Archive for March, 2012

Nick Saban: The $6 Million Bargain

Posted: March 31, 2012 by centennialsports in NCAA

By Dane Belbeck

The University of Alabama may wear the colour of crimson, but the colour best associated with head football coach Nick Saban is definitely green.

For the coach of the current National Champion Crimson Tide, it’s a colour he will be seeing for a very long time.

Saban signed a two-year contract extension on Monday that will keep him in Tuscaloosa until 2019 at an average of $5.6 million per year.

And that may be a bargain.

The Crimson Tide are coming off a 12-1 season which saw them win their second national championship in three years, yet many critics are claiming the extension for Saban is too lucrative and allocates valuable university resources improperly.

This is absurd.

Since Saban took over the Crimson Tide in 2007, following an unsuccessful run with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, he has led them to two Bowl Championship Series national championships and four consecutive seasons with ten or more wins.  Previous to Saban taking over, Alabama had not won a national championship since 1992.

In the five years that Saban has been in control at Alabama he has compiled a 55-12 record for an astonishing .851 winning percentage.  This is even more remarkable considering that the Crimson Tide play in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference.  The SEC is the most decorated conference in the BCS era having won the last six national championships.

The football program isn’t just a varsity team at Alabama, it is a highly lucrative business entity as well.  Since Saban took over the program the Crimson Tide have risen to the sixth most valuable NCAA football team according to Forbes magazine valued at $93 million.  In 2011 the revenue generated by the football program exceeded $77 million and represented 11 percent of all revenue generated by the university.

Prior to the Saban regime the waiting list for priority-seating tickets, which require a donation atop the price of the seat, was at 1200.  It currently sits at 15000 and is growing each year.

The yearly salary of $5.6 million is an astronomical amount of money for an educational institution to be paying a man to coach their football team.  Saban isn’t a professor teaching students the methods of finding a cure for terminal disease.  He isn’t teaching students how successfully run their own business and he certainly isn’t teaching students how to properly practice law.

To put into perspective how much money Saban is making, the University of Alabama interim President & Provost Judy Bonner will earn $368 000 in 2012.  That is 14 times less than what the head football coach is making … 14 TIMES!  Alabama will pay Saban $14 566.21 per day in 2012 and his yearly salary is equal to what 116 university employees combined will make in a year (average salary of $45 758).

And he is probably worth it.

When Nick Saban is the head coach of your university’s football team you are guaranteed a few things.  You are guaranteed to be an elite program and compete for national championships.  You are guaranteed to see a massive spike in the revenue generated by your football program because everyone loves a winner.  With that large increase in revenue generated by the football program, the school will benefit greatly in other areas.  In 2011 the Alabama football program donated over $6.5 million to academic programs at the university.  Considering Saban’s salary is less than $6 million a year, I’d say the Crimson Tide got a bargain.

Dear Winnipeg Jets,

I apologize for this formal and outright old-school way of letting you know how I feel, but Blake Wheeler won’t respond to my persistent tweets about Tobias Funke (his dog) and I’m not sure how else to get through to you.

Seriously.

I can remember the day that hockey broke my heart. I remember it like it was yesterday, I mean, mostly because I refuse to believe that my age is relevant, and that 1998 was actually just mere seconds ago. 98 Degrees announced their reunion this week, so I think I’m right about this.

Everything fell apart for me when the ultimate gentleman, Paul Kariya had his face taken off in 1998 by Gary Suter. And it wasn’t the first time little, swift, heart-of-gold Paul had been viciously smashed in the head by someone larger than him, and surely wouldn’t be the last. My mum would tell me these things happen because someone is jealous of you. I see you, Gary. I’m looking right into your jealous soul. You too, Patrick Kaleta, and especially you, Scott Stevens.

 

But this letter isn’t about the pain or the years that followed, wherein hockey and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. This is a letter about hot, lusty attraction.

When I was sent packing (with my arms crossed, pouting through the airport) to Winnipeg for work, I set my sights on going to a Jets game, and I can’t explain it. It’s as if all of the stars had aligned into the shape of a fictional fighter plane, and some mystic force disguised as -20 degree weather was pulling me towards that hangar where I would be the only person that wasn’t clad in the right (or wrong) colours that night in February. My ticket purchase was like a sketchy drug deal and to be honest, I kind of liked it. Dangerous and sexy, just like the movie ‘Entrapment’ with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And in I went, to the NHL’s little-engine-that-could venue, the MTS Centre. With my arena-pizza and large soda in hand, I was among friends. The excitement amoung the 15,004 fans was a force, exactly the way I imagine it feels to be in the front row at a Justin Bieber concert where he actually touches your outstretched hand and then you vow never to wash that hand again. It’s also equally, if not louder than this alleged Bieber show I’ve never been to.

It was there, on that February night that I was seduced by the bright lights, the announcer’s voice, and the mass booing of Chara whenever he was within ten feet of the puck. I heard Chara is a really nice guy, but I mean, NOT IN YOUR HOUSE. My version of the ‘Go Jets Go’ chant perhaps borderline made people think that my pizza was laced with caffeine pills (or crack).

Your line-up hierarchy is incredible. It’s the only time in the history of the entire world that the women’s washroom line up is the sixth longest.

1. Beer

2. The other beer line

3. Mens washrooms

4. Tim Horton’s

5. 50/50 line up

6. Women’s washrooms

 

I left that night wanting more of it all. I wanted to say ‘Byfuglien’ over and over because I finally could pronounce it correctly with ease. The taste of a delicious victory on my lips, I went back again to see you trample on the dreams of the Avalanche. And then I kept following, cursing the Maple Leafs for taking up valuable air time on my Ontario television with all of their losing.

 

The flying-W on Mar. 1 was like all of my mighty childhood dreams coming true. Okay, fine. It’s not actually called a flying-W, but see if I care! It’s as if Paul Kariya and Emilio Estevez were collectively egging them on (on my behalf) to create such a magical moment. It’s no coincidence that both Jets and Ducks fly. Together.

 

 

And Ondrej Pavelec, is he even a human? Does it matter?

 

 

Last night, I regained consciousness after 16 seconds of overtime when Andrew Ladd gave the gift of official elimination from the playoffs to the Carolina Hurricanes, as you beat those pesky storms 4-3. Sure, there’s practically no chance of making the playoffs. Putting my confidence in Montreal and Toronto to both win, and on the same night? That’s far too much to ask. But as Jean Girard in Talladega Nights said to Ricky Bobby,

“I will battle you with the entirety of my heart and you will probably lose. But maybe, just maybe. You might challenge me. The Beatles needed the Rolling Stones. Even Diane Sawyer needed Katie Couric.”

 

 

There’s something to be said about rooting for the underdog. Even the roughest exterior on the team that Atlanta didn’t want gives light to an electric personality that would make even the tightest of panties get a little bit closer to dropping.

Please Winnipeg, be my Rolling-Stone-singing Katie Couric.

xoxo

Steph

Health will likely determine Cup Champ

Posted: March 31, 2012 by centennialsports in Puck

By John Spurr

In hockey the adage is that “goaltending wins championships.” While I don’t dispute this, it seems that having a healthy

Team Doctors could be the MVP of any cup run

team is becoming more important to a team’s post-season run than ever before. Therefore, I feel that this year’s Stanley Cup champion will be decided by the team that is able to avoid injuries and dress their best players late into the playoffs.

With the increased intensity of playoff games and the accelerated schedule during the post-season, the run for the cup is thoroughly demanding and is becoming more and more difficult to navigate while remaining healthy.

Last year the Vancouver Canucks were too depleted from injuries, to outlast the punishing style of the Boston Bruins and lost the Stanley Cup in seven games to Boston. Vancouver had documented injuries to 13 of the 20 players that dressed in game seven and were unable to put up much of a fight in the deciding game.

The playoff grind is so fierce and exhausting because of the magnitude of every play. The competition level is intensified and requires physical sacrifices in order to win just a single game. Injuries are sure to pile up throughout the playoffs, even for the healthiest teams, but this year many teams are already limping into the playoffs.

A healthy Crosby likely means we will be seeing this image again in June

Going into this year’s cup run it seems as if most teams have a crucial player or two who are already injured or have been for a significant period of the season. Players like Crosby, Toews, Lidstrom and Daniel Sedin have serious health concerns before entering into the grind that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The team that manages to remain healthy and have their key players in the lineup will be the team that is able to advance deep into the playoffs. The Blackhawks without Toews don’t stand a chance, neither do the Canucks sans Daniel Sedin.

Conversely, several teams have the advantage of possessing really deep rosters and may be able to overcome injuries more than others. I point to the St Louis Blues and Nashville Predators as examples of deep teams that aren’t reliant on elite players to carry their teams.

Nashville and St Louis are built similarly, from the back end out. Both enjoy superb goaltending, have a strong defensive core and have defensively responsible forwards that are relatively void of star power. They play a tight checking system and their forward lines are largely interchangeable.

Another familiar sight by the time May rolls around

Still an injury to a key defenseman like Shea Weber or Alex Pietrangelo would cripple these teams almost to the same degree that losing a superstar forward would hurt most other playoff teams. They are both the quarterbacks of their teams’ power-plays, play on the penalty kill and lead their teams in time on ice. Obviously they are invaluable pieces to their teams but are not in the mold of the league’s conventional stars.

To endure the marathon that is the Stanley Cup playoffs the teams will need their full arsenal of talent, any team with too many injuries will be shaving their beards and hitting the links.

By Morgan Bell

Defending Champ in Houston.

#1) Phil Mickelson is back in action this week, proving he likes to roll into Augusta with momentum. Mickelson is the defending champ this year at the Shell Houston Open and will definitely be looking for a repeat as long as it bodes better than last year, as his T-27 at Augusta wasn’t good enough at Augusta following the victory. Mickelson had a so-so week at Bay Hill but I would put him on your fantasy roster as it takes about two seconds for Mickelson to kick it into another gear. You just never know!

#2) The Par 72 Redstone Golf course is always a great tune-up for any player heading to Augusta. Course record around the track is 63, Adam Scott, Mickelson, Johnson Wagner and Jimmy Walker have a share of that. What’s so nice about Redstone is that they prep it up so it plays very similar to Augusta. It’s cut tight and the greens are fast, sometimes I wonder why everyone skips it? We’ll see how many balls go into the water on the 18th this week, it’s no Bay Hill but it isn’t easy.

New Fam!

#3) Guess who’s a new Dad! Congrats to Bubba Watson and his wife Angie on adopting a new baby boy.  If I can think of any dad who would be such a bundle of fun it would be Bubba! I can just imagine the things he’s going to do with his kid when he’s old enough to goof around. So exciting, how great would it be for Bubba to be suited up with a Green Jacket next week after this? Big time tears I bet!

#4) Well it’s already that time on the LPGA Tour, Major time! The Kraft Nabisco Championship kicks off this week and if one thing is for sure Yani Tseng will not make the mistake of kissing the trophy on the first hole ever again (she lost last year after doing that). While I’m on the Yani train it’s going to be interesting to see who’s going to stop her this week as she’s going for her sixth (yes 6th major!). Stacy Lewis is back to defend her title as Tseng will be looking to collect her 2nd Nabisco. Can’t wait to see who jumps into Poppie’s pond on Sunday! 

#5) Since I finished reading my latest golf book I’ve started on another and I can’t stop… Moe & Me by Lorne Rubenstein is one well written gem, up there in the all-time greatest golf books. If you’ve ever been curious about Moe Norman, or heard a story about him, you have to go buy this book. It’s so insightful and there are many life lessons wrapped up into it that anyone in life or in sport can relate to. This will be a book I read, read, and read again.  Norman is a fascinating part of Canadian golf and his story is unlike any other. If you watch the video you’ll understand a little better.

#6) Anybody watch David Feherty’s interview with Michelle Wie on Monday night? I was pretty stoked to sit down for an hour and see what Michelle had to say but I felt like it was one of the strangest interviews I’ve ever watched. (No Ernie and Steve Sands by all means) It was a flashback to see Michelle as a little girl teeing it up with boys, it’s so quickly forgotten how damn good she was. Like what a swing. The interview though was just blah, my highlight was watching Feherty dive into the fountains on Stanford’s campus. 100% awesome. Wie is playing the Nabisco this week by the way.

Just another day at the office.

#7) Pretty funny story… a 5-foot python in Australia was found with two Callaway golf balls in its stomach (great marketing). Apparently it thought they were eggs (not surprised) the foxes on Prince Edward Island have no issues with that either, they’ve emptied a few sleeves of ProV’s on me. The weird X-Ray’s led me to google other animals that have mistaken golfballs for who knows what. The most astonishing is a dog that ate nine! I can report, both the dog and the snake lived…

#8) The let’s play our way into the Masters talk keeps on rolling. ERNIE ELS, if I have to write one more post about you missing putts down the stretch to not get into the Masters I’m going to lose my sanity (and I’m sure Els will too). This is Ernie’s last chance, and he’s gotta win. Do it Ernie! Matteo Manassero is also on the quest in Italy. Who knows what’s going to happen I’ve given up trying to predict this one.

#9) Picks for the week: 1) Gotta go with Mickelson, didn’t play great last week but I’d never count him out of somewhere he’s won 2) Lee Westwood, why leave him out when he’s on the roster? 3) Keegan Bradley, he hasn’t finished worse than T-22 all season… I think that’s a pretty good reason 4) ERNIE. I’m still picking ya, do me proud. 5) Yani Tseng… 4/6 come on Yani!

The Complicated World of Travis Snider

Posted: March 28, 2012 by centennialsports in Baseball

By Tom Ruminski

Limbo or just your regular photo of a Blue Jays team-building exercise?

In the novel Dante’s Inferno, limbo can be described as a place where trapped souls wander for the rest of eternity. They have no home, no defined role, and are doomed to a world of pointless repetition.

For Travis Snider, such is life with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The young outfielder has no home. He is a desolate soul that is trapped between triple-A and the Major Leagues, in the dreaded realm of Quadruple-A. When he goes down to play for the Las Vegas 51’s, the triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, the man is a force of nature. In his last two stints in the PCL league he has posted lines of .337, 14, 40, with an OPS of 1.094, and 327, 4, 42, .873.


On the other hand, when he has gotten his well-deserved promotion he has not been able to translate his minor league numbers to the show. To demonstrate, he has only hit.248 with 28 homeruns, 104 runs driven in and an OPS of .730 over four scattered seasons with the big club.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for the 24-year-old since he was drafted 14th overall by the organization in 2006. Moreover, he has played in 232 games since being drafted but has not been in more than 82 in a single season. Since his first call up in 2008, he has spent part of four seasons with the team and continuously finds himself either being promoted or demoted. This type of activity can be demoralizing for a young player and so far has taken a toll on Snider’s abilities on the field of play.

Snider has all of the potential in the world. He can hit for power, average, find the gaps, run, and play all-three outfield positions. However, he has not yet been able to blossom into the player that many have envisioned. This is in large part to his inability to lay of off-speed pitches and his high strikeout rates. In the majors, Snider has averaged just over a strikeout per game and has a total of 236 over his career. As a result of his struggles, the starting left-field position on the roster was taken by the emerging Eric Thames.

The position battle between Snider and Thames was the talked about event going into spring training. The competition was bound to be fierce, however, many experts believed that it was Thames’ spot to loose. Snider put up a good fight, with four homeruns and a team-leading 16 RBI, but it was his strikeouts that were ultimately his demise. Once again he averaged a strikeout per game with 17 in the 17 games that he played. On the other hand, Thames was solid this spring and won the job with a line of .333, 1, and 7.

So the wandering continues for Snider. Yet another tough pill to swallow in what appeared to be an inevitable demotion. And nevertheless, it also appears imminent that he is bound to be back up in the majors sooner than later. In light of this situation there may only be one way for him to escape the uncertainty that surrounds his professional career.

Perhaps, to escape limbo, Travis Snider must first leave the Toronto Blue Jays.

Top 10: Sports Video Games

Posted: March 28, 2012 by skrizznasty in Uncategorized

By Mike Skrzyniak

Let’s reminisce on our childhood for a bit. Or for some, what they do all the time  instead of talking to women or playing sports…you know who you are…but I digress. I’m here to discuss 10 of the best video games ever created.

I think anyone reading this post will enjoy it because there is a ton of room for debate.

These results aren’t based on any polls or anything, I’m just trying to think of some of the games that take up most of my time away from beer, broads and the occasional homework assignment…

Warning- the nostalgia on this list will bring many smiles to your face…

10. Sports Talk Baseball- Sega Genesis

For those who have played this game, you know exactly what I am talking about. You couldn’t make a throw from third without having the ball hit the ground first, Devon White was impossible to catch stealing and I triple-dog-dare ya to throw Ron Gant a fastball. The graphics weren’t very good, the commentary was worse, but it didn’t matter. This was one of the most entertaining games of my childhood. And for you Blue Jays fans, the lineup was:

1.Devo  2. Robbie Alomar  3. Joe Carter   4. Dave Winfield  5. Kelly Gruber  6. Johnny O  7. The Candy Man  8. Pat Borders  9. Manny Lee

Exactly.

9. NHL 94- Sega or Super Nintendo

Before there was Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Duncan Keith, there was Craig Janney, Cliff Ronning, and Ray Bourque. The game play was simple. A was pass, B was shoot. C was body check. Sometimes, less is more.  Anyways, before Xbox complicated things with the skill stick  (who really wants to do that when you’re inebriated, seriously) you used the D-pad and your entire game plan on defence focused on cutting your opponent off from crossing your goalie’s face, aka “The Cheat move.” The most satisfying way to score was to hammer one-timers and trust me, you never got tired of it. This was also the first game to let you play an entire season, create a player, and receive end-of-the-year awards. And to continue with appealing to Torontonians, you got to play with Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett, Jamie McCoun, Wendel Clark, Mike Gartner, Felix Potvin, and my boy Drake Berehowsky. Enough said. Just don’t let the opponent pick Pittsburgh….

8. The FIFA series.

I’m in no way a soccer guy. I know the basics, but if I try to argue with our futbol aficionado Matty Parker, I would embarrass myself beyond belief. However, to enjoy any of the FIFA games you don’t need to be a soccer guru. BUT you MUST know how to execute perfect through balls, how to move the ball around your net and you should try to understand basic formations. The 3-4-2-1 helps out your defence and you need players with tons of stamina to execute this game plan, for example. Now you can get by not knowing a single thing about soccer, but make sure your opponent knows equally, or less than you do. FIFA is not for the average gamer or sports fan. And don’t think for second that your coming off the pitch with a broken leg either….

7. WWF No Mercy- Nintendo 64

I know wrestling isn’t a sport, but I don’t care. This may be one of the most underrated video games of all time. Whether you watched wrestling or not, you know who Stone Cold, The Rock, The Undertaker and HHH are. No Mercy was the WWF’s version of the popular WCW Revenge video game, but the game play blows Revenge out of the water.You could participate in Ladder matches and beat the crap out of your friends with weapons such as garbage cans and broom sticks. You could also create your own wrestlers and pursue the dream of holding the Intercontinental title! Seriously though, this game was fun to play alone or with some buddies. Just try to avoid triple threat ladder matches with your boys, unless you are trying to kill two hours. I will take my record with The Deadman to the grave. If you challenge me, something like this will probably happen…

6. NFL Blitz- Nintendo 64

Roger Goodell must have nightmares about this game. This game encouraged hits after the whistle, body slamming quarterbacks, and it ALLOWED pass interference! Blitz may have been the only game you looked forward to playing defence. There really wasn’t any strategy involved. Half of the time, you would pick “Da Bomb” on offence, and blitzing was dangerous if you were facing mobile QBs like Kordell Stewart or Steve Young. I personally wasn’t a big fan of the  power ups, but you could unlock the option of having a big head or unlimited turbo. I was also a big fan of the 45 yard dropback by the quarterbacks…

This game came out around the same time I started watching the NFL, and I thank the creators of this game for enhancing my love of american football.

5. The Tiger Woods series.- Playstation and Xbox

You know why Tiger Woods games are so great? Because dads across the land are easily persuaded to play and always willing to share advice. The graphics were exquisite, and the effect the weather had on the game made the experience much more realistic. If you think playing golf in the real world is humbling, try attacking St.Andrews on a blustery day in Tiger Woods. By adding turbo or back spin on your shots, The Tiger Woods games are very user-friendly and a delight, as long as you are coordinated with your thumbs, of course. This is by far the closest you will ever get to being Tiger Woods. This game also shows you just how flexible and athletic Tiger really is…

I just can’t wait for the add-ons in the new game such as the obstacle course section where you have to back your Escalade out of the driveway while your wife, who just found out you are cheating on her, chases you with a driver.

4. NBA 2K games- Xbox/Playstation

The balance between realism and aesthetics sets the NBA 2K games apart from most sports games. For hardcore basketball fans, this series created by Visual Concepts got it right. The game play screams perfection. The “Season Mode” is very entertaining; there is so much to do in the off-season to make your team better that it’s hard to put down the controller. You can send your players to mini training camps and based on your performance, you can add to your player’s existing abilities. Basically, you can take Dwight Howard to free-throw camps until he becomes reliable enough that he won’t screw you over late in games. It may take until the 2019 season, but you get the point.  I believe this is one that every basketball fan, whether you’re a gamer or not, should at least try to play. You will regret it if you don’t. There is one glich in the realism of this game though, it has LeBron James in the dunk contest and not punking out like he does in real life…

3. Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey- Nintendo 64

My goodness, the hours my friends and I spent chirping each other about this game… This 3 vs. 3 adventure (you can play 5 on 5 but it wasn’t as fun) was more enjoyable when playing with friends. From turning your goalie into a brick wall, to an ambulance driving by after you obliterated an opponent with a power check or lighting the net on fire with a power slap shot, “Gretzky’s” was one of the most entertaining video games ever created. The fact that you can score with 0 seconds left on the clock left many broken hearts on the ice as well. This is one of those games where I didn’t prefer having women watch us play because I don’t think they could understand the intensity that this game brings out of the competitive gamer. I never sweat during video games, unless I’m playing Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey…

2. The Madden Series- post N64

For pigskin die-hards, is there anything more fun than running a fantasy draft with your buddies? How satisfying is it when you run your own personal draft and develop your team into a dynasty? Everyone always traded their first round draft pick for a top-tier receiver as well, and if you didn’t, well you just don’t know Madden! One reason why I love Madden is because you HAVE to know what you’re doing. Like Warren Sapp said, don’t bring the draw on third and long. What were you thinking Sonya? The graphics are phenomenal and the realism, holy crap, they brought back the double down?!?! Uh oh, my poor arteries…sorry about that, but yeah, Madden is amazing. The only thing I don’t like about the game is Cris Collinsworth. I don’t hate the man, I just find his voice very annoying. Madden is the only video game I purchase annually, unless I find a burned copy of course. This is also the only video game that actually affects people in real life. Just check out these two videos if you don’t believe me…

If you don’t know about the Madden Curse, see Vince Young, Shaun Alexander and Peyton Hillis.

1. NBA Jam- Sega/SNES/Xbox 360

All I need to say is, “Boomshakalaka” and “He’s on Fire.”

Enjoy.

Honorary mentions: Super Mario Strikers for Gamecube, Blades of Steel for OG Nintendo, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out/Super Punch Out, NCAA March Madness 2010 for Xbox 360 and MLB Slugfest.

Ken Griffey Jr’s Slugfest for Nintendo just missed the cut as well. Definitely #11

The Golf Girl’s Back Nine after Bay Hill

Posted: March 26, 2012 by vallogolfer in Golf

by Morgan Bell

Finally a win that counts.

#10) It’s been a long time since Tiger lifted an important trophy, so long that many probably don’t even remember the 2009 BMW Championship. He won the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational today by a commanding five shots over Graeme McDowell. Woods was pretty pumped up after tapping in for par on 18 for his 72nd tour victory, in the background the Tiger! Tiger! chants were pretty damn loud. No hat throws this time but a big smile for the champ! Woods did the opposite of what he normally does by finding 71% of the fairways on Sunday, showing that he is in command off the tee. That stat will be crucial in Tiger taking home his fifth green jacket from Augusta in exactly two weeks. Love to see the Vegas odds now, I can hear the Masters theme song already…

#11) One of the hottest players coming into Bay Hill was McDowell, he didn’t look on fire after the first hole but he certainly made it interesting. He made a foolish putt at number two and then a bomb for eagle at six which sure made everyone wonder if he had horseshoe somewhere… He didn’t and his luck ran out after Tiger put on a clinic of GIR’s and fairways for the better part of the day. Finally the Euro domination on the PGA tour has come to an end after McIlroy, Rose and Donald swept the last three. Breathe America, the game is good again.

All Is well for the Ryder Cup now.

#12) Domination is the only word suitable for Yani Tseng right now after winning the Kia Classic today. It was her third win in five starts on the LPGA. She’s absolutely taken the women’s tour by storm and nobody has had a past five years like her. That’s right I said nobody not even Tiger Woods…Yes I said it! She’s now won 15 times in the last five years and has taken home five major championship trophies. To talk her up even more… she’s never missed more than one cut per season on tour… like come on! If you know of someone who has done something like this please fill me in or just remember to give her the recognition she deserves.

#13) Welcome to the big leagues Joe LaCava! Are you sure you don’t want to go back to caddying for Fred Couples who won today on the Champions tour? LaCava was on the bag for 22 years with Couples but I’m pretty sure today may rank pretty high up there in the victory books and it’s likely the start of many more. I wonder how many he’ll put in with Woods? Can’t think of anyone better to have on the bag for Woods at the Masters, Freddy likely had some stellar notes.

Just a bit of foreshadowing since Couples name is on his back, this year it'll be Woods.

#14) Matteo Manassero finished T-6 in Morocco to likely miss his chance at a Masters invite. The only thing he did was try to help Ernie Els who continued to miss every short putt on the planet. Els needed a solo third today while a tie for second with with just one player would get him to Magnolia Lane. Ernie didn’t do it, even though he was in position to all day. I’m pretty positive after the back nine putting clinic Els will be watching Augusta the same way I will be… from the TV. Thankfully Steve Sands didn’t find him this week, wouldn’t have been pretty.

Maybe I'll win the Shell Houston Open?

#15) I’ve been doing some reading and after my last rant about “The Big Miss” Haney’s book I retract some of my previous statements (I’m allowed to do that right?). Now I’m not saying I approve of this book, I’m still very against a coach doing this to a player but I must admit I’ve gotten some great insight into how Tiger practices and prepares. I’ve laughed out loud quite a few times and especially at the story of one of his first ski adventures when Hank Haney thought his career was over as Tiger flew down without knowing how to turn. Just go buy it already. I can’t believe nobody asked him about this at the press conference after Bay Hill! His quote about Ian Poulter bumming a ride on his airplane is fantastic.

#16) With all the Q-School drama going on Bud Cauley’s likely feeling pretty good he skipped it. I didn’t know much about Cauley except that he went to Alabama so I always cheered for him. He’s currently putting in a stellar start to his rookie year, nothing amazing but chugging along making 7 of 9 cuts and posting three top-20 finishes. This week at Bay Hill he finished t-4! Roll Tide! Go spend your dollars now, at least book your spot for the National Championships.

#17) I’m impressed Charley Hoffman made the cut this week after watching him dunk it in the pond on 18 on Thursday. I was pretty sure he was tossing his hot pink glove in the pond or leaving it on the rocks and going trunk slammin’. Pink is pretty popular these days but nobody sports it better than Bubba, every time I see him on the tee I think he’s pretty damn brave rocking that driver.   Just can’t get enough of him and oh yeah he finished T-4 this week too! Him and Bud will be celebrating.

Rocking the pink driver with pride.

#18) My honorable mentions of the week go to the guys who had a tough time closing it out on the last hole recently. Jeff Overton took a nine today after dunking a few in the pond on the closing hole, Gary Woodland also had to reach into the bag a few times and let’s not forget Hoffman on Thursday. Drive north 26 hours on a bus and you’ll find Travis King, a staff writer for SportsProvocateur who doubled his last hole to miss beating his career low at the Four Seasons Golf Club on Thursday. It’s tough out there folks and it happens to everyone.

Next up… The Shell Houston Open.