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NFL Draft

The Match 2: The Next Dream NFL/PGA Golf Foursome

  • The Draft Network
  • May 25, 2020
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On Sunday, we returned to some resemblance of normalcy with live sports thanks to what many called "The Match."

Four of the most iconic athletes in the world — the NFL’s Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and PGA Tour’s Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods — got together in rainy South Florida for a charity golf foursome. All of the proceeds from The Match went towards COVID-19-related causes for frontline workers, small businesses and those in desperate need of food as a result of the pandemic.

Manning and Woods were paired together while Brady and Mickelson made up the other duo. It was a great event to follow as all four players were mic’d up through the round. There were causal conversations, golf tips and friendly smack talk.

With the event a success, it likely won't be the last one we see. It got us to thinking, who would be the next fun foursome to see play a round on live television.

With so many possibilities, I created a 16-person, four-group match where the cameras and microphones could bounce around four different groups all playing at the same time.

For as alluring as Manning, Woods, Brady and Mickelson were, these four groups would be must-watch television for a variety of reasons.

Group 1

Philip Rivers, Patrick Reed vs. Richard Sherman, Jordan Spieth

You're going to notice a trend here and it’s putting together the most hostile foursomes.

Golf is a game of respect. That's why it's funny to think of some of the heated rivalries that could form on the course or just in a charity match. If there's any NFL player who would take a charity match way too seriously, it's Philip Rivers.

Not only is Rivers one of the biggest trash talkers in the league — and has been for over a decade — he's annoying with his trash talk. Rivers is not trying to find the words that hurt the most. Instead, it's a censored version that's more annoying than hurtful and he doesn't stop. As I thought of who might be a great NFL player opposite Rivers, the pairing of Rivers and Sherman comes from Mina Kimes. Both have never been shy to dish their own brand of smack talk, and this one could be fun.

On the PGA side, Patrick Reed joining Rivers is a pairing America was born to hate. Reed and Jordan Spieth have some underlying turmoil after Spieth passed on Reed as his Ryder Cup partner. On the surface, I'm sure they're civil, but Rivers would be like the devil on Reed's shoulder.

Group 2

Eli Manning, Sergio Garcia vs. Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods

You know we have to get the champs back on the course together.

Woods and Manning defeated Brady and Mickelson in The Match, and in doing so, they earned the right to not only be invited back but to continue to be paired together.

What would be the next step up after Manning faced Brady?

Manning facing Manning.

Eli Manning is new to Twitter, but he hasn't wasted any time getting his shots in on social media. Though he was rooting for his brother Sunday, he made sure to get little jabs in there too.

As for the pros, Mickelson and Woods are too good of friends. Let's introduce a little anarchy pitting Woods against Garcia; they also share a bit of history from the early 2000s.

Group 3

Aaron Rodgers, Brooks Koepka vs. Matt LaFleur, Rory McIlroy

Now we're talking. 

There’s the obvious Aaron Rodgers-Matt LaFleur angle here. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and coach Matt LaFleur haven't had the best relationship, according to numerous reports. During the season, the two were reportedly not on the same page in more ways than just the playbook. We thought this offseason would be a time to mend wounds. But then Green Bay drafted a quarterback, Jordan Love, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The trash talk might not be so subtle after the turn.

Brooks Koepka played a role in the first viewing of The Match. He joined the broadcast via phone to talk to Brady and told him if he made par anywhere on the front nine, Koepka would donate $100,000 to Brady’s charity. Brady proceeded to hole one out from the fairway in true Brady fashion.

I'd love to see Koepka get in on this action, and the player who could get some sparks out of him would be Rory McIlroy. Koepka became the No. 1 golfer in the world in 2019, a title previously held by McIlroy, who is currently No. 1 in the world. When previously asked about the rivalry between him and McIlroy for the top spot in the sport, Koepka had quite the sharp response.

"I've been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn't won a major since I've been on the PGA Tour," Koepka said. "So, I just don't view it as a rivalry."

Ring the bell.

Group 4

Jalen Ramsey, Rickie Fowler vs. Tom Coughlin, Gary Woodland

It is no secret that former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is not a fan of former Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin. Getting those two out on the course together would be hilarious.

On top of that, I chose Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland as their partners because they are two of the nicest, most friendly pros in any sport. They'd be right in the middle of a verbal brawl all afternoon. The broadcast’s dump button might break if Ramsey and Coughlin are mic'd up for a whole round.

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