Your morning roundup for June 20, the day we got a healthy reminder that rich people are awful.
What we watched: Late last evening in Washington, D.C., 22-year-old Rory McIlroy strutted down the fairway on the 18th hole at Congressional to win his first U.S. Open title. He'd had a certain swagger to his play all weekend, but he hadn't yet had an approach quite like this: it was golf's ultimate prom entrance. And McIlroy, young as he is, is already the PGA's golden boy. He was equal parts gracious, humble, triumphant, and confident in victory last night — but more importantly, as Sally Jenkins pointed out in the Washington Post on Saturday, he is not Tiger Woods, and he does not care to be Tiger Woods:
The thing about a great is that there is only one of him. One Ben Hogan, one Jack Nicklaus. They change the swing, change the flight of the ball, change the concept of how to play to win, and stamp their own personality on the game. McIlroy is only 22 years old, but he promises to do the same. Over four days in Bethesda as he set a fistful of Open records en route to a 16-under-par 268, McIlroy combined an aura of superiority with an embraceable man-of-the-people air - and that's a unique and welcome combination. Have we ever seen a player with his combination of youth, craft and approachability? I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a new champion who doesn't treat the world as his spittoon.
McIlroy sketched out a discernible if young identity in his habitual baby blue shirt and white cotton pants: one of easy, ambling brilliance. Throughout the muffled, humid four days at Congressional, he played with a stalking rhythm, hitting a succession of high, soft irons that sent wedges of turf flying in the air.
"When you're swinging well and you're that comfortable, everything just seems quite rhythmical, anyway," he said, "even the way you walk and just your whole thought process, everything just seems to go quite well."
So that explains the strut. (Emma Carmichael)
What we're watching: Not The Killing, that's for damn sure. I realize this is a little outside of this site's jurisdiction, but if there's any segment of the television-watching public that knows when it's being treated like a bunch of paste-eating dumbasses, it's sports fans. I thought we had a deal, AMC. You produce decent original programming that doesn't insult our intelligence, and we spend the summer pretending like it's freaking Aeschylus. We get so few opportunities to congratulate ourselves on our genteel good taste these days — shit, it's the only reason people still put up with Woody Allen — and ultimately that's all we want out of you, AMC. A little introspection. Some thoughtful moodiness. The feeling that we're watching something other than the usual teevee machinery clanking into place. And this is what you do? This finale is how you repay the millions of people who didn't throw the remote at the television after the 4,289th scene in which someone cried behind a rain-streaked window? You know what The Killing was? A 13-episode ding-dong ditch. A three-month-long exercise in a guy offering his hand, pulling it away, running it through his hair, and saying, "Sike." What happens in the Season 2 pilot? Bob Newhart wakes up? Go fuck yourself, AMC. (Tommy Craggs)
Tiki Barber had what it takes to be a blogger : "'I remember there were days where I would literally wake up, have coffee, get something to eat and sit on the couch and do nothing for 10 hours,' he said. 'I started to shrivel. I didn't have that confidence. I didn't have the, that aura anymore.'" [AP]
Peter King throws some shit at the wall: "My educated guess, and maybe a little more than that, is Pittsburgh will be Tiki Barber's landing spot this summer when he tries to return to football after four seasons away." [SI]
OMGolf Gaffe!: Via It's Always Sunny In Detroit.
Belfast goes and gets all pragmatic on us: "If you must, tell your children: ‘That's the way to behave on the golf course.' But leave it there. Don't hold him up as some sort of paragon, because he isn't one and he doesn't want to be one. But worse still, don't confuse his virtues as a human with his virtues as a golfer. By the end of his soliloquy the American broadcaster declared: ‘Rory is already a champion - as a human being.' Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. Quite frankly, it's irrelevant. McIlroy is in town to be a champion golfer. That's what matters to him and he would be the first to acknowledge that his sport owes him nothing, regardless of how wonderful a human he may be." [Belfast Telegraph]
How will Chad Pennington injure himself as an analyst? Tune in to FOX to find out: "'It would've been (good for me) if I wouldn't have had the knee injury,' Pennington said. 'I planned to make a fourth comeback, but it doesn't make sense to try to rehab a shoulder injury a fourth time on top of an ACL injury. I'm at a point of my career where I haven't been patient before, I'm going to be patient now.'" [Charleston Daily Mail]
Ozzie Guillen passed a kidney stone, probably swore a lot too: "'I feel drugged out,' Guillen said after the game. 'But I feel better.'" [Chicago Tribune]
At 1-18 in June, the Marlins are the anti-Patriots: "'I know there's been a lot of speculation and everything, but this wasn't something on Father's Day and my son's 13th birthday that I thought was going to be happening [Sunday],' Beinfest said. 'We need to work. But we do want to get somebody in here quickly, so we can at least have some calm in the dugout and move forward.'" [Miami Herald]
American soccer: now with diving!
Music PR is the best: First used to describe a physical thing, Folder Rock, which mostly arrives via email now, has come to embody something greater for Bedard. It's the word he uses to characterize the sometimes outrageous and overcooked language bands use to describe themselves and their music. … 'Their debut EP is an intense, warm guitar riff dick slap coupled with thick syrup bass lines,' reads one Tweet." [Bay Citizen]
Freestyle canoe interlude, featuring "one of the more scary moves":
We are all Dave McKenna CXXXVI: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Nepalese lesbians can get married in America.
Auburn's rings look... um, shiny: "Now would be an appropriate time to note that NCAA Legislation Cite 220.127.116.11 says that the total value for any single award received for a national championship may not exceed $415, and the total value of any award for a conference championship may not exceed $325." [Eye on College Football]
Rory McIlroy already has the course record: "While there are plenty of golf courses that claim to be 'on' the water, this one would quite literally be atop the Indian Ocean. The concept is a series of man-made islands with one or more holes on each, linked by transparent undersea tunnels. Golfers walk or ride through these submerged pathways, taking in the seafloor sights while pondering which iron to use next. And the clubhouse? You'll have to take an elevator to the sea bottom to get to it. At half a billion dollars, it will be by far the most expensive golf course ever built." [Forbes]
The 10 biggest NBA draft busts: Hoopism has the list and a number of pretty drawings, including one in which Adam Morrison fulfills his destiny of being turned into a Milton Glaser poster for Rush. [Hoopism]