‘My dog ate my Masters tickets’

It appears the folks at Augusta National have a heart after all.

Golf fan Russ Berkman figured he was out of luck when he discovered the four tickets he won in a raffle for Wednesday’s Masters practice round had been eaten by his Swiss mountain dog, Sierra. The Seattle resident had already booked his flight and hotel for the Masters, and it looked like he would lose that, too.

Berkman decided to see if he could get the dog to have a reversal of fortune by giving it mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide, a safe combination for animals. The trick sort of worked as the dog coughed up the tickets amid a pile of puke.

After trying in vain to patch the tickets back together, a desperate Berkman called the Masters, explained his “dog ate my homework” story and asked if there was any recourse. To his surprise — and happiness — he was told the passes would be reissued and his trip was saved.

The lesson? If you’re fortunate enough to have tickets to any sporting event, big or small, keep them in a place where your dog can’t get to them. Or get a cat.

■ FAREWELL, CHIEF — For an Italian guy who grew up in Philadelphia and spent much of his life living in Georgia, Joe Scarpa made one heck of an Indian, er, Native American.

Scarpa, who was better known as Chief Jay Strongbow and entertained pro wrestling fans for more than six decades before officially retiring from competition in 1985, died Tuesday at age 83.

The Chief, who actually had some legitimate Native American heritage (his mother was part Cherokee), was one of the good guys, or “baby faces” in wrestling vernacular. But he’d fire up his fans when, after getting pummeled by his opponent, he’d go into his “warpath dance” and use a sleeper hold to finish off his foe.

His popularity peaked during the 1970s and early 1980s, and he was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009. He goes down as one of pro wrestling’s most colorful and beloved performers.

■ HONORING HER MOM — When Kim Mulkey was an All-America guard at Louisiana Tech, she wore her long hair in French braids as the Lady Techsters won the 1982 national championship.

On Tuesday, at the women’s national title game, Mulkey’s daughter, Makenzie Robertson, decided to follow in her mom’s footsteps. Makenzie, a backup guard who plays for her mom at Baylor, had her hair braided up as the Bears completed a 40-0 season, defeating Notre Dame, 80-61.

“I wear the braids for a couple of reasons, actually,” she said. “One, I’ve worn them for every championship-type game we’ve had this year, like in the Big 12. Also, (singer) Trace Adkins is here, and the last game he came to I didn’t wear them and he told me I was losing points in his book. So I said, ‘I’ve got to make sure I wear them.’

“But most important, I wanted to pay tribute and show how I felt toward my mom and that I want to reflect her out there.”


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