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Jul 26, 2023

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Weekend winners

Saturday night in Chattanooga. Took the family to Mellow Mushroom. Then to a Lookouts game. Weather delayed the game but the Mrs. also got an incredible photo. So yeah. We did not win any of the drawings. Alas. But we got out before the rains came. Good times.

Viktor Hovland. This one was a no-brainer, right? Of course he won the weekend. Dude played flawless golf through the four sweltering days at East Lake. (Side question: Sweltering is a great word, right? Side question on the side question: Hey 5-at-10 regular David Glenn, is there a technical temperature that qualifies as "sweltering" in the meteorological world? Hit me up on the X-Tweeting machine.) In case you were curious, Hovland made more than $18 million this weekend. Playing golf. He made more than $34.5 million this season. Playing golf. He is Norwegian, and the average monthly salary in Norway is a smidgen under $5,400 a month. Yes, that's higher than I expected, too, and near that Spy-income range. Still, it would take the the average Norwegian employee more than 507 years at this rate to make what Hovland made this season. Playing golf.

Sam Hartman. Wow, Notre Dame looked stout. Spy called it and called out my Fab 4 picks. And since he's been Catholic since he was negative-3, I guess I should have listened. I am backing the Hartman Heisman train right now, because I know Caleb Williams is a dude in an offense made for him, but voters don't like repeat winners, and Hartman is QB1 for that little PR machine in South Bend.

EJ Carter. Dang, speaking of big weekends for Notre Dame, Carter is the electric tailback for NDHS here locally. He zigged and zagged through Signal Mountain like he was the W road. How about these numbers — 18 carries, 360 yards, TD runs of 53, 80, 84 and 47. Yes, that will do.

Louis Lappe. The 12-year-old — who looked 16 (at least) — for the California team in the Little League World Series hit a walk-off to win the whole shebang. (Shebang, as a word, overrated, underrated, properly rated?) What a moment. Here's part of his postgame quote — and younger athletes give great quotes — "I feel great. It's hard to beat this feeling. I don't know what would make me feel happier."

Simone Biles. Wow, she won another world gymnastics all-around. At 26. All things considered, we can ask a serious question ... wait. It's multiple choice Monday. Scroll down for more.

Weekend losers

PGA Tour. So the Euros will head to the Ryder Cup with the top three players on the planet in Hovland, Rory and Jon Rahm. Yeah, I know where Scottie is ranked, but I also watched Scottie putt this weekend. Yikes. And that's even before the Brooks and DJ chatter starts and how the U.S. wants to add flippin' Keegan Bradley and Justin Thomas to the room for chemistry. (Side question: Chemistry or talent? Discuss.) Never mind the fact that Hovland turned the Tour Championship into an event as exciting as watching a Nigerian distance runner race local Weight Watchers conclave #422 from Gruetli Laager up Mount Eagle.

Running backs. Wow, the last time I was in a fantasy league, I won it. It was with our current county mayor and a slew of his well-heeled friends. I enjoyed taking the coin, which for most of them likely came from their ashtrays in their cars. (Side question: Do cars these days still have ashtrays? Side question on the side question: Do you hang out with anyone who still smokes? Side question on all the side questions: For you regulars, what's the record for most side questions, because I feel like we are getting close?) Anywell, I always took running back first. But now, is there really an RB1 you trust? Which makes the GM conversations about the position in general even more pertinent. Know this: If Jonathan Taylor — and Josh Jacobs — are not valued by their clubs, then no one this side of Derrick Henry will every get paid again.

The Fab 4. Alas, we had three picks, we missed two, and missed them badly. But we know this: The season is long and you have to trust it. We also know that Vader and JTC are dying to get me in a picks pool to take my money. How can I be so good at picking games I don't play and so bad at picking games I do play? Discuss.

Donald Trump's mugshot. Egad, this is where we are? People, I am a lifelong conservative — I will not call myself a Republican again until the right-leaning party breaks away from this egomaniac of a liar — and there are way too many folks celebrating the mug shot of the person they want to lead the free world. Read that again: "celebrating the mug shot of the person they want to lead the free world." Buckets.

Anyone who came across this monster alligator in Mississippi. Holy Schnikes.

And again

Everything with the Jacksonville shooting 100% qualifies as all of us losing from this weekend.

We need much tougher laws for gun ownership for crazy folks. Wait, what, I can't say "crazy" folks because it may hurt their feelings, but they have access to almost every type of firearm out there? Yeah, that makes sense and in truth that's a huge part of the problem.

We need better gun laws across the board. Period. Not sure how this starts or the limits we must set, but even as a Constitutionalist, I think folks clamoring to the letter of the law of the Second Amendment — which calls for a well-armed militia as well as protecting muskets for those looking to kill their supper — must realize the age in which we are in. And the age in which the Constitution was written.

Heck, we have already crossed the barrier of the Second Amendment — think you could buy a nuclear weapon legally these days — so why can't common sense be part of the conversation.

I'll go one further: How many of the original amendments have been altered or overturned through our years? So this one has to be the be-all-end-all?

I am a gun owner. I think Americans can, should and forever need to own guns.

But we need to find ways to make sure the crazy folks have a slew of hurdles to clear before they can buy a weapons to light up a Dollar General.

This is the point where folks say, "Take the gun from my cold dead fingers." Or even worse, the complete lunacy of saying we can stop school shootings by arming teachers.

What? Yeah, explain that to me like I am 6.

The, "guns don't kill people" crew are at best hypocritical and at worst delusional.

Guns kill people.

Crazy people use guns to kill people. Crazy people may use knives and axes and vehicles and everything else to kill people.

But dang, folks, we need to find ways to make it harder for crazy people to kill people.

And we need need to do a better job covering these stories, because all kinds of people are shooting each other all over America.

But this one dominated the news, not because of the crime, but, in my opinion, the easy-to-blame racism angle of the crazy shooter having a swastika on his mask.

That does not detract from what the gun issue should be, in my view. Yes, racists are (bleep)holes. Yes, hate crimes should be punished to the ends of the jurisprudence. Yes, the hatred from one side does not do anything but further the divide and galvanized the haters.

But that does not change the big picture. Those are ripples from the primary splash of gun violence and the need for serious reviews on gun ownership.

For Pete's sake, I needed to go through more hoops to get a fishing license than I did to own a gun. Think about that.

We need better mental care for the crazy folks. (Yes, crazy folks. I said it. See above.) This is criminally comical when we see that the current administration is trying to spend tens if not hundreds of billions on student loan bailouts.

We need to take a hard stance against racial hate groups. From all sides. This starts with the ever-growing number of white hate groups — who love them some Donald Trump by the way — but it also includes all races hating other races, which only exacerbates the issue.

(Side note: If you think only white folks can be racist, well, you are as closed minded as the person you hate the most.)

I wish I had the answers. I truly do, and in some ways being a "Here's the problem" guy makes me feel weak in this conversation.

But there is a problem — a very real gun problem and a very real crazy person problem — in our country, and it's long past time we try to fix it.

This and that

— You know the rules, here's Paschall with some UT football news and notes. Side note: As we get into college football seasons, it's still the rules that we reference DP, our former Press Row cohort, but it's almost impossible to reference all of his college football work, rules notwithstanding. So here's his personal TFP page, if you are so inclined.

— Vandy got lucky to beat Hawaii. At home. There is no preseason bet I currently feel better about than Vandy under four wins.

— Speaking of golf, let's not miss this quote from Jon Rahm, one of the best players in the world. "It's one of my pet peeves when they make this tournament all about money," Rahm told The Associated Press on Friday, "because I think it takes away from it." Sweet buckets, Jon, you sound like the Dabo Swinneys and the Nick Sabans of the world that the game should be about the love of the sport. You made $670,000 and you literally played like me this weekend. Yeah, it's really easy to say it's not about the money when you have made all the money. (Rahm's career on-course earnings are more than $77 million, not including endorsements.)

— Braves played. Braves took two of three from the Giants.

— Former LSU pitcher Paul Skenes got shelled in his professional debut. Something like four earned in ⅔ of an inning. But as long as dude still has Olivia Dunne in the stands cheering on his exploits, he will never lose a weekend in my book.

Today's questions

Weekend winners and losers. Go.

Multiple choice Monday goes this way:

Which is the most impressive, all things considered, in their sports:

— Tom Brady winning Super Bowls in his mid-40s.

— LeBron being an All-NBA player in his late 30s.

— Simone Biles winning a gymnastic world title at 26.


Wow, 60 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the "I Have a Dream" speech. I am almost 1000% certain we have done the Rushmore of speeches before, and if I did not include that one, well, I'm an idiot.

Shania Twain is 58 today, and LeAnn Rimes is 41.

Rushmore of current living women country music stars.


Weekend winnersWeekend losersAnd againThis and thatToday's questions