The ReCap by Melissa Nappi: 4.11.2018 Podcast / by HWTP Sports Talk


Washington Post reporter Des Bieler stopped by to discuss the eventful Masters tournament in Augusta as well as the bad behavior of UFC champion Conor McGregor.  

David and Des discussed the watch-ability of golf in light of the enhanced experience being provided by CBS this year. While some find the game boring it is one of the few sports that is actually better on television as opposed to live on the greens.

Going into the Masters, all the talk was about Tiger Woods -- his return was nothing compared to the other drama provided by his fellow golfers -- Sergio Garcia, last year’s winner, not making the cut for the tournament to Tony Finau dislocating his ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one. However, the biggest piece of drama was the shocking win of Patrick Reed. “It would be hard to complain about it (the tournament). Perhaps they could complain about a guy like Reed winning... Tons of drama on Sunday” is how Des described the overall tournament.

Sergio Garcia's shots were less than desirable and looked like something right out of a movie.  "...something right out of Tin Cup (movie) five shots in a row into the water,” David pointed out. Taking a 13 on that hole, “it was over real early for him, but he had to stick around. He posted the third worse score overall,” Des explained.

Patrick Reed’s win has thrust the player’s past right into the spotlight -- which includes allegations of cheating during his college golfing years.  Des noted that “these allegations will be brought up until we (reporters) have exhausted that angle.”  He went onto say, “another success will pull the focus, but when people win we want to know more about them.”

Another quirk of Reed’s is that he doesn’t have an equipment sponsor -- preferring to use different brands for different clubs -- citing that no one manufacturer makes everything he needs. David mused, “a Piece of logic which I didn’t think about until I read about it.” David wondered, “If this came from a lack of sponsor interest or if he really finds that it makes a difference.”  Reed was formally sponsored by Nike at one point but hasn’t had a sponsor since they stop making golf equipment.

Ultimate Fighting Championship:

Following the discussion of the newest green jacket winner, Des and David turned to the behavior of another champ, UFC’s Conor McGregor. McGregor attacked a bus filled with UFC players as it attempted to leave the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.  Some thought that McGregor’s attack was a setup, but UFC officials have denied any part in the incident. “I wouldn’t blame anybody who watched the footage of McGregor and his crew in the bowels of the Barclays…” Des said.  “…if you ever watched WWE events that is a staple of their events, which are staged.” He continued, “There is a lot of crossover between both audiences, I don’t think the UFC was behind any of that.”

The UFC stripped McGregor of his title prior to the incident for inactivity. Des wonders if McGregor is eyeing a spot in the WWE -- after all, his bout against Mayweather made him a ton of money. “We haven’t seen him fight since 2016 -- would he rather just sign with WWE and not fight in the UFC again,” Des pointed out. It's obvious that working with the WWE would mean less physical beatings as opposed to the violent beatings he has taken as a UFC fighter.

Des feels nothing much will come from this.  David, a practicing lawyer, highlighted the charges and consequences of his actions as McGregor isn’t a US citizen. The gathering of a number of McGregor’s friends from Dublin again highlights the possibility that he was attempting to either garner attention for a possible match within the octagon or try to set up a potential future within the WWE. “Overall it was pro-wrestling style showdown gone wrong,” Des concluded.

David also had some additional highlights from last week’s story about the NFL and their cheerleaders. Another Times article talked about the harassment that the cheerleaders face from not only the players but also the fans. “They are told it is part of the job, you’ve got to be polite and turn the other cheek even in the short skirts and tight costumes,” David explained. “You have to have more respect for these folks cheering on the team and stop contributing to a hostile workplace.”  It is clear that Bailey Davis’ EEC complaint will be the first of many coming in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.

National Hockey League:

The NHL playoffs are upon us and Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan stopped by to discuss how the playoffs will take shape this year.

“…we’ve got some new faces like Vegas (Las Vegas Golden Knights); we got Winnipeg who hasn’t been there in a while; New Jersey who wasn’t expected to be there, Colorado wasn’t really expected to be there – it’s going to be interesting – you also got some rivalry’s in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia…” 

She continued, “There are certainly some interesting matches up and just how the format will be played.  Some of the best teams in the league will probably play early.  You have Winnipeg who is easily one of the best teams in the league, who will have to play Nashville potentially in the second round -- if both teams advance, as they should.  This is what you saw with Washington and Pittsburgh the past couple of years where you literally had the best two teams playing each other pretty early.  So it gets good right away. It’s not like other sports where you have to wait for the conference final or even the final to get the best team to match up.”

Khurshudyan expressed that she learned not to count out defending champions Pittsburgh Penguins.  “I’ve learned not to doubt the Penguins. The question for them ‘is the fatigue going to catch them’ with all these extra games -- which adds up to almost another season…I think they are positioned to do well.”   

The real surprise has been the Vegas Knights. As a first time playoff team, although most of the players have playoff experience, Khurshudyan explains, “You don’t know how they are going to do on this stage… all season they have had nothing to lose -- does the magic run out now that they are on the big stage, if they make it – it will be a great story for the league.”  That’s for sure.