Football is back. High school teams take to the fields Friday night for their preseason scrimmages. To you boys lucky enough to play on natural grass in late August and early September, thank your athletic directors and school boards for not buying into the Field Turf hype.
I believe Roger Goodell figures a four-game suspension for Ezekiel Elliott will suffice, but he knew his six-game penalty will be appealed. So maybe they settle on four? Elliott’s camp insists the NFL got it wrong after spending a year investigating domestic assault allegations against the former Buckeye. They say his girlfriend got some of her bruises elsewhere … but I doubt she called 911 during a bar fight.
This case is all about image. Elliott should do his time, issue an apology (written by his attorney) and learn something. He won’t, of course, because these types of cases always boil down to she said-he said. Elliott hasn’t shown much good judgment off the football field since he joined the Cowboys, so why would he start now?
The Little League World Series begins Thursday. The annual event falls somewhere between wholesome fun and exploitation. But I’ll still watch. Little League is a dying entity, thanks to the rise of travel baseball and Little League’s antiquated rules. Still, the machine this organization has become is impressive. But I can’t believe they make the umpires travel to Williamsport on their own dime. So cheap.
James Robinson, the knucklehead football recruit who was busted for marijuana possession while on a recruiting visit to Ohio State, has found a place to play. Robinson will suit up for the Florida Gators. UF coach Jim McElwain said he got some pushback from the administration, but football won out. Good ol’ Jim says it’s his “responsibility to give guys a chance.” Of course, if Robinson were a student manager, I doubt he’d get that chance.
Sam Miller is lucky his cellmate backed off instead of going full UFC on him after he took the wayward Flyer to the floor of their Greene County Jail cell. No truth to the rumor that Miller will be on the Mayweather-McGregor undercard. After watching the jail video, I doubt Miller is qualified to carry the ring cards between rounds. The Flyers will be better off without him.
I have had it with video games. The NCAA and the Olympics are looking at eSports as possible, uh, sports. Gold medals for video gamers? What they’re looking at are dollar signs. The NCAA would make competitive eating a sport if it thought it could make a few bucks. People do watch these video game duels, though. Then again, people watch pro wrestling and drone flying.
Trending up: Josh Rosen, Cardale Jones, Jeff Driskel. Rosen, the UCLA quarterback, caused a fuss when he questioned how serious students can balance books and football. Instead of listening to what Rosen was saying, the kneejerk reaction was, “This guy’s an idiot.” Oh, and he took a shot at Alabama, which means he insulted Nick Saban. Here’s hoping Rosen makes it to NYC as a Heisman finalist. That would be a great place to continue this debate.
Trending down: Phil Mickelson, Robert Horry, Wayne Krivsky. Lefty has one top-10 finish this year in non-WGC events and missed the cut at the PGA Championship for the first time since 1995. The 47-year-old has won five majors (100 career starts) and it looks like a sixth isn’t in the bag. He’s parted ways with his swing coach and caddie in the past few years, which smacks of desperation. As they say, Father Time is undefeated.
KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE WEEK
Zach Randolph, who has made tens of millions of dollars in his NBA career, was charged with “intent to sell” two pounds of marijuana last week in Los Angeles. Police say Randolph was part of a large crowd hanging out drinking and smoking at a housing project in Watts. Police were called and patrol cars were damaged. Police said they found the large amount of pot in Randolph’s backpack. This is not the first time the Marion, Ind., product has run afoul of the law. But this time it might get him suspended from the NBA.