The Weekend Sports Recap

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Nice Move

After trading up to take Jahvid Best with the 30th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, then-Lions head coach Jim Schwartz remarked, “Some people watch adult videos on their computer… I go to YouTube and watch Jahvid Best highlight clips. That’s what gets me going.” Schwartz is a weird dude with no friends, but you get the point: Best is a special athlete. The explosive Cal product lasted less than two NFL seasons because of (huge shock) concussions, but resurfaced this weekend when it was announced he’ll run the 100 meters at the Zikalympics for St. Lucia, the Caribbean island where his father was born. A fantastic dude whose football dream ended way too early, Jahvid’s special legs probably won’t outrun Usain Bolt, but we’re hoping he can bring a silver or bronze back to the Lesser Antilles…

Home, Swede Home: Stenson Outlasts Mickelson For Open Championship

The best ball-striker outside of Draymond Green in the Western Conference Finals, 40-year-old Henrik Stenson won his first major in an insane (-20) performance at Royal Troon. Known for his uncanny ability to find the middle of the club face, Stenson’s emergence has been held back by a Gheorghe Muresan-like short game, but the pride of Gothenburg finally found his putting stroke over the weekend and played historically brilliant golf. Phil Mickelson hasn’t been the same player since barely avoiding jail time in an insider trading probe, but Lefty (who finished 11 strokes ahead of third place finisher J.B. Holmes) matched Henrik shot-for-shot until the Swede’s ridiculous 50-foot birdie on 15 gave the first-time major winner a two-shot cushion, and ultimately paved the way for Stenson to hoist the Claret Jug. Here are the other highlights from the 145th Open Championship:

• Andrew “Beef” Johnson — a 5’9, 215lb slab of sirloin — finished alone in eighth place and moves atop our “guy on the Tour we’d most like to get drunk and golf cart joust with” list. He’s a jolly, bearded, cow-devouring machine…

• #RoidRage McIlroy snapped his three wood after a shank on No. 16. Golf’s new “bad boy” also took some flak for his comments on the Olympics (which we totally agree with). Rory ended up finishing tied for fifth (-4)…

•Steve Stricker shot 67-75-68-69 (-5) to take home the $444k fourth place prize. Not bad for a 49-year-old…

•Dustin Johnson (-2) backed up his first major victory with a top-10 finish…

•Stenson’s records: his final round 63 tied Johnny Miller for the lowest round to finish a major, and his 264 is the lowest 72-hole score in major history…

NFL Updates: Miller Not-Lite In The Pockets, Respect Me Mo, All Or Nothing

Don’t look now, but the NFL season is around the corner, and as we hit the post-NBA free agency/pre-Olympics lull in the sports calendar, it couldn’t come at a better time (especially if you’re in the sports newsletter business). The weekend’s big news involved two athletic freaks who inflict pain on pass-throwers. Von Miller signed a massive six-year extension that (deservedly) includes the most guaranteed money ever for a non-quarterback, and Mo Wilkerson finally got the respect he so publicly craved from the Jets, signing an $86 million deal with $53.5 million in guarantees. And if that isn’t enough to get you excited for the upcoming year, tune into “All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals” on Amazon. It’s a better version of Hard Knocks that lasts for a full season…

In Case You Missed It

MLB

• Houston signed 32-year-old Cuban legend Yulieski Gourriel, Jr. to a five-year, $47.5 million contract to play third base despite a logjam of infield talent at both the major and minor league levels. The offspring of Cuban baseball royalty and owner of a Communist-like 1.000+ OPS over a 15-year career on the island, Gourriel defected with his 22-year-old brother Lourdes in February…

• Jacob deGrom threw a complete game one-hitter to lead the Metropolitans to a 5-0 dub sack over the Phillies…

• A’s starter Rich Hill, who has been the subject of more trade speculation than Donald Trump’s foreign policy, left his start against the Blue Jays after five pitches because of a blister on his left (pitching) hand…

• Cole Hamels pitched eight dominant innings to lead the Rangers over the Cubs (4-1) and halt Texas’ losing skid at four…

• To get their teammate out of a season-long slump, the Indians channeled Jobu and made a sacrifice to the gods for catcher Yan Gomes. The next day, Cleveland’s backstop broke an 0-27 slump with a double in his first at-bat, but proceeded to injure his shoulder three innings later in a collision at first base. The next move for the Indians is an obvious one: call up Jake Taylor from AAA…

• Here are all of yesterday’s scores

NBA

• Phil Jackson floated the idea of a four-point line (intriguing) and a 30-second shot clock (idiotic). It should be noted that the shot clock idea came after the mushrooms really started to take hold…

• Kevin Garnett is reportedly contemplating retirement. The man has played professional basketball for 21 years: it would be a story if he wasn’t considering retirement…

• The Warriors are apparently looking for at least $15 million per year for their jersey sponsorship rights. Considering the 76ers got $5 million per season, $15 million actually sounds like a good deal for Golden State. We can think of a few companies in the San Francisco area who could afford that price tag…

MMA

• In one of the least surprising developments in recent memory, Brock Lesnar reportedly tested positive for PEDs in the lead-up to his (suspiciously successful) UFC return earlier this month. Officials grew suspicious when his bright purple urine melted the testing cup….

Olympics

• Doping officials from at least 10 influential countries (including the US and Canada) are expected to petition the IOC to ban the entire Russian team (track and field is already banned) from the Rio Games. While this maneuver would be unprecedented, public sentiment appears to be strong enough to give it a chance of succeeding. If you weren’t aware, Putin had Russia’s anti-doping chief murdered

• The chief of the Rio Olympics says that golfers are skipping the games because they aren’t getting paid, not because of Zika fears. Sure, dude…

#AthleteOfTheDay: Billy Ripken

If Cal was Iron Man, Billy was Mercury Boy. The younger Ripken was drafted by the Orioles in 1982 and made his MLB debut in 1987, but numerous trips to the disabled list shortened his semi-promising career. A light hitter with a reliable mitt, Billy led the O’s in batting average in 1990 (.291) and showed flashes of brilliance, but doesn’t exactly come up when people ponder “the best Ripken of all time.” Billy now works as a studio analyst for MLBTV and owns three minor league teams (the Aberdeen IronBirds, Augusta Greenjackets, and Charlotte Stone Crabs) with his big bro…

#LEADTRIVIA – Degree of Difficulty: 3 (out of 5)

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When We Read Stuff, We’re Reading:

“Indentured: The Inside Story of Rebellion Against the NCAA” by Joe Nocera

An eye-opening read on the history of the NCAA screwing over the same “student-athletes” that it claims to protect, and what some brave people are doing to fight back against the system…

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