Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday Musings

As another exciting week in the life of The WAD begins (yes, I use the term “exciting” very loosely), here’s a few thoughts to get the week off to a start:

  • What can I say about Tiger’s victory at The Open that hasn’t already been said a thousand times in the last 18 hours? Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was eerily reminiscent of Tiger’s run of dominance to start the millennium. Sure, he didn’t lap the field, but it was as if he was simply placing the ball wherever he wanted. He just didn’t miss. Not to overstate it, but it was breathtaking at times. There were moments that reminded me of Michael Jordan at his apex. For example, when Tiger made his one mistake (a bogey at 12) and DiMarco birdied 13 to cut the lead to a single stroke, just like Jordan used to do, Tiger didn’t just answer…he answered all doubt. He promptly reeled off birdies at 14, 15, and 16, and slammed the door shut. I’ve said it before (most recently after Lefty’s collapse on 18 at Winged Foot), the difference between the great players and the legends is that the legends answer the bell at the biggest times…every time!

  • What made Tiger’s performance even more remarkable, and quite possibly one of the greatest of all time, was that he was able to suppress the rawest and most intense of emotions for 72 holes, including the last five holes when the heat was on. If there was any doubt at how intensely and dramatically Tiger has been affected by the death of his Father, the tears that uncontrollably streamed down his face as he clung to Stevie on the 18th green should resolve all doubt. As Paul Azinger so aptly put it, it was nice to see a champion display genuine and true emotion after such an enormous accomplishment. Now, he didn’t come out and say it, but I don’t think it requires too much of a leap to assume that Zinger was calling into question the authenticity of some of the emotional reactions we’ve recently seen from a Major winner. Possibly at this year’s Masters? I mean, I’m just saying.

  • Speaking of the remarkable control and suppression of emotions, I can’t even begin to imagine what Chris DiMarco was going through these past four days. Sure, he came up short, but he put up one hell of a fight. With four birdies on the back 9, and with an astonishing par on the 14th, DiMarco did more than his part. It was his misfortune to run into the greatest golfer of all time playing at his highest level in several years. I don’t thing there is any doubt, however, that DiMarco put on a show that would have made his Mother proud. And, I don’t think it will be long until he has a Major Championship of his own.

  • Tiger wasn’t the only American to claim a historic victory on European soil yesterday. Floyd Landis pulled off a minor miracle over the weekend by overcoming what could have been a devastating crash and claiming his first Tour De France victory. I don’t much about cycling, and I know even less about Landis, but I do know this: Anybody that wins a bike race of over 2,000 miles through multiple mountain ranges is a stud! And, I know the French aren't happy about it. Good times.

  • The Braves claimed another big win last night in Philadelphia. Even more important than the win were the facts that Horatio Ramirez went 7 innings giving up only one run, and Bob Wickman set the Phillies down 1-2-3 in the ninth. Not to mention, neither Chipper nor Andruw was in the lineup. All good signs.

  • Some guy named Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR race yesterday. Who the hell is Denny Hamlin?

  • A-Job is a head case, and I love it. Seriously, I haven’t been this happy about the demise of an athlete since Quincy Carter imploded at UGA, and I haven’t seen a player lose his ability to make a simple throw from point A to point B since Chuck Knoblauch. Good times.

  • I saw an interview with Coach K on last night’s edition of SportsCenter. I know that The WAD is full of Coach K haters, and that’s cool, but let me ask you one question: Is there ANYBODY you would rather have coaching the U.S. National Basketball team? If your answer is “no”, you either aren’t telling the truth, or you just don’t know very much about basketball. Sorry, that’s just a fact.

  • 21 year old Jeff Madsen, a film student at UC Santa Barbara, has won two bracelets and over $1.4 million at this year’s World Series of Poker. Add Jeff to the ever growing list of people I would trade lives with no questions asked!

  • 40 days until Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame under the lights at Historic Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field. I can already taste the bourbon!