Congrats To Rory McIlroy

When he led the US Open by 8 shots after the first three rounds, the only real question for Rory McIlroy in Sunday’s final round was whether he would ”pull a LeBron” and disappear in the fourth round. McIlroy certainly did not.

Bob Molinaro had this comment about golf – and golfers – in a recent column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot. It is hard to argue with it:

“Idle thought: Don’t mind me, but I have trouble thinking of golfers as real athletes when Phil Mickelson, allegedly still a contender for major titles, is doing commercials for arthritic medication.”

Last week, I wrote that comparisons made to Pete Maravich could be very burdensome for Ricky Rubio as he comes to play in the NBA. A reader who lives in LA sent me this comment and it is another set of comparisons that are going to be very hard to live up to:

“…the D-Backs drafted a pitcher from UCLA in the first round this year… The team president for the D-Backs said that [Trevor] Bauer had the body type of Tim Lincicum, the intelligence of Greg Maddux and the same nasty stuff as Roy Oswalt.”

Wow! If that talent assessment is close to correct, you should expect Trevor Bauer to start for the D-Backs about three days after he signs his contract and you can probably pencil him in as the starter in the All-Star Game in 2012.

A former high school classmate of mine is a daily reader of these rants. She has lived most of her adult life in the Boston area and is a big fan of the Boston teams. Naturally, she was exuberant last week when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and sent along a note about her excitement. And that got me to thinking…

    Now that the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins have all won championships in the past 8 years, how much pressure does that put on the New England Revolution?

It is not often that one of our politicians says something that is insightful, analytical and accurate at the same time. Therefore, let me congratulate Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii for these words on the subject of paying the NFL to hold the Pro Bowl game in Honolulu:

“You can’t do things like give 4 million bucks to a $9 billion football industry and not give any money to children. You’ve got this spectacle of these multimillionaires and billionaires out there arguing about how they’re going to divide it up, and then they come and ask us to bribe them with $4 million to have a scrimmage out here in paradise. We’ve got to get our values straight and our priorities straight.”

After he said that, someone challenged those remarks saying that the Pro Bowl attracted about 20,000 visitors as fans and generated lots more spending by those fans than $4M. The governor then got it right a second time when he said:

“Please. We’ll get more out of civil unions in a weekend then we’ll get out of those guys.”

Forget for a moment that he chose a potential “hot-button issue” such as civil unions to make his point. The important part of his remarks is that when the Pro Bowl is in Hawaii, those fans who are there to see that game replace other tourists who might have come to Hawaii that weekend; the visiting fans and the revenue they generate are not additive to the normal weekend’s tourism revenues.

If the Pro Bowl were held in February in Woonsocket, South Dakota and somehow 20,000 fans showed up for that game, you can probably attribute just about all of the weekend tourist revenue to the Pro Bowl. However, Hawaii has plenty of tourists in February absent the Pro Bowl.

I have asked rhetorically how it is that the Athletic Director and the President of THE Ohio State University have not been “asked to resign” by the state legislature. I asked that before I read this comment from Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel:

“Turns out that even the NCAA compliance director at O-Lie-O State drives a courtesy car supplied to him by a local car dealer. So let me see if I’ve got this straight: The guy who is supposed to make sure the players at Tattoo U. aren’t driving around in free cars is driving around in a free car himself? Welcome to the hypocritical “do as I say not as I do” world of college athletics. … And, by the way, I’m starting to think O-Lie-O State’s compliance staff is in place not to clean up any potential violations but to cover them up. ”

Only elected politicians could be the overseers of the administration at THE Ohio State University and manage to look the other way – - probably because elected politicians have been known to behave similarly with regard to accepting “freebies” from folks…

Finally, let me close today with a line by comedian, Norm MacDonald:

“This week Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was crowned champion of ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ narrowly defeating his own teammate, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Kirstie Alley.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Ed  On June 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    While I don’t think golfers have to be great athletes, I don’t think arthritis should exclude them. Isn’t Carlos Beltran out on diagnosed arthritic knees? Isn’t that why Koufax retired off a Cy Young year? Mantle? Namath?

    Now, until the last couple of years, it was starting to look like Lefty could land an endorsement for Wonderbra – that did not look good….

    Always said if I won a trip to a pro all star game, I would want the Pro Bowl because of where it was… the gov is probably right. I wonder how many attendees are there for a week and bring the wives, where two guys going to see their favorite team on a boys’ weekend once a year in, say, Green Bay, are lucky if their wives drive them to the airport, much less go.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On June 21, 2011 at 9:04 am


    It is not that he has arthritis, it is that he is endorsing a product to treat it. None of the athletes you mentioned did that. And when you add the Wonderbra endorsement he might have qualified for, it gets even worse.

    The NFL cannot get all of the players voted into the Pro Bowl to show up and play – - even in that venue. The NFL must have mass hypnotic powers to convince 20,000 fans to trek to Hawaii to watch an exhibition game that the players wish would not happen. And somehow they also convince the State of Hawaii to kick in $4M for that fiasco…???

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