Gang, running a little late this morning. My little girl turns 11 today.

Oh my.

You know the rules. Here's Paschall on some UT scheduling news for the fall. And yes, UT has a game set for ESPN+ only this fall. I got a few things to say about that. (Side note: UTC's trip to Kentucky also will be only available on streaming options ESPN+ or SEC Network+, which certainly can not please the UTC folks, who cherish the exposure a game on cable TV brings.)

Also, here's today's A2 column about the joy of fans and sports leading us back into a summer journey to our next normal.

As for the Rushmores, did I mention I was running late. I'll catch back up this afternoon, after I get my mullet trimmed.

Deal? Deal.

To the mailbag.

From JTC

Jay, is this Brooks v Bryson dust up great for golf or what? We've been dying for another great sports rivalry. The PGA has to love this right?
Will this one last? Do you see any negatives to this thing at all?

JTC — 

I'm 100% here for Brooks v Bryson. And that Tom Brady got involved makes it even more juicy

And in the moment, golf is loving this, but I wonder if behind the scenes whether the PGA Tour will tell them to calm down.

Bad blood and rivalries are great.

But cat fights and poor sportsmanship are not.

Right now, we're in the former. Social media shots have been fired. There have been clap-backs and everyone is aware of the tension.

But silent tension among rivals has always worked. Bird-Magic. Peyton-Brady.

The great sports rivalries are extremely tense but they are seldom overblown or oversaturated, and the Brooks-Bryson one is pointing in that direction.

I hope they go radio (and social media) silent for the foreseeable future. And then, maybe say in next spring's Masters, they are paired together in the penultimate group and we all watch with nervousness.

Like you JTC, I'm here for this, and if I'm TNT I back there Brinks truck up to Koepka's agent to see what it will take for him to be the on-course reporter with Chuck Barkley for The Match in July between Phil and Brady vs. Bryson and Aaron Rodgers.

And yes, golf needs a rivalry like this because, despite the charisma of a Jordan or a Rory or a JT, the game's going to have to fill the post-Tiger vacuum sooner rather than later.

But we want it to be a true rivalry. Not a made-for-social-media Kardashian-like Kat fight, you know?

It also brings up an interesting conversation about sports media.

There is chatter that the Golf Channel let that video go without proper clearance, even though Koepka says something at the end along the lines f he doesn't care who sees it. It's clear an outtake and they clearly are as friendly as Tom and Jerry.

But should they have released it? I can see yes, and I can also see the side of checking with Koepka's camp too.

The other sports media moment this week was with Julio Jones and Shannon Sharpe on the phone on live TV on Fox Sports.

Was Julio unaware it was live? Was it planned — staged — between Sharpe and Jones, who are friends? Is it even good form?

I think it was more the former and I bet the NFL will claim to Fox, and when the NFL complains, networks listen. A bunch.


From the Don

So they asked a question right up your alley this morning on Good Morning Football. Can the casual football fan truly appreciate Aaron Rodgers?

The Don — 

I think that may be a little presumptuous of the Good Morning Football folks to be honest. (Side note: Good Morning Football is the best sports show on TV. That or Daily Wager. I will fight on this hill.)

Of course the casual fan can appreciate Rodgers' greatness, but the hinge word is 'truly' in this sense.

And to that end, I don't know if the expert football fan can 'truly' appreciate Rodgers' greatness. In some ways, I think there's a society among those that play that position in which only they can appreciate their gifts and greatness.

We can all watch Rodgers throw a football through a Froot Loop and say, "Holy Bleep." But all the subtle presnap moves and slide steps and adjustments and reads and look-offs that lead to him throwing a football through a Front Loop can't be 'truly' acknowledged or appreciated unless you've tried to accomplish it.

To that end, it may be part of what makes playing QB so different and special.

We've all run a race. We've all tried to hit a fastball. We've lofted a 3. We can appreciate the insane skills of Bolt, Acuña or Curry in those matters.

But what Rodgers does is next level, even among those who are at that level.

So, to make a short answer long, we can all appreciate Rodgers' arm, but I'm not sure any of us can appreciate all the greatness it takes before he uses it.

From Mike T.

Jay, I love your columns. Thanks for writing the truth.

I am surprised you have not written about the Chicago mayor's recent decision to only talk to reporters who are not White.

Would love your thoughts on that one. Keep up the great work - you are the reason I keep my subscription.

Mike T — 

Thanks so much for the kind words. Feel free to email my bosses — here and in Little Rock.

As for Lori Lightfoot, the first Black female and openly gay person elected to be the mayor of the Windy City, I am flabbergasted that your email is the first I had heard of her racist proclamation.

Yes, Black people can be racist. Anyone can be, and sadly this is the latest example of a newsmaker picking and choosing who gets to cover their news.

That's the first issue.  

For those, like me, who were unaware of Lightfoot's antics, here is part of a letter she sent to local media that cover Chicago politics:

"By now, you may have heard the news that on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as Mayor of this great City, I will be exclusively providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color. As a person of color, I have throughout my adult life done everything that I can to fight for diversity and inclusion in every institution that I have been a part of and being Mayor makes me uniquely situated to shine a spotlight on this most important issue."

Soooooooooooo, you are going to fight for inclusion by excluding an entire group of folks based on their skin color? Perfect.

So we are going to fight racism with racism. Again, perfect.

Which leads me to problem No. 2. As bad as this is, you know what is just as bad? This happened last week. The excerpt I quoted above was from a story published May 19.

Think about that. The top elected official of America's third-largest city denying interviews based on skin color, and it makes barely a ripple across the media landscape. And who knows, maybe it did, but I didn't see it.

I wish I could say I was shocked, but I'm really not. And you know what? Now imagine if the script was flipped.

If an elected official in Hamilton County announced they were only giving interviews to white reporters, the New York Times would have a satellite office at Northgate.

From a slew of you

Jay, what did you think about the Knicks fan who spit on Trae (Young)?

Gang — 

This happened Wednesday night, about the same time that Russell Westbrook was being doused with popcorn while leaving the floor in Philly.

Westbrook, of course, was also involved in a fan-altercation in Utah, when he got into a verbal spat with a fan who allegedly used racial slurs.

All three of the fans have been banned from the arenas indefinitely, and could be for life.

I'm not sure those three deserve the same level of punishment, but none of them are acceptable.

There is a sense of entitlement among fans. Heck there's a sense of entitlement to people in general.

And the last thing anyone — especially the NBA — wants is another Malice in Palace with players going into the stands.

But those players — players who punched fans — were suspended for only a year.

Again, none of it is acceptable, but of the two that happened this week, I'd be way, Way, WAY more angry about being spit on that having some Orville Redenbacher dumped on my head.

Happy Memorial Day friends. Stay safe.

some text
Jay Greeson