They say two thousand zero zero, party over, oops, out of time. So tonight, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are going to party like it’s 1999.
Well, sometime soon, hopefully.
Doc Brown has the DeLorean fired up. Let’s crank it to 88 miles per hour to activate the flux capacitor and travel back in time to 2008. Because soon, we could have that era’s top aces in the world of golf: Tiger vs. Lefty. Head-to-head. For 10. Million. Dollars.
Tiger vs. Lefty
According to Golf.com, this matchup nearly happened earlier this week. The two titans were looking to square off in an 18-hole death match in Las Vegas on July 3. But agreements between a major television network as well as several high-end sponsors were not reached in time for the bout.
Still, the former friendly and then not-so-friendly and then friendly-again rivals are confident the match will occur in the near future, likely at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Sin City, as the duo battles for $10 million.
“It’s a ridiculous amount of money,” Mickelson told Golf.com. “No matter how much money you have, this amount will take both of us out of our comfort zone.”
Woods and Mickelson are legendary trash-talkers. Certainly that played a role in the former junior golf rivals’ rift not long ago. Apparently, they are happy-go-lucky now. But Tiger still wields a tongue sharper than a snap hook.
“I’m definitely not against that,” Woods said. “We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.”
According to Golf.com, the seeds were planted at the Masters in April, when Tiger and Lefty were paired together for a practice round that probably could have received higher ratings than the final round. At the Players Championship the following month, the tandem played in an actual round, and Phil noticed.
“The excitement that’s been going on around here, it gets me thinking: Why don’t we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match,” Mickelson said. “Now, I don’t know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round.”
Oh yeah, we’re going to watch
Even if it is 2018, a decade after Tiger’s last of his 14 major championships, a decade in which the two golfers have combined for more cuts at major championships (12) than top-10 finishes (11), certainly we’re all on board to soak in the majesty of their talents.
More so considering Tiger and Lefty are both in agreement to wear microphones while playing. Imagine that. Seriously.
Phil: “Man, this is a rough lie.”
Tiger: “Yeah, it’s not that bad.”
Phil: “Tigs, I don’t need you patronizing.”
Tiger: “Just play it like you did when you won the US Op… Oh.”
Phil: “Can I borrow your 9-iron? Wait, you don’t have it? I’ll ask Elin if she still has it.”
Yeah. I’m tuning in. We have before.
Made-for-TV matches have been around golf for decades. Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf lasted for more than 40 years and pitted the likes of Fred Couples and John Daly – Roger Murtaugh vs. an-even-heavier-drinking Martin Riggs – against each other. There was the annual Monday Night Golf that included Tiger for several matches, including one in which Woods and Daly lost to Mickelson and Retief Goosen in 2005.
So, of course, we’ll watch. But how to make this more interesting…
Place your bets
Yes, Tiger and Phil are playing for a measly $10 million. But let’s get the public involved. What’s the game going to be?
Stroke play, match play, Nassau, Bingo Bango Bongo? Three Blind Mice, Mutt and Jeff, Criers and Whiners? Staying out of Trouble might be most fitting for them, as points are awarded for slices and snaps and shots in the bunker and water.
OK, forget the format. How about some props?
- Winner’s score (if it’s stroke play): over/under +4
- Number of times a trainer is called to check on sore body parts: over/under 3.5
- Number of visits to the cart girl for a cocktail: over/under 2.5 (if Daly is involved, that jumps to 12.5)
- Number of times Tiger and Phil get heated in rules arguments: over/under 17.5
- First to swear: Tiger -800, Phil -200 (“Dadgummit” counts)
- First to cheat: Tiger -400, Phil +400
- First to bring “BASEketball” psych-outs into the contest: Tiger -500, Phil -200.
- And first to celebrate like Squeak from BASEketball: Even money.
Sportsbooks in New Jersey and Delaware have been accepting legal bets for weeks. But the wait is on for online operators in the Garden State to flip the switch and open up even more possibilities for bettors.
In Episode 11 of TheLines Podcast, Matt Brown, Dustin Gouker and Eric Ramsey update the latest happenings on that front, including a possible delay for new operators like DraftKings and FanDuel in NJ. Plus, the crew discusses a controversy in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and the potential need for ‘integrity fees’ in future eating events.
- 1:18 — Nevada and Delaware sports betting numbers
- 3:56 — World Series of Poker setting records
- 6:39 — Daily fantasy tennis debuts at DraftKings
- 8:40 — Scandal at the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest
- 11:12 — FanDuel founders won’t get paid for sale to Paddy Power Betfair
- 15:19 — Eric’s report from New Jersey
- 18:29 — What to expect with online sports betting, starting in NJ
- 22:20 — A delay for online platform providers?
- 23:50 — LeBron James shakes up NBA futures market … sort of
- 28:30 — Why the WSOP Main Event continues to grow
Nothing is more American than what takes place every July 4 in Coney Island, New York.
The Everyday Man standing in front of a table of hot dogs like King Joffrey asking for the head of Eddard Stark. The gobbling down of as many wieners as physically possible. The horde of spectators cheering on the gluttony like they were Crunchem Hall Elementary School students urging Bruce to scarf down chocolate cake.
What made it more American this year? It certainly wasn’t Joey “Jaws” Chestnut winning his 11th mustard-yellow belt in 12 years. If anything, that might have hurt the sport. Like tuning in for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament for some reason when you know full well UConn is going to walk away with the title. (You know, except for these past two years.)
No. What made the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest red-white-and-bluer? DraftKings reportedly getting in on the action by offering bets on the outcome in the near future. No details have emerged from the daily fantasy sports giant’s involvement, but it caught our attention. Betting on the brats? It’s can’t-miss.
And did Jaws and the Judges (great hair band name alert) make it oh so interesting this week.
There was no question Chestnut was the favorite heading into the competition that has been a Coney Island tradition since 1972. He was Goliath. David, meanwhile, stays home each year to catch up on sleep so as to not fall asleep at the setting-off-fireworks wheel and end up like Jason Pierre-Paul.
So it should come as no surprise that Chestnut, the record-breaker of pig intestine ingestion in 2016 and 2017, was listed as high as -700 to win by offshore sportsbooks. Meaning throw down $700 to win $100. Zoinks. Still, according to ESPN, those books took in upward of $1 million on bets for the contest.
One of the reasons for the sizable handle was certainly the over/under on hot dogs eaten by the winner, which, depending on the book, varied between 70.5 and 72.5 frankfurters.
Jaws and the Judges: Greatest Hits
From the get-go, Chestnut baffled the contest’s judges. Jaws kept eyes on the counter, and one minute in, he told The New York Post afterward, the judges pegged Chestnut with 10 ingested intestines. “I knew it was 20,” Chestnut told The Post. “They fell behind really quick.”
When the 10 minutes of the second-greatest first-world game concluded (it’s second to Survivor; “Oh, you’re barely alive and starving on this island? This is a GAME for us”), counters had Chestnut at 64 hot dogs and buns (HDB). His runner-up, Carmen Cincotti, was at 45. The under had been realized. Until it wasn’t.
A recount was performed. Turns out, judges were unaware Jaws was scooping HDB off two plates. A Brooklyn DA, Eric Gonzalez, had to certify the final tally: Cincotti with 64, Chestnut with a record 74. So, in fact, it was the over that won.
Here’s the best part of it all: ESPN2 carried the telecast but cut away from Coney Island before the recount was completed. So for the hardcore bettors waiting, they had to watch cornhole and await an announcement from Major League Eating via Twitter.
Talk about a bad beat. Turns out what happened may “be the impetus to bring competitive eating into the digital age,” MLE president Rich Shea told ESPN. He noted that there could be “some sort of monitoring associated with the plate weight” to determine gobbled wieners.
Cincotti, you can imagine, was, um, let’s say displeased. “Clusterf**k” is how he described the contest.
Maybe so, but man, what a show. What a way to get betting on the brats as American a tradition as blowing shit up in your driveway.
Meanwhile, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut joined Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum as Independence Day legends.