I thought that I was back in fifth grade yesterday listening to the Tom Brady press conference. Most reporters talked over each other trying to ask Tom a question. Ron Borges, sportswriter for the Boston Herald, was able to contribute his two cents. For Tom, "Don't you think a basketball player can tell if the rim is off SIX inches?!?" Ron was trying to compare the rim to two pounds per square inch of air. I wish our teacher wasn't stuck in traffic.
The story from Ron Borges about New York Knick's star forward Bill Bradley being able to recognize that one rim was three inches short of the required 10 feet was noteworthy. He left out the story about Boston Red Sox slugger, Ted Williams who noted that the pitcher's mound was not the 60 ft. six in. as required. Ted had expert vision of 20/10, and his eyesight did not fail him.
In his haste, Ron Borges was trying to tell us about the 2006 Nissan Irish Open. Matt Slater, BBC:
"When play at Carton House was abandoned because of bad weather on Sunday, Clarke was two shots clear with 10 to play. But just before the hooter sounded, Clarke had pushed his drive at the 9th into the heavy rough.
When he returned to resume his round on Monday, Clarke discovered the County Kildare course's leprechauns had been at work overnight improving his lie. From being faced with a hack back to the fairway on Sunday, he now had a shot at reaching the green in two.
Having asked for a ruling, Clarke was told to thank "the little people" (probably) and play the ball as it lay. The 37-year-old felt ill at ease about this, however, and opted to play the same sideways chip back to the short stuff he was going to have to play on Sunday.
The result? A bogey-five and the first wobble in a round that would see him bogey two of the last three holes to finish two shots behind Thomas Bjorn.
As Clarke later explained: "When I went back out, the area around the ball had been flattened. It was a much better lie than when I left it.
"I could have put it on to the front of the green from where it was, but my conscience would not allow me to do it so I just decided the best thing to do was chip out like I would have done the previous night.
"Honesty is part and parcel of the game and I could not have acted any other way."
Bagger Vance said it best. People that play sports other than golf "lie, deliberately, to gain selfish advantage."
"I've been around professional athletes for 40 years and those guys are fastidious about equipment." - Ron Borges. I think Ron was trying to say, "Bending the rules is the same as breaking them. The great ones don't need an edge."
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.