On this Father’s Day, we think about the men who helped raise us, give us the standards by which we live by & develop the passion for the sports & teams we root for today.  Thanks Dad…especially for not making me a Cub’s fan.

    Game 3 of the NBA Finals was a barn-burner in South Beach; neither team leading by more than ten points the whole game.  As close as it was, it was just about as ugly.  The Heat won by simply making more free throws & doing the little things (fundamentals) throughout the game.  After turning the ball over too much and not blocking out on shot attempts, the Thunder allowed Miami to get offensive rebounds leading to second chance points, did not get back on defense (which allowed Miami fast breaks, easy baskets & free throws) & disappeared on offense (James Harden-9 & Serge Ibaka-5).  Miami didn’t look great, but they crashed the boards, hit clutch free throws & attacked the basket on offense.  The Heat wanted Game 3 & they took it from OKC.  Up six points in the third with Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook on the bench, Derek Fisher completed a 4 point play to put the Thunder up ten.  After that, the mental wheels fell off for the Thunder.
Two fouls were committed on three point shot attempts that put Shane Battier & James Jones on the line.  All six free throws were made & Uncle Mo (momentum) came strolling back over to the home team.  Harden, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award winner, has been on hiatus for two of the three games in this series so far, including this game.  So much so, that Kendrick Perkins, known for his scowls & defense than his offensive ability, scored more (10 pts) than Harden.  OKC has to step up & start playing or the next time they play a home game will be in next year’s preseason.
    How hard is it to win at The Olympic Club in San Francisco?  Earlier in the week, Andy North said on ESPN that he figured the tournament could be won with a score of -1…he was close, it was +1.  For another year, the US Open was won by a player that was not a favorite.  Never leading one hole of the tournament that he played, 26 year old Webb Simpson won, not by sinking a dramic put on the 18th, but by watching someone miss a put on the 18th to give him the win.  On a course where the favorite is never favored to win, Tiger, Lefty & Rory all fell short.  Jim Furyk had a chance, but bogied two of his last three holes to drop him out of contention.  When Graeme McDowell missed his put on 18 to force a playoff, Simpson celebrated his victory.  It was the first major win of his career.
   The end of a drought is always a glorious occasion for those experiencing it.  When a farmer prays for rain to water his crops so his family won’t starve or go poor…when a baseball player yearns for a “dribbler” down the line or a “Texas league blooper” to break his hitting drought…or when a driver finally wins the checkered flag after not winning a race in over 100+.  That was what Dale Earnhardt Jr. experienced Sunday in Michigan when he broke his drought of 143 winless races.  Dale Jr, his crew, his family & his fans all say, “Finally!!”