British Open Birdies & Bogeys: Third Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Sunday was moving day at the British Open, due to the weather delays over the last two days at the Old Course at St. Andrews, hard by the coast of the North Sea. It’s also the one day of the week that Dustin Johnson would like to purge from the calendar. The second round leader went backwards, shooting 3-over 75 on a day when the scoring average for the field was 69, and most of the crowded leaderboard posted scores in the low to mid 60’s. [Read more…]

British Open Second Round Review (Cont.)

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

In golf news, the second round of the 2015 Open is finally in the books. Completed after a nearly 10 1/2 hour delay due to high winds at the Old Course at St. Andrews. More on that in a moment.

The scoreboard on the 18th hole shows that play is suspended due to high winds during the second round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland

Here is all you need to know that wasn’t in yesterday’s edition. Dustin Johnson leads by one stroke heading into Sunday’s third round. Yes. SUNDAY’S! Grand Slam searcher Jordan Spieth is five shots back, certainly still in the hunt. Tiger Woods missed the cut by seven strokes. [Read more…]

British Open Birdies & Bogeys: Second Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

tom-watson-open-championship

I will apologize in advance. This is going to be an incomplete column. I suppose it’s fitting though because after a three-hour delay on the sunny shores of Scotland due to rain, Friday’s second round of the British Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews was suspended due to darkness. There are several groups due to finish early tomorrow morning. ESPN begins the coverage with the end of the second round beginning at 1:00 a.m. central time. If you want to watch, knock yourself out. I’m sleep deprived. I’ll be there at 6 for the regular third round coverage and won’t feel left out if I don’t see Tiger miss the cut. I’ll catch the lowlights. [Read more…]

British Open Birdies & Bogeys: First Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

In the pantheon of golf’s four majors, the British Open is probably my least favorite. But that is sort of like saying vanilla ice cream is fourth on my list of favorite ice creams. It is still flavorful, it just does not have the burst that I get from chocolate, double chocolate, or chocolate fudge. And while I enjoy the British Open, it does not have the flash for me that The Masters, US Open or even the ugly step-sister of majors, the PGA, does. For starters, until I start getting credentials from my boss, I have to get up in the middle of the night to watch. Second, the stodginess of the British Isles drips from all facets of the championship, from the look of the course to the impeccably mannered spectators, each round of applause sounds exactly the same as the last, whether for a birdie or a tap-in for double-bogey. [Read more…]

Cubs and Cardinals Rivalry Renewed

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

My stomach is churning. Flipping and flopping. The Fourth of July has come and gone, falling on a weekend for the benefit of those craving a long one. The USA lady footballers pummeled the Japanese to the delight of flag wavers everywhere. The Cubs took two of three from the Florida Fish, which leads me to the source of my discomfort.

A couple of weeks ago, the Dodgers came to town for a four-game set. Conventional wisdom held that with Los Angeles pitching Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke the first two games of the series, the Cubs would do well to somehow split those two games, then try to take advantage of the back end of a weakened Dodgers rotation to take the series. [Read more…]

Birdies & Bogeys: 2015 First Round Masters Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Observations from the first round of the Masters while dodging tornadoes here in Northern Illinois. I pray my friends in and around Rochelle are safe.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Masters. A tradition unlike any other, to steal the tagline. Golf fans wait months to see the pictures of splendid color and lush green sent our way, a fresh breath after a long, bleak winter. Most of us watch while we observe the lack of life in our own communities. The trees are still bare, the snow barely melted in much of the country. So the Masters is not only the real beginning of golf season for many of us, but the promise of spring. [Read more…]

Remembering Stuart Scott (1965-2015)

By Chris Stuckey
Editor-in-Chief

By now you have already heard the terrible, awful, heartbreaking news about a man who left us far too soon. Stuart Scott hung up proverbial the mic for the final time on Sunday and moved on to the SportsCenter studio in the sky. Cancer took him from us, but he is so much more than another face of the battle still being fought. Stuart Scott was a dad, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a television personality, and to all of us with cable or satellite…a friend.

stuart-scott-passes-away

Stu started with ESPN in 1993. I was five years old. That means I have not personally known ESPN without Stuart. The duo of Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen was one of my favorites on SportsCenter. Stu is, was, and always will be cool…cooler than the other side of the pillow some might say. He appealed to my demographic but not because he was trying to. He was 100 percent authentic, whether you liked it or not. [Read more…]

Pardon the Tears – Tony Reali: The Virgil of Life’s Transitions

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

Before Dante begins the journey that encompasses The Divine Comedy, before he enters Hell, before he even meets Virgil, he is but a traveler “in the middle of our life’s journey” finding himself in a “dark wood.” Dante is literally meandering through a circle of trees, and he is also metaphorically lost in a clump of confusion. He has no idea how he wandered into this situation, and less of an idea on how to get out. It takes the guidance of Virgil to lead Dante through a vast array of hideous punishments and horrors so that he might begin an ascent out of the darkness.

The opening line of Inferno is a wonderfully rich depiction of a feeling endemic to being human. It is a sentiment that has been returned to again and again in the centuries since Dante composed the Comedy because it’s so easy to find oneself hopelessly turned around in a wood for just a few moments or for an extended period of time. It is uncomfortable, annoying, frustrating, disconcerting, alarming, and downright frightening. It’s also a simple fact of life that such obstacles will be encountered.

The Virgil’s of these moments are critical. Once committed to the journey out of the wood—whether it’s into Hell or somewhere else—the content and adventures of the journey take center stage. In the case of Dante, the spectacles in Hell assume greater prominence even as Virgil remains his guide and fount of information. But without Virgil, there is no journey. There is no next step—just more aimless wandering. Virgil provides direction and when you’re walking with purpose to a specific place or point, you are no longer truly lost.

Around the Horn - September 16, 2013

Tony Reali, the host of ESPN’s Around the Horn and until recently “Stat Boy” on Pardon the Interruption, is one of the most important Virgil’s of my life. From a studio in Washington D.C., dressed impeccably in clothing that hugs his thin frame sensibly, topped by thick, black, gel covered hair, and armed with a broad smile, Tony has ushered me through the dark woods of life. [Read more…]

Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice, NFL Suspends Him Indefinitely

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

I’m watching the breathless ESPN coverage of the video depicting Raven’s running back Ray Rice giving his then girlfriend, now wife Janae a powerful introduction to his left fist on an elevator in an Atlantic City casino.

I don’t have the information that local police did, nor the NFL for that matter. The Ravens say that Ray Rice is a ‘good person’. The behavior he exhibited isn’t indicative of his long-term character. Hey Ravens! Yes it is. Choirboys need not apply for NFL jobs, we know there is inherent evil lurking in the psyches’ of a large portion of players. It’s what attracts many of us to the game in the first place. [Read more…]

2014 NFL Fan Viewing and Protocol Guide

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The advent of the 2014 NFL season requires updates to etiquette as it pertains to viewing habits, proper dress and appropriate conduct for fans wishing to steer clear of subhuman meathead status.

Go-Bears

Alternative uniforms styles have progressed beyond the typical home and road jerseys of our youth. Military camouflage, throwbacks to each decade beginning with the 20’s and any other style the NFL believes might net it a dollar, will be trotted out during the course of the season. On Sundays, or Mondays, or Thursdays, or Saturdays, we as consumers are left to decide how we will approach this. We of course have several clothing articles proclaiming undying support for the very large men that beat the hell out of each other. The question then becomes, should we buy new “old” jerseys? Or do we stick with the tried and true combinations that have led our teams to the promised land. Or at least the bragging rights from the Bears-Packers game. [Read more…]

Richard Durrett: Gone but Not Forgotten

The Texas Rangers have set up the Richard Durrett Family Fund to help support the family he left behind. For information on how to donate, please follow this link.

By Chris Stuckey
Editor-in-Chief

If you’re not a follower of sports in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, you probably haven’t heard of Richard Durrett. That was your loss.

On Tuesday, Durrett died suddenly at only 38 years of age.

Richard-Durrett-Family-Fund

Durrett was everything a true journalist should be and everything most journalists are not. Unbiased, friendly, lacking ego, willing to help in any way possible. Whether he was covering the Rangers, Mavericks, Cowboys, college football, etc. for ESPN Dallas, he did so with true, unbridled enthusiasm. [Read more…]

2014 First Round U.S. Open Coverage

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Similar to the tree in the forest, is it a major golf tournament if Tiger Woods isn’t playing? The USGA decided to go ahead and stage this year’s US Open at fabled Pinehurst #2 in the great state of North Carolina.

Today’s first round provided those of us who don’t attend the chance to see the event on television. My first impression of the course and the setup actually surprised me a little. The browned out areas of the course and the penalty areas where thick bermuda rough once grew, are now vast waste areas with, we are told, over seventy strains of native grasses. The greens are of course U.S. Open quick, though morning wetness slowed the greens a bit today. By afternoon though, after a day in the sun and the Carolina breeze, the course was firm and fast as intended. That being said, it is all the more surprising that one of the players in the afternoon wave, Martin Kaymer, is leading by three shots after shooting a five under par 65 in today’s first round. [Read more…]