'The Match' is perfect Tuesday night television in early July
I'm sure all the cool people on Twitter were bashing 'The Match' -- Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady vs. Bryson DeChambeau & Aaron Rodgers -- for a variety of reasons including 27-year-old Bryson having very little personality, especially when compared to Phil. Then there was Rodgers with his forced dry, funny guy routine while Bryson uttered "bro" at least twice in every sentence.
Now for the good stuff -- this is incredible television to watch when you don't care one bit about the NBA Finals. Yes, I want to see Tom Brady struggle with his putting, especially the one where he was supposed to hit it to the right of the cup, but actually started it left and missed badly. Yes, I want to see Rodgers mashing drivers. Yes, I want to hear Phil being Phil. I want to see the bears, the moose, the mountain goats, the coyote.
The one thing that I didn't like was how 'The Match' has gone to a one-club challenge. Guys, that's meant for Put-In-Bay, not a 400-yard hole where guys are trying to putt with irons even though Bryson and Brady made solid efforts. The show slowed down during the one-club challenge. Let's get those guys over to my PIB Two-Club Challenge if we're going to do that again.
All in all, it was yet another stellar performance out of TNT, who hasn't been fully infected with the ESPNness. Yes, the network has told Shaq and Chuck to tone it down a little bit, but Barkley's still busting off cougar talk and there's nothing TNT execs can do. Are they going to fire the guy for cougar jokes? No chance.
Going forward, I think we might need Justin Thomas to be the other professional golfer. Bryson's a one-and-done guy. That personality can't carry these events year after year. Phil's not going anywhere. He was conceived by his parents with this job in his DNA. At 51, Phil's going to be at this fun golf guy for hire job for at least another decade-plus.
• I have to apologize to Luke O. for missing this email last week. It needs to be addressed.
A big hello and thank you for the work you do from the Badger state. That said, I need a ruling from you. I was all excited to come home from work today and get a fresh cut on the lawn. Like you, I’ve been off schedule the last few weeks due to weather, events, etc. Tonight was the night to get it all back together. However my wife’s grandmother wanted to come by and see the kids today so my wife thought she’d use her newly found free time to cut the grass while I was at work. She thought this was very thoughtful and helpful of her to do (knowing that I planned on cutting the grass later in the day). I find it borderline treasonous and am trying to pick up the pieces from a lost TNML night. Is she in the wrong? Or should I be grateful for getting an easier night going into the holiday weekend?
Commish response: Guys, this is new territory we find ourselves in. You're now in a mowing league and you understand the importance of pulling your weight in this league. I can feel the dejection in Luke's email. He was mentally prepared to get back on schedule and get his yard right before his wife interfered. It's like a starting pitcher learning the day of his start that he's being passed over in the rotation. The head starts swirling. You start to question your existence. You start to wonder if things will ever go back to the way they were. Back to the glory days when you were mowing, edging and suckin' down a Thursday post-mow beer while analyzing your lawn and what your neighbors must think of its beauty.
Here's how we handle the wives like Luke's who get a little over-ambitious. You MUST let her know how much it means to get out there on league night. It 100% shouldn't be in a condescending way. She has to know how much you cherish this me-time. Tell her about how Rick Ross meditates in his John Deere tractor while smoking a blunt and listening to music. Calmly tell her this is your meditation time. Just you and the mower. Explain to her this is how you re-connect with the earth. Make it known this is your Rick Ross moment in life.
And then if she fires back that she feels the same way, tell her to take the Sunday night quickie slot or Monday night. Fellas, Thursday nights belong to us. You have to put your foot down. Stand for something. Buy a nice bottle of wine for the wife and tell her to take photos of you in your element.
• Jim J. emailed while I was watching 'The Match':
I'm an owner in the TNML. Retired from the league after 40 years. I have an all-star son-in-law now handling the day-to-day activities on the field. In addition to doing my yard, he also knocks it out of the park on his own yard. For the July 4th weekend, he added a stars border along the sidewalk. His yard is accentuated by being a corner lot.
A lot of compliments from the neighbors for the added patriotic theme. May become the alternative decoration to putting lights on homes at Christmas time!
• Jason K. emailed (ed. note: watch the final 45-seconds of the video...this neighborhood goes HARD!):
I wanted to share the video of our neighborhood's fireworks in Newnan, GA. Our neighbor used to do pyrotechnics for the LA Angels and both his sons are professionals in the field as well.
Not often neighborhood fireworks are coordinated via a laptop. There is a tip jar for the show, which nearly paid for it all. The pyro guys love it, so they really don't care if they "lose" money on it. Great times!
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