It's here. It's happening. And thanks to GD for the update on Ratt, who played in the first real concert we attended back in the day.
We'll spend a good chunk of Press Row - our afternoon radio show from 1-3 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 - talking about SEC media days and the All-Star game and the rest. Give us a shout or send us a question on The Twitter at @jgreesontfp.
From the "Talks too much" studios, if 'Enter Sandman' is retired as Mariano Rivera's entrance music, does that make "Lunatic Fringe" the new champion intro anthem? Discuss.
Day 1 is in the books.
Let's capsulize the info as best we can.
What happened yesterday: It was a strange first day, especially considering Steve Spurrier finished third on the one-liner list. Spurrier's shot at "Notre-Damers" was behind the security guard for Jadeveon Clowney, who said of the 6-foot-6, 270-pound superstar defensive end, "I'm 'security' for him? If he can't handle it, who am I?" And the winner in a semi-huge upset was Will Muschamp, who thanked Urabn Meyer and THE-probation-riddle THE Ohio State for turning in the Gators for a secondary violation by saying, "So we appreciated our friends from Ohio making sure we're compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know a little bit about that subject." Also of note, when asked which SEC fans were the harshest, Missouri quarterback James Franklin said his own. OUCH-standing
Zingers aside, Clowney was the overwhelming star. He will be the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick next May barring injury, and unlike Johnny Football, Clowney has co-existed swimmingly with his larger-than-life persona and fame.
Who's up today: Six teams go today, including all four of the new head coaches at Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Auburn. The other two teams are Texas A&M and Mississippi State. And oh yeah, Johnny Manziel will be in the center of the three-ring circus.
What we expect today: Manziel will be the storyline today - not just from Hoover but across the sports landscape. Reports this week have him apologizing to the Aggies staff for his recent public, PR fumble and being advised to be honest with the media this week. Honest or indirect, here's saying today's session will definitely be interesting.
The British Open is this week, starting Thursday in the wee hours back here in the states. We enjoy this event greatly for a number of reasons. The bounces and the bunkers and the cruel twists of fate that make every player seem vulnerable at any time. The culture of golf across the pond is the appropriate blend of respect and tradition with fun and beer-laced hooliganisms.
Plus, the Claret Jug, is an awesome trophy. (The Maurice Clarett Jug, the totable 32-ounce mug with the handle, lid and bendy straw used by the former Ohio State running back, is less impressive, however.)
In fact, as far as straight-up trophies go - yes jackets are not included in this mix - we think the Clarett Jug makes the Rushmore. Lord Stanley's Cup is a no-brainer as is an Olympic Gold Medal, and if we take the Clarett Jug, from there, there's a grab bag. The Heisman, the Wimbledon plate and the BCS crystal ball are all pretty boss. At one time the world heavyweight championship belt would have certainly been on the list - and it still may be - but boxing is such a non-factor now it can be debated. That said, if we did win a championship belt, we'd wear it like five times a week. To the store, to play golf, to church, you name it. (And if we had a green jacket... shoot, we'd never take that thing off.)
As for the contest, it's not too late. Send us five golfers and the top four count and you could win stuff. Here's the twist - three different countries must represented.
Billy in Brainerd - Lefty, S Cink [USA]; D Clarke [N Ireland]; L Oosthuizen [S Africa]; and...drumroll please...Y(ing?) Yang [Korea]
5-at-10 - Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Ernie Els
Mrs. 5-at-10 - Phil, Graeme McDowell, Kuchar, Rory, Jason Day
War Eagle - Dufner, Donald, Scott, Tiger, Westwood
Fred - Tiger, Rickie Fowler, Rose, Johnson, Day
Spy - McDowell, Horschel, Kuchar, Day, Schwartzel
StuckinKent - Erne Els- South Africa, Matt Kuchar- USA, Graeme McDowell- Northern Ireland, Jason Day- Australia, Justin Rose- England
Dawg747 - Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson
MrSpud - Woods, Lefty, Rory, D.Clark, Day
McPell - Westwood (ENG), Fujita (JPN), Kuchar (USA), Oosthuizen (RSA) and Woods (USA)
TFP Golf writer David Uchiyama - Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Luke Donald, Nicolas Colsaerts, Henrik Stenson
TNBuck - Woods, Poulter, SChwartzel, Haas, Graham Delaet
More to come...
Did you watch? If Maximus asked, "Aren't you entertained?" what would say? Side note: Who invited Tim McCarver back into the equation, and if McCarver, Berman, Billy Packer and Joe Morgan - the Holy Grail of bad announcing Rushmores - were in the same room, who's ego would survive? Our money's on Berman. That said, when McCarver started reading the lyrics to "Enter Sandman" here's saying the guys from Metallica started breaking stuff.
The baseball was largely forgettable in the 3-0 AL win that secured home-field advantage for the Tigers or the Rangers, which makes this the most meaningful exhibition in the free world.
That said, the eighth inning, when Mariano Rivera entered the game to his traditional "Enter Sandman" theme song - excellent entrance music, by the way... top-shelf - the rest of the AL players remained in the dugout and allowed Rivera to warm-up alone as the full house gave him a two-minute standing ovation.
It was really cool and a fitting end to Rivera's hall-of-fame worthy career as the game's best closer of all time.
In fact, that moment was so cool it almost made us forget how surreal the "Weekend at Bernie's" version of Neil Diamond that trotted out there and sang 'Sweet Carolina.' Almost. (Pssssttt, Neil, stop dancing.)
- Forbes has been dropping it's most valuable/highest paid lists recently. Did you see the actors who made the most coin in the last year? Robert Downey Jr. made $75 million from June '12 to June '13. Channing Tatum was second at $60 million, followed by Hugh Jackman ($55 million), Mark Wahlberg ($50 million) and Dwayne "Rock" Johnson ($40 million). Think Hulk Hogan sees that last name and curses taking the "Mr. Nanny" project as his first leading role. E-Gads.
- The Vols landed another four-star commitment when Cortez McDowell, a highly regarded safety from Locust Grove, Ga., pledged to join Butch Jones' growing list of recruits. We said this on Press Row yesterday, no one knows how Butch will handle coaching in the SEC, but dude is doing work on the recruiting trail right now.
- Good luck to Steven Fox, who will be in the Open this week. His glory summer of playing the elite golf tournaments around the globe after winning the US Am last year likely ends this week unless he can pull some magic from his bag.
- An arrest warrant was issued for Richard Morgan Fliehr, aka Ric Flair, the 16-time heavyweight wrestling champ, for not paying one of his ex-wives more than $32,00 in spousal support. The Nature Boy has fallen on some hard times.
Remember the contest and the Friday mailbag.
Where does the Clarett Jug rank on the trophy scale and what's your trophy Rushmore?
Honestly, what do we expect from Tiger this week? Will he contend? Could he win? Could he miss the cut? The range is really from first to last, right?
What's your intro-music, and how cool would it be to have intro music at our jobs?
Discuss and remember to practice random acts of kindness.