Happy Monday. Hope you enjoyed the weekend — and the summer, since school starts in Hamilton County this week. Crazy indeed.
From the "Talks too much" studios, after his meeting with the media Sunday, here's saying the kind words offered by Lane Kiffin to Johnny Vols Fans everywhere likely fell flat.
Who won the weekend?
We normally save this for the question part. This Monday there are several options worthy of discussion for who won and who lost this weekend.
• Rory McIlroy, who continues to hammer drivers so far and so straight that there is no one with an answer for the new No. 1 player in the world.
• Dale Jr., who completed the Pocono sweep on Sunday and is a clear contender in the NASCAR postseason. It was his third win this year.
• Sergio Garcia, who lost a golf tournament but appeared ready to replace a diamond ring his wayward tee shot busted Sunday at Firestone. Dude may be the only one who can give Rory a test this week at the PGA Championship.
• Tom Watson, the Ryder Cup captain who now has a ready-made excuse for leaving Tiger Woods off the Ryder Cup team and saw enough from Phil Mickelson on Sunday to include Lefty.
• Indiana Pacers fans, who watched in horror — as we all did — at Paul George's leg snapping. The Pacers lost their best player for reportedly all of next season after he broke the two main bones in his lower leg.
• Tiger Woods, who withdrew after eight holes Sunday citing back pain. The serious questions about Tiger's health now make it seem impossible to catch Jack, which six years ago seemed like a foregone conclusion.
• The Braves, who followed an understandable sweep to the Dodgers and its starting rotation of Beckett, Grienke and Kershaw with an inexplicable sweep in San Diego. If the playoffs started today, the Braves, who are 3.5 back in the NL East, would be on the outside looking in.
The flood of college football news in the TFP over the weekend was fun to read. And a clear sign that the season is coming.
We have enjoyed all the coverage ranging from Knoxville to Athens to an interesting look at the music choices for the Mocs.
Of all the things that struck our fancy this weekend, Lane Kiffin meeting with the media was the most intriguing for a couple of reasons.
First, his quote in TFP SEC ace David Paschall's story today about still be younger than 40 and having had these career experiences is staggering. It seems Kiffin has been around since the beginning of time — he was called out by the late-great Al Davis for crying out loud — and to remember that he's not even 40 is kind of an eye-popping moment.
The other is the smile on our face picturing the uneasiness Nick Saban labored through during that interview.
We could have put this on the winners and losers list, but thought it needed a little more reflection.
Late last week, Dustin Johnson said he was leaving the Tour for personal reasons.
Then on Friday, Golf.com reported that Johnson was suspended for the rest of the year for testing positive for cocaine. The PGA Tour said they will never comment on player-relation matters be them fines or suspensions.
Then, the PGA came out and said Johnson's absence was voluntary, which actually is commenting on player-relation matters. Plus, if Golf.com's report is wrong, Johnson's people screaming bloody murder, especially in a images-related sport like golf where a drug-related suspension would cost Johnson seven or maybe eight figures in endorsements.
So which is it and why does the PGA Tour get such an iron-clad facade of anonymity? Imagine the NFL trying to say, "We do not comment on player-relations," last week when the Ray Rice stuff was breaking?
We know why NASCAR gets a free pass. NASCAR as an entity has an owner, and all things run through the France family. And if you think things are not run like family BID-ness, try getting a rule book.
This lends reason behind the NASCAR adage, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." But that's family-owned.
The PGA Tour is public group that assuredly gets federal protection and at least tax considerations — OK, maybe the Tour doesn't but the litany of corporate sponsorships.
This one stinks, and not unlike the Ray Rice deal, the handling of the matter makes it worse.
This and that
— This came out last week, but we missed it. Oh my word — a $3 million RV covered in real gold. It's got a "portable, push-button, pop-up rooftop terrace."
— FYI, the best area college football senior prospects were at the TFP on Sunday. We will start the count of the top 12 players here at the timesfreepress.com on Saturday with No. 12. We will continue that countdown each day at 4 p.m. until we get to No. 1. Good times.
— Shoutout to the recruiting machine that is Butch Jones and Co. Dude landed 2016 quarterback Austin Kendall over the weekend. Well-played indeed.
— Side point: When we see Jon Gruden now we can't help but think, "Man, that guy looks a lot like Frank Caliendo doing Jon Gruden."
— Here's exhibit 14,371 on why the NCAA needs to be overhauled: South Carolina self-reported a slew of secondary violations over the weekend. Among them was an infraction for impermissible iced decorations on some cookie cakes. Yes, you read that right and yes, that instantly begs the question, "What is permissible cookie cake iced decorations?"
There are a slew of them. Yes, we want your view on who won/lost the weekend — and we believe that will be a topic on today's Press Row from 3-6 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM. (Side note: The online stream has been spotty lately because of website construction. Not sure when it will be back and rolling but we'll keep you updated.)
Will Tiger ever win another major?
We also wanted to discuss the Rushmore of leg injuries after Paul George's gruesome broken leg over the weekend. Who you got?
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...