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AP photo by Charles Krupa / Rory McIlroy hits on the fifth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday in Brookline, Mass.

This weekend saw several clear winners in sports.

First, Rory McIlroy. He did not win the tournament, but after the Barnum and Bailey treatment this esteemed major received over the last six days, there are two clear off-the-course statements about today's players: Tiger Woods is golf's biggest star (and likely always will be), and Rory McIlory is the game's face, voice and soul for the foreseeable future. Admit it, when Sunday teed off, we all wanted Rory to win, if for no other reason than to hear what he would say. Because if he was going to talk smack about passing Greg Norman in career wins, what would he have offered to win the tournament that is the glaring hole on Phil Mickelson's playing resumé?

Steph Curry. Yes, the Warriors won the title on Thursday. But this was a long weekend — Happy Father's Day and Juneteenth folks — and more than that, because of a high number of high quality mailbag entries Friday, I was remiss in discussing the Warriors' Game 6 win that closed the NBA Finals. Curry was the MVP — and rightfully so — as he won his fourth title.

Georgia recruiting landed one of the nation's most dynamic defenders in five-star defensive back AJ Harris. (Side question: That sounds like a great DB name, no?) It's Georgia's first five-star in the 2023 cycle — and assuredly will not be their last — and when you go into Alabama and take a five-star DB from Nick Saban, well, that's worthy of a nomination of winning the weekend. (Side note: That Auburn was not even among the finalists for one of the nation's best players who lives 45 minutes — or less — from campus — is not a good sign for Bryan Harsin, who needs to add more talent to one of the league's thinnest rosters.)

Michael Harris II. Man, that young fella is fun to watch. He plays center with the highlight-waiting-to-happen skills of Andruw Jones. He shows impressive opposite field power like Freddie. (Side question: Can we just stop calling it an oppo-taco? I'm asking you Brian Jordan, and I am asking for millions of Braves fans across the country. Please, and thank you. Grand Salami is bad enough; oppo-taco is nonsensical.) And he runs like Ronald in a lot of ways. Yes, that's high praise, but when MLB's youngest player is hitting .321 with an OPS of almost .900 and 24 runs generated (runs scored + RBIs - home runs since those count in each) in 21 games from the 9 hole, high praise is warranted. And know this: Since calling up Harris II to fill a gaping spot in the outfield, the Braves are 16-5, so there's that.

Our fathers and those that make us fathers. Hope you had a great Father's Day. Truly. Hope you have a relationship with your dad — and especially your kids — I know those are among the most special things in my life. Spent Saturday at a softball tournament in Cleveland with the youngest — she pitched her ponytail off — and the weather this weekend could be a contender for winning the weekend too. And it may be 364 days until the next Father's Day, but make an effort to call your old man if you can. Because when you can't, you'd give LIV money to have one more chat, catch or chuckle with him. Trust me on this one.

 

Weekend losers

Jayson Tatum. Wow, did Tatum vanish? Is he simply not as good as I thought? Is it somewhere in between? Because when your sidekick in Jaylen Brown goes for 34 and your No. 4 option Al Horford turns back the clock a decade and does that, and your team still loses Game 6 at home to end your season, you're not ready for the alpha role. Period.

Swimming decision makers. This is a classic definition of getting what you want but not the way you want it, I suppose. It also makes me wonder why are there so many folks in major leadership positions in major sports governing bodies that are terrified of making anything close to a rational albeit controversial decision. Look, anyone with two eyes and a stop watch can see that Lia Thomas has an incredibly unfair advantage in the NCAA pool swimming against females as opposed to the males Thomas raced a few years ago. But does this make sense? The swimming governing body ruled transgender athletes can only compete as long as they make the change before the Tanner Stage 2, second phase of puberty, or the age of 12. What? This is throwing the child out with the pool water, in a lot of ways isn't it? A decision this life-changing and complex and layered and stressful should not be forced to be made before a kid goes to middle school because they may or may not want to try the backstroke in seven summers.

My wallet. And now there is chatter about price dripping — unforeseen jacked up fees companies are charging — that make matters worse. I know this: Forget the pump, the grocery store is extremely eye-popping. Went Sunday for my normal grocery galavant and spent north of $150, which is less than normal. The bad thing, though, was it took only one trip and no help to get all the bags in the house. Ouch-standing.

The sports blowhards bloviating about Steph Curry's all-time rank. Yes, Steph's most recent championship is impressive and adds to an all-time resumé. But people, we need to dial back this "Steph is a top-five all-time player" mumbo-jumbo. Yes, this may be an all-time hair-splitter because Curry is a top-five 2 guard in NBA history, but a top-five player? Man we sometimes over-value titles and we are frequently prisoners of the moment. He's tremendously skilled, but top 5, as in all-time basketball starting lineup and Curry is on the floor? Nope.

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Jay Greeson
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