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June 5, 2012 12:30 PM

Column Awards of the Week (5/29-6/4)

By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particular passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly.

Column Awards for slide.jpgAt Justin Blackmon's pro day in March his 40 time was clocked at 4.46 seconds. On Sunday morning at 3am in Oklahoma he was clocked at 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. But that wasn't the worst of it. He allegedly had a blood alcohol level of .24. That's 3 times the legal limit. He was arrested and charged with an aggravated DUI. No doubt it's the Jaguars that are aggravated now after trading up to pick Blackmon 5th overall in this year's draft. On the flip side, the Rams must feel like they dodged a bullet since it looked like they were going to take Blackmon with the 6th pick.

This isn't to say that Blackmon won't be a good pro but the red flags have been raised. Blackmon's actually lucky that he was only charged with a misdemeanor. If this had been his second DUI it would've been a felony and the consequences would be much more severe. Back in 2010 he was charged with a DUI but it was later downgraded to possession of alcohol.

Aside from the hit to his reputation, Blackmon will likely get hit in the wallet as well because he has yet to sign a contract with the Jags. Shouldn't he have waited to sign that contract to celebrate? With so much on the line how do you let something like this happen?

All of this defies logic but it's still not the craziest part of this whole story. On Monday he pled not guilty to the charge. Does the breathalyzer have a margin of error of like 300%? Was his protein drink spiked with 12 shots of jaeger? Were the police officers Longhorns fans? I know the plea actually has to do with some legal strategy that's too convoluted for me to understand and eventually he will plead guilty to the DUI (probably a lesser charge) but it's certainly not going to help his image right now.

He apparently had a great work ethic while at Oklahoma State and wasn't viewed as a character risk heading into the draft. So hopefully this is just a one-time gigantic error in judgment and he won't waste his second shot to get him back on the track. Poor choice of words...On to the awards!


Panicking a Little Too Early
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports believes the Spurs are done unless they make adjustments: The Spurs got run out of the Thunder's building in Game 3, then got pushed around for most of Game 4, and now we should assume that a return home for Game 5 will make all those boo-boos better?

Well, going home didn't exactly solve their problems as they did lose Game 5 but I have a problem with the basis of this argument. What exactly were the Thunder thinking after the first two games? Were they thinking everything would be okay when they went home after going down 2-0 with the Spurs in control in the first two games? Sometimes it's more than just adjustments. Sometimes it's one team just playing better than the other. Columnists have wildly swung back and forth in both of these Conference Finals as both the Heat and Spurs went up 2-0 only to lose the next two to even the series. What's that old adage? A playoff series only begins when the home team loses? It looks like the Spurs series has only now begun and maybe it's not all about adjustments but about execution as well.

Quote (Insult?) of the Week
After Game 4 of the Heat-Celtics series in which LeBron and Pierce fouled out, Ray Allen said: It was like chess. They took our queen, then we took their queen."

This probably isn't a diss since he'd kind of be insulting Paul Pierce as well but you never know with someone smart enough to draw a poignant analogy between basketball and chess. Was Allen taking the subtlest of digs at "King" James by calling him a queen? Probably not but it's pretty funny nonetheless.

Running Out of Patience
The baseball season is a marathon and early on in the season columnists usually temper negative views with the caveat that "it's still early and a lot can change." Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press is done with those caveats in regards to the Tigers: Jim Leyland wants reporters to write what we see and "have the nerve to say something."
OK.
This team stinks, falling from funk to dysfunctional.

He and the rest of the columnists had criticized the Tigers a lot in the early going. They were assumed to be a shoe-in to win the AL Central but as of today they trail the Indians by 6 games and are 4 games under .500. Now is when the claws come out.

The 5th Major in Golf?
Mike Lopresti of USA Today isn't sure if Tiger is back but he is sure that The Memorial is something special: The Memorial is not a major, but let's not nitpick. Nicklaus is the tournament host, and that says a lot.

What exactly does it say? Does Nicklaus have some magical powers that make this tournament particularly amazing? Should any tournament Nicklaus host become the 5th major whether it be a mini-golf event or a beer pong tournament? I just don't quite understand how Nicklaus' presence changes how golf is played.

Worst/Best Sports Item of the Week
Dwight Howard Loyalty.jpgThe NBA store is apparently selling this t-shirt. God I love that. Aside from the fact that it's ugly as sin and looks like a David Robinson shirt I wore in the early '90s that was about 7 sizes too big for me, the irony is fantastic. If I'm a Magic fan I'm buying like a hundred of these and then distributing them the first game Howard comes to Orlando as the opposition.
H/T: Point Forward

No Faith
Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe did not think highly of the Celtics chances in the Eastern Conference Finals: Close your eyes, people. This might be bad. This might hurt.
The party is over for the Morgan Freeman Five, the Duct Tape Five, or whatever you want to call the ancient warriors who patrol the court for the Boston Celtics. The Tomato Cans from Atlanta and Philadelphia have been beaten. It's now time for serious basketball and there will be green blood when this next round is over. ... But this series doesn't bode well for Boston's proud warriors. The ancient, broken-down Green Teamers are a good bet to get swept, or maybe steal one game and lose in five.

At least he was right about the Red Sox last season.

Convoluted Logic
Scoop Jackson of ESPN has some convoluted story about how Michael Jordan must convince the Hornets that it's in their best interest to trade away their top pick to the Bobcats: The Bobcats, on the other hand, and with almost desperate severity, need Davis. Not because they finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history, but simply because no other player in the draft balances their roster like he would. No other player in the draft comes close to completing them.
Charlotte already has three players who can legitimately score at three different positions: D.J. Augustin at the point, Gerald Henderson at small forward and Kemba Walker off the bench. They don't need a Kidd-Gilchrist or a Bradley Beal or a Harrison Barnes (or even a Thomas Robinson or a Jared Sullinger, who could help them at the power forward spot).

You ARE talking about the Bobcats right? Jackson is acting like the Bobcats, who finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history, are only a piece away. They don't need those players? They could use ALL of those players.

... With three centers and a 7-foot starting power forward (Jason Smith), the Hornets don't lack at Davis' position. If they draft Davis, they'll have to make some deals or begin cutting players to make room. ... Because contrary to what everyone else is saying, Davis is not the Hornets' answer, not in the way a player like MKG would be. If the Hornets are serious about building a team that will make the playoffs in the near future, they need offense now at a position where they don't have anyone to score. They need explosiveness, not a defensive presence who is going to need time to find himself offensively.

I'm not as sold on Anthony Davis as everyone else is but I have to defer to the experts and assume they are right when he is a once in a generation talent and by far the best prospect in this draft. So to say the Hornets don't need him because they have Jason Smith, Chris Kaman and Emeka Okafor is ridiculous. With the top pick you take the top talent. You don't build around the horrible team you already have. if the Hornets are serious about building a team they will draft the best player available and can then use those other players as trade assets.

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