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.

Emmanuel Acho and Joe Banner have hilarious Twitter exchange about his awful trade

Emmanuel Acho and Joe Banner have hilarious Twitter exchange about his awful trade

You probably remember Emmanuel Acho more for his Twitter exploits than for anything he ever did on a football field. That was the case once again over the weekend when another former Eagle had a huge game for the Patriots in their win over the Houston Texans in the AFC playoffs.

Oh, and former Philadelphia Eagles decision maker Joe Banner was also involved.

All of it started because Dion Lewis, a one-time Eagles running back drafted in the 5th round in 2011, scored three TDs in a variety of ways on the Patriots way to another AFC title game.

The joke here is that Banner -- then with the Browns -- was on the winning end of the Lewis-for-Acho trade and was himself eventually fired from his job in Cleveland. But hey, at least Acho got out of that awful city.

Lewis has battled injury for much of his career and hasn't exactly been the second coming of LeSean McCoy but he's yet another case of the Bill Belichick Patriots finding a player who had floundered with other teams only to flourish in big moments in New England.

And Joe Banner may have seen that potential early on.

Nigel Bradham's trial date for battery charge moved to April

Nigel Bradham's trial date for battery charge moved to April

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was originally scheduled to be in court at 9:30 a.m. in Miami on Tuesday for the beginning of his trial on a felony battery charge. 

Now, that trial won't be until April. 

A motion for continuance was filed and the new trial date is set for April 10, according to the Miami-Dade State State Attorney's Office. Eagles OTAs will begin in May. 

The felony charge stems from a July 25 incident in Miami, when the 6-foot-2, 241-pound Bradham allegedly assaulted a hotel employee. The altercation reportedly arose from the length of time it took 50-year-old hotel employee Jean Courois to bring Bradham's group their beach umbrella. 

Bradham pleaded not guilty and has said he "most definitely" expects his name to be cleared from this incident.

This was the first of two arrests for Bradham since July. He was arrested coming home from Miami from the bye week after he tried to pass through airport security with a loaded gun in his backpack. 

After the second arrest, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz famously said, "You do dumbass things, pretty soon, you’re going to be labeled as a dumbass." 

Bradham, 27, signed a two-year deal to join the Eagles last offseason and proved to be a good investment on the field. He played 97 percent of the defense's snaps and played at a high level as the team's starting SAM linebacker. He will have a base salary of $3.5 million this year, with a cap hit of $4.25 million.