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Tiger shaky for British Open, regrets past work ethic

Tiger Woods, post back surgery, hopes to play the British Open (July 17-20), but he’s not training the way he did earlier in his career.  “I used to run 30 miles a week and just push it, no matter how hurt I was. . . . I didn’t realize how much damage I was doing to my body at the time.”  Now he’s taking a less rigorous approach. And so far, less is, well, less.  In his first tournament in three months, he missed the cut by four shots in the far-from-major Quicken Loans National.  Though suffering no back pain, he knows he’s not sharp enough for Royal Liverpool.  But Tiger Inc. has obligations. Woods played the Quicken Loans because his foundation is tournament operator.  It was also an opportunity to display on his golf bag the neon-green MP logo of MusclePharm.  This is a dietary supplements company in Denver whose CEO, 34-year-old Brad Pyatt, promises to “take the scariness out of supplements.”

Between the Lines:  He’s talking about an industry that has almost no government oversight.  Hence, andro, creatine and other controversial and often impure substances in health clubs and drug stores.  Hence, the enduring scariness.   


Brazil gets a therapist for crying soccer players

When they finished regulation tied against Chile in a World Cup  match, several of Brazil’s players broke into tears, as if they were defeated Russians fearing they’re about to become miners in Siberia.  The Brazilians were overcome with guilt over disappointing a country whose national obsession is a sport it reinvented and globally dominates.  Although his team ultimately beat Chile in a penalty kick shootout, Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, summoned a psychotherapist, Regina Branao, because he knew his players were mentally shaken.  “We are the hosts,” he said, “so that means the minimum we have to do – the minimum – is win.”

Brazil’s post-match reaction contrasted with Argentina’s jubilation after a 1-0 edging of Switzerland.  Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and others were dancing, twirling towels and mocking their continental rivals with a song:  “Brasil decime que se siente.”

There was lots of crying in the stadium as Brazil, helpless without star player Neymar, fell apart, losing 7-1 in its semi-final match with Germany.  Brazil trailed 5-0 at halftime; players were booed while departing the pitch.


Luis Suarez has Tyson syndrome

Uruguay’s superstar Luis Suarez has been punished by FIFA on three occasions (including suspension from this year’s World Cup) for biting the ears of opponents.  Eliciting this from Conan O’Brien (TBS):  “He bit a Chinese player, and he was hungry an hour later.”


Toure cites anti-African bias in World Cup

Yaya Toure, midfielder who stars for the Ivory Coast national team and for Manchester City in the English Premier League, attributed the Ivory exit in World Cup group play to biased officiating.  “Once again the refereeing was not on our side,” he said.  “We had at least two penalties turned down in our game against Japan.  And then one is invented against Greece.  Of course it doesn’t upset anyone because it only concerns an African team.” 

Between the Lines: No African team reached the Final 16, and considering the overt racism of fans at European matches, it would not be shocking if some FIFA refs are biased.  Still, Cameroon does not help the African cause with its national team under investigation for match-fixing.



I-Man to Danica: ‘Get out of the car’

After her 18th at Sonoma, Danica Patrick said:  “It’s not the best of days, but I think we keep improving.”  Sadly, she’s right.  This was one of her better races.  In 21 this year she’s been mostly mid-pack and worse, never finishing in the top five.  FOX Business curmudgeon Don Imus implored, wearily:  “Danica, get out of the car.”


Keselowski cuts hand on a champagne bottle

After winning his second race in the Sprint series, the Quaker State 400, Brad Keselowski accidently cut the pinky finger of his right hand while standing at the podium and shaking a bottle of champagne“I think I hit it on the corner of the podium, and it broke.”  After taking four stitches in the finger, the driver said, “We should have stuck to beer.”

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