Happy Monday! This week an MVP reports to court and when good golfers go grumpy in my High Five best sports headlines to discuss with the office, the other half, and the offspring….
1) Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is in some very hot water for allegedly selling autographs, as claimed by an eBay dealer who released photographs of the alleged evidence. Though far from fair–considering how much money the NCAA, colleges and other entertainment entities make off of student-athletes–rules are very clear about the kids selling such merchandise to profit themselves. Whether Manziel will be play this season remains to be seen (I’m guessing he will); as of now he is practicing as investigations continue.
2) After setting a course record 63 on Friday, Jason Dufner slipped past leader Jim Furyk to win the PGA Championship in Rochester on Sunday with a 2-under-68, despite bogeying the final two holes. The tournament was the last “major” of 2013. The win redeemed Dufner for the 2011 championship, where he lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.
But Bradley still haunts Dufner, with whom he is a buddy off the course. A photo Bradley posted of Dufner sitting slumped against the wall during a youth center appearance has set off an Internet rush of “#Dufnering”–fans recreating the pose (see Golf.com’s gallery here), even brides, bears and Lebron James, who had a busy week himself…
3) The NBA champion Miami Heat’s Lebron James was summoned for jury duty in Cleveland last week, tweeting about how honored he was to be serving his civic duties—although he was later dismissed. The Akron native is no longer Ohio’s favorite son, having departed the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 in a very public snub to join Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade for what has become a potential dynasty in Miami. Still, James not only showed up like the rest of us common schlubs, but he reportedly sat in the foreman’s office reading to avoid unnecessary attention—no autographs or distractions (and Lord knows Cleveland has had a few crimes lately), and for that, I salute him.
4) If your husband has a certain gleam in his eye lately, it may be because NFL pre-season has begun. While league teams are currently at their respective training camps, they are also squaring off in games throughout each weekend leading up to the official season start, Baltimore at Denver on Thursday, Sept. 5. The games, though ticketed and televised, really are glorified scrimmages; “starters” may play little if at all, while rookies and lesser-known players get playing time on a real field. With the competition and possible injuries, even at the elite level, no one is ever really safe–only 53 players can be on an active NFL roster once the season begins. Pre-season is when we find out who.
5) After Russia’s parliament overwhelmingly supported a new anti-gay law, celebrities, athletes and activists are speaking out worldwide in protests, “vodka-dumping,” and even calls to boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, as the U.S. did for the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. It is feared gay athletes and their supporters could be arrested. Still, many (myself included) feel another boycott would punish American athletes, and that our gay team members and those of other countries should enter Sochi with heads held high, forcing Russia to re-examine its human rights policies on an international stage.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has issued a statement claiming that the “highest levels” of Russian government (because that’s going so well for the U.S. lately) promises that gay athletes, visitors, media and the like will not be affected by the law.