Notes on a golf scorecard while giving thanks that, unlike Tom Brady, I have never split my pants on a golf course. Boarding a plane, yes, but not on a golf course …
… If everyone wasn’t squirming in their seats already waiting/hoping for a football season in 2020, Ed Orgeron reminded everyone this week of a reason LSU fans should be pining for the 2021 campaign already.
In an interview on WWL Radio, the LSU coach talked about the recruiting promise he made to allow All-American cornerback Derek Stingley to play some on offense in his junior (and presumably last) season with the Tigers.
A pair of divergent thoughts come to mind. One, Stingley, already arguably the nation’s best cornerback, also returns kicks. Playing him on offense too could be spreading him too thin. The golden goose only contains so many eggs.
What can't LSU defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. do?
Two, in the name of Tommy Casanova (who played safety, returned punts and dabbled at running back in three All-American seasons, 1969-71), why not give it a shot? I have a sneaking suspicion that Stingley is already the nation’s best all-around player going into his sophomore year. If he can continue to be a shutdown corner and return a kick or two for touchdowns and have some production on offense, pencil Stingley in as a Heisman Trophy finalist two Decembers from now.
All this is probably too much too soon. But with Stingley, the possibilities literally may be endless.
… Jeff Goodman of WatchStadium.com reported over the weekend that LSU basketball associate head coach Greg Heiar was a candidate to join the staff as an assistant at East Tennessee State. ETSU has a strong program, which beat LSU 74-63 in Baton Rouge on Dec. 18, though its coach Steve Forbes recently left to take the job at Wake Forest. It is one of the few major coaching moves in college basketball during this extended offseason, the big chill courtesy the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, it would not even seem to be a lateral move for Heiar, who has been on Will Wade’s staff for his first three seasons at LSU. If it happens it would be sure to raise eyebrows as to why Heiar might make such a move, especially after doing much of the game-planning during Wade’s 2019 postseason suspension. A lot of LSU fans probably fear it would be an indication that the NCAA hammer is coming for the program, but to date there still seems to be no evidence of that. At this point, all we can say is stay tuned.
… Shortly after the duo of Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning edged Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady on Sunday in their waterlogged charity golf match in Florida, Drew Brees hopped on Instagram to say he wants the next shot at the champs.
His partner? Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion.
Brees isn’t just pulling a Spanish rabbit out of the sombrero. Garcia’s wife Angela is Brees’ cousin (they named their first child Azalea after the 13th hole at Augusta National, but I digress). Tiger owns a beachfront condo in Sergio’s mind, having psyched him out more than a few times over the years, but it would be a fun matchup.
There is no serious talk as yet about this made-for-TV match coming to fruition. We’ve had two of them this month (Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy beat Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff a couple weeks ago) and the PGA Tour is rapidly approaching its restart date June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. So, another made-for-TV event could be aced out by the calendar.
But if we were to see Tiger-Peyton versus Drew-Sergio, wouldn’t it be delightful if they played in New Orleans, where Woods never, ever plays? If they played at TPC Louisiana, maybe Tiger will get a taste for it and decide to come back to play in the Zurich Classic.
… I have a feeling that 35-page proposal by a bunch of college baseball coaches to shift the season from a mid-February to mid-March start, extending the College World Series until the end of July, is going to gain a lot of traction in the months to come. With suddenly cash-strapped athletic departments looking for places to cut costs or to cut sports entirely, baseball is trying to keep itself off the chopping block. LSU coach Paul Mainieri even speculated to our Luke Johnson over the weekend that 100 college baseball programs could eventually be shuttered.
It is not a good sign of the current state of things when LSU coach Paul Mainieri opens up our conversation by saying, "I really hope I’m wron…
I find that expectation overly gloomy, especially if this proposal passes that would eliminate the cost of a lot of northern and eastern programs having to travel early in the season while their campuses are frozen solid. It would also level the game’s playing field to an extent, though I think college baseball is likely to remain a Sun Belt-dominated sport.
Before the pandemic I wouldn’t have given this notion much chance of gaining support, but as we all know a lot of things we thought wouldn’t change are different now. I just hope if we see the 2022 CWS being played in July that we will have effective vaccines by then so we don’t have to see masked fans sitting two or three seats apart in a half-filled T.D. Ameritrade Park Omaha.