U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

5 things to talk about on the course: "The Deflator," The LeBrons, and "Mad Max"

May 15, 2015

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. "The Deflator": You can argue whether whether the punishment fit the crime, but you can't argue Tom Brady (at least) broke the rules. Well, unless you're the Patriots. The team came up with the lamest excuse/denial of all time when it said text messages calling locker room attendant Jim McNally as "the deflator" actually referred to him trying to lose weight. Yes, they seriously said that. There's plenty of hot air in Pats land now.

2. The LeBrons: Kevin Love is out. Kyrie Irving is limping around. Derrick Rose is banking in buzzerbeaters to win games. And yet the Cavs still cruised passed the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. LeBron's latest surprising running mate in Cleveland -- following in a long line that includes Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic and Damon Jones -- is the undrafted 24-year-old from St. Mary's, Matthew Dellavedova, who had a career-high 19 points in the series-clinching game against Chicago. Whichever team comes out of the West will be favored in the Finals, but the King certainly won't go down without a fight.

3. The Clippers: Speaking of the West, it appeared this crew had finally put things together after toppling the Spurs in a classic Game 7. Despite a limited Chris Paul, they took a 3-1 series lead against the Rockets. But things are never easy with this team. After losing Game 5, the Clippers inexplicably blew a 19-point lead late in the third quarter at home in Game 6. In fact, there's a good chance that reading this is the only reason you know they lost since most people went to bed thinking it was over. The Clippers will have another chance to reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in Sunday's Game 7. If they don't get it done, they will officially take the title as the most cursed team in pro sports.

4. Preakness Stakes: The second leg of horseracing's Triple Crown is Saturday in Baltimore. On the bright side, you should have a better chance of picking a winner since there are only eight horses running after 18 at the Kentucky Derby. Don't worry, none of them died. On the bad side, that means it's tougher to make a lot of money. Derby winner American Pharoah is a huge (5-to-6) betting favorite, but our favorite golf-sounding name is Firing Line -- and you'll get more bang for your buck at 17-to-4.

5. "Mad Max": You will hear a lot about this movie this weekend and it will make a lot of money. I don't know why. How many "the world as we know it has ended" movies can Hollywood make?

Apparently, some men's rights activists are calling for a boycott of the film because of its "feminist propaganda." Guys, calm down. It's a stupid action movie. No boycott for me, I just won't be going. The theater is expensive and I should avoid large buckets of buttery popcorn. After a week on the road at the Players, I've got some serious deflating to do.