Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding NFL players kneeling for the national anthem and the presentation of the American flag by our military comes some good new locally.
One of our own, Rick Monday, is coming home to give a talk on the significance of the American flag.
Many will remember April 25, 1976, when Monday -- then the center fielder for the Chicago Cubs -- saw two people in Dodger Stadium run onto the field carrying a flag, lighter fluid and a lighter.
As they tried to set the flag on fire, Monday swooped in, grabbed the flag and carried it off the field.
Monday, a native of Batesville, will bring that flag with him in November when he comes to Arkansas to raise money for the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock.
Famed artist Pat Matthews also will speak and create a painting of that flag. The painting will be auctioned off that night.
The "Stars and Stripes" event is accepting sponsors, and there will be more details about it, Monday and Mathews in this space in the future.
For now, circle the weekend of Nov. 9-11. It will be a historical moment in Arkansas.
On Sunday while watching the British Open, it was hard not to pull for two golfers.
Jordan Spieth, who seems to represent everything good about golf and being a human, and Tiger Woods, who has suffered personal mistakes and injuries that knocked him off the pedestal of No. 1 in the world.
Both had at least a share of the lead during the round, but they bogeyed themselves out of a chance to win.
The important thing for Woods was his consistency throughout the tournament, shooting three 71s and a 66, by far his best showing in a long time.
He finished tied for sixth, and even though a few chinks in his playing armor were obvious, so was the fact he seemed to be more relaxed and friendly, chatting up fellow golfers and shaking hands.
When he was the old Tiger roaming the world of golf courses, he seemed more concerned with whom he could beat than being a nice guy.
Golf needs Tiger, and Tiger needs golf.
Wednesday, the Pac-12 announced the expansion of its program to shorten the length of games from 15 last season to at least 30 this season.
The program began on the Pac-12 Network and was in response to feedback from fans and broadcasters.
This year ESPN and FOX will be involved, too.
Shortening the games includes 15-minute halftimes instead of 20, restructured commercial formats and enhanced in-game advertising, and kickoff times moved up six minutes after the start of a broadcast.
"Improving the fan experience is a critical priority for the Pac-12, and we believe that taking steps to shorten the length of football games is one way to meet that objective," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "We are very pleased that as we continue to pilot innovative ways to shorten the game that this coming year we will be able to include some conference games as well as certain games televised by ESPN and FOX Sports."
Since most of the games are played on Pacific Standard Time, this should help the Pac-12, which probably suffers in national exposure because it is three hours behind the East Coast. It also may positively affect things such as Heisman balloting because more voters can watch the games.
No announcement has come from the SEC, the SEC Network, CBS or ESPN about any effort in shortening SEC games, although they run longer than ever before.
Sports on 07/26/2018