Monthly Archives: August 2018
Ready for some jolly good football
When I wake up tomorrow morning, the first thing I’m watching is Leicester City vs. Liverpool at 0630 (1230 British Summer Time).
Matchweek Four in the Premier League. I feel a bit out of place not drinking hot tea and munching on crumpets while watching, but my homemade sausage muffins (for Leicester-Liverpool) and cold cut sandwiches (for Manchester City-Newcastle at 1130 CDT/1730 BST) will do fine.
I’m hoping the Foxes will recapture some of the magic that spurred them to the 2015-16 PL championship, but I’m also a realist. Liverpool is playing out of this world through its first three matches, and I can’t see Jurgen Klopp’s men giving any ground at the KP. Leicester will make it quite entertaining, but the Reds head back to Liverpool with 12 points out of a possible 12.
The featured match at 0900 CST/1500 BST is Chelsea welcoming Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge. The Cherries showed quite a bit of heart after rallying from 2-0 down to Everton last Saturday at Dean Court to pull out a draw, but that will be fatal this time. The Blues have taken well to Mauricio Sarri following last season’s rocky ride under Antonio Conte. Eddie Howe’s men have a fighting shot to leave London with a point, but I can’t see it. Chelsea matches Liverpool at 12 points.
Elsewhere in that 1500 BST window, two matches have rout written all over it: Crystal Palace vs. Southampton at Selhurst and Everton vs. Huddersfield at Goodison. The home teams clearly have the upper hand in these.
Huddersfield can’t score, and the Toffees have to be angry after dropping two points on the south coast last week. Roy Hogsdon’s team has lost two in a row after winning on opening day at Fulham, and the Eagles figure to get well against a Saints team which couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead at home in losing to Leicester last week.
Fulham is feeling good after a 4-2 victory over Burnley at Craven Cottage, but it now goes to the south coast to face Brighton & Hove Albion, which defeated Manchester United 3-2 the last time it took the pitch at AMEX Stadium. This one ends in a 2-2 draw.
West Ham is at the foot of the table, and Wolverhampton comes to London following a thrilling draw vs. Manchester City at Molineux. The Hammers will still be stuck on zero when full time arrives. Wolves win their first Premier League match since 2012.
Manchester City vs. Newcastle? Pep Guardiola’s side will run riot over the Magpies at the Etihad. Considering City was hosed on two calls last week at Molineux, it will leave no doubt. I would not be shocked if City scores seven or eight.
Sunday’s early match (0730 CDT/1330 BST) is Cardiff hosting Arsenal. The 1000 CDT/1600 BST fixtures are Manchester United at Burnley and Tottenham at Watford. More on those next time.
I need to get to bed! I won’t have this problem next weekend, because there are no PL matches.
No American football? Nirvana
Tonight is the first night of high school football in Kansas. I’m at home in my basement watching a Lifetime movie.
And I feel pretty freaking great. I don’t miss high school football. I don’t. There are many better ways to spend a Friday night in my opinion.
I followed through on my pledge not to watch college football last night. I’m doing it again tonight. And I’m sure as hell not going to watch tomorrow, Sunday or Monday.
College football is corrupt as hell. Whenever an asshole like Urban Meyer (URBAN LIAR) can get away with only a three-game suspension after covering up an assistant coach’s dastardly deeds at TWO major universities, you know the game is full of shit and should not be supported by any sane human being.
Ohio State fired Woody Hayes, who won 205 games in 28 seasons in Columbus for punching an opposing player (Clemson’s Charlie Bauman) in a fit of rage, yet it can’t fire Urban LIAR for covering up a man who threw his pregnant wife against a wall and continued to abuse her after moving from Gainesville to Columbus? WHAT THE FUCK?
You know college football is corrupt when two power five conferences are allowed to play by a different set of rules.
The ACC and SEC fucking refuse to go to nine conference games like the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have. They lay out a bullshit argument that it’s too tough to force them to beat up on one another.
There’s only one voice of reason, and as much as it pains me to say it, it’s Nick Saban.
Saban wants nine conference games, but everyone else in the SEC are big pussies and don’t want it. Same with everyone in the ACC, including Dabo Swinney. What’s wrong, Dabo? That scared of Duke, Virginia or Pitt? If you are, then get out of the business, pal.
Same to all the SEC coaches who oppose Saban’s idea. Yes, you’re tired of him kicking your asses all the time. I understand. My alma mater has been the most abused by Saban’s Alabama teams. But LSU has no business playing Southeastern Louisiana, Louisiana Tech and Rice in the same season.
How would it hurt if LSU traded one of those teams for Vanderbilt, Kentucky or Missouri? IT WOULDN’T. It might help the bottom line because LSU wouldn’t be on the hook for a ridiculous guarantee and pocket $3 million in revenue from tickets and concessions, and even if that game were on the road, they’d come out ahead over having to pay some shit team $900,000.
If the College Football Playoff committee had any balls (they don’t), they would demand the SEC and ACC play nine conference games, or else be held to a much stricter set of standards when determining the playoff berths. Playing five road games in the SEC shouldn’t mean a damn thing if you’re that good. Saban isn’t afraid of it. Too bad there are too many emasculated pussies in the ACC (John Swofford, Swinney, Mark Richt, Jimbo Fisher before he left Tallahassee for College Station) and SEC (Greg Sankey and Mike Slive and Roy Kramer before him, Ed Orgeron and Les Miles before him, Fisher, Gus Malzahn, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart and Richt before him, Dan Mullen) for Saban to prevail.
Saban also wishes his school would stop scheduling cupcakes and play only fellow power five teams. Alabama’s administration won’t listen to him, but maybe it should. I don’t care if Saban scheduled Kansas, Rutgers and Oregon State, arguably the worst three schools in power five leagues. It would be a major improvement over the shit SEC and ACC schools play in non-conference for the most part, save South Carolina playing Clemson and Florida playing Florida State every year, plus the occasional neutral-site game.
LSU could play Texas, TCU or Texas Tech home-and-home. Revive the series with Georgia Tech and discuss playing the Atlanta game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium instead of Grant Field. Nebraska? Hell yes. Wisconsin? Why not, home-and-home would be just as fabulous as Houston and Green Bay were. North Carolina State? I like. Stanford? Yep.
Get the TV networks involved. Maybe Saban and James Franklin would consider reviving the Alabama-Penn State series, which was a fixture throughout the 1980s. Demand Texas and Texas A&M play a minimum of four years, possibly playing once in Arlington and once in Houston. Same with Missouri and Kansas, with all games in Kansas City. Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado should all play at least one Big 12 team per year. Texas A&M should also play Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech regularly.
Enough college football. At least the real football starts in under 10 hours.
It’s now Friday. Thank God, because yesterday was horrendous.
The electricity in the entire city of Russell went off at 0130 yesterday. I noticed because the fans I have on stopped working, and my CPAP machine also quit. I was able to sleep because I had taken Seroquel. The power came on briefly at 0630, but by 0715, it was out again.
And it wouldn’t come on for good until 1545.
I was pissed. REALLY pissed. I could have taken it had it been winter, but not summer.
I’m sick and tired of hearing how much people hate winter compared to summer. Last I checked, you can put on layer after layer to combat the cold. You cannot strip naked to battle the heat of summer, unless you are at a clothing-optional location, and even then the heat is relentless.
I slept until almost 1300, then I couldn’t take being in the dark anymore. I got in my car and headed east on Interstate 70. I got to Salina, and by time I made a stop at Dillon’s on Ohio Street–a place I went twice yesterday–my dad texted me that the power was back on. I drove to Abilene, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east, to kill some more time before getting word it was safe to return to Russell.
At least the outage occurred on a Thursday when I didn’t have work to worry about. Had it been on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, I would have been really screwed.
I would have been even more outraged had the power stayed off longer. I bought a lot of frozen food yesterday in Salina and Wichita. I didn’t want it to spoil. The worst would have been losing 0.91 kg (2 lb) of capicola ($31) and two six-packs of natural casing weiners ($14) from Whole Foods.
I’m about to go to bed. I want to be able to sleep for a long, long time this morning. Nothing coming on I really need to watch on TV until 0630 tomorrow, when Premier League leader Liverpool plays at Leicester City.
Bye-bye, American football
“Cord cutting” has been a popular term to describe people who are ending their subscriptions to cable and/or satellite television, opting instead to purchase a la carte programming or just get all of their programs from streaming services.
Of course, every human being begins life with a cord cutting, as in the umbilical cord which tethers the growing baby to the mother’s womb.
Today, I am cutting a cord. Actually, two cords.
I, David Steinle, am boycotting all forms of American football from today, 25 August 2018, until at least Super Bowl LIII on 3 February 2019. I think this boycott will last much longer than that.
I realize I have wasted too many days, weeks, months and years, as well as countless tens of thousands of dollars, following a barbaric spectacle.
In the case of college football, I can no longer justify watching 18- to 22-year old children in the bodies of overgrown men strive to annihilate one another for almost four hours every Saturday. I cannot bring myself to spend the exorbitant amounts of money which tens of millions of people do to watch this crap.
In the case of the NFL, the league only cares about making money. It could not care less about a player when he retires from the league. He is no longer making money for the NFL, and why should the NFL care about his health, even if his brain is complete mush and he cannot walk without two artificial hips, two artificial knees and a walker–if he isn’t confined to a wheelchair, that is?
The rule makers in the NFL, college and high school have only themselves to blame for the spike in concussions.
By outlawing blocking below the waist and many forms of tackling below the waist, they are forcing players to use their heads more and more often, and this leads to concussions. The sanctioning bodies–the NFL, NCAA, NAIA, National Federation of State High School Associations and the individual state high school associations–all want to “get the head out of football”. BULLSHIT. Why the hell do you think the head is in football in the first place?
It’s because the idiots who make the rules think blocking and tackling around the shoulders and chest is safer than doing so around the thighs, knees and ankles.
Last I checked, the heart is in the chest. Shoulder pads can’t protect a football player from all injuries in the chest. You can’t tell me it’s safer for a human being to be hit head-on by another human being, this one weighing 250-pounds, in the chest than it is to be hit in the knees.
And too many children have been desensitized to violence in football by what they see on TV. Ray Lewis should not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He glamorized illegal, violent headhunting. Terrell Suggs, who is still playing for the Ravens, has followed his lead. James Harrison was one of the NFL’s dirtiest players. Rodney Harrison, another one of the NFL’s worst offenders when it comes to headhunting, is an analyst for NBC. And so many boys grew up idolizing Bill Romanowski, who not only admitted to taking steroids, but deliberately injured a teammate in training camp and spit on J.J. Stokes on national television.
If I had a son, I don’t know if I’d let him play football. If I did, I would force him to quit the game if he had ONE concussion. ONE. No more.
There have been so many advancements in knee surgery. A person can live a full life with two artificial hips and two artificial knees. A person can live with a prosthetic leg. However, even knee surgery is not 100 percent guaranteed–Mack Lee Hill of the Chiefs died in 1965 on the operating table the day after a game after suffering a knee injury.
However, there isn’t an artificial brain, and there won’t be one for at least another 100 years. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. There are heart transplants, but finding a matching donor is tedious. There also have been lacerated kidneys, collapsed lungs and ruptured livers and spleens from football, all of which are life-threatening.
I am done with the sport. Finished. I can find better uses of my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Football (REAL football) for one, not this crap in America they call football.
I have to follow a few Missouri and Kansas high school football teams for my job. Believe me, I’m going to need a lot of antacid and antidepressants before I work on that stuff.
Four days in a TV wasteland
I’ve got some opinions on a sport I don’t give a crap about anymore. I don’t have time to go over them right now, since I have to be up before 0630 tomorrow for the first Premier League match of the day, Wolves vs. Manchester City at Molineux. I don’t expect City to have much trouble.
Liverpool plays the night game (1730 British Summer Time, or 1130 Central) at home vs. Brighton, which is sky high after defeating Manchester United last Sunday. .The Reds figure to hold serve at home and stay atop the table.
Bournemouth tries to keep it going, too, hosting Everton on the south coast. The other south coast match has Southampton hosting Leicester. There easily could be two draws. I’ll have to watch those matches on NBC Sports Gold, since the 0900 CDT (1500 BST) match is Arsenal vs. West Ham at the Emirates. The Gunners should get off the goose egg and keep the Hammers in the mire of the relegation zone.
I’ve been watching too much Netflix, especially Insatiable, where Debby Ryan (formerly of Disney Channel’s Jessie) goes from bullied overweight girl to beauty queen under the direction of lawyer/coach Bob Armstrong, portrayed by Dallas Roberts, who played two murderers on Law & Order: SVU, as well has had a recurring role on The Good Wife. Alyssa Milano plays Bob’s wife, Coralee, while Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) plays Bob Barnard, Bob Armstrong’s archrival.
There are a few movies starring Ryan I need to catch up on. She’s fantastic.
Atypical, the Netflix series where Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as the mother of an autistic son played by Keir Gilchrist, will roll out the second season two weeks from tonight.
We’re one week away from baseball armageddon, Orioles at Royals. The O’s lost their 91st game tonight, and KC needs to rally or else it will fall to 38-91. Since it’s a weekend series, the Royals are still seeing fit to charge outrageous prices for tickets. Wow.
Seriously, I need to sleep. Gotta watch my Premier League.
Great football for a great price
For those of you who have not subscribed to the NBC Sports Gold Premier League package, I would highly recommend it. For just $49.95, you get every Premier League match not shown on NBC or NBC Sports Network. If you’re not a fan of the “Big Six” clubs–Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur–it is a lifeline. I should know; Leicester City is rarely on television in the United States even after winning the championship in 2015-16.
That’s all–$49.95 for a whole season of excellent football. Compare that to the ridiculous price you’d have to pay for NFL Sunday Ticket, plus the subscription to DirecTV.
Liverpool won 2-0 at Crystal Palace yesterday to keep pace with Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Watford atop the Premier League with six points. Manchester City leads everyone due to a vastly superior goal differential of plus-7, thanks to a 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
Meanwhile, on the south coast, Manchester United was defeated 3-2 at the AMEX Stadium by Brighton & Hove Albion, sending Red Devils fans into collective apoplexy. Fans are calling for Jose Mournihino’s head and it could get ugly if United plays poorly at Old Trafford this Monday vs. Tottenham. United won its first match at home vs. Leicester, but looked pretty pedestrian.
I’m not suggesting United is not going to finish in the top seven and miss out on Europe. No way. But the door is definitely open for Bournemouth, Watford, Everton, Crystal Palace and Leicester to make noise and take one of the European spots, especially with United in turmoil and Arsenal still trying to find its footing under Unai Emery.
Huddersfield is minus-8 on goal differential and sits at the foot of the table. I pegged the Terriers for relegation prior to the season, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, since they played Chelsea and Manchester City. If they were minus-8 against, say, Southampton and West Ham, then it would be time to panic. West Ham is also in the drop zone right now, and maybe I had the Hammers too high prior to the season and Watford too low. Southampton, my third pick to be relegated, is about as expected, with one point from matches vs. Burnley and Everton.
Leicester outplayed United and lost, but got outplayed by Wolves and won at the King Power. That’s football. Jamie Vardy isn’t making the trip to St. Mary’s, thanks to the red card he received in the 66th minute vs. Wolves for what was termed a terrible challenge.
I’m at Buffalo Wild Wings in Salina for the first time since April 5. I was in town to get my hair cut–Amber is back at Sport Clips after giving birth to her baby boy August 6–so I figured I would stop in and test my knowledge.
Just saw an advertisement hyping college football on ESPN starting in nine days. NO THANK YOU. I’m sure it will be the major topic of discussion tomorrow morning with Crista.
Why would anyone in their right mind pay $500 to $1,000 just for the opportunity to pay $500 to $1,000 to purchase season tickets? Besides, college football is so freaking predictable. Two of the four playoff spots are already taken by Alabama and Clemson, and you can count legitimate contenders for the other two on one hand.
I’m now wondering why the heck did I even consider going to Baton Rouge for the LSU-Georgia game in October? WHY?
Random Saturday stuff
(I began this post Saturday in Minsky’s. It’s now Tuesday and I’m finally getting back to it. I’ll complete my thoughts here, then post again with an update).
I stand by my decision not to watch college football this season. I should have done this a long time ago. I won’t miss spending Saturdays in some packed sports bar watching people scream their lungs out over the exploits of 18- to 22-year old children.
I heard Zach Smith the lady beater is also a pervert. Ordering sex toys and having them sent to the Ohio State football office? Taking a picture of your genitals in a White House bathroom and holding it next to a towel with the presidential seal? Words cannot describe how disgusted I am hearing about this piece of fecal matter. If Urban Meyer is allowed to coach again, then shame on Ohio State. But I don’t care, I won’t watch.
Speaking of fecal matter, the man in Colorado who has been charged with killing his pregnant wife and two daughters qualifies. Big time. He’s the male version of Susan Smith, the woman in South Carolina whom in 1994 claimed her toddler sons were kidnapped by a black man, only to confess days later she actually rolled her car into a lake and drowned them.
Colorado does have the death penalty, as much as leftist Governor John Hickenlooper has tried to get rid of it. Hopefully this piece of scum will be convicted and sent to death row. Barring that, he should be
Hy-Vee sucks. No Boar’s Head cold cuts. Instead Hy-Vee sells some crap I don’t like. Price Chopper doesn’t sell it, either. So I have to traipse back into Kansas to go to Hen House. The closest location to Missouri now that the one on 64th Street is closed is in Fairway off Shawnee Mission Parkway. I’ve become more familiar with the area by going to Joe’s and the salon for my back waxing, so I didn’t get too lost today going to the one in Fairway.
I’ve got two pounds of mortadella and two pounds of capicola to ferry back to Russell, plus cheese. Expensive cold cuts, but so, so good. And still cheaper than eating at McDonald’s or Sonic in Russell, or Taco Bell in Hays, and especially Buffalo Wild Wings.
The closest place that sells Boar’s Head is Dillon’s in Salina, at Ohio and Cloud. I have bought it there often, but since I’m in KC, it isn’t going to take up much space to haul it 250 miles west. The bread I like was on sale at Hen House, too, so I bought four loaves for the price of three.
I’ve finally learned how to use a drip coffeemaker. When I tried it yesterday morning, it had too much in there, and it was quite strong. My dad told me not to put so much in there, and this morning, it worked great. I’ve invested $170 in my Keurig and the money in the pods, but at least now i have the adapters for ground coffee in that one, plus I can work a regular one in a hotel.
The Chiefs scored more points than the Falcons in last night’s exhibition in Atlanta. Everyone is raving over Patrick Mahomes’ 69-yard bomb to Tyreek Hill late in the first half, because it traveled nearly the whole distance in the air.
Mahomes is being hailed as the best Chiefs quarterback since Len Dawson. Come on. One regular season game vs. a 4-11 Broncos team and an exhibition does not a career make.
The Cardinals outscored the Saints 20-15. Arizona is 2-0 now in exhibitions. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Cards win no more than two when the games count.
Woke up at 0610, just in time to watch English football. The first match of the day in the Premier League, Newcastle United at Cardiff City, kicked off at 1230 British Summer Time (0630 Central). Goalless draw, the first of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign. Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, the first Premier League player from the Philippines, stopped a penalty kick in second half stoppage time, the second penalty he has saved this year. If Etheridge keeps it up, he will rival Manny Pacquiao as the most popular athlete in the Philippines..
In the 1500 BST (0900 CDT) matches, Leicester City took advantage of an own goal by Wolverhampton and a brace by James Maddison just before halftime for a 2-0 victory at the King Power Stadium.
In London, Bournemouth gave up a first half penalty to fall behind West Ham, but two goals in seven minutes in the second half powered the Cherries to a 2-1 victory and six points. I’m well aware Bournemouth probably won’t be contending for a spot in Europe, but every point Eddie Howe’s men take against teams not in the top six (Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea) is huge.
The other London match in that window saw Tottenham easily oust Fulham 3-1, meaning the Cottagers are still stuck on zero points, as is West Ham.
In Liverpool, Everton thrashed Southampton 3-1. Nothing unexpected there
Arsenal is also stuck in the starting blocks, thanks to a 3-2 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The first half featured two goals by each side, but the Blues struck in the 81st minute to keep pace with Tottenham and Bournemouth, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all favored to win their upcoming matches, although Liverpool will be tested by Crystal Palace at Selhurst.
Cutting the cord with college football
One of my earliest memories of college football was falling asleep watching the LSU-Tulane game on Thanksgiving night 1983. The game was moved from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the holiday itself in order for the game to be televised by TBS.
The game kicked off at 1930 (7:30 pm) in New Orleans, and of course, my bed time wasn’t nearly as late when I was seven as it is today. I woke up the next morning to find out LSU won 20-7, but it was not enough to save the job of Bayou Bengals coach Jerry Stovall, who was fired eight days after the game in the Superdome.
Almost 35 years later, I am done with college football.
I have decided college football is not worth wasting my time and energy on. I have beat myself up enough over the performance of 18- to 22-year old boys and the overgrown, overpaid boys who coach them.
Urban Meyer is going to keep his job at Ohio State despite covering up for Zach Smith, a monster who consistently abused his then-wife, including when she was pregnant. D.J. Durkin has yet to be fired at Maryland despite a player dying of heatstroke on his watch.
I thought about going to the LSU-Georgia game in Baton Rouge on my birthday, October 13. Not anymore. I don’t want to drive all that way to deal with 102,000 crazy fans in Tiger Stadium, plus tens of thousands more who will do nothing but loiter around campus and drink themselves into a stupor. Besides, I can find a lot better ways to burn the money that would go into gas, hotels, food and tickets.
Do I have good memories of watching college football, both on TV and in person? Sure. But after careful consideration, I can think of many better and more productive ways to spend my Saturdays instead of being glued to a television set from 1100 to 2300.
Kansas college football is a big reason why I can’t stand it.
I am sick of hearing about the greatness of Bill Snyder. He’s done a lot of it against cupcake non-conference schedules. Kansas State proved it isn’t an elite program when it choked so brutally in the 1998 Big 12 championship game against Texas A&M, then let Drew Brees and Purdue tear it apart in the Alamo Bowl. There was that massive choke job against Baylor in 2012 when anyone in Kansas, save a few Jayhawk fans, were touting Collin
Snyder has turned arguably the worst major college program into a winner. However, Kansas State is going to relapse into pitifulness once Snyder dies (we all know he can’t retire again). K-State will be where Kansas is now.
Speaking of the Jayhawks, David Beatty is a nice guy, but not a head football coach. No way. He reminds me of Curley Hallman, who was so brutally pathetic at LSU from 1991-94. At least Beatty is not a grade-A turd like Hallman. However, let’s face it–Kansas is only in the Big 12 because of its basketball program.
The other college football in Kansas–four Division II schools and eight junior colleges–doesn’t interest me. I watched season three of Last Chance U from Independence Community College and I was totally repulsed. To say coach Jason Brown has a foul mouth would be a gross understatement.
Right now, I don’t want to hear about college football. I certainly don’t want to read about it, so I’ve made sure my mobile devices do not get any information on the sport, and I will no longer read The Advocate, the newspaper I once wrote for, nor any other paper’s college football reporting. I have to be careful on the Kansas City Star page not to click college football.
Somehow, I think my Saturdays will become more fulfilling without being a slave to the boob tube watching a bunch of 18- to 22-year old boys full of testosterone collide with one another.
Tiger won! Not really, but some would have you believe otherwise
Did Brooks Koepka win the PGA Championship? I couldn’t tell. By the homepage of ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, and many newspapers, Tiger Woods won, even though the scoreboard I checked showed Woods two shots behind Koepka.
The drooling love affair with Eldrick Woods has gone on since the weekend of April 10-13, 1997, when he won The Masters, the first of his 14 major championships. When Tiger was forced off the course by injury following the 2008 U.S. Open, and again by various injuries earlier this decade, fans on message boards bitched and moaned and said they would not watch golf until Tiger was playing again.
It’s not as if golf is going to die without Eldrick Woods. Koepka has won three of the last six majors. Jordan Spieth is only a PGA away from the career grand slam, and Rory McIlroy will wrap it up if he wins The Masters. Dustin Johnson is the top ranked player in the world, with Justin Thomas a close second. Phil Mickelson is still chasing the career slam, needing the U.S. Open.
There are a lot more marketable players out there today than there were 50 years ago, when it was Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and a whole lot of good but not great players who really didn’t move the needle. Lee Trevino took Palmer’s place among the big names in the late 1960s, and once Player and Nicklaus passed their prime, it was wide open, even though nobody had the star power that the Golden Bear and Arnie had.
People were scalping tickets for as much as $2,000 in St. Louis for Sunday’s final round at the PGA. That’s enough to buy season tickets for the Cardinals or Blues. Kopeka and Adam Scott were the final pairing, and both played with far smaller galleries than what Woods and Gary Woodland did.
Eldrick is part of a cadre of athletes American media drools over. The others are Serena Williams, LeBron and Tom Brady. Baseball doesn’t have a specific athlete, but the Red Sox and Yankees get all the headlines, with the Cubs getting them to a lesser extent. The NHL has not had that problem as much, although the national media couldn’t stop peeing in their pants about the Vega$ Golden Knight$.
I don’t watch very much golf, simply because I’ve had enough of Mr. Woods. I don’t watch any tennis. Haven’t since the late 1980s. I’m sick of the Williams sisters on the women’s side, and the men’s side is the same people over and over and over: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic. The NFL holds little appeal these days, at least the AFC does. And don’t get me started on the NBA.
In sports I actually watch, Liverpool flexed its muscles Sunday by thrashing West Ham 4-0 at Anfield. The Reds appear to be well-positioned to be Manchester City’s chief challenger for the Premier League championship. City opened with a 2-0 victory at Arsenal, ruining Unai Emery’s first match as manager of the Gunners. I didn’t watch the Liverpool match, simply because I knew West Ham had zero chance. I instead streamed Southampton-Burnley, which ended 0-0 at St. Mary’s.
Now there are no Premier League matches until Saturday morning. I’m stuck between bad MLB and NFL exhibitions until then if I want to watch live sports. Of course, there’s the Little League World Series, which I absolutely refuse to watch because of the “mandatory play” rule.
I’m now on to season three of The O.C. UGH. I hated season three, simply because there were so many characters whom I despised: Dean Hess, Charlotte Morgan, Taylor Townsend (the evil version; she makes a 180 in season four), Veronica Townsend (god I love Paula Trickey, but Veronica was downright mean, which shows Trickey is a tremendous actress), the scuzzy loan sharks who beat up Jimmy Cooper, Johnny Harper, Casey, Seung-Ho (the sexually obsessive boyfriend of the equally sexually obsessive Taylor) , the “Harbor Heckler” (an unnamed character who is so cruel to Seth and Taylor that I want to climb through the screen and squeeze his testicles until they pop, then go Lorena Bobbitt on his penis) and of course, Kevin Volchok and all of the lowlife scum associated with him, particularly Heather, the evil bitch who does all she can to make Marissa’s life a living hell at Newport Union.
Then again, I wish Volchok would have found the heckler and beat the living crap out of him. If it were possible to hate a character more than Volchok and Oliver Trask, the heckler was that character. He and Felix Tagarro from One Tree Hill always make me extremely nauseous.
The only bright spot I could think of that season was Dawn Atwood (Daphne Ashbrook) putting her life back together. Josh Schwartz and the rest of The O.C.‘s production staff should have brought Dawn back in season four so she could rescue Ryan from his deep depression caused by Marissa’s murder.
Not to say season three was 100 percent bad. Just saw the scene where Seth scratches his face with his middle finger, flipping off Taylor. Priceless.
English football fever
The third day of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign is only hours away.
Liverpool hosts West Ham and Burnley visits Southampton at 0730 Central (1330 British Summer time), while Manchester City kicks off its title defense at Arsenal, which plays its first match under new manager Unai Emery. That fixture starts at 1000 Central (1600 BST).
Very few surprises the first two days. The only draw was an exciting 2-2 fixture at Molineux between Wolverhampton, playing its first Premier League match in six years, and Everton, which had to play the final 50 minutes down a man after Phil Jagielka was shown a red card, the first of the new campaign.
I didn’t wake up early enough to catch the Newcastle-Tottenham match. Spurs won 2-1. I watched the Huddersfield-Chelsea match until the Blues scored the first goal; at that point, I figured the Terriers were toast. Indeed, Chelsea rolled 3-0.
I bought the NBC Sports Gold package so I can watch all the Premier League matches which are not televised. My first online match was Bournemouth hosting Cardiff City, with the Cherries winning 2-0 at home over the newly promoted Welsh side.
The other 0900 Central matches were also 2-0. Crystal Palace won at London rival Fulham, spoiling the Cottagers’ return to the top flight after a four-year absence, while Watford, whom I pegged for relegation in my predictions, bested Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at Vicarage Road.
Manchester United bested my Leicester City Foxes 2-1 at Old Trafford Friday evening (in Britain; late afternoon here in Kansas). The Foxes were done in by a very early handball (three minutes in) which gave the Red Devils a penalty kick that was converted by Paul Pogba, who played for France’s World Cup championship team earlier this summer. Jamie Vardy did put Leicester on the board in second half stoppage time, but it couldn’t prevent Leicester from falling to 2-7-16 all-time vs. United.
I did two B-52 shots this evening. I don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow.
There are only two “exhibition games” taking place tonight in the NFL, Minnesota at Denver and the Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona. Don’t ask me who’s winning. I don’t care. Remember, the 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns each went undefeated in exhibition games…and winless in games which counted.
The epic showdown between the Orioles and Royals in Kansas City is on the horizon. Baltimore may already have 100 losses.
I’m watching The O.C. all over again. Last Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of its premiere. Right now I’m finishing the episode where there was a rainstorm (“The Rainy Day Women”), where Seth (Adam Brody) gets hung up on the roof attempting to fix the satellite dish at the Cohen mansion; Summer (Rachel Bilson) comes looking for him and they kiss. It’s the final appearance of Lindsay Gardner (Shannon Lucio) and Rebecca Bloom (Kim Delaney), and the beginning of the end of the relationship between Marissa (Mischa Barton) and Alex (Olivia Wilde).
The 15th anniversary of the debut of One Tree Hill is Sept. 23. I will probably have to go through that series all over again, but it will take a lot longer. I will need some valium, or at least four B-52 shots, to get through the episodes with that piece of fecal matter Felix.
As Genesis sang in 1983, that’s all.