Steph Curry. Dude put on a show Friday night as the Warriors evened the NBA Finals at 2 and reclaimed home-court advantage. Curry has embraced the moment, dropped 43 in a critical Game 4 as Draymond continues to struggle and has made the best defensive team in the NBA look like a collection of middle schoolers. How great has Curry been in this series? Glad you asked. He's shooting 50/49/85.7 from the first, 3 and the line. He's averaging 34.3 points and more than six rebounds per. How about this stat? This is the 26th playoff series Steph has played with the Warriors. Golden State is 21-4 in the previous playoff series with Steph on the floor.
The Braves. Winners of 11 in a row and doing it with a 'pass-the-hero' approach that does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. While everyone is contributing right now, we'd be remiss not to continue to mention the jaw-dropping skill set of Ronald Acuña Jr. Yes, he's crushing June with a slash line of .368/.457/.737 with four homers and 17 runs accounted for (runs plus RBIs) in 10 games. And that's great. But his true amazingness was on display this weekend when he scored from first base on Dansby Swanson's soft single to right field. Here's the clip, and dude is flying around the bases. It was amazing.
Rory and the PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy, who as Spy suggests is now the face and voice of the PGA Tour, dropped a 62 on Sunday from the final group to win the RBC Canadian Open. Then he took shots at Greg Norman in the post-round news conference. Plus, on a weekend that Charl Schwartzel won more money ($4 million) than he has in his last five years on the PGA Tour ($3.95 million) and all the LIV chatter, the PGA Tour could not have dreamed up a better final group Sunday with Rory, JT and Tony Finau duking it out all afternoon.
The Yankees. Wow, I know the Braves are white-hot, but the Yankees are swinging lumber like a slow-pitch softball crew. They are 44-16 and have 98 homers in those 60 games - 14 more than the Braves, who are second in the majors in that category.
San Francisco sports fans. The Giants swept the hated Dodgers. The Warriors are at home tonight in a pivotal Game 5 of a tied Finals. The 49ers are a trendy pick to make a serious run. These were the best of times.
Detroit sports fans. Egad, talk about the opposite end of the San Fran possibility of competing for all three major sports titles in the same year, the Tigers, Pistons and Lions, picked third, first and second in the most recent drafts in each sport. These are the worst of times.
Joe Tessitore and Timothy Bradley. The ESPN boxing announcers Saturday night mocked and laughed at a boxer in a recent clip who got knocked down and got up clearly punch drunk and woozy. Said boxer later died from the injuries he suffered and Joe Tess and Bradley issued quick apologies, but yikes.
Tony LaRussa. Is there a more crotchety person in all of sports than Tony, who deservedly got some second-guessing late last week for intentionally walking Trae Turner who was down 1-2 in the count? The next hitter homered and delivered what proved to be the game-winner. And LaRussa has been outraged at people even daring to question his decision. Bet he's a load of fun at parties.
Jayson Tatum and the Boston approach in the final quarter of Game 4. What in the world? Hey, I get making the right basketball play, but at some point, don't you have to pull your team together in the huddle and ask why your best player - a budding superstar that is looking to put his flag on being an alpha on a title team - got exactly one shot in the final five minutes in the most pivotal half quarter of everyone's life?
Krushed in K-town
I was shocked. More than that. Stunned.
Up there with Duke beating UNLV in the semis and Mississippi State beating Gene and UConn a few years ago as the biggest non-title game college sports upsets I can ever recall.
And maybe that still does not do justice of Notre Dame bouncing top-ranked Tennessee in the Knoxville Super Regional over the weekend.
It was a three-game series that had a little bit of everything, which was expected from this UT bunch which prided itself on a doing a lot of everything. And doing it loudly, brashly, and unapologetically.As Weeds wrote this morning, there will be a lot of folks swimming in this because UT lost and how heart-breaking it was for a team that was either super cool or super crude - and some of both - depending on your allegiance.
I think the legacy for this bunch - who some called the best college team in the country this year in any sport - will be wide-ranging.
Personally, I loved the energy and life they brought to a game that is starving for it. Was it at times over the top? No doubt, like when Drew Gilbert cussed out the ump and got tossed in Game 1 of this Super Regional.
But I also believe that anyone who thinks this is not the springboard for a baseball juggernaut, well, I'd caution against doing too many victory laps over Tony Vitello's program.
They were the talk of college baseball - heck, here's betting ESPN execs are heart-broken the Vols are not bringing the ratings-drawing circus of celebration to Omaha; i know I will watch less without UT there, and that's with Auburn playing tonight for the final College World Series spot - because of what they did and how they did it.
That attracts the attention of the best recruits in the country. Also remember that UT baseball has a separate, baseball-specific NIL recruiting set-up.
And, while UT will likely lose multiple first-round pick next month - another thing recruits pay attention to - they have a slew of talented dudes coming back too.
You may hate the way UT played, and you may love that Notre Dame won this weekend - and as was mentioned in Weeds' column, when you can make Notre Dame the crappy, fan-favorite underdog in any sport, well, that screams volumes.
But Tony V and his boys are going to be right there in the spotlight for the foreseeable future.
This and that
- Speaking of golf, good on you Keith Mitchell, who dropped a 66 Sunday to move into a tie for seventh and punch a ticket to the U.S. Open this week. Good times.- And here's the simple truth the PGA best realize in regard to the LIV completion: The money is obscene. How obscene? Take Mitchell for instance, who shot four rounds at 70 or better this weekend and made $273,325 for a share of seventh. On the LIV, Andy Ogletree (no relation to Alec) did not break 75 in any of the three LIV rounds and got a check for $120K. Dustin Johnson made $625,000 for finishing eighth at the LIV London event.
- One more golf tidbit: Phil Mickelson's press conference is today at 1 p.m. Grab your popcorn. Over/under on answers that resemble 'No comment' or 'I prefer not to discuss that' is set at 5.5.
- While UT's loss dominated the college baseball news, three SEC teams - Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Arkansas - punched tickets to Omaha. And as mentioned Auburn plays at 7:30 tonight at Oregon State and the winner of that game goes to the CWS too.
Weekend winners and losers. Go.OK, we're going to have a TV dad's playoff this week heading to Father's Day? Deal. Deal.
First, if you have a category nomination, feel free to email it to me. Today we're pitting the top seeds in the dysfunctional but lovable dads bracket with Al Bundy vs. Homer Jay Simpson.Who you got?As for today, June 13, let's review.
It's the birthday for Tim Allen (69) and Chris Evans (41), the original and newest voices of Buzz Lightyear. So there's that.
On this day 100 years go Charlie Osborne comes down with a case of the hiccups. Charlie's case lasted 68 years for the longest battle with the hiccups on record. Charlie died 11 months after his hiccups ended. Bummer.
Rushmore of best ways to stop the hiccups. Go.