And then I remembered, I have a blog

I’d like to tell you a story about being disillusioned with sports, traveling the world and then realizing that nothing is better at bringing people together than sports, and probably beer.  But none of that happened.  Instead, I got a job, didn’t watch as much sports for a while and became complacent with what the blogs and media I read were saying.  No more.

That’s right, I’m back.  I visited Fanhouse today after a long period away.  I have been visiting Deadspin off and on.  And I must tell the truth. They ain’t what they used to be.  My answer to this is just talking aloud into the blogosphere so there will be something I want to read without having to look at boob shots which are now more normal on Deadspin since Will left.

Some updates while I was gone:

-Tom Brady and Gisele got married.  Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo have yet to break up.  They might get married; I got this one all wrong.

-My ‘Canes are doing pretty well, if you believe standings and the miracle that is Erik Cole returning to his homeland.

-March Madness. Let’s be honest, this is the real reason why I came back, and I wonder why I waited so long. (For those of you keeping score at home, there are only three games left in the tournament).

-Turns out that Tiger Woods still has game.  Evidenced not just by his run yesterday at Bay Hill, but also the birth of his second child.

-Kentucky basketball as the drama queen. Typical. Although I disagree with Mariotti, b/c wouldn’t it be much worse to have no standards than high standards?

More on these topics as I get back into the swing of things.  I can’t make any promises I won’t leave again.

We’ll Call It…80s Day at the Ryder Cup

This was not the shabby Ryder Cup I thought it might be. By all accounts, it was a success, at least from the American perspective.  Louisville was an awesome host city (so I hear), the course looked beautiful and played tough, and Team USA prevailed (finally!). And Europe, well, I guess all good things must come to an end at some point….

As for my uniform critique, I think they decided to call Thursday 80s day, because of the giant graphic design trend on both teams.  A giant argyle pattern for the Americans and a funky cut off horizontal stripe graphic for the Europeans.  And by the way, that blue color (or pretty darn close) might be my favorite of all time.  It just looked totally 80s, which is not a bad thing. Compare:

CBC.ca

CBC.ca

On the Kentucky boys: Let’s be honest, they showed up and played their part. With the home team backing Kenny Perry and JB Holmes, I feel as if they could do no wrong.  Well played.

On hospitality: I think the President (?) of Celtic Manor, in Wales, where the next Ryder Cup will be held, said it best about our Southern hospitality.  Something about, he doesn’t know if the Welsh will be able to outdo the Kentucky hospitality because we have a penchant for never saying no. As in, saying no, but in a way that makes it sound like a “yes” and always with a smile on our faces.  I think that about sums up Southern hospitality, for better or worse.

On my (and America’s) new favorites: clearly, the big hit of the tournament was Boo Weekley.  Boooo was heard all weekend long, to the point that I had to explain to my non-golf friends that they weren’t booing him, that was his name.  There was that little snafu with Lee Westwood (who should’ve gone to Boo in the first place instead of to the press, but whatever), but in the end, he reigned it in and won over the crowd big time.  My personal new favorite is Anthony Kim.  Just look at that belt buckle. I think both Kim and Weekley signal a new generation of golfers who are kind of what Tiger was in the 90s when he first started winning on the PGA: exciting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still exciting golf that Tiger plays.  But he just doesn’t have the old fist pump-excited-quick Tiger walk like he used to. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with getting old.

On winning: well, at some point it had to happen. I’m glad it was in Kentucky, on home soil. I wonder if this makes Tiger have doubts about his ability to bolster a team? Cause let’s be honest, Ryder Cup Team + Zinger – Tiger = WIN BABY!

I’m going to be honest with you…

…I like Nick Faldo. It’s true. Maybe it’s because he is from England, and I’m pretty anglo myself. Or maybe it’s because of his “velvet voice,” as the Ryder Cup home page describes it.  Whatever it is, I can’t get myself to hate the guy, or the team this year.  I’m not one to hate on Europeans, but usually world competitions (Olympics, Ryder Cup, Tour de France) get my blood a little hot. Not this time.

I realized though, that I didn’t give a rundown of the European Team, and so I’ll do that now…

How can you hate a group of men who wear pastel pink sport coats with mock neck shirts underneath? You can’t, really.

I’m going to be honest with you again, I could’ve sworn Paul Casey was an American. For real. He’s not, as he’s from England, and upon further reflection, this makes sense only because I don’t want to completely embarass myself. Anyway, he’s a captain’s pick and a solid one at that. He has a good record which began in 2004 and became stronger in 2006. Oh, and he beat Jim Furyk in singles, so what out for that.

Europe is less young as a team, with only four debuts this year, including Oliver Wilson, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Soren Hansen. This might give Europe an advantage, if only because even in their youth, they have Justin Rose, who is used to competing on a larger stage. The other three are not so shabby themselves, sporting solid records and a smattering of international experience as well.

The big names for Europe are going to be Padraig Harrington, who is having a great year, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez.  Jimenez is the only one I would count as unstable, if only because although he has a long Ryder Cup record, it includes 5 losses and only 2 wins out of the 9 matches he has played.

Lee Westwood will also be very important for Europe, as he has 14 wins by himself in Ryder Cup matches, and has played 25 matches total.  He comes in as one of Europe’s very experienced players, although he is still young (for a golfer, anyway).

I don’t have much to say about Robert Karlsson and Henrick Stenson, so I probably shouldn’t say anything at all. I just couldn’t leave them out.

So who will win?? The steak-eating manly men of the United States? Or the foie gras-girly men of Europe? Actually, neither team lives up to either stereotype because, let’s be honest, this is golf. And the US team has a lot more in common with the European team than they probably do with you or me.

In any case, let’s play ball!

Let the Past Be the Past

…as in, let’s for get the past three (four?) months that I haven’t written anything. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I was doing during this time; it wasn’t anything important.

Moving along, the Ryder Cup is this week. I was going to write for the Olympics because I love them, despite all the controversy, the “degradation of sport” involved and general tendencies toward mass consumption and corporate overdrive.  But I didn’t.  Again, I don’t know why.  Anyway, the Ryder Cup is a point of pride for myself, as Valhalla Golf Club outside of Louisville, Ky is hosting this year.  It’s kind of a big deal. And I’m from Kentucky.  Trust me, we have been seeing Ryder Cup all over the place for a couple of years now. I love it.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get tickets (truth be told, I didn’t try hard enough because of the fact that I’m now located in NC), so I’ll be watching from afar. My roommate is thrilled about this…and will thus be out of the house for the entire weekend.

So what are our chances?  Wellll, let’s just say I’m hoping history doesn’t mark this as one of the worst Ryder Cups ever. Not just because el Tigre won’t be there, but also because strong winds from Hurricane Ike damaged a lot of the structures (tables & chairs, television towers, etc) that had been set up for the Cup.  They’ll get it cleaned up, no worries, but where does that leave the US without el Tigre??

We are definitely the underdog. But I think this might all be in our heads.  Just because we don’t have the best golfer in the world on our team, doesn’t mean that we are lacking in great players who are also experienced with this sort of thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I know el Tigre has an excellent match play record; but as I’ve noted before, I don’t think he plays as well with others as he does by himself.  In other words, in the foursomes and fourball play, he isn’t at the top.  Where does this leave us?

Wellll, we have Paul Azinger for a captain, who can probably shake thinkgs up for the Americans, if only by way of his fantastic five o’clock shadow.  Kenny Perry, I have to mention next, because he took a lot of slack for not participating in the British Open this summer to try to keep his points intact. I don’t blame him.  I’m from Kentucky, and if I had a chance to play in the Ryder Cup while it’s is in my home state, I would cut my losses and play where I know I can excel or win.  That being said, he’s a solid player and he brings a lot to the table. He’s old enough not to let the “home team” pressure get to him. Now that I mentioned one Kentuckian, I must mention the other, J.B. Holmes.  J.B. played for the University of Kentucky, and I can only assume he’s been to Valhalla a couple of times (incidentally, I used to play the golf course the UK team plays on, back in my former life as a D3 player). I think J.B. is an extremely talented player who is on his way up in the PGA. I don’t, however, know how he’ll do in the Ryder Cup, especially against some of the old European crusts.  I think the fact that he’s only a few years removed from playing with a team in college (albeit in a different format) will give him some sort of advantage though.

How about non-Kentuckians?  Solid players include Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell and (somewhat reluctantly), Lefty.  I only worry about Lefty because he seems to be downtrodden as of late.  Anthony Kim, Ben Curtis, Boo Weekley, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker round out the debut players. Hopefully, this combination of old and new will breathe some life into the US team, and we can pull it back on American soil. Anyway, it can’t get worse than 2004, and 2006 (knock on wood).

I’ll be reporting more this week, probably more on uniforms than anything substantial.

Playoffs

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin

No, not those playoffs, these playoffs. Despite the fact that temperatures are warming in all the states (and provinces) where NHL teams are based, they’re still playing hockey. I was lucky enough to be in Ottawa last year when they made a run at the Cup. I am also lucky enough to not be there this year. The Sens got spanked by the one and only Pittsburgh Penguins, and yet have lived to tell the tale.

Keep in mind that the NHL playoffs will be going on until June. That’s right, June. I feel in addition to getting Hillary Duff on board for promotions, the NHL needs to look at not trying to compete with the NBA at any point during the playoffs. That’s just bad news. Who would watch Sidney Crosby over Tim Duncan? A Canadian, that’s who. And the Nielsen ratings don’t include Canada.

Anyway, I wanted to direct your attention toward les Habs and the Pens for your playoff entertainment. You know, when you actually see a hockey game on tv. I think they will be they both have good chances, although technically they won’t be in the finals against each other. You know, that whole East-West thing. Whatever.

With this stunning report behind me, I’ll leave you with Sean Avery antics. Cause those are always fun.

Not the Best Week Ever

Don’t ask me why I arbitrarily choose Wednesday as Not the Best Week Ever day. Maybe it’s because I lack the time and creativity to come up with something new by the time Wednesday rolls around. Anyway, here are some people who are not having the best week ever:

Tiger Woods: You called it, right? It always comes back to Tiger Woods. After coming in second in the Masters on Sunday, Tiger apparently underwent surgery on his knee. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in time for the US Open in June, but I would say that “the field” just got a little better odds on winning.

Isaiah Thomas: With the hiring of Donnie Walsh, this just might be Isaiah’s last week on the job. Nevermind that he lost a lawsuit alleging that he sexually harassed female employees, the Knicks are going to lose 59!!!

Carmelo Anthony: Allegedly, he was really drunk and drove a car. Kids: don’t drink and drive, no matter how much money you make (or don’t)!

George W. Bush: Apart from people being excited about getting $600 back from taxes, and Pope Benedict hanging out at the White Hizzy, there have been reports that Barbara Bush (his daughter, not his mother) has been attending NY Rangers games. First of all, she’s not cheering on Texas and second of all it’s not baseball?! What has the presidential family come to??

Chad Johnson, for this video alone. And yes, this was on April 3, but what they hey…

Congratulations!

Trevor Immelman

If you didn’t hear it enough yesterday, Trevor Immelman, of South Africa won the Master’s. So basically, none of my predictions worked out. I was most disappointed that Monty didn’t show up in a rager. I almost thought for a second that Tiger had put the kiss of death on Trevor when he said something like, “Trevor’s been playing well all day, he just had one bad hole. He’ll wrap it up.” And then Trevor proceeded to dump it in the drink on 16.  But good for him, as he’s been through a lot, and it looks like the hard work is starting to pay off.

The thing I missed yesterday was that old Tiger excitement. Did you even see him get excited once yesterday? Maybe when he dropped the 80 footer? But where are the fist pumps? Where is the quick pace from green to the next tee because he just can’t wait to grip it and rip it? He just looked frustrated. Which is understandable. I still miss that old Tiger Magic. Is he just getting older, settling down? Don’t get me wrong, he’ll still win. Lots. No one goes out and has a “bad day” and still finishes second except Tiger Woods (and of course I had to make this into a Tiger feature..who doesn’t?!?!).

Anyway, this is from the last time Tiger won the Masters, in 2005. So you can enjoy that in lieu of me putting up Immelman and his delightful family.