The Open, Arizona Stadium, Feherty, Arizona Football and other miscellaneous topics.
RB Ka'Deem Carey
Ernie Els’ recent victory at the Open Championship rekindles one’s faith in sportsmanship. Some might say that Els backed into the win and that Adam Scott lost the tournament. But Els hit incredible shots down the stretch to get into position for the victory, and made a clutch putt on 18 for birdie, for what would prove to be the winning shot.
Els had been on an extended drought for several years after injuring his left knee. Many thought he should have been extended an invitation to the Masters tournament this past spring, but it never came. Els never complained, although he has been in contention many times at Augusta throughout his career. When Scott missed his par putt on 18 that would have put him in a five-hole playoff, Els’ first comment to his caddie was, “We must talk to Adam.” Els knows how crushing a close loss in a major is. All I can say about the South African native is “classy.” And while we’re at it, let’s award a “Well Played” to Els, The Champion Golfer of the Year, as well as one of sport’s greatest gentlemen.
No doubt about it, we are in a new era of Arizona football. When I cruised by the Stadium several weeks ago to take a look at the progress of the construction of the North End Zone, I stopped in to look at Sancet Field. It’s pretty certain by now that you will never see another Arizona baseball game on campus. I can envision the outfield fences coming down, and you’ve already heard of the announcement that the infield has been sodded, pitching mound removed, and this will be the practice area for the Football team to save wear and tear on the turf in Arizona Stadium.
And this now opens up many possibilities for this valuable space. No one is asking my opinion, but here goes anyway. Please, please, please DO NOT put up one of those hideous looking indoor, inflatable, enclosed practice areas. OK, agree to disagree on this one, but do we really need an air conditioned facility that is necessary for only a short time in the year? Alright, that decision being made, what shall we do with all that space? As a benevolent dictator, I welcome all your suggestions, but from my point of view, we put in two full size practice facilities, one in grass, one in Field Turf. The end point in all of this is that Football will eventually rival Basketball as a revenue generator. I don’t know, maybe it would be a bit extravagant, but like several others, I am adamantly opposed to Field Turf in Arizona Stadium. However, after my opinion was shockingly ignored by the powers that be, field turn is going in next summer and since it is, it would only make sense to have a practice field featuring natural and foe grass to best prepare the Wildcats for whatever stadium turf they’ll be playing on that week.
Here is what I do like about the direction of the football program; Thinking Big. As the construction in the NEZ continues to take shape, my prediction is that Arizona Stadium is going to be the trendy place to be. By next year, capacity is going to be pushing 60,000, which is probably perfect, and that place is going to be rocking.
Besides Holly Sonders, there is something else great about the Golf Channel; David Feherty’s interviews with the legends of golf. Feherty not only has insights into the game as a player, but is incredibly talented as a reporter and interviewer. His recent interview with the one of the greatest announcers of all time, Peter Allis, revealed this gem; “the nice thing about all the rain in Scotland is that most of it ends up as Scotch.”
Shameless Plug…Can I give some props to the staff at WSR? Sure I can, and I will. First, I want to thank them for providing me with this opportunity to contribute as a writer. Second, this is off season for every sport, yet Gary and Brad have been pumping out articles on both basketball and football. WSR is a great place to assemble. Am I too bold to suggest that you try out a Premium membership? Go for it!
I’m not sure how excited any of you are about the upcoming Summer Olympics, but there will be some Tucsonans, and some Wildcats on the U.S. team. I don’t know about you, but every time I see Bernard Legat, I want to take him to “In and Out Burger” and buy him a couple of cheeseburgers. This I do know – July and August in London has to be about the best time of the year to be there. Having lived about 20 miles north of London for two years, summer in the United Kingdom makes it one of the best places on the planet. If it gets upwards of 80 degrees, the Brits will be sweltering, but for the most part, the weather should be ideal for this Olympiad. Maybe I’m biased, but London is one of the greatest cities in the world, if not the greatest. Virtually everything important in our modern civilizations has its roots in the city on the Thames. Let’s hope for peaceful, competitive games, with none of the political overtones. I can dream, can’t I?
One more prediction on Arizona football. The running attack this coming season may lead the Pac-12 in rushing. I believe the scheme fits the talent we have, and see the returning running backs as a strength of this team. I love the idea of a no huddle offense that keeps the game moving. The Oregon/Arizona game will be interesting to watch in this respect because both teams will play at the same pace. I’m not sure if there will be a dominant back who can lead the conference in rushing on the Arizona team, but between Carey and Jenkins we’ll always have fresh legs.
It is only days from the beginning of football practice. I can’t wait. Bear Down!
Steve Buchanan is a regular contributor to Wildcat Sports Report.