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#pounditMonday, October 3, 2022

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Rory McIlroy offers surprising new stance on LIV Golf

Rory McIlroy on the course

May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy has been one of the most vocal critics of LIV Golf since the Saudi-backed league was formed, but he now believes the PGA Tour should sit down at the negotiation table with its new rival.

McIlroy told reporters ahead of the DP World Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship on Wednesday that he hates the way “golf is ripping itself apart.” The four-time major champion thinks representatives from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf need to start working together in the near future.

“I don’t want a fractured game, McIlroy said, via Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated. “The game of golf is ripping itself apart and that’s no good for anyone. It’s not good for the guys on the traditional system or the guys on the other side either.

“Right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time but we probably can’t leave it too much longer. I’m all for getting around the table and sorting things out.”

McIlroy acknowledged that it would be difficult for the two sides to work together given that several LIV players are currently suing the PGA Tour. However, he feels LIV golfers should be eligible for the Official World Golf Ranking as long as LIV meets certain criteria.

“If Dustin Johnson is somehow 100th in the world it’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game,” McIlroy said. “But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there, everyone knows what they are and if they want to pivot to meet the criteria they can.”

LIV Golf has a unique format that involves 54-hole events, teams and small fields featuring 48 golfers. That structure makes it difficult to determine how LIV golfers would fit into the OWGR. If LIV is not accepted into the OWGR, its players will eventually have a difficult time qualifying for majors.

If you heard what McIlroy said about LIV Golf a few months ago, you can see how drastically his tune has changed. He obviously has accepted that LIV is a real threat to the PGA Tour and is not going anywhere.

Matt Flynn trolls Aaron Rodgers over play-calling claim

Aaron Rodgers smiles

August 12, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Flynn had one of the best games for a backup quarterback in NFL history nearly a decade ago, and he does not want Aaron Rodgers taking any credit for it.

Rodgers made his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday. One of the things he was asked about is the importance of offensive play-calling and whether he has ever thought about becoming a coordinator someday. Rodgers laughed and said that is actually something he has done before when he assumed play-calling responsibilities for the Packers in Week 17 of the 2011 season.

That was the game when then-head coach Mike McCarthy decided to rest his starters because the Packers were 14-1. Flynn started in place of Rodgers and threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a game against the Detroit Lions. The yardage still stands as a Packers record for most passing yards in a single game, though Rodgers matched it two years later.

Flynn, who was not played in the NFL since 2015, caught wind of Rodgers’ comments and decided to troll the reigning MVP. He joked that he audibled out of most of the plays Rodgers called in that game.

Rodgers also praised Flynn for playing an incredible game. You can hear the full comments below, but beware that the clip contains inappropriate language.

Flynn’s huge game was a big reason he signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks after that season. He ended up back with the Packers in 2013 after Rodgers went down with an injury. Though he never lived up to the expectations that he created with his 480-yard performance, Packers fans will never forget that game.

Greg Norman slams hypocritical Rory McIlroy, PGA Tour

Greg Norman looking ahead

June 10, 2022; St. Albans, UK; LIV golf chief executive Greg Norman looks on during the second round of the inaugural LIV golf invitational golf tournament at the Centurion Club. Mandatory Credit: Paul Childs-Action Images/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports

Greg Norman had quite a response for Rory McIlroy and the PGA Tour, accusing them of behaving hypocritically with their responses to golfers who defect for LIV.

Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf, the upstart golf league that began its first year of play in 2022. LIV has attracted numerous current and former stars, like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cam Smith and Bryson DeChambeau. Top golfers have been approached by LIV and offered large sums of money to join the league. Some have accepted the offers, while others have declined.

McIlroy has been the most vocal defendent of the PGA Tour, criticizing some of his colleagues for leaving.

Norman joined Talk TV show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” and said McIlroy was displaying hypocrisy when criticizing players for leaving for LIV. In Norman’s estimation, McIlroy made a similar career move when he left the European Tour to join the more lucrative PGA Tour in the first place.

“Well, my message is, Rory, you’re an independent contractor,” Norman told Piers Morgan. “You have the right to make your decision. Remember, Rory started on the European tour. Then Rory decided to leave the European tour to go play where all the money is, where I went to play, to the PGA Tour.”

McIlroy has taken personal shots at Norman amid their rivalry, so things have been heated between them.

Norman told Morgan that players didn’t have any options in the past, but now they do.

“Don’t begrudge the other players for making a decision, that is a rightful decision under their independent contractual rights, to go and do it. It’s just a shame that people have taken this stance, when you look back over a period of time, they’ve pretty much done the same thing themselves,” Norman said.

Norman also responded to those who criticize people associated with LIV because the league is funded by the Saudi Arabian government.

“The hypocrisy coming out of this is so deafening it’s ridiculous,” he added. “The PGA Tour has title sponsors that have a great relationship, a working relationship, for a commercial opportunity with the Saudi Government, with PIF [Saudi Public Investment Fund].”

Norman believes the PGA Tour’s focus on the Saudi-backed aspect of LIV is a cover for their real issue: that LIV Golf is threatening the PGA Tour’s monopoly. LIV Golf has actually joined an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour where they will attempt to make that argument.

Cause of Myles Garrett’s terrifying car accident revealed

Myles Garrett on the field

Nov 28, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) looks to the bench during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett was involved in a very frightening car accident on Monday, and we now have some more details about what led to it.

Garrett was driving with a female passenger after he left the Browns facility when he went off the right side of the road. Ohio State Highway Patrol officials said his 2021 Porsche flipped several times before coming to rest. Fortunately, Garrett and the passenger were not seriously injured.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network said Tuesday that Garrett swerved off the road while trying to avoid an animal. The defensive lineman was discharged from the hospital on Monday night.

Police said Garrett and the passenger were both wearing their seatbelts. Neither drugs nor alcohol were factors in the accident.

Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, finished with a career-high 16 sacks last season and has picked up right where he left off this year. He has three sacks and a forced fumble through the first three games. It is unclear if the crash will impact his status for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Jimmy Butler has great explanation for his wild hair

Jimmy Butler shows off his dread locks

Jimmy Butler is sporting a new hairstyle heading into the 2022-23 NBA season, and the Miami Heat star says his motivation for the look was quite simple. Butler wants to make people mad online.

Butler arrived in Miami for Heat training camp on Monday with the same long dreadlocks that he first unveiled over the summer. He humorously insists they are his real hair and not extensions. Butler told reporters on Monday that he is unsure if he will keep the hairstyle but is “just messing with stuff to make the internet mad.”

Butler later told Taylor Rooks of NBATV that the locks will be gone “sooner rather than later.”

At least Butler admitted that he is trying to get a rise out of people. One of his own teammates already had a great reaction to the new hair, and Butler is clearly enjoying every second of it.

Butler is entering his fourth season with the Heat. He averaged 21.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 57 games last year. The Heat lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Buccaneers to practice at AFC team’s facility ahead of Hurricane Ian

Todd Bowles on the sideline

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday revealed their evacuation plan ahead of Hurricane Ian.

The Bucs are planning to leave Tampa on Tuesday and relocate to Miami for the week in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Ian. The Bucs are planning to use the Miami Dolphins’ practice facility beginning on Wednesday.

The Dolphins are playing Thursday night at Cincinnati in Week 4 and should not need their home facilities after Wednesday morning, which would allow the Bucs to practice there. Tampa Bay is set to host the Chiefs on Sunday night, but the status of the game is in question due to the imminent hurricane.

Hurricane Ian is approaching the western tip of Cuba and currently deemed a Category 2 hurricane. It is projected to arrive in the Tampa area this week.

Tampa Bay lost 14-12 on Sunday to the Green Bay Packers and are now 2-1. Their Week 4 opponent, Kansas City, is coming off a loss to the Colts on Sunday.

Russell Wilson takes swipe at Pete Carroll after win

Russell Wilson with headphones on

Aug 13, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson made a great play to extend a key drive for the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter of their win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, and it seems like he wanted his former coach to take note.

Wilson completed a beautiful 27-yard pass to Kendall Hinton on 3rd-and-10 in the fourth quarter. The play kept what turned out to be Denver’s game-winning drive alive. Wilson made the throw while running to his left, which he was quick to point out when a reporter asked him about it following the 11-10 win.

That was Wilson’s way of taking a swipe at Pete Carroll. After the Seattle Seahawks beat the Broncos in Week 1, Carroll noted that one of the goals for his defense was to get Wilson moving to his left. The coach said Wilson is less effective when rolling left, which is pretty much true of any right-handed quarterback. In this instance, Wilson made a beautiful throw at a crucial point in the game.

Wilson’s completion to Hinton was one of very few offensive highlights for either team on Sunday night. The game was so ugly that everyone made the same joke about it on social media. Despite that, Wilson came away with a win and got to prove his former coach wrong. That had to have felt pretty good.

Tests reveal more information about Mac Jones ankle injury

Mac Jones warms up before a game

Sep 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones suffered an ankle injury toward the end of the New England Patriots’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and it sounds like the quarterback is going to miss some time.

Jones underwent an X-ray following the game that came back negative. While that was good news, Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Monday that additional tests revealed Jones suffered a “pretty severe” high ankle sprain. He is seeking a second opinion but will likely miss the Patriots’ upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers.

Even if Jones does not need surgery, he could miss multiple games. High ankle sprains tend to be more severe than low ankle sprains and often result in multi-week absences for players.

Jones was hit by Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell as he threw a pass late in New England’s 37-26 loss. His left leg bent awkwardly underneath him, and he was unable to put any pressure on it as he hobbled off the field.

The Patriots had plenty of chances to beat the Ravens, but turnovers killed them. Jones went 22/32 for 321 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. If he is unable to play in Week 3 and beyond, veteran Brian Hoyer will start in his place.

Texas Tech trying to identify fan who hit Texas player

A Texas Tech fan pushes a Texas player

Texas Tech fans stormed the field following their team’s upset win over rival Texas on Saturday, and police are now looking for one individual who engaged in what the school called “unacceptable” behavior.

A video that went viral on social media showed a Texas Tech fan aggressively shoving a Texas player in the back as the player was walking off the field. The shove was totally unprovoked and seemed to send the Texas player flying.

Texas Tech issued a statement on Sunday condoning the fan’s actions. The school included a screenshot of the culprit’s face and asked anyone with information to contact the Texas Tech Police Department.

A Texas Tech spokesperson also released a statement to Wescott Eberts of Burnt Orange Nation highlighting the school’s postgame celebration policy.

This is not the first incident we have seen this season involving a player and a fan who rushed the field. Though, the player was the aggressor the last time (video here).

Texas Tech defeated No. 22 Texas in a thrilling 37-34 overtime game in Lubbock. The win was Texas Tech’s first over the Longhorns since 2017.

Video: Bills OC Ken Dorsey goes nuts in box after Bills lose

Ken Dorsey slams things down

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey blew up in the team’s coaching box on Sunday over the way their game ended.

The Bills had a 2nd-and-20 at their 47 with 18 seconds left down 21-19 to the Miami Dolphins. The Bills didn’t have any timeouts left, so they had to be careful with the ball.

Josh Allen was under pressure and worked to avoid a sack. Then he dumped the ball off over the imddle to Isaiah McKenzie for a short pass. McKenzie couldn’t get out of bounds and was tackled on the field with the clock running. Time ran out before the Bills could spike the ball to set up a field goal attempt.

After the game ended, Dorsey flipped out. He was seen slamming his headset down and throwing around some of his notes.

Dorsey was justifiably upset.

Not only did Allen mismanage the clock on that possession, but the Bills QB also missed a wide open McKenzie for a go-ahead touchdown on 4th-and-goal on the team’s previous possession. Plus, Allen mismanaged the clock before halftime and cost his team a shot at an additional three points.

Allen’s 400 passing yards and 2 touchdowns looked nice on the stat sheet, but he really blew it in this one.