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Hope Solo, For The Win

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Hope Solo is a badass. I love her.

If you read her life story as told to ESPNW, you would swear it’s a Lifetime movie of the week.

Born on a conjugal visit from a criminal dad who was leading two lives. To an alcoholic mother who had her bounce around from house to house, with man to man living with her. She was sometimes homeless. Her brother would beat the crap out of her.

Her story, is nothing short of amazing.

But yeah, she’s made some mistakes. Three of them, by my count.

1. She ripped coach Greg Ryan’s “gut decision” to bench Solo for a “one more ounce of ’99 glory Brianna Scurry” against Brazil in 2007. 4-Nil later, Brazil, and Solo was right, but she said it the wrong way. She was shunned by her team. But eventually, made amends.

2. She got into a drunken family fight with her half-sister and nephew. You wanna sort it out? Go ahead. Good luck. We know this much. The nephew who claimed he was the “victim” ended up with a torn t-shirt, a bleeding earlobe, and scratch marks. He’s 6-8, 270. Solo is 5-9, 150. So yeah, horrific “domestic violence” and all of that. The case was dismissed.

3. She let her drunken miscreant husband Jeramy Stevens drive the USA soccer van while under the influence. She was suspended 30 days by USA soccer for that.

And yet, the team, the coaches, and USA soccer welcomed her back.

End. Of. Story.

Yet the wailing and the grandstanding by certain elements in the righteous media was as hysterical as ever. It’s almost like they are incapable of saying: “Well…. she’s paid a price. The legal system has run its course. The team wants her. WHO AM I TO JUDGE OTHERWISE?”

Nah.

The righteous have little humility. They want a one-size-fits-all, Roger Goodell-ian death penalty, presumably to make themselves feel better. Keith Olbermann was predictably one of these voices. A guy who has a daily segment declaring somebody, anybody, the “Worst Person in the World.” Talk about insecure, smarmy, and condescending all wrapped up into one segment!

Another predictable voice was from C- writer Christine Brennan, who can hit exactly three notes on her sorry saxophone of a column in USA Today: a) Women’s Sports b) Domestic Violence and c) Some combination of A+B.

Get a load of this tripe she spilled as the World Cup began….

Because the sport’s leaders did nothing at the time, they should do it now. They won’t, of course, because Solo is just too valuable to the team when it matters most, in the vitally important games being played in the highest profile and most prestigious tournament in the world.

What a statement that is: The renowned U.S. women’s national soccer team, which has historically stood for what is best in sports, and the best of us, is now protecting — even promoting — an alleged domestic abuser.

Hey, did it ever occur to you, that HOPE SOLO MIGHT BE INNOCENT!?

Does it occur to some people in the righteous media that not every sport wants to wander down the NFL’s self-dug rabbit hole of making certain low-level crimes a moral crusade, while ignoring others? Hack politicians like Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, wrote a letter demanding USA soccer conduct a “thorough investigation into this incident.”

Oh, really? Like more thorough than what the judicial system has already done? Do you have subpoena power? Is there going to be cross examination of witnesses? What are your standards of evidence?

Utter nonsense.

I’m happy for Hope Solo, and happy for the team. The righteous sports media will have to move on and find somebody new to make into the monster-du-jour.

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Bloody Horns Open #5 – Let’s Get It On!

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It wouldn’t be a “Bob and Brian Weekend” for me in Southeast Wisconsin, without the 5th Annual “Running of the Bulls” at the incomparable Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls.

Owner/operator Dave Bachmann Jr. has cleared the decks for this year’s event, and I hope everybody who loves golf, and doesn’t mind getting their assess handed to them every once in a while by this infuriating game, finds a partner and jumps in with both feet.

There are some changes to this year’s event, but let’s start with the basics.

WHAT: A 2-man scramble, 18 holes, stroke play. Winning team gets 2 nights lodging and 2 rounds of golf at CzabeVegas next March. (Airfare, gambling, cocaine, and hookers… not included. Sorry.)
WHERE: The Bull at Pinehurst Farms. One Long Drive, Sheboygan, WI
WHEN: Saturday, July 25th, 2015 – 2 p.m. shotgun
WHO: Anyone who likes to play golf. No handicap required.
WHY: To see just how insanely hard a championship Jack Nicklaus designed course stretching 7,354 yards can be, with every pin tucked behind every bunker and hazard.
COST: $145 per player, $290 per team of two. (See that fancy math, kids!)
FIELD: First 50 teams of two (100 players, max) to sign up, and the field closes.

>>>>>>>>>>>> BUY BLOODY HORNS OPEN HERE! <<<<<<<<<<<<

slider_checkFAQ’s

Q: How do I sign up?
A: Make your payment via PayPal using the payment button below. No other forms of payment accepted. NOTE: Please mark “payment is a GIFT” to avoid service fees. Thank you!

Q: How come it’s not on Sunday anymore?
A: I found it was very RUDE of me, your host, to be blasting out to the airport on Sunday afternoon, and not hanging around enjoying the lovely summer evening with you chaps. This way, I’ve got nowhere to be, and we can play “Chip-For-Dollars” as the sun goes down over cocktails.

slider_czabe_gitterQ: Will you be playing in the event yourself?
A: Starting this year, no, actually. I want to zip around in my organizer golf cart, make fun of your swings, say hey, take pictures. challenge you to a closest to the pin contest on a par-3, and just generally be available. Besides, my partner Gitter, fired me for poor play.

Q: Do the winners of this event REALLY come out to Vegas and claim their prize?
A: Hell yes, are you kidding! In addition to the March Madness fun of that weekend, the golf comes at a perfect time during the long Midwest/East Coast winter, and we have a great group of avid golfers that find a way to shake off the hangover and rise and rally!

slider_czabe_proQ: Do I get anything else for my entry fee?
A: Of course! You know Czabe, I’m the king of custom logo’d shit! It varies by year, but count on a cooler bag with drinks on ice, a collectible logo golf ball, and a quality hat.

Q: I’m the kind of guy that finishes second. Is there only one prize, for 1st place only?
A: No, we have a softer heart than Ricky Bobby, who would punch you in the face for even thinking that way. While technically, 2nd place still is “First Loser”, at the Bloody Horns, we reward the top 6 places with the custom “tourney used” pin flags with Bloody Horns logo. I’ll even sign ’em if you want, or leave ’em blank if you secretly hate me. Perfect for framing…. Mr. First Loser!

partners_workingQ: Is this golf tournament one where people get plowed and start cheating like crazy?
A: NO! This IS a competitive event, and we play by the rules of golf (with special application of typical scramble rules, adapted for a 2-man format). Now, if you suck and just want to shoot a zillion with your buddy, say hey to me, and get shit-faced… well have at it! But for those who are “in-it-to-win-it” then yes, we play by the rules. ALL OF THEM!

Q: If I have some buddies I want to be paired with, can you accommodate that request?
A: Yes, and no. If you really don’t think you’ll be in the running to win, then by all means, I can make that happen. But if you think you have a chance to finish anywhere top-6 then I would recommend you let me pair you randomly. The last thing you want, is to shoot a great round, and then have other people accuse you of cheating because they know that you were paired with 2 other guys who were your best buddies.

Q: Will there be food included, after the round?
A: My god, yes, man! We’re not savages… you know.

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The Animated Bill Simmons-ESPN Revenge Fantasy

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This is, simply… brilliant.

And while I do not per se endorse the notion that Simmons was in any way “wronged” by ESPN for them choosing to no longer pay him insane “ballplayer money” ($5M per year, it was reported) and go a different direction, I do thoroughly enjoy the dead-on critiques of the other personalities who appear.

The fact they were able to pull actual audio, and deftly edit it the way they did…. fantastic.

Great work, CleoDog Productions!

Now, can you do one entirely about Goodell? Please! PRETTY PLEASE!

Mike Davis Enters “Baghdad Bob” Territory in Defense of Chambers Bay

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So I guess a simple apology was out of the question.

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis had a chance to win over some critics on Monday, by simply owning up to the fact that Chamber Pot’s greens were simply, and unequivocally “un-acceptable” for the national championship.

He did not.

Instead, he basically called you and me and every golf fan with eyes stupid, and the players who had to make putts on those poa/fescue/dirt mutant surfaces babies, or liars. Your choice.

He spoke to Paul Ramsdell of the Seattle Times, and came up at least 3 clubs short of an “I’m sorry…”

“In some ways, they weren’t as good as we would have hoped,” Davis said of the greens, “but some people would make it out that they’re putting on broccoli. I completely disagree with that assessment. That’s an unfair assessment to say they were that bad because we have had bad greens before that were bumpier than these; we just have.”

During the final round, Davis walks with the last groups, acting as a rules official.

“I was right there. I was watching like a hawk. You just didn’t see much bounce to (the greens), you really didn’t,” Davis said.

The players disagreed, repeatedly voicing their displeasure to the media.

“Having done a lot of these things (conducting Opens), I look at it and say, ‘Yes, we had bumpy greens,’ ” he said. “But at the end of it, we’ve had bumpy greens many, many, many times at the U.S. Open. We’ve played this event 115 times, and the vast majority of them have been on poa annua greens. Later in the day, there’s a bounce to them. If you have ever looked at that famous putt Tiger Woods made at Torrey Pines on the 72nd hole, that ball was in the air 30 times.”

No, Mike. It wasn’t. The first thing you notice about Tiger’s putt, is that the putting surfaces were…

a. Smooth
b. Acceptably uniform
c. Not brown

GIF_tiger_puttOf course ANY putt of a decent length when filmed in super-slow-mo is going to show hops and wobbles. You’ll notice Tiger’s ball rolls true, with no yaw or wiggle. Besides, if the Torrey Pines greens were as bumpy as Chambers Bay, believe me, you would have heard about it!

But hey, why argue with a guy who says with a straight face that he “watched like a hawk?” A golf nerd-o-crat who won’t take ownership of a massive mistake (both venue and surfaces) thinks the best players in the world were somehow not up to his hawk-like vision while actually TRYING to make putts.

What a dick.

And one last thing: stop walking with the final groups, Mike. It’s embarrassing. You don’t see Adam Silver sitting courtside at every game of the NBA Finals. You don’t see Roger Goodell roaming the sidelines at the Super Bowl. Assign a rules official you think has earned it, and just melt away.

I mean, who WOULDN’T want to be a headcover-sniffing, inside-the-ropes freeloader to the best golfers on the planet on the biggest stage? It doesn’t mean you should. Act like an executive, not a fanboy. Or better yet, stand in line for 2 hours to get a seat in those wonderful grandstands, then wait for 6 hours until the marquee groups finally pass within binocular shot of your sore ass on aluminum.

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The USGA Introduces The Admiral Stockdale of Venues

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As the would be Vice President once famously said: “Who am I, and why I am here.”

What IS Chambers Bay, and WHY does the USGA think it is a worthy venue for the national championship?

Let’s accept most of Mike Davis’ reasons at face value, and then dig a bit deeper to things the USGA will NOT utter out loud.

1. They need the money. Despite the huge new TV contract from Fox, the USGA like any organization craves additional revenue, and for Far Hills, this event is their cash cow. All other USGA events either lose money, or at best break even. And there’s only so many USGA member “Bag Tag and Rule Book” packages you can sell. So the USGA has aggressively whored out the open to venues that have the biggest footprint (mo’ corporate tents, bigger merch tent) and are willing to charge the USGA the least amount of rent to use the course. Chambers Bay is perfect for both.

2. They need to open up more West Coast venues. Nothing is sweeter music to TV and the USGA than “prime time golf” (Note: I love it too!) but there’s just a few spots out west that can pull this off. Torrey, Olympic, and Pebble are pretty much it. The best course in LA, Riviera, is tucked so tightly into the West Hollywood hills, you could almost drive right past it. So if Chambers Bay “works” then they have opened a new West Coast rota venue. We’ll see.

3. It makes the USGA look eco-friendly. What plays better to the liberal/environmental crowd than a project that cleans up an abandoned industrial site, turns it into “open space” (with BIKE TRAILS! WHOOPIE!) while using TAX DOLLARS to do it? Golf has had an easy target on it’s back for a while, as a land/water waster for the 1%. It’s not fair, but it is reality.

4. It entices other municipalities to perhaps embark on their own “built it, and they will come” projects. And as a bonus, it puts pressure on the existing rota of “blue blood” country clubs to be less demanding on rental fees and other issues when they make open bids. In other words, another “two-fer.”

So I get where the USGA is coming from. Lets hope for Mike Davis’ sake, it doesn’t turn out to be a disaster. If the course looks like utter shit on TV (it will) and the best players in the world get embarrassed by slapping it all over fescue that plays like concrete, then I can’t imagine it would inspire the average Johnny Three-Putt to want to book his trip to University Place, plunk down his $300 (plus tax, plus caddy, plus who-knows-how-much-they’ll-jack-the-rate-post-open) to shoot 120 and sprain an ankle walking 8 miles in 5 1/2 hours?

And what if the ongoing problems with keeping the fescue healthy – problems that led to Chambers Bay having TEMPORARY GREENS for months and months at a time – persist once the Open has left? What if full-time, wall-to-wall fescue just doesn’t work there?

You could have such a limited number of annual rounds, combined with mounting maintenance costs, produce a string of annual budget deficits as far as the eye can see. And if the Open this week is an embarrassing loser, then the USGA deciding NOT to go back there would have a tangible and damaging vote of no-confidence in the entire concept. Like a bad Yelp! review, only on steroids.

In other words, this “muni” that somehow snatched an Open, could be like the Tropicana Field of the golf world.

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The POLL

the QUOTE

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”

– St. Augustine

the GIF

Hey man, not cool!