Monday
July 13
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#2149



monday nuggets


The NBA and MLB are going to play "real" games in Florida within a couple of weeks.

You might have heard about Florida recently. On Sunday, they reported 15,000 new coronavirus cases...for the previous day. Not 15,000 new cases last week. 15,000 new cases THE DAY BEFORE.

In case you're a stats kind of guy or gal, that's the most new cases in any state in our country for a 24-hour period. Yes, even more than New York had during the first big Covid-19 spike back in late March.

Yet, somehow, they're going to put the entire NBA "in a bubble" in Orlando and play basketball games there. And then baseball teams are going to fly into Tampa Bay and Miami and play games there for three or four days starting next weekend.

And you wonder why guys are quitting before the season even starts?

Oh, and in case you haven't heard, Florida is also home to several very good college football programs. And, well, their respective seasons are supposed to start in eight weeks.


When Matt Wolff, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa graduated from college last summer and turned professional, they had no playing status on the PGA Tour.

Collin Morikawa won for the second time in two years on TOUR yesteray when he beat Justin Thomas at the WorkDay Charity Open.

Their only option was to get a sponsor's exemption in a handful of summer (of '19) events and make enough money in those tournaments to obtain their TOUR card for 2020 and beyond.

Within a month or so last summer, all three of them won tournaments on the PGA Tour that locked up their status. Wolff was the first to win, in his 4th event. Hovland and Morikawa followed shortly thereafter, although Morikawa's win was in an event that used a "stableford" scoring system rather than the traditional stroke play scoring. (For the record, Morikawa would have won the event using stroke play scores, too.).

Wolff had a chance to win last week in Detroit before falling short on the final day. Hovland has been in contention on Sunday in four different events so far in 2020. And Morikawa went 22 straight tournaments before finallly missing the cut in Detroit last week.

And then yesterday, Morikawa became the first player of the college trio to win a 2nd time on TOUR when he outlasted Justin Thomas in a playoff at Muirfield Village.

Some folks are digging up old stats of Tiger Woods to follow the early days of Morikawa's career. Tiger didn't miss his 2nd career cut until he had already won 25 tournaments and 9 major championships. It will be interesting to see when Morikawa's next missed cut comes.

But no matter when Collin misses his next cut, this much we know: He's going to be a top American player throughout the next decade, at least.


ESPN basketball writer Adrian Wojnarowski was suspended for two weeks by ESPN after he e-mailed an expletive to Missouri Senator Josh Hawley last Friday.

Wojnarowski was upset that Hawley criticized the NBA's dealings with China, so he sent a two-word e-mail to the Senator, using his ESPN e-mail account and address: The first word starts with "f". The second word is "you".

The Senator then took a screenshot of that email from Woj and splashed it all over Twitter. And ESPN reacted accordingly, suspending their talented basketball writer for two weeks without pay.

Wojnarowski was wrong for his reply and he knows it. He immediately apologized and contacted Hawley directly to offer a personal apology.

What's interesting is to see how ESPN reacted based on the fact that Wojnarowski used his company e-mail account to send the offending two word communication. Had he used his own, personal e-mail, things might have played out differently.

It's the same general spirit of the "kneeling" issue in the National Football League. People (and NFL owners, we assume) see/saw players kneeling during the anthem as something they were doing on "work time". In Woj's case, he used his work e-mail to send the reply, effectively representing ESPN at the same, whether he intended to do so or not.

Of course, in today's insanely stupid "cancel culture" world we've morphed into, people thought Wojnarowski should lose his job over an ill-timed two word e-mail.

The man made a mistake. He apologized. He knows he was wrong.

He need not lose his job over it, in the same way that DeSean Jackson of the Eagles doesn't deserve to lose his job in the NFL because of something dumb and insensitive he posted on Instagram last week.

I have no idea how this has happened in our country. But it has happened. If you see or hear something you don't like, the only option now is to simply get rid of it. That will fix everything, apparently.

Don't like that Christopher Columbus statue? Just tear it down and roll into the harbor.

Don't like that name associated with your football team or college mascot? Just get rid of it.

Don't like that a national sports writer wrote an offensive e-mail to a Republican Senator? Fire him and let him look for new work.

Of all the things that are currently going wrong in our once great nation, "cancel culture" people are, by far, the worst. If this is a horse race, they're winning by 10 lengths with a quarter-mile to go.


Speaking of Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods, it's interesting to note that Thomas did something yesterday that Woods has never done -- ever, ever, ever -- in his career on the PGA Tour.

Justin Thomas squandered a 3-shot lead with 3 holes to play yesterday, losing in a playoff at Muirfield Village.

Thomas squandered a 3-shot lead with 3 holes to play, then lost on the 3rd playoff hole of the WorkDay Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio.

Tiger has never lost a 3-shot lead with 3 holes to play.

In fact, Tiger has never lost a 3-shot with 9 holes to play.

And since we're at it, Tiger is 44-2 all-time when holding a 54-hole lead in a golf tournament.

He did once squander a 2-shot lead with two holes to play at the Masters, but Woods then beat Chris DiMarco in the ensuing playoff to capture his 4th career green jacket.

Justin Thomas started yesterday's final round of the WorkDay with a 3-shot lead and couldn't hold on. It only took him 8 years to blow a lead like that.

Tiger's 24 years into his professional career and he's still never done it.


The Redskins are making the announcement this morning that we've been expecting for a week or two.

They are no longer going to be called the Redskins. They're changing their name, giving in (mostly) to pressure from corporate sponsors who have vowed to no longer line the franchise's already-deep pockets if they continue to call themselves the "Redskins".

The Cleveland Indians are also investigating a similar name change.

Both the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks say they will not change their nicknames, although both acknowledge they've been in contact with Native American groups over the last several years to maintain a healthy relationship with them.

I happened to see someone wearing an "interesting" hat in the store yesterday and it got me to thinking.

This person was sporting a nice looking maroon colored baseball hat. The hat included the University of South Carolina logo, with their nickname in bold stitching across the front -- GAMECOCKS.

Except "GAME" wasn't there. The other five letters were, though.

I have no idea how much the University of South Carolina gets for their licensing agreements, but I know it's a significant amount of money. I assume they know about these hats. In fact, I'm sure they know, since THEY SELL THEM IN THEIR BOOK STORE AND IN THEIR ONLINE BOOK STORE.

I'm no prude. I know the words to a few dozen Eminem songs, in fact. But it's interesting that a college can't call themselves the "Warriors" these days but they can call themselves the C*CKS and that's somehow not really an issue.

I guess it's because walking around wearing your hat or tee shirt that just says C*CKS across the front is....funny. A conversation starter, I assume.

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consider this…


Return to play…MLB style, though I guess it’s not really a return since the teams never started. Still, here goes…

Each team will play 60 games, 10 apiece against its four division rivals and 20 games against the corresponding geographical division in the other league. Those 20 interleague games will not be split evenly; the Orioles, for instance, will play six games against the Nationals, four each against the Marlins and Mets and three apiece against the Braves (home) and Phillies (away).

Worth noting…this year was to be the season when the AL East teams played the NL Central clubs. MLB has already announced the full 2021 schedule, and they’ll be skipping that rotation completely. Should they play the full season next year, the Orioles will again play the NL East teams as they were originally scheduled to do, the same number of times against the same teams as they will during this 60-game COVID season.

When the season begins on July 23 or July 24, each team will be allowed to have 30 players on its active roster. After two weeks, the roster will be reduced to 28, and then to 26 after four weeks. I actually wonder if that’s a temporary policy that might become permanent even during a 162-game season. It might be nice to be able to evaluate a player in the majors before deciding whether or not to keep him on the roster.

A reminder about the “international” extra innings rules being used. Each half-inning starting with the top of the 10th will begin with a runner on second base—that runner would either be the batter who made the final out in the previous inning or a pinch runner for that batter.

Yes, baseball is an “untimed” game; the point is never to make sure a game ends at any particular time. But also this…I really don’t believe too many fans are interested in watching 17-inning games. I’m quite certain no manager or pitching coach in interested in doing so.

Will the strategy be mostly to attempt to sacrifice bunt the runner to third base, thus allowing him to potentially score on an out in addition to a hit? Maybe, but it certainly will depend on the batter who happens to come up in that situation. And if you’re batting in front of Mike Trout in the bottom of the ninth, should you try to get on so he has a chance, or will you be happier if you don’t get on base, because then he’s definitely going to have a chance in a few minutes?

Whatever happens eventually, the Orioles start with a series at Fenway Park against the Red Sox July 24.

Return to play, NBA style, for the first time since that bizarre scene in Oklahoma City in March, when the Utah Jazz and the host Thunder pulled themselves off the court moments before tip-off after a positive COVID result for Utah’s Rudy Gobert.

There are 22 teams that will restart their seasons in the Orlando “bubble,” three small arena venues at the Wide World of Sports Complex owned by Disney. Each of those teams will play eight games that count before the playoffs begin in mid-August.

Before the season was suspended, each of those teams had played somewhere between 63 and 67 of their usual 82 games. But it won’t matter whether one team has “games in hand” heading into the restart—each team will still only have eight chances. Because of that, final standings will depend on winning percentage.

An interesting note, though. There may be “play-in” games for the eighth and final seed in each conference, but only if the eighth-place team is less than four games ahead of the ninth-place team at the end of the Orlando restart session. Got it?

The playoffs are scheduled to be no different than they usually are…well, except for the fact they’ll be played in small gyms with no fans. A team will have to win 16 games in the playoffs to win the NBA championship, and it could take a while. If the NBA Finals goes to a seventh game, that game will take place on October 13. For what it’s worth, the 2019-20 season began somewhere around October 20 last year.

I think the format of the NBA restart has a chance to be pretty special for fans of the NBA. There will be 88 games played, starting on July 30 and ending on August 13. The dregs of the league won’t be there…except for the Wizards, who managed to sneak into the tournament at 24-40 because they are still only six games behind the eighth-place Magic. Just like during the normal season, every game will be on television somewhere, every game will be on NBA League Pass, and every playoff game will be televised nationally.

After eight games apiece in the season resumption, the teams that make the playoffs will be very similar to the teams that would have made the playoffs in the pre-COVID world. Somebody will then win the playoff tournament after a long season, just without the fans for the last 25 percent of it.

The moral of the story? We know that a “tournament” format can be exciting, and there will be some sense of that with the NBA restart. COVID will tell if it goes on as planned starting in a few weeks.

Return to play, NHL style? Talk about your tournaments…

The league has decided on “Stanley Cup Qualifiers” as the name for the season restart, which is scheduled to begin on August 1. You know…hockey season.

There will really be four tournaments going on simultaneously, all of them ending after nine days of play. Two of them will take place in Toronto, with Eastern Conference teams, and the other two in Edmonton, with Western Conference teams.

At each venue, one tournament will feature four best-of-five series. Based on current points percentages, the No. 5 seed will play No. 12, No. 6 will play No. 11, No. 7 will face No. 10 and No. 8 will meet No. 9.

Meanwhile, the top four teams in each conference as of now are being rewarded with a slightly easier restart. They’ll simply play a round robin against each of the other three teams. The Capitals, for instance, will play Tampa on August 3, Philadelphia on August 6 and Boston on August 8, all in Toronto.

The best-of-five series will be played with playoff overtime rules…20-minute periods with five skaters and goalie until someone scores. The round-robin games will be played with the regular-season overtime and shootout rules.

At the end of it all, eight teams will be left in each conference, and they’ll be seeded for the playoffs as usual. All series will then be seven games, as usual, and they will continue to be played in the “hub” cities of Toronto and Edmonton, not in the home cities of the higher-seeded teams.

Both the Maple Leafs and Oilers will be participating in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, so they will be playing at home until they are eliminated. Their home fans, of course, won’t be there.

The last possible day of the Stanley Cup Finals would be October 4, nine days earlier than the last possible day of the NBA Finals.

The agreement reached by the NHL and its players association was an interesting one. Any player can opt-out (loaded term around here, I know) of the season restart without providing a reason and without any penalty, as long as he notifies his team by today.

Coronavirus testing will start with every other day, then increase to three times 48 hours apart next week. By July 26, when the players reach the hub city “bubble,” testing will increase to every day. If a player leaves the bubble without prior approval, he could be barred from returning, and his team could be fined or lose draft picks.

There was a good amount of thought put into all these plans, and in the best possible world they could give us some fun and also be safe.

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#dmd comments








Charge     July 13
I thought the Crazy Kerry thing was funny. Woods, not even playing in a tournament is mentioned in two things. Of course the Site Owner has all power to include Woods in his articles.

And the SOD comes in to save him yet again. A humorless bunch. Woods fan boys are a thin skinned lot.

Envy? Jealousy? There are only two things that an average man can be jealous of Woods about.

1. Money. But sane people realize that money is not the key to happiness. Look at Woods, he is bored, his actions prove it.

2. His golf game. Now that might something that is understandable. But is it possible? No. Talent has everything to do with it. No matter how many golf balls you hit, few could ever do what he did.



SOD gonna do SOD things. And Woods fan boys gonna fan.

PLB     July 13
Valid point @Mark. So much envy and jealousy for a guy who has done nothing to them at all.

Rich     July 13
Spot on, DF. The "cancel culture" crew are tearing the country apart. They wouldn't have time to cancel things if they were employed. Instead of working, they just go from county to county and protest something or raise a stink for the TV cameras.

Mark in Perry Hall     July 13
I'm not a golf fan but it's amazing how many grown men here at the Dish have "Tiger Envy", isn't it?

Jason M     July 13
Agreed U2B. Best part about the fan culture is that it's apolitical. Nobody goes to a tailgate party to talk politics, and while you're watching the game at its very best the world is noise and the action on the field is signal. Or talking about politics while fishing - just boorish.

Roger Stone     July 13
The "cancel culture"

Don't like the virus, ignore it

Don't like I was found guilty by a jury of my peers on 7 counts, commute it

Don't like a marine was found guilty of murder, pardon him

Don't like a military man told the truth, fire him

Don't want to release taxes, stall it

Don't know what to do with your day play golf 25 % of the time




Crazy Kerry     July 13
Location: DMD content editor's desk

Date: July 13, 2020

Data Points: Edited content on above date.



Nugget #1. By the way, Tiger Woods has not reported his Covid-19 status.

Nugget #2. Clear Copy

Nugget #3. As an aside, there is no evidence of Tiger Woods cancelling anything.

Nugget #4. Clear copy.

Nugget #5. As we all remember Tiger Woods attended Stanford, which had at one time had an Indian as a symbol, but it was changed due to the possibility that somewhere, someone might be offended. But I reiterate Tiger Woods has nothing to do with South Carolina, he has played a few tournaments in that state, but would never wear anything sexually offensive. [Ed. note, not wear anything offensive, but lots of actions that are offensive to society, like adultery and public acts].

HERMAN     July 13
I must live in a different part of Florida, life here in this part of the state appears to be proceeding as "Covid normal", people mostly stay home. When you go out it's all masks and distancing, everyone seems cautious.

I am no prude, after all I did author a rather filthy tome that can be found on Amazon that was an attempt at foul humor, but the SC marketing department should not lower themselves to the level of a shabby bar or T shirt shop in Ocean City. Your alumni appear Ill educated wearing filth across the forehead.

If the braintrust at the PGA has any sense they'll pair up Playful Fist Bump with DeChambeau next week and create must see TV. If Bryson outdrives him by twenty to thirty yards it would be just an incredible thing to witness. Of course they only keep score, so Playful may be able to laser enough pins to overcome those extra yards. Much as it would pain me to have to watch him all day, I'd have to tune in.

Chris     July 13
I had to LOL at the "C#CKS" hat story. It is funny that Redskins is offensive but C#CKS isn't! Nice work today Drew.

H     July 12
Well said, UTB

George     July 12
Gotta love it! "Approved" protest phrases. About 15 years ago, saw a "spontaneous" riot in Paris near where the Bastille was, over a huge rise in electric rates. It was catered.

KJ     July 12
Hard to give Lebron any credit here, you know its not about rebelling against forced compliance to a narrative, it's about LBJ Enterprises not being able to make money off his actions.

One need look no further than the NBAs perspective on China to know where their "heart" truly is. And honestly I am fine with that, a pro league should be all about maximizing revenue, what irks me is the hypocrisy of the media acting like the NBA "gets it" and somehow truly cares about anything but the bottom line - same as any other big time pro league

unitastoberry     July 12
Just say no to any political slogans at sports events. Just depoliticize all sports at all levels. No anthems no fly overs etc. Just play sports. Coexist and peacfully protest on your own go out and vote run for office.

Steve from Cape Coral     July 12
Until I see a choice for; Blue lives matter, White lives matter to be put on the back of there jersey's, it just shows how racist the N B A is !!!

Casual observer     July 12
Hot water? Haha. The SOD ensures this is a safe space here for the site owner, @Dan P need not worry lol


Dan P.     July 12
I applaud you for even having the guts to touch this story this morning @DF. You're bound to get in hot water over it, no matter what you say about it.

Buckie     July 12
Radiophile, was that WLPL (92.3) or WKTK (105.7)?

RadioPhile     July 11
This fan vote for the all time team reminds me of my 13th year on planet Earth.

The rock station in town held a listener call in to select the three "greatest rock song of all time". The year was 1975.

The three finalist for greatest song ever were(by listeners call in)

1. Stairway to Heaven

2. Show Me the Way(a hit in that same year of 1975)

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (another hit of 1975).

The voting was wild. The DJ's were getting angry with the vote totals as the two current hits of 1975 were running away with the greatest rock song of all time.

Stairway ended up winning. But I heard years later it actually finished 3rd. Show me the Way by Frampton was the most recent of the three, and a bunch of goofy kids like me voted the recencey of the forgettable hit.




Brien Jackson     July 11
Flacco had one great playoff run and some more good playoff games amid a sea of most mediocre at best performances. Lamar has a rookie season run to the division title and then one of the all time great seasons for a quarterback, plus recency bias. I don't really get why you would pre-select the results of the poll, even if I would have voted for Flacco.

gallup guy     July 11
@Hal Why would you conduct a poll if you are just gonna change the results if they are not to your liking? That makes no sense (you know, like voting for LJ over Flacco makes no sense!)

Voice of Reason     July 11
I think this Ravens 25th Season Fan Vote is indicative of the older fan base leaving the NFL in its tracks the past few years and the newbies showing they only know the "new" players.

Hal     July 11
Drew said it best. The Ravens should have just put Flacco on the team.

unitastoberry     July 11
Flacco 10 playoff wins including SB win and SB MVP. Dilfer had 5 playoff wins and one loss with 2 teams including a SB win. Lamar has 2 playoff losses. Now Lamar has won the league MVP(fyi so did Bert Jones once and Unitas multiple times) and set the all time record for single season rushing yards by a qb in the entire history of the NFL not exactly chopped liver. When you look at the data it depends on what you want from the qb. Regular season stats or post season or a combination of and at this point in time. I go with the combination so Flacco it is for now with me. Playing winning football in January and February is very difficult it seperates the men from the boys but we must remember it's a team sport and the coaches come into play too. Ask Fran,Dan,and Jim about it.

Chris in Bel Air     July 11
For the record, the best QB is Stoney Case... I mean Chris Redman... I mean Tony Banks. Ok, that's enough. Of course, the best QB right now is Joe. Stats, longevity, team wins, playoff wins and an incredible run to a Super Bowl win and Super Bowl MVP.

Chris in Bel Air     July 11
That Ravens poll of all-time "best" is typical and comical. First, you have to define best. QB statistics? Team wins? Playoff wins? Super Bowl wins? All of the above? You can go round and round with many fans on just defining "best". Add in these are many of the same fans that has wanted Harbs fired for years and the same fans that knows exactly what play should be called *after* the one on the field is completed. Lamar is amazing but he's not the all-time best QB right now. He could be but not with a 2 year resume and no playoff wins.

KJ     July 11
Certainly game "atmosphere" is different with no fans there, but come on - the number of fans NOT at a game far, far exceeds those in attendance on any given night. I'm ok saying the entertainment value "could" be diminished without a live crowd cheering, but honestly, not sure that can't be replicated by fake crowd noises. Not sure it will, just saying if you somehow ignore reality (a good thing these days, right??), would fake crowd noise be that much different than real crowd noise?

I get it, I too love attending games in person too, will definitely miss that. Love Markakis as well, but he is wrong. They are not just playing for the 10-40k fans in attendance any given night, they're playing for all the fans of the team watching on TV, listening on the radio/internet, or simply checking the scores - and yes gambling lol.

And oh, like the owners, the players play to make money. Media making a big big out of players who've opted out, but the only names I've seen are established players who have already made a ton of money, and/or have guaranteed contracts beyond this year. Even considering that, the number opting out is statistically a very small number. So none of the ones "not quitting" play for the fans? Or just the few who are opting out?

And BTW could not agree more that anyone voting for Jackson over Flacco on a 25 year team is either a goof or simply not understanding the question, there is no other option. But don't agree Ravens should change the results - if you're gonna do that, why even have a poll in the first place

Jim Jarvis     July 11
I agree completely with your comments on the Raven all time team. As I voted I was saying the same thing. Jackson might get there one day but now after less than 2 full seasons and NO PLAYOFF WINS, NO.

Chuck Zito     July 11
Fan polls are like top 10 lists. Filler when there is nothing else going on. Who cares.....

Media guy     July 10
@H Penalties? For what, allegations? #DMD channeling CNN and Yahoo with that fake headline lol!

H     July 10
What NCAA penalties will Duke incur other than forfeiting their wins?

Chris in Bel Air     July 10
@George - welcome to the world of marketability. How many freaking Baker Mayfield commercials did we have to endure last NFL season? All for a guy who has QB'd his team to 12-17 record over 2 years.

George     July 10
Have nothing against Rickie Fowler. Don't know him, never met him. Have even rooted for him a couple times when he was in the hunt in majors. I think my problem is not with Fowler, it's with that large segment of the human race who are so sheeplike they need a handsome and well-spoken journeyman golfer to tell them what company to get a mortgage from. Or a watch. Or a whatever. I understand commercials are necessary, but I don't need, during a broadcast, three otherwise semi-intelligent announcers discussing, for a full five minutes, why missing two cuts in a row is a "good" thing and actually shows that "he's right there."

Good column except for one paragraph. You say kids like him, and women like him, and most me like him for some reasons. The fact is that the "like" comes about as a result of some imaginary interaction between the viewer and a television screen. It's all in their heads.

DF     July 10
No, I'm not hinting that Fowler is a fraud. Do you wear reading glasses? Never mind. You guys are...well, forget it. Carry on.

Golf Traveer     July 10
Are you hinting that Rickey is a fraud? David Simms was a "great guy" in the movie according to Nance and all of the golf infrastructure. Only a few people knew he was a horrible person. He had a good brand.

Maybe Fowler is as gutless as Simms, laying up in a crucial situation.

Fowler is a winner. No doubt about that. He has won in the game of life. I've heard a few things in my travels. Mainly that he lacks the ability to get it done in the clutch. Not earth shattering. All I know is that he has a gallery to avoid. I shy away from crowds. No where near as lunatic and dangerous as the Woods complete nutjobs and slobbers and teenage girl/grown men "what are you wearing today" mentality.

HERMAN     July 10
For most there is only one brand on tour. He comes back next week. Playful Fist Bump will light up this site like a pinball machine, the site owner is a rabid fanatic. It will be as if they haven't been playing at all the past few weeks, the tour is elevated to a new level by his mere presence. It's a sleepy week this week in Ohio, but next week, it'll be all Tiger all-the-time on SportsCenter, The Golf Channel, and elsewhere. And if he averages over 300 on his drives talk of a November repeat will reverberate in July.

"He" returns, why even Covid better run and hide.

Delray Rick     July 10
Well said DREW..With A-holes in the country now FOWLER is breath of fresh air. You get jerks like GARCIA,REED and "THE BRAND" to name a few. THE BRAND Wil get his when fans come back. GEE, almost forgot AB!!

George     July 09
@David R. – Much obliged. I’ll certainly put the Rickie balls on the shopping list, just after the Kim Kardashian coloring book, the Kim Kardashian prayer candle, and the Kim Kardashian refrigerator magnet.

David Rosenfeld     July 09
George...don't make fun of that TP5 golf ball. It's a great ball, and Rickie's designs are available to all of us at $45 per dozen.

George     July 09
@DelRay and @Herman -- You forgot to mention that in addition to being approachable and being valuable to the game for his marketability, Rickie also uniquely marks his ball with a bunch of triangles in multiple colors.

bob jackson     July 09
Lousy golfer - I assume you are referring to obama!

Delray Rick     July 09
HERMAN..When ever I attend a PGA tournament FOWLER is the one fans seek out. He is very approachable and has been since he started playing. If GEORGE ever went to a tournament he could see for himself. I guess he is envious.

Delray RICK     July 09
LOUSY GOLFER....4 MORE YEARS

Unitastoberry     July 09
During my working years as as manager I encountered many types. I had a guy for years who did repairs on high tech medical machines. He was good too. One day we where talking as he worked. He blurts out..You know Hitler was a good guy he just had bad people around him. Never used him again. My advice to Jackson and Jackson and pro sports in general is when you start saying stuff like that expect to be shunned. Fans pay money to see your worthless butts catch a ball. But yet they throw Drew Brees under the bus.

Lousy Golfer     July 09
Justin doesn't wear orange on Sunday and didn't start with "moppy" hair.

Phil, is well Phil.

Bubba " water on the face bro" Watson still entertains with his curves but is truly a bore otherwise but does wear the green jacket.



As the Hamilton song says, "the world is upside down". Saw an interesting sign on a lawn the other day, "when you elect a clown expect the circus". The world needs a Reagan. We need firefighters and not arsonists.

HERMAN     July 09
@George

I realize you addressed the site owner for a reply, but please allow me to comment. At the upper echelon and stratosphere of golf live the best golfers and most talented players in the game. Even on tour there are gradations of talent. Rickie Fowler has managed to play at the highest level while so many of his contemporaries have flashed, and fallen. Duffner is no longer a leader board regular. It appears that Hunter Mahan has fallen and can't get up. Padraig Harrington won majors and is now gone from the scene. Aaron Baddeley was highly touted and had spider commercials, but has a yo-yo career, mostly down. Billy Horschel can play in DC but apparently nowhere else. Keegan Bradley disappeared for a while after a big start. It is very, very difficult to stay at the very top of the game. Especially when a Wolff or Thomas or Speith or even DeChambeau burst onto the scene.

Rickie Fowler has managed to stay competitive at the top of the game throughout his career. He is charismatic, the kids love him, and he is valuable to the game in his marketability.

Rickie is no Hunter Mahan. He may not deserve your support, but he does not warrant scorn.

George     July 08
@Drew – You are the unchallenged expert on golf here on #DMD and probably in all of the greater Baltimore area, so I ask you this question. The Golf Channel advertises this week’s event by saying that Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson headline the field. What criteria do you think the Golf Channel used to arrive at this conclusion? Do you think they used the same analysis you used last month when you listed Rickie as an example of a player that made the Colonial field one of the best for a non-major? [Rickie did play well – he only missed the cut by three shots.]

Guys like Thomas, Reed, Leishman, and Schauffele must cringe when they see this advertising.

Chris in Bel Air     July 08
I don't believe the most successful QB in the history of the NFL was ever the top paid QB in the league. According to one article I read, Brady's $23M last year was 14th among QBs. I don't know exactly where the line is between ensuring your best player(s) are paid and putting the team into a hole. That's what teams pay their front offices to determine. Nonetheless, I would say Mahomes' contract is over that line on the bad side. I would not want to see the Ravens do the same with Lamar.

some guy     July 08
Sounds like fake Some Guy is the guy who needs better reading skills lol

Some Guy     July 08
Maybe "Confused Guy" should read better:

And this isn't to suggest you can win championships with smoke and mirrors. The Orioles tried that for a decade-plus and all they got were last place finishes and an empty ballpark. You do need to win or, at the least, be competitive enough to be capable of winning. And for the most part, it requires good mangement, good coaching and quality players to have a chance to win.

Hank D     July 08
KC's thinking is sound. They are banking on the salary cap being dynamic and not static. The 45 million might not look so bad in even 3 years. What I'd want as an agent is escalators tied to cap increases. That is out of box thinking.

And if he gets hurt after one more Super Bowl in the next 3 years? That 116 million might look like a bargain. Seems insane, but real.

Lamar could be marketable, but he needs a makeover. He speaks horribly and that can be learned. OJ Simpson was some stammering fool in his early years. But he ended up "killing it" when practice and coaching and want to turned him into a reasonable actor and pitchman. He sliced and diced his way to millions in his playing and post career.


Sunday
July 12
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2148



it's lebron "james"


Maybe this is the way LeBron James is going to provide the American public with a make-good for the disastrous "Decision" he was a part of when he left the Cavaliers and joined the Miami Heat back in 2010.

Or perhaps he's doing it this way because he's peeved -- despite saying otherwise -- that he wasn't asked to participate in the selection of the social justice messages that are being offered to NBA players when the league re-starts later this month.

No matter the reason behind it, James is electing to not participate in the NBA's current promotional scheme, where they're allowing all players who are playing in the re-start to display a social justice message on their back of their jersey in lieu of their last name.

LeBron made it simple. He went with "James" on the back of his Lakers jersey.

Now, it could be that LeBron wanted to use something else but since it wasn't part of the league's "approved list", he couldn't. James is saying that's not the case. "It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players," he said. "I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It's just something that didn't really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal."

The list of approved phrases and/or messages are:

Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can't Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

As of this past Wednesday, 285 of the 350 eligible NBA players had decided to go with the social justice message. 17, including James, were just going to use their last name.

James has his own personal slogan -- More Than An Athlete -- but since that wasn't one of the options, he can't wear that on the back of his jersey.

"I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey," LeBron explained. "I had a couple things in mind, but I wasn't part of that process, which is OK. I'm absolutely OK with that."

Rather than raise a fuss and try and push his slogan through, LeBron eased off and just went with "James".

Athletes from all sports, not just basketball, are getting seriously close to drifting out of their lane these days. Actors and musicians are already two lanes over and show no signs of easing off anytime soon.

And the NBA's decision to allow players to turn their jerseys into promotional messages is the closest any league has come to going "over the top". I get it. The NBA's re-start -- if it even actually happens -- is just a six week effort to get the league back on the front page of the sports section and tie a bow around an alreadly incredibly complicated '19-20 season. We do have bigger fish to fry than worrying about why the NBA insists on doing this kind of stuff.

And why stop with just social justice messages? Why can't Christian NBA players put John 3:16 on the back of their uniform? Or "God is Great!"?

Maybe the New York Yankees have had it right all along. No names at all on the back of their uniforms. Just the number. For years we wondered why. Now, they might be the smartest people in the room after all.

Oh, and for the record, all of the phrases and messages associated with the NBA jersey story are absolutely 100% fine by me. If I had to wear one, I'd go with "Mentor", but that's just me.

This is not about the message at all. It's about the mixture of social justice (or any cause) and the player's uniform. It just doesn't feel right.

And I don't think it would feel right if hockey jerseys or baseball jerseys had promotional slogans on the back, either. This isn't just about the NBA. They just happen to be the first league to do it.

What's next? Can players put their favorite political candidate on the back of their jersey in a voting year? What about a corporate sponsor? I mean, let's be serious. What's the difference between having Listen To Us or I Love Heinz Ketchup on the back of a jersey?

All of this is what happens when leagues and teams and players assume their "mission" is something other than providing the best entertainment value they can during the respective "seasons". It does creep ever-so-close to "stick to sports", which for years has been a dicey topic, since athletes are, obviously, people too.

Maybe the NBA doesn't care that a potential percentage of their fan base won't like the "promotional message" theme they're shoving down everyone's throats. We all saw what happened in the NFL and particularly in Baltimore a few years back when players took a knee during the national anthem. It started a fire that still hasn't been completely put out.

You can also do the obvious: If you're not a fan of the NBA, don't watch it when the re-start kicks in. If you're not a fan of promotional themes on the back of player jerseys, don't watch the NBA when the re-start kicks in. If you're' not a fan of mixing politics with sports, don't watch the games when the re-start kicks in.

I personally don't care one way or the other if players are going to wear social justice messages. I think it's a slippery slope, sure, but it's certainly not going to sway me one way or the other. I'm already a luke warm fan as it is.

But I do find it interesting that the league's biggest star won't be wearing one.

It might be for selfish reasons, but on this occasion, at least, LeBron is staying in his lane.

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we almost had a big winner


Thanks for nothing, Justin Rose.

The 6-man fantasy golf "A Team" we gave out here on Wednesday could have been a big winner had Rose done his part. Instead, the former U.S. Open champion posted a lousy 10-over par two-day total at the WorkDay Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio.

Instead of a big payday, potentially, we're looking at a modest return on the $3.00 entry fee. As of this morning, we were a $35.00 winner with the team of Rose (+10), Justin Thomas (-16), Keegan Bradley (-2), Henrik Norlander (-6), Scott Stallings (-3) and Gary Woodland (-9).

You can "make money" with 5 of 6 guys making the cut and playing the weekend, but you can't win or cash in big time unless you go 6-for-6.

Way to go, Justin Rose.

Still, we're poised for a nice return on that $3.00 investment if those five come through with under par rounds today. Thomas is locked in a dual with Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa for the title and Woodland could get into the top 5 with a mid 60's round this afternoon.

So, if you took our advice on Wednesday and plunked down a few bucks on our "A team", have fun today watching the action unfold. And don't forget to tip your wait staff...

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Saturday
July 11
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2147



saturday stuff...


The Ravens recently conducted a fan vote for their 25th anniversary season and asked people to select their all-time Ravens "team".

I know the pickings at quarterback have been pretty slim throughout the team's existence, but there's only one person who could have been on the Ravens 25-year team.

And, no, it's not Lamar Jackson.

If you voted for the Ravens 25th anniversary team and didn't select Joe Flacco, you should turn in your fan card and never go to a game again.

In fan voting of the team's all-time best QB, Joe Flacco lost out to... Lamar Jackson.

But Lamar won the vote. Somehow, Lamar Jackson was voted as the team's "all-time best" quarterback through the franchise's first 25 years.

And the Ravens, as silly as they are, allowed the votes to count and actually published the team on Friday with Lamar as the QB.

Yes, in case you're wondering, I am suggesting that the Ravens should have fixed their own contest and changed the winner from Jackson to Flacco.

That's the sort of decision you make when the fans do something as stupid as picking a guy with one and a half seasons under his belt and as many playoff wins as Amy Shumer.

Yes, you change the results and publish the team with Flacco as the QB rather than Lamar.

This would be akin to the Orioles asking their fans to vote for the organization's 50-year team and having Manny Machado as the third baseman over Brooks Robinson.

If that happened, I suspect the Orioles would do the right thing and just change the vote to favor Robinson and have Brooks on the team. I mean, only a goof would think Manny Machado had a better Orioles career than Brooksie.

And only a complete goof would say to himself, "Hmmm, I know Flacco won 10 playoff games and was a Super Bowl MVP, but I think I'll vote for Lamar."

But you know who I blame in all of this? The Ravens, that's who.

I understand the value of these fan polls and contests and I realize it would be counter-productive to scrap the actual results and change them to something else. But in this case, the voting results were so clearly and obviously wrong that the Ravens are embarrassing their fan base by leaving Jackson on the team over Flacco.

I also understand it's not really worth getting worked up about something like this.

But if you're going to have a fan poll, the people voting have to take the thing seriously. Ravens fans obviously didn't take it seriously, or else Derrick Mason would have made the team over Steve Smith, Sr.

And Joe Flacco would have been the QB over Lamar Jackson.

Shame on the Ravens for not correcting this obvious blunder before the team was officially announced.

And if you're one of those who voted for Jackson instead of Joe and you're reading this right now? Double shame on you, you goof.


Collin Morikawa is on top of the leaderboard at the weather-delayed PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village. Morikawa sits at 13-under par while Justin Thomas and Kevin Streelman are at 10-under.

Morikawa was one of three college phenoms who came out on TOUR last summer -- Matt Wolff and Viktor Hovland were the other two -- and won an event before the season ended. He was a great player at the University of California-Berkley and started his PGA Tour career by making 22 consecutive starts, the second best run in history for a rookie.

One year into his PGA Tour career, Collin Morikawa already has a win and a handful of impressive finishes, not to mention nearly $2 million in earnings thus far.

The only guy better? You might have heard of him. Tiger Woods started his career on TOUR by making his first 25 cuts. Morikawa almost equaled Tiger's mark, which puts him in some pretty good company, obviously.

Of the three who came out last summer, Morikawa might be the one with the most long term potential. He's a fairway and greens kind of guy, rarely venturing off line. Where Wolff is long off the tee but occasionally wild and Hovland is constantly tinkering with his golf swing, Morikawa is the silent type who just pounds it into the fairway and puts the next shot within 30 feet of the flag.

A three shot lead on the TOUR is nothing, of course, particularly at the halfway point, but the guess here is that Morikawa stays on the first page of the leaderboard all the way through until Sunday's back nine. He's not going to crumble under the bright lights of a PGA Tour event, Saturday, Sunday or otherwise.

He and Wolff seem like reasonable possibilities for the 2021 American Ryder Cup team, particularly if they both win once or twice before now and next August. While they're not the "future of American golf", they're both going to be long term fixtures on both Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams over the next decade or more.

Hovland, unfortunately, will be a mainstay on the European Ryder Cup team.

But those three do represent a nice slice of the current college crop that are coming out and making a name for themselves on the PGA Tour. In the old days, a college player would have to grind it out on the minor league circuits for a year or two, perhaps play well enough on the (now called) Korn Ferry Tour to get their PGA Tour card, then hang on for dear life in that first year while they acclimated themselves to life on the big tour.

Instead, now, they come out of college, get a sponsor's exemption or three, and wind up either winning an event or making enough money to get and keep their TOUR card right away. That's what Wolff, Hovland and Morikawa all did last summer. They finished college, won a PGA Tour event and are now rolling along as millionaires.

It's great work if you can get it. Especially at 23 years of age.


This might change in a couple of weekends when the 2020 baseball season finally starts, but I have close to zero interest in the upcoming MLB campaign.

And I think it's mainly because I can't go to any of the games.

Part of my lack of interest stems from the fact that we're in store for a 60-game season -- if they even wind up playing that many games. I just can't get excited about it.

This will be the scene for the Orioles' 30 home games in 2020. How much different will the players feel about it?

But I do believe my enthusiasm would spike if I could actually attend games at Camden Yards or travel to DC or NY to watch the O's play the Nationals or Yankees. There's just something about knowing in advance they're going to be playing in empty stadiums that leaves me, well, empty.

Even the coverage of these "workouts" and intra-squad games seems weird. Local media members are allowed in to watch and report on what they see, but the videos you see on social media just look so weird and out of the ordinary that I can't get excited about Chris Davis hitting a single to centerfield off of Alex Cobb.

I'll be the first to admit that all of this is new territory and perhaps it takes a while to settle in as our "new normal", but it's starting to strike me that Nick Markakis might have been right last week when he said, "We play these games for the fans. If they can't be there to watch it, I'm not sure we should even be playing."

Now, look, I get it. There are nights in Baltimore when 2,500 or 3,500 people are sitting at Camden Yards on a Tuesday night watching the Orioles and Mariners. So what's the difference between 3,500 fans there to watch and no fans there to watch? We all know the answer: It's a huge difference.

Even when 3,500 people are there, at least there's *some* kind of atmoshpere in the place. Strolling out to home plate this season and seeing no one in the stands can't possibly excite a Major League baseball player. It's just going to be too friggin' weird.

I'm sure true, ardent fans of baseball are excited to have any kind of action later this month. I love baseball as well, but I guess I'm in a different kind of camp. Maybe I'm more like Markakis than I realized. I can't see the games having nearly as much "meaning" without people in the seats to watch it.

And I have a weird feeling I'll feel the same way in September when the Ravens open their season in front of no spectators at the stadium. I guess it's the human condition. I've seen something for 57 years and now, suddenly, it's going to be the exact opposite of what I've been accustomed to seeing for all those years. Somehow, it doesn't add up.

I think it remains to be seen if a season with no fans watching the games live is better than no season at all.

I caught glimpses of some of the English Premier League games last month and earlier this month and the actual play itself didn't look different at all. But the game itself was boring, to me. And it's hard to make outdoor soccer even more boring than it originally was when 50,000 people could pack their way into a stadium in London to watch a EPL game.

I hope I'm wrong.

But I think baseball -- which can be as sleepy and pedestrian as soccer at times -- will be a lousy product with no one there watching it live.

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Friday
July 10
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2146



to rickie...or not to rickie?


We all have our moments.

Just this week, in fact, a friend was replaying for me an encounter he had with, let's say, a rough-around-the-edges mutual friend of ours who has a decent golf game but an incredibly acerbic nature.

"He's definitely an acquired taste," my friend said to me and a few others who were sharing an adult beverage.

A few of the guys at the bar laughed.

"We're all an acquired taste, actually," I replied.

So with that as an entry point, let's look at Rickie Fowler.

Rickie Fowler, a 5-time winner on the PGA Tour, is one of golf's top money makers when it comes to endorsements and corporate sponsorships.

I noticed in the comments late last night that my buddy George had another of his "get off my lawn!" moments about the PGA Tour star. I apologize it took me the better part of 24 hours to get to a response, but I had an obligation to play 27 holes at Plainfield CC in New Jersey and eat a big steak on Thursday. And when duty calls, you know...

Anyway, let's start off by giving George credit for one thing: He doesn't flip-flop on this subject. He's never liked or appreciated Fowler.

It seems as if George's main bone of contention is that Fowler's popularity and marketability in no way connect with his ability to win on the PGA Tour. There's an imbalance there. And on that general point, I would agree.

If you just flew in from Pluto and stayed in the U.S. for one month and didn't know anything about Fowler's career, you would assume -- based on TV and media "exposure" alone -- he's a 15-time TOUR winner with a green jacket and Claret Jug in his $4.4 million Florida home.

But that's not the case.

Fowler is a 5-time winner on TOUR, including a victory at The Players, which is as close to winning a major as you can get without winning one. But those five wins have come in a decade as a professional golfer. And, if we're being honest, lots of guys win five times in their career. Just ask Jonathan Byrd, Ryan Moore or Nick Watney.

And if you said, "Jonathan Byrd, who the heck is he?" just now, that, I believe, is George's point.

Rickie Fowler and Jonathan Byrd have the same amount of career wins. Now, Fowler has made a lot more money than Byrd has in tournament golf, but when you chisel out the money and just build a statue with wins, those two have the same amount. Fowler's played on Ryder Cup and President's Cup teams and Byrd is a non-descript TOUR "lifer", but wins are wins and both players have five.

But make no mistake about this: Rickie Fowler is a great player. When it comes to playing golf, there aren't 100 people in the entire world better at golf than him. Think about that. On this entire planet, Fowler is easily within the best 100 at golf. Frankly, he's within the top 50, if we want to be precise.

Would it better for his "brand" if Fowler won more? Of course. It's not like he's chopped liver or anything, but the amount of winning seemingly doesn't match up with how much airtime and exposure he receives from the networks.

But there is only one Tiger Woods...or Phil Mickelson, even. Those two guys not only won with amazing consistency, they brought with them a large contingent of corporations looking to spend marketing dollars within the golf industry.

With Fowler, the pieces of the puzzle seemingly don't fit. And that's George's main argument. "Why does a guy who wins so little make so much money peddling golf clubs, golf apparel, mortgages, watches and so on?"

There's an easy answer to that: Because he is marketable to a wide range of the audience and he's a sound investment.

It really is that simple.

For the $1 million you give Fowler to help your company sell its widgets, here's what you get. A good looking, well spoken, polite, friendly, accessible young man. Kids like him because of that. Women like him because of that. And most men like him because of that.

Corporate America loves him because of that.

I've only known two people who have had any kind of professional, "business dealings" with Fowler and both of those guys -- independent of each other -- say he's just what you see on TV. Friendly, courteous, genuine -- "a pleasure to be around" one of them said to me once after filming a promotional spot with Rickie for a junior golf initiative in Washington DC.

In a sport where there are lots of guys resembling David Simms from the movie Tin Cup, Fowler is as easy-to-like as anyone you could ever encounter.

That he occasionally shoots 68-66-65 and gets himself into the final pairing of a golf tournament before frittering away a 2-shot lead is icing on the cake. If you're selling mortgages and your company buys $1.2 million of commercials during said tournament, it doesn't hurt your brand at all to have the guy serving as your spokesperson also be on TV for the better part of four hours.

In the corporate world, as far as endorsements go, winning doesn't matter nearly as much as the other big buzz word: exposure.

If we're being honest, the folks at Rocket Mortgage don't really care if Fowler wins. What they care about is that he's on TV a lot, plays in a large number of events where they entertain clients, and treats their guests and customers with a smile on his face.

And the networks? They couldn't care less if he wins, either. What they like is the fact that Fowler has a bag full of corporate partners who natually want to marry their investment with him by promoting that relationship on a wider, full ranging media scale. What good is it to have Rickie Fowler "on staff" and fork over $1.2 million a year to him if you can't splash him all over CBS and NBC for 35 weekends a year?

So, CBS and NBC love it when Fowler, or any player, for that matter, strikes up a massive endorsement or marketing deal with a Fortune 500 company, because they know, in turn, that company is going to spend advertising dollars to support their investment in said player.

It's really not that complicated.

Trust me, if you had a company that made plush towels and you wanted a PGA Tour player to help you sell 10 million of them, you would want Fowler on your team.

Be serious for a second: Would you want Fowler at your corporate outing glad-handing with store owners or would you want an abrasive, self-centered guy like Brooks Koepka there for the day? Sure, Koepka has four majors and Rickie has none. You know what else Koepka has? No marketability.

When's the last time you saw Brooks Koepka on TV helping a bank or a sports nutrition drink or a watch company sell more of their products? And the reason you don't and won't see him is because he doesn't have "it". He's great for the TOUR in a lot of ways, because he's competitive and a good sound bite, but you wouldn't want to spend eight hours with him at your next corporate function trying to squeeze "friendly and genuine" out of him.

Fowler helps companies sell stuff.

And the fact that he's handsome and friendly and also very good at golf makes him sort of a no-brainer for the mortgage guys and apparel companies.

I'm sure Fowler himself would like to win more. I mean, money is no longer an object to him. He's made more than he and his family could ever dream of spending. He would love to have a Masters or another major title at some point just to check off that box and limit the amount of criticism he gets from people like George who don't think his sizzle matches the quality of his steak.

But until he wins that Masters or U.S. Open, he'll still be on your TV set every Sunday.

And I don't see anything at all wrong with that.

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#dmd comments








Charge     July 13
I thought the Crazy Kerry thing was funny. Woods, not even playing in a tournament is mentioned in two things. Of course the Site Owner has all power to include Woods in his articles.

And the SOD comes in to save him yet again. A humorless bunch. Woods fan boys are a thin skinned lot.

Envy? Jealousy? There are only two things that an average man can be jealous of Woods about.

1. Money. But sane people realize that money is not the key to happiness. Look at Woods, he is bored, his actions prove it.

2. His golf game. Now that might something that is understandable. But is it possible? No. Talent has everything to do with it. No matter how many golf balls you hit, few could ever do what he did.



SOD gonna do SOD things. And Woods fan boys gonna fan.

PLB     July 13
Valid point @Mark. So much envy and jealousy for a guy who has done nothing to them at all.

Rich     July 13
Spot on, DF. The "cancel culture" crew are tearing the country apart. They wouldn't have time to cancel things if they were employed. Instead of working, they just go from county to county and protest something or raise a stink for the TV cameras.

Mark in Perry Hall     July 13
I'm not a golf fan but it's amazing how many grown men here at the Dish have "Tiger Envy", isn't it?

Jason M     July 13
Agreed U2B. Best part about the fan culture is that it's apolitical. Nobody goes to a tailgate party to talk politics, and while you're watching the game at its very best the world is noise and the action on the field is signal. Or talking about politics while fishing - just boorish.

Roger Stone     July 13
The "cancel culture"

Don't like the virus, ignore it

Don't like I was found guilty by a jury of my peers on 7 counts, commute it

Don't like a marine was found guilty of murder, pardon him

Don't like a military man told the truth, fire him

Don't want to release taxes, stall it

Don't know what to do with your day play golf 25 % of the time




Crazy Kerry     July 13
Location: DMD content editor's desk

Date: July 13, 2020

Data Points: Edited content on above date.



Nugget #1. By the way, Tiger Woods has not reported his Covid-19 status.

Nugget #2. Clear Copy

Nugget #3. As an aside, there is no evidence of Tiger Woods cancelling anything.

Nugget #4. Clear copy.

Nugget #5. As we all remember Tiger Woods attended Stanford, which had at one time had an Indian as a symbol, but it was changed due to the possibility that somewhere, someone might be offended. But I reiterate Tiger Woods has nothing to do with South Carolina, he has played a few tournaments in that state, but would never wear anything sexually offensive. [Ed. note, not wear anything offensive, but lots of actions that are offensive to society, like adultery and public acts].

HERMAN     July 13
I must live in a different part of Florida, life here in this part of the state appears to be proceeding as "Covid normal", people mostly stay home. When you go out it's all masks and distancing, everyone seems cautious.

I am no prude, after all I did author a rather filthy tome that can be found on Amazon that was an attempt at foul humor, but the SC marketing department should not lower themselves to the level of a shabby bar or T shirt shop in Ocean City. Your alumni appear Ill educated wearing filth across the forehead.

If the braintrust at the PGA has any sense they'll pair up Playful Fist Bump with DeChambeau next week and create must see TV. If Bryson outdrives him by twenty to thirty yards it would be just an incredible thing to witness. Of course they only keep score, so Playful may be able to laser enough pins to overcome those extra yards. Much as it would pain me to have to watch him all day, I'd have to tune in.

Chris     July 13
I had to LOL at the "C#CKS" hat story. It is funny that Redskins is offensive but C#CKS isn't! Nice work today Drew.

H     July 12
Well said, UTB

George     July 12
Gotta love it! "Approved" protest phrases. About 15 years ago, saw a "spontaneous" riot in Paris near where the Bastille was, over a huge rise in electric rates. It was catered.

KJ     July 12
Hard to give Lebron any credit here, you know its not about rebelling against forced compliance to a narrative, it's about LBJ Enterprises not being able to make money off his actions.

One need look no further than the NBAs perspective on China to know where their "heart" truly is. And honestly I am fine with that, a pro league should be all about maximizing revenue, what irks me is the hypocrisy of the media acting like the NBA "gets it" and somehow truly cares about anything but the bottom line - same as any other big time pro league

unitastoberry     July 12
Just say no to any political slogans at sports events. Just depoliticize all sports at all levels. No anthems no fly overs etc. Just play sports. Coexist and peacfully protest on your own go out and vote run for office.

Steve from Cape Coral     July 12
Until I see a choice for; Blue lives matter, White lives matter to be put on the back of there jersey's, it just shows how racist the N B A is !!!

Casual observer     July 12
Hot water? Haha. The SOD ensures this is a safe space here for the site owner, @Dan P need not worry lol


Dan P.     July 12
I applaud you for even having the guts to touch this story this morning @DF. You're bound to get in hot water over it, no matter what you say about it.

Buckie     July 12
Radiophile, was that WLPL (92.3) or WKTK (105.7)?

RadioPhile     July 11
This fan vote for the all time team reminds me of my 13th year on planet Earth.

The rock station in town held a listener call in to select the three "greatest rock song of all time". The year was 1975.

The three finalist for greatest song ever were(by listeners call in)

1. Stairway to Heaven

2. Show Me the Way(a hit in that same year of 1975)

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (another hit of 1975).

The voting was wild. The DJ's were getting angry with the vote totals as the two current hits of 1975 were running away with the greatest rock song of all time.

Stairway ended up winning. But I heard years later it actually finished 3rd. Show me the Way by Frampton was the most recent of the three, and a bunch of goofy kids like me voted the recencey of the forgettable hit.




Brien Jackson     July 11
Flacco had one great playoff run and some more good playoff games amid a sea of most mediocre at best performances. Lamar has a rookie season run to the division title and then one of the all time great seasons for a quarterback, plus recency bias. I don't really get why you would pre-select the results of the poll, even if I would have voted for Flacco.

gallup guy     July 11
@Hal Why would you conduct a poll if you are just gonna change the results if they are not to your liking? That makes no sense (you know, like voting for LJ over Flacco makes no sense!)

Voice of Reason     July 11
I think this Ravens 25th Season Fan Vote is indicative of the older fan base leaving the NFL in its tracks the past few years and the newbies showing they only know the "new" players.

Hal     July 11
Drew said it best. The Ravens should have just put Flacco on the team.

unitastoberry     July 11
Flacco 10 playoff wins including SB win and SB MVP. Dilfer had 5 playoff wins and one loss with 2 teams including a SB win. Lamar has 2 playoff losses. Now Lamar has won the league MVP(fyi so did Bert Jones once and Unitas multiple times) and set the all time record for single season rushing yards by a qb in the entire history of the NFL not exactly chopped liver. When you look at the data it depends on what you want from the qb. Regular season stats or post season or a combination of and at this point in time. I go with the combination so Flacco it is for now with me. Playing winning football in January and February is very difficult it seperates the men from the boys but we must remember it's a team sport and the coaches come into play too. Ask Fran,Dan,and Jim about it.

Chris in Bel Air     July 11
For the record, the best QB is Stoney Case... I mean Chris Redman... I mean Tony Banks. Ok, that's enough. Of course, the best QB right now is Joe. Stats, longevity, team wins, playoff wins and an incredible run to a Super Bowl win and Super Bowl MVP.

Chris in Bel Air     July 11
That Ravens poll of all-time "best" is typical and comical. First, you have to define best. QB statistics? Team wins? Playoff wins? Super Bowl wins? All of the above? You can go round and round with many fans on just defining "best". Add in these are many of the same fans that has wanted Harbs fired for years and the same fans that knows exactly what play should be called *after* the one on the field is completed. Lamar is amazing but he's not the all-time best QB right now. He could be but not with a 2 year resume and no playoff wins.

KJ     July 11
Certainly game "atmosphere" is different with no fans there, but come on - the number of fans NOT at a game far, far exceeds those in attendance on any given night. I'm ok saying the entertainment value "could" be diminished without a live crowd cheering, but honestly, not sure that can't be replicated by fake crowd noises. Not sure it will, just saying if you somehow ignore reality (a good thing these days, right??), would fake crowd noise be that much different than real crowd noise?

I get it, I too love attending games in person too, will definitely miss that. Love Markakis as well, but he is wrong. They are not just playing for the 10-40k fans in attendance any given night, they're playing for all the fans of the team watching on TV, listening on the radio/internet, or simply checking the scores - and yes gambling lol.

And oh, like the owners, the players play to make money. Media making a big big out of players who've opted out, but the only names I've seen are established players who have already made a ton of money, and/or have guaranteed contracts beyond this year. Even considering that, the number opting out is statistically a very small number. So none of the ones "not quitting" play for the fans? Or just the few who are opting out?

And BTW could not agree more that anyone voting for Jackson over Flacco on a 25 year team is either a goof or simply not understanding the question, there is no other option. But don't agree Ravens should change the results - if you're gonna do that, why even have a poll in the first place

Jim Jarvis     July 11
I agree completely with your comments on the Raven all time team. As I voted I was saying the same thing. Jackson might get there one day but now after less than 2 full seasons and NO PLAYOFF WINS, NO.

Chuck Zito     July 11
Fan polls are like top 10 lists. Filler when there is nothing else going on. Who cares.....

Media guy     July 10
@H Penalties? For what, allegations? #DMD channeling CNN and Yahoo with that fake headline lol!

H     July 10
What NCAA penalties will Duke incur other than forfeiting their wins?

Chris in Bel Air     July 10
@George - welcome to the world of marketability. How many freaking Baker Mayfield commercials did we have to endure last NFL season? All for a guy who has QB'd his team to 12-17 record over 2 years.

George     July 10
Have nothing against Rickie Fowler. Don't know him, never met him. Have even rooted for him a couple times when he was in the hunt in majors. I think my problem is not with Fowler, it's with that large segment of the human race who are so sheeplike they need a handsome and well-spoken journeyman golfer to tell them what company to get a mortgage from. Or a watch. Or a whatever. I understand commercials are necessary, but I don't need, during a broadcast, three otherwise semi-intelligent announcers discussing, for a full five minutes, why missing two cuts in a row is a "good" thing and actually shows that "he's right there."

Good column except for one paragraph. You say kids like him, and women like him, and most me like him for some reasons. The fact is that the "like" comes about as a result of some imaginary interaction between the viewer and a television screen. It's all in their heads.

DF     July 10
No, I'm not hinting that Fowler is a fraud. Do you wear reading glasses? Never mind. You guys are...well, forget it. Carry on.

Golf Traveer     July 10
Are you hinting that Rickey is a fraud? David Simms was a "great guy" in the movie according to Nance and all of the golf infrastructure. Only a few people knew he was a horrible person. He had a good brand.

Maybe Fowler is as gutless as Simms, laying up in a crucial situation.

Fowler is a winner. No doubt about that. He has won in the game of life. I've heard a few things in my travels. Mainly that he lacks the ability to get it done in the clutch. Not earth shattering. All I know is that he has a gallery to avoid. I shy away from crowds. No where near as lunatic and dangerous as the Woods complete nutjobs and slobbers and teenage girl/grown men "what are you wearing today" mentality.

HERMAN     July 10
For most there is only one brand on tour. He comes back next week. Playful Fist Bump will light up this site like a pinball machine, the site owner is a rabid fanatic. It will be as if they haven't been playing at all the past few weeks, the tour is elevated to a new level by his mere presence. It's a sleepy week this week in Ohio, but next week, it'll be all Tiger all-the-time on SportsCenter, The Golf Channel, and elsewhere. And if he averages over 300 on his drives talk of a November repeat will reverberate in July.

"He" returns, why even Covid better run and hide.

Delray Rick     July 10
Well said DREW..With A-holes in the country now FOWLER is breath of fresh air. You get jerks like GARCIA,REED and "THE BRAND" to name a few. THE BRAND Wil get his when fans come back. GEE, almost forgot AB!!

George     July 09
@David R. – Much obliged. I’ll certainly put the Rickie balls on the shopping list, just after the Kim Kardashian coloring book, the Kim Kardashian prayer candle, and the Kim Kardashian refrigerator magnet.

David Rosenfeld     July 09
George...don't make fun of that TP5 golf ball. It's a great ball, and Rickie's designs are available to all of us at $45 per dozen.

George     July 09
@DelRay and @Herman -- You forgot to mention that in addition to being approachable and being valuable to the game for his marketability, Rickie also uniquely marks his ball with a bunch of triangles in multiple colors.

bob jackson     July 09
Lousy golfer - I assume you are referring to obama!

Delray Rick     July 09
HERMAN..When ever I attend a PGA tournament FOWLER is the one fans seek out. He is very approachable and has been since he started playing. If GEORGE ever went to a tournament he could see for himself. I guess he is envious.

Delray RICK     July 09
LOUSY GOLFER....4 MORE YEARS

Unitastoberry     July 09
During my working years as as manager I encountered many types. I had a guy for years who did repairs on high tech medical machines. He was good too. One day we where talking as he worked. He blurts out..You know Hitler was a good guy he just had bad people around him. Never used him again. My advice to Jackson and Jackson and pro sports in general is when you start saying stuff like that expect to be shunned. Fans pay money to see your worthless butts catch a ball. But yet they throw Drew Brees under the bus.

Lousy Golfer     July 09
Justin doesn't wear orange on Sunday and didn't start with "moppy" hair.

Phil, is well Phil.

Bubba " water on the face bro" Watson still entertains with his curves but is truly a bore otherwise but does wear the green jacket.



As the Hamilton song says, "the world is upside down". Saw an interesting sign on a lawn the other day, "when you elect a clown expect the circus". The world needs a Reagan. We need firefighters and not arsonists.

HERMAN     July 09
@George

I realize you addressed the site owner for a reply, but please allow me to comment. At the upper echelon and stratosphere of golf live the best golfers and most talented players in the game. Even on tour there are gradations of talent. Rickie Fowler has managed to play at the highest level while so many of his contemporaries have flashed, and fallen. Duffner is no longer a leader board regular. It appears that Hunter Mahan has fallen and can't get up. Padraig Harrington won majors and is now gone from the scene. Aaron Baddeley was highly touted and had spider commercials, but has a yo-yo career, mostly down. Billy Horschel can play in DC but apparently nowhere else. Keegan Bradley disappeared for a while after a big start. It is very, very difficult to stay at the very top of the game. Especially when a Wolff or Thomas or Speith or even DeChambeau burst onto the scene.

Rickie Fowler has managed to stay competitive at the top of the game throughout his career. He is charismatic, the kids love him, and he is valuable to the game in his marketability.

Rickie is no Hunter Mahan. He may not deserve your support, but he does not warrant scorn.

George     July 08
@Drew – You are the unchallenged expert on golf here on #DMD and probably in all of the greater Baltimore area, so I ask you this question. The Golf Channel advertises this week’s event by saying that Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson headline the field. What criteria do you think the Golf Channel used to arrive at this conclusion? Do you think they used the same analysis you used last month when you listed Rickie as an example of a player that made the Colonial field one of the best for a non-major? [Rickie did play well – he only missed the cut by three shots.]

Guys like Thomas, Reed, Leishman, and Schauffele must cringe when they see this advertising.

Chris in Bel Air     July 08
I don't believe the most successful QB in the history of the NFL was ever the top paid QB in the league. According to one article I read, Brady's $23M last year was 14th among QBs. I don't know exactly where the line is between ensuring your best player(s) are paid and putting the team into a hole. That's what teams pay their front offices to determine. Nonetheless, I would say Mahomes' contract is over that line on the bad side. I would not want to see the Ravens do the same with Lamar.

some guy     July 08
Sounds like fake Some Guy is the guy who needs better reading skills lol

Some Guy     July 08
Maybe "Confused Guy" should read better:

And this isn't to suggest you can win championships with smoke and mirrors. The Orioles tried that for a decade-plus and all they got were last place finishes and an empty ballpark. You do need to win or, at the least, be competitive enough to be capable of winning. And for the most part, it requires good mangement, good coaching and quality players to have a chance to win.

Hank D     July 08
KC's thinking is sound. They are banking on the salary cap being dynamic and not static. The 45 million might not look so bad in even 3 years. What I'd want as an agent is escalators tied to cap increases. That is out of box thinking.

And if he gets hurt after one more Super Bowl in the next 3 years? That 116 million might look like a bargain. Seems insane, but real.

Lamar could be marketable, but he needs a makeover. He speaks horribly and that can be learned. OJ Simpson was some stammering fool in his early years. But he ended up "killing it" when practice and coaching and want to turned him into a reasonable actor and pitchman. He sliced and diced his way to millions in his playing and post career.


Thursday
July 9
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2145



things i'm thinking about


Just a bunch of thoughts here. Things you might like, things you might not, and things that might motivate you to comment on below.

The Ravens made the biggest local news splash on Wednesday when they announced they will not sell season tickets in 2020. Instead, if fans are even allowed into the stadium for games starting in September, the franchise will simply sell 14,000 individual tickets per home game.

Scenes like this likely won't be captured at Ravens Stadium in 2020.

I reported here back in April that the club was considering a capacity of 30% for 2020 home games. They settled on just under 20%, apparently.

They'll figure out the most random-yet-equitable way to distribute/sell those 14,000 tickets, but all of that depends on whether fans are even allowed into the stadium come September.

I'm no virus expert and I'm certainly not a Dr. Fauci clone, but I'll stick with what I've been saying all along. These 2020 NFL games will not have fans in attendance through at least October. Perhaps in November and beyond they will allow a certain percentage of spectators into the stadiums, but, for now at least, the games will be played in front of no fans at all. That's my guess.

One thing I'd also bet on: If the Ravens do eventually allow spectators in the stadium, they'll handle the process smoothly and with great precision. Their front office is the best in the business.


Speaking of no fans, the 2020 Ryder Cup was postponed on Wednesday and moved to 2021 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

This was the no-brainer-of-no-brainers, of course. You can play a regular old golf tournament in front of no spectators, but you can't possibly play the Ryder Cup without people on the property.

No sporting event in the world depends on more on the fans for atomsphere than the Ryder Cup.

There might not be another sporting event anywhere in the world more dependent on fans in attendance to make it work than the Ryder Cup.

Without the fans there, the Ryder Cup has the enthusiasm level of an Orioles Tuesday night home game in mid-July. It just doesn't work.

Yes, the golf is generally great. You're talking about, give or take an argument or two on both teams, the 24 best players in the world over the last year or so, going toe-to-toe for three days. And even though a lot of the European players live in the United States these days, anyone who actually follows golf knows there's some hostility between the two teams that might not be apparent during, say, the Masters, but gets flushed out and exposed every other September when they contest the Ryder Cup.

And then you throw in the fans, which usually features an 80-20 split based on which side is hosting the bi-annual event. This time around, 30,000 American supporters would have jammed their way into Whistling Straits and 10,000 European supporters would have been on hand. Those 30,000 folks sporting red, white and blue would have made life miserable for the European team.

The dirty little secret is the Ryder Cup has gotten out of hand over the last 20 years. What used to be a friendly "competition" has now turned into more like a fraternity reunion every other year, where the people on location drink too much and act the fool, all in accordance with their desire to "help their team win". But golf needs an event like the Ryder Cup and it simply can't be played without the fans there on site.


I have no idea how former NBA player Stephen Jackson involved himself in the DeSean Jackson saga, but there Jackson was on Tuesday night, posting a story on his Instagram account defending the Eagles' wide receiver, who earlier in the week dunked himself in boiling water by defending the likes of Hitler and Farrakhan, both of whom were known for their anti-semitic philosophies and positions.

The former NBA player walked back some of his comments on Wednesday night, telling CNN "I could have changed my words", but sticking to his original point that his comments supporting DeSean Jackson were more about social justice and less about supporting Hitler and Farrakhan.

CNN, naturally, didn't do much to question Jackson last night, and the entire discussion wound up getting turned into another 20-minute hatefest against the President of the United States and the NFL.

On Tuesday night, the former NBA player posted this in reference to DeSean Jackson's comments: "You know he don't hate nobody, but he's speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others." In the Instagram video, which was later deleted, Jackson did not mention Hitler or anti-Semitism, but he did speak of social injustice and police brutality and how "none of you NFL owners spoke up on that."

The former NBA player also spoke about Riley Cooper, the white receiver who shouted a racial slur at an African American security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert in 2013. Cooper was fined by the Eagles and apologized, then was signed to a five-year extension by the team the following year.

"My words maybe should have been different," Jackson told CNN. "But the fact remains the NFL hasn't done anything to help with this racial inequality we've been dealing with over the years."

The weirdest part of the whole story is the former NBA player talking about the NFL as if he played in that league, too. Meanwhile, the DeSean Jackson "story", if you will, has largely been forgotten and the spotlight is now back on the NFL and its member teams.

Confused? I think we all are.

And the reality is the more of this stuff we read, see and hear, the more likely we are to start shifting back to a "stick to sports" mentality when it comes to our athletes.

God bless them for their enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, but it's almost getting to be overkill at this point. Just catch a pass or make a bucket or shoot the puck in the net, please, and stop with the daily social media posts about the government and the leagues and the owners.

No one is disputing the need for more equality in our nation.

What's up in the air, though, is the tolerance level of everyone who has to constantly hear athletes moan and groan about issues in our society.

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the end of fencing


You’ve been thinking about football (is it really going to happen?), baseball (why is that happening again?) and golf (thank God that’s happening). Me? I’ve been thinking about fencing (1).

Yes, fencing. Épée, sabre, foil. A true combat sport with a gentlemanly flair and classical roots. Competitive fencing is one of five sports to have been featured in every modern Olympic Games since 1896, joining track and field (aka “athletics”), cycling, swimming and gymnastics. It’ll be in the program when (if) the Tokyo Olympics go off next year.

I fear, however, that this is the end of fencing. Not literally, of course; the sport will still exist. And I don’t want to make it seem like I pay any attention to fencing, or know much about it.

But I read yesterday that Stanford University, one of our finest academic institutions in addition to a sports powerhouse, is eliminating its fencing teams (2), among others. Just recently, Brown University did the same. More are to come—heck, even Duke and Notre Dame might have to get rid of their teams.

You might ask why Stanford even had a varsity fencing team, and it wouldn’t be a terrible question. The answer, I think, is simple. Because they could…

And now, the coronavirus has expedited a process that likely would have occurred anyway (3). They can’t have one anymore. The universe may be expanding, but the world, and even its most prestigious institutions, are not on a constant growth trajectory.

Without trivializing the ones who have died and suffered during the pandemic, fencers take the hit here, because what they do is trivial. They were always on shaky ground as to whether what they do “matters.” The current situation puts that in even greater focus. It doesn’t matter.

At some unknown time in the future, when 2020 seems like a bad dream and the football stadium at Stanford is packed again for the USC game, the fencing program isn’t coming back. We know better than that. All that would happen is that it would go away again.

The moral of this story isn’t about fencing, of course. It’s really about expansion vs. contraction, as it relates to sports anyway. Patrick Mahomes’ contract (4) aside, the sports world is being forced to contract in a way that didn’t seem possible only a few months ago.

If and when the NBA resumes it season, they plan on doing it in a “bubble” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World outside Orlando. All games will take place at three venues within the complex, and everyone associated with the endeavor will essentially be “quarantined” in that location. The NHL, should it resume play, will do so in “hub” cities, creating a similar environment. Major League Baseball, as we know, announced each team’s 60-game, more-localized schedule (5) this week.

Almost by definition, these leagues are large. They are national, and in reality international. The athletes have reached the peak of their sport professionally, and thus are being watched by the largest crowds. Their compensation is large, to the point where the average salary for an MLB player is about $4.5 million.

And all of them are trying to find a way to be as small as possible. The global NBA, popular in the most remote places on the map, forced into a theme park and a few square miles. The NHL, stretching from Western Canada to South Florida, trying to find two or three places in North America that might be safe. Baseball, an epic slog of six months and 162 games, reduced to a two-month sprint.

These leagues make no sense when they’re small. You can physically contain LeBron James in a 4,000-seat gym with no fans, but can you really take it seriously (6)? The NBA and NHL playoffs can be epics, where the eventual winner plays as many as 28 postseason games after an 82-game regular season.

From a competitive standpoint, nobody wins when these leagues are forced to “go small.” Yet I wonder—like with college fencing—if it’s the start of something new. Sports, for reasons not related to public health or welfare, entering a period of significant contraction.

For how many years have we heard that baseball is considering the elimination of several teams (7)? Maybe that’s more likely to happen now. Football considering teams outside the United States, and not having that be completely out of the question? Well it is now, it would seem.

And what about the “secondary” leagues like Major League Lacrosse or the Major Arena Soccer League? Those leagues, or at the very least some of their teams, are always a few weeks or months away from folding. The public’s longing for any kind of sports aside, this doesn’t seem like a time for those leagues or new ones to thrive.

With the exception of a general policy of doing as much social distancing as possible, there hasn’t been much clarity in the last few months. As the world begins to reopen, that lack of clarity is becoming larger. Nobody is exactly sure what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. Professional and college sports are certainly part of that.

At the same time, I wonder whether some kind of clarity might come from it all. Sports leagues became monstrosities that never could have been predicted, and perhaps it’s time for a bit of a course correction. What that means exactly? It’s hard to say, because it’s no longer possible to imagine something like the NFL not being monstrous. What would it be if it wasn’t?

If the past few months has told us anything sports-related, it’s the fact that even our biggest sports institutions are not immune from things they can’t control. Whenever it is that leagues can finally regain control (8), they might have to make some hard decisions they’d never dreamed of considering before.

Notes

1. In Baltimore City, “fencing” means something different, I’m told.

2. Stanford had 36 athletic teams combined between men and women’s sports before its recent announcement. The average Division I athletic program has 18 teams.

3. both Stanford and Brown announced that their contraction plans date to well before the COVID-19 pandemic, thought it certainly gives the schools an even better excuse.

4. Whatever Patrick Mahomes is getting in his contract, in whatever way he’s getting it, he’s worth it.

5. It would probably help the Orioles if this whole Florida thing got figured out a little better before they headed there.

6. Back in the late winter, LeBron said he wasn’t interested in playing if there weren’t any fans. We’re going to find out how interested he is.

7. Does anyone remember how close the Twins and Expos came to being contracted from the league in 2002? The vote by the owners was 28-2, with the two voting against being the Twins and Expos.

8. Division I athletic conferences will have interesting choices. I almost wonder if the recent expansion to super-conferences with no geographic integrity will one day be reversed.

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Wednesday
July 8
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2144



just because the chiefs are crazy...


This, I think, is a fairly open and shut case.

But it is complicated. Winning does that to a franchise and its fan base.

The Kansas City Chiefs are going to fork over somewhere in the neighborhood of $450 million to Patrick Mahomes over the next 10 years. Let's get the qualifiers out of the way first: Sure, the deal is basically a series of multi-year contracts that can be terminated along the way. It's not like the Chiefs are locked and bound to paying their QB that money over the next decade. But if the whole thing plays out and Mahomes sticks around for all 10 years on the contract he agreed to on Monday, $450 to $500 million is what he'll receive.

They're nuts for signing him to that kind of deal.

Plain crazy.

And the concern in these parts, of course, is that the Ravens might very well have to consider doing something similar with Lamar Jackson. Now, Jackson and Mahomes are, frankly, light years apart in accomplishment(s) so far in their respective careers. Mahomes has two trips to the AFC title game and a Super Bowl ring in two "real" seasons (he played one game in 2017, his rookie year in the NFL). Jackson has two home playoff losses and a MVP award to his credit over those same two seasons.

But in the same way the Chiefs felt compelled to do something extraordinary to keep their quarterback fat and happy, the Ravens might very well be forced to do the same thing, if, say, the next step in Lamar's career is a Super Bowl victory in the 2020 season. Even if that title comes in the 2021 campaign, the Ravens will still have to pony up in a big way.

Here's hoping they don't do what the Chiefs did.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs agreed to a contract extension this week that could pay him more than $450 million over the next ten seasons.

And I'm not saying that in any way to suggest that I believe Jackson is going to drop off or lose his way in the NFL. Not at all. I'm not sure how much better he can get, honestly, but I don't think he's suddenly going to lose a step or suffer a mechanical failure in the next 3-5 years. I think Lamar is legit.

But I don't think it makes any sense to give a guy $45 million a year to quarterback your team. Sure, that's the going rate and all, but just because the Chiefs saw fit to give Mahomes that kind of dough it doesn't mean the Ravens are obligated to do it, too.

In general -- and there are special cases, which I'll note below -- I think the best value years of a NFL player's career are the first five (assuming he's on a five-year deal). And I don't necessarily mean the best "playing years" of his career. I mean, his best value comes when you have him under his first contract; the "rookie deal", as they call it. Once he gets past that first contract, the cost of business goes up, up, up. Just ask the Chiefs. And Mahomes wasn't even finished with his first contract yet.

The Ravens will never get better value out of Lamar Jackson than they're getting right now. And in 2021, maybe. They're getting over on him right now, which is the way the game works. I'll bring up Joe Flacco's big contract if you want, but I know I don't have to do that. The Ravens won the first five years of Joe's tenure in Baltimore and Joe won the second five. The problem? The team didn't win in Joe's second five years.

Once Lamar gets that big contract, it's almost impossible for the Ravens to "win" the value game.

How many Super Bowls do the Chiefs have to go to -- assuming Mahomes gets all $450 million of that contract -- in order for K.C. to "break even"? Three? Four? Five? Seven?

We'll all have different answers there, but I *think* the answer is probably "at least four". Four Super Bowl visits in ten years to sorta kinda "win" the Mahomes contract. What if K.C. goes to four and loses all four? Or goes 1-3? Is the value still the same, then?

What's Jim Kelly's career value as a QB?

Now, answer this: What would his career value have been if he would have gone 3-1 in those four Super Bowls instead of 0-4?

It's one thing for the Angels to fork over $350 million for Mike Trout. There's no salary cap in baseball. As much as those kind of numbers are pretty silly for just one guy, the luxury tax in baseball simply isn't enough to keep teams from paying high dollar for quality players. Look at the Dodgers. They just spend as much as they want, basically, and pay the tax at season's end.

Oh, and even with Kershaw and his $33 million a year, how many World Series rings are they sporting from his 12-year career thus far?

Sometimes we forget -- these are "just football players". The league has never shut down because a player got old and retired. The NFL went on after Graham, Unitas, Payton, Montana, Elway, Favre and so on. Football players are like smoothie bars in Los Angeles...they're everywhere.

Ben Roethlisberger has as many rings as Peyton Manning. He has one more than Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Eli Manning also has two rings, you might remember.

Dare I say it? The Ravens took a cast-off from the University of Pittsburgh who played at the equivalent of Towson University in Newark, Delaware and they won a title with him under center. And here's the deal. If they would have given Flacco better football players along the way, Joe might also have two rings. Who knows? But instead of better football players they gave him $125 million and that made him happy as a peach, but the team no longer won.

In five years, the Chiefs could have just drafted the next Patrick Mahomes and the Ravens, down the road, could just find another starting quarterback to replace Lamar. It's "the game" in the NFL. That's why having a great general manager and scouting department are far more important than the playing roster over the long haul.

And this isn't to suggest you can win championships with smoke and mirrors. The Orioles tried that for a decade-plus and all they got were last place finishes and an empty ballpark. You do need to win or, at the least, be competitive enough to be capable of winning. And for the most part, it requires good mangement, good coaching and quality players to have a chance to win.

But giving a guy $45 million a year seems incredibly overboard to me when you can find roughly the same kind of quality in a future NFL draft. Always remember this: 31 teams (including the Ravens, once), didn't want Lamar Jackson in the 2018 draft. That's how coveted he was on draft night. But yet, there he was, a unanimous league MVP in his second year and a turd-burger playoff performance away from hosting the AFC title game. In other words -- you can always find another quarterback, somewhere along the way. Mahomes himself wasn't exactly the second coming of Peyton Manning coming out of college. It wasn't like people said, "Well, the Chiefs just locked up three Super Bowls" on the night Mahomes was selected in April of 2017.

I'm not diminishing the skills of Jackson or Mahomes.

Instead, I'm really suggesting that their value is far more likely to be short-term than long-term.

There are only so many Tom Brady's and Peyton Manning's out there. No disrespect to Mahomes or Lamar, but they would have to become iconic, historical quarterbacks in the league to occupy the same position in the history of the game as do Brady and Peyton.

And the bet here is Lamar and Mahomes will fall short of that "iconic" pinnacle. Football is a "team" game. Yes, the quarterbacks get a ton of credit -- and rightfully so -- but as the Ravens saw with Joe Flacco, you can't just have the quarterback and then ten other non-descript guys running around. In hindsight, and it's easy to say this now, Joe's post Super Bowl contract was far more harmful than beneficial. They gave Joe all of the money and didn't have any left over for other good players.

The Chiefs might manage their cap better than did the Ravens in 2013 and thereafter. The Ravens themselves might have learned a lesson, too.

Giving Patrick Mahomes $450 million might look smart right now, but the only way it's a "value signing" in the long term is if the Chiefs basically go to half of the available Super Bowls in the next decade. If they go to one or two, the deal will look like a flop. If they go to three, they're closing in on "value". If they go to four or five, the Chiefs might be able to say "we won on that Mahomes contract."

Oh, and we haven't even talked about marketability and the opportunity-cost that the Chiefs have inherited with their Mahomes contract. They can -- and will -- "make money" off of him, but only if they win and only if the NFL TV deals keep increasing the value of the respective franchises in the league.

And with no disrespect intended to Lamar, the early returns on him are that he's not very marketable. That doesn't make him a bad guy. It just means that you're not seeing businesses forking over six figures to have him endorse their products. That could change as he gets more comfortable with his surroundings, but you're not seeing the Ravens market Lamar at all and you're not seeing him peddling Royal Farms coffee or automobiles or fitness centers or anything like that. Sure, he made the cover of the Madden video game, but that has nothing at all to do with marketability.

If Joe Burrow wins the MVP award next season, he'll be on the cover in 2021. Let's be honest: The Madden cover could have a picture of Ginger from Gilligan's Island on it and it would sell the same number of units.

If the Ravens wind up giving Jackson $450 million or more, they're facing the same dilemma as the one the Chiefs are about to absorb. $450 million for one Super Bowl? A rip off. Two Super Bowls? You're stealing from us. Three Super Bowls? We're getting warmer. For $450 million, we need four or five trips to the big game in February. And you have to win those games, too, kid.

It all adds up to too much risk, if you ask me. And not "injury risk", but "salary cap risk". The single most important element of this discussion isn't injury protection or anything like that. It's the salary cap.

I like a good gamble like anyone else, but gambling on one player to provide $450 million of value seems really foolish. I might be wrong. The Yankees once famously spent $400 million on Teixeira, Burnett and Sabathia, won one World Series (in the first year all three were in NY, 2009) and then called the expenditure "well worth it". And they only won once.

But $450 million for one guy is different than $400 for three guys.

The Chiefs better do a lot of winning in the next decade. More than they've ever done before.

I can only hope the Ravens don't bite the same apple this time next year. Lamar is terrific, no doubt about it. But in the same way they found him in 2018, they can find another quarterback in 2022 or 2023 and do it all over again.

And save themselves a half a billion dollars.

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this week's fantasy golf lineup


Last week was pretty much a wash here at #DMD. We spent $44 and won $64 on our eight Draft Kings lineups. Twenty bucks is twenty bucks, but it's almost not worth the effort.

We're not looking to catch small-mouth bass here. We want white marlins.

This is a tricky week because they're playing at Muirfield Village, but it's the first of two consecutive events there and the first week -- the WorkDay something or other -- is going to feature a more benign set-up than the following week when the same course hosts The Memorial Tournament.

While a lot of fantasy golf is "horses for courses", we're unsure -- as is everyone else -- how the shorter set-up and slower greens that have been promised this week are going to impact the traditional play from tournament veterans at Muirfield Village.

As always, we'll give you our "A" 6-man team and then offer a dozen or so "other considerations" that we will sprinkle in various teams as well.

Justin Thomas is poised to get back in the winner's circle and this week's event at Muirfield Village could be just the place.

We're going with Justin Thomas to have a big week, as he comes in fresh after not playing in the Rocket Mortage Classic last week. Thomas is expensive; he costs $11,100, but the feeling here is he's tired of hearing about Bryson and the 350 yard drives. We love J.T. this week.

Justin Rose is a past champion at Muirfield Village, and even though his form hasn't been all that great in 2020, he's always a hot putter away from blowing away the field. Rose costs us $9,700.

Another guy who is probably tired of the Bryson talk is a guy who can pump it off the tee as well. We love Gary Woodland this week, especially at $8,300.

The last three picks are generally where you make your money in Fantasy Golf. Keegan Bradley ($7,100) is one of our favorites this week. He has experience at Muirfield Village and the somewhat "B quality" field of the WorkDay might help him. He's played well of late. Don't be shocked to see Bradley hovering around the leaderboard on the weekend.

Likewise, Scott Stallings has quietly been very solid since the re-start and at $7,300, he provides great value. Stallings is going to win an event soon. Might this be the week?

Last but not least, we're going with the hot hand. Bryson DeChambeau won last week's tournament in Detroit, but Henrik Norlander featured some of the best statistical data in shots gained, etc. of everyone, including BDC. It's just a matter of time before Norlander puts it all together and contends somewhere. The WorkDay seems like a great opportunity for him to do that, and at $6,500, he's a perfect fit for us.

Others to consider: Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Streelman, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Pat Perez, Mark Leishman, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Cameron Tringale, Adam Long, Max Homa, and Ben An.

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Tuesday
July 7
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2143



play ball! (maybe)


It's weird, this thing* they're calling the 2020 baseball season -- brought to you by a camping company, I believe.

The schedule was released for the thing* yesterday. 60 games in all, with teams playing as close to their home base as possible.

The Orioles thing* includes 40 games against A.L. East teams, beginning on July 24 in Boston, and 20 games against N.L. East clubs. It's not an even, balanced thing*. The O's, for example, play the Phillies, but only up there, and face the Braves, but only in Baltimore.

Editor's note: OK, let me explain the thing* you're seeing. I've stolen it from WJZ-TV sportscaster Mark Viviano, and tweeted him a permission slip yesterday, which I've yet to receive in return. I'm just assuming Viv is OK with my use of his term. Viviano believes it's not a "season", per se, because a season would be 162 games. It's a thing* when it's only 60 games, he contends. And I agree. So, hence, you'll see thing* instead of season and/or schedule.

Hanser Alberto (#57, right) is a returning member of the 2019 O's squad and hopes to duplicate his outstanding campaign of a year ago.

Anyway, the thing* will be 60 games over a 66-day period. For some completely bizarre reason, the O's are playing home night games at 7:35 pm. I understand why you would do that for games that include fans coming to the stadium, but why not start the games at 6:35 or 6:50 pm for the 2020 thing*? What's the difference if no one is there but the players?

It's entirely fair to be skeptical if there even will be a thing* in July, August and September. More Covid-19 tests are turning up positive, teams have delayed or postponed their mini-spring-training workouts, and new players are -- I've learned my lesson, trust me -- "opting out" of the thing*.

Yesterday it was Nick Markakis, the erstwhile Oriole, who called it qui -- err, I mean, decided not to play in 2020 due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Our local baseball enthusiasts aren't sure there will be a thing* this summer, either. In a Twitter poll on Monday night, I asked folks how sure they are that the Orioles will open their thing* on July 24 in Boston.

It was a resounding "probably not".

Only 11.5% of those polled said they are 100% sure the O's will start their thing* on time on July 24.

43.8% said they believe it's 50-50 at this point.

They are "likely not playing" received 29.2% of the votes.

And 15.4% of the responders believe "no way they're playing" on July 24.

I was part of the group who cast a vote for "not likely to happen", although my official guess is the thing* gets started and then about two weeks in, a massive number of Covid-19 cases pop up and everything gets shut down -- again.

As I've said over and over, I hope I'm wrong. Like most everyone else, I'd love to see a 60-game thing* come to fruition, even if the Orioles only win 24 of the 60 games as I assume they might/will.

But my wagering dollars would go against the 60-game thing* being played to completion. Please don't let me be right.

In the meantime, settle in for what promises to be one of the most bizarre baseball things* ever. The rules are even wacky in 2020. Something about both leagues using the DH and a runner on 2nd base to start extra innings and a relief pitcher having to face at least three consecutive batters (or pitch until the end of the inning).

I thought I read somewhere that if a team is forced to play a doubleheader those games would only be 7 innings? Or did I dream that?

No one asked me, of course, but I think it would be awesome to just say "the games are 9 innings or they're played until either team reaches 8 runs, with the home team always afforded the last at-bat, obviously."

Oh, and here's something even more strange, but certainly worth considering. Why not have ties in the 2020 thing*?

I don't see how a player can't get Covid-19 in the 5th inning but he might get it in the 12th inning. So the whole "put a runner on 2nd base so we get the game over more quickly" doesn't really make much sense to this guy. That said, why not end games in ties? Gambling reasons, you say? Yeah, I'm sure you're right.

One thing for certain. If they wind up playing the entire 60-game thing* and it goes off as planned, something weird's going to happen. The Reds or Padres or Angels or White Sox will blaze through the first couple of months and shock the world by roaring into the World Series. In a normal year, one of those early front runners would be 2.5 games ahead at the All-Star break and then implode with a 10-17 record in August and 8-20 mark in September. This year, one of them won't blow up and we'll have ourselves a newbie playing in October.

I'd list the Orioles as one of those newbies who could shock the world but I can only name 9 guys on the whole team. Wait, Mark Trumbo isn't on the O's any longer. Make that 8. (I don't think he is...I'll Google it.)

If nothing else, we have baseball back -- almost. It will be fun to watch the games on TV every day/night and have something to opine on here and elsewhere, even if it all feels kind of forced and, if we're being honest, not anything at all like a real seas -- thing*.

I know the World Series winner will hop around and throw their gloves in the air in October but I can't see anyone really considering the 2020 title winner a true, living, breathing champion. They will merely be the team who survived the thing* better than everyone else in the league.

(I was right. Mark Trumbo is no longer on the Orioles. I know 7 guys on the roster. Chris Davis, Renato Nunez, Rui Ruiz, Hanser Alberto, Trey Mancini, D.J. Stewart, Austin Hays, and Mychal Givens.)

Honestly, there's a chance all 8 of those guys aren't actually on the '20 roster. Mancini, of course, will miss the season while recovering from cancer, but he's still part of the organization. And, yes, I had to Google "Hanser Alberto" to make sure it wasn't Alberto Hanser. I also realize I have no idea who the Orioles catcher is but I know for sure it's not Matt Wieters.

Let's get this thing* going on July 24!!

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story lines for the week


Follow along this week and let's see what comes of these potential story lines from the world of sports.

Ravens tickets -- Some teams have released ticket information for 2020, including the opportunity for fans to "opt out" of their season tickets and still maintain ownership of their seat(s) in 2021 and beyond.

The Ravens have not yet contacted their ticket holders about plans for 2020. What's the story there? The assumption is they'll adopt the same general policies as other NFL teams. Right?

And all of this presupposes that fans will be allowed into the stadium in 2020, which, I'd say, is still a real longshot, at least in September and October. Perhaps by November 1, a portion of the capacity will be allowed entry. But I'd be surprised if people can go into the stadiums to watch NFL games in September. Baseball isn't allowing fans into their stadiums in September. What makes you think football would do the exact opposite of baseball?

First Harvard, then... -- The March 12 "sports death knell" was the fallout from NBA player Rudy Gobert's positive Covid-19 test on March 11. The NBA, NCAA conference tournaments, the PGA Tour, the NHL and March Madness were all halted in the wake of Gobert's coronavirus test and the NBA's shutdown. Baseball soon followed.

Will Duke and the ACC play basketball starting in November or could they move to a spring season due to Covid-19?

Yesterday, Harvard University announced they will allow only 40% of their undergraduates on campus in the fall and the remainder of their student body will study online. While the Ivy League won't announce their athletics decision for 2020-2021 until July 8, it's hard to see full athletics activities being played in that conference given Harvard's announcement yesterday.

A report late Monday night says the Ivy League will play all sports -- including football -- in the spring of 2021. That would be an important domino, not because the Ivy League is a national athletics leader, but because someone will finally pull the trigger on the idea that moving everything to a January '21 start is the best and safest practice for all involved.

If the Ivy League does move all sports to a spring start, how long until other conferences follow suit?

Masters...without fans? -- The toughest ticket in sports might not be a concern in November. Reports are surfacing about the Masters (Nov. 12-15) being played without spectators on site due to Covid-19 concerns. Already, the PGA Championship (Aug. 6-9) will be played without spectators in attendance and the U.S. Open is expected to adopt a similar policy in September.

But the Masters without spectators? Say it ain't so. The roars from those Georgia pines are as telling as the scoreboards behind every green. You know what Tiger or Phil or -- in the old days -- Jack made on every hole on the back nine just based on the "kind" of roar the spectators made. It won't be the same Masters tournament if people aren't wedged around the 18th green as the champion makes his final putt on Sunday evening. But it's looking more and more like a no-spectators event at Augusta National in November.

MLB in.....Nashville? -- Former Boston Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski is heading up a group seeking to gain an expansion franchise for the city of Nashville. The obvious worry in Baltimore relates to the rumors from last winter that had the Orioles potentially a candidate to move there if a stadium lease deal couldn't be worked out in Baltimore.

First things first. The Orioles aren't moving to Nashville. Not next year, not in five years and not in ten or twenty years, either. The Orioles aren't going anywhere. In fact, by the end of 2020, there's likely going to be a new ownership group in place for the franchise, although they won't officially own 100% of the team until late 2021. But there's time for that discussion in a few months.

Second...Nashville is a great city, no doubt. And having Dombrowski at the helm of their expansion efforts is a great, great move. But it seems unreasonable to think Major League Baseball would add only one team. Where would the other expansion team be located? Or would Tampa Bay move to Nashville? Miami and Oakland are two forgotten franchises, but the Marlins have a fairly new stadium and a large ownership group that includes Derek Jeter. And the A's are on the verge of having a new stadium built for them, so moving out of Oakland seems unlikely.

Maybe Major League Baseball will only expand by one team, but it just seems out of kilter to do that.

Nashville sure is an awesome town, though...

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Euro Soccer Recap 7/6

La Liga

The Spanish league steamed along with another doubleheader week. Real Madrid continued their fine form, recording back to back 1-0 victories. Both games were decided by penalties scored by Sergio Ramos, who is on an incredible run of 22 straight converted penalty kicks.

Barcelona dropped points again in their midweek match with Atletico Madrid, drawing 2-2. Both Atletico goals came from penalty kicks, one of which was saved by Ter Stegen, only to have VAR rule the keeper was off his line and allow the kick to be retaken and scored.

Barcelona recovered on Sunday with a dominant 4-1 win over Villareal, but now sit four points behind Real Madrid in the title race with just four games remaining. Leo Messi continued his outstanding season, scoring a penalty and forcing an own goal against Atletico, then providing two assists against Villareal.

Premier League

In the English Premier League, the race for the final Champions League spots continued. Chelsea stumbled midweek by giving up a late goal to West Ham to lose 3-2. They bounced back with a 3-0 win against Watford on Saturday to maintain their fourth place spot. Christian Pulisic was instrumental in both games, drawing three penalties in the two games, all of which were converted by Willian.

Manchester United had a fantastic week, winning 3-0 over Brighton & Hove then 5-2 over Bournmouth. 18 year old English starlet Mason Greenwood led the way for Man U with three goals between the two games. January transfer Bruno Fernandes has been on fire since the restart and scored two goals in the midweek game as well.

Things improved further for Man U on Sunday when Wolverhampton lost 2-0 to Arsenal. The Wolves loss gives Man U a three point lead for the final potential Champions League place.

Americans

With the Bundesliga season completed, the list of Americans to report on has grown pretty short. This week was again highlighted by Christian Pulisic who continued his superb run of form for Chelsea. Pulisic played the full game in each of Chelsea’s matches this week and was their most dangerous attacker in each game. He drew two penalty calls against West Ham and another against Watford, leading directly to three goals. This run of form is cementing Pulisic in the Chelsea starting lineup, which will be important when several high priced additions arrive next season.

One other American made an appearance in the Premier League this week. Indiana Vassilev made a ten minute substitute appearance in Aston Villa’s loss to Liverpool. This was the 19 year old’s third appearance for relegation threatened Aston Villa this season.

Josh Sargent made a late sub appearance in the first leg of Werder Bremen’s playoff to stay in the German top division. He started the second leg and helped force an own goal to give Bremen an early lead. Sargent was involved in several other dangerous chances but was unable to convert them. Bremen were able to hold on to a 2-2 draw to win the playoff on the away goals rule and avoid relegation. Sargent has shown in this stretch run that he has the talent to compete in the Bundesliga, but he will need to sharpen his finishing and continue to grow in the mental side of the game to become an integral player for Bremen next season.

About the contributor: Randy Morgan was born and raised in the Baltimore area graduating from Dulaney HS and then University of Maryland. His day job is software development. He's an avid sports watcher and recreational participant. A devoted Ravens, Orioles and U.S. soccer supporter. he also follows many soccer leagues around the world as well as the NBA and college basketball. Randy played soccer, basketball, and baseball growing up and still plays soccer and basketball recreationally as well as the occasional round of golf. His commentary on mostly sports, but sometimes music and other miscellany can be found on twitter @jrmorgan16.

I Am Catholic
Monday
July 6
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2142



"words that start with the letter q"


Rosie Perez's character in White Men Can't Jump mastered this very topic. "Words that start with the letter Q".

I thought I'd take a stab at three of them today.

I initiated what I thought was an innocent sports conversation with my friend Chris over the weekend.

Little did I know...

"What do you make of all these baseball players who have quit on their team before the season even starts?" I asked.

"They didn't quit," Chris countered. The volume in his voice went up and the look in his eyes told me he wasn't happy.

David Price became the biggest name to step away from the 2020 season on Friday when he announced he would "opt out" of the upcoming 60-game campaign.

"They opted-out of the season," he continued.

"OK, I say "quit", you say "opted-out", it's the same thing," I replied. "Do you think the Dodgers will be impacted by losing Price?"

"It's not the same thing!" Chris said.

I wasn't really interested in debating the definition of "quitting" vs. "opting out" but Chris wanted to continue the discussion.

"Don't back off the topic," he said. "You're calling David Price a quitter because he wants to protect his health and his family's health?" Chris asked.

"I never said he was a quitter," I stated. "I said he "quit" on the season, which is what he did."

"He didn't quit. He opted out. Every player has that option. Some took it and some didn't," Chris explained.

"Well, if you want to be precise," I reasoned, "a few quit and most of them didn't. We're only talking about a handful of guys so far who have -- I paused for a second or two -- "opted out" of the season."

"No, no," Chris said. "You said they quit earlier. Now you're saying they're opting out. Stick with your guns."

"I was just saying that to dig at you," I said. "They did quit. By the way, not once did I say anything was wrong with it. I didn't criticize David Price or Ryan Zimmerman or Felix Hernandez for quitting on their team. I asked you what your opinion was on the guys who quit."

Opting out and quitting are two totally different things," Chris said.

"How so?" I asked. I really wasn't interested in continuing the debate, since I didn't really care about the whole topic in the first place. But Chris wouldn't let it go.

"Opting out means...you have taken advantage of an opportunity to not participate. Quitting means you just decide you don't want to pursue that specific opportunity," Chris stated.

I laughed, which I think Chris didn't appreciate. "Now you're confusing yourself," I said. "I don't care if you think they opted out or quit...either term works fine for me."

"I've never liked a quitter," Chris explained. "That's why it irks me so much when you call David Price a quitter."

Now it was me that couldn't let it go...

"I didn't call him a quitter. I said "he quit". You're the only one who has called him a quitter."

Chris's voice rose. "Just because he quit -- that doesn't make him a quitter!"

"Exactly," I said. "Now we agree."


You might have a lot of descriptions of Bryson DeChambeau. "Quirky" seems like a great fit, if you ask me.

He finally broke through with a 2020 win yesterday when he captured the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. DeChambeau started the day three shots behind Matthew Wolff and wound up winning by three after a final round 65.

The champion birdied his final three holes of the day, each after smashing a drive off the tee in excess of 350 yards.

But it was an incident on Saturday that earned DeChambeau the wrath of fans and media members alike. He was involved in an "incident" with a TV cameraman who, DeChambeau says, "focused on a bad moment" when he hit a poor sand shot, mumbled an expletive, and then missed a par putt moments later.

Bryson DeChambeau's new found length off the tee has the entire PGA Tour talking.

“As much as we’re out here performing, I think it’s necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren’t going our way. I mean, we’re in the spotlight. if somebody else is in the spotlight they wouldn’t want that either. It’s just something about respect I think that’s necessary on that end," the 6-time PGA Tour champion explained in Saturday night press conference.

A lot of folks weren't buying his explanation, including Golfweek columnist, Eamon Lynch, who torched DeChambeau with a Saturday evening online column, calling him, among other things, "insufferable".

DeChambeau has also been criticized lately for his habit of mentioning all of his corporate sponsors during TV interviews. He did it again on Sunday afternoon while talking with CBS, giving props to his club maker, clothing partner and corporate sponsors. NASCAR drivers have done that very thing forever, but golfers haven't stood at the podium and thanked "Cobra and Puma and SAP"...until now, anyway.

Notah Begay of The Golf Channel calls DeChambeau "an innovator". Without question, the former U.S. Amateur champion marches to the beat of his own drummer and has turned the professional world upside down a bit with his recent discovery of an extra 50 yards off the tee. In golf, if you pick up 20 yards from one season to the next, you're a freak. DeChambeau has picked up roughly 50 yards over the last six months.

This writer touted DeChambeau as a future star to watch three years ago when he first started to make his footprint on the TOUR.

There's no doubt his golf game is powerful. And, as we saw this weekend, when he's "on", there aren't many players in the world better.

But DeChambeau is also developing a bit of a reputation as a quirky, mercurial performer who runs really hot or really cold. When he's hot, he's fine. But when he cools off, he can become a character with a personality that's not all that endearing.

The recent change to his body -- he says he's gained 40 pounds in five months -- and his dedication to a diet that includes eight protein shakes a day have led him to finding distances off the tee that haven't previously been seen on the TOUR. Over the last four weeks, DeChambeau has hit 42 drives of 340 yards or more. The next closest guy on TOUR has hit 17 drives of 340 yards or more over the same time span.

When Tiger Woods took over golf in the late 1990's, he led a generation of young players into the gym. Fitness, diet and body control became Tiger's calling cards and the more he won, the more the rest of the young players bought into it as well.

DeChambeau is going the other way...sort of. While he does work out three days a week (he says), he's far more concerned with using his body and its mass to create speed and power, an equation he says he finally zeroed in on during the PGA Tour's March to May quarantine period. While others were on their boat or playing money games with friends, Bryson says he was putting on weight -- in the right places -- that would help him hit the prodigious 350 yard drives we've seen routinely from him over the last month.

When John Daly started hitting 300 yard drives in 1991, he became the overnight American golfing sensation.

DeChambeau has a similar opportunity now, but until he gets his personality dialed in with the same success as his driver and wedge game, Americans might not be ready for "The Bryson Show", brought to you by Puma, Cobra Golf and everyone else you're bound to hear about over the last five months of the season.

One thing for sure: if you love golf, you better get used to seeing him. He's going to be around for a long time.


I'm going to break away from sports for a second and call into question the turn our country has taken in recent months as it relates to vandalism and destruction of property.

This is not meant to show support for Christopher Columbus or the President of the United States, nor is it an attack on our nation's fight to rid ourselves of racism. But it is meant to wonder how we've dipped so low in this country as to not only accept, but in some cases even promote vandalism and destruction of property as a means of trying to "right a wrong" or "make a point".

In Boston recently, protestors beheaded a Christoper Columbus statue.

Baltimore was once again a national news story over the weekend when a group of hoodlums took it upon themselves to dismantle and tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus in the Little Italy area of the city. A video showed 60 or so people gathered around the statue, all celebrating and applauding as the statue tumbled to the ground. That it was Columbus has no real bearing on this entry at #DMD, although I understand the Italian-American community in the area was not happy with the incident.

"The story" is that people these days just take it upon themselves to do whatever it is they feel like doing as long as they can headline it as "social justice". Somehow, there's a generation of people in our country who have developed this concept of having no regard for other people's property. We saw this during the George Floyd demonstrations, where groups of criminals broke into stores and stole goods and materials, in addition to damaging and in some cases destroying the very stores they were stealing from.

"These people are angry and they need a way to vent," one nitwit political official said on TV during one of those nights of looting.

I understand their anger. And I also understand their need to vent. What doesn't connect with those two things is destroying someone else's property or stealing from them. Anyone who thinks that's logical or acceptable isn't hinged properly.

While the Columbus statue in Baltimore has long been a fixture, it certainly might have been time to have a discussion about it and hear from both sides. The bet here -- and I have no way of knowing this is true, but I'd wager on it nonetheless -- is that 50% of the people down there on Saturday night who were part of the statue destruction have no real idea about Columbus themselves. They only know what they heard from others who were there or, God forbid, what they read on their Twitter or Instagram page earlier in the day.

It should be noted, by the way, that (I can't believe I'm writing this) the people of Philadelphia did things the right way, recently. After several town hall discussions, the Columbus statue in downtown Philly was removed. Whether you agree with that or not, the point is that no vandalism or destruction of property took place.

It's when people don't get their way these days that cooler heads no longer prevail.

We've become a reactionary society. Someone in our Comments section wrote it perfectly a day or three ago. "We're more interested in proving that you're wrong than we are proving ourselves right."

Somehow, a generation has emerged that just assumes you're wrong and then goes about fixing it in the quickest way possible.

"We don't like this statue." So down it comes.

"We don't like the way our community is treating us." So we're going to break into your store or place of business, steal everything in there, and destroy the structure as well.

This, by the way, did not just start in 2016 when the current President took office. It has been going on long before that. We just tolerate it more these days. In some ways, actually, our country not only tolerates it, we endorse it.

I'm spending more and more time these days talking with my own young children about what's right and wrong, which, of course, is my parental obligation. I'm working hard to make sure they're not raised in a way that makes them think it's OK to wander around and tear things down or damage things that don't belong to them. It's not easy, though, because they see this stuff on TV and, as we know, television captures a lot of minds in the 21st century.

Tearing things down that don't belong to you and stealing from people makes you a hoodlum. It doesn't make you cool or "woke" -- whatever that is...I need to catch up on my terms -- and it certainly doesn't make you a contributing member of our society.

If you believe those things are acceptable, what it means is that we've failed you. Tony Dungy authored a remarkable statement a few weeks back during the George Floyd "protests" in which he commented that the church has failed to properly bring this generation along. He believes, and I agree, that the church has to do more moving forward to get our society back on track. Somehow...

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"The Keen Eye" of
David Rosenfeld

DAVID ROSENFELD is a former sports publicist who still keeps his eye on the game. Looking at the game, the news or the players on an in-depth level is what he likes to do. Follow his work here at #DMD every Monday & Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.


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Over the Independence Day weekend, I decided it was time to talk about American exceptionalism. Americans, you see, thought it would be cool to give actual nicknames to their sports teams.

Some of that came from college athletics, which for much of its existence outstripped pro sports in terms of importance to society at large. I always felt honored to work in the athletic department at Princeton which, according to lore, became the first school to use the now-ubiquitous nickname “Tigers” for its teams, sometime in the 1880s.

Clemson and LSU might be fighting for football national championships, but we had it first. So take that, Dabo Swinney and Coach O!

Anyway, the popularity of these nicknames was usually bolstered by sportswriters, who used to have an important role in society before being relegated to auxiliary press boxes in Section 348. It was the writers who saw the orange-and-black striped uniforms of the Princeton football team and started to refer to those young men as “playing like Tigers.” The school just piggybacked off someone else’s work.

The “Galloping Ghost.” The “Four Horsemen.” Hell, even the New York “Yankees” came from the newspapers. They were the Highlanders, but that was too long to fit in headlines. Usually, it was either Yankees or “Yanks.” The name stuck, as you may realize.

For whatever reason, the teams that play football in England, for instance, only developed nicknames unofficially. The Arsenal Football Club, for instance, is often referred to as the “Gunners.” Makes sense, yet seems a bit un-woke these days. No matter, though. It’s not an official name for the team. And it’s been more than a generation now that teams like Arsenal have become more known for their large uniform sponsor than almost anything else.

So, what does it all mean? Well, for one thing, it makes you wonder why the nickname has taken on such grand importance in American sports.

I suppose some of it comes from the fact that our pro teams have moved around quite a bit. The “Rams” started in Cleveland in 1936, and were so named because the Fordham Rams were a college powerhouse, and the name (again) fit easily into headlines. The lack of any other connection has allowed the franchise to play in the East, Midwest and West with the same name.

Nicknames move from city to city; hell, the Jazz moved to Mormon, non-dancing Utah and kept the name. So they must mean something, right? At the same time, they’re also a kind of throwaway, something to sell t-shirts and hats in whatever city a team happens to reside in at the time. They are only important on the most superficial level, yet people hold onto them.

I’m assuming many of you who’ve lived in Maryland heard at least a few minutes of the Redskins’ broadcast team from 1979 through 2004. The incredibly homer-ish team consisted of the play-by-play guy, Frank Herzog, the mildly-unintelligible former team hero Sonny Jurgensen and the more-polished Sam Huff.

Herzog, unceremoniously dumped by team owner Dan Snyder after 26 years, had a very personal call when the Redskins scored. It wasn’t complicated, but he said it in a way that became famous, especially during those great years for the team in the 1980s.

“TOUCHDOWN, WASHINGTON REDSKINS!”

I am not a fan of the team, of course. I know many of those fans, however, and those of a certain age have an almost visceral reaction when they hear Herzog make that call. It’s one of the many connections they have with the team, and with their families, their friends and their fellow fans.

The “Washington Redskins,” the term itself, holds tremendous meaning for many people in the D.C. area and beyond. All of that meaning has to do with John Riggins and Joe Gibbs and the Hogs, and none of it has to do with Native Americans and racism. It’s the name of the men who’ve worn the uniform in the past and the ones who’ll wear it in the future.

So, the question is, and always has been, frankly…what’s more important? Making some fans happy by keeping something around, or changing something that’s obviously racist, no different than referring to a team as the “Negroes.”

The best answer, I think, comes from the fact that the nickname of a pro sports team is superficial. If the Redskins changed their name to the Maroons tomorrow, the players on the current roster would remain the same. The coaches would be the same, the schedule the same, the training facility the same.

Meanwhile, if the Redskins changed their name to the Maroons tomorrow, it wouldn’t be nearly as superficial to a much larger group of people. It would mean that, for whatever reason, including financial pressures, the team was finally doing the right thing. The franchise would go on playing football, and a blight would be fixed.

I’m a big believer in education. Maybe it’s great for some folks to force a team to change its nickname, or even to get a statue removed. It’s better to learn history as best as you can—what happened to Native Americans, for instance, or why nobody batted an eye many years ago when the team was named “Redskins.” As much as possible, we ought to endeavor to learn what was in the hearts and minds of people in the past, even if some of it bothers us.

Racism is racism, even if we look into the hearts and minds of our ancestors. That’s why I was thrown for a loop by those who honestly believe “The Masters” should change its name, in the same way the Redskins ought to change theirs.

If you weren’t aware, the tournament began in 1934 as the “Augusta National Invitational” tournament. The present name was adopted for the sixth tournament, in 1939. Most certainly, this came from two places. One was that it sounded better—it was good marketing. The other was that these men were supposed to be “masters” of golf, as much as the game can be mastered.

That’s it. That’s what the name “The Masters” means. Over time, the name became one of the great sports properties of the world, one that made lots of people lots of money, not just people associated with the club. “The Masters” turned out to be perfect, no matter what Bobby Jones thought of it.

What isn’t perfect, of course, is Augusta National, besides the golf course itself. Let’s talk about that for a second.

The club co-founder and long-time chairman, Clifford Roberts, once said about Augusta National and The Masters that “as long as I’m alive, golfers will be white, and caddies will be black.” Private club or not, a textbook example of racism, no doubt.

Augusta National did not admit a Black member until 1990, mostly in response to concerns about racial discrimination at the Shoal Creek Club in Alabama, which hosted the 1990 PGA Championship. There were no women members at the club until 2012. These are facts, and they shouldn’t be surprising ones.

In the antebellum South, people that owned Black men and women as property were not only slave owners but slave “masters.” This, of course, is often translated in the Southern dialect of the black men and women of that time as “massa,” which may have been true to life, but also certainly used as another way to demean that population.

Also, the land on which the course sits, previously a tree nursery before it became Augusta National, was also a plantation prior to that.

All of that is true. It’s important to know all of that, and maybe even to think about what it all means. Maybe some people, especially young people, would be astonished that a man would say that he wants all the golfers to be white and all the caddies to be black, as if he had that choice to determine other lives in that way.

But none of it has anything to do with “The Masters,” a name chosen 80 years ago because of golf. Saying otherwise makes no sense at all.

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Discover the Difference
Sunday
July 5
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#2141



this and that


Apologies for the late publishing today. I attended an all day holiday event on the water to celebrate the 4th yesterday, then got home last night and White Men Can't Jump was on TV. Even with the bad language censored, I still had to stay up and watch it. It's an all-time classic. So, I was a late riser this morning.

After watching America's greatest athlete, Joey Chestnut, set a new world record by eating 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes on Saturday, I wanted to see how many I could possibly tolerate in two minutes. Chestnut, by the way, not only ate 75 in 10 minutes, he consumed 47 in the first 5 minutes of the annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest in New York. That's roughly nine hot dogs per-minute. I ate two hot dogs in two minutes yesterday and that was all I could stomach, no pun intended.

Now, I'm not a huge hot dog fan in the first place, but perhaps Chestnut isn't, either. But two was all I could handle. I had two in two minutes. He would have had 18 in that same span.


"The Great One" ate 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes yesterday to win the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest for the 13th time in 14 years.

I suffered a pretty nasty ankle sprain last Sunday, one that kept me off the golf course throughout this entire last week. I utilized the traditional R.I.C.E. method (rest, ice, compression, elevate) and there's no arguing about the effectiveness of that treatment plan. But I also went off the grid a bit with a home remedy that I believe really helped me along to a faster recovery. I put 10 gallons of hot water in a large plastic tub and then emptied eight Tumeric capsules in there and soaked my foot/ankle in the water for 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of an ice pack placed directly on my ankle. I repeated that process three times a day for two days days and the results were incredible.

Tumeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the swelling, apparently. The only downfall? Your skin turns an orange'ish-yellow color that takes about four showers to completely remove. But it's worth it.


David Price is the first big name baseball player to take a pass on the upcoming 60-game baseball season. The Dodgers' left-hander is backing out due to Covid-19 concerns. Even the players realize the truncated season, coupled with the health and safety risks, just isn't worth it. And let's be honest, Price doesn't need the money. What's in it for him in 2020? Nothing, really. I honestly believe there will be a team that gets chiseled down to a few standard major leaguers and the rest minor leaguers and prospects by the time the campaign starts in a few weeks. We've already seen teams come up with several players testing positive for the virus.

What if a team has, say, 10 guys test positive this coming week? How many of them will return and how many of them will say, "This just isn't worth it"? And here's the key: Most of the players are of the age group where serious consequences aren't generally felt. What happens, God forbid, if a 30-year old major leaguer with no underlying health condition(s) is suddenly on a venilator fighting for his life? Things will really change, then.


Matthew Wolff has a 3-shot lead heading into today's final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but on Saturday it was Bryson DeChambeau who was once again in the news, although this time it wasn't for those crazy 350 yard drives he's routinely hitting these days. DeChambeau got into it with a cameraman behind the 7th green after he says the CBS employee filmed an outburst of his that could "damage my brand".

DeChambeau's claim is that the cameraman followed every step of his from the moment he hit a bad bunker shot, complete with an expletive, to his missed par putt a few minutes later. The cameraman then trailed behind DeChambeau as he stormed off the green, at which point, the former U.S. Amateur champion turned around and gave him a one-minute tongue-lashing. Afterwards, DeChambeau said he understands players are in the public eye and all, but believes the cameras should stop rolling when it's clear the players are "having a bad moment".

Poor guy. He's playing for $1.2 million this week, hits a bad shot, and gets mad because his reaction might "damage his brand". Here's a tip: Don't hit it in the bunker.


You're hearing more and more college football coaches hinting about playing in the spring of 2021 because of Covid-19. There are gobs of positives associated with playing college football in January, February and March. The biggest negative, particularly at the big-time level, is this: draft worthy players could opt not to play their junior or senior season in order to avoid injury. One remedy being bandied about: A player's draft "slot" in the NFL would include a bonus if they played the most recent college season and would not count against the team's salary cap.

In other words, "Smith" from Alabama opts to play his senior season. He gets drafted in the 1st round. Because he played as a senior, he gets an additional $3.5 million. Those are made up numbers, but you get the idea. And this would obviously have to include the NFL, but the Player's Association would be up for anything that gets the players more money, especially up front. Other than coaxing players into playing in January, February and March, college coaches are starting to see the benefits of shifting to that schedule for 2021. And as I've said here before, once they move...they won't go back.


A decade ago when I was on the radio, I organized some weekday golf outings at the Classic 5 golf courses and I'd tee it up with listeners at Mount Pleasant and Pine Ridge. I'm interested in doing that again this summer, except we'd go to Eagle's Nest instead. Anyone interested? We'd have lunch, play golf, enjoy an adult beverage afterwards, etc. Nothing serious. Bring whatever handicap and game you have. It's just golf.

There would be a cost involved for the golf and lunch, but nothing that will make you get a second job or play the lottery. If you're interested in getting together for some midweek golf in July and August, just shoot me an email: 18inarow@gmail.com


I totally understand the concept behind fireworks, but is there a bigger waste of money, anywhere? I mean, at least when you spend $25,000 on a vehicle, you have it for ten years. Or if you buy an expensive suit or dress, you can wear that for a long time. Fireworks are over in 30 minutes and that's it. Neighborhood associations spend $20,000 or more on fireworks and there's nothing to do afterwards except talk about them. They blow up, look nice, and then they're gone.

Funny enough, I don't even think my kids like them. They were completely uninterested last night when several fireworks shows were visible near our holiday event in Bowley's Quarters. I'm an old fuddy-duddy, apparently. But when my kids aren't engaged, that tells me something.


Reading between the lines at some comments Ron Rivera made yesterday, it would appear as if the Redskins are leaning towards changing their name to the RedTails. No one is surprised by that. I'm sure there will be lots of legal wrangling connected with changing to "RedTails", but that one seems like the most likely choice based on the hints Rivera dropped on Saturday.

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Saturday
July 4
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#2140



all the good names...are taken


First off, Happy July 4th to all of you.

It doesn't seem like we have a lot to celebrate today, what with all the fighting and tension and "I'm right, you're wrong" going on in our nation, but look deeply enough at your own life and you'll find plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Have a fun, safe holiday weekend.

One big news story in sports involves the NFL team right down the street in Washington D.C., where it's becoming more and more apparent that the Redskins are on the verge of being forced to change their name.

This isn't a new topic, of course. Owner Daniel Snyder has been facing this heat for years now, and was always able to dodge the bullet and keep his franchise's nickname, logo and heritage intact.

Could the Redskins be renamed the "RedTails"??

But nearly $40 million coming his way via Federal Express over the next five years has Snyder thinking differently this time around. FedEx forks over almost $8 million annually for the privilege of calling the football stadium in Landover, MD, "FedEx Field". All told since 1999, FedEx has paid $205 million to Snyder, with the deal expiring in 2025.

Earlier this week, FedEx formally requested the Redskins change their name.

Suddenly, Daniel Snyder isn't as married to "Redskins" as he perhaps thought he once was.

What's that saying, "Money talks and.......(something else) walks." ??

Snyder might not be the best owner in sports, but he's not a dummy. He knows it will be a difficult sales process in 2025 if he goes about peddling the stadium naming rights and is still fighting the battle over the Redskins name. No one's giving him $10 million annually facing that sort of backlash and corporate pressure.

But changing the name isn't as easy as just saying, "Well, today we're going to be called the Widgets."

It typically takes two years to gain league approval to change a logo or a tweak a team color. In this case, given the sensitivity of the topic, the league would likely fast forward their way to a name change that could be in place in time for the 2021 season, but 2022 at the very latest.

The most obvious choice is "Washington Warriors", which Snyder actually already owns. He trademarked that name two decades ago when he was considering using it for an indoor football team he owned, but he never pulled the trigger on it.

The problem with "Warriors" is the connection to Native Americans. The Golden State Warriors long ago stopped using any logo depiction or mascot associated with Native Americans, so they've been able to keep using "Warriors"...but virtually every other major college in the country who used Warriors -- including most famously, Marquette -- eventually changed to something else.

Snyder could potentially change to Warriors and "soften" the look of the logo, helmet, etc., but he will be under great pressure to choose something else when/if he formally makes the change.

Native American groups have already surfaced over the last 48 hours to demand a name change away from the "Indian theme". To that end, baseball's Cleveland Indians have also announced they're considering a name change as well.

The problem? All of the other great team names in D.C. are either in use or have been used previously. "Nationals" and "Capitals" are two form-fitting team nicknames for teams in The District. ("Wizards"...not so much).

"Senators" was used by the old baseball franchise -- and is still owned by the Nationals.

"Diplomats" was the name of the professional soccer team in D.C. during the halcyon years of the NASL.

And, no, before you suggest it, "Bullets" probably wouldn't fly now, either.

One potential new name gaining popularity is the Washington RedTails, which would pay homage to the WWII Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. Their planes included a distinctive crimson tail -- hence, the "RedTails".

But since that name has been in circulation for several years, it's likely one or more people have "squatted" on the name via the U.S. patent and trademark office and would require a hefty sum to give it up.

Oh, and the shortened version, which media types love to use, isn't all that spectacular. "You wanna go to the 'Tails game tomorrow night?" doesn't sound very inviting.

'Tails fall to Cowboys, 24-20 -- doesn't look all that great as a headline.

And before Snyder can commission any kind of change, he and the NFL will have to be convinced that the new name/logo, etc. can sell. Coming up with something that can sell and is marketable, yet appeases the franchise from a historical standpoint (it's almost a given that the team's colors aren't going to change from burgandy and gold) and stays from any kind of controversial image or logo is the name of the game.

The name is getting changed. That's pretty much a done deal at this point.

But what they call the Washington football team moving forward is anyone's guess.


One of America's greatest sporting events takes place today at 12 noon when the annual July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place in Brooklyn, New York.

The event was annually held on Coney Island, but it has been moved indoors in 2020 (without the throng of spectators who would normally gather to watch it live) because of Covid-19 fears.

The winner, of course, will be the great Joey Chestnut, a 12-time champion, who will be gunning for his 5th straight title. Chestnut set the world record of 74 hot dogs (with buns) in 10 minutes back in 2018.

There will be others who step up and try to wrestle Chestnut's championship belt away from him, but they will fail. No one in the field will come close to him. The guess here is Chestnut wins with a total of 68 hot dogs.


Bryson DeChambeau continues to be the story of the PGA Tour. Now all he has to do is win a golf tournament to validate his new found diet and dedication to protein shakes (up to five per round, he says).

DeChambeau hit eight drives over 325 yards on Saturday as he worked his way up the leaderboard in Detroit at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He sits at 11-under par through two rounds, just one shot behind Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson.

On Thursday, DeChambeau hit a 376 yard drive. The next closest competitor? 342 yards. Don't run for your calculator, Flyers fans. Stay right there. That's a difference of 34 yards. In the world of professional golf, 10 yards is a lot. If someone hits it past you by 10 or 15 yards, that's a considerable amount of difference in driving distance.

DeChambeau hit it 34 yards past the next closest guy! And that was just one hole. One unofficial measurement on another hole had DeChambeau clearing a fairway bunker which required a "carry distance" of 325 yards. He carried the bunker by 10 yards. No one else in the field even tried to carry the bunker in that round, opting instead to play out to the right of it.

But when is this new-found distance off the tee and with his irons going to culminate in a win? He's been in the hunt three straight weeks now, but hasn't lifted a trophy.

Answer: It's coming soon.

Bryson's only flaw, like nearly every other PGA Tour player, is that his putter runs hot and cold. When it's hot, he's making 7 or 8 birdies per round. When it's not, he's "only" making 4 or 5 and missing a 3-footer once per nine holes.

If that guy's putting comes together this week or next, watch out. And don't forget, we still have three major championships left on the schedule between now and mid-November.

DeChambeau could win all three the way he's driving the ball right now.

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NOTES & COMMENT
George McDowell


George McDowell is #DMD's foreign correspondent. His international reports are filed from a hardened outpost just across the U.S. / North Carolina border. He writes on sports topics that interest him that he feels might also interest some segment of the wildly esoteric #DMD readership. George has been a big fan of DF and his various enterprises since the last century, and for several seasons appeared as a weekly guest on his Monday evening radio show, Maryland Golf Live, delivering commentary as The Eccentric Starter. George also donates his time and talents to the less fortunate, and currently volunteers as secretary of the Rickie Fowler Fan Club.


Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lift Every Voice and Sing is a poem written by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938). His brother, John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) set the lyrics to music. It was first performed, according to the NAACP website, by a choir of 500 schoolchildren in Jacksonville in celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12, 1900. In 1919, the NAACP adopted the hymn as "The Negro National Anthem" because its powerful words and beautiful music embodied Black Americans' continuing quest for liberation and affirmation.

On May 27, 2018, New York Daily News sportswriter Leonard Greene suggested that the NFL should substitute the Negro National Anthem for the Star Spangled Banner for one week during the season. On July 2, 2020, the NFL announced that the song will be played or performed live before the Star Spangled Banner during the entirety of Week 1 of the 2020 regular season.

The hymn has three verses which we've set out below. Verses 1 and 3 are sung by the Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir under the direction of Dr. Roland M. Carter, whose arrangement of the song is used. The second verse is sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

My wife and sister-in-law, both musically inclined, inform me, not musically inclined, that only one verse of Lift Every Voice will be sung before games, just as only one verse of the Star Spangled Banner is sung, and that the verse will be the first. I think this is a mistake. I know nothing of music but something of poetry. The four verses of the Star Spangled Banner are severable – that is – each stands on its own and is not dependent on other verses for meaning. Conversely, Dr. Johnson's three verses seem to be an indivisible whole, and that playing only the first verse won't convey the whole of his intended message.

I realize that before a pro football game begins, nobody is seeking philosophical enlightenment and everyone is itching for the action to begin. But the danger here is that the hard-fought right to have the hymn played will be trivialized by incomplete playing. Perhaps if the whole hymn were played, and [this is sort of a pipe dream in these times] folks were to contemplate the import of its words instead of piggy-backing an agenda onto the bare fact that the Black National Anthem was played, we could move forward from where we are now as a society — which, even were we without Covid-19, isn't really a good place.

Lift ev’ry voice and sing,
‘Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on ’til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
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Friday
July 3
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2139



nfl taking covid-19 seriously, but even still...


The NFL is taking the coronavirus so seriously that spectators might have to sign waivers in order to attend games in 2020.

That's not a punchline. It's true.

In their effort to have a full 2020 season, the NFL hosted several team conference calls this week to lay out the game plan for training camp and the season itself. Everything they're doing is centered on having a season that isn't interrupted by Covid-19.

But can they pull it off?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league owners are beginning to lay out the league's Covid-19 plan for the teams and players.

Once the official protocol for player behavior is established, players may be subject to wearing a contact tracing device that closely monitors their movement(s) away from the facility and stadium. Additionally, should a player come in contact with someone who tests or tested positive for Covid-19, the player will allow his immediate family to be tested in addition to being tested himself.

And that's just the start.

Players will be required to wear the league-issued "face shield" on their helmet and a similar type shield/mask must be worn at all times within the team facility. Failure to wear those two devices would result in fines and, potentially, suspensions.

Fines for "detrimental conduct" could include eating in public restaurants, using ride sharing services, or attending any large gathering events. Players will be expected to treat the season as a large-scale "stay at home" order other than fulfilling their duties as required by the team and NFL.

Of everything they'll be asked to do, following a quasi six month "stay at home" order will be the most difficult. Football players need a night or two a week to blow off steam. This is generally done in nightclubs or with other team members at a restaurant or a private event at someone's home. Not allowing that kind of outside activity would be a tough pill for NFL players to swallow.

Just as the PGA Tour has done recently, the NFL will enact a policy that says any team related employee, including players, who tests positive for Covid-19, must test negative twice before being allowed to resume activities.

Football, of course, is much different than golf. Players are around one another on a constant basis and there's virtually no way to have them stay at least six feet apart other than during team functions and meetings. Otherwise, while they're actually playing football, players are constantly within each other's space.

The face shield being designed will certainly help disrupt the transmission of Covid-19, just as masks are doing for the rest of the population, but they won't provide 100% protection from the spread of it. And once one player tests positive for Covid-19, everyone who has come in contact with him will be placed on a higher level of concern.

And it's not lost on the NFL and the players that the national infection rate is higher among African Americans.

Oh, and speaking of the players, they haven't even yet submitted their official list of concerns and objections. Those will formally be sent to the league this week, but among them are:

Why is the NFL even considering a September start with all of these restrictions and regulations needing to be in place?

What happens if a player opts to sit out the 2020 season due to Covid-19 concerns? Is he paid in full? Can he be terminated?

What if a player starts the season and then wants to opt-out in the middle of it? Could he miss a month and then return later on if his feelings change?

Just as players apply for special exemptions to wear a different helmet than the league issued brand, could players do the same thing with helmet shields and the like?

If full stadium crowds aren't permitted in 2020, how will that lack of revenue impact future salary cap discussions, which are routinely based on team and league revenues?

If a player tests positive, say, in week 4 and has to miss two games as part of the return-to-play protocol, does he get paid for those two games or will the league provide him with a stipend? (Currently, a player who tests positive on the PGA Tour receives a $75,000 payment.)

These are, of course, all fair questions by the players and their representatives.

And then comes the inevitable...what if the players don't like the answers to those questions? As we've just seen with baseball, it could take months to haggle through guidelines and protocols and come up with contractual language that everyone agrees on.

As for the fans, it's looking more and more like you'll be required to sign some sort of waiver -- likely through each team's individual phone app or through your online account with the team -- in order to attend games in 2020.

And there's still no telling yet if fans -- all or some -- will be permitted to attend games in 2020. But if you do go, expect to grant a waiver of liability to the team and the league in exchange for the privilege of watching the games in person this season.

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remembering two of the greatest today


James Douglas Morrison and Charles Markwood Eckman share a couple of things in common.

Both were trailblazers in their areas of expertise.

And both passed away on July 3.

Jim Morrison, December 8, 1943-July 3, 1971

Morrison was the front man and lead singer for The Doors, defined in Wikipedia as follows: The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison's lyrics and voice along with his erratic stage persona, and the group was widely regarded as an important part of the era's counterculture.

While on a sabbatical from the band and the American way of life, Morrison passed away in Paris on July 3, 1971.

Due to his wild personality, poetic lyrics, widely recognized voice, unpredictable and erratic performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock history.

And gone far too soon, as it turned out.

Charley Eckman was a legendary Baltimore sportscaster who also owns the distinction of being the only man to ever coach in the NBA All-Star Game and also officiate that very same event. No, not in the same year -- although I'm sure Charley would tell you he could have done it.

Charley was a championship coach with the Fort Wayne Pistons before retiring in the late 1960's and starting his radio and TV career in Baltimore.

Eckman passed away from cancer at age 73 on July 3, 1995.

Charley Eckman, September 10, 1921-July 3, 1995

As I've noted here on several occasions, I had the privilege of knowing Eckman. Our homes in Glen Burnie were a couple of miles apart and his nephew and I played Little League baseball together. Later, I'd work with Charley on Baltimore Blast radio broadcasts throughout the 1980's.

One of Charley's famous NBA stories comes from his time in Fort Wayne. The Pistons were playing the Knicks at the Garden in New York. The team went over early and Charley caught a cab (ironic, right?) to the game. On the way, the cabbie asked Charley why he was going to the Garden.

Charley: "Basketball game tonight. Knicks and Pistons."

Cabbie: "I see. A friend of mine who knows about those things says you should bet everything you have on the Knicks minus 4.5 points. He knows someone on the Knicks who says it's a done deal."

Charley: "Is that so? That's really interesting, thanks for the tip."

Eckman recalls that the Pistons were up by 12 at the end of the first quarter and led by 16 at the half. He remembered laughing to himself in the locker room at halftime, thinking about that cabbie and the "intel" his friend had given him about the game.

At the end of the third quarter, the lead was down to 7.

With one minute left, the Knicks went ahead by a point.

Despite all of his coaching and maneuvering, Eckman couldn't coax another basket out of his team.

He laughed years later and said, "It's like they didn't want to make a bucket in the last minute."

The Knicks hit a couple of late foul shots and won by 5 points.

"I couldn't believe it," Charley said in telling the story years later. "My own team was on the take that night and I had no idea. No idea at all!"

Charley Eckman and Jim Morrison -- both gone on July 3 -- and both legendary figures in their own right.

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#dmd comments








Charge     July 13
I thought the Crazy Kerry thing was funny. Woods, not even playing in a tournament is mentioned in two things. Of course the Site Owner has all power to include Woods in his articles.

And the SOD comes in to save him yet again. A humorless bunch. Woods fan boys are a thin skinned lot.

Envy? Jealousy? There are only two things that an average man can be jealous of Woods about.

1. Money. But sane people realize that money is not the key to happiness. Look at Woods, he is bored, his actions prove it.

2. His golf game. Now that might something that is understandable. But is it possible? No. Talent has everything to do with it. No matter how many golf balls you hit, few could ever do what he did.



SOD gonna do SOD things. And Woods fan boys gonna fan.

PLB     July 13
Valid point @Mark. So much envy and jealousy for a guy who has done nothing to them at all.

Rich     July 13
Spot on, DF. The "cancel culture" crew are tearing the country apart. They wouldn't have time to cancel things if they were employed. Instead of working, they just go from county to county and protest something or raise a stink for the TV cameras.

Mark in Perry Hall     July 13
I'm not a golf fan but it's amazing how many grown men here at the Dish have "Tiger Envy", isn't it?

Jason M     July 13
Agreed U2B. Best part about the fan culture is that it's apolitical. Nobody goes to a tailgate party to talk politics, and while you're watching the game at its very best the world is noise and the action on the field is signal. Or talking about politics while fishing - just boorish.

Roger Stone     July 13
The "cancel culture"

Don't like the virus, ignore it

Don't like I was found guilty by a jury of my peers on 7 counts, commute it

Don't like a marine was found guilty of murder, pardon him

Don't like a military man told the truth, fire him

Don't want to release taxes, stall it

Don't know what to do with your day play golf 25 % of the time




Crazy Kerry     July 13
Location: DMD content editor's desk

Date: July 13, 2020

Data Points: Edited content on above date.



Nugget #1. By the way, Tiger Woods has not reported his Covid-19 status.

Nugget #2. Clear Copy

Nugget #3. As an aside, there is no evidence of Tiger Woods cancelling anything.

Nugget #4. Clear copy.

Nugget #5. As we all remember Tiger Woods attended Stanford, which had at one time had an Indian as a symbol, but it was changed due to the possibility that somewhere, someone might be offended. But I reiterate Tiger Woods has nothing to do with South Carolina, he has played a few tournaments in that state, but would never wear anything sexually offensive. [Ed. note, not wear anything offensive, but lots of actions that are offensive to society, like adultery and public acts].

HERMAN     July 13
I must live in a different part of Florida, life here in this part of the state appears to be proceeding as "Covid normal", people mostly stay home. When you go out it's all masks and distancing, everyone seems cautious.

I am no prude, after all I did author a rather filthy tome that can be found on Amazon that was an attempt at foul humor, but the SC marketing department should not lower themselves to the level of a shabby bar or T shirt shop in Ocean City. Your alumni appear Ill educated wearing filth across the forehead.

If the braintrust at the PGA has any sense they'll pair up Playful Fist Bump with DeChambeau next week and create must see TV. If Bryson outdrives him by twenty to thirty yards it would be just an incredible thing to witness. Of course they only keep score, so Playful may be able to laser enough pins to overcome those extra yards. Much as it would pain me to have to watch him all day, I'd have to tune in.

Chris     July 13
I had to LOL at the "C#CKS" hat story. It is funny that Redskins is offensive but C#CKS isn't! Nice work today Drew.

H     July 12
Well said, UTB

George     July 12
Gotta love it! "Approved" protest phrases. About 15 years ago, saw a "spontaneous" riot in Paris near where the Bastille was, over a huge rise in electric rates. It was catered.

KJ     July 12
Hard to give Lebron any credit here, you know its not about rebelling against forced compliance to a narrative, it's about LBJ Enterprises not being able to make money off his actions.

One need look no further than the NBAs perspective on China to know where their "heart" truly is. And honestly I am fine with that, a pro league should be all about maximizing revenue, what irks me is the hypocrisy of the media acting like the NBA "gets it" and somehow truly cares about anything but the bottom line - same as any other big time pro league

unitastoberry     July 12
Just say no to any political slogans at sports events. Just depoliticize all sports at all levels. No anthems no fly overs etc. Just play sports. Coexist and peacfully protest on your own go out and vote run for office.

Steve from Cape Coral     July 12
Until I see a choice for; Blue lives matter, White lives matter to be put on the back of there jersey's, it just shows how racist the N B A is !!!

Casual observer     July 12
Hot water? Haha. The SOD ensures this is a safe space here for the site owner, @Dan P need not worry lol


Dan P.     July 12
I applaud you for even having the guts to touch this story this morning @DF. You're bound to get in hot water over it, no matter what you say about it.

Buckie     July 12
Radiophile, was that WLPL (92.3) or WKTK (105.7)?

RadioPhile     July 11
This fan vote for the all time team reminds me of my 13th year on planet Earth.

The rock station in town held a listener call in to select the three "greatest rock song of all time". The year was 1975.

The three finalist for greatest song ever were(by listeners call in)

1. Stairway to Heaven

2. Show Me the Way(a hit in that same year of 1975)

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (another hit of 1975).

The voting was wild. The DJ's were getting angry with the vote totals as the two current hits of 1975 were running away with the greatest rock song of all time.

Stairway ended up winning. But I heard years later it actually finished 3rd. Show me the Way by Frampton was the most recent of the three, and a bunch of goofy kids like me voted the recencey of the forgettable hit.




Brien Jackson     July 11
Flacco had one great playoff run and some more good playoff games amid a sea of most mediocre at best performances. Lamar has a rookie season run to the division title and then one of the all time great seasons for a quarterback, plus recency bias. I don't really get why you would pre-select the results of the poll, even if I would have voted for Flacco.

gallup guy     July 11
@Hal Why would you conduct a poll if you are just gonna change the results if they are not to your liking? That makes no sense (you know, like voting for LJ over Flacco makes no sense!)

Voice of Reason     July 11
I think this Ravens 25th Season Fan Vote is indicative of the older fan base leaving the NFL in its tracks the past few years and the newbies showing they only know the "new" players.

Hal     July 11
Drew said it best. The Ravens should have just put Flacco on the team.

unitastoberry     July 11
Flacco 10 playoff wins including SB win and SB MVP. Dilfer had 5 playoff wins and one loss with 2 teams including a SB win. Lamar has 2 playoff losses. Now Lamar has won the league MVP(fyi so did Bert Jones once and Unitas multiple times) and set the all time record for single season rushing yards by a qb in the entire history of the NFL not exactly chopped liver. When you look at the data it depends on what you want from the qb. Regular season stats or post season or a combination of and at this point in time. I go with the combination so Flacco it is for now with me. Playing winning football in January and February is very difficult it seperates the men from the boys but we must remember it's a team sport and the coaches come into play too. Ask Fran,Dan,and Jim about it.

Chris in Bel Air     July 11
For the record, the best QB is Stoney Case... I mean Chris Redman... I mean Tony Banks. Ok, that's enough. Of course, the best QB right now is Joe. Stats, longevity, team wins, playoff wins and an incredible run to a Super Bowl win and Super Bowl MVP.

Chris in Bel Air     July 11
That Ravens poll of all-time "best" is typical and comical. First, you have to define best. QB statistics? Team wins? Playoff wins? Super Bowl wins? All of the above? You can go round and round with many fans on just defining "best". Add in these are many of the same fans that has wanted Harbs fired for years and the same fans that knows exactly what play should be called *after* the one on the field is completed. Lamar is amazing but he's not the all-time best QB right now. He could be but not with a 2 year resume and no playoff wins.

KJ     July 11
Certainly game "atmosphere" is different with no fans there, but come on - the number of fans NOT at a game far, far exceeds those in attendance on any given night. I'm ok saying the entertainment value "could" be diminished without a live crowd cheering, but honestly, not sure that can't be replicated by fake crowd noises. Not sure it will, just saying if you somehow ignore reality (a good thing these days, right??), would fake crowd noise be that much different than real crowd noise?

I get it, I too love attending games in person too, will definitely miss that. Love Markakis as well, but he is wrong. They are not just playing for the 10-40k fans in attendance any given night, they're playing for all the fans of the team watching on TV, listening on the radio/internet, or simply checking the scores - and yes gambling lol.

And oh, like the owners, the players play to make money. Media making a big big out of players who've opted out, but the only names I've seen are established players who have already made a ton of money, and/or have guaranteed contracts beyond this year. Even considering that, the number opting out is statistically a very small number. So none of the ones "not quitting" play for the fans? Or just the few who are opting out?

And BTW could not agree more that anyone voting for Jackson over Flacco on a 25 year team is either a goof or simply not understanding the question, there is no other option. But don't agree Ravens should change the results - if you're gonna do that, why even have a poll in the first place

Jim Jarvis     July 11
I agree completely with your comments on the Raven all time team. As I voted I was saying the same thing. Jackson might get there one day but now after less than 2 full seasons and NO PLAYOFF WINS, NO.

Chuck Zito     July 11
Fan polls are like top 10 lists. Filler when there is nothing else going on. Who cares.....

Media guy     July 10
@H Penalties? For what, allegations? #DMD channeling CNN and Yahoo with that fake headline lol!

H     July 10
What NCAA penalties will Duke incur other than forfeiting their wins?

Chris in Bel Air     July 10
@George - welcome to the world of marketability. How many freaking Baker Mayfield commercials did we have to endure last NFL season? All for a guy who has QB'd his team to 12-17 record over 2 years.

George     July 10
Have nothing against Rickie Fowler. Don't know him, never met him. Have even rooted for him a couple times when he was in the hunt in majors. I think my problem is not with Fowler, it's with that large segment of the human race who are so sheeplike they need a handsome and well-spoken journeyman golfer to tell them what company to get a mortgage from. Or a watch. Or a whatever. I understand commercials are necessary, but I don't need, during a broadcast, three otherwise semi-intelligent announcers discussing, for a full five minutes, why missing two cuts in a row is a "good" thing and actually shows that "he's right there."

Good column except for one paragraph. You say kids like him, and women like him, and most me like him for some reasons. The fact is that the "like" comes about as a result of some imaginary interaction between the viewer and a television screen. It's all in their heads.

DF     July 10
No, I'm not hinting that Fowler is a fraud. Do you wear reading glasses? Never mind. You guys are...well, forget it. Carry on.

Golf Traveer     July 10
Are you hinting that Rickey is a fraud? David Simms was a "great guy" in the movie according to Nance and all of the golf infrastructure. Only a few people knew he was a horrible person. He had a good brand.

Maybe Fowler is as gutless as Simms, laying up in a crucial situation.

Fowler is a winner. No doubt about that. He has won in the game of life. I've heard a few things in my travels. Mainly that he lacks the ability to get it done in the clutch. Not earth shattering. All I know is that he has a gallery to avoid. I shy away from crowds. No where near as lunatic and dangerous as the Woods complete nutjobs and slobbers and teenage girl/grown men "what are you wearing today" mentality.

HERMAN     July 10
For most there is only one brand on tour. He comes back next week. Playful Fist Bump will light up this site like a pinball machine, the site owner is a rabid fanatic. It will be as if they haven't been playing at all the past few weeks, the tour is elevated to a new level by his mere presence. It's a sleepy week this week in Ohio, but next week, it'll be all Tiger all-the-time on SportsCenter, The Golf Channel, and elsewhere. And if he averages over 300 on his drives talk of a November repeat will reverberate in July.

"He" returns, why even Covid better run and hide.

Delray Rick     July 10
Well said DREW..With A-holes in the country now FOWLER is breath of fresh air. You get jerks like GARCIA,REED and "THE BRAND" to name a few. THE BRAND Wil get his when fans come back. GEE, almost forgot AB!!

George     July 09
@David R. – Much obliged. I’ll certainly put the Rickie balls on the shopping list, just after the Kim Kardashian coloring book, the Kim Kardashian prayer candle, and the Kim Kardashian refrigerator magnet.

David Rosenfeld     July 09
George...don't make fun of that TP5 golf ball. It's a great ball, and Rickie's designs are available to all of us at $45 per dozen.

George     July 09
@DelRay and @Herman -- You forgot to mention that in addition to being approachable and being valuable to the game for his marketability, Rickie also uniquely marks his ball with a bunch of triangles in multiple colors.

bob jackson     July 09
Lousy golfer - I assume you are referring to obama!

Delray Rick     July 09
HERMAN..When ever I attend a PGA tournament FOWLER is the one fans seek out. He is very approachable and has been since he started playing. If GEORGE ever went to a tournament he could see for himself. I guess he is envious.

Delray RICK     July 09
LOUSY GOLFER....4 MORE YEARS

Unitastoberry     July 09
During my working years as as manager I encountered many types. I had a guy for years who did repairs on high tech medical machines. He was good too. One day we where talking as he worked. He blurts out..You know Hitler was a good guy he just had bad people around him. Never used him again. My advice to Jackson and Jackson and pro sports in general is when you start saying stuff like that expect to be shunned. Fans pay money to see your worthless butts catch a ball. But yet they throw Drew Brees under the bus.

Lousy Golfer     July 09
Justin doesn't wear orange on Sunday and didn't start with "moppy" hair.

Phil, is well Phil.

Bubba " water on the face bro" Watson still entertains with his curves but is truly a bore otherwise but does wear the green jacket.



As the Hamilton song says, "the world is upside down". Saw an interesting sign on a lawn the other day, "when you elect a clown expect the circus". The world needs a Reagan. We need firefighters and not arsonists.

HERMAN     July 09
@George

I realize you addressed the site owner for a reply, but please allow me to comment. At the upper echelon and stratosphere of golf live the best golfers and most talented players in the game. Even on tour there are gradations of talent. Rickie Fowler has managed to play at the highest level while so many of his contemporaries have flashed, and fallen. Duffner is no longer a leader board regular. It appears that Hunter Mahan has fallen and can't get up. Padraig Harrington won majors and is now gone from the scene. Aaron Baddeley was highly touted and had spider commercials, but has a yo-yo career, mostly down. Billy Horschel can play in DC but apparently nowhere else. Keegan Bradley disappeared for a while after a big start. It is very, very difficult to stay at the very top of the game. Especially when a Wolff or Thomas or Speith or even DeChambeau burst onto the scene.

Rickie Fowler has managed to stay competitive at the top of the game throughout his career. He is charismatic, the kids love him, and he is valuable to the game in his marketability.

Rickie is no Hunter Mahan. He may not deserve your support, but he does not warrant scorn.

George     July 08
@Drew – You are the unchallenged expert on golf here on #DMD and probably in all of the greater Baltimore area, so I ask you this question. The Golf Channel advertises this week’s event by saying that Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson headline the field. What criteria do you think the Golf Channel used to arrive at this conclusion? Do you think they used the same analysis you used last month when you listed Rickie as an example of a player that made the Colonial field one of the best for a non-major? [Rickie did play well – he only missed the cut by three shots.]

Guys like Thomas, Reed, Leishman, and Schauffele must cringe when they see this advertising.

Chris in Bel Air     July 08
I don't believe the most successful QB in the history of the NFL was ever the top paid QB in the league. According to one article I read, Brady's $23M last year was 14th among QBs. I don't know exactly where the line is between ensuring your best player(s) are paid and putting the team into a hole. That's what teams pay their front offices to determine. Nonetheless, I would say Mahomes' contract is over that line on the bad side. I would not want to see the Ravens do the same with Lamar.

some guy     July 08
Sounds like fake Some Guy is the guy who needs better reading skills lol

Some Guy     July 08
Maybe "Confused Guy" should read better:

And this isn't to suggest you can win championships with smoke and mirrors. The Orioles tried that for a decade-plus and all they got were last place finishes and an empty ballpark. You do need to win or, at the least, be competitive enough to be capable of winning. And for the most part, it requires good mangement, good coaching and quality players to have a chance to win.

Hank D     July 08
KC's thinking is sound. They are banking on the salary cap being dynamic and not static. The 45 million might not look so bad in even 3 years. What I'd want as an agent is escalators tied to cap increases. That is out of box thinking.

And if he gets hurt after one more Super Bowl in the next 3 years? That 116 million might look like a bargain. Seems insane, but real.

Lamar could be marketable, but he needs a makeover. He speaks horribly and that can be learned. OJ Simpson was some stammering fool in his early years. But he ended up "killing it" when practice and coaching and want to turned him into a reasonable actor and pitchman. He sliced and diced his way to millions in his playing and post career.


Thursday
July 2
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#2138



some things...i don't understand


These are strange times, indeed.

Both in the "real world" and in sports, we're seeing things happen that are truly puzzling.

Christopher Columbus is under attack.

I always assumed he was kind of safe in this country but now I'm seeing and learning that's not the case.

Who do we start beating up next, Neil Armstrong?

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, says it's up to his league to help the country find a "new normal".

Anyway, the NBA is doing something that's also very puzzling.

They're spending $150 million to finish off the 2019-2020 season. You read that right. Their funky little "bubble" idea, where they'll finish the regular season and playoffs in this large, protective environment, is costing them $150 million to pull off.

This might be unfair for me to opine on because I couldn't care less if the NBA finishes the season or not. I most certainly don't have a dog in the hunt on this one.

But what makes the NBA want to spend $150 million to finish off the season? There's no one out there who would raise a major fuss if "The Association" just said, "Look, we're going to call this season a wash and we'll hopefully see you in October or November. We can't jeopardize the health of everyone involved just to finish off what is already going to be a truncated, incomplete season in the first place."

I imagine everyone would understand that position if adopted by the NBA.

Instead, they're spending $150 million to finish a season no one particularly cares all that much about. But why?

First, here's why it's costing so much. The league is housing 22 teams plus support staff at three resorts, has arranged for seven practice courts and is playing games at three arenas during the quarantine. It is also providing meals, daily coronavirus testing and other medical support, security, transportation and entertainment for more than 1,500 people during the height of the event.

I have no idea exactly how that ends up costing $150 million or more, but I believe them.

Here's the league's explanation: "It comes into play that we feel an obligation to our sport and to the industry to find a new normal," NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Time magazine earlier this week.

That's it. Well, that's at least the "public statement", anyway. The league basically feels like they're obigated to finish the season they started nine months ago. And, it appears as if they're also in a small internal fight to not let Covid-19 wreck their business.

I applaud their tenacity, if nothing else.

But there has to be more to it, right? You're going to spend $150 million and potentially jeopardize the health and safety of close to 1,000 people just to finish a basketball season that no one will really regard as "complete" anyway?

Apparently, there is more.

It turns out the league will lose more than $1 billion in revenue because of the Covid-19 shutdown. This includes line items such as ticket sales, merchandise and the big one -- TV revenue.

According to a report by ESPN, by playing 88 regular-season games and four rounds of playoffs, the league will be sheltering itself from even more losses. The players will retain more than $600 million in salary that could have been lost if the season were canceled, and NBA teams protected hundreds of millions from potential loss of television revenue.

In other words, the league is spending another $150 million to try and recoup some of the $1 billion they've already lost.

I went to Glen Burnie High School so I'm no Rhodes Scholar, but that seems like quite the math gamble. Then again, that's why people gamble in the first place. They're trying to beat the odds.

To me, the odds say it would be better for the NBA to just close up shop and wave the white flag.

No one would blame them if they did that.

But doing so would end their financial bloodbath and give them no chance at all of making up the deficit they've been dealt since mid-March.

So, with their "bubble" in place, the league will try and make a go of it. It's going to be interesting watching it play out. I'm pulling for them, even though I'm not even sure I'll watch any of it.

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yet another edition of random thoughts…


Outfoxed

On some level, FOX never had a chance with the U.S. Open, and with golf in general.

First off, they handed the lead announcing duties to Joe Buck. This made complete sense, of course. Joe Buck is the voice of FOX Sports, like Jim Nantz is for CBS. He is a pro’s pro at leading a broadcast, whatever the sport. He was the right choice—the only choice, really.

Unfortunately, it also was a problem. For whatever reason, people really dislike Joe Buck. I’ve never been able to figure that animus out. He’s quite good, and long ago proved that he was way more than the fortunate son of another famous sports announcer, yet people were ripping him as a golf announcer even before FOX televised its first tournament.

Then there was an unlucky break for FOX. Its first U.S. Open, the tournament on which it would be scrutinized more than any, came at a place called Chambers Bay, near Tacoma, Wash. In its 21st-century wisdom of finding public courses at which to play the U.S. Open, the United States Golf Association selected that course for the 2015 tournament in 2008, only a few months after it had opened.

And, as you may remember, it turned out to be a poor choice. Even 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, who won the tournament, was caught on a FOX hot mic saying that the 18th hole “was the dumbest hole I’ve ever played in my life. Unbelievably stupid.” Henrik Stenson said the greens were like broccoli, and Gary Player looked straight into a television camera and said that Chambers Bay “the worst golf course I’ve ever seen in 63 years as a professional golfer.”

None of that was the fault of FOX, of course. But that whole story, and working out the kinks of a first-time broadcast on a somewhat featureless course, didn’t help matters.

The venues would get better after that—Oakmont, Shinnecock, Pebble Beach—but FOX was still an outlier. The network televised no other men’s professional golf each year before the tournament and none after the tournament. They couldn’t get into the groove of week-after-week, year-after-year, that NBC and CBS could.

And the final straw, of course, was not predictable. If the U.S. Open was played in September every year, FOX would never have gone for the tournament contract in the first place. Alas, in 2020, the network told the USGA that they’d have to put the golf on FS1 on Saturday and Sunday for reasons of college and pro football, and the USGA wasn’t interested.

FOX got better as it went along, even though it could never be that great with its lack of golf coverage the rest of the year. The insistence on broadcast “tech” might have bothered some viewers, but it’s also pushed the other networks into including more of it on their own broadcasts, which is by and large a good thing. By Year 5, last year at Pebble Beach, the broadcast had reached a pretty good level.

But the fact that FOX was so willing to give up the game, and not just for this year, has to mean something. I’d say that part of what it means is that it just wasn’t worth it for them.

So, the U.S. Open is back on NBC now, which means that network now has both “Opens.” The broadcast will seem familiar, though not exactly the same without Johnny Miller. But NBC will probably be better than the last time it broadcasted the Open because of some of the things FOX did, even though they probably won’t admit it.


He Led the League With 17 Sacrifice Flies

July 1 comes every year, and every year the sports media flies into a frenzy about “Bobby Bonilla Day.” If you weren’t aware, thanks to a kind of “deferred payment plan,” the New York Mets pay Bonilla $1,193,24.20 on July 1. This started in 2011, 10 years after he retired, and will continue until 2035.

Chris Davis will receive $42 million in deferred money over 15 years. He'll get $1.4 million in 2037, for instance.

I’ve never quite understood the fascination with this deal. This type of deferred compensation is quite typical in baseball and other sports, not to mention outside of sports. And I tend to look at these agreements as good work by the player as opposed to silly waste by the team. A Major League baseball team isn’t going to have a problem with a one-time payment every year; the player, on the other hand, has a finite career that typically ends when he’s still a young man.

I guess it’s some combination of a few things. It’s New York. It’s Mets fans, long-suffering as they are. It’s the team’s unfortunate dealings with Bernie Madoff. It’s Bonilla himself, who tended to get more press for being a jerk than for being an accomplished player, which he was.

Bonilla, of course, was an Oriole for one of the most fascinating seasons in team history, 1996. The O’s, seemingly flush with cash with their beautiful new stadium, went all in like Phil Ivey at the World Series of Poker. If you’re too young to believe this, go look it up: in 1996, the team’s payroll ranked second in MLB behind only the Yankees. By 1998, the Orioles ranked first, which is funny considering the team’s 79-83 record. But I digress…

Especially considering it was his age 33 season, Bonilla had a great full year with the Orioles in 1996. He played in every game but three, which he hadn’t done since he was a young guy in Pittsburgh playing with Barry Bonds. He scored 107 runs and drove in 116 in a stacked lineup that featured actual Hall of Famers.

And he led the American League with 17 sacrifice flies. That’s right. Bobby Bo wasn’t just a guy who would “show you the Bronx.” He was a fly-ball hitter who knew how to get a guy in from third without ruining his batting average. Much more fascinating that deferred money, if you ask me. He also once led the National League in that category, so it was no fluke.

A reminder, in case you weren’t aware. Chris Davis’s 2016 deal with the Orioles features $42 million deferred over 15 years. In reality, there are still 17 years left on his contract, as the team will be still be paying him $1.4 million in 2037, when he’s 51 years old.


The Old College Try?

This came out yesterday, in case you missed it, dateline Princeton, N.J. And no, it wasn’t about renaming the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, named after a guy who was a Princeton alum and then the president of the school before becoming the actual President of the United States.

With return to campus protocols still being developed and introduced by Ivy League institutions, the Council of Ivy League Presidents intends to announce a final decision regarding the status of intercollegiate athletic activity for the Fall Term 2020 on July 8. That decision will be communicated first to Ivy League directors of athletics, coaches and student-athletes, followed by the wider Ivy League campus community, media, alumni and the public.

So, something’s going to happen soon. What, exactly? I can’t be certain, but I’ll take one guess. There will be no football played at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton or Yale this fall (insert joke here: you didn’t know they played football there anyway).

Actually, let’s go one further. There will be no intercollegiate athletics during the fall semester at all of those eight places. That includes “winter” teams too, of course, who start play well before winter. You might be thinking mostly about basketball, but six of those schools also play ice hockey, which typically begins in October, even earlier than basketball.

The Ivy League can makes these decisions pretty easily. With a philosophy of “we’re no different than any other students,” the league can simply follow what the schools are doing without much of an issue. Yale, for example, already announced modified academics and residential life for the fall. In the fall of 2020, for instance, no Yale sophomores can be in residence. In the spring, there will be no freshmen on campus.

How is that going to work with athletic teams, which have people from all four classes, of course? How can a sophomore basketball player play on the team in the fall semester while not being allowed on campus? Would a team’s freshman star be forced to leave the team after 10 games when he leaves New Haven on January 1. It makes no sense.

The larger question, obviously, is whether intercollegiate athletics can truly go on without somewhat normal academic and residential schedules on campuses, whether it’s Ohio State, Maryland, or Dartmouth. Would it be “fair” for an athlete to be allowed back on campus so that she can play volleyball, while her classmate is back at home and not allowed to be involved in her extracurricular activities?

At some point, the world will go on. The question is when, and the answer isn’t going to be fair to everyone involved.

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Wednesday
July 1
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#2137



things you think about when there's no daily sports


I miss watching west coast hockey playoff games, mainly because us east coast types don't get to see much of them during the season unless we stay up late to catch one of the Capitals' rare visits to L.A. or San Jose or Arizona. Western Conferece hockey has a very unique style of play, far more "free wheeling" than what we see in the Eastern Conference, and, in particular, the Metropolitan Division. The Eastern Conference teams mainly grind it out, play solid defense, work hard on their special teams units, and don't mind winning a handful of 2-1 nailbiters. You won't see many 3-goal games out west. It's not that they ignore defense, but they're just more apt to focus mainly on scoring first and defending second.

The only problem with watching west coast playoff hockey? You get invested in those games, which usually start at 10:05, and if they go to overtime, you could be up until 2:00 or 3:00 am watching a hockey game that largely means nothing to you as a fan of the sport. But why watch the Ducks and Avalanche play a 4-4 game and then bail when they start sudden death at 1:35 am, right?


Van Halen's Fair Warning sold a little over 2 million copies and was the band's slowest selling album of the David Lee Roth era.

I miss bands and musical artists releasing albums. I remember back in the day, they were always released on Tuesday, for some reason. I never understood why or had enough interest to dig it up, but I just remember Tuesday was album release day. I'm sure it had something to do with radio stations and airtime. But knowing your favorite artist was releasing an album a month or two out left you with anticipation. One single from the album would show up on the radio about three weeks before album release, just to keep you interested. Then, on that magical Tuesday, you'd go to the music store and there it would be. It was like Santa Claus dropped them off. They weren't on the rack on Monday, but they were there on Tuesday.

I remember two album releases that I really anticipated: Van Halen's Fair Warning and Rush's Permanent Waves. I counted down the days on both of those...and they were both great albums. Oh, and how about this scheduling quirk? Fair Warning was released on Wednesday, April 29, 1981 due to a shipping snafu the week before.


Likewise, I'll miss watching the Orioles play west coast games this summer, as their schedule will be comprised of 40 games vs. A.L. East teams and 20 games against N.L. East teams. I don't want to sound cavalier about Covid-19 because I most certainly do take it seriously, but other than convenience and travel time, what's the real difference between the Orioles flying to Atlanta or Miami and flying to, say, Los Angeles or Seattle? They're not going to get Covid-19 in Atlanta but they might get it in Los Angeles? Anyway, those aren't my fish to fry. But I will certainly miss watching the O's play late night midweek games from Oakland, where you can usually hear a heckling fan or two and you're almost assured of at least one game where Khris Davis hits 2 home runs and drives in 6 runs in a 12-4 Athletics win.

It might be my old age, but not much beats a cool'ish summer night where your front door and windows are open and there's an Orioles game on at 11:50 pm. Even when the team stinks, it's better than watching "Apollo 13"...again.


Speaking of "Apollo 13", if we were going to get into a debate about the greatest actor of the last 50 years, Tom Hanks would have to be a finalist, right? I don't even know where to start with his greatest roles. He won back-to-back Oscars for best actor (I don't know the years, mid 90's?) in the movies "Philadelphia" and "Forest Gump" and was nominated for "Saving Private Ryan" and "Cast Away". I honestly thought the best acting he ever did was in "Cast Away". The whole movie was basically him and a volleyball. He was also terrific in "Catch Me If You Can" and he was really terrific in "A League of Their Own". I could go on and on. "The Green Mile"? How good was he in that movie? Of course, Michael Clarke Duncan stole the show in that one, but Hanks was still remarkable.

I get it. There are lot of great actors over the last 50 years; Dustin Hoffman, DiCaprio, Pacino, DeNiro, Denzel, Hopkins, Philip Seymour Hoffman and, I'm sure, another one or two I'm missing. But put them up against Hanks and I wonder if Tom isn't the best of 'em all?


Phil Mickelson played most of his best golf smack dab in the middle of the "Tiger Era". How many majors would he have won if Tiger wouldn't have been around?

Three golf questions several friends shared over an iced tea yesterday: 1) How many majors would Phil Mickelson have won if there was no Tiger Woods? 2) Is there any current PGA Tour player capable of getting to 10 (or more) major championship wins? 3) How many majors would Tiger have won if not for his personal life breakdown in 2009 and the subsequent back surgeries in 2014, 2016 and 2017? I'll take a quick stab at all three.

The Mickelson one is probably the most easiest. Phil -- already with five majors -- would likely be in double digits if not for Tiger. There were several years -- 2000 through 2008 -- where most of the guys went into majors just assuming Tiger would be winning. Without him in the field(s), mindsets would have changed. I'm not saying Phil employed that particular mindset, but there would have been 11 additional majors up for grabs (that Tiger won) in that decade and Phil would have won a handful of those.

Number two: I'm not sure I see anyone right now capable of getting to 10 majors overall. Koepka (4) and McIlroy (4) lead the "active group", with Spieth one behind. I just don't see any of those four having the overall game to win at least six more. That said, McIlroy could win two this year and he'd be on his way. If you pressed me to name one of those guys, it would be Rory.

As for Tiger, I've been stuck on this number forever: 22. He would have won 8 Masters, 6 British Opens, 4 PGAs and 4 U.S. Opens. The key for Tiger has always been the par 72 major layouts. Look where those fall (or fell) and you'd be able to more easily pick out his wins. Alas, he'll end at either 15 or 16, I'd guess. He might have one more British Open in him when the weather favors his tee-time draw and he gets to a big layout without much rough and flat'ish greens (St. Andrews, perhaps). I guess he could always win one more Masters, too. I'd bet he wins one more major and that's it.


Baseball players are dropping like flies, as several guys have already opted out of the shortened 60-game season due to concerns over Covid-19. Is there any chance at all that enough players drop from one team -- several really good players, let's say -- that a handful of other top players from the same team say, "Well, without those guys, we can't win 35 games and make the playoffs, so why even play?" I guess what I'm getting at is this: Is there a chance that one team might wind up having to utilize minor leaguers throughout the summer and finish, let's say, 7-53 or something extraordinary like that?

I'm still skeptical if the season is actually even going to happen, but if it does, I believe there's a good chance that one team might get hit so hard with Covid-19 that most of the regular 25-man roster says, "This isn't worth it." That organization will be forced to use a roster made up mainly of minor leaguers at that point. I'm just wondering...


And speaking of players who opt out of seasons, how would you look at, say, Lamar Jackson or Mark Ingram -- or any Raven, really -- if they announced in late August they weren't going to play in 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns? Nationals fans are dealing with that right now after veteran Ryan Zimmerman informed the team he isn't going to play in the 60-game schedule. The reaction I've seen on social media has been mixed. Some people get it, others are angry that he's already decided that without really knowing what the landscape is going to look like in late July when the season begins. I think the answer is pretty easy. When it comes to your health and the safety and well being of your family, you can pretty much do anything you want -- legally, of course -- and it should be completely acceptable. I think it would be hard for all of us to adopt that mentality if Lamar announces in late August he's sitting out 2020, but the reality is you'd be silly to hold that against him.

Like Major League Baseball, I'm guessing there will be a handful of NFL players who decide not to play in 2020. How big are those names? Who knows? But it's almost a definite that a signficant name or two will sit out the season due to Covid-19 concerns.


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breakfast bytes

When season re-start begins in Orlando, NBA players will arrive to game site and leave dressed in full uniforms.

Orioles' Richie Martin suffers broken finger, out 4-6 weeks.

O's opening day: Hyde tabs John Means to start July 24 season opener at Boston.

PGA Tour says all remaining '19-20 events will be played without spectators.