Too much whine with the “Geez!” as we open this week’s edition of “Rants & Raves” with a quick review of the U.S. Open at Oak-“Monster” Country Club:
All right — sigh! — now we feel better about all the shouting and pouting coming out of a professional golf tournament designed to test the best and, for a weekend, separate the rest.
Short of shoving a mashie in the mouth of Phil Mickelson to make our point, the rough should be tough at the U.S. Open. The greens should be Excedrin headaches Nos. 1 through 18. The cut line should be sharper than the knife John Daly’s estranged wife wields. (Admitted cheap shot, since Daly didn’t play the Open this year.)
But PUH-leeeze, boys, it’s not as if everyone wasn’t playing the same course this past weekend. It’s not as if everyone didn’t have the same hardships, hassles and at least one handshake with a high score. Heck, even winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina shot a third-round 76, 6 over par. Yet, you didn’t hear him complain. (Or, if you did, you likely couldn’t understand it unless you speak Spanish.)
Just play, and then move on, we say. And that would be on to the next multimillion-dollar tourney. …
• While there was a lot of feeling sorry Sunday for Tiger Woods — Eldrick, you should’ve birdied 17; it was there for the taking — we prefer to take pity on American-turned-Australian-turned-American Aaron Baddeley, who, in addition to having one of the worst last names you ever can take into a final round of a major, with the lead, playing in the same round with the God-like Woods, simply imploded Sunday with a 10-over 80.
Dude slid from the leaderboard as if on a skateboard.
But, hey, you’ve at least got to like the way Baddeley putts, which is goodly, in our books. No laboring over long lags or 2-foot tap-ins. Just step up and smack it in. …
• Granted, by very definition there’s no such thing as a good accident. But free-agent NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington should consider himself fortunate — a la Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on June 12 last year — that all he did was break an arm and a leg after suffering a motorcycle accident on a freeway off-ramp Monday outside Washington.
In addition to being cited for the crash, Arrington, who turns 29 on Wednesday, was ticketed for NOT having a motorcycle license.
Here’s what makes us so frustratingly mad: What an idiot such as Arrington doesn’t get is that if a car or truck subsequently had run over and killed him after he fell from his bike, an innocent person would have to deal with the emotional scar of knowing that — even by accident — he or she had been involved in the death of another human being.
In that regard, the physical scars with which Arrington will have to live — on his arm, his leg — are so very minor, by comparison. …
• Good guys do finish first: Long-since-retired Southern Nevada high school coach and athletics administrator Frank Nails — one of the most honest and honorable men we’ve met in 30 years living in the valley — will be honored in September by his alma mater, Western State College of Colorado, with a lifetime achievement award.
Among the great players he coached during his 20-plus years in Las Vegas were Bishop Gorman quarterback David Humm and Western running back Frank Hawkins, both of whom went on to play professionally for the Raiders.
Nails was “tough as,” as they say, during his crew-cut-coaching football days in the 1960s and ’70s. But he always treated his players with respect, which we believe is why he was so successful, with a Southern Nevada career coaching record of 51-9-2 and a then-Class 3A state title with Gorman in 1970. …
• You know your professional football career has — SPLAT! — hit the wall when you’re not only released by an Arena Football League team but also a Canadian Football League team in the same year.
Former Gladiators quarterback Shaun King now is a former Hamilton Tiger-Cats QB after the team cut him Monday, following just 18 days with the CFL club.
What’s next, getting cut by a Saturday morning two-hand touch league? …
• Ah, yes, our 2-13 Gladiators. They’re advertising their season-ending game against San Jose, oddly set for 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Orleans Arena, as being “better than an afternoon at the office.”
Perhaps. Unless you work for the Clark County coroner’s office. Then, based simply upon rigor mortis, it’s still spending a day with stiffs.
Joe Hawk is the Review-Journal’s sports editor. His “Rants & Raves” column is published Tuesday. He can be reached at 387-2912 or email@example.com.JOE HAWKMORE COLUMNS