Sports Grab Bag | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Sports Grab Bag


No one single topic monopolized my attention this week, so, once again, here are my thoughts from all around the sports world.

The Masters was played this weekend, and congratulations to Adam Scott for giving Australia a green jacket. Scott is the first Aussie to win at Augusta National, and he won with Tiger Woods' former caddie Steve Williams.

Nearly overshadowing Scott's win, however, is Tiger Woods' ball drop, which occurred on the 15th hole on Friday. Tiger needed to use a drop after his shot hit the flag and bounced before rolling into the water.

The only reason anyone had a problem with Woods' drop is because someone watching The Masters from home felt the need to call in and say Tiger dropped his ball "two yards further back" than where his original divot was located.

Who watches a sporting event to call in rules violations? Who sits with a rulebook next to them, ready to tattletale on professional athletes? It doesn't make sense to me.

But more importantly, it seems like listening to at-home callers put those athletes--like Tiger--who get a lot more television time at a disadvantage.

Did Scott win the Masters because he maybe didn't get as much TV time as Tiger? Could it be he wasn't subject to some person on the couch eating chips and drinking beer calling in to tattle on him?

Folks, get a life and stop calling in rules violations for golfers. Golf officials, stop taking calls from these people. There is no way the NFL, NBA or other professional sport would take a call from a fan to point out a rule violation.

Tiger got a two-stroke penalty for his illegal drop. And speaking of rule violations, officials also awarded a stroke penalty to Tianlang Guan, a 14-year-old eighth grader from China, this time for slow play.

Guan was the only player penalized for slow play during The Masters and most people believe he is the first player ever to receive a slow play penalty at the event. I don't understand why the officials were picking on a 14-year-old kid and missing Tiger's potentially illegal ball drops.

In other news, Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss head basketball coach, got off the hot seat and got a max extension of four years and a pay raise. Kennedy did a great job at Ole Miss this season and deserves both the pay raise and extension.

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers were going to get bounced in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, which start this Thursday, it is sad to see Kobe Bryant tear his Achilles tendon. Bryant is expected to be out of action for six to nine months.

The NFL Draft is right around the corner. Dreams are going to come true for college kids who hear their named called over three days.

Still, the best story might not be at the NFL Draft. It comes from the Atlanta Falcons training camp--if you don't know the story about linebacker Brian Banks, take some time and read about his story. It is a remarkable journey for the young man.

Support our reporting -- Follow the MFP.