5-at-10: Break up the Phillies, NIL hypocrisy, Pat McAfee — friend or foe

Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies celebrates after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Diamondbacks in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)

Break up the Phillies

When Kyle Schwarber, who looks more beer-league softball superstar than lead-off hitter for the World Series favorite, is going ding-dong twice, well, cue Ice Cube, “today was a good day.”

The Phillies are crushing every mistake.

The Phillies have a bona fide 1-2 playoff punch that is as good as any since Curt Schilling paired with Randy Johnson with the D-Backs in ’01 and Pedro Martinez with Red Sox a few years later.

Side note: I know there are a lot of folks who have forever drawn the line on performance-enhancing drug users getting into Cooperstown. But keeping Schilling out because you think he is more d-bag than d-back is pretty petty, especially considering some of the world-class jackwagons in the Hall. Looking at you Ty Cobb.

Anywell, the Phillies rolled to a 10-bagel win — hopefully Jay’s Plays players were on the train last night — and have a 2-0 series lead heading to Arizona.

And considering Arizona is handing the ball to someone named Brandon Pfaadt, who fashioned a less-than-stellar 5.72 ERA in 19 games this season.

Side question: There have been a few “money moments” in sports, and what I mean by that is Tiger Woods was money for a five-plus-year stretch. We were all surprised when he missed any putt inside 10 feet or missed any green in regulation from the fairway. Barry Bonds barreled everything from 2000-04. MJ made every meaningful shot he looked at after he returned. As for the question, Bryce Harper is there right now in these playoffs. Granted those aforementioned dudes were zeroed in for extended periods that lasted years. But right now, when Harper does not hit the ball hard, I am truly stunned.

Side question, part II: The Phillies acquiring Trae Turner — especially while the Braves went cheaper replacing Dansby Swanson — continues to pay dividends.

Survey says

So The Athletic sponsored a survey among college football viewers and the most polarizing issue among college football viewers is media mogul de jour Pat McAfee.

Right at 50% (49.8% to be exact) of College GameDay viewers do not like McAfee’s presence and antics on the traditional Saturday morning pregame frat party.

A smidgen more than 30% approve of McAfee — and count me among those. I enjoy him and his bros and their schtick and flow. And, while it was during the Red River Rivalry and not the pregame show, but McAfee and his crew were joined by renowned Texas fan Matthew McConaughey and it was entertaining. Filled with nasty language including some S bombs and more than a few GDs, but entertaining nonetheless.

McAfee has become arguably the most discussed sports media personality over the last year. He got a monster deal — reportedly in the $80 million neighborhood, which we all know is a really swanky neighborhood — from ESPN as the Mothership was laying off dozens to meet budget.

McAfee and Co. reportedly are paying Aaron Rodgers millions to appear weekly on his show, and in truth it’s a smart investment considering the notoriety and news it has generated.

McAfee and his crew are quick to embrace the frat-boy, dudes-sitting-at-the-watering-hole essence that old-school sports talk shows used to long to emulate. And he certainly has been quite generous with his new found riches, making multiple pledges to NFL players and college players alike — half-a-million to TJ Watt’s charity if sets the sack record, $100K to the Duke children’s hospital if the Devils had toppled Notre Dame, etc. — this fall.

Thoughts? McAfee, friend or foe?


So the new NCAA president is way better than the old NCAA president.

In other news, I am writing this from Jack’s in Red Bank, and the table at which I am sitting is more impressive than the old NCAA president.

Well, it seems Charlie Miller is continuing to seek Congressional help in unifying the name, image and likeness regulations and rules that have exploded across the college sports landscape over the past couple of years.

It’s a noble request, and the need is clear as more than 30 states have varying NIL rules for their in-state colleges and universities.

But it’s hypocritical as any move made by the NCAA, and that’s a monsterly broad statement for an organization that has been defined by hypocrisy and a Sgt. Schultz (“I KNOW nothing”) approach to enforcement, crisis management and leadership.

And that the NCAA is appealing to Congress — a body that refuses to rein in its fundraising and money-generating regulations — to limit and cap what 18-to-23-year-old athletes driving a multi-billion-dollar industry is the height of hypocrisy.

For the NCAA and Congress, which again is a bar that I never expected to be reset.

The NCAA botched this at every step. Granted that was the previous regime.

The cliché challenge of putting the toothpaste back in the tube among others is on full tilt.

But the real issue here and a question that none of the leadership is willing to address, especially among the power programs, has to be centered on this example:

Texas A&M made major NIL headlines a couple of years ago with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, and it was clear the Aggies NIL collaborations spent millions to land all those stars.

But the school could very well have to spend tens of millions to pay Jimbo Fisher not to coach and hundreds of millions to operate a football program with goals of competing in the SEC and against in-state big brother Texas.

And the laments of “fairness” in college sports are as fraudulent as the village boy crying wolf.

There has never been fairness in college sports, and the NCAA doesn’t want fairness in college sports.

The NCAA — and its member institutions — want control. Control of the guidelines and control of the purse strings.


This and that

— You know the rules. Here’s Paschall on a key cog of the UT O-Line that will need to deliver come Saturday.

— Southern Miss is gawd awful at tackle football. That was brutally bad last night as South Alabama dropped a 55-3 on the Eagles.

— I don’t get the GoFundMe stuff. Like this one, where Mary Lou Retton’s family asked for $50K to help with medical bills. They got more than $400,000 in donations.

— Here’s an interesting interview with Alan Shipnuck, who has been the foremost news-breaker of the entire LIV-PGA issue.

Today’s questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way:

Which MLB player would you most like to see win the World Series?

Which is a bigger issue for Congress, term limits, political donations or NIL?

Which FBS college football team is the worst this season?

As for today, Oct. 18, let’s review.

George C. Scott would have been 96 today. Take your pick:

Rushmore of George C. Scott movies or Rushmore of actors with the most-famous middle initial.

Go, and remember the mailbag.