fix the problem" but was there really a problem or was it more of a collective case of jealousy from the public schools?

June 13, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - add me to the contest, please. Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Jason Day, and Sergio Garcia. Sergio's got to win a major soon...

June 13, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JP

Nice call on Wesley Snipes next role.

962

We almost went with Woody and amazingly we checked VV's imbd page to see if he had anything other than Dodgeball and Rudy. Sadly Pepper did not need Ned shorts.

9er

We figured as such.

Debo

We can buy Game 7 fatigue. We can also buy this as a sound philosophy to life: If you don't like jail, don't do anything that will get you put in jail. Hey, Floyd, the very definition of jail is to crimp your life. Period.

Stew

You are in the mailbag.

Fan

You are in the contest. Any other takers?

June 13, 2012 at 1:59 p.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Fredi Gonzalez once again shows his incompetence. How this guy is still employed is beyond me. Minor is pitcing an absolute gem...one out in the 8th...Jeter grounds a single to right...wasn't hit hard at all. Granderson, a lefty, is up next to face the lefty Mike Minor. One more batter, and maybe you pull him. Maybe. What does Fredi do? He pulls Minor. Unreal.

So, now we have Venters in the game...the Venters who has stuggled mightily so far this year. Ok. Venters proceeds to get Mark Wohlers/Rick Ankiel disease (again) and can't find the plate...at all. He loads the bases with Yankees, and one of the best right handed power hitters of all time comes up. Does Fredi tell Venters to hit the showers after his pitiful showing? Nope. Does Fredi bring in a righty to face Rodriquez? Nope. Fredi opts to let the left handed Venters pitch to the right handed Rodriquez. The Venters who has loaded the bases and struggled mightily this year. Grand Slam. Fredi, for some reason, leaves Venters in, and Venters gives up anohter hit. Now Nick Swisher, a very good left handed bat who can jack it out of the park, is coming to the plate. What does the thinking man's manager (yeah right) Fredi Gonzalez do? Well, why not bring in the side arming righty Corey Gearrin. You know, the Corey Cearrin who just got called up from the minors, who's practically still a rookie, who's NEVER been in a huge game like this in his life, who just pitched two innings the night before, the side-arming righty who was absolutely destroyed by left handed hitters last year? Yeah, THAT guy would be pefect in this situation Fredi! Swisher takes it over the wall for a 2 run homer.

Honestly, Frank Wrenn needs to give Fredi his walking papers ASAP and put Pendleton in as interim manager for the rest of the year. Fredi is the type of manager who will lose you several games a year because of bone headed decision after bone headed decision. He's terrible.

June 13, 2012 at 2:04 p.m.
Blueoval said...

I'm in: Z Johnson, Dufner, B Watson, Mickleson, Kuchar

June 13, 2012 at 2:04 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

put me down for Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Mickelson, Westwood & Dufner.

June 13, 2012 at 2:23 p.m.
Todd962 said...

So you clearly need at least three movies to get mentioned...

Do you think Vince's routine on the rings in Old School could get him at least in the honorable mentions?

"Holding! Still holding!" he says heroically during his gymnastic routine with cigarette in mouth.

June 13, 2012 at 2:32 p.m.
jgreeson said...

ChattaVol

So how do you feel about FrediG?

McPell and Oval

You guys are in.

962

Three is kind of the baseline, and while the rings routine and the stint as an ace at Sega hockey in Swingers help, it's still not enough. And you know how much we wanted to add him for Dodgeball alone.

Sigh.

Back to the beach.

June 13, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Blasts. What would you say is his better football role, the weasely top recruit who turns bust in Rudy, or getting roughed up by Bradley Cooper during the pickup game in Wedding Crashers?

June 13, 2012 at 4:28 p.m.
deboman said...

Going off the Old School theme...Will Ferrell could be looked at as a bit of a humor go to sporting figure...Pulls out a wicked good ribbon routine in Old School, Semi-pro, Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory. Now I realize that technically the gymnastics portions and Ice skating may not be considered sports per se, but Ferrell parodies them all equally well.

For the contest, throw me in for Tiger, J. Dufner, S. Garcia, P. Harrington, and L. Oosthuizen

June 13, 2012 at 4:41 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Debo, Ferrell is the master of the sports we said were not sports the other day. Between gymnastics, ice skating, and his days as a Spartan cheerleader he is the epitome of athletic mockery.

Ma! Meatloaf!

June 13, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.
wcole777 said...

Okay, I'm in for the U.S. Open as one of my favorite golf tournament played every year. It should be super intense this year from everything I've read about the condition at Olympic. Amen.

Here are my winners: Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald & Hunter Mahan

There's the list. Let it be.

Much love to the 5@10 for operating from the Gulf of Mexico.

June 13, 2012 at 10:27 p.m.
Silas said...

Oh, yeah, Chuck Conners. The Rifleman and member of the L.A. Angels of the old Pacific Coast League : http://news.sportslogos.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Screen-Shot-2012-05-25-at-08h42.02-1.png

As for the team formerly known as the Sonics before they were stolen from Seattle by Clay Bennett, a championship by the Heat would be welcome news.

June 13, 2012 at 10:28 p.m.
abankston said...

Potentially the best U.S Open ever. Hope it lives up the expectations. For the contest I got Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jason Day, Luke Donald, and Rickie Fowler. I can't wait to see how this plays out.

June 13, 2012 at 10:44 p.m.
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