Brothers in Arms: How Do the Harrisons of UK Rank Against Other Sibling Successes

Posted in Professional Sports on March 8th, 2015 by Ian Paregol

HarisonsMarch 8, 2015 – As the Harrison brothers (Aaron & Andrew) and the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team continue their pursuit of perfection with the SEC Championship and NCAA Tourney looming, The Bench Jockeys started thinking about how other siblings have performed over the years in the sportsworld and how we would rank them as a sub-group of athletes.

What we discovered was the Harrisons have a long way to go to crack the Top 100, let alone the Top 20 that we have digested and analyzed for your consideration herein.  This was way more difficult to quantify than one would think.  There were  many siblings that did not sniff our list but were remarkable for their achievements.  A few of the particularly noteworthy are highlighted below.

For example, we all know that Jackie Robinson was arguably the best second baseman of all time, but did you know that Jackie’s older brother, Matthew “Mack” Robinson, earned a Silver Medal in the 1936 Olympics in Munich.  He finished 2nd by 0.4 seconds to none other than Jessie Owens.

We knew that we could not ignore the most popular sport on earth – soccer – but the Charlton brothers finished on the outside looking in. Who were they you ask?  Sir Bobby and twin brother, Jack, won the 1966 World Cup for England.  Jack was FWA Footballer of the year in 1967; won 2 Fairs Cups; a league title and FA Cup.  Sir Bobby survived a tragic air crash in Munich in 1958 that killed many of his Manchester United teammates. He went onto play over 600 games for ManU, with a goals per game average of an incredible .328 while hauling in an array of individual honors.

Here’s a fact that might win a few bar bets for you:  Both Marat Safin and his sister, Dinara, are the only brother-sister tandem to achieve a world number 1 pro tennis ranking – Matt in 2000, Dinara in 2009.  We suspect that you might have an inkling about the tennis sibs who did make our Top 20, however.

Lastly, before we move onto our rankings, we considered the array of brothers who played cricket.  The Aussies tout the Chappells of the 1970s, the Zimbabweans love the Flower twins of the 1990s and currently, the Pakistanis queue up to see the Akmals, but none of us are actually smart enough to really understand which are the best sibs – so we left them all off of the list.

And now without further adieu….let the outrage and second-guessing begin.

Sibs Sport
20 Dominique & Gerald Wilkins Basketball
19 Al Joyner & Jackie Joyner-Kersee Track & Field
18 Ronde & Tiki Barber Football
17 Joe & Phil Niekro Baseball
16 Bruce & Clay Matthews Football
15 Michael & Ralf Schumacher F1 racing
14 Dr. Ironfist & Dr. Steelhammer Klitschko Boxing
13 Bobby & Terry Labonte Racing
12 Felipe, Matty & Jesus Rojas (Alou) Baseball
11 Bob & Michael Bryan Tennis
10 Michael & Brian Laudrup Soccer
9 Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich & Ron Sutter Hockey
8 Phil & Steve Mahre Skiing
7 Phil & Tony Esposito Hockey
6 Reggie & Cheryl Miller Basketball
5 Michael & Leon Spinks Boxing
4 Joe, Dom & Vince DiMaggio Baseball
3 Peyton & Eli Manning Football
2 Serena & Venus Williams Tennis
1 Rocket & Henri Richard Hockey

Why the Richards?  Over the 100 year history of the Stanley Cup and professional ice hockey, both Henri and Maurice “Rocket” Richard still both rank within the Top 25 of their sport; with The Rocket securing a spot within the Top 5 all time.  Although one could argue that Serena Williams may be one the five best women’s tennis players in history, and Venus did earn a number 1 ranking in 2002, the fact is, second-fiddle Venus is not as dominant in her sport as the lesser (just slightly lesser) Henri was in his.

We welcome your thoughts…but it won’t change our minds.


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Klitschko Throws His Hat into the Ring

Posted in International Political Scene, Sport/Pol Crossover, The Quick Hook on August 21st, 2013 by Ian Paregol

scoop[1]On August 9th, The Bench Jockeys wrote about the intriguing connection between professional athletes and their pursuit of political office at the conclusion of their professional careers.

As if on cue, on August 14th, boxing’s reigning world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko announced his plans to run for the presidency of the Ukraine in 2015.  Klitschko, nicknamed “Doctor Ironfist,” makes a formidable foe in any ring and his entre into the political scene in the Ukraine will make for a fascinating sideline once the election heats up.  Malaysian news source The Star followed the good doctor’s announcement by offering an article for its readership on …wait for it…. the connection between professional athletes and political office.  That’s another Pat Riley on the back for The Bench Jockeys who again offer our loyalists insights before the larger media outlets can catch up.

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C’mon PGA Tour, release Tiger from this Major Prison

Posted in Professional Sports on August 16th, 2013 by Chris Drayton

flood14[1]You can say what you want, but I just won’t believe it!!   You canNOT tell me that the PGA doesn’t have the “fix” in when it comes to Eldrick “Tiger” Woods and his ability to win Major tournaments!  Why would they do such a thing, you ask?  Simple, to keep the name Jack Nicklaus as the permanent standard bearer for professional golf!  Oh sure, Jack will always be on “Mt. Rushmore “ –  along with Palmer, Player and Trevino – of golf’s modern greats, but Tiger Woods was on pace of obliterating The Golden Bear’s legacy.

Put the stats in perspective.  Let’s start at his ability to just win golf matches.   He will pass the great Sam Snead for most career wins (82) sometime next year because Woods – who is only 37 – is sitting at 79 of them, besting Jack Nicklaus’ career total of 73.  The nearest active player is Read more »

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Starting 9

Posted in Professional Sports on August 4th, 2013 by Ian Paregol


These days everyone is writing a Bucket List.  I wrote my list back in 1999 and one of the items I included was a autographed baseball from the 9 baseball players who I thought were the best n their respective positions.  As with everything I do, I had rules: 1) The signatures have to be on a official major league baseball – no commemoratives, autosigned, HOF or gimmicky balls; 2) all balls have to present with only the player’s autograph, no multisigned balls; and 3) the signature has to be authentic and 4) it has to be a clean and visible signature.

My list of players was developed by Read more »

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Apparently, it isn’t Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Posted in Professional Sports on October 3rd, 2011 by Brittany Lynn

October 2, 2011… It should have been an amazing day in Philadelphia:  two major sporting events where Phans had the chance to revel in the excitement of their sports teams.  In the afternoon, the “Dream Team” Eagles dominated the Niners for the majority of their game.  Up 23-3 midway through the 3rd quarter, they imploded, losing 24-23.  Same scenario later that evening in the NLDS as the Phils held a 4-zip in the 4th only to lose 5-4 to the Cards.  The first pitch of the game was hit into right field for a triple.   Amazingly, Cliff Lee got out of the inning unscathed, but perhaps the Phaithful should have realized at that moment that they might not be smiling when the clock struck midnight.

Two things that irritated me: 1) Tony LaRussa (who I respect for his years of baseball experience and knowledge) took a shot at the umpire’s strike zone disparities. Strike Zones for both teams were questionable all game, but it’s low to go on national television and whine about it.  Charlie Manuel in his post-game interview said, “I’m not blaming the umpire, they outplayed us on the field.” EXACTLY.  If the umpire gives you a smaller strike zone, then you have to play better defense and also actually hit the ball.  2) Swinging at the first pitch:  Did the Phils not learn from the prior night’s experience (an 11-run rout) that swinging at the first pitch (and causing an inevitable out) yielded nothing?  Swinging at the first pitch rarely gets you a hit and especially in the Playoffs when adrenaline might be running a little higher than usual causing you to hit a quick pop-up or ground out to second base.  

Weather forecast for St. Louis on Tuesday for Game 3….a sunny 77 degrees with no chance of rain.  We’ll see…

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King James Curse or Just Coincidence

Posted in The Quick Hook on September 29th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Could the epic collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox be yet another manifestation of the “King James Curse” as conjectured by The Bench Jockeys back in April and May ?

It wasn’t the “shot heard ’round the world” or Kirk Gibson’s remarkable one-handed home run off of the Eck in the 1988 World Series, but last night was most definitely one of the most memorable nights in baseball history as the fate of four teams trudging through the marathon of a 162-game season weathered the perfect storm of rain delays, improbable comebacks, momentum shifting plays and managerial “stick it to yas.”   The Rays down a hockey stick in the 8th comeback to force extra innings and beat the Yanks who opted not to trot out their closer Mo Rivera, while Red Sox in control of their game against the O’s with the taste of victory one out away give up three consecutive base hits in the bottom of the 9th and lose 4-3.  The Cards pound the hapless Astros 8-0 and wait through extra innings for the results in Atlanta where the Braves jump to a 2-0 lead only to lose at home in 13 against Philly.  The Divisional races long settled, baseball needed last night’s drama to kick start the Playoffs.

Boston, which held a 9 game lead in the wild card race on September 3rd, limped to a 7 -19 record over the ensuing 26 days, losing to the AL East doormat, Baltimore Orioles, 5 times in 7 games.  The “2011 Fold” as it will come to be known by the Red Sox sets the new standard for “failing to close” as Boston became the first MLB team to miss the postseason after leading by as many as nine games for a playoff spot entering September.  In the yin/yang of baseball, Atlanta proceeded to cough up the second largest September lead – 8.5 games – as the Cardinals passed them for the NL Wild Card.   Is it also possible that the unholy alliance between LeBron James and the Fenway Sports Group has so skewed the balance of Boston lore that karmic forces also impacted the 2011 Atlanta Braves (formerly of Boston)?  Could be….

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GOP Fantasy Draft Kit

Posted in Sport/Pol Crossover, US Politics on September 8th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Sept 8, 2011 – What did we learn from last night’s GOP gab-fest in Simi Valley, Cali?  As far as potential presidential candidates, Mitt Romney looks to be losing his grip on the #1 slot, Rick Perry is gaining ground, Michele Bachmann’s numbers are slipping, Ron Paul is getting older, and no matter how smart Jon Huntsman is, no one is picking him – possibly because of the team he played for last year.  In fact, the whole ranking of GOP hopefuls is not unlike the Fantasy Football draft which 3 of the 4 Bench Jockeys have participated in for the last 20 years and which took place at the exact same time as the Republican debate.  Not a coincidence.

Last night, while DVRing the debate, the stars aligned to allow yours truly to snake Ray Rice as the 6th pick of the draft.  6th!  Although I had to change draft strategies on the fly, I am thrilled with the opportunity to own Ray-Ray through the 2012 election.   Interestingly, four game-tested QBs were selected in the first 13 picks, as a significant percentage of the owners did not want to be saddled with an inexperienced leader at the reigns.  Does that perhaps portend the proclivities of the populace?

However, the more intriguing development was the way Jamaal Charles (touted by the media as a top five selection) plummeted all the way to pick #11.  He was the fantasy equivalent of Newt Gingrich – chock full of spin and promise but ultimately dropping off of the radar when the doubts started to surface.  The media can try to establish the market, but a discerning and involved public understands far more than the pabulum that it is fed.   As I watched the post-mortem on the debate, I was positively disgusted at the manner in which a purportedly unbiased media portrayed each candidate as hero or villain depending on the particular leanings of each pundit.  Make no mistake, the media control the message far better and far more effectively than any campaign manager.  The media has the forum and the capacity to bombard the airways with any sound bite, whether favorable or devastating to a candidate, relative to any subject matter.  The only way that a voter can make a truly informed decision is through an individualized analysis, and honestly, who has the time to rifle through the interwebs to fact-check every candidate?  No one.  And that’s exactly what the media counts on.

So open up wide, America.  CNN, NBC and FOX will keep feeding you their agendas and you can just keep swallowing or, maybe, just maybe, you will come to the voting booths on November 6, 2012 with a well-researched portfolio of facts, data and trend analysis where you can formulate your own decisions about the leadership of this great country.

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Hurricanes Become the New Eye of the College Football Storm

Posted in College Sports, Sport/Pol Crossover on August 28th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

To say it has been a tumultuous offseason for college football would be an understatement.  Former booster Nevin Shapiro’s allegations of impropriety at the University of Miami make Jim Tressel’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” transgressions at Ohio State – which came to light earlier this spring – look rather pedestrian.  The Ponzi-scheming jail-bird, Shapiro, maintains that he has provided millions of dollars’ worth of financial benefits to at least 72 University of Miami student-athletes for nine years beginning in 2002.  The accusations against the Hurricanes come just one year after the University of Southern California Trojans were required to forfeit an entire year’s games, lost 30 football scholarships beginning in 2010, were forced to vacate its 2005 BCS National Championship and sustained a two year post season ban (2010 & 2010) as a consequence of illegal benefits lavished upon star tailback, Reggie Bush back in 2004.  If even 10% of what Shapiro says is true, Miami is in line to face stiffer penalties than USC.   However, the bottom line for the “Canes Nation is: will the NCAA Committee on Infractions determine that the actions of the university rise to the level of a willful violation and justify the recommendation the “death penalty” for The U?  It surely does not appear that University President, Donna Shalala can dodge exposure in light of the bowling alley photo that has surfaced of her, Shapiro and a check, so perhaps she needs to take one for the team so Miami’s football program can avoid being the new poster child for rules’ violations. Read more »

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All-Star Game or Selig’s Folly

Posted in Professional Sports on July 3rd, 2011 by Ian Paregol

On Sunday July 3rd, roster selections were announced for the Major League All-Star Game which will be played in Phoenix on June 12th. The Process:  Fan Balloting establishes the 8 positional starters for both the American League and the National League teams, including the DH on the AL squad.  Player voting accounts for an additional 16 players on each team (5 starting pitchers, 3 relievers and 8 positional back-ups).  World Series Managers, Ron Washington and Bruce Bochy, fill out their respective 34-man rosters with an additional 8 position players ensuring that each team in the league has at least one representative on the All-Star Team.  Finally, the fans vote on one additional player, the 34th, from a list of five nominations from each league.

Until 2002, the All-Star Game had no impact on the MLB post-season.  It was purely an exhibition game where fans could simply enjoy a game that featured the league’s best players all on the same field, but in 2003 current baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, mutated the Mid-summer Classic from Read more »

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Bryce Harper Can Kiss My….

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on June 8th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

June 8, 2011 – On Monday June 6th, the Chosen One, Bryce Harper, who was selected #1 overall in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft by the Washington Nationals showed the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the rest of baseball fandom why he will be staying at Class A Hagerstown for the 2011 season. Although The Can’t Miss Kid is feasting on low Class A pitching, hitting .342 with 14 dingers and 42 RBI, he has struck out in over 20% of his at bats. But the Ks are not the reason he is being coddled; he is being held back because Read more »

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Be Careful What You Wish, Commish

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on May 14th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Gary Bettman cannot be too thrilled about the looming pairings for the Stanley Cup finals. In the East, Gary better be wearing his Bruins underoos as the puck drops on Boston-Tampa Bay series on Saturday, May 14th. Boston is the only team from the original six and the only large market team left in the Conference Finals. Although the Lightning have a couple players with some fire-power in Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis, the Florida market for hockey is one of the leagues weakest – the Lightning and the Panthers round out two of the NHL’s five lowest rated fan bases. The fans in San Jose seem to care about the Sharks, but  Read more »

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The King James Curse….Just Like We Told Ya

Posted in Professional Sports on May 11th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Well, we have earned another ‘Pat (Riley) on the back.’  Over a month ago – on April 9th to be exact – with a handful of games left in the regular season, The Bench Jockeys guaranteed a Celtics-Heat post-season match-up and we told you it would not end well for the Celts.  We surmised that the newly-inked Unholy Alliance between the Fenway Sports Group and LeBron James was an affront to everything Boston and would result in chaos in the streets of the North End and on Landsdowne.  We even suggested that ol’ 33 would have been a more appropriate partner for the FSG venture and questioned the wisdom of such a union, ripe with such frightful potentialities for the Boston faithful.  We even told you how it would end… a Read more »

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I say “Spain,” You say……

Posted in Chazerai, Professional Sports on April 28th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Before 2010, if someone in the room said the word: “Spanish,” the immediate reactive associations were:

  • a) the Armada (1588);
  • b) the Inquisition (1478- 1834);
  • c) the Flu (1918); and
  • d) an omelette.

About 3 folks on earth might be able to connect Spain with Miguel Indurain, who won the Tour de France for five straight years (1991-1996), but athletic dominance was not a Top Ten association with Spain.  That all changed in July 2010 when Spain defeated the Netherlands on Andrés Iniesta’s goal in the 116th minute of the World Cup, and since that historic tally, Spain has been on a competitive tear.

  • Yesterday, two soccer teams from Spain squared off in the prestigious UEFA Champions League Semifinal where Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-0.  Of the 16 European teams to reach the knockout phase of the UEFA, three of them were from Spain, and Spain will be represented in the Finals.
  • In the last two weeks, World #1 Ranked tennis player Rafael Nadal has faced fellow countryman David Ferrer (World #6) in the Finals of the Monte Carlo and Barcelona Opens.  Spain currently boasts four of the top 15 slots in the ATP World Rankings and an astounding 13 of the top 75 – 17.3%!.  The US has 3 men in the top 75.
  • There are also 4 Spanish women ranked in the WTA top 75; and American women… 3.
  • Lance Armstrong last won a Tour de France in 2005.  Since that time, Spaniards Oscar Pereiro, Carlos Sastre and Alberto Contador have won five straight.

Spain is ranked 27th in world population at 46.7M, just above the Ukraine and Sudan.  The US is estimated to be at 313.2M (3rd).  Spain is the 52nd largest country in the world with just under 506,000 sq. km and is 5% of the size of the US.

Soccer, Tennis, Cycling and an up and coming Golf contingent.  Pau Gasol on the LA Lakers and Marc Gasol on the Memphis Grizzlies – both in the NBA playoffs.  Pound for pound, looking at population size and geographic area, Spain has quietly become a player in the sporting world.

Fast Fact: – Rafa has played Ferrer 17 times in his career, leading the series 13-4.  Nadal’s last loss to Ferrer came in the Quarterfinals of the Aussie Open in January 2011 which destroyed Nadal’s chance at four consecutive Grand Slam victories (Wimbledon, French, US and Australian).

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Are the Phillies the Yanks of the NL?

Posted in Chazerai, Professional Sports on April 12th, 2011 by Brittany Lynn
I have to come clean; I was one of the MANY Phillies phans that enjoyed smack talking my opponents in the off-season.  Generally, I try not to jinx my team or make predictions before the season starts, but with the starting rotation the Phillies put together for 2011 (Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels) I couldn’t help myself.  I got caught up in the wave of excitement, and yes, I may have said, on more than one occasion, that I would be surprised if the Phillies don’t win 4 out of every 5 games this season.  But here’s the thing… Read more »
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Wild Saves Blackhawks from Complete Collapse

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on April 10th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

We are giving ourselves another “Pat” Riley.  The Bench Jockeys saw this coming a mile a way.  Or rather, the rest of the hockey-covering media just gave up a shortie to the upstart Bench Jockeys who posted….

Tonite the Dallas Stars almost stole the 8th and final playoff spot from the Chicago Blackhawks.  All the Stars had to do was get a win against the Minnesota Wild.  Toews and the boys better send a case of bubbly to Jose Theodore and each of the Minnesota goal scorers who played an inspired game and prevented the Stars from displacing the Blackhawks from the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.   The schedule could not have been more friendly to the Stars and more ripe with stumbling blocks for the Hawks.  Earlier this afternoon, Chicago gave a lackluster effort in a 4-3 loss to Detroit which was all too happy to do their part in trying to knock out the 2010 Stanley Cup Champs.  Dallas could not keep up with the lowly Wild and lost 5 – 3 playing from behind all evening.  The Hawks escape the regular season, back into the playoffs and will play President’s Trophy winner, Vancouver, in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

Karma Factor:  Medium High.  Dallas’ opponent, Minnesota, was once represented by the North Stars franchise which was sold to Dallas in 1993 and became the Stars.

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A Cursedly Simple Answer for Red Sox Slow Start

Posted in Chazerai, Professional Sports on April 9th, 2011 by Spounder

The Developer of The Bench Jockeys always talks about sports Karma.   Streaky-hitting, baseball players and Major League franchises rise and fall with the karmic tides.  After all, the Boston Red Sox endured 86 years of bad juju associated with a curse.  So what better time to talk about Karma than eight games into the 2011 season; a season where the folks at Fenway Park printed Red Sox World Series Champs – 2011 T-shirts on March 30th.  And why wouldn’t they?  Virtually every sportswriter deemed the Sox a lock to win the AL East and 75% of the ESPN pundits were certain they will be in the Series. The only problem is Read more »

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Conceded Putz – A Late Write-in Candidate Wins Our Initial Honor

Posted in Conceded Putz, Professional Sports on April 8th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

If the members of the Tampa Bay Rays were not questioning their season already, they surely have to be deeply concerned now.  Manny Ramirez, the sunshine state’s savior, has elected to retire in lieu of facing a 100-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy.  The Rays were counting on Manny to hit .300+ smash a few ding-dongs at the Trop and drive in some runs to offset the position player losses they sustained in the off-season. The MLB statement announcing his retirement concluded, “Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”

Call-up replacement, Casey Kotchman has some mighty big, floppy shoes to fill.

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A Tradition Like No Other

Posted in Professional Sports on April 7th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

April 7 – The Masters begins today with an array of tasty pairings.  Unlike many of the tournaments on the Tour, which pair players based upon a random draw, the pairings at Augusta National are purposeful and deliberate.  The club committee tasked with developing the pairings for the 1st two rounds of play has complete discretion to group players as it sees fit.  The only exception to their unfettered sovereignty is the one traditional pairing:  the current US Amateur Champ (Peter Uihlein) is paired with the defending Masters champion (Phil Mickelson).  And no one messes with tradition at the Masters.

The Masters offers only 19 ways to recieve an invitation to compete for the Green Jacket.  Unlike many PGA Tour events, the many of the qualifications involve world play performance which promotes a more well-rounded international field.  (See the Fast Facts below for qualifications.)   The committee typically ties the high profile players together into super pairings with the lesser-followed players and many internationals grouped into the time slots between these all-star threesomes.  In this manner, the Committee can control the gallery so that players are able to move though the course, limit noise so that the fan-base is spread throughout the 365-acre grounds, and most importantly for ESPN, assure that television coverage in the morning and afternoon features players who will draw viewership.

Some of the more interesting or comment-worthy pairings are detailed below:

  • 8:18 AM – Ben Crenshaw, Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Na – How did Gentle Ben get paired with these two schmos?
  • 8:40 AM – Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Nick Watney – Maybe the handsomest pairing in the field.
  • 8:51 AM – Vijay Singh, Tim Clark, Aaron Baddeley – I am hoping that Bads and the ill-tempered Vijay start fighting and Bads lays VJ out before they reach Amen Corner.  South African Tim Clark is a perfect referee for this fracas.
  • 9:24 AM – Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day – great pairing of 21 to 23 year old players representing “the next wave.”
  • 10:19 AM – Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar – The Germanator and Westy, the world’s top two players, paired together.  Look for both of them to be in contention on Sunday even though Kaymer has had zero success at the Masters.  Oh, Kuch, we know you will be playing over the weekend but you’ll need to stand next to Lee to get some air-time in this pairing.
  • 10:41 AM – Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell, Robert Allenby – Tiger and Graeme have dueled recently.  In December, Graeme won the Chevron World Challenge with a birdie during the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Tiger who had blown a four-shot lead on the final day of the tourney.
  • 11:25 AM – Craig Stadler, Kevin Streelman, a-Nathan Smith – I fully expect the Walrus to quit before the end of the day on Friday.  Not really an ideal pairing for mild-mannered uber-Am Smith.
  • 12:53 PM – Fred Couples, Luke Donald, Steve Stricker – Freddie is simply the most enjoyable golfer to watch play in the last three decades.
  • 1:04 PM – Anthony Kim, Henrik Stenson, Steve Marino – Fans, keep your eyes open for flying objects – the Patented Burgess Putter-Chuck is a given with this brutish group.
  •  1:15 PM – Bubba Watson, Paul Casey, Eduardo Molinari – This may well be the most well-rounded of the three player pairings.  I would take these three guys in a best-ball any day.
  • 1:48 PM – Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy, a-Peter Uihlein – Coming off of a win in Houston, can Lefty repeat?

The complete pairing list can be found at

Read more »

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Blackhawks Down (and almost out)

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on March 30th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

With 6 games remaining in the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks cling to the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, three points ahead of a Dallas Stars team which cleaned Chicago’s collective clocks on St. Paddy’s Day.  Chicago wraps their season up with two games against central division rival Detroit which would surely relish knocking the defending champs out of the playoff picture.  Should the Hawks –  who days after the 2010 Stanley Cup awards ceremony were chopped up like a 2006 Honda Accord –  fall short on their 2011 playoff bid, they will be just the 9th club since 1915 to fail to qualify for the post-season after winning the Lord Stanley’s Chalice the prior year.  As true competition withers into league parity and dynasties dissolve in favor of bottom lines (even in the formerly immune NHL) it is interesting to note that there has not been a back-to-back Stanley Cup winner since the Red Wings in 1997-98 after decades of multi-year championships by the Canadians, Leafs, Flyers, Isles and Oilers.

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Opening Day for The Bench Jockeys

Posted in Our Mission, Sport/Pol Crossover on March 28th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

It just seemed appropriate that The Bench Jockeys initiated their Blog to coincide with the start of the 2011 MLB Season.  Although there is nothing like debating AL and NL Pennant chances for the upcoming baseball season and analyzing the strengths, but more likely, the weaknesses of current and former ML players, starting this Blog at this time offers The Bench Jockeys the opportunity to assess the potential play-off scenarios in the National Hockey League, as well as the contenders and the pretenders for the Green Jacket, which is  just around the corner on April 7th.  The NBA is just absolute garbage, so you won’t see much from us about that steaming pile, but you will be able to read about the Final Four and VCU’s improbable run.  (We don’t hate basketball, we just hate the NBA.)  Conflicts, oddities and head-shaking actions within NASCAR, soccer, tennis, even the much-maligned PBA, will be served up with cheeky commentary and exploration.

But it’s not just about sports here at The Bench Jockeys, oh no.  We have opinions about any number of subjects.  And along with the sports banter, we intend to mix in a fair share of analysis about the national political scene, potential domestic and global crises, and of course, we fully intend to heckle leaders deserving of derision.  We hope that you will come along for the ride and participate in the discourse.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice it in the pic above, Barack Obama is a lefty.  Now, there’s a big surprise.

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