QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!

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El Maestro…Angel Cabrera.
In Spanish, one of the words for unfullfilled hope is

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ilusión.
That’s fitting perhaps because the 2009 Masters was all about illusion.  Before the tournament, we were bombarded with discussion of Tiger versus Phil, and if not the two headed Hydra of the PGA tour, then perhaps one of the young rising stars would win.  Deep into Sunday, the spring shadows played tricks on our eyes as the Titans clashed to thundering ovations while perhaps the least sexy final pairing in tournament history ambled up and down the lush Georgia fairways.  Woods and Mickleson staged a duel for the ages that was all sound and fury, but ultimately lacking in significance as both men learned that at Augusta, even immortals must watch the sun set upon them. 

Meanwhile, two men who have spent successful and accomplished, but workmanlike, careers longing to prove themselves worthy to be fitted for a green jacket spent most of the afternoon trying to hide in plain sight.  Angel Cabrera, the Argentine hero of the US Open, seemed incapable of hitting a good shot for large stretches of the afternoon, and Kenny Perry simply played for par, hole after hole.  Contenders were rising and falling all around them, but in the end, the two men who seemed least likely to don the exclusive duds were still the last two standing.  The greats, the young, the not-quite-theres, and the worthy contenders stood aside as an old man and a duck fought to the end.

Perry seemed to have two fists on the jacket as his tee shot at 16 trickled toward the cup.  Instead, they slipped from the lapel and wound up firmly around his throat.  His back to back bogeys to close the day were painful to watch, and for this Ryder cup stallwart to see his two stroke cusion dissappear was heart breaking indeed.

In the end, it was Cabrera with the steady hand. He twice staved off elimination with clutch par putts before enjoying an anti-climatic two tapper that made him a two-time major champion and will surely elevate him to the status of legend in his home land.  His countryman and hero, Roberto DiVincenzo, once was so close to the jacket that he actually had finished 72 holes with a better score than any other player, but failed to check his partner’s score card incurring a penalty, and later lost in a playoff.  Still, in Argentina he is known simply as “El Maestro” and is revered among the fortunate few who play golf.  The British Open champion and Hall of Fame member will now have to cede his title to its rightful owner, as this year the flags over Augusta are not yellow and green, but celste and blanco.

I’ve heard that Augusta is beautiful in a fraudulent way.  The rumors are that they spray paint spots on the course to make everything appear that special shade of perfect green.  The water is dyed to so as appear perfect on TV.  Every year feels historic, even if it isn’t.  This year, for one man at least, the illusions faded while the ilusión was realized.

Links:
FO does a draft glossary.  The following Colts were used as textbook examples:
Reggie Wayne-Carries his pads (plays at full speed on game day)
Peyton Manning-Football IQ
Jeff Saturday-Knee Bender (uses good technique to overcome physical limitations)
Marvin Harrison-Quick out of breaks
Dwight Freeney-Wide 9 technique (lines up wider than normal for a true speed rush)
Freddy Keiaho-Works in space (operates free of blockers in the Cover-2)

My friend Earl sends over this link about being a White Sox fan.  Great stuff.  The best quote is: 

The Cubs get the celebrities to come to their games and bellow out “Take Me Out
to the Ballgame” and gab about how great Wrigley is, and how real baseball is
played on the North Side, just because that stadium has some plants on the
walls, an old scoreboard with no replays and a bunch of bars flanking its
expanse.”

I feel like, being in Chicago, the
White Sox have a sacred responsibility to baseball fans everywhere:  To expose
the Lie that is the Cubs in a way that only the White Sox can.

Oehser lists the most underrated Manning moment.  It’s a bit of a cheat because it’s so recent and at the time it made all of us say, “WOW”.  Still, his reasoning is sound.

Tomorrow be on the lookout for 18 Questions with Paul Kuharsky of the ESPN AFC South blog.  Today he looks at the recent history for teams drafting at 27. There has been some fine players taken there mostly at running back and wide receiver.

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