What a strange day of golf that was to watch. Ricky Barnes started out looking like he was totally unbeatable, and looked worse and worse as the day progressed. Mike Weir self-destructed like he is sadly prone to do. Phil Mickelson paired every thoroughly impressive hole with an equally awful one. David Duval looked like he was teetering on the brink the whole time, yet somehow mostly kept it together. Most bizarre, though, was Tiger. It’s not that he played poorly – he is human, so that can happen. It’s how bad his body language was. He was shooting poorly, and he was showing his frustration in increasingly negative and self-destructive ways. I don’t know what was going through his head, but it wasn’t good. There certainly wasn’t that killer instinct that we are so used to seeing from him. He’s played well at times since returning from injury, but this is clear proof that he’s far from alright.
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This US Open may never end. It’s reasonably entertaining, but it is so inconsistent and the weather is such a factor that there will be an asterisk the size of my head beside the name of whoever wins this one. At this rate Monday golf seems like a lock, and Tuesday could even be a possibility if things don’t change. I golfed on Friday with a woman whose boss paid a ridiculous amount of money to golf with Tiger Woods at a charity event. On Tuesday. It would be crushing to miss out of something like that. Of course, Tiger might not be in much of a mood to golf on Tuesday given how he has played so far, so maybe missing out would be a lucky thing.
The next Sprint Cup Series race will be held at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma as NASCAR runs the Toyota/SaveMart 350. The Sprint Cup standings are close at this point with the top drivers looking like this.
Put Formula 1 on death watch. Eight Formula 1 teams, including perennial powerhouse Ferrari and current season leader Brawn GP, have announced their intention to leave Formula 1 and start their own racing series next year. The issue is financial, but not in the way that you might expect. The ruling powers of F1 want to limit team’s annual budgets to $60 million a year, and impose severe penalties if teams don’t adhere to the limitations. The eight teams aren’t interested in having someone else dictate how they can spend their money, so they are threatening to go out on their own. I have never heard anything so stupid. Going off on their own set open wheel racing in the U.S. back a decade or more, taking Indy racing from a rapidly growing sport to one that it all but irrelevant. F1 has a bigger base by far to build from, but they would still be badly crippled by this dissension. It seems odd that a series that depends so heavily on the car industry would be looking to find ways to spend more now, and it certainly seems like an odd way to try to garner public sympathy in the midst of a bad recession. I just hope that someone swallows their pride and blinks before this one gets totally out of hand. It’s not that I even care about F1 – I don’t – it’s just that I can’t stand to hear anything more about groups tearing themselves apart for stupid reasons.
I think the NFL needs to tighten up their drug testing, because Chad OchoCinco is clearly high. He took the opportunity today to guarantee that the Bengals were going to make the playoffs. What? Which Bengals? Surely not the same ones we have seen the last couple of years. Marvin Lewis is still their coach, right? I can see how they might be better than they were last year, and I guess I could even see how they could make a go of it late in the season, but I certainly don’t see this as a guaranteed playoff team. There are holes all over the field, and the organization still seems like a sick one – they still have Lewis at the helm, after all. I’ll respectfully disagree with the artist formerly known as Johnson.
I was sad to see yesterday that Dontrelle Willis was held out of his next start. Nobody is saying it, but you have to imagine that it will be very hard for him to find his way back into the rotation. He showed some promise in his early starts, but he’s been getting increasingly ineffective since then. He’s clearly not a major league pitcher at this point. It never fails to amaze me to see a guy totally lose his game like that. It’s like what has happened with Fausto Carmona – a couple of years ago he was the next big thing, and now he’s toiling down in class A.
So, Sammy Sosa is a ‘roid-head? It seems that some people have been surprised by this revelation today. To those people I have a few more shocking pieces of news – water is wet, it’s dark at night, and we are all going to die. In other words, this is the least shocking news ever. In fact, I assumed that the reason that no one was talking about Sosa anymore was that they all just assumed that he was doped to the gills. The only truly interesting part of this story is that Ferguson Jenkins came right out and defended Sosa. The Hall-of-Famer coached Sosa, and he seems to have believed that he was clean. Bizarre? How did he explain the explosion in power and the doubling of size? Though this ‘news’ obviously was no surprise, it does make me sad – it’s just one more reason to believe that no one has been clean in the last 15 years.
Cal State Fullerton picked a very, very bad time to hit the skids. Not only were they the second seed in the College World Series, but they had a relatively easy draw as well – Arkansas is red hot, but they slumped badly heading into the postseason, and Virginia had never been in the CWS before. Two bad games, though, and it’s back to Fullerton for them. They lost a wild one to Arkansas for their first lost in the double elimination tourney, then waited too long to wake up and mount a comeback against Virginia today. They were heavy -280 favorites today, so people who could find a reason to back Virginia are happy campers right now. A best-of-one tournament like this is very hard to handicap, but it is brilliant to watch and it deserves more coverage and respect than it gets (though the coverage has improved infinitely recently).
With the end of the NBA Finals I am thankful for one thing – that we will never again have to hear talk about Kobe’s inability to win without Shaq . No more bad rap songs, no more experts yammering endlessly, no more mind-numbing talk about a ridiculous subject. The guy is clearly the best player in the game, he has been for a long while now, and now we can let it rest and move on to something else. And by something else I don’t mean anything to do with LeBron James and Cleveland. New topics only, please.
What an incredible hockey game. Hockey doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being an exciting game, but if the games were always that exciting then it would be the most popular sport out there. It had all the intensity, drama, and intrigue you could possibly hope for and more. Pittsburgh is an amazing story, too. In February they fired their coach when they were six points out of the playoffs. 51 games later including playoffs here they are. The most impressive thing about this team, too, is their age. They are so young and so ridiculously talented that they could win a few more. It’s unbelievable, really – Crosby is 21, Malkin is 22, Staal is 20, Fleury is an old man at 25 – this is a core with a long future together. It may change now that they have a Cup, but they are such an ego-less group as well, so you could imagine them staying together for a long time. One final thought on the matter – I went to high school with Craig Adams of the Penguins. This is his second Cup – he won one in Carolina. I already felt like I hadn’t accomplished enough when I thought about his one Cup, so this isn’t going to help any. At least cashing in on a big uderdog will take some of the sting out of it.