"It was nothing. We were just riding on the motorcycle." In case you were wondering what lie was too big for even Bobby Petrino to tell, there it is. Remember that before you try it yourself. Now, to the weekend...
The Masters was every bit as good as advertised. It wasn't the kooky lefty most expected -- unless you're soothsayer Tim Cowlishaw, who called this Tuesday -- but Bubba Watson came away with the win on Sunday at the Masters. He bogeyed the first hole and watched Louis Oosthuizen make double eagle on the second. Watson made up two strokes on the back nine but went puckeriffic putting at 18 for the win.
Then, on his second stroke on the second hole of the playoff, he hit one of those shots out of the trees that people envision when they say "f--k it" and swing away from the pine straw. That shot never happens in real life, but it did at No. 10 at Augusta National. (Watch video of the shot.) Were it not for Watson's win, the shot we'd all remember from the weekend would have been when the planets aligned for Oosthuizen's albatross. Somehow, Watson managed to top it with, literally, the best shot anyone could imagine under those circumstances. That shot, the nerves he didn't fully shake until making that final six-inch putt, and Watson's powerful, tearful, spontaneous expression of nearly every positive emotion in the human spectrum gave us one of the greatest finishes at Augusta in recent memory.
And here's an update on that one dude on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods' second-round 75 effectively sealed his fate, and he ended the weekend with his worst Masters finish as a professional. His impressive win at Bay Hill two weeks ago had many optimistic that Tiger was "back," but that meant nothing by Thursday, just as would be the case for every other guy on the Tour. And until he proves otherwise in a major tournament, that's what Tiger Woods is -- another guy on the Tour.
I'm amazed anyone thinks Arkansas can keep Bobby Petrino. Forget any moral aspect of this. Petrino had his face messed up, broken ribs and a broken vertebra, and he refused emergency medical care to keep up a lie. He then lied to his boss until he couldn't lie anymore. That's how true to his own game Petrino is.
However, he was also dumb enough to get his mistress, who was scheduled to marry an employee in the athletic department, a job in his own office. So while Arkansas is contractually protected from Petrino's favorite deceptive activity -- job hunting -- it isn't guarded from Petrino's stupidity or potential scandal of any sort. Could Petrino be trusted to tell the truth when necessary if questioned by NCAA investigators? If the NCAA came calling, could Petrino even be trusted to tell the truth to his bosses? He sounds like the sort of guy who would lie to his lawyer.
No matter how good of a coach Petrino is -- and he's great -- a man this reckless and untrustworthy is a liability. He will never receive the benefit of the doubt, and the same will apply to any entity that willingly aligns itself with him after he's been caught in a whopper. Ignorance is no defense when so much about Petrino is obvious. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long can fire Petrino now, or wait until he brings the house down with some other lie that didn't need to be told.
But really, what’s Dorrell’s poor fiancé supposed to do? I’ve got no idea what sort of love Jessica Dorrell, the woman with whom Petrino had an "inappropriate relationship" with, and Josh Morgan, her groom-to-be and Arkansas’ director of swimming and diving operations, share. I have no idea -- or concern for -- what this will do to their relationship. But I do know it’s time for Morgan to find a new job. It would be one thing if Petrino were to survive and had to deal with awkward elevator rides while making more than $3 million per year. It’s another to be, at best, pitied or, at worst, laughed at when your job is "editing and handling the day-to-day office duties for head coach Jeff Poppell." There have got to be better ways to make a living than that.
You know this is just the beginning, right? Ben Kercheval at College Football Talk hears the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has eight reporters working the Petrino story. The national guys are on the way. Fayetteville has less than 75,000 people, and Petrino doesn’t seem to be the sort of guy who engenders loyalty. If any skeletons are out there, the bones will be a-flyin’ shortly.
Nothing has changed in Orlando. Here’s what we’ve learned about the Magic since Thursday: nothing. Anyone who’s paid attention the last four months didn’t need an awkward press conference to see Dwight Howard was a sucker. Even if it wasn’t confirmed -- check how carefully Magic GM Otis Smith chose his words -- it was widely believed Howard wanted Stan Van Gundy fired. That Van Gundy wasn’t fired meant ... he wasn’t getting fired this season. So while Thursday’s embarrassing loss to the Knicks looked damning for Van Gundy and his team, Saturday’s win over the 76ers spoke more to reality. The Magic are one of the better teams in the East, with a star who can put up 20 points and 22 rebounds with a bad back, even though their coach and star are simply putting up with each other at this point. All of which we knew already.
Here's why Howard should learn to live with Van Gundy. I don't begrudge Howard using his leverage to create the environment that makes him most comfortable. To have such power is to have the right to use it. But, in this case, that power is blowing up in Howard's face. This isn't Magic Johnson forcing out 42-year-old Paul Westhead, who'd coached one full season in the NBA. This isn't Michael Jordan moving 37-year-old Doug Collins aside after his 32.0/8.0/8.0 -- with 2.9 steals to boot -- only generated 47 wins. This isn't even Shaquille O'Neal clearing out Stan Van Gundy after an 11-10 start in his third year on the bench. No, this is a player not nearly as good as those trying to dispose of a coach better than any of the names above (unless you think Van Gundy hasn't gotten better in the last six years). And in each of those previous cases, teams were underperforming and an eventual Hall of Fame coach took over for an inexperienced predecessor. So unless Howard thinks Phil Jackson's coming to Orlando, he'd be well-served to find a way to deal with the coach he has. If he wants a new one, he should find a new team. But forcing Van Gundy out, especially after Thursday's embarrassment, could prove to be an indelible mark on Dwight Howard's career.
I really don’t care how Steve Gleason feels. If Gleason thinks Sean Pamphilon violated their agreement when he sent the infamous Gregg Williams footage to Yahoo!’s Michael Silver, he can take that up with Judge Judy or employ some other legal mechanism to adjudicate the matter. But if there’s any part of the bounty story that’s irrelevant to football fans, it’s that one. Gleason, understandably, doesn’t like that a project about him is being used to bring shame to the organization that employed him for eight years. Pamphilon, clearly, has no such attachment. And seeing how 99.9 percent of people reading this had never heard of either of them a month ago, they can settle this matter amongst themselves. What Williams said before playing the 49ers matters to me. A contract between Gleason and Pamphilon does not.
The good and bad of Andrew Bynum. If nothing else, this season proved the Lakers were right for refusing to deal Bynum for all these years. He's the second-best center in the NBA, and he looks more and more like the Lakers' best player. Judging from the 27 shots -- for 23 points -- he took with Kobe Bryant sidelined Saturday night, he clearly wants to be treated as such. But if Bynum is still this immature after seven years in the league, how much more of a grownup will he become? The Lakers will probably be fine by the postseason, but their future largely depends on someone who is emphatically unrepentant for self-destructive -- and team-destructive -- on-court behavior. That can't be what the Lakers wanted to learn in Bynum's healthiest season since 2006-07.
The heartwarming story that makes me shake my head. It was awfully nice of Adrian Peterson to give $1 million to Oklahoma, where he starred for three seasons. But when he says wanted to "donate back" to OU, I get confused by the "back" part. Peterson, and every other college athlete, gives more than his share while in uniform. They are the engine that drives this machine, and Peterson was the most impressive cog the Sooners had since the Switzer era. Unless OU cut Peterson a seven-figure check I'm unaware of, it feels strange to see someone so excited to give his hard-earned money to a body that gave him an unfair deal. It's Peterson's money to do with what he will, but he owes Oklahoma nothing. He and his fellow athletes have given more than enough.