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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ENOUGH ALREADY, JOHNNY MILLER!..



Summer is here, my friends, and with it comes some of the greatest events the sporting year has to offer. And for me, there's one event above all others that not only gets my fanatical juices flowing, but truly signals the start of Planet Earth's most glorious season...

The US Open...

Some sports fans will tell you that while they understand it's importance, and appreciate what's at stake, they just can't stomach watching it. The narrow fairways, the jungle like rough, the greens so fast they draw comparisons to pavement and ice. For some, it's the "greatest test", but for others, it's just a little too much of a challenge, and one that often forces the play to seem plodding and unimpressive...

Needless to say, I'm not one of those pundits, and count the US Open as one of my favorite sporting events of the year. That's not to say I don't have beef, mind you, it's just that my issues have nothing to do with what we see on TV, rather than it is with what we're forced to listen to...

That's right. As I'm hoping you were able to decipher from my oh so subtle post title, my beef is with the event's commentary, centering around the always over critical, Johnny Miller. And if the title didn't do it for ya, then I'm sure this image, the first result for a search of "Johnny Miller Sucks" on Google Images, should give you a good idea where my head's at...


I can't help but watch every tournament Johnny Miller works on and wonder, does this guy actually even enjoy golf?!? Because if he does, it certainly doesn't come across in what he says...

Event after event, for the last 20 years, the man who was once pegged as the "Heir to the Bear", has nothing but negative comments and outright criticism for the game's greatest players. Hit it close to the pin? Johnny will tell you that you have a tough putt ahead of you. Hole out from 50 yards? You undoubtedly got a lucky bounce or had an "incredibly fortunate" lie. And for those oh so rare times that Miller actually does let out a "WOW!"? You get the impression that he wasn't impressed so much as he was "surprised" that one of these inferior golfers was actually able to pull off something impressive. Matter of fact, he usually follows those "WOWs" with a question to the on course commentators like "That shouldn't have happened, should it Roger (Maltby)?" OR "Heh, he probably couldn't do that again if you gave him a whole bucket from that spot". And while I may be paraphrasing there, you know I'm right in his wheelhouse. He's just ridiculously negative. And his on course lackeys seemingly feeding his ego and constantly backing him up certainly isn't helping the broadcast either...

Now believe me, I'm well aware that I can be even more critical than the next guy, but Johnny's standards are just way too high. Hell, he's even got Joe Morgan pegged. At least Morgan admits the other guys on his Reds teams were good! Granted he doesn't give a ounce of credit to any player since the demise of the Big Red Machine, but that's about 20 more guys than Miller's ever given props to...

And I can't help but to think when listening him, that his absurdly high standards are a result of some bitterness that he has for what he deems his lack of success. Granted, this was a guy that racked up nearly 25 career wins and 2 Major Championships, but that resume is merely a fraction of what could have been had Miller actually lived up to his hype. It's like me telling you in 1999 that Tiger Woods was only going to end up with 4 Majors and 1 sexual partner. Sure it might look great when looked at from a distance...and out of context...but for those that would have watched it all unfold, there would have been a definite sense of disappointment. It's like if Bill Walton, he too of the underwhelming pro career, were an overanalyitcal D-bag that did nothing but shit on the modern player. That's what Miller is, he's an angry Bill Walton! Or to put it more succinctly, he's Bill Walton minus the tee pee and the bong rips...

Now I'll be the first to admit that maybe I have Johnny's view of his career incorrectly framed, but for the life of me I believe it's gotta be the cause of his negative attitude. Half because it would make a Hell of a lot of sense, but half because, if that's not the case, then I truly have no idea why that guy is so critical! Maybe I was right from jump street, maybe this guy really just doesn't like golf anymore. Whatever the reason for his perma-puss and constant criticizing, the guy is ruining some of the greatest moments in golf, and needs to be replaced. I'm not saying I know who would be a perfect fit, I just know he's gotta go, if not for the sanity of the average viewer, than just for the good of the game...

Miller time. Never has a beer reference been done such an injustice. And for the rest of us to start living the PGA "High Life", some one's gonna need to cold filter his ass right out of the booth...

BAM!

Now, it's onto the Sox...


Red Sox Update
Overall: 43-28, 1/2 game out in AL East

This Week: @ COL (6/22-6/24), @ SF (6/25-6/27)

Here. I'll let someone else say what I've been saying for the last few weeks. Ya know, so I don't risk sounding like an uber-critical D-bag? After all, I have spent the night in a tee pee before, and I do recall my Mom commenting on the abundance of "water pipes" in my old fraternity house. Here, this is from ESPN.com's MLB Power Rankings...

Scraping by with the likes of rookie call-ups Daniel Nava, Felix Doubront and Dustin Richardson, the Sox inexplicably find themselves just one game from the division lead. (Mike Silver, Fire Brand of the AL)

See? I'm not the only one who finds the Sox current success rather "inexplicable". That's not gonna stop me from enjoying it, though. And lemme tell you, I enjoyed the shit! out the game I went to over the weekend. Box seats in the 8th row (I took that photo!), perfect weather, Manny hits a dinger, and the Sox still win with a Pedroia walk off hit with two outs in the bottom of the 9th? Yea, you can go ahead and sign me up for that every time I step into the park...

And as for my Manny report, I did end up standing and giving Manny an ovation when he stepped to the plate, as did one other member of my 4 person group. Much like the rest of the patrons in attendance, our group was split right down the middle, with passionate reasons on both sides as to why they did what they did. A passion that runs so deep, mind you, that when I informed my good friend Neal that his brother Scottie had been one of the ones booing, Neal replied with a the simple text, "Tell Scottie he's out of the will"...

That's just great stuff, right there, isn't it? Personally, my decision was based simply on the fact that while I understand that Manny doesn't care (he never acknowledged the crowd all weekend) I still feel he was deserving of a warm welcome for all that he did. And in my mind, waaaay more deserving of a standing ovation than Nomar Garciaparra...

I mean, if I told you that as a Red Sox fan you could either have a guy that was gonna pout, fight 65 year olds, but KILL the Yankees and bring you two titles, or a guy that was going to have a squeaky clean image, but QUIT in a big game against the Yankees, who would you as a fan be more likely to want on your team? Lie to yourself for a minute if you have to, but you all know who you would choose. It's all about winning, baby, and while Manny may not be the best role model, he knew how to win and helped us end the curse. For that, I'll be forever grateful. No matter how many times he may have cut off throws in the outfield...

Manny's always gonna be Manny, and I'm always gonna be lovin' every second of it...


Now just a few more notes to round out this first official 2010 Summer edition of the Nation that you've all come to love...


Keeping you updated on the action at the Rio in Las Vegas, a familiar face has just hours ago added yet another World Series of Poker bracelet to his already hefty haul. You guessed it, it's none other than the "Tiger Woods of Poker", Mr. Phil Ivey. After last year's incredible run which saw him win 2 bracelets, millions in prop bets, and an appearance at the Main Event final table, Ivey's already added bracelet #8 here in 2010 with a win for $330K in Event #37, the $3K buy in HORSE event. Oh, and in case you're wondering if Ivey had any side bets running in this year's Series to see if he'd win a bracelet, you need look no further than the quote Ivey gave after outlasting a field of 477 top flight pros. "So how much is it for first place, anyway?" Yeah, I'd say he stands to collect slightly more than the $330K he's got comin' from the Rio. Just a hunch...

OH and Tom "durrrr" Dwan, he too of the high stakes cash games and even higher stakes bracelet bets, has yet to even come close to duplicating his 2nd place finish earlier in the Series. And though rumors of Dwan having already won so much this year that he's "freerolling" in his bid for $12 million in his own bracelet side bets, I bet Ivey's 8th might change things a little, with Dwan no doubt having to pony up for his close competitors latest triumph...

Like I've been saying all Series, the increased popularity in cash game poker over tournament poker almost makes these side bets necessary to keep fans like me involved, and with a 2nd from durrr and a bracelet from Ivey, you have to think the 2nd half of the Series is only going to provide even more fireworks...

Phil Ivey, man. A living legend, and someone to whom the phrase "It's your world, we're just all payin' rent", might actually apply. And more importantly, a Phil we can all get behind without the fear he'll show up in a tight, nip protruding t-shirt...

And finally, I couldn't help but bring this up after hearing it twice on the radio in the last 36 hours...


ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic are now pumping the weight loss and fitness program, P90X, on their radio show. Really, Greeny and Golic? Really, P90X?!...

I mean forget the fact that Greenberg's about as fit to hock a fitness brand as I am to sell a line of Jheri Curl products, and focus moreso on the question, what the Hell is Golic, doin'? In the ad, he says something like "90 days ago I looked like a fat ex athlete..." AND "I went down from a 42 to a 38!" Now, is it me, or didn't he do a huge ad campaign for NutriSystem or Weight Watchers a year or so back? What do you think their take is on all this? Now for all I know P90X and whatever other product Golic was sellin' are owned by the same company, but I still don't think that makes the ads any less ridiculous. Like, what was that meeting like before they decided to go with those two. "Ummm, I say we get a skinny Jewish dude whose a proud metrosexual and a fat guy whose famously already tried and failed with another weight loss product. Yeah, that should reach the audience we're looking to target"...

Right. Real brain trust they got over there at P90X. I can only imagine their next ad campaign is gonna feature Oprah Winfrey and Phil Mickelson...


And there you have it, kids! I've fired my first shot of Summer across the bow, and now the onus is on you to keep this party goin'. I'll be doing my part this weekend when I travel to the Tri State area to visit my peeps and partake in the engagement party of my good friend, and fellow baseball enthusiast, Jared Hutter. I'll be eating well, drinking well, and basking in the glorious New Jersey sun, and my hope is that you're weekend is equally as fruitful...

Keep it real, pimps, and I'll catch you upon my return...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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