Friday Fives

A fistful of comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports.

The good news is that neither the USGA nor Fox Sports had anything to do with their presentation.


By Steve Hummer / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


1. Ten places the U.S. Open should go before ever returning to Chambers Bay

Orion Pictures

(A). My sorry back yard – it’s actually greener.

(B). Any given 18 gila monster holes in Death Valley.

(C). Lost Lagoon Adventure Golf, Destin, Fla.

(D). PGA Superstore indoor practice range.

(E). Candler Park Golf Course – two times around the nine holes; lift, clean and place from any scat, animal or human.

(F). The Golden Tee video game in the Big Timber Lodge, Gatlinburg, Tenn.

(G). Eighteen drinking glasses tipped on their side on the pool deck of a Carnival Cruise ship.

(H). The “Caddyshack” course (above) – gopher holes, explosive craters and all.

(I). Pine Castle naval bombing range, Ocala, Fla.

(J). My front yard.


2. Danny Ferry, certified non-racist

Hyosub Shin / AJC

Most people, you have to take them at their word that they are good at heart. Their intentions are always open to interpretation. Their innermost thoughts and beliefs are almost impossible to penetrate.

But, while former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry got worked over pretty good by ownership, he did get one valuable souvenir in return:

Actual paperwork, signed by a lawyer and everything, that he is not a racist. That’s better than a certificate of appreciation any time.

The Alston & Bird investigation of the GM found that none of his remarks or behavior concerning Luol Deng “were motivated by racial or ethnic animus, or by a person's country of origin.”

Were I him, I’d get that laminated and keep it in my wallet for ready access. How many people, after all, are actual card-carrying non-racists?

Defending one’s self against suspicions of intolerance is like trying to wrestle the breeze. You can’t win; you can’t really talk yourself out of the corner. Some people never will believe you, no matter how loudly you protest.

But who can produce a document proving his or her lack of malice? Well, Ferry can, so he has that going for him, which is nice.

Slightly more important may be a new job and a platform for proving the Hawks wrong for not keeping him.


3. What didn’t Pete Rose bet on?

Associated Press

Did we really need any further proof that The Hit King was as shady as a Vegas pool cabana?

The recent revelation of alleged betting notes dating back to his playing days was hardly surprising. The number of lies long ago lapped the number of hits (4,256).

I’m just surprised he didn’t wear a green visor to work rather than a baseball cap, and maybe sleeve garters like the old west poker dealers used to.

Still, this is not the time to forsake his Hall of Fame bid. In fact, it is time to ratchet that up to its shrillest level yet.

Oh, God, no, not the Baseball Hall of Fame. That’s as unreachable for Rose as the top shelf at Home Depot.

There is only one perfect place to store Rose’s legacy: The Gaming Hall of Fame, run by UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research. Each year, it recognizes two or more individuals “who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to the gaming-entertainment industry.”

That has mostly meant casino executives and entertainers – the inductees ranging from Steve Wynn to the Blue Man Group. But it is time to recognize the gambler’s contribution to the industry. And who better than Rose to represent the desperate and ultimately destructive chase for the big payoff?


4. Mick Jagger, Tech man

Robb D. Cohen /

We always knew that Keith Richards was a ramblin’ wreck, but now it is more official than ever.

The Rolling Stones became big Georgia Tech donors recently when their Bobby Dodd Stadium concert mucked up the field and the band had to pay replacement costs.

They haven’t bought this much grass, probably, since, oh, 1972.

They used to trash hotel rooms, now it’s landscaping. That’s what happens after 70, one supposes.

They immediately have become the coolest Georgia Tech benefactors ever, and likely will retire the title.

I can’t wait until Jagger begins that most popular duty of any Georgia Tech man – taking to the various blog sites and commenting on how superior to Georgia the Yellow Jackets are at everything.


5. A moment please, to appreciate true art

You can keep your Dutch masters. Forget about your Renaissance artists and your impressionists and your modern school.

How about Michael Rigitano, the maestro of bottle cap art?

The inspiration for his most recent work began, as many of life’s great challenges do, in a bar.

Bet you can’t make a decent model of the Stanley Cup out of bottle caps, someone dared the highly committed Chicago Blackhawks fan.

About 7,000 bottle caps later, Rigitano had himself a real nice faux Stanley Cup. And a great example of how wisely today’s fan employs his free time.

His reward: Collecting on the $10 wager.

As soon as he drinks enough to resupply himself with his medium of choice, he can start to work on the Lombardi Trophy. He can pace himself, waiting for the Bears to win their next Super Bowl.