Starting Five

Fuchsia? Really?

1. Save the Tiger (Talk)

If you want to look at it one way, Tiger Woods shot par over his final 16 holes in the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, his first event in five months. From another perspective, he finished 2-over and is tied for 104th place. From yet another perspective, he is dating Lindsey Vonn. 

It was the first round of the first tournament of the season. That’s why my hed is not “Tiger Beaten.” It was a bizarre day, a dreary day in the desert, meteorologically illogical. Woods hasn’t played here in 14 years. A strange welcome back.

Update: Tiger shot a 44 on the front nine on Friday, his worst half round in like, ever. Never mind.

2. Suge Life

Meet the star of “Fast and Furious 8”

So, two men get into an argument with rap mogul Suge Knight on the set of “Straight Outta Compton” (Rule 62: NEVER argue with Suge Knight). The pair head off to a restaurant where, 20 minutes later, according to eyewitnesses, Knight ran them down in a truck and then put that motorized buggy into reverse and finished the job.

One man died and Knight has been charged with murder. He is being held on $2 million bail at the West Hollywood jail. According to this story, the other victim “is expected to survive his injuries,” though I would have added, “especially if his story corroborates Suge’s, that it was all an unfortunate accident.”

Good luck finding a homie who will take the stand and say that it looked like a deliberate act. Suge Knight was shot SIX times last year and survived. Never bet against Suge.

3. Boogie, Down. Why?

Hey, man, you’re (not) an All-Star (but you should be)

Update: I wrote this BEFORE Yahoo’s! incomparable (and unspellable) Adrian Wojnaroski  broke the news that Boogie will replace Kobe Bryant on the West squad. But you have to suffer through it all the same.

The NBA All-Star reserve rosters were named yesterday and the most glaring omission (or “snub”) has to be DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings. Yes, “Boogie” has missed 12 of 44 games, but he has 26 double doubles (in 32 games) and only four players have more (the most is 29, by Pau Gasol, who will start on the Eastern Conference All-Star team).

Cousins is the ONLY player in the NBA who is in the top five in scoring (5th, with 23.8 ppt) and rebounding (3rd, 12.3 per game), but, you know, he doesn’t do KIA ads or State Farm ads and there is a perception out there that he’s a thug, or how else do asinine tweets such as this from Clay Travis–the five-year mark just passed– go unpenalized?

“There is a 100% chance that DeMarcus Cousins is arrested for something in the next five years. 100%. Write it in stone.”

I get it. It’s just an All-Star Game. But it’s also a barometer of how marketable a player is, which affects that player’s income (I’d say “livelihood” but that implies that they’re having trouble getting by…they’re not). Cousins belongs in the All-Star Game. So does DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, who leads the NBA in Rebounding and Field Goal % and is second in Blocks. Finally, so does Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic, who is second in the NBA in double-doubles with 28.

4. Go Away, Little Girl

Kenyan marathoner Rita Jeptoo, 33, has been banned from competition for the next TWO years by Athletics Kenya after both her samples came back positive for EPO doping. Jet has won the past two Boston Marathons and past two Chicago Marathons. She will not receive the $500,000 that she was scheduled to collect as the winner of last year’s “World Marathon Majors,” which is a carrot dangled in front of athletes by the world’s top eight marathons (Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin, Tokyo, New York, Olympics, IAAF Worlds).

I’m reminded of what Lance Armstrong said earlier this week: “If I had it to do over again, I still would have cheated.”

5. Winter is Not Coming (in print)

Working title: “How the Westeros was Won”

I’m midway through the fourth Game of Thrones “novel.” I can’t remember the last time I was reading a book that was not set in Westeros. And, to be honest, the surfeit of characters and lineage has taken over my entire life. I barely remember my birthday and when things go wrong I say things like, “Seven hells!”

And after all that work, I’m beginning to think there will not be a payoff: Author George R.R. Martin is apparently having greater difficulty finishing his books than I am. Uh-oh. The next book, The Winds of Winter, is not anywhere close to being completed.

At least we have the HBO season 5 trailer. 

An aside: There are a few plot changes in the show. In every instance, I think the HBO producers have improved upon Martin’s original plot line.

2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. How does Jeptoo’s doping TODAY remind you of Lance stating he would have still use PEDs in the ERA he competed? Are you saying that 90% or more of pro marathoners are also doping RIGHT NOW (as 90% or more of pro-cyclists at the top level did back in 90s & 2000s)? Basically from at least early 90s till mid 2000s, if you did NOT use EPO &/or blood transfusions, you would not long have a job on a top-level pro-cycling team, let alone win a Grand Tour. It would have been EASY & hypocritical for Lance to moan to the press now that he would do it differently back then. Not only is he truthful but also realistic. If he had not used the same products & methods of his competitors, he would have been forced out of the sport. And sure, there were some guys who would not dope & had to drop out. But the guys who wanted to continue competing on their bikes, did what they had to “survive” in that sport at that time.

    And Jeptoo is just the most recent on a LIST of Kenyan & Ethiopian long distance runners being popped for doping in the past few years. Where are all the articles about ‘African distance running – decades of domination or MYTH’?

    And now that the Super Bowl is upon us, do YOU really think only a few pro football players are using right now or have in their past? Or they just got HUGE & fast by eating Wheaties & lifting weights? Remember that SI article published during the Ravens-Niners SB pre-week : Deer Antler spray, MAGNETIC STICKERS? LOL, those guys will use ANYthing & no one seems to give a damn.

    The biggest travesty of the NBA All-Stars is that Kobe was voted as a starter! Closely followed by Carmelo’s berth! The latter playing for THE most pitiful team this season. KD might have missed a few more games than Kobe (at the time of voting), but at least when HE is on the court, his team has been clawing back into the Playoff hunt. Definitely not so with Bryant. Plus, KD is the reigning MVP! Where the heck did his fans go?

    And speaking of the Super Bowl – what’s the status of the Pats locker room attendant/fall-guy? Was he TAKING a leak or MAKING a leak? If he turns out to be the culprit, I’ll be disappointed. I was hoping for Colonel Mustard with a Lead Pipe in the Library.

  2. And hey, since you literally WROTE THE BOOK, are there more injuries in the NBA now than 15, 20, 30 years ago? It seems that way to me, but I didn’t follow information on all the teams back then, just a few.

    And did you watch the last few minutes of ‘Inside the NBA’ last night? I thought of you – part of Shaq’s video segment included TRAVELING violators.

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