Friday, February 29, 2008

You Stay Classy, Alma Mater

If you haven't been lucky enough to see some of my old classmates acting especially impressive last night, here is the video. It appears that a fan threw a bottle of water at USC's Davon Jefferson last night at the end of the game. Let me clear something up from this report - I went to U of A, and if a kid is crazy enough to throw a bottle at a player, I PROMISE you it wasn't water.



The story, over at Sports By Brools says the the Tucson police are on the investigation, which means either the guy will get a red tag at his next party or a DUI on the drive home. Anything else and the cops get extremely confused and end up giving a DUI to the reporter.

A Play that is Defining Our '08 Lakers


If this was a play to define the Isiah Thomas era in New York, the above play is what defines our newly unbeatable Lakers.

Ball bounces around, lands in Kobe's hands, throws it over his head, just out of Shawn Marion's reach, behind the back in stride, dunk by Lamar. This team is getting downright scary.

When Athletes Have Too Much Money


If you haven't seen this at With Leather, I'm sure you'll enjoy.

I'm happy to welcome to DTCC Man City midfielder Stephen Ireland, who, it seems, isn't a product of my dad's generation. The guy spent nearly $180,000 on this custom Range Rover, in an attempt to appeal more to the Ryan Seacrest side of soccer fans.

Hey, at least he looks normal in the driver's seat!

Ehhh, That Couldn't Have Been How They Drew It Up...


I have one thing to say to any prospective lottery picks when being televised nationally for one of the few times of the year - when you get this opportunity, try not to have your worst game of the season.

Arizona lost to USC last night where both potential draft stars on the Wildcats combined for 15 points, a total that O.J. Mayo eclipsed by five points on his own.

This was a game scouts watched, hoping to see Mayo, Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger show their skirts. At least one of them had a game.

This Arizona Wildcat team is going to give me stomach ulcers at 24. I guarantee you've never seen a more psychotic team than these guys, a team that is so short-benched that they had to play Fendi Onobun for 19 minutes, and HE IMPRESSED ME!

Is this one of the reasons people do drugs? I'm predicting an nine seed for the Wildcats, who will probably lose in the first round but if not, could get beat by 100 points by a one seed. Watch the UCLA game this weekend if you doubt me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whom Would You Rather Be?


In case you didn't know, the past year or so has produced some rather high profile athletes in sketchy situations. Yeah, it wasn't the Vikings Boat Party of The Palace Melee, this was serious shit with serious federal reach-arounds. So, of all the people listed below, whom would you rather be?

Micheal Vick - It has to suck when you're greatest sporting accomplishment is losing the National Championship game. Vick's been called on for herpes, trying to carry pot on an airplane and is now serving 23 months for dogfighting and such. Hey, at least he has some backing in prison.

Roger Clemens - Dude pitched great for a long time - problem is, steroids are illegal (whoda thunk it?). Anyway, when the FBI is getting involved and you're the front page story on CNN.com, things aren't looking good. Also, your name will forever be linked to steriods, lies, butt blood and butt lumps - never a good thing.

John Rocker - You're racist, sexist, a moron and will be best known in my generation as a guy mocked by Deadspin. Hey, at least you look good in a sexy shirt!

Pacman Jones - First, your name is Pacman. Second, you took "making it rain" to a completely different level. Third, you went from successful NFL star to this.

So, which would you rather be? Tough choice if you ask me.

Maybe Not So "Tough"


I remember checking the PGAtour.com headlines yesterday and seeing a story about how PGA National was going to play tough this week for players.

Obviously, Luke Donald used that article for Wednesday night toilet paper.

Donald shot a bogey-free 64 to take the first round lead, with some other "notable" golfers at the top of this star-studded field. Top-ranked player in the worldErnie Els shot a 67, Jerry Kelly carded a 68 and Woody Austin shot 70.

When your second and third "highlighted" players are Jerry Kelly and Woody Austin, this could be the weekend to do yard work instead of laying on the couch to watch the Honda Classic.

Anyway, I still believe that anyone that wears a visor on the golf course should sustain multiple penalty shots throughout the day, but Donald continues to wear the half-hat, even though he is under the age of 60 and is not a woman.

Tommy Armour III withdrew after shooting a 41 on the first nine, I'm sure because of an illness or family emergency.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Will Ferrell Actually Shoots the Rock Pretty Damn Well


I hate to be one to steal from the ESPN comments, especially from a guy that calls himself "koothy," but the man has a damn good point - the Knicks could use Will Ferrell.

This video of Ferrell and Bill Walton playing horse shows that Ferrell could at least be on the Knicks bench for technical foul shots. I mean, isn't that just a funnier, less douchebaggy version of J.J. Reddick?

I'm a big believer in the fact that Ferrell has hitched a ride on this sports-dumb-comedy horse one movie too long, but at least the man's got solid rotation on his shot. Knicks, seriously, you don't think he'd put more fans in the seats than Renaldo Balkman?

Boring Day


Man, it's a boring day in the sporting world. A boring golf tournament starts tomorrow, Tennessee lost last night in a "not so surprising" upset and the Lakers keep getting better and better.

I guess some interesting news is coming out of other parts of our world, including the fourth installment of the Bourne series even though Robert Ludlum only wrote three books.

William F. Buckley Jr. died today, so that is newsworthy, along with a pilot channeling his inner Ben Affleck at a Washington airport, resulting in the option of joining the mass group of Monster.com users.

One last thing - if you haven't seen this on Deadspin, check out this photo of Bronco legend John Elway, who probably isn't working out with Roger Clemens as much as he should. I'm sure if I was a pro athlete that had been working out hard since I was an embryo, taking some good lounging time would be on the agenda as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh My Lord, Maybe Not An 8-9 Seed?


I just looked at the amazing conglomeration that is Bracketology and a crazy thing happened - Arizona wasn't projected as an eight or nine seed.

Hooray for life! I can't believe it! Let the rioting down Fourth Avenue begin! Skip your Trads young bucks, go out and enjoy college life as it should be! Arizona was an eight seed in 2007, 2006 and a nine seed in 2004. Yes, none of those years ended well.

I just wanted to take this time to say that the fact I'm bragging about the Arizona Wildcats not being an eight or nine seed should speak volumes for where this program has landed. Long live Jason Terry!

Also, this picture honestly makes me more depressed than happy.

Update: Please just watch this and remember the days of total Tucson dominance.

Who is the Most Disappointing Major Winner


It is fairly easy to argue the whole "Best Golfer To Have Never Won a Major." You'd say someone like Sergio Garcia or Adam Scott, a couple of young guys with quarts of talent that will someday have more than a couple to their name (that is, if Tiger gets hurt or quits playing).

The better argument to me is which golfer in the past ten years has been the biggest letdown after notching a major championship. You know, those guys you always think of and say to yourself, "He only won one big tournament in his entire career? Man he must suck at putting."

So, the list is as follows, including many of whom I find humorous to coin "Artist formerly known as..." Hey, it makes me chuckle.

Fred Couples - The reason for this argument, Couples won the 1992 Masters and that was that. Freddy was Player of the Year twice, was named to five Ryder Cup teams and won 15 times on the PGA Tour, which even seems low for the dusty-haired man. Boom-Boom (God, what a stupid nickname) finished in the top-10 a remarkable ten times, and what is even more remarkable is the time span he did it in - his first was a a tie for third in 1982 at the PGA Championship and his last, a tie for third at the Masters in 2006.

Davis Love III - For some reason, when I was stupider younger, I always thought Davis Love was really good. I guess I didn't totally understand the meaning of "good." Love won the 1997 PGA Championship, and has never raelly done anything else. You get moments of greatness from Love (see 2003 Players Championship), but mostly a guy that will be remembered for his Polo sponsorship.

Justin Leonard - The fellow Texan has won 11 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1997 British Open. The thing is, he's been on the cusp of winning numerous times, including the playoff in the 1999 British after the Van de Velde fiasco.

David Duval - Alright, I know, not that fair. Everyone can make a David Duval joke about golf. "Hey David, how's that swing change coming?" "Hey David, is Nike still knocking down your door?" "Hey David, I'm going snowboarding next weekend and have never tried it, so maybe you can win in something." The guy was at the top of the golf world in 1999 and even shot a damn 59 in a tournament! Now, he's made four cuts in two years, with his best finish a tie for 39th.

Well, that was fun. My vote is for Davis Love. Take a page from Vijay Singh - you can putt like a dog and still win a lot.

Who Doesn't Love a Honda?!?!


After the WGC World Match-Play ended on Sunday in dramatic fashion, the golf world takes a little baby nap until the Masters, especially since the move of the Players Championship to May.

We might see Tiger Woods twice until the April 10th Masters, so here is where we have to make these "other" PGA Tour events a little interesting. You hope to see some rookies like Chez Reavie or Martin Laird get a win to secure them for a couple of years, but most of the time the back-seat riders on tour pick up a win or a top-five to get them in the top 125 for 2009.

Think about it like this - the entire field has a total of 17 major championships to El Tigre's 13, with five of those coming from the artists formerly known as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Also, David Duval and Davis Love III are in the field, so follow those guys around if you ever get mixed up and think it's 1999.

I'd say Steve Marino and Justin Leonard are my picks to win, but I also picked the Patriots in the Super Bowl and Arizona to cover against UCLA, when they got beat by a smidgen under 30 points. Yep, my picks go a looooonnngg way.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh No, What if Berman Does the Masters?


I had a terrible feeling rush through my body tonight as I was watching the Texas-Kansas State game. The ESPN Masters commercial came on with Gary Player making the eagle putt on 15, and my eyes grew to silver dollars as a pit grew in my stomach.

What if Chris Berman is part of the Masters coverage?

Could you imagine? My favorite sporting event of the year, the last great sporting telecast that avoids commercials for the good of amazing golf, could be corrupted by someone saying Stewart "Throw in Everything but the Kitchen" Cink? Lord, it makes me want to drink on a Monday.

It is almost a non-argument. Berman is usually a part of U.S. Open coverage when ESPN hosts Thursday and Friday coverage, and it probably won't be any different. He'll probably be the "color" guy for the golf tournament, and my only hope is he takes advice, and only takes advice, from Gary McCord.

Honestly, it might make me officially hate broadcasting as a whole if I hear that annoying ass voice say something like, "Welcooooooooommmmeee to daaaaaaaaaaa Mastasssssssssssssssssss." It honestly makes me cringe.

Up next - President Bush re-reads the "Gettysburg Address."

What A Solid Weekend


You'd have to say, in the lull that is the time between the Super Bowl and March Madness, this weekend ranks pretty damn high on the sportsability ranking.

Tennessee at Memphis - A good girl friend of mine that lives in LA sent me a text halfway though this game that said, "I think I'm going to need a nap after watching this game, it's that intense." Yep, you read that right, a girl from Los Angeles said that - you know it was a pretty intense game when that happens.

Tiger Woods won - 8 & 7. That is about all you need to know about a week dominated by a golfer that needed to practically birdie out in his first round match to survive J.B. Holmes. Fun stuff to watch, even if you hate golf.

Arizona at Washington State - Sure, you guys might not care, but this was a must win for the Wildcats, who needed something positive to happen if they wanted to make the tournament. Maybe the best thing to come from this win - Chase Budinger decided he was going to be good again.

Nascar

Cavs new Clique - I'm not at all a Cavalier fan, but I do like watching Lebron James play well without complaining. The new crew all contributed last night as the Cavs beat the Memphis Tiger Memphis Grizzlies. Ok, maybe not the most impressive win, but Lebron seemed content.

Mavs over Timberwolves - Again, it isn't beating the Lakers, but Jason Kidd did notch 17 assists for the Mavs, a season high, in their win over Minnesota. I'm probably not the only person to say this, but Kidd is a slightly better passer than shooter. Slightly.

Along with all the fun this weekend, Texas plays Kansas State tonight. I'm wondering if Michael Beasley will have any points or rebounds.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wow


Tiger Woods won today.

It wasn't as much a win as it was one guy playing one game and the other playing something completely different. I've heard from a few people that Tiger's newfound totalitarian grasp on the PGA Tour makes golf a little boring to watch, but I'm on the other side of that argument - watching someone do something absolutely perfect never gets old to me.

Tiger continues to play a game that most people have never seen, similar to the rainbow adding a new stranger hue that the eye had never seen before. I understand that the reason Tiger is in this new grove and has always had this ability to dominate has nothing to do with his physique or his putting stroke. It's the six inches between his ears, plain and simple, that makes him the best golfer in the world. The guy stands over a golf ball knowing exactly how he's going to hit it and where it's going to go, not hoping. His hope is truth, and it has become damn scary how well he handles the situation.

Sure, Tiger might go in another "slump" where he only wins five tournaments in a year instead of nine, but this is fun to watch. When people speak of pro golfers around the water coolers, there should be "pros" and "Tiger." The man is writing something other than a history book.

Credit: Robert Beck/SI

Friday, February 22, 2008

All Square with Tiger

Update - Tiger just conceded number 13, bringing the match to all-square.

Crunch time in Marana


It's later in the afternoon in sunny chilly Arizona and some of these here golf matches are getting a little tighter than you'd expect.

Mr. Tiger Woods won the first two holes of his match over Aaron Baddeley, but the Australian Penguin wearer is hanging around, only one-down through 12 holes to Tiger. Since number two, Baddeley is four-under for the day, looking pretty solid if you can say someone "looks" solid by following them online.

Woody Austin and Angel Cabrera have already won their matches over Boo Weekley and Steve Stricker, leaving Tiger as the only top seed left in the tournament. Also, the only 16 seed left in play, Jonathan Byrd, is battling the defending champion, Henrick Stenson, where the match is all square through 16 holes. I bet a friend of mine on Byrd today so the kid better lose the pink pants he's sporting and start making some late birdies.

Also, Monty is going to lose, so those who picked him in your office pool probably aren't going to have as smooth a Friday commute home.

Rankings - Pretty Much Just Another Number


My good buddy over at Roman's Empire dug this up and I thought it was fairly interesting, us both being old Wildcats together.

Mustafa Shakur, the highest ranked point guard coming out of high school, even higher than Chris Paul, is playing professional ball, just not the league he was probably hoping for.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the term white wash in basketball, but this team page should help explain it a little better.

Yeah, the Prokom Trefl Sopot probably isn't as fun to play on as, say, the Wildcat team with Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala. I'm not a genius, but that is my prediction.

I can't read polish, but I'm assuming most of those articles are about "poor shooting percentage." If anyone can translate that in Polish, let me know.

Doesn't his profile picture tell a lot about his last five years?

Michelle Wie, Deciding She Won't Suck in '08


With all the PGA Tour tournaments going on this week and things like birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle happening to our day, the LPGA Fields Open might get lost in the mix, as it usually should.

The one thing that is making it a little different is the fact that corpse Michelle Wie actually posted a respectable round Thursday. Wie made six birdies and three bogeys on her way to a first round 69, the first sub-70 round since 2006.

According to the Yahoo Sports article Wie was has decided to live by some catch phrases or something this year.

Those include "having nothing to prove to anyone, enjoying life, forgetting about last year, and not getting ahead of yourself."

I have to say, when you're making in the $10 million a year range from sponsors, living by shit like "enjoying life" is probably a little easier than, say, the guy that had to write that Yahoo Sports article. Again, celebrities and athletes - extremely well-rounded.

Quarterfinals Preview of WGC


An honest question - if you were, say 64th in the world thus having to play Tiger Woods in the first round, would it be more beneficial to your future status on the PGA Tour to skip the WGC for the Mayakoda Golf Classic in hopes of picking up a win and a two year exemption? Hey, I'm just asking.

Today marks the third day of play at Dove Mountain and here is where it starts getting interesting. Watch out for Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els today as they are matched against two tough competitors in Justin Leonard and defending champion Henrick Stenson.

Some of the interesting match-ups, and the word interesting is being stretched to its absolute limit, are below.

Tiger Woods vs. Aaron Baddeley - I'm sorry, I think this is a rout for El Tigre. Baddeley didn't even play yesterday as David Toms retired his match (does that work in sports other than tennis?) and Tiger started getting the 'ol ball rolling.

Woody Austin vs. Boo Weekley - Best way to find these guys on the course - follow the dip spit on the ground. I can guarantee one thing about this match - Esquire won't have any photographers around at any time.

Steve Stricker vs. Angel Cabrera - A good girl friend of mine made an excellent point - when did Steve Stricker become dominant? I mean, we all know he played well in the Fedex Cup, but a one-seed? Seriously? In 2005 this guy was ranked 337 in the world and now he's three? Sorry if I'm the only one that finds this strange. Smoking in Arizona isn't a good thing - Striker continues his "rise" to the top.

A side note - if you guys are interested in watching John Daly play well in Mexico, the time may have come and gone. Daly shot a four-under 66 on Thursday, even with a double-bogey coming late in his round. Today? Yeah, Daly made a double on his fourth hole of the day and is three-over for the day, dropping spots faster than you can say "ninth alternate."

More updates to come.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mickelson and Sergio Say Adios


I hate to toot the ol' DTCC horn, but so far, so good in predicting these "upsets" in the WGC.

Sergio got spanked by Boo Weekley earlier today and Phil Mickelson lost to Stuart Appleby on a day when, depending on how this Henrik Stenson-Trevor Immelman match turns out, could produce more underdogs winning today than favorites.

So far the most impressive play has been from none other than 16-seeded Jonathan Byrd, the only player in the field that has yet to play even the 15th hole at Dove Mountain.

Tiger Woods was a solid five-under, not counting the first hole which was conceded to him, in his 3-and-2 win over Arron Oberholser while the other top seed left, Steve Stricker, needed a birdie on his 20th hole to hold on Hunter Mahan. Mahan was most impressive in his first round match, where he had seven 3s in just 15 holes, including a stretch where he made four 3s in a row.

Interesting day in the desert, as three huge names are already out before Friday.

And this is a Good thing?


It appears the Cavs are going to get some "help" for Lebron James, if by "help" they mean a big man that's way past his prime and can't score and a there-point threat that was way scarier at Minnesota.

According to ESPN, The Cavs, Sonics and Bulls are in the midst of an 11-player deal that gets ride of Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Shannon Brown and Cedric Smith for Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and Joe Smith.

I believe I had one of those Joe Smith rookie cards back in the day with the basketball texture, really cool. The sad thing - I think that was in about 1995.

Anyway, the Cavs lose two of their top five scoring options with Hughes and Gooden to land a center when they already have a center and a shooter when they already have a shooter (as long as Boobie wasn't kidding with us over All-Star weekend).

I'm almost positive they could have landed Kwame Brown if they would tried just a smidge harder.

I'm Sorry, Kelly Tilghman Sucks


I've had this conversation with just about everyone I know that equally loves golf, but Golf Channel broadcaster Kelly Tilghman sucks. I mean, she really, really sucks.

I watch her broadcasting these tournaments and sometimes daydream of what I'd rather hear over her voice. Here are some of my favorite conclusions:

-Freddy Kruger "nails on the chalkboard" while a baby is crying and a lady is going over the "safety procedures of the Boeing 747"

-William Hung and Mike Ditka singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" as a duet

-The book-on-tape of "Confessions of an Heiress"

-Anytime Emmitt Smith talks

Today alone, Tilghman (Even the spelling her name pisses me off) said the following during the 30 minutes I watched during my lunch break.

(during a blimp shot of the golf course and desert, as they cut to a shot of Jonathan Byrd) "Somewhere out there the coyote is chasing the roadrunner, and we have our own Byrd right here."

"Is this a tougher putt than that of (Arron) Oberholser?" -When discussing a two-footer for par of Tiger Woods

"Yesssssssssssssssss" -after Tiger tapped in the two-footer (sigh)

"Vijay has never made it past the second round in this even so this is the makings of a special week." (Um, yeah, Vijay will probably remember getting past the second round of a tournament for the rest of his life)

Remember, this was 30 minutes of her. If my lunch break was two hours I'd be posting this blog in my own blood.

Kelly, do me a favor - make a racist or crude comment on purpose so we can get you suspended for a couple of more weeks. Please?

Spurs Trade


Hey, did anyone see that the Spurs traded Brent Barry, Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick for Kurt Thom... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Interesting Second Round Match-ups at WGC


So, after watching the highlights of a few of Tiger's putts he made to comeback against J.B. Holmes, tipping your hat isn't close to good enough. Are you kidding me with that eagle putt? Was that 50 feet?

Anyway, moving to the second round shouldn't be too hard with a couple of the exciting matches today down in Marana.

Sergio Garcia v. Boo Weekley - Two golfers that normally have a following due to their exciting personalities ("Boo likes fish"), I'm picking Weekley to upset because of Sergio's lack of play this year.

Steve Stricker vs. Hunter Mahan - Along with Tiger, these two golfers were probably the hottest American golfers of 2007. Stricker struggled yesterday so don't be surprised if the one-seed goes does early.

Tiger Woods vs. Arron Oberholser - Hey Arron, did you see Duke lose to Miami last night? I think most sports fans would agree that you wouldn't want to be Duke's opponent the next time on the hardwood. You could probably learn a lot from this point.

Phil Mickelson vs. Stuart Appleby - A couple of vets match-up early in the desert. Yesterday I would have penciled Schmickey in no problem, but after his lackadaisical win yesterday over Pat Perez, Phil could be joining Ernie for club sandwiches and an Arnold Palmer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just When you Think you Got Him


Yeah, everyone in the world is Jerry and Tiger Woods is Tom, watching us from a distance try to tippy-toe that last little inch before he snatches us in his palm and stomps away.

J.B. Holmes probably knows this really well. The 16th seed played Tiger today and had him all but on the ropes, three-down after 13 holes and cruising to an enormous upset. The next sequence is only unbelievable if you've never heard of Tiger Woods.

Starting on 14, Woods went birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle to land at one-up with one to play, needing only a par on 18 to notch the first round victory.

In golf, you can't always play your best. Unlike an NCAA game or a basketball game, when you don't bring your A-game in golf you usually can lose to just about any opponent. Tiger does this, but then figures out what the hell went wrong mid-round changing it in the nick of time so he can still pull out the W.

The guy is a machine, if only machines performed as well as he. I can't gush about him enough - it isn't even fair.

Like Tiger Would Go Easy

Yep, just what you expected, Tiger birdies 14, only two down with four to go.

Tiger struggles, Byrd soars


Well, Wednesday has never been Tiger's favorite day, usually a day full of boring Pro-Ams and long practice rounds. Normally, Tiger takes this day to prepare for the golf tournament. I guess Stevie forgot to tell Tiger that on this week, Wednesday was the start of the tournament.

El Tigre is still two down through 12 holes to J.B. Holmes in the first round of the WGC Accenture Match Play Tournament.

Tiger is a measly one-under par for the day on a course that usually yields low scores, even par through three par-5s so far. Sure, taking Tiger right now is still a safe bet, but he's running out of holes.

In other news, 13th seed David Toms knocked off fourth seed Zach Johnson in what can only be called "the reason the rankings are pretty stupid" match of the day.

Also, I want to congratulate myself on the pick of the day, taking Jonathan Byrd over Ernie Els, who smoked Big Easy 6 and 5 for the first 16-over-a-1 seed win this year. Yep, Dogs That Chase Cars - smarter than people that seed these things.

Shit


Man oh man, this could be a pretty historical slaughtering on hands at the Gallery outside of Tucson - Tiger Woods is three down to J.B. Holmes through five holes two down through six holes in the first round match.

Tiger bogeyed the opening hole, a par-5, and Holmes made two other birdies to go three-up before Tiger's birdie on the sixth hole, a par-3.

Even if Tiger pulls out the victory, you won't be seeing a Rory Sabbatini match-up, as he went down 4 and 3 to Bradley Dredge this morning. Sabbatini was the two-seed in Tiger's bracket, getting smoked by Dredge on the back nine.

Also, Colin Montgomerie pulled out the win against two-seed Jim Furyk over in the Sam Snead Bracket, knocking out Mr. Quirky Swing 3 and 2.

Other than that, nothing too crazy has happened. Vijay Singh needed a birdie on the 19th hole to hold on Peter Hanson, advancing to the second round where he'll face Niclas Fasth.

More updates to come, especially with this Tiger-Holmes battle.

Updating the WGC


So, it's mid-morning here in Mountain Standard Time which means a lot of the early matches are getting to the halfway point.

Some of the scores?

Woody Austin, Padraig Harrington and Niclas Fasth are all three-up in their matches, the biggest leads of the day so far in any of the 16 matches underway outside of Tucson.

Some interesting upset possibilities - Colin "Man, That was a Long Nap" Montgomerie is leading second ranked Jim Furyk through five holes, a bit of a stir going in with the old Wildcat playing near his alma mater.

Also, Vijay Singh is all-square through ten holes with Peter Hanson.

Yep, that is about as exciting as it gets during match-play golf. I promise you, it's no March Madness.

Tiger's Perfect Season


If you didn't see this on "Sportscenter," it was pretty entertaining.

A reporter asked Tiger Woods if he ever thought of a perfect season (by the way, nice question dipshit) and Woods answered "No," but he did say he already had one.

El Tigre made it known that when he was 11 he won all 36 tournaments he played in, not losing a single time. He went on to say, "I peaked at 11."

Now, if you're ever wondering why Tiger is so good, this is the reason - the dude has been riding this enormous confidence wave since he was barely old enough to walk, winning 36 tournaments in a row. In golf, that is like - well, there isn't reall a comparison. That is fucking unbelievable.

Anyway, his run at "Perfect Season Dos" begins today as he battles J.B. Holmes at 12:02 PM, MST.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The OTHER tourney this weekend


With the BIG BOY MATCH PLAY tourney starting tomorrow (on a Wednesday, too strange), I figured the least I could do was discuss the Mayakoda Golf Classic (seriously?) one time before Sunday.

The Mayakoda Golf Classic (yep, that's the name) features some of the best players from around all seven continents some professional golfers hoping to win this tournament so they never have to come back and play it again.

Some of the hot names in the field include Bubba Watson, and, uhhhh, hold on a sec, Fred Funk?

Yeah, a lot of the names in that field list wouldn't strike fear in Stevie Williams, but that is why they offer a secondary tournament. Hell, if you win they give you $630,000 plus two more years to defeat the legendary Mayakoda Golf Classic for a second time, so you got that going for you.

Oh, I just read that Jesper Parnevik is playing in the tournament as well, so set your Tivo accordingly.

Yeah, there is your "other" tournament post for the week, enjoy it.

Some Interesting Possibilities...


So, since Tiger Woods is the only golfer worth talking about right now since he's won everything since two months before the Writers Strike, I figured it would be worth musing over the interesting possible match-ups for Mr. Woods.

Second Round - Mike Weir - As long as Weir can dispose of Aaron Oberholser, Tiger will get a shot at Weir after the Canadian beat him in last year's Presidents Cup singles match. I have to say, as competitive as Tiger is, the cup had already been secured by the US and not much was at stake except the possibility for Weir to beat the best in the world on his home turf. I think this could be a statement match for Woods.

Third Round - Aaron Baddeley - The kid can putt lights out, but the last time he was under pressure in a big tournament, he shot 80 in the final round at the U.S. Open. Baddeley can be knocked off his game, and Tiger is the best in the world at mentally abusing anyone with a little self-doubt.

Quarter Finals - Rory Sabbatini - Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. I can just hear the beat writers banging out column after column about this dream match-up. Rory is the two-seed in the Bobby Jones bracket and played college golf in Tucson. Also, if you haven't heard, Tiger pretty much pays people to knock over port-o-pottys while Rory is inside. This could resembled the "Tiger Who?" moment from Vijay a few years ago.

Semi-Finals - Anyone in that Bracket - Yeah, nobody in there is very intimidating or worries me in the least. Maybe Ernie can be five-up on Tiger and then bogey out.

Finals - Phil Mickelson - Yeah, i don't think Mickelson will make it this far either, but you couldn't draw it up any better.

Quote of the Week, Golf Edition


You know, guys like Boo Weekley and J.B. Holmes are the reason casinos can advertise "Everyone leaves a Winner" and get a flock of hopeful gamblers.

"I don't even know the name of it."
-J.B. Holmes, when asked about the venue for next week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship near Tucson, Ariz. Holmes is currently slated to play Tiger Woods in Round One.

Accenture Match Play Championship Breakdown


To save you all 32 things to read or ignore, I decided to pull out a few possible scenarios for this weekend in Tucson and which early round match-ups could be interesting.

J.B. Holmes vs. Tiger Woods - The one thing you have to know about Mr. Woods and golf is desert golf isn't his favorite. This makes sense when you look at the one thing that errs when Woods swing is off - his driver. If you remember last year, Tiger was in the desert more than a few times, having to take swipes at the ball from strange angles with uncertain terrain under the ball. A positive - Holmes isn't any straighter.

Zach Johnson vs. David Toms - "Hey kids, you wanna go watch two guys that hit it shorter than daddy?" Over/under on combined putts in this match - 43.

Ian Poulter vs. Soren Hansen - Mr. Hansen must be a touch nervous - who knows when this Poulter-evolves-into-Tiger phase could ensue.

Ernie Els vs. Jonathan Byrd - The biggest upset of round 1.

Phil Mickelson vs. Pat Perez - Sorry Pat, bad time to be paired against Schmickey. As a lovely parting gift you get two free drink coupons to Dirtbags.

It should be an interesting weekend as long as the big names aren't gone by Saturday. These tournaments can lose viewers pretty damn quick when Tiger and Phil pack up to go home.

In a World Without Tiger


To think about golf without Tiger Woods is an interesting concept - what would it be like to never have a true front-runner in every tournament a certain individual plays in?

Greg Hansen, columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, wrote an interesting piece about life in the golf world without the words "Tiger Woods."

The best point he made - If Tiger Woods had never been born — sort of an "It's a Wonderful Life'' of golf — Tom Kite would have won a Masters, Shaun Micheel and Bob May would have won PGA titles. And Woody Austin, too.
Would they still refer to it as a "major'' had May, Micheel and Austin won the PGA?


Anyway, check it out if you have a free minute. It sure beats the hell out of those Lindsay Lohan pictures.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sergio Will Kick Your Ass (If He Has a Golf Club in Hand)


If you haven't heard this, get excited. Nothing is more entrancing than a guy that pushes Michelob Ultra (yummy, flavored water) getting pissed at a fellow golfer and wanting to kick their ass.

According to Orange County Register, Sergio was playing a practice round on Tuesday, putting out on the 18th green when a ball landed on the green.

The ball apparently came from 22-year-old Anthony Kim, who said he had thought the group had exited the green since the flag was in.

Sergio, fuming and as mad as Sergio can be, told a guy in the gallery, after the man told him he had his back, "I don't need your help, I'll break every club over his head."

Umm, right.

Sergio played well in a major in 1999, became well-known to be a hot head on the course, breaking clubs at times and waggling for fun. Then, he spit in a cup after missing a putt and then choked it down his leg during the '07 British Open.

I guess if you ever wanted to know the true badass side of Garcia, see above picture. Scruff makes you tougher, or so I've heard.

The AZ Wildcat Basketball Team - Making kids drink since 2001!


I went to Arizona, and the Wildcats are the only true team I follow. My heart lifts and sinks with each made or missed jumper, each failed defensive assignment or each successful alley oop.

2008 might be the hardest year to be a Wildcat fan, not just with all the Lute Olson stuff (time has come in my opinion), but the hope you have with some kids and the lack of talent with others.

As a fan of this team, you continually ask yourself things like "How can we NOT have one good big guy with a decent basketball IQ" or "when was the last time we ran a successful final play that showed even decent execution."

No matter, the loss to Stanford was pretty indicative of the season - Cats play a team with a better record but inferior perimeter players, losing the internal and bench battle and struggling to come back from the hole they dug.

This team, assuming they win two games, will make the tournament, leaning entirely on their strength of schedule and their RPI, landing in their all-too-familiar eighth or ninth spot and probably not making it out of the first round.

A once impressive program is becoming more known for letting talent go than bringing it in. Darrell Arthur is a machine at Kansas after deciding last minute to U-turn away from Tucson. Jesus Verdajo was a scorer who enjoyed shooting a lot, something Olson isn't a huge fan of, benching the guard who eventually jumped ship for USF, hitting a HUGE three against UCONN this weekend in their near upset. The last, J.P. Prince, came to Arizona with Marcus Williams as a point guard with size and vision, only needed to perfect a jump shot that had a better shot of breaking the front end of the rim than swishing a net. Prince is now at Tennessee, playing respectable and productively, something the Wildcats could REALLY use right now.

Now, our lineup has guys like Daniel Dillon and Mohamed Tangara, players that would start on the all one-dimensional team. Freshman Jerryd Bayless and sophomore Chase Budinger are counting the days until the NBA draft workouts start, when the team will be left without their only scoring options and a flock of freshman that can either blow up or deflate. The saddest part - the balloon doesn't have that much helium left in it.

Notes From the Golfing Weekend


Disclaimer - This will be the only time a picture of David Duval headlines the page unless he kills his new wife or kills Tiger in his sleep.

A couple of final notes from the Northern Trust Open -

-J.B. Holmes, who was renting the top-spot on the Fedex Cup Standings until Tiger returns from vacation, finished in the top-10 for the second time this year after his playoff win over Phillip Mickelson at the FBR Open.

-Steve Marino, made famous by his third-round 59 in the Gateway Championship in '06, decided to go the other way in the final round Sunday. Marino, looking to make another good check, had three double-bogeys, two bogeys and a birdie on his final nine holes to finish in a disappointing T-49th.

-David Duval withdrew, sighting "inability to produce anything resembling a golf swing" after the first round. Duval played 11 holes on Thursday, making three pars, one birdie and the rest were ugly numbers. This was Duval's fourth tournament in '08, not yet making a check.

-For some reason, the LPGA tournament in Hawaii was only three rounds long. I'm assuming this was so the ladies could catch the entire All-star game?? Anyway, our own favorite golfer, Erica Blasberg, tied for eighth place, her best finish on the LPGA and respectable after being paired with Annikan Skywalker the last day.

-Just like the Friday game I used to play in at Dobson Ranch in Mesa, Mickelson helicoptered from home to Rivieria all week for Northern Trust. I guess sleeping next to a smoking hot blond you have no business next to in your own bed is the best way to prepare for the week.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Critiquing Gatorade Tiger - Quiet Storm


In case you didn't know, Gatorade Tiger has hit the shelves, with three different flavors.

Since Blogger.com doesn't pay me six figures, I only bought one of the brands today, Quiet Storm.

Quiet Storm is the grape flavor of the new Tiger drink, and it tastes, well, exactly like Grape Gatorade.

I have to admit the consistency is a little lighter, but you could taste-test Grape, the new G2 Grape and Quiet Storm and Emeril Lagasse couldn't taste the difference.

Anyway, I know nothing about sales or marketing for a sports drink, but if I was going to pay $100 million to an athlete to pimp a drink, I'd at least change the recipe around so it didn't taste like two vodka tonics with or without a lime.

Jeff Quinney Takes Finishing Lessons from Vijay Singh


If you haven't heard, a lesser known golfer by the name of Phil Mickelson triumphed at the Northern Trust Open today, outlasting veteran Jeff Quinney by two shots.

Mickelson and Quinney, both Sewer Rats ASU alums, battled on Sunday at Riveria, with Mickelson coming out on top after a ho-hum 1-under 71.

Quinney told reporters after the round that he had called Vijay Singh on Saturday, asking him for the best possible advice for taking down his first PGA Tour victory.

Singh, who played solid down the stretch last week at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am but lost by a hair in a playoff, led Quinney in the right direction.

"He told me, it really only matters what you do on the first 11 holes of the tournament, the last few are only for show," Quinney said.

Four bogeys on the last six holes showed how well Quinney listens to instructions, handing the trophy to Schmickey.

The good side of all this? It appears that Mickelson is playing well enough this year to give us some barn burners between him and Mr. Woods. If the two could bring it to Augusta, 2008 could prove to be a special year between the two golf titans.

UPDATE - I added this picture so my buddy at KPMG would stop whining. Yes, he signed with KPMG, sure you can buy the hats if you want. Robert Beck/SI

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Schmickey In The Lead? Yeah, More Erica Blasberg...


So, if you like Arizona State, which I don't, you're probably pretty happy about the leaderboard at the Nissan Northern Trust Open.

Phil Mickelson and Jeff Quinney are 1-2 this week, hoping to bring home the illustrious Northern Trust trophy back to Tempe.

Ok, ok, enough Mickelson talk. After seeing this new Callaway commercial where Phil "surprises" some golfers to show them the new driver, I'm convinced Tiger is going to slay Lefty before this is all said and done. Do the Callaway marketing people not remember that Tiger had a Buick commercial like this two years ago? This is why people have gray hair.

Anyway, lets discuss Erica Blasberg, the ex-Arizona Wildcat that has struggled on the LPGA Tour the last two years. Erica has a lot of potential on tour, and was tied for the lead this week after the second day and is two shots back of Annika Sorenstam halfway through the third round in Hawaii.

Here is hoping she continues to play well and can finish strong and start up her career.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Segment - Why You're not a Professional Athlete


Always been the guy at the rec that everyone wanted on their pick-up team?

Friends always bragged about how you could break 70 "regularly" in the local Friday game?

Stronger than most people at the gym?

Well, this segment is going to be focused to those people that think they have always had a shot at being a pro but really should wake up and smell the normalcy flowers. (I think this would be a great feature to run on Valentines Day for two reasons. One, you might be having a great day after some morning sex with your better half and this brings you back down to the mortal, unhappy level. The other, you might be single and grinding your teeth through this pointless holiday and this would just add baggage on your airline carousel).

Anyway, this is why you're not a pro golfer.

Kevin Na, the 24-year-old Korean-American is leading the Northern Trust Open after a bogey-free 66 today. Na, 5'11" and weighing in at 167 pounds, averaged 314 yards today at Riviera and isn't even in the top five on the day.

Yep, you're 250 yard rope down the middle is pretty much a palate cleanser to these guys lobster dinner.

More of these to come.

John Daly Sighting, Far From Vegas


I'm sitting at work and decided to click over to pgatour.com and check out who was lighting it up early at Riviera and to my surprise, it's my favorite overweight aggressive whiskey drinker John Daly.

Yep, Daly is two under through three holes, a feat that is even more impressive because it was reported he closed Hooters down last night, tapping the Miller Lite keg.

I wanted to note that the last time I remember Daly being in the lead of a tournament was the British Open last year when the Big Diet Coke was five under through eleven holes after holing out on the 11th at Carnoustie from the fairway, only to miss the cut after playing the remaining Thursday and Friday 13-over par.

So, just keep in mind that Daly isn't quite the front runner of say, a Tiger Woods.

Andy Katz column, if you're into that kind of thing


Sure, people aren't the biggest fan of Andy Katz, noting that he uses his ESPN status a little too much at times to run down columns. I've been told he will call athletic departments and demand something like he is John Freakin' Kennedy.

The one thing is, when he writes about Arizona basketball, I have to link to it.

I guess this is when you scream, in the meekest possible voice, "Go Cats."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How to get excited for the Northern Trust Open (drink)


Just in case you were still wound up on the fatal Vijay Singh collapse, the Nissan Northern Trust Open is just over the horizon.

The tourney is featuring 19 major championship winners including the likes of David Duval and Corey Pavin! Reading that sentence must be why I think Tivo needs to make a feature where you can text message your recording requests in so you never miss a minute of such action.

Nonetheless, Adam Scott is making his 2008 debut on the PGA Tour as is Sergio, so at least you can watch foreign guys that have more money than you play golf (you know, in case you haven't been to Vegas this week).

Some "interesting" tidbits about the Nissan Open tournament this week.

Since Ernie Els won at Riviera in 1999, only one player has hoisted the trophy with more than five career PGA victories. The winners - Kirk Triplett (3 wins), Robert Allenby (4), Len Mattiace (2), Mike Weir, back to back (8), Adam Scott (5), Rory Sabbatini (4) and Charles Howell III (2).

Of that list, I'd say Scott is the scariest, since he won his debut European PGA event this year and seems to enjoy playing Riviera.

One side note - isn't it weird that a company like Nissan can sponsor the event since 1987, and the one year they don't pick up the rights all tournaments previous are considered a "Northern Trust Open" event? Nissan has thrown more money at this tourney than Gatorade is paying Tiger, so they decide not to sponsor it and everyone acts like it never happened? Business confuses me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tiger as Jesus, Maybe a bit Much


Ran across this over at Sports By Brooks and thought it was too good not to post on a golf site.

Sports Illustrated posted a call for famous golf look-alikes to come be in a recreation of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper." The call was posted but now the editor is retracting the casting call, stating "the casting call was a mistake and should not have been posted."

Ummm, yeah. I guess I'm confused, but why not get the guys to pose? I'm sure Tiger would be totally down to pose as Jesus with Vijay and Fuzzy around. He probably doesn't have a lot on his plate.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Everyone's Favorite Lefty


As you know, my love for Mr. Phil Mickelson has come and gone over the years. When I was a little younger I tried to model myself after him, being a lefty trying to make it and all. I even remember watching the '04 Masters with my then-girlfriend, my parents and a few choice family members on a small TV at my aunts house, all of us rooting on Schmickey to pull it out.

I think the first time I ever noticed how truly fake Phil can be was directly after the win, sitting in Butler Cabin and finding out Casey Wittenberg shot 31 on the back nine, Mickelson gave a typical "Aww shucks" response to the then-amateur. Lord.

Anyway, this little feature over at Food Court Lunch was pretty entertaining. Supposedly Mickelson gave some dad and son tickets to the Super Bowl during the final round of the FBR Open. When asked about it, Mickelson acted like he didn't want anyone to know about it, even though he'd already alerted The Golf Channel of the plan before the round.

The feature is worth checking out, if not for anything other than a couple of laughs.

One Time, Ask A Real Question

I know as a journalist, and by journalist I mean someone that gets paid to ask any sort of question, your job is to ask some softball questions and some tougher ones.

I guess that is why I have such a tough time watching ESPN these days. No, I'm not a bandwagon hater that spends days picking apart the network, it has just become a forum for buddies. Everyone is always chuckling about this or that when they aren't yelling at each in between smiles. I guess I don't get it.

Their attitude towards journalism couldn't have been more apparent today during the Conversation with Shaquille O'Neal. Shelley Smith avoided any follow-up question to things Shaq was saying, namely how he would be fine because he was still young in his mind.

Um, yeah, being young in your mind isn't exactly what you want from your center. Old people say they feel young a lot, and I promise none of those guys could defend Tim Duncan. Also, if you have the opportunity to question the craziest basketball trade in years, maybe spend more time talking about the trade.

See, journalism is supposed to be a couple of things. It isn't supposed to be an outlet for the regular people (i.e., you and I) to get insight into what the famous athlete we adore actually thinks. Sure, this has become more difficult over the years because athletes have to watch what they say, but when you're interviewing the best sound bite in the league, give us something to remember.

Also, it is supposed to be tough. If you work for ESPN or any big news conglomerate, you are supposed to be good at pulling the blood out of the vein. You need to ask questions that people would be interested in hearing the answer, not give the guy two minutes of powder puff stuff just to get his face on TV. Personally, things like this insult the entire profession.

People might bitch about blogs not being "professional" and "any idiot with a computer and a basement could get his word out," but at least some of the blogs circulating raise questions worth discussing.

View the video and see what you think. The Sunday Conversation used to be something worth your Monday morning. Now, I just snooze a couple extra times.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Agreeing with Dicky V (exhales)


Most of the time, Dicky V is a guy I don't agree with.

I don't hate the guy, he's extremely charismatic and comes off as pleasant on and away from the microphone, made popular for his undying love for collegiate basketball. His passion is his livelihood and you can't knock someone for that.

The reason my view on college basketball is polar opposite from Mr. Vitale's is that I'm a West Coast basketball boy, rooting for the Arizona Wildcats and Gonzaga Bulldogs over Duke and North Carolina. He views the start and finish of college basketball as in the eight mile stretch of road between the two mentioned schools, barely considering another university worthy of handling a Blue Devil's jockstrap.

However, the point he made during the Duke-North Carolina game about college basketball needing to find a way to avoid the drain at the end of games is spot on. Vitale talked about the up-tempo feel of college basketball being killed by the foul-and-stand method that every school takes in the last 90 seconds of a ballgame, no matter if it's a three point game or 30.

I'll expand that theory a little more to the fouling aspect, a good way for players on winning teams to get banged up just because the team needs to show the refs that their foul is a damn foul. This point was proven last night during the Washington State-UCLA game, when Darren Collison was lashed by Derrick Low with mere seconds left in the game that was already decided by double digits. Collison, who took over the game in the second half, scoring all 18 of his points during that stretch, held his arm in agony as he walked to the free-throw line to finish up the job.

I guess this is a coaches problem, not coming to grasp with the fact that your team is going to lose. Fouling with 20 seconds left when you're down by 10 isn't smart. You're not going to come back, it isn't going to change the win-loss column and margin of victory isn't that important in college basketball.

Doing something at the end of decided basketball games would be a good thing for an already popular sport. The reason most love college basketball over the NBA is the true passion of both players and fans, so maybe that has something to do with it, but the coaching could alleviate this problem. Give us all a break and save us that last minute of a basketball game that takes up 20 minutes of our real life. We hope our team wins, but when the game is over, it's over.

I hope this picture didn't scare you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 Suns - Best Team Ever?


Yeah, the headline might be a little misleading, but a friend of mine from Las Vegas that makes many a good sport points gave me this interesting point of argument yesterday - are the 2008 Suns the best team ever of stars if they were in their prime?

Look at the roster -

Steve Nash

Prime of his career - 2004-2007

How Good Was He? Nash went from an above average point guard at Dallas, averaging a respectable 16.4 points and 7.8 assists during those four seasons to a two-time MVP point guard. The other names of guys that have won consecutive MVPs (you ready for this)? Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Note - Nash is the only point guard in that group.

Shaquille O'Neal

Prime of his career - 2000-2003

How Good Was He? Well, that is pretty hard to explain. For a near ten year span, Shaq was the only guy in the league that couldn't be contained. He is the only active player voted on the Top 50 Players of All-Time, winning the league MVP in 2000 and the finals MVP all three Lakers championship seasons. Has four rings, a gold medal and a pretty solid free throw shot. The only center besides David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon worth talking about since Kareem and Moses.

Grant Hill

Prime of his career - 1994-1997

How Good Was He? Coming out of college at Duke, many believed Hill would be the heir (or air) to Michael Jordan after leading the Dookies to back-to-back championships. Hill was co-Rookie of the Year in 1994-95, has been named to the NBA All-Star team seven times, all in his first seven years in the league. Led the league in triple-doubles between 1995-97 and was First-team all NBA 1996-97. Injuries killed his hope of being one of the NBA elite, blames most on playing too much piano.

Amaré Stoudemire

Prime of his career - 2002-2005

How Good Was He? Pretty much Kevin Garnett without the needed intensity. Stoudemire won Rookie of the Year straight out of high school and would have considered to soar among young forward/center combos if not for that pesky left knee microfracture surgery during the 2005-06 season. Was the fifth leading scorer in the league prior to the surgery and had this said by now-teammate O'Neal, "I've seen the future of the NBA and his name is Amaré Stoudemire."


Alright, alright, maybe not, but in the prime, those four starting would be pretty damn tough to match. I'm sure you could make an argument for that Lakers team with Gary Payton, Shaq, Kobe, and Karl Malone, but at least it is worth consideration. Would you take that team over this Suns team? I guess Shaq could guard himself in a Julia Roberts, "Oceans 12" sort of way.

Simmons MIA?

I know that enjoying Bill Simmons sports guy columns is a popularity that has come and gone, but I will admit to still reading all his material as it comes up. One reason is I love rolling my eyes at his undying love for Bostons sports and the other is enjoying his insight into the NBA. Bottom line - he knows pro basketball as well as anyone.

So, after confessing numerous times of his love for the ESPN trade machine and discussing different destinations for numerous key players, where the hell has he been the past ten days with all this action going around? Seriously, you can be big enough to go to a Tom Brady party and such, but this stuff merits a column. I hate this saying, but he does owe it to his "fans." People still gush over his sports diction and when he's writing about NBA, he's at his best.

The thing is, he could even combine the two extremes. One would include the fact that the Western conference is becoming scarier and scarier and that does not bode well for his Celtics. The other is that it seems some of these moves look to be direct links to the overhaul of Boston. It appears now that a team that would struggle to contain a player like Kevin Garnett (the Lakers) have made the appropriate move to throw different looks at him. Couldn't Simmons expand on points like that?

Also, Shaq and Marcus Banks were included in his worst contracts portion of his Trade Value column along with this interesting sentence about Shawn Merion.

"Still, it's hard to imagine any other veteran forward fitting in better with Nash and the Suns."

I'm not one to call out columnist for lack of copy or material, but I think you need to step to the plate when you're the proverbial voice of ESPN.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

People Getting Paid to Play Pebble


It is Pebble Beach Pro-AM week, meaning you have to brace yourself for numerous shots of guys like Bill Murray and Ray Romano trying really hard to be funny while announcers produce forced, awkward laughter. Yep, pro-ams....always a good time.

The easy pick this week would be Phil Mickelson, coming off a playoff loss last week in Scottsdale and heading to a place he's won three times including a five-shot victory last year. I guess a sleeper pick could be, I don't know, Kenny G?

Anyway, Tom Brady has backed out because I've heard it's hard to hit solid golf shots after someone continues hitting you with a minivan on a bad ankle. I don't know if it's true but it sounds bad.

Some interesting people scheduled to attend - Don Cheadle, Chris Berman, Drew Brees, Stone Phillips, Clay Walker and Emmitt Smith. Hopefully Emitt's game is sharp as a whistle.

Golden Bear Speaks of Golden Boy


You might have caught this from Bob Harig's column on ESPN.com but Jack Nicklaus thinks Tiger Woods is as good as we think he is.

"I got over that because I knew there were a lot more tournaments to be played. And more realistically, the Grand Slam was possible but not likely. And yet it was my goal to start every year. I started preparing in January for the Masters, and that's what I looked at. I think Tiger looks at in much the same way, but Tiger is probably more attuned to it because he's held all four of them at one time.

"That's a pretty lofty goal, but for a guy like Tiger, I wouldn't put it past him."


In a weird way, I see Tiger shooting for the Grand Slam similar to a football team trying to go undefeated with the '72 Dolphins sweating out every game. I think Jack would love to see Tiger do it, but every year he "fails" is another year Jack can breathe easy. Extremely competitive people never actually cheer for someone, even if they like the person because they wish they were doing it instead.

For some reason it is interesting to think of all these people thinking that this could actually be the "Perfect Storm" year for Tiger in the majors. If he can get through Augusta National, with his four green jackets, he has some familiar tracks to prepare for. First, he'd get Torrey Pines in the U.S. Open, a place he's won at six times since 1999.

After that he'd land at Royal Birkdale for the British, a venue that has some interesting advantages for Mr. Woods. First, his only Claret Jug chase here was in 1998 where he finished third, one shot out of a playoff with Mark O'Meara and Brian Watts. Incidentally, O'Meara is Tiger's best friend on tour and they always do a long trip over to the UK for the British Open, and who better to give you advice on a course than the guy that won the last time the Tour teed it up?

The final leg would be Oakland Hills Country Club, a course that Tiger really has only seen during the Murder at the Ryder Cup, 2004 edition. Woods didn't play particularly poor during the week, but did finish 2-3 after the infamous Mickelson pairing the first two rounds. Hopefully he won't hire Hal Sutton to be his caddy come August.

So, there it is. An extremely wordy preview of the major championships Tiger has to prepare for and what Jack says about it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

While You Were Sleeping...


In case you missed it, Tiger Woods won a tournament yesterday!

Yep, won him a big ol tournament and a check and a trophy and a smile from all those Dubai people. Tiger played decently well down the stretch, making five birdies on his last seven holes including birdies on both 17 and 18 to win by a shot.

Tiger shot a 7-under 65 Sunday to go two-for-two so far in 2008. After smoking the field at the Buick Invitational last week Tiger looks to be off to a mediocre year. If you're a golfer and you like to win PGA Tour events, I'd lower your expectations for the remainder of the season.

You might not remember this name, but Ernie Els had a chance to tie Tiger on the last hole, a par-5, but in very calm Ernie fashion, smoked his drive in a pond and went on to make birdie.

So, lets recount Tiger's last eight tournaments.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational - First
PGA Championship - First
Deutsche Bank Championship - Second (WHAAAAAA?)
BMW Championship - First
The Tour Championship - First
Target World Challenge - First
Buick Invitational - First
Dubai Desert Classic - First
2008 Presidential Election - First
2008 Super Bowl - First
Bacon Family Thanksgiving Day Cornhole Tournament - Tied for First

The dude doesn't give many people a chance.


Photo by Cannon/Getty Images

Still Trying to Make Sense of it...


So, as you all know, something pretty unexpected happened yesterday. It is 11:45 AM in Denver and I'm still not exactly sure if I believe that this Giants-Pats things really happened.

Is it true that we're going to have to start considering Eli Manning an elite quarterback? This is a guy that threw the most interceptions of any quarterback in the entire NFL! Now, we're watching Peyton Manning cheering from a box (which, in my opinion, was one of the coolest cutaways I've ever seen during any sporting event ever)?

Given the fact that I watched the game in Vegas, rushed to the airport, found out my flight was delayed almost five hours, sat in the bar just watching the television waiting for the real Super Bowl to start and getting home at nearly 6 AM, you can understand why I'm a little lost.

At some point last night, wasn't everyone looking at each other going, "Where in the FUCK did Eli Manning go?" If I was Joe Buck, after that avoiding the sack-looking like Brett Favre mixed with Tony Romo and some Michael Vick with a dash of Donovan McNabb-completing that pass play, I would have just continued to mutter "Eli Manning just did that...Eli - - - Manning - - - avoided....threw...caught off helmet...can't continue to speak."

One of my best friends in the world, a huge sports buff as well, texted me after the game, "I feel like the '04 Democrats - I demand a recount." Couldn't have said it better myself.

Think Archie Manning is having a very good day today?

Good For Golf, Phil Gets it Going


The only person in golf that even has a remote chance of bringing the type of fanfare and media hype to tournaments besides Mr. Tiger is Phil Mickelson.

He's a good polar opposite being to counter that of Tiger. He's left-handed, likes to bet sports, isn't in David-esque shape, wears a goofy smile that is a shade from intimidation and is the classic loser to Tiger's invisibility. They have been known to not be the best of friends and are both ok with that.

With this said, Phil coming in second to J.B. Holmes after Holmes made a birdie on the first playoff hole at Sunday's FBR Open is at least a glimpse that Mickelson is back from a mini-slump that had him winning only one tournament since his Players Championship victory nearly ten months ago.

We could use a little Mickelson push on Tiger to give the golf world something to care about. As much as everyone loves seeing El Tigre win, it loses its luster when everyone is always outmatched. Here is hoping that 2008 might be the year Tiger and Phil can dominate the majors and make it a little Nicklaus-Palmer.