Bryson DeChambeau. Wow, dude got ripped and is now hitting bombs and is changing golf theory like no player since some cat named Tiger and the process of Tiger-proofing became commonplace. DeChambeau's changed physique has become one of the most talked about and interesting sports topics of the pandemic. He destroyed the course this weekend at the aptly named Rocket Mortgage Classic, where his 21st longest drive was 344 yards. Reread that. DeChambeau became the first player since 2004 to lead a tournament in driving distance, shots gained off the tee and putting. Side question: Considering the immense mass movement in DeChambeau's physique, has anyone wondered if those three magical letters — PED — are in play here? Because if s baseball player came back from a three-month break with that much of a physical overhaul, we'd be remiss not to ask, no?
Speaking of golf, this is a bold move right here. Former hotshot amateur Will Zalatoris wrote his caddie a check for his cut of what would be the winner's share of the weekend's Korn Ferry event. He did that Saturday morning — before playing the final 36 holes of the tournament — and that went out there and won the event.
Kevin Harvick. Dude is fashioning an all-time career in NASCAR's highest level. Like an elite career. Harvick won at the Brickyard and now has four wins this season and 53 career wins, which is either tied with Lee Petty for 11th all-time or one behind Petty, who has 53 according to some records and 54 according to others. Jimmie Johnson (83) is sixth all-time and Kyle Busch (56) is ninth. Harvick almost assuredly will move into the top 10 all-time — Rusty Wallace is 10th at 56 — which is a pretty amazing run.
The Mrs. 5-at-10. Gang, we're supremely proud of the Mrs. professional work — she has legit skills with a camera in her hands — and she continues to get honored and noticed in those circles. Here's a flattering write-up of her latest project called Safe at Home as she is shooting people in their homes through computers during the Corona.
Bryson DeChambeau. By almost all accounts, DeChambeau is, shall we say, prickly. (Yes, Spy, prickly like a porcupine, not as an adjective from the noun root of the word prickly.) Anywell, the newly formed DeChambeau was true to his old persona during the weekend, chastising a CBS cameraman for, well, being a cameraman. DeChambeau got prickly because he thought the cameraman was trying to catch DeChambeau playing dirty or losing his cool. Part of his innate and simply nonsensical rant was the completely duplicitous "I mean, I understand that it's his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone's image." Uh, Bryson, first, are you sure you understand what his job is, because it sure as heck doesn't seem like it. And second, newly forged Big Guy, it's the ying with the yang of it. Your brand is formed by making shots and the cameras catching them, so the reverse is also part of it. And ultimately, if you do not want embarrassing actions or things that could "hurt your brand" caught on video, here's an idea meathead: Don't do embarrassing actions or things that could hurt your brand on the golf course. Deal? Deal.
The world vs. 2020. Yes, we tried to offer a halftime speech idea as we hit the midway point of 2020 and see that life has been kicking our tail through the first six months of the year. Well, from the "How could this possibly get any worse" comes news that a case of bubonic plague has been reported in northern China. The bubonic plague — aka Black Death — is definitely a way this could get worse. (Side question: Is Black Death offensive? Do we need to change that for socially sensitive measures? Asking for a friend.)
The shootings in Atlanta. This is a terrible tragedy. An 8-year-old girl was killed among the 14 people who were shot over the weekend during and around protests. Tragic, truly. This is one of the ways that media doing media better would help everyone involved in these conversations, in my opinion. This story is from NBC News, and there is no reference to any details about the suspects or the group who opened fire on the car in which the 8-year-old was in over the weekend. That includes mentioning race, and I contend if the group was a gathering of white people, it would have been in the headline. To that end, a link to the side of that very story on Yahoo was "A white man, woman vandalized a Black Lives Matter mural" In sad or unfortunate or crime stories, if you are going to have standards to use racial qualifiers, then use them. Use them always, otherwise that bias is clear and detrimental to the overall cause and conversation in my opinion.
Those of us optimistic that sports will return anytime soon. Yes, players wondering whether they should be back is understandable. And there's a smidge hypocrisy in players' laments about the owners and commissioner Rob Manfred during the negotiations to return, because the players had a hand in it too. But the news out of the weekend 'Summer camps' or 'spring training 2.0' or whatever we're calling this was almost universally discouraging and met with a river of answers that sounded a whole lot like "Why are we doing this?" Here's TFP ace sports columnist Mark Wiedmer on Freddie Freeman getting the Corona and the possible impact from that. And the NBA? Heck, entire camps are being shut down and if one case gets in the NBA bubble, then poof, the whole thing gets got.
Donald Trump and Twitter. Man, I wish I had a $5 bill every time I saw something Donald Trump put on Twitter and thought, "Sweet Lord, is there an adult at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. that can keep those folks focused?" Well, Trump was at it again, posting this Monday morning: "Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!" Uh, Commander and Tweet, first, it was not a hoax. Second, the race after the flag decision was actually up. Yes, NASCAR ratings are a mixed bag, but they've been riding that slippery slope for years. And I don't think Bubba owes anyone an apology — he has handled this as well as anyone could imagine, in my view — and he has frequently pointed to the support of current and former drivers throughout this entire deal.
And then there's this
Are the Washington Whomevers winners or losers of the weekend? On the winning side, is the move and realization after decades of controversy and denial to change the "Redskins' name is still the right thing to do. And doing the right thing is never a bad thing.
But making change at the point of the financial spear of major investors — FedEx, which has the naming rights for the stadium in Washington, and Nike pulled all of the Redskins gear from its online stores — is not ethical or social aware.
It's money not morality. Because the people offended by the Redskins moniker did not just arrive at this conversation. They've been here throughout, it's just now that Nike and FedEx are turning the financial screws. (And while it's really tough to see how Dan Snyder, the Washington owner who has forever said words like "never" or "not as long as I own the team" when asked about when the change will come, deserves a tip of the social awareness visor, the change of position from FedEx and Nike and the other
It's also the tip of the talking point, no?
Because while the Redskins, at least to me, were clearly the most egregious of the names sports teams use that reference Native Americans, you have to wonder which franchise will be the focus of Nike or Fed Ex or Truist Bank or whatever vested public company that would rather give three for one deals than find itself in the crosshairs of social morality controversy.The Braves? The Blackhawks? The Chiefs and Arrowhead Stadium?
In this time of extreme preemptive caveats, let me go ahead and get this one out of the way (and yes, this feels like the old school Southern Baptist "Bless her heart" that your grandmother would use as a cover-all of whatever insult preceded it or whatever followed it's new-school versions of "No offense intended" and "With all due respect) :
As a heterosexual white male, I have no idea what is offensive or isn't to other individuals or groups. So there you go.
But, what is fair game for a mascot? Will PETA be coming for Colts or Tigers/War Eagles? Will the former employees of the Green Bay packaging plants that have lost jobs argue that "Packers" is a painful reminder of a once-thriving industry?
Again, I think everyone can understand the complaints against Redskins, since it's pretty much used as a derogatory term in every pre-1980s movie and TV show featuring cowboys and Indians.
But couldn't we offer that Chiefs and Braves and Warriors — roles and titles given to the high-achievers, leaders and exceptional members of their tribes — is akin to Commodores or Volunteers or Patriots?
Hey, again, it's no skin off my nose either way, and this is not like the historical impacts that a lot of the other social sensitivity
This and that
— Thought this was an interesting read over the weekend. Here's ESPN all-time college baseball team. Lots of familiar names — hey, that's former Braves third baseman Bob Horner — on there. Hey, what else are you going to do during these slow times.
— Thanks for everyone's kind words and well wishes over the weekend. Our last weekend at Lake Martin was a blast. My liver needs a break.
— You know the rules. TFP college football expert David Paschall writes about college football, we read and link Paschall on college football. Here's Paschall's weekend report on Alabama, Georgia and Auburn topping the SEC charts in cross-divisional success.
Weekend winners and losers. Go.As for our multiple choice Monday, let's go here:Zion Williamson is 20 today. Yes, just 20. If you sports stars (under the age of 25) were Bluechip stocks, which one will be the most valuable in 10 years:A) ZionB) Luka Doncic
C) Patrick Mahomes D) Trevor Lawrence
Side question: How many hot dogs could you eat if you are truly invested in a hot dog eating competition? Over/under 5?
AS for today, July 6, let's review.
Sly Stallone is 74 today. Yes, 74.
What's Sly's Rushmore beyond the Rockys?
Wiedmer: Could Freddie Freeman shut down sports' return as swiftly as Rudy Gobert first stopped them?