So What's a Mud Ball?

So What's a Mud Ball?

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We're going to have situations where, if it does dry out through the weekend and hit a few good drives down there and get a few mud balls we're going to have to deal with it.  It's part of the game, getting up and down, and dealing with some of the situations like that. -Tiger Woods

I think mud balls are a problem.  I think they're unfair.  I think golf is designed to be played from a closely mown fairway.  If you hit it in that fairway you deserve a great line and a great opportunity to attack the green surface.  That's the reward you get for hitting the fairway.  I think guys who hit it low, guys who hit it high, guys who have a different spin rate, mud balls affect them differently. -Graeme McDowell

So if you do drive the ball well on those holes, and you manage to hit a lot of fairways and hopefully you don't get too many mud balls and control your second shots, you can have a good round of birdies. - Sergio Garcia

ARDMORE, Pa. -- If you've been paying attention to the U.S. Open this week, after three days of practice rounds and press conferences, you may be thinking to yourself...

What the hell is a mud ball?

A "mud ball" is the scientific term for a golf ball with mud on it. And if you haven't heard, it's rained a little bit at Merion. The course has taken on more than 6 1/2 inches of rain in the last week and more is on the way.

[click here for more of TheLevel's 2013 U.S. Open coverage]

Mud balls will be a problem this week because the USGA doesn't believe in the practice known as "lift, clean and place." Most PGA Tour events, when conditions call for it, will allow players in the fairway to mark their position, pick up their ball, and clean it off. But not the U.S. Open.

So what does mud do to a golf ball? Let 1971 U.S. Open champion Lee Trevino, who beat Jack Nicklaus in a playoff that year at Merion, explain:

All this theory about, oh, if the mud's on the right it will go left and if the mud's on the left it will go left and believe me, that's a bunch of baloney," Trevino said. "You don't know where the hell it's going to go when that mud is on there."

So if you can't control a golf ball with mud on it, and the USGA won't let you clean it off, and the U.S. Open is on the line, what can you do about it? We need some WWLTD bracelets.

LEE TREVINO:  Well, I had an advantage in the mud.  I hit a low ball.  Very seldom my ball ever picked up mud because I went so low that it cleaned itself before it stopped rolling.  You think about that.  You think that's funny, but it's true.  And you have to adapt your game to that.  If your ball starts picking up mud out there and you're going up here, brother, you better bring this baby down here (Indicating).

...

But that's one of the reasons that I played so well when it was wet. Also, here's the only time that we were off when we were working is when it was raining and it was muddy and the course was closed, so we could go out and play (Trevino caddied as a kid).  But I learned to play that way simply because I didn't like that mud on the ball.  So I bring the ball down.  Just hit it low.  You won't pick up any mud.  No.

This is the same guy who would hustle club pros and beat them while playing with a shovel.

I anticipate a lot of "balls" comments.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Ronald Darby gets cheers from fellow DBs in 1st practice since injury

Ronald Darby gets cheers from fellow DBs in 1st practice since injury

There was a little more buzz around the Eagles' defensive backs at practice on Thursday. 

All eyes were on No. 41. 

For the first time since he left the season opener in Washington following a gruesome right ankle dislocation, cornerback Ronald Darby practiced on Thursday. He was limited and it seems rather unlikely he'll be able to play on Monday night, but it was still a boost for his teammates to see him back out on the field. 

"We were all just joking and letting him know the spotlight was on him," safety Rodney McLeod said. 

Doug Pederson said the "stars have to align" for Darby to play on Monday night against Washington (see story). So it seems unlikely. Still, it was a good sign to get him back to practice.

Darby was with the team from the start of Thursday's practice and went through the entire warmup and stretching period. He wore high black socks and didn't appear to have any sort of brace on his injured right ankle. 

When the Eagles broke into the individual portion of practice, Darby went through all of the backpedal drills; he was the last to go through each. 

So how did he look? 

"He looked good," corner Jalen Mills said. "The guy had some clean breaks. We did a couple deep-ball drills, you know, he jumped up and high-pointed the ball. A lot of DBs, we got excited when we saw him, cheering him on. He looked good."

Mills was maybe a little overly excited about how good Darby looked on Thursday. It was, after all, just his first day back. 

Defensive back Jaylen Watkins said Darby looked "better" but acknowledged it's "going to take time." Watkins pointed out Darby's recovery is largely about being able to trust his ankle and getting back into a groove. 

"He didn't do much but I think this is his first time being back with us in that capacity," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "I think he looked decent. I don't really know what to compare it to. Hopefully he feels good. I'm just concerned with him not having any kind of setbacks. I think he looked fine." 

What all of his defensive back teammates agreed on was that it was pretty crazy to see Darby practicing just seven weeks after he was carted off the field in Washington. At the time of the gruesome injury, it looked to be pretty obvious that Darby's season was over. 

When the play happened, Mills was on the other side of the field so he didn't see how bad the injury looked until after the game. He credited the training staff and Darby's dedication for getting him back on the field so soon. 

"In that moment, what you feel, for him to even be back out there at all, to have a possibility to get him back, is great," Jenkins said. "Because I think at first glance, everybody probably thought he was done for the season. Obviously, whenever he is 100 percent, he's going to instantly make our defense better."