Sports Outside the Beltway

Williams Helps Toronto Win in CFL Debut

Ricky Williams‘ CFL regular season debut turned out well. In Toronto’s 27-17 win over Hamilton the suspended Miami Dolphin rushed for 97 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards.


Tiger Woods Misses Cut at U.S. Open

Tiger Woods shot a 6-over Friday to go 12-over for the tournament. At 120th he needs 60 players to do worse for him to play on the weekend. This U.S. Open will be the first cut Woods will have ever missed at a major as a pro. The golf superstar recently endured the death of his father and hasn’t played a tournament in over two months.

UPDATE (James Joyner): It’s official.

Tiger Woods has missed the cut at the U.S. Open, the first time he’s done so for any major since turning pro.

Photo Tiger Woods 2006 U.S. Open Wingfoot Tiger Woods reacts while in the rough on the first hole during the first round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club on Friday, June 16, 2006, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Father’s Day. The U.S. Open. They have always gone hand-in-hand for Tiger Woods, and he no doubt envisioned this week as the perfect time to win one for Dad. Instead, he will be a spectator, the result of a surprisingly terrible two-day display that ended in Woods missing the cut in a major for the first time as a pro. Playing from under trees, in the rough and even from the wrong course Friday, Woods shot his second straight score of 6-over-par 76 to miss the cut by three strokes.

“I don’t care if you had what transpired in my life or not,” said Woods, playing for the first time since his father died in May. “Poor execution is never going to feel very good.”

It would have been a great story had Tiger won the Open, so soon after his dad’s passing. But golf is mostly a mental game. It would have been surprising even for someone with Tiger’s legendary focus to be able to do it, let alone on the brutal Wingfoot course, while still grieving for his loss.



No US Open for Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie’s attempt at qualifying for the men’s U.S. Open fell short:

Three consecutive bogeys sent her to a three-over 75 and into the middle of the qualifying pack at Summit, New Jersey today (AEST).

Wie opened with a 68 on the easier South course, and still had a chance to get one of 18 spots available to the 153-player field at Canoe Brook when she strode confidently to the back nine.

Needing at least one birdie to have a chance, her inability to master the greens finally caught up with her.

She finished at one-over 143 and ultimately didn’t come close.

The girl’s only 16. She’ll make it one of these years.

“Michelle’s US Open Bid Fails”

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


Pujols Maybe Out Six Weeks

In this year of Barry Bonds passing Babe Ruth on the all-time home runs list we could have been witness to Albert Pujols putting together one of the greatest offensive performances in baseball history. Too bad for us he hurt himself going after a foul ball:

Pujols, who leads the major leagues with 25 home runs and 65 RBIs after winning the NL MVP award last year, will be re-evaluated on Sunday but is expected to go on the DL.

“Obviously, we have significant concerns about the severity,” team physician Dr. George Paletta said. “This injury can put you out for weeks.”

Paletta said Pujols, who pulled up and grabbed his right side while chasing a foul pop by Ramirez in the second, could be out for as long as six weeks.

“If you told me right now he’d be out two weeks, that’s a lot better than the rest of the year,” manager Tony La Russa said. “I just don’t think after talking to Dr. Paletta that two weeks from now, Albert will be ready to go.”

No one’s accused Pujols of using steroids. Having him chase after Bonds’ single-season home run mark would have returned some gloss to that record.

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


For Rockies Character Counts in Clubhouse and on Box Score

The Colorado Rockies are using Christianity to improve the clubhouse and their performance on the baseball field.

On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.

From ownership on down, it’s an approach the Rockies are proud of — and something they are wary about publicizing. “We’re nervous, to be honest with you,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd says. “It’s the first time we ever talked about these issues publicly. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone because of our beliefs.”

The clubhouse lacks the rowdiness typical of other baseball teams. After eight seasons of losing baseball and an embarassing incident with Denny Neagel management infused the team with a Christian approach. There doesn’t appear to be any feeling of forced faith but that could be due to the team’s selection process.

The Rockies’ success may not be due to what prayer sessions or bible studies as much as the professional attitude displayed. A good work ethic means being serious about one’s job, being prepared, and taking the job seriously. The Rockies are using Christianity and good character to do that.

“Baseball’s Rockies Seek Revival on Two Levels” [via Michelle Malkin]

UPDATE: Rockies players say USA Today put too much emphasis on Christianity. Jason Jennings said, “You don’t have to be a Christian to have good character. They can be separate. It was misleading.”

It may be misleading. It also maybe Rockies players don’t want to be labled “goody-goodies” by their peers.

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


Bucks Will Sport New Colors, Uniforms Next Season

Rumor has it the will be getting new uniforms next season and going retro. I liked the purple but don’t mind the colors from the days when Sidney Moncrief and company dominated the Central Division. I hope they keep the fierce-looking buck in the team logo. Even as a kid I wasn’t fond of the cartoon Bango mascot.

[Cross-posted to The American Mind.]


Packers Get a Great Grade

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports gives the Packers an A in the draft:

Green Bay Packers

High marks – The mass of the class is fantastic – 13 total picks, including five in the top 75. Linebackers A.J. Hawk and Abdul Hodge should be a great tandem for years to come. Tackle Daryn Colledge and center Jason Spitz should eventually develop into starters. Greg Jennings and Cory Rodgers add depth to the receiving crew and should provide what Terrence Murphy would have if he hadn’t been injured. Cornerback/wide receiver Will Blackmon offers flexibility and can also be a return specialist. Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly was a great value selection in the sixth round.

Low marks – The Packers started strong, but dropped off with some reaching in Rounds 5 through 7. Two big ones came in the fifth round: Quarterback Ingle Martin was a seventh-round choice on many boards, and tackle Tony Moll was expected to be an undrafted free agent.

Final grade: A

The linebacker tandem should really improve defensive speed. With it being a down year for wide receivers I don’t know what to think of Jennings and Rodgers.


Texans Sign Williams

North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams already signed with the Houston Texans before today’s NFL Draft. He will be the number one pick instead of USC running back phenom Reggie Bush. Now, does New Orleans trade down since they have a quarterback in Drew Brees and a running back in Deuce McAllister? If they swapped picks with the Oakland Raiders they could have a good shot at getting a good defensive player along with additional picks or players. Oakland could be sure they drafted Vince Young. All that stands between Reggie Bush becoming a Green Bay Packer is Tennessee and the New York Jets. Since both teams could use a running back I doubt he’ll fall to number five. Much depends on New Orleans.’s Len Pasquarelli is shredding the Texans:

Bad enough the loyal fans of Houston have had to suffer through the stigma of four straight losing campaigns, an average of just 4½ victories per year and a team that managed just half as many wins in its fourth season as it did in its expansion year of 2002. Now the fans are saddled with a team suffering from astigmatism.

There’s a reason that only one expansion team that has entered the league since 1976, the Bucs, won fewer games in its first four seasons than the Texans have earned, and we saw why on Friday night when Houston bypassed tailback Reggie Bush with the top pick in the draft and opted for defensive end Mario Williams instead.

Some teams try to exercise foresight with such threshold football decisions. Houston, on the other hand, apparently makes them blindfolded.

There’s now talk of the Packers taking Maryland tight end Vernon Davis. This isn’t from Wisconsin sources. The talk in Packerland is the team taking Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. Although there have been sports talk radio callers suggesting sending disgruntled wide out Javon Walker along with the number five pick to the Saints for receiver Dante Stallworth and the number two pick. Many think Walker will be traded sometime during the draft.


Who Owns the Bush House?

Less than one week before the NFL Draft Reggie Bush is under a cloud of controversy. Yahoo Sports (of all media organizations) dug into who owned the Southern California house his family lived in:

In this sprawling hilltop community with a breathtaking view of Sweetwater Lake, it was no secret who lived in the 3,000-square-foot house at the corner of Apple Street and Luther Avenue.

That home, residents would tell you, was where Reggie Bush’s family lived.

That is, until this weekend, when the family abruptly packed up and vacated the residence – less than 24 hours after Yahoo! Sports approached Bush’s mother about information linking the property to Michael Michaels, a man who is alleged to have tried to play a role in steering Bush toward an agent and who also has ties to a sports marketing company.

Days before Bush is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, unanswered questions about the residence and how his mother, stepfather and brother came to live in it within the last year have prompted the University of Southern California to refer the matter to the Pacific-10 Conference for an investigation.

NCAA statutes prohibit student-athletes or their families from receiving extra benefits from professional sports agents, marketing companies or their representatives. A breach of these statutes could result in an athlete being ruled ineligible, and games in which they played could be forfeited.

USC finished 12-1 last season, its 35-game winning streak and national championship bid both ending with a loss in the Rose Bowl to Texas. Bush, a junior running back, won the Heisman Trophy and elected to skip his senior season and turn pro in January.


Jerry Kramer’s Super Bowl I Ring Found

Jerry Kramer, an offensive lineman on the great Green Bay Packer teams of the 1960s, had his ring from the first Super Bowl stolen twenty years ago. It was discovered being auctioned on the Web. Sean Hackbarth has the rest of the story.

“Its greatest significance is that it was Super Bowl I,” [Kramer] said Friday in a telephone interview from his home in Boise, Idaho. “You can get excited about Super Bowl XV or Super Bowl XXV or Super Bowl XXXV, but there’s nothing like the first one.”

Indeed, it wasn’t even called “the Super Bowl” at that point.


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