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Make no bones about it; Boo Weekley is the adopted son of Hilton Head Island's annual PGA Tour stop, the Verizon Heritage.

Perhaps it's the self-professed 'red neck' antics of the two-time heritage winner - last year he indulged the masses at media day by riding his driver as if it were a bucking bronco. Local Tour officials responded by plastering the image all over the sneaker-shaped island located in the rump of South Carolina's Lowcountry.

Maybe it's the way Weekley's affable attitude and goofy grin woos the Southern Belles. Or his camouflage golf attire that speaks volumes to the common man in a twisted "Happy Gilmore' sort of way.

Whatever the key to his charm is, there's no debate: everyone here loves Weekley.

But when it comes to predicting a Heritage champ, nobody wants to look foolish and reveal that they know boo about golf.

So every year, Jim Furyk becomes the defacto pick of the punditry to take home the hideous plaid Tartan jacket awarded to the winner.

The so-called experts cite the former University of Arizona alum's succinct driving and punching short game as the necessary tools to thrive in the wind-swept course located along the dolphin-infested waters of Calibogue Sound.

This year, Furyk finally proved the prognosticators to be geniuses.

Furyk outlasted Brian Davis in a one-hole playoff on Sunday to win the 42 annual Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. His 69 on Sunday to leave him at 13-under-par, 271, for the week capped off one of the more thrilling Heritage finishes in years.

There was no guarantee of a win down the stretch for Furyk - who led after Saturday's third round - as golfers such as Heath Slocum, Bo Van Pelt and Davis seemingly flip-flopped leads in front of the flip-flop-wearing crowd with each hole.

Davis used a late flurry to draw even with Furyk and eventually force a tiebreaker. Furyk walked away with the nifty little purse of $1 million after a two-stroke penalty derailed Davis in the extra hole.

Davis admirably reported his infraction after his club struck a reed on his backswing, violating a PGA rule that essentially says a club cannot hit anything but the ball.

Said Furyky after the match of Davis' costly honesty:

"I admire him for what he did. It's a testament to our game and the people that play on the Tour, and that we have so many guys that do that.

"It's just awkward to see it happen at such a key moment in the golf tournament. Awkward for his to lose that way and a little awkward for me to win.

"Obviously, I'm very happy to win. But you almost don't know how to react to the crowd and kind of wave and let them know that 'hey, I'm excited.' But I don't want to take away from Brian. It was an awkward moment, an awkward way to win.

"I've only had a win feel more awkward than that once in my life. And I hope we don't have to talk about that."


The win was the first at the Verizon Heritage for Furyk in a dozen tries. Twice before (2005 and 2006) he finished as tourney runner-up.

It's the first time since 2006 that he's won multiple Tour events in the same season. Furyk, who's claimed two of the last four PGA tournaments, won March's Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The 39 year old who prior to this season hadn't won a Tour event in two-and-a-half years, now sits a No. 2 overall in the FedEx Cup points standings and No. 5 in the official PGA Tour World Golf Rankings. Next week, Furyk takes his clubs to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in search of his third win of the season - one earned presumably under less awkwardness.

Weekley, it should be noted, finished tied for 12th, six strokes off the leader.


Not the First Awkward Win for Furyk

Jim Furyk, he of 15 career PGA Tour victories, admits his win Sunday at the Verizon Heritage ended on a bizarre note. But winning on Brian Davis' self-imposed penalty during a tiebreaker hole isn't the weirdest win of his pro career.

Says Furyk:

"(I) Won the Argentine Open where Eduardo Romero and Vicente Fernandez got disqualified after we finished 18.

"I was supposed to go to a playoff with them, with Eduardo, I believe, but they had signed the wrong scorecards. They kept score on the wrong card.

"We sat in the scorer's tent 20 minutes waiting for a ruling. Everyone else was speaking in Spanish. I had no idea for 20 minutes what was going on and why we weren't headed down 18 to play in the playoff.

"And they said 'You're the winner.' And I said 'OK, why?'

"It was an awkward...two Argentineans and myself, it was an awkward moment. But I tell you, the fans there were really good about it and supported me. It was the only time it was more awkward to win."

What do pundits know, anyway?

In full disclosure, last year I predicted Furyk to win the Verizon Heritage - not for his strange, looping swing, rather because at times I can be a UA homer. Furyky failed to make the cut that year.

More Davis, Less Tiger

If the PGA was smart, it would latch onto players such as Brian Davis. With his ball lying in the stink during Sunday's tiebreaker, the 35-year-old London native reported himself to Verizon Heritage officials for a swing violation. His honesty forfeited a chance to walk away with an over-sized novelty check for $1 million (as well as a real check for that much) and his first career PGA Tour win.

Go Get 'Em, Slugger

If there's a better sports name than that of PGA Tour Tournament director and rules official Slugger White, I don't want to hear about it.
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Bob Feller has his head down, concentrating on the fresh white baseball that twists and twirls in his fingers.

In front of the hall-of-fame pitcher stands yet another not-so-worthy opponent, wallet in hand.

Today, the cantankerous, 91-year-old's battery mate is a surly octogenarian, who sits with his arms crossed and barks "$10!" when all you want to do is steal a peek at the Cleveland Indians' icon.

Apparently the current recession doesn't preclude living legends who are old enough to recall the greatest depression of them all. Instead of kicking his feet up on a barkalounger, Feller is spending his March afternoons in Arizona on the concourse of the Goodyear Stadium, spring home of the Tribe.

Recession or not, it seems that autographs simple don't hold the same conotation as they used to. Feller's signature on eBay currently fetches anywhere between $0.99 and $50 for rare items. His John Hancock is all over the poor-man's auction house, yet you only need one hand to count the amount of live bids. The median price for the hall-of-famer's autograph is $10 - or roughly less than $.04 for each career win.

Blame the dilluted pool on a backpack-wearing army of middle-age men pounding the streets in pursuit of autographs. It's the very same flooding that befell the baseball card industry.

You have to sign your name as Joe DiMaggio or Tom Brady to crack four-digits on eBay - guys you won't find readily available, pen in hand, on the concourse of Goodyear Stadium.
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ANY DAY NOW news that's bound to break

Sports Satire

Throughout his 21-year Major League career, Ken Griffey Jr. has feasted off a robust buffet of flat cheddar, ripe fastballs and hanging curveballs that dangle like grapes on a vine.

But now, Griffey’s hall-of-fame career is coming under fire this season as the Seattle Mariner designated hitter attempts to slice the 30-home run deficit between him and Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list.

For much of his career, Griffey has ducked any allegations of using performance-enhancing supplements — perhaps due to his ability to captivate us with a sinuous swing, dimple-face charm and ‘go-get-‘em, slugger!’ mantra.

Conspiracy theorists are now pointing to growing evidence — mostly in the area where his six-pack abs used to be — that Griffey Jr. may not be as pure as once believed.

These critics base their supposition of his recent girth not at Griffey’s love of supper, rather on a theory called the “Barry Bonds Formula,” in which a once scrawny speedster cocoons into a behemoth of a slugger.

You be the judge:

Griffey — who’s packed on 30 pounds since entering the Majors tipping the scales at 200 pounds — declined to address the allegations, but did say that he spent the off-season working out with fitness guru and hitting Yoda Tony Gwynn.

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"Using the iron’s cord as a leash and taking it for a walk around the house."

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No other postseason hardware garners more superstition than the Stanley Cup.

Most sports superstitions dwell in the sanctity of the clubhouse or, at least, on the sidelines. Hockey players, however, wear their postseason paranoia out in the open for all to see…and, quite possibly, smell.

But who says the art of the playoff beard is reserved for hockey players? Not Steve Penny and the big-hearted hairballs of

The NHL dropped the puck on the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday night, setting off the growth of hundreds of itchy superstitions.

Beard-A-Thon, which caters to 12 of the 16 playoff teams, calls it “Grow One for the Team.”

It works the same as pledging money toward a charity marathon runner. The longer a team lasts in the playoffs, the more chance for donations. To date, the organization has raised tens of thousands of dollars toward charities of the teams’ choice — all before the first slate of games.

“Still In Progress At Press Time…” has adopted the beard of Mr. Penny, a rabid New Jersey Devils fan. All he’s missing is the foam at the mouth, which we’ll suspect he’ll have if the Devils reach game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 18.

Follow Penny and his beard throughout the playoffs here at “Still In Progress…” We’ll post a new picture after each game.

updated 4.17

"OK, Perhaps Beard Watch Was Jinx"

GAME 5: 3-0 Loss To Philadelphia

Devils Upset In First Round

Money Raised by the Devils to date: $10,413

Find More at Beard-A-Thon

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ONE TIMER: The House That Pete Built

There's a man named Pete and he is angel. We only met in the bleachers of Yankee Stadium during years the Bombers won a World Series. I know what you're thinking..."he's a front-runner."

He's wasn't the angelic version of divinity that you've got in your mind. He's more Billy Bob Thornton than he is Pope John Paul.

Yet, strange things always happened on the baseball diamond and in the stands when Pete was around. Improbable things. On October nights in Yankee Stadium we call them 'ghosts.'

The New Yankee Stadium opened its sophomore year today. Next door, an old friend lies dying. Here's praying for Pete.

photo by Bryan Rowin
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As teenagers, Shelley Duncan (pictured), his brother Chris, Brian Anderson, Scott Hairston and Ian Kinsler spent their youth on the baseball diamonds of Tucson's northwest side. Today, the quintet of Big Leaguers make up arguably the greatest team ever to grace a high school ball field. Here's how it all began:

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By Christopher C. Wuensch
Special to Tucson Citizen

Brian Anderson of the Kansas City Royals jumps for joy during spring training in Surprise, Ariz. on March 17. The biggest surprise for Anderson of the spring came weeks later when the Royals decided to transform the career outfielder into a pitcher. The surprises didn't end there for four of Anderson's Canyon Del Oro (Ariz.) High School teammates - Chris and Shelly Duncan, Scott Hairston and Ian Kinsler - who all faced challenges in making Big League rosters this spring.
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The Hellebuyck family hasn't spoken to me since this article hit the newstands in the fall of 2005; unless you count the angry message left on my voicemail. I truly believe I delivered this piece from a balanced perspective, telling both sides of the story - especially Eddy's and his struggles. Turns out, Hellebuyck never did get his appeal overturned and can be found splattered all over the Internet these days under the search terms 'steroid cheat.'

It's an unfortunate moniker. The Hellebuyck family was very accomodating and even invited me to the house one night to enjoy an evening of Kenyan cuisine (it was delicious).

You be the judge: fair reporting or skewed witch hunt in the name of a salacious story?
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- New York Jets wide receiver Dustin Keller after hauling in a 2-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez during this year's AFC Divisional Playoff against the San Diego Chargers.


- Sanchez' take on the fourth-quarter scoring toss that gave the Jets their first lead of game. Gang Green held on for the upset win, advancing to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 1998.
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Building a bamboo fence in our yard to keep out panda bears.

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Can you spot the prehistoric bird in this photo? The answer may surprise you! Stay tuned for the full story.
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Breast In Peace: Pamela Anderson passes away at the age of 72. Her lifeless body was found floating face-up in a Los Angeles pool. The buxom actress flourished in her second career as a Senior Olympic gold-medal swimmer, excelling in, of course, the breast stroke.


My Blog List


"Great article! I'll never forget as a teenager, seeing Carl Yastrzemski at a show. I waited in line, not realizing he was charging for his signature (I didn't pay). It's sad. You grow up idolizing these guys and want to honor them by asking for their autograph, all they want is the money."

- Abdulhadi Ahmedi, via Facebook

SIPAPT: It really is a bummer. Among some of the nicer athletes I've met, I'd have to include Tommy John and Martin Brodeur. Oh, and nice work on correctly spelling 'Yastrzemski.' !!

"I'm still waiting for Jerome Walton's $8 autographs to live up to its price tag. I think I bought like 8 of them and waited an hour on line in a mall. And I don't think he said a word to me."

- Gary Housman, via Facebook

SIPAPT: You can get an autographed Jerome Walton bat on eBay for $72. If you hadn't bought all those autographs back when Walton was considered a young phenom and not-a-future bust, you'd have enough to buy that bat today...and still have enough left over to buy a Bob Feller signature.

"Since my uncle, Jesse Hill was head football coach at USC in the mid 1950's and later A.D., I've got every Trojan Heisman winner on a correct period football program.

"But my prized Heisman winner autograph is Glen Davis of Army, who won it in 1945. Back in the '70's, I was working at the L.A. Herald-Examiner and went to the Times Grand Prix on a press pass, and Davis was the PR guy for the Times in charge of the press. I had to have him sign my press pass so I could get into the Press Patio for the free lunch and beer.

"I kept the signature because I had heard that when he was married to his 1st wife, Terri Moore, Davis had caught her and Howard Hughes making love on the couch in his living room one evening and he knocked Howard out, over the couch, and threw him out on the front lawn, naked before throwing the clothes in the trash. I shook his hand, too.

"I got this story from Jim Bacon, who was Howard's PR guy, and was my co-worker at the Her-Ex later.

"Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba"

- Ferrari Bubba, via



"When I was 15, I worked as a caddie at the really nice local golf course in my hometown. It was the middle of summer and I had other things to do than sweat it out for some rich bozo on a Saturday morning.

"Anyhow, I get to work at 7 a.m. and I get the 'privilege' of being assigned to carry the bag of former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Bob Forsch. For a guy who slammed 12 home runs and threw two 'no-no's,' he couldn't hit the green to save his life. I know, because I was carrying that 1/4-ton bag of his. Mind you, I've played enough golf to give tips to the guy if he's struggling (He did listen, too).

"So, 18 holes, four hours and what seemed like 15,000 yards later, it finally comes time to pay out. After he signs my pay-card, I look at it, and there it is in all it's glory.

"Right next to this 168-win, 1,100+ strikeout, 3.75 ERA Cardinal great's John Hancock: $2.

"I guess Major Leaguers didn't get paid that much in the '70s and '80s."

- Scott Salisbury, via e-mail

SIPAPT: You gotta remember, back then $2 could get you and a date into a movie, popcorn, Sno-Caps, one milkshake (two straws) and still have enough left over to tip the soda jerk (insert your Bob Forsch joke here).


In Progress At Press Time