SI’s Reilly: ‘If I didn’t hurt so bad, I’d limp over to the oven and stick my head in it’
Through 16 years of the American Century Championship, only one print journalist has been invited to compete in the 54-hole celebrity golf tournament.
Sports Illustrated golf writer Jaime Diaz competed in the 1996 tournament, and managed not to embarrass his fellow journalists. Diaz actually shot two sub-80 rounds and finished in a tie for 55th place with TV media’s top hack Bryant Gumbel, Joe Morgan, Mike Eruzione and Maury Povich.
The list of superstars trailing Diaz included the likes of Jerry Rice, Pete Sampras and Oscar De La Hoya. Not too shabby for a guy who sits behind a desk most of the day.
Ten years later, a more celebrated journalist was poised to represent us. Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly was all set to enter the tournament for the first time. But Reilly didn’t have the restraint to live the risk-free life of a monk in the months leading up to the nationally televised tournament.
No, Reilly went out and did something ridiculous and tore his Achilles’ tendon – one of the few injuries that could possibly rule him out of the tournament.
Now, instead of showing off a swing that has to be better than Charles Barkley’s, Reilly will probably write about some schmuck who blew a shot at playing a week of free golf with the world’s greatest collection of athletes.
How could he possibly of blown this sweet gig?
“I ripped my Achilles leaping from a speeding taxi cab to save a stranded baby in the middle of 1-95,” Reilly fibbed.
Or how about, “I ripped it doing a 720 misty flip in Aspen,” Reilly exaggerated again.
Finally, Reilly couldn’t resist telling the truth.
“I ripped it playing basketball with my son,” he said, coming clean. “I can’t believe I’m going to miss the Tahoe tournament. If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d limp over to the oven and stick my head in it.”
He deserves another chance, don’t you think? But as a dad, how is Reilly going to tell his boy that he can’t play basketball with him any more?
Catching up with Moriah Lane
Nearly two years ago, the Tribune did a feature story on Little League All-Star Moriah Lane.
Back then, the 10-year-old Lane was just starting to earn the respect from the top boys’ players in the league.
Now 12, Lane is terrorizing the league with her mammoth home runs and robust batting average. Girls have done well in the South Lake Tahoe Little League before but not to the level Lane has demonstrated.
With seven games remaining in the regular season, Lane was hitting .826 (19 of 23) with 22 RBI. She had struck out only once and had three homers, six doubles and nine walks.
Lane also has been a vital part of the Pirates’ defense as she plays first base and pitches in relief.
The personal accomplishments are much more satisfying because Lane’s Pirates were in first place at the start of the week in the seven-team league.
With the abbreviated season ending in a month, use part of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to cheer on Lane as she makes league history.
– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or email@example.com
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