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Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager, left, is congratulated by Cody Bellinger, right, after a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Weekend winners

Jon Rahm and the finish at the BWM. Dustin Johnson hit a downhill 43-footer on the 72nd hole to force a playoff, and then Rahm told him to hold his Modelo and hit a 60-plus-footer with at least 6-feet of break to win the tournament. You don't get to say this often, and almost never at non-majors, but that was a thrilling finish. In golf.

The Dodgers. Want to know how to get 26-10, like these Dodgers are with a lineup anchored by the bash firm of Betts, Bellinger and Seager? How about this: Have the best ERA (2.76) in baseball and the second-most runs scored (204) in baseball. (And while we're here, the Dodgers set a National League record for the most homers in a month with on more day to go in August.)

Coffee industry. Maybe it's not winning the weekend since it happened in the middle of last week, but coffee makers and sellers certainly dodged the defeat of a decade as a 10-year-long lawsuit that claimed coffee should have a cancer-like warning label akin to cigarettes was tossed out of court.

Jamal Murray. Dude is getting buckets of buckets. That's three straight playoff games with 40-plus, after Murray dropped 50 last night to force a Game 7 against the Jazz. Want to know the last player with three straight playoff games with 40-plus? Some cat named Jordan. Michael Jordan. Side question: Murray and Devin Booker are big-time NBA scorers, which lead us to a big-picture question, of how many titles should John Calipari and the Cats have considering the bushel of bucket-getters and the bevy of big-timers that have come through Lexington in the last 10 years? How about deciding who makes your former-UK roster in the NBA? John Wall. DeMarcus Cousins. Eric Bledsoe. Anthony Davis. Karl-Anthony Towns. De'Aaron Fox. Jamal Murray. Kevin Knox. I could go on, and Cal has just the one title.

 

Weekend losers

Braves starting pitchers. Again. For a while a few years ago, we could have put NASCAR in this category almost weekly as the numbers dipped historically. (Side note: Those numbers are not good right now either.) Well, after the Braves swept a double-header against the Yankees last week with Ian Anderson and Max Fried each allowing one run in six innings, the starters over the weekend in Philly were crushed. Sunday Tommy Milone went 2.1 and allowed seven earned. On Saturday, Josh Tomlin allowed three earned in 4.1. On Friday, Robbie Erlin allowed four earned in four innings. That's 14 earned runs in 10.2 innings, which is a less-than-Dodgers-esque 11.813 ERA. So, for a franchise that won a World Series in the 1950s with a mantra of "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain," maybe this bunch is looking at "Max and Ian, then baseballs be leavin'" this year. (Side note: If the Braves do no make a move for a starting pitcher before the 4 p.m. trade deadline then, well, that would be no bueno.)      

While we're there, the way NASCAR regular season ended. Hey, I appreciate the different things the sport has tried — be them successful or not — and I think the decisions made and the support given to Bubba Wallace were noble and proper. But, if the old-school NASCAR that I knew and love — the one that was part Six Pack with Kenny Rodgers, part old-school pro wrestling with Gordon Solie and part Animal House at 180 mph — would have moved Heaven and Earth to get Jimmie Johnson in the playoffs.

Death. Man, be it the sad stories of another killing during a protest-turned-riot in Portland or the deaths of actor Chadwick Boseman or legendary former Georgetown coach John Thompson, it was a sad weekend in terms of loss of life. You know what? In times like this — as the great praise is coming after the end of those notable lives when those notable humans can't appreciate those kind words — we should all aim to share our thoughts and feelings when people can hear and appreciate them rather. I am thankful for you guys and gals opening part of your day around these parts. It means more than you know.

Jacksonville. How can an NFL franchise be this internally broken? They dealt the best young corner in the game last year when they sent Jalen Ramsey to Los Angeles. Yannick Ngakoue wanted out of Jacksonville so badly he took at least a $5.8 million pay cut. (Never mind that the Jags waited to deal him so all they got for one of the three best DEs in the league was a second-rounder in 2021 and a conditional pick in 2022.) Then Monday morning, Jacksonville cut Leonard Fournette. Say what? I get tanking for Trevor, but buckets the internal culture there looks so bad, would anyone be surprised if Trevor Lawrence and his folks went all Eli Manning or John Elway and made it clear they are not interested in playing there? Gang, this team is three years — just three years, friends — removed from being up double-digits in Foxboro in the second half for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
 

 

Thank you

Was it the best played game, that Saturday night tussle between the Central Arkansas and Austin Peay?

Not really.

Did it matter?

Absolutely not.

Unlike the rest of the sports that have found ways back, be them bubbled or not or with limited fans or none, college football felt good Saturday night as Central Arkansas rallied for a late, come-from-behind win over the Governors.

Now comes the important part of that season opener.

As the Big Ten has fashioned itself into a corner of ridiculousness from which the league that brought you division names Leaders and Legends actually could be rooting for more COVID cases in Tuscaloosa, the details over the next days and weeks from Central Arkansas and Austin Peay should be studied and surveyed and shared across all levels and in all corners, from Green Bay to Athens, Ga. and from Seattle to Clemson. 

In fact, the NFL and the Power players in the SEC and the ACC should pony up sizable dollars and send aides to Conway, Arkansas and Clarksville, Tennessee.

Because for those of us who want the powers that be to explore every option to have a football season — for the players and for the passion, for the fans and the fight against fear and so many other reasons — the results of the next  two weeks from CAU and APSU could mean everything about those hopes.

And whatever help and support the SEC, the ACC or the NFL can offer those schools to study what works and what didn't would make a world of sense.

Either way, it was pretty sweet to watch a college football game on the Saturday before Labor Day Weekend with a CoCola and my feet up.

Here's hoping that no one from either of those schools catches anything other than footballs for the next two weeks, right?

For them. For their families. For their friends. And for football fans everywhere.

 

This and that

— You know the rules. Here's TFP college football expert David Paschall on big key to the biggest positional strength (in my opinion) of this Tennessee football team. Here's Paschall's prose on Georgia and Kirby Smart being happy just to get on the scrimmage field. And here's David's ditty on Alabama getting some good vibes from a scrimmage, too.

— Ja'Marr Chase, the super-duper-star receiver at LSU, has reportedly opted out of the season to get ready for the draft. Hard to blame that kid for that decision. There's simply no way he was going to do anything that surpassed the amazing 2019 he put on film with a surrounding cast that included the now-departed two Joes (Burrow, who is the starting QB with the Bengals, and Brady, who is now the OC with the Panthers) who left Red Stick for the NFL.

— The officer charged with killing George Floyd is claiming that a drug overdose and the training tactics Minnesota officers get are responsible for Floyd's death and not Derek Chauvin. Wow.

 

Today's questions

Weekend winners and losers. Please share your nominations.

As for this day, Aug. 31, let's review.

On this day in 1997, Princess Diana died in a car crash.
Richard Gere is 71 today. Dude has a much better catalog than most would know.

What makes his Rushmore?

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