Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Fantasy Golf: Hero World Challenge Preview

Let's talk a bit of soccer, the most polarizing topic in America since they cut to black right before Tony Soprano met his demise. (Yes, that's what happened). Finally the sports gods smiled down upon the perennial underdog Americans and allowed us a slight taste of glory on the national stage. We ended the group stage undefeated and allowed but one measly penalty kick goal. It will be remembered as a success even if the Dutch wipe the floors with us on Saturday. 

But if you talk to some (rubes), it was much much bigger than that. At stake yesterday was decades of progress in this country to grow the game to a point where our youth gravitate to it with the same type of fervor previously reserved for baseball, football and launching pumpkins with catapaults. A loss or tie yesterday and that all would've evaporated. 

No more three day weekend tournaments with thousands of little kids packing Chick-fil-a's and Hampton Inns. 

No more hungover dads racked with Red Bull and coffee yelling at their 9 year old daughters to "PICK IT UP!!!" 

And no more Premier League fans gathering at pubs across the country from Poughkeepsie to Laguna Beach at the crack of dawn every Saturday and Sunday. 

Poof. Done. End of story.  

Alas, the de-Americanization of sports continues unabated and your friend who played back-up tight end in high school and went 1-6 wrestling at 182 lbs. will continue raging into the abyss while grinding his teeth over whether to start the Jaguars running back or the slot receiver for the Broncos in his flex spot. Love that guy. 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

I could write ten thousand words on things soccer needs to fix but I'm not sure I could capture the ridiculous rage of goalies towards their defenders the way this guy did.


GOLF ANALYSIS

If twenty of the best golfers in the world play a tournament the same weekend of the World Cup, college football conference championships and Week 13 of the NFL, will it really happen? Well we're about to find out as everyone you'd want to see minus Rory McIroy will descend on The Bahamas for a limited field cash grab.

Jon Rahm has played here twice with a win and a runner-up. So you should probably pick him. The rest of this week's picks are based on (a) wind, and (b) Tom Kim. Enjoy it. And let me know who wins.

One and Done Pick: Jon Rahm
Jordan you have two forms of 
expression, silence and rage.

Other Guy I'd Pick: Xander Schauffele

Sleeper Pick: Tom Kim

DraftKings Top Six Values

Jon Rahm

$10,700

Xander Schauffele

$9,900

Matt Fitzpatrick

$8,300

Tommy Fleetwood

$7,300

Shane Lowry

$7,000

Tom Kim

$6,500


Email the Fantasy Golf Report here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

48 Hours in Memphis

With the PGA Tour taking a week off for the holiday and thereby providing a merciful break from what has been a run of barely mediocre gambling advice, I get the opportunity to return to my writing roots with an old school FGR timeline. This one is inspired by the two-day whirlwind trip I took to visit my college freshman son in Memphis, America's top ranked city for death by tire iron. 

We're going to do this one vacation photo style because I took about 20 pictures while I was there and it feels like half of them tell a story. Ironically, none of them are of the two of us but whaddya gonna do? Men . . . am I right? So anyway, grab a piece of pie and a cup of Sanka off the sideboard as I finish loading-up the Kodak carousel and prepare to be entertained. Or puzzled. Or both. 

****************


I arrived at the airport at 4:45 a.m. for my 6:20 a.m. flight and was immediately flummoxed by the fact that my parking spot seemed to be on a different floor than the elevator which never ended-up arriving. After stumbling down 14 flights of stairs, I got into a shuttle that was so full that I expected to step-on a live chicken. And as you would expect, I had the hyper cheerful and chatty head of the homeowner's association lady right next to me. OH MY GOD SUSAN . . . PLEASE JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT YOUR CASSEROLE!!!

Then fifteen minutes later I was THAT guy in the security line fumbling for my driver's license with no boarding pass ready. I think I first tried to use a Chipotle gift card as my ID. The people behind me would have been well within their rights to start booing. But I wasn't done. Next I tried to carry my phone through the metal detector explaining that I was TSA prechecked (do you know who I am?!?!) only to have the TSA guy say "everyone in this line is TSA prechecked" (with emphasis on the unspoken "dumbass"). When I apologized, he gave me an "all good (dumbass)" with way more sincerity than I deserved.

****************


The guy at the rental car counter was in a very jaunty mood and gave me a "free courtesy upgrade" from my intentionally chosen very basic midsize sedan. When I got to space 509 and saw that meant I'd be spending the next two days living-out Fast & The Furious Tennessee Drift, it was too late. This was gonna be my ride. If you've ever traveled with me, you know that it would take leaving a kid or a vital organ behind for me to go backwards even five steps for anything and even then, it would depend on the kid and the organ. I mean I've got multiples of both.   

****************


I stayed in something of a hipster hotel with a lobby full of business casual people having mini meetings about "synergies" and "verticals." Out of a sheer sense of laziness and curiosity, I decided to eat lunch there. This is the "house" pilsner that Atticus the bartender in the brown apron sold me on. If you're thinking "that looks like a very light beer," you're not wrong. I'm pretty sure their recipe is: 
  • 2 parts Coors Light
  • 1 part artisanal water imported from Florence 
That'll be $9.72 but that price includes the condescending sneer from Atticus as he serves it. 

****************


This is the chicken sandwich that I was in the process of eating in the lobby of said hipster hotel when the fire alarm went off. One of the lesser acknowledged modern behaviors is how people now respond or don't respond to a fire alarm. In the olden days of my youth, you would at least have a couple Costanzas bolt for the door knocking the weak and elderly out of the way in the process.  

Now everyone just looks at each other like "this doesn't apply to us right?" and continues on about their business waiting for a more definitive sign of danger than a blaring alarm accompanied by flashing strobe lights. This went on for about ten minutes until Atticus of all people finally took charge and, in a tone dripping with "I guess I have to do everything around here" he whined, "come on guys . . . we really need to go" (frankly I didn't think he had it in him). So I abandoned my sandwich but I did make a point to drain my "beer" and set the empty glass down directly in front of him. Two can play at the pettiness game. 

****************


After finally tracking down my son on campus and braving the dorm's communal bathroom (don't ever put yourself in that situation), we decided to go play golf so I did some research and found what appeared to be a mid-tier public course nearby. Usually the rental clubs at such courses are either: (a) slightly outdated models of premium brands that were demo clubs in their day, or (b) a relatively new set of matching Spaldings or Top Flites that you can buy at Dick's for $250. Instead what I got was this island of misfit clubs. For reference, the Diablo fairway woods hit the market in 2009 and yes, the pitching wedge, 9-iron and 8-iron are from three different sets. The shaft flex on the driver was fusilli.   

*****************


This is a close-up of the sand wedge from the aforementioned rental set. On the 13th hole I hit my second shot on a par five into the face of a bunker about 30 yards from the green (yes it's going to get golfy for a minute). The ball was sitting in its pitch mark on the upslope near the lip and I had to hit it with one foot in and one out, basically the kind of shot the no fucks to give "Warrior" by Custom Golf sand wedge was designed to dominate. I hit a full blast that landed six feet short of the hole and took a peak as it rolled by before stopping about four feet away. I then buried it in the back of the cup with my Sub 30 S2 putter. Easy game with the proper weaponry. 

****************


Back in my hipster abode and this is the message that some decorator thought would be cute to paint on the wall of the bathroom. Suffice it to say this was not run by legal. Allow me to translate: "We chose style over safety with our slick tile flooring thereby creating a known hazard but, instead of fixing it, we decided to admit it with this sign. Hang on while we get our checkbook." On a related note, imagine going through life seeing everything this way. Or don't. Because it's awful.

****************


I had some time to kill so I took a stroll down to the Memphis Pyramid which actually has a fascinating history worth reading including the facts that (a) Memphis is named after an ancient Egyptian city, (b) the Pyramid was once home to the NBA Grizzlies, and (c) Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band played the last ever concert there. Let's be honest. If you were trying to explain America to someone who knew nothing about it, the fact the they built a giant glass pyramid in the home of the blues to host basketball games and then turned it into a Bass Pro Shops megastore but only after Bob Seger played there would be a pretty good place to start.     

****************


I left redneck nirvana and sauntered along the Mississippi where I encountered this dystopian flotilla. I'm pretty sure there's a lost civilization living in there that has evolved to subside on mosquitoes and rust. Part of that fleet is actually an old riverboat that I'm sure could be had at a discount.  All we'd need to start laundering money would be two devious city slickers, a casino license, ten millions dollars and about twenty dead bodies. 

****************



This is Silky O'Sullivan's, the "World ☘ Famous" Irish bar located on the "Street where Blues Began" that proudly serves Belgian White Ale. I was tempted to drop-in and see how old Silky's gout was doing but the place was packed with Australians singing German drinking songs. So I ventured across the street to the Beale Street Tap Room where I got myself . . . 

****************


. . .  this Red Bull and vodka. After a busy morning of lawyering and a two for one Pacifico lunch special, I was dragging like a diner waitress on a double shift and I still had to rally for a November NBA game where at least 75% of the players who showed-up in uniform would be mailing it in. At least we'd have something in common.

***************


This is where $250 gets four of you for a Friday night Grizzlies game. As expected, the visiting Charlotte Hornets played as if their mother in-laws' lives depended on it and were down 71-47 at halftime. It took me a minute to figure-out why we were still there in the 4th quarter until I realized that my son was magnanimously buying all of the beers and nachos under the unwritten "hey my dad's in town" protocol which is basically like having your credit card stolen by a Kardashian.    

****************

And that was pretty much it. From there we did a mostly ceremonial lap down Beale Street and through the lobby of the Peabody Hotel at which point my credit card and I were mercifully excused. I sleepwalked through the airport the next morning to catch another ungodly early flight and I think I was asleep before anyone on the plane had a chance to get under my skin. 

All in all a solid trip. If you're headed to Memphis anytime soon, here are a few tips: (1) skip the Grizzlies game experience and spend the $250 on Labatts and Red Stripes at Silky's, (2) make a pilgrimage to the Pyramid but don't feed the alligators, and, most importantly, (3) keep your head on a damn swivel.   

Email the Fantasy Golf Report here

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Fantasy Golf: The RSM Classic Preview

I generally don't like casinos. They're sad places with a lot of loud noises that are somehow both random and clearly orchestrated to help pilfer money from people. The whole experience is very predatory in a doing water ballet with sharks kind of way. However, there are certain instances when I am able to stop clutching my pearls long enough to enjoy the environment and it should come as no surprise that those instances coincide with me winning. Last Saturday was one of those instances.

My cohorts and I made the trek on foot to Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino which is conveniently and not randomly located almost directly adjacent to the football stadium where we would've just watched the valiant Midshipmen of the Naval Academy almost comeback to defeat Notre Dame. That is if we hadn't left halfway through the 4th quarter because we were staring straight into the setting sun of a fucking 80+ degree day in November. Good call on the noon kickoff fellas. 

Anyway, I had declared that I was only going if we could find a poker table that could seat all three of us as I had visions of Rounders characters dancing in my head. (You know you're getting old when those visions include more John Turturro and less Famke Janssen). Anyway, someone suggested that we "warmup" with some blackjack which made sense to me especially after it yielded positive results. It wasn't long before we received a text summoning us to the poker room. I think it said "time to come get your ass kicked."

I'd barely had the chance to sit down and properly greet my table mates when I was dealt pocket kings and the bet was to me. I then had the apparent audacity to ask what the betting rules were to which the collegial gentleman to my right exclaimed, "YOU SAT DOWN AT A POKER TABLE WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THE DAMN RULES?!?! . . . PFFFFT!!!"  

I have to admit that I was momentarily flummoxed before thinking "wait, HE DID THAT ON PURPOSE!"  And then fate intervened on my behalf by producing a queen which ended-up being the high card on the board and also one of the cards in my neighbor's hand. He aggressively went all-in, I called and that put an end to our blossoming friendship before it ever really got a chance to get started. 

I won't bore you with the details of the next couple hours which included me repeatedly calling one guy at the table "Poker Ed Sheeran" while stacking my chips illegally and breaking every cell phone rule including having "Poker Ed Sheeran" taking a picture of us. I will, however, tell you that the night ended on another all-in call that I conceded as a loss . . . until the dealer said, "no sir you have two pairs" at which point I knew it was time to leave. Or die.       

TWEET OF THE WEEK

This guy probably would've earned TOTW just for reminding me that I need to start using "Heywood Jablome" more in my everyday communications but he also happens to be spot-on about the current state of Twitter.


GOLF ANALYSIS

Tony Finau withdrew depriving this field of its only top 25 player and my readers of me giving even the slightest fuck but we still have a great assortment of (a) tour grinders, (b) quality players in search of their first PGA Tour win and (c) the always enigmatic Jason Day. Our picks are a very casually researched cross-section of that group. But seriously, Denny McCarthy is going to win. It's my gambling week and it's his time. Bank it.  

One and Done Pick: Denny McCarthy
Quite possibly the sexiest FGR photo
 ever. (You'll get the connection). 

Other Guy I'd Pick: Seamus Power

Sleeper Pick: Patton Kizzire 

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Seamus Power

$10,500

Jason Day

$9,400

Denny McCarthy

$9,100

Patrick Rodgers

$8,700

Webb Simpson

$8,400

Kevin Kisner

$8,300

Alex Smalley

$7,900

Nick Hardy

$7,600

Russell Knox

$7,000

Patton Kizzire

$7,000


Email the Fantasy Golf Report here.


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Fantasy Golf: The Houston Open Preview

Well it's our last FGR tournament preview before America potentially starts making the rounds and saying its goodbyes at the cocktail party of democracy. At least we know that professional golf will carry-on as one of the preferred sports of our fascist rulers whether it be under the guidance of the PGA Tour Ministries or a bunch of Saudi oil billionaires led by a thin-skinned Australian parody of himself. Strange days indeed. 

So let's have some fun before John Lithgow shows-up and makes music illegal. (Editor's note: It now appears that none of this is going to happen. At least not yet).  

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Hopefully this tweet will still be live by the time you watch it because once you've heard Richard Pryor say "yeah come on PECKER HEAD" in his white guy voice, your life will be forever changed for the better. Unless you're Elon Musk who probably thinks he's talking about him (which he is).


GOLF ANALYSIS

Last week's picks were a tad uninspired and uninspiring but to be honest, it doesn't make much of a difference in a Russell Henley week. About once every three years, Russell decides to be the best golfer in the world for four days and we have no idea where or when that's going to happen. It's harder to predict than the mood of your 15 year old daughter which can range from happy cuddling puppies to Godzilla after he just stepped barefoot on a Lego. 

Scottie Scheffler finished tied for 2nd here last year so he's probably the logical choice which is why we're going with Sam Burns who finished T7 the last TWO years which is better than one. We're also going to keep riding the Aaron Wise train until we inevitably forget to buy a ticket and he wins the week we don't pick him. Keep an eye out for that because you know we won't. 

The rest of the picks are stacked with FGR all-stars from Maverick McNealy and Joel Dahmen to Patrick Rodgers and Beau Hossler. Sooner or later these guys are going to find some damn chemistry and put it together for us. Maybe if Joel would just stop eating Maverick's leftover Chipotle. Seriously, who does that?  

One and Done Pick: Sam Burns

Using pictures of Montgomery when
I pick Sam never gets old. Right?
Other Guy I'd Pick: Aaron Wise

Sleeper Pick: Beau Hossler 

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Sam Burns

$10,700

Aaron Wise

$9,900

Maverick McNealy

$9,400

Joel Dahmen

$9,000

Davis Riley

$8,400

Taylor Moore

$8,000

Patrick Rodgers

$7,800

Alex Smalley

$7,600

Justin Lower

$7,400

Beau Hossler

$7,000


Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com