Countdown: Smoltz’s splat, Gators’ buzz, Newton to UFL!

This outfit is not golf course appropriate.

This outfit is not golf course appropriate.

The Count never was much into golf as a youth. Didn’t like the clothes or the country club atmosphere and one time after spending all day at the driving range when he showed up on a young lass’s doorstep on the night of a full moon, he tried to hypnotize his victim with his mesmerizing gaze, just like his great uncle Count Dracula taught him, and the girl just started laughing and said, “You’re going to bite me in an Ashworth polo? Seriously?” Then she slammed the door and he slinked away.

But The Count was ready to come to the aid of former Braves pitcher John Smoltz, who played in last week’s Nationwide event in Valdosta. Smoltz needed a caddy. He opted to hire some young, punk kid who, like, you know, golfs. Big mistake. We count down . . .

10. When you’re at 27-over-171, you can’t go to bullpen

It started so well. Par, par, birdie. And then, oh, cover your eyes.

It started so well. Par, par, birdie. And then, oh, cover your eyes.

Smoltz somehow devalued the South Georgia Classic. He was 1-under par after the first three holes and 28-over over the next 33. His round scores of 84 and 87 missed the cut by, oh, 27 strokes. Some fans took up a collection to have him golf any way over the weekend, just for comedic value, but he passed. Yes, I kid. Because that’s what Smoltz would expect, especially from the Count. Sent him a text message taunting him for not picking me as caddy. He phoned later. “You’re so right. I should’ve picked you. You would’ve made a huge difference.” Grovel, grovel. See, Smoltz admits his problem was he had too much time to think between shots. He likes to play golf at 78-speed. That’s just not possible in tournament play. Rather than chit-chat with him about wind direction, club selection and stupid stuff like that, The Count would’ve told him, “Wow. You really suck. You want to just go get a beer or something?” I mean, seriously. Would he have done worse?

9. One day, this will all seem funny. Naw …

Everything the Count knows about golf, he learned from Carl Spackler.

Everything the Count knows about golf, he learned from Carl Spackler.

OK, Smoltz is a great golfer. He’ll probably adjust to the pace eventually and could make it on the PGA Champions Old Fogey Tour, which is his goal. But this isn’t going to be as easy as he hoped. Quoting: “I was supposed to tee off at 9:15. I didn’t tee off until 2-something. I got off to a good start, then they blew the horn [for thunderstorms]. Not only was I not prepared for that but nobody could’ve given me advice on how to deal with it. Five hours later, I went back out trying to finish that round. I know these guys have done it for a living. But after one hour of a rain delay as a pitcher, I’m not going back in.” As for all the time he had between shots, he said, “It was sort of like pitching to Albert Pujols, and for five minutes between each pitch all I could think of was all the things he can do to me.” Hey, I tried to help. Now it’s going to cost a little extra if he comes crawling back.

8. Osama Bin Laden dead! NFL can settle now! (?)

We bow to the satirical "CAP News" site crystalair.com for this photo.

We bow to the satirical "CAP News" site crystalair.com for this photo.

Let me start by saying ProFootballTalk.com is one of The Count’s daily stops on the Internet, along with, “PlasmaSmoothieRecipes.net.” But what to make of two blogs by PFT’s Mike Florio that tried to tie Osama Bin Laden’s death to the possible end of the NFL lockout? There’s one angle that Fox, CNN and the New York Times missed:  “Will bin Laden’s death impact labor talks?” Coming next week: Will Charlie Sheen taking batting practice with Georgia Tech open the door to Albert Pujols signing with the Braves? Wait. Huh? The convoluted premise here is that the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will be such great theater for NFL Sundays that the owners will just HAVE to settle with the players now! Right. Because that’s just what Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft and Arthur Blank were waiting for — a greater promotional hook for the season opener, not their share of a $9 billion pie. What a yutz. Now, if you’re telling me that Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are going to be locked into a room with a Navy Seal in a binding arbitration, I can get behind that.

7. Dude, the Gators are, like, so wasted.

Jeff Spicoli (bottom) and two Florida teammates at spring practice. (Universal Pictures)

Jeff Spicoli (bottom) and two Florida teammates at spring practice. (Universal Pictures)

Is there a problem with Wacky Tobacco at Florida? New coach Will Muschamp just threw all-SEC cornerback Janoris Jenkins off the team following his third overall arrest and his second in three months for marijuana. I know. College kids get high. Back in school days, The Count bought a bag of some bad herb once. Messed with his head. Went to a Quik Trip at midnight. Pounded three microwave burritos, seven bags of Doritos and three Reese’s. Then at midnight, he tried to suck the blood out of an oak tree. Major dental work. Any way, back to Florida. Those media vultures at the Gainesville Sun did some of that there aggregating of Gator arrests and look what they came up with: offensive lineman Maurice Hurt was the second Gator in three years to test positive at the NFL combine; wide receiver Percy Harvin tested positive in 2009; tight end Aaron Hernandez admitted at last year’s combine that he’d failed a drug test while a Gator; two current players, linebacker Chris Martin and defensive end Kedric Johnson, were arrested in January for possession of marijuana in separate incidents. Both remain on the team. They brought brownies to spring practice. (I might’ve made that up.) One revelation that has come out of this: Florida has the most lax drug policy of any SEC school. Rules mandate that a player be thrown off the team after the FIFTH incident. At most schools, it’s three or four. (Fairness qualifier: Muschamp, like Urban Meyer, acted after the third strike with Jenkins.) I’m just imagining that when some Florida players meet with school counselors, the conversation goes something like the one between Jeff Spicoli and Brad Hamilton in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Brad Hamilton: “Why don’t you get a job, Spicoli?”Jeff Spicoli: “What for?” Brad Hamilton: “You need money.” Jeff Spicoli: “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”

6. While we wait for the piano to fall on Tressel’s head . . .

Jim Tressel responds with a statement, "Stick and stones ..."

Jim Tressel responds, "Stick and stones ..." (AP photo)

Jim Tressel probably could use a good buzz about now. At some point, the NCAA figures to come down on him and Ohio State, although investigators must be riding on that same slow train they took to USC — the one that didn’t arrive until after Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll left town (what a coincidence!). But Michigan fans aren’t waiting. A bunch of them got together to lease a billboard on I-94 with the message, “Liar, Liar, Vest on Fire!” I’m not sure if this will show up on the PDF outlining Ohio State’s major NCAA violations but at least it fills the dead time while investigators twiddle their thumbs.

5.  Catch you on your couch, Sunshine

Two tickets for Jameer is better than two for Elvis.

Two tickets for Jameer is better than two for Elvis.

Surely you remember a few weeks back when Orlando guard Jameer Nelson was caught by television cameras telling Chicago’s Derrick Rose, “Catch you in the second round,” showing no worry about the Hawks in the first round. It turned out to be one of the great foot-in-mouth sports moments moments of all time. Well, long-time Hawks vice president of public relations Arthur Triche decided to pok>e at Nelson a bit Monday night. He left two tickets for him at the box office. He sent out the following message on his Twitter feed (and attached the picture to the left): “Things that make me happy about this job. Taking a page out of Jerry Glanville’s book, I think I’ll follow through.”

4. Meanwhile. two tickets to oblivion . . .

This poster qualifies as misleading advertising.

This poster qualifies as misleading advertising.

I’m not going to go on another rant about how Evander Holyfield needs to retire. I need a challenge. But at least Holyfield may have discovered a winning formula for the rest of his career: find opponents who are as lost, desperate and irrelevant as he is. Barring cancellation, Holyfield (48 years old) will fight Brian Nielsen (46) in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Saturday. Holyfield hasn’t had a good fight in 12 years. Neilsen hasn’t had a fight at all in nine. That’s right: nine years. Said Holyfield, “If I win, I am moving on to the next level.” Sorry. I used to speak fluent Holyfield, but it’s been a while. Now I have no idea what that means.

3. Your new ESPN moment, Braves fans

We bang on ESPN a lot, and for good reason. But they do commercials well, and I figured you’d like this one, since it stars Jason Heyward of the Braves and the Stanford Tree (which, having covered Stanford earlier in my career, I can attest is possibly the worst mascot in college athletics).

2. The football league that’s not even worth 140 characters

Marge! I can't pick up the UFL draft!

Marge! I can't pick up the UFL draft!

While the NFL spread its draft out over three days on ESPN, the U[nfortunate]FL conducted its draft by Twitter Monday night. Maybe that’s what drove Rashard Mendenhall crazy. This put coaches like Marty Schottenheimer at a disadvantage, because the poor, old 67-year-old coach of the “Virginia Destroyers” was just introduced to “Pong” last week. He thought aliens had taken over his Philco. Jerry Glanville of the Hartford Colonials exclaimed on his Twitter feed: “My first social media draft, won’t be my last!” I’m not sure but I think that qualifies as a retirement announcement.

The five-team draft was uneventful but there was one name you will recognize . . .

1. In the third round, the Hartford Colonials select . . .

Cecil Newton Jr., the newest Hartford Colonial (UFL).

Cecil Newton Jr., the newest Hartford Colonial (UFL).

. . . Cecil Newton Jr.! Yes, that Newton family. Cecil Jr. is Cam Newton’s brother and the son of the Atlanta preacherman, “Huggy Bear” Cecil Newton.

Junior was a center at Tennessee State, wasn’t drafted, spent most of 2009 on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad and was released. I’m not sure what the Colonials’ payroll budget is but I’m going to assume his little brother will be getting a slightly larger signing bonus. Nobody was certain if Cecil Jr. would play in the UFL.

In the end, it came down to Hartford or Mississippi State.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

56 comments Add your comment

Joe Tess Fish House

May 3rd, 2011
10:37 am

Henry D.

May 3rd, 2011
10:47 am

FIRST! Love the Jason Heyward bit.

SECheat

May 3rd, 2011
10:57 am

MannyT

May 3rd, 2011
10:57 am

Maybe the next ESPN commercial will have the Stanford tree getting revenge on some guy named George…

http://youtu.be/aUPsheELuDE

shankit

May 3rd, 2011
10:58 am

Smoltz should have listened. He can hit it a long way.
Tidbit: Lowndes defeated Milton in AAAAA state golf championship.
Lowndes’ home course is Kinderlou.

the murf

May 3rd, 2011
11:03 am

Wait, Georgia Southern had a running back named Adrian Peterson? Do they find a RB with that name every ten years or something?

joe

May 3rd, 2011
11:03 am

Wonder if Cecil Sr will demand Cecil Jr sign for $180k?

DOUBLE G

May 3rd, 2011
11:04 am

And speaking of the Gators, suddenly their fans have shut their pieholes about the holier-than-thou attitudes regarding the Phil Fulmer Cup, along with the retracted fingers, not pointing to their northern enemies.

Joey

May 3rd, 2011
11:08 am

Great stuff, Count!

BG

May 3rd, 2011
11:09 am

Gator players are doing drugs?? What’s new??

dog-gone

May 3rd, 2011
11:09 am

Hey guys, Smoltz ain’t got a chance on the Champions tour. Those guys can still really play.. I remeber when the former Braves pitcher Ron Reed had the same aspirations. My brother was his good friend- I invited them up to our little mtn course because Ron wanted to challenge our club pro. It was no contest Reed lost by 12 or 13 strokes. And he was a scratch player like Smoltz. By the way our local pro was 49 years old at the time. Next year he monday qualified a few times on the then Serior Tour and won the third tournament he was in—still on the tour and can still play. Smoltzie is a better than average golfer, but not anywhere in the league of the Champions tour. He needs to just enjoy his weekend golf with his old buddies and get over it.

me

May 3rd, 2011
11:12 am

sCam Newton and company deserve each other. First Eddie Long and now Cecil Newton, keep sending them your money and they’ll keep cashing them checks.

phil

May 3rd, 2011
11:13 am

I love Smoltz the pitcher and he does agood job with the mike, but pro golf? Come on, John. Take the hint you just received and give it up….OR

Hit the driving range and putting green for about 3 hours per day for the next 5 years. Otherwise, see above….

Jimmy the Jew

May 3rd, 2011
11:13 am

The Count is the man! Hilarious. Good stuff Count. My theory is, the Gators believe smoking the whacky weed makes them play better. Sort of the Tim Leary’s of the new millineum. Perhaps they think it’s their secret weapon, that’s why admin is so lax. Furhter support? A Gator does look like a Dragon (puff the magic dragon). And you can’t get more street than hiring a coach named “Urban”.

Mr. Garrison

May 3rd, 2011
11:15 am

Missster Haaat!

Bodda Getta

May 3rd, 2011
11:25 am

This confirms it.

Even on drugs, both Eric Ainge and the Florida Gators can easily whip the Georgia Bulldogs.

shankit

May 3rd, 2011
11:29 am

Easily whip the Georgia Bulldogs?
Yep, ya’ll won the coin toss in overtime.
Musta smoked a little pot on the sideline before the toss.

Reid in EAV

May 3rd, 2011
11:40 am

Just like in “Dazed And Confused,” he didn’t sign the pledge.

UGASlobberknocker

May 3rd, 2011
11:50 am

true story..back in the 1980’s, Florida used to have a mechanical Gator on a wheeled trailer that would precede the team out of the tunnel for it’s home games, and they would also bring it to Jax.One feature was that it had smoke that would come out of his nose.

Anyway one year in Jax, maybe 1985, the Dawgs had beaten the Gators (yes, in the 80’s it happened regularly),. After the game, we found ourselves in a traffic jam outside of the stadium. We lit up a doobie to pass the time. Lo and behold, we notice that right beside us stopped in traffic was the truck hauling the trailer which had the mechanical Gator oin the back.We started talking to the Fla guys driving it,, they got a whiff of our bud and asked if they could join us. Of course we said yes, burning one right there in traffic while we were at a standstill..Thus making it more than just the mechanical Gator blowing smoke out of his nose.

Ah, those were the days.

PMC

May 3rd, 2011
11:53 am

Golf is humbling, nice job Hawks PR.

PMC

May 3rd, 2011
11:55 am

Honestly for a guy who spent 30 years mostly playing baseball and pitching his behind off an 87 in his first professional event is really not that bad or even troubling. Everyone gets roughed up now and then.

erik

May 3rd, 2011
12:03 pm

Enter your comments here

erik

May 3rd, 2011
12:05 pm

were is mr.glarrison

shankit

May 3rd, 2011
12:07 pm

Rain delays (especially for a starting pitcher), and at
Smoltz’s age, having to warm up again after a five
hour rain delay, doesn’t help, especially playing against
players 15-20 years younger.
Plus, Kinderlou is a monster of a course.

DP

May 3rd, 2011
12:09 pm

Schultzie, you clearly aren’t a golfer or you’d realize that John Smoltz has what is known in golf as a “vanity handicap” and he’s got about as much chance of playing on the Champions Tour as Evander Holyfield does of recapturing the heavyweight championship. I’d bet the guys around Smoltz’s age on the PGA Tour who would be his Champions Tour competition could give him 3 a side and clean out his bank account.

Smoltz is finding out that tournament golf is a different game from the kind of casual golf he plays. They don’t let you carry 15 clubs, hit two off the first tee, rake every putt inside 3 feet and let you play 18 holes in a cart in 2 1/2 hours. And when you’re in a tournament for some reason you tend to see all the places not to hit it and shake over 3 foot putts a lot more than you do in casual rounds.

Smoltz not only finished last by 9 shots but he shot the 2 worst individual rounds in the tournament. And enough with his whining about rain delays, he played under the same conditions everybody else did. He should follow the lead of Jerry Rice and quit taking a spot in a tournament field from a legitimate golfer who’s trying to make a living.

Jeff Schultz

May 3rd, 2011
12:11 pm

FYI, fixed Smoltz’s golf scores, thanks to alert reader Brooks.

Jeff Schultz

May 3rd, 2011
12:11 pm

DP — I’m aware Champions tour golfers aren’t slackers. So is he.

Jeff Schultz

May 3rd, 2011
12:12 pm

Shankit — Yeah, John was mentioning how tough that course is. I’ve never seen it.

Jeff Schultz

May 3rd, 2011
12:13 pm

Jimmy The Jew (interesting) — Thanks.

dtanner

May 3rd, 2011
12:23 pm

dog-gone,you must be talking about james mason

zgoldatl

May 3rd, 2011
12:24 pm

I know many atlantans that are very excited about holyfields fight on Saturday. He looked good in his last fight before an obviously intentional head butt in the third round ended the fight prematurely sending holyfield for over 10 stitches. His fight before that he knocked out botha for the wbf heavyweight title (which he still holds ), making him the first heavyweight to win the title 4 times and now a fifth time. He is an Atlanta sports hero and when talking to boxing fans, we can’t understand why his hometown paper won’t even report the truth on the man. He looked great in his “loss ) to valuev for the title a couple years ago and was truly robbed on the scorecards. . Holyfield dominated that fight. Valuev lost his next fight and title to David Haye, who looked much worse than holyfield. To translate for you, if he wins on Saturday, which he Will, there are rumors in the boxing world that holyfield will get a shot to fight one of the klitchko brothers. Apparently its a done deal if he wins Saturday. And he could beat either klitko brother. Will be tough, but holyfield spent his whole life proving people like you wrong. This a true living legend, and you’re missing a chance to cover history,just to bash a hometown hero and top 5 heavyweight of all time. If you don’t want him to box, fine, but if he keeps passing his medical tests with flying colors, it really doesn’t matter what you think. I love this paper, but am embarrassed at how it treats and under reports on a true Atlanta sports hero. Go holyfield, real ATL folks got your back and will always root for you and keep supporting you, as long as you choose to follow your dream.

George Carlin

May 3rd, 2011
12:24 pm

Just think of the dominance the Gators would have over the humpers if they weren’t stoned.

ga gators

May 3rd, 2011
12:27 pm

Jeff come up with something original; that is old news from Pat Dooley and the Gainesville Sun.

ga gator

May 3rd, 2011
12:27 pm

Enter your comments here

ga gator

May 3rd, 2011
12:28 pm

Jeff come up with something that is not a copy of Pat Dooley’s old news from the Gainesville Sun.

Bin Swimmin'

May 3rd, 2011
12:31 pm

#8: Too soon.

zgoldatl

May 3rd, 2011
12:34 pm

Holyfield wins Saturday, gets a shot at the klit kos andbreaks their glass jaw. If you don’t like holyfield, fine but show the man some respect. He is a top 5 heavyweight off all time, and is the only person to win the heavyweight championship 4, and 5 times, he is internationaly famous, and from atlanta. Apparently you haven’t been watching his last few fights. He looks better than people 20 years younger. Holyfield Holyfield Holyfield!

teamguy

May 3rd, 2011
12:57 pm

The older Newton doesn’t resemble his younger brother. .long road trip, Cecil?

Matthews Dawg

May 3rd, 2011
12:59 pm

J-Hey’s spot was great! I haven’t seen it yet on ESPN! It made me laugh out loud!! Thanks, I needed that today!

Bo

May 3rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Jeff, you need to edit Tobacco to Tabacky.

EW

May 3rd, 2011
1:03 pm

Not sure if Gator fans should be worried that their kids are smoking so much or that they are just dumb enough to keep getting caught…bc lord knows they aren’t the only players doing it around the SEC…justin houston…you listening?

Dr. Phil

May 3rd, 2011
1:04 pm

Heyward does have an impressive baseball bat. Half it it landed one row in front of me in Cincinnati last summer. A kid grabbed it, only to have it wrestled away by a middle-aged woman. I have always thought that “Sparkey the Spartan” and Mr. Acorn Head, from The OSU, were the worst mascots. I have to reconsider. Poor Tressel. He has already been ridiculed by the TCU billboards and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Finkel

May 3rd, 2011
1:09 pm

Guy I talked to who’s wife was a receptionist in a doctors office said Smoltz is a rude arrogant jerk. Doesn’t surprise me.

Leon "Pooch-Kick" Trotsky

May 3rd, 2011
1:35 pm

Jeff, the Stanford Tree rocks! The only cooler mascot belongs to UC Santa Cruz.

DP

May 3rd, 2011
1:59 pm

Nobody else found that golf course as tough as Smoltz did. Other than Smoltz, there were only 3 rounds of 80 or higher in the entire tournament, two 80’s and an 82. And Smoltz shoots 84-87. Jeff, we can normally count on you to mock delusional athletes, why the kid gloves with Smoltz and his golf fantasy?

pay it up

May 3rd, 2011
2:00 pm

will cecil be getting a cut of both kids nfl bonuses or just cam’s, which will be in the millions?

C. Tampa Ironworse

May 3rd, 2011
2:18 pm

Look..no one in the press around here is going to be critical of Smoltz. They all had him playing on the Tour when he retired and now they all have egg on their faces. All Smoltz did the last 5 years of baseball was talk about golf. In the booth, they should have raised charity money by making him donate $100 every time he mentioned golf during a BASEBALL game. His skill is now on record so let’s all be done with the Tiger Smoltz talk.

puppydawg

May 3rd, 2011
2:28 pm

Compared to double-digit handicappers, Smoltzie is an excellent golfer. Compared to pros, however, he is a hack.

[...] – Earlier Tuesday: Countdown: Smoltz’s splat, Gators’ buzz, Newton to UFL! [...]

Big Dawg Cobb

May 3rd, 2011
2:56 pm

I respect Holyfield. He can box till he’s 100 as far as I’m concerned as long as he doesn’t hurt himself by being unprepared or make a fool of himself.

Good luck to the warrior