Team USA's Bryson DeChambeau hits a shot on the first hole during a practice day at the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Sheboygan, Wis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Midnight Ryder

Whether it was intentional or accidental, Bryson DeChambeau has become the biggest name in his game.

And it's not that close these days.His feud with you know who. His overpowering style and personality. His world-class, terrible poker face. His fights with his driver, his caddie and the media.
All of it.

Because as we head into the greatest team event in golf with 10 of the top 11 ranked players in the world, the only name that consistently is discussed is Bryson's.

Yes, I too find it amazingly curious who Steve Stricker partners with Bryson — I have said from the start I hope it's Brooks — there are so many other questions about this Ryder Cup, which starts Friday at Whistling Straits.

First, can anyone on the American side do anything with Jon Rahm, who is golfing his ball as well as anyone since Jordan's monster run of five years ago?

Next, who on the European side is going to help Rahm, because after the world's No. 1, the next 10 highest-ranked players in this Ryder Cup are Americans?

Who will Rory torment, because dude is a match-play magician?

How will Harris and the rest of the Ryder rookies play?

Let's go. U-S-A! U-S-A! D-Cham-Bo! D-Cham-Bo!


SEC scenes

Across the nation's best league — still the case, Doug — there is one constant.

The arms race for talent never ends. Ever.

Acquiring the most is every bit as important as getting the elite in football. Sure in hoops, one dude can make all the difference. In football, though, one elite player can't topple the waves of talent. Well, other than Cam Newton, that is. (And maybe Arch Manning, and how crafty is Lane Kiffin to have just one person he follows on Instagram, and that person is Arch Manning?)

That's Alabama — and even Georgia's — biggest weapon.

And it's magnified now that the SEC schedules are becoming more and more difficult. Here's the 2022 slate, and the growing number of nonconference dates at Power Five foes in true road games is only growing.

And it will be magnified more when the league shifts to nine conference games, which I believe is a when rather than an if proposition.

Looking at the upcoming SEC schedule made me think about the glory days and chasing the Auburn Tigers across the SEC.

I've been to a game at every SEC football stadium save three. They are the relatively new additions of A&M and Missouri. And I never got to Arkansas.

Best time with opposing fans (taking Georgia out, because I had a million friends there and probably went to 15-plus games there): LSU.

Worst time with opposing fans: Florida. (And yes, I was obnoxious, but buckets the dirty words that got slung my way. And that was just the females. It also was after the 1994 Nix-to-Sanders 36-33 Auburn win. So there's that.)  


Better bettor

There was a lot made last weekend of a BetMGM gambler who had a 16-leg NFL money line parlay over the weekend. Dude hit the first 15 of his picks and heading into Monday night needed one more to turn $25 into $726,959.

But after a scorching start, he needed the Lions to upset the Packers in Green Bay. Yes, those Lions. Yes, at Lambeau. And yes, with a ticked-off Aaron Rodgers. Because the Lions were such underdogs — the Packers were minus-580 (bet $580, win $100) — hedging the bet, of course, would be the wise play, but the odds were extreme.

If the bettor could get his hands on a $58,000 and bet on the Packers money line, the $10,000 would be a nice payout.

And cashing out was not an option, because it was a free bet offer from BetMGM. That means, the bettor was given a free wager from the site that is not cash and could not be cashed out like a normal cash bet.

Imagine the emotions, especially with the Lions taking a halftime lead. We know how it ended.

But BetMGM seized the spotlight and allowed the bettor — after the fact, mind you — to collect the cash-out option, which paid him the cash-out total of $133,000.

Side note: That these sites realize the return on this kind of PR to give out free money lets all of us know how much they are raking in.  


This and that

— Dang, I forgot the Survivor pool again. Will have it later today in comments or tomorrow morning, for sure.

— Speaking of the SEC, you know the rules. Here's Paschall with more on UT heading into Saturday's date with the Gators.

— We are still taking nominations for the second run of the 5-at-10 Bracket. Feel free to play along.

— This is a very good follow-up story from San Francisco as a reporter caught up with folks who participated in a "Get a tattoo, get free Mexican food for life" promotion in 1998.

— Ouch-standing. This Tampa Times columnist cautions college fans of a certain in-state school with this headline: "If you want Mike Norvell out, remember: FSU football could become another Tennessee."

— Great win for the Braves last night. Handle the D-Backs and keep slugging homers. Side question: Uh, why did they let Adam Duvall go in the first place? Asking for a few thousand friends.

— There are few folks better at putting fingers to keys these days than Dan Wetzel, and he nails this one. "NCAA's sky-is-falling NIL rhetoric looks all the more ridiculous now" is a great headline and 100% spot-on.


Today's questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way: which SEC venue did you have the worst experience in as a visiting fan?

Which school has the best shot to land super recruit Arch Manning?

Which restaurant could get you to get a tattoo for free food for life?

Which player will emerge as this Ryder's star?

As for today, Sept. 22, well, let's review.

"Friends" debuted on this day in 1994.

Tommy Lasorda would have been 94 today.

Rushmore of Tommy — not Tom or Thomas — because Lasorda has a chance.