Why Tiger Woods will never win another major

Woods is instinctively a predator, on the course and off, and it’s not clear that a kinder, gentler Tiger has the mental edge needed to win.

It’s Thanksgiving Day, 2009. Tiger Woods is happily married, he’s everybody’s favorite golfer, and he owns 14 major golf championships. It is pretty much assumed that at some point in the coming few years he will tie and surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 majors, cementing himself as the greatest golfer in history.

That evening – and here the details are a bit fuzzy – but it seems that his wife Elin finally realizes that her devoted husband has been serial humping every cocktail waitress on five continents and in a fit of … call it dismay, I guess … attempts to neuter him with a 9 iron.

Let’s review Tiger’s competitive results since that moment: Continue reading

ArtSunday: Chip

Photographers know to always be ready. The best shot may be the one you aren’t expecting.

The Balloons Over Bend festival was in town this weekend. I got up early this morning and headed down to Riverbend Park to hopefully get some nice shots of hot air balloons, which I have never photographed before.

I found a spot up on the hill behind the park (the hill where my office is located, in fact), set up the tripod and waited for the festivities to commence. But apparently it was too windy, and sadly no balloons were going to fly. Which sucked – if you’re going to crawl out of bed at 5:30am on a Sunday, you don’t want it to be in vain.

But then, as I was sitting there, this happened. Continue reading

World-Cup-2018

The future of the World Cup: three burning questions

World Cup 2014 was a great one. But what does the future hold?

russia-2018Copa Mundial 2014 was a wonderful tournament, despite the bad officiating, diving and cannibalism. We saw the emergence of new stars (what do you mean it’s pronounced “Hahm-es”?), brilliant swan songs by old stars (here’s to you Miroslav Klose), dramatic overachieving (hail Ticos!), epic flame-outs (remember back in the old days when Spain was good?), spectacular individual performances in service of doomed causes (Memo Ochoa and #thingstimhowardcouldsave come to mind) and a whole lot more. Best of all, in the end the best team won.

Now we look ahead to 2018 and beyond with a series of questions on the mind of every avid football supporter. Continue reading

CATEGORY: Sports

Germany 1, Argentina 0: final thoughts on a brilliant World Cup

World Cup 2014 is in the books. Congratulations to Die Mannschaft, and also to Argentina for a fantastic effort.

Mario Götze buries the winner

It was a tournament for the ages. 11 stray observations, in no particular order.

1: While the political and economic controversies surrounding this tournament were driven by very real concerns, the tournament itself was marvelous. I’m not one who can easily compartmentalize when it comes to corruption and moral issues in sport, and I have been constantly aware of the protests against the Cup, which was in many eyes an $11B debacle. Acknowledging that, the actual competition had everything – drama, brilliant play, agony, ecstasy, epic meltdowns, upsets and more. It also had, sadly, diving, cannibalism and enough horrific officiating to last us the rest of the century. Two of those things will likely be subjects for future posts. Continue reading

NBA free agency wrap up: LeBron, Starmelo, Bosh and the Gimp

Much respect to King James. Wade is done and he’s taking Miami down with him. Bosh lashes himself to the mast of a sinking ship. And Melo is who we thought he was. Discuss.

The major elements of this year’s NBA free agency season – LeBron, Carmelo, Bosh and Wade – are now settled, or soon will be. A few reactions:

1: LeBron made a good decision, and it may have even been for the right reasons. He articulates his thinking in that wonderful letter that you may have read by now, and while you couldn’t get me to Cleveland at gunpoint, I fully respect his desire to go home and to do what he can to boost the fortunes of the place where he grew up. And I believe that he’s sincere in his justification of the … well, I started to say “the decision,” but that would have been in bad taste, huh?

Thing is, this was also a really smart hoops move. He went to Miami because he wanted to win, and he’s smart enough now to realize that he had to leave Miami to win. The problem on South Beach is simple…

2: Dwyane Wade is finished. D-Wade is a legit first ballot Hall of Famer and his career has been spectacular. But that’s all past tense now. Some years back an ESPN columnist, I think, penned an article on why Wade wouldn’t have a long career. Continue reading

FINALLY – Colorado Rockies ownership and I agree on something

Dick Monfort slips up and inadvertently offers fans some great advice.

I’ve been hammering the Colorado Rockies for a decade now, and for good reason. Years and years of clueless ownership and management were bad enough, and then we found out about the Jesus Mandate.

Now we have a fun new episode to consider. Some poor schmuck of a fan popped a few hundred dollars and drove the family over from Grand Junction to see a game, whereupon the Rockies were … well, the Rockies. So he filled out a fan survey and was honest about his experience.

Next thing you know he got an e-mail directly from owner Dick Monfort: Continue reading

CATEGORY: ScienceTechnology2

An insight into Libertarianism? George Packer’s Unwinding, Peter Thiel and techno-Libs

In their fascination with technology, are Libertarians really just seeking certainty?

I just finished reading George Packer’s remarkable, if not especially uplifting, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. One of the people he considers in his biography of the modern US is billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel.

Thiel is, among other things, a diehard Libertarian. Packer is … not. But the author doesn’t let his decidedly progressive perspective get in the way of telling Thiel’s story and representing the man’s perspective.

Toward the end, in a discussion of Thiel’s belief in the power of technology to free us from the innately limiting drag of politics, something occurred to me. Continue reading

#USMNT crashes out vs. Belgium: final thoughts

Tim Howard put on an epic display, but the last-minute heroics fell short in a 2-1 loss.

It was tense. It was gut-wrenching. And in the end, heartbreaking. The US team believed. Its fans believed. And now we have to find a way to feel pride when we thought we could go further.

12 thoughts, in no particular order.

1: Timmeh. Good news: Tim Howard is god. Bad news: he had to be.

It’s impossible to say whether today was the greatest performance by a goalkeeper in World Cup history. But we can say this, with confidence: it would be difficult for a goalkeeper to play much better. Continue reading

World Cup intermission: underachievers and overachievers so far

The round of 16 features at least nine surprises. Who has outperformed expectations? Who swallowed their tongues?

The group stage of World Cup 2014 is done and we have our entrants in the round of 16, which commences tomorrow. As always there have been surprises, so let’s have a look at the teams who have performed contrary to our expectations.

Overachievers

1: Costa Rica. Anyone who has watched this Tico team in recent years knows they’re tough as damned nails. Honestly, CONCACAF qualifying trips down there are about as bad as visits to Azteca. Continue reading

Politics: Democrats vs Republicans

Howard Baker dead: a former Republican remembers the last GOP statesman

Baker was the man who set me on the path to progressivism.

Former Tennessee Senator and Reagan White House Chief of Staff is dead at 88. Baker was, in many ways, one of the last of his kind: to wit, a coherent Republican. I have noted before that in my youth I was a conservative – by the standards of that era, anyway. I voted for Reagan twice – I’m not proud of it, but I won’t hide from the facts – even though I can’t say I was ever a true blue Reaganite. No, my ideals ran more toward the old school conservatism of men like Baker. Smart, reasonable, diplomatic. He was, I have argued, the last Republican statesman. Continue reading

#USMNT 0:1 Germany: Yanks back into round of 16

It wasn’t pretty, but the Yanks advance. What next? Also, the ghost of Landon Donovan.

The US Men’s team lost to Germany today, but thanks to Portugal’s win over Ghana the Americans advance anyway. 10 stray thoughts, in no particular order.

1: The pervasive emotion is relief, not elation. Thanks to its last-minute collapse against the Portuguese this was tense until the final whistle for the US. Still, backing in is better than not getting in at all. Continue reading

Media

Amusing ourselves to death: new Sciencegasm meme nails it

The public interest is what the public is interested in, bitches.

Thanks to Facebook, we all see new memes every day. Some of them are funny, some insightful, and a lot are of the preaching to the choir variety, which even though they’re right as rain, they occasionally get tiresome. Like a lot of us, frustrated as hell with the sorry shape of our society and the deteriorating condition of our planet and the sheer hopelessness of mounting an assault against the mountain of cynical, corrupt cash standing between us and a solution, I guess I suffer from bouts of what we’ll call Fact Fatigue. If we’re intelligent, I fear, the truth is too much with us.

Every once in awhile, though, somebody sends one around that’s so on-point you can’t ignore it. Today, for instance, it was my friend Heather Sowards-Valey (she of Fiction 8 fame) sharing this one from Sciencegasm: Continue reading

Portugal/#USMNT tie 2-2: seven thoughts (and tiebreaker scenarios)

It was a collapse for the ages. Now it’s white-knuckle time.

Gutted. Absolutely gutted. All we had to do was kill off 30 more seconds.

[sigh]

Well, for you glass-half-full types, at least now the Germany game means something.

1: Michael Bradley. Had you told me before the tournament started that at this stage Bradley would be one of our weaker links I’d … well, first off I wouldn’t have believed you. But if I did, I’d figure we were done, 0-2, and the German match coming up would be a meaningless exhibition. That he has been this disappointing and we somehow have four points and are still alive, that’s just remarkable. Continue reading

Nigeria 1:0 Bosnia-Herzegovina: how bad was the officiating?

Edin Dzeko’s disallowed goal was clearly onsides, but a close review of the replay suggests that it was a simple missed call.

Yesterday’s pivotal Nigeria/Bosnia-Herzegovina match featured a blown offsides call that deprived BIH of the only goal it scored. Moments later Nigeria scored courtesy of a controversial no-call on the play that produced the goal by (of all people) Peter Odemwingie. The Bosnians were aggrieved, to put it mildly. Continue reading

Doco: Joshua Booth, Trevor Booth, Dave Burkart

Doco’s Freeway Camping Life: political, personal, progressive

Trevor and Joshua Booth’s music has always been political. On their most recent CD they make clear that progressive values begin at home.

 

Doco: Joshua Booth, Trevor Booth, Dave Burkart

Doco: Joshua Booth, Trevor Booth, Dave Burkart

We have a long, proud tradition of politically active, strongly progressive musicians in the US. Woody Guthrie, Peter, Paul and Mary. Dylan. The Beatles. Punk in general. Green Day’s American Idiot was an iconic classic straight out of the box. And that’s barely a start. Once upon a time, if you were a serious artist, anti-establishment values were more or less a prerequisite. Then came the Reagan years, which laid the groundwork for the corporate takeover of music with the neutering of the FCC and the Public Interest standard. The assimilation was completed during the Bush II years, when all of a sudden you had Clear Channel staging pro-war rallies. Continue reading