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4-5-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
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April 5, 2023 6:04 am

4-5-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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April 5, 2023 6:04 am

Former Professional Soccer Goalie Jessie Bradley joins the show | The Brewers slug Scherzer & the Mets | Tiger Woods speaks about the Masters.

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Donate today at your local CSL plasma center and be rewarded for your generosity. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. So pleased to have you with us on our hump show. It is the middle show of the work week. And I know for a lot of people, you're heading toward either a long weekend, maybe you have Friday and Monday off, one or the other, or you actually have spring break coming up next week. All of my fourth and fifth grade kiddos that I work with on Sundays in church, they were buzzing about, we're going here, we're going there, we're off for a week, we don't have to go to school. So I know there's a spring break out there for a lot of people, depending on what part of the country you're in, maybe you're just on your spring break now. Love to work during times when people are out of their regular routines because it gives us a chance to connect with different people who maybe don't always hear us or have never heard us before and are catching us for the first time.

On Twitter, After Hours, CBS, you can also find flowers, flowers aplenty, on my Twitter, ALawRadio, I swear we're going to put them up on Facebook before this hour is done. Don't forget, you can ask Amy anything about 90 minutes from now, so you need to send your questions to either our Twitter or Facebook pages, and I know Jay's already got a lot of questions that he can sift through. I promise you a surprise, this voice will likely be recognizable to you if you listen to our show during the World Cup last year. Jesse Bradley, the former pro soccer goalie, we had such a great connection with him over, I think it was three, maybe four, but definitely three spots during the World Cup in which he talked to us about how Team USA was performing, and about even getting to the knockout stages and some of the international powers. We learned so much from him, but also he makes us smile, he makes us laugh, he brings hope. That is his MO, he spreads hope, and to that end, with Easter on the horizon, we feel like it's a perfect week to share hope. The few people I've ever met are as good at communicating hope than Jesse Bradley, who joins us tonight from Seattle. Jesse, not only are you a former professional athlete, but you also serve as a pastor at a church in Seattle.

You're an author, you're a speaker, I see you on TV now and then, I know that you have a book, so you just are busy these days, pro sports in the rearview mirror, it's not as though you've slowed down any. What does this week mean to you, specifically? It's an exciting week, no question. I mean, I didn't grow up with any faith stuff, so Easter just meant for me bunnies, candy. One of our kids in the neighborhood Easter hunt was the bunny last year, they're fighting over who's going to be the bunny this year, but obviously there's deeper things going on, and to me, Easter also represents like renewal in Seattle.

We haven't seen the sun in a lot of months, and it's like, okay, sun's going to start coming out. And then on a deep level, it represents that hope because, I mean, Easter at its core, there's victory even over death. And so if there's victory over death, then we have a hope greater than our challenges. And I think, you know, this relationship with Jesus, to me, it just exudes that hope, and we all need hope these days.

I mean, the American Psychological Association says we're more stressed out as Americans than ever before, and there's a lot of stuff going on in the world right now. Some people are losing hope, so it's like, well, what can we do? What do we still have? And that's why I say a vibrant hope is available to everyone, an indestructible hope. My professional career ended in Africa, and I was fighting for my life for one year and ten years to fully recover. So if you've ever hit a low point in life, you know there's a lot of shifts you need to make, a lot to learn, and in that time, that's when I really discovered a deeper hope than I ever had at any point in my life, and that just continues with me today.

What I found in those valleys, some of that fruit is still there today. There are a lot of people who mark Easter who may not have the same faith or share the same faith, and yet hope, I believe, can be an eternal message. So how do you share that with people? You talk about hope habits. What are we talking about? Right on.

You know, in my family, we're kind of like Baskin-Robbins 31 flavor. Spiritually, we've got a little bit of everything going on, and we're united, and we love each other, and I hope that, you know, America, we see that same kind of love and respect, and there are important decisions spiritually. Seattle, by the Census Bureau, was just named the saddest city in America.

No way! Yes, 45% of the people in Seattle feel depressed, feel down, feel sad, and so we're in a city that needs a lot of hope, and I think hope comes from, you know, relationship with God, relationship with family, friends. Hope is very relational, and also hope is habitual, these hope habits, and as athletes, and I assume a lot of the people who are listening are athletes or ex-athletes who still think they have it, you know, weekend warriors. As an athlete, you have disciplines that you try to eat right, sleep well before a big game.

You're constantly working on your skills. Like, there are certain things in practice that you go over and over again, and hope habits, to me, are those practical, empowering, life-giving things that we can learn, choose to do every day, and sometimes they're simple. They're just underutilized, like gratitude, a gritty gratitude. Give thanks even if you don't feel like it.

Start to focus on what you have rather than just what you've lost and let that become too big. So literally saying 10 things out loud you're thankful for, writing down 10 things in prayer, thanking God for 10 things, it changes your mindset, changes your day, changes you on the inside, and so often changes on the inside will lead to then changes wherever you are, live, work, learn, or play in the culture because you're bringing something different. You know, a simple habit, hope habit for me is to do a resentment check. Make sure I'm not carrying around the poison of bitterness and resentment, but I'm forgiving people, hurt people hurt people, bitter people are going to be bitter towards people. I don't want to carry that in, so I've got to check and make sure that I've forgiven fully, and there's no resentment, bitterness in there. So those are some of the things that you can do daily in terms of hope habits, even in your thoughts.

Recognize the National Science Foundation says we have up to 80% of our thoughts are negative in some way. So replace it, say I'm going to reject it, not in my house. That thought is a hope thief. I'm not going to let that thief just come in and say have a good time. Here's some food. Here's where I keep my money.

Oh, just hang out in my bedroom. And I'm going to say like not in my house and replace it with a different thought. And I like to memorize some Bible verses and those are my go to thoughts. But you might have a song, you might have a poem, you might have an inspiring quote, and just have that in your back pocket during the day so you can just go to that when your mind starts to go in the ditch. So those are some hope habits I think that anyone can do.

And just like your sports habits, the more you start to get used to those and practice those and do those, they just become natural. And as you own it, that's where the most healing, that's most encouragement comes. Those small habits have massive, massive implications. I remember during the pandemic, I sat down and made a list of the various ways that I could stop myself from being negative about the uncertainty or being angry or anxious about being stuck in my house by myself. One was being grateful because there's always a reason to be grateful. Another was spending time in creation. Flowers, clouds, animals, just being outside I think has a really positive impact on our attitude and our mood.

Something else that I would do is play the piano because it always brings me great joy. Another thing that I always wanted to do was to reach out to other people. I felt like when I made a connection with someone else, a friend, a family member, not only would they be encouraged, but it encouraged me to extend hope to someone else.

That's so good. You know, we need each other. And during the pandemic, we got a little isolated.

And if you get too individualistic, it might feel good initially because you kind of have your space, but then eventually you start to feel that poverty in terms of relationships and community. And we need each other. You know, Harvard did a study, and I don't know why I'm quoting all these studies. I know, it's very impressive.

Fresh in my mind. Sometimes those studies represent so many stories. And Harvard did a story research on human flourishing.

And what they found is when someone's in a faith community, they have much more purpose, much more forgiveness, much more happiness. And then there's much less use of illicit drugs. There's much less depression. There's much less sexually transmitted diseases.

I mean, the list goes on. But that was Harvard just doing, you know, objective research. And to me, it just, again, recognizes we need each other. We need to learn from each other, serve each other, encourage each other. And that's when we come most alive. And even quality of life, longevity of life, it ties into the strength of your community, even more than your bank account or your position or how many titles, you know, you have, educational degrees. It's that community that makes odds. I have a friend from Eastern Europe who just said, if you have 100 close, close friends, you know, 100 people that you trust that will look out for you, like, you're so much wealthier than the wealthiest person.

Those 100 friends, those 100 people, that community. And that put perspective on me that was just good to hear again, too. We're spending a few minutes with guests that we haven't had on the show in a while, but the voice is recognizable and we're glad to connect with them outside of the World Cup when he was our analyst. Jesse Bradley, former pro soccer goalie internationally and now is a pastor.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. So, Jesse, one of the areas that I know you've talked about before in your life is the transition that you went through from playing soccer to then trying to figure out what was next in your life. That end of a professional sports career is something that a lot of athletes talk about they struggle with. We know Tom Brady, for instance, is trying to make that transition from playing at the highest level and being on TV and all that adrenaline rush to now, what do I do instead?

How did you manage to get your next phase of your life started? Right on. And the reality is the season is going to end or the career is going to end at different levels. I was watching the final four for the men and the women to exciting games. Shout out to UConn. Of course, I was in Iowa City for a long time, got married there.

So kind of pulling for the Hawkeyes, but happy for LSU. I was watching the commercial said only 2 percent of college athletes make it professionally. Right.

So 98 percent in there. And then you could even hear it with Jim Nantz, you know, wrapping up his final final four. And you could just hear like in his voice, he's trying to make it about the players.

But he was kind of grieving. It's a tough thing when you love a sport. And I told my parents want to play pro sports when I was two.

And I just thought as a soccer goalie, I played those 40, but it ended my 20s. And I think even if you don't play sports, what do you do when the run ends, when life's going one way and then it's not going that way anymore? I didn't realize how much I would miss it. And it was taken away because of my health.

But there's so many things you don't get again. You don't get to put on those uniforms the same way. I mean, I play now, but it's an empty stadium in the men's league, right? There's no one there. So you miss the crowd, the road trips, the card games in the back seat.

It's the characters figuring out together the championships, the ring, you know, all those relationships, the discipline. All those things are suddenly gone. And it is OK to grieve some of that. Who wants to like, yeah, I'd like to do some grieving.

Nobody wants to do that. But my danger was that I was in too much denial and in an unhealthy way. I didn't even know where to start and want to start with grieving.

And it's really easy for athletes who are always trying to present well, present strong, win. How do you shift and actually grieve? What was also new, I think, is to let go because I had to come to the face that reality that that was 17 years that I never got to do in terms of my goalie career. And any time I just wanted to go back and stoke it up again, it's like, no, I have to let that go.

That's done. And then also let people in. We were kind of talking about this earlier with relationships. I had to let people into some of that, share that pain with people who cared, process with them. And then I'd say even let God in as well, because I thought God was only interested in my success.

But I realized, no, he's interested in in this area, too. So letting people in as part of the healing process. And for me, I would say it took probably a good 10 years to really work through that. My career was over.

It's not coming back. And for some people, you know, maybe it's athletics that it was a prolonged grieving. For others, it's a different area of life.

But learning how to grieve is part of that personal development. And it just doesn't come naturally for athletes. But it's an important part of moving forward in life beyond sports. You are so very much connected to soccer. And in Seattle, which is where you and your family are, soccer is a lifeblood of sorts. So how do you stay connected to your sport, even though you're no longer right in the center of the action and the adrenaline?

That's right. Well, you brought some of that with CBS Sports Radio and the World Cup. That was so much fun here in Seattle.

We have faith in family. We just had it with Tacoma Stars. We do it with Seattle Sounders every year. So we've got that coming up. There's so much in the community around soccer, individual relationships. And then also, you know, seeing my kids play. I play in a men's league. So just because you finish on one level doesn't mean you're finished with the sport.

And I think part of that is figuring out where do I reenter? You know, you mentioned Tom Brady. OK, his reentry might be in, you know, television. Someone else is going to be in coaching.

Someone else could be coaching kids. And I just said, like, where's the joy? Where's the joy? And sports is a platform at its best that unites us and brings us together. And it's a platform with incredible joy.

So find the joy, stay with the joy and then give back to the game and other people. A big part of my journey was learning how to serve people in post sports. You really start to discover some of your other talents. And that's important because there are talents that are hidden sometimes when you're focused on sports.

They're going to come alive later on. And they might be in business. They might be in leadership, community service.

They might be in writing or teaching. But those talents start to come alive. And some of that same drive that I brought to sports can now be displayed or it can be carried out, lived out in a different fashion. And what really, to me, fills the void even greater than sports is that I've found some things that are even more meaningful than the championships and more meaningful than the competition. And that is linked for me with transformed lives and serving people. And so when you can see people's lives changed, that's so much richer and deeper than any athletic competition. And I think some athletes do a great job of that while they're playing.

And they have that platform. Others discover it later on. But the athletes that I see the most joy with, and you can see it with philanthropy and sports philanthropy, you can see it when they've found some group of people that they can use their talents and serve. And it might be in the inner city. It might be through that sport. It might be a new venture. And some of them it's entrepreneur because that kind of brings a spark and it's new.

But they're giving back then. And that's when you come alive. We are wired to serve and we are most alive when we serve and see people thriving.

And it's linked. I say you're blessed to be a blessing. And so when you recognize what your talents are outside of sports, then go for it. Like relationships are risk. Servings are risk. We've got to take some risks in this nation right now.

We've got to figure it out. Like there's plenty of challenges. We don't need more critics. No shortage of that. We don't need more spectators. No shortage of that. We don't need more doubters or more haters.

Like we got plenty, plenty, plenty. What we need is some people who are going to be part of the solution and take some risks, know what their gifts are, and then selflessly start to serve and make life better for other people. And when that starts to gain momentum, it's not going to be the laws of the land. Politics have their place, but it's going to be in hearts and relationships and homes and friendships. And I just think that's the journey that we're on together.

And we've got to figure it out collectively and collaborate together in that. As you're talking about that, one of the things that jumps out at me is how sports can be a unifier. I say a lot of times on my show, we agree on nothing in this country, but we agree on football.

That's really the only thing we agree on. But it can apply in different parts of the country to different sports. And how often we've seen sports become a way that we bond together and that we are able to support one another first, but also find joy where there has been tragedy, find joy, find hope where there has been devastation. It's this inherent quality in sports and being a sports fan. I don't really understand it, but we see it over and over again.

It's so good. And I like to say where there's a chasm, there's often a calling. To me, I see the division you talked about between generations, misunderstanding, distance, one generation is better than another. But in sports, it's like when you have a coaching staff and coaches, like the wisdom from the coaches and the generations come together. There's gaps and chasms when it comes to ethnicity and the lack of harmony and unity in our country. But we can come together like in my career with the teammates, whether it's Africa, Scotland, different ethnicities, like when we're on the same team, that could be a microcosm for society and what we could pull off sports models. And similarly with finances, economic backgrounds, like on my teams, we had people who were wealthy and we had people that probably had a scholarship to play. And yet we came together as equals. And I think together we've got to obliterate some of those chasms, find that unity and that love. And the way it happens on sports teams, sometimes that exceeds what we see in neighborhoods.

It exceeds sadly, even in faith communities, sometimes it exceeds in the business world. And so sports can model that. And when you have a team and I tasted that, it's like a family. My team, you know, at Dartmouth was like a family. And when you experience that on the field and in the locker room, you want that to carry over those same kind of relationships. And so absolutely sports can be a leader.

It's a it can also be at its best setting the example for what we need today in America. This is why we love having Jesse on the show, because he always brings an element of hope. Number one, number two, a different angle that we've never heard before. This was his suggestion. I have to give him credit for it in advance of Easter. But it's so good to talk with you again. I want to let people know they can find you on your Twitter at Jesse J. Bradley. Now, we had him as our World Cup analyst because he's a former professional soccer goalie. As you can hear, he does some speaking. He's a pastor. He's an author and really is just about spreading hope. Jesse, it's always good to talk to you. Thank you so much for reaching out and for being on our show again. Right on. Love to hear from anybody. You know,

We got all the free resources, habits, hope habits. And Amy, you do such a great job. You have a passion for sports, but you're great with people. You make it safe and easy like these conversations.

Like it just it's fun. It flows. And I just hope that with your birthday coming up on Friday, no one will forget that. And you'll get lots of love this week. Thank you, but we're good.

Don't need any love. I'm OK. But thank you, Jesse.

I do love how he just picks everybody up. You feel better after hearing Jesse talk. There is hope in a conversation with Jesse Bradley. So good to connect with him again, even though there is not a World Cup that's going on now.

There will be again. So, of course, he's going to remain a fixture on our show because we love Jesse. You can find Jesse on Twitter, Jesse J. Bradley. You can find me, A Law Radio. Send your questions for Ask Amy anything just over an hour away from that is part of the hump show. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours podcast.

Hit the center and they go back to back. Wow. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. We were talking about iconic voices, most recognizable voices of this generation. And so many of you said Bob Euchre on the Milwaukee Brewers Radio Network. Oh, yes.

Known for a lot of reasons, including movie roles as well as his own career. But now as the voice of the Brewers forever, it feels like I don't know how long, but it's been decades. And he is still crushing it, of course. And speaking of crushing, that's what the Milwaukee Brewers have done to the New York Mets on back to back nights. Get this 19 nothing over the Mets in the last two games. On Tuesday, Craig Council's team, nine runs on 13 hits, including five home runs, not all against Max Scherzer.

Any time you had three homers in a row, it's surprising. And, you know, we're swinging the bats good. We've got a lot of guys swinging the bats good.

And, you know, a couple of great nights from B.A. and Mitch tonight. So I thought we had good at bats against Max all night, really starting in the first inning. Max being Mad Max, Mad Max Scherzer. And it's not been a great start to the season. I don't want to say he's picking up where he left off because that's not probably fair.

But you all may remember what happened to him in the wild card game when the Mets were one and done after one hundred and one wins in the regular season. So, Mad Max, what exactly went wrong on Tuesday? I can't put my finger on it today. Some late nights thing about, you know, cranking through the video to try to come up with it. But odds are it's dislocation.

You got to locate the ball better with two strikes to get yourself into positions to get those outs. So he doesn't really know. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's early.

No need to freak out. I certainly understand that. If it's not a pitcher getting hit really hard, it's a pitcher going the aisle.

You'd probably rather have the former than the latter. It's just it's early season. It's cold weather. It's a lot of adjustments. And at this point, we're seeing a lot of baseballs fly out of the park. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. The NL champion Phillies waited a long time to get their first win of the year. German delivers. And the pitch swung on. Hit deep. Right field. Stanton looking up.

And it is gone. And Kyle Schwarber gets his first home run of the season tonight here at Yankee Stadium. And the Phillies strike first.

It's one that I think on Schwarber's first. 3-2. Swung on. Hit in the air. Deep. Center field. Going back on it.

He'll look up. And that ball is gone. And Brandon Marsh with a home run to center field.

Just to the right of Monument Park. It rattles in the Yankee bullpen. And it's his first home run of the season. And it's 2-0 Phillies.

So it was good. It was a good offensive night. I thought we swung the bats well again. Now it's good to get our first win.

But it's just one win. We've got another game tomorrow. We've got a tough pitch we're going to face. So we've got to knuckle down. Knuckle down.

Does anyone still say that? It's like a knuckle sandwich. My grandfather used to say something about a knuckle sandwich. Now understanding, of course, that would be offensive in today's culture. But back when my grandpa used to say it, my brother and I would laugh because we were literally thinking about a knuckle sandwich.

Anyway, no one's knuckled down. That's one I haven't heard in a while. But Rob Thompson and the Phillies get their first victory this time over the Yankees. They end up with four runs on ten hits. Meanwhile, the Yankees only scrounge together just the one run.

Scott Fransky on Phillies radio. So I promised you and finally have delivered, there are such pretty flower photos on our Facebook page. These all come from my backyard, by the way. I just want you to know, none of these were stolen. Now sometimes I do take photos of other people's flowers.

I will admit to that. I'm the weirdo who stops and crouches down next to a pretty flower along the sidewalk and will take a photo. But these all came directly from my yard. And look at these, Marco. I'm going to describe them to people. Have you ever seen daffodils that look quite like that? Uh, no. Can't say I have. They are white flowers with orange centers.

Orange. Of course they are. I'm sure there are other people out there who have seen these incredible daffodils, but please check them out. They're up either on Twitter, ALOL radio, or on our Facebook page now because it only took me 48 hours to deliver on my promise. Speaking of delivering, Marco was here a couple weeks ago. Or was it last week? Maybe it was last week when we had a gigantic box of candy delivered to the newsroom.

And it came from our friend Carlos who listens in, as I found out, Taylor, Michigan. I just finished writing him a thank you note for all of the chocolate and the jelly beans and we gave the Peeps away and the Pez dispensers. But what we have not opened yet are the Rocher Ferrer Rocher. So we're going to do that tonight.

Are you in? Uh, you're handing me one? Sure, yeah. I've had them many a time. They're good. Okay, I've never had them. And I saw a commercial. Now this is a little eerie. I don't remember the last time I saw a commercial for those particular candies.

Maybe it's just because it's getting close to Easter and the more people are thinking about buying chocolate candy. But sometimes our phones spy on us and we've been talking about these candies and we had named them on the show. And I'm wondering if the phone picked up on it because I saw a commercial on my smart TV for them. Your phone is definitely listening to you, but if it was a commercial while you're watching TV, I feel like that was already programmed in.

Okay. So it's not like you were on an app. You're on an app on the TV, different story. If you're already watching whatever channel you're watching, I think those were done ahead of time.

I don't think we can blame the phone for this. They look so delicious. They're good. I've never had one before. Nuts with the chocolate covering. Yeah, but there's that like whatever that chocolate on the inside too.

There's like almost like a liquid chocolate on the inside. Good. Okay. Going to get them as soon as you get done with. Well, I'm going to get them and then hand you one as soon as you get done with your update. Coming up next, Tiger Woods back at the Masters as is Phil Mickelson.

They're not really rivals anymore, but it is fun when we have them both in the same place. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. I'm not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more. That's it. That's all my body allowed me to do. My back, the way it is, all the surgeries out of my back, my leg the way it is.

I just can't. That's just going to be my my my future. And so my intent last year was to play in all four majors. I got three of the four.

Hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkling a few here and there. But that's that's it for my my rest of my career. I know that and I understand that.

That's just my my reality. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Tiger Woods at the Genesis Invitational. Last time we saw him and he talked about how limited his schedule would be. The goal is to play all four majors. Here comes the first and that is on Thursday.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If he makes the cut, it is the Masters. Augusta National in full bloom with the green jacket as the prize. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio inside of an hour to go until Ask Amy anything.

Send your questions to Twitter, A Law Radio, to our Facebook page. Finally put up the beautiful flowers from my yard on Facebook because I love to show them off. Actually, I'm just so proud of them. They're just so pretty and I can't stop taking pictures of them as well as my neighbors flowers. So I got to say maybe some of my neighbors want to come take pictures of my flowers because they are pretty darn great. Breathtaking. The new daffodils that are up so you can check those out on both Twitter and Facebook. We'll have all the azaleas in bloom, other flowers, immaculate manicured track, immaculately, no that sounds awkward, immaculate manicure for Augusta National.

It's always one of the big draws of April in Augusta, Georgia because it's just so pretty. Golf of course too and Tiger Woods anytime he is on scene. He's been there since Monday or Sunday did he do his first? He might have done his first practice round on Sunday and now here he's back for what will be his 25th Masters if you can believe it. I think that it's just the appreciation of being able to play the game.

I've said this before with prior to my back fusion I didn't know that I was going to be able to play the game at any kind of level. I was able to do that and come back and play and happened to win a major along the way. And obviously with the accident it's been a tough road. Just appreciate the memories that I've had here whether it's in competition or the practice rounds or the stories. There's so much of my life has been here at Augusta National and again just so excited to be back here and be able to compete and play. So Tiger Woods is back at Augusta but of course every single time we see him we wonder if it will be his last and we wonder if he wonders if it will be his last trip to Augusta. Last year I didn't know if I was going to play again at that time. For some reason everything kind of came together. I kind of pushed a little bit and I was able to make the cut which was nice.

I don't know how many more I have in me so just to be able to appreciate the time that I have here and cherish the memories. Tiger Woods made the cut last year but was definitely hurting. This is a very challenging walking course. It's one of those that has undulating greens and different elevations. So to walk not only is it sometimes long distances between green and next tee box but you're also up and down and all around and the holes themselves are very rarely level.

The greens themselves are multi-level and undulating and sometimes you're standing sideways and so it puts pressure on your feet and your legs and those muscles. And of course his one leg that he nearly lost that has been surgically repaired, he has a problem with his foot, he has a problem with that leg. So this is a very challenging weekend for him.

If he gets through to the weekend I'm sure we'll start to see him limp. He's talked about how he'll never quite be the same physically. As for Phil Mickelson, he skipped last year's Masters. If you remember he was welcome there of course because he's a defending, not a defending champion, sorry, he's a former champion. And he decided that after all of the criticism, the reaction, the backlash I was going to say, the backlash against his comments over the Live Tour and the PGA Tour as he was preparing to make the jump to Live, he just decided to lay low.

And remember he went to social media and he said that he needed to take a mental health break and really take stock and spend some time with his family and remember what matters. And as he did that, he stepped away from golf for months so we did not see him at the Masters. I remember we didn't see him at the US Open either which was so crazy because that's the only major he's never won. It's the one major that stands between him and the career Grand Slam.

If I remember correctly, he skipped that one too. We didn't see him for quite a while and so he went to the Live Tour, he's made a bunch of money, now he's back at the Masters and he's smiling. As usual though, man there's a lot less of Phil to like these days because he has dropped a ton of weight. It's been great. It's fun to be back.

Everybody's been wonderful. Yes, loquacious as always for Phil. I don't know if you all heard what Cameron Smith said about how the Masters is a huge weekend for Live golf. If you missed this, he was talking about how critical it is for Live golfers to be out there, to be on the scene.

Now it's not as divisive as what people would make it out to be. When these guys are together on the driving range, together as they're practicing their short games or on the putting greens. Even when they're paired together, although they're not actually paired together, any of them for the Masters, the first two rounds, they're cordial.

In many cases, you wouldn't even know that there was ever a rift. But Cameron Smith made this point that the Masters is such a critical weekend for Live because it gets these golfers out there and they have an opportunity to compete for what is golf's biggest prize. Phil says that he believes that that is the case, that Cam has a real good point. I thought he did a great job in his press conference. I really enjoy being around him. I don't know if that's the case or not.

I thought that he said some really great things though. He's probably right. It would be nice to validate the amount of talent that is over there on Live. I think a lot of guys are playing really well heading in so I think it will be fun to watch. I do think it's an important weekend for the Live Tour because if these golfers perform well, and we're talking about Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Cam Smith, Bubba Watson, who's a former champion. I think there are maybe almost a half dozen former champions from Live, including Phil, who are there and who are taking part in this Masters.

If they do well, not only is it good promotion for their tour, but maybe it kind of changes the opinion a little bit about the Live Tour. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Rory McIlroy, you know he's the self-appointed defender of the PGA Tour, but he does not want the Masters to be about Live versus PGA. In fact, he wants everyone to know that he's still real good friends with all of those golfers when they come across each other in their other walks of life. I see Brooks quite a lot.

I see DJ quite a lot. We sort of all practice at the same place. But as you said, I think the more face time you get with people, the more comfortable you become in some way.

I think I'm going to go play nine holes with Brooks here in a little bit. It's a very nuanced situation and there's different dynamics. It's okay to get on with Brooks and DJ and maybe not get on with some other guys that went to it.

It's interpersonal relationships, that's just how it goes. But this week in this tournament is way bigger than any of that, I feel, and it's just great that all the best players in the world are together again for the first time in what seems to be quite a while. I'm looking forward to it. I will not be here on Sunday night when you all are talking about it, but it does finish up. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday at the Masters is always one of the greatest days of the year for a golf fan, but I think really for casual golf fans, maybe more just general sports fans. It's going to be great.

Let's see. Thinking about the themes and the different guys who could end up grabbing headlines, we've seen such a variety of winners at majors recently now as we start our run of these four majors. And the Masters is one where because of the challenges, the short game is so critical. You can't just drive, drive, drive, drive, drive and kill the Masters that way. You really have to have some finesse as well. And so I'm looking forward to it, but I do know that we've had a lot of, this is all four majors, we've had a lot of first-time winners and we've had a bunch of non-repeat winners.

So it's just cycling through. I know that the live guys are all kind of grouped together and you don't have much crossover. So maybe we're missing out a little bit of that drama because I wouldn't mind. I just think these guys, especially at Augusta National, they really respect the track that they're at. They really respect the tournament and the history there and so they're probably not going to get all crazy anyway. Maybe Fred Couples doesn't speak to one of the live guys or yada, yada, yada, but for the most part what they care about is that you've got this incredible prize and that's the focus. It's not about being chummy. It's not about this rivalry.

No, if you waste your energy on anything like that, well then it turns out that someone else is going to have just a little extra edge on you. This is just going back for just some of the recent winners. We had Scottie Scheffler last year in the Masters, Hideki Matsuyama the year before that. Let's see, Dustin Johnson was in 2020, Tiger Woods in 19, of course, and Patrick Reed. So your last five Masters winners are all different and it really is a very similar story among the other majors as well. So it's definitely a wide open golf world right now.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 08:26:47 / 2023-04-05 08:43:46 / 17

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