Golf Announcers and the True Meaning of Comebacks

by Gary Sterling

Yesterday I watched, like millions of others, as Tiger Woods tapped in that final putt and let out a roar for the ages, hugged his family, and yes, it brought a tear to my eye. However, now I’m going to rant my ass off about televised golf and a few other things.

Why in the Sam hell do Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo whisper? I understand that golf is a gentleman’s game and that you’re not supposed to talk during someone’s backswing. But Jesus Christ, Jim, you aren’t standing anywhere close to the golfers! Stop with the damned whispering! This is a sporting event, not a freaking ASMR event. And don’t tell me about the respect factor. If he’s respecting the game, he would NEVER speak during someone’s backswing or while they are putting. Speak up, Jim! It’s a sporting event and we like it when you show a little effort and emotion!

People are calling Tiger’s victory the greatest comeback in sports history. Really? Are you kidding me?!? I’m sorry, has Tiger Woods not been golfing for the past decade? I know his back is/was screwed up and he is/was playing in pain, but he didn’t ‘Willis Reed’ his ass onto the golf course this weekend. He’s been playing for over a decade! If the comeback wasn’t going to be complete until he won another major, we’re changing the rules of what a comeback really is. I mean hell, Michael Jordan’s comeback is still ongoing, as is every boxer’s that has ever thrown a punch.

Tiger Woods’ victory was special. It was awesome. It was inspiring. It was a come from behind victory, his first ever in a major. It was not a comeback unless we have all been in cryostasis  for the past 11 years.

In closing, enjoy the day; enjoy the victory. Just talk and announce in a normal voice. Like LL said, “Don’t call it a comeback, he’s been here for years”.

Just a Few Sports Thoughts

A lot of things going on in sports right now, absolutely nothing going on at work. So here I am. As baseball is taking off on their 2019 season, the NHL and NBA are heading into the playoffs. This is easily the best hockey you’ll see. Playoff hockey is the best postseason of any sport, in my opinion. The NBA playoffs will be fun too, as this is the only time you’ll really see any defense being played.

Let’s start with an oddity today. The Cincinnati Reds became the first team in history to win 2 or less games in their first 10 games and still have a positive run differential. This was obviously assisted by their 14-0 drubbing of the Fish last night. Back-to-back-to-back HRs were part of a huge inning to make this happen. Cincinnati fans finally got something to be excited about.

In other MLB news, Chris Sale is off to an 0-3 start. Something isn’t right in Boston and it needs to be fixed soon. Mike Trout is day to day with a groin strain. I wish I were athletic enough to actually be able to have this injury. But alas, here I am, at my desk just typing about it. The Lenny Dykstra/Ron Darling soap opera picked up a bit. Darling spoke truths (per him) in his book and Dykstra got mad online. Now he’s getting mad in court. What I’d give to just have these two guys meet at the flagpole at 3:00. Marcell Ozuna climbed the wall last night to rob someone of a HR only to see the ball hit the warning track as he did his best spider monkey impression atop the wall. Even Cal Daniels is laughing at that one. Younger readers may want to google him. Worst defensive OF I’ve ever seen.

And now we get to Magic Johnson. Magic just abruptly walked away from his duties with the Los Angeles Lakers. He said he just wanted to be Magic Johnson. Apparently his role kept him from doing this. I get it, he represents the league just being him. I actually think this is good for the NBA to have him as a more accessible former player and Hall of Fame member. The Lakers will be fine; they’re the Lakers. What I didn’t know, and I haven’t seen or looked for verification of, is that apparently Luke Walton is dating Jeanie Buss. That would be reason for me to leave. Your boss is dating someone who reports to you? No thanks. If my manager was dating my lead here at work, I’m not sure how I would be expected to honestly do my job. Too many conflicts. And again, I have no proof that this is happening as I only heard about it in the wee hours this morning. So take it with a proverbial grain of salt.

Other than that, just another day in the sports world. The NHL playoffs start tonight, so be ready for that. I’ll miss the first 2 nights as I have concerts to attend both tonight and tomorrow. Throw in an afternoon Reds game tomorrow and I’ve got a busy 48 hours. I’m sure that Tropidelic and RDGLDGRN will put on a great show tonight, as will SOJA, Iya Terra, and Passafire tomorrow. Haven’t heard them? Look them up. Good vibes, good times. Enjoy your day.

Mick Cronin Is Gone!!!

Mick Cronin is no longer the head coach of the University of Cincinnati Men’s basketball team. I have waited years to see that, say that, type that, send out smoke signals signifying that. Good Lord, today is a beautiful day. Thank you, UCLA, for embracing the mediocrity that is Mick Cronin. Take his 10-17 tournament record, his .370 tournament winning percentage, and roll on through the middle of the PAC-12 for the next decade before you realize what you have done.

I am giggling while writing this. I can’t remember being this happy in anything sports related. And I just won $500 last night on the championship game. Most sensible UC fans have wanted this over the last 2 years. There are still some delusional fans that think he can coach. Pray for them. I had grown so tired of hearing about his 25-30 wins each season, only to see them get bounced in the first or second round of the tournament. Any halfway decent team can win 25 games in the American Athletic Conference. Oooohh, it’s so impressive how you manhandled Tulane last week. Think you can do the same against Tulsa? Huge eyeroll emoji here.

Luckily for Mick, the PAC-12 isn’t much better. He’ll get a few key wins to keep the fan base happy, but will never win when it counts. Good luck, Bruins fans. UCLA is the drunk guy at a bar right now who takes home a 10. Only when he wakes up next to a 2 will he realize the error of his ways. Cincinnati has been sleeping with that 2 for way too long. It’s time to hire a good coach. Bring pride back to the Queen City. We need to get back on the map; we need to be relevant again.

So who do they hire? I have no idea who they are looking at, or who they would like. I’ve heard names tossed around; Pitino being the biggest of them. I wouldn’t mind a former player, one who played when UC was good, maybe a Nick Van Exel. I’m just brainstorming though. They could hire my Uncle Ernie and it would be an improvement. Other former UC players would be a good choice, in my opinion. Terry Nelson has been a vital part of this team in years past. I think he would be great when it comes to representing the Bearcats. I’ll leave that to the AD and the people at the top. I’m just rejoicing in the departure of Mick Cronin today.

Whatever direction they choose to go, a new chapter awaits Bearcats fans. It’s always exciting when change occurs after rough times. Only time will tell if the decision they make proves to be the right one or not. I’m excited and, according to Twitter, so are a lot of other UC fans. Let’s hope they get their guy, whoever it may be, and we can hopefully stick around for the second weekend of the tournament one day soon. Until then, we have the 1-8 Reds to cheer for. Breathe. Relax. Change is coming.

The NCAA Hoops National Championship Game

The University of Virginia will be facing Texas Tech University on Monday night for the National Championship. Both of these teams have had exciting games on the road to this final. They have played tough, they have played a couple close games. These teams are battle tested and we should see and outstanding game on Monday night.

The 2 games last night were a great set-up for the matchup. A lot of people are questioning referee decisions at the end of the UVA/Auburn game. Here’s the bottom line on the foul call; it was a foul. It was a foul in every sense of the word. It was the right call and people really need to move on. Stop trying to compare it to the Saints vs Rams game. It was nowhere near that.

Now, the missed double dribble, that was something else. No game is going to be perfectly called. Sure, it’s not optimal for Auburn fans that it wasn’t called, but look at it this way. No one on the court for Auburn, nor anyone on their bench, raised a stink about it. It happened so fast that almost everyone missed it. It wasn’t until after the game that it was raised as an issue. I get it, this doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is. Bad calls happen in every single game played in every sport. One that adversely affects your team doesn’t make it a greater error. It just makes you more miserable because your teams lost. Stop taking a simple game so seriously. Having said that, I feel for the folks who bet the Auburn money line. That had to hurt.

So we have a great game ahead of us for tomorrow. It’s definitely not the game that the NCAA or CBS wanted. There is no star power, no historical matchup. Only 2 teams who earned the right to be here. The true sports fan will appreciate that and tune in. I know I will. Well, at least as long as I can stay awake. These late games when you live on the east coast don’t play well with a work schedule that has you waking up at 4:15 am. But I’m going to try.

Enjoy it, guys. It’s the last college basketball game of the year. As baseball starts up and the NHL and NBA are headed into their respective playoffs, we are losing one of our beautiful vices. Order a pizza, ice down the beer, and gamble wisely.

MLB Opening Week Review

The beauty of Major League Baseball lies in its ability to take our expectations and predictions and throw them out the window with brute force. The 2019 season is following this script to a T through its first week. We have top teams at the bottom of the standings and we have perennial bottom feeders sitting atop the standings. I’m sure most of these won’t remain much longer, but what a wild, strange trip this opening week has been.

Let’s start with the AL East. Who saw the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles at the top of this division? The Yankees are struggling out of the gate and the Boston Red Sox are apparently still on the duck boats. In the AL Central we have 5 teams that will more than likely finish around .500 this season. No team stands out, no team seems to be headed to the basement. The AL West has the Seattle Mariners at 7-1; simply on fire to start the season. The Astros haven’t gotten it together yet and are sitting at 2-4.

Moving to the NL East, possibly the best division in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies are scoring a lot of runs and are currently 4-0. Bryce Harper has 2 monster HRs that have thrilled that fan base. In the Central, the Brewers are making noise again. Meanwhile, the Cubs are surprisingly groveling at the bottom with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds new manager David Bell seems to have a trigger finger on starting pitchers. He may be overthinking. Their ‘much improved’ offense is waiting for the bats to wake up. The West looks to belong to the Dodgers. They just can’t stop hitting HRs.

Now, to talk about last night’s Harper vs Nats scenario. I’ve seen criticism over Bryce’s bat flip after that home run. Honestly, I don’t blame him. The hatred coming from Nats fans and, surprisingly, the Nationals Twitter account would prompt anyone to showboat a little. And my take on bat flips is this; if you don’t want an opposing batter to flip his bat, don’t give up the dong. I love bat flips. I love players that get cocky and back it up consistently. A good bat flip has to be timed well though. If you’re down 7-0 and you hit a solo shot in the top of the 9th, save the bat flip, bro. No one cares at this point. Now, if there’s a personal vendetta between you and the pitcher, then flip that sucker like the king that you are for the moment. Just remember to be on your toes the next time you face him. Would hate for that fastball to get loose high and in.

We still have 150+ games to go, guys. I’m stoked. I’ll be back at GABP next Thursday to see my Reds hopefully win again. It’s an afternoon game, so I expect a crowd of about 8,494 people. I’ll get my requisite hot dogs, hit up the Frybox for some Buffalo Chicken Fries, and after the game I’ll head to the other side of town for the SOJA concert. Sounds like a pretty good day. Especially with Iya Terra and Passafire opening the show. Afternoon baseball and some evening reggae……… is good.

It’s Sunday. Whatcha Doin’?

Me, I’m sitting at my beach house watching baseball highlights while Kate Beckinsale feeds me grapes. Ok, full disclosure, I’m at work. Today has a full slate of games across every sport. If it’s cold where you are, like it is here, then today is a good day to sit on the couch and watch as many games as you possibly can. If it’s warm, go take a hike. I mean that in the most literal sense, not as a colloquialism. Get outside and enjoy mother nature.

We have 2 more Elite 8 games today. Kentucky (-4.5) takes on conference foe Auburn. After that, Duke (-2) will face Michigan State. Both of these games should be very entertaining. Auburn has been on fire, so the Wildcats better be ready. Both Duke and Sparty have played solid ball throughout the tournament so far, so this should be a very intense game. I’m pretty sure my bracket has no chance to win after the Vols and Wolverines got bounced, but I’m still pulling for my remaining Final Four teams, UK and Duke.

Major League Baseball has a full slate today. This season is starting out just as we thought it would. The Red Sox, Astros, and Cardinals are all under .500, the Orioles and Yankees are tied in the standings, and the Kansas City Royals are perfect so far. Yeah, I get it, we’re only 3 days into the season. How fun have those 3 games been though? I was at GABP for the Reds Opening Day and had an absolute blast. From the tailgate, in which I watched a guy suck a Jell-O shot off the pavement, to the game itself, it was a great time. If you want to see the Jell-O shot video, head to my personal page (grog1324) or hit up Busted Coverage’s website, as he posted it there as well.

The NHL has 6 games on tap today. A few of them have playoff implications, so this should be an exciting day for all you puckheads out there. NBC has the Flyers hosting the Rangers at 12:30 while NBCSN has the Bruins going to Detroit to face the Red Wings.

There are 7 games in the NBA today. Teams that are in the playoffs or in the playoff hunt will look to solidify their seeding. Looking at the schedule today, not many matchups stand out. With the referee snafu the other night, the Golden State Warriors may not lose another game. That was ugly and inexcusable. The Warriors may have gotten all the focus they need after that.

So enjoy your day. I’ll be checking out games when I get home from work. The college hoops will draw my interest, of course, as well as a hockey game or 2. Unfortunately, my Reds will be done by the time I get home. Sunday Night Baseball gives us the Braves and Phillies. Maybe Bryce Harper will hit a monster bomb again. His 465 foot homer yesterday was quite a sight to see. Have fun, gamble wisely.

Sweet 16 Lines & Picks

We have 8 games over the next 2 days. The Sweet 16 is very chalk heavy this year, so this should guarantee some tight games and good matchups. I asked a couple buddies, aka the 2 Garys, what they thought for each game. I’ll include my picks as well. For the record, one of them is a diehard UK fan, the other is a Duke fan. And yes, they’re good friends. Sometimes sports unifies people regardless of their team. It’s called living with class.

Gonzaga -7.5 vs Florida State

  • Me: Gonzaga
  • Gary P: FSU
  • Gary S: Gonzaga

Tennessee -1.5 vs Purdue

  • Me: Tennessee
  • Gary P: Tennessee
  • Gary S: Tennessee

Michigan -1.5 vs Texas Tech

  • Me: Michigan
  • Gary P: Texas Tech
  • Gary S: Michigan

Virginia -8.5 vs Oregon

  • Me: Oregon
  • Gary P: Oregon
  • Gary S: Oregon

Michigan State -6 vs LSU

  • Me: LSU
  • Gary P: MSU
  • Gary S: LSU

North Carolina -5 vs Auburn

  • Me: UNC
  • Gary P: UNC
  • Gary S: Auburn (actually called for them to win outright)

Duke -7.5 vs Virginia Tech

  • Me: Duke
  • Gary P: Duke
  • Gary S: Virginia Tech

Kentucky -3 vs Houston

  • Me: UK
  • Gary P: Houston
  • Gary S: UK

There you have it, picks from 3 different sports fans. Are we experts? Nope, but we do pretty well on a regular basis when gambling. These lines will more than likely move a little before each game tips off. They may also vary from one book to another. I got these from VegasInsider and used the Westgate Superbook lines. We have 4 great days of basketball ahead of us as the season winds down. Enjoy it, gamble wisely, and good luck.