Graeme McDowell Channels Ben Hogan on 18 at Merion

Graeme McDowell Channels Ben Hogan on 18 at Merion

As the 1949 season began, Ben Hogan was considered, arguably, the best golfer in the world. The previous season, he won the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, and 9 other victories including the Reading Open at Berkshire Country Club. But disaster struck in February when Hogan and his wife were in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus.

A split second before impact, Hogan threw himself in front of his wife, which saved both of their lives as the steering column was embedded into the driver's seat. Hogan, a stoic and dogged competitor, would spend the next 11 months recuperating.

In 1950, the U.S. Open was held at Merion Golf Club and Hogan, with legs wrapped in bandages under his pants, managed to get into a three-way playoff and eventually won the championship. In order to get into the playoff, Hogan needed to par the final hole on Sunday. His approach shot to the 18th hole, a 1-iron from around 200 yards, is one of the most famous photographs in the history of sports and a plaque is mounted in the fairway at the spot.

The plaque is something spectators and players are drawn to like a magnet and it's common to see people try the shot themselves. Today, during a practice round, the 2010 U.S. Open champ, bar-owner, Irishman and all-around good guy Graeme McDowell tried the shot and posted video to Twitter.

(Video below, if it doesn't work, click here)

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

T.R. Goyne, formerly of the old-school ballssticksstuff.com can be followed @doctomg.

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

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Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.