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FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2021, file photo, Creighton coach Greg McDermott watches the team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Indianapolis. McDermott apologized publicly Tuesday, March 2, for using insensitive language in his postgame locker room talk with players and staff following a loss over the weekend. In a tweet, McDermott said he used a "terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss." (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Yeah, about that

Morning.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott stepped on his tongue recently. When trying to make sure his team was working together and still on board with the plan, McDermott's word choice was poor.

After losing to Xavier over the weekend, McDermott tried to circle the wagons with this: "Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation."

Yeah, we all know the issue. (Side question: Anyone remember the Six Flags ride 'Monster Plantation' back in the day?)

McDermott even said he offered to resign because of what he said. His apology statement was overflowing — that said, apologizing through a released statement is rarely a good idea, in my opinion.

"I immediately recognized my egregious mistake and quickly addressed my use of such insensitive words with the team," he said in a statement. "I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach. I am deeply sorry Over the last 72 hours, I have engaged in multiple difficult conversations with student-athletes, staff, parents and university administrators and I realize the pain that my words have caused. For that, I sincerely apologize. I am committed to ensure that this will never happen again and am using this as a learning experience. While there remains work to be done and trust to earn back, I appreciate student-athletes' honesty and will maintain an open dialogue as we grow and learn together."

Thoughts? Is that a fireable offense? Should it be?

 

Hello and good-bye

Two eye-popping details emerged from the practice rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week.

First was the noticeable presence of fans. Welcome back. You were sorely missed — by the players and by those of us who tune in.

(Side note: There has not been an announcement about the number of patrons allowed to roam the hallowed grounds of Augusta National next month. And in truth, the longer they wait to announce that, the better considering the positive steps we're making in our fight against COVID.)

Second was the next chapter in the ever-long debate about distance, especially off the tee box.

We've discussed the length factor in professional golf before.

And maybe it's fitting that at the tournament named for the first true rock star of the sport, the full details of the full-blown overpowering of the sport are clear.

Bryson DeChambeau believes, if the wind is right, he can reach a 555-yard par-5 off the tee. Yes, the sixth hole is measured in points in the fairway and the huge dogleg left requires a drive that flies more than 350 yards in the air.

A little more than 20 years ago, John Daly, who was viewed as the Babe Ruth of driving length, failed with six tee shots to cover the water at the par-5 6th. He eventually made an 18 on that hole in the 1998 Palmer event.

Now DeChambeau believes wind is the only thing keeping him for going for it in 1.

 

Speaking of long shots

Well, my fan boi list of sports stars is pretty well known around these parts.

Tiger's on it. So is LeBron. Luka is there now too. Aaron Rodgers.

In baseball, man I love watching Ronald Acuña play, because we all have to have a Braves player that fits the criteria, right? I mean without having a Braves fav, the summers seem rather sedated no?

Tangent alert: Think back to your baseball fan-boi/fan-girl stages through the years. For the longest time my favorite was always my favorite Dodger. Steve Garvey begat some Fernandomania begat Pedro Guerrero begat Mike Piazza. Kershaw has been there for a while and Mookie Betts is super fun to watch too.

But the Braves connections through the year have always been less talent and more about personality. Loved Roland Office back in the day because, when we would go to games at the old Fulton County, when he caught a fly ball hit to center, the graphic on the jumbotron was a guy sitting in a chair with his feet propped on his desk and snagging a pop-up with the words, "Welcome to Roland's Office" over the top. Then I developed an appreciation for Bob Horner, if for no other reason than the time he stared down Champ Summers in street clothes in the mother of all MLB fights against the Padres in the mid-1980s. When they got great in the 1990s it was easy to find someone to root for, especially in the height of the Maddux-Smoltz days. This current team with Acuña and Co. is easy to like too.

But across baseball, my appreciation for Shohei Ohtani has been around a while. Dudes with that combination of skills are always going to impress me.

News Wednesday that the Angels slugger/pitcher who had Tommy John surgery in 2019 is back to his "He did what" ways that combine mythical stories of Bunyon, the Babe and Bigfoot.

After hitting a 468-foot homer, news comes that his surgically repaired arm hit 100 on the radar gun this week too.

Yes please.

 

This and that

— I'm 100 percent fine with this, too. Kroger, Starbucks and Target are among the major retailers that will leave mask requirements in place regardless of status of mandates in various states. That said, I've been to a lot of places that post mask requirements and not enforce them.

— The Hawks were down 106-90 with less than six minutes left in Orlando last night. Atlanta called and won 115-112, and, according to ESPN stats and info, entering Wednesday, teams were 1-232 when trailing by 16 or more points with six minutes left.

— Sadly, we all had to know this ripple effect of the pandemic was almost unavoidable. According to the AP, a third of U.S. nonprofits are in financial distress because of the pandemic. Wow.

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on Georgia football guarding against offensive overconfidence. Somewhere in mid-Georgia right now, Alejandro just mumbled something along the lines of, "You better not be overconfident Kirby, you and that run-run-third-and-long deep-out, punt offensive plan."

— So, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Les Miles settled a 2013 lawsuit with a former LSU athletic department intern after the student accused the former Tigers coach of "hitting on her."

— Speaking of coach speak, Syracuse hoops boss and all-around jackwagon Jim Boeheim had this to say after a beat writer who covers his underachieving team tweeted that Syracuse would have been better in terms of wins and losses as well as tournament resume if Boeheim had played two reserves more. "But if I'd played Jesse (Edwards) and Kadary (Richmond), we'd probably be 22-2 now," Boeheim said after Wednesday's win. "I just didn't see that. Couldn't figure it out by myself after 45 years. I need a reporter to figure that out ... who has never played basketball and is 5-foot-2." Wow, to be doing this 45 years, that's some pretty thin skin Jimmy B. (And yes, the B stands for baby.)

 

Today's questions

Fire away friends. Sorry, we've been a little absent from the comments this week. Thanks as always for giving us some of your time.

Good luck to the Mocs in Asheville this weekend. That would be a cool story, and Lamont Paris is one of the more likable dudes around.

Who was your first favorite baseball player?

As for today, happy birthday to our federal government, which started on this day in 1789. I didn't get you anything FG, but here's betting you'll more than make up for it when my tax bill comes called.

FDR dropped the famous, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" on this day in 1933.

The song Happy Birthday To You was published on this day in 1924.

John Candy (1994) and Luke Perry (2019) died on this day. So did Hank Gathers (1990).

The first ESPYs was on this day in 1993.

Knute Rockne was born on this day in 1888. Rushmore of toughest all-time football names. Go, and remember the mailbag.

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