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Sports Watching & Wondering

John Randolph RogersY. E. Yang’s upset victory over Tiger Woods last Sunday caused a shock that was felt around the world. Everyone knew that Woods had won 14 out of 14 matches, when he had the lead on Sunday. In addition, he was putting exceptionally well, so this tournament seemed to be in the bag for him.

All of us have heard the sayings, "You can't win them all, or that is why they play the game." Yang would just not go away and Woods did not play well. As a matter of fact, this was one of the worst rounds of golf that he has ever played, since he became a professional. In retrospect, he may have been somewhat fatigued, since this was the first time that he had played in tournaments on two consecutive weekends, since his comeback from knee surgery. Golf is a game with extremely tiny margins for error, so even the best of them don't play well every time.

This loss was a shock and a disappointment, but it was not a tragedy. It might make Woods work even harder, if that is possible, and it is likely to improve the television ratings that next time that Yang and Woods meet. Congratulations to Mr. Yang.

If you knew anything about Kentucky basketball, then you know that Louisville coach Rick Pitino would not be fi red for his’indiscretion’. Pitino is one of the world's most successful college basketball coaches, and if you can hire him to coach your team, then you are guaranteed to have a winner. The rivalries between the universities of Kentucky and Louisville are as intense as any in collegiate sports. In addition, Kentucky just hired John Calipari, one of Pitino’s fiercest rivals. If you don't already have tickets to the games between Louisville and Kentucky, then don't bother, because there aren't any left.

Dog fighting is a cruel activity. It differs from other cruel activities like shooting quail, bears, elks, and moose; because it is illegal in the United States. A few years ago, VP Cheney went quail hunting, and my recollection of the reports is that he killed over 80 quail in one afternoon. In my opinion, this was as brutal as a person could be. However, it is a legal activity. I am not aware if any of our citizens made any protests, about the VP’s hobby. What Vick did was illegal, and it may be the most inhumane thing that any person could ever do. I am certainly not trying to excuse it, or justify it, but there are some other activities that nearly equal it in depravity.Michael Vick (l) and Tony Dungy (r)

Vick has served a prison sentence, and he is an easy target. He grew up in an area that tolerated Dog fighting. As a youngster, the legality of this gruesome activity was not likely one of his concerns. It was probably just something else to do, just to pass the time. Whatever situation you are born into will seem normal to you, until you learn how other people live. Until that happens, there is not usually any motivation to change your behavior. He now has the motivation to live his life in such a way that he will not have to return to prison. The Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL have added him to their roster. With his talent, he is still young enough to have a signifi cant career in professional football. About 50% of the fans have voted their approval to the NFL. So, despite what you may have heard, everyone is not against him. Tony Dungy has worked tirelessly to help him get this second chance. I hope that he succeeds, and I wish him well.

I think that African- Americans are more sensitive to the misbehavior of our celebrities than any other ethnic group in the world. This sensitivity and concern was a necessity that has later become a part of our culture. It was not that long ago when people were lynched, or had their homes burned down, when an African-American was accused of criminal activity, or just bad conduct. So, all African- Americans in the South were fearful that someone would do something that might cost them their lives. They were keenly aware that negative stereotypes were being used to keep them from getting better jobs, more education, and a higher standard of living.

Therefore, those people were conscious of the fact that it took their best behavior to not only earn a living, but to also minimize the possibility of being killed. So, it is disappointing, when people have the talent and the opportunity to achieve both fame and fortune, that they use their opportunities to become buffoons of the worst kind. Not only is what they do is bad for them, but it strongly encourages young people to also become buffoons.

It is absolutely amazing at how quickly young people can learn bad habits, and socially unacceptable behavior from celebrities. Television Reality shows are adding to the problems for parents. Terrell Owens is shown on a shopping spree, where he buys $137,000 worth of jewelry. Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones was shown taking $100,000 into a strip club in Las Vegas. He had one thousand $100.00 bills in a large bag. He began to throw them up into the air, and hand them out to various dancers. He had given all of the money away in about two hours, and to complete his day, he was arrested for some kind of altercation. Young athletes see them behave this way, they plan to do the same thing, unless we can show them a better way.

More than 10,000 people received free medical treatment at the Forum, in Inglewood, last week. The Forum was initially built for the Los Angeles Lakers. The free medical services were provided by volunteers from Remote Area Medical, whose headquarters are in Knoxville Tennessee. If you would like to join me in thanking them, their website is www.ramus.org, and their e-mail address is ram@ ramus.org.

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