Cardinals offense. Do we know if Kliff Kingsbury is any good? Does it matter? Because Kyler Murray can really scoot and DeAndre Hopkins may be the best WR in the NFL.
Cam Newton's milliner. His name is Alberto Hernandez, and his hat game is wicked strong. After the Pats' upset win over the Ravens on Sunday night — in a driving rainstorm — Newton rocked a full-blown fez. I wonder what Bill Belichick thinks of Cam's hat game? (Bet he likes it a heckuva a lot more after Ws.)
Kyle Trask. The Florida quarterback is blistering foes right now and looks like a perfect for Dan Mullen and the Gators. His numbers Saturday night against Arkansas were nuts: 23-of-29 for 356 and six TDs in a runaway. His QBR (ESPN's stat driven ranking that has a max of 100; unlike the QB efficiency number which is much higher in college and peaks at 158.3 for NFL QBs) was a season-best 97.6. Friends when your QBR is close to having a temperature, you're doing work. Trask — who, by now everyone knows, as a senior in high school was the No. 262-ranked prospect in Texas, and picked Florida over Houston Baptist (those were his only two offers) — has to be a Heisman front runner and has 2,171 passing yards and 28 TDs in six games. I've said this on Press Row, but having a season — and having THIS kind of season — has made Trask millions of dollars.
My picks. What? For real? Yep, the Fab 4 picks went 3-1 — Florida went over by itself against Arkansas, Liberty smoking Western Carolina, Oregon minus-10 over Washington State; missed Rutgers-Illinois — and even did better than Kyle the Magic 8-Ball, who did not agree with my Florida-Arkansas over 60 pick. And thew NFL picks topped .500 too, with wins with the Raiders (-4), the Dolphins (-1.5) and the Pats (+7). We missed on the two overs, including the Raiders-Broncos, which was at 50 on Friday when I made the picks, and finished at 49 with Denver missing a two-point conversion midway through the fourth quarter. Sigh. Still, CHA-ching.
Julie C. The winner of our Masterfully Mastering the Masterpiece that is the Masters pool with a green jacket-worthy entry of winner Dustin Johnson, fourth-place finisher Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, who finished tied for fifth and tied for seventh respectively. That's a score of 17, and if anyone had better than that, speak now or forever hold your peace. (Side question: In the old West days, was it "speak now or hold your piece" in reference to your side arm?)
Bonus pick (for Chas and for honor): UK's first-play tribute to their recently deceased former assistant coach was aces.
Bonus, bonus pick: Tampa Bay Bucs. Yes, a win's a win and that's fine and good. But the Bucs bounced back in a big way and across the NFC South, Carolina and New Orleans had QB1s knocked out of the game, and both looked like multiple-week injuries.
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. This is broken. I am shocked how bad this is. And if Harbaugh can't fix his alma mater, can anyone?
South Carolina. It's got to be bad to fire a coach — and offer up the $15 million — in this fiscal day and age. I get it and it was not working. That said, I really like Will Muschamp, the dude and the DC, and it's not like he has to find a gig any time soon considering he made well into eight figures as the HC at South Carolina and Florida before that. But here's betting that his phone has been ringing off the hook from every SEC coach worth his salt wondering if he wants to be a defensive analyst. (And yes, Twitter went nuts with Muschamp to Bama chatter, which is exactly what Saban needs: Another great defensive coach who is an elite recruiter.)
Donald's Saturday night Twitter exchanges. He offered "I WON THE ELECTION" late Saturday night on the social media platform and the response was expected, and the responses were pretty funny, ranging from outlandish "I AM THE BATMAN" and a host of others. And to no one's surprise, it actually got worse from there.
Bettors who had the Browns minus-4. Yeah, we normally don't add bettors from specific games, because, hey, sports is fueled in a lot of ways by betting, and there's going to a winning side and a losing side in all of them. But those holding a Browns ticket Sunday had to watch as Nick Chubb stepped out of bounds at the 1 with a 10-7 lead so Cleveland could kneel and run out the clock. It was the right play, of course — just ask Todd Gurley — but it's still ouch-standing.
Tiger at 12 Sunday. Let's just along shall we?
Bonus pick: College football in my pantheon of fandom. Not sure about you guys gang, but I had zero idea I was so regional in my college football viewing. I watched some of Florida (betting-driven). I watched a little of Liberty (betting-driven). I watched a little of Ole Miss-South Carolina (Kiffin-driven). And not a whole lot else. (Listened to some of UK-Vandy on the radio on ESPN 105.1 the Zone as we cleaned out the garage.) Without most of the SEC, I watched the least amount of college football on a November Saturday in my life. And that's not hyperbole.
Dustin Johnson was all-time great at Augusta.
That's not a surprise sentence to anyone, considering that DJ has forever been one of the answers to the "If every player to ever play golf showed up with their A game, who wins"
And this weekend was a prime example. He was that good at a place that Tiger and Jack and the all-time one-name dudes forged a legacy and sharpened their edge against eternal comparisons.
And over the last four days, DJ was better than both. And everyone else
His 20 under was the best score ever over 72 holes at the beloved Augusta National. And it may have been better than that considering that Cameron Smith became the first golfer ever to shoot four rounds in the 60s at Augusta National.
DJ beat him by 5.
More than that, though, and most of you know this: I love the Masters. Yes, more than the draft.
It's my favorite sports event every year, and I loved this one too.
I know the TV numbers will be down. I know the absence of patrons and roars is something we pray will be a one-time occurrence. I know the fall colors are a faded offering to the spring glory. I know that Tiger dropping a 10 on 12 is too human for a superhuman. I know that the pressure was not the same, the drama was sucked from the building and the early finish for the NFL broadcasts was awkward.
And you know what else I know?
I didn't care a lick about it, because all the things that weren't there could not dim the happiness always brings.
This Masters — and DJ's first green jacket — was the closest thing to normal as a sports fan as I can remember in 2020.
It's all weird. It's all broken. It's all new and getting old.
But watching tee shots on 12 soar against a blue sky toward a green that has always been isolated to nature, players and the gods, was familiar.
And it was perfect. (Even when Tiger was dropping his Bridgestone in the drink over and over and over again.)
This and that
— Got an email Monday morning that really made me wonder and gave me pause. The Braves have put single-game tickets for the 2021 season on sale. Yes, there is insurance and COVID clauses in place. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But God let that wish be granted.
— Here are the remaining folks standing in the Intimidator Pool: Fat Vader, Todd C; Brent R., Jason G; Shawn W.; Ted P.
— How incredible is Bernhard Langer, who at 63 became the oldest player to make the cut ever at the Masters? Langer has competed in a major against Gene Sarazan (born 1902) and Abel Gallegos (born 2002). That's opponents born 100 years apart. Sarazan played his last major at the '76 Open Championship, Langer's 1st. Want to know something else crazy? Langer's 1993 Masters win — yes 27 years ago — was the last major title won with a wooden driver.
— You know the rules. Here's Paschall writing on UT tackle Wanya Morris. Man, feels like it's been a while right?
Weekend winners and losers. Go.
The Braves tickets email and the Masters without fans made me wonder, and I wanted to get your view on this multiple-choice Monday:
The 2021 Masters crowd will be
> Friends and family only like last weekend;
> 1/4 capacity with socially distanced requirements;
> 2/3 capacity with proof of vaccination;
> Full galleries and stands game on.
As for today, it's Nov. 16, so let's review.
It's International day of Tolerance. Shouldn't that have more than one day a year? Just a thought.
New York's Fifth Avenue opened for business on this day in 1824.
We did Rushmore of streets last week. We could do avenues I guess, but what about this.
Rushmore of underrated chocolate bars, and does the Fifth Avenue bar make it?