Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:03 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 11:24 am
 

Lax team fights Foot Locker crew at TGI Fridays

Sunday night is alright for fighting. (Kare11.com)
By Will Brinson

There are certain times in the life of someone who works on the Internet when you wonder "Is this the greatest headline/story of all-time?" This is one of those times: a group of players for the Rochester Knighthawks, a professional lacrosse team, got in a fight with a group of Foot Locker employees. While both groups were dining at a TGI Fridays in Minneapolis.

According to the Associated Press, via amateur lax-bro Andrew Sharp at SB Nation, it all started because of a food fight. I know -- you think it's gotten as good as it can possibly get and then somehow it gets better.
One witness told police the lacrosse players were throwing food and other items at each other. One of the Knighthawk reportedly players threw a menu and hit a nearby Foot Locker employee who was sitting with other co-workers. Police say the Foot Locker employee who was hit confronted the lacrosse player and the fight started after that.
It's just ... so glorious. And not only because of the matchup or the ridiculous lax-y names of the pro laxers (Sid Smith, Tyler Burton, Cody Jamieson, Jordan Hall and Travis Hill). But because of the way the exchange plays out in my head and I laugh harder each time.

It involves the usage of the words "bro" and "brah" no less than 500 times, with various random laxicon terms like "fish," "buddy," and "head" being tossed around more frequently than the screaming jalapeno poppers that smacked the Foot Looker employee in the face.

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Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Dan Wheldon set to drive Danica Patrick's car?

Posted by Will Brinson

The most obvious replacement for Danica Patrick's No. 7 car, 2011 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, appears on the brink of being actually named to that spot.

According to Wheldon, he's ready to step into Danica's shoes (boots?), but the final details of the agreement just need to be signed off on by Michael Andretti.

"His personality has not changed one bit, but he's become the type of guy everyone wants to be around," Andretti said of Wheldon, who was out of work in IndyCar as recently as a year ago. "I know it's been hard for him not to be racing, but being on TV has allowed people to get to know him and see why it's so easy to like him.

"He's grown up."

And Wheldon, in speaking to the Indianapolis Star's Curt Cavin, sounds poised to enjoy his time (back) in the spotlight.

"I honestly think [setbacks] teach you to enjoy the good times," Wheldon said recently. "Up until that point, everything had always been good for me. Then I had a difficult part of my career.  It's come full circle and I've enjoyed it, but you never know. It could change again very quickly in this business."

The only change for Wheldon, right now anyway, appears to be his car number. Because barring any serious switch, the hottest driver in IndyCar will be suiting up for GoDaddy and Andretti soon.

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Posted on: August 25, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: August 25, 2011 11:52 am
 

Eye for an Eye: Most important position in sports

It’s a debate as old as time … or at least the invention of talking TV heads: What is the most important position in sports? It seems the sports world has come to the universal conclusion that’s a quarterback in football. So we put it to our bloggers to represent their respective sports and make their cases for the most important position.

Royce Young, Eye on Basketball: Basketball’s kind of in a tough position to make a claim in this debate, because while a point guard is the quarterback of a team, he/she’s not always that important. I mean, look at who the Bulls won their titles with -- John Paxson, Steve Kerr, B.J. Armstrong. Or the Lakers with Derek Fisher. You sometimes get a similar thing in football with guys like Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson winning Super Bowls, but in basketball, it happens quite a bit.

And there’s not really a specific position that stands out as more important. Basketball’s a free-flowing game with positions often interchanging. Is LeBron James a point guard or a small forward? Heck, sometimes he’s a power forward. So really, basketball doesn’t entirely fit because it’s kind of a sport that doesn’t exactly feature positions.

So here’s what I’m arguing: Basketball’s most important position is always the alpha player. Whoever that may be. For the Magic it’s Dwight Howard at center. For the Hornets, it’s Chris Paul at point guard. For the Lakers it’s Kobe Bryant at shooting guard. And that one player can impact the game and team more than any other position in any sport. Because there are only five players on the court for each team, one player -- a great player -- can change everything. Carmelo Anthony carried Syracuse to a national title pretty much by himself. Dirk Nowitzki obviously meant everything to the Mavs in their title run. Michael Jordan ... well, I don’t even have to say.

Every other sport’s top position -- quarterback, pitcher, goalie -- all are really going to have to rely on their teammates as much as themselves. But basketball’s a game where one guy can entirely take over. (For reference, see Kobe’s 81.) And that’s why, while not an actual position, the alpha player in basketball is the most important in sports.

Evan Brunell, Eye on Baseball: Baseball is an individual sport masquerading as a team sport. While all players are collectively pushing for a team to win, the game relies on specific, individual contributions for the team to win out. As opposed to basketball or football, where players have to move in a cohesive unit, baseball spotlights individuals.

Due to the power of Wikipedia, we learn what scholar Michael Mandelbaum has to say about baseball in The Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football, and Basketball and What They See When They Do.:

It is impossible to isolate and objectively assess the contribution each [football] team member makes to the outcome of the play.... [E]very basketball player is interacting with all of his teammates all the time. In baseball, by contrast, every player is more or less on his own.... Baseball is therefore a realm of complete transparency and total responsibility. A baseball player lives in a glass house, and in a stark moral universe.... Everything that every player does is accounted for and everything accounted for is either good or bad, right or wrong.
This is why advanced statistics have taken off in baseball as opposed to other sports. In baseball, it's easy to divide and quantify, to bastardize an old saying. And this reasoning is also why the starting pitcher is the most important position in sports.

Let's get one thing out of the way first in favor of the argument for a quarterback. There's no question that the closest approximation to a starting pitcher in another sport is the quarterback. A good or bad quarterback will derail the game, just like a bad day by the starting pitcher will kill the entire game as early as the first inning. What the quarterback has to his advantage, and what tips the scales to that position being the most valuable, is the schedule. The QB only has to play 16 regular-season games and has a week off in between to recuperate. Now, this isn't a negative -- it's simply how football functions. Due to this, the same QB can and will affect the entire season of a team, while even someone like Roy Halladay missing the entire year wouldn't necessarily destroy a baseball team's season.

But is the right point of comparison the entire season? After all, if baseball followed football's schedule to a T, baseball would only need one starting pitcher (plus a few in reserve, just like backup quarterbacks) as that pitcher would receive plenty of rest and be able to start all 16 games under a football schedule. (And just like a QB, an injury to the pitcher would then kill the team's entire season.) By the same vein, good luck making the argument that one quarterback would be able to sustain playing 162 football games in consecutive days. This is nothing against football or baseball -- these are two distinct sports. But we need to make the right comparison across both sports, and that means looking at the individual-game level.

And there, starting pitchers win out as the most important position in sports. If a quarterback fails in a season, the whole year is usually lost. But if he fails in one game, the game isn't necessarily over. The team can turn over the game to the running game, can hope that the defense clamps down and that special teams does its job. Of course, the same can be said about a starting pitcher. If the pitcher is playing badly, the team can hope for a lockdown performance by the bullpen and the offense to do its job. But it's much harder to overcome a starting pitcher imploding than it is a quarterback.

Remember, baseball is a team sport played by individual players, and in every game, the starting pitcher is the most important player on the field. Even the best hitters will only get to the plate around four times, but a pitcher who throws a complete game will have registered 27 outs, just barely under seven times the chances a position player gets. While a quarterback is in a similar position, being involved in a higher volume of plays than any other football player, the distribution of work is spread out much more, and the quarterback has to rely on other players doing their job to do his job. How can a quarterback do his job if his interior line keeps collapsing, or his wide receivers can't get open? The starting pitcher, meanwhile, stands on a circle in the middle of the field, all alone, with only his ability standing in the way of getting the menacing batter at the plate out. While other variables in baseball can influence a pitcher's effectiveness, such as the quality of the defense behind him, it doesn't come close to matching the variables in football that can mitigate a quarterback's ability.

The Bears made the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman. Enough said.

Brian Stubits, Eye on Hockey: Well this is fun to read you guys try to convince yourselves, but time to come out and play with the position you all are sleeping on.

I understand hockey isn't this country's most popular sport -- understatement of the debate -- but that shouldn't diminish it's most important position's role. First of all, a goalie is almost always in play. A QB, at best, is playing maybe 2/3 of the time in any game? Maybe? That's only if his team is really dominating. Then, of that, he hands the ball off to another player half the time.

A pitcher in baseball, particularly in the American League, is making about an equal impact as a QB considering half of the time he isn't in the game and more often than not he doesn't finish the game.

Basketball, while I must commend Royce for thinking outside of the box, just doesn't have a most important position that can compete here. The alpha player in basketball is a role perhaps more significant than any other in sports, but it's not a position.

That brings me back to hockey. Let me put it to you this way. If a QB, pitcher or basketball player is successful 85 percent of the time at what he does, he is the best player in his sport's history. Ever. If a goaltender succeeds 85 percent of the time, he's probably being relegated to your local beer league.

While you might maintain a goaltender is reliant on his offensive players too much, I would argue that's not the case. Because hockey permits ties in the regular season, it is the only sport where you can say if your most important position player is perfect, your team is guaranteed not to lose. A pitcher can only go so long in any game before being relieved even if he is perfect, a QB going perfect significantly increases your chances of winning, but is no guarantee. Same goes for basketball.

To speak a little more specifically, the Philadelphia Flyers just reached the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago. Yet they just finished an offseason overhaul that saw them jettison their top offensive talents just so they could squeeze what they think is an elite goaltender on their roster in Ilya Bryzgalov. Or if you'd like I can point to Tim Thomas, who was simply amazing in the Stanley Cup Final this year and was easily the biggest reason why the Bruins won the Cup against the offensively supercharged Canucks. One player can make that tremendous of an impact in every game.

What other sport do they give players such descriptions as "standing on his head?"

In closing, a sport that is as low scoring as hockey is, surely you can all comprehend the value of keeping the puck out of your own net.

Will Brinson, Eye on Football: Well, for starters, it's cute that every single one of you is like "WE'RE BETTER THAN THE QB!" That pretty clearly makes the point that you're starting from behind.

Although not quite as much as a) Royce's need to create a fictional "position" to make his argument or b) Evan's need to take things down to an individual-game level in order to try and justify that a starting pitcher is the most important position. (We'll get to the only defensive-sided goaltender in a minute.)

Regarding pitchers, I have some questions. Who is the best starting pitcher on the Phillies, Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay? Why do pitchers not win the most valuable player award in their own sport? Why, if pitchers are so important to an individual game, have closers become so important? If the best pitcher in baseball last year, Halladay, completed just nine games, why on Earth would you think he could complete your fictional 16-game baseball schedule? Why are there multiple teams with multiple "aces" in baseball when there aren't enough quality starting quarterbacks to fill up the entire NFL? Are we dealing with different talent pools?

And most importantly: why are you citing Wikipedia?!?!?!

Actually, the most important question is why would you think that the level of an individual game matters? Justifying things at the level of an individual game is not only ridiculous and counter-intuitive to the very argument of importance, but it goes against the very "advanced statistics" you cited the paragraph before in that it condenses the argument to the smallest possible sample size.

To wit: Paul Maholm has five complete games in his career. PAUL MALHOLM! With an ERA+ of 96 for his career, he is the definition of not just "below average" but, more importantly "replacement player." That means that you can take someone who is typically worse than the average pitcher and potentially have him pitch the entire game and while you won't get the same performance, there's a decent chance that you get an acceptable performance.

Do you know what happens when you replace Peyton Manning with a below-average quarterback? The Colts win three games and are terrible.

That's how big a difference-maker quarterbacks are over the course of the entire season. The maximum value of any baseball player this season is 7.6 wins above the replacement value player below him (Jose Bautista) and for a pitcher it's only 6.9 WAR (Halladay). He's worth, then, 18 percent of the Phillies' season based on your own proclaimed advanced metrics. It's not even a remotely close argument.

As for basketball, the "only Kobe can score 81" argument is interesting, but I point to my man Peyton again -- while quarterbacks require other people to handle the physical action of completing a pass, there's little question that a great quarterback + terrible wide receivers can have success. Peyton did it with Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon. These dudes weren't great until he came around, of course. Or look at the Patriots, who were a dominant offensive team with Deion Branch as their top target last year.

Conversely, the Panthers had Steve Smith last season and won two games, entirely because they had the worst quarterback situation in the league.

In basketball, teams can be built all kinds of different ways. A great center, a great point guard, run-and-gun, defensive-minded, etc., etc. The same thing works in football, of course, but there's one problem -- it won't work without a great quarterback. Not anymore, not in the NFL, which has become so QB-dominated that it's surprising we're even having this discussion.

Brunell: Will asks "Why are there multiple teams with multiple "aces" in baseball when there aren't enough quality starting quarterbacks to fill up the entire NFL? Are we dealing with different talent pools?"

Just because teams have multiple aces doesn't mean baseball is crawling with them. Paul Maholm, for example, is the Pirates' ace, and he's hardly a "true" ace. Your argument about Maholm having five complete games doesn't quite marry up. Even a blind squirrel can find a nut every once in a while, just like Tarvaris Jackson can pull out a strong game from nowhere. It doesn't make Jackson an elite quarterback. Just like football, there are varying levels of great pitchers -- the elite ones, the great ones, the good ones and the rest.

A team lucky enough to have multiple "true" aces, like the Phillies, takes away that true ace for another team. Cliff Lee isn't the No. 1 pitcher on his own team, but if you put him on pretty much any other team, he would be the ace. Heck, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre were on the same team for some time. So was LaDanian Tomlinson and Mike Turner. Each player was either great at the time or went on to be great, but it doesn't mean that there was a paucity of quarterbacks just because multiple good players at the same position are  on the same team. Plus, here you get into the differences between 16 games and 162 games. Every Opening Day, there are 750 players that receive at least one day's playing time in baseball. The number of players climbs over 1,000 by season's end, numbers that football can't possibly match. With that much competition, there are naturally going to be more aces. It's a simple ratio. It's not a different talent pool, it's a bigger one.

As to why the level of an individual game matters, we're here arguing what the most important position in the game is. How can you throw out individual games? Especially in football, you would think the importance of individual games is heightened because there are just 16 games in a season and playoffs are single-elimination. The argument is what the most important position in sports is. That tells me we need to figure out who influences the team's chances of winning the most. If you look at a season's worth of evidence, I don't think you can argue against the quarterback. But is it appropriate to compare a quarterback to a starting pitcher with all other considerations factored in? I don't think so. Compare them in a vacuum and distill it down.

Brinson: Even if the talent's shifted to one team -- as happens in many sports, even if the Favre/Rodgers point doesn't work as Rodgers actually became better by sitting and learning -- pitchers are used once every five games. That makes the argument done and done, because you know what Roy Halladay does every four out every five (individual!) games? He lights matches in between Ryan Howard's toes.

As for the goaltender, I think it's important to remember that you only win if you can outscore the other team. This is true in every team sport.

And goalies simply do not score points. In fact, when a team desperately needs to make a run and really get on the offensive in hockey, they actually pull their goaltender! Additionally, the cerebral and athletic requirements to be a goalie are, I'm sorry to say, just not the same that are required for a quarterback.

Stubits: Well you know the old saying: defense wins championships.

Brinson: Though I respect the arguments your making, goalies are just for the defensive, which is where every all of you remain when trying to argue that the quarterback isn't the most important position in all of sports.

Photos: Getty Images
Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:54 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 6:13 pm
 

2 Guys & Podcast: Charles Robinson of Y! on Miami

Posted by Will Brinson

We're thrilled to announce our best podcast yet -- joining the show today is Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, who recently broke the monster scoop on the Miami Hurricanes.

We talk with Charles about the process that goes into an investigation like this, the recent allegations of Tyrone Moss that he never spoke with Yahoo, how Charles manages to be patient during an 11-month process like this, what other scandals may or may not be in the pipe, what kind of reaction he's gotten from fans and how he'd rank Miami, USC, Ohio State and North Carolina in terms of scandaliciousness.

All that and much, much more just by hitting play below. Also, Subscribe via iTunes! (If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it right here.)





Posted on: August 21, 2011 9:18 pm
 

Fed Ex Cup winners, losers from Greensboro

Posted by Will Brinson



GREENSBORO, NC -- The upside of playing in the Wyndham Championship is that there's a significant chance to make a move in the Fed Ex Cup standings. The downside of playing in the Wyndham Championship ... well, actually there's no downside to not playing, really, especially if you're on the bubble for the Fed Ex Cup.

By not playing, there's a huge downside, as someone else can take your spot in the PGA Tour's postseason. Also, if you play badly, you can end up on the outside looking in and/or not advance yourself enough to get a shot at $10 million. With that in mind and the Fed Ex Cup standings now "set" (technically still "projected" I believe), let's take a spin around some winners and losers in terms of the Fed Ex Cup standings.

WINNERS
Padraig Harrington
-- It looked like Paddy was doomed to take a vacation from his vacation's vacation, but some late movement by the field -- in particular the collapse of Jeff Mallinger -- kept him in the field and pushed him into the PGA Tour's postseason.

William McGirt -- McGirt knew he was done for the postseason after his round. He mentioned as much when talking about his fear of looking at the leaderboard. But, and I hate to pick on a young guy here, Summerhays melting down made fellow rookie McGirt the last man in on the Fed Ex Cup. He's probably pretty happy right now.

Arjun Atwal -- The 2010 Wyndham Championship winner is in good company with Paddy and McGirt, as they're the last three guys in when it comes to the Fed Ex, although I'm not sure anyone understands how he's even there at this point. On Friday, Atwal looked like a lock to get pushed down by other contenders playing well at the Wyndham (he missed the cut) but somehow survived.

Webb Simpson -- Simpson's win at the Wyndham pushed him into third place overall in terms of Fed Ex Cup points, pretty darn impressive for a 26-year-old. And as a result, he's got a substantially better chance at winning the postseason and picking up the huge prize that's available to golfers who aren't headed home for the year. $10 million could conceivably even afford him the chance to have David Feherty look after his screaming baby.

Tommy Gainey -- Two Gloves can't be thrilled with how his final rounds at the Wyndham shaped up, but he did finish third and as a result move himself into the No. 30 spot in the Fed Ex rankings. That's not the greatest consolation prize, of course, but it does give him a slightly bigger advantage when the PGA's postseason kicks off.

Ernie Els -- Els was originally the "last man out" when the Wyndham began, which is exactly why he came to Greensboro. And though his weekend had to have been disappointing and though he probably thought he should have won given where he sat Friday, he made the postseason with his performance at the Wyndham after sidling his way on up to 118th overall.

LOSERS
John Mallinger -- With nine holes to play, Mallinger had propped himself up to almost the top-100 in terms of Fed Ex points. Then he managed to card four bogeys on the back nine and absolutely blow up any shot he had of the postseason. I distinctly remember remarking that this is precisely why players should come to Greensboro ... and then that happened and Mallinger ended up gaining just 26 strokes.

Daniel Summerhays -- Speaking of meltdowns, Summerhays didn't have the best of days on Sunday. He was understandably dejected after the round, considering that he shot 2-over on the back nine, when most of the other players in Greensboro were making moves. That mild blow-up cost him a chance to get to the postseason in his rookie year. Though, in fairness, he might have had to win in order to actually make the postseason. So you can't be too hard on him.

Justin Leonard -- Leonard had his fate in his own hands, which might make the fact that he missed a par putt (albeit a long one) on 18 that literally pushed him out of the playoffs. It was his third bogey of the day and even though he ended up finishing 17th at the Wyndham, he ended up 126th on the Fed Ex Cup standings, which is good enough to earn him absolutely nothing for the next few weeks. Rough way to go out.

Tiger Woods -- But, hey, at least Leonard tried. Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship and as a result found himself 129th overall in the Fed Ex standings. He only dropped three spots by not playing at Greensboro, but the point is that he wasn't in the playoffs to begin with, and he certainly had an opportunity to to come here and work himself into the playoffs. He was too busy, apparently, promoting his video game. While I applaud that, and I understand that he might not necessarily want to play five more weeks of golf the way he's hitting the ball, it's kind of sad to see Tiger wrap up the year like he did.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 21, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 7:14 pm
 

Webb Simpson cruises to first PGA win at Wyndham

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- It takes a lot to outdraw some of the names -- say, Ernie Els -- that were on the Wyndham Championship leaderboard Sunday. Or just the city of Raleigh. Webb Simpson had the latter loudly behind him as he stormed down the back nine in Greensboro, birdieing two of the last four holes en route to a three-stroke, 18-under win.

"I never thought winning on the PGA Tour would be this hard," Simpson said Sunday. "All the pressure and everything that goes on to win a golf tournament. But I'm extremely pleased and I really love the way I finished today. I thought my caddie and I did a really good job coming in and choosing clubs.

"It was just a fun week and I really couldn't think of a better place to win here in Greensboro."



The Wyndham, proclaimed the "best tournament we've had in 20 years" by director Mark Brazil, was flush with Simpson's family, friends and other Triangle transplants (Webb is from Raleigh and lives in Charlotte), pastel crowds packed along the course, following Webb and cheering his every shot.

"The one thing that helps is when you're playing in one of the last groups, there are already so many people so everybody kind of blends in," Simpson said. "It would probably be harder if there were 100 people watching and I knew every one of them. So having the big crowd out there I think it helped relieve some of the pressure. But I took away so many positives from playing with the home crowd. They were great all week and really cheered me on."

There was ample room for drama on the back nine here in Greensboro, and given Simpson's (perceived?) struggles to close tournaments out, it wasn't unreasonable to expect some spiciness on the final holes, especially when George McNeill vaulted himself to 15-under -- just a stroke back of Webb -- with a beasty 7-under Sunday.

"Honestly, I thought it was going to be a lot lower," McNeil said about the winning score following his round. "I was just trying to play as well as I could. I can only control myself. I can't control what everybody else does."

There really wasn't much he could do to stop Simpson, who answered the call just minutes after McNeil's name popped up on underneath his, posting back-to-back birdies on the par-5 15th and par-3 16th and giving himself a three-stroke cushion that he held onto for the remaining holes.

Behind McNeil was Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, who managed a third-place finish despite struggling his way to through the course on Sunday. Vijay Singh finished in the top-10 at the Wyndham for the fourth time in eight times playing here and a led a group of players tied at fourth (13-under) that includes Jerry Kelly, Kyung-tae Kim, Charles Howell, III, and Carl Pettersson.

Pettersson, the 2008 Wyndham champion, struggled mightily on the back nine and ended up finishing just 1-under for the day.

"I'm disappointed. I'm a competitor," Pettersson said. "I wanted to win this one badly, but Webb outplayed us all."

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.

Posted on: August 21, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Stage set for big drama on Wyndham back nine

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- The early goings of the Wyndham Championship's final round provided a little movement for patrons in Greensboro, but the drama has yet to really heat up, thanks to some sloppy play from leaders Webb Simpson and Tommy Gainey.

Simpson birdied nine to give himself a little cushion after a 1-under front but Gainey ended up bogeying twice to post a 1-over on the front.

But the stage is set for some serious drama on the back nine, with a cluster of players atop the leaderboard, all capable of making a big move.

Remember, Simpson played the front nine even-par on Saturday and only took a two-stroke lead into Sunday thanks to a white hot stretch down the back nine.

Gainey's capable of putting anything on the board, from eagle-eagle-albatross to bogey-double-quad.

And Carl Pettersson, who cost himself several strokes when he left his irons short on the front, also played the back nine well during the third round, posting a three-under score in the second part of his round Saturday.

And John Mallinger, who's flirted with making a big run all day, holed out a chip for par on the ninth to gain some momentum heading into his second nine.

In short, it looks like the folks worried about their ranking in the Fed Ex Cup standings won't be the only ones intently focused on the leaderboard for the rest of the day in Greensboro.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 21, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Harrington cancels vaca, to miss Fed Ex anyway?

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- Padraig Harrington was scheduled to be sipping a piña colada right now, not exhausted after toiling through his fourth round at the Wyndham Championship.

That's because three-time major winner, sitting on the outside edge of the Fed Ex Cup, canceled his family's vacation to the Atlantis in the Bahamas in order to make a run at golf's postseason.

"I knew I was on the bubble," Harrington said at the start of the tournament. "My wife actually made the decision. She says, 'I think you've got to go and play.' She was the one."

Word on the street is that his son wasn't quite as happy.

And, following a 2-under Sunday showing, it's likely that Harrington regrets the decision as well, even though he's currently (as of 1:30 p.m.) projected to finish 123rd in the Fed Ex Cup standings, which would sneak him into the postseason.

However, there's a large number of golfers still on the course -- and plenty that have yet to tee off -- who also hold their postseason fate in their respective hands.

Justin Leonard, Aron Price, Daniel Summerhays, Tim Petrovic and Paul Casey are all names out there that can screw up Paddy's chances with a hot streak. Conversely, a cold streak from someone ranked above Harrington could have the same effect.

William McGirt, a Wofford grad and local player, finds himself in a similar spot. He's currently the last man on the cut line (one behind Paddy) for the postseason, and should probably be watching the rest of the golfers pretty closely.

"Right now I don't know what I'm going to do," McGirt said after his round of 70 Sunday. "I want to get some food. I'm starving. I'll probably take a peak."

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com