Tiger’s back on the course today, taking part in the PGA’s version of the Arizona Fall League. The Fall Finish is designed mostly for players jockeying for their 2012 tour cards, fading veterans, or guys just trying to sort something out after a rough season. Tiger fits at least one of those categories. It’ll be the last time we see Tiger until he plays in Australia next month in the lead up to the Presidents Cup. No one has any idea how Tiger is going to play (he’s coming off a course record-62 in a casual round at Medalist!), and the best indication I’ve found of that is Tiger is paired with UCLA sensation Patrick Cantlay in the first round, and if it wasn’t for name recognition, Cantlay might be the odds on favorite to shoot the better round on Thursday.
It’s an important week for Woods and for Presidents Cup Captain Fred Couples, who both have been taking an enormous amount of heat for Tiger’s placement on the team. Fred, whether he was pressured by the PGA or not, I’m sure believed that Tiger could find his form by November. If he looks anywhere near as rusty as he did at the PGA Championship, it’s only going to fuel the fire. People want Tiger to decline his spot on the team, or step away if he continues to hit it sideways, but there is no way that will ever happen. Tiger could shoot 80 every day between now and the event and he’d still believe he was about to turn it around. So, unless you are a Tiger hater, or you’ve adopted the World Team in this year’s Presidents Cup, you probably want Mr. Woods to keep it out of the mid-70s today. He’s off at 3:10 eastern time.
The NHL season starts tonight. That’s the honest truth. The Flyers kick things off in Boston against the Bruins. Playoff atmosphere! Must-Win! Ok, maybe not. Perhaps you remember my hockey policy is to make sure the Flyers aren’t tanking the whole season in the first 3 months and then snap to attention around New Year’s and get properly immersed. I’m sure that will hold true this season as well, even without all my precious NBA games to watch. The Flyers completely blew up their roster. They asked for 4 cards in a game of 5-card draw, so it’ll be interesting in the early going to see what kind of chemistry the team has. Here’s some talking points to get you through a conversation with a crazed, Flyers lunatic.
1. We have Jaromir Jagr now. This produces mixed feelings because we HATED JAGR for so long. But, if he can help the power-play and set up some of our young scorers we will LOVE Jagr and embrace him as our own. I still can’t quite believe he’s here, it’d be a tiny bit like if Reyes signed with the Phillies in the off-season…if Reyes was 10 years older.
2. Chris Pronger is the Captain. Mike Richards, aka Bobby Clarke Jr. and the most electrifying man in the media room, is gone. Now, the guy everyone wanted to be captain since he arrived, Pronger, takes on the role. Pronger will probably talk more, but he’s a condescending d*ck to the press, which is another reason why most people love him. Pronger 4eva.
3. The Flyers new goalie is Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov is the type of goalie who allegedly would have helped the Flyers to win a cup in any number of the past 15 seasons. Of course, he earned that reputation for the most part in hockey crazed Phoenix, and as I mentioned earlier, the Flyers totally blew up their Stanley Cup Finals team from 2009.
4. The centerpiece of the Richards deal, super prospect Brayden Shenn, was injured in camp and will start the season with the Phantoms. Meanwhile, 18-year old draft pick, Sean Couturier made the opening day roster.
5. The following players are now Flyers, so if you hear their name, click into hockey mode: Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds, Max Talbot, Jakub Voracek, Andreas Lilja and of course, I already mentioned Shenn, Jagr, Bryz and Shenn.
It’s a wide-open season for the Flyers, they have a ton of young talent, it’s just a question of how well it comes together and how many guys are really ready to take a step forward and be key NHL-level pieces. At the very least they should have plenty of energy and be exciting to watch.
I’m not going to say I’m shocked, but I’m a little surprised at how upset some people are over the passing of Steve Jobs. I guess I just never really grasped his rock star status in the tech world. The only Apple product I ever had was this awful Macintosh computer that F&M gave me upon my arrival freshman year. The guy is a giant in my eyes simply for surviving that failure, but I never had an iPad or pod, or phone or book, etc. I guess that’s a little like judging Robert DeNiro’s film career based solely on Rocky and Bullwinkle. Apple has become a lifestyle for some people I think, and Jobs was the creator of that, or maybe more accurately the man who had the vision to see what all these people wanted. He quite obviously will be missed.