More response to Whitmarsh

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Rod Horrell and his wife owned Dream Dinners, one in West Hills and another in Camarillo. At the end of 2008, they lost the business. Then they lost their home.

Horrell, who calls himself “a big sports fan,” is moving with his family, which includes two young kids, to Monument, Colorado, just north of Colorado Springs, after living in Southern California for their entire lives, more than 40 years.

In response to the column in today’s Daily News on the passing of Mike Whitmarsh (linked here), Rod said he was compelled to send an email.

Here’s part of it:

Continue reading

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Maybe the Dodgers have a job for you

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The Dodgers’ annual job fair, where it fills more than 500 employment spots — ushers, security, maintence and food service — runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stadium Club and third baseline suites.

Candidates are asked to enter the Sunset gate to the parking lot starting at 9:30 a.m. to see what positions are available.

The Dodgers say they employ more than 3,000 workers on a typical game day.

Later — March 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — the Dodgers will also co-sponsor a community job fair that brings in more of the public and private companies. Last year, there were about 4,000 people who were able to make contacts with companies such as Bally Fitness, Federal Express, Macy’s, Coca-Cola, Sears, Primerica, USC and the U.S. Secret Service. More info at this link (linked here).

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Cary’d away to a rushmore to judgement … yes, it’s over

From ESPN’s paper-shredding dept., the follow up to such classic you-make-the-call enterprises such “Titletown USA” and “Who’s It”:

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Fans have voted Illinois’ four sports greats – Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Ernie Banks and Mike Ditka – the most impressive quartet of sports icons representing each U.S. State, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to be chiseled on SportsCenter’s “Mt. Rushmore of Sports.” Illinois received 28.6 percent of the votes, beating out the other four finalists – Pennsylvania, California, New York and Alabama.

The five-week series, which began January 18 with fan nominations on ESPN.com and concluded Tuesday with the live announcement of the winning state on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, engaged fans with more than 300,000 entries nominating the personalities to represent the states/regions and voting online at different stages of the series. Final voting for the winner from among five finalists began Friday, Feb. 20, and ended Monday, Feb. 23.

How the fans voted:

Illinois: 28.6 percent took Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Ernie Banks, Mike Ditka

Pennsylvania: 25.5 took Joe Paterno, Mario Lemieux, Roberto Clemente, Wilt Chamberlain

California: 17.4 took Tiger Woods, John Wooden, Magic Johnson, Jackie Robinson

New York: 15.4 took Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, Joe Namath

Alabama: 13.1 took Hank Aaron, Bear Bryant, Bo Jackson, Willie Mays

Now is it time to play the Benny Hill theme music and move onto the next waste of time?

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Our Daily Dread: The ire of the Tiger

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T-minus (whatever it is until 11 a.m.) for Tiger Woods’ reentry into our golf TV box.

Can you feel it? It’s like a heavyweight bout, waiting for the champ to come out of his locker room, the lights dim, the music blares (“Eye of the Tiger” seems appropriate) and wearing a glittering robe with the hood over his head, he emerges to the roar of the crowd.

Unfortunately — or fortunately for golf — Tiger won’t have that kind of entrance today at the ritzy Ritz Carlton Golf Club just outside of Tucson for today’s Match Play Championship (official site linked here). It starts a day earlier than most PGA Tour events because this is special — the top 64 players, according to ranking, play head to head until it’s down to the final two on Sunday.

Kinda like the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

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Which puts Tiger Woods in the UConn slot — without coach Calhoun yelling at the gallery to get their facts straight — and No. 64 Brendan Jones of Australia in the role of … Slippery Rock. Maybe it’s more like Whatsa Matta U.

Their match coincides with the start of Golf Channel’s coverage today, lasting until 3 p.m. Or, if there’s more drama, staying with it until past the end, plus interviews,analysis, re-analysis, more interviews, shot charts, FloBee informercials and a cooking show with Rachel Ray.

Tiger will walk the 18 holes that he didn’t feel like walking at Riviera Country Club last week. Had he played in the PGA’s Northern Trust Open, he’d have been on the hook for four rounds (probably), two at the embarassingly least. Here, in Match Play, he can go two rounds, play reasonably well, get knocked out and still have some dignity. After two days, half of the world’s top 64 players are eliminated. There’s no real shame in that. Tiger tucks his tail between his legs and goes back to his nuclear family in Florida.

Those who’ll be most bummed are the guys at NBC. The network has the Saturday and Sunday coverage all planned around a Tiger sighting. The semifinals (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday) and the 36-hole final (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) on NBC (supplimented with Golf Channel coverage) best have someone named Sergio, Vijay or AK in the final four or else that compelling golf competition thing is as luring as Scott Hamilton’s Sequined Dudes on Ice special.

“He would not be coming back if he didn’t think he was pretty darn good right now,” said NBC analyst Johnny Miller. “He would not do it. I thought this was the perfect spot for him. He’s probably thinking, ‘Hey I can come back for the Match Play and scare these guys a little bit.’ He’s not here to test his knee, he’s here to win this thing.

“If I was Tiger and I didn’t want to tee it up to answer to a score and I was feeling pretty good, I’d try the Match Play because he can make a couple of doubles and still win your matches as long as you make a bunch birdies. This is a really good way to wet your feet if you’re Tiger Woods … you’re not playing medal play and you’re not answering to a score. Plus he has the intimidation factor going for him. It will be tough for Tiger to get to the weekend, but knowing Tiger he’s probably ready, far more than ready.”

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As the coverman of this week’s Sports Illustrated, Tiger Woods’ return means that “people (can) escape their troubles by watching sports, and this is the biggest sports story we have going right now,” said Tommy Roy, the executive producer of golf at NBC Sports, in that story. “He’s so likeable in the way that he plays, it sucks you in.”

Don’t get caught in the ire of the Tiger this weekend if your name happens to pop up next to his in the bracket. Play your game and see how that works for you. Just don’t cry like a schoolgirl when he’s walking off the course after the 13th hole with a 6 and 5 victory. Or however the score these things. Stableford, right?

Will Woods be as sharp this weekend as John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, something of a threat like Oliver Purnell’s Clemson Tigers, or smart enough like the players on Craig Robinson’s Sydney Johnson’s Princeton Tigers to walk off the course if there’s some pain in that rebuilt knee?

Which school that uses the Tigers’ mascot to you lean to in this scenario? Comment or email at thomas.hoffarth@dailynews.com.

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Our Daily Dread: More people at Whit’s end

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Reaction to yesterday’s “Daily Dread” blog post (linked here) on how Mike Whitmarsh dealt with his demons will touch more than we care to think about. On many levels.

Rather than rant on about something else that really, is just about sports, an email I received from someone who seems to have benefitted from reading the post yesterday, which was turned into a column in today’s South Bay Daily Breeze (linked here) and will be updated to appear in Wednesday’s L.A. Daily News:

Very nice column. Very classy and touching. Thanks for writing it.

When I read about Whit last week I was taken back. One would think that a Gold medal winner, AVP champion, a nice house, seemingly no money worries with a wife – albeit
in trouble evidently – and two daughters would basically have the world by the tail.

If I had the chance to talk with him beforehand that is what I would have said.

But I am on the opposite end of the scale. I used to work in sports administration. Just turned 60. Haven’t had a full time job in a year. Can’t get a decent paying job worth my experience. I am “over qualified” for most. Others, i.e., young bucks, are scared because they think I’ll take their jobs. Now applying for minimum wage jobs.

After 39 years and eight months of a spotless credit history my credit report is ruined and has cost me one job at least. I can’t climb out via minimum wage jobs.

I’ve got no money left to pay rent this Sunday. No family. No pension. No where to turn. No future.

I am where Whit was but at the other end.

Sports teams are laying off employees just like everyone else. Nothing seems to be recession proof.

Many of us are literally at Whit’s end.

Again, don’t end it that way. Talk it out. Find a friend who’ll listen more than talks and offers advice.

There are many services available at local churches — free — that deal with all kinds of emotional needs and have referral services.

Personally, I’ve been down that dark alley before. Almost hauntingly like the one Whitmarsh faced last week. A divorce that involves kids is horrible on many levels, no matter how “easy” it may seem.

It’s not as simple as popping a couple of Prozac and feeling better.

Imagine the poor among us who’ve been knocked down even lower on the dignity chain because of all this.

Grind it out. Don’t grind ourself out because of something that seems hopeless.

More comments and emails can be sent to thomas.hoffarth@dailynews.com

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