Pokéball MMA Battle, Balk It Out, & Cold War II.
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Quick Hits From Over The Weekend
  • Too Long. If you think nine innings-worth of baseball is too much baseball, you might have killed yourself if you had to sit through the Pittsburgh Pirates-Washington Nationals game yesterday. It took 18 innings (just under six hours) for the Pirates to put away the Nats, 2-1. Wars have literally taken less time.
  • Nate The Great. Nate Thurmond, a Hall of Fame NBA player who accepted his baldness with a quiet cool, unlike LeBron, died Saturday at 74. Thurmond was a 7x All-Star, and had been named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players.
  • Cold War II. U.S. doping agencies (among others) want all Russian teams (not just track and field) booted from next month's Olympics if a key doping report, due out next week, shows "damning" evidence against Putin and pals. So this is how the second Cold War starts...
  • Marky Mark vs. Goodell. Mark Wahlberg claims NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called him to complain about the HBO show he's producing, Ballers, for (accurately) portraying NFL athletes as irresponsible idiots ("fights, drug use, and infidelity"). It doesn't look like Goodell will be showing up to any Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch reunion shows anytime soon.
  • Legs Shouldn't Do That. Watch Shanghai Shenhua (Chinese soccer club) striker Demba Ba's left leg gain a second knee in our injury of the weekend.

The Main Event
Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson captured his first major by edging American Phil Mickelson, shooting a record-breaking 264 (lowest 72-hole score in major history) to win the British Open, one of golf's four top tournaments in the world.

While other golfers were busy acting like children by breaking their own clubs (looking at you Thomas Pieters and Rory McIlroy), Stenson and Mickelson looked like men among boys as they engaged in a historic duel that saw both golfers hit 63-shot rounds (tied for lowest score in a single major championship round). However, Stenson pulled away during the final round on Sunday, finishing 8-under-par (tied major record) to beat Mickelson by three strokes on the tournament (-20 to -17). To put that into perspective, third-place winner J.B. Holmes finished 6-under-par. Like we said, men among boys.

Stenson may have turned in an all-time performance, but the tournament's real winner was Andrew "Beef" Johnston. Beef, who looks like he'd be better at World of Warcraft than golf (pictured above, guess who!), smoked golf tees like cigarettes, snacked while playing, and high-fived everyone, all while finishing in a respectable eighth-place. He capped off his performance by saying, "I'll definitely be having a beer tonight." Andrew "Beef" Johnston; number eight on the charts, number one in our hearts.

Good Sport
Feel The G's
Australian BMXer Ryan Williams pulled G-Forces seldom seen outside of a centrifuge at the inaugural Nitro World Games on Saturday. He landed a 1080 and a world-first, body-less forward bike flip (below) on his way to the BMX "Best Tricks" title. Williams wasn't the only bro who rewrote the books, as the World Games saw a reported 32 world firsts. Check out the full list of winners here.

Bad Sport
Alabama Asylum
University of Alabama starting offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor was arrested and charged with DUI very early yesterday morning. Luckily for Taylor, Alabama head coach Nick Saban loves delinquents, as was evident when Saban nearly bit radio host Paul Finebaum's head off for attacking Saban's decision to not suspend two players facing felony drug and weapons charges. Come to Alabama for the esteemed football program, stay for the athlete immunity.

G.O.A.T. of the Weekend (What is G.O.A.T.?)
Stephen Strasburg. The Washington Nationals pitcher stretched his undefeated record to 13-0 on Friday night with a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, making Strasburg just the fifth pitcher to start a season 13-0 since 1956. Que current teammate Max "demon eyes" Scherzer yawning, as he was the fourth pitcher to do it just three years ago.

Honorable Mention: Jan Frodeno is more iron than man. The German triathlete set a new Ironman triathlon world-best time (7:35:39), destroying previous record-holder Andreas Raelert’s time by about six minutes (7:41:33).

Goat of the Weekend (What's a Goat?)
Brock Lesnar. Late Friday, it was revealed the WWE/UFC star failed a drug test prior to his UFC 200 victory over Mark Hunt on July 9th. Lesnar's camp claims they will "get to the bottom" of his failed doping test, and appear to have an asthma-related excuse queued up. Lesnar won't be getting any sympathy from Hunt, who apparently thinks Lesnar's sucking wind excuse sucks shit, as he wants all of Lesnar's fight earnings ($2.5 million), because "cheaters shouldn't get shit." So there's that.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: San Francisco Giants closer Santiago Casilla was, apparently, shot by an invisible sniper while delivering a 10th-inning pitch with runners on first and third against the San Diego Padres. He tripped over his own feet like a newborn puppy while handing the Padres a 7-6 win on one of the more embarrassing balks in recent memory.

Quote of the Weekend
"For all the Pokémon lovers, I just caught myself a Cyborg." - Michael "Venom" Page

The MMA fighter channeled Pokémon's Ash Ketchum at Bellator 158 on Saturday, tossing a Pokéball at Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos' near lifeless body after knocking him out with a knee to the forehead, which literally shattered Santos' skull.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
MLB. Mets at Cubs - 7pm on ESPN
CYCLING. Tour de France: Stage 16 - 8am on NBC Sports
NBA SUMMER LEAGUE. Championship: Chicago Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 9pm on ESPN2
U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS. Field hockey: U.S. vs. India - 6:30pm on NBC Sports
WWE. Monday Night Raw - 11pm on USA
JIMMY KIMMEL. Former baseball player Mike Piazza, who will be inducted into MLB's Hall of Fame on 7/24, stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to reminisce about his epic mustache and "not" taking steroids during his playing days - 11:35pm on ABC
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