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PGA Tour: Forget Tiger Woods, these young guns have all the talent

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—Thursday afternoon in Hawaii there is a young man by the name of Justin Thomas 23-years old, Kentucky-bred, who is absolutely obliterating the course at Waialae Country Club on the island of Oahu.

Most have never heard of Thomas. For the most part he’s what you would expect from a guy who grew up in Louisville, KY and then played collegiately at Alabama where the golf team won back-to-back national championships. That is to say a little goofy off the course.

When I had a chance to see him play this summer at the BMW Championship, I wondered who was this kid with the mustache. And of course a few weeks later I realized the mustache was all part of the new Fratpack that has dominated the PGA Tour the last couple of years but no one quite knows what to make of it.

 

 

Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth have gotten enough attention, some might argue Spieth’s was the natural result begging for a young American to fill the spotlight left behind by an injured Tiger Woods. Johnson on the other hand, is dominant and helps that he is married to the daughter of perhaps one of the most famous athletes in human history Wayne Gretzky. But here’s Thomas a kid from Kentucky and I’m not so sure people are giving him his due.

Thursday he shot 59. That means drives, approaches, chips, putts they all totaled 59 across 18 holes while his nearest contemporary shot 64 this Thursday at the Sony Open.

Well here it is Friday night and Thomas just set the PGA Tour record for lowest score in an opening 36 with a 123 combined over rounds one and two at this week’s Sony Open. Thomas is now at 17-under after shooting 64 for his second round. He holds a five-shot lead over Gary Woodard.

The fact of the matter is Thomas is on fire. Last week he won the SBS Tournament of Champions in Maui.

Thomas is second in the FedEx Cup standings, the PGA Tour’s season-long points ranking, only rivaling another peer Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama who is 24-years of age.

One can look across both the PGA Tour rankings and the World Golf Rankings and see a plethora of young names.

Players who make a 27-year old Rory McIlroy look like an elder statesmen.

Jordan Spieth is 23 years of age.

Johnson is a bit over and has paid his dues so to speak at 32 years and dominant, having won his first major at the U.S. Open last year.

Patrick Reed who is ranked eighth in the world is 23.

Golf has not changed, its players have gotten more skilled. There is never going to be someone just exactly like Tiger Woods but there are enough dominant players in the game, that is not an issue.

Are they TV ready like Tiger, that is another subject. But there is no talent shortage in golf. Much like the period when Michael Jordan left the NBA, everyone is waiting for the next big thing. Well, a lot of next big things came along. Their names are Spieth, Johnson, Fowler, Rose, Thomas McIlroy and Day-to name a few.

 

 

Today’s Sports Pages: Chargers make it official, Troy Aikman responds and Jim Harbaugh is a dad (again)

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The Chargers made what many knew was a foregone conclusion, they are moving to Los Angeles to begin play in 2017 at a 30,000 seat football soccer stadium. San Diego Union-Tribune

Editor’s Note: The team even changed its Twitter handle to the Los Angeles Chargers this morning.

The Chargers’ Decision to Move to L.A. Is a Monument to Cynicism. Greed has won out in the NFL once again The Ringer 

Readers weigh in on what ails the NHL. Boston Globe 

Dirty Harry? Collector says Kris Bryant’s Game 7 cleats carried Harry Caray’s image Chicago Tribune

The Trailblazers beat the Cavs last night Oregon Live

Iowa State kicker fires back at Twitter haters with funny video Kansas City Star

Klay Thompson continues to lead the league in catching feelings Sporting News 

Troy Aikman responds to Packers fans’ petition to ban him and Joe Buck from calling Green Bay games Dallas Morning News 

Johnny Manziel will charge $50 per selfie Super Bowl week Houston Chronicle 

Jim Harbaugh is the father for the seventh time…yes seven times. Detroit Free Press.

Samantha Smith reflects on the dark impossible years since her husband’s death Indianapolis Star

Grayson Allen has brought this all on himself, and so has Duke USA TODAY 

Knicks hit with bad karma by playing Derrick Rose against 76ers instead of disciplining him New York Daily News 

Terps’ talented freshman keep answering the bell Baltimore Sun 

Jim Furyk has been named the 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Golf.com 

Editor’s note: And he may play.

A collection of the top stories from the Nation’s newspapers and websites. Have a submission? Send to editor@digitalsportsdaily.com. 

 

Today’s Sports Pages: College Football Hall of Fame, Brain Injuries, New College Hoops No. 1

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Associated Press: Peyton Manning, Steve Spurrier among names which will be inducted into the 2017 Class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Kirk Gibson, yes of Detroit Tigers and 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers fame is also on the list, for his time as Michigan State wide receiver.

Nancy Armour, USA TODAY: Rodgers, Packers serve playoff notice to rest of NFL

Associated Press: Rory Mcllroy, honest to a fault, states Olympic golf is not worth the hassle.

ESPN: Baylor is the new No. 1 in College Basketball with a perfect 15-0 record.

Marc Stein of ESPN: Anthony Bennett, former No. 1 pick, has been waived by the Brooklyn Nets.

New York Times: Sam Borden, Mika Grondahl and Joe Ward have an interactive visual showing what happened to the brain of a Stanford University football player when he was leveled by a helmet-to-helmet hit.

NBC Sports: Murray Chass of NY Times fame turned in a blank Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

*You can read Chass’ comments on the HoF ballot at http://www.murraychass.com/?p=10495

Sports Business Daily: NFL Wildcard Weekend TV ratings down slightly from ’16.

 

Grayson Allen perpetuates the Duke stereotype one “knee” “jerk” reaction at a time

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Duke guard Grayson Allen is not doing himself any favors. Perhaps playing basketball at the next level isn’t in the works, or simply this won’t have an impact. Perhaps there are no immediate consequences for Allen.

Wednesday night against Elon, Allen clearly tripped an opposing player, clearly as a reaction, clearly out of frustration.

It’s not the first incident from Allen of the tripping nature. Back in February of last season, Allen was “reprimanded” by the ACC for tripping a Florida State player. That was this second tripping incident of his career, this marks his third.

Some are calling for Allen to be suspended by Duke or the ACC. Coach K for his part did not say whether Allen would be suspended but said that his actions are “inexcusable”. 

In actuality, Grayson is totally not the stereotype he is perpetuating.

 

 

But the perception is there .

 

Help Wanted: Green Bay, Wisconsin

in NFL/Pigskin by

Help wanted. Snow Shovelers. Please show up at Lambeau Field 1265 Lombardi Ave, Green Bay, WI 54304 Pay $10 per hour. Must be 18 years or older.

No Joke.

The Green Bay Packers, America’s only fan-owned sports team, needs help shoveling snow.

The team announced Wednesday that they will pay persons 18 years or older $10 per hour to shovel snow for the team.

According to the Sheboygan Press,  the team needs about 650 people Thursday to shovel snow in prep for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.

The team says shovels will be provided by the team.

How about a drive to beautiful Green Bay?

 

 

 

Does this look like a man who wants a headache?

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Jon Gruden, former Super Bowl winning head football coach and perhaps the best or most widely known, color analyst in all of big-time sports broadcasting has once again declined interest in an NFL or college football coaching job. This is about the 60th time in the last five years.

According to multiple reports Gruden had interest in the Los Angeles Rams head coaching vacancy.

It seemed like a match made in heaven. Gruden in Los Angeles, man.

It’s beautiful click-bait. It’s a wonderful December story. It heats up the interwebs, but never, ever, has substance.

Jon Gruden said on ESPN radio’s Mike and Mike Tuesday he has no intention of coaching right now.

I love football, I’ve said that a million times, and I just want to say that I’m very happy doing what I’m doing,” Gruden said via Yahoo Sports.

“There’s a lot of chips on the table but right now I have no intentions of coaching. I really enjoy what I’m doing. I feel like I’m close to the fire. I’m getting plenty of satisfaction out of doing what I’m doing.”

What Gruden is telling us is that coaching the Los Angeles Rams is not better than broadcasting Monday Night Football with unfettered access to any NFL team and no loyalties to play or work for except for the boys in Bristol, CT who are quite thrilled with anything Gruden.

No Jon Gruden is not leaving Monday Night Football to coach your 4-10 football team.

Jon Gruden addresses rumors of him being a coaching candidate in the NFL.

A video posted by Mike and Mike (@espnmikeandmike) on

Today’s Sports Pages: Jon Gruden, Rashaan Salaam, Cubs National Anthem Singer

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A collection of the top stories from the Nation’s newspapers. Have a submission? Send to editor@digitalsportsdaily.com. Click the newspaper title to read the full story. 

 

Los Angeles Times: Jon Gruden states he’s not interested in the Los Angeles Rams jobs, per Chuck Shilken. “Right now I have no intentions of coaching,” Gruden said on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike.” I really enjoy what I’m doing, and I feel like I’m really close to the fire and I’m getting plenty of satisfaction out of doing what I’m doing.”

Chicago Tribune:  Remember the National Anthem singer for the Cubs during the World Series? Turns out a bullet nearly killed him 22-years ago. Wayne Messmer tells his story to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. “Without walking a mile in Messmer’s shoes, as they say, it seems easy to understand why this was not your ordinary fashion statement. The near-death experience more than two decades ago still frames every day for Messmer, 66, best known for the baritone voice that made Anthem Singer a brand in Chicago. Around 1:50 a.m. after a Blackhawks victory that April night, Messmer walked the block-and-a-half to his car after leaving Hawkeye’s Bar and Grill on 1458 W. Taylor St. When Messmer attempted to drive away, two men approached the vehicle and one, a 15-year-old, shot him in the neck from point-blank range with a 9 mm pistol.”

Washington Post: A pro poker player by the name of Phil Ivey, self-dubbed the Tiger Woods of Poker is ordered to repay $9.6 million to a casino.

New York Times Rashaan Salaam, the 1994 trophy winner, was found dead this month. Now, many wonder if brain damage and the pressure of living up to Heisman hopes contributed to his end.

New York Daily News: Andrew McCutchen to the Mets does not have a lot of traction.

National

Yahoo Sports: Micheal Lee of The Vertical writes the Clippers still aren’t ready for the Warriors.

CBS Sports: Micheal Floyd could face jail time for “super-extreme” DUI.

USA TODAY: Dan Wolken writes Alabama has good reason to fear Washington.

College Football we have a problem: The Bowl game conundrum

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Thankfully, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery saved the day and gave the college football diehards something to talk about in the lulls of December.

The LSU running back and the Standford running back will miss their respective bowl games so as to “prepare” for the NFL draft.

There are two sides to the story (maybe 3 such as individual personal factors or the unknown such as Fournette or McCaffery’s personal circumstances, things happening at the school, inside the locker room and stuff like that).

A) Fournette and McCaffery are their own brand, product and now enter adulthood attempting to financially benefits themselves as best as possible.

B) Both Fournette and McCaffery made a commitment and received free room and board to their respective programs, and to participate in their respective team’s games if at all possible and healthy.

Both sides of the story are both right. Fournette and McCaffery should not be criticized simply to preserve their draftability and personal health prior to their first NFL season and professional career.

On the flipside one can think is there a lack of commitment to the football team or school from both of these guys?

Who is making the decision to sit the game out, an agent, a family member, the head coach? Or are these guys making the call themselves.

So no big deal. Well not quite.

As Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports points out, this is only just the beginning.

The Bowl system may be destroyed by the actions of and decisions of two.

Wetzel writes “It’s just there is also nothing wrong with the other way, the way Christian McCaffrey just uniquely busted open for plenty of future stars to follow.”

The worst nightmare for AD’s and Bowl organizers is if post-season games are treated like exhibitions where star players are held out for health. A) No one would watch these games, by-in-large, save for diehards B) certainly travel and ticket sales for such bowl games would be decimated.

A) No one would watch these games, by-in-large, save for diehards B) certainly travel and ticket sales for such bowl games would be decimated.

How do you enforce it?

How can you force a sure-fire NFL draft pick to play?

You can’t.

You can’t penalize it.

You can only adapt.

One possibility might be the ushering out of Bowl games for the Power 5 conferences where most of the top draft picks reside, and a move to a more broad playoff system, which could include 6, 8, 16 teams.

Daily Buzz: College Basketball weekend picks, Darius Miles, Craig Sager

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This weekend looks to be one of the first big, big weekends, in college basketball. We’ve had a few nice games so far this season but this weekend is packing a punch.

Here are a few games to keep an eye on if you are a hoop crazed college basketball fan:

Most notably North Carolina vs Kentucky at a neutral site in Las Vegas, NV. A test for both teams and measuring stick and impact on the seeding of the NCAA tournament.

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No. 21 Notre Dame vs No. 15 Purdue

Ohio Stave vs No. 2 UCLA

No. 18 Butler vs No. 9 Indiana

No. 7 North Carolina vs No. 6 Kentucky

Davidson vs No. 3 Kansas

Wake Forest vs No. 17 Xavier



 

 

Darius Miles former NBA player sadly according to St. Louis Dispatch columnist Ben Fredrickson, filed for bankruptcy and all his stuff was auctioned off flea-market style. The potential buyers couldn’t get over the wasteful spending, the over-spending on unnecessary items. Sadly it appears that Miles was battling many problems and spending was the outlet.

It hurts when people die. When beloved sports legends die, we gather on social media and in a way it’s a community mourning that appears to be somewhat healthy. That is the case with the death of Craig Sager yesterday. Outpouring of tributes and sadness that this incredible personality passed away at the age of 65.

 

 

 

 

Minnesota football players are threatening to boycott the Holiday Bowl due to the announcement of 11 suspensions of football players Tuesday by the university.

After the Arizona Cardinals released Michael Floyd for a DUI arrest the New England Patriots have claimed the wide receiver.  

Steve Young states the San Francisco 49ers owners, the York Family, only cares about making money, which they are, despite the team losing.

“You don’t have to win to make money,” Young said. “That’s (the York’s) A game. Their equity value in the team is their A game. It’s what drives them. It’s what drives most of the owners. It’s what matters. It’s what they think about. It’s what they talk about. And the B game, is whether we win some games. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want to, or you don’t really want to, or it’s not really important. It’s just not the A game.

 

 

The legacy of Craig Sager: You don’t give up

in HOOPS/Sports Media by

You don’t give up, you keep fighting to live.

You give it your absolute best.

That’s the message Craig Sager lived and we saw played out in the final years of his life.

Sager-who has worked as a sports broadcaster for Turner since March of 1981, passed away today at age 65 from cancer. Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014.

Perhaps not a perfect man or perfect dresser but someone who suffered tremendously and still kept fighting and made us laugh-often courtside.

“He’s gone through more stuff, treatment wise, than anyone I’ve ever known,” his colleague Ernie Johnson said recently.

He wasn’t a legend his entire career. It was his dogged determination that got him into our living rooms in the first place.

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Ultimately he showed us that medical conditions, or even impending death, need not dim the light of life.  He had always been a hard worker, self-made, but he physically battled the disease with an incredible effort perhaps unmatched in the public arena.

And so you and I don’t give up because we’re all fighting something.

Sager was a cultural institution in the N.B.A.

Now he’s a cultural institution in the fight against cancer.

 

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