By Alex Myers
Richard Sherman has made it clear he believes he's the NFL's best defensive back, but when it comes to golf, he's much more humble. At least, for now.
Since his brash/controversial/overblown interview following the Seattle Seahawks' win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, Sherman has been arguably the most talked about player as Super Bowl XLVIII approaches. But has anyone been talking about his golf game?
It appears that Sherman caught the golf bug this past summer playing in charity events run by Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner, fellow members of the Seahawks' vaunted "Legion of Boom" defense. At least, that's what they claim "L.O.B." stands for when they say it or tweet it. Perhaps it's actually a reminder that they all need to work on their short game. . .
In any event, we found a couple videos of Sherman in action at the driving range and on the golf course on YouTube's Follow Channel. The first one, titled, "Richard Sherman, next Tiger Woods?" and published Oct. 13, shows Sherman taking one of his first lessons at a public range at Maplewood Golf Course. Sherman seems as amped to practice golf as he is to cover an opposing wide receiver, excitedly taking a few air swings in his living room before leaving and declaring, "Swing's going to be on today!" Skip to the 2:10 mark if you're not interested in seeing his personal stylist come to his house to do his hair.
In the video, Sherman is clearly still in the beginner phase, but he's a pro when it comes to golf sound bites.
"We've been taking lesssons and trying to get better week by week, but it's a process."
Did he just say, "It's a process"?! Hmm. Maybe he really is the next Tiger Woods.
Fast forward a couple of weeks to a video published Oct. 28. Sherman has upgraded to Fairwood Golf & Country Club and instead of his Stanford t-shirt, he's now wearing a collared shirt from he and Woods' alma mater (He also has a "Frank" the Tiger head cover like the World No. 1!). His instructor, Teresa Caluori, is there and he's already graduated to giving tips to a cousin, who he's introducing to the game:
Sherman shows promise on the range, but his on-course play is still shaky. But hey, this was a few months ago when he was just starting out. Who knows how much this world-class athlete has improved since? And once again, just as they are after football games, his quotes are fantastic.
"On a scale of 1 through 10, I'm a 112 -- on my competitiveness."
Then, after finally connecting on a couple:
"You can turn your golf game around in a split second. I was just frowning," Sherman said flashing a wide grin. "Now I'm smiling."
We're smiling too. Say what you will about Sherman, but from a golf perspective, you have to like his positive attitude and love for the game. In Sunday's big game, he'll lead a defense trying to stop a Denver Broncos offense run by quarterback Peyton Manning, a fellow golf nut and a pretty formidable player. Perhaps, when it's over, the great cornerback can pick the brain of one of the all-time great quarterbacks. They might even talk a little football.
By John Strege
At first glance, golf seemed to have only a tenuous connection to the Winter Olympics -- downhill skier Lindsey Vonn's boyfriend, Tiger Woods, and a few NBC/Golf Channel golf broadcasters, Dan Hicks and Steve Sands among them.
A stronger connection is provided by former University of Wisconsin golfer Erika Brown, whose college coach was Dennis Tiziani, Steve Stricker's father-in-law and instructor.
For the third time, Brown, 41, is a member of the U.S. curling team, having competed (and finished fifth) in the Calgary Games in 1988 and in the Nagano, Japan, Games in 1998. She is a three-time U.S. Curling Association female curler of the year.
As for golf, Brown played for Wisconsin's Big 10 championship team in 1994, was twice the Wisconsin state high school champion, and won the Madison City Women's Championship in 1994.
Do the two sports have something in common other attempting to hit a target?
"Both of them [require] being able to repeat a motion over and over and make adjustments based on a particular shot and fine-tuning it," she said in this article at uwbadgers.com. "And then, they both take a long time. They're both slow, slow sports, with a lot of time to think. You have to manage your mental space during a round of golf or during a curling game, which can last about three hours."
She played four years at Wisconsin, but when golf and curling were in conflict, Tiziani, according to the story, deferred to curling.
Hicks, incidentally, is the anchor for NBC's coverage of alpine skiing, while Sands will be reporting on speed skating. Jimmy Roberts and Terry Gannon also will have roles on NBC, as will Vonn, who will be unable to compete as a result of a knee injury.
(Getty Images photo)
By Alex Myers
The Arizona Diamondbacks finished second in the National League West standings in 2013, but in 2014, they're already jumped out to a huge lead over the rest of Major League Baseball when it comes to team camaraderie.
On Wednesday, four of Arizona's players showed up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to support teammate Aaron Hill, who was playing in the pro-Am. How could you spot the quartet? Easy. They were the ones walking around TPC Scottsdale holding up Fatheads with the likeness of their beloved second baseman.
Charles Brewer, Eric Chavez, Josh Collmenter and Patrick Corbin were the Diamondbacks in Hill's cheering section. Hill, a two-time Silver Slugger award winner, showed off his pop by driving a golf ball through one of the oversized heads. Billy Horschel, one of Hill's playing partners, got in on the fun by doing the same. Here's the video:
By John Strege
The Tiger Woods World Tour reportedly will move from the United Arab Emirates to India next, apparently for a one-day exhibition in Delhi on Tuesday, multiple publications there are reporting, including the Hindustan Times.
The Hindustan Times, citing "unconfirmed sources," said Woods will be paid $2.2 million for the outing. Woods currently is playing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic (he shot four-under par 68 in the first round on Thursday), where he likely received an appearance fee of at least that much.
ESPN golf writer Bob Harig wrote from Dubai that Woods is likely to pass on the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, which means that he probably won't be seen again until the Florida swing beginning with the Honda Classic on Feb. 27.
Last October and November, Woods played tournaments or exhibitions in China, Singapore, Macau and Turkey.
(Getty Images photo)
Stats show Rory is playing about as well as at this time last year, and only a win in Dubai can change that
Rory McIlroy's opening round 63 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic seems to reaffirm that the slump the World No. 6 was in for most of the 2013 calendar year might be behind him ... or does it? Is it really a sign that good times are ahead?
(*The one thing we haven't touched upon here, of course, is the complicating factor of McIlroy's equipment switch from Titleist to Nike clubs at the beginning of 2013. How large a role that played in his subsequent struggles last year is subject for debate. Presumably, though, that factor potentially contributing to his 2013 slump isn't a variable he'll be fighting in 2014.)
There are all the obvious reasons why it's good to be Tiger Woods -- oodles of cash, 79 tour wins, free shoes from Nike. And then there are the less obvious ones -- like if you happen to land a tee shot behind a boulder, you can easily recruit enough spectators to move the boulder for you.
This actually happened, as you probably recall. The USGA certainly does. Playing the Phoenix Open in 1999 -- two years after he famously aced the par-3 16th hole in the tournament -- Woods drove his tee shot on the par-5 13th hole left and behind a boulder.
Without much of a shot to the green, Woods inquired whether the boulder was a loose impediment and could be moved. When the answer was yes, Woods enlisted members of his gallery, including then-caddie Mike "Fluff" Cowan, for their help.
Related: This time, Brandel Chamblee goes too far on Woods
The incident remains controversial because it spoke to the advantage Woods had in having a large gallery. Would a Monday qualifier in the first grouping get the same help? Probably not. But 15 years later, the USGA maintains what the player did was perfectly within the Rules of Golf, citing Decision 23-1/3: "May spectators, caddies, fellow-competitors, etc., assist a player in removing a large loose impediment?" The answer is "Yes."
For all that hospitality, it's worth noting Woods' experience at TPC Scottsdale has been mixed.
By Alex Myers
Unless you stayed up really late last night, you probably missed watching Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods playing in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic. And if that's the case, you missed quite a show -- from Rory, as least.
McIlroy fired an opening 63 to dust his playing partner, the world's top-ranked golfer, by five shots. According to this highlight package, Woods was hitting the ball "sideways," but posted a solid round thanks to some remarkable scrambling. McIlroy needed no such help from his short game:
Clearly, the shot of the day was a McIlroy 5-wood that carried about 250 yards and then gently rolled out to about 10 feet to set up an eagle. Not that we should be too surprised. McIlroy has a win, a runner-up, a T-5 and a T-6 in his last four worldwide events entering this week. So much for that slump.