Speed Read: Brady Haters, Today Ain’t Your Day

Woe upon anybody who turned on “NFL Live” on ESPN yesterday, as the Worldwide Leader had fantastic news for everybody: Tom Brady’s knee is doing great!

Tom Brady Blingee
(Wheeeee yayyyy Tom Brady!)

This wasn’t particularly newsworthy, mind you; everyone knew Brady would be back for the start of the 2009 season. Then his surgeon and golf partner, Neal ElAttrache (that’s a fake name if I ever heard one; what’s Brady hiding???), gave his first post-surgery interview to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, and with quotes like these:

“With regard to his recovery of strength, I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” said ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. “With an average person, it would have taken probably twice as long to get range of motion and strength back.”

Said ElAttrache: “Let’s face it, guys that are athletes like him, they’re strung together different. By and large, they follow the same biologic rules as the rest of us. However, they’re able to do things with their neuromuscular control and their strength gains and how they respond to exercise a little bit differently.

…it was only a matter of time before ESPN pounced and showed that amateur Peter King what a real ball-washing looks like.

Speaking of comebacks, it’s time to welcome back another target of unbridled man-crushery: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović, the fearsome MMA fighter. He set the world on fire a few years ago, mainly via YouTube videos of him kicking people in the head, before an uninspiring 1-2 stint in UFC sent him back to fighting in Japan. But rest assured, I didn’t forget the kicking in the head:

As UFC.COM reports (and they’d know these things), Cro Cop is set to face Mostapha Al-Turk in Germany in UFC 99. According to FANHOUSE, that means even more good news; with that addition, UFC is planning to show six pay-per-view fights instead of the regular five. There’s no indication that they’re moving the PPV price from its regular $50, which makes the announcement even better.

And yes, $50 is awfully steep for one person to watch an event, but if you’re watching a pay-per-view by yourself, there’s something very wrong with you. Pay-per-views are the flimsy excuse you need to have a social event, one that often involves healthy amounts of imbibition. It’s probably not very hard to find a sports bar showing the event, after all. But if “drunk guys in Affliction shirts” isn’t your thing, no worries; 1) Giants pitcher Brian Wilson doesn’t care for it either, and 2) just invite a half-dozen friends or so over and do it like that instead. But yes, six fights in one night is most certainly choice. Figure out a way to make it worth your while and make it happen.

And finally in more news of welcome returns, Phil Mickelson has apparently set a date for returning to the PGA Tour: June 11, for the St. Jude’s Classic in Memphis. Of course, the timing has everything to do with the U.S. Open the following week at Bethpage Black, right in Phil the Thrill’s haunt in New York.

John Daly pink pants
(Also, per public sympathy guidelines, these will be mandatory for the rest of the league.)

He’ll have an even more sympathetic crowd than the already boisterous fans at Bethpage, considering wife Amy’s recent cancer diagnosis. But as GOLF.COM explains, after these two tournaments, he’s probably not back for good:

Mickelson first thought surgery for his 37-year-old wife could happen as early as a few weeks since the announcement, but that has been pushed back for another month.

Her treatment and recovery will dictate whether he plays in the British Open, or how much he plays at all the rest of the summer. Mickelson already has won twice this year and is No. 5 in the FedEx Cup standings.

It’s both easy and tempting to say things like “Amy Mickelson is good reminder that life is more important than sports,” but that’s like saying “an apple is tastier than an aircraft carrier.” Well, yeah, but the two things don’t share the same useful metric. Of course life is important; nobody ever disputed that. But we’d be stunned if Phil’s return was spurred by anything but Amy telling him to get back on the course.

Other things to ponder while you learn the art of cat yodeling

  • Embedding is disabled, tragically, but you’ll get a pretty good sense of the surreal fanaticism of the SEC when you watch this 4-year-old little lady talk up the Gators.
  • Proving she’s not a three-program robot (1: drive car fast, 2: make non-threatening remarks, 3: wear bikini), Danica Patrick ruffled some feathers recently by telling Dan Patrick (not the same person; not even related, as a matter of fact) that taking PEDs isn’t cheating if you’re not caught. Was that wrong? Should she not have done that?
  • Cheer up, Nike: there’s still a way to salvage your precious Lebron/Kobe puppet campaign!

Which athlete looks the least like Conan O’Brien?

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