By: David Lamm
I love Dabo Sweeney.
Not because his Tigers have won two of the last three national titles. Not because Clemson has been to four straight Final Fours. Not because he’s a great recruiter without a whiff of scandal. Not because he’s excellent at hiring assistants and letting them do their thing. Not because he’s a wonderful game manager.
I love Dabo because of his attitude, his perspective on football and where its fits in the grand scheme of things.
While Alabama’s Nick Saban was spewing coach-speak in a somber monotone suitable for a funeral with commentators lamenting about legacies and making the game sound as meaningful as conflict in the Middle East . . . Dabo smiled, joked and generally had a good time.
Dabo’s preseason message to his team doesn’t mention championships. It’s about enjoying the journey of being a college athlete.
“It’s just football,” he loves to say. I’ll drink to that.
If you enjoy the PGA Tour’s fall events on its new wrap-around schedule, good for you. Knock yourself out. I’m a golf lover, but the new Tour season doesn’t begin for me until the golfers hit Hawaii.
That means I spent as much time last weekend watching golf as I did the NFL playoffs. I found it interesting that two of the biggest story lines in the new golf year are what’s happened to Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
Spieth didn’t win a tournament in 2018. McIlroy last won 10 months ago. Neither has missed making their Ryder Cup teams and both contended in major championships in ’18.
Their games have been analyzed and analyzed. They’ve actually played about like they always have. Okay, they’ve missed a few short putts here and there and that makes a difference.
The biggest reason for the young superstars’ so-called slumps is competition. Playing well on the PGA Tour might get you a top-10 finish. Playing really well might get you in the top 5. Want to win? Play great and get lucky.
In the last year, year-and-half, look at the rise of new stars. Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, John Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau and others.
Then there’s the Asian Invasion and the incredibly talented newcomers, Aaron Wise, Sam Ryder, Cameron Champion and others. Sorry for the young studs I didn’t mention.
You get my point.