Fantasy Foursome:~Navigating Choppy Waters

In this week’s Fantasy Foursome, Jon Lord tees it up with the names on the tip of everyone’s tongue, or the names of the tongues saying everyone’s name in New Orleans this weekend.

Lindsey Vonn

Or is it Elin Nordegren? Either way, good for Tiger Woods, who seems to have gotten his mojo back both on and off the course. His performance this past weekend at Torrey Pines was vintage Tige,r right on down to the Monday finish which brought back all sorts of fond memories of 2008 when all he needed was one leg to take down Rocco Mediate and win the U.S. Open.

Woods exhibited control over most aspects of his game including his short irons which gave him loads of problems in 2012. So what if he got a little loose with the driver during the final round? That didn’t stop him from going 12 under on the par 5s. Pretty impressive stuff for a guy who may or may not be back.

Which reminds me, I overheard Jim Rome on the radio Monday talking about how Tiger’s win at Torrey doesn’t mean much because he was playing against a “weak field” on a course he has historically dominated. Rome, like many, is of the opinion that the only Woods win that matters is a major and, while I don’t totally disagree, to dismiss his performance at the Farmers Insurance Open as inconsequential is to grossly underestimate a historic accomplishment.

And can we all please agree to be a bit more judicious when using the term “shred” to describe anything having to do with sports from RGIII’s knee to the fresh powder at the X Games? Not only that but the only thing Tiger has supposedly been “shredding” are the slopes of Salzburg, Austria when he either was or wasn’t visiting Lindsey Vonn. Good for you, T.W. Say hi to the von Trapp family for us.

Jim Nantz

Super Bowl XLIV

What a stretch for the CBS sports jack-of-all-trades, who has the good fortune to spend the next three weeks hopping from San Diego to New Orleans to Pebble Beach. And he gets paid! Most people would plunk down a king’s ransom to experience that kind of luxurious travel schedule.

I’m not one of those critics who begrudges Nantz for living the life of our dreams. He has presumably worked hard to get where he is today. Of course being college roommates with Fred Couples and close friends with President H.W. Bush doesn’t hurt either. But seriously, how hard can it be to call golf on television? A little throw it to Gary McCord here, slow-mo of a Bubba Watson drive there and BOOM! Three hours in the books. If Nantz enjoys himself a little too much Mardi Gras, CBS brass should feel free to give me a call. I’ve always wanted to visit the Monterrey Peninsula.

Joe Flacco or Frank Gore

If the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII Sunday, it’s because Flacco throws for three or more touchdowns while limiting the downfield mistakes. If the 49ers win, it’s because Gore exploits that massive hole left open in the middle of the Ravens defense after safety Bernard Pollard is forced to key San Fran QB Colin Kaepernick one-on-one to prevent the multi-talented signal caller from busting out the read option.

Either way, I’m standing by my earlier prediction and calling it Baltimore 24, San Francisco 21. The only thing that could change my mind is if Ray Lewis continues to show up for his press conferences with that spray-on hairline. That’s almost as bad as LeBron’s oversized headband.

Mike Weir

Give the Canadian credit for overcoming a series of injuries and swing changes to make the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, his first cut in 18 tries on the PGA Tour dating back to July 2011. The 2003 Masters champion sought inspiration from his two young daughters who have a difficult time remembering how good their dad once was. Hopefully Weir’s upward trajectory continues into Augusta, where he’ll continue to remain the third most popular lefty behind Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.

Odd Man Out: Ty Votaw

The tour’s executive vice president of communications reminded us all last week about the PGA Tour’s byzantine policy of no live play-by-play updates, which is about as misguided a decree as, say, a golfer who makes $50 million a year insinuating that he’d rather quit than pay higher taxes. The PGA Tour should take a page from every other sport and realize that social media, like Twitter, enhances television coverage. In fact, I’d love the sport to get to the point where caddies are tweeting out yardage and club selection. In this age of information, nothing is sacred and, if the PGA Tour powers that be really want to deny a new generation of fans access to their product, then so be it.

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