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Hockey This Bad Doesn’t Deserve Production Values This Good

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Not only do video highlights of your old-ass D League rec hockey game look like they are in SLOWWWWW MOOOTTTION…. but when you put the ESPN NHL Playoffs theme to them, they look even LAMER!

That said, very proud of this crazy team of ol’ men and hopeless dreamers who took me on board this year. The Mighty Old Ducks might not always score pretty, but we are sneaky-scrappy.

Tonite, we’ve got the D-League “Game 6″ against the Shamrocks, leading “3-2.” Sorta. It’s not a Best-of-7, but rather a double-elimination format. So if we lose tonite, we have one last shot to beat our nemesis who has owned us this year, or fall agonizingly short of the title.

Wish us luck! 9:20 face off in Rockville tonite. Good seats, still available.

Britt McHendry Hits The Bench

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Nobody feels sorry for a skinny little blonde TV bitch. I get it.

And I don’t really feel SORRY for her per se – she was wrong – on three fronts: 1. She was parked illegally 2. She forgot to act like a human being, to another human being. And 3. She works for ESPN. Know your company’s hair-trigger sensitivity to any bad PR from their talent, and learn how they virtually never stand by them in a pinch.

That said, I have real disgust for this new era of “Gotcha America” we are living in. You can say that everyone now has to assume every email is read, every text will be screen capped, every tweet will be archived, and every move you make will be captured on video.

It’s how we react to things when they do get caught on video that bothers me.

Did this story really deserve to be amongst the lead items on THE TODAY SHOW? I mean, really. This is a worthy use of time on the most watched national network morning news show?

brit_towladyWhile I understand the towing company has angry exchanges like this on every day that ends in a “y” and that they have the right to videotape towing victims to help backstop their own issues of liability and complaints on customer service – I’m not so sure they should have the right to push any such incident out into the public.

Did McHendry consent to the release of her exchange – while snotty, but hardly violent or threatening – to the public for widespread consumption? Is there no liability on the towing company if they inflict genuine economic harm on her career and livelyhood if it can be shown they had an intent to publicly embarass?

One report said the woman behind the booth had been actively “shopping” the video to media for 10 days, and carried on about it on Facebook as well. What kind of bitch does that!?

I’m sure they would claim the video was “leaked” by somebody, and that their policy is to never release such exchanges. But the damage is done.

And while the easy response is “well, it’s her fault for being such a raging bitch” that argument misses the point. While the public shaming of McHendry, with a 1-week suspension from ESPN, and a hard to calculate impact on her future career in television may seem like appropriate “punishment” for being such a petulant twat, there are easily imagined circumstances that pose bigger privacy dilemmas.

What if McHendry hadn’t leveraged her superior fitness and smile on this tow truck Helga, but instead was seen on video stumbling into the tow yard, and violently vomiting all over herself after a night of drinking? Or maybe her boyfriend was a member of a sports team she covers, and she’s seen on tape fondling and groping him while they wait for her car to pulled up?

Are those scenarios “newsworthy enough” to crank up the firehose of modern digital shame, and just shrug off the consequences by saying “well, she SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN DOING (insert thing here) THAT!”

What “other” professionals should be deemed “shameworthy” in the public pillory the next time they call somebody a “toothless, inbred, asswipe” while on surveillance video? CEO’s? Politicians? Airline pilots? Doctors?

Eh, in the end, I don’t care. I’ll say she’s “cute” (I can’t say hot, because there’s something odd about that upper lip) and modestly decent at saying things on television. Given the choice of me watching her do a stand-up report from Redskins camp over say Sal Palantonio, I’ll take her.

Of course the Redskins won’t like that. She already made a splash last year on the RG3 locker-room kerfuffle. I can confirm with multiple sources who were there at the time, her actual REPORTING of the events were SPOT ON. But the unwritten reporter “etiquette” of how it played out, certainly went against her favor.

David Chase Breaks Down the Final Scene of “The Sopranos”

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And I find it awesome, just to hear how a director thinks about his craft. To me, the ending was a giant “huh… WTF” when I first saw it. Then it softened into a more nuanced “well, they had to end it somehow” stance. But I’m starting to come around to feeling that it’s actually downright brilliant and near perfect.

Of course, Chase won’t say for certain, whether Tony “got it” or not. And I wouldn’t want him to.

“I thought the possibility would go through a lot of people’s minds or maybe everybody’s mind that he was killed. He might have gotten shot three years ago in that situation. But he didn’t. Whether this is the end here, or not, it’s going to come at some point for the rest of us. Hopefully we’re not going to get shot by some rival gang mob or anything like that. I’m not saying that [happened]. But obviously he stood more of a chance of getting shot by a rival gang mob than you or I do because he put himself in that situation. All I know is the end is coming for all of us.”

Sopranos fans should read the whole breakdown and bolster their own opinions, or perhaps give the ending a second thought. You can watch the final scene here.

“The Handsome Hogan”

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Golfing phenoms who burst on the scene are like snowstorms: everybody wants to know just how much we’re in for, the moment the first flakes start falling.

And like forecasts of greatness, we’re often let down when the predicted “Blizzard of the Century” turns into a dusting.

I don’t yet have a good idea on how high the major championships will pile up for Jordan Spieth. But I know this much: he’ll be an easy guy to root for anytime he’s on my TV.

While Spieth made his wire-to-wire act look relatively easy this past week at Augusta, count me among the golf fans who was a nervous wreck come Sunday morning. While not invested in the outcome tangibly, I simply had no stomach to see this game dish out another cruel blow to such a likable kid.

Thankfully, Spieth took the ghosts of last year’s final round stumble, and whipped them 7&6 without so much as a wobble.

This kid’s got some serious sand. You don’t need me to tell you that. The best line of the week came from Crenshaw when he said meeting Spieth was “like looking at Wyatt Earp.”

Appropriate, since Wyatt Earp’s brothers Virgil and Marshall were ambushed and assassinated by outlaw cowboys a few months after the shootout at the O.K. Corral.  Unfazed, Wyatt set out with a federal posse to bring cold lead justice to the outlaws who did it, and they cut down the three men thought to be responsible – all without a scratch on Wyatt himself, only adding to Earp’s legend.

Jordan Spieth as golf’s Wyatt Earp? Oh hell yeah, Gentle Ben, you got that one right!

The measurables on Spieth are not much to gawk at. He’s the size of your average non-descript tour pro with a 33 inch waist and a white belt. He moves it nice off the tee, but not enough to lose your gum in mid-chew.

spieth_flopshot

But then again, there’s no tape measure for what he did Saturday evening, when his world was spinning fast. A knife’s-edge flop shot, from a downhill patch of tightly cropped organic astro-turf, with 3,000 hushed patrons sitting church-pew still less than 8 feet away from him?

Good grief, that shot is a sloppy fringe-putt some 35 feet away to mere mortals.

At just 21, the temptation is to assume he’ll only get better. I’ll resist that temptation. Let’s let him at least get to two majors first. Deal? The list of current “great” players who are stuck at “One” is already long enough.

All those other up and comers? Adam Scott. Graeme McDowell. Louis Oosthuizen. Charl Schwartzel. Keegan Bradley. Justin Rose.

One, one, one.

The greats of the previous generation? Fred Couples. Davis Love III. David Duval. Tom Kite. Jim Furyk.

One, one, one.

Only 15 men since 1953 have won 5 Majors in a lifetime. I like that number. Five. I think it’s a reasonable total throw up there as a forecast right now.

Spieth’s ability to putt the eyes out of a grasshopper is going to play well at any major championship venue going forward that uses a 4 1/2 inch hole as the target.

He’s only got about 20 good years left before he starts to taper off. So as long as he can have a week like that once every 5 years, this modern “Handsome Hogan” will go down as one of the all-time greats.

And if it does, I’m gonna enjoy the hell out of watching it.

spieth_flop2 2015 Masters 2015 Masters

The Scruffy And Sometimes Hard to Distinquish Holes of the Original Augusta National

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I’ve seen old photos of Augusta now for as long as I’ve been watching the Masters, but I’ve never seen a nice tight complete SET of all 18 holes, as it is presented here by the kind genteelmen at Masters.com.

The pictures are amazing, in many ways. The tiny sapling pines, that are now majestic towers that sway in the wind. The oddball shapes of some greens. The fact that entire green complexes have been moved 20 or 30 yards (10 and 16). Or just how wild and unhewn the holes were back then.

(I doubt they wasted any blue dye for the muddy ponds and Rae’s Creek either!)

The big takeaway however, is that any golf course architecture snob who wails and moans when a classic golf course is changed or tweaked, is hopelessly lost in nostalgia and their own sense of “expert-dom.”

There was no designer more revered than the great Scot Alister MacKenzie, and yet his original vision for Augusta is now barely recognizable. So when the Old Course at St. Andrews has a bunker lowered 3 feet, and people start losing their collective shit about it, you just have to laugh.

The Old Course is FIVE HUNDRED YEARS OLD, and once had 22 holes! The back nine fairway routing was reversed a long time ago, leaving every score crushing fairway bunker invisible to the player on the tee. And the snobs get their plus-fours in a knot because of small changes in 2014?

Give me a break. Golf courses evolve. As does agronomy, maintenance equipment, players, and the ball itself.

So too has Augusta. Enjoy the slideshow. Marvel at how lovely the place has become.

The POLL

the QUOTE

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

- Audrey Hepburn

the GIF

Whoa… club slammer! That was a CLOSE call. Easy, fella!