Open Championship underway in Scotland, ESPY highlights, Manziel clears the air, NCAA does not renew with EA Sports, NFL News and Notes + Wednesday Recap: Thursday, July 18, 2013

Zach Johnson heads the early leaderboard at Muirfield

It’s all Americans and Spaniards at the top of the leaderboard as the early tee times finish their first rounds at the British Open. Zach Johnson is in the clubhouse with a 5-under 66 and has the lead. Rafeal Bello-Cabrera is done at -4 along with 56-year-old veteran Mark O’Meara. Dustin Johnson is done at -3 along with Miguel Angel Jiminez. At this writing, Tiger Woods is at even par after ten holes. Phil Mickelson bogeyed 18 to finish his round at 2-under.

Lebron wins Male Athlete of the Year at ESPYs

Lebron James was King of the ESPYs on Wednesday taking down three awards including “Male Athlete of the Year” but it was cancer survivor/ESPN journalist/Good Morning America host Robin Roberts that stole the night by winning the Arthur Ashe courage award. You can watch highlights of the ESPYs including Roberts stirring acceptance speech by clicking here.

Manziel comes clean in recent troubles

Texas A&M quarterback and defending Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, cleared the air somewhat on Wednesday by talking about his turbulent off season at SEC media day. Regarding his early departure from the Manning Passing camp this weekend, Manziel admitted that he just overslept. An unapologetic Manziel also went to reiterate that he was just a 20-year-old college student that is going too make mistakes and would continue to live his life to the fullest. Watch the Manziel/ESPN interview by clicking here.

NCAA will not renew with EA due to pending litigation

The NCAA will not renew it’s contract with electronic game giant EA Sports (Electronic Arts Inc.) after it expires in June of 2014. NCAA college football 2014 will be the last edition of the game and EA will no longer be able to use the NCAA name or logo. The NCAA is currently in litigation fighting a lawsuit brought on by ex-players suing for billions of dollars for using their likeness in games for free. You can read all about the lawsuit and the skinny on NCAA licensing agreements by clicking here.

NFL News and Notes

Last year, Tony Gonzalez said that he was 95% sure that 2012 would be his final year but ….. after the Falcons made it through to the NFC championship game, Gonzalez decided to strap it one more year.Gonzalez said yesterday that he is 100% certain that this year will be his final year. Mariano Rivera sure ??? We’ll have to wait and see.

Exactly seven weeks before the opening of the NFL season

Running back Jahvid Best has been released by the Detroit Lions. The once electric back out of Cal has had an injury filled career that has included multiple serious concussions. Best was the 30th overall pick in the 2010 draft and rushed for 1000 yards in his rookie season but played just six games in 2011 and has not played since.

Houston Texan LB Brian Cushing has been cleared for training camp. Cushing has been out since Week 5 of last year after tearing his ACL in a win over the New York Jets.

The Tampa Buccaneers have announced the signing of former New York Giants placekicker Lawrence Tynes. Regular Buc kicker, Connor Barth, tore his achilles in a charity basketball game Saturday night and will miss all of 2013.

Free Play

(WNBA) Phoenix +11.5 over Los Angeles (Thursday, July 18, 10:00 PM EST)