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The Walk Talk Ten

April 25, 2011

1. Thursday is going to be a monumental day for 32 players and their families once they receive the call from an NFL representative to confirm that they are a first-round draft pick. Then, once they wake up Friday, a sad reality will set in that they aren't getting paid and won't be able to do what they were drafted to do — play football — indefinitely.

2. Speaking of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers will choose Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick. Sure, it's a reach, but last year proved how badly the Panthers need a quarterback for the future. No, Jimmy Clausen is not the answer.

3. While on the topic of quarterbacks and the NFL Draft, don't be surprised to see at least five quarterbacks taken in the first round. Newton and Blaine Gabbert are locks, and the idea of Ryan Mallett, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker Christian Ponder and Colin Kaepernick being drafted Thursday isn't that much of a long shot. Too bad the best option, Stanford's Andrew Luck, is staying in college for his senior year.

4. It isn't too shocking that the top-seeded Spurs trail the Grizzles, 2-1, in the first round of the NBA playoffs. After watching the first three games of that series, it's clear that the Spurs' success lives and dies by what Manu Ginobili does. He was inactive during a Game 1 loss and returned to lead San Antonio to victory in Game 2 before the Spurs lost Game 3 Saturday. If Ginobili plays like he did in Game 2, the Spurs have a shot at reaching the finals. Otherwise, the Grizzles might win their first playoff series ever.

5. Many believed that Doug Collins should have kept on the TNT headset instead of taking over an inexperienced, 27-55 76ers team last May. One year later, Collins led the team to a 41-41 record and helped it avoid being swept by the Heat when it finished Sunday's game on a 10-0 run. How can you not root for this guy?

6. When will it ever stop raining? I've had my share of reading or hearing the word "postponed" as far as Punxsy's baseball, softball and tennis events go this spring.

7. Is it just me, or is every 2011 NHL playoff game so far a blowout or an overtime final?

8. More reports are out that Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has committed "potential major violations" when he lied to keep his players on the field in order to win 12 games, with the last being a BCS bowl. Don't be surprised if the punishment is another slap on the wrist.

9. The MLB will expand to 10 playoff teams any year now. Why? Because the league is tired of both the Yankees and Red Sox not making the postseason every single year.

10. Being an Indians fan, I have to bring them up one last time before they start to tail off. It comes as no surprise that they are competitive so far, considering they brought in free agent infielder Orlando Cabrera. Cabrera has reached the postseason on different teams during each of the past four seasons — the Angels, White Sox, Twins and Reds. Hopefully, he'll make it five straight this fall.

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