Three Dots…Elvis on the Sun Devil Court, Ernst Firing Fallout, Phil vs PGA

We are the only market in America where the Super Bowl is on the back burner this week. With temperatures expected to be hovering near 80, the WM Open will draw in its usual 750K fans or more. But the golf world is starting to turn in an exciting direction that makes me wonder how much longer we will see the record crowds at TPC Scottsdale? 

Arizona Sports News onlineSince the departure of Tiger Woods from the PGA Tour, the number of true superstars competing isn’t near double digits. Sure, we have rivalries like Brooks vs. Bryson, but DeChambeau is skipping Phoenix. Jon Rahm,  Koepka , Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, and a few others are massive names that will show up at the Greatest Show on Grass. However, for the second year in a row, Phil Mickelson is skipping Scottsdale. In fact, Mickelson aimed the PGA Tour this past week in an interview with Golf Digest, while preparing to play in Saudi Arabia.  

“There are many issues, but that is one of the biggest. For me personally, it’s not enough that they are sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments. They also have access to my shots, access I do not have. They also charge companies to use shots I have hit. And when I did ‘The Match’—there have been five of them—the tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That type of greed is, to me, beyond obnoxious.”


 Charles Barkley sounding the warning bells this week about the Suns postseason hopes facing trouble if Booker and Chris Paul don’t score big in playoff games isn’t far-fetched. Golden State can beat Phoenix in a seven game playoff series. No question about it…
Is anyone concerned about baseball not starting their season on time? I hear very little to no conversation about the ongoing labor situation. Unless your paycheck is being signed by a big league team or you’re over the age of 55, MLB is off the radar. Sad…
I thought it was funny to hear from loyal readers of this column last week about my note of Elvis Presley playing at Arizona State Activity Center in 1977 (It was more about how the current barn is well past needing to be replaced for Bobby Hurley and Charli Turner Thorne). 

1977, Elvis Presley performed at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. This was sad, Elvis’s last tour.

Several sent notes to me of ditching high school or college classes that day. A Tuesday afternoon, 2 pm Elvis concert. How great is that! Yes, the same building that Elvis played in, is still being used for men’s and women’s basketball games on campus. A 50-year-old barn with minimal improvement since Elvis left the building…

I love everything that the Phoenix Mercury have done this week with the roster. Go, Jim Pittman, go! 
Fifty-one million dollars in gambling losses last November here in Arizona. 51 million! 
In December, I had a friendly conversation with Mesa Mountain View head basketball coach Gary Ernst at the VisitMesa tournament put on by Marc Beasley. Coach Ernst sounded a bit frustrated with some things in the current high school coaching space, but he didn’t sound like a man ready to punch out after 50 seasons. I have no problem with an administration wanting to make a change, and it’s their high school. I do have a problem when it comes to someone with the credentials of Coach Ernst. Yes, high school sports can be big business, and boosters can muck things up, but that doesn’t mean an administrator can’t find better ways to make a change with the all-time winningest coach in the history of Arizona high school basketball. Damn shame that this wasn’t handled better…
If there was a Dean at Arizona State who had 9 of their staff get fired or left in the last three years, some for cheating, I’m guessing that the Dean would be gone. Head of departments are held to high standards, correct? If a student plagiarizes, cheats at Arizona State, they get kicked out of school. What exactly are the school standards at Arizona State when it comes to the head football coach? Does the captain ever go down with the ship? What’s worse now is the collective yawn around football from many of the big cigars and longtime fans that I’ve spoken to in the last 72 hours—no USC or Arizona on the home schedule in 2022. Winning at Oklahoma State (they’ll be a road underdog) is the only chance to get some momentum early. 


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