Sports w/the Jock – July 14

Hollywood & Vixen
Comet & Cupid
Dasher & Dancer
Donner & Blitzen

by Tom Weppel
As you sit here reading this, the British Open will have started play over at the St. Andrews Old Course, which is the so-called ‘birthplace of golf’. It certainly has been around a while, without question. You can feel the tradition coming out of the ground simply by watching it on TV.
This is also the place where Tiger Woods has won not one but TWO British Open titles. He obviously cherishes the course, and it should be very interesting to see how he performs now, after what we’ve seen from him so far this year.
As I’m sure you all know, this is the third of the four Major golf championships of this year, with the PGA Championship yet to be played. You can go to a lot of various professional golfers, and you will get varied opinions as to where this one ranks, compared to the Masters, U.S. Open, and PGA. Everyone has their own standards, whether its tradition, strength of the courses, or the strength of the field they always compete against.
Without question, the British is right up there. There aren’t many who would NOT want to win a British Open championship. That includes Tiger Woods, easily. He has certainly voiced his desire to win this one at THIS course, as it ranks at the top of his favorite places to play.
What I still find rather crazy about the whole situation with Tiger is that the galleries at the tournaments he has played so far have been very cordial and quite interested in getting to see him perform, as opposed to protesting his presence or appearance. And so, despite some Media pundits trying desperately to rattle Mr. Woods, he has handled the whole scene and situation rather cleanly. I will also say that if he wins, a lot of people will be cheering him for his exploits and performance!
And here’s breaking news…the weather is supposed to be pretty mild and almost chilly! Rain is also forecast throughout the weekend. Imagine that! For the golfers, that makes this weekend a mess. For the fans and the viewers, it means they’ll get to see a lot of professionals struggle mightily to score and keep things under control. We’ll see how everything plays out for the boys as they try their best to deal with the course and the elements at St. Andrews…
Anyone notice how ALL the attention is on Dwyane Wade and Lebron, yet almost NO ONE gives a rat’s ass about Chris Bosh?
Here’s a guy who was easily a key for this whole thing to come together, got paid the same, maximum salary contract that James is getting, yet not many are giving Bosh much interest or attention whatsoever. It will be interesting to see how much interest Bosh generates with the numbers he could possibly put up…
On top of that, another crazy aspect is how some veteran players are coming in to play with these guys…Udonis Haslem, Zydrunis Ilgauskas, Mike Miller…and agreeing to be paid much less than what they could get somewhere else. Does that truly mean that winning begats money? C’mon!
If the Heat don’t win, those guys better go to Lebron and get some ‘back pay’. I better have that kind of deal in place…
We have heard and read and watched so much from the passing away of George Steinbrenner at the age of 80, due to a massive heart attack, in Tampa.
There is a strong sense of sadness, without question. In his last years, he had backed down and was struggling…hence, his keeping away from Yankee Stadium and the limelight.
What I find so interesting is how many are now embracing Steinbrenner’s attitude and style from years past, when back in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, he was semi-hated, in many respects. Now, he is revered, and he seems he will be for quite a while.
That also makes me wonder how the Yankees franchise will perform in the coming years, when George will not be present. Granted, his sons, Hank and Hal, Randy Levine, GM Brian Cashman, and Manager Joe Girardi, are all in place and very knowledgeable in carrying on the Yankee tradition Steinbrenner built. My feeling is they can keep it all together and established, as it is at present.
The only problem is, there will NOT be another bombastic personality at the top, or maybe even in the clubhouse, to come out with strong statements or headlines a lot of us had become so used to (and looked forward to) seeing!
Meanwhile, last I checked, the Yankees are at the top in the AL East, in position to get into the playoffs, and go for yet another World Series championship…