Memo to the NFL: Clean it up or Close it down


Two weeks ago before a video emerged of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally hitting his wife in a hotel elevator, I gave my students an assignment as a writing prompt. “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said if a player is accused of domestic abuse moving forward, the punishment Read more

What to do if You Just Got Laid Off or Fired


To me, other than the loss of a loved one, I cannot think of an event more disheartening, more unnerving, more earth-shattering than being laid off or fired from what provides you and your family with basic necessities--food, clothing, and shelter. It seems to me, as of late, that everyone I know Read more

Is Ghostbusters the Perfect Comedy? Quite Possibly.


When my colleagues recently organized a matinee viewing of the remastered re-release of the 1984 classic, Ghostbusters, to kickstart Labor Day weekend, I was all in. I've always loved the movie, Ghostbusters, but admitted that I hadn't seen it from beginning to end in over a decade. Sure, I'd seen clips here Read more

A (Video) Wake-Up Call


We’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Our favorite actor, sports star or politician finds himself or herself in a bad place. Perhaps it’s an affair that stuns, domestic abuse that horrifies or – worst of all – murder to another human being. We, the fans, Read more

Joan Rivers: An American Institution


“Think positive. Make a list. “One, I don’t live in Bosnia. Two, I never dated O. J.” I started to write a memorial for Joan Rivers and found the task more difficult than I expected it to be. Why? Celebrity deaths hurt, especially when we feel like we’ve known the Read more

Preserving the Phantom Set & Silent Film History


For those of us who grew up loving film, there are certain moments that are engrained in our minds from movies seen on the big and small screens during our youth. Remember ducking your head below the old theater seats when the raptors chased down children in a massive Read more

Golf

My Weekend at The Masters: Bubba, History, and How It’s Supposed to Be

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Faith, Featured, Golf, Sports | Leave a comment

bubbagreenjacket My Weekend at The Masters: Bubba, History, and How Its Supposed to Be

It was clear on Saturday night how things were going to go, if you looked at Twitter, watched the Golf Channel, and listened to the pundits. On Sunday, here’s how it was supposed to be…

- Bubba Watson had only won 1 out of 14 tournaments that he had led going into the final round.

- Matt Kuchar had never finished strong on Sunday in a major tournament.

- The only other front-runner was young, 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, chasing history.

- And I’d be at Augusta National to witness it all.

And with the first Masters tournament without Tiger Woods in nearly two decades, the historic victory for Jordan Spieth was how it was supposed to be, right? After all, Jack Nicklaus set the record for youngest Masters champion. 17 years later, Seve broke Jack’s record. 17 years after Seve, the 21 year-old history-shattering Tiger Woods broke the record.

And how many years had it been since Tiger changed the golf world forever? 17 years. And Tiger was supposed to easily beat Jack’s record of 18 majors, which doesn’t seem so certain any more.

It’s just how it was supposed to be. It was going to be great when…

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Bright Spot: Zakki Blatt

Posted on by Clayton Martin in Bright Spots, Featured, Golf, Sports | Leave a comment

Zakki Bright Spot: Zakki Blatt

In honor of the U.S. Open this weekend, I found it appropriate to share this amazing story I saw on TV a couple days ago. This young man is a true testament to the underrated healing powers that sports can have on our souls. Zakki is a true inspiration and I’m really proud to be a part of the same First Tee organization that he represents so well.

Here is Zakki’s story: Read more

Sports Cinema: Tin Cup

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Golf, Movies, Sports | Leave a comment

220px Tin Cup 207x300 Sports Cinema: Tin Cup

This year, I decided to begin a new personal tradition – watch Tin Cup every year over U.S. Open weekend.  I figured that since The Masters is a tradition unlike any other, I might as well create a new tradition for my second-favorite golf major of the year and our very own national championship. And that new tradition involves all things that are good – a true underdog story about the U.S. Open starring Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, and a myriad of real-life golf announcers and players from Jim Nantz and Ken Venturi to Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Lee Janzen, Corey Pavin, Peter Jacobson, Craig Stadler, and the man whose stories inspired parts of the film, Gary McCord.

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The Masters Preview

Posted on by The Wise Guise in Featured, Golf, Sports | 16 Comments

Masters Logo 239x300 The Masters Preview

Golf in the Garden (of Eden?) by Joseph Williams

Since starting to date the beautiful woman that is now my wife, I’ve been to the final round of the Open Championship at St. Andrews and the third and final rounds of The Masters in 2011.  Prior to that, the only pro golf tournament I’ve ever been to is the Memphis PGA Tour stop.  Now although I absolutely love the TPC Southwind and love the tradition of attending the (Insert Sponsor Here) St. Jude Classic, it doesn’t hold a candle to two major championships at two of the world’s most prestigious courses. So there’s an extra flutter in my heart and magical memories in my mind as I prepare for the tradition unlike any other, The Masters (on CBS?). (The debate about what the “tradition unlike any other” is one I continue to have with my friends over drinks annually. Is the tradition THE MASTERS or is it that THE MASTERS IS ON CBS? The world may never know.)

So for our column previewing and predicting The Masters, I’ll present my Top 5 Favorite Things about attending The Masters live last year. Read more

A Swing in the Right Direction

Posted on by Clayton Martin in Featured, Golf, Misc. Posts, Sports | 3 Comments

New Logo 300x237 A Swing in the Right Direction

I’d like to take a brief step aside from our usual shenanigans to tell you a little bit about a non-profit program that you NEED to know about and support. It’s called The First Tee of Memphis and even if you think you’re familiar with it, there’s a lot more to it than you think. The organization is now in its 21st year in Memphis and it has flown under the radar throughout its entire existence.

The program was founded in 1991 as the Mid-South Junior Golf Association by a man named Charles Hudson at Pine Hill Golf Course. He was managing the golf course and noticed how there were no African American youth playing the sport he loved, so he decided to do something about it. He created the program not just to teach golf, but because he wanted the area youth to learn a set of life skills that would transform the way they viewed the world.

Golf is a very different sport from every other sport out there. It has many life skills inherently built into the game. For example, you call penalties on yourself in golf. You don’t  have a referee constantly watching  your every move. Integrity and honesty are things you have to practice on every shot. Read more

Tiger Woods: Back To Business As Usual

Posted on by Colin Stovall in Featured, Golf, Sports | 5 Comments

Tiger Woods Business Tiger Woods: Back To Business As Usual

“He’s Back.” The cliche phrase of the day on Sunday. But you know what, they are right. I write this post as a former Tiger hater, Phil was my boy. My hatred stemmed from the have-nots, the things Tiger did better than him. I was jealous that my guy couldn’t perform as well under the pressure as Eldrick Woods.

When the proverbial “shit hit the fan” moment happened with Woods I was disappointed, not in the evidence revealed, but how he handled the pressure. Here was a man who was able to focus and wield shots with sheer will and thought; but after running into a tree and his scandalous truths revealed, he cowered more than Lebron in the 4th quarter. I yearned for Tiger to embrace his bad boy image, if fans could cheer and follow John Daly, surely they could pull for a pill poppin’ adulterer with worlds more talent. I wanted him to wear black, smoke cigarettes, curse, dominate, and just be himself. Read more