The Post

The Impossible Dream of Erin Hills, Is Finally Here

For many years, the US Open stayed in a tight rota of musty northeast private clubs. From Winged Foot, to Baltusrol, to Shinnecock and down the line among the blue blood elites of golf. Most US Open courses looked the same. Thick bentgrass rough, rock hard tabletop greens, and trees lining every hole.

From 1980 to 1996, the US Open hadn’t ventured either below the Mason-Dixon line, nor West of the Mississippi. And aside from ultra-expensive Pebble Beach, the Open didn’t bother with anything but private clubs.

But starting with the re-introduction of glorified super-muni Bethpage Black to the rotation in 2002, a new phase of venturing to public-accessible (yet still bloodbank expensive) venues began. Pinehurst, and Torrey Pines, and (regrettably) Chambers Bay, and now Erin Hills take center stage in golf.

So this week in Wisconsin will be a big one for the future of the US Open over the next 20 years. Already, some Tour players are sending missiles across the bow of the USS Far Hills saying they better goddamn get this one right. Adam Scott even called the USGA a bit “panicky.”

Should things go well (and I hope for my friends up there in Wisconsin it does) then Erin Hills will almost certainly get a 2nd Open in a decade, and the course’s “legacy” (there’s that silly word again) will be secure. If not, then there will be a strong push back by many to say “end this nonsense already” and lets get back to playing classic, proven, championship tracks.

Either way, the story of how Erin Hills came into being from a wandering farmscape of epic proportions (652 acres is a massive footprint for a single 18 hole layout) is the stuff of a John Grisham novel. Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed the story every step of the way, and has written a massive (like the course itself) but fascinating 7-part (gulp!) series on the making of Erin Hills.

Even if you hate golf, it’s a story about people and dreams, risk and ruin. It makes no sense at times, and at others it seems to be a story about pure destiny. It’s a good read, so if you have some time on a bus, or get stuck on a boring conference call, I highly recommend it.

In the meantime, let’s hope for good weather and a “clean” Open next week, and that President Diana Murphy stays out of the wine on Sunday and gets the winner’s name right.

 

 

Rank Steph Curry Wherever You Want, He’s Changing The League

during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 19, 2015 in Oakland, California.

To watch the NBA Finals and Golden State, is to contemplate the very concept of Steph Curry.

I have read more than a handful of well structured pieces about Curry proclaiming him – already – in the top-3 point guards of ALL TIME in NBA History. (And no, none of these pieces listed Lonzo Ball ahead of him.)

My first thought is: “that’s nuts. No way!” I mean, he’s a helluva a shooter, a fancy dribbler, a nifty passer… but all time top-3 point guard? Nah. Doesn’t feel right. Would we have said that about Steve Nash? He too, had back-to-back MVP seasons once upon a time. Of course the stats on Curry are otherworldly, but then again, we are living in an entirely different NBA world.

In 1987, the Lakers took 41 three-pointers the ENTIRE SERIES in beating the Celtics 4-2. Thirty years later… Golden State took 43 threes….. in Game 2.

I’m just not sure how you can compare across a basketball transformation like this through the decades. Technically, it’s the same game. Orange round ball. 10-foot hoop. 2 points from inside the arc, 3 from outside. Same, same…. totally different. Not unlike the Arby’s commercial about the differences in bacon vs. pork belly.

Curry’s weaknesses get amplified in the post-season, especially as you climb the bracket. He can’t/won’t finish most drives to the basket, without making some acrobatic flip shot. His shooting is amazing, but his shot selection is sometimes insane. Surely he’s smart enough to know when he’s taking some crap looks, but in the Warriors system, it doesn’t really matter. That bad 3 might just go in, but even if it doesn’t, it’s likely a wild-caroming brick that’s much more easily rebounded by a teammate for an easy put back or dunk, or at least another possession.

All of that said, there’s nobody like Curry and his skill-set is capable of warping the normal order of Naismith’s game. What makes him such a brilliant basketball creature that is a wonder – and joy – to watch, is the purity of his stroke from absurd distance. A normal three from just beyond the line, is a man’s shot. Where Curry shoots from with form and elegance, is basketball outerspace.

What this does to defenses, cannot be understated. Effectively, it’s as if Golden State gets to play on a larger court than every one of their opponents – a court far more open with passing and driving lanes, and less clogged with defenders and rim protectors.

It dawns on me that the new NBA going forward, is going to be a battle to establish a team that can assert air superiority over opponents. Much like the history of warfare since World War II, if you control the air, you control everything. It’s why militaries strive to build a fighter jet that’s just a little bit faster, a little bit more maneuverable and a little bit more evasive than the NEXT fastest, bestest fighter jet in the world.

If I were an NBA GM, I would seek out superior long-range shooting out of my draft picks over everything else. Even your so-called “inside players” need to have 3-point capability. Back in 1987 Magic Johnson took only 2 three’s the entire 6-game series. It wasn’t his thing, and he didn’t need to do it.

But a funny thing happened late in Magic’ career. After languishing as a reluctant 20% shooter from outside for the first 9 years of his career, Magic suddenly exploded into a 35% shooter who took almost triple the amount of shots.

Why? Good question. I guess Magic just figured: “there’s no reason I can’t be a 3-point threat, so why not?”

It was ultimately just a matter of time before a generation of shooters rose like the oceans to change how the game is played. When I was a senior in high school, not a single blacktop anywhere had a 3-point line (college nor NBA) painted on it. Our pickup games included one of us bringing a bar of soap to draw it by hand.

Now, that line is standard on every court in America. And kids today are stepping back, jacking ‘em up, and dreaming of being the next Steph. Where does he rank among the all-time point guards in league history? I have no idea. But he has changed the game, no matter if you think the change is for the better, or not.

Phil’s Unplayable Lie

If Phil Mickelson feels good about it, then good for him.

But that’s as far as I’ll go in terms of waxing poetic about his (pending) decision to skip the US Open in favor of attending his daughter Amanda’s high school graduation. If not for the fact that his daughter is class president, valedictorian, and giving the commencement address… I’d call the decision stupid, but a stupid one that is wholly his to make.

And for this, I would get blasted. How DARE I…. you and others would huff! (And some already have, due to a few preliminary comments I have made on the radio about the subject).

I offer this as only my opinion. A high school graduation is a mere ceremony. It is not the actual “accomplishment” of graduating from high school, which I consider a very low bar in terms of life achievements. It’s just a gathering and a party. It’s nice. It’s lovely. Barring any significant conflict on your schedule, family members should attend.

The fact that Amanda is speaking at such an event, does raise the bar, I’ll admit. Tough call, this one. Hard to believe this conflict wasn’t somehow ironed out months ago… but… whatever. I’m watching the US Open whether Phil is there, or not.

At the same time, attending a graduation does not certify you as a “good father.” If only it were that easy. Many tour pros do not have the luxury Phil does. They don’t have career earnings and endorsements north of $250 million. They don’t even have good insider stock tips. (What? Oh, so I’m the bad guy?) Many tour pros who qualify for a prestigious tournament like the US Open, understand the sacrifice they will have to make to play in it, and so they make a hard adult decision.

Jason Gay writes the following for the Wall Street Journal in defense of Phil’s choice.

I think we’re wising up, I really do. Even in sports, where perspectives are always a little askew and caveman-like. Mickelson’s fellow golf pro Hunter Mahan walked away from the Canadian Open—with the lead—when his wife Kandi went into labor in 2013, and his move was widely lauded. You can also see progress in team sports. Yes, there are still dinosaurs among us who gnash and growl that a player who leaves to attend a childbirth is letting down the club, teammates, fans. (Usually, it seems, these dinosaurs have shows on sports radio.)

In fact, Amanda herself has apparently told papa Phil that it’s perfectly okay for him to miss it. Phil has apparently politely declined.

So does that make Amanda herself, a so-called “dinosaur?”

It’s easy to say “it’s only sports.” But professional sports are important – hence the term: “profession.” Not unlike doctors who get called into the ER, lawyers who dance to the schedule of the courts, salesman who are asked to fly across the globe on a moments notice to close a big account, sometimes you just don’t get to be there. And there is no shame in that. These are the livelihoods and the rock upon which fathers build their families. How many special events – birthdays, proms, graduations, school plays, awards nights – has the team trainer for the Nashville Predators missed over the years?

If a high school graduation is more important than the US Open, then is dropping Amanda off at college more important than the FedEx Cup Championship? (Answer: “probably.” Phil once skipped the Tour Championship to go trick-or-treating with his kids!) What about the Ryder Cup? If Phil is captain of the team someday, and her daughter drops out of college in emotional despair because her boyfriend dumped her, does he just say “sorry fellas, something came up at home?”

Obviously, there is no chart for this. And making this decision much more simple is the fact that Mickelson has no obligation to anybody than himself. I would dare say that LeBron James pulling this move before Game 7 of the NBA Finals, would not generate nearly as much sympathetic column inches from evolved dinosaurs like Mr. Gay.

I remember the Presidents Cup that ended in a tie in 2003 in South Africa. Ernie Els and Tiger Woods exchanged gut-check 10 footers in a tied singles match, as sunlight ran out on Sunday. Finally, unable to see, Captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player faced a tough call. Do you re-assemble everybody in the morning to finish properly in daylight?

I would have. But Tour players being the pampered type, too many of them had jets warming up on the tarmac. Even just bringing Tiger and Ernie back for one hole was problematic according to reports after the fact, that Tiger had already planned to escape with his girlfriend Elin Nordegren to a secluded South African resort to propose to her on Monday.

So they called it a tie. Which was gutless and incomplete. I know it’s just an exhibition, but many golf fans like myself, had invested time and interest in the actual outcome, only to get a bait and switch at the end. Of course who, at the time, could fault Tiger from not wanting to delay such a special moment in his life, right?

Well, we know how that turned out.

Chances are, Phil wasn’t going to win next week at Erin Hills, no matter how close he keeps coming to the career Grand Slam. He might not be even a fan of the layout. So good for him. I would never do it, but that’s just me: a heartless bad-dad “dinosaur” who understands that life is full of compromises and conflicts.

But spare me the flowing prose about Phil the Phather of the Year – or decade! We don’t really know this guy, or any of these guys we root for. There’s going to be 156 other golfers next week, and I’m guessing a few of them are going to missing some event back home they would rather be at. Just because they chose to golf, doesn’t make them monsters, the same as Phil backing out doesn’t make him a saint.

Sorting Out the NBA’s “Problem/Not A Problem” List

The sheer hopelessness for Cleveland has now come into clear focus. Down 0-2, the Cavaliers will now have to win 4 of the next 5 against a Golden State team that hasn’t lost yet in this post-season. A team that’s 29-1 over their last 30 games total.

And a team that has Kevin Durant now, too.

The quick rejoinder is that the same thing happened last year. Yes, it sure did. An 0-2 hole on the road, both big blowouts. But if ever there were a single truth in sports it would be this: “Last year ain’t this year.” It never is. Things always change. And in the case of Cleveland, things have changed toward the impossible.

What is also going to become accepted narrative once this year’s romp is over, is that last year’s Cavs title was essentially a fluke.

Yes, a “fluke.” Not underserving. Not merely “lucky” but rather a glitch of sorts.

It took the perfect combination of events down 3-1 to pull off that comeback. Most importantly, it took Golden State reverting to a BAD shot-taking chuck-n-chase team in the final minutes of Game 7. With the score tied at 89-89, Golden State basically panicked. Their offense stagnated into desperate heaves, and they found out that while Steph Curry might have been the 2-time league MVP, he’s not the kind of MVP that can pick up an entire team when the game is on the line, and carry them home.

So now you see what we all figured would be the case almost a year ago: a Warriors team PLUS Kevin Durant would be borderline unfair some people squealed last summer. They were right. Perhaps even without the word “borderline.”

So as we fans get ready for our own little internal “exit interview” for the state of this league, I think it’s worth asking what IS and what IS NOT a “problem” for Adam Silver’s league. Let’s begin.

SuperTeams: NOT a problem.
But, with a caveat. You need a good 3 or 4 of them (just two won’t do) and it also doesn’t work if there’s a SUPER-SuperTeam (like Golden State).

Hopelessness: PROBLEM
It’s one thing for Silver to say that teams just need to be smart, patient, and a little lucky. It’s another thing to ask fans to buy season tickets during that painful walk. In theory, the Sixers were doing it “right” until Sam Hinkie got fired. In theory, it’s worth waiting a year for the injured-before-he-got-started Ben Simmons gets up and running.

The Sixers have finished 14th, 15th, 14th and 14th in the East the last 4 years. Adam Silver didn’t buy a ticket for that pile of shit (plus parking, and concessions) for 41 nights a year.

I was pondering what my Wizards might look like against this Golden State team if they had snuck into the Finals, like a college kid at somebody else’s wedding? My god, it would have been ugly. Otto Porter is supposedly our “third-best” player, and a guy in line for (gulp) MAX money this summer. Welp, he shot 28% from three in the playoffs, and took a ZERO in points in 36 minutes of run…. in Game 6 vs. the Celtics!

And yet.. and yet… we were 1 game away from making the Eastern Conference Finals. “We’re close! No, we’re not. It’s hopeless.”

Effort/No-Shows: PROBLEM
Already the league is moving to close down these ridiculous DNP-CD’s brought on by Coach Popp and the Spurs about 5 years ago. You just can’t sell tickets for the big name teams and big time stars to out-of-town crowds, and then say the guy is “tired.” Play less minutes per night if you have to, or park your DNP-CDs at home. Your choice. And then there’s the pervasive concern that players don’t really give full effort (or even close) on any given night. And James Harden’s despicable (non)performance in their Game 6 ouster to the Spurs should simply never, ever happen.

Money/TV Exposure: NO F***ING PROBLEM!
At least the NBA is awash in financial security thanks to the new TV deal, and on top of that it’s clear that partners like ESPN are putting considerable resources into promoting the product and not just writing the checks.

Star Power: NO PROBLEM
The NBA is a league of compelling characters, whose faces are clearly visible to the public (unlike the NFL). Moreover, unlike hockey or baseball, where every player’s basic motions, and moves look the same to all but the highly trained eye, basketball provides a wide range of athletic superheroes, all of them with very unique styles. Whether it’s the jitterbugging and rainbow splashing of players like Curry and Isiah Thomas, or the angular and explosive styles of Westbrook and Kawhai Leonard, the NBA is a fascinating league to watch from a pure athlete standpoint.

Style of Basketball: UNDECIDED
Make no mistake, I am as shocked as anyone about how fluid and jack-it-up these high stakes games are starting to look. The NBA is becoming a bomb-and-chase league, where there is literally NO concept of a “bad shot.” That said, the exciting by-product of this, is that more and more games are still not over despite 25 point leads. Also, do we really want to go back to the Jordan Era Finals, where the Jazz once WON a game, 77-74?

Flopping: PROBLEM
One-game suspensions, levied after the game via video reviews, is the only way this cancer can be contained. Nothing turns off fans more than horrible calls, based on pure fakery. You don’t just start to question the legitimacy of the games, you develop a real contempt for the floppers themselves.

And there’s a bunch of other issues the NBA is mostly immune from, that are bedeviling other leagues. Baseball still grapples with PED cheats. Football has to come to terms with concussions (which will never fully go away). And interestingly, the NBA hasn’t been beset by nearly as many high profile and ugly domestic violence cases as has the NFL.

Lastly, and this credit belongs fully to the new commish Adam Silver, the league is no longer deemed by many fans as being shamelessly rigged. The old boss David Stern, had turned the perception of the NBA into that of a streetside 3-card monte dealer. The big teams and big names were GOING to get into the finals. By hook, or by crook of Stern’s finger on the scale.

I don’t feel that way anymore under Silver. It’s an honest league, just one that is going to have to come to terms with a Warriors team, that might be in line to win 5 Championships in a row.

Tiger’s DUI Arrest The Most Predictable “Shocking” Thing, Ever

Of all the things the Tiger Woods DUI arrest is, I can say the one thing it is most definitely NOT and that is… “sad.”

The ending of “Marley and Me” is sad.

Tiger Woods further exposing who he is, and what his values are to the world? Not sad.

There’s an old saying about adversity not building character, but revealing it. The same has been said about golf. It reveals who you really are, it doesn’t change you.

Tiger Woods has long been revealed as somebody who believes “the rules do not apply” to him. And he has shown a repeated and voracious appetite for breaking those rules.

Have a giant boulder moved out of your way by fans in the gallery? Sure, why not?
Run rampant with Perkins waitresses and porn stars behind your wife’s back? Sure, why not?
Bring a notorious PED quack down from Canada to “treat” your knee? Sure, why not?

And now you have this. A man worth $740 million who lives in a $60 million beachfront estate, somehow can’t get a free ride home after getting hammered at the restaurant he owns in Florida? What, no Uber?  and he can’t get around town safely without falling asleep at the wheel on the wrong side of town?

Woods lives 11 minutes away, exactly 5.2 miles according to Google Maps. He was stopped by police on the other side of sleepy Jupiter Florida at 3 a.m. driving erratically. But it was just a “bad mix of medication.” He swears. Whatever.  (Well, give him credit. He aced the breathalyzer with a .000. However, I’ve been told the powerful mix of opiods he is on, do say you should not be driving. So there’s that…)

I’ve already seen some amatuer psychologists claim this is a “cry for help.” Others have said we should spare the snark, and instead offer sympathy. Some have even said we should “pray for him.” Meh. I pray for kids with cancer. Not this guy.

Need I remind everyone: he has been charged with a CRIME.

On a very surface level, it is possible to be somewhat sympathetic about a guy who has been stripped of his identity at an exceedingly young age relative to his professional peers. Without golf, what IS Tiger Woods? Well, he’s THAT guy you see right there. A balding, droop eyed single dad making bad decisions. Out of work, but with a pile of money and no real friends.

I’d feel sad for him, if he were only a somewhat innocent victim of fate. This guy’s not Lou Gehrig. His bad back is a bed of his own making. From the almost certain use of PEDs, to the insane Navy Seal training that was his early mid-life crisis, to the fact that he routinely ignored doctors advice to take his recovery slowly.

In other words, he didn’t exactly get hit by a bus like Ben Hogan.

Tiger Woods is 41. He has a long time left on this earth, being “Tiger Woods.”

Who that guy is exactly, is up to him.

Nothing Like Spending A Whole Weekend Debugging Software, Right?

Modern desktop computers are nothing short of creative miracles.

Modern desktop computers are steaming boxes of horse dung that should be thrown into the nearest river.

Both statements are true. It just depends on whether you are having a problem or not with your computer, that will make you believe the former sentence, vs. the latter.

So as you people might know by now, I am a hobbyist level videographer. I like to whip up little 3-5 minute ditties of various events, adventures with my listeners and or friends. I’m okay at it. No, pretty good actually. Better than most, who aren’t professionals.

I’ve been editing home videos on my computer for years now, since the time it because feasible and affordable around the late 1990’s. And yeah, it’s complicated. You have to understand things like frame rates, codecs, resolution and compression (which are all technical aspects of turning moving pictures from your camera or camcorder into digital 1’s and 0’s) but you also have to then learn concepts of basic filmaking/editing. Things like where to cut, what to cut, how to cut and fancier things like split-cutting audio over a following piece of video. Basic rules and concepts of framing, story flow, and appropriate transitions are also things you should learn to make your videos look better.

Anyhow, I just picked all of this up through trial and error, common sense, and of course, YouTube.

But wait… there’s a THIRD layer of knowledge you need for this little “hobby.” You need to learn how to use whatever editing software you choose to edit your footage. And there are many. Each one presents the tools to do the job in a different manner. Each piece of software handles the vast collection of media needed for a production (video, audio, sound effects, graphics) in a different manner, storing those pieces in different places on your hard drive(s).

The biggest annoyance in learning how to video edit, is to spend 15 minutes searching for a little damn button or command to do something simple: “Where is the damn CROSSFADE button! AAARGH!”

So anyhow, as I made the migration away from Windows based computers around the time Windows 8 came out. I had actually become pretty competent at knowing how to navigate the Windows OS by that point, and the fact that Microsoft had slapped this ridiculous “flip side of the gameboard” second OS on the BACK of Windows 8, plus removed the single most useful button in the OS (the “Start” button), I basically said “fuck you, Steve Ballmer. I’m out.”

And once I was in the Apple world, I decided to migrate right to the top of the video editing foodchain and purchase their flagship program “Final Cut Pro.” It is no insignificant piece of software. It costs $500.

Learning how to use it was somewhat daunting at first, but it got easier and easier the more I did stuff. And as I figured out more and more (again, thanks YouTube!) I came to appreciate it’s awesome power and complexity. As anyone in video production knows, Apple’s Final Cut Pro is used professionally, to produce both television shows and movies. (Mostly smaller scale TV shows, and movies since the big production houses use even more expensive legacy software and equipment).

Well…. after about 5 years of using Final Cut Pro on two computers (my laptop and my MacMini) without much more than an occasional crash, or minor database error message, I have hit a wall. The Final Cut Pro on my desktop has decided to just stop working entirely.

So here’s where the fun part of computers begins! You get an error message, but absolutely NO HELP at all in fixing said error. Some programmer put in a line of code that says: “Here, this was your problem.” But then no further tips or instructions on HOW TO FIX IT!

So off to google we go! “Final Cut Pro Quit Unexpectedly While Using the PubSub Plugin.” That’s what it told me. Well, unfortunately the google results for “PubSub plug-in” are quite thin. I have chased down many message board threads of FCP users/groups, and the more I read, the more the blood drains from my head thinking of how long it might take to resolve this.

Things like delete preferences, remove possibly corrupted events, and on and on. Tried it, tried it, tried it. No luck. So you would think just DELETING the program and re-downloading it would set it right, right? Ha. No chance. Same problem. Then I am starting to think that a recent upgrade to the Sierra OS for Mac has caused this. After all, the copy of FCP on my laptop still works, and perhaps coincidentally, it’s still running El Capitan.

So can I just go back to El Capitan on my desktop? No, not really. Not unless you have saved a copy on a separate hard drive. (I didn’t). I can’t go back to a Time Machine version of my Mac because.. well… I haven’t been doing that so far. (Lesson learned, now I will!)

I plan to call into Apple Support on Tuesday. Girding for a 45 minute wait on hold, and a lovely conversation with a fine young Indian woman who will tell me to unplug my computer, and plug it back in. Should I uproot the whole computer, 27-inch Thunderbolt monitor and all, and drag it into to my local Apple Store to the “Genius Bar” to watch some sap who knows LESS than me, try to figure it out?

More importantly, WHY oh WHY, can’t computers in 2017 just FIX THEMSELVES! Or, if nothing else… how come when I click the “Send Report To Apple” button about A MILLION times as I try to untangle this over 3 days, isn’t there somebody at Apple who can then “reach into” my damn system remotely and FIX IT!

Aaaarrgh!

So to recap: if you ever want to get into this home video editing “game” know this. You will need to…

1) Learn about digital conversion of moving pictures
2) Learn basic and advanced editing concepts
3) Learn how to use complicated software programs to edit
4) Learn how to deprogram glitches and bugs in said systems

Makes me want to just get a polaroid again, and say: “Here. Look at this picture. We had a fun time.”

So anyhow, wish me luck and if you have any great ideas, do pass them along. In the meantime, was kinda proud of how this little video recap of my golf trip to Pinehurst went. It’s when you really like how your little three-dimensional digital art project looks in the end, that keeps you addicted to the hobby.

Even when computer programmers, send you into Dante’s 5th Circle of computer hell, trying to troubleshoot one glitchy line of code.

The NFL Orders More Ties

That’s about the only way you can spin it. By reducing overtime to 10 minutes – while inexplicably keeping the Peter King Pussyboy Fair-is-Fair Rules in place – the league has guaranteed more of something their customers hate.

Ties are a waste of everybody’s time. That’s why in American sports, we just don’t do them.

Yeah, yeah. Soccer. I know. It’s the primary reason why soccer is a minor professional sport in America. If we are going to spend 8 hours and $400 on a sporting event, we are doing nothing if not paying for an OUTCOME – good, bad… or horrific. (Think Jeff Triplette officiated NFL game).

Of course, this move has been gussied up in the pretty flowered dress of “player safety” by saying that the 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, and possibly 75th minutes of a tackle football game are exponentially more dangerous, exhausting, and possibly career damaging than the previous 70 minutes.

Show me your work, NFL.

And the pro-league spin on this, is that last season there would have only been “two more” ties under these rules, is an argument that misses the point. It’s hardly a matter of “what will a few more hurt?” It’s a matter of…. “why do we still allow this to happen?”

In every sport we have, ties have been aggressively hunted down, and virtually exterminated. Only in certain sports, where inducing an outcome may be completely impractical, are ties allowed to remain.

In hockey, the NHL has been the most progressive in reducing ties. In 1983 the NHL adopted the 5 minute overtime. In 2005 the NHL added the shootout after the 5-minute OT. And just last year, the NHL went to 3-on-3 for overtime to help avoid shootouts.

Now there’s a league that gets it!

As I like to always say: Overtime ain’t “fair-time.” It’s meant to produce a winner. You had a whole game full of “fair.” Now, it’s time we all went home.

In golf, the only major event that still doesn’t get it, is the USGA with their 18-hole Monday playoff in the US Open. This is a relic. Just like most of the USGA board members in Far Hills, NJ.

Sure, it ends on Monday (barring weather delays) but sometimes even takes overtime of the overtime like with Tiger Woods over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 US Open.

Everybody remembers Tiger’s putt on 18 on Sunday to force the Monday finish – “Did you expect anything different!?” – but how many people remember what happened on Monday?

Tiger and Rocco Mediate played 18 more holes – as per the USGA’s antiquated embrace of an era long since gone in American sports – and were STILL tied. So they THEN went to sudden death.

And Tiger won on the first hole. Which was the 7th hole at Torrey Pines. With a par.

Hey, nice finish. I don’t even think you can find that US Open winning putt on YouTube.

So let’s get this straight: the USGA believes that ITS championship is SO special, and SO important, that a mere sudden death playoff on Sunday would somehow cheapen the outcome? Yet, when 18 more holes on a Monday (with most of America at work, and 1/3 of the fans able to return to the course) STILL don’t produce a winner….

“Okay then… I guess we can do sudden death.”

It makes me want to punch somebody in the face.

The excitement and electricity of a Sunday evening sudden death (or even 3 hole aggregate, like the PGA and the British Open) finish at the US Open, would be incredible. But nah…

The NFL needs to go back and look at the statistics on it’s old overtime outcomes. Last I recall, the coin-flip winner won approximately 53% of the games, to the loser’s 47%. A six-percent spread is not insignificant, but it’s damn sure close enough to be fair for me.

Besides, we want excitement, we want an actual outcome, and we want to go home. It’s not that complicated.

Golf Trips, Guys… Life… and Death

Another successful Malcolm McLeod Memorial is in the books! Some 16 brave men, on their own recognizance for 4 days, all attempting to play semi-decent golf. All against the backdrop of ego, testosterone, booze and sunscreen.

It has all the ingredients ripe for a disaster. A fist fight. Somebody leaving early in a huff over rules. Bad blood. You name it. But alas, we were able to pull it off in spectacular fashion, at least one more time. And in no small part to another round of radio listeners who stepped in the breech to fill in for late dropouts. Jim Bonahoom of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Dean Singley of Dallas (formerly DC) basically “saved” the event in back to back weeks. They joined Kurt Knudson, and Mike McCool (2017 winner!) and Scott Shirey as guys who did the same in 2016.

God bless men. I do, love them. You know, in a Bud Light commercial… “I love you man….” kind of way. There was Cat-5 level ballbusting going on all weekend, where literally nothing was off-limits. Guys and their alcoholism, past drug addictions, their weight, their baldness, their various neuroses, bad golf swings, short tempers, whiney-ness….. you name it.

This is how guys say ‘I love you’ to each other. With a morbid joke – like not “what if”… but “what year” your fatal heart attack is coming. This is something women, just will never understand.

Sports is also how men say they love each other. With athletic bonding, and a simple compliment of “good shot!” I remember this concept from the excellent book by Michael Murphy called “Golf in the Kingdom.” It’s required reading for anybody who plays golf, and still very good for just general sports fans.

But here’s what’s crazy about 15 years. It goes by in a blink. And it’s both amazing and terrifying at the same time. This year, there were only 3 guys who have been on every single one of these trips every spring, without fail: Myself, “Cowboy” Mike and “Screamin’ Eagle” Bob.

Our routine has always been to rally-up at Bob’s house before heading south. When we began doing this trip, Bob’s kids would send us into the pre-dawn darkness by trundling out to the driveway to say goodbye to their pop. One of those kids, young Joe, would even run down the sidewalk waving to us as we disappeared down the block.

Well… Joe PLAYED with us this year. He’s 19, and just finished high school as the captain of the golf team. He hits it a country mile, has a 28 inch waist and about 4% body fat. He’s polite, smart…. quiet. And he’s training this summer to hopefully become a Navy Seal.

Amazing.

And it’s not even the first father-son combo on this trip we’ve had. Captain Sheehan (aka “The Sheriff”) brought his son Luke a few years ago, as he was playing Division I golf at Stephen F. Austin. Even our host professional, the great Ken Crow (who knows everybody, and everything about golf in Pinehurst) let HIS son play with us last year.

Young Benjamin Crow just finished 4th in the NC state championships in the highest 4A classification. His team won the championship for the 3rd year in a row. He’s headed to UNC-Greensboro on a scholarship next year, wth his best friend and best player on the team.

Man, ain’t that sweet?

Funny too, because 10 years ago, when I first met Ken Crow as a listener of my radio show he would say how young Bennie would giggle at my silly show bits and catch phrases. (“Where you at… whatchu haulin!”) I even have video of a 9 year old Ben challenging me on the chipping green one year at what is now Pinehurst #9. (Formerly “The National.”) PS: He beat me then, too.

Meanwhile, the old… get older. This is not negotiable.

But I’m thankful to just be able to play. Last year, I only made it through about half of the holes on this trip. My lyme disease/rheumatoid arthritis had me at my lowest that week. (Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what it is. Go ask the 9 different doctors I have seen about it. It’ll be a good argument for sure.) My current approach and medication has made things way way way better. Almost…. 90% I’d say.

Last year I was so jacked up stiff, painful to move, painful to lift anything, I needed help carrying my golf bag to the car. So while I was not pleased this weekend that an incurable “over-the-top” move had popped up and stayed with me despite trying every trick in the book, I was just thrilled to be as relatively healthy as I am. Every hole was a gift, and I tried to savor them all.

But it’s gonna be a fight from here on out – for all of us old fuds. And I hope I can rise to the fight. I’m still a good 40 pounds overweight with horrible eating habits. I look to the guys on the trip who are real inspirations. Bob was once pudgy-middle-aged Bob, but now looks like a 62 year old version of his former University of Washington gymnast-self! And he got lucky to have had a doctor spot a “widowmaker” blockage in his heart, perhaps just weeks before it was going to kill him! They found it, when he was just going through a physical to get a new life insurance policy!

A quadruple bypass later, and he’s making the most of his good break and running with it!

Same thing for my boy Ronnie, who is going on 4.5 years sober. I knew and liked the old Ron alot. But he ran hot and cold sometimes. He could get dark and weird at times. He wasn’t always reliable. But seeing him now, is the best inspiration anyone can have. Ron 2.0 is an incredible upgrade. And he knows it too!

I don’t really drink much, but I could sure stand to drink LESS… and I know it. Others on the trip drink way too much and know it, and have tried, and are going to continue trying to change that for the better. Some drink on the trip to a level that is….. “jusssst right..” for them… and they have no plans to change.

it’s all good, and everybody has to live their life. But the clock is ticking. And I for one, have a lot more golf to play.

As one last note, I enjoyed seeing people on Twitter send me their photos of their own golf trips with the guys. Many of them, have been going on for 20 years or more. Amazing. And I am sure there even some trips where the GRANDKIDS play with the old dudes!

Thank you for that window into your annual excursions. I’ll use it as inspiration for The Malcolm.\

God Bless Jalen Rose

Once upon a time, I didn’t think much of Jalen Rose. I suppose it was his comments about Duke recruiting “Uncle Tom” style black players out of high school like Grant Hill, or his DUI arrest which landed him 20 days in jail and off of ESPN for two week for – ooops! – “forgetting” to tell his employer.

But I have steadily over time found him to be a thoughtful, honest voice on television. Especially so, for an ex-ballplayer. His night-time podcast/radio show “Jalen and Jacoby” is an enjoyable listen.

Well, his stock is rising even higher with me now.

Watch this exchange with Michelle Beadle and Chauncy Billups in the wake of James Harden’s deplorable (non)efforts in the Rockets’ elimination in Game 6.

Oh, Rose “goes there” much to the (feigned?) surprise of Ms. Beadle.

Not only did Harden criminally suck (and not care) while letting the Spurs destroy them on the court, but TMZ got video of him OUT CLUBBING immediately after one of the most shamefully disinterested efforts in NBA history.

And this, by a supposed MVP candidate?

Rose was unflinching in his disapproval, without stepping too far into personal attacks or hot-take land. It was perfect. And while Billups backed him up, I was struck at how totally UN-comfortable Beadle seemed to be at every sentence.

Just listen to her excuses, “yeah-but’s” and “so-what-isms.”

I suppose she might have been coached into playing the “devil’s advocate” on that segment, but I am a pretty good reader of nonverbals. It seemed quite real.

I know Beadle is a fully invested Spurs fan (just read her timeline!) and an unapologetic feminist. It struck me as quite odd that she couldn’t envision what her rage might be like if a Spurs player had done something like this, or that she suggested strip clubs are good places for athletes to go for post-loss “therapy.”

Maybe it’s the new feminism, I dunno.

Maybe she just needs to remain steadfastly non-judgemental of every NBA player in order to maintain her good standing as the coolest chick in the NBA fraternity.

But good for Jalen Rose, who clearly does “get it” and can deliver an unimpeachable condemnation without raising his voice, or waving his arms like a muppet.

And Now, They Are Indeed… Dead Again….

I said “I would bury them when they’re dead” and sure enough, that day has come. The Caps have gone and Cap’d yet again. For the 25th time in 27 playoff appearances, this team has failed to advance past the 2nd round.

The Capitals are now 1-9 in Best-of-7’s vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Hello, El Guapo!)
Pittsburgh is now 6-0 in road Game 7’s.
Pittsburgh is 4-0 vs. the Caps in Game 7’s (with two shutouts).

The Caps are now 4-11 in playoff Game 7’s, 3-8 at home in Game 7.
The Caps are 3-7 in Game 7 in the Ovetchkin era.

The Capitals have won the President’s Trophy 3 times since 1993. They have never advanced to the Conference championship while flying that banner.

The Red Wings are the only other team to have won more President’s trophies since 1993 (6). In those 6 seasons, the Wings won the Stanley Cup (2 times) went to the Cup and lost (1 time) went to the Conference finals and lost (1 time).

I said before last night, that if the Caps were to lose Game 7, I would deliver a somber, tear-filled funeral. I would not declare it a “choke” or “same ol’ Caps” with venom and bitterness. I was still planning on doing just that.

Until the 3rd period happened. That changed everything.

With a 1-0 game heading to what should have been a rock-’em-sock’em white-knuckle 20 minute thrill ride, the Caps quit on their skates. I was embarrassed FOR them.

The first few shifts were telling. Lethargic, sloppy… shockingly disorganized. The last gasp of a dying team was T.J. Oshie melee hitting Sid the Kid off his skates in the corner.

It was straight downhill from there.

Ovetchkin helped surrender the first goal, with a weak clearing attempt followed by a flatfooted moment (watch the play, he actually STOPS in place for a moment) and then is late to backcheck his man Rust who buried the first goal right in front of him.

In the 3rd period, Ovie’s weak one-handed clearing attempt at the half-boards, let the Penguins pounce. All of a sudden, it’s 2-0.

Still.. still… LOTS of time left. I have watched in these playoffs teams like Anaheim erase a 3-goal lead with 3:16 left vs. Edmonton. I watched the Penguins erase the Caps 2-0 lead with two 6-on-5 empty net goals in this series alone.

Okay boys… I foolishly thought… show me YOUR own monster finish. Show me desperation and rage. As they say around these parts…. “UNLEASH THE FURY.”

What the Caps delivered instead was a farce. The final 10 minutes was the most space and time I’ve seen on playoff ice this spring in any series. It was surreal. The final 5 minutes the Caps just randomly knocked the rock around the ice, banked lead passes through center ice that were picked off by Pens players at full skate for 2-on-1’s.

This was quitting. Plain and simple.

Said Holtby: “Tonight, I don’t think we gave ourselves a chance.. and we’re going to have to live with that.”

So what now? Blow it up? Hell… this team is set to blow ITSELF up. 

Oshie, Williams, Shattenkirk, and Alzner are all UFA’s.

Kuznetsov, Burakovsky, and Orlov are RFA’s.

And then there’s Ovie.

Can you move him? Should you try? Barry Melrose said they should, if for no other reason than to give Ovie a fresh start too. I’m way out of my depth considering how likely/un-likely it would be to move a superstar contract like that in the NHL.

I know this: it WILL be talked about by the Caps brass. My gut says, Ted would never allow it. It would signal surrender. It wouldn’t bring much in return. And they’d have to start marketing hockey in this town, without a billboard superstar.

As a last add… here was an 18-tweet rant by hockey writer/blogger Slava Malamud. He’s local, and Russian. I won’t. I’ll just present his argument.

Caps problems extend beyond a bad def pair, an underperforming goalie. The failure is endemic and systematic. It’s the result of choices fanboy owner Leonsis made in 2004 when he decided his business model would be not building a winner but servicing a marketable megastar.

There’s nothing wrong with building a team around a star, but it has to be the right kind of star. Ovi just isn’t the “win first” type.

I’ve known Ovi since he was 17. Kid was born with a silverware set in his mouth. Always told he is the greatest, teammates must be worthy. But his demands on himself stay the same. He’s not the bloodied inspirational leader. He is the tousled-hair sexy charismatic ruffian.

Yes, he’s the NHL’s favorite stripper who’s been giving the hockey world a lap dance for 13 years. Sorry, but the length of your erection Hockey world, is unhealthy by now. You need to face the truth: the Caps personality-cult culture is counterproductive to winning the cup.

Fueled by innumerable fanboy blogs and media whipped into terrified subservience by CapsPR, the culture feeds on self, kills all dissent and spurns all criticism. You know, Caps fans, that despite all the issues Oates and Hunter had, your main problem w/ them was trying to turn Ovi into a man of the system. You hate that. You want your boy toy wild and free. Everyone wants this of Ovi, even RUS coaches.

Compare this to Crosby who will take any role on CAN w/o complaint. You call 87 a whiner, but who whined the loudest during the lockout, threatening to stay in the KHL? Who whines now, threatening to leave the league to get an Olympic trinket? While Leonsis bends over backwards to satisfy all his ridiculous demands.

This is a guy who looks out for himself and his public image (Wild and Sexy Rebel, Patriot of Motherland). His only interest in the Cup is how his reflection will look in it. Problem is, Leonsis has the same priorities. He has dissolved himself and the team in Ovechkin’s 13-year-long marketing campaign. It worked out great financially. The price to pay is being humiliated every year by real winners. Congrats, Caps, you’ve sold lots of t-shirts. Congrats, Caps fans, you’ve been had.

Oh, and that sound you’ve just heard is your window of opportunity slamming shut. I hope this wild ride on the Charisma Train was fun.

Rant out. Enjoy your Redskins mini camp.

He’s not entirely wrong. But then again, I don’t believe the premise that you simply can’t win with Ovie. I can’t. I won’t. He’s not a cancer, he does a lot of good things. He’s great. Lowercase “g.” He’s flawed. He’s complicated.

If I may make one suggestion: let’s not hang any more President’s Trophy banners. In fact, let’s burn the one’s we’ve got. If nothing else, it’ll be cathartic, and a reminder of what really matters.

I’ll be there next year as a Caps fan. I’ve suffered too damn long to quit now.

/drops rose on casket
/walks away

-30-

 >>>>>>>>>>

For reference sake, I picked through the wikipedia garbage bin of every Game 7 in NHL history to assemble the Caps record/history here. If I missed one, please let me know.

3-8 at Home in Game 7’s
4-11 overall in Game 7’s

2-5 in Ovetchkin Era

Verizon Center
2-0 Penguins – 2017 – L
2-1 Islanders – 2015 – W
5-0 Rangers – 2013 – L
2-1 Canadiens – 2010 – L
6-2 Penguins – 2009 – L
2-1 Rangers – 2009 – W
3-2 Flyers – 2008 – L*

Capital Centre
3-1 Penguins – 1992 – L
3-2 Devils – 1988 – L
5-4 Flyers – 1988 – W*
3-2 Islanders – 1987 – L* (4)
*= OT
ROAD GAME 7’s
2-1 Rangers – 2015 – L*
2-1 Rangers – 2012 – L
2-1 Bruins – 2012 – W*
3-0 Penguins – 1995 – L

Tweet Cheat: Bob and Brian – Tuesday May 9, 2017

Here’s a new feature I’m going to try to do every day for you Bob and Brian Listeners (and I may well extend it to my DC show too) I am going to post the handful of relevant tweets/GIFs/videos and links so you can follow along at home, or sitting in traffic (drive safely, always, please!)

I’ll explain the significance and relevance of each on the air.

Sidney Crosby Takes Frightening Spill

Crosby and Beagle Do Battle

Concussion Legacy Foundation Statement

ESPN Getting Brutally Shut Down On Twitter

Flopping Works, But Mocking Is Forever

I Cry at the Weirdest Things These Days

No really, I did on this one. I didn’t bawl my eyes out, mind you, but it sure did get “all dusty in here” watching the exceptionally well filmed and produced ESPN/NFL mini-doc on some of the draft’s top picks.

My brain and my experience tells me to be cynical on this whole thing. The NFL makes big money peddling the mythology of the “dreams come true” aspect of the NFL draft, so why would I play into it, or god forbid, promote it any further!? You watch the draft and think: “THAT guy is going to end up hitting a woman. THAT guy is going to wind up suspended for drugs. THAT guy might be a serial killer. And HALF of these guys are gonna be broke in 10 years!

I guess I’m getting softer as I get older. I can see the years of work and hope poured into reaching this mountaintop by these young men. I can see in the faces of their parents, the explosion of joy at just what their sons have accomplished. I appreciate the giant extended families of these kids, all present to enjoy the moment.

And yes, someday ask that kid for money. I know, the cynic in me, is still fully aware of everything.

I can even watch that incompetent ape Goodell bro-hug the players, and forget for a split second that he is the very embodiment of corporate evil. The kind of talentless bureaucrat who will try to tarnish the reputation of a legend, just to avoid being caught in another one of his casual lies.

I love the humility and awe these kids show, when the coaches for the teams who draft them call them before making the pick. It’s all “yes sir, no sir” and “I’m gonna give you 100%, sir” even though I know that some of them will become discontented locker-room agitators once the rigors of being a pro starts kicking their ass.

And of course the “accomplishment” of these players, is really non-existent yet. They are ALL – both low draft picks, and high – “prospects” in the truest sense. A pick-and-a-hope that they can actually PLAY at the pro level. Many of them, will turn out to plain stink.

Still… still… I don’t know. I just dig it. What a moment for these kids and parents. It is exceptionally hard to become a first (or second) round draft pick. It’s like climbing Mt. Everest after flying to the moon.

I’ll actually be rooting for the guys they featured on this special. And let’s hope all those people in the back of the room have jobs, and their own money!

The Term “Politics” Is Thrown Around Far Too Loosely

Case in point: is domestic violence a Republican or Democrat “issue?” Is one party generally blase about it, and the other party hard core? I dare say that nobody is “for” reducing punishment of domestic violence, right?

So when people say that ESPN has lost some viewers because of too much “politics” or more specifically “left wing politics” they are only grazing the real point.

Here’s what happened on Friday night. It’s Day 2 of the NFL draft, and many football fans are eagerly in front of ESPN to see who their team might take in the second round. The standard procedure for draft picks, is to announce the pick, then launch into a 1) Highlight package 2) How he fits with team 3) Strengths/Weakness and 4) Any other “off-field” issues (if any).

When Joe Mixon was selected by the Bengals, ESPN threw out the playbook, and went into full-blown “Virtue Signalling” mode.

Virtue signalling is not exclusively a “left” issue, but it IS big among so-called SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors) who are overwhelmingly liberal and democratic. It’s not enough for SJW’s to say what Mixon did was horrible and inexcusable. No, they must show that they are MORE virtuous than anybody else, by basically insisting that Mixon never play football for a paycheck.

As a side note, for the “Never Mixon” crowd, what job IS he permitted to pursue in the wake of his assault on that young woman? If he can’t be a football player (insert your high minded reasons here) then can be be a high school coach? A personal trainer? Shoe salesman? What else MUST Joe Mixon be PREVENTED for doing as a man who has both paid his debt to society legally, and made a substantial financial restitution to the victim?

Anyway… back to my point.

When the Mixon pick was announced, the tonal change in host Trey Wingo’s voice was simply over the top. He thundered on about how you “can never UN-see” the footage of the savage attack, and that Mixon was going to have to “deal with the fallout” of it now that he’s a Bengal.

The panel on ESPN then prattled on about Mixon, mostly re-condemning the original act while virtue signalling that THEY would never draft a guy “like that.” Not a single Mixon highlight was shown.

While this was going on, two more picks were made by other teams – one of them my Redskins who took Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson – and because of the Mixon filibuster, they got barely any mention at all.

(I don’t have the ESPN broadcast tape, so I can’t vouch for exactly how much they curtailed their normal post-pick reaction and highlight package, but I can confirm that I was peeved, and several reader emailed me the same).

Now, here’s the rub. And here’s where ESPN has totally lost it’s way. NOT A SINGLE PERSON watching the NFL Draft on Night #2 was unaware of who Joe Mixon is, and what he had done. Nobody. Furthermore, nobody watching the draft had any reasonable assumption that anybody on ESPN’s set condoned or dismissed the horrible nature of that attack.

Nobody.

So what the hell was ESPN doing? Pure, over the top, virtue signalling. It’s not politics, per se, but it sure isn’t fucking SPORTS!

ESPN did a direct and tangible DIS-service to their CUSTOMERS by not dealing with Mixon as any other draft pick, AND THEN at the end of the football discussion, make mention of his past, and the narrow ledge for any future misconduct upon which he enters the league.

I don’t have any problem with ESPN showing the video of the assault. Although I am not sure the victim is thrilled to have that tape played over and over. Either way, if ESPN wanted to do one of their maudlin “Town Halls” on Joe Mixon’s assault conviction, then have at it.

But do it an hour before the damn draft!

So not only did we get a half-assed assessment of how Mixon might do as a pro (absent any further troubles, “spectacular” is the consensus) from the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” but we were gypped out of proper analysis of TWO ADDITIONAL DRAFT PICKS!

Imagine too, if you were the two guys drafted next. Biggest moment of your life, your whole family watching on TV, waiting to see your sick collegiate highlights and the panel gush over what a great player you are…. and… well. A bunch of guys in suits, reminding everybody that they are SO MUCH MORE against and aghast at domestic violence than you are.

(I did not see the NFL Network’s coverage of this pick, so I can’t say they did the same thing, or not.)

All I know, is that THIS is the kind of thing that has been an UNDENIABLE drag on ESPN viewership. Maybe it’s only a 2% drag, but there’s no way it’s a positive. Not a single NON-ESPN viewer, or marginal sports fan, said to himself: “Hey, I hear that ESPN has become much more socially “woke.” I might have to go give them some more time!”

Nobody.

Sunday Tee Time – Episode 2: Golfdom

This week me and the “Golf Nerds!” visit Golfdom in Tysons Corner, VA to talk to owner & president Buddy Christensen about 2017 equipment trends and more. We also play a “quick nine” – nine random golf-related questions designed to test the panel’s imagination and golf knowledge. Finally, we take a moment to get the lowdown on high tech club fitting in one of Golfdom’s trackman fitting studios.

All in all, if you like golf you will enjoy the show. Sunday Tee Time also airs on ESPN 980 on Sunday mornings from 9-10 a.m. We plan to take the show on the road all season this year, so if you would like us to come by your home course or favorite golf spot, just drop us a line!

Segment 1 – 2017 Equipment Trends

Segment 2 – The Quick Nine

Segment 3 – High Tech Fitting

Everybody Knew This Kinda Thing Wasn’t Gonna Last, Right?

So ESPN has had a major “bloodletting” of on-air, or “front-facing” talent. Some 100 people or so have been let go, or bought out of their remaining contracts. It sucks. We’ve all been there.

That said, I was a bit underwhelmed by the list of names. Just because you “know” some of them, didn’t make them cherished and indispensable TV treasures. Nobody is going to miss Jay Crawford. But lucky for him, he remains impossibly TV-handsome. He’ll be okay.

People have been asking for my thoughts on this today, and instead of blurping out a few 140 character nuggets that get totally misunderstood and taken out of context, I figured I would just post what I do best: talk.
Here’s the audio from my afternoon show on ESPN980 in Washington D.C. (We are an ESPN radio “affiliate” but not in any way owned, or controlled by ESPN itself).

To me the biggest mistakes are Dilfer, Kannell and Werder. And I guess Jayson Stark. Jaimee Sire and Jade McCarthy were also among my favorites.

Everyone else…. meh. The ones who are good, will land somewhere else. And the ones who had been there for almost 20 years or more… hey, it’s not a tenured position. Sorry.

Of course all of this, will do nothing to save ESPN. It’s stripping off your clothes and throwing them overboard on a hot-air balloon that’s rapidly losing air. You’re just going to die naked. But hey… you did… uh… something.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to fortifying the wall around my own castle. I guarantee many of these folks are gonna be begging for a radio show, and there will surely be some program directors dumb enough to say yes.