Pop culture: Sports bites

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From the August 14, 2014 edition

JOHNNY PRESEASON FOOTBALL

Golak: Johnny Manziel made his pro debut in the Browns' preseason game against the Detroit Lions. After completing his first NFL pass attempt, he went on to complete six more (out of 11) for 63 yards and ran six times for 27 more. Brian Hoyer had comparable stats (6/14 for 92 yards on one less drive) against the first-team defense. Is there a real controversy here?

Sumukh: Is mediocrity considered a controversy?

CHANGING GUARD

Sumukh: Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship whereas Tiger Woods missed the cut. Has the baton officially been handed off to a new dominant golfer for this generation?

Golak: It looks that way. It's good for golf to have a new “face,” but bad for Nike commercials that will likely take a dip in cool factor.

CITY GUY

Golak: Andrew Wiggins has said he wants to be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves — days after it was reported he almost definitely would be. Is Wiggins actually excited about the move or is he just trying to put a positive spin, at least outwardly, on the inevitable?

Sumukh: He has to be putting a positive spin on it, as I'm not sure how anyone feels anything emotionally above dead-on-the-inside by first being selected by Cleveland and then being told to move to Minnesota.

FISH OUT OF WATER

Sumukh: Michael Phelps went winless at the U.S. National Swimming Championships this past weekend. Is this just a hiccup or should Phelps have stayed retired?

Golak: He's got to keep that body in the pool because that face is not made for commercials. I mean, Subway gave him a shot, but that company thinks Jared is an inspiring “after” shot.