Monday, September 28, 2009

09/28/09

Tiger Did Not Choke at PGA and Look at Him Now

OK Tiger haters… The man did not choke at the PGA… The man could not putt during the PGA and this continued through the next two tournaments… His final round putting total at the PGA was 33… Check the putting totals each week of the guys who win and you will see that normally the winner leads the field in putting and is around 27 or 28 for each round on putt totals… 33 is what a hack like me puts up…

Tiger hit the ball well he just did not make anything… Burned the edge all day long… I can relate because this has been my problem all year long… My ball striking has become pretty solid but I am not making any putts…

YE Yang played a great final round… The type of final round it takes to win a major… He showed nerves only one time and that was with the three putt on hole number 17… The chip in for eagle was pivotal and that is what it takes to win… He also got a very nice break on number 13 when his tee shot somehow missed the bunker and then skipped over another into the fairway (in the bunker there and a bogey is in play)…

As for the naysayers, Tiger did shake his hand and congratulate YE and gave him allot of praise in his post round interview… Was Tiger a little smug, etc… when he lost and walked off the green??? Sure he was who is not when they lose something… I hate to lose at anything and you can damn guarantee that I am smug when I lose…

That is the thing about Tiger that people criticize him for that makes no sense to me… He hates to lose and expects to win every time… He expects every putt to go in and expects to hit every shot well… You never stand over a golf shot and think anything any different and if you do then the result is probably not very good…

Tiger is a great player and a great competitor… He is a student of the game and nobody on tour knows the history of golf like Tiger… He has no other agenda except to win!!! What is wrong with that??? Do they show him too much on TV??? Sure they do but that is to appeal TV trying to keep the casual fan from switching to something else… Tiger does not control the cameras or pick how many photographers are going to follow him…

You know it is funny Jack said about five or six years ago the thing that would slow Tiger down and that it would take him time to adjust to would be marriage and having young kids… That is where the guy is at now… I am sure based on who he is that he is a great husband and great father and those thing take time… Jack had a dead streak on majors when he went through the same thing…

I just cannot understand the logic of people who root against him to fail… Some of it I am sure is racist (unfortunately I have had some of his critics that I know own up to this and say that is exactly what it is), some is jealously (I know I am jealous of him) and some of it is regret or resentment because people did not work that hard when they were young and some of it is for sure media driven because of how much coverage he gets…

Whether you like him or not or whether or not he ever wins another major or not he is one of the greatest of all time on the links along with Jack, Ernie, Hogan, Hagen, Jones, Snead, Watson and Nelson… After not making the cut at the British to go win, win and tie for second in the PGA is pretty impressive…

Look at what he has done since the PGA and he is in line to win the end of year championship… I say go Tiger go…


Slow Play in Golf

There was lots of publicity about Tiger and Padrig Harrington being put on the clock during the Firestone WCG event for slow play… Padrig is known for slow play and Tiger is very methodical… Was it really necessary for the final group to be put on the clock??? Yes it was but the timing (on the tee box on 16) is in question for me… It also had nothing to do with TV as some people have reported or commented… It is based on pace of play and how far the group in front of you is at any time during the round…

I can relate to slow play because I am often accused of slow play and in weekend golf slow play is often an issue… The reason people accuse me of slow play is because when it is my turn to hit I do the following:

Stand behind the ball and pick my target and visualize the shot…
I then take my position beside the ball
I then check my grip
I then line up to the ball…
I then once again look up at my target…
I then execute my swing…

This sounds like a slow sequence of events… It is about twelve to fifteen seconds and that is not slow…

What I effort not to do and what causes slow play is the BS that goes on between shots… Here is what causes slow play that I see all the time on the weekends:

- People riding in carts where they ride to one ball the person hits and then they ride in the cart to the other ball for the second player to hit… This adds an enormous amount of time to a round…

- Allot of these people think because they jump right out and hit the ball they are playing fast when in fact they are not…

- What should happen is the person in the cart who has the longest shot to the green goes to there ball, picks their club… The other person then drives to their ball…

- If there is a foursome in carts the same rules apply…

- The people hit in sequence… Once you have hit you should start walking to the cart…

What is the time for an expected round??? If you are in a stroke play or match play competition if you are getting through 18 holes in 5 to 5 1/4 hours then that is the best you are going to get… If you are just playing a normal round on the weekend 4:45 to 5 hours is acceptable and 4.5 hours is ideal... If there is no one in front of you or no one behind you then it is whatever you want it to be…

In my league some people think you should be able to play in two hours… Never going too happened when you are playing match play format…

The best thing to always do is play to the pace of the group in front of you… If there is no one in front of you then for sure there should be no one behind you either…


Redbirds

I am really, really excited about my Redbirds… If they can remain healthy they have a great shot to end up in the World Series… The will likely play the Phillies or the Dodgers in the playoffs… Tough first round but I like St Louis in short series better then I like them in a seven game series in the NL Playoffs…

With the addition now of John Smoltz and Julio Lugo and with guys like Khali Greene the way that Dave Duncan works with pitchers I think … Smoltz has pitched well so far and Larussa and Duncan identified that during his Boston stint he was tipping his pitches (means he was doing something before he would throw a certain pitch that the other teams would know the type of pitch coming)…

With Matt Holiday behind Puljos means you cannot pitch around “the man” anymore… A commitment to winning is what I wanted to see from the GM and Owners and they have shown that with the moves they have made…

Again this year I want Redbirds vs. Yankees World Series (a throwback to 1964) but I will take Redbirds Vs anyone…

Will Leitch from Sporting News and Deadspin wrote (he is a diehard St Louis Fan) something to the effect if Ankiel fields a ball and throws from center field to the dugout then he will beat himself in the head with brunt instrument...

That is funny… I remember when Ankiel was the starting pitcher in game 7 of the playoffs a few years ago against the Diamondbacks when he was on the mound ready to deliver the first pitch I told Brad Jarrett, “A hundred dollars he throws the first pitch into the back stop” and he did…

College Football

Just a few points…

- UK should go a competitive 6 and 6… Hey Rich you got to beat U of L (they did) and Vandy to do that and if you can beat USC at Columbia (they look beatable) you are 7 and 5 and pull an upset or beat UT (and you finally should) then you are 8 and 4…

-If UK has a winning season and goes to another bowl Rich Brooks hands it over to Joker…

- The Big 10 will add a 12th team (who that will be is TBD but I think Pitt or Cincy) in the next two years so they can enjoy the rewards for conference championship game… The Pac 10 will do this within five years (they will add Boise and Utah)…

- Notre Dame will have a winning season and be stuck with Charlie Weiss…
Boise State or TCU will crash the BCS… Both could some how I think if they both go undefeated and all the other teams have one loss…

- Lane Kiffin is an ass… He may over time back it up but I am not sure how long he will be at UT… With a little success he will be first choice when Pete Carroll steps down…

UK vs. Miami

Nice start to the season… The play calling was very suspect in the 1st Quarter and then things picked up… UK could not run the ball in the first half in the middle of the field but they did get a few nice outside runs and Mike Hartline was some like 15 for 21, 180 yards and 2 TD’s… I like the Wildcat formation with Cobb at QB inside the 20 running the zone read offense… This is essentially a triple option type of set up where Cobb can run it, hand it off or throw it based on the read…

The defense finally threw a shutout… That was nice to see and very deserving for this defense… Miami is obviously down quite a bit right now but still you have to play the game and the 2nd Team guys got in allot in the 4th quarter so that was a good sign also… Trevard Lindley played a great game and could have easily had two interceptions with pick sixes vs. the one he did have… He was for sure the most dominant player on the field and an injured Micah Johnson also looked good…

Chris Matthews is a game changer at wide receiver and the tight ends looked good also… In the second half Turtle ran the ball up the middle very well from the tailback slot and I like his ability to churn up yards even with people hanging on him… He will be utilized very nice in the 4th quarter of games to churn up clock if the he can get the type of blocking the line showed in the second half… Smith and Locket also looked good so that gives UK a solid triple threat at tail back…

I would rather the next game be this week vs. UK having a week off… How the heck UK gets a bye week and then goes Florida, Bama, at USC and at Auburn with no bye weeks in there at all is unreal… That hurts the program in my opinion… Beat Louisville to move to 2 and 0 and then you will very quickly see what this team has… UK could pull an upset against Bama and for sure USC and Auburn look beatable but they are road games… A four and two start would go a long way…

UK vs. Louisville

It does not matter how... UK is (was) 2 and 0...

If UK manages the clock at the end of the first half the score is 24 to 7 or maybe 28 to 7 if Moncell Allen does not slip and fall on the first drive of the day... If they have only two turnovers or no turnovers in the third quarter then the final score is probably 45 to 20...

UK only punted three times all day so they moved the ball well (two of those punts were in the first half)... U of L offense had two really big "fluke" plays (their first running play from scrimmage and the TD to Gunshot Guy in the 4th Quarter)...

I do however think that the U of L offense played well but part of that was due to the fact they had great field position all day... UK defense was disappointing at times but they made some huge plays in the game and saved our butts...

If UK can play that bad and still win than to me that makes a statement about this team and where the program is vs. where it was before Brooks came... Hartline led them down the field twice in the 4th quarter when they needed a score so that says something for him also... UK had some bone head penalties and I pretty sure that Micah Johnson and Cobb did some extra running Sunday...

The play calling was not all that bad from my view... I would have liked to seen us run a little more Wildcat than we did... Hartline did make some bad checks on 3rd and long to the short receiver but that is probably better then forcing something or throwing it away... We did not blitz much but that is because U of L likes to throw that dump pass over the middle...

I thought UK’s special teams play on kick offs and punts was not real good...

The fact that U of L lost a game that they should have won tells me allot about their team also... They had better stats, less turnovers and won the battle of field position all day but did not get the win…

I have decided that Kragthorpe is an ass and deserves whatever treatment he gets from the U of L fan base... U of L chopped blocked at UK’s All American cornerback Trevard Lindley all day long until they finally did what they set out to do and that was hurt him... Then Kragthorpe ran his mouth on Monday about Trevard… Hey Steve guess what asshole you lost the game so shut your pie hole…

UK vs. Florida

What a debacle… How could they not be ready to play??? Very frustrating…

I did not expect to win but I expected to be competitive… They were not…

The nays Sayers are out once again although there are only a few… For sure UK is 1 and 21 against the SEC East since Brooks arrived (not counting Vandy) which is no better than where we were before he came in that regard… Where we are better is against the non-conference schedule and the SEC West… MUCH BETTER!!!

For sure we have missed some opportunities including Woodson senior year where we should have gone 8 and 4 at a minimum…

The next three games are going to tell a story but lets see how they bounce this week…


Ricky P

This is a bad situation for Ricky P… I do not condemn or condone what he did… It was very much bad judgment after bad judgment after bad judgment… The question I have is how many times other then this one has these types of tryst occurred (that of course did not result in $3000 payment for whatever)… His latest press conference with an attempt to use the death of Ted Kennedy to deflect attention from him is borderline despicable… He does however relate well to Ted Kennedy in the character department…

The rumors about him have circulated for years and I have heard many people say, “Well he is Italian” that is just what they do… I do not think that is a very fair assessment and probably offensive to Italians who do not… have this character flaw…

Have I made mistakes in my life??? Yes I have… So I am not going to condemn the guy for making a mistake but I also would not blame a parent for now not wanting to send their kid to play for Rick at U of L but I would not think this will make much of a difference in his ability to recruit… I am sure coaches are going to over sell the morality card when they are in competition with Ricky P for a player but in the end I think this will only impact one in five of the recruits in his pool…

The University is gauging public opinion at this point… He will survive because he is not Billy Clyde, Larry Eustachy or Tim Floyd…

Is it about Wins and Losses and program prestige and attention vs. doing what is morally correct??? Put it this way if this were Steve Kragthorpe who had done this the tone of people, the media and university would be considerably different for sure… media fire storm would have been like then???

I like Rick and respect Rick’s coaching abilities and where is the University going to find another Rick??? They are not… They could easily find another Kragthorpe so that my friends are the driver of this decision in my opinion…

I can hear the Karen Sypher chants at away games repeatedly next year…


Calipari

As I stated before I am not overly concerned about what happened at Memphis and UMASS but I do have some reservations… At UMASS I am pretty sure Coach Cal turned Marcus Camby into the school when he found out what had happened with Camby and the agent (I have not been able to confirm that)… Cal was never implicated in the scandal at UMASS… I do understand people’s concern and there were for sure some shenanigans in the Memphis and UMASS programs during Cal’s tenures…

As for the mess at Memphis… This is not a situation where the University arranged for Derrick Rose to take his test or was present when he took his test or did not take hit test… In this situation what the NCAA believes is that Rose did not take his test and since his test was fraudulent the results are null and void so he is ineligible and that means that Memphis will lose its final four appearances and its record of thirty eight wins… Since the NCAA had previously cleared the player to play I am not sure this is fair for Memphis… You told me it was OK and then after I did what you gave me permission to do you said oh wait a minute since you did that we are going to punish you…

What about the former coach??? That is a tough one… If the NCAA finds he did nothing wrong then end of story… As long as nothing comes out (I am sure there are rumors, etc…) from the NCAA that implicates Coach Cal then at this point there is nothing that the university should do other than what UK has always done since the trouble back in the 80’s for basketball and the 90’s for football and that is keep the house in order… I believe the University will do that and continue to do that…

Allot of the controversy seems to be around one particular association of Cal’s so I would advise Cal to get rid of that association to eliminate any questions (maybe he will maybe he will not)… I still believe in Coach Cal and I believe that he understands the enormity of his current situation… His track record of contributions in the community are good, his wife is a community participant in many areas and the people of Memphis really liked what he stood for in that community…

Time will tell… It always does…


A Day Game at Wrigley Field

There are a couple of ways that one can travel back in time… For sure you can go to Cuba where I am told it looks and feels like the 50’s in the United States because of automobiles, building, etc… and the other is attend a day game at Wrigley Field… A weekday day game… My wife and I did just that recently… I had been to a night game there but never a day game and during my one brief visit I did not get to experience the surrounding area…

We took a train into Chicago from the suburbs... From there we should have taken the “L” (the above ground train in the city) but to save time we took a cab to the Wrigley… The cab really served as our time machine…

The neat thing about this ballpark is that you do not see it until you are right on top of it because it sets in the middle of a neighborhood… The cab dropped us in front of a couple of bars, one named for famed Cubs (and Cardinals) broadcaster Harry Carry… At 10:30 AM CST on a Friday the bars were packed…

As with any ball park there are vendors selling merchandise out on the streets but here it is surely different… There are vendors everywhere with a variety of merchandise… There were some great T-shirts but my favorite was “Chicago a drinking town with a baseball problem…”

The first place we walked was down Waveland Avenue… Waveland runs from behind centerfield down to the left field foul pole behind the famed bleachers… This is where as a kid I would watch the Cubs and when home runs would carry out of the ballpark there would be a mad scramble on the street for the ball… There is a fire barn on Waveland Avenue and I wonder what it takes to get stationed there…

The ballpark itself has been modified over the years… I believe they have added seats out in the bleacher area and the way seating works in the bleachers is you buy your ticket and then it is first come first serve (people are lined up hours before the game to get into the bleachers)… For sure they have done some structural improvements to the stadium but the outside looks much like it has looked for years…

I really like what they have done with the buildings down that surround the outfield… Many have been made into bars and restaurants all with seating on the top… You can for sure see into the field but of course these are limited view but next time I go I am going to try sit on one of these building (maybe for a Cardinals vs. Cubs city)…

Once inside you realize how old a ballpark you are in… The corridors are very small and there is allot of exposed steel… The lower level and second level seating areas are really one level with a walk-away around between the first level and the second level seating… Our seats were in the 2nd Level on the third base side about half way up the foul line (Would have been a perfect spot to witness Babe Ruth’s famous called shot in the World Series)… The views in the park are really good almost anywhere which is plus for the fans…

The crowd however in my opinion is not a baseball crowd… We noticed that it was very social and people were not paying allot of attention to the game… Maybe it was because it was Friday or maybe it was because the Cubs are out of the race but for sure the fans are there more to be seen and socialize than they are to watch the game…

People also did not care that my wife was rooting for the Reds… Wonder what they would have done to me knowing I was St Louis Cardinal Fan (I was in disguise with Washington Senators Lid on)… You get that in almost any park though…

If you have not been to a day game at Wrigley Field then you need to add that to your list…


Random

- I won the Scuffletown Country Club Fantasy Golf League… Finished in the top 100 on all of Yahoo and finished second in both Fans Of Boo Weekly and Fans Of Devil Ball for the entire year… In the two latter leagues I was in first place until the last day of the Tour Championship… I seem to always be on the wrong side of Mickelson…

- I am sucking in the ShagOnFootball college pick’em… Listening to much to the pundits… Need to make my picks as I see them…

- I keep waiting for John Daly to self-destruct… Maybe I want him to self-destruct, which is not a good thing for me to want… I better check myself on that one…

- Billy Clyde has officially self-destructed… I still cannot understand why there were people hanging on to this guy until the very end… His issues off the court were just crazy and hard to ignore… UK took the high road by not brining any of this out but of course both Mitch and Lee Todd should be reprimanded for making such a poor choice…

- It is not a good thing for the State of Kentucky to get the type of publicity both the U of L and UK basketball programs are getting in the last month… My sister Jayne says, “What a soap Opera” complete with all the normal soap opera type story lines…

- One of the guys at work had a great Halloween couple’s costume idea… Dress as Rick Pitino (white suit with slicked back hair) and Karen Sypher (bleach blonde wig, etc…)…

- Bring the Solheim Cup to Louisville… That was an exciting event this weekend to watch… The women on both teams played great golf and the event had allot of drama and could have gone either way… I would love to see Michele Wie play women’s event exclusively… She would do for Women’s golf financially and exposure wise what Tiger has done for the Men…

- Watched a great special on HBO about the integration of college football in the south… It is important to note and was covered in the program how that Bear Bryant wanted to integrate UK football during his tenure in the late 40’s and early 50’s… He was not able to do that because the UK President, although he (the president) wanted to do it, did not want to risk the schools membership in the SEC (right or wrong that was his stance) and was concerned about these players safety in the deep south for road games (same concern Rupp had when he wanted to do it in the 60’s)… UK was however the first SEC school to integrate in football and this is duly noted in the documentary…

- How awesome is the Little League World Series… I watched just about every game including the regional championships… These kids are great players and it is fun to watch these kids compete… What a memorable experience for them all… The team from Cali was awesome… Added bonus was I got to watch some of it with my grandfather who is a baseball nut (96 years old)... I want to attend this event at some point so I am adding this to my list of 101 things I want to do…

- The ESPN commercial on the Brett Farve comeback is classic… As for Brett he just can’t let it go… The Sears commercial with Brett is pretty good one also…

- UK is going to get allot of Noon games in football… Sucks for tailgating but it will mean that I get to see allot of other games on Saturday because that puts us home from the games by 6:00 PM EST…


Music

U2 in Chicago was fantastic (the opening band, Snow Patrol was great also)… The stage and the supporting videos, etc… was just out of this world… I of course am a huge U2 fan because that is music I matured to… I started listening to them in the early 80’s and over time as I listen to the lyrics to their songs they have grasped the world and their lives much like I have based on my understandings of what they are singing about… To me Bono is Christ like when he appears and the band together puts off an aura that is something I can not only see but feel… They did allot of their new music or music from there last three albums and worked in some of the old favorites also… Here is the set list:

Set List1 Breathe 2 No Line on the Horizon 3 Get On Your Boots 4 Magnificent 5 Beautiful Day/Blackbird (Beatles snippet) 6 Elevation 7 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For/Stand By Me (Ben E. King snippet) 8 Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of 9 Unknown Caller 10 The Unforgettable Fire 11 City Of Blinding Lights 12 Vertigo 13 I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight 14 Sunday Bloody Sunday/Oliver's Army (Elvis Costello snippet) 15 Pride (In The Name Of Love) 16 MLK 17 Walk On/You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet) 18 Where The Streets Have No NameEncore 19 One 20 Bad/40 (snippet) Second encore 21 Ultra Violet (Light My Way) 22 With Or Without You 23 Moment of Surrender