Betting Against The Smart Money

I got a good chuckle about this one.  (For those of you who don’t care about professional golf or golf in general, what follows isn’t about golf, despite the circumstances.)

It’s been announced that the breakaway LIV golf circuit (funded by the Saudis) is going to merge with the established PGA circuit, which means that all the Sturm und Drang sobbing about “rebels”, “traitors”, “mercenaries” and so on is just meaningless piffle (as it was at the time anyway).

Here’s what got me chuckling:

Former President Donald Trump is nothing if not prescient on some of the biggest cultural and business issues of the day.

The latest example of his Nostradamus-like ability to see into the future can be found in his 2022 prediction that the upstart league LIV Golf would merge with its rival the PGA. That pronouncement came to fruition on Tuesday.

“All of those golfers that remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year,” he shared on his social media app Truth Social in July 2022.

Of course, some people had a problem with this because Trump:

“To be clear, only Trump is talking about possibly merging the organizations,” author Michael D’Antonio wrote in July 2022.

And as for the announcement itself:

In response to the news, CBS Sports reporter Kyle Porter tweeted, “Truly gobsmacked today. Of the 10,000 different outcomes, this was never talked about, never discussed, never even floated. Everyone who would have known was at the PGA two weeks ago, and nobody even came close to hinting at it!”

…except Donald Trump, a year ago.


When I swam the Atlantic in the mid-1980s, I knew absolutely diddly about American sports.  Basketball?  Buncha tall guys throwing the ball into a net thingy, like the “netball” which girls played back home.  Football?  Large men running into each other with little to show for it, and when not doing that, forward passes (illegal in the game of rugby) and matches which featured short bursts of action between long commercial breaks.  Baseball?  Sorta like “rounders” (another girly game).

Then I got invited to my first baseball game.  The Chicago Cubs were playing at Wrigley Field, against some other team (don’t remember which one), and the “starting” pitcher was a guy named Greg Maddux.

Remember, I knew diddly about the game of baseball:  how it’s played, the terminology, the strategy, and what constituted a “good” player.  When it came to that last, though, I learned that really quickly, because watching Maddux pitch was like watching a skilled surgeon performing a routine operation.  I’d never seen anything like it before, and I’m not sure I’ll ever see it again.  Only other players in different sports come to mind:  Shane Warne (cricket), Michael Jordan (duh) and Lionel Messi (soccer/football) ever came close — and in the case of Jordan, it opened up basketball for me, but only as long as he was playing.

Back to Maddux and that game.  I had a good seat behind home plate, and was blessed by having my boss — a serious baseball fan — sitting next to me, who could explain the game to me.  I didn’t need any tutoring when Maddux was on the mound, because greatness doesn’t need much explanation.  I didn’t know a curve ball from a slider from a two-seam fastball;  all I saw was batters swinging the bats like little kids, and seldom hitting any pitch Maddux threw.  As I recall, he pitched seven innings, allowed zero runs and only had a couple of on-base hits scored on him.  Cubs win.  Cubs win.  Cubs win.

Of course, at that time the Cubs as a team sucked bigly because the loathsome Tribune Corporation (the owners) didn’t need the team to win, only to make a decent game of it.  They didn’t spend money on great players because the fans loved the guys they did have — admittedly, some very good ones like Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace and Andre Dawson — but other than Maddux, their pitching sucked and nobody could hit the ball or even field the ball other than the aforementioned three players.

Of course, when Maddux’s (cheap) contract came to an end, the Tribune Corp. offloaded him like a bad smell, sending him to Atlanta where he amassed feat after feat, in the end winning 300 games, striking out over 3,000 batters, for a career ERA of some minuscule number, four Cy Young Awards and a first-round pass into the Hall of Fame.

I know all this about him because I wasn’t a Cubs fan but a Maddux fan — so when he was traded I quit watching the Cubs forever.

Anyway, this is not a post intended to promote a discussion of how other pitchers were “better” than Greg Maddux — I can hear the Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton supporters warming the engines as we speak — but an appreciation of the man himself.

When his Cubs contract ended, Maddux turned down the Yankees and went to the Braves for less money — because he thought Atlanta would be a better place to raise his kids than New York.

And who could argue with that?

Here’s a YooChoob video which does a better job than I have (unsurprisingly).

Growing Skin

…and I’m not talking about that skin, either.

One of the nicest things about the game of golf is that it’s a gentle one — no bodies crashing against each other, no feats of strength, no slam-dunks or soaring home runs:  just quiet, delicate and deliberate movements.

Which also applies to the subtle art of gamesmanship.  No in-your-face screaming “Bring It On!”, chest-thumping or trying to put your opponent off his shot;  just quiet, subtle digs designed to get inside his head to make him change his game, to his disadvantage or your advantage.

I remember once mis-hitting a drive which just managed to stay on the fairway, but only went for about 150 yards — whereupon my opponent asked disingenuously:  “Does your husband also play golf?” implying, of course, that I hit like a girl.

And before anyone thinks that this kind of remark is in any way demeaning to women — it isn’t, because the fact of the matter is that women can’t hit the ball as far as a man can, which is why all golf courses have a “Ladies Tee” in each hole, usually many yards closer to the fairway and green than those used by men.

So when Tiger Woods (47) surreptitiously handed his opponent Justin Thomas (29) a tampon after his drive had traveled further than the younger man’s, everyone knew exactly what he was doing:  teasing Thomas, and playing a little gamesmanship.

Did I say everyone?   Perish the thought.  Of course, Feministicals International went berserk, calling Woods a misogynist and his actions “demeaning” and “disrespectful” to Womyns Everywhere.  FFS, here’s some rancid cow’s take:

She then queried if he was implying ‘periods are embarrassing or shameful or a sign of weakness?’

No he didn’t do that, dumbass.  He was teasing his buddy, and nothing more.  It’s a golfing tradition which goes back probably over a hundred years.  Oh gawd, I can hear the cries now:  “Well, it’s a tradition that has no place in today’s game!”

Fuck you, Sheila.  If you want us to take you seriously, stop getting so upset by something so unimportant.

Stop acting like a little girl, in other words, and grow some skin.

So these humorless fucks — girlymen and womyns alike — are going to try to take Tiger down (again) for being such a pig.

Fortunately, there’s one woman with a bit of commonsense:  Paige Spirinac, who uttered the immortal words:

‘If anyone tries to cancel Tiger over this, we riot!’

…adding the priceless (and true) comment:

‘It’s funny!”

For that down-to-earth attitude, young Paige gets more than just a mention:

Clearly, she understands the situation and has the perfect response:

‘Instead of women being outraged by Tiger and the tampon, I would love for them to actually provide ideas to help,’ she tweeted. ‘ For example I would have [Tampax] team up with the PGA tour to run a campaign where they provide free feminine products at golf courses.  Most don’t actually have them and during long rounds it can be a problem for us.’

Turning outrage into marketing — now that’s a Real Woman’s response.


I need to start watching more Winter Olympic sports.  Here’s what prompted this statement:

The ‘world’s hottest speed skater’ Jutta Leerdam has revealed she used her ‘extra fat’ and strength to become a world champion in December. Leerdam was in action at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Calgary two weeks ago and impressed.

Leerdam said: “I have become stronger and heavier. I now use that extra fat as strength.”

So let’s take a look at this fat chick:


Gotta tell y’all, there’s not a whole lot to complain about here.  Yes, she has nutcracker thighs and a muscular ass, but she’s a speed skater, FFS:  that comes with the territory.

I personally think she’s still shy of a few pasta dinners, but that’s just my preference showing through.  YMMV.

For the Brits: A Lose-Lose Outcome

here’s an example:

Argentina defeated France in the World Cup final in Qatar on Sunday in a penalty kick shootout following a 3-3 tie.

I know, I don’t care about this either (I follow club football, not international), but for our cousins Across The Pond, it’s one of those situations where, to paraphrase Henry Kissinger, it’s a pity that both sides couldn’t lose.

France (old enemies) vs. Argentina (enemies since the Falklands War in the 1980s).  No wonder the Brit response to the above was just a national shrug.

Oh, and for those Murkins who think that “soccer” is boring:  this one was a thriller.