published Monday, July 21st, 2014

5-at-10: McIlroy magic, Autonomy, Bye-bye Uggla, Moon walking

Gang, well, we're here. We're like a week away from high school football practice starting and about 10 days from college practice beginning.

Good-bye summer, it was a blast.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's buckle up... it's go time.

  • photo
    Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug trophy after winning the British Open Golf championship and shakes hands with runners up Sergio Garcia of Spain, left, and Rickie Fowler of the US at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Sunday July 20, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Rory goes to work

Profitable day for the McIlroy clan, eh?

Rory wins the Open. Pops and chums cash a 500-to-1 bet they made 10 years ago for a touch more than $300K.

So how was your family's Sunday?

As for the tag that matters after 25-year-old Rory McIlroy went wire-to-wire to win his third major golf title, well, it's time.

Is this Rory's world when it comes to golf?

He's got the big deals, the big coin, the big game and the big resume. His third major puts him a green jacket from winning the career grand slam and puts him in some elite company: He's now one of three golfers in the Masters era to have three majors before he turns 26. The other two are guys you may have heard of named Tiger and Jack. (Side note: There are certain lists that no matter the title, you know they are good by the other names on it. And when it comes to golf, if you are a list with Tiger and Jack, well, that's a good thing. A very good thing.)

So Rory dominated, eliminating any Sunday drama yet again by a dominant performance from start to finish. (Side note, part II: We are a snoozer at the PGA away from having zero compelling story lines at this year's major championships. That's not a good thing. At all.)

So what is the takeaway from the Rory runaway?

First, we have to ask how good can Rory be? Right now, Rory is the best player in the world and when he plays his best, we're pretty sure no one on the planet can beat him. Granted, the consistency that Jack and Tiger brought every week is still lacking in Rory's game, but that's picking nits to be sure.

Still, maybe this is Rory's time to launch. Golf needs a one-name star now that Tiger is simply a guy in the field. Rory could be that guy — dude has the skills and the promise and the charisma.

And more than that, he's another major or three away from being a talking point before every major.

We forget that in addition to Tiger's brilliance on the course, his place in history was always a compelling story at each major. Will he winn and get closer to Jack? Could he catch Jack? Will he win 20 majors before he's done?

Those were all part of the grand show that was Tiger Woods at major championships. Now Rory is in position for a similar position.

Think of it this way: Phil Mickelson has been the second best golfer of his generation and arguably a top-10 player in the history of the game, but he did not win his first major until 2004 about two months before his 34th birthday. Rory is at three majors and he's only 25.


College football song-and-stance

ACC commissioner John Swafford fired his "more autonomy" salvo as the ACC opened its media days on Sunday.

Granted, Swafford's position was not as dug in or as aggressive as SEC boss Mike Slive's was last week, but it was clear, and Swafford even went as far as to say he expects it to pass Aug. 7 when the NCAA board of control votes on the proposal from the Big Five conferences to establish a set of rules that only pertain to them.

Swafford also echoed Slive's statement that the first order of business will be "full cost of attendance" also known as paying players.

It's all happening. It's all changing.


  • photo
    Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, right, celebrates with teammate B.J. Upton, left, after scoring on a Ryan Doumit base hit in their baseball game against Milwaukee Brewers May 22, 2014, in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


And with that he's gone.

The Braves cut Danny Struggla on Friday, ending a love-hate relationship with arguably the worst signing in Braves history.

Atlanta announced Friday afternoon on its Twitter, "The Braves have released 2B Dan Uggla."

The numbers are staggering — the Braves will still owe Struggla the rest of his $13 million salary for this year and a full $13 million for 2015.

His numbers so far this year before being benched: .162, 2 HRs, 10 RBIs. Uggla made about $357K for each of his 21 hits this season.


This and that

— OK, this is officially ridiculous. Baseball's "unwritten rules" continue to be laughingstock, especially if Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis is to be believed. Apparently Lewis got his feelings hurt when Cory Rasmus bunted for a single against him over the weekend. Lewis was irked because Rasmus bunted against the shift with his team leading 2-0. Yes, those were his reasons. Stop talking for a while, there Champ. Seriously, we think the more the shift becomes the play, the more the play becomes to bunt. Stuff it in your pie-hole Colby. (Of course if we were named after a cheese, we'd be hacked off most of the time too. Side Rushmore of people named like cheeses: American Dream Dusty Rhodes, Rabbit's buddy Cheddar in "8 Mile," Herman Munster, K-Swiss, maybe?)

— Happy birthday to Don Knotts and Robins Williams, two people that have consistently made us laugh. Thank you both.

— More golf: If we had unlimited coin, we'd have the guy from the British Open follow us around and announce our entrance into every room.

— More golf, part II: We normally root for the train wrecks to occur on Sunday afternoons — we enjoyed Philly Mick's major struggles a little bit too much — but we genuinely want Sergio to win a major. That would be cool.


  • photo
    FILE - In this July 20, 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong walks slowly away from the lunar module to explore the surface of the moon. (AP Photo, file)

Today's question

As we alway like to ask on Mondays here and on Press Row on 105.1 FM, who won the weekend?

If you need another talking point, today is the 45th anniversary of one of life's sure-fire, where were you moments for those old enough to remember Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. It's a slam dunk.

What's on your "I remember exactly where I was..." sports moments Rushmore? Go.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
jomo11 said...

If you take away the 5 double-bogeys, the 11 bogeys and the 4 3-putts. . . Tiger was right there ! . . .How about some copy on Mocs FB ? we are hungry for news ...

July 21, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay- do any of these Big 5 conference comissioners have the guts to say that they will share in the TV money with the players ? Instead of each school getting $50 million in TV money, give half to the players ?. . . I doubt it, instead the Mike Slive's of the world think the rest of us are stupid and beleive "autonmy" is about helping the student athlete. It's about GREED for these schools and conferences, in other words " We ( the Big 5 ) want more money for ourselves and we dont want to share in the billions, but only because we want to help the athletes by giving them a couple thousand dollars a year " . . .and the media acts like the "autonmy" is for noble purposes. . . if the O'bannon suit leads to athletes getting a chance at TRUE revenue-sharing this could blow up in the faces of the Mike Slives of the world. . .. think what would happen if the courts rule that athletes have a right to share in LIVE TV revenues, the arms race of facilities and escalating coaches salaries would take a big hit. . . in every business there is always a "bubble" , college football has not seen theirs yet, but it will happen

July 21, 2014 at 10:31 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Music City Miracule: Home. Taking down the Christmas tree ornaments and lights on what would the final year ever for using a live tree. Literally, the needles were all but brown and coming down by the hundreds in the living room. I stopped to watch the final play of the game when it happened. After it was over, I could hear my mom screaming from upstairs.

Mocs beating Illinois to advance to the Sweet 16: Home, in the living room, as I watch the Mocs advance by 10 with Johnny Taylor slamming the nail in the coffin. I had just celebrated internally my 22nd birthday with the Mocs upsetting Georgia just a couple of days prior. I still remember driving to the local convenience store the following day and picking up a copy of USA Today with JT slam dunk'n on the front page (still have the issue).

Mocs Beat Appy State in Boone for the first time since the Pac-Man cartoon was on ABC's Saturday Morning line-up. At my apartment in Dallas watching online.

Same place when the Lady Mocs beat Tennessee for the first time since short-shorts and knee high socks were common in the NBA.

Not a huge rushmore and unfortunately I can't recall where I was when Tennessee won the national championship or when the Braves won the world series. Unfortunately, I tend to have more vivid images of where I was regarding "close but no cigar" moments. :(

July 21, 2014 at 10:35 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

jomo wrote - How about some copy on Mocs FB ? we are hungry for news?

SoCon Media Day begins Wednesday, July 23rd at 1:00 PM EST. Since Frierson is no longer with us, I wonder 1) who gets to go and 2) Will the TFP sports department have the same trip-over-their-own-feet to kiss the ring like down in Birmingham? Probably not. I can already hear jokes about the SoCon having their exclusive press conferences at the finest IHOP table in all of Greenville.

Oh, on a sidenote, as with tradition, I stayed in Monroe on my way back to Dallas. Had dinner at this UL-Monroe friendly establishment called "The Fieldhouse". Besides Indian/Warhawk memoribilia dotted along the walls and on the bar shelves (as well as local high schools) they had their "poster schedule" up on the wall behind the bar. Saw a couple of "familiar" names from Boone and Statesboro on the list. :) Small, small world.

July 21, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

Kind of a dead time on campus. We'll see what we can stir up for the Mocs though.

You bring up a fair point about the slippery slope of paying players. Full cost of attendance is a catchy slogan and all, but for all the hand-wringing about paying players/amateurism, the next beef will be about the "full cost of attendance" stipends being below minimum wage.

And if you think the debate of having a union is present now, let the players think that they are being under-paid start to simmer.


We are not covering the SoCon media event. It's one day and we have as good, if not better access to all-things Mocs here than we do at the event. The same can't be said of the SEC stuff.

And good to see your name back on the ledger.

July 21, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay-on the gulf coast confirming your theory about co-colas. So far I concur but I need a few more days to be sure. Sergio was one bad round by Rory away from a major championship. 6 under in the final round made Rory hear footsteps. I still believe he's got a major in him. Ready for football. High school, college, and nfl. For the mailbag. What are 5 things i need to watch for this fall?

July 21, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.
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