Brooks Koepka. Loved this stat: After four holes on Friday, Koepka was 7 over; he played the final 50 holes of the U.S. Open in 6 under, including the disastrous third round. Loved this stat, too: Koepka has more major championships (two with back-to-back U.S. Open) than PGA Tour wins (one).
Tommy Fleetwood. Yes, Fleets looks like he got out of the cab of his big rig at the Pilot. But dude was golfing his ball in a monster way Sunday. A 63 at Shinnecock is pretty amazing. Does anyone doubt Fleetwood will be a major champion sooner rather than later?
Mexico. Yes, we likely will only have about four or five kickball mentions per year here in the 5-at-10, but wow, a monster 1-0 win over defending champion Germany. How much does that country care about soccer and the World Cup? When Mexico scored, there were two small earthquakes detected in Mexico caused from fans celebrating.
Your Atlanta Braves. Atlanta took three of four from the Padres over the weekend, highlighted by a 1-0 win Saturday in which starting pitcher Sean Newcomb continued to deal. At 8-2 with a 2.70 ERA and a .204 average against, Newcomb looks every bit like an all-star and more importantly, has the look of long-term ace for a staff craving one.
The MLB look for Father's Day. Those blue hats were sharp. Baseball is pretty stodgy by almost all measures, but the occasional color change, the Jackie Robinson Day, when everyone wears 42, and the other uniform tweaks are pretty sharp.
Phil Mickelson. It's amazing really, that we never know when the handful of career-defining moments will pop up. And no one would have expected that a Hall of Fame career that includes five major titles and hundreds of millions would in some ways be forever remembered for a tactical and calculated rules violation on his birthday late in an otherwise forgettable round of 81. But that's what happened to Lefty on Saturday, when he hustled to putt a ball still in motion. He made matter worse by admitting he did it to prevent the ball from rolling off the green, leading a lot of folks to wonder whether Mickelson should have been DQed rather than just a two-shot penalty. (And truth be told, we thought he should have been disqualified. Because ask yourself this: If that had been lefty Brian Harman rather than Lefty Mickelson, here's betting Harman would have been walked to the parking lot.)
The USGA. The governing body of the golf in this country has forever lived by the mantra of "par is a great score." Yes, they lost the course on Saturday, but man, how about all the bellyaching from spoiled-brat millionaires who play golf one the nicest courses in the world for a living. No, our biggest issue with the USGA was the way they completely caved and buckled Sunday and put all the pins in the middle of the green. Pick a horse and ride USGA. Be hard as Chinese math or as easy as the Travelers. And let's not not forget last year the winning score was 16-under.
San Antonio. A franchise that has always been viewed as one of the best in all of sports has some how inexplicably butchered its relationship with its best player. Kawhi Leonard wants out and there is really no way the Spurs will get a dollar-for-dollar return in a trade. And considering the lack of big-name stars that have ever gone to San Antonio, the Spurs' time at the top seems about to close.
Former soccer stars and poor decisions. Diego Maradona does a racist gesture to a kid. Landon Donovan sells his social media soul to Wells Fargo. Guys, let's try to get this together can we?
Every opposing hitter who faces the Houston Astros. There are 25 pitchers — among those qualified — in the American League with an ERA under 4. Four of them are starters for Houston. The lone outsider on that list is Dallas Keuchel, who has a 4.15 ERA. There are only nine pitchers in the AL with an ERA under 3, and three of them are Astros starters. Friends, that's how you become a defending champion and how you rattle off 11 straight wins.
Fox's big weekend
The ratings have been solid for Fox to start the World Cup, and big-time match-ups like Germany-Mexico helps. The numbers will be down because of the lack of the U.S. team. Everyone realizes that, but the opening weekend delivered better than expected numbers.
Through the first weekend, Fox and FS1 averaged 1.86 million viewers. The total group stage average four years ago — with the U.S. playing well, mind you — 3.5 million on ESPN and ABC in 2014 and 2.4 million in 2010.
We'll see if those numbers improve, but one thing that is very interesting to watch and see if this is a one-time thing or part of the future of sports broadcasting is Fox's decision to share very limited highlights of the actual soccer action with other networks, especially ESPN.
But that was not the only thing happening this weekend at Fox. There was a lot of hubbub about the coverage of the U.S. Open.
Joe Buck was bar-b-qued for his play-by-play calls of the golf tournament. Buck was very critical of Mickelson's hijinks on Saturday.
We thought Buck was better than most, and his criticism of Mickelson was fair.
We liked Paul Azinger and thought his analysis was pretty good. Hey, did any of y'all know the Curtis Strange won back-to-back U.S. Opens in the 1980s. Seems like they could have mentioned it.
The ratings were very strong through the first first rounds, and we bet the weekend delivered too. And kudos to Fox for showing way more action over the weekend.
This and that
— One more U.S. Open note. Patrick Reed is going to win a handful of majors. That dude has onions. He's not a super likable dude but man, he now has three consecutive top-10s in majors.
— Tom Brady sat down with Oprah and apparently said at some point in the future he's going to retire from the NFL. Gripping stuff.
— Johnny Football was Johnny Benchwarmer as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lost their CFL opener over the weekend. Starter Jeremiah Masoli was 25-of-36 for 344 yards, a pick and a rushing TD. C'mon June Jones, give Johnny the Football.
— NBA draft is Thursday. We love the draft. You know this.
Weekend winners and losers, por favor.
As for today's date — June 18 — let's review.
On this day the War of 1812 started in, you guessed it, 1812.
The Battle of Waterloo happened in 1815.
Amelia Earhart completed her trans-Atlantic flight on this day in 1928.
Sally Ride became the first American female astronaut in space in 1983.
The first insurance policy was issued in London on this day in 1583.
George Mikan would have been 94 today. Paul McCartney is 76. Bruce Smith is 55 today.
Roger Ebert would have been 76 as well, and he almost assuredly would be on the Rushmore of movie critics.
In that avenue, we saw Incredibles 2 Sunday with the tots. Good times. It was vastly entertaining.
Rushmore of best sequels (has to be the second in the series, and since Godfather II and Empire Strikes Back are Ruth and Aaron of the category, well, there may only be two spots left).