Today in the World of Sports…
The United States national soccer team should be writing thank-you letters to England’s goalkeeper Robert Green all week. In Saturday’s 1-1 tie with the U.S., Green was unable to control a 20-yard shot by American Clint Dempsey. The equalizer made Dempsey the second U.S. soccer player to score goals in two World Cups – joining Brian McBride. No matter what Green, currently on the English Premier League’s West Ham United roster, achieves in his soccer career, he will always be known for letting Dempsey’s shot by him.
In an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, Green spoke about his botched save – “…It won’t affect me psychologically. I’m 30. I’m a man, and you have hardships in life and prepare for them.” For a second, I was afraid Green had become Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy. But, in September 2007, Gundy was a man and 40-years-old.
I would give a game ball to U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard for staying in the England game after taking cleats to the ribs from Emile Heskey. The incident occurred in the 29th minute of the Group C match. It was very evident the 31-year-old Howard was in severe pain. After receiving a painkiller injection before the second half, Howard, a starter for the EPL’s Everton, made six crucial saves to keep the two squads tied at 1. The United States needs Howard more than it relies on Landon Donovan.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest must have taken a few acting classes after he moved to LA. During Game 5, watching his flop caused by Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo barely touching him, I would say that Artest did not get his money’s worth. He should pursue something closer to a Hennessey spokesperson not a dramatic actor. Maybe Artest needs to take up soccer.
Having a microphone in the huddle during NBA games is hilarious. During the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 5, Lakers coach Phil Jackson plainly stated, “They [the Celtics] know how to lose in the fourth quarter.” Of course, Celtics star Kevin Garnett had no comment on Jackson’s in-game statements. I love the heated back and forth between teams. However, is every player becoming as boring as a “No Comment” Terrell Owens on a driveway?
Over the weekend, Jacksonville native Michael O’Neal qualified for his first PGA Tour event at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of North Florida graduate made the cut, but finished only three rounds because of a fairly-new designation of MDF. The PGA Tour rule, which began in 2008, stands for “made [cut] didn’t finish.” After shooting a third-round 76, O’Neal finished three rounds at 217.
If a golfer lands an MDF, then he still receives credit for making the cut and gets paid. The MDF label is intended to keep weekend fields at a manageable size. In November of 2007, the PGA Tour Policy Board created the MDF rule. Typically, the top 70 golfers plus ties make the cut. With the MDF in place, if the cut line exceeds 78, then the number closest to 70 advances in tournament play. Numerous professional golfers – including local pro Jim Furyk and John Daly – are opposed to the MDF. I know that if Tiger Woods had an MDF this would be a much larger topic of conversation.
O’Neal, who turns 24 on June 26, has been playing the NGA Hooters Tour this season. In seven NGA tournaments this year, he missed only two cuts and won $11,482 in earnings. O’Neal’s best finish was a tie for 10th at the ADI Classic in Georgetown, Kentucky. In a brief text conversation with him, regarding his first two rounds, he said, “I hung in there and played really well.” Even with O’Neal’s recurring back pains, the former Bishop Kenny High School golfer has been striking the ball solidly since March.
If it ever happens, who wouldn’t be happy potentially seeing Florida State playing football in the Southeastern Conference?
Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio.
Additionally, he can be heard on ABC 1320 WBOB in Jacksonville and 103.7 FM at the Jacksonville Beaches on Saturdays as host of Inside the Game. The program airs from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.
Follow Richard’s daily blog on The Jacksonville Observer and his Twitter page MillerOnSports.